Pete Seeger Quotes – Wisdom and compassion with environmental awareness thrown in.

Pete Seeger Quotes – Wisdom and compassion with environmental awareness thrown in.

I find Pete Seeger a bit of an enigma. Some of the songs he sings are twee and the sing-alongs are crap but then there is the harder side. The man speaks out against wrong, writes songs of great social import, was a staunch environmentalist and was prepared to suffer for what he believed in. He would not be moved.

His version of Which Side Are You On is skin tingling. (This isn’t the best version)

Pete was in the Almanac Singers with Woody Guthrie and learnt a lot from Woody’s genius and uncompromising ways.

Here’s a few of my favourite quotes of Pete’s.

If there’s something wrong, speak up!

If only more people did that. If only more people became involved. We might get more things done.

It’s a very important thing to learn to talk to people you disagree with.

If we don’t engage with people who think differently we cannot learn what they think and we cannot learn what they think. Mutual respect is crucial. If you want to change somebody’s mind you have to talk to them.

Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don’t.

Education is the answer to most problems. We have to teach people to think, understand and develop empathy and compassion.

Being generous of spirit is a wonderful way to live.

Being generous of spirit gets you abused by some – but that’s worth it. If you aren’t open and trusting your spirit suffers.

I’m still a communist in the sense that I don’t believe the world will survive with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer – I think that the pressures will get so tremendous that the social contract will just come apart.

I can see it all unravelling now with Brexit, Clinton and Trump. There is a new cynicism with politics and the establishment. The inequality is too great. People have had enough. We aren’t all in this austerity together. Some have never had it so good.

I came along and was a teenager in the Depression, and nobody had jobs. So I went out hitchhiking, when I met a man named Woody Guthrie. He was the single biggest part of my education.

He’s been a big part of my education too. He taught me to think, care and appreciate the world. He taught me that poor people matter as much as anyone else.

The Blues Muse – Belfast – Stiff Little Fingers – Rebellion

The Blues Muse – Belfast – Stiff Little Fingers – Rebellion

The Blues Muse works his way through Punk in Ireland with rebellion and the troubles.

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Belfast

If ever Punk had been invented for a reason then Ireland was surely it. The ‘Troubles’ had been rumbling on since the turn of the century, had their roots back with Cromwell and even before with William of Orange and then way back to 1609 with the imposition of Protestant Scots into Ireland. In the seventies it had reached the height with bombings, knee-cappings, killings and an insurmountable war waged between the IRA, who wanted a united Ireland under Irish rule, and the British government who wanted British rule for Ulster and the protestant North. As an outsider I looked at it with amazement. It seemed incredible to me that Ireland was suffering such sectarian violence when the people were always so nice and friendly. But then I wasn’t Irish.

I walked through Belfast and it was scary with its barbed wire, bricked off roads, brutal grey despair only brightened by political slogans and defiant gaudy murals celebrating victories, hunger strikes and militia. It looked and felt like a war-zone.

But this was the environment that the kids had grown up in. Segregated, threatened, strip-searched, frisked and with the constant threat of violence and death from all sides.

It was fertile soil for a Punk Band and Ireland had a rich musical history. The wonder is that only two bands really emerged. While the Undertones were good and produced that brilliant ‘Teenage Kicks’ which was one of John Peel’s favourites, they never really dealt with the politics. They left that up to the other of Peelies favourites – Stiff Little Fingers.

I could only imagine the bravery of those young lads as they bellowed their fury at both sides and hit out at the stupid violence, repression and threats that they were subjected to. They made no distinction. Nobody has put it better.

It took guts to stand up to the IRA and tell them they had a suspect device, to harangue the British Army for their disrespect and disdain and to ignore the very real threats and warnings. They literally took their life in their hands for their music and held out for a vision of a better future.

Where the Sex Pistols talked of ‘No Future’ they sang about an ‘Alternative Ulster’. Instead of joining in with the politics of separation and hatred they sang about ‘Barbed Wire Love’ and hit out at racism in ‘White Noise’. This was my kind of music. It hit the heart, head and glands. It had substance, balls and quality. Punk didn’t come much better.

I watched them play in Belfast. They had ignored threats from the IRA, talk of a bust by the Brits and carried on through a bomb threat. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. They were young kids but they played their hearts out and Jake’s voice was hoarse and in ribbons by the end, the young kids in the hall packed it out and threw themselves around with gusto. Stiff Little Fingers were putting all their frustrations and anger into words and power chords. Nobody did it better.

This was what Rock music had always been about – rebellion!

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If you would like to purchase The Blues Muse, or any of my other books please follow the links:

In the UK:

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P J Harvey Quotes – A Lady with intellect!

P J Harvey Quotes – A Lady with intellect!

I first heard the fabulous P J with her powerful Sheela Na Gig. What a song!! She had that visceral power that I get with some Patti Smith stuff. Dry – what an album!

You can hear the Beefheart!

I decide immediately if I like a person and if I do, then I’m myself, and if I don’t, then I give nothing.

I do that too. I have to meet them face to face.

Making me into a role model is placing too much importance on what I see as a work in progress.

I’m a role model.

My mother and father are very involved with music. It’s completely part of their soul. They have an incredible record collection, all vinyl, of some of the best artists, in my eyes, that you can come across.

A record collection is as important as food.

People like Howlin’ Wolf, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, John Lee Hooker, Nina Simone, Captain Beefheart – all of these artists were what I grew up listening to every day of my life. And there’s a very healthy music scene in the west country of England, where I grew up.

All that’s missing is the Roy Harper, Elmore James, Phil Ochs, Doors, Eels ………..

I tried to use words that were dealing with the emotional quality that any human being could recognize in the way that they felt about their country. It’s to do with the world we live in. That world is a brutal one and full of war. It’s also full of many wonderful things and love and hope.

I still cling to the love and hope. It will win over the hate.

I’ve always felt that I’m affected by the world, by the way we treat each other, by the way different countries treat each other.

Me too. We could be so much better. We never learn.

Well, I don’t really concern myself too much with what other people make of my work.

You can’t. You write for yourself. You share it in hope. Ultimately you are your own judge.

If you would like to purchase my books on Rock Music here’s a few:
In the UK:
In the USA –

PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTOGRAPHY

Some amazing photos here.

LIFE EDITOR

Some photographers in the word press and some of my lovely friends inspire me to write about a beautiful topic #photography

photo graphy I learn that it is the way to create ourself its an another way and world some of them its a life and not for the best and create,enjoy some moments ….photo graphy is a creative work not every person is capable a thinking of a photographer their world wow they have a different capaticy to do timing and learning its not easy but rather than them they can capture moments while i see some of them in wedding anniversery they are the one who capture ITS A ANOTHER DIMENSION

  • and while when we think about that moments great its quiet to see the feelings we cannot explian that moments today its a lovely prossion and a quiet lovely they know that nothing is impossible truely cool…

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Lenny Bruce Quotes – A real pathfinder for future comedy. He talked about real issues.

Lenny Bruce Quotes – A real pathfinder for future comedy. He talked about real issues.

Lenny Bruce could have had a great career. He was very funny. He could have played safe, performed on TV and toed the line.

He couldn’t do that. It was too soulless. He wanted something more than that. He wanted to deal with real issues. He wanted fulfilment. He became a counter-culture figure. But back in the late fifties and early sixties it was hard to talk about sex, religion and drugs. Society was extremely prudish and censorship ruled. He found himself increasingly coming into conflict and ended up being blacklisted and prosecuted. The stress created huge health problems but he still refused to shut up.

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Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
America runs on the church. Everybody goes. It was the whole system. When we went to live in the States and told our neighbours that we didn’t do religion they were genuinely shocked. I thought we would be excommunicated but we weren’t. Lenny recognised the difference between spirituality and religion. The hypocrisy of many church-goers was obvious.
In the Halls of Justice the only justice is in the halls.
The law is often an ass. It is used to persecute some people.
The liberals can understand everything but people who don’t understand them.
Conservatism is in a blinkered rut.
If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses.
I thought that was hilarious when I first heard it.
There are never enough ‘I love you’s’.
Never enough.
The ‘what should be’ never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no ‘what should be,’ there is only what is.
But we do have to try to make it better, don’t we?
The only honest art form is laughter, comedy. You can’t fake it… try to fake three laughs in an hour – ha ha ha ha ha – they’ll take you away, man. You can’t.
I think there are other art forms but I know what he means.
Satire is tragedy plus time. You give it enough time, the public, the reviewers will allow you to satirize it. Which is rather ridiculous, when you think about it.
I think things have changed.

Poetry – Deserts – A poem for nature.

Poetry – Deserts – A poem for nature.

Deserts

I was travelling back from London on the train, belting past field after field of stubble. The harvest was in.

The only things moving were the odd crows and pigeons.

This was England. Where once used to stretch unbroken, dense forest, rustling to the sounds of insects, trilling to bird call, and providing food for deer, wild boar, bear and wolf, there is now a monocultural desert.

We have systematically cleared the forest to farm the land. The animals were cleared with it. We left tiny oasis of wasteland, woods, hedges and ponds in which the remnants of the rich fauna hung on – rabbits, hare, hedgehogs, newts, lizards, slow-worm, grass snake, dormouse and linnet.

Now they are being cleared. The modern farm equipment has no use for hedge or pond – the bigger the field the better.

Anything that dares to intrude into the desert we create is eliminated with pesticide, herbicide and machine. We don’t need them. They get their just deserts. 

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Deserts

Travelling through deserts

Filled with lifelessness –

Devoid of anything,

Even pity.

 

All that moves

Is the enemy

To be eradicated

With alacrity

 

Big or small

Feather or fin

There’s no room at the inn.

 

Hedge and pond

Bush and tree

Ripped out

In monocultural crime

Megafauna,

Microfauna,

Weed and seed,

All past their prime.

 

Opher 12.9.2016

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The Levellers at the Great British Folk Festival – Photos

The Levellers at the Great British Folk Festival – Photos

The Levellers hit the stage to a great burst of lights and a supersonic noise level that instantly energised the audience into a great bouncing mass!! This was Folk/Punk about as far removed from finger-in-the-ear Folk as you could get. They rocked!!

With a faldy daldy diddle di po!!!

Here’s some photos:

Anecdote – Education – A tale of parents and me

Anecdote – Education – A tale of parents and me

 

Education – A tale of parents and me

I am the first person in my family, from either side, to have gained a University Degree.

It seems to me that keeping a population ignorant makes them easier to control.

I come from working class stock. One of my grandfathers was a meat porter in Smithfield market. The other was a meter reader for the water board.

My father was very clever. He passed his exams to go to the Grammar School. His parents refused to allow him. They could not afford his uniform. He left school at fourteen to go to work and bring his pay packet home. He joined up in the army to fight in Italy in the Second World War. As an adult he took courses and became an ace typist that enabled him to gain a career in Fleet Street on the newspapers. He achieved a middle management post in charge of a telephone reporters’ office.

My mother’s education effectively ended at the age of eleven when she became ill and was sent off to the seaside for a long convalescence. On returning she was deemed to have missed too much and placed in the ‘Remove’ class. This was effectively a class for those with extreme learning difficulties. As soon as the teacher found my mother could read and write she set her to work helping the other students. In those days the class sizes were fifty five plus. My mum became a teacher’s aide. She took a group of students and taught them. She never escaped from that Remove class. She was too useful. Her own education was brought to a halt.

Like my father my mother later took courses and achieved a high level of expertise in typing and short-hand that enabled her to have a career up until she had babies.

My parents believed in education. They knew it was a passport to a better way of life. To be educated gave you the qualifications, skills and outlook to gain a superior way of life. You had a choice of more fulfilling careers, greater earning power and social mobility. More importantly it opens your mind to more options and greater horizons. It gives you confidence and your life more colour.

I believe education is the long term answer to ignorance such as religious fundamentalism. An educated mind questions. An ignorant mind accepts.

My life has been transformed by the education my family afforded me. I gained the qualifications to go into teaching and become a Headteacher – a career that put me in contact with lively idealistic young minds and proved extremely fulfilling. It opened my mind to question the world, appreciate its beauty, to write, read, travel and meet extraordinary people.

I am grateful for my upbringing. They gave me love, freedom and education. The never tried to indoctrinate me with their politics or religion.

I am who I am because of it.

I often wonder how far my gifted parents would have gone if they had education behind them? They were victims of poverty and the class system that prevented them achieving what they were capable of.

Poetry – Age – I’ve got some of it.

Poetry – Age – I’ve got some of it.

Wow! I wrote this back in 1997 when I was still really young. I’m positively ancient now but it still is just as true. The aches are just a little bigger. I still think if we try hard enough we can create a better zeitgeist and force a few crucial decisions. Those in charge do not give anything up easily. If we want to have a better world we have to fight for it. The chimps, gorillas, elephants, rhinos and all the others are worth fighting for! Our grandchildren deserve a clean world teeming with life – not a polluted, barren, overpopulated world of misery, poverty and violence.

We can still sing!

Age

I’ve got bones that ache and a body that won’t play

A mind that forgets and a face that looks back at yesterday

I’ve lost my faith in spirits and I don’t believe in kings

But I’ve got a heart that’s willing and a mind that still sings

 

I’ll still shout for freedom and dream of peace and love

With hope that people can fit together like a hand into a glove

But I’ve tempered that with realism, limits and softer vision

If we do our bit for justice perhaps we can force a decision

 

Opher 1.11.97

Pablo Picasso Quotes – A driven man with passion and creativity.

 

Pablo Picasso Quotes – A driven man with passion and creativity.

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I love a lot of Picasso’s art but it is the passion of the man that inspired me most. He had a lust for life, boundless energy and a desire not to waste a second. He was driven by his desire to create.

That is something that I feel most intensely. Whatever the end result I have a drive to keep creating. That is my fundamental purpose. I gave up a well-paid fulfilling job early so that I had time and energy to devote to my creativity. It certainly wasn’t the money. I know I will never make money out of my creativity in the way I did out of my profession. It is an overwhelming need. I sense that in Picasso.

Whether it is writing, painting, dance, music or any other form of creativity – I feel that it is fundamental to a healthy human being’s life.

Action is the foundational key to all success.

Don’t just think it – do it!

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.

We truly come alive when we are creating – our brains zing.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

I hope I’ve retained some of that naivety. I don’t want to get bogged down in the mundane. Life is wondrous.

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

That’s not easy – you fail so often. I fail every single day. The art is to keep trying.

To finish a work? To finish a picture? What nonsense! To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul, to give it its final blow the coup de grace for the painter as well as for the picture.

A work of art is never completed – Only abandoned.

Never permit a dichotomy to rule your life, a dichotomy in which you hate what you do so you can have pleasure in your spare time. Look for a situation in which your work will give you as much happiness as your spare time.

I was fortunate – I chose teaching as a career. It put me in daily touch with lively young minds and I loved trying to make them think and create. I enjoyed my career and miss it.

Everything you can imagine is real.

I’ve created whole universes.

We don’t grow older, we grow riper.

I think he’s right. I’m better than I used to be. I merely lack the energy.