Saturday, July 02, 2011

SUNDAY BREAKFAST (Posted a little early)

Back in my Brighton lair with my cat and my pipeweed, and the dark legions of Mordor maybe at bay, (but don’t speak too soon) I’ve finally had time to reflect on all of the recent adventures that my teenage mind has inflicted on my ancient body. As the whole Glastonbury experience recedes into perspective, I discover just how mixed my feelings really are. The combo of former Deviants and Pink Fairies I laughingly call The Edgar Allan Poe Blues Band was everything I could have hoped for. It’s early days yet, but the music is really coming along amazingly well, and the only debates are of the kind that happen between creative people who want to improve the work. Beyond the band, however, the experience was decidedly lacking. Okay so the mud and chaos couldn’t have been helped, but – with a round trip drive of almost 300 miles – to arrive at the site and wait three hours to get accredited and then finally reach the stage to find no food, very little water, and not so much as a fucking beer, indicated that we were in the bowels of a vast and arrogant corporate clusterfuck. Individuals were aces – Becky the Glade coordinator, the guys working the stage, and the heroic 4x4 drivers. RH has said it all in last Monday’s post so I won’t go on. On another level, though, I keep a very open mind about mystic places and belief in John Michell’s laylines. But I do remember the feeling – as I lay in the sun on the hill above the first pyramid stage in 1971 – that there was a kind replenishment coming from the earth. (Of course, I had taken quite a bit of acid.) Certainly no replenishment was happening in 2011. If anything the Magic of Avalon was being choked off by a slurry of the worst of contemporary pop culture. Beyonce? Beyonce? I can figure no equation that relates Beyonce to the Once & Future King. Blake's Jerusalem wasn't not being builded there. (When I got back from the trip, I flopped into a chair and cut off my performers wrist band. Finn the cat immediately seized it and ran away into the bathroom. He clearly didn’t want me going back there again.) I’m now looking for to a period without any epic challenges. A time to relax, to write, to get back to my poetry and fiction. But let me not temp fate. The way my luck’s been running, aliens could land in the back garden on Tuesday.

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The secret word is Ra


Graeme K Talboys said...

There was hope in the late 60s and early 70s. Then some fucker found you could package it and sell it and pick the pockets of the innocents.

Ben Graham said...

I can sympathise. Even as late as 1990 there was still something magical and free about the festival. There were still dogs and horses roaming the site then, no superfence... It started going downhill when they started televising it. How can you feel free and uninhibited when there are roaming national camera crews everywhere? They started adding more and more stages, ticket prices went up and up, security also got heavier exponentially, Eavis sold out to more corporate interests... big mainstream commercial headliners... last year I went was 2000. Bowie was good. They were still giving free passes out on the neighbouring travellers' site, to their credit. Bet that doesn't happen anymore. I can't watch it on TV, too depressing.

Get down to some quiet writing time, Mick. Always up for your poetry, with or without the band!

Big James said...

I've never really done festivals, did a day at Guilfest to check out Motorhead, but otherwise, never got into the whole vibe, but if there is one one thing guaranteed to put me off forever - it is Beyonce! Cracking value in Austin Powers, but onstage at Glastonbury? purleeze! I have just slipped over the incline up from Angry Young Man, onto the downward spiral towards Grumpy Old Git.

Diamond Jim said...

Grumpy Old Gits are a force to be reckoned with.

Aleleeinn said...

Big James, I flipped from angry your man to ev3n angrier old man. I give me some consolation that I am not alone in my feeling about much of contemporary culture and music in general. I've realized that almost every thing I see and here is simply and advertieement for something I neither want nor need.
Live performances are merely ads for thea artists product line or some other pointless. nonsense.
It isn't about the music.
Graene: The hope seems to be missing. Also the joy in just performance and sharing the music.
I was never a true pop music fan. I preferred the fringes always. It wasn't conscious. It just felt right.
I still truly love a live show. I go to see bands and especially those with new material I have been consistently disappointed by the "geesers of rock" re-living the past tours. Especially, if I'd seen them 30 or 40 years ago.
Mick, kick back pop a cold one and if the aliens land in your back yard offer 'em a beer and a shot and tell you know me. It might get you a free ride around the milky way, wothout the anal probing. ROFL

stu said...

a beer & a shot.NOW you tell me.

joemack said...

Looking forward to the fiction :)

seeformiles said...

I gave up going when the outside media came in and corporate packages became ubiquitous. A friend of mine (who was performing in the poetry tent) has passed lots of footage from the "'71 stage" showing what Glastonbury can still be. I have some hope from that alone.

Graeme K Talboys said...

Yup. As a writer myself, I will simply endorse the calls for more. Enjoy the sun, Mick. Enjoy the music. And if you put words to paper, there will always be an appreciative audience.

mrjohn said...

Try listening to The Fleet Foxes, they'll put your faith back in people. If you want a bit more umph try White Denim.

There are things I miss about the UK, Glastonbury isn't one of them, I'd rather be over at Cropredy with Fairport Convention. Of all my musical memories hearing Swarb's fiddle on a warm summer night is one I treasure.

Aleleeinn said...

Thanks Mr. John. White Denim sounds promising. Will give them and Fleet Foxes a good listen to see if we match.
Didn't mean to say ther is no good new music. There is good new music.
Also didn't mean to say all old rockers suck. There are still people (Mick Especially) who keep putting out good stuff and stuff that isn't stuck in a rut, or is a rehash of what they did 30 or 40 years ago. I consider it obscene to pay $150 to see someone from the 60s or 70s (or 80s for that matter), come out and play a liveless version of their hits from the past.
Last concert that I saw was the Decemberists. You get a pocket dictionary with your concert ticket. If not for the old friend I went to the show with; I would have been the olderst person there.

Aleleeinn said...

Thanks mrjohn. I do like White Denim. Very psychedelic influenced. Time trips me back a long way. But it really sounds modern. The influence of the 60s is really in a lot of the alternative and indie music. I can't really tie White Denim to any band, which is pretty good. Thanks