The Missing Years No 1

So far I have kept a steady consistent stream in my posting of the Rock & Roll Years series. But as I have earlier alluded there are gaps in my collection and sadly a significant gap in that 1962 and 1963 are both missing. I have always thought that these would have been 2 of the most interesting years in that it was during these 2 years that something started to happen with the chart pop music. If you look at the promoters who took charge of the early British bands then in some ways nothing much was different but there was a sudden surge of cultural creativity that – for a while at least – changed the nature of the entertainment business.

Actually most of 1962 was pretty much like the late fifties and the first couple of years of the new decade. It wasn’t until the twenty-second of November of that year that The Beatles got to number twenty-three in the UK charts with Love Me Do. Nothing of that nature had ever got into the popular music charts before – obviously it was based on the music that had been coming from the USA – Chuck Berry, Everly Brothers above all Buddy Holly, but it took elements from all of those and more and did them in a different way. This didn’t completely come from nowhere – it had been building up for a while but Epstein made sure that his band was the first to break through. Love Me Do stayed in the charts for several weeks but never got higher than seventeenth. But two months later they released Please Please Me which got to number three in the charts by the sixth of February, number two a couple of weeks after that. Then on the twenty-first of March, Gerry and the Pacemakers jumped into the chart at number twenty with How Do You Do It?. After three weeks that song got to number one which so far The Beatles had failed to do. But the week after that – April the eighteenth 1963 – The Beatles brought out their third charting single, From Me To You which jumped into the charts at number twenty-three and in two weeks knocked Gerry and the Pacemakers off the number one slot and stayed there for the next six weeks until Gerry and the Pacemakers took it back with their next hit I Like It.

Other British groups to make it into the charts in 1963 were Freddie and the Dreamers, The Hollies, Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, The Searchers and by the end of the year, The Dave Clark Five. On August the first The Rolling Stones’ single Come On reached number thirty-two but this early sortie wasn’t followed up until I Wanna Be Your Man was released and started moving upwards in November.

In the meantime The Beatles continued to dominate with She Loves You entering at number twelve in August and reaching top place two weeks later, dropping to number three in October but back at number one by the end of November.

So that’s what’s been missed. Here’s the Rock and Roll Years 1964 for your consideration

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images 2

about this time last year i posted the 1st of what i described confidently as a 2 part series. and so here is part 2. it’s a collage of photos taken randomly usually at night so a lot of it is quite dark. the soundtrack is a looped improvisation something i recorded last week. it’s 6 minutes long and as i said last time it’s best viewed full screen in a darkened room.

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Crinkle Crags

It was on a Monday that I went up Crinkle Crags. I own Crinkle Crags. Well not the actual crags, but I own the most iconic picture of the mountain which is Alfred Wainwright’s pen and ink drawing that was used in A Second Lakeland Sketchbook (1970). Here’s a scan from the book.
Anyway I’ll have to go back another time and do it properly. Because I rushed out – all I had was 500ml of water and no food – that’s not sensible when you’ve got a six mile walk before you start ascending. So I was pretty hungry and thirsty when I should have been enjoying that great high ridge walk with spectacular views. I took some snaps and here they follow :-

This is the target from the early stages of the ascent.
And this is at the same place, zoomed in a bit and landscape.
This is the south end of the crags looking northwards and it’s not a dissimilar viewpoint to that of Wainwright’s drawing.
The Langdale Pikes from the summit.
From a similar spot looking down Langdale.
And in the other direction across to Scafell and Scafell Pike.
Moving our view to the right we encounter the massif of Bowfell.
With no water left as I came to the end of the Crinkle Crags massif I aimed to head around to a footpath which is known as the Climbers’ Traverse. I couldn’t find a connecting path so just skirted round the col which is the top of the mountainside that is known as the Band. Eventually I connected with the Climbers’ Traverse and promptly bumped into a couple of climbers who had completed their climbing adventures for the day. The traverse is not for those who may get giddy or have balance problems but is good at getting you right in the middle of the spectacular parts of a mountain. I’d remembered the spring in the rocks at the bottom of Bowfell Crag as being a gush, but now it was just trickling out as a small stream. Whether this represents an accurate survey of the water table covering the period from the sixties to now I would not like to say. The water tasted a bit weird at first but my reasoning was that coming straight out of the rock as it did there couldn’t really be anything bad in it.

That was the first day of my holiday in the Lake District. On the last day I had a more dramatic and exhilarating close encounter with a mountain when I ascended Jack’s Rake on Pavey Ark.
Pavey Ark is the crag on the right in the shot above and Jack’s Rake cuts across the crag face from bottom central to top left as you face it. As the photo shows it was misty and while I was climbing the mist had come down even more. I’m not sure if that was a good thing (in that I couldn’t see the drop) or bad (in that it might not have seemed too bad if I could have seen it). Probably it was a good thing. But I discovered that I wasn’t really fit enough to do that ascent especially not in wet conditions. Still I survived and eventually got to the top. I think there was only one bit where I was clinging to the rockface and I didn’t feel I had either one really secure foothold or one really secure handhold. I can confidently assert that I’ll never do that climb again not even in dry conditions.

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Jazz Quotations 6

The new underground required a new linguistics. To “broom” meant to travel by air; the hipster figure of speech referred to the witch’s favored conveyance. Money was gold. Eyes meant willingness or enthusiasm. A pad was a bed, therefore someone’s room or apartment. Old jazzmen’s expressions, once in, were now out, and hopelessly dated the speaker. As root ideas they gave way to verbal improvisations, in the same way that old tunes served as armatures for bop compositions. Etymology remained reasonably straightforward. The intent was always the same: to exclude the uninitiated, to confound the square, to strengthen the inner community. Out of the world became gone, shorter and more allusive. Blow your top became flip your wig, leading to flipped, flipped out, wigged, wig and wiggy. Knocked out yielded gassed, as in an old-fashioned dentist’s chair. The verb gas gave the noun gas, a delightful experience (an evening at The Deuces, or uptown at Minton’s). Cool and dig served as verbs, adverbs, adjectives and nouns. Hipsters invented such portmanteau words as chinchy (cheap plus stingy). Like, already done to death in the mother tongue as adjective, adverb, verb, proposition and conjunction, now appeared in every other sentence. Sometimes it stood alone, a sentence in itself, followed by an implied exclamation point or question mark, or merely a dash and a raised eyebrow. If you were hip you dug (or used your imagination). The put down became the put on, a highly developed art, often so subtle that the victim was unaware that he was being put.

Dan Burley, the with-it columnist for the New York Amsterdam News, New York’s leading Negro newspaper, compiled and published The Original Handbook of Harlem Jive, a slightly fanciful lexicon of the new argot. It contained parodies of John Greenleaf Whittier’s “Barefoot Boy” and the soliloquy from Hamlet in jive (to dig, or not to dig, Jack, that is the question…”). Slim Gaillard began recording his musical versions of jive, liberally mixed with nonsense syllables, such hits as Cement Mixer (Puttie-puttie) and A-Reet-a-Voutie. Pod, more commonly pot, first appeared to describe cannabis, standard drug since jazz began in New Orleans, heir to a lengthy list of names: hay, golden leaf, cool green, gage, muggles, mezzirolls (after Chicago jazzman Milton Mezzrow), and shit.

Like the new music, the new linguistics revolved around fixed points and established ideas. Like the music, it was a language in motion, subtly changing from day to day, with ever fresh coinages and connotations, subject to common concepts and needs. Spoken quickly, inflected, it was a nearly incomprehensible dialect. Linguistically as well as musically the boppers had closed the door. The idea was to be on the inside looking out. That was the reason for all those heavily smoked glasses, defiantly worn in the darkest night club.

Ross Russell – Bird Lives

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Kool G Ran It For Teen

there isn’t really a theme to my 14th granite mix, but one thing i tried to do was to keep the tracks short. here’s the mix and after that a table with track listing and then some comments and links and stuff below that.

granite 14

Granite Mix 14
Artist Title Album
John Cale King Harry The Academy In Peril
Nino Rota Notturno O Mattutino La Dolce Vita – Soundtrack
Ralph Vaughan-Williams The Bell Ringers Epithamalion
Joseph Spence Lay Down My Sword & Shield Gospel At Newport
Larry Young Alive Lawrence Of Newark
Armando Trovajoli El Negro Zumbón hit song from film Anna
Captain Beefheart I Love You Big Dummy Lick My Decals Off Baby
Ahmad Jamal I’ll Take Romance/My Funny Valentine Ahmad Jamal At The Blackhawk
Howe Gelb Belly Of Fire Down Home 2002
King Curtis Cuban Twilight Have Tenor Sax Will Blow
Kool G Rap 4,5,6 4,5,6
Federico Mompou Impresiones Intimas No. 9 Gitano Impresiones, Scenes, Charmes, Fêtes Lointaines

the academy In peril is not a particularly well-known work in the john cale canon and is almost as famous for its record sleeve as it is for its music. unfortunately i don’t own a copy of the original album but have a later re-release which doesn’t have the half-gatefold with the cut-outs that the original had but I have seen that original cover in fact the 1st time i heard the album it was at a friend’s house near uxbridge or thereabouts maybe ruislip and he had the sleeve i remember it well. the other thing that is well known about the cover is that it would have been worth a lot more if it had been in black and white which is something that the song a dream from the lou reed/john cale album songs for drella teaches us.

a vast expanse of the roman countryside, to one side are the ruins of the san felice aqueduct, towering arches that come striding across the land. two thousand years ago those arches brought water to the city, but now there are many gaps where whole sections of the aqueduct have fallen in. directly in front is a soccer field, the goal posts dwarfed by the height of the aqueduct. in the distance the sound of motors is heard. a speck in the sky grows rapidly larger. it is a helicopter, and beneath it is a hanging figure. a second helicopter follows close behind. as the ‘copters pass over the field the figure suspended below can be clearly seen. a large statue of christ the labourer swings from a cable. the shadow of the ‘copter and this incongruous figure flashes across the walls of the aqueduct. the helicopters pass on.

federico fellini – screenplay for la dolce vita

why does ralph vaughan williams haunt me the way he does? Is it something to do with the ark tempers of medieval lines? who can tell in this age of imaginativeness?

as soon as i heard joseph spence’s take on utterance i was bewitched as if i had crossed several salt seas of despondency and come at last to fresh water.

at a certain time freedom mixed with sonority to produce several subversely subservient dramaturgy/diatribe/dialogue/dichotomy diptychs

el negro zumbón is complicated. usually attributed to silvano mangana she only mimed to the song in the film anna. it was written by italian composer armando trovajoli and the female singer is flo sandon’s

i’m grateful to samuel andreyev for his fascinating work on captain beefheart and the magic band – definitely one of the joys of youtube which despite my earlier diatribes i am overall in admiration for for its democratic all-inclusiveness. i certainly look forward to more from samuel.

maybe i’ve already written about the time i went to see ahmad jamal the only time i saw him but i’m proud to be able to say even that and if i haven’t written about it then no doubt i will repeat/not repeat it again in the future when my marbles start to lose their shine.

i’ve been to 3 howe gelb gigs but the 1st was something special. during the interval i was standing outside with my friend neil armstrong not the astronaut but maybe even greater in many ways. there was no-one else around and suddenly howe stepped out of the main entrance. he was about 40 metres away from us he looked around with a bewildered expression and then went back into the building. strange.

here’s a fantastic clip of king curtis

as a weather report fan in the mid-70s if i was to choose a favourite track mysterious traveller would be one of the top tracks in my opinion from that era and when i first heard 4,5,6 from kool g rap i recognised the sample straight away. it’s not one of the highlights of my hip-hop collection but is just in the end another of the great tracks that came out in the mid-90s an era that i have covered in the past.

finally what do i find so great about these gentle piano pieces that the catalan composer dreamed scored and deployed. apparently some say that there are superior representations of these pieces by more accomplished pianists than mompou was himself. to my mind who is going to interpret someone’s work better than that person themselves? i don’t know i just don’t get it.

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2 short films

from the distant past
the issue of the meaning
2 short films reminiscent
of the sentence
the essence of the thought
triangular
and subservient
beyond the aching limbs
of elms now put to sleep
the image of the past
betrayed and bedraggled
from ravine to ravine
by process of elimination
and intrepid manumission

1st as a decumbent
lies the film that is called – maderensis
in which a bee
becomes intoxicated
enervated and emancipated
by the scent and the
signalled trail
of the pollen incumbent saturation

and following the so-called
shepherd’s delight
which combines geometry
with american currency
no animosity
is above verbosity
or inclination to spin
in retractions of goodwill
to the expositors
originators and definatators
subordinate i say again
to refreshing of the sense
of dictatorial pursuit
of monkey chauve and toot to boot

and thus i recline

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Triumph of the West III

the christian muslim thing has been going on so long and right now it’s completely up to date with president trump’s attempt to penalise humiliate and radicalise huge numbers of people this film stretches back to give you the history of how it happened islamic conquest crusades iberia up to pyrenees and for a while beyond balkans greece and the islands

the chief difference that i perceive is that mohammed gave a law that was to be enshrined revered inscrutably followed or at least that was how his doctrine was understood whereas jesus mocked and subverted the law said that it should be broken if it did not make sense with basic following of the heart in charitable directions and common sense rationalities

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March date

Actually I’ve got another gig in 2 day’s time which will precede this one so that’s a good warm up. On Tuesday it’s just me accompanied by Nacho on cojón, but the gig on the teenth will be with Everton Hartley on bass guitar and there will be at least one guest performer hopefully 2 or 3.

The desaturated background to the flier is a drawing I found somewhere on the web of King Canute sat on his throne surrounded by his elite bodyguard at the edge of the sea. Here’s the words to my song Die Andere Seite just for fun.

mirky brown tide
and on the other side
path’s cute as canute
but there’s no sound of a flute
where did the great god die?
or was he just lord fly?
mirky brown tide
mirky brown tide

invisible cloud
like a veil or a shroud
makes you inside darken
you can see when they cut you open
and it’s also very loud
invisible cloud
invisible cloud

zig-zagging high
without a word of a lie
you’ve got to time it right
to avoid any fright
two snakes twisting by
zig-zagging high
zig-zagging high

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coathanger trail part 4

the 4 year hiatus in this on-going series is a result of the dilemma i had with dealing with the 2 songs written by andrew goodwin that were mentioned in my coathanger song. i had planned to try and create versions of them both. that is clues and belgrade ’88 which are referenced in the line

searching for clues
in belgrade

but when andrew tragically died in a fire back in september 2013 i lost the momentum. i wanted to carry on with the project but somehow i just couldn’t do it. i think the only way i could record those would be to do them sometime with mike mulholland and bernie martin we ought to do it maybe they’ve already done it without me i better ring mike sometime and see how he’s getting on.

meanwhile i’ve decided to leave out andrew’s songs and carry on with the next song in the trail which is referenced in the line

finding old gardens
old graveyards too

and this song is called culture and i wrote it i think in 1977. i just listened to the song on the whose last trickle album (track 11) and i think i prefer the new version which i’ve just done – the vocal doesn’t really sound too good on the 1978 recorded dry rib version. in mitigation as i’ve said before it was the first time i’d ever been in a recording studio. i’ll include the track too so you can see what i mean.

here’s the new version

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Nineteen 61 Revisited

The next Rock ‘N Roll Years post is that of 1961. You can find it below but first as I’ve done a couple of times before I’ve selected some of the films released that year and stuck them in a table with a link which is generally to the film’s trailer but where possible to see the film itself (although these things can come and go like the tide).

Some comments on some of the films :-

La Notte was the first Antonioni film I ever saw, this was on TV in about 1970 or so, I’ve never watched since but would like to, ideally on a big screen somewhere.

Around the same time I saw Last Year In Marienbad on TV. I’d already seen and loved Hiroshima Mon Amour as mentioned earlier in this blog, but the Marienbad film was a total revelation for me and within another few years I managed to see it 3 or 4 more times. This of course was before the era of VHS or DVD so that had to be at a cinema or film club. There’s a simple game in the film where objects (doesn’t matter what – I think in the film it’s cards) are laid out in rows and you take turns to remove them – one or more but only from a single row at a time. The person who picks up the last object loses. I spent a lot of time for a year or so showing people how to play that and invariably beating them as the mysterious character in the film does. Actually if both players know what they’re doing it’s simple in that the person who goes first will always win.

I went to see The Guns of Navarone with my brother and sister and I think a couple of other kids at the cinema in Huddersfield when it was out. My father dropped us off and was going to pick us up later. In those days most films, especially one as long as this were screened with 2 reels so that there was a longish break between each half of the film. Our timing was out so badly that we watched the 2nd half of the film first and then the 1st half – very post-modern but not to be recommended in general.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mysterious Island but I’d really like to – animation by the great Ray Harryhausen, a score by the great Bernard Hermann, but above all for the presence of one of my favourite actresses – the magnificent Joan Greenwood.

And finally while on the subject of favourite actresses, Ozu’s The End of Summer was the last time that Setsuko Hara worked with the master.

Films of 1961
Title Director Link
La Notte Michaelangelo Antonioni Trailer
One-Eyed Jacks Marlon Brando Full film
Whistle Down The Wind Bryan Forbes Trailer
The End Of Summer Yasujiro Ozu Trailer
Through A Glass Darkly Ingmar Bergman Trailer
Breakfast At Tiffany’s Blake Edwards Trailer
The Colossus Of Rhodes Sergio Leone Full film
Viridiana Luis Buñuel Trailer
The Comancheros Michael Curtiz Trailer
El Cid Anthony Mann Full film
The Innocents Jack Clayton Full film
Last Year At Marienbad Alain Resnais Full film
Mysterious Island Cy Endfield Trailer
The Guns Of Navarone J Lee Thompson Full film
Yojimbo Akira Kurosawa Trailer
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