Heavy metal silence

When I was a teenager, my next door neighbour, David Steele, had a “pop” group. He played bass and sang. I loved listening to them when they practised in the scout hut. One day, the guitarist didn’t turn up, and David handed me the electric bass and got me to play a base line while he replaced the guitarist. It was sooooo exciting… I don't think I've ever recovered.

I’ve always been a groupie at heart. I’ve always encouraged any body who wants to make music – even me. I find music fits roughly into the “sacred” slot in my mindset or heartset.

Here is a picture of Dave the bass player and George Bell the guitarist.

Yesterday, my son’s heavy metal band were going to be practicing at our house and I was delighted. I don’t particularly like other people’s heavy metal music but I do enjoy the sheer energy that the boys give off when I hear them live. I had some work to do and was planning to use ear plugs but enjoy the energy, the excitement, the vibe from time to time. I would be back in the Scout hut. Continuity.

So they came and they plugged everything in and I went to my office and worked and waited for the music to start. Nuthin. I got engrossed in my work, time passed and still nothing. Eventually I used the excuse of making myself a cup of tea to go and see why they weren’t playing. But they were.

They had plugged their guitars directly into a “carte son" - sound card?

– it looked like a miniature nuclear power station – and were recording the sound and monitoring it on the computer. They seemed to have cut out the “listening” phase of the process.

“But I can’t hear you” I wailed.

“Maman, we’re not playing for YOU” retorted Billy.

So who are they playing for? In any case, the name of the game is change…

“Worry pretends to be necessary – but serves no useful purpose” – Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey – I’m listening to them in the background.

I met translator Philippe Bouquet at the book fair in Lombez recently and was struck by the title of one of the books he had translated – Stig Dagerman's “Notre besoin de consolation est impossible à rassasier” – roughly - Our need for consolation is impossible to satisfy.

I like the title a lot, it seems to work really well, impossible à rassasier means the same as “insatiable” but is somehow, well, more satisfying.

I had never heard of Stig Dagerman, and found him again shortly afterwards, in JG Le Clézio’s Nobel speech – he is the last writer he mentions.

wie ein frau has a cow – a love story

“In his early years, Gerry Rafferty earned money busking on the London Underground. Poetically, his biggest hit "Baker Street" was about busking at a tube station."

It is certainly one of the songs that signifies the seventies for me.

"Two sources have told the Guardian that 61-year-old Rafferty is "alive and sounding comparatively well". It is estimated that he makes a reasonable income each year from royalties received from his most famous track, Baker Street, which came from his solo album, City to City. ".


Agreeable sound, especially in the phonetic quality of words.[French euphonie, from Late Latin euphōnia, from Greek euphōniā, from euphōnos, sweet-voiced : eu-, eu- + phōnē, sound.]

euphonic eu·phon'ic (yū-fŏn'ĭk) adj.
euphonically eu·phon'i·cal·ly adv.

euphemism – truism – eurythmics - europe - euphoria - euphoric - utopic - empathy - elegiac - utopia- usted - ousted - yank

Out on a limn? I am always surprised when I learn a new word in English, as if speaking a language meant knowing all the words in it.


limn (lm)

tr.v. limned, limn·ing (lmnng), limns

1. To describe.

2. To depict by painting or drawing.

[Middle English limnen, to illuminate (a manuscript), probably alteration (influenced by limnour, illustrator) of luminen, from Old French luminer, from Latin l min re, to illuminate, adorn, from l men, l min-, light; see leuk- in Indo-European roots.]