R.I.P Margot Kidder

I’ve just heard that Margot Kidder has died, aged 69, and immediately my mind turned to Saturday matinees at the local cinema in the late seventies/early eighties. The cinema is long gone but the memories remain.

And of you, too, Lois Lane.

R.I.P

image

 

Advertisements

Morning Theft.

I’ve been having one of those nights.

I love Buckley, his voice; his playing.

And it’s all such a damn waste isn’t it? Such a tragic, pointless death that could have been easily avoided.

He left us without reaching anything like his potential, but that is just my own selfish lament.

After that acclaimed debut album, Grace, he was finally ready to record the follow up. He sent cassette demo recordings of the new songs he’d been working on to his band so they could familiarise themselves with them on their way over.

While his friends were in the air Jeff was already drowning in the Wolf River. Following his father Tim Buckley into an early grave.

Those songs, destined for an album named My Sweetheart The Drunk were eventually released posthumously on Sketches For My Sweetheart The Drunk. 

Further hints of what could have been.

This is one of those songs, one I’ve been playing over tonight. Beautiful, and poignant with the opening lines

Time takes care of the wound
So I can believe
You had so much to give
You thought I couldn’t see

R.I.P Jeff. Keep singing.

 

 

 

 

The Ghosts Of East End Children

Taken in the early 1880’s, this is one of the earliest images of the East End of London.

I love the way the children appear insubstantial and ghost-like, which in effect they are. Lingering echoes of lives long lost, wandering along now vanished streets.

image

When In Crete: The Author’s Tomb

A timely photo maybe, with today being Good Friday, but this isn’t a religious site-rather it’s the tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis, author of works such as Zorba The Greek and The Last Temptation. When we were in Crete in 2008 I travelled to Heraklion to seek it out. I have most of his books and I do like to make personal connections. Fortunately I have a very understanding wife.

Although deeply spiritual, his books often reflected his struggle to find truth in religion and spirituality. Many Orthodox Church clergy condemned Kazantzakis’ work and a campaign was started to excommunicate him. His reply was: “You gave me a curse, Holy fathers, I give you a blessing: may your conscience be as clear as mine and may you be as moral and religious as I” 

The tomb is quite plain, made of stone marked with a wooden cross. The epitaph, taken from one of his works, reads:

 ‘I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free’.

R.I.P Stephen Hawking

Whilst under the shadow of death Stephen Hawking attempted to answer some of the more complex questions of life. I saw this quote only this morning:

“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”

Personally I think there is more to us than that, but who am I to argue with someone with a mind as brilliant as Hawking?!

R.I.P

image

A Dagger In The Art

We recently had a Dutch student stay with us, and a conversation about famous Dutch people provoked two inevitables:

1. My son contributing every single footballer from the Netherlands that he could think of,

and 2. the namedrop of Vincent Van Gogh.

“Van Gogh!” exclaimed my daughter, “wasn’t that him that bit off his own ear?”

What followed were some incredible attempts by my children to fit their ears into their mouths, a feat surely impossible unless they were elephants.

Later that evening I finished a biography I was reading of The Mamas and the Papas. If ever there was a group that was destined not to stay together it was these guys. Remember that great 90’s film The Commitments, about an Irish group that imploded just as they were about to hit the big time?


It was like that. You had Michelle who was married to John; John who was friends with Denny; Denny who was friends with Cass; Cass who was both in love with Denny and friends with Michelle.

Then, just as they were about to sign a recording contract with a record company, Michelle and Denny had an affair. John was angry with Denny. Denny felt guilty about cheating on his friend and upsetting Cass. Cass was angry with Denny and Michelle. Michelle was angry because John blamed her and not Denny. And on and on ad nauseum.

Now it was time to make music. Somehow they managed to last two years.

John, much in the way of songwriters both before and after, used the turmoil in his life to create art. Just like Abba, where the recently divorced Björn came up with the lyrics of The Winner Takes It All and  gave it thoughtfully to his ex-wife to sing,


John wrote I Saw Her Again about this betrayal and the group took their medicine and recorded it. Probably with many sideways glances.

From this I began to think of the recently deceased Dolores O’Riordan. Although the cause of death in that London hotel has yet to be disclosed, and it would be wrong to speculate, there are tales of depression and breakdowns, bipolar and a suicide attempt, all in the wake of her terrible  experience as a young girl when she was sexually abused between the age of eight and twelve by a man known to her family.

A man who, though she never publically named, approached her at her father’s funeral, as she had long dreaded, tearfully apologising for what he had done.

I thought once again about how artists turn pain into art; about creative tension, struggle and catharsis. How some need to somehow get it out in their work.

And, with Dolores’ personal disclosures, witnessed the heartbreak of this Cranberries song, Fee Fi Fo, shared below complete with lyrics.