Monday, August 31, 2015

Living out the 60s minus the acid, the 70s minus the overindulgence, and 80s without the corporation overspill IT CAN BE DONE!

Some people never know. Paul McCartney said that. It was the title of one of his feudal songs with John Lennon which led to Lennon writing "How Do You Sleep?" and Paul in return writing the brilliant "Let Me Roll It." Think about that phrase. There is so much truth in it. Back 20 years ago I was already out about my interest in the Armed Forces (mainly soldiers and Marines) and at the same time I was a long haired wild freak child with a mystical expression who burned incense, listened to such mind frying psychedelic feasts as H.P Lovecraft's amazing first and second albums (especially the first with the haunting and majestic "The White Ship"), and watched war movies. What an odd combination you may say, but through all the changes in my lifestyle the hair may be gone, the times may have passed by and gotten ugly, and I now have for 18 years been an out of the closet homosexual and proud, but I still will listen to freaky strange music and love soldiers and Armed forces.
       I have spoken at great lengths with American, British, Scottish, and Canadian servicemen about the drug problem and they hate it with the same passion that I hate it with and we all have seen friends go off into drugs and die from it. Drugs killed the 60s off along with, as I discussed in my last blog, the violent side of the protest movement that took over when the flower power dreams died. Unfortunately, as time has passed now from acid onto heroin kids are starting with that! Disgusting! They take meth amphetamines, heroin, crack, drug "cocktails" and they die. You can't live your life that way at any age, but starting in school or after school it makes no difference sooner or just a little while later you're gonna end up dead. I never liked drugs. In fact acid, mushrooms, all of the drugs that supposedly gave you a "trip" I didn't need because I was already on one! Drugs are for people who have no imagination just as macho violent behavior like the kind that plagues males especially in Amerika of a younger age than me is for stupid nothing people who struggle with insecurity and delusional thinking. Both are a disease. Both could be avoided if people weren't so stupid.
        I had to lose my hippy friends because all but one or two went off into heavy use of psychedelics, but listen when I tell ya that music could have been made and those people could have been happy without the drugs which eventually damned the entire thing. When we reached that level of "Drugs are more important than friends who won't take them" in their twisted philosophy I simply got up and left them. I still am proud of what I accomplished in my resilient way of just zoning myself into other ways to get high and I miss burning incense and relaxing. Now I spend my days either out in nature which is a beautiful way to get into a real high and when not doing that I'm in my beautiful house with my beloved family. I was cruel and ignorant to my mother all that time ago in the past and she often has had to deal with too many of my outbursts, but now I value her much more and have a for-the-most-part much better relationship with her. She experienced the 60s. My dad experienced the 60s. I EXPERIENCED THE 60s IN MY OWN TIME CAPSULE!
       I could actually go back to the period when music was at its most fertile and things were really odd and out there by the power of imagination and blissing out on odd and out there stuff. I think that what gets into people, in fact I know what gets into people is a kind of cartoon caricature of what the 60s were about and those people will never know just as Paul McCartney so eloquently stated. One of the main reasons why Vietnam was the disaster and tragedy that it was is because a huge amount of the Americans were on drugs during combat. There is a very violent and graphic song about the kind of bloodshed that can lead to by the British band Deep Feeling called "Welcome For A Soldier." The song and that strange one-album-then-disappearance band had written their own prophecy- now almost none of them are alive. It wasn't all that, but with rock and roll and drug intake Vietnam was a very strange and very vicious event in history where it created a huge divide between blind patriotism on one hand and conscious efforts to bring about changes in society on the other. The problem is the same people who were shoving flowers up rifle barrels were shoving drugs into their bodies and minds. I didn't need that. I found highs in being with my mates and I found highs in being imaginative. 
     As of now I wish I had come out about the gay part of my personality sooner, but when I did come out it was Hell for me. I received death threats. I still get called "Faggot" and get referred to by fat beer bellied scum like the shits at the clinic who beat me up brutally as "that little faggot." Well if you think I'm not tougher than pea brained you I'm actually Iron Man! I continue to deal with hatred and ignorance. I spit in the face of those assholes because I know I'm better than them. In the 60s the gay movement hadn't really begun. In fact, nearly all gay couples kept it hushed and out of sight. It was supposed to be about free love so they called it, but this "free love" wasn't as free as it was said to be. I have had numerous females over the years try to turn me into something I will never be and it's sad to hurt their feelings, but I won't ever be straight. Females have it worse than males even and that is another tragedy of modern society. It isn't exactly modern to have minorities, women, and gays at the bottom of the pecking order, but I've always been about the bloody brooding dark mystical side of stuff and come on strong as the true eccentric I am so for me it's ten times worse in some ways. I would have had to suffer a lot of losses in the 60s and I couldn't have possibly stomached Vietnam. When I first came out about my sexuality it was after knowing I desired the same sex even in childhood days. In the 80s there was a brief ray of hope for gay people as new romantic and glam hard rockers often went for obscure references or even went for blatant androgyny. I was at the height of awareness when music was chock full of good songs and clever little double entendres. Then there was a period of huge insecurity and then I was all of a sudden a very frightened homosexual who knew it, but who was gonna go crazy through faking out that I was straight. A painful time for me that sure turned out to be.
     I think about all this talk of "Free love" in the 60s and yeah love should be free, but the 60s were a time of so much innocence that with the innocence came ignorance. I would have wanted to screw soldiers. I would have wanted to screw cops and try to win them over to the right side. I suppose I would have been same old me, but I don't like to use words like "screwing" because if you don't love somebody or even have a real attraction to them there is no point in having a relationship. Free love can mean venereal disease. It can mean a one night stand at best. However, what "free love" really stood for was that the cops could be as disgusting as they were and society could be as blind and idiotic as it was, but the counterculture were gonna be about sharing and giving out positive vibrations. I simply couldn't do that. When I feel something about someone I'm not gonna mask it and I never did mask it at all except my sexual and other private feelings. If I love another man or boy I'll hug him. If I hate him he's gonna have Hell on his front steps beating down his door! So were the 60s not really as concrete as I wanted to believe they were gonna be? No. There was something very true and loving about that time of love fighting hate. It just was done in by the draft and drugs.
       The 70s were about something completely different yet not so different from the 60s and the 80s were also another move further out into uncharted territory, but every decade gets done in by something bad and that is the tragic part of a revolutionary lifestyle. I suppose I was done in by none of the above when it came to the usual suspects drugs, drink, sex, but more so I was done in then have through time always rebounded. I don't give in fast or easy. In fact I don't give in period. I never liked even marijuana and I instead preferred playing music, being into my imagination, and watching movies like the colour Richard Thomas version of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT as that is a movie that can make very strange things happen if you zone into it enough. It's a tragic, heartbreaking, very vicious and sad story, but I tell you the whole thing with the hot German Hun uniforms and English accents and complexions is very mind mangling or maybe it was just that I have come to associate that movie with the day I watched it and played "The White Ship" by H.P Lovecraft and that was a real natural trip! Soldiers are a natural trip for me. If people and music and nature can't get you high then you may have the kind of selfish disease that leads to drug use or worse yet violence. I don't believe in drugs or going out, getting drunk, and beating somebody up. That's rubbish. I can trip. I can flip. I can be hip, but I can't be hip to mind and body destroying and decaying substances and behaviors!
     I would much rather snuggle up and be warm and loving with a guy than a gal and that is not going to change. I would just plain rather get intimate and spend a lot of time with someone or with animals or with music than act out the kind of nonsensical lifestyle that leads to self-inflicted catastrophe. The 60s could have survived if it hadn't been for the damned drugs, politicians, and the bad cops. I don't think any of the neophyte hippies are worth their weight in anything because all they do is do all the stupid shit, act out all the wrong beliefs, and fake everything to the point I just want to scream at them "YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING WRONG!!!!!." There are a lot of very hip people out there today, but they aren't the fake people pretending to be something they don't have any true knowledge of. The 60s should be valued for the music, the political uprisings for peace and freedom, and not for the drugs. I feel sad when I think of what happened to two of my best friends and it was a father and son affair with substance abuse. Tragic and terrible. Joc, my very best friend, and I used to have a very loving and close relationship until he followed in the steps of his father and became a junkie. His dad then went back to being a junkie quite some time later whilst Joc was at that time and last I heard in the only gutter second to the abuse-of-power-and-violence-loving gutter heroin addiction. Maybe I am lucky or maybe I'm just different. I'm glad I turned onto soldiers, nature, and music. I can recall all the experiences with soldiers and marines and a few with sailors where we were on something really good and it was not a drug. Nature too I always delve into and that's not a drug. Music is brilliant and music for me is a life force. The advent of things like YouTube is mindblowing. Just avoid substance abuse and throwing your life down the drain and you can have more riches than anyone with pockets bulging full of corruptly earned cookie dough! That you either will learn or you will be one of those people who never knows. (Thank you Sir Paul McCartney for the beautiful words.)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Junco Partners And The World Post 1969- Bad Things Adding Up Good Things Going Out

It's so unfortunately true that the whole hippie movement fragmented and fell apart in the year of 1969 and decade that followed the Altamont and Kent State atrocities. In England a whole different disaster happened in 1969- the beginning of Operation Banner known to most, but not enough of you, as British soldiers trying to hold the smashed pieces together in Northern Ireland. IRA attacks would hit soldiers and home soil for decades to come and the whole idea worldwide as every peace movement fractured that peace could be attained through flowers and love died out and got aggressive.
   So where do Junco Partners fit in you may ask? They were formed in the mid 60s as a Mod/pop kind of band, but in 1970 when an album appeared in England, France, Germany, and Canada all at once they were long haired, wild, boisterous rockers Hell bent on seizing the title of top heavy progressive band and their lone album stands as the strongest and most enduring underground hard rock meets progressive and late psychedelic rock album ever made. I simply have loved this album for years! Having said that I love dark, hard, driving, music and something about the growing trend towards more serious subject matter and other ways of turning on really appeals to me.  It has gained appeal over the years when my days of floral patterned clothes and the donning of a frilled yellow shirt dwindled into tastefully less bombastic apparel.
      Unfortunately, the good days of my life now seem past, gone, and dead. It was only yesterday I turned violent and destructive for no reason except my illnesses (all of them mental) and it was horrible and drove my mother violent. Both of us are gonna need to love a lot over the coming months and years and I can't lose control like that again! I was horrible this morning until I finally calmed down, but I bear the scars of this experience and I don't think time will heal so take your little Hallmark card reassurances away from me because I CAN'T BE REASSURED. I have to change my life. No one is going to do it for me. When I start getting out of control I should not let it escalate to the massive spillovers I've had to deal with from me.
     Nowadays I'm either all the way feeling good or so down that lines like some of the ones in "Minotaur' on Junco Partners and "Black Widow" on the same album are very relevant to me. "Minotaur" includes a shocking second verse: "Like Rats They're Caught/Their Bodies Are Smoldering As Though In A Net/Disenchanted By The Way They're All Left There To Rot." If that isn't dark, heavy, mean, and grotesque what is!!!!!!!? There are a lot of very cheerful songs on Junco Partners too including a few great R&B leaning numbers and by R&B I mean raw rhythm and blues not the modern definition which is sappy watered down soul rubbish! Of course we get soul influences too- good soul. "Fly Me High" follows "Minotaur" and is quite a change of pace almost sounding James Brown influenced. In fact it does. Bob Sergeant's vocals and organ work are really solid throughout and Charlie Harcourt's guitar and the tough, tight rhythm section are stunning. If you are looking for a lost classic you are far better off with this than with quite a few over hyped travesties and while you're at it if you find some obscure looking albums from Canada and America of this same vintage with freaky covers of long haired guys (Cat) or twisted looking lions eating people (Amish) dig in!
   Things had changed, but except the good music from that era this was not a good change. The political movements turned into a whole bunch of angry people who didn't know how to vent their anger at what was going on and the whole notion of "Peace" was too much of the time associated with something lost and destroyed- that was the biggest mistake of later movements. A notion of "We tried peace and it didn't work now let's mow them all down!" was oftentimes the battle cry of these misguided people and it was the disaster that became synonymous not just with badly acted out pointless warfare in the streets, but also the police weren't showing any signs of improvement as evidenced by the Stonewall Riots where pigs (they really were pigs) opened fire and killed gay protesters because they were gay and that's different and this disgusting fabrication named "Uncle Sam" doesn't like that. I, too, would have involved myself in things like the Vietnam protests and Gay Rights protests happily, but not in a Weathermen bombing IRA bombing scenario there is no place and no excuse for that. The IRA have been around for a million years, but they went from bad to completely disgusting. Having said that, I can see the spoken argument back before Operation Banner, but not during it when things got sick-in-the-head. As for what was going on in America it was another kind of tragedy and one that revolved around the horrible tragedy of Vietnam. I still cringe thinking about it. "Minotaur" may have been brought on by a news flash for all I know.
    I've talked a lot about doom and violence and gloom here so you must be getting it into your head that Junco Partners is a downer record. Not entirely, but it most certainly conveys an obvious depressed and desperate angle to early 70s progressive underground rock. Look at who was popular, though. Were Sabbath joyful? NO. What about Jethro Tull? NO. Then you may try Emerson, Lake and Palmer and King Crimson? MOST CERTAINLY NOT. If there just had been the serious music and better ways of solving problems and troubles it would have been brilliant, but it wasn't like that. Peace looks like as long as there is human nature and there are humans something that will never transpire and people have their own selfishness and disgusting greed for power and authoritarianism to blame for that sad simple fact. Junco Partners have a recurring theme of solitude and disassociation from other people and I'm that way myself. To think a couple birds together spawned all this heavy shit! No, I just could see in some of the experiences I've had and some of my favourite music that things had changed.
      In the 60s trashy meant trashy. In the 70s it meant cool. To be slovenly and pretty much without an image was brought on by The Band and their ilk and definitely had its beginnings in Canada. Also, let's remember The Doors and the increasingly disheveled appearance of Jim Morrison although he wasn't acting it out he was seriously damaged. The Band, Procol Harum, scruffy groups started to get recognition based solely on great music.
    Let's end with the thought that music was the good part of the growing worldwide spiritual and social impoverishment. Music meant all the riches in the world compared to what politics and violent uprisings turned everybody into. There would be changes in coming years with music getting to be a serious part of political movements based on the right ethos and let's thank Neil Young and Zappa for a huge part of that. Peter Gabriel can't be left out either. I can still recollect seeing all the protests in the 80s against Apartheid which is something that really horrifies me. As long as people use intimidation as an excuse for acting violently and childishly there will be revolts against the power hungry bastards getting to kick heads in and abuse their corruptly earned places in society. Now with those kinds of people as a vast majority maybe the time is here for kicking their heads in, but I say find other ways of stripping them of their power. All the "Eye For An Eye" rubbish gets really tiresome. The world post 9/11 is the worst atrocity of them all. I can think of all the good things that went straight out the window and all the bad things that came in. What a sad way for the world to end up. If you want to smile fine. If you start laughing maybe somebody should ask you "What on earth is funny about injustice?" Do your part, but do it without corruption. I'll finish with that philosophy.

Monday, August 10, 2015


   This blog begins with a question and I already have the answer: IS HEAVY METAL "EVIL?" The answer is A RESOUNDING NO. I have listened to King Diamond, Candlemass, Stormwitch, Running Wild, Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest,and the simple fact is this is good music with arcane and intellectual lyrics that may speak of Satanism, but Satanism also is not as evil an idea as you may think if you hear Mr. Diamond's argument. Essentially King Diamond is warning us of the horrible past and present of true evil done in the name of organized Christianity. I was scapegoated throughout school and continue to be sought out and abused for what I will come right out and tell you is that I am a highly intelligent individual in the stupidest most corrupted country in the world Amerika and it's about time the rest of the world smacked our face and threw us head first down a flight of stairs. I mean no ill towards certain Americans, but the intelligent worldly people in this country have always taken two roads if they are good: they either join the Armed Forces (Especially the Marine Corps), go to work for a leftist organization, or back in the glory days of the musical subject at hand and the indie rock of today go off and put good music into action.
        The whole idea behind heavy metal began in the late 60s and early 70s mainly in England, but now let us take a good look at that era, an era that I'll make the argument produced THE MOST EVIL, FILTHY, SICK, AND CORRUPT MUSIC IN THE WORLD IN THE WRONG HANDS. Wouldn't you know it Amerika would be the country sick, violent, murderous, and disturbing music came from by fakes and scumbags exploiting the psychedelic era and turning what was a brilliant and revolutionary time into a time as lopsided as there ever will be in history except the 90s. It began with the bad side of the 1960s as there was no decade more tumultuous. The Vietnam War cost over 50,000 American boys lives during the long, drawn out tragedy and some really truly evil and horrible things were done to the Vietnamese by Americans and also by factions within Vietnam and later Cambodia. People took to the streets by the thousands in the protest movement and there was always the feeling of darkness and misery in the air as those same thousands could on the male contingent find themselves drafted and sent off to Hell. Some bands became immersed in political protest in fact many did, but let's just look at how many times that it wasn't protest it was an excuse to write about murder and violent death. Things got so bad by the early 70s that a certain sicko band called Bolder Damn who were no good and had no talent produced a "song" called "Dead Meat" where in live performances the band's singer would be mutilated and covered in blood. That sick album has had numerous reissues and the most recent of which when I finally heard it sent me into Hell when I freaked out over it. Fuck you Bolder Damn!
    In stark contrast Alice Cooper was always, especially when it was meant for the whole band not just Alice the frontman, violent onstage, but done with a sense of real fun and zaniness and Alice turned out to be a band of brothers led by a strangely named entertainer who still puts on amazing shows of performance art. Alice (I.E Vincent Furnier) is now in his 60s and will not stop. He has a dream and a vision and the band shared that dream and vision. Also in very stark contrast all of Black Sabbath's songs are warnings and graphic depictions of both a fantasy netherworld and the bad side of the 60s and 70s done in a creative way. Fast forward to Iron Maiden and The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal that was the spark that led to the most creatively brilliant time in music when music was actually having some more equilibrium.
      I know you're gonna say I'm trashing the 60s. No. it's my favourite era as is the 70s, but at the same time that I highly value the best music of that time I have no time and no place for the hacks and slime bags who turned the 60s into both not just the best, but also the worst era ever for music. In Amerika what started as feeble and stagnant with pathetic bands supposed to guard "us" from The British Invasion soon turned into the death obsessed violent, murderous, and sicker than sick disaster of what happened when the people who were spitting in the face of the hippies began to make albums smugly placed to put them into a quick jump on and off the bandwagon. Let me just say that when I was living in the 1960s in the 1990s I had learned from the previous heavy metal peak era that some people have no shame at all and were arriving in droves playing what I call "thrash and trash." Truths must be faced about even some of the most hardcore metal. I mean Dark European Metal. The genre is wider than you think. Bands from Europe were writing message and lesson songs and in fact the best of these bands were great storytellers who were channeling into a kind of childhood nightmare world that had its beginnings and peak in the progressive era which began with bands like Genesis who like Alice Cooper had an outlandish frontman in Peter Gabriel. I found myself hearing one horrible American record after another from what were termed as "psychedelic" albums and I began to get really pissed off with American "psych" and there still are a handful of favourites in what is otherwise an overflowing veritable Wal-Mart of shelves full of vomit!
    Music was always better overseas than here. In the psychedelic era, however, the split between some of the best music ever created in the history of America and the very worst was so wide that most people who were part of the counterculture knew when they were being taken for a ride and the bad bands were business executives on a corporate venture. All you have to do is look at how few of the truly evil albums were even done by a band. Case in point are two very disgusting individuals who got together on several projects by the names of Lor Crane and Jay Zimmet. The New York based pair's first piece of vinyl horror music and an evil vicious homicide on vinyl is the sickest record ever recorded in the entire history of music. In 1968 an album on a not-even-rock label Phase 4 by a nonexistent band called Stonepillow by the album title of ELEAZAR'S CIRCUS came out and at the same time the other sickest most obscene and twisted record ever made by a bandwagon jumping bunch of prissy fools known as The Strawberry Alarm Clock WAKE UP IT'S TOMORROW was released. Both these albums are obsessed with death, murder, violence, mutilation, terrifying for the sake of nothing but to be horrible and mean spirited imagery, and in the title track of "Eleazar's Circus" a room full of death, misery, disease, and decay is what the circus is!!!!! Strawberry Alarm Clock come right out and urge the listener to commit suicide in the opening track of WAKE UP IT'S TOMORROW  "Nightmare Of Percussion" and then there are such charming tracks as "Curse Of The Witches" where every female in his family is burned as a witch until again the theme of suicide as a "good thing" is addressed. Did any British bands or European bands ever make albums this sick? NO. What should have turned into hunting down and imprisoning the bastards behind this never happened. Instead, fast forward to "Beyond The Realms Of Death" by Judas Priest we have a song that is meant to be a tragic storyline and powerful look at someone so sick they never can cope with life gets years later turned into a court case. I saw sights as evil as boxes and boxes of records being burned when I was a kid and the PMRC led by pigfaced Tipper Gore got away with their true evil by having large warning stickers placed on nearly all records only within the genre of hard rock/metal. I don't think I need a crystal ball to tell you who really is sick and deranged here.
      In England in the 80s a lot of bands did write occult lyrics and other dark themes, but the art behind bands like Witchfinder General was like that of a fine master painter diligently working on what would be a musical equivalent of something you could stare at for hours and always find something new and special in it. Let's also go back to the 60s and bring up The Bee Gees, Pink Floyd,  UK Kaleidoscope, and the best music ever made is there. I never had a problem with most of the British and European bands especially as the songs are often fables and lesson songs. Witchfinder General were a band who unjustly were persecuted until there was nothing they could do but split because of poor sales. Also, Iron Maiden used enough biblical allusions in their lyrics to practically rewrite the so-called "Holy Book." One of the bands outside metal who sported a genius lyricist and musician who will be a legend up there with Shakespeare himself is The Police and Sting. Sting would spend hours and hours meticulously crafting haunting melodies and catchy vocal lines inspiring everyone from Diamond Head the Gods of Heavy Metal to Duran Duran another high minded band. With the swing towards the far right both in Britain and Amerika and disasters like Operation Banner (The Troubles In Northern Ireland) where thousands and thousands of British young men died there was bound to be menace and depression in a lot of music, but British bands had a different way of dealing with it. Some American bands wrote myriads of protest songs (Fifth Angel, Queensryche), but the most rapidly maturing era of music the 1980s belonged to love song oriented American and Canadian AOR/Pomp and solid British Rock.
    I was just a kid then, but I knew a lot and I learned fast. Of course, I also learned about the fake styrofoam headed American Bible Belt and other disturbing right wing movements and whilst the country was swinging to the right faster than you could spell the word "WRONG" I became further and further leftist in my beliefs and more and more radical. I'm proud of a lot of what I accomplished then. I couldn't have done it without these supposedly rank and vile artists like Ozzy Osbourne, Diamond Head, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and so on. Ozzy got the brunt of really bad press, but so did Triumph and every other band from Canada and Canada wasn't metal most of the time unless you really wanna stretch hard rock bands like White Wolf and Sword into the heavy metal idiom. There were bands in Amerika like for instance Overkill, Savatage, and a lot of names whose subterranean sound had me drooling. Yes, I have been called a "Devil Worshiper!" What nonsense. To go back to the rancid days of the 1990s grunge came out and its evil effects along with the evil of sick in the head nonsense that replaced true heavy metal was never acknowledged for how dangerous it was until the horrible Columbine School shootings. This disaster happened and continues to happen because of the fucking Second Amendment. Shame on us! So you may ask me why do I have NO FRIENDS IN AMERICA? Because America has more stupid people than any other country in the world and more RICH STUPID PEOPLE. Over the years violent outbursts and rebellious behavior from me have been pretty commonplace and I'm glad to say that I always defend myself and my beliefs. I remember all those times we drove around in the car blasting the Hell out of Diamond Head, Aerosmith, Dokken, Saxon, UFO, Black Sabbath, and Ozzy with Randy Rhoades. Don't tell me that's evil. The drinks are on me and they don't cost anything and they aren't even alcoholic. Feel like taking a sip? I suggest you do!

Saturday, August 8, 2015


  Rarely, if ever, do I write about an album as soon as I've heard it so this may be a first. Eyes Of Blue were/are a Welsh underground progressive/psychedelic/blues rock crossover band from the late 60s whose second album IN FIELDS OF ARDATH is so good that Quincy Jones wrote the liner notes after none other than Graham Bond had done so for them on the predecessor CROSSROADS OF TIME.
    Unfortunately, too freaky and strange was this band for mainstream success even back in the 60s so they remained a secret pleasure to club goers then and now are highly prized collectors albums that almost never turn up. Even when most really great records that became impossible were possible back in the 90s I saw IN FIELDS OF ARDATH once and never saw CROSSROADS OF TIME until 2004!!!!! What that basically tells you is that despite being as innovative and bizarre as King Crimson and sounding a bit like early Genesis gone into ultra neoclassical moods Mercury Records fucked this band's career up just as was and always will be common practice for record companies. They also made sure at the same time as Eyes Of Blue that the magnificent first Magna Carta album got buried alive before anyone could grab it. Mercury, as an American founded label, was part of Philips in the UK and no parent company has a worse track record for ruining careers except RCA Victor. Magna Carta went to Vertigo and enjoyed a worldwide release with their even more fantastic follow up SEASONS which belongs in every collection (as does everything by Magna Carta!!!), but Eyes Of Blue were deemed to a gloomier fate when the small and short lived Pegasus label put out their last of 3 masterful albums under the new band name Big Sleep and album title BLUEBELL WOOD in 1971. They coulda been contenders!
               I was upset about getting some duplicate copies of records in a wonderful deal with a great Montreal store that is better than any stores in America and so before we could reach "Ben Freaking Out Again" (really it must stop!) level again my faithful doggie father went out and bought me the copy of ARDATH that was on hold for me at the Princeton Record Exchange (also a great store). I've been having strange and rather irksome dreams and visions lately that are like acid trips and when I put this record on my mind flew into crazy places and I knew I had the perfect start of an entry. My mind upon hearing "Merry Go Round" which begins the album IN FIELDS OF ARDATH and is almost 10 minutes long concentrated heavily on this bizarre creation with Gary Pickford-Hopkins' superb vocals augmented by lavish baroque vocal harmonies and some of the most daring music in the history of rock. I envision all kinds of things: soldiers, Christmas, trees dancing around in a high wind, exotic flowers and herbal remedies I mean this really is out of this world!!!!
    Apparently the lyrics on the album all stem from the occult and the supernatural and are as good an argument as any that some kind of other world exists. Short stay labelmates the American band Coven, Deep Purple, Black Widow, Black Sabbath, and the latter days of Jason Crest showed a change happening fast in the speedy evolution of rock. The more innocent psychedelic pop was turning into long progressive and heavy workouts and the later psychedelic music took on dark shades and mysterious colourings. It was happening so rapidly that all of a sudden music was out of the embryonic stages of growth and moving onward into the year 1970 it was all either you were in country rock aka The Band or Byrds later period, progressive underground rock, hard rock, or the maturing days of pop where more exciting bands like Vanity Fare took the place of some of the least good music of the British Invasion, but were staying firmly in the tradition of British pop. American music went into a quandary. Canada went for a long period of splendid creations as did Europe. America just never could keep up. Coven stand alone as the pinnacle of American underground music and make no mistake their music was at the time of WITCHCRAFT DESTROYS MINDS AND REAPS SOULS firmly rooted in British folk and Jefferson Airplane but better than Jefferson Airplane psychedelic rock. There's only one Jinx Dawson and there's only one Grace Slick so trouble was about to happen and boy did we get hit with it when garbage flooded the radio and then bands as dull and null and void as Kansas became rock stars. Kansas never were a truly progressive band and ample proof is they couldn't tackle something as bizarre as Coven or South Wales band in question Eyes Of Blue and it was the bloody mid 70s!!!!! What I'm essentially stating is IN FIELDS OF ARDATH had roots in African, jazz, classical, rhythm and blues and whilst all but classical and African are American music forms we didn't have a band nor really was there another band quite as strange as Eyes Of Blue. I remember all those times of occult communication and I still get it.
       There are songs on this album that don't have the joyful aura of "Merry Go Round" and despite the jubilant passages even that song has moody reflective ones bringing to mind another highly complex band which is the early period of Greek psych/progressive group Axis. Basically, classical music was becoming very influential in rock and so was a dark undercurrent that Deep Purple got heavily into with the addition of superman singer Ian Gillan and bass player extraordinaire Roger Glover. "The Light We See" follows from "Merry Go Round" with more strong vocals and Raymond Williams plays brilliant guitar throughout the song and the whole album. Phil Ryan proved to be a stunning keyboard player and Ritchie Francis is almost as good on the bass as Glover. Drums are played by John Weathers who is very impressive and actually he became a long term member of Gentle Giant not too much later and stayed with them until they broke up in 1980. Unfortunately, Gentle Giant appear lucky compared to Eyes Of Blue. There are songs on this album like "Door" that are so crazily uncommercial and inventive that it may sound to some of you "incongruous" which I say is actually you may be narrow minded.
    Listening to each and every magical track on this album last night my mind raced around and is still spinning from my first spin of the turntable on IN FIELDS OF ARDATH. As I think heavily about how to somehow record my musical ideas I also think about fleetingness. What would have happened if Bruce Dickinson's scary bout with cancer have been deadly and we'd lost one of the now longest running heavy bands Iron Maiden? Will Bruce and Rob Halford and Ozzy last much longer? Unanswerable questions lead to a predicament and the truth must be acknowledged: all the bands with clout and longevity are getting older and older and we have not enough sufficient talent to take over from them. Back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s the span of a career was oftentimes all-too-brief. A masterpiece or two or three and the bands that made those incredible albums were gone. Listening to Eyes Of Blue is like taking a serious risk- this is dangerous sounding music!!!!!! The more you concentrate on the nearly frantic changes of mood, vocal and instrumental acrobatics, and imagery the more into the dark spirit world you journey. This album makes me think of all the bizarre visions I had as a child and continue to have. I know I have ideas and dreams that are going to be a huge risk not just for the receiving end of that risk, but also for me. I don't like not having physical contact with attractive males and yet I hate it with most women and in my somewhat isolating mindset about the opposite sex I find most females overbearing and hard to have anything to do with. I certainly don't think of anything feminine when listening to Eyes Of Blue and Jinx is a vixen and a witch so that makes her one of the few I'd love to have in my life.
    I have since childhood been infatuated with uniforms. They for over half my life have symbolized sexuality, lust, love, and deviating from that straight and narrow path to a far more sinful one. Personally, I hate stale perfume and stale religions. Satanism is almost if not as stale as Christianity and if we were not still disallowed to practice it in the open I would hate it. Truth is, the occult and supernatural are separate from religion. I'm a spiritualist, but as for believing in God or any of that I may not even be an agnostic I may be an atheist. Soldiers I at first was terrified to confront and that was a simple matter of fact that if I came out any sooner from my shell repeated in my head was the question "What the F*ck will happen to me?" I ended up not caring. I jumped right in. That was the best decision of my life. Intuitive, inquisitive, highly sensual, openly able to discuss anything if need be they turn out to be the best thing I ever found besides my music. When I first heard IN FIELDS OF ARDATH my mind did the same triple take on every fantastical vision and dream and desire I had/have to the point where I was freaked by it. "Door" is gonna freak anyone. The "door" opens into death and reincarnation and there appears to be some kind of acid maligned menace lurking behind that lyrical subject as this is one of the freakiest songs I've ever heard like The Beach Boys on a bad trip meets Procol Harum and Deep Purple in a head on collision of heavy progressive mania. For an American band the only band we had anywhere close to this album is Gypsy. Gypsy's albums and some other albums showed that some Americans took notice. Thing is, if you have unmarketable and marketable as Sonny Geraci and Climax who I think are solid AM radio pop something usually will last, but the span of most American good bands was as bad as anywhere else. Too much great music and too many mouths to feed lead to breakup after breakup after breakup. Styx were together a long time before tensions between Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw made it obvious that the split was coming and the split came. Styx are a great band both before and during Tommy Shaw's stay, but oddly enough the kid who came into the band as an unknown was so influential in their change of style that Dennis got jealous and the usual political scenario happened. Despite how many times I play a great record or band the fact is that most good and great bands don't last long enough.
              Evolution is something that should be never ending, but the 90s put an end to the evolution of rock until later years when thanks to all the destruction of American music culture and its evil worldwide effects the great bands who once could have been huge went underground. Nowadays if you would like to hear great music you have to go to the independent level. I know what a hard uphill slog it is for bands, but Eyes Of Blue were unfairly screwed over. The first album should have sold a lot and is a great record, but IN FIELDS OF ARDATH is so good that I end this long entry by saying that if things had worked out like Genesis Eyes Of Blue would have gone onto make more records and enough of them until they were huge. As things unfortunately turned out it was not like that and they went under fast. Every track is a masterpiece. You will have to search hard, but start with Eyes Of Blue and continue with Beggars Opera and a whole lot of other contenders.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


A whole year practically since I published a blog entry! I was in a total funk I lost my whole collection and now have to wait for the replacement even better collection to come in the mail over 100 records of it from Montreal Quebec Canada and 2015 has been the worst year of my entire 39 years in my life! To all of the shitty people who fucked with me and tried to kill me literally and tried to destroy my life I bid you a happy "Kiss My Ass Goodbye!" To all the people who care and who have stuck by me and have put up with my mood changes which occur about 10 every 10 minutes and whose superhuman endurance and caring and help and kindness they have unselfishly shared with me words can't express how deeply indebted I am to you!
    This entry is gonna be about the new me which I know is going to be a bleak description of an angry, enraged, bitter, and cut-no-corners man and on the other hand about a man who values life more every day, will be open,  resilient, and never giving up and fighting to the death. It's also gonna be about Barnaby Bye and what band could be more appropriate in the worst year of my life than a band who I think of first at the turn of the cards and dealing out the killer deck and saying as Robert Graves said "Goodbye To All That."  I did not want to pick a violent aggressive band and I don't listen to too many of those in the metal genre nowadays (Oh, I'll admit White Wolf is one of the records coming in the package, but they are heavy pomp rock not metal) unless they are melodic metal. Melodic metal can get really heavy, but it's all about songs and melodies and good vocals, playing and lyrics. Barnaby Bye happen to be the best band America ever produced and don't tell me their two albums aren't the most extraordinary achievement by an American band during the confusion of the early to mid 70s where the good was great and the bad was unfathomably horrible. However, there's something to get out in the open here and that's the first half of this entry. I have, in my wisdom, made this a two part thing. All the bad news and trashing of me and violent attacks and spitting in the face of this country come first. Then the placidity and peace of finding a better way to live my life and music that makes the world go around for me and the people I love most my mother and father.
      2014 had about 10 good days in the whole year. It was a wretched, filthy, self-delusional self-destructive year of disaster in which my entire collection that it took years to build was destroyed by my own murderous hands in a blind fit of greed and idiocy. 2015 until the summer came HAD NO GOOD DAYS NOT ONE OF THEM IN THE WHOLE YEAR! The ending of 2014 with a suicidal breakdown on Christmas where I was crying and screaming and mutilating myself with violent punches to the head was a perfect omen for what was to come in the sickening stinking enema with a knife in the tube of 2015. There were TWO MENTAL HOSPITAL VISITS WHERE NO HELP WAS RECEIVED AND THE DOWNWARD SPIRAL WAS NEARLY CUT OFF BY IN THE SECOND THREE WEEK ODYSSEY OF AGONY THERE WERE TWO HOMICIDE ATTEMPTS AGAINST ME AND MENTAL, PHYSICAL, AND PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE INFLICTED ON ME. I know thee Amerika. I know thy putrid face and mocking tongue!
     The first time I went to hospital it was in the winter and I spent also a total of about 10 days in hospital this wretched year of 2015 for medical emergencies also. So that amounts to a whole lot of my life wasted and thrown out the window.  In February it was really my fault and I wouldn't budge with my again delusional ideology about record dealing and hurting my family, but having said that it could have been resolved some other way if we all had tried harder and if there had been a better way of slapping me in the face with a hard dose of reality.  Having said that, the hospital was all the way in Northern Jersey and except for the crazy fat maniacal deformed violent bitch who was my social worker I got to know the virtues of you NJ northerners and how you are very nice and good and strong people!
     There were a lot of violent eruptions and screaming and smashing things and very oddly every time it was a female who did it and that I find very strange. I had a few patients who were so crazy I had to avoid them, but a woman with many different names and multiple personality disorder the poor thing showed me so much love even when I was upset with her that I must thank her and remember her for the rest of my life. She was tall, skinny, black, and beautiful. She also could sing as well as somebody who would be packing arenas worldwide or better. Her rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and soulful sweet passion in her voice was truly breathtaking. Meeting two women where for the first time in my life I loved them enough to be my soul sisters and seeing the black woman beat up and try to kill the white woman was very horrible to say the least of how bad that night was. Most of the patients were from a totally different part of the state than me as said and they certainly have some assets people in my area don't have. There was one girl who screamed and growled and groaned and shrieked and I tried to help her, but grew angry with her when she would do nothing to better her own situation or listen to any of the advice I gave her. I met a young boy named Mike who was so beautiful a person that I fell madly in love with him and we bonded a lot together. His adamantly Jewish friend Jared was a hugely intelligent and vibrant person who I always felt really good around. A worker for Sony in New York he blew me away completely. There were too many violent outbursts all the time 24 hours, though, and we couldn't get through one day without something awful happening so not as pleasant an experience as it could have been. I have never been more distant from my family, but they eventually came around and would defend me during and after the second hospitalization and I thank them with my heart.
     Most of the staff in fact all the staff there at the beginning of the year except the should have been "fill in the blanks this would be good to have been done to her" social worker were laidback and very supportive of me. They actually took time out for me they didn't take out for anyone else. Still the violence, craziness, cots instead of beds shitty existence, and estrangement from my mother who was going through a hate period for me made it a very frightening experience and up in northern Jersey the winter was even harsher and there was a day that began with the horrible sight of a bird dropping from the sky and dying. It was scary and left me with scars all over me. Not just the bird the whole ordeal. I at least was supported and bonded with a lot of people, but the crazy Jamaican guy was one person it was impossible to ascertain at all as to what he was about and what he was on. I could tell one thing about him and that was that being away from Jamaica was impossible for him. He couldn't stand it and couldn't fit in to anything at all that wasn't confrontational or macho in a kind of alluringly deranged way.
    I came home. Nothing got better. I was having so much pain and so much agony in my life that for the first time  I seriously tried to kill myself on my 39th birthday. I was repeatedly in hospital for medical treatments to save my life and when it seemed like nothing was worse than having a million needles stuck into your veins things took a deadly turn. Sensing destruction if I didn't act fast I made the mistake of going to hospital the 1millionth time and this time to check myself into a mental hospital I made the fatal error of judging from a 6 years old pleasant experience. It was Hell. During the first half of the time I was a willing victim at first, but only at very first to blatant medical malpractice. Cut off from my family I was surrounded by drug addicts, alcoholics, a hideous fat 800 pound she looked like and felt like to be around darling of the sickening staff and the making of a violent hate filled man soon all took place on the disgusting night of another disgusting day. I had to be subjected to the most unprofessional, smarmy, lying, crazy, nasty towards nearly all patients, and psychopathic towards me especially staff and the medication they had me on was killing me literally.       
    Finally, I refused to put up with the abuse of the staff and made the harmless gesture of spilling a tiny amount of water on the fat belligerent nurse and saying "Woman you gotta cool down." I was chased by the staff like it was a manhunt. She ran up to me and tried shove a pill down my throat. I walked away from her and then all Hell broke loose. A whole bunch of slimy fat bearded tattooed and everything else biker pig Amerikan MHTs as they are called (it is supposed to stand for the complete lie "Mental Health Technicians") grabbed me threw me into the dirt, bashed my head in literally 30 times, and for over an hour ripped my left leg up, punched me in the head, pulled down my trousers and shoved a needle up my ass, and smashed my entire body up including jumping on top of me and throwing me literally around in the air.
     I was thrown into a cell which is the lie known as the "quiet room there" and then transferred to another unit. The only people who stood up for me and who would continue to stand up for me against the staff who I would love to go back and cut up with a knife or better yet as an axe murderer to the point where to vent my vexation I wrote a long song lyric about it were a lot of wonderful patients. I could never have gotten through the experience without most of the patients in the second unit, some during my time in the first unit, and my loving family who fought and continue to fight the good fight for me. When you are in a situation where you are being called a "Faggot" all the time and trashed by evil patients and trashed by an evil staff you value the people who are saner than a lot of other people even more. I had several long sobbing fits and the second occurred after the second homicide attempt by a staff member took place. In an environment where you go to get help that is something already intolerable that becomes so intolerable it merits a death penalty punishment! I extend no thanks whatsoever to the money loving Republican Donald Trump ass kissing scum who work in that place and if it weren't for obvious reasons I would name it so that you don't go there.
     However, the year began to turn around during this summer when I came home at the end of May and I must give a huge thank you to my new psychiatrist who is very expensive, but knows his job like a master. My mother stood up for me and wrote a long complaint letter to the mental hospital which they took seriously enough to even say it was being "looked into," but it's not all rosy in my new life. I'm a violent person now. I show my dark side to people outside the family circle more often than ever and during confrontations I have trashed people and shouted abuse at them which to be honest they deserve 199 percent. As of now I'm mainly guarded and stand my ground and stand on my own. I hate money. It should be done away with. I'm very upset with society, but it hasn't stopped some good things from happening. The problem is I'm not healed yet. That's literally the problem as this afternoon I went for an MRI about my destroyed left knee and we will hopefully know the results by the time I come back around again to y'all with the music part of the blog in the foreground not saved for last. I did want to save a couple records I bought during the worst part of the year which has been over half of it(!) with you and I mentioned this band earlier and they are Barnaby Bye. Just as Barnaby Bye turns out to be a name that says goodbye to a lot of things in their songs and love beads and peace philosophy I say goodbye to a lot of things. I don't want to muddle around with anymore depressing anecdotes time to move on to the good juicy stuff!
          I ordered over 100 records today. The deal took the better part of a week and is coming from that wondrous country with the sexiest most beautiful soldiers in the world and most loveable people CANADA. Barnaby Bye, my musical subject in this year long making it back to Vinyl Antiquity, are from not Canada but from Long Island which couldn't be a farther cry. However, the veteran band sported two genius brothers in Billy (keyboards, A.R.P synthesizers, lead and backing vocals) and Bobby (guitar, bass, lead and backing vocals) Alessi and with help from 60s legends Peppy Castro from the Bronx and The Blues Magoos (bass, guitar, lead and backing vocals) and drummer Mike Ricciardella (pronounced RICK R DELLA) from The Illusion they created a sound that could have been done by a Canadian band or a British band. Barnaby Bye made just two albums and unfortunately their airy melodic and at the same time energy filled brand of progressive pop and rock miraculously missed national not to mention worldwide success. Billy, Bobby, Peppy, and Mike I'm writing from the heart and writing the best I superhumanly will about your musical accomplishments.
      Signed to Atlantic and produced by Ahmet Ertegun himself you'd think it would be a sure thing Barnaby Bye and their Zombies/Argent/Beatles/Lovin Spoonful nexus would lead to enormous success, but they possessed something that has done many a band in over the years- they were ahead of their time. Queen at this stage had just started and were doing less mellow numbers than heavy blasters and just as how Queen got to go from only modest sales to huge ones in the reversed scenario of that Barnaby Bye needed more than two records and then their music in 1975 no way would have missed hitting it huge. Back in 1973 Barnaby Bye came right straight out and declared "We're A Band About Love And We Are Doing This Out Of Love" and that is the most beautiful thing I've heard from a band. Their first album ROOM TO GROW is an undeniable masterpiece! Beginning with Peppy's "The Day Came On" there is a jaunty British tea time Queen power pop vibe about the song that reaches out and touches your heart. Peppy's Freddie Mercury meets Paul McCartney vocals are the kind of class only a genius can muster. The songs like "I Feel For You," "Laneya," "Boopa," and all the other great songs by the Alessi brothers perfectly blend super harmonies with great melody lines and Billy Alessi achieves what few keyboard players can even dream of doing- he masters the synthesizer and doesn't let it master him and turn into a toy. I love their version of "She's Leaving Home" even more than the original and "I Think I'm Gonna Like It" features Peppy in top flight with great harmonies, strong lead vocals, and very funny lyrics about an animal loving woman who for a brief moment falls madly in love with him. There also is the sombre lyric of "Jessie Girl" where Peppy relates a child's first knowledge of death when the old lady who runs the candy store all the kids go to passes away unnoticed or cared for. Shades of "Eleanor Rigby?" Maybe, but it's a different kind of song more like The Lovin Spoonful would have progressed to if they could have progressed in the right way with and not without John Sebastian.
       The Zombies influence is less noticeable in the Alessi compositions than on the follow up album TOUCH, but I believe that Billy and Bobby Alessi were easing into that introducing it to the other band members around this time and more pushing the whimsical side of their songwriting on ROOM TO GROW. All of the tracks are perfect and they really have a unique way of writing songs that I've never heard in another group. I hear influences, but I hear them turned into something completely otherworldly and even more otherworldly on the next album.
    Barnaby Bye's complexities are hardly the kind that lead to a musical quagmire. This is healing music like just laying back and shutting the world out of your life except the scant few good things in it. Unfortunately, there were no huge hits on the record and the loyal following the band built up before and during the album and after the second and last album TOUCH was all the band had to build on. Their following it turned out was and is so strong that Barnaby Bye have come back for good several years ago and just like me they are coming out fighting! However, in the fickle 70s Barnaby Bye who exemplified the best traits of the best music of that era were not a huge success.
   TOUCH is far moodier an album and there are more songs about endings than beginnings. The Alessi brothers wrote more of the material and really shine here with beautiful keyboard and synthesizer melodies and soaring vocals. Billy's high and sweet voice in the opening track "Blonde" is so good it's almost too good to be true. "Blonde" already is about an ending and not a beginning and the Zombies sound comes fully out on TOUCH throughout the record. Argent were moving further away from ODDYSEY AND ORACLE and into pomp/prog rock, but Barnaby Bye were the band who took that sound, updated it, made it uniquely theirs, and brought it here. It's odd they aren't Canadian. I could fool people and they did record TOUCH mainly in Canada. "Blonde" has passages of electronic synthesizer wizardry and unearthly hauntingly sung lead vocals and perfect harmonies.    
  "Can't Live This Way," a Bobby Alessi composition, follows and again its love falling apart not love turning into a lasting love affair. There are bouncy melodies and soaring synths and amazing vocals. The harmonies on their albums are in some ways even above those of The Beach Boys! " "Lately You're Like Some Other Girl And She's Cold Cold Cold Cold COLD!" is the second part of the verse. Unfortunately, I think personal issues were coming into place and a lot of that must have been the bitter pill to swallow of the band's record sales. "Damn You Girl" is from Billy and self-explanatory. This time love has gone really bad and he even has several screaming sections here. Somehow you aren't depressed listening to any of the songs on the album. It comes together beautifully. "Damn You Girl" is very similar in the chords and melodies to "She's Not There" again bringing to mind The Zombies in a huge way. "Bein' A Star" takes a different turn and is a sad plaintive ballad from Billy Alessi about how unbearable life has become for him. This song always grabbed me. Back when I was 13 years old and hated Barnaby Bye because I was not into their kind of music yet I loved this song. I'm wondering if I'm somewhere in a different universe. I'm certainly far away from harm when I sit back and listen. All told the only upbeat song lyrically on Side One is Peppy Castro's "Jamie" about finding the girl of his dreams in a groupie.
    Barnaby Bye are essential for melodic collectors and if I had my own record label I would reissue and put back into circulation both LPS. TOUCH is more of a concept album vibe, but not intentionally. There are songs like "Tumblin' Inn" and "White Tornado" on Side Two that are deviations from the rest of their material where the band rock out and "White Tornado" finds Barnaby Bye living up to the song title and rocking like a storm is unleashed. Screaming feedback and killer crashing rhythms make this a hard rock masterpiece! "Happy Was The Day We Met" is a song again about an ending and not a beginning: "Exclusive That Once Was Warm Has Turned To Ice" is a sample line and very sad.  Leaning towards Queen in the Mercury like lead vocal emotionally speaking again this is one of the strongest songs in Peppy's entire catalog and Barnaby Bye are the band he feels the closest to out of the four stunning bands he's been in. There are between the two albums not one song I would say isn't good enough to be on them. "And So It Ends This Way" is the perfect hybrid of The Zombies, Carole King, and The Beach Boys and ends the album on a majestic note. I mention influences and comparisons, but truth be told Barnaby Bye are unique, special, and their hand crafted warm sound is so good it touches my heart. Most of their songs like their name say "Goodbye" and I say goodbye to this wretched year, but not without turning it around and picking up all the broken dreams and making them into dreams and hopes that can be revived and again inspire me to live to see better years than this horrible one! I'm back and I'm a fighting man this time stand in my way I'll smash right through you with my strong spirit!