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Updated: Nov 9, 2018

Woke up at 5am with a violently sore throat and that strange but familiar feeling that a nasty cold was imminent. Hardly slept at all until I eventually got out of bed and went downstairs, sneezing and feeling decidedly under the weather. As the day opened up the cold progressed to a streaming nose and a flat, lethargic, low energy feeling. Right now I'm sneezing and spluttering and definitely smitten by a virus. Not good...

Getting rid of these colds usually takes a couple of weeks before I'm totally clear so I'm hoping it will be over before I have to perform at 'Plectronica'. At least it has started now and not the week before the actual event.

Attempted a drawing to frame for the 'Plectronica' merchandise stall. It turned out ok, I think, though I found it difficult to see clearly because of my macular degeneration. I fear 'll lose my ability to produce much more artwork as the deterioration gets worse. But, despite having the cold virus, I went out to a local art supplier and bought some coloured A4 card to attempt more drawings and a table top magnifying lamp to see if it might aid my sight when creating these drawings.

Listened to Bob Dylan's 'She Belongs To Me', one of my all time favourite Bob Dylan songs, (along with 'Love Minus Zero,') and felt a warm, positive uplift. I love the lyrics of this song and the relaxed, contemplative atmosphere it conjures.

I first heard 'She Belongs To Me' when it was originally released, way, way back in the 1960s. I also remember getting a call from a local Wakefield band back in those days, who asked if I could stand in for their regular lead guitarist who was ill. (Can't recall the band's name, unfortunately.) I was still in my teens back then and living with my parents. I grabbed my Vox AC 30 amp and Gibson 345 and was picked up and taken to the youth club where they were playing. (I think it was a youth club or maybe it was the local YMCA?)

Anyway, one of the numbers they played that night, alongside the usual Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley standards, was Bob Dylan's 'She Belongs To Me.' I'd never attempted the song before but was familiar with the arrangement and, (I hope,) made a reasonable job of the guitar parts.

It's funny how some of these dusty attic memories remain fixed in consciousness after so many years...I can still see the room that the band played in at that long ago time, and feel my nervousness at not quite knowing what they were going to play. It was a 'flying by the seat of your pants' experience but added to the rich flow of musical history that I've been lucky enough to take part in.

On a purely personal level, my musical timeline extends from the 1940s swing bands that my mother and father adored, through skiffle, to late '50s rock n' roll, to early '60s guitar instrumentals, to modern jazz, to mid '60s mod 'freak beat' and 'Stax', 'Atlantic' and 'Tamla Motown' soul music, through to late '60s Psychedelia, and on to Prog, Glam and Punk and New Wave, Electronica, etc, etc...the entire gamut of 20th Century popular music, plus a rich colouring of classical, neo-classical, avant-garde and experimental music too... It's been, as they say, a long strange trip, but an absolutely rewarding and educational one.

How lucky to have been directed by whatever magical means down this astonishingly rich and vibrant path...Thank goodness that I was so fortunate.

No more typing for tonight, and no attempt at drawing, recording or playing anything. I'm going to take my sneezes and wheezes downstairs and watch something mundane on tv. Maybe my dvd box set of Gerry Anderson's 'UFO' series. Or perhaps just fall asleep in front of the fire, (which is probably not even lit...) Oh, well....


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