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HERE COMES THE WEEKEND...


Will be driving over to Wakefield this afternoon to take my mum to the supermarket for her weekly shopping. At 89 she's frail though mentally bright enough for her age. Our regular Saturday visits are the only time she ventures out of the house as she needs to hold on to one of us when she walks. I speak with her twice a day, everyday, on the 'phone to make sure she's ok and my nephew Julian and his wife Lyndsey call whenever they're able during the week to take care of things that mum finds difficult to do for herself. Without my late brother Ian around, Julian, (Ian's son,) has stepped into his shoes to help and I'm very grateful that he's done so.

There was a one-off 'Old Grey Whistle Test' special on tv last night though I didn't see it due to working in my studio. Apparently there were several interviews with artists and pundits from forty odd years ago.

I think my teenage nostalgia is for an earlier time. I was always a fan of 'Ready Steady Go,' the tv show that broadcast Jimi Hendrix's first British tv performance. There were several iconic acts during the show's run, including The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who and The Yardbirds in their heyday. I would watch it on Friday evenings before heading off to the local Mecca Dance Hall with my friend Ian Parkin. We would sit at one of the dance hall's balcony tables and discuss the bands we'd seen on 'Ready Steady Go' that evening.

Two things I remember being really blown away by from that programme was The Yardbirds 'Shape Of Things' with Jeff Beck dropping to his knees to place his Telecaster upright for the indian flavoured guitar solo, and Jimi Hendrix performing 'Hey Joe' and playing the guitar solo with his teeth. Those were pivotal moments in my musical development and moved me on from the more orthodox guitar instrumentals I'd started my musical life with. Early Who songs were influential too, particularly their first few singles. (Astute listeners may have spotted the quote from The Who's 'Substitute' at the end of Be Bop Deluxe's 'Maid In Heaven.')

Today, of course, all the passions of my long musical life have sunk to the bottom of my consciousness to form a gumbo-like mix, (or fusion,) of inspirations that are filtered and informed by my own character traits. The music I make now takes everything on board, from those early guitar instrumentals through rock, psychedelia, blues and jazz, classical, folk and the avant-garde. I rarely consciously choose a 'genre' but just let things flow. A single song often has several of these elements in it, but mashed up together into what, I hope, is my personal style...

I try not to compartmentalise things too much and don't impose rigid generic limits on the music...it just roams free, wherever it feels right to go. And that can be simultaneously everywhere at exactly the same time. Musical quantum physics?

Thinking about some of the yet to be released albums I have waiting in the wings, I created a flyer for an album titled 'Magnetic Travels.' A little old lady receiving the keys to a fabulous future car...

Time to prepare for the drive to Wakefield....



© Bill Nelson 2020

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