Remembering Jerry

All I know is something like a bird within him sang
All I know he sang a little while and then flew on

That’s how Phil Lesh sings Bird Song these days, changing the song’s subject from Janis Joplin, as originally written by Robert Hunter, to Jerry Garcia, who died 20 years ago today, having just turned 53 years old.

Hunter wrote the lyrics soon after Joplin’s much more premature, heroin-related death and they are little more than an amazed reflection on a mercurial talent – a more articulate version of ‘Wow, man, she sure could sing!’ Their application to Garcia’s playing (and, to a lesser extent, singing) is entirely appropriate.

Look and listen:

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Spillyear 1975


The 1975

A band called The 1975 quit social media for a day, and have now come back. Apparently this counts as news. I’m not sure anyone born before 1975 cares. Or 1995, comes to that.

So yeah, anyway. 1975. Good year for music? I think so, though I wasn’t there.

1965 looks hard to beat – have we reached a high-water mark already? But let’s hear what things sounded like 10 years later. 

Listen to the playlist here

[it’s supposed to embed, but doesn’t seem to work – technical support welcome]

Add your top 3 here



How I discovered . . . . . T-Rex

Finn And Bolan

The Wonderful T-Rex

In 2001 I was 14 at I left my home and went to boarding school in Okinawa. I was the youngest of my year because of when my birthday is and was very naïve.

I loved school  ! ! !  It is quite  a famous school for girls and the same school as my grandmother went to during the Pacific War.  So I was very proud but also very nervous about starting school and leaving home.

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Comus – a band I had completely forgotten until I read something that reminded me.

I knew about Comus back in the early 1970s. They tended to get lumped in with people like the Third Ear Band, because of their general weirdness, and also with the Incredible String Band.

Anyway, I knew about them and my cousin liked them a lot, but he was weird. He liked the Holy Modal Rounders as well.

I was reminded of them yesterday because I was looking up Opeth on Wikipedia and that led me on to look at the article about Storm Corrosion, the Steven Wilson/Mikael Åkerfeldt collaboration from a couple of years ago. That article mentioned Comus as an inspiration for the Storm Corrosion album. I made a mental note to check on YouTube to see if their first album was there and, lo and behold, here it is.

I think that some people here might like it, certainly I think it will strike a chord with Beth and maybe Chris too.


Summertime Soul

I dunno why, but Summer always seems to mean soul to me. I think it is the heat, the sun, it has a languid lazy feel that makes me want to listen to some mellow grooves.

Anyway, here are a dozen tunes that seem to say SUMMER to me, mostly stuff from the 1970s, which was the heyday of blissed out summer soul and lazy funk grooves.