Monday 7 February 2011

Episode 4

Listen Here

1. Matching Mole — "O Caroline" (from Matching Mole, 1972)

2. Quiet Sun — "Trot" (from Mainstream, 1975)

3. Hatfield and the North — "Giant Land Crabs in Earth Takeover Bid" → "The Stubbs Effect" (from Hatfield and the North, 1974)

4. National Health — "Squarer for Maud" (from Of Queues and Cures, 1978)

5. Gilgamesh — "Foel'd Again" (from Another Fine Tune You've Got Me Into, 1978)

6. The Daevid Allen Trio [sic] — "Dear Old Benny Green is a-Turning in His Grave" (from Live 1963)

7. Brainville 3 — excerpt ["Dear Friends" → gliss jam] (live at Gorizia Jazz Festival, Italy, 2009-04-19)

8. Sun Ra — "Brainville" (from Sun Songs, 1957)

9. Sun Ra — "Twin Stars of Thence" (from Lanquidity, 1978)

10. Speakers Corner Quartet — "Sahara" (live on the Furthur Stage, Lounge on the Farm festival, Canterbury, 2010-07-11)

11. Syd Arthur — "Truthseeker" (live on the Furthur Stage, Lounge on the Farm festival, Canterbury, 2010-07-10)

12. Caravan — "L'Auberge Du Sanglier (A Hunting We Shall Go)" (live at the Bataclan, Paris, 1973-11-26)

13. Kevin Ayers and the Whole World — French TV interview excerpt + jam → "Clarence in Wonderland" (live at the Taverne de Olympia, Paris, May, 1970)

14. Khan — "The Cobalt Sequence" → "March of the Sine Squadrons" (from Space Shanty, 1972)

15. Spirogyra — "Old Boot Wine" (from Bells, Boots and Shambles, 1973)

16. Egg — Long Piece No. 3: Part 3 → jam (live at The Roundhouse, London, 1970-05-08)

17. Robert Wyatt — "Gharbzedagi" (from BBC4 TV documentary/session Free Will and Testament, recorded 2003)

18. Gong — "Tropical Fish" → "Selene" (from BBC Radio 1 sessions, 1971-11-09, released on Pre-Modern Wireless, 2002)

19. Soft Machine — "Teeth" (from Fourth, 1971)

20. Soft Machine — "When I Don't Want You" (demo recorded 1967, later released on Jet Propelled Photographs)

21. Lady June's Linguistic Leprosy — "The Letter" (from Lady June's Linguistic Leprosy, 1974)

22. Caravan — "Ride" (BBC Radio 1, Top Gear session 1968-12-31, released on Green Bottles For Marjorie: The Lost BBC Sessions, 2004)

23. Gorky's Zygotic Mynci — "Oh Caroline" (from Tatay, 1994)

24. Kevin Ayers — "Beware of the Dog" (from Bananamour, 1973)

[voiceover ambience: Kevin Ayers — "Underwater" (from Shooting at the Moon, 1970)]

[click on 'YouTube' icon for full screen view, etc.]

Geoffrey Richardson (Caravan) and Raven Bush (Syd Arthur) at Lounge on the Farm festival,
Canterbury, 2009, where they duetted on "A Hunting We Shall Go"

Gharbzadegi (Persian: غربزدگی ) is a pejorative Persian term variously translated as "Westoxification," "West-struck-ness", "Westitis", "Euromania", or "Occidentosis". It is used to refer to the loss of Iranian cultural identity through the adoption and imitation of Western models and Western criteria in education, the arts, and culture; through the transformation of Iran into a passive market for Western goods and a pawn in Western geopolitics.

The phrase was first coined by Ahmad Fardid (University of Tehran Professor) in the 1940s, it gained common usage following the clandestine publication in 1962 of the book Occidentosis: A Plague from the West by Jalal Al-e Ahmad, an eminent Iranian writer.

[from Wikipedia article]

Errata: I gave the name of the 1978 Sun Ra album as "Languidity", whereas it is actually Lanquidity (weirdly, I've since found out that the first EP by Speakers Corner Quartet, who I followed that Sun Ra track with, was released on Lanquidity Records...); I gave the name of the Caravan piece as "Sanglier", which this suite is sometimes referred to, but it seems more commonly known as "A Hunting We Shall Go"...and the studio version has the oh-so-catchy title "L' Auberge du Sanglier/A Hunting We Shall Go/Pengola!/Backwards/A Hunting We Shall Go (reprise)", presumably for shrewd publishing-related reasons; I said I didn't know what the Gilgamesh title "Foel'd Again" was about — I've since discovered that it's a reference to Foel Studio where the album was recorded.

Here's part of an interview with Daevid Allen which appeared in Fortean Times not so long ago:

FT: If we go back to the late 60s/early 70s we find a lot of cosmic musical mythologies about flying saucers and space ships and so on — Magma in France, Hawkwind in Britain. Why do you think 'space was the place' at that moment in musical history? And did you have any personal experience with flying teapots?

DA: In 1958 before I left Melbourne for the UK I discovered a battered LP in a used album bin called SUN RA COSMIK ARKESTRA and though intellectually I understood it not, something subtle clicked in to my psyche that I possibly never recovered from.

Certainly at age seven, I was already under the impression that my personality had been over-ridden by an "imaginary friend" who knew more than I about the ways of the worlds. At a much later stage, this impression returned, gifting me a certain additional understanding of a civilization far more tolerant and forgiving than this crazy world of opposing extremes. But rather than be taken too seriously and thus seen as a threat to the status quo, it suited me to act the village loony and thus show me true knickers only to musicians, poets, wise women and seers.

In my long life there have been various sightings of "flying teapots" and/or something looking like that, but what do we want me to do? Prove it scientifically? Alas I can only prove this in a dark room amongst consenting adults. Maybe.

FT: Gong's musical mythology is more complicated, more cosmic, far funnier and much longer-lived than any other from that period. It's hinted at in your early recordings, comes to the fore in the Radio Gnome Trilogy and then sends ripples through much of your later work — and that of other ex-Gong members like Steve Hillage. Why is that?

DA: Rather than creating an imposed teaching story I sought to create a hidden teaching structure (imagined in the form of an invisible double helix spiral) with which ingenious men and wo-mendicants could hatch their own peculiar teaching story. This presumed an outcome self-tailored to each individual and the avoidance of the guru trap.

It's an attempt to let the mythology be hinted at in your terms rather than fleshed out on my terms. Yet, apparently, it remains a potent influence on our approach to communicating a deeper meaning to our glorious madness.

FT: A lot of visionary mythologies seem to have their origin in some sort of epiphany or moment of revelation — like Alfred Watkins' discovery of ley lines or some of Jung's insights into the unconscious. Did the Planet Gong mythos arrive fully formed as some sort of mystical revelation? If so, what was the occasion?

DA: Yes, it did. Suffice to say, on Easter Sunday 1966, this humble (?) poet on a mountainside in Deya, Mallorca, witnessed an unlikely career in psychedelic rock unfold in a spectacular vision that also gave me a preview/glimpse of a light show before I knew what the hell it was. The story is told in the books GONG DREAMING 1 — 1965-69 and GONG DREAMING 2 — 1969-75.


Blogger Unknown said...

Great interview - very much looking forward to coming home and listening to episode four.

Am sure you're on it, but any rare Hillage would be much appreciated xxx

18 February 2011 at 01:16  
Blogger Unknown said...

Another fine episode!

Enjoyed your speculations re the Sun Ra and Gong mythologies - they certainly share much in common. Can't help wondering if the Flying Teapot was a tricksy appropriation of Bertrand Russell's famous atheist argument, the 'Parable of the Celestial Teapot', in which he posits an invisible teapot orbiting between the Earth and Mars: being invisible it can't be disproved, a bit like God, but as with God, it would be nonsense to say that its existence can't be doubted.

I haven't read Allen's biogs - any clues as to whether he reclaimed the teapot or did it all come to him in that acid flash in Deya? xxx

PS Re rare Hillage. You were, indeed, on it x

23 February 2011 at 08:42  

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