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!