My Metaphorical Comfort Drug: Gong and a bit of Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah


Hello good people who read this blog

Are you sitting comfortably?

Well before we begin since I don’t have anything specific to urgently talk about let us listen to our first hippie anthem of the day to warm up our cockles on this cold evening ( dancing or waving arms about or playing along with wild and wonderful percussion instruments is optional)

Gong and “Builder” from the You album

The cold season was approaching  and as usual I was conned by the local nurse a few weeks ago into having a ‘flu jab as I come into one of those categories where they insist you have it due to low immunity …

Naturally just  like last year  ( see my blog entry around this time ) this meant within 24 hours I had what my doctor would call  “a  reaction to the ‘flu jab “as it “doesn’t contain any live viruses”.

My “reaction” started off by being weak, having no appetite and aching all over with a high temperature and a sore throat shortly followed by three weeks of coughing day and night, being too ill to go out , losing my voice completely for 10 days,  more fever and now a month later being still very weak and needing steroid medication to  breathe.

So next year I think I’d like the opportunity to catch the ‘flu the  conventional way rather than have it directly injected into my bloodstream. But every year I give in to doctor’s pressure ….

More music to cheer us up the excellent Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah band

In the Canyons of your Mind

Well lots going on in my life, busy,busy,busy,ill,ill,ill, busy,busy,busy…..

The bad thing about being busy is that it actually stops you from thinking , if you have lots of other things to occupy your brain and your time  then there is just no time to watch TV, read the news, think about the usual stuff let alone do anything creative like write music or blogs or even talk to friends and relatives.

In some ways this is a good thing as the news is so bleak. I feel that when I watch the news on TV it’s a similar activity to pulling out your own eyebrows compulsively or practising some kind of self-harming activity.

Watching and actually listening to the news is like a neurotic compulsion which serves to deepen that  sense of helpless lack of control over anything and everything…

“Expect to lose everything” the newsreaders and commentators insinuate “job, home, savings, pension, expect not to afford food, heating.. maybe not right now but in a couple of year’s time”...and then on top of it to hear that some companies are making record profits ………..and then there’s still the youth crime and the end of the world through climate change…and ARGH!

Gordon Brown’s smug face and even smugger statements about how Britain isn’t really responsible for all this ….. Get out the bottle of whisky now .

I don’t drink whisky but it’s a metaphorical bottle of whisky to deaden the senses and worries and sore throat all in one.

The news is scaring everyone to death and surely that’s in part what is causing the economy to fail.

The  music in this blog entry is my metaphorical bottle of whisky or metaphorical old fashioned joint (without skunk and just strong enough to make me mellow and creative) ..more music from the lovely gamelan-influenced Gong . “Love is How You Make it” from one of my favourite albums of all time Angel’s Egg ( every track is a gem):

I cannot embed it anymore sorry!

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=O-QuwUWySG0

“The Rich” behaving like “The Poor”

Just one or two little local observations about the economic crisis and then upwards and onwards to something better.

As my regular readers may know I live amongst the wealthy of Notting Hill although I am pretty poor myself. One thing that has always puzzled me if why I never ever see my rich neighbours and acquaintances in the local supermarkets.

After years of puzzling over this question the simple answer is that generally speaking they wouldn’t be seen dead in a supermarket. Sometimes they send their housekeepers off to the supermarket with long lists of luxury foods or they just order everything from Waitrose who deliver.

So imagine my shock when on Saturday afternoon I saw not one but TWO of my rich neighbours in the local Tesco! I tried to make eye contact with either of them and smiled but found them unwilling to reciprocate ( I am poor scum after all and should not be living in a rich area ….maybe I am being paranoid but after 20 years of saying hello to these same rich neighbours and getting nowhere that is my paranoid conclusion).

One of them who owns a penthouse suite with roof garden etc… had ventured bravely into a supermarket to buy one thing only.

He left the store with a  small bag of  economy rice under his arm. I was shocked..I bought that same rice myself and it really is poor quality , I ended up throwing mine away and I never throw away food.

Also …. one of my very very very  rich acquaintances was not her happy self the other day and was complaining that her husband’s investments were all in the States and that he had told her “No more spending” these  people are normally a fountain of money, spending and investing in wild, expensive and often totally useless things.

So although 4 to 6 weeks ago the cracks were not showing amongst the very very very wealthy they are very acutely apparent now.

More cheerful  music needed urgently

Love is a Cylindrical Piano  – Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah band and Eric Idle again…

I guess we have to live from day to day rather than worry about the future but when I was at my poorest with my sensible female hippie friends we used to pool our resources. One friend of mine used to buy a huge sack of rice and one of red lentils from somewhere cheap and then we would give her money and petrol money and share the cost ( as well as the food of course). Ah petrol money! I used to go everywhere by petrol money, to festivals and camping and shopping trips. I was not a hitcher or a driver but someone willing to pay petrol money .

So many things are possible when people co-operate and collaborate and life can actually be a lot more fun and less lonely too  when resources are pooled together.

Being ridiculously wealthy tends to make people more selfish, although for some the guilt or the fear of ending up in hell or occasionally just kindness makes them incredibly generous .

I think we all need to pull together ( sounds like WWII ). I also think as a society in the UK people have lost their sense of being able to do anything for themselves long ago. There’s always a law or a rule to stop you from doing something creative and empowering so the general mentality in response to being terrified by the news of recession is to sit at home and listen to more and more and more bad news. Like monitoring impending doom as it happens from a cosy armchair and waiting for someone else to make some kind of miracle legislation to sort it all out.

As for me, I’d rather we started sorting things out ourselves without being told what to do or prompted by idiotic hypocritical politicians.

Why don’t we find out who our real friends are and start to buy big bags of rice and share our cars, share costs, swap childcare, swap services.

We need to empower ourselves and to take pride in the things we can do collectively instead of waiting for a miracle law or a miracle sack load of money to save us. ( now I sound like a Tory ARGH!!)

Anyway here is some more music.

Music is my chocolate, my wine , my spirit, my drug and my hug.

Zero the Hero:

Sorry I can’t embed it anymore go to:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjDo073HzlM

Music is addictive but it’s better than pulling out your eyebrows and sitting watching the news waiting for poverty to set in.

I’m looking forwards to people being collaborative again. If rules and laws are made to stop people from finding creative and empowering ways to survive the law-makers will be turning positive action into helplessness. Let’s hope change will be change for the better, but more than hope let’s make it better and start up our own economic collaborations.

We need lots of comfort music..Love and Peace

Born2rant

Gong ….The Isle of Everywhere

See Also…

Gong Live Now and Then

I’ve been trapped in a big hole that went down to the centre of the earth


Hello good people who read this blog

I am so sorry that I haven’t been here. To tell you the truth (well metaphysically speaking -in real life it is just another bullshit excuse)…I was trapped in a big hole that went down to the centre of the earth. Have any of you seen the film “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”?

I don’t mean any recent versions but the one made in 1959 with James Masson and a duck called Gertrude plus all kinds of strangeness. According to the film site imdb.com the plot keywords to this film are as follows:Explosives / Concertina / Convent / Presumed Dead / Romance

That kind of covers probably where I’ve been the past month or so ( metaphysically speaking).

I had written a really “clever” analysis of Steve Hillage’s 1979 Canterbury concert DVD. But it wasn’t good , it was rubbish and then I had to research it and then I got lost in space and time, my ego smug-remarkness and in particular, ethnomusicology, apathy, panic resulting in an epic underworld journey involving explosives, concertinas, convents, gone missing and presumed dead by others actually I am still missing!

I am in hiding in a safe house in a London suburb with a dog called Oscar, and cats named Lucifer(true to his name), Ozzie, Riff, Magenta and Ebony plus an unnamed turtle . Only those who know these creatures by name will know where I am .

I’m sorry I have deserted you all.

I couldn’t make it to “Born to Go” in Hitchin. I hope those who went had a good time.

I just wanted to wish you all a Good Easter.

Got to go soon as they are showing “School of Rock” for the 30th time on TV and I must either watch it or go and switch it off immediately…I have not decided which would the better decision…

I am getting tired of having a multiple personality and concealing my multi-faceted roles . I have an insight into the elite personality, an anarchic one, a tragic acoustic singer-songwriter one, a comedy psychedelic experimental alien one, a music academic analytical one, one who likes Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music” and well there’s probably a few more in there. I’m very contrary and contradicting myself on a daily basis.

Anyway some music!!!!! and I will be back soon writing about God-knows-what…

Video One

Gong but from a different dimension! One of the influences of Gong the band?(as well as French Cabaret Chanson and many more)

Anyway here’s Gamelan Gong Kebyar

Video two

a version of Om Namah Shivaya – Listen to Steve Hillage’s ..and Peter Hillage’s version on the album “L

I am enjoying trying to trace the various world music influences on some of my favourite musicians. Steve Hillage may have fused and synthesized different styles together but he must have listened to a lot of music from India, South East Asia, the Middle-East and Afro-American music ( well FUNK!). I enjoy picking out the threads of music to see what other musics they resemble. But I’m not very good at it yet there are so many different types of music in the world!

Anyway here’s some Indian music..Om Namah Shivaya

(this is a mantra to the God Shiva. There are many versions, I chose this one at random. As a mantra it is obviously very repetitive but later on it livens up a bit!)

and I’ll write some more nonsense soon.

I need to study some world musics a lot more and then I can write more about these things at the moment all I have are my ears to rely on but not a lot of knowledge. Apologies to Ethnomusicologists please feel free to add more information.

Take care everyone!

Love and Peace

Born2rant