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.
“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,
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 -
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.
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