...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.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

CABINET OF CURIOSITIES: A Nice Collection

This week someone seemed to be selling an awful lot of memorabilia by The Nice, and I assumed that it was all for sale from the same vendor. But upon investigation, it seems to be a pure coincidence (although as a Fortean I don't believe in such things) because they come from a number of different vendors...


The most valuable, by the way, appears to be the £750 autographed mono LP, with full authentication...


EXCLUSIVE: A conversation with Barbara Dickson


This is rather a strange one. Some weeks ago Barbara Dickson contacted me about her new album To Each and Everyone: The Songs of Gerry Rafferty which is out imminently through Greentrax Records. 

Like everyone in the known universe I know some of Gerry Rafferty's songs, but not many, and my knowledge of him is mostly of his sad decline and fall.

This is where it gets weird, because I am a drinker, and I come from a lineage of drinkers, whose behaviour would these days be probably classed as alcoholic. I don't consider myself an alcoholic because I don't drink every day or even every week, and my life is not defined by alcohol. But I do drink, and sometimes when I drink, I drink heavily.

So the story of Gerry's decline and fall is one which resonated with me, and so behind our discussion about her new album, my conversation with Barbara had a strange subtext...


JON: Tell me about the new record

BARBARA: I must tell you that regardless of what happens to it, it’s a bit like having had a very, very lovely baby. I have now done my job, the baby is born and the baby has a life of its own.  And regardless of where it goes in its life, it will still be absolutely gorgeous to me, and I love it unconditionally. And that’s what I am like about this album.  Sometimes I say that to people I don’t know very well and there’s perhaps a little bit of a  fingers crossed behind my back when people can’t see me, thinking ‘well I am not sure about that track but I hope people like it’. I don’t feel like that at all about this.  This album because it came at me on a sort of sideways way, has been almost like – I hate to be metaphysical here – but it’s almost like fate. It’s come at me.  I didn’t think of it.  It wasn’t my idea to do a Gerry Rafferty album, it didn’t occur to me, but lots of people said to me, ‘When Gerry died,’ and I am still really grieving for him, but when he died at the beginning of 2011 - in my opinion extremely prematurely and that was another reason why it was so sad for me – I really did think to myself that that’s it now. I will still sing the odd Gerry Rafferty song here and there which I do in my set, I do Over my Head and I have done The Right Moment a great deal, that is another great favourite of mine, and these pop up in my concert set and I have got rather emotional while singing them since he died. But lots of people said, and my husband was one of them, he said ‘You know what, you should an album comprising songs of Gerry’s because you have every right to do that.  You have loved him since you were young, you’ve sung his songs, you’ve been a great exponent of his music and him as a songwriter and brought his music, in some cases, some songs to people who wouldn’t know his work apart from maybe Baker Street or something. You’ve got every right to do that.’ 

A German fan of Gerry’s sent an email to my website saying, ‘Dear Miss Dickson. It would be a very good idea if you did a whole album of the songs of Gerry, we love him…….’  And other people as well.  Strange little kind of messages were coming at me, and so I was going to do an album with Troy  Donockley  anyway and I said to him, ‘Look can we take a sideways step here, Tory.  What do you think about doing an album of the songs of Gerry Rafferty?’  Now he didn’t really know Gerry songs because Troy is not quite 50, so he’s 15 years younger than me, and consequently wasn’t part of the Steelers Wheel/Gerry Rafferty 1970-1982 real massive success. So he said to, ‘Yeah’, because he knows the songs that I’ve done of Gerry’s and I said ‘Listen I’m going to go away, would you be up for this?’ and he said, ‘Yeah, what would we play?’  And I said, ‘Let me go and think about it.’ So cut to about 6 weeks later; I came back to Troy having listened to everything that Gerry had ever recorded, disregarding the rarities – I looked at the rarities that were sent through by Alan Rafferty who is Gerry’s cousin, and decided they were sort of rarities for a reason and that reason was that Gerry was not sure about some of them – you know – and he hadn’t continued with wanting to keep that stuff alive. So I went back to big repertoire and looked at it and the album tracks and I was very lucky – it wasn’t like doing Beatles songs where most of the songs are very familiar to people.  It was extraordinary how little people knew about Gerry’s work.  They all knew Baker Street, some knew Right Down the Line, one or two knew one or two others, but basically it was Baker Street.  He was the man who did Baker Street, and that’s all they knew about him. And even then they didn’t know anything about Baker Street. It was just dah…dah… de…de…de, that’s all they remembered. 

So giving this work to somebody like me was an absolute busman’s holiday because having done songs of Gerry’s in the past and felt that they really spoke to me; I mean sometimes male songwriters write songs that don’t speak to female interpreters of songs. Sometimes it is what Hugh Murphy, my friend – a late record producer – used to call geezer’s songs. ‘That’s a geezer song,’ he would say, and he was quite right. You know, there’s all sorts of songs that are geezer songs and don’t work for women. I don’t know what it is about it, but it can be quite, quite subtle I’m saying.  So Gerry’s songs were not geezer songs, apart from the ones about his ex-wife where he is sort of doing a bit of a rant. That didn’t speak to me either. But loads of others did. So I came back to Troy and we did this extraordinary thing where – I think I must have told you about before – I took the songs (he didn’t know the songs) and I listened on my IPod without him listening and just kind of got a feel of what I saw the song as being, sang it in his ear acappella, so Troy wasn’t listening to the track.

JON: Gosh

BARBARA:  It’s quite amazing. Nobody else does this, and if they do they don’t do it the same way. So I sing the song so it’s something like In Another World which is a final track on the album.  If I was to sing, I would just sing ‘If we ever should meet in another world’ in his ear, you see, and if he got he chord jim-jams he would do it, if he didn’t get the chord jim-jams we wouldn’t do it. There’s a kind of thing about the song, the way the song sort of carried itself from my heart to Troy’s heart.

JON:  There is something….. you were talking about something metaphysical earlier.  There is something very strange about that, something very magical about doing it like that.

BARBARA:  It is.  You are absolutely right. It’s nothing to do with arrangement, it’s to do with the actual kernel, the core of it. And it works for us and he said that he feels something when I do that.  And what happens in the recordings that we make together is that quality is still there at the end of the proceedings. It’s quite extraordinary that that quality is there, the song and me singing very close to the listener’s ear is in Words Unspoken,  is in Full Circle, in Time and Tide; it’s there all the time, but he and I think that this album is the culmination of what we’ve done since 2004.

JON:  Wonderful.

BARBARA:  We think it’s the best one we’ve done. It’s not that the others are aren’t good, but we’ve just been learning all the time and all the best things that we’ve learnt are included in this.

JON:  How long did you know Gerry?

BARBARA:  I knew Gerry all my life.  We started off by … I walked into the Scotia Bar in the late  ‘60s in Glasgow, and I was on my way obviously home to Edinburgh because I didn’t ever live in Glasgow, and I was going home – it was lunchtime and I wouldn’t be in the pub particularly at lunchtime – certainly not in Glasgow – so I’m just trying to place when it would have been, but I was probably going from  Irvine in Ayrshire where I used to go quite a lot to sing and play on my own and so I would be going back from there to Edinburgh and I would go into the Scotia Bar because Billy Connolly and the folk people of Glasgow would gather there and we were all like a sub-cult of friends.  We operated in a parallel universe to everyone else, but we all knew each other. And I walked in the pub, and I heard a voice – now it’s probably apocryphal this, but I’ve got this in my mind’s eye that he was singing My Father didn’t Like Me Anyway which was one of his very early songs but he definitely did sing that song that day. So in other words, there was a man there with a guitar singing round the corner and I came along and said to somebody, ‘Who’s that?’ And they said, ‘Oh, that’s Gerry Rafferty, he’s a friend of Billy’s.’  And that was just around the time that Gerry Rafferty hooked up with Billy Connolly in The Humblebums, although The Humblebums pre-existed that line up because The Humblebums were Billy Connolly and Tam Harvey who was a bluegrass guitar player and he and Billy did bluegrass – Billy plays banjo and the pair of them played bluegrass, singing My Dixie Darling and all that kind of stuff.  And Gerry joined them having been – Billy was much impressed when he heard Gerry playing – and Gerry joined them, and Gerry suddenly went from complete obscurity in the west of Scotland to being quite a big cheese in music, because The Humblebums were so popular. And that was 1969? And I sang on his first three big successful albums in the late ‘70s, City to City, Night Owl and Snakes and Ladders. He sang on my Dylan album that I did in 1992, he sang The Times They are A’changing with me.  He and I kept in touch all our lives basically and I was at his funeral in Paisley at the beginning of 2011. And I keep in touch with his family and we did the big concert at Celtic Connections in 2012 which was a tribute to his life and work.  I was on that with Ron Sexsmith and Paul Brady, Maria Muldaur and Jack Bruce. Jack did a killer version of Shipyard Town, you want to hear that with a young uillean pipe player from North Ireland playing the pipes on it.  Absolutely stonking. And it was a great concert and there was copious amounts of weeping and you can imagine.  Everyone could hardly keep it together, but all of this has been building up to this album, Jon, and I just said to a friend in an email this morning, I don’t know if anyone will buy it, if it will be a commercial success, but it makes no difference, it had to be done and it is a glorious project for me and Troy is a genius.

JON: I think its absolutely gorgeous.

BARBARA:  It’s very beautiful and it has a real quality of really quite reverential without being cloying in any way.  It’s treating him with the respect he deserves. And I just hope that people will see him as the great writer he was.  In my opinion he was a much better songwriter than Paul McCartney. Yes.  His tunes were as good, but his words are much better than Paul McCartney.

JON:  It’s got to be said.  Paul McCartney writes amazing tunes but some of his words are horrible.

BARBARA:  The words are rubbish, yeah. I mean obviously the best work McCartney did was with John Lennon because each of them had a talent. I mean although John Lennon wrote  In my Life which is the one that immediately comes to mind, his words were much much more meaningful and important to him and I think that’s why the Beatles combined had so much power as writers, but McCartney – once Lennon was removed from the equation – it was never quite the same was it?

JON:  It wasn’t the same for Lennon either, once ….

BARBARA:  No, I think you are absolutely right.  I don’t like what John Lennon did on his own, and that sounds sacrilegious I know, but that’s how I feel.

JON:  The only one of the Beatles whose solo stuff really stood up was George Harrison.

BARBARA:  Oh I love George.

JON:  It was because, poor sod, he was in a band with two great songwriters and he was just a good one.

BARBARA:  I agree with you. If he’d been in another band, if he’d been a songwriter in another band, he would never have been overshadowed like that. And I love George.

JON: It’s a bit like John Entwhistle and The Who.  When you are in a band with Pete Townshend you haven’t got a hope in hell..

BARBARA:  That’s absolutely right.

<....   Barbara and I got completely sidetracked onto an irrelevant conversation which, although I enjoyed it massively, had absolutely nothing to do with the main crux of this interview     ...>

BARBARA:  Gerry died of drink. 

JON:  I’d heard that.

BARBARA: Yes.  There’s no skirting round it Jon. 

JON:  Didn’t Gerry disappear for a while?

BARBARA:  Yeah, he did disappear.  He did all that stuff. And he never, never managed to give it up. And yet all the lovely men I know – I know lots and lots of lovely men from my generation – who have completely given up drinking and have gone on to have a wonderful new life because the energy and resolve and stuff that has happened to them since they gave up, you know.  I think there was a guy in Glasgow who said to Billy Connolly that if he gave up drinking there would be nothing to do. Like a true alcoholic would feel like that I suppose. There would be nothing to do apart from watch daytime television. And Billy said ‘No it’s not like that really. You do have lots of energy so you can go and do the things that you always wanted to do that you were too tired to do.’

JON:  How old was Gerry when he died?

BARBARA:  He was 63.

JON:  That’s ridiculously young. 

BARBARA:  Yeah, and if he hadn’t drunk… he was a big, strong guy, I mean constitutionally he was a big guy you know from excellent peasant stock, and he would have gone on for ever.

JON:  Why do you think he never got the recognition he deserved?

BARBARA:  He did get the recognition of course, but he turned his back on it.  He did get massive recognition. He had a number one hit in America with Stuck in the Middle – remember that?

JON:  Yes Stuck in the Middle and Baker Street were the songs ….

BARBARA:  And what happened was, he had a number one record in America, his album was number one in America, but he didn’t want to go over and promote it.  And so he fell out with the record companies and he basically had … I mean I am not saying this as a bad thing, Jon, I’m actually playing big Devil’s Advocate here.  He was signed to a massive record company.  The record company had not him a hit.  A hit album and a hit single and he decided he didn’t want that because I think he was afraid of what was going to happen to him and his life and his work and his songs and he was thinking this is all going to get cheapened and blah, blah, blah…..whatever was going through his head. And I don’t think hew as the sort of person who was … he didn’t want success that much.  He wanted his work to be recognized.  This was the big dichotomy, but he was afraid of being too noticed for the wrong reasons. Having to sit on a bollard by the Clyde and have his picture taken by the Daily Record, you know. ‘Rafferty jumps for joy’…..all this kind of rubbish, you know.  I think that bothered him and he didn’t want to be in that world, so he kind of backed off and he backed off so far that he never actually came back again. But he did have lots of supportive record company people and lots of record deals and big budgets and stuff right up till the 1990s. 

JON:  Is that when he retreated into alcohol?

BARBARA:  No.  He had always drunk.  I think that what happened to him was that he was left alone and because he was left alone to write more, and record more and stuff he didn’t achieve anything like the success that he’d had at the end of the ‘70s.  I don’t think he minded that. I think he was trying to get it to work in his own way but it’s not like that. It’s a Faustian pact.  We know this, don’t we?

JON:  Yes.

BARBARA:  It’s a Faustian pact.  You give them your soul, they give you money. That’s how it works.  There’s very few people that can actually come out from under all that unscathed. And Gerry was a delicate, sensitive individual and I think he drank like a lot of people do to hide, to escape,  to stop voices in his head, you know all that stuff. Who knows what exactly was going on?  I don’t know, but he was much loved by a lot of really good people and we all shared copious tears when he died.  But his legacy lives on, and look what’s happened.  I’ve made an album which I’m offering to people as an indication of how talented and how brilliant this man was and I also say in the sleeve notes, go and find out more about him. He wasn’t just a sort of trite pop writer.  That was nothing to do with what he was.  Great depth and great emotional capability in music and could write killer middle eighth and good words.  He was great.

JON:  He was a remarkable man.

BARBARA:  Yeah.  And this is what he’s left us, so he might not be here any more but he has left this great legacy and I am going to go down fighting to keep his memory alive. 

JON:  Well that is a very wise and brave and sensible thing to be doing.

File:Gerry Rafferty.jpgBARBARA:  Well it is important to me.  It’s very, very important to me to do that, and I will keep at it and I will send you a copy of the record because you need to hear what the music is about and then you can – you know – make your own judgements about how successful you think Troy and I have been in this.  And there will be songs probably that you – and you’re very informed musically – you might never have heard.  There will be songs there and you might be able to look at the originals and say ‘hmmm, well I like what Troy and Barbara did, but I’m not so sure about that one.’  And all that stuff, you know just to compare notes and that is what I am inviting people to do as well and it’s just to not let his memory die.
  
JON:  Oh yes, you’ve got me hooked.

BARBARA:  Good, good, that’s great.  Well the official date that it comes out is 1st September, so we have time for you to listen to this.  It’s on Greentrax – that’s the label – but Rob very kindly said ‘Yeah it’ll be fine for you and I to talk, because of course it’s the bigger picture and there’s stuff on Gonzo and hopefully one or two people will pick upon that having got interested in the Rafferty project.  At least I hope they do, because all that stuff with Troy which is on Gonzo is really good.

JON:  So what’s your next project? 

BARBARA:  I don’t know.  For once I don’t know.  Usually I’m saying ‘Well actually what I am going to do next is….’  I mean I wouldn’t mind actually doing a second volume of songs of Gerry’s because there were more. But I might do traditional music.  I’m just going to see what’s floating towards me – you know those little rubber toys that children wear on the end of their finger?  Sort of jelly monsters. I’m a bit like that.  I’m sort of picking up sensitive things flying about and if projects come at me and things are coming at me I’m at the stage in my life now where I don’t have a manager saying, ‘Oh don’t say that, you won’t make any money’, or ‘Don’t do that nobody will buy it’.  I don’t care, I’m just doing what I want to do.

JON:  Which is the purest thing an artist can do isn’t it?

BARBARA:  It’s perfect Jon.  And so much of my musical life has been pressurised by other people for the wrong reasons and now that’s not there and that’s just perfect.  For the last sort of 10 years it’s just been marvellous. So I am going to continue in the same vein and I just hope that people will pick up on the Gerry album because people did like Gerry a great deal when his big records were out he was massively popular so there might be one or two sensitive souls out there who really remember him with fondness.

Kevin Ayers, Eulogy by Galen Ayers, Sa Fonda, Deià 16th August 2013



kevin ayers memorial event

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)

WORLD BEYOND LIFE

My father of 500 jobs
Physical as daily work
Only his hands and legs to earn the bread
we ate as if devouring him
Before us,he dug this earth
built the fences that divided us
by years and skills and school
he left at 14,to earn his bread
and feed his father's needs
i worked with hm on wharf
 and learned/hard ways
to earn my daily bread
i write instead...and he is dead.

THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: David Fitzgerald & Dave Bainbridge - King Of Moon, Sun & Stars



CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
The Veil Of Gossamer 
CD - £7.99



Gig review: HAWKWIND, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, 24 August 2013


A very full and enthusiastic crowd tonight, possibly larger than usual as the band are playing the whole of their classic ‘Warrior On The Edge Of Time’ album, in sequence and recently re-issued on Cherry Red Records.
I have seen the band twice previously, at a storming gig at Keele University back in the late 1980’s, and a couple of years ago at Guilfest where they were not so impressive. Happy to report to tonight quite possibly the best gig yet I have seen by them.
Led by Dave Brock, the line-up includes the returning Dead Fred (Hawkwind band members past & present have great stage names it has to be said) on keyboards/violin/vocals who was last in the band back in the mid-80’s and Tim Blake on theremin is quite hypnotising to watch. The only other time I have seen this instrument used live is by John Otway.
Starting off with ‘The Awakening’ which was followed by ‘Master Of The Universe’, ‘Steppenwolf’ and ‘The Hills Have Ears’, before the main reason for tonight’s gig the full performance of ‘Warrior On The Edge Of Time’ got underway.
Hawkwind certainly know how to put on a show, from the undoubted musical prowess of the band through to the spectacular visual light and picture show going on at the back of the band.
Plus you have two dancers doing some bizarre am dram at the front of the stage! The ‘Master Of The Universe’ album is a real fantasy fiction meets space rock treat, aided by the lyrical input of SF/fantasy author Michael Moorcock (do read his Elric novels well worth your time).

OFF TOPIC: For those of you who wondered what I have been up to for the past few days



My old friend Mike Davis, who I first met when he was hitchhiking from Dawlish to Exeter back in 1982 turned up to do some recording. It was the first time that we had made music together for the best part of twenty years, but we were both pleased with the result. Hopefully it will see the light on my own label via Gonzo before the end of the year.

John Etheridge is interviewed by Gordon Giltrap about his life as a guitarist



CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Secret Valentine 
CD - £9.99

Sym Hall 
CD - £7.99

A Testament Of Time 
CD - £7.99

Live At Ambergate 
CD - £7.99

Midnight Clear 
CD - £7.99

Remember This 
CD - £7.99

Band Live 81
CD - £7.99

The Peacock Party
CD - £7.99

Elegy 
CD - £7.99

Collection 
CD - £7.99

Janschology 
CD - £7.99

Friday, 30 August 2013

JUDY DYBLE BELGIAN REVIEW

After many years of musical silence, Judy Dyble , who was the lead singer of Fairport Convention in 1968, gradually returned to the albums devoted to his favorite genre, the folk edition. We recently enjoyed Talking with strangers " , album released in 2009 but who received a wider release earlier this year. Judy Dyble did not throw the helve after the hatchet since it already comes with "Flow and change " , any new delivery of folk dressed. For this album, Judy Dyble is surrounded by a handful of sharp musicians, as it had done on his previous album.Found Alistair Murphy , composer and musician who had contributed significantly to "Talking with strangers" . We find here a co-author of two thirds of good songs"Flow and change" . Another contributor, Simon House , a living legend who played violin with High Tide , Hawkwind and participated in a variety of albums, David Bowie Nik Turner and Robert Calvert Mike Oldfield. He wrote the music first and the beautiful song from the album, "Black dog dreams" .

Jennie Regan, [SIC] singer of All About Eve , also co-wrote a song, always beautiful "Head full of stars" . Notable musicians of the project, include the ever-present Pat Mastelotto , drummer who founded Mr. Mister in the 80s and who participated in the making of albums by Martin Briley, Holly Knight, Scandal, Al Jarreau, The Pointer Sisters, Patti LaBelle, Kenny Loggins, Martika, Danny Wilde and even the Canadian prog-rocker Kim Mitchell. A sword, seen. Also emphasize stealth passing guests as Matt Malley(Counting Crows former) or Mike Mooney (of Spiritualized ). With this great team, Judy Dyble proposes "Flow and change" ten calm and collected songs, tinged romance and melancholy. All demonstrated a consistency in style, "Black dog dreams" and "Head full of stars" lifting of the remaining pieces that evolve strongly in an atmosphere of sweet innocence, with the voice of Judy Angel Dyble, which covers all of obvious grace. Gracious, that's what "Flow and change" is certainly.Beautiful and calm, he walks the listener on a slow course lined with crystalline notes, until the final twelve minutes of water "The sisterhood of Ruralists" , aviary air and melodramatic violins. A perfect second part to the recent work of Judy Dyble.

http://www.musicinbelgium.net/pl/modules.php?name=Reviews&rop=showcontent&id=6422

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO
Flow and Change
CD - £9.99

Talking With Strangers
CD - £9.99

UNCLE RICK IN EDINBURGH


Midway through this set of anecdotes, reminiscences and often breathtaking recitals upon the piano, the former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman describes his “Countdown ladies” to us. These are the elderly, grey-haired women who enjoyed his wit when he appeared on the game show and have no idea that he also plays piano.

“Have you made many records?” one of them enquires politely. Well over a hundred. “And have you sold them all?”

This was a show designed to capture both audiences: those who enjoy his warm, eloquent and sometimes painfully blunt way with a tale and those for whom this 64-year-old with lengthy blond hair and a flowing black cape is a musical demigod for his work with prog adventurers Yes in the ‘70s. The latter group would have been pleased by an interlude into “And You and I” and “Wondrous Stories” midway through, although – and it might be sacrilegious to say – these and “The Dance of a Thousand Lights” from his 1999 album Return to the Centre of the Earth are the most dated and show-offy of the songs played here.


CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO
Video Vaults
6DVD box - £85.00

The Burning 
CD - £9.99

Cirque Surreal 
CD - £7.99

Gole 
CD - £9.99

Cost Of Living 
CD - £9.99

A Case For Sonic Attack: Hawkwind's Space Ritual 40 Years On

Released in May 1973, Space Ritual is a unique piece of British music history. Across its 88 minutes, it delivers one of the most mind-bending, trance-inducing and flat-out immersive experiences available for your ears and brain. It’s one hell of a trip and certainly the finest heavy psychedelic album produced in this country. Yet for all its influence on generations of star-faring mantric music makers that have followed in its wake, it still remains an under-acknowledged record in the great rock canon.
Of course, this isn’t just an issue for Space Ritual, but also for Hawkwind as a band. Yes, everybody knows the name and they’re probably familiar with the wheezing space boogie of 'Silver Machine', but Hawkwind suffer in the popular and critical imagination by being pigeon-holed as sci-fi obsessed hippy throwbacks beloved by cheesecloth-wearing stoners in greatcoats. And while there’s certainly some truth in this perception, it obscures the fact that throughout the 1970s, Hawkwind were a musical and conceptual powerhouse with a series of releases that both parallels and rivals the revolutionary rock coming out of Germany during the same period.

Read on...

Record sales for venues at the first Henley Music Festival

THE inaugural Henley Music Festival last weekend proved to be a great success, according to organisers.

At the opening ceremony on Friday afternoon, rock superstar Bev Bevan and popular Midland comedian Malcolm Stent went along to give their support and best wishes.

Festival organiser Mike Perry, Henley’s county councillor, said: “Forty-five events took place at 11 venues and all had record sales and delighted customers."
First act on at Costa Coffee was singer and guitarist Tony Skeggs, centre, pictured with comedian Malcolm Stent, left, and ELO drummer Bev Bevan, right.
First act on at Costa Coffee was singer and guitarist Tony Skeggs, centre, pictured with comedian Malcolm Stent, left, and ELO drummer Bev Bevan, right.

Read on...


CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO
The Lost Broadcasts
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)

MY NEW CASSETTE IS COMING OUT SOON
it will be released with my new 78rpm single
which also comes with a complimentary 8 track
a poster,trifold cover,and a coupon for my video
(getting ready for MTV).Since the current VMA is circus
it may be time to recycle retro formats -joy,harmonies,colors and lights
Lyrics of strength and optimism.Building blocks that outgrow
both Disney and Pixar-ones that evolve into bright toys
Grandfathered Clauses.Like railroads,wharves,public transport
Sometimes what IS is not enough.Time for infrastructure to sustain us!
Peace!


THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Rick Springfield - Jessie's Girl



CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Live And Kickin
DVD - £12.9

Thursday, 29 August 2013

John Etheridge and Gordon Giltrap Video Duet called Five Dollar Guitar



CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Secret Valentine 
CD - £9.99

Sym Hall 
CD - £7.99

A Testament Of Time 
CD - £7.99

Live At Ambergate 
CD - £7.99

Midnight Clear 
CD - £7.99

Remember This 
CD - £7.99

Band Live 81
CD - £7.99

The Peacock Party
CD - £7.99

Elegy 
CD - £7.99

Collection 
CD - £7.99

Janschology 
CD - £7.99

Storied Careers 'Ride' on at the Trop Sunday


The RidesSome 50 years into an acclaimed music career that has twice landed him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Stephen Stills is finally getting back to his first love — the blues.
Stills, along with blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd and keyboardist Barry Goldberg, has formed the supergroup The Rides. The trio performs 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, at Tropicana Casino and Resort.
Stills, who spent the bulk of his career in the folk-rock genre with Crosby, Stills & Nash (and sometimes Young) and his solo work, seems to be reveling in this late-career change of pace.
“Like everybody else in my generation, we were into R&B and rock ’n’ roll, and listening to the same (blues) guys as the (Rolling) Stones –– as with everybody else, that was my first love,” Stills says. “The question of getting thrown in with all those folkies perpetuated itself for 40 years.”
CURRENTLY AVAILABLE AT GONZO
The Lost Broadcasts
DVD - £9.99

Interview: Patrick Moraz, keyboardist with Yes and the Moody Blues


Patrick Moraz, who’s just been added to the bill for the second Cruise to the Edge prog rock event, stops in to discuss his endlessly varied career with Yes, the Moody Blues and as a solo artist.
The Swiss-born keyboardist was a member of Yes from 1974-76, making important contributions to the gold-selling studio effort Relayer. He joined the Moody Blues in 1978, just in time to retool their sound for Long Distance Voyager, and remained in the band through 1991. Moraz started a concurrent solo career in 1976, when each of the members of Yes issued separate individual albums.
Moraz joins a Cruise to the Edge bill that, of course, includes his former band, as Yes also plays host to Marillion, UK, Steve Hackett’s Genesis Revisited, Tangerine Dream, Todd La Torre’s Queensryche, Renaissance and others aboard a ship that departs Miami on April 7, 2014 and visits Honduras and Mexico over a five-day trip …
NICK DERISO You brought no small amount of jazz-rock influences to bear on Relayer. Although it ultimately became a guitar-oriented album, I could still hear those influences at play on tracks like “To Be Over.” Were you disappointed that the group didn’t pursue that jazzier feel?
PATRICK MORAZ: We had decided to do some writing — starting in 1975, when I was also helping (bassist) Chris (Squire) and (guitarist) Steve (Howe) to record some music. We had started to compose and to co-compose and to gather material for what was going to be the album Going for the One, and I was very much involved in the composing of “Awaken” at the time. I even recorded one or two tracks in the very, very beginning — in the early stages of sessions in 1976. I recorded some basic tracks for what was going to become “Awaken” (Stream it!: Yes,“Awaken.”) and other tracks for Going for the One. Unfortunately, those were taken out, to allow (keyboardist) Rick (Wakeman) to come back to the band. But I couldn’t be disappointed with Yes. Disappointment is a negative. I’ve always made sure I was adding as much of the positive to any band as I could. Of course, you’re talking about “To Be Over,” and that’s a very interesting question. Not many journalists are asking me about “To Be Over,” and I have to tell you that the ending solo, I remember having written it down that very night. Suddenly, they wanted to change the key. I had to rewrite the entire thing. So, on one night, I did two different versions of that — and all written on paper. That’s how it came about. We had been jamming quite a bit, especially with Chris and (drummer) Alan (White), from the time I joined the band. We had many, many jam sessions and co-compositions, those kind of things. On some of those things, we very close to the edge of jazz rock, and over time it might have taken us maybe much further.

THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Man 'Bananas'



CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Tapes of the Unexpected
DVD - £9.99

Kingdom of Noise
CD - £7.99

Diamonds & Coal
CD - £9.99

Live In London 1975 
CD - £7.99

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)


SPEED READING IS LIKE DRIVING A CAR WITH GEARS
You choose the rate(like car insurance)you are comfortable with
You change gears according to subject matter and wish for retention
You read blocks ,not individual words.You skim the surface,looking for hooks
The essay is an historical torture device inflicted solely on students
Blogs are a voluntary form of self-torture ,written for personal expressive use
Websites are for consolidation of information on topics
Each has point,power,purpose-all divergent in method,style and manner of presentation
Scientific papers have a small readership because of their express aim-
to analyze and verify information on as yet unresolved issues
This is why modes of presentation must deal with all other previous excursions into these topics
and explains why the readership is so low.The style inhibiting.The end result provisional
Who needs such rigor when theoretical resolution is tentative at best?At worst,a waste of space
Rate of comprehension directly related to the significance of the matter @hand
Drive on,please!.Nothing is happening here..


Rick Wakeman to guest on Ayreon Theory of Everything



CURRENTLY AVAILABLE FROM GONZO
Video Vaults
6DVD box - £85.00

The Burning 
CD - £9.99

Cirque Surreal 
CD - £7.99

Gole 
CD - £9.99

Cost Of Living 
CD - £9.99
 

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