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.

Quote 7 – Woody Guthrie – This machine kills fascists

Quote 7 – Woody Guthrie – This machine kills fascists

Woody Guthrie rambled round in the thirties, forties and fifties in America. He travelled with black and white alike. He stood for fairness and justice. He stood on picket lines with working men striking for a fair wage and fair treatment. He opposed injustice, racism, sexism and elitism.

He wrote songs like nobody had ever heard before.

The quote I am going to give from him is the one he painted on his guitar –

‘This machine kills fascists’

It is a simple concept for a complex issue. He was saying that you do not destroy poisonous ideology like fascism and fundamentalism with guns – you destroy them with music, with words, with education. You change the minds not blow up the bodies.

That has informed my life.

Music is a powerful tool for changing people’s minds and awakening their humanity and love of their fellow men and women. The guitar was Woody’s weapon and a powerful one it was too.

Education is the other tool.

We won’t defeat ISIS on the battlefield alone – we need to educate the fools who believe in violence.

If you would like to try one of my books they are all available on Amazon.

In Britain :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1461306850&sr=1-2-ent

In America:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=opher+goodwin

In all other countries around the world check out your regional Amazon site and Opher Goodwin books.

Woody Guthrie Quotes – A man who was a unique individual.

Woody Guthrie Quotes – A man who was a unique individual.

Woody is one of my heroes. He stood for fairness and justice. He stood against racism and supported the poor and exploited. Woody exemplified the Protest song that gave rise to Bob Dylan and the sixties rebellion against the establishment.

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Some men rob you with a six-gun — others rob you with a fountain pen.

The bankers and the politicians who support them have robbed the whole world. The people who hold power and pull the strings, who control the inequality and war in order to create profit, rob everyone. The system is corrupt. For someone to earn in 45 minutes more than an average man can earn from all the hard work of a full year is simply wrong.

The world is filled with people who are no longer needed — and who try to make slaves of all of us — and they have their music and we have ours.

Those people who hold the power have created a system that takes from the bottom and gives to the top. The inequality is obscene. There has to be more fairness and justice.

The best way to get to know any bunch of people is to go and listen to their music.

Music is a universal language. It transcends words.

There’s several ways of saying what’s on your mind. And in states and counties where it ain’t too healthy to talk too loud, speak your mind, or even vote like you want to, folks have found other ways of getting the word around. One of the mainest ways is by singing.

Woody sung his truth – about justice and freedom – on picket lines – to the unions and people being exploited.

I hate a song that makes you think that you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing. Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim too ugly or too this or too that.

We are all human and should be treated with compassion. Racism, sexism and inequality need addressing.

Love is the only medicine I believe in.

He sound like Jose Mujica the Uruguayan President who said that the only good addiction is love.

A folk song is what’s wrong and how to fix it or it could be
who’s hungry and where their mouth is or
who’s out of work and where the job is or
who’s broke and where the money is or
who’s carrying a gun and where the peace is.

These are the songs we need more of. We need songs about real issues – there’s enough soppy love songs.

You can’t write a good song about a whorehouse unless you’ve been in one.

Woody had not only been in the whorehouses, he’d been on the road, he’d been down and out. He knew what it was like.

The words are the important thing. Don’t worry about tunes. Take a tune, sing high when they sing low, sing fast when they sing slow, and you’ve got a new tune.

The words are the important thing.

Billy Bragg/Woody Guthrie – Way over Yonder in the Minor Key – lyrics about individuality and self-belief.

Billy Bragg/Woody Guthrie – Way over Yonder in the Minor Key – lyrics about individuality and self-belief.

Woody Guthrie
I’m an individual. There ain’t nobody who can write like me.
When I was a kid my favourite track was the Kinks – ‘I’m Not Like Everybody Else’. I still love it.
My blog is full of whatever takes my mind. If it’s in there it will come spilling out. I live to write.
My books are full of my knowledge and imagination. I give it full vent.
Woody Guthrie is one of my heroes. Not just because of the brilliant legacy of songs that he left us – which are devastatingly brilliant and unique. He invented the topical song story – protest song and social commentary. I love him for it. But I admire him as much for his stance.
Woody stood for something and never held back. He said what he believed. He lived the way he spoke.
Woody believed in equality. He lived with the poor and blacks and fought for justice, civil rights and equal pay. He stood on the picket lines and was defiant in the face of threat and violence. He took the blows.
He was a communist who believed that trade unions were the means for working people to gain a fair wage from selfish, exploitative bosses.
He painted ‘This Machine Kills Fascists’ on his guitar. He believed education and reason would win over fascist views. He thought that violence creates more violence. You oppose fundamentalist ideology with reason and intelligence.
Fascism and fundamentalism by the likes of ISIS and creationists was bound to thaw in the heat of intellectual examination.
He was a great man
Billy Bragg was asked by the Guthrie Estate to take some of Woody’s lyrics and put them to music. The result was brilliance.
Billy is another of my heroes. He is ideologically sound, a brilliant songwriter, performer and warm individual. He cares.
I chose ‘Way over Yonder in the Minor Key’ because I liked the story and the picture it creates. Being an ugly kid yet full of gusto I could relate to the lyric. I had my tanglewood days too.
This song resounds with me.
Thanks Woody and Billy. Genius!

Billy Bragg/Woody Guthrie – Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key

I lived in a place called Okfuskee
And I had a little girl in a holler tree
I said, little girl, it’s plain to see
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me

She said it’s hard for me to see
How one little boy got so ugly
Yes my little girly that might be
But there ain’t nobody that can sing like me
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me

[Chorus]
Way over yonder in the minor key
Way over yonder in the minor key
There ain’t nobody that can sing like me

We walked down by the Buckeye Creek
To see the frog eat the goggle-eye bee
To hear the west wind whistle to the east
There ain’t nobody that can sing like me
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me

Oh my little girly will you let me see
Way over yonder where the wind blows free
Nobody can see in our holler tree

And there ain’t nobody that can sing like me
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me

[Chorus]

Her mama cut a switch from a cherry tree
And laid it on the she and me,
It stung lots worse than a hive of bees
But there ain’t nobody that can sing like me
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me

Now I have walked a long long ways
And I still look back to my Tanglewood days
I’ve led lots of girls since then to stray
Saying ain’t nobody that can sing like me
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me

[Chorus]

Ain’t nobody that can sing like me

Billy Bragg and Wilco-“California Stars” from “Mermaid Avenue”

Billy Bragg & Wilco-“California Stars” from “Mermaid Avenue”

Quote 7 – Woody Guthrie – This machine kills fascists

Quote 7 – Woody Guthrie – This machine kills fascists

Woody Guthrie rambled round in the thirties, forties and fifties in America. He travelled with black and white alike. He stood for fairness and justice. He stood on picket lines with working men striking for a fair wage and fair treatment. He opposed injustice, racism, sexism and elitism.

He wrote songs like nobody had ever heard before.

The quote I am going to give from him is the one he painted on his guitar –

‘This machine kills fascists’

Woody Guthrie

It is a simple concept for a complex issue. He was saying that you do not destroy poisonous ideology like fascism and fundamentalism with guns – you destroy them with music, with words, with education. You change the minds not blow up the bodies.

That has informed my life.

Music is a powerful tool for changing people’s minds and awakening their humanity and love of their fellow men and women. The guitar was Woody’s weapon and a powerful one it was too.

Education is the other tool.

We won’t defeat ISIS on the battlefield alone – we need to educate the fools who believe in violence.

I nominate the following people;

Mary is into the environment with beautiful photos. I’m sure she could come up with a quote or two.

https://marybmaulsby.wordpress.com/

Matt is full of Beat poetry – Bukowski is his scene – though a bit of Kerouac and Ginsberg are not far awa.

http://beat.company/the-end/

Georgina writes about the incredible nature in Spain and Portugal.

https://navasolanature.wordpress.com/

If you would like to try one of my books they are all available on Amazon.

In Britain :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Opher-Goodwin/e/B00MSHUX6Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1461306850&sr=1-2-ent

In America:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=opher+goodwin

In all other countries around the world check out your regional Amazon site and Opher Goodwin books.

Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key – Lyrics by Woody Guthrie – Sung by Billy Bragg

Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key – Lyrics by Woody Guthrie – Sung by Billy Bragg

Woody Guthrie

Now I idolise Woody Guthrie and I really like Billy Bragg. So when the Woody Guthrie family wanted someone to put some of Woody’s words to music I was delighted. I was not disappointed. The album Mermaid Avenue was brilliant. I play it a lot. Wilco were OK too.

Woody Guthrie left a huge archive of material – apart from his hundreds of songs and his novels, there were thousands of scraps of paper with doodlings, songs, fragments of writing, letters and drawings. Thankfully they are being preserved by the Guthrie Foundation. Woody Guthrie is a major person on the world stage – up there with the very best. He’s a treasure.

This song I love because it really sums up how I feel about myself. There was and hasn’t been anybody like Woody Guthrie. He is a complete law unto himself. He did everything his own way. The result was genius.

I may not have the genius but that is how I approach my life. I do what I do how I want to without regard to whether it makes sense, is good or relates to others. I am my world’s worst enemy. But what you get is always me.

This song resonates with me.

Way over Yonder in the Minor Key – Woody Guthrie/Billy Bragg

I lived in a place called Okfuskee
And I had a little girl in a holler tree
I said, “Little girl, it’s plain to see
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me”

She said, “It’s hard for me to see
How one little boy got so ugly”
Yes, my little girly, that might be
But there ain’t nobody that can sing like me
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me

Way over yonder in the minor key
Way over yonder in the minor key
There ain’t nobody that can sing like me

We walked down by the Buckeye Creek
To see the frog eat the goggle eye bee
To hear that west wind whistle to the east
There ain’t nobody that can sing like me
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me

Oh my little girly, will you let me see
Where over yonder where the wind blows free?
Nobody can see in our holler tree
And there ain’t nobody that can sing like me
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me

Way over yonder in the minor key
Way over yonder in the minor key
There ain’t nobody that can sing like me

Her mama cut a switch from a cherry tree
And laid it on to she and me
It stung lots worse than a hive of bees
But there ain’t nobody that can sing like me
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me

Now I have walked a long long ways
I still look back to my Tanglewood days
I’ve led lots of girlies since then to stray
Saying, “Ain’t nobody that can sing like me
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me”

Way over yonder in the minor key
Way over yonder in the minor key
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me

Way over yonder in the minor key
Way over yonder in the minor key
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me
Ain’t nobody that can sing like me

Woody – a tribute to Woody Guthrie.

Woody

 

‘This machine kills fascists.’

So clever. How did you think of that?

There’s not many men that done the things that you’ve done. Bob Dylan said that about you.

I was only a kid when you died in 1967 – just eighteen years old and you were just fifty five. But I was already besotted with a lot of your work. I had a whole bunch of your records that I played incessantly. That was the year that I bought your autobiography Bound For Glory.

We couldn’t have been much more different could we? – Separated by the best part of forty years, an ocean and a world of experience.

You were born in Okema Oklahoma and I was born in Surrey England. We did not have wide open plains, tornados, Indian reservations, black slaves or rattle snakes in Walton on Thames. We did not have guns, dust storms or dusty old hobos who rode the blinds. There were no lynchings, shootings or crooked Southern politicians who solved problems with their fists or bosses who employed vigilantes to get their own way. Walton was very provincial and English. Yet Woody – your songs still spoke to me. You painted the pictures in my mind. I lived it through you.

My family was pretty ordinary too. None of them were burnt to death, or died of madness or ran for office. My father wasn’t involved in lynchings, or dubious property deals and he did not join the Ku Klux Klan.

Our worlds could not have been more different could they? But I could still relate to what you said and I did.

You were a one off.

What made you that way Woody?

How come you were brought up in a prosperous conservative family, full of racism and violence, and you developed the mind-set you had? Where did you get your sensibilities from?

What made you so special?

You took up the guitar and set about entertaining people with your songs. You busked around the country, painted signs, carried out odd-jobs, and ran a radio show.

You rambled, lived rough and rode the trains with the poor, the down-and-outs and blacks, tramped round the country, playing to the strikers and disenfranchised, and you believed in a better world. What made you such an optimist?

How come you weren’t a racist like all the others? Where did that compassion come from? What made you believe in fairness? It seems to me that there was something special inside you. You couldn’t turn a blind eye or ignore what was going on. You were forced to do something about it and fight for what you believed. You seemed to believe it more strongly than anybody else.

It seems to me that you kept your vision simple. You believed in justice, freedom and equality. The rest followed on from there. You were a communist and pluralist because of equality. You took people as you found them regardless of the colour of their skin. Back then both those beliefs were dangerous. But they didn’t faze you, did they Woody? Where-ever there was injustice you were the first to speak up, to write songs and put your body on the line on the pickets. You fought racism and championed the underdog. You were a union man because you saw that as the only way to put a stop to the exploitation of working people.

Woody – you were a one-man political organisation, a social dynamo, a fearless radical. Compromise was not in your language, was it?

You did not court popularity did you?

You took up social issues, like the dust bowl refugees, and put forward their case for justice.

The compassion and fury poured forth from your guitar.

You loved life, nature and women. You were never happier than when outside, under the sky, with the sun, stars and mountains. I could feel that in your song This Land Is Your Land.

But you also had a dream. You could see a better world a coming. You saw science providing the answers. Electricity from the hydroelectric would turn deserts into fertile land. There would be a land of plenty in which all men and women would prosper.

All we had to do was defeat fascism.

Which brings me back to that slogan – this machine kills fascists.

It taught me a valuable lesson. You don’t defeat fascism, hatred and exploitation with violence. You defeat it with love, reason and music. A guitar is a machine that can reach into peoples’ hearts and change them. A guitar is better than a rifle. Songs are better than bullets. Words can kill fascism. Ideas hold great power. Your words still move me.

We might have been born worlds apart but I’m joined to you like I was your twin.

I just wanted to say thank you Woody.

Woody Guthrie – Roll on Colombia – a song about hydro-electric power from back in the 40s!!

Woody Guthrie – Roll on Colombia – a song about hydro-electric power from back in the 40s!!

Woody was way ahead of his time. He was hired by the Bonneville Power Administration in Oregon to provide music for a film they were making on hydroelectric power and the damning of the Colombia River. Woody saw this as a great opportunity to bring cheap power and employment to the area. He thought it would greatly benefit the working man.

To that end Woody wrote a whole stack of songs in a couple of weeks many of which came out on his wonderful Columbia River Collection.

There are problems, such as fish migration and navigation associated with damning rivers but there are ways of dealing with these.

Woody was right: sustainable power is the way forward!

Roll on Colombia
Words by Woody Guthrie, Music based on “Goodnight, Irene” (Huddie Ledbetter and John Lomax)

Green Douglas firs where the waters cut through.
Down her wild mountains and canyons she flew.
Canadian Northwest to the ocean so blue,
Roll on, Columbia, roll on!

CHORUS: Roll on, Columbia, roll on.
Roll on, Columbia, roll on.
Your power is turning our darkness to dawn,
Roll on, Columbia, roll on.

Other great rivers add power to you,
Yakima, Snake and the Klickitat, too,
Sandy Willamette and Hood River, too;
Roll on, Columbia, roll on.

CHORUS

Tom Jefferson’s vision would not let him rest,
An empire he saw in the Pacific Northwest.
Sent Lewis and Clark and they did the rest;
Roll on, Columbia, roll on.

CHORUS

It’s there on your bank that we fought many a fight,
Sheridan’s boys in the blockhouse that night,
They saw us in death but never in flight,
Roll on, Columbia, roll on.

CHORUS

At Bonneville now there are ships in the locks,
The waters have risen and cleared all the rocks,
Shiploads of plenty will steam past the docks,
Roll on, Columbia, roll on.

CHORUS

And on up the river is Grand Coulee Dam,
The mightiest thing ever built by a man,
To run these great factories and water the land,
It’s roll on, Columbia, roll on.

CHORUS

These might men labored by day and by night,
Matching their strength ‘gainst the river’s wild flight,
Through rapids and falls they won the hard fight,
Roll on, Columbia, roll on.

Woody Guthrie – Grand Coulee Dam –

Woody Guthrie – Grand Coulee Dam –

Woody was Green. He saw the potential of green power and the great potential that came from damming the rivers. He sang of the river working for us as it rolled along, about the deeper waters providing safer shipping and the use of Aluminium from the cheap electricity helping to build flying fortresses to defeat the Nazis.

Another great song!

Grand Coulee Dam
Words and Music by Woody Guthrie

Well, the world has seven wonders that the trav’lers always tell,
Some gardens and some towers, I guess you know them well,
But now the greatest wonder is in Uncle Sam’s fair land,
It’s the big Columbia River and the big Grand Coulee Dam.

She heads up the Canadian Rockies where the rippling waters glide,
Comes a-roaring down the canyon to meet the salty tide,
Of the wide Pacific Ocean where the sun sets in the West
And the big Grand Coulee country in the land I love the best.

In the misty crystal glitter of that wild and wind ward spray,
Men have fought the pounding waters and met a watery grave,
Well, she tore their boats to splinters but she gave men dreams to dream
Of the day the Coulee Dam would cross that wild and wasted stream.

Uncle Sam took up the challenge in the year of ‘thirty-three,
For the farmer and the factory and all of you and me,
He said, “Roll along, Columbia, you can ramble to the sea,
But river, while you’re rambling, you can do some work for me.”

Now in Washington and Oregon you can hear the factories hum,
Making chrome and making manganese and light aluminum,
And there roars the flying fortress now to fight for Uncle Sam,
Spawned upon the King Columbia by the big Grand Coulee Dam.