...BECAUSE SOME OF US THINK THAT THIS STUFF IS IMPORTANT
What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

USA RELEASE of JUDY DYBLE'S 'TALKING WITH STRANGERS'

Judy Dyble's career has seen her move on from being one of the original founding members of the legendary UK folk rock band Fairport Convention after the first and 'rockiest' album release to join with fellow London based musician, and later founding member of Foreigner, Ian McDonald. Advertising in Melody Maker with the simple words “Judy Dyble requires brilliant and creative bass guitarist/vocalist and lead guitarist/vocalist – Musicians Only” resulted in a collaboration with the musicians who collectively became King Crimson – Robert Fripp, Peter and Michael Giles. Judy moved on again and as the swinging '60s shed its winter coat and the '70s sprang into life she became one half of the stunning, if short lived duo Trader Home, whose eponymous (and only) long player 'Morning Way' was a huge critical success on both sides of the Atlantic, and is still feted all these years later, original vinyl copies fetching a small king's ransom.

Judy promptly retired to the rolling English countryside to raise a family. The year 2008 saw a major milestone... With 40 years of songs and melodies in her head Judy was ready to record again! But as usual with one of the first ladies of the British scene, the traditional route was not the one she took. Enlisting friends and musicians, everything was recorded, and accumulated over the internet, from all four corners of the world.

And what a list of friends and musicians it was: including the first time Robert Fripp and Ian McDonald had played together since the abortive King Crimson tour of 1969. The collaborators added supremely to what became HMV's specialist album of 2009 – 'Talking With Strangers'.

Says Judy, “All the songs on 'Talking With Strangers' are snapshots of my daily life. Even the cover version of Greg Lake/Pete Sinfield's 'C'est La Vie' has a resonance from my past to the future. The 19-minute 'Harpsong' is a condensed autobiography of my 45 year musical life, connecting musicians from my past, present and future and the life events which occurred along the way.”

“...a sophisticated triumph...” - Sid Smith, BBC

“...this lovely eight song set...the showstopper has to be the 19-minute autobiographical 'Harpsong' with an all-star line-up including Robert Fripp and Pat Mastelotto.” - Grant Moon, PROG Magazine

“It is superbly ambitious, ornate and atmospheric” - The Mail On Sunday

A commercial, critical and artistic success, one of the greatest comebacks of the century, saw superb reaction in the UK, mainland Europe and Scandinavia, and now for the first time, Judy Dyble's 'Talking With Strangers' is released in the USA! 'Talking With Strangers' was co-written by Judy with Tim Bowness and Alistair Murphy and engineered and produced by Alistair Murphy and Tim Bowness.

In closing Judy has this to impart to her fans and listeners, “This album, 'Talking With Strangers' blossomed from casual internet conversations with people I had then never met in reality into something of which I am very, very proud. My hope is that people who listen to it will find something within it that will resonate within their own lives. And will make them smile.”

LINK: Michael Des Barres speaks In The Key of Love


Michael Des Barres, Ricky Byrd and Reagan Richards at The Cutting RoomLast week, I had the honor of meeting up with Michael Des Barres, during a sound check for Rockers In Recovery’s Hurricane Sandy Benefit at The Cutting Room in New York City. After spending many hours of transcribing, ("Carnaby Street" playing in the background) and reliving that day looking through roughly 300 photographs, I was left with a feeling of enlightenment and the yearning to want to know more about his luminous life.
As an actor, Michael has portrayed a master assassin who refused to die, a hoodlum crooner in a rock band, known as “Scum of the Earth”, a gay man and a baby doctor. Just to name a few of the multifarious roles he morphed himself into. Although acting may have been his first “love”, rock and roll was embedded in his heart.

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO
I'm Only Human
SCD - £9.99

Carnaby Street
CD - £9.99

BARBARA DICKSON IN LIVERPOOL


Barbara DicksonFor over four decades, Barbara Dickson has continued to deliver songs to the public in her own incomparable fashion. As a multi-million selling recording artist with an equally impressive Olivier award-winning acting career, Barbara Dickson OBE has firmly established herself as one of the most enduring and popular entertainers in Britain today. Globally known for hits which include CaravansAnother Suitcase in Another HallAnswer Me and her chart-topping duet with Elaine Paige, I Know Him So Well, Dickson is also a two-time Olivier Award-winning actress with roles including Anita Braithwaite in TV's Band of Gold and the original Mrs Johnstone in Willy Russell's long-running musical Blood Brothers. For this show she performs her classic hits, as well as other material in her own inimitable style.
‘The chance to hear her sing a personal choice of favourite good songs should not be missed' 
The Times
'Barbara Dickson shows what true class is all about' 
The Stage
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE

B4 74 - The Folkclub Tapes
2CD - £11.99

Nothings Gonna Change My World
CD - £9.99

Full Circle
CD - £9.99

Into The Light
DVD - £12.99

Time And Tide 
CD - £9.99

THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)

please- meet my ghosts!

my grand father and mother ghosts-
Irish twinkle-eyed and smiling
she played piano/he a train station
my father ghost/worker and strong
not so long ago he left us.Next-friends
remembering funerals and coffins,
tears and flowers,bright gold crucifixes flashing
all when too young to understand grief and loss
Those young ones in too fast cars,too full of life to live
who smashed and crashed and burned and died/
stubbed candles .Remembering does not bring them back-
it reminds us of the flame we carry(bright fire)
that pumps blood even while we dream
and wakes us up to limits and mortalities.



HELEN McCOOKERYBOOK: A Blast from her Past


Well, I've been diggin' in me own crates and I've unearthed lots of old stuff yet again: this was a press pack that was sent out by RCA in the mid-1980s with photocopies articles, a biog and a 7" vinyl record of Footsteps at my Door. 

They did a quite a good job of all the design work and nicked the tinted-photo retro idea for a group called Modern Romance which annoyed me at the time because I'd asked them to do it. But they took the idea further themselves and used a retro RCA single-label from the Elvis era so I didn't fume for long!I loved being in this band. We did a lot of gigs and they were fun- they were a cheerful bunch onstage and good fun off it too; very odd by some people's measures (two scientists in the Horn section, a female live-sound engineer, no bass and no drums...).

We toured up and down the country and supported all sorts of groups- Mud, Mary Wilson and the Wilsations, The Orson Family...


Read on...

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO
Take One
CD - £9.99

Poems And Rhymes
CD - £9.99


THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: John Martyn - Seven Black Roses

From a 1978 performance....


Currently available:

The One World Sampler
CD - £7.99

Live At The Bottom Line
CD - £7.99

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

LINK: Eric Burdon lists Joshua Tree home

Singer Eric Burdon, of the Animals and War, has listed his retreat in Joshua Tree. The Southwestern-style gated house, built in 2007, sits on 2.5 acres surrounded by native plants.
Hot Property: Eric BurdonBritish Invasion singer Eric Burdon, who sang with the Animals and then the funk band War, has listed his retreat in Joshua Tree for sale at $999,000.
The Southwestern-style gated house, built in 2007, sits on 2.5 acres surrounded by native plants and encircled by an adobe wall. The 3,200-square-foot-plus courtyard-style home features four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a laundry room and an office. There is a studio with a woodburning stove. Outdoor amenities include a heated saltwater pool, a spa and a rooftop deck.
Burdon, 71, was named by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 greatest singers of all time and is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Among the songs he popularized were "House of the Rising Sun," "Spill the Wine" and "See See Rider."

THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Dazz Band

Dazz Band





Currently available:

Best Of Funk
DVD - £12.99

Best Of Funk
CD - £7.99

IN WHICH JON LAYS OUT HIS STALL

It was nearly 40 years ago since I first discovered the music press.  It was the summer of 1974, and an older lad on the school bus gave me a copy of a brightly coloured tabloid called Disc.  I was entranced.  Before then my only access to news about the musicians who entranced and enthralled me was schoolyard word of mouth, and Top of the Pops on BBC1 for half-an-hour every Thursday, when my old-fashioned and completely anti-pop music father would deign to let me watch it. In the pages of Disc I found news, reviews, gossip and a modicum of debate, and so the next Wednesday, instead of lining up for my lunch like all the other diligent pupils of Bideford Grammar School, I pocketed my lunch money and snuck off into town to buy the next issue. To my great joy I discovered that Disc wasn’t the only one, and came back clasping my prizes; copies of Disc, Melody Maker, Sounds,and the New Musical Express.  I took them home hidden in my school bag, and read them from cover to cover, over and over again.  Thus began a weekly routine which I followed until the mid-1980s when I transferred my allegiance to the newly arrived glossy music and culture magazines like Q, Select and Mojo

I learnt a lot from the music magazines, and I think that they shaped my young mind more than I would actually like to admit.  I paid more attention to what people like Nick Kent, Mick Farren, and Charles Shaar Murray said, thought, and did than I did my parents, teachers, or peers.  For in my young mind the hip young gunslingers of the NME were my peers, and I wanted to I inhabit the same world of anti-establishment, intellectual criticism as did they. 

Nearly 40 years on and I find myself the editor of this weekly newsletter, as well as a daily blog based around those jolly nice people at Gonzo Multimedia.  Gonzo has such a diverse and rich back catalogue that I find myself like the euphemistic kid in the candy store. Rob Ayling, the Gonzo big cheese, has given me carte blanche to write what I want, as long as it is vaguely connected with the Gonzo multiverse.  So I have, and I have dragged my poor long suffering wife, and my friends Richard Freeman, Graham Inglis and Dave Curtis along for the ride. I have even co-opted Gonzo guitar star Paul May of the mighty Atkins May Project into writing gig reviews for us.  But I want more.

I have always been somewhat OCD, and I would admit that during my mis-spent youth I fetishised music to perhaps an unhealthy extent, but I loved the music pages back then.  And now I have the opportunity to build this weekly newsletter into the same sort of anarchic, crazy-passionate mish-mash of news, reviews, and debate that I used to love so much. I have already had several respond to my call for new writers, and I shall be putting them to work in the next few weeks.  But do YOU fancy trying your hand at being a rock journalist? 

The contemporary music business has changed beyond all recognition, and music may not ever be as socially and economically as important as it once was. But emotionally, sociologically and spiritually it still speaks to me, it still speaks to you, and I suspect it still speaks to a lot of people.  Gonzo is a fine example of the new breed of record companies.  Let’s make this newsletter into something really special together. 

GIG REVIEW: HAWKWIND IN BEDFORD: a track-by-track description

Hawkwind in Bedford, Sunday 27th January.

The value of there being at least one person at a
Hawkwind gig who isn't off his face is demonstrated by this comprehensive gig review, which includes a detailed track-by-track description of the Bedford gig.

Guest reviewer Derek Wilson also includes a review of the parking problems in Bedford!

Photos by the author.



I came to the Bedford Corn Exchange the last time Hawkwind played here a few years back - in, I think, 2010 - and all was quite straightforward getting parked in one of the many multi-storey car parks not far from the venue.  This time, it all went horribly wrong for me after discovering the same car park doesn't seem to be open on a Sunday night (I’ve since been told there was one open across the road from the venue, and not charging a fee, doh).  After encountering three shut car parks, and enduring the increasingly unhelpful suggestions of the American electronic voice from my Google Maps app, I was forced to drive aimlessly around until I found a pay and display meter and an empty spot down a deserted dark side road.  Having emptied my pockets of change for the meter, and apologised to a passing beggar for my subsequent lack of change to spare, I set off in search of the venue, wondering if there'd be anything left of the car when I returned.

It turned out I was only five minutes from the venue, just long enough for the biting wind to remind me that although the snow has melted, we are still very much in the throes of winter.  I got into the venue at about 8ish and had a look at the merchandise stand: the HLO [Hawkwind Light Orchestra] and Dave solo CDs being sold as well as a variety of t-shirts from the Onward and Blood of the Earth tours. Oh, and it seems they still haven't quite run out of the Take Me To Your Leader posters just yet!

Maria Daines was on and although her music isn't really my cup of tea, she's got a great voice and the guitarist seemed to know his way around the fret-board as well, so it was enjoyable enough.  The venue was quite busy, and having just turned 41 this week I was quite enjoying feeling rather young compared with the majority of other attendees.  That said, a teenager slumped past me with a Justin Bieber swirly cut looking rather out of place, followed shortly by a drunken guy in his sixties shouting "Save the fucking badger!" 

Only at a Hawkwind gig eh?

In between bands we got a hefty swathe of Dave's solo album played, which made sense as they were selling it on the night.  There was a wave of recognition and excitement when "We took the wrong step years ago" started.  They probably made a few sales from playing that song alone.

Before the gig I had been thinking how I missed the sense of mystery at attending a Hawkwind concert in my pre-internet earlier days.  You generally had no idea who would be in the band let alone what songs they were playing, so this time I made a resolution to not look at any reviews or comments about the Manchester and Skeggie gigs in an attempt to recapture the sense of mystery and anticipation.

The band came on at about 9 in great spirits - Niall first from the right, smiling and waving at the crowd, Dibs from left stage - indulging in a spot of sword play with his cello bow against Tim, who was sporting an almost Parisian beret in favour of last year's early eighties Miami Vice white jacket look.  Richard and Fred get into position and Dave saunters on stage and with a smile -  opened his arms majestically in greeting, as if to say Ta Daaaa!  No line-up change then.

And so on to the songs.




It is a great atmospheric start with rather ominous musical accompaniment to Dibs' commanding narration of Calvert’s "The Awakening."  Dave adds a bit of additional texture with a solitary maraca.  Throughout the evening he will pick it up now and then and shake next to the microphone for comic effect with a cheeky grin on his face.

Next up is "Master Of The Universe,"  and a really strong, tight and fast paced version of it too, not to mention ferociously loud.  My main criticism here is that Dave's guitar wasn't very high in the mix to begin with.  Somebody clearly noticed and turned him up after a bar or two though, but still his guitar sound at this point lacked a bit of bottom end.  This seemed be sorted out as the gig progressed though.

Great performance so far - Dibs appeared to be occasionally playing the cello through a waa-waa pedal if my ears are hearing correctly, resulting in some vintage spacey sound effects.  From the backdrop and dancers' outfits this should be, I guess, considered a continuation of the Onward Tour.  The green-eyed stilt walker is back.  It's a more polished dancing performance from them than the last time I saw them, which was only the third night of the tour (last year's Stamford gig) - probably helped somewhat by the larger space they have to play with tonight.  They're always enjoyable to watch though and really add to the performance.

"You'd Better Believe it" is up next - the tempo is kept high and the music remains loud.  A quieter passage in the middle allows Dibs to narrate a poem - I understand from Steve Starfarer's site that it's called "Space 2001."  After a while, the tempo is raised again and with a cheer from the crowd we're back into the finale of "You'd Better Believe It."

Next up is a trio of numbers from the 2012 "Onward" album. "The Hills Have Ears" is a great version though I could only just hear Richard's vocals over Dibs'.  Still, better than the version at Stamford last year where they forgot to turn Richard’s microphone on altogether.   "Seasons" is a very enjoyable powerful version and has a good elongated middle section.  The back projections on this one are great, too.






"Southern Cross" - slow number with the dancers dressed as constellations of stars.  A good song, but admittedly I earmarked it as the "Out Here We Are" slot - call of nature.  At least you can still hear the band from the loos...

Next up, I was left wondering whether we would be getting the full Warrior album treatment after all: "Assault and Battery - The Golden Void - Where Are They Now"

They've really turned this into a very powerful version.  I've not been entirely convinced when I heard them do it at Leamington in 2011 or Stamford 2012, for some reason the opening keys never seemed right and chords to "The Golden Void" seemed to be played back to front.  They really seem to have nailed it now though, and Tim really gave it some welly in "The Golden Void."  He's clearly recovered from the bizarre pruning accident, as has Richard from whatever ailed him in Poland - spontaneous combustion, Spinal Tap style?   Once again, the dancers are spot on with the stilt walking.  The trio of songs end to rapturous applause.

To my mild disappointment there were no wizards on hand to blow their horns next.  So, the full Warrior On The Edge Of Time set will have to wait for another day (in April), but we get a fantastic version of "Prometheus" instead.  Dave takes a step back in the middle section, but can't resist bobbing from side to side cheekily while the rest of the band continue without him.  Niall plays the lead melody much lower and slightly differently now.   It’s a great number for the dancers, they look fantastic in those outfits.  I can't see them dropping this number from the set for a while for that reason alone, and it remains a popular number with the crowd. 

I think it was around this point that the back projections had a fit and a big run time error dialog showed up above the band, much to their amusement.  Dibs said something about the evening’s full moon having its influence.

Dibs introduced the next number as a tribute to our Huwie, who we lost to cancer just before Christmas.  "Dragons and Fables" was played with images of him coming up on the screen behind during the performance.  It's done largely by Fred on organ and Dibs on vocals, with additional percussion by Richard and Dave.  Tim and Niall stood at either edge of the stage encouraging the audience to clap along, not that they need much encouragement.  It was a very touching tribute.

Next up, we're into another number associated with Huw: "Arrival In Utopia" - after the quiet and sombre "Dragons and Fables," this one is ferociously loud and heavy.  Dibs and Dave sing this, but I could hardly hear Dave's vocals.  A long middle section is intoned by Dibs in an almost Harvey Bainbridge-esque madcap style - about society and the fear of fear itself holding everyone back.  Powerful stuff and a lengthy jammed out version. 

At around this point some really drunk guy started attempting some kind of Tai Chi thing just next to me. Everyone looked on anxiously as it looked like he could fall any way at any moment!  Eventually someone asked if he was alright and got a drunken cuddle in return.  There was a lot of general drunkenness in the crowd which isn't entirely unusual and a strangely herbal smell which belied the 'no smoking' policy.  I looked on jealously as I siphoned the moisture off the top of a pint of weak lager and cursed the fact I had to drive.  At the end of the song Richard shouts out for everyone to stop standing there like statues.  It’s a little unclear if he’s talking about the band or the crowd; and Dave, who seems to think Richard’s referring to him, asks him if he’s taken his medication yet!

Next we’re down onto "Damnation Alley" and the song at least is not one hell of a mess.  This seems to have replaced "Angels of Death" as the big jamming number now and it sounds great.   Tim's soloing in the middle section was truly fantastic, though at the same time he seemed to be trying to move in time with the dancers - much to Dave's amusement.  It's a really long version of it, but really very powerful, and a fitting set closer.

The band wanders off for a few moments, and then returns for "Spirit of the Age," sang as ever by Dave with quite a bit of help from the crowd.  I didn't really see much of this one as it seems everyone around me was attempting to video it on their phone which in turn was disrupting my own vocal efforts.  The bloke directly in front of me in particular was titting around with the zoom almost continuously so I could barely see the stage.  Still, he’ll probably hear me singing rather than Dave when he plays it back so we’re evens.  In the end I moved.  As ever, Dave missed a few lines from the clone poem section, but then he's done that since 1979 so it's no surprise.

All that's left is for them to introduce the final number as Richard's favourite song: "Silver Machine."  This time, though, it was Dibs singing it, and didn't he do well, ladies and gentlemen?  At Stamford last year we missed most of the first verse as again someone forgot to turn Richard's microphone on.  Dibs' vocals seem to improve every time I see the band.  He really looks a lot more comfortable as a front-man now as well.

So that was it, about 1 hour and 35 minutes of music.  It was short but very sweet.  A quite similar set to last year's Stamford gig, but much smoother performance all round.  This was due no doubt to the many more gigs playing these songs since then.  No "Hassan-i-Sahba" this time, but then they've played it every time since I first saw them in 1989, so it’s due a bit of a rest.  No full "Warrior" album or "Demented Man," and - surprisingly - no "Stellar Variations" material [the new album].  It was a good performance though,  and good set-list with no real weak numbers.  This line-up seems to be playing together really well, long may it continue. 

I was left to wander out into the cold to try and find where I'd parked the car and hope it hadn't been nicked or vandalised. I was back home by half eleven. 

Sunday night gigs have their advantages after all!

THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet, is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)


...shows me his screenplay on his laptop

his first love is language-unadorned,free flowing
he edits my poem to the bare bone-sparkle!shine!
he on the line /shares stories we have not heard before-
O Confessionals!Sexton,Plath,Colette,Wolfe-
your diaries mine daily domestic doings/miniature tragedies
do not walk into the waves with stones in your pockets!
do not place your head in a  gas oven!Never ending epiphanies
call from Trough of Despond to dalliances with connectivenests!
Birds of a feather seek plumed companies/fly !o winged wonders!
Do not leave your only holy skin as if butterfly cocoon
Winged ones in a parking meter sky-you know why you fly!
Spirit sings between your lines-the one out of step leads us
Future means tomorrow-and we need all of all of us
DO NOT LEAVE!( until the very end of the unfinished...

A SPECTACULARLY TASTELESS POSTING FROM MY FRIEND NICK REDFERN



The field of rock music is one filled to the brim with casualties. Whether as a result of drugs, booze, or that "live fast and die young" attitude, the life of a rock star can be as short as it can be crazy. 

But, not always. As well as those performers who burn out well before their time, there are those wild characters of the stage that manage - sometimes time and again - to beat the Grim Reaper. 

They are the top 10 British rockers who many might say should be dead...but somehow aren't...

Read on...

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

BLACK SABBATH - Life and Doom for 2013...

...and an album and a tour.

“This is the first time we’ve done an album together sober,” Geezer Butler says.


During a recent radio interview, Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler talked about the band’s new album, which they’ve finished and are preparing for a June release. The temporary title is ’13′ because it’s coming out in 2013, he said, and because there were originally going to be just 13 cuts on it.

“It’s sort of got the feel of the first three albums — back to the basic rawness. And the lyrics are very … they’re just about life … life and death and doom and everything else. You get Prozac with every album!”

Read on....

NORMAL SERVICE WILL.....YADDA YADDA YADDA

As regular readers will be aware, Graham is currently in charge of the CFZ and Gonzo Daily blogs, as I am off with Corinna and Mama-in-law doing family stuff in Oakham.

However it seems that our frustrating level of (non) internet access is continuing at home, and I (on BT Openworld and a knackered laptop that was fairly old when I was given it in 2004) have better internet access than he does.

So be aware that, although we will continue posting each day, some of the other things like Facebook and email notifications may be subject to delays...

IN SEARCH OF ‘SYSTEM 6’

In last week’s edition of Gonzo Weekly  I posted a query about a band that I remembered being called System 6.  It is beginning to seem that they never actually existed!

Now, I don’t know if it is because I am getting older, because I live in a small rural community with ancient water pipes, or the fact that because of my declining health my doctor has put me on an ever-increasing cocktail of medication (I’m not joking), but my memory really is failing.  There might be quite a novel new parlour game in which you (the readership) attempt to decipher what I (the journalist with an addled memory) half remember about bits of rock and roll minutiae that I learned about during my mis-spent use.

I am indebted to two Gonzo Weekly readers.  Pete Collins who wrote:

In an effort to clear things up,Ian Gillan and Roger Glover were in a band called Episode 6 prior to joining Deep Purple in 69.

and Allan Heron who wrote:

Gillan and Glover were in Episode Six before joining Purple which is what you were thinking of

They are both right.  Episode 6 was an interesting and innovative pop rock band with twinges of psychedelia that – amongst others – featured a young Ian Gillan and Roger Glover later to join Deep Purple mark 2.  Like so many prophets they were without honour in their own land but were – apparently – quite big in Beirut, back in the days when the now troubled and war-torn city was known as the playground of the eastern Mediterranean.  I visited it several times in the mid-‘60s when I was a small boy, and it was, indeed, a beautiful and cosmopolitan city.  But I digress.

Various members of Pink Floyd were also in an early band called Sigma 6, of which very little seems to be known.  However, I am beginning to think that my mythical band System 6 never actually existed, and that my nascent Floyd and Purple  bands had got combined somehow within my adult synapses.

Thank you everyone who helped.

But the story isn’t over yet!

As anyone who has read my inky-fingered scribblings here and elsewhere will probably be aware I am very much a fan of Eric Burdon, particularly his work with The New Animals and War.  On Friday the lovely Anne-Marie from Gonzo sent me copies of two Eric Burdon DVDs that are currently on the Gonzo catalogue.  Last night I sat down with my mother-in-law, and my friend and colleague Richard Freeman, the well-known author and explorer, and we watched the two DVDs. 

Even folk who, like me, are devotees of the concept of acausal synchronicity will be surprised at this!  One of the DVDs, containing material from Eric’s appearances at the Beat Beat Beat (a German TV show in I believe 1967) also features two songs by Episode 6; Morning Dew which was the aforementioned hit in the Lebanon and I Hear Trumpets Blow.

The most peculiar thing about this is the appearance of a young and almost offensively good looking Ian Gillan, flower-powered up to the nines.  I don’t know if anyone apart from me remembers the 1981 series Quatermass written by the late Nigel Kneale and starring Sir John Mills. One of the sets of protagonists in the TV series (and subsequent much less impressive movie) are a group of what a few years later would have been described as new age travellers calling themselves ‘the planet people’ who wander across an apocalyptic British landscape, chanting and brandishing pendulums. One of the leaders of this band of fictional hippies looked the spitting image of Ian Gillan fronting Episode 6 12 or 13 years previously.

He also looks like one of the more wholesome members of the Manson family in the 1978 made for TV show Helter Skelter and – possibly – most like the drug-addled young singer who sings Springtime for Hitler in the original version of The Producers.  In short, he looks like every TV and film director’s conception of the good-looking young flower power subversive ready to lead a generation of gullible young people into a life of debauchery. 

I am sure Ian Gillan was not, is not and never has been anything like that, but it is tempting to wonder whether the aforementioned TV and film producers had seen his appearance on Beat, Beat, Beat and based their entire conception of a generation of alternative anti-heroes upon him.

Probably not, but my mind follows these tangents on occasion. 

THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet, is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)


Moon Midnight (belongs to jazz and your bright spirit)

Here is where  your dreams find anchor,harbor,sanctuary-
your WHATMIGHTBE fantasies projected upon the screen of ruthless WHATIS
Here songs,poems,art and dance are born-in moon wombs full to overflowing
Here is where cats sit and sleep and dream of flying fish
World goes quiet as a Library(of Akashic Records
Silence slips between shadows and questions Light
You remember EVERY thing!Daily domestic doings merge,surreal
with creatures peopled from imaginings.Beginnings begin!
Release all pasts into the wind and starry skies.BEAM BRIGHT &BRILLIANT!
Here ALL IS POSSIBLE! You can fly (in your dreams-
this is where it all begins..Close your eyes-and they are opened again...

IT IS WHEN SHE WRITES LIKE THIS THAT I AM FONDEST OF HELEN McCOOKERYBOOK


For about two weeks, I have been puzzling about upside down elephants, and how to draw one. 

This is where my pathetic joke 'Do Magpipes play bagpies?' came from (ignored by Offsprog Two; Offsprog One texted me for the punchline)

I was so excited when I saw this in yesterday's paper that I tore it out and actually spoke to a stranger about it on the tube.

I was on my way to an exhibition of Communications student work at the RCA, which is well worth seeing if you get a chance. It's open to the public. I particularly liked a small patchwork quilt with  images of a bear looking at a heart, and a little guitar, and other things, all perfectly inlaid and stitched; a fascinating sketchbook with line drawings of robins raining down and all sorts of little adventures happening all the way through it (plus some chefs which Offsprog One said reminded her of my own work); and a bench with delicate ceramic bowls, some forming sequences of images, and some subverted with squiggly porcelain rims and delicate paintings of reclining people inside one of them and on the outer surface of another, that was so beautifully executed I felt like crying. 

As I said, well worth seeing- just beside the Royal Albert Hall.

Original Post

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO
Take One
CD - £9.99

Poems And Rhymes
CD - £9.99

THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Walter Egan

Walter Egan: Magnet and Steel 

 

 


Currently available:

The Collection
CD - £9.99

Monday, 28 January 2013

LINK: Stephen Stills returns to the Sunset Strip




Influential musician and singer/songwriter Stephen Stills returned to his Sunset Strip roots to sign a Gibson GuitarTown art guitar celebrating the music and influence of Buffalo Springfield. Stills wrote one of the band's biggest hits, "For What It's Worth," which became an anthem for the 1960s counterculture movement and remains an important and influential song today. 

Buffalo Springfield formed on The Sunset Strip in 1967 and was comprised of Stills, Neil Young, Richie Furay, Doug Hastings, Bruce Palmer, Dewey Palmer and Jim Messina. While the band was only active for just over two years, they produced three influential and important albums during this time and became one of the most influential American folk-rock bands, shaping the California rock sound.

COLLECTOR'S CORNER: Seen recently on eBay


HAWKWIND Original BBC Transcription Disc SUPER RARE


Graham's comments:

I've seen these go for over a thousand pounds in UK money, but now we have global recession and all that, and on the Hawkwind forum last week, I predicted it would sell for £550.




Original link...


Winning bid:
US $1,086.55
Approximately£685.91
19 bids ]



Evidently, I was a bit pessimistic.  £685 ain't bad, in the current climate.

I wasn't one of the bidders, though. I bought the CD for around a tenner, years ago!

THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Herman's Hermits

A short bit of Herman's Hermits performing "I'm Henry VIII, I Am" on The Ed Sullivan Show on June 6, 1965....




I got married to the widow next doorShe's been married seven times beforeAnd every one was a Henry (Henry)She wouldn't have a Willy or a Sam.... 
Well, they don't write 'em like that anymore...
Currently available:
Live At The Hilton
DVD - £9.99

THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet, is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)

Bad News Bingo


Fuel pump in her truck went out
so she cannot get work
so she cannot go to the funeral of her 22 year old cousin
who hanged himself in his room
because he could not relate
so her family is giving her a hard time
and her back is out from hard work
and her world is falling in on her
so she brings a christmas card in january
and she smiles ruefully-releasing everything that happened
before love season in february
i almost believe her(after all-we all love stories
the happy ending to this one?
she is creating better moments
separating sheep from goats
editing her own home movies/so she
can sing of love in february!


CLOSE TO THE SLEDGE - The Ayling Boys



LINK: Eric Burdon song premiere


Song Premiere: Eric Burdon - "Devil and Jesus"
Many fans of Eric Burdon may know him as the legendary vocalist of The Animals, but Burdon has new solo material to share this year.
Burdon recently announced his forthcoming solo album ’Til Your River Runs Dry. The release features 12 songs, most of which were penned by Burdon himself to touch on the topics that move him most.
’Til Your River Runs Dry is set for release on Jan. 29 viaABKCO Records, but you can take an exclusive listen to “Devil and Jesus,” a new track, in the video below. The video includes vivid illustrated lyrics.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet, is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)


FULL WOLF LEO MOON
O is the light that bOrrOws from One sun
O! when we look UP!@stars &cOnstellations
Oh!when celestial wanderers affect Our cycles
OHH!when wOnder augments intelligence
sO it was when we gathered in a circle
and the O! mOOn outside turned sOng and pOem
into a clarity spiral/serpentine.sOngs resOnated
with a pOwer,cOnversatiOns had a smile imprinted
and lOve was wOrd making new wOrlds.
mOOn affects all!fOOl mOOn even mOre-
every wOlf must hOwl!
 

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