Updated: Oct 13, 2018
Emiko's 70th birthday came and went in a flash last week. We sallied forth for a meal in the evening to a seafood restaurant in the city with my son and daughter, (Elliot and Elle.) Strange how the letter 'E' figures in my life, Emiko, Elle, Elliot...and my father's sister was named Elenor, (though known as Nell.) Anyway, we had a lovely meal despite me suffering from the usual problem of hearing parts of the conversation due to my partial deafness. Noisy surroundings tend to aggravate the condition and I end up nodding and smiling, but not really being able to follow the conversation.
Everyone remarks on how youthful Emi looks. It's hard to believe that she's 70 and two months older than myself. Japanese people seem to age so well, unlike myself. Every time I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror I'm horrified by what it reveals. The brutality of the real...
Elliot's girlfriend, Nic, took some photographs of me the other day for the exhibition she's mounting. She's a photographer, (amongst other talents,) and the photo's were head and shoulder portraits, the kind, I suspect, that reveal the reality of the subject matter rather than airbrushing it out. I await the results with a certain amount of trepidation!
Still attempting to record new backing tracks for the 'Plectronica' event. Struggling with an uncooperative recording system though. Gremlin afflicted and sometimes refusing to boot up. Very frustrating. Nevertheless, I manage to get something done though it takes an inordinate amount of patience and a certain amount of bad language.
Time is flying by and my sense of panic increases every day. There's tons still to do. The package artwork for the 'Auditoria' triple album is now complete and should be going to the pressing plant very soon. When we get the finished albums back, I have to sign enough copies for all the people who are attending 'Plectronica.'
Have made preparations for the trip to Winchester to receive my honorary Doctor Of Arts degree. Train tickets purchased that will hopefully get us there and back in a single day. It will be a long and exhausting trip, leaving home very early in the morning to arrive in Winchester around 1 pm, then a rush to get robed up in the gown and mortar board traditionally required for the ceremony at Winchester Cathedral. The event is due to finish at 4:30 pm which should leave us enough time to get to Winchester station to catch the five to six train back home. We'll arrive home around midnight. Although it would have been more comfortable to travel to Winchester the day prior to the event and come home the day after, doing it in a single day will make it easier on our beloved cat Django. We couldn't get Elle or Elliot to take care of him as they are otherwise occupied. It will be a long day for Django alone in the house, but we'll leave him plenty of food and water and hope that he doesn't get too stressed by our absence.
Bought a book on the Cathars of France, (though I already own several on that subject.) Put it on the mountainous pile at the side of my bed, so many books awaiting my attention. It gets harder and harder to read though. My eyesight is severely depleted due to the diabetic macular degeneration. I really shouldn't buy any more books, the house is already totally awash with them, but I've loved reading since I was a child and books are my treasure. Strangely enough, I rarely listen to music these days, (apart from working on my own,) but books inspire and inform my curiosity endlessly.
Finally managed to set a date for the filming of a Cherry Red Records documentary interview about the upcoming reissue of Be Bop Deluxe's 'Sunburst Finish' album. The filmed interview will be done here in my tiny home studio. We'd originally planned to do it in Abbey Road Studios where much of the album was recorded, but the cost of hiring the studio for a couple of hours was astronomical. So it will take place here in my humble recording room amongst the clutter of retro toys and piled up equipment. November 7th is the date of the filming. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure I have much to offer in the way of interesting stories about the recording of the album. It was such a long time ago and I only vaguely recall the process of recording it. Unlike many bands from the '70s, I didn't stop making albums when the commercial side of my music moved on to more adventurous realms. The amount of music I've created in the ensuing years makes remembering details about music I made 40 odd years ago difficult to recall. I'll do my best, but, I think it may be a little disappointing.
What isn't disappointing is the arrival, next week, of a new guitar. It's an Eastwood made, but John Backlund designed, 'Rockerbox,' a retro-futuristic archtop guitar which I'm really looking forward to playing. I've chosen the two-tone red and cream version with a Bigsby trem. John's guitar designs are terrific. He shares a similar love of '50s modernist design to myself and I've been so pleased to see his partnership with Mike Robinson of Eastwood Guitars working out so well.
A positive note to end on. Now for dinner and, after I've eaten, a call to check on my mother and then further work on the 'Plectronica' backing tracks until bedtime...