Ever been conned?

You can fool all the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time and, it seems, enough of the people most of the time!

When will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?

Ever been conned?


Today’s Music to keep me SSssaaaaNNnNneee – Jackson C Frank.

Today I’ll be playing some Jackson C Frank – a terrific, virtually unknown, singer-songwriter, but one who was incredibly important. He came across to England by boat, bringing his unique songs with him, and galvanised the Folk Scene at Les Cousins, befriending the likes of the Great Roy Harper.

His songwriting was in a world of its own and his 1965 one and only album set a standard for songwriting. It was different.

I was turned on to that album in 1965 by a fellow student called Bob Ede. Thanks Bob!

He set a spark to the tinder and influenced many of the contemporary songwriters. That one album (the later recorded tracks) and the long-lasting effect on his fellow songwriters remains his legacy. Roy Harper (a good friend of his) wrote ‘My Friend’ for him.

I was fortunate enough to see him perform, close-up in a small room above a pub in Ilford. That memory is seared into my brain. After the gig we had a chat. He was very approachable, friendly and pleasant. I never saw him again.

I later learnt a lot more about him. He certainly led a traumatic life. I’m so grateful that I discovered him and got to see him perform as well as having a chance to meet him.

His music is eternal!

Poetry – The Sun Just is.

The Sun Just is.

The sun just is.

                The story reads itself.

Any dream is as real.

A mind roams the universe.

                We feel

                                We think

                                                We see.

Everything adds up to nothing.

Nothing contains it all.

                We wonder

                                We taste

                                                We conjure.

Reality is inexplicable.

Consciousness an illusion.

                We touch

                                We think

                                                We disappear.

I just am

                When I am.

Opher – 7.12.2021

Explaining infinity, consciousness, dreams or reality requires magic.

We exist.

There is no explanation.

Poetry – A Tessellated Dream

A Tessellated Dream

I live in a world of strings

Lost in a few dimensions.

Reality is lost to my eyes

As I inhabit our inventions.

The macrocosm and microcosm

Are invisible to me

And time is fleeting

In this reality.

For there is no such thing

As substance or stability

The illusion is convincing though

I struggle to really see.

I’m very leery of the m-theory.

Things are not what they seem to be.

All time exists as a single moment

And in the quantum universe

Things exist and don’t exist

It’s really quite perverse.

This world may not be as it seems

As we splutter out of these tessellated dreams.

Opher – 5.9.2020

Slim Harpo – A Swamp Blues Genius

Swamp Blues from Louisiana

We checked out the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge.

Then we set off to find what had happened to James Moore AKA Slim Harpo the Excello label Swamp Blues maestro responsible for such gems as Shake Your Hips, I’m A King Bee and Got Love If You Want It – made famous by bands such as the Stones and Kinks.

I’d first heard Slim playing on a treasured album called Swamp Blues. He was a great favourite of mine. The man was a genius. I never got to see him perform because in 1970, just as he was organising a tour of Europe, he dropped dead from a heart attack. Such a great shame. He was only forty six.

It took us a long time to track down the graveyard where Slim Harpo was buried.

We found his grave in an overgrown section with trees growing out of his grave.

We paid our respects. Goodbye Slim and thanks for the music.

What makes a country a Rogue State???

Things to ponder

  • A country that flouts international law
  • A country that shows aggression towards other states
  • A country that interferes with the internal politics of other countries
  • A country that props up tyrannies in other States in order to gain advantage
  • A country that starts wars
  • A country that uses corruption, secret operations, bribes, propaganda and misinformation to gain advantage
  • Human rights violations
  • Committing atrocities

If any country does any of these things it should be considered a Rogue State.

Sound familiar?

Mardi Gras Costumes from New Orleans!

Travel and Photography

Mardi Gras has its tradition going back three hundred years into Cajun and Black culture. Often suppressed but full of colour, outrageous costume, floats, beads, masks and celebration.

The costumes and masks are amazing, grotesque, diabolical and weird, but also beautiful, colourful and ornate with feathers, headdresses and great extensions of robes.

Here’s a few photos I took on my first visit.


Dr John – Opher’s World pays tribute to genius.

Voodoo Rock

I am presently working on a book of tributes to Rock geniuses. This is an extract:

Dr John


Straight out of the voodoo bayous of New Orleans, steeped in ju-ju, gris-gris and the mystical shamanism of Madame Leroux, ears ringing with the rhythms of Treme with its Professor Longhair and Huey ‘Piano’ Smith magic, transformed by ritual ceremony, Mac Rebennack, a session musician in New Orleans, was transformed into the supernatural being that was Dr John.

In the late 1960s he emerged on to the Acid Rock Scene as a weird shaman festooned with mojo bags, hats, beads, gowns, gnarled sticks, emblems, mystical signs and things gathered from the mists of the swamps of Louisiana. With his strange, elaborate, bizarre and uncommunicative persona, he became Dr John the Night-tripper and fitted in perfectly. The mumbo-jumbo of New Orleans Creole sounded just fine. It did not seem the least odd. The music marinated in the swamp-blues and boogie-woogie rhythms of Ammons, Willie Hall and Longhair, hanging with the Spanish moss and mist of Cajun and dosed with the lysergic acid of psychedelia was esoteric and primaeval. Superb stuff. I’d walk on gilded splinters to hear it any day.

Even when he’d left the big band behind and it was just Dr John doing his interpretations of New Orleans classics like ‘Iko Iko’ and ‘Baldhead’ he still had the mystique and was something to see and hear. Lee Scratch Perry is the nearest spectacle to Dr John. They could be twins.