Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Songs that were salvaged from my mp3 player - 6

Hammer song –Alex Harvey
Here’s A Health To The Sauters – Ceolbeg
Hotel Room – Edgar Broughton Band
House of Jacob – The Nits
I’m only trying to prove to myself that I’m not like everybody else – The Outsiders
In the Launderette – Spot
In the Mud – Gary Farr
It’s all about a roundabout – Spooky Tooth
Ivory Boy – The Nits
John the Baptist – John and Beverley Martin

Some more JOB

watercolour Marilyn by JOB

You Tube

Go and have a look at some of my favourite things on You Tube:


Soon I will start to post some videos

Hannibal Rising

I watched 'Hannibal Rising' last night. I'm a big fan of Thomas Harris' novels and the films that have been made from them. Harris is a good a script writer as a novelist and his script is in the hands of some excellent filmakers. This film is a great cinematic experience. While watching the film that came to mind was 'Perfume'(an excellent film of a great novel.


For Christmas I was given a box set of Joseph Losey films by my wife. I watched 'Accident' for the first time in about 20 years on the evening of Christmas Day. Earlier in the evening I had watched the announcement of Harold Pinter's death on the news. 'Accident' was a film that left an indelible impression on me as a teenager and as a young man but I hadn't been able to see it for years. Seeing it again my belief was re-inforced that this is one of the best films of the 60s and one of the best films in world cinema. The writing direction and acting, photography, set design, sound and editing are as good as you will find in cinema. The film based on the novel by Nicholas Mosley (one of the greatest and undercelebrated English Novelists.) Pinter's script takes the source and creates another work that stands beside and apart from a great novel.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The Black Donnellys

I just watched the pilot again , after watching the whole series in a couple of days only very recently. This is one of the best things I have ever seen on TV and it is a great great great shame that it was cancelled. This is so good it holds its own with 'Mean Streets' and 'State of Grace' The acting , writing and direction put it in a league with the classics of the gangster genre.


'Gangsters' is possibly the most daring and innovative series ever on the BBC. As as 10 and 12 year old it left a huge impact on me. As it was never repeated after it aired in 1975 and 1977 and never released on video I had to wait of 30 years to see it again. 'Gangsters' lived up to my memories. This is a very bizarre and unique series that has been unjustly overlooked in cultural history. Beware though, if you do watch this series it has a very shocking ending, which is actually quite upsetting if you get involved with the characters. Phillip Martin, the creator/writer didn't want to write a third series and finished the second in a way that would have made it near impossible to make a third. The script is one of the best in television history. 'Gangsters' is still groundbreaking and the BBC hasn't ever really come this close to the edge in a television series since.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Jean-Pierre Melville

I saw 'L'Armee des ombres' again after twenty years recently. It was as I remembered,one of the best films with a wartime setting, one of the world's great films. If I was asked to choose a favourite film director Melville is the one I would pick. His finest masterpiece was his next and penultimate film 'le Cercle Rouge'

While thinking about films set in the Second World War, I can't resist starting a list and the next in list of my favourites would be ' Soldier of Orange', 'Black Book', 'The Train' and 'Castle Keep'

Some films and TV

some things I've watched recently and will watch again because they were so good are:

Southland Tales
An eternal piece

Wild palms
Homicide Season 6

The Walkabouts

I found a gig by the Walkabouts from 2005 (Tilburg, August 28). I love this band. The power and emotion of their music finds few equals in the world today.If you haven’t heard them before you should hear this. Next to Jefferson Airplane I can’t think of a band who use female and male vocals together so brilliantly.
You’ll find the gig here:



The above link is a video of my favourite songs by this great band

‘the light will stay on’is a song I’ve loved since it was released and last night was the first time I saw the video.

elephants listening

The elephants were there listening. They heard the words, they heard the hands on the guitar, they heard the voice. You may soon hear what the elephants heard

Saturday, 15 November 2008

The pre 'Blue River' electric recordings of Eric Andersen

I heard 'Blue River' for the first time in the early 80s and it instantly became a record that would always stay in the canon of great albums for me regardless of what else I heard and has remained there ever since. When I lived in Massachusetts in 1989, I became a big fan of Eric Andersen's earlier music, which I heard for the first time sitting in my flat in Worcester. My introduction was the Vanguard ‘best of’ double album compilation. This was the year that 'Ghosts upon the road' came out and I was lucky enough to see Anderson play the title song at a very small folk venue near Boston that year. There are few other concert that come close in my memory. Recently I have heard all of vanguard albums in their entirety for the first time and have been transported into a land inhabited by only the great singer songwriters. The compilation below is the one I have made for Emily.

Tin Can Alley Part 1
16 year grudge
(sitting) on the dock of the bay
hey babe, have you been cheating
champion at keeping them rolling
thirsty boots
we were (foolish like the flowers)
blind fiddler
it’s comin’and it won’t be long
what is it like to be free
so hard to fall
close the door lightly
think about it
violets of dawn
my land is a good land
Tin Can Alley Part 2

Friday, 3 October 2008

Songs that were salvaged from my mp3 player - 5

Eight miles high –The Byrds
Eleanor Rigby –The Handsome Family with the Rivet Gang
Eli’s Coming – Laura Nyro
Erica – Terry Reid
Exhibits from a new museum//blue lights – Edgar Broughton Band
Exiles- King Crimson
Exit Wound –Jackie Leven
Fire and Rain – Blood Sweat & Tears
Flesh Failures – Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity
From town to town – Cinderella
Galveston – Jimmy Webb
Germany – Edgar Broughton Band
Going Going Gone – Robin Holcomb , Bill Frisell and Wayne Horvitz
Grass – The Pretty Things

The Dresden Dolls

I heard the Dresden Dolls for the first time this evening. Among the songs was an inspired cover.

I was moved and I went to youtube to look for them doing 'Cosmic Dancer'


Friday, 26 September 2008

Steve Kethero on Mama Loo

'I have succumbed
to the power
and the majesty
of Mama Loo
I tried to resist
but was powerless
before the riff

I turned my face away
but could still see
the smile of a maitre d
the eyes of an assassin
now I am haunted
in every waking moment
by a ghost in daylight'

The above is Steven Kethero's poem about a Mama Loo Paradiso performance and above that, his picture of their performance at the van Gogh Museum, the year we were there to perform by  the glass elevator.

‘Song of Decision’ by Emily Bindiger.

The evening started for me with  'Genesis' by Jorma Kaukonen and 'Faster than the Hound' by Horslips (which was so much in my head when I got among the trees that I had to sing a line before Motion Demon began the evening's musical journey). After Motion Demon, far from other ears, we ended the evening by listening to ‘Song of Decision’ by Emily Bindiger. When I heard this song for the first time, not that long ago, I knew that it would be there among the few that are foremost in my musical landscapes forever and it is one of those songs I believe has true greatness and it was a fitting end to an inspiring evening.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Headin' for the country

This below is a compilation I made for Antal from the Zippies. I saw Antal playing with his country band the Roving Gamblers when I was in den Haag in 2001 and when I got back to England, made him a cdr with a strong country rock emphasis, as a thankyou for some excellent Golden Earring music I hadn't heard, that he gave me. 

the Grateful dead-looks like rain
John Stewart-you can’t look back
Gene clark-life’s greatest fool
Terry and the pirates-wish I was your river
Joe Ely-Row of dominoes
The other ones-Jack straw
Steve Hyams-Bethlehem Steel
David Forman & Levon Helm-Gimme a stone
The Bottle Rockets-pot of gold
Lee Clayton-10,000 years/sexual moon
John P Strohm and the hello strangers-powderkeg
James McMurty-vague direction
Heads hands & feet-just another ambush
Little Feat-Doriville-
Steve Hyams-El Dorado
The Vulgar Boatmen-when we walk
Lynn Miles-I always told you the truth
Al Anderson-without your love

January 2002

A trip through the winter vaults

A trip through the winter vaults

A second selection from Dr Euphoria

The Misunderstood- I can take you to the Sun
Amon Duul 2-Flower of the Orient
Creation-Making time
Big Brother and the holding co-Oh, Sweet Mary
The Smoke-My friend Jack
Leafhound-Growers of Mushroom
Alquin-convicts of the air
Dragonfly-Celestial dreams
Shelagh Mcdonald-Stargazer
Dantalion’s Chariot-Madman running through the fields
Spectrum-Make your stash
Scorpions-I’m going mad
Aquarian Age-10,000 word in a cardbord box
The Tower-In your life
Elder Kindred-Saga
Eclection-St George and the Dragon
Brainbox-Between Alpha and Omega
Can-She brings the rain
Jackie Leven-Sleeping in bracken


The psychedeliscist’s delightful autumn array

This is the tracklist for a compilation tape made by me in 2001

The psychedeliscist’s delightful autumn array

A first selection from the coffers of Dr Euphoria

Side one

Earth and fire-carnival of the animals
Creation-through my eyes
The Midas touch-sulphur flowers
The outsiders-wish you were here with me today
Gift-don’t hurry
Family-the chase
Mellow candle-the poet and the witch
The Dave pike set-mathar
Golden earrings-who cares
Symon-my good time
Les ypers sound-teen tonic
Kaleidoscope-dive into yesterday
Electric frankenstein-moonwalk
pink floyd-Astonome domine

Side two

Harvey mandel-wade in the water
Ahora mazda-spacy tracy
Electric sandwich-china
Group 1850-Friday I’m free
Group 1850-little fly
Pesky gee!-peace of mind
Ry cooder-getaway
Drama-smile or yell
Les yper sounds-jericho jerk
Pretty things-loneliest person

Compiled 10th October 2001

Saturday, 30 August 2008


I’d wanted to see this since it came out and finally did so tonight. I was very very impressed. This is an excellent film and is an instant classic of British filmaking. In an informative documentary about the making of the film included on the DVD, Stephen Woolley talks about ‘Performance’(without a doubt, my favourite film of all time) being the main influence on his style as well as Joseph Losey’s ‘the Servant’, ‘Accident’ and ‘the Prowler’ and Polanski's 'Repulsion'. I could see this influence and they are good ones to draw on. This film is not in any way a copy of anyone else’s and has a unique identity. If you like to see great film, see this one.

Emil Brynge

On my random wanderings in myspace I came upon some new music recently that I feel compelled to write a few words about. Emil Brynge is a young Swedish singer songwriter who has left a big impression on me. He channels the spirit of the late 60s and early 70s English folk scene with an uncanny recognition.There’s shades of John Martyn, ISB, Nick Drake and others, but he has his own unique voice. Hear him.

Three novels

The three books I read while in Cornwall were ‘the Cloven Knight’ by Italo Calvino, ‘the
Necropolis Railway’ by Andrew Martin and the ‘Portrait' by Ian Pears. All three are excellent novels evoking different periods of history with power and poetry. My favourite was ‘the Potrait’ , which is a mindblowingly brilliant piece of writing.

Allan Springfield

Recently we had a holiday near St Ives. I hastily gathered cds and cdrs to take and ended up with about 40 to choose from. Every night I went back to only one album. The album is ‘the Last Ritual’. This is a dense and fascinating work that I haven’t deciphered yet. I can find very little about Allan Springfield on the web and anybody who can tell me more, please let me know. I know about Chelsea Beige, which is an album I like a lot but it doesn’t have the mad artistic passion of the Last Ritual.

Songs that were salvaged from my mp3 player - 4

Da da da – the Nits
Daddy died on Saturday – The Outsiders
Daisy and Violet – Marrisa Nadler
Dance the night away – Cream
Dark eyed woman – Spirit
Dark on you now – Peanut butter conspiracy
Darkness darkness – The Youngbloods
Darling I need you – John Cale
Day and the night – The Nits
Do it – Jesse Winchester
Don’t let my marigolds die – Bill Fay
Don’t play games – The Youngbloods
Dynamite Daze – Kevin Coyne

Friday, 22 August 2008

Returning from the end of the land

Today we drove back from the end of the land to where we live.  Cornwall has refreshed my soul for a while.

The Snailsurroundsystem

I've been listening to a cd given to me by the the Snailsurroundsystem tonight and thinking about Rotterdam and den Haag 6 years ago. It's that long since I've experienced their live peformance and that's too long. True innovators in music, their infuence on me was great.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Where in the world?

Songs that were salvaged from my mp3 player - 3

Candyman –The Grateful Dead
Can’t find a reason – Atomic Rooster
Can’t you hear me knocking - The Rolling Stones
Caravan –Thin White Rope
Carnival Dark – Jackie Leven
Caribbean sunset – John Cale
Carry on (Glittering dancer) – Ruthann Friedman
Cars and cars – The Nits
Cat fever – Little Feat
Cats or dogs – La Kidda
Caution-do not stop on the tracks – the Grateful Dead
Cease fire – Alan Stivell
Celestial Dreams – Dragonfly
Chameleon – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Chances – The eyes of blue
Chelsea (is a horse) – Spot
Cheryl’s going home – Blues project
China cat sunflower – the Grateful Dead
China sea – John Cale
China white – Incredible string band
Circle round the sun – James Taylor
Cicus days –Junior’s eyes
Citadel –The rolling stones
Classic northern diversions –Jackie Leven
Coloured rain –Traffic
Coloured rain – Eric Burdon and the Animals
Come all ye –Fairport Convention
Come around – Skip bifferty
Come here my love – Van Morrison
Come summer – Horslips
Coming back to me – Jefferson Airplane
Coming down – the United States of America
Coming down-love song for the dead Che-coming down – Locomotive
Complainte gallaise – Tri Yann
Con man – Golden earring
Confessions of a mind – the hollies
Connection – the rolling stones
Conquistador –Procul harum
Copperhead road –Steve Earle
Cream puff was – the Grateful Dead
Crest of a wave –Rory Gallagher
Crime & punishment – the Nits
Crow Jane lady – Crazy horse
Cruel sister – Pentangle
Cry baby cry – the beatles
Crystallization – Cosmic dealer
Cubist town –Manfred Mann
Cuckoo – Kaleidoscope

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Songs that were salvaged from my mp3 player - 2

what's below is the second part of my list of mp3s that were on my player when it ceased to function.

Baby you’re a rich man – The Beatles
Bad words and evil people – Skin Alley
Badge – Cream
Bamboo floor – John Cale
Banks of the Nile – Fotheringay
Barrel full of wine – New York Rock ‘n Roll ensemble
Battle of Waterloo – Old blind dogs
Be not so fearful – Bill Fay
Become like you – Small Faces
Behind Blue Eyes – The Who
Bell bottom blues – Derek and the Dominoes
Berkshire poppies – Traffic
Between Alpha and Omega - Brainbox
Between blue and me – Family
Beware of darkness – George Harrison
Big tree blue sea – Golden Earring (Wall of dolls)
Big tee blue sea – Golden Earring (Moontan)
Bild am sonntag (as usual) – The Nits
Bitter Wind – Moby Grape
Black autumn – Roy Buchanan
Black Dog – Babe Ruth
Black dog blues – Dirk Hamilton
Bless the weather – John Martyn
Bluebird – Buffalo Springfield
Blue Jack of diamonds – HP Lovecraft
Blue light – Spot
Boardroom Walk – 22 Pisterpirkko
Boats –Spring
Bombay – Golden Earring
Book song – Fairport convention
Boredom – Procul Harum
Born to move – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Boundsgreen Fair – Freedom’s children
Bounty on my table – Ramatam
Box of rain –the Grateful Dead
Boy trapped in a man – Jackie Leven
Boys in the band – Mountain
Brian Boru – Alan Stivell
Bring it all down – Flying Dutchman
Bring it on up – John Cale
Broken Arrow – Buffalo Springfield
Buffalo – Writing on the wall
Burning love –Malcolm Morley
Burning stuntman – Golden Earring
Burning the box of beautiful things – Jackie Leven
But I might die tonight – Cat Stevens
By and By – The Rising sons

Children of men

Another to add the the list of films that I feel compelled to write about. This film is superb in every respect.  This is an unrelentingly suspenseful, harrowing and often moving film. One you should see if you enjoy great cinema.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Motion Demon - Silent Hill August 9th 2008

Yesterday at Silent Hill

Dr Euphoria and the Mind Gardener’s Eternal Playlist - 2

Last night, they repaired to the cellar of dreams and added more to the eternal playlist:

Dr Dopo Jam – Suite (side one of EntrĂ©e)
Stars & Stips - Tango Mafido
Stackridge – Sliding down the razor of love
Dragonfly (Switzerland) - Behind the spider’s web
Glencoe – Hay Fever
The Rascals – Please love me
Blues Section – Wolf at the door
The Temptations – Take a stroll through your mind
Ross – Changes
Fred – Night Lillies
Miller Anderson – Shadows cross the wall
Grace Slick – Come again toucan

Saturday, 9 August 2008

John the Baptist

Talking to Emily on IM the other night, she told me that her favourite song from the three discs I made for her for the USA was 'John the Baptist' . This is from 'Stormbringer' by John and Beverley Martyn. This album reaches a peak of intensity for John Martyn's songwriting. You can almost touch the yearning in his songs.

Motion Demon and Louis V - three

and another from Musicon in 2007

Motion Demon and Louis V - two

Another picture from the den Haag session

Friday, 8 August 2008

Motion Demon and Louis V

This was taken by Steve Kethero at the door of the studios in den Haag where Motion Demon and Louis V worked together in 2007.

songs that were salvaged from my mp3 player -1

There were a few thousand songs on the player when it stopped working.  Before the machine stopped, I managed to salvage 425 mp3s.  To remind myself I've started to list them. The list is alphabetical.

All the same – Spirit
All the things – The Byrds
Alone again or - Love
Amazing Grass- Peter Brown and Graham Bond
Americana/the Ghost-Thin White Rope
Amsterdam-John Cale
Amsterdam –Tax Free
Amsterdam – Kevin Coyne
Anchor Me – The Mutton Birds
And your bird can sing – The Beatles
Andalucia – John Cale
Angel – Jimi Hendrix
Animal Zoo – Spirit
Anyday- Derek and the Dominoes
Anyone for Tennis – Cream
Appleknockers Flophouse –Cuby + Blizzards
Ardath – The Eyes of Blue
Are you receiving me – Golden Earring
Around the world in 80 days – Stray
As Close as This – The Mutton Birds
At the zoo – Simon and Garfunkel
Auburn Queen – Haystacks Balboa
Austin Osmanspare – Bulldog Breed
Autopsy-Fairport convention
Aviator-Michael Chapman

Skipper Boetlek

My friend, The Skipper

Misfit and the The Man on the dune

The name of this blog is from two of my favourite songs from one of the absolutely crucial albums in my life. Since the first night I heard 'CQ' by the beach in Zandvoort, it has been one of those records that shape the way I think about music.

I found this on you tube this evening.


I hadn't thought about van Gogh, for a while, until a few days ago.

It was a surprise to see his face on youtube tonight. I liked the link with The Outsiders

In 2007 I was at the van Gogh Museum doing poetry with music with friends, whose aims are very similar to mine.


V for Vendetta

A thrillingly good film, with a great script and wonderful casting. One of the most topical political films I have scene. Orwell would have smiled at the cleverness of this film. We live in a world all too close to this vision. Think about that, when you are watched 300 times a day. Thinks about the fact that the mechanisms of control are there, think about identity cards and DNA databanks.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

For Emily in Missouri -7th July 2008

Neil Young and the International Harvesters – Powderfinger
Ted Leo and the Pharmicists-I’m looking through you
Picadilly Line-Visions of Johanna
Please-Steal your dreams
Steve Miller Band –Going to Mexico
Roky Erickson & The Explosives –You’re gonna miss me
Joe Cocker and Leon Russell –Girl from the north country
Country joe & the fish-here I go again
John Martyn-don’t think twice it’s alright
Jolliver Arklansaw-Hatred Sun
Pink Floyd – Paintbox
Phil Ochs – Changes
Judy Henske and Jerry Yester – Raider
Love – Singing cowboy
Bob Dylan and the Band – Dirge
Leonard Cohen –Suzanne
The Rolling Stones – You can’t always get what you want

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Dr Euphoria and the Mind Gardener’s Eternal Playlist - 1

Last night Dr Euphoria and the Mind Gardener repaired again to the cellar of dreams.
The eternal playlist begins:

The Guess Who – Eye
Gypsy – Blindman
Dolce Aqua – Preludio
The Nits – Home Before Dark
Culpepper’s Orchard – Time Flies
Blue Oyster Cult – Burnin’ for you
Graham Nash – Everybody’s been burned
Oakley Hall – House Carpenter
Punch Brothers – It’ll happen
Soft Machine –We know what you mean
Beck Bogert & Appice – Living life backwards
The Henry Road – Jeff Lynne is five
Steely Dan – Sail the waterway
Ramatam –The Land/rainy Sunday evening
Marissa Nadler – Daisy and Violet
Demian Dempsey –St Patrick’s Day
Gene Clark – Silver raven
Pan – To get along
Jack Bruce – Victoria Sage
Golden Earrings – Must I cry
Debbie Saloman – Long velvet sigh

Cutter's Way

The greatest film noir of the 1980s , I saw this film again after a more than 20 year gap. If anything, it was more powerful than on previous viewings. The light of California is permeated with the darkness of power and corruption, against which struggle flawed heroes.The three leads(John Heard, Jeff Bridges and Lisa Eichhorn give what may be their greatest performances. Written by Jeffrey Alan Fiskin from the novel by Newton Thornburg and directed by Ivan Passer, this film has been unjustly neglected and should be known by more.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

The Grand Tour 2

Last night Prometheon created a new 23 minute piece. There was no title that sprang to mind, so for the time being we're calling it ' The Grand Tour 2'

Robert Lelievre

I’ve planned for a while to write something about Robert Lelievre on this blog. He’s one of the best singers I’ve ever heard as well as being one of the best songwriters. The album he made with his Danish band Pan, is one of the great classics. I first heard the only studio album by Pan in 2002, after finding a CD at the record fair in Utrecht and fell in love with its brilliance immediately. There were thousands and thousands of records that were made in the 70s and very few of them are remembered by most people. Pan is not one of them, which is sad, because it should be in the pantheon of rock’s great records. Pan only released one album. It is one of the great cultural crimes that the solo album that Lelievre made for Sonet was unreleased in his lifetime or as far as I know ever. I truly hope a record company will rectify that situation soon. I cannot think of any other unreleased tapes (apart from perhaps Haystacks Baloboa’s second album (same musicians mainly but different band name) or David Forman’s second album) that I want to hear. There is some deep connection made by Lelievre’s voice into my head. ‘Song to France’ and Tristesse are filled with a truly painful yearning for a lost home. Pan is undoubtedly one of the biggest influences on my creativity over the years since I first heard it. Until recently I could find very very little information about Pan or Lelievre but there is now a very impressive website dedicated to them. I would urge you to visit:


Thursday, 24 July 2008

Motion Demon at Silent Hill

I like this picture of Steve Kethero's, taken at Silent Hill, during a Motion Demon session a few years ago

some bookmarks

It's been quite a while since I made any attempt to get my Opera bookmarks in order (possibly my memories of the thousands of carefully ordered bookmarks on crashed computers of the past, has made me question the future value of the task) and looking through them again tonight, I came across a few pages that I enjoyed visiting again.


Sunday, 20 July 2008

another undated cdr compilation

I found another undated compilation tonight. I think this is probably from 2003. I'm not sure of the name of the last tracks. It's from Jeff Tarlton's draginSpring, which I have, but can't find at the moment.

Jackie Leven – Classic Northern Diversions
Terry Mann – Fire
Flying Dutchman – Underground
Violet – Slideshow
Rock Four – Government
Fool’s Garden – The Principle Thing
Fool’s Garden – Probably
Autumn Leaves – Theme from Autumn Leaves
Widespread Panic – Little Lilly
Reeves Gabriel – Say that now
Barrage – Mahatma
Terry Mann – Bar Room
Jackie Leven – Dust Elegy/Savannah Waltz
Violet – Rain
Terry Callier –Lazarus Man
Jeff Tarlton – track from draginSpring

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Dominion:Prequel to the Exorcist

Horror is my favourite film genre. This is one of the very best. It ranks alongside ‘Quatermass and the Pit’ for intellectual excitement. As well as being one of the best horror films I’ve seen, this stands among the best of Paul Schrader’s work as a director. The script by William Wisher and Caleb Carr is flawless. This is a great film.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

23rd September 2006

Below is another cdr I found this evening, compiled on the 23rd September 2006.

John Cale – Andalucia
Fairport convention – Book Song
Tim Buckley-dream letter
Laura Nyro – Eli’s Coming
Terry Reid – Erica
Gene Clark – From a silver phial
David Forman and Levon Helm - Gimme a Stone
Nick Drake – Hazey Jane 2
Stoneage – Zo Larat
The Outsiders – you’re everything on earth
The Rolling Stones - Wild Horses
Horslips - We bring the summer with us
Jefferson Airplane – Today
Aztec Two-step – The Persecution & Restoration of Dean Moriarty
(On The Road)
Horslips – Stars
John P Strohm and the Hello Strangers – Powderkeg
The Byrds – Renaissance Fair

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


C.O.M.A. - The Community of Multinational Artists - The Subway to Art

I’ve been thinking about C.O.M.A today. This is a German based, world encompassing arts organisation that I was involved with a few years ago. I lost contact with the organisers, which is a shame. C.O.M.A was/is a good vision.

Keeper of the Flame

A strange film this is, indeed. Made in 1942 by George Cukor and starring Spencer Tracey amd Katherine Hepburn, this isn’t what you might expect if you’ve seen their other collaborations. Released a year after Citizen Kane, this has echoes of Orson Welles masterpiece (I wouldn’t argue with anyone who says Citizen Kane in the greatest film ever made) but is a minor work in comparison. It’s very very dark and slightly gothic and has some things to say about the world we live in today, where great power is not always in the right hands. Spend 97 minutes watching this and it's time you won't regret.

a compilation from sometime in the last few years

There's going to be a lot of lists on this blog and here's another one. Since I was a teenager I've been making compilations of music I like. Many of those I made on tape are now lost and I don't remember the dates of a few of the cdrs. I came across a cdr this evening, which I think is probably from 2003 or 2004, but I'm really not sure. Anway here's the tracklist:

Family – No Mules Fool
David Ackles – Down River
Nick Drake – River Man
Anne Briggs – Standing on the shore
Pacific Drift – Tomorrow Morning Brings
Out of Focus – The Way I know her
Pentangle – Sweet Child
Cressida – Munich
Gryphon – The Unquiet grave
Fungus – The White Hare
Tony, Caro and John – Swordsman of Samoa
Sweet Smoke – Id rather burn than dissapear
Sunshine Company –Springtime Meadows
Edgar Broughton Band – Get out of Bed-There’s Nobody there-Side by Side
Aztec Two-Step – The Persecution & Restoration of Dean Moriarty
(On The Road)
Audience - Jackdaw

Saturday, 12 July 2008

More from JOB

Watercolour Marilyn by JOB

Marlon Brando

I've been thinking about Marlon Brando today. I believe he was possibly the greatest presence who ever was on the screen and have seen almost all his films . One of the few I hadn't seen was 'Morituri'.  I saw it for the first time this afternoon and it's an overlooked classic. Directed by Benard Wicki, it's a tough and suspensful spy film  set almost entirely on  a German cargo ship during the second world war. The acting is excellent. Apart from Brando and a brief appearance by Trevor Howard at the beginning (very authoritative performance, as always), the other great perfomance is by Yul Brunner. I can't recommend this film highly enough.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Haystacks Balboa

The Haystacks Balboa album is one of the most important of all records.

My e-mail interview can also be found on the Prometheon myspace site.


Mark Polott e-mail interview by James Holbrook

The album that Haystacks Balboa released in 1970 has been deeply embedded in my consciousness for a significant proportion of my life. Through myspace, I recently met Mark Polott and he very kindly agreed to answer some questions that I have always wanted to ask. What follows is an interview compiled from some emails we exchanged:

JH: It's really exciting for me to be to be able to ask you these questions about Haystacks Balboa. I remember when I bought the album I was about 14 years old and already an obsessive collector of rock music from the 60s and 70s. As soon as I picked up the album in a shop in the north lanes in Brighton and saw the sleeve I knew I had to hear it. I got a sealed German pressing and from the moment I got it home and the needle touched the vinyl it cast a still unbroken spell. Over the years I have worn out my copy. 'The Silken Men', 'Auburn Queen' and the 'Children of Heaven' have buried themselves deep inside who I am and 'Riverland' has always been a beautiful end to a journey that still moves me with each repeated play

If there is one song out of the 1000s and 1000s I have heard through the years that I have listened to music that had a biggest influence than any other, it is 'the Silken Men'. It still gives me goosebumps to hear the moment when the middle interlude ends and the vocal comes back in.

I've lived for more than half my life with your music while knowing very little about the people who made it and I'm excited to know how the music came to be.

What follows are the questions I have always wondered about.

Who were the band members?

MP: Mark Mayo guitar Mark Polott bass Lloyd Landesman keyboards

Mark Babani drums Bruce Scott vocals

JH: How did you meet?

MP: Mayo, Babani and Landesman played in the Tangerine Puppets at Forest Hills High School in Queens, NY .They broke up and Landesman joined me in the Innovation Umbrella, my guitarist, Richie Dimedia also went to Forest Hills. We broke up and Lloyd returned to a new band with Mayo and Babani and brought me in as the bass player. We rehearsed the whole summer of 1970 in Babani's basement. We did a demo at Charles Lane Studios and brought it to Shelly Finkel, the manager of Mountain. He signed us. Our singer, Larry Goodman, quit right before we started to record our album , too much pressure, maybe. We found Bruce Scott and did our album. We signed with Premier Talent and then jumped to ATI, so we toured with the top bands of the era. We were mostly 19 years old, except for Bruce who was 26, maybe...

JH: Where did the band's name come from?

MP: Back in the 60's there was a 400 pound wrestler named Haystacks Calhoun. Mark Mayo hung around with a great local band called the Vagrants, Leslie West (Mountain) was the guitarist. One of the Vagrants friends, Bobby Pace, coined the phrase Haystacks Balboa, probably in reference to Mayo's large size at the time. He and Leslie were "look alikes" and people always compared them...similar look and guitar style, and they were often together. So, when we looked for a name, in that drug infused era, Haystacks Balboa jumped out at us. This is how I remember it.

JH: What where your influences?

MP: Cream, Jeff Beck, Blues Project, Mountain, all the great guitarists of the time and Keith Emerson.

JH: How did you write the songs?

MP: We got together and wrote. Sometimes Mayo and Landesman, sometimes me and Mayo. Mayo's sister wrote some lyrics and Larry West, Leslie's brother wrote some riffs. He was never really in the band but jammed with the guys before I formally joined.

JH: How long did they take to write?

MP: A day or two, each tune. We jammed for hours and got ideas. It was summer, no school, we played a lot.

JH: How often did you play live?

MP: We had a good manager and agent so we got great gigs and had high exposure once the album was out. We played most weekends and would drive to Detroit, Chicago, Boston, etc. as soon as classes were over. The album came out in September 1970 so we were in college but taking a light load of courses.

JH: What bands did you play with when you played live?

MP: Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, Savoy Brown, Faces with Rod Stewart for about 8 weekends, Mungo Jerry, Black Sabbath, Eric Burdon and War, Cactus...just to name a few

JH: How did you come to be produced by Shadow Morton?, what was his input as producer?

MP: Shelly knew him and he came out of retirement to do us. He wanted the cash to buy an Excalibur and we had good backing, until the record came out. Then our manager concentrated on his other new band, Hammer, and we were left out there on the road alone.

JH: Who designed the album sleeve?

MP: While being photographed for the back cover by David Hoffs (I think) we saw a painting of his in his studio and we instantly knew this should be our cover...very Hieronymous Bosch, like our music.

JH: How many songs did you write for the albums and were some unrecorded?

MP: Ironically, none of the songs from our original demo were rerecorded for the album and they were pretty good. We did play them live. Why? Who knows...

JH: Do you still have the original demo, or remember the songs you recorded on it?

MP: Thats a tough one...
1.Bobby Lemonade
2. Balls
3. One other that escapes me

JH: Do you ever or would you ever play any Haystacks Balboa songs again?

MP: We sometimes launch into something, spontaneosly, at a rehearsal. It's been a long time but we remember a lot for old guys.

It's all good memories. One irony is that many web sites portray us as an English band, even calling us "another British Boogie Band" which we clearly weren't. We listened to the great British bands of the 60's and were very influenced by Cream, Jeff Beck, Zeppelin, and others, but we tried to forge our own sound. I must admit, now, we were usually "under the influence" of the various drugs of the era, but we were always under control and attacking things from an intellectual angle. We also always tried to really play our instruments and although it is not overly apparent on the album, at the time we were one of the better musician bands in the local scene in NYC. We studied, and played countless hours. Our image was always secondary to our chops and this probably hurt us in the long run.

JH: What happened to the members after Haystacks Balboa?

MP: Me and Mayo stayed together through many projects. Lloyd left to pursue his own interests and played with Clarence Clemons, Edgar Winter and then , and now, is a successful Jingle writer. Babani left the business to be a cook out West but resurface for a while with a band made up of him and his kids -L'iL Willie. They were signed by Doc McGee and toured with Lynard Skynard but it didn't last. Bruce became an agent, we've lost touch after he screwed us on some commissions.

Joe Franco from the Good Rats was in Haystacks for awhile. After the end of the tour, Joe joined the band, around 1971? He actually got good with us, he started studying with Carmine Appice and our serious approach inspired him. He left us to join the Good Rats as they had a lot of gigs. He played again in our group, Blue Lagoon, in the late 90's. He had 2 kids and didn't want to travel ], we were a perfect fit for him. We are still very close. He went to the Cream reunion show with me and Mayo and Lloyd last year. He runs a very successful recording studio in NYC and plays occasionally with Dee Snider in projects.

JH: What's your thoughts on the pirate re-issue (there should be a proper re-mastered CD of this truly great album album)?

MP: We figure it's better to let the music live on than to litigate. The pirate keeps the band alive and it must sell because it is all over the internet. Long live HB!

JH: Who are the Silken Men?

MP: Mythical Warriors. We loved the epic form and production. Remember, this was an era of heavy drug use and good headphones!

JH: What are the Children of Heaven doing now?

MP: Our children are in college or working, none in music. They've all thrown their dollies away...

My pleasure to respond. Stay in Touch.


JH: thanks again for taking the time to remember a fascinating past.


If you want to hear the music that Mark Polott and Mark Mayo are making today, then go and have a look at these myspace sites:



with Feddo and the Zippies

You'll find  a link to a picture of me from a few years ago, on one of the favourite evenings of my life, spent with my friend Feddo Renier and the Zippies(who were playing on his show). The drummer for the Zippies was at one time the boy pictured on the cover of 'Agemo's Trip to Mother Earth' (by Group 1850). It was a thrill for me when the Zippies current drummer had to leave early in the evening for another engagement and Feddo and  I got to be their drummers for a few jams.


Thursday, 3 July 2008

Compilation 3rd July 2008

Jennie Lee - Shuggie Otis
Nobody - Three Dog Night
Rainman - Rainman
Right now for you - Al Kooper
Of course - The Rascals
Flying Home - Jo Jo Gunne
Walking in the rain - The Green Pajamas
Come Together - The Beatles
Genesis - Jorma Kaukonen
Faster than the hound - Horslips
Ballad of El Goodo - Big Star
Circle round the Sun - Truth
Get you to come through - Rainman
Captive in the Sun - Eire Apparent
Injun Joe - The Good Rats
Rari - The Standells
Mr Guy Fawkes - Eire Apparent
Vanilla Queen - Golden Earring

Rainman - Frank Nuyens

It's the second night in a row I feel compelled to write about a great new song I've heard. It's 'Get you to come through' from the Rainman album by Frank Nuyens. I'm a big Q65 fan, so was looking forward to hearing this album, which is excellent. Another song is added to the great playlist in my head and I feel a cdr compilation taking shape.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Shuggie Otis - Jennie Lee

This song is in my head tonight. I heard it for the first time this afternoon and it instantly established itself in the rotating playlist in my head for the rest of my life.  I first became aware of Shuggie Otis because of his track on the CBS double album compilation 'rockbusters' that I bought at a market stall at least 25 years ago and probably more. For some reason, while hearing albums by almost all the other acts on the album I managed to miss Shuggie Otis' albums (apart from 'Al Kooper introduces') over the years.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Richie Havens - Something Else Again

I've been listening to Richie Havens tonight. I love his first four albums, which contain some of the most moving and life affirming music there is. My favourite will always be 'Something Else Again', which I bought more than half a lifetime ago in a shop in Woking, now long since gone. I think of this shop and all the other places that no longer exist where I found treasures full of sound.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Another random playlist

The Luxury - The Tragically Hip
Marquee Moon - Television
Waiting on a train - The Bottle Rockets
Late November - Pavlov's Dog
Mr Skin - Spirit
Give us a ring - John and Beverley Martyn
Stoplight - The Silos
Lowlands of Holland - Steeleye Span
House on the Corner - Fat
Walking Sideways - Spectrum

Saturday, 28 June 2008

The Good Rats

A few days ago I heard the Good Rats 'Tasty' for the first time. I can't stop playing it. The Good Rats have been a band I've liked a lot since I first heard their music nearly 30 years ago(I remember buying one of their albums at a great, long since gone, record shop in Edinburgh called Ezy Rider). I was excited to finally find Tasty. The whole album is great and two of the tracks 'Injun Joe' and 'Fireball Express' have been addded to the great rotating random play list in my head. It's a refrain you will hear a lot from me, but why a band this great is not so much better known, I don't know.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Prometheon year one - 1

In an effort to start exposing more of the many hours of unheard Prometheon creations, you download some recordings from our first year from the link below:


Sam Peckinpah

Last night I watched ‘Cross of Iron’ on dvd. This was only the second time I’d seen the film, the first being at least 20 years ago, when I watched it on video. Peckinpah has long been one of my favourite directors and I’ve been watching a lot of his films recently. Without doubt ‘Cross of Iron’, is one of his best and one of the best fims of its genre. A bitter, cynical violent film, that is not without its own optimism. I thought I’d list my favourite five Peckinpah films. In descending order. Here they are:

Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
The Wild Bunch
Cross of Iron
The Getaway
The Osterman Weekend

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Where in the world?

Where in the world is this?


Here's a first picture on this blog by my good friend JOB. It is the only image that currently represents Prometheon.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Jimmy Miller

Yesterday, for the first time in a while I was playing Spooky Tooth's 'Spooky Two' in the car. I played it in the car again today. This and their first album are two of my favourite albums. Tonight I was sitting in a pub in Richmond, with my dear friend Steve Hyams, talking about Spooky Tooth. The last few times Steve and I have met Jimmy Miller seems to come up a lot in our conversations. One of the most important influences on the way rock music sounded in the early 70s, it's a privilege to be able to hear about Jimmy Miller from somebody who knew him. More about Jimmy Miller later, when Steve tells some stories.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Mister You're a better man than I

This came up on random play again tonight. I can never hear it too often. My favourite version is Oxford Circle's. I can't recall any other versions but the Yardbirds.  Suggestions for other versions to hear would be appreciated.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Jigsaw Puzzle

Last night on the way home from the Prometheon session I was playing 'Beggars Banquet' and It occured to me of all the Stones songs (I'm a big fan of everything they did up to when Mick Taylor left the band) 'Jigsaw Puzzle' is probably my favourite.

B S Johnson and Jonathan Coe

I just finished Jonathan Coe's biography of B S Johnson, 'Like a Fiery Elephant'. It's a remarkable book about a fascinating short life.  The last novel that was published in Johnson's lifetime, 'Christie Malry's Own Double Entry' is one of the great English novels and one of my favuourite books. I looked forward to a biography of the writer and was not disappointed, a great book about a great writer

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Who do you love

'Who do you love' is a song I've heard countless times by many artists. I never tire of it.  I thought of it today, reading that Bo Diddley had died. A sad day for music and a sad day for the world.

Saturday, 31 May 2008

To Live and Die in LA

I bought the DVD of 'To Live and Die in LA' from FOPP today. FOPP is my favourite record shop of the few that remain today, but that's another story. I first saw William Friedkin's great dark thriller 23 years ago, not far from where I bought the DVD today at a cinema, which I seem to recall was in Shaftsbury Avenue. I remember being excited when I saw the poster for this film all those years ago and being very impressed by what I saw in the cinema. I was no less impressed this evening. The film is one of Friedkin's best and possibly his darkest. There are some startling moments and if you like car chases, films with action and very clever writing, this is a film you should know.  Be warned that it is violent and not a film you will not walk away from smiling, but it is a film that will make an impact on you.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

One More Heartache

I've been playing this over and over and over in the car today. If you want to hear it, you'll find it on 'the Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw' by the Butterfield Blues Band.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Two novels

Here’s the first words about books on this blog. The two I’ve read most recently were very different novels but both masterpieces. One by one of the world’s best living writers and another by a neglected English novelist. The first is ‘Samaritan’ by Richard Price, a deeply moving, very suspenseful and very compassionate book. This one you would regret not reading if you want to experience great writing. The second is ‘the fall of the sparrow’ by Nigel Balchin. Published in the mid 50s, this is sadly and unjustly long out of print. Who knows what spin of the wheel consigns some writers to be know only by a few, hopefully Nigel Balchin is not destined to lie in oblivion, because this book should be read and his name should be celebrated.

McCabe and Mrs Miller

For some reason, in the many years I've loved films, I manged to miss this one. I saw it for the first time tonight and was stunned. A truly great film. I'm a big Robert Altman fan and to date my favourite of his has been 'the long goodbye'.  I now think 'McCabe and Mrs Miller is his best film.
While watching I was reminded of two films I really admire, 'The claim' and 'ravenous', both films where snow is a character in itself.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

to and from the Prometheon session

Tonight on the way to the Prometheon session I played a tape. On the way home I turned the tape over.  Both journies were accompanied by albums that should be in the univesally acccepted canon of great rock albums. On the first side of the tape was 'Bedlam's self titled and only album, from 1973. On the second side was my favourite album by one of the longest lasting and prolific of the great bands in rock music, 'to the hilt' by Golden Earring. The last couple of minutes of 'Nomad', (the last track on side 1) are possibly my favourite in music. The combination of a great 4 piece band with Robert Jan Stips, a genius of the keyboard reached a zenith here.

Friday, 23 May 2008

For Emily in America disc 2

This is the second disc for Emily in America:

Do it –jesse winchster
Become like you-small faces
Connection-the rolling stones
Don’t play games-the youngbloods
Conquistador-procul harum
Cream-anyone for tennis
Katies been gone-the band
King chaos-jolliver arkansaw
Nubia-the rascals
Undun-the guess who
Coming down-love song for the dead che-locomotive
One more heartache-paul butterfield blues band
Coconut island-kevin coyne
Suzanne-fairport convention
Pale blue eyes-the velvet underground
Black sheep boy-highway 61-don’t make promises-stoneground

For Emily in America disc 1

Last Sunday Emily left for Kansas City. This is the first of two discs I made for her:

Four firemen-Dantalions Chariot
LA- Neil Young
Alabama Bound-The Charlatans
Buffalo ballet –John Cale
Box of rain –The Grateful Dead
The falcon –richard and mimi farina
The dolphins-fred neil
Grass-the pretty things
John the baptist-John and Beverley Martin
Journey through the past-Neil Young
Lauging-the guess who
Like rain –Grin
Barrel full of wine-new york rock and roll ensemble
Poor moon-canned heat
Some velvet morning-lee hazelewood and nancy sinatra
Song for insane time-Kevin Ayers
The letter-the box tops
There’s a hole in the future –Richie Havens
Buffalo-writing on the wall
Mister you’re a better man than I-oxford circle

Thursday, 8 May 2008

10 song random playlist 7th May 2008

Dr John - Glowin'
Little Feat - Got no shadow
Horslips - The man who built America
Haystacks Balboa - The silken men
Mountain - Tired angels
Bill Fay - Screams in the ears
Fat - House on the corner
Bamboo - Girl of the seasons
Richard and Linda Thompson - Calvary cross
Pearls Before Swine - The Jeweler

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

10 song random playlist 6th May 2008

Alan Stivell - Cease Fire
Ian Matthews - Southern Wind
Phil Ochs - Tape from California
Jackie Leven - Carnival Dark
Brainbox - Between Alpha and Omega
Writing on the wall – Buffalo
Dirty Filthy Mud – Forest of Black
The Youngbloods – Darkness Darkness
The Neon Philharmonic – Cowboy
Dragonfly – Celestial Dreams

Monday, 5 May 2008

10 song random playlist 5th May 2008

Maxfield Parrish – The Widow
Richie Havens-There’s a hole in the future
Bloodrock-Melvin laid an egg
The United States of America-Where is Yesterday
The Panama Limited - Indian Summer
West, Bruce and Laing - Out into the fields
Rupert Hine – Landscape
The Electric Flag-Over-Lovin’ You
Judy Henske and Jerry Yester –Raider
Richard and Mimi Farina-The Bold Marauder

some short playlists

Since almost half a year has past and so far no new podcast has emerged, little has happened here.
There will be more podcasts, but for the moment to maintain some activity here I'm going to post some playlists. These will be chosen by the machines on which I listen to music with some 
possible intervention by myself. If nothing else, it gives a picture of 
some of my favourite music at the moment.