Sunday, 14 October 2012

the annus mirabilis

of the rock album was 1971, says David Hepworth on his blog here .  I know boys like lists, and I don't, much, but it is worth remembering how much great stuff in the form of albums was put out that year.  Some names on the list make me reach for the iTunes Store - Dory Previn, John Prine, Grin.  This was mostly music made by war babies.  We boomers did glam and punk, I guess.  Anyway, look at the list and see if you are reminded or inspired by anything on it.  I was.  I haven't thought in terms of albums for some time now, I just download tracks I want, or listen on Spotify, and I dislike CDs, always have - they just take up space and you have to go to IKEA and buy lots of Billy bookshelves to put them on.  Our sitting room would be quite big if it was not for significant other's CD shelves taking up the whole of one wall.

What am I listening to now?  Two very different things, and both of them albums.  Sexion d'Assaut, "L'Apogee", if you don't know them they are a high-class rap collective from Paris, seven fellows who know which way is up.  If they weren't francophone they would be big all over the world.  I have a ticket to see them in Strasbourg on 20th October, v. excited.  Naturally enough, because I am (just a little) older than the average demographic of their fans, I paid 10 euros more for my ticket and I have a seat.  Also, Bob Dylan's latest, "Tempest".  I've liked his last three albums very much, classy tight-knit blues.  On the latest one I especially like his song for John Lennon (more than 30 years since John was murdered, just think), "Roll on John".

In 1971 I was seventeen, and it was probably the year in my life when the greatest concentration of important things happened to me.  I had an email conversation with my brother recently about this very thing. A great deal of what and who I am now is because of things that happened that year.  It's only now that I begin to understand them, and the same is true of the music which came out then.  I've written a group of stories, to come out soon, which are loosely based on episodes of my younger life (though, I hasten to point out, they are not about me and the events in them did not happen to me), and I'm rather pleased with them.  I'm nearly always pleased with the stuff I write, which is probably not a good thing.  The first one is set in Berlin in 1971, and is called "Spandau Sweetheart".  The title is a very conscious homage to Haruki Murakami, the laces of whose shoes I am not fit to tie, but I don't try to write like him.  On the final read-through of the stories I realised that they are actually a bit porny.  That's not what I set out to write, but it's what I have written.  And no, I haven't read "Fifty Shades of Grey", and don't intend to.  If you would like to read "Spandau Sweetheart" free, send me a message and I'll send you a pdf.

The Taleban banned music.  An act of great wickedness, though not the wickedest thing that bunch of barbarians has ever done.


Anonymous said...

I am increasingly drawn to early Roxy Music - esp the one with Jerry Hall on the front as a Mermaid.

And Crosy, Stills Nash and Young -- Almost Cut My hair -- and that wodnerful line in Last Dance by Neil Young 'You can live your own life. Laid Back and Laughing.'

But can I?

Jury has always been out on that.

Anonymous said...

Layla; After the Goldrush; Harvest; Barclay James Harvest Mockingbird. A very upsetting track that last one.

Wishbone Ash Errors of My Ways.

Goatshead soup.

They are touring again next year. No, no. no. Paul Mcartneys' voice has gone, by the by -- as proved at the Opening Ceremony. It felt very sad. You can live too long.