“We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?” Martin Stone has moved on. The tip-tapping man of many pockets, drainpipe legs and dangling Gauloises has succumbed to a grim an…
remembering Martin Stone..book hound_
“We’re all stories, in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?”
Martin Stone; patron saint of lost books and booksellers. (photographer unknown, but it’s a great jacket)
Martin Stone has moved on. The tip-tapping man of many pockets, drainpipe legs and dangling Gauloises has succumbed to a grim and irresistible disease. The flea markets of Paris and the stalls of Portobello should, by rights, be islands of silence.
Not for too long though, Martin wouldn’t like that, just a minute or two of quiet, slightly damp, reflection followed by a shrug and a return to bustling commerce.
His kind of memorial would involve a knowing nod and the production of some specially secreted oddity from under a stall; a sly grin and a “I thought you might come by. Take a look at this.”
Stop all the clocks, shut the bloody dog up, all that stuff. He dealt…
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Nubag #5 (a year in the life)
El Bang Bang – Jackie Mittoo
(Sir Coxson) Downbeat marrow trembler courtesy of the majestic Jackie Mittoo, (the backbone of Studio 1 throughout the golden years), and the brentford road massive aka the Skatalites, the soul brothers, Sound Dimension the Brentford road all stars/disco set at the top of the game. released in 1966, (as the Ska slid into the Rock Steady) on Downbeat’s genre defining Studio 1/Supreme Label.
Regulars on themusicologist know how strongly the ‘Keyboard King’ has been representing over the years due to his credentials as one of the greats of the music that I love. Jackie is/was and will always be the KING of Studio 1 for me
there are rare tunes and there are BOSS tunes..no doubt which category this STANDS in.
For many years I dismissed David Bowie as a shallow opportunist. What was he doing that Andy Warhol and Lou Reed, conceptually and musically, hadn’t done with more wit and originality? I saw him at the Greyhound in Croydon in the summer of 1972, supported by Roxy Music in a pub room that can’t have held more than 200 people. He did the Ziggy Stardust thing, he and the band in full costume, and I didn’t care for it much.
Those particular songs still don’t do anything for me, but time sometimes dissolves prejudices and now I can see that what I took to be shallowness and opportunism were aspects of what we call the pop process: the way things evolve through mimesis and metamorphosis, adapting to their time. And the response to the sudden news of his death leaves no doubt of the profound impact he had on people whose lives were then in the process of being formed.
It wasn’t until the time of the Berlin trilogy that I started to take him seriously, but then he lost me again. I went to see him again at Wembley Arena in the early ’80s, and he looked to me like a man who’d run dry. But I liked the records he made with Nile Rodgers — if you’ve seen Frances Ha, you’ll know the wonderful sequence in which Greta Gerwig’s character skips through the streets of New York to the sound of “Modern Love” and the whole cinema seems to lift about a foot off the ground.
This morning I found myself going into Soho to buy his new album, queuing behind a bunch of people doing exactly the same thing. I could tell you that I was going to buy it today in any case, and it would be true: the idea of Bowie working with jazz musicians sounded intriguing, if not necessarily guaranteed to work.
I’m listening to blackstar now, and it’s hard to escape the feeling that Bowie knew exactly what he was doing when he scheduled its release. It sounds like the supremely elegant farewell of an artist standing squarely on the platform of his past achievements in order to reach still further, one last time. It’s worthy of the famous line fromMacbeth: “Nothing in his life became him like the leaving of it.”
It isn’t jazz, of course, or anything like it. The skills of the musicians are put to a different purpose. In the mesh of textures created from the available palette, in the brilliant settings of his allusive lyrics, in the masterful sense of pacing (listen to the closing of “Lazarus”), in the aching poignancy of “Dollar Days” (“If I never see the English evergreens I’m running to/It’s nothing to me/It’s nothing to see”), in the purposeful channeling of energy and the constant sense of newness from start to finish, this sounds like Bowie music at its most fully realised and powerfully affecting. What a way to say goodbye.
Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away (the past) a brave person of restricted growth and his staunch companions threw off the bonds of oppression and created their own magical land…….
Well, perhaps that’s not the way to tell it. North Kensington, once called by Michael Moorcock “the most delicious slum in Europe” was once a hotbed of community activism. Barricades were built, protests were made, community newspapers were published, councillors were locked in meeting halls. In the days before social media and citizen journalism, people made theselves heard with all the means at their disposal. One of those means was the creation of the Free Republic of Frestonia.
The building of the Westway cut through North Kensington leaving some parts of it a bit stranded. Latimer Road was truncated, Walmer Road was bisected (see this post, which has many interesting comments from former residents) and…
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One of Bob Dylan’s greatest songs is “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” (1962). Apparently, Dylan learned the tune from Paul Clayton’s song “Who’s Goin’ to Buy You Ribbons When I’m Gone?” (1960). And Clayton seems to have gotten at least the lyrical idea for his song from an older song called “Who’s Gonna Buy Your Chickens When I’m Gone.”
Here’s a passage from Spitz’s biography of Dylan:
A more delicate wrinkle arose of the authorship of “Don’t Think Twice.” No one complained about the lyric; it was so damn original that folksingers admitted losing sleep over it. But the melody had a familiar ring to it. Word began to spread that Bob had lifted it almost note for note from Paul Clayton’s ballad, “Who’s Gonna Buy Your Ribbon Saw.” That in itself wasn’t a contemptible offense. By definition, folk music encouraged an element of borrowing from sources to preserve…
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