posted on November 6, 2011 at 1:18 pm

the 57 year old child


i believe in music

indeed music can do something nothing else can do

even what that is…is a mystery in itself

even to people like me who make it and play it it is mysterious

music and music only can express such sublime ineffabilities

the best music seems divinely inspired

music is very very important to us :

to those of us that love it

it is much more than entertainment

i have always expected magic from my music

i always try to put some into my own

its hard to tell though

after all which magician can do his magic on himself……


music slowly reveals her secrets to me one at a time

a new idea occurs to me and i take it into consideration

i realise i have many rigid rules that i seem to follow unquestioningly

each idea must be examined

each parameter must be tested



the tuning

time signature


every instrument  and its interaction with the others



the intent

the performance

the recording

the sound

the emphasis

the melody

the harmony

the lines

the riffs

the backgrounds

the solos

the effects

the mixing

etc etc

with so many variations music can never be exhausted

no : all the good songs have not yet been written!

in the total bedrock of all possible song we have excavated one inch

there are new worlds yet undiscovered and abounding forever

there will always be new beautiful forms as yet undreamt of


having taken another incarnation in the 1950s

i grew up with rocknroll

it is my natural milieu

it has many uglinesses

it contains many wondrous beauties too

i used to say rocknroll is a cartoon medium

yet i now recant this opinion

the glorious peaks of rock are as high as any other

i dont understand ballet and opera and classical

but i sure know

that it cant get you much higher than strawberry fields forever…right?

and herein lies the true wonder of rock

the ability to express vague fleeting incredible ambiguities

strawberry fields forever…you think thats not as good as the mona lisa?

you think bach or someone used an orchestra as  weirdly?

you think wordsworth or someone had a better handle on english than john?

i bless the muses and my own muse that i was a child to witness it

can you imagine this?

strawberry fields forever

its everything at once

first of all its massively popular

then its almost totally unique

i mean who else had written such a song?

its out of the blue genius

in a single stroke of detached vision

john and george martin and the other beatles

they cooked up this four minute bit of art

redefining everything that rock or pop could be

and here our music becomes serious art

you know that can sometimes accidentally happen

you start out four moptops singing about teenage love

and through some rapid metamorphoses evolve into

some kind of aural dali

complete with melting feelings and bizarre juxtaposition

strawberry fields forever showed what was possible

i mean the beatles were moving in this direction a bit

but who could have expected this …..this exquisite song?

in this one song i would rest my case

and argue it out with whoever you got

show me something out there

a film a dance a poem a sculpture a painting a symphony

show me something thats both a popular commercial item

and a distant essay on isolation

and some sadness that can never be named

and every instrument collaborating in this dislocation

sure any idiot can dislocate you with a racket

any turkey with a weedblower can do that….

but to dislocate so dreamily so gently so warped and wonderful

to me this song is as high an art as any art ive seen

its an untouchable masterpiece

it remains unsurpassed and probably unsurpassable

at this point rocknroll turned into real art

real proper hang it in the museum stuff

alongside all the other geniuses

for me this was a new beginning


i hate ugly music

i abhor ugly sounds

i disdain dissonance

it is indeed easy to make a horrible ugly racket

just like its easy to do a horrible ugly painting

or make a horrible ugly dinner

or insert your own horrible ugliness here

as i get older and older

the horrible bloody rackets get harder and harder to take

i hate morbid stupid violent entropic deliberately ugly art

no hang on a minute

yes i get the point

yes i have done time with my own rackets

not because of tradition but because of experience

i avoid noise in music

a little bit of noise and ugliness never goes astray

but its like pepper or spices and you mustnt overdo it

the prospect of a bunch of middle aged white guys

bellowing out their impotent angers over a metallic racket

well it doth fill me with entropic inertia

rock should never be the same song after song

this great lesson we should have learned from the fab four

a record of angry ugliness or a night of ugly angriness is too much

its like a play which is all violence and nothing else

or a painting which is a pitch black giving way to nothing

the beatles constantly experiment

recombining old forms and new techniques

they are the ideal

they are rocks holy quadrinity

you see they were both esoteric and exoteric

they included everyone into their strange worlds

the beauty seduced you

before you knew it you could be in the unfamiliar

i demand some diversity therefore

and a bloody horrible racket by a rock band is anathema to me

i dont care if it supposedly has humour or irony or self-depracation

(though i sincerely doubt it does)

endless stuff about death and decay and disease and misery

accompanied by tuneless noise

it seems thats art out of balance

for are we not surrounded by these very things?

surely then the musician within whichever field he  jams

has a duty to capture only the sublimest emotions

the ones which heal and refresh and make one wonder

the ones which bring sex and love and heaven and earth

it doesnt make sense to me to listen to ugly stuff

youre indoctrinating yourself

youre uglifying your mind and it might be hard to get it out again

i can understand youthful musicians making rackets

it is understandable like youthful painters painting a mess

i guess the rock racket could be likened to an abstract painting

some abstracts are things of beauty while others are not

sometimes the rock racket contains beauty

heroin by the velvet underground

some neil young stuff

it exists

dont waste your time trying to find the artiness in a racket tho

theres always a construction site near you somewhere

go and interpret that….!


i myself am pleased where my music is going

my recorded works at any rate

i keep improving as a singer thats good

i couldnt have got any worse than when i started

i was not a natural singer

i kinda started to figure it out as i went along

i hate my singing on that first church record

its mannered its stiff its flat its pretentious

its so fucking pretentious its a joke

i was pretending not to be me

it wasnt really until heyday a real me emerged

all that singing on heyday was me

all the harmonies and back ups

(bar the choir on already yesterday and on youth w.)

peter walsh made me do it

he thought of most of the harmonies

my mind is strangely limited when it comes to harmonies

they never come that easily to me and theyre hard to sing

but suddenly there on heyday i emerge as a bit of a vocalist

i like myrrh from heyday the first track

i wish every one of my tracks was as good as this

it had everything i like in rock

it had a real sense of travel

it was about everything at once in a way

that song may be approaching art a little

the hex albums have some real art

so too jack frost

priest and narcosis

forget yourself


theres not much art on GAF tho

pop music but not much art

real art requires a lot of effort and will

sometimes you even have to fight for your right to  be arty

by the time the fights over you aint got the energy to be arty

eg kilbey in a studio with an engineer sometime in the eighties

me : please can we put some effects on the backing vocal now

him : it can be dry for the moment

me : no, i said can we have some reverb…or something..

him : not now because of blah blah blah

me : look i really wanna hear some reverb on it

him : reverb wont fix it if its outta tune…


him : ok, fuck, jesus ok….now what kind of reverb..

me : uh….? what…?…oh i ….never mind ..get on with it

him : no i’m gonna give ya some fuckin’ reverb steve …

me : fuck the reverb and get on with it …

him : you dont know what you want do ya…?

me : uh yeah um no i dont do i……

a stalemate


i take the challenge of reconciling old age and rocknroll seriously

the grandmaster painters painted on till they dropped

so too the jazz and bluesmen

what goes wrong in rock?

theyre are notable exceptions of people who keep their edge

or their esteem or the demeanour or whatever it is

we should not expect less from the old rocker

we should expect more

we should expect more beauty i guess in a nutshell

like a jeweller of 57

or an architect of 57

or a brain surgeon of 57

you should be pretty good by now

since 1970 you’d usually find me in bedroom studying music

or in a garage or hall rehearsing or jamming with guys

or sitting on my bed trying to force out songs i knew were within me

but nonetheless would not come without much more experience

ive lugged the gear

ive done the drives

ive been at airports on new years eve

the glory and the disappointment

always playing playing playing

listening analysing incorporating

surely then i must improve

surely then i must have improved

or at least continued at the same rate

with obvious ups and downs included


isidore life somewhere else is a real treat

it has wonder and beauty

it does have some ugly heavy handed moments

caliban comes on stage and says his lines

the beastly is represented here as well as the angelic

jeffrey samples myriad guitar phrases and everything precise

yet always jeffreys beatlesque turn of chords

a composer like caino has little need of dissonance

(tho i warn you it exists on this record!)

if you could pull endlessly beautiful things out of thin air

why would you ever wanna do ugly more than occasionally

you wouldnt would you….?

cainos music is sophisticated modern

and yet with a traditional aesthetic

its perfect for me to sing over

sometimes it takes me a while to figure it out

jeffreys music slips into fluxes inexplicably to me

at first until i understand his more fluid structures

i listen to each piece and the music write the words

i’m looking forward to its release














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