Blog Archives

Close the curtains and sip some snakebite

I heard two things on the radio today that prompted this post. The first was a piece on the Today programme that went to Manchester to report on what is the new book club: a vinyl record club and more specifically a concept album on vinyl. Rules were: meet in a pub, buy a drink (add an s onto that in my case), proceed to upstairs room of pub, sit down in silence with drinks and listen to entire album – including when the host flipped the record over. She was most insistent on this point. Complete and utter silence apart from the music. Sounds exactly like what I used to do from about twelve years old. I can be pretty accurate about this because it was with The Police’s Ghost in the Machine (1981, best track on vinyl here) that I started the habit. And I have forgotten how great that was, just to sit or lie there and do nothing at all except listen.

The other thing that prompted the post was Simon Mayo playing Carry on My Wayward Son by Kansas on his show. I wasn’t really listening to it in the beginning but, prog rock being what it is, at some point I was forced to stop what I was doing and listen properly. The hallmark of those bands was always that more is more for the arrangement, and sometimes it’s hard to disagree with them. If you saw them live, more was more with more on top, so at least they were delivering against all the promise of the recorded overblown vocals and screeching guitars. And as I spent an awful lot of time listening to metal bands (from to AC/DC to Uriah Heep, through Led Zep and Black Sabbath to Thin Lizzy and Def Leppard) I did wonder for a moment as I stirred dinner why I never had a Kansas album.

Perhaps it was because once you’ve got Rush’s 2112 concept album to deal with you don’t need much else by way of transatlantic rock in your vinyl collection.

Dust in the wind (life’s too short brothers and sisters)

You may have noticed I have recently had a problem with dust. You may have noticed I have made much of it, even though as has been pointed out to me it’s not that bad.

I can see it’s not that bad, but I that doesn’t help how I feel. And whilst I’ve been pondering this internal dichotomy, I have made a good connection that helps me make sense of my reaction which is, to be truthful, a bit of an existential crisis! I might share that story one day, but for now I can only give you Eric Benet’s Dust in the Wind – a take on the Kansas original. Here it is

This was a track from his 1999 album A Day in the Life, an album that was the soundtrack to my own about 10 years ago. Much of it conducted in my green Passat (2 litres) before I killed it one day on a thrash from London to Wales and back.

The Passat was nicknamed the Mothership on account of the deft way I could swing it around, and with its covering of dog dribble all over the rear windows and liberal coating of dog hair it was a brave person indeed who was able to step inside.

Happy days 🙂