Tuesday, 23 February 2010

My all-time favourite fighter

If you do download the copy of the old fanzine The Same Sky in the library on your left you will see it ends with a photo of Phil Ochs and almost starts with a line from Sean Penn's sleevenotes to the then recently issued LP of Phil's lost recordings. It was a big thing discovering Phil's music and his story at that time. I remember fondly someone reading The Same Sky and sending me a copy of a Phil Ochs biography from the States. That sort of gesture meant a lot. Being young back then I don't think I realised the full sadness of Phil's later work. I do now. So perhaps that's why I find this clip so moving ...

Monday, 22 February 2010

Sweet Serendipity

One of the Your Heart Out research projects is Anywhere Else But Here Today ... and fittingly the phrase The Same Sky crops up in a song by one of the featured artists Vladimir Vysotsky, called He Did Not Return. I kept thinking I recognised the name Vysotsky from somewhere. Then the other day I found a secondhand copy of Nik Cohn's The Heart of the World and there it was. And here's the song ...

Everything is like it used to be:
the same sky, blue again.
The same forest, the same air, and the same water;
just that he didn't come back from the battle.

The Same Sky

Watching ancient videos of the Happy Mondays recently reminded me how jawdroppingly brilliant they could be. I'm talking here about 1986 into 1987. I was lucky enough to see them a handful of times then. Firstly at the Rock Garden, just after Freaky Dancin' came out, then Jeff Barrett put them on at Bay 63. On both occasions there were probably less than a dozen people in the audience but everyone knew there was something special. Then I think Jeff put them on Portlands, and I remember Bobby Gillespie being there. Then the Mondays played with the Jasmine Minks when Jeff set up home at the Black Horse in Camden. That was the night some kid got up and did a rap during Little Matchstick Owen, and then when 24 Hour Party People came out the Mondays got to headline at the Black Horse and Shaun was handing out cans of lager to the people at the front. I didn't even drink but took one all the same. It's called courtesy. At the time I wrote rather enthusiastically about the group in a fanzine I called The Same Sky. So in a spirit of sharing (with big thanks to Daniel) here is the whole thing, or you can find it in the library on your left. Very much of its time (early 1987), but at least it had Julie Christie on the cover ...