Exercise Music for Today.

This is what I was exercising to today! With my headphones on I was pounding the treadmill as these sounds bashed my ears at maximum volume! I find it helps!

Neon Meate Dream of an Octofish – Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band

Green Manalishi (Live) – Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac

Cigarettes and Coffee – Otis Redding

Hard Travelling – Woody Guthrie

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Woody Guthrie – Tear the Fascists Down

Where are the people like Woody Guthrie who can put in words and music the need to stand up to Fascism.

While the world has lurched to the rights and fascist groups are once more marching through our streets, Tommy Robinson and the extremists are courting the gullible with their message of fear and hatred, we need honest men and women like Woody Guthrie telling it like it is.

We fought a world war against these fascist scum. 100 million people died!

It is time to stand up for tolerance and compassion, understanding and love – the helping hand not the iron fist.

It is time the fascists were stopped from setting the agenda and we started looking for solutions to our problems that aren’t walls and bombs.

Tear the Fascists Down

There’s a great and a bloody fight ’round this whole world tonight
And the battle, the bombs and shrapnel reign
Hitler told the world around he would tear our union down
But our union’s gonna break them slavery chains
Our union’s gonna break them slavery chains

I walked up on a mountain in the middle of the sky
Could see every farm and every town
I could see all the people in this whole wide world
That’s the union that’ll tear the fascists down, down, down
That’s the union that’ll tear the fascists down

When I think of the men and the ships going down
While the Russians fight on across the Don
There’s London in ruins and Paris in chains
Good people, what are we waiting on?
Good people, what are we waiting on?

So, I thank the Soviets and the mighty Chinese vets
The Allies the whole wide world around
To the battling British, thanks, you can have ten million Yanks
If it takes ’em to tear the fascists down, down, down
If it takes ’em to tear the fascists down

But when I think of the ships and the men going down
And the Russians fight on across the Don
There’s London in ruins and Paris in chains
Good people, what are we waiting on?
Good people, what are we waiting on?

So I thank the Soviets and the mighty Chinese vets
The Allies the whole wide world around
To the battling British, thanks, you can have ten million Yanks
If it takes ’em to tear the fascists down, down, down
If it takes ’em to tear the fascists down

source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/w/woodyguthrielyrics/tearthefascistsdownlyrics.html

Rockin’ the Curriculum

Rockin’ the Curriculum

In the late 70s my Rock Club at school went from strength to strength. I wish I could say the same for our family finances. We were floundering.
Then I had this brilliant idea.
I would run a History of Rock music course as an evening class. I approached the college adult education and they were keen. I set about it. I had lots of vinyl albums, I’d lived through it and I’d seen most of the major acts. Easy. I was used to talking about it all with my students. I knew my stuff. What could be better than playing the music you loved and talking about it and getting paid for doing it?
What could go wrong?
I could make some money to help tide us over and I would enjoy myself at the same time. It was a win win.
I produced some flyers, spread the word and set about offering my first class. As far as I could tell nobody had ever run such a course in Britain. I was the pioneer.
I needed twelve good people and true. I attracted ten. The college ummed and aahed and decided to let it run. I was to be paid £15 an hour. That meant I would probably, after tax, clear £18 for the two hours. It wasn’t a huge sum but it would make a bit of difference. We were desperate. It was 1978 and we had three children.
It took a lot more preparation than I had envisaged. I had to organise what we covered in the two hours, select the tracks I was going to play, check and research what I was going to say and produce information sheets. It took hours.
My students were all keen. They had areas of expertise. They expected me to know what I was talking about. I was being paid.
That’s where the reality hit home.
My record collection reflected my tastes, which were pretty wide, but there were holes that needed plugging. The weekends were spent trawling around the second-hand record shops and buying up material to plug the gaps. That was fun too. I started to meet a number of interesting people, some of whom I’m friends with until this day.
However, it was not doing anything for our budget. I was spending more on essential albums than I was bringing in.
My course was running well though. It was the only course in the college to actually increase in numbers. By the time I finished it had gone up to sixteen.
My record club at school was also flourishing. I started taking students along to concerts as far afield as Leeds and Sheffield as part of our unofficial extra-curricular activities.
Later, as a Deputy Head, I managed to convince the Head that Rock Music needed to be on the curriculum. I devised a course for the Sixth Form which was ostensibly Skill Development. I delivered a couple of lessons on a Rock genre or musician and they had to analyse my presentation in terms of verbal skills, body language and materials used. Then they formed in small groups and produced presentations on their choices and we analysed their performances and gave pointers on how to improve. They took it very seriously. I remember one group dressed up in Disco gear and produced a dance routine as part of their presentation. It was a hoot. The confidence the students gained was brilliant. It went through the roof and we all had a good time. The students skills are giving presentations also improved which went straight into interview skills. Every school should do it.
Nick Harper was a great favourite with the kids. Not only did I organise trips to see him play but he came into school quite regularly and did a performance for them. He went up into the Sixth Form room and sat around, playing, talking and showing them how it was done. He came into my PSHE lessons and talked to them about song-writing, life on the road and guitar playing. He gave performances in the main hall. Nick was a star in every sense of the word.
I often think about reviving those courses. I did three of them. They lasted two years each. But it was quite a commitment.
I do not think I have the time now that I’ve retired.
But I’m still rockin’ even if the curriculum isn’t.

Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie – Bob Dylan

An incredible poem that captures so much. Bob really had the bit between his teeth.

I dig this out every once in a while. It combines two of my big heroes and makes me think.

I like poetry that makes me think. This does that in spades. It flows, blows and rambles but it forms a maze of words that echo around your brain.

We’re all searchin’ for summit!

When yer head gets twisted and yer mind grows numb
When you think you’re too old, too young, too smart or too dumb
When yer laggin’ behind an’ losin’ yer pace
In a slow-motion crawl of life’s busy race
No matter what yer doing if you start givin’ up
If the wine don’t come to the top of yer cup
If the wind’s got you sideways with with one hand holdin’ on
And the other starts slipping and the feeling is gone
And yer train engine fire needs a new spark to catch it
And the wood’s easy findin’ but yer lazy to fetch it
And yer sidewalk starts curlin’ and the street gets too long
And you start walkin’ backwards though you know its wrong
And lonesome comes up as down goes the day
And tomorrow’s mornin’ seems so far away
And you feel the reins from yer pony are slippin’
And yer rope is a-slidin’ ’cause yer hands are a-drippin’
And yer sun-decked desert and evergreen valleys
Turn to broken down slums and trash-can alleys
And yer sky cries water and yer drain pipe’s a-pourin’
And the lightnin’s a-flashing and the thunder’s a-crashin’
And the windows are rattlin’ and breakin’ and the roof tops a-shakin’
And yer whole world’s a-slammin’ and bangin’
And yer minutes of sun turn to hours of storm
And to yourself you sometimes say
“I never knew it was gonna be this way
Why didn’t they tell me the day I was born”
And you start gettin’ chills and yer jumping from sweat
And you’re lookin’ for somethin’ you ain’t quite found yet
And yer knee-deep in the dark water with yer hands in the air
And the whole world’s a-watchin’ with a window peek stare
And yer good gal leaves and she’s long gone a-flying
And yer heart feels sick like fish when they’re fryin’
And yer jackhammer falls from yer hand to yer feet
And you need it badly but it lays on the street
And yer bell’s bangin’ loudly but you can’t hear its beat
And you think yer ears might a been hurt
Or yer eyes’ve turned filthy from the sight-blindin’ dirt
And you figured you failed in yesterdays rush
When you were faked out an’ fooled white facing a four flush
And all the time you were holdin’ three queens
And it’s makin you mad, it’s makin’ you mean
Like in the middle of Life magazine
Bouncin’ around a pinball machine
And there’s something on yer mind you wanna be saying
That somebody someplace oughta be hearin’
But it’s trapped on yer tongue and sealed in yer head
And it bothers you badly when your layin’ in bed
And no matter how you try you just can’t say it
And yer scared to yer soul you just might forget it
And yer eyes get swimmy from the tears in yer head
And yer pillows of feathers turn to blankets of lead
And the lion’s mouth opens and yer staring at his teeth
And his jaws start closin with you underneath
And yer flat on your belly with yer hands tied behind
And you wish you’d never taken that last detour sign
And you say to yourself just what am I doin’
On this road I’m walkin’, on this trail I’m turnin’
On this curve I’m hanging
On this pathway I’m strolling, in the space I’m taking
In this air I’m inhaling
Am I mixed up too much, am I mixed up too hard
Why am I walking, where am I running
What am I saying, what am I knowing
On this guitar I’m playing, on this banjo I’m frailin’
On this mandolin I’m strummin’, in the song I’m singin’
In the tune I’m hummin’, in the words I’m writin’
In the words that I’m thinkin’
In this ocean of hours I’m all the time drinkin’
Who am I helping, what am I breaking
What am I giving, what am I taking
But you try with your whole soul best
Never to think these thoughts and never to let
Them kind of thoughts gain ground
Or make yer heart pound
But then again you know why they’re around
Just waiting for a chance to slip and drop down
“Cause sometimes you hear’em when the night times comes creeping
And you fear that they might catch you a-sleeping
And you jump from yer bed, from yer last chapter of dreamin’
And you can’t remember for the best of yer thinking
If that was you in the dream that was screaming
And you know that it’s something special you’re needin’
And you know that there’s no drug that’ll do for the healin’
And no liquor in the land to stop yer brain from bleeding
And you need something special
Yeah, you need something special all right
You need a fast flyin’ train on a tornado track
To shoot you someplace and shoot you back
You need a cyclone wind on a stream engine howler
That’s been banging and booming and blowing forever
That knows yer troubles a hundred times over
You need a Greyhound bus that don’t bar no race
That won’t laugh at yer looks
Your voice or your face
And by any number of bets in the book
Will be rollin’ long after the bubblegum craze
You need something to open up a new door
To show you something you seen before
But overlooked a hundred times or more
You need something to open your eyes
You need something to make it known
That it’s you and no one else that owns
That spot that yer standing, that space that you’re sitting
That the world ain’t got you beat
That it ain’t got you licked
It can’t get you crazy no matter how many
Times you might get kicked
You need something special all right
You need something special to give you hope
But hope’s just a word
That maybe you said or maybe you heard
On some windy corner ’round a wide-angled curve

But that’s what you need man, and you need it bad
And yer trouble is you know it too good
“Cause you look an’ you start getting the chills

“Cause you can’t find it on a dollar bill
And it ain’t on Macy’s window sill
And it ain’t on no rich kid’s road map
And it ain’t in no fat kid’s fraternity house
And it ain’t made in no Hollywood wheat germ
And it ain’t on that dimlit stage
With that half-wit comedian on it
Ranting and raving and taking yer money
And you thinks it’s funny
No you can’t find it in no night club or no yacht club
And it ain’t in the seats of a supper club
And sure as hell you’re bound to tell
That no matter how hard you rub
You just ain’t a-gonna find it on yer ticket stub
No, and it ain’t in the rumors people’re tellin’ you
And it ain’t in the pimple-lotion people are sellin’ you
And it ain’t in no cardboard-box house
Or down any movie star’s blouse
And you can’t find it on the golf course
And Uncle Remus can’t tell you and neither can Santa Claus
And it ain’t in the cream puff hair-do or cotton candy clothes
And it ain’t in the dime store dummies or bubblegum goons
And it ain’t in the marshmallow noises of the chocolate cake voices
That come knockin’ and tappin’ in Christmas wrappin’
Sayin’ ain’t I pretty and ain’t I cute and look at my skin
Look at my skin shine, look at my skin glow
Look at my skin laugh, look at my skin cry
When you can’t even sense if they got any insides
These people so pretty in their ribbons and bows
No you’ll not now or no other day
Find it on the doorsteps made out-a paper mache¥
And inside it the people made of molasses
That every other day buy a new pair of sunglasses
And it ain’t in the fifty-star generals and flipped-out phonies
Who’d turn yuh in for a tenth of a penny
Who breathe and burp and bend and crack
And before you can count from one to ten
Do it all over again but this time behind yer back
My friend
The ones that wheel and deal and whirl and twirl
And play games with each other in their sand-box world
And you can’t find it either in the no-talent fools
That run around gallant
And make all rules for the ones that got talent
And it ain’t in the ones that ain’t got any talent but think they do
And think they’re foolin’ you
The ones who jump on the wagon
Just for a while ’cause they know it’s in style
To get their kicks, get out of it quick
And make all kinds of money and chicks
And you yell to yourself and you throw down yer hat
Sayin’, “Christ do I gotta be like that
Ain’t there no one here that knows where I’m at
Ain’t there no one here that knows how I feel
Good God Almighty
THAT STUFF AIN’T REAL”

No but that ain’t yer game, it ain’t even yer race
You can’t hear yer name, you can’t see yer face
You gotta look some other place
And where do you look for this hope that yer seekin’
Where do you look for this lamp that’s a-burnin’
Where do you look for this oil well gushin’
Where do you look for this candle that’s glowin’
Where do you look for this hope that you know is there
And out there somewhere
And your feet can only walk down two kinds of roads
Your eyes can only look through two kinds of windows
Your nose can only smell two kinds of hallways
You can touch and twist
And turn two kinds of doorknobs
You can either go to the church of your choice
Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital
You’ll find God in the church of your choice
You’ll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital

And though it’s only my opinion
I may be right or wrong
You’ll find them both
In the Grand Canyon
At sundown

Featured Book – Rock Music – The Blues Muse – Chapter 2 Crystal Springs.

Crystal Springs

 

Crystal Springs was a typical Mississippi Town. There were a lot of these little towns around the Delta. They were the centres for trade with general stores and places where those with spending money could get a drink, play some cards or find a woman. Where the white bosses could meet for business or buy equipment, and where horses, livestock and equipment could be serviced. They were all a bustle. I moseyed into the centre. There was a small square where people sometimes gathered. It was shady which offered some relief from the heat and so it was popular with buskers like myself. We’d set up on the street corner and play our hearts out for nickels and dimes. I tended to ramble round. It didn’t pay to stay in one place too long. You’d attract attention from the sheriff and he was likely to give you a bed for the night and put you to work for a month or two to pay it off. They didn’t like itinerant ramblers any too much. Besides you had a novelty value and that soon wore off. No – I stayed a day or two and left. Sometimes they’d let me play in one of the taverns and sometimes one of the plantations would take me on. If there was heavy work to be done they liked a musician out there in the fields leading the chant. It raised spirits, put in energy and paid off in productivity. I could do that but it was long and hot all day under that sun. There was nothing easy about that. I avoided it if I could. Besides, there were plenty of guys who had no option. They were blind or crippled and could not work those fields. If they could not play they didn’t eat. I was young and fit; I hated to take food out of their mouths. I was happy to ramble, play the jukes and busk for a living. It suited me just fine.

Crystal Springs was good. I was hopeful that I could add to my few coins. If I was lucky I would eat well and if I was even luckier I might just attract one of the pretty things who cast an eye in my direction and then I could end up in a comfy bed for the night.

As soon as I arrived I realised I was plum out of luck. The two best places were taken and both had attracted sizeable crowds around them. I left my guitar alone and settled back to watch and learn.

I was new to this trade and had a lot to discover. If I was not going to starve I needed every tip I could possibly get.

The Main Street was dusty. Every time a horse or wagon came through it would kick up quite a cloud. It added to the general discomfort and mingled with the sweat running down your face to create grimy streaks. We were used to it.

On Main Street there were boarded walkways for when it rained. When it rained in Mississippi it was like the heavens had simply tipped a lake over on top of you. It came down with such force that it was a mystery as to how anyone managed to breathe. The dust turned to mud that sucked you in, the street became a river and the wagons became bogged down in the quagmire. If it wasn’t for those covered boards nobody would get around.

On the boards in front of the hitching rail I recognised Tommy Johnson. He was one of my favourites so no wonder that he was pulling everyone in. Tommy knew how to entertain a crowd. He was like a magnet. He’d gather them round and magic the coins out of their pockets. I listened as he played the intricate patterns on that guitar and watched his fingers closely. Man, he was good! He was singing some song about canned heat. I could relate to that. Many’s the time I’ve had to doss down in the alleys where the down and outs live. I’d clear the sterno tins away so I could stretch out. Those guys were mean mothers. I had to cuddle my guitar to me all night. They’d steal the shirt off your back to get another tin. They never seemed to sleep. All night long they’d be heating those tins up and getting high on that juice. It rotted their minds and made holes out of their eyes but they were past caring. Tommy sure could sing about reality in that high-pitched falsetto voice of his. Not that this was the only thing about his act that the crowd found entertaining, no sir. There was nothing he could not do with a guitar. He was a crowd pleaser. He would work the crowd by playing that thing behind his head; he’d throw it spinning into the sky and catch it with hardly a stutter in the playing. It drove the women wild and they’d shriek and squeal with delight while the guys shook their heads in admiration. He’d finish off with a handstand on his guitar while still strumming. It sent shivers through me. I knew he was out of my league. I bet Tommy was never short of a drink or a bed for the night. I had no chance.

But as if that wasn’t bad enough on the other side of the square there was another of the legends of the area – Charley Patton. With his wavy hair and pale, red tinged skin he stood out. He was half Indian but it wasn’t just his looks that were striking. He too was a wizard with the guitar and Tommy’s equal at working a crowd. Whatever Tommy could do in the way of tricks he would do better. Charley had that crowd yelling. I watched as he played that old box behind his back and then walked it down the boardwalk playing it between his legs. His deep, rich voice was a contrast to Tommy’s high pitched tones and the crowds were lapping it up. A few years before Tommy had idolised Charley and learnt a lot. Now the pupil was giving the master a run for his money; though I could see that both of them were doing alright.

It was time for me to shut up shop and hit the road. I was not going to get much joy around here while these two were in town. They’d monopolise the jukes and drinking holes. I wouldn’t get a look in.

With a smile on my lips I watched them for another half hour. They were mesmerising. From where I was sitting the high voice and low growl blended into a perfect sound as their strong voices carried across the square and the guitars blended together. I couldn’t keep my eyes still as they darted from one to the other drinking it in. I was in heaven but there was no way I was going to compete. All I could hope was that I didn’t find Blind Lemon in the next place. That would cook my goose.

If you have enjoyed my writing and would like to purchase one of my books I have put some links to my best Rock books below:

 

In The USA:

 

In Search Of Captain Beefheart

 

 

The Blues Muse

 

https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B01HDQEMQ6/ref=sr_1_43?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030883&sr=1-43&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=sr_1_44?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030925&sr=1-44&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Rock Routes

 

 

In The UK:

 

In Search Of Captain Beefheart

 

 

The Blues Muse

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030662&sr=1-8&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Rock Routes

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Routes-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1514873095/ref=sr_1_35?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030730&sr=1-35&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

In other part of the world please check your local Amazon!

 

Thank you for looking and please leave a review if you enjoyed the book!!

Featured Book – Rock Music – The Blues Muse – The Contents

Contents

 

Dedication                                                      2

About the Author                                            3

Index                                                               4

Introduction                                                    7

Tutwiler Mississippi                                      9

Crystal Springs                                               12

Lula                                                                 15

Rolling Fork                                                   18

Yazoo                                                              19

The Crossroads                                               20

Clarkesdale                                                     22

Baton Rouge to New Orleans                         25

All at sea with Guthrie                                   29

New York                                                       31

Riding the blinds to California                      32

Briefly Mississippi                                         34

Nashville                                                        36

Mississippi Reprise and on to Chicago         39

McComb                                                         40

Tupelo                                                             42

Chicago                                                           44

White Station Mississippi                              48

Memphis                                                         53

New Orleans and Specialty                            58

Georgia and the South                                                60

Screamin’ and Flamin’ in the South              63

Back to Chicago                                             65

Lubbock Texas                                               71

Memphis again and Nashville again              75

Graceland                                                       78

Up in Canada                                                  80

New York                                                       81

New York Blues                                             84

Louisiana                                                        85

England                                                           87

Detroit                                                            90

New York again                                              92

England                                                           93

Liverpool                                                        94

The Cavern                                                     96

Hamburg Germany                                         98

London                                                            100

Richmond Surrey and the Thames Delta       102

Swinging London                                           109

New York yet again                                        112

Greenwich Village                                         115

The Gaslight                                                   120

Greystone Park State Hospital                       123

Newport                                                          124

Washington                                                    125

The Gaslight again                                         128

British Invasion                                              129

Newport two                                                   132

Manchester                                                     135

Soho                                                                138

More Soho                                                      141

TV Breaks                                                      143

Psychedelic London                                       144

Hyde Park                                                       148

Dylan’s accident                                             150

San Francisco                                                 151

Los Angeles                                                    154

Memphis and Monterey                                 156

London                                                            159

Tolworth                                                         162

Eel Pie Island                                                  165

Hammersmith                                                 167

Windsor                                                          169

New York                                                       172

Hyde Park                                                       175

Woodstock                                                      177

Electric Ladyland                                           180

Altamont                                                         182

The Isle of Wight                                           184

Country Rock                                                 186

Nellcote – South of France                            185

Hammersmith                                                 188

Kilburn and Ascot                                          190

Laurel Canyon                                                            192

CBGBs and the Chelsea Hotel                       193

Jamaica                                                           195

Plymouth                                                        197

Sheffield                                                         199

Rome and Chicago                                         201

Islington                                                          203

West London                                                  206

Belfast                                                            208

Barking                                                           210

Asbury Park                                                    211

Brixton                                                            212

New York                                                       214

Central Park                                                    216

Hull                                                                 218

 

Other books by this Author that you might enjoy.    220

If you have enjoyed my writing and would like to purchase one of my books I have put some links to my best Rock books below:

 

In The USA:

 

In Search Of Captain Beefheart

 

 

The Blues Muse

 

https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B01HDQEMQ6/ref=sr_1_43?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030883&sr=1-43&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=sr_1_44?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030925&sr=1-44&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Rock Routes

 

 

In The UK:

 

In Search Of Captain Beefheart

 

 

The Blues Muse

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030662&sr=1-8&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Rock Routes

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Routes-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1514873095/ref=sr_1_35?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030730&sr=1-35&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

In other part of the world please check your local Amazon!

 

Thank you for looking and please leave a review if you enjoyed the book!!

Featured Book – Rock Music – The Blues Muse – the Dedication

Dedication

 

This book is dedicated to all the brilliant musicians who have illuminated my life and thinking. I dedicate it to Woody Guthrie, Roy Harper, Don Van Vliet, the Beatles, Doors, Country Joe and the Fish, Tomorrow, Bob Dylan, James Brown, Nick Harper, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Syd Barrett, Aretha Franklin, Booker T & the MGs, the Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Downliners Sect, Kinks, Phil Ochs, White Stripes, Bo Carter, North Mississippi Allstars, Eddie Cochran, Son House, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Robert Johnson, Jimi Hendrix, Elmore James, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Nick Drake, Jimmy Reed, Byrds, Hank Williams, Bessie Smith, Janis Joplin, Arthur Alexander, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Carl Perkins, Mothers of invention, Joni Mitchell, Buffy St Marie, James Varda, Screaming Jay Hawkins, the Big Three, Eels, Neil Young, Cream, AC/DC, Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, RL Burnside, Lee Scratch Perry, Junior Kimbrough, Stiff Little Fingers, Sex Pistols, Free, John Lennon, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Arthur Brown, Lou Reed, Jackson C Frank, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Costello, Ian Dury, Slim Harpo, Albert King, Otis Redding, Little Richard, Buffalo Springfield, Love, Pink Floyd, Traffic, the Who, Bo Diddley, Birds, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Velvet Underground, Fugs, Ramones, Clash, and hundreds more………………………

 

Thank you to Mike Green for the energy and to Liz, Cheryl, Matt, Plato. Andrew, Nadine and Ramsha for views.

 

Especially thanks to Liz and Chris Moody for the superb editing.

If you have enjoyed my writing and would like to purchase one of my books I have put some links to my best Rock books below:

 

In The USA:

 

In Search Of Captain Beefheart

 

 

The Blues Muse

 

https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B01HDQEMQ6/ref=sr_1_43?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030883&sr=1-43&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=sr_1_44?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030925&sr=1-44&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Rock Routes

 

 

In The UK:

 

In Search Of Captain Beefheart

 

 

The Blues Muse

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030662&sr=1-8&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Rock Routes

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Routes-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1514873095/ref=sr_1_35?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030730&sr=1-35&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

In other part of the world please check your local Amazon!

 

Thank you for looking and please leave a review if you enjoyed the book!!

Featured Book – The Blues Muse – Rock Music – The Introduction

Introduction

 

This is a novel. It is the often repeated story of Blues and Rock Music but like it has never been told before. My character is the man with no name; the muse, the witness, the time traveller. He was there through it all. We see everything through his eyes. My character is fictional and I’ve taken liberties with some of the events, and a few of the timings, but the spirit is as real as the day is long. It’s more real than when it happened.

This is Blues and Rock. I have taken the main characters, the important scenes and stepping stones and brought them to life by painting the picture around them, filling in the background, and embellishing the stories. What we have is not real, not history, not just dry facts. This is more of an impressionist painting than a photograph. But perhaps you can see more reality from an impression than a stark record.

Each scene is a vignette that is self-contained. The timing is by necessity approximate. While my man is a spirit he cannot physically be in two places at once. All I ask is that you suspend your disbelief and give full rein to your imagination. If you do that I will take you there and show you what was really going down. There was a social context, an establishment response, a rebellion and new youth culture that accompanied that rhythm. It meant a huge amount to the people who lived through it. I was one of them. It gave us hope. It gave us a new way of looking, raised our awareness and gave us sight of a different future. Through the excitement there was a fraternity that crossed race, national boundaries and creed.

That music was new and it was ours.

Music is elemental. It was created right back in the dawn of time; it is in the DNA of man. When that first percussion created the initial beat, that first voice found its range, something was released that has never died.

Africa was our home and where that beat was first invented. Maybe as a backdrop to provide substance to a religious ceremony? Maybe as a unifying force to raise the courage for war? But maybe, I like to think, as a celebration, for dancing to, losing yourself in and becoming as free as the wind.

That beat is centred in our body and our mind, built on our heart-beat, generating emotion and excitement, liberating and elevating.

Who knows when the first instruments were invented, the first harmonies, choruses? Certainly a long time ago. Music is in our blood and has permeated our lives.

Back in the early twentieth century music was revitalised and reinvented. The black slaves in America reached back to their roots, pulled out that rhythm and created the Blues, Gospel, Jazz and Soul. They married it to the white country jigs, reels and barn-dance, to the Cajun and Creole, to electricity, and came up with Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The winds of the Blues blew straight out of Africa, straight from our ancestors, to talk to us through our genes. They stir our spirits, our passions and raise up our minds. The young recognise its power and are moved by it.

The world has felt its power and the establishment has been shaken by the hurricanes it releases.

This was first mentioned by W C Handy in his memoirs. He claims he was sitting on the station in Tutwiler Mississippi, where a black man was playing the Blues using a penknife to create the sound on the guitar strings and singing a plaintive refrain. He said it was the weirdest sound he had ever heard but it stirred his imagination and caused him to change from playing Sousa to performing and popularising the Blues.

Tutwiler is where our story starts.

The wind from the Blues is a spirit that blows through us, in us and out from us into the world. It is transformational.

This is the story of that spirit. It’s a spirit that lives in all of us. This is the story of Blues and Rock told through the eyes of that spirit, that essence. It is there in all of us and was there throughout, witnessing, inspiring and creating energy, change and emotion. It has the power to move mountains and bring down nations.

This is the muse of the Blues, the story of Rock.

It hasn’t stopped blowing yet!

 

Opher 1.10.2015

If you have enjoyed my writing and would like to purchase one of my books I have put some links to my best Rock books below:

 

In The USA:

 

In Search Of Captain Beefheart

 

 

The Blues Muse

 

https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B01HDQEMQ6/ref=sr_1_43?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030883&sr=1-43&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=sr_1_44?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030925&sr=1-44&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Rock Routes

 

 

In The UK:

 

In Search Of Captain Beefheart

 

 

The Blues Muse

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030662&sr=1-8&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Rock Routes

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Routes-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1514873095/ref=sr_1_35?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030730&sr=1-35&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

In other part of the world please check your local Amazon!

 

Thank you for looking and please leave a review if you enjoyed the book!!

 

Featured Book – Rock Music – In Search of Captain Beefheart – Chapter 1

On the starting line

 

Once I got out of Clive’s bedroom I began my quest in earnest. I looked everywhere I could but there were no signs of my heroes. This was probably due to two things: firstly I was an eleven year old kid living in the Delta region of the Deep South (Thames Delta that is – Walton on Thames) and there was very little in the way of record shops or live venues (Walton on Thames was not renowned for its boulevard cruisin’ in red Cadillac’s or its jiving’ Honky Tonks and Juke Joints) and secondly my heroes were still out of circulation. Woody was going down with the terrible Huntingdon’s Chorea which would stop him performing and writing anymore. Don Van Vliet was probably living out on his trailer in the desert with his mum Sue and hanging out at school with Frank Zappa. Roy was causing mayhem Blackpool way with Beat poetry, feigned madness, army desertion and pregnant girlfriends. Bob was doing his Little Richard impersonations and starting out on the road to putting together his auto-constructed mythology and was about to start singing to Woody in the sanatorium. Son House hadn’t been rediscovered and had yet to relearn the guitar, get back in the studio and be trundled out to white audiences.

I filled my time in by substituting in other heroes.

Hard on the heels of Buddy and Adam I soon discovered Elvis, Eddie, Cliff and then the revelation of Little Richard. He was explosive! ‘Here’s Little Richard’ was an immense album. I became obsessed with it. That voice belting out that basic thumping Gospel influenced yet wholly secular primitive Rock ‘n’ Roll along with his wild pounding piano. He was the true King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. There was no one to touch him. Elvis, who copied a lot of his songs, was a pale imitation in more ways than one. I remember sitting on the sofa with my 52 year old big fat jolly Nanny (Grandmother), who was shortly destined to have a stroke and die, and watching a Little Richard, come-back, hour long TV show in the early 60s. He put everything into it. The sweat was beaded on his face and dripping off him. He stood and hammered the keys, played it with his foot, backside and elbow and pulled off every trick in the book while my Nanny roared him on and bounced around causing the sofa to suffer earthquakes. My Nan was a rocker!

My school had a fete and I took my Dansette there with my record collection and performed as a Juke Box. I charged six pence a play and only played Little Richard all afternoon. I didn’t get to make much but I had a great time!

I finally got to meet my hero not so long ago when he played in Bradford. I took my younger son Henry with me as an essential part of his education (I also took him to see Chuck Berry, Rambling Jack Elliott, Love, The Magic Band, Lazy Lester & Jerry Lee Lewis and suggested he went to see Bo Diddley, the Fall, the Buzzcocks and John Cooper Clarke – which he did). Sadly my other three children were not so enamoured with my musical tastes. Liz thinks they were probably deafened on long car journeys or suffered a surfeit of Beefheart that permanently warped their brain waves.

The Little Richard Show was a strange affair. There seemed to be three elements to it. There was the Rock ‘n’ Roll – but lacking in the energy and athleticism – he was in his mid seventies – but there was also this cloying evangelical Christian crap and a very camp gayness all of which did not quite gel with raw Rock ‘n’ Roll. It left me feeling dissatisfied. I would have loved to have seen him in 1957 when he was revolutionary. Even more disturbing was going back after the show to see him. He was doing a poster signing. There was a long queue and two big black heavies on the door who were distinctly underworld. They collected your £30 quid off you with a very heavy warning: you went in shook hands, had your poster signed – if you tried to get anything else signed, like my original ‘Here’s Little Richard’ album from my childhood it would be taken off me and smashed. I had the feeling that there would likely be a few more things broken in the bargain.

I walked up to get my poster signed by the great Mr Penniman with the guy from the support act. He’d done a great version of ‘Casting my spell’ and I said that it sounded just like the Measles version that I used to love. He was particularly friendly and turned out to have been the lead singer with the Measles.

Following my discovery of Little Richard the next few years of the early sixties were quite fallow for me and lacking in real heroes. The charts, which we all drooled over, were full of sanitised Pop stuff – Fabian, Bobby Darin, Bobby Vee and Bobby Rydell. Some of it was OK and I quite liked Del Shannon, Roy Orbison and Dion & the Belmonts but I drew the line at Bobby Vee and Fabian and had headed off back into the 1950s for my fix. I devoured all the Buddy Holly, Little Richard and Eddie Cochran I could get my hands on and added some Shadows, Gene Vincent, Fats Domino, Huey ‘Piano’ Smith, and early Elvis before discovering the bombshells of Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley.

I didn’t know what I was searching for. I thought I’d found it in good old Rock ‘n’ Roll. It hit you right in the belly and got you moving. I thought everyone should record fast rockers. Rock ‘n’ Roll was great but it wasn’t the whole caboodle. I would grow up a little.

I had a lot to learn.

The lean years ended in 1963.

 

If you have enjoyed my writing and would like to purchase one of my books I have put some links to my best Rock books below:

 

In The USA:

 

In Search Of Captain Beefheart

 

 

The Blues Muse

 

https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B01HDQEMQ6/ref=sr_1_43?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030883&sr=1-43&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=sr_1_44?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030925&sr=1-44&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Rock Routes

 

 

In The UK:

 

In Search Of Captain Beefheart

 

 

The Blues Muse

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030662&sr=1-8&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Rock Routes

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Routes-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1514873095/ref=sr_1_35?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030730&sr=1-35&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

In other part of the world please check your local Amazon!

 

Thank you for looking and please leave a review if you enjoyed the book!!

Featured Book – Rock Music – In Search of Captain Beefheart – Some Reviews

These are a few of the reviews:

Curlyview!!

20 January 2015

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase 
The title is a little misleading; as it is not a book about Beefheart , but rather an account of growing up through the 60s and 70s in Britain. For people like myself 60+ year’s of age and like the author, a keen collector of records and tapes, this book will have a deep resonance. It was like living my early years of music all over again, as Mr. Goodwin kept mentioning the recording artists that I knew.
An enjoyable read, made for the coach, train, or ‘plane trip.

1 January 2016

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
We move from the rock of a 2004 White Stripes gig to the deep blues of Son House performing in 1968 in the very first paragraph, which gives some idea of the huge range of personal and musical experience covered in this always lively and thoroughly engaging personal testimony. We are taken on a freewheeling and cheerfully anarchic journey across time and space from the earliest days of rock’n’roll through the vibrant 60s and its many musical offshoots and current influences, with every anecdote giving ample evidence for the author’s central idea – that music transforms and inspires like nothing else, forging an organic link with our own lives and even the politics and beliefs we live by. There are sharp, vivid, honest and cheerfully scatological portraits of his musical heroes with warm praise and candid criticism providing the salty ring of truth. The book has wry down-to-earth humour, a breakneck momentum, mostly good musical taste, fascinating gossip, strong opinions, passionate loves and equally passionate hates – and there’s not a dull moment in it. Written with a warm and generous spirit, in the end it amounts to a radical critique of much more than music. It captures the modern zeitgeist with zest and courage. Recommended.

2 September 2015

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
If you grew up listening to music in the 60s then like me you will love this book, there were so many similarities between my musical awakening and the author’s that it was uncanny, I was never as obsessive about collecting as he obviously was but I went to so many of the gigs that are listed in the book. The book took me back to the days of being a hippy when everything seemed possible and we thought we could change the world with music and love, sadly we were wrong but thankfully the music lives on and Opher captures the spirit of the age perfectly. I found myself longing to get my vinyl out and start playing my old Roy Harper and Incredible String band LPs. The book is well written and shows what a fascinating life Opher has led, for anyone who was there and has forgotten the details this book will delight you and for any serious students of how good music evolved then this book is a must.
Richard

2 June 2015

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
How very dare you captain sweetheart weird only to the tone deaf with t h no hearts. Pink Floyd are not just Roger Waters all their best music came from three good music players making up for their average bass player.other wise locally book.
Pete 2 Sheds

5 July 2015

Format: Kindle Edition
If you were there, the 60s that is, and you have forgotten much, and you will have, then this is an interesting memory jogger. It is Chris Goodwins account of the real ‘underground’ music scene of the time and not what is popularly touted to the interested young of today.
If you are genuinely interested in the genesis of modern music and its evolution especially through the 60s and 70s then this is an interesting guide and full of quirky anecdotes which may appeal to the young of all ages
Red Herring

3 June 2014

Format: Kindle Edition
Wow, Opher’s amazing rock n roll journey is a must. What a fabulous trip through a lifetime of music and more. Anyone who had a pet crow and 2000 pet mice has gotta be something other than ordinary. Hugely engaging and with buckets full of tales to tell, Opher’s passion shines through on every page. Five stars for sure, keep ’em coming! Rich & Lou

12 September 2014

Format: Paperback
Rock music lovers and anyone who has lived through the sixties and seventies will LOVE this book!
I’m glad people have enjoyed reading it!

If you have enjoyed my writing and would like to purchase one of my books I have put some links to my best Rock books below:

 

In The USA:

 

In Search Of Captain Beefheart

 

 

The Blues Muse

 

https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin-ebook/dp/B01HDQEMQ6/ref=sr_1_43?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030883&sr=1-43&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

https://www.amazon.com/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=sr_1_44?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030925&sr=1-44&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Rock Routes

 

 

In The UK:

 

In Search Of Captain Beefheart

 

 

The Blues Muse

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blues-Muse-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1518621147/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030662&sr=1-8&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

Rock Routes

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Routes-Opher-Goodwin/dp/1514873095/ref=sr_1_35?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1535030730&sr=1-35&keywords=opher+goodwin

 

In other part of the world please check your local Amazon!

 

Thank you for looking and please leave a review if you enjoyed the book!!