Its May and traditionally a month of lovely weather to go cavorting into the countryside for some frolicking about in the long grass. I on the other hand, will be doing the Birdwatching in Spain Trip thing with some close friends this very day, rest and relaxation in the hot, hot sun, deep in the Spanish hinterlands looking for big Birds, not the mini-skirted 60's variety but the great big feathered sort, floating about in the sky. If my Mum was still alive she'd be saying "Careful now our Bob, you'll have your eyes out on those Eagles". ....I'll try not to Mum. I am a bit worried though that whilst I am in the back of beyond fumbling about with me Binoculars, the whole Brexit thing will go tits up and I'll be stranded there like one of those Japanese soldiers who never surrendered after the war, planning my escape through Gibraltar with the aid of some guy from MI6 called Darren or ' Deadly Daz' who'll smuggle me across in the rear of his car wrapped in a carpet or something. I suppose that then I could write a book about it and call it... Daz Boot! ..........exit stage left.
"YOU HAD TO BE THERE"
No doubt during this sojourn to foreign parts, complete with "as much wine as you can drink", the stories of the 60's music days, playing the length and breadth of the country will rear their heads, its in our blood. There is always still a longing, a few litres of red-eye brings on the humour and then the stories and finally, in the early hours afterglow, the melancholy sidles in easily enough, reminding us of our great adventure, missed opportunities and lost youth. "Yeah, he's dead now" "Died years ago" is something getting a little too familiar on the ear of this young at heart.
Although I was a part of it all, I sometimes felt like a passenger too, swept along into experiences I'd never had before, I was just a kid with everything changing in front of my eyes and I can assure you I had as much of it as a grown man could absorb and more.
A grey post war Britain was getting back on its feet, factories at full throttle with full employment and bomb-damaged buildings being demolished raised the spirits of the nation and we were feeling prosperous and glad to be alive. All it took was Lonnie Donegan thrashing out some skiffle to kick start the greatest music and social revolution that has ever been known. It is hard for today's youth to appreciate those vast changes. At a recent dinner party the young lady sat next to me said "Please don't tell me that you think The Beatles changed music or anything else, they were just a boy band"........there is a time for silence in conversations and I took the opportunity to use that instead of jumping down her throat with indignation. I settled for "They weren't a boy band" and "You had to be there to really know what difference they made". Somehow I think she had received that reply before, little git!!
In today's society where success is fleeting, it does give me a deal of satisfaction to still hear the music of my generation riding high, all of it being covered or sampled by some faceless entity calling themselves 'BB Hot Snot' or some other soubriquet that that you will forget as soon as you've heard it because you've heard it all before. There have been boy bands a plenty and girl bands a plenty too churning out their bubble-gum pop crap like the Spice Girls who became a super phenomenon based on "girl power" whatever that was or is? They certainly wont be remembered for any of their songs but The Beatles will, that gives me satisfaction a plenty because like the majority of readers of the blog who WERE THERE during those historic days we have something marvellous to hang our hat on because we did it first.
BOBS BOOK CLUB
GRAHAM NASH - WILD TALES
I have long been an admirer of Graham Nash's voice, I spent an afternoon at his house in London in 1968 he played me the acetate to King Midas in Reverse and in turn he listened to an acetate of a couple of tracks the band I was with had recorded earlier that day, "Who is singing that harmony" he said "Me" I replied, "Blimey you sound like me"........I don't know if I fainted with glee at receiving such a great compliment but it has stuck in my head ever since, a treasured moment.
He was just at the stage of leaving The Hollies and going to America, the rest is history, Woodstock, Joni Mitchell, CSN etc etc. He made one of my favourite solo LPs, even now, 'WILD TALES' it was called and I love it. He must have loved it too because he wrote a book of the same title in which he recalls his rise right from his Manchester school days with his pal Alan Clarke up to the present day.
It is a good read and, as a musician of about the same age, we both experienced the same sort of experiences but in a different location and with the obvious exclusion of me not being a pop superstar.
I strongly recommend reading this book for those of us who "Were there" its a nice re-visit to better times.
Well have a Happy May Day and do things that people do on such a day. I shall probably be very uncomfortable about now encased in a RyanAir aircraft.
Tara a bit