Well my Harper parcel finally arrived and it is a collection of joy sitting there on the coffee table demanding to be played. The decisions waiting to be made are almost overwhelming.
The only thing to be done was play the single most powerful album I ever heard during my formative musical years. An album that justified my angry young man stance and my wise stoner outfits for years and to this day still informs many of my decisions social and political. An album that is full of beauty and ugliness, celebrating all that is good and awful about our degenerate race as we rush headlong into fucked upville at a rate that is bewildering. An album that still makes me sit up and listen and nowadays chuckle at the sincerity of it all, a sincerity that is still as raw and honest as ever.
It helped tonight that I played it right after the travesty that was the vice presidential debate when I heard many an “evergreen excuse.” Somedays I still wish that I could be feeling all the Saturday again in order to get thorough the farce that American politics has now become.
So here I am sitting and listening to the brilliance that is Flat Baroque and Berserk after the travesty of the playground fight I just witnessed on national T.V.
So for my American pals:
“How does it feel to be completely unreal?
How does it feel to be a voter?”
“How does it feel to be out on your own?
How does it feel to be thinkin’?”
The question of “How does it feel with your god strapped to your wrist?” has made it so I have not worn a watch since 1980 when I first heard this album, it is also what saved me from the fitbit wave a few months ago.
The whole album is full of lines that seem to have defined so many times in my life. Memories flood back throughout the whole album, throwing vegetables at Thatcher, yelling at the guards outside the U.S .Embassy in Grosvenor Square. Sitting on the floor attention thoroughly focussed on Harper as he fumbled his way through a set of songs in a way that verged on insanity or transcendence. The Irish Center, the Adelphi, Krackers, The Floral Hall, The Philharmonic Hall, when they wouldn’t turn the lights off, gigs in Southport. Liverpool, Manchester, Warrington. St. Helens, Bradford, Hull, Brighton, New Brighton, Putney, so many festivals, in fields, halls and mud puddles too many shows and too many memories and always the core of songs from this album present.
I’ve sat crying as relationships end to this album. Tested out new relationships, can you really live with someone who can’t stand your favorite record? Sought solace in poetry and laughed at the lunacy.