Roxy Music At 50 – BBC Radio 2 Specials

I caught up with both parts of ‘The Band’s Story’ episodes last night. It has really ramped up my excitement for seeing them at the Hydro in October.

Their world tour starts in one month’s time (exactly one month away today!) in Toronto.

When listening to the various members of the band talking about the active years and their memories, I couldn’t help but find myself giggling over the fact that two Geordies were talking and only one of them sounded like one. I’d never heard Paul Thomson talk before.

Anyway, both shows are great and there is a “Fan’s Story” too and they speak to Jim for it. I wish he’d have been given more time. His part of it seemed short, so I’ll add my own little exchange with him about Roxy – just at the point when the bug finally bit me and I got myself listening to them.

I recommend all three shows. They’re broken up into three separate hour long shows, so you can time your time listening to them. I’ll endeavour to separate out Jim’s piece on Roxy so it’s quicker to get to.

Enjoy them, and roll on October 10th!

Vive la Roxy!

Links for programs below:

The Bands’ Story – Part One

The Bands’ Story – Part Two

The Fans’ Story

Jim’s piece starts around 17 min 30 sec into the show.

And then…back to a time when I’d not be quiet (thinking of him saying “you’re quiet” to me at the m&g in Paris) – and he’d respond. Our exchanges on music I miss. Loved those days…

(P.S. I always have to have the last word. Lol)

P.P.S I love sssoooo much more than just Over You and More Than This now! (There were a few more than that back then too, to be fair.)

Summer Swag

Have acquired these over the past few days and looking forward to devoting some time to them very shortly. Already have spent some time perusing the Bryan Ferry Lyrics book. I didn’t realise there was a foreword in it and a short piece by Bryan himself.

Mother Of Pearl has been a firm favourite since my very first listen to it. Over You was my favourite Roxy song before delving into their catalogue some time back – fuelled mostly by Jim waxing lyrical about Bryan and what a consummate performer he is.

I was unaware, really, that Bowie was that much of a fan. Dunno why. And it’s been a lot of David’s more wordy and wonderfully intricate songs like Cygnet Committee, The Bewlay Brothers and Teenage Wildlife that have been particular favourites of mine over the years. I have always found a certain link between Cygnet Committee and Mother Of Pearl, if for no other reason than to be determined to know the songs well and recite the lyrics word for word. And well, this piece in the book really DID make my day. For like I had done with Cygnet Committee, I was determined to know Mother Of Pearl ‘off by heart’. To read that about David was just so wonderfully endearing.

First You Jump – First Airing….

Wow! This album is going to be awesome. Listen to that guitar solo from Charlie!

I was hoping to do some deciphering of lyrics but I can’t hear them clearly enough, sadly. But even though I can’t hear all the lyrics clearly, I love the song already.

Enjoy! Thanks to Francesca for the upload.

Corrected Thing…

His Master’s Voice informed me that I had one itty bitty bit of the lyrics to Vision Thing incorrect…so, I have altered it.

Thought I was in a Covid fug when I saw the correction there for me. Lol. I received no notification of it.

Anyway…tis fixed.

Vision Thing Lyrics

I’m meant to be writing an essay on philosophy – Instead I deciphered some lyrics and was inspired to present them with some Priptona Art.

I present to you… Vision Thing!

I hope Lily doesn’t sue me! But her image was perfect. I added my own flare…as much as time and inclination allowed. I’ve not been keeping up the practice with my visual art of late. I do like what I did though.

You Woke Me With A Solstice Kiss

I’ve been able to make out a few of the words of one of the song lyrics printed in the booklet for the new album. OMG, they’re beautiful!

“Did I dream or/oh (not sure which) did I dream you spoke to me
You woke me with a solstice kiss
Did I dream or/oh did I dream that my whole world it turned to bliss
Solstice kiss”

He’s determined to make me cry!

There’s a line that seems to say “You woke me up in the worst place”…that’s just….bloody hell! I need to hear this song!! I can’t wait until October! GODDAMNIT!

Five Years Of Priptona Art Facebook Page

But over seven years of producing the art though. Writing and study have taken over in recent months. I’m not sure when I last made anything. It has always been my own “Act Of Love”.

The “art” always expressed the things that I wanted to say when words failed me. Mostly “I love you, Jim” is pretty much what every single piece said. Well, perhaps they more accurately said “I love this song, and I love the words this man has written for it.” That’s what I really hope they all said.

The page will continue to exist. And now and then there still might be the odd giveaway. Perhaps there still may just be a new piece of artwork from time to time – never say never – but I feel my creativity is moving in another direction. Perhaps in the direction it was always meant to go? Who knows?

Thanks to everyone who ever took an interest in what I was making and producing. Those who followed the FB page and gave me feedback. Those who took time to enter competitions and giveaways.

Biggest thanks of all to Jim, for being an inspiration, a muse and for…creating a monster by giving me such a wonderful gift of that Hunter And The Hunted post. Lol. I’m sorry I subsequently made a complete tit of myself for the proceeding seven years.

It was an Act Of Love.

Happy 25th Anniversary – Earthling

For all the years I had been a David Bowie fan it was the mid to late 1990s that, upon reflection, feels like it was the most exciting period.

I had become a ‘diehard’ in 1985. I can’t remember if I ever have told the story here… I probably have. Anyway, in case not, I’ll give you the quick one. My eldest brother, Roy, was moving house but there was a lag of time between moves. He’d be staying with his mother-in-law and she didn’t have a lot of room at her place so he asked my mum if he could keep some of his records at our place. He’d been keeping them in his car and weather was turning decidedly hot. Even at the best of times it’s not the best place to keep your records – in a car.

Mum says it’s fine, so he drops them off one afternoon and me, ever eager to be exposed to different music swoop on in and have a look through what he has. Lots of Bowie! And this was my first exposure to Bowie albums. I knew who David was, for sure. I mean, you couldn’t escape him in 1983 and into 1984 – he had got stratospheric by then. So I knew the stuff around Let’s Dance and Tonight well enough, but not really much from the past. Space Oddity, Sorrow (it got a lot of radio play in Oz for some reason), Starman, Fame, Young Americans, Heroes, DJ, Ashes To Ashes….that was about the extent of what I knew.

In the subsequent days, that all changed. In Roy’s collection there was The Man Who Sold The World, Hunky Dory, Ziggy, Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs, ChangesOneBowie, Stage, Low – perhaps he had everything? But I certainly remember playing Ziggy and Aladdin Sane. I played Stage as well. But the one that just blew my tiny mind was Low. It was warped to fuck and I could only really play one side of it. I think I could listen to all of Side A and then could play Warzawa and not the rest…something like that. Whichever way it was, I know I could play A New Career In A New Town – because I remember sitting there stunned, tears rolling down my cheeks. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard in my life. It was a revelation to me! Never thought I’d ever like an instrumental piece like that. I never really warmed to classical music. It just never did anything for me. And most instrumentals felt the same. I loved the lyrics. I loved the words that came with the music and when there were songs with no words? That all changed that day.

From that point on – MAD Bowie fan. I wanted to hear EVERYTHING. I built up a catalogue. I listened to all of it. When I became a diehard, not long after Never Let Me Down came out. I remember the hype of Day-In Day-Out being released. And I remember watching the video for the title track and liking that…but I was so engrossed in that back catalogue, the new album didn’t really make much of an impact.

It wasn’t until the release of Black Tie White Noise in 1992 did I truly feel the excitement surrounding a new release.

Fast forward to the mid 90s and David is being as prolific as ever. The Buddha Of Suburbia soundtrack is released in 1993, then 1. Outside is released in 1995, and then along comes Earthling in 1997.

We’re at the age of BowieNet. The song Telling Lies is co-written with a fan. Bowie is now subculture god! He is now in “for fans only” realm. Earthling is right bang in the middle of that. Ask a bunch of Bowie fans what their favourite albums of his are? Very few would have Earthling at the top. Rightly so! But few would have it in their Top 5 or even Top 10. Maybe I wouldn’t either…? But it might just be in the Top 10.

I loved it when it came out. I played it and played it.

In retrospect, it seems a rare time in which Bowie, musically, was behind the ball. The “drum n bass” sound was already huge by the time he hooked onto it. That didn’t matter to me. Not all drum n bass was for me. I love rhythm and most things that are percussively heavy win me round instantly. The album is hard on the ears at times. Heavy. Industrial. But I love that sound. It was all down to Zack Alford. Bowie always seemed to pick the best drummers to work with. The best of the best, actually.

Musically, I guess the album hasn’t aged very well, perhaps? But I still love that style of music – esp. in the way Bowie did it. He gave it that heaviness in style but kept it listenable, to my ears anyway. And I love the use of lyrics on Earthling. I find it lyrically very daring. Almost like it harks back to the Bowie of old. The man who’s penning stuff like the Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud, All The Madmen and The Bewlay Brothers.

Anyway, I am waffling somewhat and need to get on with my day. But I just wanted to give a nod to the anniversary of this album. Twenty five years on and I still love it and still listen to it.

A favourite track? It’s a toss up between several but I think just for the Zack Alford brutalist drum and percussion as well as the driving Reeves Gabrels guitar work and the almost sweet melancholy of the lyrics, it would be this…

Minds Music Monday – Jeweller To The Stars/The Jeweller (Part 2)

I don’t know why I have it stuck in my head as a Charlie Burchill song, but I just do. And by a Charlie song, I mean it being a song about Charlie.I don’t know where I have got that implanted in my head. It must have been something Jim had said when talking about the song? Perhaps he just expressed a particular likeness for Charlie’s guitar work on the track? Whatever it was, I have thought of “Jeweller” as Charlie’s song ever since.

Proving also that inspiration can come from just about anywhere, Jim said the lyrics came about from him seeing an advert in a magazine. I love it when he can share stories of defined examples of lyrical inspiration. I am sure most times his lyrics are an amalgam of inspiration. Pieces of a mosaic, as obscure and ambiguous as his words can be. Esp. early on in his songwriting. Never really a single point of focus. Well that’s how it seems anyway.

I like both the recorded versions of the song that I’ve heard. Both are very similar in sound with no real variation in lyrics, only just some backing vocal lyrics on one version, with Jim’s voice alternating in left and right channels to say “I want you – I still want you” – which for me is seductively sexy. 

“When all seems lost, you’ll find the diamonds in the rough” is the general optimistic message of the song. Well, that’s how I interpret it.

Pick out the jewels.