Sunday, 26 September 2010

We Did It 'Til We Were Unconcho

Well, I was born to have adventure
So I just followed up the steps
Right past her fuming incense stencher
To where she hung her castanets
She said she was a magic mama
And she could throw a mean tarot
And carried on without a comma
That she was someone I should know

'Camarillo Brillo'-Frank Zappa(DiscReet, 1973)

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Michael Head: Daydream Keeper

Where is Michael Head's head at? Heard he's been cancelling a lot of shows of late, hope he isn't meandering back down that misty lane. Getting a bit old for that sort of fooling around. Might just be a bit under the weather, but the narco wanderlust is in the blood, the lineage of scouse mystics with a love to get lost in a haze and live in oblivian. Cut crystal melodies like Somethin' Like You from 'The Magical World Of The Strands' just fall out of his bonce like daydreams.

'Somethin' Like You'-Michael Head & The Strands(Megaphone, 1998)

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Border Lord

When one of the last record shops around here closed a couple of months ago, well, it was a shame in a way, but i dealt with the loss of Pied Piper as bravely as i could and bought a sizeable shed load of vinyl for well under their value, an act that always fills me full of something i think they call joy.
At 50p a pop, whats to lose?, and one track on one of the LP's i got, 'Border Lord', by Kris Kristofferson, has been a constant rotater since. The LP as a whole isn't that hot, seems sorta knocked up, which was apparently the case, recorded quick, maybe way too quick, on the road as Kristofferson was going stellar.
Something about the burnt edges of Border Lord and its frazzled chug rings with a pleasent beardy truth about where the guy is at that moment, all kinda numb & footloose. Hell, enough o' my yackin', take it Kristoff....

'Border Lord'-Kris Kristofferson(Monument, 1972)

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Last night ride for Elvis

Being Elvis was a heavy load eh? The windows of his Graceland room were blacked out in the early 60's. Elvis lived at night. The pink shirt of Beale Street had faded, all the dreams were sold. The darkness inside flooded out further year by year. Sweaty speed freak vampire dropping in on Nixon to ask to be his culture spy, the drug war Captain Marvel, shovelling medication like M&M's, flying the Lisa Marie to Denver for a sandwich. Downers on downers, falling asleep in his soup. They keep him alive, they breath through him, live out of his pockets, drink his green blood like wine. All the good girls had gone. Momma was long gone. What had it all been for? Why him? Where does love go? Sat at the piano in the early hours, placing the hands on those old gospel chords. It sounds almost the same, but it sure don't feel. Its a hard life for heroes.

Above: Last photo 12.28am August 16 1977, entering Graceland.

August 18th, 1977: A silver Cadillac followed by the white Cadillac hearse with Elvis' body and seventeen white Cadillac limousines, on its way from Graceland past bystanders the two and a half miles to Forest Hill Cemetery Midtown.

Through tear-filled eyes I watch as you ride by,
A chauffeur, a chauffeur at the wheel dressed up so fine
Well I'll never, I'll never love another
Oh my heart, all my dreams, yeah they're with you

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Pump me a few Mrs. Henry please

Through the bottom of a bottle i can see you coming, if the sun's last fingers are waving bye, you coming back around to let me taste the smell of your flower. So i'll crack another screw top, lift the lid and place the needle down sloooow.

Well, I've already had two beers
I'm ready for the broom
Please, Missus Henry, won't you
Take me to my room ?
I'm a good old boy
But I've been sniffin' too many eggs
Talkin' to too many people
Drinkin' too many kegs

Please, Missus Henry, Missus Henry,
Please, Missus Henry, please
I'm down on my knees
And I ain't got a dime.

Well, I'm groanin' in a hallway
Pretty soon I'll be mad
Please, Missus Henry, won't you
Take me to your dad ?
I can drink like a fish
I can crawl like a snake
I can bite like a turkey
I can slam like a drake

Please, Missus Henry, Missus Henry,
Please, Missus Henry, please
I'm down on my knees
And I ain't got a dime.

Now, don't crowd me, lady
Or I'll fill up your shoe
I'm a sweet bourbon daddy
And tonight I am blue
I'm a thousand years old
And I'm a generous bomb
I'm T-boned and punctured
But I'm known to be calm

Please, Missus Henry, Missus Henry,
Please, Missus Henry, please
I'm down on my knees
And I ain't got a dime.

Now, I'm startin' to drain
My stool's gonna squeak
If I walk too much farther
My crane's gonna leak
Look, Missus Henry
There's only so much I can do
Why don't you look my way
And pump me a few ?
Please, Missus Henry, Missus Henry,
Please, Missus Henry, please
I'm down on my knees
And I ain't got a dime

Please Mrs. Henry'- Bob Dylan & The Band (Columbia, 1975)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Summer Without Sun

The bank holiday funfair has planted itself 20 yards from my window. The smell of candyfloss and grilling beef is cranking up as i type. The bottles of strongbow will be drained, the durex will be split, but the sun won't shine. For shame. Is there anything that sums up the spirit of British holiday entertainment more than the celebrity portraits on the side of terrifyingly unsafe looking fairground....rides?!? I'm not sure what is in there...

So i have chosen the smashing compliation "Joe Meek's Freakbeat: 30 Freakbeat, Mod and R&B Nuggets" off the shelf and plumbed straight for The Charles Kingsley Creation's oddball whirligig pop treat about being miserable in summer. According to the sleevenotes, brothers Charles & Kingsley Ward recorded this with Joe Meek three floors up on Holloway Road at the end of 1965 after leaving Dave Edmunds' Love Sculpture. It bombed on the charts, but the boys were inspired enough by Sir Meek to return to their native Monmouthshire to open Rockfield Studios, but i didn't need to know that, its just a great pop song. There is also a little press review clipping of the disc, which is both extensive & inciteful:

"Rather pleasant. Tinkling sort of beat ballad, with unusual instrumental sounds. Nice song".

Earned their paycheck back in the 60's those scribes.

'Summer Without Sun'- The Charles Kingsley Creation (Columbia, 1965)

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Heart Bleeder #2: Curtis

Curtis Mayfield is an absolute titan of song. If we lived in more future thinking times he'd have been sainted by now. I can't think of anyone who consistantly made so many outstanding records. For the lost & swoonsome he had a bucketful, and i'm going for this one off one of his best LP's with The Impressions 'The Young Mods Forgotten Story'.

"Nothing left for me but bitterness, frustration, lost relation, for my deceiving heart...."

And the harmonies tumble down like September leaves. Lordy me, what a sad song.

'My Deceiving Heart'- The Impressions (Capitol 5610, 1966)