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My Dear Watson

My Dear Watson

Life, gets on my tits. Just when I least need it, someone knocks my door. ''Have you got the cat, Mark?'' No, I haven't got the frigging cat. Now bugger off lol.

I hope you all like my video. I had 8 eggs secreted about my person when I made it. Lol. Guess where they were? Anyone who guesses all 8, can have a back massage, or a scrub down with an oily rag, courtesy of my manager.

Mark Lemon

Yes you may have gathered, that although I am about to become a rock & roll star, I am a little bit fished off. Only a bit. I thought all you had to do was make a great album, and hey presto, success would materialise. I sheepishly admit I have been a little naive. Of course, the internet is a revolution which brings hope, but people don't buy music anymore. They want it, and consume for nothing. Am I bovvered? Well no, just so long as I can be a rock & roll star anyway. Its allright don't worry about me, fresh air is a healthy diet. Look at you, you're reading this now, and since you've got this far you probably think I'm worth taking notice of, but lets face it you haven't got the slightest intention of buying my music. Now I don't want to make any of you feel guilty. Bread and water is actually a healthy diet, and blocks of dried cow dung wrapped in brown paper burn remarkably well, providing a cosy glow at my open air fireplace. No you go on, you needn't feel guilty at all. You are infact doing me a favour, as poverty infact is good for the soul. My soul! I am a martyr to music. I love it ! Pain is virtue! ps sacrifice is bracing, and you're all doing me a favour, since the more miserable I get and the more my life screws up, the better songs I write.

Actually I'd quite like my shoulders massaged with axle grease, but lets not go there, and instead I will tell you about my glamorous life as a rock & roll star. When I've emptied the fridge of any unnecessary beverages which could be crowding it.....

Loaded the car with equipment as soon as I'd had my breakfast bacon and eggs, around 1.30. All in, amp, Danelectro guitar, acoustic 12 string, Fender amp, reel to reel tape recorder, drums, bag of leads, tuner, refreshments, and set off for church hall where I record. Turned back to get cash as petrol was running out. Made it to the church hall, David was already there, computer set up. We set up the mic stands, drums, and ran the track called Sidestreets And Alleyways which I then overdubbed drums onto. A few bits. Went well, then cymbals went on, good takes, very good. This song is a little like uptempo Simon and Garfunkel, only with a psychedelic organ sound and quite psych 12 string acoustic finger picked part, which has a brittle toppy edge. In truth is also influenced by 80s obscurities The Lilac Time, who surely deserved more than they got. I wanted it (the 12 string) to sound like John Denver's on that famous song of his. He was an acid head, allegedly. No wonder , er, never mind. Anyway, I think the fans I do have trust me, of course the proof of the pudding is in the eating, but, rest assured this is a good recording of a good song. Its a poem, inspired I guess by the romantic poets, the singing is soul influenced. Wait till I get the bass down. Will be really good.

Then more 12 string acoustic, jangly stuff went onto My Dear Watson, its a killer riff and I hope its mine. Like George Harrison, The Byrds and The Searchers, but mine.
Got a nice 12 string solo on it too, improvised. Some decent backing vocals, harmony 60s folk rock/pop sort of stuff. The vocals now aren't like on England's Dreaming Spires. They have developed a lot since then. Tried to put guitar on Silver Blue Bullet, got a great overdrive distortion sorted for this, but time ran out and the computer crashed. The guy who sets up the tables for AA was waiting outside and liked what he's heard. They come in just as we leave, I have already said I am having too much fun to be saved again. You know Graham Greene wrote his life out in his novels. Could I do this in songs? Consciously, I mean. I think I do this already to some extent.
Dead knackered now:-) Would like to write a novel one day, but songs are a vehicle for words and stories. Ps so maybe that is in fact the best medium.

Had an enjoyable mod orientated night at the Birmingham Sound Bar Thursday 8th, a good vibe for the mods and cool northern sounds to boot. Run by promoter Kris Gozra. Hoping to bring you more details soon about this venue which is an expanding centre for the Midlands mod scene.

Comedy this week, has been the Likely Lads, more accurately Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads, which was the 70's incarnation of a 60s show. the 60s show is also in the cheap boxed set, but isn't the better.It is among my favourite comedies, which works because of the central chemistry of the 2 main characters played by James Bolam and Rodney Bewes. Made in the early/mid 1970s, it is about a couple of great mates, and their trials and tribulations (I hate that expression!) in everyday life, their relationship hassles, and just the general quirks of life which are brought to play with excellent comic effect. It is often very funny and was written by talented persons. Based in northern Britain, it displays the 1970s of youngish people in all its garish and sometimes bland panoply, oatmeal fabrics, flock wallpaper, older ladies wearing catseye flyaway glasses and bobbled hats. The whole show is so well acted and just manifests to life, it is not a flop in any conceivable way, although the script is politically incorrect as might be expected, a few jibes going rather below the belt for my tastes. Terry is the ex army layabout and hard nosed acerbic cynic of the pair, Bob a far gentler creature, reminding me rather of the Lennon/ McCartney team, who perhaps were an unconscious template? It is not intellectual comedy, but is clever and not, well, aimed at the thick. Doesn't insult the audience, but, here is the crowning factor. The theme tune is just absolutely brilliant, and a Village Green Machine favourite.In part written by Mr Mike Hugg its ''Whatever Happened To You, Whatever Happened To Me'' refrain is a very favourite of mine, to the point where I am considering covering it live. With its strings and piano, it is a period piece reminiscent of the gentler side of Mott the Hoople. Do check it out, it is a beautiful, emotional piece of music and a great tune. I would like to chat with its author, we'll see. Anyway as you've gathered I think WHTTLL is a top British comedy of the 1970s.

Roger McGuinn

Sounds this week, well I have to say some of the best I've heard were at the Sound Bar, my favourite kind of uptempo mid 60s soul. As well, I have been listening to a compilation of some great 60s highlights, put together by an old friend years ago. We sadly parted ways, but he had great taste. We were like the likely lads guys, I guess. Because in real life, actors James Bolam and .... fell out and have never been friends since. Hard to believe when you see what good mates they are in the comedy. Anyhow, I keep going to my favourite tracks on this compilation, first up being The Byrds 8 Miles High. Its Ravi Shankar and John Coltrane influenced 12 string Rickenbacker guitar playing marked Roger McGuinn down as a genius and The Byrds as Americ'a hottest property with this blistering 45, easily as experimental and groundbreaking as The Beatles in their peak Revolver era, it is one of the great records of its era.
Next up, and, played by me sometimes 5 times a day, since I was 16 lol, is See emily Play by Pink Floyd. Ofcourse its a Syd Barrett record. It has been said before he was in John Lennon's league, and I certainly vouch for that, as I rate this song as highly as Strawberry Fields Forever. Again, a very experimental record, experimentation always or usually pays off with VGM I find, which may seem ironic to those who think I am retro. I mean, I AM retro, but I experiment. Emily has chord changes in this spirit, most unusual ones, is a great structure and melody, with its poetic lyrics bringing literally, romantic poetry into popular song. It has inspired me recently with my words for My Dear Watson. A certain element of wistful beauty seems more relevant than ever these days, and this is a timeless pop record, deeply English, with a highly eccentric mid section which screams psychedelia, being made in '67. Acid fuzztone guitar buzzes menacingly behind over echoed organ, with Syd's glissando slide playing being aural shooting stars. Its that good. Binson echo units work overtime, in this perfect mix of avant garde pop and pure psychedelia. My favourite record of all time, with Smokey coming a close second. And much credit to the late Rick Wright- he was so essential to the early and classic Pink Floyd sound. A good acquaintance of mine owns the keybord used on the early Floyd stuff, it has been restored.

Too tired to tell you anymore. this summer heat means, I get a little hot sat here dressed like Beau Brummel. A fur coat, a suit, and cravat on with buckled shoes, do promote an excellent detox though I must say, I am a walking one man sauna:-)

see you soon


Reading the Village Green Machine blog. My Dear Watson