Friday, 6 January 2012

Country Music Supermen

Ever since I was a kid I've loved and looked up to down and outs. I grew up on country and folk music. That's a lot of songs about underdogs and whiskey.
After hearing Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings as a child, the modern music I heard (even at 7 or 8) seemed to be missing alot of something that was in abundance on those Country long players. Real Heart.

Townes Van Zandt was devastatingly good. If you really listen to his lyrics, and think about them, he could break your heart 10 times a record. maybe 10 times a side, depending on the album. John Prine, Guy Clark and Hank Williams etc just wrote/write nearly perfect songs almost every time. Regardless of their production or style, the lyrics are golden. Universal. and the emotion is always right there clear on display. they don't phone their shit in. just Good, Good Stuff.

I saw Kristofferson play once and had tears in my eyes when he sang. I thought of all the people he'd played for. that he was friends with Johnny Cash. Johnny mother-fuckin Cash. But mostly they were from the words he was saying and the voice he was saying them with. it's the voice of a man nearly 80, who's seen alot. and wrote about it. just honest as hell. I'd take a hundred bum notes and key slip ups over perfect harmonies everyday when it results in that intensity of emotion. just beautiful.

I got to meet him after that show and it was incredible. He was just gracious and full of class. He was one of The Highwaymen! but he put me right at ease. A great man.

Everyone of the 'greats' has been vulnerable. They're the everyman. Not on any pedestal. They fuck up. alot. and write about it. and we relate. Someone put it perfectly in the comments of a video I watched.

"There was simply no gimmick. Back then guys didn't waste a million acting out in a music video, they didn't sing songs about shit that didn't happen in their own lives, they sure as hell didn't live for top 10 radio and have a career that had a lifespan of a teenage girl's A.D.D

They were real."

Darn tootin' they were

I didn't get into Dylan until I was about 15, and when that happened that was a whole other kettle o' fish. that blew apart my mind even more. in the best, best way.

Saturday, 24 December 2011


No matter how many heartbreaks, knockbacks and put downs you get, or atleast I've gotten, really make the hit of them that much easier at all. Dealing with them maybe. The first heartbreak has you thinking your world has ended and you'll never get that back again. The next few times, it still feels like it's done, but you know it will be ok, it'll just take time. And then, you just need to keep having the will to want to get back on the horse and get back to being ok. It gets harder to hold out for hope, but as long as there is hope, and you can find yourself wanting to be happy again, then I guess you'll be ok. eventually. The human spirit is strong as hell, and you don't realise it (because there's no reason too) until life fucks you up. When you're faced with the choice of giving up or going on, at first giving up seems inevitable, you can't find the will to do anything, but hopefully, in time that's replaced with the will to make it back, and better! it can be a rejuvinating thing to hit hard times as it shakes up your world and makes you reassess almost everything.

Some amazing moments have happened in the last year. memories and moments made to last. I've met people who've let me into and be part of their world, even if only for one night, and opened up and spoke about things to these people that I've kept from close friends. Other things have been awful. The last year has been a real eye opener. it's been hard as hell, but not harder than anybody elses at all. Not easier, everyone's is a fucking struggle in it's own way. I think just before, I'd been exceptionally lucky in things working out alright. These last 12 or so months has seen me thrown into the 'real world' and having to get a grip and deal with it. And deal with it I did/will/do.

Hmm, I seem to relate everything to songs. I find comfort in the music and the wise words of others alot. Songs poems or books, have been the best friends I've ever found at times. They put things better than I ever really could. Sometimes there can be one line in a song that's so deceptivley simple, but so weighted with truth, that it always sticks in the mind and heart.

'Some people are better off single, 'cause they're always falling in love'.

'to live is to fly, both low and high'

or even 'millionaires play baseball'.

When I was 17 or 18 I really began trying to use songs as a way of dealing with things (anything) and one of them I wrote was called it 'I never drank whiskey'. The idea being that whiskey is the crutch of those who've got it worst. it's a bluesman's drink and what you hit when everything goes to shit. To never touch it, would I imagine, be to never really experience life or feel properly. surely if you never hit rock bottom, you can't comprehend how amazing and wonderful and joyful it feels to hit those euphoric highs?? like, you need the comparrisons. you need to experience the opposites to understande the place of the other one...

the chorus to it went...

"The good times without the bad, like a rollercoaster without fear,
Black without white, is just another colour,
And a life of highs and lows, makes it so much fuller,
Not wanting them but knowing, they ‘re what make you in the end."

In the same sense Whiskey can flow like water in the best moments of your life. Swigging Wild Turkey and singing along to old/loud/happy songs is similarly common a barroom staple as the downtrodden glumbags sat staring blank into it's golden abyss when everything seems fucked.

There are always ups and downs.

But when your down, remember there'll be ups to come. and when you're up, appreciate them fully, because who knows how long any of us will be riding high. eh eh eh?

there have been dark as fuck times in the past, and there will be darker times ahead. But I'll get through them, and be better for them. I'll learn and grow from them, and no doubt get alot more songs from them. That's the means I've found to deal with shit.

sometimes life is cruel as hell. but still got to have hope. always. when you're hopeless, it's the worst feeling of them all.

and also...MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

I can't get to sleep.

I can't go to sleep, and I can't think to eat,
can't welcome in tomorrow, cos today keeps dragging on,
The sunrise and the sunsets, just blur on into one,
and I can't get to smiling, since she's been gone.

Does she remember me, it hasn't been that long,
Is there a picture of us in our prime, that spills into her mind,
when she hears, some sad melancholy song?

Yesterday I saw a face, and I thought she was you,
I was sat there in the place, that we both used to,
the thoughts in my head, I try to drown them in drink,
but they just rise to the top and its all I can think...

she's all I think about

We said always and forever, but it was never meant to last,
sitting up in our bed with my head in my hands,
that love is jsut a picture, a reminder of the past,
and it wreaks of Heaven, a promise I've known,
and I'm going down there, where the Devil may care.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Get well Simone. Long may you run.

A couple of months back deep in the thrawl of the easy day's of student life, I woke up around 3P.M, maybe still drunk from the day before. I put music on almost right away to fill the room, and clumsily, still not fully awake, turned on my laptop. and was struck right away with a shock that cut through me. not literally. all electrics were fine. but figuratively. Simone Felice, a man who's music has affected me no end. Whose books set me to thinking about certain things in a whole new way, books I've praised to almost everyone who's been to my house. And a man who on meeting was one of the most enigmatic yet nicest folks I's met. Had been rushed to Hostpital in Albany N.Y for emergency heart surgery. Fucksticks.

I was struck by how affected I was by the news. it was an instant kick to the gut. as though hearing a close friend or family member was in the same situation. an overwhelming sense of 'fuck, I hope to God he's alright'. An unexpected heaviness. Maybe one of the reasons for feeling that way was the knowing of how many people Felice's music and assorted paraphernalia of books and poetry have affected. and helped. and will continue to affect and help. To lose a beautiful soul like that would always be a damn shame. and with Felice one gets a real sense of there being great things yet to come. That the ride is closer to the start than the end.

Maybe it was the connection felt when I met him the first time. I was drunk and hadn't planned on speaking with him, but when I did, he looked me straight in the eyes with one of the best, most intense dead on stares (as though he was giving his full attention and none of it was fabricated or ungeniuine) and told me he liked my name, that it was his 'Dad's name'. That flawed me in the best way. it was a beautiful moment,one that's stayed with me since. Not jsut meeting a hero, but a lovely guy.

Or maybe it was solely down to the unexpected nature of the news. Seeing Simone live is seeing someone full o' beans and into the music they're making. giving they're all and really feeding off the crowd and moment. He's a spry mothefucker. One I think few folks would suspect to be going round with a poor heart.

I don't know. Whatever the reason, the reaction was a strong one. If anything it only clarified, affirmed and drummed home how much this mans music and words has meant to me. Like a young man hippy Dylan. I didn't think anyone lse would knock me out with their words like Big Bobby D. Guess I was wrong.

So finding out the surgery was a success was unquestionably great news, and then fnding out he played on stage with his brothers 2 weeks post surgery was a little bit brilliant :) There are new records and a novel on the way. So with a sincerity text can't really put accross, I say Godbless Simone Felice, and 'Long may you run...'