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One For The Mods

One For The Mods

Hi, allright :-)
I have never really contrived this blog much; I don't particularly like contrived people, or contrived anything. I used to worry revealing myself as a real person would disadvantage my career as a musician. One friend told me I should try to have mystique. Can't spell it. And I thought about it, and I thought, how much mystique The Velvet Underground had/have. And yet when I think of their interviews, they were ordinary, clever, and in my view unpretentious personalities.Syd Barrett, there's an interview with him on Youtube, recorded after he supposedly cracked up.

One For The Mods


And you can hear this intelligent guy, just being himself. These days myself and closest friends think, to be a good musician, a good musical personality, you have to be sincere, from the inside out. And it makes all the more sense when you look at the plastic dolls, of both sexes who are paraded before us as supposed pop idols these days. They have not 1% of what Iggy, Lou, Mick Jagger, Smokey Robinson, and Bob Dylan had and have. They, these kids now, ARE packaging. Its not that they are packages, they are the packaging. And what amazes me is that so many people fall for it. What I do promise to do with my Village Green Machine recordings is, to keep it real. I'll try my best, anyway.


Village Green Machine latest..

This week I recorded this song with a Tamla beat and a fuzzed up riff, its a catchy one, its really good I promise. The chorus melody is Stock, Aitken and Waterman,-whose music I've always disliked apart from the really good melodic content- but wait, the production is 60's garage/northern soul I put diverse influences into the music mixer, and aim high, to churn out a great 60s sounding record. I'm not letting anything out unless its really good. It takes ages, and thanks in print should go to my extremely hard working engineer, David Taylor who goes with my wildest experiments. The songs, the recordings, we keep on beating them up, in production, we keep pushing them, I don't let up- but you know, it is always intuition and taking massive risks which make the music, the records, happen. Production is an art form. So is the music and since I play all the instruments on the records, you will understand I expect, that I am tired out and have to sign off here.

Later. I prepare myself for another drinking session with my mother, Laura "Just Like Nan" Lemon, who, as regular readers will know, I take to the hotel bar on Thursdays. Before then I've got to do some singing practice, I'm singing along to 70s soul currently. The Delfonics. I sing to it in the car.


Work with Dave Kusworth from Jacobites..

Last sunday played a gig with Dave Kusworth, we are working together after years apart, this is separate from Village Green Machine although DK plays on one track on the upcoming VGM album and I'm hoping there will be time for him to add more overdubs. Rock & roll guitar works great on my stuff, and when I can have Britain's best guitarist of that genre on my stuff, I'm not going to say no.

Mark Lemon and Dave Kusworth


The gig in Moseley we did was shambolic, Dave did a soundcheck which became the gig itself, I just got up and played, DK decided on the spot what to play. I know Big Store and Pin Your Heart To Me from the old days. We don't rehearse. Don't need to. He looked every bit the rock & roll star when he turned up, black velvet jacket in place, red Indian print scarf, nice aviator shades, decent ones. He lost his hat though, we left and it was onstage somewhere. He sang great, his voice has improved over the years, a strong dynamic acoustic set with me on electric Danelectro. He smuggled some booze in in a Lucozade bottle, a trick I used to do at college. We are incorrigibles. I am encourageable, too. Anomalies meant he didn't get to record with me the following day unfortunately but, hopefully next time Dave:-) Great to be working together again.

Do you know who made the music on Robespierre's Velvet Basement, one of Tom Waits favourite albums of all time, so it says in his bio? We did. I actually played on balance most of the instruments on that album. There's a general drift here. And it hasn't arrived at the shoreline yet....should be worth the wait guys.


Village Green Machine One For The Mods video out now.

Anyway to Village Green Machine news. The video for One For The Mods, filmed at Port Meirion, should be up by the time you read this. It is on Youtube
Filmed in fact over a year ago, I hope it will move you. I do my best. If you like it, please send your mates a link. Lets make great music and get it spread around, I appreciate your support very much. One for The Mods is, of course, a track from Village Green Machine's England's Dreaming Spires album, available from the website on CD, and downloads available at ITunes and most other download sites. Or download from us, this would be good as we get to keep all the money that way lol. I hope you'll dig it, share it, enjoy it. I don't do this thing just for myself, you know. Help us to make more recordings by buying- folks I know you can get a free listen these days, but , musicians have got to live. Back me with this, this intent to make great music. I think I can do it, I need your support.


Village Green Machine more news..

This one is not for the rockers


This week I recorded 2 acoustic songs I wrote a long time ago. I'd never recorded versions I was happy with before, but we had a good day, made good choices about what instruments to use, and I managed good performances. One is called Dreams Of Beauty, I used 1 12 string acoustic only, with one 12 string lead overdub. Backing vocals and tambourines. Sounds, fab, recorded on the old ribbon mic. Anyway I wanted a Mamas and Papas vibe on the track, which also sounds a little like The Stone Roses. OK a lot like them lol. Its that riff- (Sugar Spun) but they nicked that themselves off Manfred Mann so I'm not going on a guilt (or royalties) trip lol. Just don't tell The Manfreds, I know them. The other song I did is, It Only Takes One. Listening to how sorted and complete Dylan's recordings sound, with just one acoustic, made me choose to try to do the same, and it has worked. Actually there is one Eastern sounding 12 string lead overdub on this song, which is about the perils of pop stardom. It can be viewed as a prison, a treadmill, and worse, as an exercise in adopting fake identity. So its about that.
Thinking about a title for the second album- the truth is I want to call it Carry On Up The Junction but don't know if I can, if its worth the possible hassle. We'll see. The album is a real rocker, with other diverse aspects too. The Monkees influence continues. Its all pop, the way I see it, but not light pop. Substantial pop, I hope. Incidentally, if you are a musician think twice before getting an AC30. They are a flaming nuisance. Great sound, but never go out without a spare :-)

On My Record Player..coming next time a rundown of my 45s currently on the VGM Dansette...cheers M:-) Off on hols, come back next week. Sorry does that sound a bit blunt? you know what i mean:-)

Reading the Village Green Machine blog. One For The Mods