Friday, 4 September 2009








Anonymous said...

Richard and Linda Thompson's version, performed on their US tour in the early eighties,when they were going through their separation, is a heartrending tale of love lost.

mongoose said...

Mr Ishmael,

You'd have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at the fool but come, Sir, this Dimming-of-Day-dreariness will become prophecy at this rate. Is it not enough that I have had to listen to High School Musical 17 all the summer holidays? Cannot I be spared?

'Twas in another lifetime that we had proper music. (Better even than my Blessed Bonnie.)

Elby the Beserk said...

Floyd. Oh dear. Lost it after Atom Heart Mother, when they invented Pompadelic rock. They used to do all nighters at the Roundhouse in Camden Town, which I guess, were as near as the UK got to the famous Acid Tests. Sat on the steps early one morning chatting with Nick Mason; recall Roger Waters bringing a dustbin on stage, dropping a bottle of champagne into it and a mike, and then jumping in and up and down on the bottle.

A good time was had by all :-)

Never really the same after Sid left, with the some honourable exceptions; always had a soft spot for the high summer haze of the soundtrack to the film More, and UmmaGumma was part of the regular acid trip soundtrack, along with Live Dead and Electric Ladyland.

Ever such good fun :-)

IMHO, of course, I must add.

call me ishmael said...

It just struck me that he couldn't handle a fairly straightforward love song - even with twenty people helping him, a creature void of form - but given that soulless, chilly precision, the icy, multi-layered bombast, the melodrama of the sound-to-light and a huge audience of supplicants, his stature was that of a god, albeit a mechanical one.

Maestro Thompson, however, a musician infinitely more blessed,presents, despite his dazzling virtuosity, like Mr mongoose's fabled man in the pub.

Husband and wife combos always do me 'ead in, mr anonymous, although theirs was as you say.

Historical note. Is anyone else aware that Joe Boyd discovered, encouraged and produced Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention, The Incredible String Band, Nick Drake, John Martyn and the McGarrigle Sisters, to name but some. Yes, of course, everyone is. He deserves a posting.

Elby the Beserk said...

Quite so, Mr. Ishmael, on Gilmour. My ex and I had a short spell living in Whitby, just after the birth of our fist child. 1975. Went there to flee the hippies in Oxford. Found it was full of people who had gone there to flee the hippies in ... delete as applicable.

Ran into a well mad couple (who were to introduce us to Steiner education and the Camphill movement {three of our four work in related arms}), bless them.

I worked for Pete for a year or so whilst we were there. Walk to work was along the harbour, and then round the corner up a hill into an old school building in a yard of its own. Lovely on a lovely day; savage on a savage one. The Coastguard's station on the cliffs above us, near the Abbey (On the cliffs you could smell the kippers being smoked), clocked winds of 105mph one night. Chimney stacks a-gogo.

But you will know all this if you are an East Coast boy. I'm not, but I did love the savage cold and dryness of a crisp winter's day up there. And Cameron's Strongarm Bitter. And the black hash that came in every fortnight on the Antwerp boat. And the Fish and Chips at the Magpie Cafe, with a slice and a pot of tea. Chips cooked in beef fat, of course.

But I digress. Pete ran a little company (four of us) making lighting equipment for bands and discos. Did the Camden Palais eventually, and still involved in some big projects I believe. Smart guy.

He was the Floyd's first light show guy, and a big mate of Syd's. Kids knew him as "Uncle Syd". He left just after Syd did, saying - and he loved his LSD - it was getting "a bit much"., Found by the police wandering the streets of London in just a shirt, 3am one morning.

A long time ago, and in another country. Though I must go back there. We got to know relatives of Frank Sutcliffe, the wonderful photographer, they ran the Sutcliffe Gallery up there (, don't know if they still do. They had boxes and boxes of unpublished plates way back then in '75.

Very soft spot for the place. Apart from the population of M'boro decaning there in the Summer holidays; you could chart the rise and fall by the number of Newkie Brown cans and bottles in the gutter every day...

Tip of the hat to Joe Boyd, yes indeed. We owe him a vote of thanks.

Elby the Beserk said...

And of course, the kippers!

mongoose said...

Mr Elby,

Was 1975 the hot summer? If so, I was around Whitby that summer - youth hostelling. Kissed a girl from Marsk up on Wheeldale Moor. Could barely understand a word she said.

lilith said...

No Mongoose, it was '76 but well done with the girl from Marsk. I got assaulted by a 44 year old Frenchman...ahhh the 70s.

Elby the Beserk said...

Yes the year after, Sr. Mongoose; we were in a house near Lythe on the sea side of the road from the moors; woke up one morning to find the house full of smoke. Saw sunlight briefly later that day - the moors were on fire.

Fine weed crop in the back garden; told the farmer next door, whose lovely pig, Billy, we fed our food scraps to, that they were Moroccan Artichokes. Shorts and nothing else all summer, and our 15 month old boy, nothing all summer bar sun block. Fucking marvellous summer that one :-)

Cracking accent; Staithes, a few miles up the coast, where the old ladies still wore bonnets, the pub - The Cod And Lobster - occasionally got washed into the sea and had to be rebuilt. Happy memories!

Staithes. Pronounced Steerthes. Sort of. Mixture of Yorkshire and Geordie

Definition of a Geordie? A Scotsman with his head kicked in.

mongoose said...

There is a Roman road up on the hilltop behind the YH. I walked the lady up to it, and got my reward. It was, M Lilith, the highlight of the trip, probably the highlight of the decade for the spotty little virgin that I was. And if we have the year right now, I was all of fifteen-years-old. Ahhh, bless.

(As for the French, madame, they are fit for nothing but kindling.)

Mr Elby, I normally get my celtic skin turned lobster red in the sun before I shed it two-days later - like a snake. That year I was as brown as a nut, hair bleached almost blond. And as you say, just shorts and walking boots for most days.

Oh, for the innocent days before I turned into a gob-flecked punk. (Didn't really thrive and swapped sides very swiftly.)

lilith said...

What happened to the heroes indeed Mr Mongoose. I despise the French, but always considered my visceral loathing as part of being a properly assimilated English citizen rather than a result of my experience at 12. Never paid attention in class after that, but still retained enough Froggish to acquire an A level in a language of a people I have no desire to communicate with. I take a perverse delight in muttering insults to the bulldozer hoards of French teenagers pointlessly cluttering up the pavements of Bath... a petty vice I know.

Elby the Beserk said...

@Rikki-tikki-tavi :-)

Yeah - I remember the YH. Before we move up there, myself and the bloks in the other couple moving with us had gone up there to recce the area. Must have been late Autumn or early Spring, as no-one else was there, and it was run a huge "woman", who clearly didn't like the look of us.

Those days you still had to be in and clean the place up. We got in at 11.30. Cameron's Strongarm. Did she not like that. Did she set us hard to work the next morning before letting us flee.

I have very fond memories of the area; things didn't work out, so we were only there just short of two years, but we took some really good things back out of the stay.