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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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”.
This is a new EP “Hotel” lovingly recorded and mastered at Highgate. I hope you enjoy the music.
You can listen to the tracks and name your own price at Bandcamp.
It’s a little rockier than earlier William Goode / Calum MacDonald recordings it was time to bring out the electric guitar and add a few notes.
There is however another Calum MacDonald folk EP in the pipeworks which will be out later this year, before that though the next William Goode And The Crime Poets EP “Alien In My Boot” will be released on Outer Blue Records.
It’s been a productive few weeks.
All the best.
Franzl Lang should you enjoy yodeling, has to be a champion. According to Wikipedia ”he is known as one of the most famous yodelers to have ever lived”. Believe it.
Again according to Wikipedia ‘Einen Jodler hör i gern’, “on YouTube is widely known as the best thing ever”
You be the yodeling judge.
This is a track from the new Bob Dylan album “Tempest”
George Harrison guested on this brilliant Cream track. His trademark guitar sound is instantly recognisable.
Large powerful institutions like the BBC, police and government seem to have had enormous difficulty in nailing Jimmy Savile. Although paedophilia has been against the law for decades, and certainly for Jimmy Saviles life, the detection processes in the 60′s and 70′s and possibly even the 80′s were not strong within our society. The paedophilia squads in todays police forces are much more sophisticated than they were many years ago. Did they particularily exist in the 60′s and 70′s?
I’m sure there would have been plenty of good police working hard to apprehend paedophiles but without an efficient system for them to take their findings to there was not a a great deal they were going to achieve. (the following sentence is an addition to my Guardian reply) On the other side however it does seem many people had over the years reported Savile to no avail.
Paedophiles are one of the most manipulative criminals in our society, they are adept at misdirection and slight of hand. From what I gather stage 1 for them is manipulating the people around the underage girls and boys, putting a great deal of time into this, being the friend the nice trustworthy person. Stage 2 the act, would after stage 1 be the easy part.
A culture of victims feeling they are able to come forward and be believed is essential, this is what has been missing in our societies and still is. Authorities and individuals, cold as this is, won’t act without proof and as we have seen in the Savile case you need to have all the aces lined up when you are taking on a paedophile. You need teamwork, individuals can’t beat them alone, in fact you may be taking on a ring.
It does however bother me even after what I have said, as to the extent of Saviles ability to escape prosecution given the enormous number of incidents.
It’s becoming more apparent that many people were aware and for personal gain (careers, people waiting in the wings for their job in TV) were possibly looking the other way. Sure everyone will have a viewpoint now that it is out in the open and sure we will have a degree of people covering their past actions from the BBC, the police and government and the many other institutions Savile weasled and embedded himself in.
The main thing to remember here is that Savile really didn’t manage this on his own. Whether he managed to manipulate the minor people in his deception (work colleagues, hospital employees etc), major institutions (BBC, police, government) or had direct help and was part of an organised ring is the bigger story here.
If the Savile affair is not dealt with carefully and honestly this will be an an indicator for victims of paedophilia that this business will go on as usual. Their lives will continue to be sacrificed so that working, middle and upper class people structures are not disturbed and the wobbly status quo is preserved.
The world and many parents watch this one with eyes wide open.
Like to say something?