I was dreaming of the past…

The move is finally done…

Number 18 and hopefully the last if there is any justice in the world.

One of the outcomes of this has been less time to write on the blog. Is it time to quit? Or is it okay to just let it go for awhile?

Anyway so just to let you know I have regressed to the age of 17 in my listening, gone are the deep meaningful agonized soul searching moments of the past and enter the rock beast.

It’s time to connect to the inner testosterone monster of adolescence and let it all go.


Or as Syd the dog insists run like a crazed loon through the forest:


There is always another tree to smell, we just don’t know which one.


Thankfully the elder statesman Ziggy is there to remind us all to stop and just be:


I am sure there will be more until then take Ziggy’s advice stop and take a look around and then take a leak.

You’ve got me tied, tied…

IMG_5413Loud guitars, big hair and a look as tough as well as tough as several young men wearing denim and leather can look.

Don’t think too much just splay your legs lean back and play  good time rock’n’roll. It’s been a recipe successful for The Stones, The Faces and countless other bands full of young men with enough testosterone to think they are dangerous and irresistible.

At the end of the day who doesn’t like straight up backs to the amps, foot on the monitors rock music. Which adolescent doesn’t want to strum a loud guitar with her/his pals and play senseless music objectifying the world and simultaneously IMG_5414.JPGconvincing themselves they are actually going to get laid every day of the week.

Hence the Georgia Satellites moment of fame and glory with a great first album from 1986. They made two others  but I have never heard them and don’t think I need to.


My head is getting broken and my mind is getting bust…

For years I was convinced that this was the only Purple album you need and I may have been right. Of course that may have been because it was advertised on TV as well and I was a sucker. I have been assured by many people over the years that there are other Purple albums I should own but I have to admit to not having bothered to buy any of them apart from Fireball.purple

The only problem with it is it is so long that it has to be played at volume, of course this is Deep Purple so volume would be required anyway.

It has all the hits you really need and is none stop fun from start to end. There is a really strange experience mid way through side 2, as Coverdale’s vocals come screaming at you for two songs with Burn and Stormbringer. There is nothing wrong with this as they are both great songs but I have yet to figure why they are mid way through a side of MK II.  It is a little jarring sound wise especially as you then launch into Demons Eye and Smoke on the Water to finish the album off.

Every time I listen to Deep Purple I am stunned by how great a drummer Ian Paice is and how important Jon Lord was to that sound. I am also reminded of the hours standing in the rain at Knebworth in 1985 waiting for them to come on and play.

At the time my girlfriend was a fan of Barclay James Harvest and Deep Purple and Purple were the more interesting of the two possible gigs. Of course after hours of standing in the rain, having had to listen to both Mama’s Boys and Meatloaf on the same day things got a little strange.  I remember the show despite I am sure hypothermia was about ready to settle in for my then beloved and she had to shelter her diminutive frame from the downpour, there may have been a fire and soggy bikers as well.

Empty out your pockets…

Some albums are of a time and some describe a time. Everyone knows the story of Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, if you don’t you can find it here:


2001 was a tough year personally for many reasons, in November I went to see Wilco at the Roseland Theater when they played most of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot on tour. I had whiskey and beer spilled on me, drank too much and witnessed something incredible.yankee-hotel-foxtrot1 I had never heard so many strange blips, interference, static in a coherent manner since Julian Cope at the Royal Court in Liverpool. I had also never seen a front man so insanely possessed by  the songs he was singing.

I remember being blown away, the aging hippy Dan I went with had not been to a gig since seeing the Band and Dylan in ’74. He was blown away as well. He never went to another gig but never seemed particularly phased by that. He died last year watching the sunset from an Indian hillside listening to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, at least that was what was in the CD player when they found him in his lawn chair. I like to think it was playing.

Since I got my new record deck I have been wanting to hear this album on vinyl, for nostalgia, to wallow in a moment or maybe just because it is an album on the list that everyone should hear.

Of course it is a serious album covering all sorts of heavy subjects even heavy metal drummers. Apart from that it is an album of melodies and noise with all sorts of cool musical references, whether it is Krautrock drumming or the slightly breathless Lennonesque vocals and ambient Eno noises.

Jeff Tweedy may have written better songs since, performed better shows but I don’t think he has released such a complete statement since.

The end of my recollection is summer 2002 after buying the CD, barreling north on I205 in an overheating rusting ’85  F150 pickup and realizing I was living in America. The geeky English guy trying to find out how Liverpool was doing in the Premiere League before the all pervasiveness of the internet, trying to find a way to buy Fairport Convention albums without going bust listening, to a song about bad ’80’s heavy metal drummers and realizing it may not get much better than this.

Anyway how does the vinyl sound? Just perfect is the answer as I keep my wife awake with the strange bleeps, whistles and static.


Take me back way back home, not by myself, not alone.

ZZ Top released the greatest rock’n’roll album of all time in Fandango, at least at the age if 16 when I first heard the album that was my contention. Having just found a very very beaten up covered version of the album yesterday at Goodwill I can categorically say that as far as boogieing three piece bands from Texas, ZZ Top win hands down, no contest.fandangor The beards the hats the all out rock and roll. It’s a joy.

I found it with no inner sleeve and the cover is messed up royally by years of laying against other records in some stoners basement. The vinyl however is pristine and after a good cleaning plays fantastically. Don’t get the bubble gum version of the Top go for the full tilt boogie band that began with Tres Hombres, and peaked with Fandango before they learned how to cash in on the pop market. They always were a lot of fun but in the early days they seriously rocked.

Deguello was the last classic album before the synth laden 80’s. Apparently they have returned to form since then but I gave up and prefer to look back through those rose tinted Cheap Sunglasses at the trilogy of albums that preceded the decline. Of course if they get close to me why not go.

So there you have it one side live and rockin’ the other side studio and rockin’ ending with the awesome Tush. The common denominator being all out rock and roll honesty.

Send an instant karma to me, initial it with loving care

Living in a house with 3 teenage boys can be different, well two are teens and one is almost. There is a constant cacophony of musical styles throughout the house. The Wu Tang Clan clash with Rush, Dizzy Gillespie, Mumford and Sons and Marcey’s Playground. There is no defined musical identity in the house, car or yard. It’s really very refreshing and surprising. The boys have taken Spotify to heart and are eager to experiment with whatever they can hear following suggested lists to the next album or artist ever curious on a musical journey.  And that’s the music they are listening to not the music they are playing.

Of course all this is off-set by Michelle insisting on listening to Jimmy Buffett who may quite likely be the anti-christ when it comes to music, his margarita’s and hush puppies can stop any intimation of dancing. “None of you understand” insists Michelle, “We don’t need to. ” Is the reply. Of course it takes all sorts as evidenced by my affection for Neil Diamond, Shirley Bassey and the Monkees.

It’s a loud happy house most of the time, music, laughter and every night around eight Chris will shout “Are we going to watch something?”

It’s also at times a really messy house, socks at the foot of the stairs, shirts on the back of chairs and feet on the furniture and the dog racing around. My wife is a saint, there is no disputing this.

This week I’ve been mining the darker side of my musical leanings, by that I mean prog rock, post punk and the oddness that is art rock. Actually on reflection it was a pretty eclectic week after all. It’s been different sitting down to listen and appreciate and be still with the music.

So it’s time to get pretentious:

The music this week has been a little on the art rock side, or pretentious shall we say.

Dr John, the Night Tripper with Gris Gris. Louisiana mysticism meets jazz, blues and rock. Not only is Dr John one of the great arrangers of rock but he has a voice that drips with experiences the listener can only guess at, and at times be afraid of. This is the voice of a man wrestling with his demons.

Brian Eno, Here Come The Warm Jets, post-punk before punk, weird shambolic pop sculpture, violent beautiful and just plain out there. Brian Eno is one of the geniuses of pop music and Here Come The Warm Jets announced that to the world, no longer was he the strange man in the corner with Roxy Music but a songwriter using keyboards in ways that others could not even imagine. Of course Ennosification became a description of the sound on albums by Genesis and Bowie and all those post-punk bands thought they had created that strange alien sound. Baby’s On Fire has Fripp’s greatest solo, in fact it seems to be a song based on that solo.

Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted was next. Real post-punk with a big dose of the Fall in place. A piece of it’s time, fun but ultimately a period piece. I think I missed this in the 80’s and while I can appreciate it it does not hold me as something to go back to.

John Cale-Paris 1919, it’s Cale it’s accessible, this makes it different.

New band of the week: Galley Beggar with the album Reformation House, this sounds like it could have been performed by Fairport Convention in one of their many Hey Day’s. It’s a wonderful album hearkening back to the 70’s folk-rock so many including myself love, their website is her:


The week has ended listening to Van the Man’s Inarticulate Speech of the Heart, this is a bit of a disappointment but everyone is allowed a bad one.

We also rocked out in an early 70’s manner to the wonderful Yes Album by Yes. This is their greatest moment when they still had not reached the cape wearing pretensions Rick Wakeman would bring with him. Released the same year as Fragile it is head and shoulders above that album for greatness, of course there is vague science fiction lyrics and the necessary weirdness of Anderson’s strange personal mythology but it just rocks.

I’m writing this listening to Play by Field Music. Their version of Syd Barrett’s Terrapin makes this worth the cost, although Field Music are one of the great new bands out there to be heard.