Roy Harper – Edinburgh Usher Hall – Photos – in case you get fretful.

Roy Harper – Edinburgh Usher Hall – Photos – in case you get fretful.

Well I’m still zinging from seeing Roy perform with such brilliance after a three year enforced lay-off. He has lost none of his voice or power and the song arrangements were superb.

I hope he is back home with renewed energy and enthusiasm for a new album and another great tour.

In case you, like me, are fretful – here’s a few photos:p1140077 p1140082 p1140083 p1140084 p1140088 p1140112 p1140095

Roy Harper’s epic songs

Roy Harper’s epic songs

Roy has written a number of epic songs; songs of length that grapple with the big topics of life – the purpose of life, human history, the nature of human society and what we are doing to the planet. I know of no other poet/musician who has attempted to deal with such broad canvasses, such deep philosophy or fundamental issues. Dylan is the only one for me who has come near. Not only that, but Roy has managed to create accessible musical opuses of great artistic beauty in the process. With songs such as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, ‘McGoohan’s Blues’, ‘Me and My Woman’, ‘The Game’ and ‘One of Those Days in England’ he dealt with the major philosophical questions poetically while also producing outstanding musical compositions.

 

I think one of Roy’s first attempts at an epic song was to be found on ‘Come Out Fighting Ghenghis Smith’.

‘Circle’ was an attempt to analyse that difficult period of time in adolescence when one is changing from a child into an adult and discovering oneself in the process. It is such a difficult age. There are so many expectations. Life is still such an unknown.

Family are protective but you want your freedom, to break out and be yourself. It is a period fraught with doubt and fear. The big world outside is exciting, full of opportunity and possibility, but also full of pitfalls and danger. Parents want security for you but that seems bland and boring. You look at their lives and are not impressed. You want adventure, excitement and to discover all there is to know, to feel and experience.

It is a time to break away and develop – to find yourself, but also a difficult transition when one is trying to understand the feelings one is beset with as well as to develop a philosophy of life. As if that is not hard enough you are struggling to deal with love, relationships and how one was going to make a living in the future. All that when one’s brain was in meltdown and rewiring into that of an adult. It couldn’t be worse timing.

Roy expressed it so well.

Well I was eighteen when that album came out and I was going through that trauma. I played that album constantly, absorbing the lyrics and identifying with every word. It expressed everything that I was struggling with – perfectly.

 

‘Look at the literature under his arm, he is doing his best to impress you
Man of the world and his own daydream hero he desperately tries to convert you
But his thoughts they are changing – and as he looks at himself
He looks at himself

Oh where am I going and what am I doing? My head is so big and so weary
It’s no good me trying to be all the things that I’m not I’m me and I’m me only
And I’ve been so greedy, I’ve always wanted to be
And never just been.’

 

Roy seemed to be describing the battles I was facing on a daily

basis. I was up all night gabbling away with my friends about life, the universe, infinity and purpose. My parents and lecturers wanted me to study for a career while I was obsessed with my girlfriend, gigs, literature, my mates, purpose, music, my motorbike and craved to be out on the road going places, meeting people and experiencing adventure. I had a head full of Kerouac and Harper and I was bursting with energy.

 

‘It’s about time you pulled your socks up, me lad
Otherwise you’ll get a rude awakening’

 

Well I guess I’ve had a few rude awakenings but I also had more than my share of freedom, fun and adventure on the way.

Thanks Roy. That was epic.

Roy Harper – McGoohan’s Blues – a song of great social observation, venom and brilliance.

Roy Harper – McGoohan’s Blues – a song of great social observation, venom and brilliance.

One of the best songs ever written.

Roy doesn’t do many two and a half minute singles. At his best he does great epic songs of twenty minutes. He needs all of that to get the scope necessary to vent his spleen at all the stupidities we are surrounded with.

McGoohan’s was one of the best. It was based on the Prisoner Series featuring Patrick McGoohan. It hit out at religion, society, the establishment and all the stupidities.

If ever we needed someone to illustrate mankind’s greed and violence we need them now. The world’s a mess.

Maybe Roy and Bob Dylan will emerge to lead us to a better future. I eagerly await the next epic. Roy’s a genius and the best songwriter Britain has produced.

Listen to the track and follow on with the lyrics – then go and buy the albums (I suggest Folkjokeopus, Stomcock, Bullinamingvase, HQ and Lifemask.

Nicky my child he stands there with the wind in his hair
Wondering whether the water the wind of the where
I fear that someday he might ask me if mine is the blame
And I’ve got no reply save to tell him it’s all just a game
And Heather and I lay together and I was in love
She weighted up the gains and the losses and gave me the shove
The fear of mankind’s untogetherness pounds in my heart
The deceit of my friends the betrayals of which I am part
And O how the sea she roars with laughter
And howls with the dancing wind
To see my two feet standing here questioning

And I’m just a social experiment tailored to size
I’ve tried out the national machine and the welfare surprise
I’m the rich man the poor man the peace man the war man the beast
The festive consumer who ends up consumed in the feast
And my fife eyed promoter is clutching two birds in the bush
He’s a thief he’s as bad as the joker they’re both in the rush
He’s telling me Ghandi was handy and Jesus sold his ring
(Dunno who to, God maybe)
“And everyone knows dat dis dough’s gonna make me de king”

And O how the sea she roars with laughter
And howls with the dancing wind
To see my two feet standing here questioning

Meanwhile the ticket collectors are punching their holes
Into your memories your journeys and into your souls
Your life sentence starts and the judge hands you down a spare wig
Saying: “Get out of that and goodbye old boy have a good gig”
And the town label makers stare down with their gallery eyes
And point with computer stained fingers each time you arise
To the rules and the codes and the system that keeps them in chains
Which is where they belong with no poems no love and no brains

And O how the sea she roars with laughter
And howls with the dancing wind
To see my two feet standing there questioning

Meanwhile the TV commercials are sweeping the day
Brainwashing innocent kids into thinking their way
The wet politicians and clergymen have much to say
Defending desires of the sheep they are leading astray
And Ma’s favourite pop star is forcing a grin he’s a smash
Obliging the soft-headed viewers to act just as flash
The village TV hooks its victims on give away cash
The addicts are numbers who serve to perpetuate trash

And O how the sea she roars with laughter
And howls with the dancing wind
To see my stupid poetry shuffleing

And the bankers and tycoons and hoarders of money and art
Full up with baubles and bibles and full of no heart
Who travel first class on a pleasure excursion to fame
Are the eyes that are guiding society’s ludicrous aim
And the village is making its Sunday collection in church
The church wobbles ‘twixt hell and heaven’s crumbling perch
Unnoticed the money box loudly endorses the shame
As the world that Christ fought is supported by using his name

And O how the sea she roars with laughter
And howls with the dancing wind
To see my stupid poetry burbling

And the pin-striped sardine-cum-magician is packed in his train
Censoring all of the censorship filling his brain
He glares through his armour-plate vision and says “Hmm, insane”
The prisoner is taking his shoes off to walk in the rain
And the luminous green prima donna is sniffing the sky
She daren’t tread the earth that she’s smelling her birth was too high
Her bank balance castle is built on opinion and fear
Which is all she allows within three hundred miles of her ear

And O how the sea she roars with laughter
And howls with the dancing wind
To see my stupid poetry burbling

And I’ve seen all your pedestal values your good and your bad
If you really believe them your passing is going to be hard
And I’ve thought through our thought and I know that its blind silly season
Occurs when our reasoning is trying to fathom a reason
And if you really know it’s all a joke but you’re just putting me on
Well it’s sure a good act that you’ve got ‘cos you never let on
But if all of that supersale overkill world is for real
Well there’s nowhere to go kid so you might as well start to freewheel

And O how the sea she roars with laughter
And howls with the dancing wind
To see my two feet standing there burbling

And I had this dream in here same time as standing awake
These various visions rushed through as I giggled and quaked
The distant guns thunder my end and I duck for a while
Auntie Lily is handing me candy she chuckles I smile
And our village is where I was born and it’s where I will die
And I’ll never be able to leave it whatever I try
The ebb and the flow of the forces of life pass me by
Which is all that I’ll know from my birth to my last gasping sigh

And O how the sea she roars with laughter
And howls with the dancing wind
To see the dying lying there obeying

My age and my time
The blood fire wine and rhyme
That fills my dream reminds me of an atom in a bubble on a wave
That held its breath for one sweet second then was popped and disappeared
Into fruitful futilities meaningless meaning
Meaningless meaning

Under the toadstool lover down by the dream
Everything flowing over rainbows downstream
Silver the turning water flying away
I’ll come to see you sooner I’m on my way
And there’s a mirror that I’m looking straight through
And I get it
And there’s a doorway that I’m ducking into
To forget it
But flashing just beyond the sky the shattering midnight gathers
And reminding me behind my mind the earth quakes the sun flakes flutter

Over the mountain fairground
Candy flies stay
Under the moonshine fountain
I’m on my way
Lemon tree blossom ladies
Poured my tea
After the blue sky breezes following me
There’s a river that I’m making it with
And I know it
And I’m floating to I don’t care where
I just go it
But flashing just beyond the sky the shattering midnight gathers
And reminding me behind my mind the earth quakes the sun flakes flutter

Daffodil April petal hiding the game
Forests of restless chessmen life is the same
Tides in the sand sun lover watching us dream
Covered in stars and clover rainbows downstream
And the question in the great big underneath is forever
And the fanfare that I’m forcing through my teeth answers “Never”
But the flashing just beyond the sky the shattering midnight gathers
And reminding me behind my mind the earth quakes the sun flakes flutter

The pumpkin coach and the rags approach and the wind is devouring the ashes

Same Shoes – Roy Harper lyrics – A song about James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Cuba!

A deep song!

Opher's World

I actually was asked to sing backing vocals on this track – well almost. We were in the recording studio in Lincolnshire – Darren, Bob and me. Roy wanted us to sing Same Shoes. We all had a go. He wanted us to do it our own way. I did mine. Unfortunately it was not good and was instantly scrubbed. I never made it on to the record! But at least I had a go!

The song starts with verses about fifties icons James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. The last verse stems from Roy’s experience in Cuba in the mid-sixties. It highlights the tension of the human rights aspects of Castro’s rule. Opposition was severely repressed. People could not talk freely. When asked about the effects of the revolution the shoe-shiner simply replied ‘Same Shoes’.

Same Shoes – Roy Harper

I see pictures of the porsche
Smashed and twisted out of shape

View original post 141 more words

This is the foreword to my new book – Nick Harper – The Wilderness Years

This is the foreword to my new book – Nick Harper – The Wilderness Years.

It has taken years to write and I’m pleased with the result. A great deal of insight into the man and his music.

Foreword

I’ve known Nick Harper for most of his life. I was a young student living the bohemian life of the sixties underground and he was the young son of Roy Harper. I’d just been knocked for six by Roy’s take on music, society and the universe at large and he invited me round to glimpse his life. Nick was part of it.

Since then I’ve been a teacher, writer, parent, partner, traveller and avid devotee of rock music.

I love guitar playing. When it comes to guitar playing I have seen all the greats up close playing in small halls – from Jimi Hendrix to Bert Jansch, Jimmy Page to Peter Green, Davy Graham to Eric Clapton; but there is one who stands out for me. His sheer brilliance is beyond anything else I have seen. What Nick Harper can do with a guitar is magical.

To quote Rob Adams from the Glasgow Herald – ‘If you haven’t heard Nick Harper you are missing out on one of the musical phenomenons of our age.’

The strange thing is that the bending of the strings, the tuning and retuning of strings within songs, the creation of new upside down chords and even the surround sound delay is never a gimmick. It isn’t showing off. It actually works to create great music and the tricks are integral parts of the songs that always add to the composition. He is recreating the sounds in his head. Nick expands upon the possibility and generates extensions of improbability.

I have only ever seen one person capable of such a thing and he was Jimi Hendrix. Nick’s limitation, as with Jimi, is merely the extent of his imagination. It goes without saying that Nick’s imagination is of the scope of galaxies. It is phenomenal.

I have been fortunate to observe Nick’s talents develop over decades and I never get tired of the crispness and range that his fingers tease or pound. He can make the guitar thunder or trill with delicate melodies. Nick produces music you can get lost in.

Photo – Jules R Angel

If it were only the guitar playing it would be wonderful. However he is so much more. Nick marries this instrumental genius to a voice that is incredible in range and texture and a song-writing ability that is up there with the best. He now has a catalogue of songs that would challenge any great songwriter of our time. The content is both poetic and meaningful. What more could you possibly ask for?

Nick’s live performances are impressive. He is a showman who deploys wit and cutting humour along with sharp observation. He is a warm, sensitive but forceful man whose sensibilities are complex, always intelligent and forthright. You never get short-changed at a Nick gig. He puts his soul into it.

The one mystery surrounding Nick’s career concerns the level of success he has so far achieved. It boggles me to think that he has not risen to the heights, received the recognition and walked away with awards. He surely deserves it. His time will undoubtedly come. Skills like his do not go unnoticed forever.

I suggested writing a book with and about Nick many years back but he was not keen. Nick is a modest man who neither seeks to inflate his achievements nor crow about them. He simply did not feel he had done enough to warrant a book. There was also the business side of it. Nick naturally shies away from any aspect of the business that is concerned with money making. He abhors anything smacking of exploitation. He feels that he is privileged to be able to do what he does; which is to create and play music. That should be sufficient. He is grateful when anybody enjoys his music and still amazed that he has a ‘career’ and people actually pay to see him. Nick refuses to see himself as a part of the music business or his songs as a commodity. Despite the fact that he knows he has to make a living he is not about to exploit his supporters by producing ‘product’. He does what he feels is right. He writes songs because they are an expression of how he feels. He is the same person on and off stage. There is no eye on the market.

Nick is extremely ambitious in only one aspect; he wants to get better as a singer, musician and writer and pushes the boundaries continuously. When it comes to promoting his career, getting on radio and TV, or looking at potential marketing he tells me he is lazy. That is not true. It is not so much laziness as a disinterest in doing anything that he is not inclined to do.

Nick is one of a rare breed who has integrity. He is genuine and honest. What you see is what you get. He’ll give you time after a show because he wants to. He is genuinely in awe that you should bother to make the journey and pay to see him play. Playing is what he loves doing. He’d do it for free. The guitar is not just a meal ticket to Nick; it is a friend he needs to play in order to keep sane.

This book finally came about because Nick decided that it was time to release a compilation. He was excited by the idea of a retrospective of what he had achieved up until now. He told me that he never expected to even produce one CD let alone for it to sell and be followed by others, sustaining his ‘career’ for so long. He was genuinely amazed and felt privileged to be able to live by doing what he loves doing. He saw this book as part of that package.

This is not a memoir of his life. This is not the inside story. Neither is it intended to be complete. Nick could easily have done this himself; he is a master of using words and knows what he wants to say. Yet he did not want to. It was going back to that reluctance for him to admit that he is good at what he does. He wanted to distance himself and let someone else do the job. That’s fine with me. I have no reticence about singing his praises. I’ve known him since he was a child, I’ve watched him grow and mature, I’ve observed the way he has matured into a man. His ideas, his musicianship and song-writing skills have blossomed; and his family have been at the centre of it all. I’ve been incredibly proud of him over the years and have no doubt that he is a true genius and a human being of exceptional qualities, sensibilities and warmth.

This book is a companion to his set of retrospective albums. Like them it is entitled ‘The Wilderness Years’. That title is partly Nick’s self-deprecating way – to downplay his achievements – and partly because he has chosen to remain low key. If he had played the game, had the desire and pulled out the stops he would have undoubtedly reached a far larger audience.

What I am certain of is that talent like Nick’s does not stay out in that wilderness forever; it does eventually get noticed. Maybe this set of albums will provide the springboard to draw attention to the phenomenon that is Nick Harper and the title will prove prophetic…..

Opher Jan 2015

In the UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1678850667/ref=sr_1_1?crid=WZEH68E0MC4S&keywords=opher+goodwin&qid=1577871447&s=books&sprefix=Opher%2Caps%2C168&sr=1-1

In the USA:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1678850667/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=Opher+Goodwin&qid=1577871858&s=books&sr=1-5

In Canada:

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1678850667/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Opher+Goodwin+Nick&qid=1577872127&s=books&sr=1-1

Unfortunately – once again – it does not appear to be out in India! Sorry.

 

Roy Harper – Forever – the most beautiful love song

Roy Harper – Forever – the most beautiful love song

This was a very early love song. Roy isn’t all vitriol and caustic social comment. He writes the most beautiful love songs too.

This one appeared on his first album – Sophisticated Beggar, and was rerecorded for the Valentine album.

It is a delicate beauty showing his great finger-picking style and use of harmonics. The words are absolutely brilliant. A great poem put to music.

Roy sang this for me and Liz in 1970 in Kingston at a gig in the pub there. I remember it well.

Forever – Roy Harper

We’re just spinning leaves
In the flight of dawn
Little girl
Falling through an eternal horizon of time
But I’d like to think as we lie
That all we’ve got will be ours forever
Don’t you think we’re forever
I can hear a voice
On the wings of my dream
Little girl
Melting me into love as it touches my heart
But sheltered in the distance of your sleep
Is all that I could love in a lifetime
Don’t you think we’re forever

Open your eyes
To the call of the winds
Little girl
Can’t you here them all saying I’ll always be yours
Lying in the misty morning sun
The pillow of the night still beneath you
Don’t you think we’re forever

I’m loving this new discovery of these films of five songs from 1969/70. It’s a little restrained but great to see.

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!!

Nick Harper – The Wilderness Years. Out Soon!!

My book on Nick Harper is finally complete and away for publishing. It should be available in the next few days.

 

The book is called Nick Harper – The Wilderness Years.

It was intended to be a companion to the trilogy of vinyl albums of the same name but there were problems with the design process which meant it was delayed. I thought it best to design it myself so that it could be released.

 

Thanks to all those who donated photos and a big thank you to all those who have helped with the content.

 

Ruminating on Roy Harper – Chapter 4 extract

Ruminating on Roy Harper – Chapter 4 extract

Image (41)

Chapter 4 – quarks in the strings of time

Things were moving fast in 68. The Underground had blossomed and we had our own scene. We lived in a parallel universe with different rules. I was no longer an adolescent. I felt old and worldly beyond my years. The streets were mine. I drifted through the backstreets where the druggies, whores and down and outs lived – and they were just ordinary people like me. I shared the apartment block with a motley crew and they were all great with tales and stories that filled you with empathetic grief.

When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose. I felt safe on the streets. I could blag my way out of trouble. I was hip, cool, young and though poor in financial terms I was rich in friendships, ideas and experience. The desperate left me alone. There was no point in robbing me. They could see I had nothing.

I shared a bedsit with Pete, who was on my course, in a house run by two lesbians, one of whom was very feminine and one extremely macho. The macho one dressed like a man in a suit and trilby. One of the lesbians got pregnant which made for an interesting few weeks of intrigue as the tensions built between them. We thought it strange that it was the macho one that got pregnant. Life is strange.

This was a million miles away from the flower beds of suburbia with its twee chintz. These were the dingy streets of Ilford and the reality of urban life.

There were four of us living there, two of whom were called Pete and three of us were called Smith, and the nights were spent knocking the spots off cards and rapping or picking the gigs. There was a lot of laughter. The Welsh Pete had a series of lines that he’d exclaim when he occasionally won a hand – ‘Drop ‘em Blossom – you’re on next’, ‘A red hot tip’ and ‘Suck mine for one and nine’ were some that come to mind. It was all very sexist and alien but rather amusing in a school boyish manner.

There was IT and OZ to peruse, events, happenings, and festivals.

College was a part-time side issue of little importance. Life was too full to fit in studying. I did enough to get by.

All of this was carried out to a backdrop of music – not as a bland background but right up there, upfront, to be listened too and cherished, discussed and argued over, and loved.

Like electrons we could exist in two places at once. We were connected by a cosmic telepathy. That’s all bollocks but it was how we felt. We were Freaks. Our minds were freaked out. Our eyes were open. We saw what was going on. The straight world, with its politics, social inequality, aspirations, careers, wars, greed and selfishness existed in another plane. I felt sorry for them all trapped in their drabness of experience and shackled with such narrow horizons. My own limits were the extent of my own imagination. Life was a smorgasbord. It was richer than the most opulent meal in the most lavish restaurant. I walked through the streets with straight society but felt that I was walking on a different planet.

Besides I was in love. I was floating anyway.

Liz was a dancer at a college the other side of London. When she came to stay I’d clean the place up so that I didn’t come across as a complete slob and pick the bits off the carpet. We didn’t have luxuries like a Hoover but we had something much better than that.

Pete and I moved to a squat and then another bedsit in Ilford. Pete was a genius who had come back from Africa with full blown culture shock. He made no sense of the packed streets and concrete jungle. The distance of strangers was disconcerting. The structure of this huge morass of society was daunting.

I felt the same and I’d never lived in the African outback. We were strangers in our own strange land. But we were happy voyagers who chortled our way through an endless time where years were decades.

Pete, in his spare time, collected and built musical instruments. The tiny bedsit was full of harmoniums, mando-ukes and guitars. Pete plucked and we rapped and thrashed around like demons as we attempted to make sense of the crazy journey our society was heading down. The walls were adorned with posters we’d made on social and political themes. Pete made light-shows out of polarised sheets that flicked and changed when you moved them. Music filled the seconds. Everything imbued with intensity.

My pet rat Lipher sat on top of her cage and listened in to our mad rapping like a serene Buddha. She knew best of all – but was not saying.

Roy Harper – The Lord’s Prayer – Probably the best song ever recorded.

Roy Harper – The Lord’s Prayer – Probably the best song ever recorded.

Never has there been a song written with such scope and meaning. It is veritably the greatest ‘classical’ track of popular music – a piece that is so intricate and complex, both lyrically and musically, that it propels Rock Music to another level.

The song has a number of movements starting with a poem. This is about the journey of mankind from the neolithic to the present time. It is a poem based on opposites and delivered with panache and some great production effects.

The central sections, featuring the mesmeric genius of Jimmy Page’s guitar work, is based on the image of Geronimo that was presented to Roy by James Edgar (responsible for Hipnosis who did the artwork for Roy and Pink Floyd). Roy took a tab of acid and got into the head of a man who was a relic from the stone-age – a man who still lived in harmony with the land; a man who knew the harshness of nature and felt the passion and fury of life in an untamed world. Each line is a poem in itself to ponder.

The last section was a song that Roy melded on. It brings us back to Roy and modern life and hopes for the future. Is it too late?

This is not a poem to be taken lightly. It has to be studied and thought about. It has so much crammed into it that it makes you shudder with sudden realisation. The music, with its repetitive riff, is mesmeric and develops with such intensity that it ensnares you. To think that a work of this immensity had its genesis in the roots of Jack Kerouac, Jack Teagarden and Elvis Presley – unbelievable.

This must be the peak of poetry and music fused into something beyond the bounds of mere popular music.

This is a masterpiece.

The Lord’s Prayer – Roy Harper

There once was a man from the old stone age
And he used to follow the weather
But now he’s got hung up on filling a page
Upon whether to go or together
And he’s been around for so damn long
With his whooping and wailing
Crushing questions between right and wrong
And impaling
The best he can hope and the worst he can fear
On the solstices of an illusion
A massive erection of pushy defence
Up the whole of the prosecution
Great solace the wound, great relish the pain
To be loosing the reins of a poem
To bleed from the tip of my tongue yet again
That part of my heart that is showing
These children conceived in the womb of this crash
To be the sponsors of nothing much more
Than rearguard directions of cross fingered sections
Of purpose pot – looking for nothing
But what is this last desperate vestige of heart over head
But another conjecture
No more the tomb of the martyred dead
Than the ghost of our parting gesture
And a hundred billion crystal balls
Represent a remarkable failure
To swell the song each moment long
At the counterpoint of nature
As four thumbs flick the tarot deck
And two tongues fork eight aces
Maybe sixteen fingers feel
The fool lives in two places
Where rosy lee can read this tea
And leave me living the story
A white dove with a hawks’ head
And an open mind before me
To sail for a land where life is a high
Not a word to be heard or be spoken
But the soul – woven web of the endless touch
Of a child who could never be broken
Who plays a new world on the brink of the ebb
As the fish cats prowl in the harbour
And now soars high on the beckoning tides’ long arm
To weigh his last anchor
And the sou’westers sing as the lifeboat bells ring
In the heads on the faces of changes
The heavens collage on Excalibur’s edge
The star in his movie converges
With fate, in his task, and doom on his brow
And a ship in his eye in a bottle
Who speeds, to force, to want, to have,
To find, to further fortune,
Who comes from the north, west, south and east
Of the passions of a spirit
Witl all the flight of the wildest beast
To ever spurr a stirrup,
Whose pulse is the master of action
Whose heart is an everlasting secret
Whose arms are desire
Whose lips are welcome
Whose eyes tell stories
Whose head is a journey
Whose hands unfold
Whose feet fly
Whose face is the stained glass window of a continuous orgasm.
Whose being is mine
Whose wounds are precious
Whose poem is a flower
Whose gentleness is the devil
Whose identity is naked
Whose magic is a gift
Whose power is the transparent tapestry of history
Whose stamp is a freak
Whose wits are battles
Whose cousin is dog
Whose times are well fought for
Whose stone age is clever
Whose poets know
Whose music is barbarian
Whose artists are helpless spherical mirrors spinning on the horns of a tidal
wave
Whose information is belief
Whose complexes become religion
Whose foundation is spread
Whose word is god
Whose books are projectiles
Whose message is must
Whose excuse is holy
Who passed it down to me;
Whose enemies are landmarks
Whose fear is himself
Whose hope is lust
Whose wish is fresh
Whose position is wary
Whose mottoes are covers
Whose name is hidden
Whose nose is suspicious
Whose technology is a tangent
Whose strategy is dissent
Whose thoughts are games
Who shares his lot
Whose ace is death
Whose fingers invent
Whose tales weave
Whose knots are tied
Whose mouth is open
Whose ears pierce
Whose direction is out
Who is aware of disease
Who feels the need to cleanse his soul
Whose style is disguise
Whose dream is innate
Whose woman is soothing
Whose little children are the delicate blossom of an orchard of electricity
Whose spell is for conflict
Whose quest is strength
Whose war declared
Whose suicide is noticed
Whose shadow is cast
Whose vibes you feel
Whose pedigrees are haunted
Whose age is unknown
Who takes under his wing
Whose freaks are real
Whose reality is hunger
Whose words are jagged
Whose tears are shed
Whose sick hang
Whose weak are kicked
Whose cities are bad shelters
Whose sanctuary is an idea
Who sat round a fire
Whose teeth chew
Whose faith is change
Whose old age comes quickly
Whose youth burns
Whose systems are white sticks tapping walls
Whose prize possession is the planet;
Whose wildest lust is escalation
Whose cul-de-sacs are feelers
Whose main route is massive
Whose run is a dance
Whose vehicle is fantasy
Whose home is high
Whose role continues
Whose bearing is savage
Whose saints are dead
Whose sons bark
Whose daughters play
Whose strength is against
Who grows in the sun and sleeps in the moon
Who roams deserets, plateaux, mountains, forests and plains with vast armies
Who am I
The spirit of those who were not here
And never knew it
Who left this prayer to elope
A lover’s journey through it
So children leave your windows open
Across the sea
Join our hands across the many land
You and me
Never grown old
Seeing without ever being told
Something to say
Shut away
Blackboard so grey
Anyway
I’m dreaming
Out along the back row
Out the window
Cast away
Be free with me
Today
Great heart mean streak
Spare part speed freak
I set myself a problem when I built myself a wheel
I got myself another when I rode a horse to feel
The plains underneath my reins
As fast as running water
And the big lady I’m playing with
Has played a game of poker
With me and cat and this and that
Until she scored my joker
Now we ride in chariots
By the side of one another
Her soft side
My rough ride,
Nothing to fear
The unknown soldier’s grave is already here
Is it too late
To create
A world made with care
Is it there
Or fleeting
Here today and gone
Tomorrow’s child
Looking so wild and free
Are we a choice
With no voice
Can it be
Great heart, mean streak
Spare part speed freak