I thought a trannie was a radio

This evening, my manager and I were having a discussion, about normality. I explained to him that, I have no reference points for it, having come frankly from a wonderful but somewhat eccentric background. Perhaps that's being unfair on my parents, but they are unusual people in many respects, and 'normal' and quite conservative in others. I said to him that I am not sure if there are millions of 'normal' people in this country, or whether it is a thing of the past. Is a person who eats a full roast dinner for breakfast normal? This is something I do. I also make 3 cups of tea on my teasmade, a 1950's Goblin model, which I reheat throughout the day. I own a great many clocks, mostly 1950s travel clocks. And I used to go walking in the park at 2.00 in the morning as a matter of course. On one occasion I was apprehended by a most thoughtful police lady, obviously concerned for my welfare she wanted to know if I had anyone else in the car. I said no, and that I was going for a ride on my bike. She said 'what, at 2 o'clock in the morning in the pouring rain', I said yes, I'm a writer I keep funny hours. To her credit she said 'each to their own' and let me go on my way.
I suppose, these things could denote eccentricity. But these days I hope I am just that. It seems something from Yesterdays England, very much a thing of the past, and what a loss eccentricity is. I suggest a full scale revolt against modern rubbish! Anyway, the reason my manager and I were discussing normality was because today, I met someone some people might not consider normal. But the trouble is, I thought he was! I don't know this bloke's name, but he always makes a beeline for me when I go for my walk or run in the park. He reminds me of that Boswell character on 70's sitcom The Liver Birds, only he talks a lot more. He is a typical workman, ladders on the car roof. Only today I noticed something different. He was wearing silver nail varnish. Also, I noticed, he was wearing a pink bra under his shirt. Then, guess what. He showed me a picture of his wife (!), actually not his entire wife. But the part of his wife most men would not like another man to see. Now, is this normal? Perhaps I have just answered my own question. In truth, I have met all sorts of totally weird people over the years. Maybe I will describe some more of them in future blogs, I will find it interesting and enjoyable to reflect upon them. I will spare my family, but one thing I will mention is that my aunt, who sadly passed away recently, one year sent my father a scouring pad for Christmas.

Village Green Machine this week then. I have been told off for keeping on about what I'm recording, overdubs and all that but I will say, I've finished She She Spider which is a psych/garage r&b number and has come out great. Next week I try to record a definitive version of one of my best early songs, Sitting In An English Cafe. I will keep it simple, it will be very acoustic based, I'll use 6 and 12 string acoustics, organ and tremolo guitar.

I have been listening to Marvin Gaye today. His best records are pure magic I think. There's a whole clutch of great ones, I'll Be Doggone, Can I Get A Witness, Baby Don't You Do It, that is so wild. A very smooth sound, perhaps a more refined sound compared to the generic Motown sound of the time. Then of course he excelled with What's Goin' On, and Got To Give It Up, and even Sexual Healing, which had all that electronic stuff but was still a great record I think. I reflected on how, despite all this great music he had going for him, he could not extricate himself from an inexorable decline, allegedly into cocaine addiction. He was supposed to have goaded his father, a transvestite preacher, into shooting him dead which of course is what happened. I know Marvin wanted to be the black Sinatra, and that he had a volatile temperament. But those records really are great ones, I think. And Grapevine, what a record that is. There's something for every recording musician and producer to learn there. Soul singing seems to require total abandon and inner honesty and truth. On the other hand, did someone like Sinatra really feel the vulnerability he put across, or was it a masquerade, I don't know. It sounded so convincing.

I would love to get on-stage again, solo or with a band. I'm sure it will happen, I am open to offers. The album is being advertised soon - wheels are slowly being set in motion which will turn for a very long time to come.

Keep reading and tuning in, thanks for reading

Mark Lemon
Village Green Machine



Reading Village Green Machine's ezine. I thought a trannie was a radio
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