diaries: random diary entries 1996.



Diary Entry #1.
In London I spend a day with Richard Sanderson,who I have been friends with for 25 years. I played with him in my first band back in Middlesbrough in 1975. We made tapes of water siphons and speeded up pianos. I used some of this material on the Propeller c.d. He is articulate,warm,playful and every inch the innovator that I need to breathe fire into my search for new music. He has developed a huge collection of music over the years. When I was paying mortgages,moving from house to house,Richard was buying music. We have played together several times over the years in various post-punk and free-improvisation guises. The most recent being a duo called,' Half Empty " (the less optimistic way of saying Half Full) in London,last year. Richard has thrown himself into Londons free-improvisation field with refreshing gusto. He runs a tiny club every Thursday called,' The Club Room " which attracts such luminaries as Evan Parker,Lol Coxhill,John Russell,Eddie Prevost and Charles Hayward regularly. He too uses toys. Even has a duo called ,' The Toy Boys. 'Richard is also in a band called,' Ticklish.' He deserves success. Probably does not want it. We share a passion for radical politics and writing. I have bought a book about the Baader Meinhoff Group and show Richard it whilst I drink a delicious pint of Guiness,yards away from the classical record store that he works in. He's read it. He is a divine intellectual. Witty, bitterly honest to the point where I feel the need to avoid certain musical topics for fear of a pogrom and the kind of person you'd want alongside you when the cultural-revolution breaks out.


Diary Entry #2.
I am in Staalplaat after the tour talking with Franz, who is one of it's co-owners. I also visited before the tour began. We swapped cd's, Dead Voices and Propeller for one of his bands, Beequeen and Reptillicus from Iceland. This is the fourth Staalplaat I have visited over the past ten years. They seem to have moved every time I am in Amsterdam. Today he gives me Capotte Muziek, another project of his. It's a short cd of some 60 tracks that is designed for random play. Swabs of sound. I am never certain when the cd has finished. The sounds around our loft here in Vancouver ( cars,alarms, drilling and the playful pads of our cats create a similar ambience ). The world would indeed be a worse place without Staalplaat and These Records in London.


Diary Entry #3.
In Potsdam a young East-Berliner talks to me enthusiastically about Dead Voices. He has heard of the Propeller c.d. I feel somewhat humbled and hurry onto the bus trying to avoid waking our sleeping driver Peter. I give the guy my last copy of the Propeller c.d. He later travels to Leipzig to see us.


Diary Entry #4.
Spending nearly seven weeks away from home was an endurance test. I deliberately took no opera with me. I could not stand the thought of listening to it without my wife Elaine who opened my eyes to this world ten years ago.


Diary Entry #5.
I (as a concert goer) have an aversion to hot,sticky venues. As a ' performer ' (of sorts) I grimace and bear it. Takes me back to The Orb concert in a shitty Vancouver Nightclub last year. Tons of sweaty people on a hot night crammed into a small space. I'm reminded of this because I took,' Orbvs Terrarvm ' on tour with me. Admittedly,I rarely get past,' Oxbow Lakes.' I don't need to. I remember being overwhelmed by the heat in that sweat-hole and how it destroyed my interest in the music.


Diary Entry #6.
Frank and I share a passion for The Fall.With me it's an episodic thing.I can forget about them for several years and then I simply HAVE to go through their back catalogue, picking out everything I should have bought first time around.I have with me a copy of a gladly-Brixless,' Middle Class Revolt.'Maybe it's because I too am a Northern Englishman or perhaps it's because I too am a bit of an obtuse sod but Mark Smith's words have a habit of creeping up on me slowly. Hex Induction Hour from over ten years ago is still my favourite Fall album.It's taken me ten years or so to pick out the nuances.With a sound that is instantly recognisable,a voice that gets more Mark Smith-like over time and a serious lack of image, The Fall have been a part of my life for nearly twenty years. I spend time during soundchecks imitating Mr.Smith. " this is the Fall-ah.."


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