birds music

Goodwin’s Dry Rib Recipes With Added Quail

During the year my old friend Andrew Goodwin has been creating a Dry Rib blog which has featured some of my songs along with much else. When Andrew and Mike Mulholland and I used to play together in said band something very powerful was created which sadly we never really managed to replicate in the recording studio although the 10 tracks that there are go some way to recording the phenomenon if I may call it that.

Anyway Andrew is a brilliant drummer and he writes pretty well too so I would recommend checking out his blog. He’s been loading some of the songs we recorded together plus others done by the later version of Dry Rib without me in it. I think he’s reached the limit of current material there but the last thing that he uploaded was a song called Quail Seed which is on the Clockwork Records’ Dry Season ep (also 1st track on the Messthetics cd Whose Last Trickle). Some of the following information has already appeared on a blog I wrote on the Dry Rib myspace page. (On the subject of myspace I was just talking about it with some other musicians earlier on this evening. Not sure quite how something that was useful was turned so quickly into something that was useless.) But there are a couple of new nuggets floating down the stream.

  • the original title when the song was first written was The Chilean Ambassador
  • it was written in 1977 in a bedsit at 19 Oglander Road, Peckham, London
  • probably in the autumn because I can remember where I was in the room when I wrote the song – near the gas fire
  • the eventual title of the song is taken from the title of a short story by Saki
  • there is no real connection between the short story and the song
  • my favourite rock guitarist is Chris Spedding and I’d like to dedicate the solo to him
  • initially there were 4 verses and 4 choruses
  • it was Andrew’s idea to run the 1st 2 verses together and dispense with chorus 1
  • the missing chorus went like this

no bells at dawn shall clatter bright
no flares shall pierce the sky at night
the petrol pumps have all run dry
and the ambassador of chile has been shot
in the eye

…and for those that can’t be bothered to look any further for the track in question – here it is.

Quail Seed

birds music

Tattooed Brains

Further to my recent post about the Thelonious Monk biography here are some related thoughts.

Another biography I got out the library over the summer was Syd Barrett: A Very Irregular Head. Both Monk and Syd had this nut thing thrown at them and in both cases there was a definitely a reason for that, but it just begs the question as to whether madness is a requisite for true artistic endeavour. Probably not, but maybe we can say that often the very best lurk close by to the seeds of madness.

One other thing in common is that mental outlooks in both cases tended to have a retrograde effect on commercial success. This is truly some sort of madness in that we can equate madness finally with the inability to feed oneself and this sort of commercial success kamikaze turn ultimately ends up as the inability to feed oneself. In Syd’s case this probably wasn’t helped by the fact that he was able to feed himself because somehow there was always money for him.

Towards the end of Monk’s life he lost interest in playing the piano. There was a piano in Nica‘s appartment that he could have used. Barry Harris apparently often played it and sometimes Monk would leave his door open to indicate that he was listening but the desire to express himself had gone. That’s sad but in the end, why not? He’d done it all before. You can end up like a performing seal. Bring me blessed silence finally O Lord.

Vincent Van Gogh‘s another of those guys who was dipping a bit into the insanity pool. I love this segment from Kurosawa‘s Dreams (actually I love all the segments of Kurosawa’s Dreams) with Martin Scorsese playing the painter and that beautiful Prelude 15 by Chopin.

nonsense prose

Fool’s Gold Part 4

This is the last part of the Fool’s Gold travesty. Here are the links to the other parts.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

And now here is Part 4.

Tired and embarrassed as usual, but he still stayed up until everybody else went to bed.

He found her reclining on an antique dresser. When he asked her of her intentions she simply pointed out of the window towards a clump of laburnums.

Do you know what this means? Have you any idea what’s going to happen now?! Have you no shame?!!

Will you tango? Just this once? Go on.

A day-charge, a day-charge. Six day-charges.

Off the greasy coast a boat slipped round towards the crude headland. We followed them slurping over the dunes, dragged down by weights. And still we got there before them. As we were digging they creaked up behind. But most of us had hung back under cover. And so they had no chance.

Let’s improve things. Come on, react for once, dare you?

Take these overalls and sleep on them.

What about our government?

There is a problem – don’t worry though. It can be sorted out.

Let’s harness it – try to focus on what’s real. What is real? Spotty – you should know the answer to that.

Do you want to eat some of this giant cucumber? Look at it, in my hands, isn’t it enormous. Here, I can push this knitting needle right through it.

If you’re really indifferent don’t pretend to be otherwise. It’s a posture you put on to fool people. Come on – admit it.

Pepper and salt.

Felony is only permissible when performed by more than one person. It’s a curious ruling which we believe to be unique among all other current nations.

Oh the epitome.

Is there a fifth trombonist or is it a mistake in the programme?

He thinks it’s a burden. Just look at him. Have you ever seen anyone so affected? He should watch himself.

Caught in an eddy.


There’s a strong bias to the left. The motor’s slowing down. Do something.

Slurp it once, slurp it twice. Slurp it down it tastes so nice. Slurp it when you’re feeling good. Slurp it like you’re slurping blood.

The most crushing defeat – but fear not. Wherein the simplest faces were turned now all is turned to gibberish and the moon – planks of the deepest ocean are nothing to the ever-present trustees.

Variably so, increasingly.

Single breathedly.

Pip pip per paska. Hiss hiss sun mink.

Vermicelli, please, and plenty of new pegs too.

It’s fading – so hold on – we’ll have to come through backwards. Now slowly.

I’ll give you jagged.

Her scrutiny. It pleases me. Won’t she look again. Will her to. I demand it.

Make preparations by all means. It will be the pilgrimge of a lifetime – that I can promise you.

Slowly, inexorably, soon to plough overfield.

Stavitz again. Just as if it was raining.

When it’s warm enough – climb inside and sink like earthbound sap along the tree’s bark until that which you once remembered as a few moments ago is lost in a labyrinth of meaningless egg-formations. Or in other words – fall asleep. I’ll keep watch.

Press on it. Here. And over here… Harder.

Chewing. Labouring. Festival raising. Parsley-sauce making.

Jamboree. That’s J..A..M..B..O..R..E..E…

Go to Fleet St. as fast as you can. Tell them there’s an interesting story that may not be too amusing for their readers.

This is my studio. What do you think? Take a look around. Do you like these?

Yes thanks. What’s this?

Put it in this giant brazier. Now watch it burn. I’d give all the world for just that.

Scandals on every page. Take this peat-dropping incident – have you ever heard anything like it?

Tis an unfair thing to pry where you are not wanted – where no good can be done – for it is a hopeless case.

I spent twenty-three minutes watching men working. Digging a trench.

I don’t often make jokes.

We went through the Suez Canal with a religious maniac.

He’s had too much today. Too much brilliant sunshine and a flat tyre and sherry until it flowed from his navel.

I always look for a letter, whenever I come in. At dusk I switch on my front room light – check – then switch off. At night I push the door well open to cast streetlight on the entrance – make sure that no envelope has been shoved through. I usually expect her to be waiting for me – alone in the dark. I don’t dream such things – I laugh at myself as soon as I have turned the light on.

Shuffle away.

Slurping machines lunge out of misted-up windows.

People talk such tosh – I specialise myself.

She still haunts me. I don’t know what speaking to her will do to me.

That’s nothing new.

Scale the fortress and then ask me that again.

She’s almost cured. Sometimes it still hurts.

Lohengrin, Lohengrin come here and have a breakthrough. Dismiss this dull depression and despair.

Look at his little tootsies.

Dance, dance your legs off my little Louisiana chicken. You certainly have made an impact on me. You must visit me up the bayou one day. Hetsy can show you which way to come. Bring your dancing shoes. I have lots of different seeds for you to chew.

Afterwards the sky was stained red in the west.

Thus in a tent, before ten yards were gone… the ptarmigan all hunched and incumbent…

Hello sweetie, belabour, do you hear. Be labour and a quick about it. A quick about it too. Be labour.

What about Crème de Menthe?

It’s symbolically cold – the ice. Here cop hold of this. Fungus. Beetroot-coloured fungus. Thick and slimy. With a nose like a butcher’s scalpel.

It doesn’t take a pigeon’s leg to make a good man happy.

Why do you torture me? Surely you’ve had enough of a good time already.

Enlumpen yourself. Tout de suite. A l’adverserie. And then melt surreptitiously away.

As you wish.

Here’s the crumble. Betray it at your peril. Wake up sleepily and pour gravy on your belly. Then take saucepan with frying grease and unwax it on the ceiling. Have you got that?

Whaahh ugh, whauoogh stersplosh tra-tra-tra-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarghhh. Minsha minsha – triiiiiiiipe saplatz saplatz

What d’ya take me for? A passport to exotica or sumting?

Does this tempt you?

Listen just listen – it might happen now.

Solitary trudger, answer me this, how far have you travelled this night and wherefore do you aim?

For instance there’s this one. Here take it. But be careful. Only use it when you absolutely have to.

Bashful they say.

I repent, I repent. For once and for ever – I will not gloat again. Not next time – not never.

Manicures at 50 pinkers a session. And not much else. Still what do you want for 50 pinkers? Have you got any change?

Zippodromes. So they say.

What a way to carry on. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.


Ant Noel at the Somerset House

Last Tuesday 30th August there was a celebration at the Somerset House in Princess Victoria Street, Clifton Village, Bristol, where Gary Spavins was ending his tenure as landlord at the said establishment. The object of the exercise was to drink the pub dry and in addition was a celebration for the last night of the open mic night that had been put on there for at least a couple of years there maybe more by Ant Noel. It’s close to where I live and Ant has become a very good friend of mine over that sort of period of time. He pays tribute to me on his facebook page as his biggest supporter there week in week out. I didn’t make them all but probably about 75 per cent. As I say it was close to where I lived and my friendship and admiration for Ant’s musical skills made me happy to support him when I could.

To tell the truth it was never really a place that was going to seriously dig my music. But I persevered in performing my own material although tending to concentrate on songs that I felt were easy to understand like

The Airman’s Prayers

Children of the Sea

Early Rising Late

which we played on Tuesday.

Plenty of other songs were played over that time but those in particular were often repeated because Ant and I have them down pretty well. Obviously if Everton, was there as he was from time to time and thankfully this week he was, he would join in too. Also James whose speciality is The Wishing Well, though he’ll do himself proud on anything.

There was a bad spell in 2010 when it was mainly just me and Ant playing and there often weren’t many punters either (though they’d often turn up shortly before last orders and then clamour for music when it was time). But invariably there was some good part of the evening when things would come together. And certainly in the last 12 months (now is September 2011) there were quite a few lock-ins which generated extended sessions where we ended up playing Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry etc. late into the night. Apparently in the end some students complained about the noise and we had to be more careful. I’m not a smoker but actually I quite like that moment when the curtains are drawn, the front door shut and the ashtrays come out. There’s a nostalgia element there. The worst thing in my memory of tobacco legislation was when they had smoking carriages on the Tube in London. Before, anyone was allowed to smoke on public transport and you didn’t particularly notice it because you were used to it. But when they brought in that legislation most of the carriages were non-smoking and there was one (maybe 2 I don’t remember) where you were allowed to smoke. If you strayed into the smokers’ carriage through necessity it was unbearable because everybody just got straight in there and lit up. I mean why else would they be there?

Anyway whatever hopefully Ant and I will keep up some sort of musical collaboration from time to time. I will keep you informed.