William Goode’s Journal – Kevin Ayers

It is with great sadness that I found out of the passing of Kevin Ayers at the age of 68. I’m not going to write a lot as there is plenty to be read on the web written by people who knew him and had interviewed him. However I felt his passing should be remembered. I feel his position in the world of music especially UK music had been a little forgotten, as many like him are. I know many people admired his talent and how he lived his musical life in his own way.

william goode kevin ayers picture

Kevin Ayers

I first new of Kevin Ayers the same as many did through Soft Machine who chose their band name from the book by Willam S Burroughs “The Soft machine”. Apparently band member Daevid Allen, an Australian knew William S Burroughs and rang him and asked him for his permission. Obviously given.

Soft Machine were one of the most influential bands ever and part of the “Canterbury Scene” which included other great bands including Caravan, Gong, Hatfield and North, Egg and Matching Mole, there were many more.

a picture of the band soft machine

The influential band Soft Machine

Kevin Ayers was a founding member of Soft Machine for only their first album and felt the jazzy and extended solos direction they wished to go in didn’t suit him and so he left for a solo and collaboration career. He went on to record many solo albums the first being Joy Of A Toy and his last The Unfairground.

Picture of kevin ayers

Kevin Ayers

Kevin Ayers ultimately ended up living in France in the lovely village of Montolieu.

He will be remembered as a key figure in the British Prog/Psychedelia scene and of course as one of the great British songwriters.

Kevin Ayers time recording for the Harvest label included working with Mike Oldfield and Robert Wyatt (Wyatt was a Soft Machine member) along with other great musicians such as David Bedford and Lol Coxhill (both Bedford and Coxhill recorded for John Peels Dandelion label for a short time. The Dandelion label is another interesting story).

Picture of a Kevin Ayers album

Kevin Ayers at one stage recorded for the Harvest record label.

In one interview Kevin Ayers says “I think you have to have a bit missing upstairs, or just be hungry for fame and money, to play the industry game. I’m not very good at it.”

That kind of sums up his attitude to the music business and who can disagree with him.

He was a consumate artist who wasn’t prepared to sacrifice his ideal of what his music should be just to be part of a business he couldn’t quite believe in. You can only admire him for that.

He has left us all a wealth of music and the world is a better place for it.

A picture of a younger Kevin Ayers

The young Kevin Ayers

 

William Goode’s Journal – Benjamin Netanyahu Does Not Give The Nazi Salute

This is a bit of an old one but finally i’m getting around to discussing it.

On Thursday Sept. 27, 2012 the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the United Nations General Assembly. I did discuss his speech in this blog of mine last year where he also discussed political “red lines”.

A misleading photo of Benjamin Netanyahu

A misleading photo of Benjamin Netanyahu at his United Nations address.

There were many photographs taken but these few were shown around the world quite mischiefly. It does look like Netanyahu is giving the Nazi salute. It may suit those who are in opposition to Israel (and I’m not a big fan of many governments and their actions) to ramble on as if this is the case, but really? as if he would. Amongst ourselves as citizens, we need to maintain some kind of sensible thinking even if the politicians and in this case the editors of the press around us don’t.

Now the photos may look like the Nazi salute. He extends his “left arm” remember that, as if in a Heil Hitler mode. Here is another one.

Another unfortunate shot of Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations

Another unfortunate shot of Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations.

Here is a more standard photo at the same address he made:

A more straight forward shot of  Benjamin Netanyahu at the same address.

A more straight forward shot of Benjamin Netanyahu at his United Nations address

 

And another:

Once agian a more standard shot of  Benjamin Netanyahu's address at the United Nations

Once again a more standard shot of Benjamin Netanyahu’s address at the United Nations

It is so easy to set a person up via a press photo. I guess the imagery looks connected but it really is quite an impish thing to do. It’s aimed at manipulating us “the citizens” into a particular way of thinking, not nice. You are the one being influenced. Did you ever think sitting in your suburban home, wherever you are, that an image of Benjamin Netanyahu would be stage managed to influence you? You are more important than you think.

Talking about manipulation and control, in Nazi Germany it was the right hand that was used for the “Nazi” salute NOT the left. Benjamin Netanyahu is definately not giving the Nazi salute technically or in any other fashion (emotionally or intentionally).

During the Nazi era German citizens when close up to a person had to either say “Heil Hitler” or “Heil”, if at a distance the salute itself was appropriate.

Full of protocols the Nazis, that should have put most people of the ideology for starters and it probably did for a great many.

There is an oddity in the “Nazi salute”, if you had a disability that prevented you using your right hand you were allowed to use your left, very nice and understanding of them.

Getting back to Benjamin Netanyahu, I feel quite positive in saying that he was not giving the Nazi salute and I doubt he has a problem with his right hand which given his tendancy to the right wing of Israeli politics (although there are far more right thinkers then he is on the rise in Israel) would have been an irony.

Just for interests sake if you are keen here are the results for the 2013 Israeli elections.

William Goode’s Journal – The Nixon / McCarthy Era

 

This is an old subject I know but still ideologically relevant. Was Richard Nixon the intellectual (a view by some) and Joe McCarthy a slightly thought of crazy man used by people like Nixon for their own political gains at the time.

Nixon was considered by those who knew him as an intellectual a real politician who understood the people. It certainly would have been easier to let someone else rave on about communism whilst having similiar views but wishing to play the political game, both ways to some point, and not to be thought of as the crazy man. Which until his Watergate fiasco left him looking very unsteady wasn’t true

Joe McCarthy according to some who knew him say had warmth and was not a total “monster’, another opinion once again we can only read such info. Certainly those who faced his committees wouldn’t have warmed to him.

There are those that say he alerted the US public to the communist threat and saved the US from communism. Maybe that is so but the way he went about it, his side show, the committees, the subpoenas put the fear of life into people and ruined many lives especially those in the artistic world.

J Edgar Hoover and Joe McCarthy became useful to each other. Hoover, another man out to put an end to communism may have passed information on to McCarthy.

william goode j edgar hoover

J Edgar Hoover FBI Boss himself a strong anti communist.

The committees were in some disarray with the investigators experience being questioned, the feeling and opinion of those at the time was that McCarthy was involved in a hatchet job.

Was McCarthy partly finding communism as an agenda he could fly with? A way to grasp the public and entrench himself into a strong position within US politics?

McCarthy (and possibly Nixon) promoted the Democrats as liberal communists and basically traitors to the US. You have to remember the times and communism was perceived as a threat, and quite possibly it could have eventually been a real threat. There were people convinced that the communists would take over the country. Many people also still had an idealised view of communism, once the world learned of Stalin’s purges even the most loyal communist sympathiser was having second thoughts. Once you knew of Stalins real activities communism wasn’t such a great idea. Hindsight is a wonderful thing it is said.

How McCarthy went about his task however has always been at question. The ruining of lives with little proof sounds today almost fascist. This ironically was how the Soviet Union would decide to view the US, either genuinely or at the very least to their people, as a fascist state on the rise. What politician from any political system really tells their citizens the full story. There are times when it is not of value to the state to inform the populace of certain actions however this idea can also be used against the citizens. Under communism it increasingly was.

Did McCarthy do what he did to gain power? or did he absolutely believe in what he said?

william goode mccarthy committee

Joe McCarthy heading one of his committee’s

william goode joe mccarthy

Joe McCarthy

Was communism such a threat that Nixon used McCarthy to get the point across without having to do the awkward work himself? It is wise to remember Nixon was the vice president of the US from January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961.  He was a powerful man. I know we all remember Richard Nixon as the president who resigned because of the Watergate scandal. The McCarthy era was all years before and Richard Nixon had had a full and strong political life before Watergate, he had always been a  powerful and clever politician.

As it turned out Eisenhower didn’t exactly have a great liking for McCarthy and subsequently moves were put in place (eventually effective) to undermine McCarthy. Another Story ( “Army / McCarthy trap” where McCarthy was questioned etc as to exactly how many communists were infiltrating is an interesting one). One to look at if interested.

In the end what McCarthy was doing (the committees, the honing in on artistic individuals who McCarthy felt had communist leanings, it goes on) was, as I mentioned earlier, considered a hatchet job by many. Eisenhower considered that McCarthy had become an actual danger to US democracy. In democracy it is important to have two sides, a third appears now and again and is quickly dispensed with by the two major parties or allowed to poke around in a hopeless fashion but eventually the will of the two wins out, the third party disappears. It’s the way it is and important for democracy, well ours anyways. It puts pressure on the two main parties to perform, not a bad thing. We don’t want things to move along too fast do we? But I digress.

McCarthy’s view and this was beginning to get across to the US public was that the Democrats were Liberal communist traitors. This obviously slightly puts the kibosh on the bigger picture of two parties running the show alternatively, not good for a two party state. Who will replace the other one? Will you be the other party to rule next? Would your party be even capable of winning an election (presumably there would only be one election under communism or fascism) against a party spouting a completely different ideology? Not good for the Republicans or Democrats trying to maintain an industrial capitalist system no matter which of them gets in.

This whole situation was leaving the wide door open for the soviets to denounce the US as a new fascist country, courtesy of McCarthy. We know what the communists think of fascists.

Eisenhower quite rightly felt that McCarthy was more popular than he should be and as politics goes, McCarthy’s days were numbered.

william goode president eisenhower

President Eisenhower who didn’t have a great liking for McCarthy.

McCarthy eventually was calling the CIA communists. Well the CIA today has, I would imagine Russian agents infiltrated in their ranks, as has the FSB (Federal Security Service – Russia’s – KGB of today) US agents in their ranks. I doubt much changes at bottom but the CIA were not a communist threat.

In days of McCarthyism when ordinary people could be accused of subversion certainly it was all too much for the US government to have it promoted to all and sundry and have their citizens view the state as a possible fascist entity.

It was also an exageration, the facts if ever there were any were becoming more invisible.

Finally the idea that the Republicans were saving the US from communism was looking a little jaded and outlandish. The populace didn’t roll with it and a new focus was required. The McCarthy era with all it’s own fascist tendencies was over and many people were quite obviously relieved.

A dangerous movement had formed in the US one that had turned on its own citizens. All clever politicians knows that eventually a populace will rise and turn on the political system that no longer rules for them.

And Richard Nixon? He lived to fight another day and the fight of his life was coming.

william goode cia united states of america

McCarthy began calling the CIA communists.

william goode fsb russia

F.S.B Russia’s replacement for the K.G.B still agents in all the major countries.

 

I’m open to discussion on this.

William Goode’s Journal – 21 new poems released

Outer Blue publishing has released “The Highgate Collection – 21 Poems By William Goode”

This is a hand made chapbook of poetry which is now available from Etsy and also from the “Outer Blue” site. Just send an email: outerblue@optusnet.com.au.

william goode poetry chapbook

Front cover of the William Goode chapbook “The Highgate Collection” – 21 Poems”

william goode lino cut

William Goode “The Highgate Collection” has original “William Goode”  lino cut prints printed within the chapbook.

william goode poetry art

Details:

34 page poetry chapbook with hand sewn binding and
printings from original lino cuts.
This is a collection of poems chosen from my work over the last
two years.

General Information:
Numbered pages.
Acid free papers.
Archival quality 104gsm text paper.
Rice paper insert between endpapers / covers.
Hand sewn with Irish linen thread bindings.

William Goode’s Journal – Listening To Kraftwerk – The Robots

Kraftwerk have started a residency/art shows at the “Tate” in London. They are performing eight albums, one each night and then followed by (if you can call this by Kraftwerk) a hits collection which is basically the well known tracks in no particular order of presence and arrangement within the show.

Kraftwerk one of the most influential and amazing group of musicians to ever exist (in my humble opinion.

From all reports there first show performing “Autobahn” was magnificent.
Enjoy “The Robots”.