Quite a few things occupying my time this last week or so. One of the main concerns being Django. He'd recovered from his head wound inflicted by one of our new neighbour's cats and seemed ok, then just over a week ago became ill again. He looked very poorly and was vomiting at regular intervals. We were up most of the night with him.
Next morning I made an emergency appointment to take him to the vet and he was given an injection to stop the nausea and an antibiotic. We took him home and were instructed to bring him back the next day.
He didn't seem to improve much but at least stopped vomiting. Next morning he seemed a little better and tried to eat. We returned to the vet who checked him out and gave another injection and told us to keep an eye on him and if he deteriorated to bring him straight back. Thankfully he continued to recover and now seems to be his usual busy self again.
The vet said it could be a delayed reaction to the attack he'd suffered from the cats next door. She said stress from the attack could easily have caused the problem. Anyway, fingers crossed it doesn't happen again. It's not stopped him wanting to go out into the garden and the fields beyond. He's out as I write these words.
Spent a couple of days writing an essay for the Cherry Red re-issue of Be Bop Deluxe's 'Sunburst Finish' album. It's going to be a three disc set containing the original album, a new remix of the album by one of Kate Bush's engineers and some alternative takes and so on. Plus a 68 page book which will contain my essay plus some unseen photographs. Should be an attractive package.
The essay is basically my memories of recording the album with some observations on certain tracks.
Exchanged emails with Richard Ford, (Rick 'Pinky' Ford) who was Red Noise's bass player. Rick now lives in America and produces film soundtracks in Hollywood.
He's always been a brilliant musician and I'm pleased that he's found success in the 'States.
Rick told me that he'd discovered an old demo cassette I'd made for the Red Noise project. On it was a song titled 'My Light.' I couldn't recall the song at all and asked him if he could send me a copy of it. Rick duly obliged and an MP3 arrived in a following email. When I heard it, it vaguely came back to me. It's a kind of ballad and I can understand why it didn't make the Red Noise album as it's not edgy enough, but neither is it 'soft.'
Uncannily, it sounds like one of the more 'ballady' tracks on 'Tin Machine's' first album, though, of course, at that time, 'Tin Machine' didn't exist and would only materialise many years later.
The demo is quite rough but it's an interesting song. It was primitively recorded on a basic four-track machine at home and I'm playing all the instruments on the track, including bass and drums. (Real drums rather than drum machine.) The vocal is not very good, I'd certainly sing it differently today, but, despite that, it might be worth making it available to fans on this website. I'll see if it's possible for it to be streamed.
Work is continuing on triple album 'Auditoria.' Disc one will carry the 'These Stars Are Fire' title, disc two will have the title 'Mysterium,' and disc three is, at this point in time, untitled though I have several potential titles for it. I'll make a decision on that soon.
Have been using my new Akai MPC X drum machine on a couple of the album's tracks. Slowly getting to grips with it though I'm only scratching the surface so far. Much more to learn.
Forty something tracks recorded for the album so far but, as I've mentioned before, will continue recording more until I've exhausted it, then choose the best for the album. There will be at least fourteen tracks on each of the three discs. It's going to be a very rich, eclectic treasure trove of music, a hopefully fitting tribute to my upcoming 70th birthday.
Speaking of which, Ian Haydock, who is organising the 70th birthday 'Plectronica' event, is at this moment driving over to visit me for a planning meeting. Once we've had that meeting, it shouldn't be too long before we can get the tickets on sale.
I've also had confirmation from Theo Travis and Dave Sturt that they will definitely be available for an 'Orchestra Futura' set at the event, which is good news for fans. I intend to do a solo set and then aim at six numbers with 'Orchestra Futura.' I've no idea how well my health issues will hold up to all this. Aside from the diabetes, my hearing and eyesight problems will make difficulties for me, plus the painful arthritis in my hands, but, what the hell, it will be what it will be.
The hot weather continues. No rain for weeks now and the grass is parched and yellow. Looks set to continue for a while longer too.
A 'New Northern Dream' flyer using an image of Leeds, Yorkshire in the 1950s. I remember Leeds and its trams well from this time.
Photograph of Red Noise members taken at a soundcheck by Rick Ford. Left to right: Ian Nelson, Bill Nelson, (goofing it up with a pair of rubber werewolf hands,) Steve Peer and guitar tech Stuart Monks.