I like your hair do and your lipstick too…

It was a strange day all together, there’d been an argument, almost a fight, they hadn’t paid me for the dog sitting gig. I was 17 and pissed off, for a week I’d been living in the stupid flat by Sefton Park walking the most ridiculous German shepherd poodle mix dog, picking up its poop and brushing it.

They claimed I’d not done what I said, eaten the wrong food and not flushed the toilet. Okay I’d eaten them out of house and home, drank all their beer and left the lights on, but I had flushed the toilet.

I had walked a lot, that dog always had to go, I’d also not gone out for a week so had saved money. They also had a great record collection, Love Forever Changes was present and correct, the Scouse album as a certain numerical Lego blogger would say ( thanks 1537, I think you have more records than that by the way) they also had the one Can album, Landed and lots of Bowie.

Now this is allegedly not prime Can, no Suzuki or Mooney on the album, it also has some really recognizable songs that verge on the border of poppy schizoidal noisefests. Well at least for the first 10 or 15 minutes or so and then we are off into the Caniverse.

I spent a long time with this album sitting on the floor and listening intently to whatever was going on. The last five or so minutes of side one was like a revelation and why did it have to fade out? Side 2 starts with something that is reminiscent of a child’s song before it descends into a world of trancelike dancing. To be followed by the strangeness of Unfinished.

Eventually the dog owners came home from wherever they went, paid me half the money and threw me out claiming I’d done a shitty job. Sullenly I went to the pub drank my earnings and stumbled back with Dave to get the rest of my cash, they threatened to call the police, I said I’d leave if they gave me the Can album, seemed appropriate. They did.

I convinced Dave this was more important than going out again and we sat in his flat listening, the next day we hit the record store and got as much Can as we could find, which was Future Days, again not prime Can but what are you gonna do?

so many lost when the west was won…

On some level we are all looking for a simpler world, when your neighbor would help you out, look out for things when you’re gone and put milk in the cooler before you got home from a journey. I’m not sure that world really existed on a large scale. It is however the world we want on some level.

So I was thinking about this. What would be necessary to creat this world? As far as I can figure it out there are maybe two legitimate ways to achieve this.

One way is to isolate yourself in your own little gated community. Make sure your neighbors all look like you, agree with you and believe like you. It’s easy to be inclusive when everyone is like you. This leads us to MAGA america and brexit. That’s a little A on purpose man. Just because Trump is on the the wane and Boris is out of favor doesn’t mean the bigots that voted for them are gone.

The other way is to take a chance and meet a person who doesn’t look like you or necessarily think like you. And I do mean reaching out to those bigots as well, ask some questions, challenge your own preconceptions take a risk, educate a bigot and say hi to someone you don’t know. I know it’s some hippy bullshit but maybe some wide eyed idealism is what we need.

I’ve been listening to some what we call “roots” music, blues,and some of that granola crunching, whole grain, full fat milk, folk crap.

Tonight was Iowa’s William Elliot Whitmore and his down home banjo plucking good time honest folksy blues.

It’s almost a blast from the past, although it’s really just another punk rocker who went acoustic, maybe as a money saver or a sanity saver .

I’m not sure I’m ready to reach out to a bigot but I do believe it may be necessary. Let’s face it in my rural world it’s pretty easy. Especially as a tree went down over the neighbors fence, time to reach out and say hi.

Today I got it cut off the fence but there’s still a lot to do. It is after all a very big tree.

The neighbor however is in Canada so no real chance to reach out across the divide.

I ain’t got no money and I sure ain’t got no hope…

Dylan wrote a song for Charley Patton. Maybe that’s enough.

He played his guitar between his legs, behind his head and laying on the ground, he was a clown and a show man. A noted womanizer and drinker, he was an archetype apparently.

All I have is the rough guide but maybe that’s enough.

The rawness of the recordings, the bawdiness, the honesty. Maybe that’s enough and let’s face it Dylan wrote a song for him.

and his cloak spreads like a flower…

If Hawkwind were to write a Christmas single it would of course be Night of the Hawk, from the oft mentioned but never seen Earth Ritual. Lemmy even turned up on the track.

Then amidst the noise of a thousand people’s talk
There came a cry “It’s The Night of The Hawk!

Sounds very much like Christmas to me.

Another from the trove of 80s flicknife eps.

cut the gypsy music…

So sometimes you find a piece of history or the Golden Fleece of collecting. I stumbled upon a trove of Hawkwind ep’s from the 80s on the flicknife label.

These dragged me back in time especially the Sonic Assassins ep. Bob Calvert in legendary full flight on Over the Top. Starting out as an attempt to head into Master of the Universe but the band just kept jamming along in the best space rock zoned out fashion. So what follows is a stream of conscious Calvert riff onFirst World War trench warfare. Along with remnants of other moments in history and whatever pops into his head.

The B Side is Free Fall a cautionary tale of plummeting to the ground before the canopy opening up. Completely different from the version on Hawklords looser and more improvisational.

Death Trap is a chaotic noise fest, punkier than the album version.

I have very vague memories of seeing Hawkwind around this time with Calvert, all I have in my mind is lights and smoke and gun fire from the stage but I was only about 12 so have to be forgiven for the memory being vague it was probably the Hawklords tour a year later.

Have to love those Hawkind eps though.

one more suck at your life…

1972 Can with Ege Bamyasi.

Well it’s been fifty years since this was released and it still sounds like nothing else.

Yes you can Google the lyrics and they read like they sound, rhymes from the other side of life.

Hypnotic, trancelike, repetitive and ever changing, complex and simple.

Hey you!

You’re losing you’re losing you’re vitamin c

It’s an album that is forever interesting and challenging and endlessly fascinating.

It’s also an album you can play at a low enough volume in the background at dinner parties to confuse your guests, not that I would ever do that especially if I was not happy to be hosting people.

I’d go for help if I could find the way I came in…

So I’ve realized I seem to really like those songwriters. Especially if they play a mean guitar as well.

1972 and Richard Thompson’s Henry the Human Fly. This apparently was the worst selling record in history for Warner Bros records. I’m not sure that’s true but it could be.

I’m not going to lie, there is not a bad song on this album. It is however an acquired taste with accordion and guitars chiming away in merry abandon, songs covering drunkenness, horse racing, the Romany life, prostitution and digging ditches. It’s a folk album made by a rocker and it is superb.

Not the best album sleeve however. Although it does have a certain charm.

don’t want no money don’t want no bread…

So the argument went like this:

Purple are better than Zeppelin because Jon Lord can outplay anyone and he is louder than thunder, Ian Paice is without doubt the best drummer on the planet and well Ritchie Blackmore, enough said apart from Gillan and he will out scream the best and Glover is rock solid. Also Highway Star and Space Truckin alone win that argument. Machine Head don’t need to say more.

So there.

I know not the best constructed argument but it works.

I realized I was getting all folky and wanted to throw out my rock cred for all to see. Machine Head from 1972 truly pushed Deep Purple out as a monster after a long period of trying to decide what they actually were, heavy cover band, psychedelic or pop or prog or god forbid and orchestra, all diversions that resulted in the monstrous riffing of Machine Head.

Nowadays there’s a certain disdain for Purple, they’re not as hip and their similarly well known peers, maybe it’s the organ, the innuendo or the straight up rock they throw around.

No review of 1972 would be complete without bowing down to the greatness that is Purple however.

For extra rock and punk credibility I also wallowed in the Pink Fairies What A Bunch of Sweeties another classic form 72, more anarchic, irreverent and juvenile but in it’s own way relevant and great.

we’ll pipe and we’ll sing love…

I’m going to 100% give the impression that 1972 was all about the hey nonny nonny folk shit, that’s not true, however it is maybe the music that has perhaps aged the best.

So here we are with Steeleye Span’s Below the Salt as my next album from 1972.

Filled with bawdy songs of sex, eating, drinking, betrayal, lust, love and some jigs and reels along with the Christmas hit. I challenge any metal or punk album to tick as many dissolute boxes in 40 minutes or so.

This is the album when the guitars got all electric, although they hadn’t found a drummer yet, it’s an album that rocks though.

I bought this my first Steeleye album by mistake thinking it was a Steely Dan album, well they are close to each other in the racks and this began a fascination that continues to this day.