The Byrds – I wasn’t Born to Follow

I always think of the Easy Rider film when I hear this. It really captures the feel of those times. A time of mysticism, back to nature and turning our backs on the war machine of capitalist greed that society have evolved into.

Ironically they immediately followed.

“Wasn’t Born To Follow”

Oh I’d rather go and journey where the diamond crest is flowing
And run across the valley beneath the sacred mountain
And wander through the forest, where the trees have leaves of prisms
And break the light in colors that no one knows the names of

And when it’s time I’ll go and wait beside a legendary fountain
Till I see your form reflected in its clear and jeweled waters
And if you think I’m ready, you may lead me to the chasm
Where the rivers of our vision flow into one another

I will want to dive beneath the white cascading waters
She may beg, she may plead, she may argue with her logic
And mention all the things I’ll lose
That really have no value in the end she will surely know
I wasn’t born to follow

A Roy Harper track to cheer me up – Forever

This is the best love song anyone has ever recorded – full stop!

It was recorded on Roy’s first album – an album that was recorded in a make-shift studio. The songs were all recorded live with a minimum of technology. A superb album.

The song was poetic, romantic and quite a contrast to Roy’s angst on his epic’s like McGoohan’s Blues.

It was written for Mocy – his first wife. A beautiful tribute.

I remember Roy singing it to Liz and me at the Kingston Hotel in 1970. That was a special gig. He doesn’t normally do things like that.

Roy rerecorded it for the 1974 album Valentine. He felt that the superior technology might enable him to produce a more polished version.

I still prefer the original.

Here’s a live version from early on.

 

Today’s Music to Cheer me up in Isolation – Eddie Cochran

I fell in love with Eddie (or at least his music) when I first heard him sing those great songs – Something Else, C’mon Everybody and Summertime Blues. I was about twelve at the time and I liked stuff that rocked. Eddie rocked for me.

Here’s a rare clip.

What a loss!! He’d only been going a short while. Just think what we might have had with twenty years of Eddie! He really could play that guitar and had a distinctive style.

But Eddie is Something Else.

I’ll be playing him loud all day!! Rock it Eddie!!

Bands, Music and Gigs

Favorite bands?  Roy Harper, Captain Beefheart, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Woody Guthrie, Phil Ochs.

* First band you saw live?  The Birds (with Ronnie Wood) then Them with Van Morrison – both brilliant.

* Band you have seen the most?  Roy Harper (500+ times)

* Best festival?  Windsor Jazz & Blues with Cream or Woburn Abbey with Hendrix

*Bands you wished you’d seen? Howlin’ Wolf, Beatles


* Furthest you have travelled for a concert?  Grateful Dead in San Francisco – although I did see the Hot Potato Band in Australia!


* Ever met a band?  Loads – Roy Harper, Syd Barrett, Free, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon, Magic Band, Country Joe & Fish, Nick Harper, Stiff Little Fingers, Buzzcocks, Incredible String Band…………. Back in the day you could just wander backstage and chat.


* Best gigs?  Hundreds – Roy Harper at St Pancreas Town Hall, Captain Beefheart at Middle Earth, Doors at Roundhouse, Jimi Hendrix at Woburn, Pink Floyd at UFO, Son House at Hammersmith Odeon.


* Best venue?  Eel Pie Island. Les Cousins in Greek St, Middle Earth or Toby Jug (saw Pete Green and Led Zep there)


* Worst venue?  Loved ’em all!


* Smallest gig?  I saw Arthur Brown in 1969 with just seven of us. He did his entire act full on. I saw the Nashville Teens with just nine of us. They also did their entire act full on. The best small gig was Nick Harper in a tiny room in Leeds – It was crammed and everyone sang. Also saw Jackson C Frank in a pub in Ilford back in 1969 – small audience superb gig.


* Last gig?  Loudhailer Electric Company in Hull.


* Next gig?  Jeff Beck in York or Nick Mason in York.

Roy Harper – Hell’s Angels – A song recorded as an impossible single.

Roy Harper – Hell’s Angels – A song recorded as an impossible single.

When Roy signed to the prestigious Harvest label set up to accommodate the burgeoning Underground talent, EMI was confident that they could make a big deal out of Roy. Unfortunately Roy was his own man and refused to play the necessary games. He went his own way.

When he recorded the wonderful Flat Baroque and Berserk album – his debut on Harvest – they wanted a single. That didn’t appeal to Roy. When they pressed he wrote some outrageous lyrics, had a late night session with his mates the Nice in the studio and recorded a  seven minute track that he offered them as a single. I don’t think they were impressed.

I was there at Abbey Road to witness this being recorded and it was quite a rollicking session.

The track, complete with Roy’s electric guitar, is on the album but for some reason was not released as a single.

Check out the lyrics. They might provide a clue. I don’t think it would have got much airplay.

Hell’s Angels – Roy Harper
if you think you need a better deal why don’t you just take one
like the Hell’s Angels
put your foot down, let’s get out of this town

fancy seeing all of you here, well I don’t know
fancy seeing all of you here
dressed up in your government gear, paying taxes
never thought you’d make it to here

hell’s angels
if you think you need a better world why don’t you just make one
like the Hell’s Angels
live your own law, lick your own paw

fancy seeing all of you slugs, well I don’t know
fancy seeing all of you mugs
drinking all your government drugs
well I don’t know
helping all your government thugs

free speech!
one each!

I am really enjoying these videos!

If you are at all interested in my writing on Blues and Rock Music you can check out my books here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1474797981&sr=1-2-ent

I would recommend the Blues Muse or In Search of Captain Beefheart to get you started:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Search-Captain-Beefheart-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00TQ1E9ZG/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886379&sr=1-4

or

537 Essential Rock Albums Pt. 1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/537-Essential-Rock-Albums-first-ebook/dp/B00OEMO7TA/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474902569&sr=1-3

Opher’s tributes to Rock Geniuses

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ophers-World-Tributes-Rock-Geniuses-ebook/dp/B00U0NLP4W/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_32?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474967124&sr=1-32

If you would like some of my Sci-fi I recommend Ebola in the Garden of Eden or Sorting the Future to get you started:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ebola-Garden-Eden-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B0116VXVIY/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_19?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886688&sr=1-19

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sorting-Future-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1533082669/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886738&sr=1-10

If you would like a sixties novel I recommend Danny’s Story or Goofin’ with the Cosmic Freaks

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dannys-Story-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1533487219/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886738&sr=1-9

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Goofin-Cosmic-Freaks-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00MT3GWIK/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_18?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886872&sr=1-18

Happy Reading!!

Roy Harper – One for All – an instrumental showing off his amazing guitar technique.

Roy Harper – One for All – an instrumental showing off his amazing guitar technique.

Well it is not completely an instrumental – but near enough. It was written for Albert Ayler and ambiguously titled ‘One for Al’

This is great to see up close Roy’s technique, great guitar-work, fabulous chord changes and a unique style. He was right up there with Davey Graham, John Renbourn and Bert Jansch and could have gone down that route if his poetry and songwriting hadn’t been so good and eclipsed the guitar playing.

He is a consummate musician. He has the ear, technique and imagination. I used to love seeing this performed live. He tore into it.

Soft and low the sun is setting
Deep into the sky we travel apart
As I sit here softly wakeful
Thinking of the ones I’ve loved on my way
How my dreaming longs to see you
Carnival of memories
Sat here in this dusk I see you
Meaning all those things you mean to me

This is another one of those great rediscovered Harper films. Brilliant. What a genius.

If you are at all interested in my writing on Blues and Rock Music you can check out my books here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1474797981&sr=1-2-ent

I would recommend the Blues Muse or In Search of Captain Beefheart to get you started:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Search-Captain-Beefheart-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00TQ1E9ZG/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886379&sr=1-4

or

537 Essential Rock Albums Pt. 1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/537-Essential-Rock-Albums-first-ebook/dp/B00OEMO7TA/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474902569&sr=1-3

Opher’s tributes to Rock Geniuses

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ophers-World-Tributes-Rock-Geniuses-ebook/dp/B00U0NLP4W/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_32?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474967124&sr=1-32

If you would like some of my Sci-fi I recommend Ebola in the Garden of Eden or Sorting the Future to get you started:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ebola-Garden-Eden-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B0116VXVIY/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_19?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886688&sr=1-19

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sorting-Future-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1533082669/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886738&sr=1-10

If you would like a sixties novel I recommend Danny’s Story or Goofin’ with the Cosmic Freaks

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dannys-Story-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1533487219/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886738&sr=1-9

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Goofin-Cosmic-Freaks-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B00MT3GWIK/ref=la_B00MSHUX6Y_1_18?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1474886872&sr=1-18

Happy Reading!!

Country Joe and the Fish Electric Music for the Body and Mind – 537 Essential Albums number 12.

Country Joe & the Fish Electric Music for the Body and Mind – 537 Essential Albums number 12.

537-essential-rock-albums-cover

I wrote this book to attempt to crystallise my thoughts on the best Rock albums of all time. Having lived through it all – from the fifties right through to the present – having see nearly all the major acts live (most in small clubs) – and having run the country’s first History Of Rock Music class and written books on it – I felt that I was in a unique position to express an opinion.

Country Joe and the Fish were one of my favourites. This is an extract from the book.

  1. Country Joe & the Fish – Electric Music for the Body & Mind

I can still remember the first time I heard Country Joe & the Fish – Barry Melton’s unique West Coast Acid guitar sound completely blew my skull off. On top of that was Country Joe McDonald’s smooth crystal clear voice. Mike played it to me in his tiny room and I instantly knew that this was something completely different. It was a toss up between this album and the follow up ‘I feel like I’m fixing to die’. They are both equally brilliant in my ears. I went for this one as it was the first one I had heard and it made such an impression on me. It epitomised San Franciscan Acid Rock with its political edge and super tripped out music that sent your mind soaring.

I was introduced to this by my friend Mike who worked in the same bread factory as me. He was in to the whole West Coast scene and was attempting to grow his hair as long as he could. I remember that he refused to brush it because he was certain that would create split ends and the hair would break off and not get so long. Country Joe and Captain Beefheart were his favourite bands.

The stand out tracks for me were ‘Not so sweet Martha Lorraine,’ ‘Flyin’ High’ and ‘Porpoise mouth’ but I loved it all. The long trippy sound they created on ‘Grace’ and ‘Bass strings’ was so redolent of the times with Barry Melton’s spacey guitar. For a time they were my favourite band.

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Poetry – A Soundtrack

A Soundtrack

 

There’s a soundtrack to my life,

Illustrating my feelings,

Feeding my mind,

Nourishing my spirit.

 

A soundtrack to love.

A background to work.

 

It is the music,

Intertwined with memories,

That gives colour,

Awakens emotions,

Stokes the fires inside,

To bring me fully alive.

 

That soundtrack contains my essence.

 

Opher – 2.1.2020

 

 

As I have grown up music has played a huge role in my development. The lyrics, the poems, the sounds, have entered into me, expanding my vision, intensifying my experience.

Now, when I hear a certain track, it conjures up memories, feelings and thoughts.

Music is inextricably linked to my life and inner being.

Roy Harper – The interview with Music Week.

Roy Harper – The interview with Music Week.

p1140017

This is a link to the interview Roy has just done with Music Week.

http://www.musicweek.com/talent/read/interview-roy-harper-talks-reissues-turning-75-and-going-back-on-tour/066082