I was greatly saddened this week by the news of Lou Reed’s death. I have been a fan for a number of years, in fact right from the very first time I heard “Walk on The Wild Side”. I think that and Coney Island Baby used to be on Arthur Murphy’s playlist for the peaceful hour back in the day. I loved those songs and then a few years later went out and bought his “Live in Italy” album and that was it I was hooked. Simple songs played on two guitars, bass and drums as only Lou Reed could. The band he had at around that time of Fred Maher, Robert Quine and Fernando Saunders seemed to match exactly what Lou was doing. He sounded great with these guys because I think they were all pretty much on the same wavelength; the same way that Neil Young never sounds quite the same when he is not playing live with Crazy Horse. I think I must have worn that Live in Italy CD out, the number of times I played it.
I was just watching “Thirteen Days”; the film starring Kevin Costner about the Cuban Missile Crisis, when, right at the end, Bruce Greenwood, playing President Kennedy, was presented with a plague and on it was written; “Oh God, thy sea is so great and my boat is so small”, and I thought wow what a great saying. Kind of like one of those inspirational things you hear every now and again which makes you stop and think. I had to goggle it and apparently it is from a small prayer known as the Breton Fisherman’s Prayer.
By the early 1970s, holiday tour operators were offering package holidays abroad for the masses at affordable prices. Flights, transfers and accommodation were being sold at prices which made a holiday abroad more desirable than a wet fortnight by the English seaside. I had accompanied my grandparents on holidays to places like Bournemouth, Poole and Llandudno and, for the most part, the weather was despicable. I remember one year we went on holiday somewhere and it rained every single day we were away. I think for the week we were away we had one afternoon when we could venture outside the confines of the car.
As a child, I can remember having sudden feelings of great happiness and well-being. These feelings didn’t manifest themselves too often but when they did they were most over-powering. I remember one was when I had decided to walk to the shopping centre near to our home when I was around 12 or 13. It was during the summer holidays from school and I was bored and at a loose end; not knowing what to do with myself. For this reason I started to walk to the shops when suddenly I was elated, happy but for no reason I could understand.
I keep backups of all kinds of files and folders from different computers and laptops I have had over the years. Today, I found a folder containing the favourites from an old copy of Internet Explorer. Amongst the list of sites I used to frequent was a collection of blogs I used to read. It’s Sunday and I had time on my hands so I thought I would have a look at some of these sites and see how people who used to share their lives with me were getting on these days.
Apparently Matt Walters is a young musician from Australia who no one seems to have heard about except me – and that puzzles me. The guy has immense talent, so just why no one else outside of Australia seems to have heard him or his music is a shame. His song “I Will Die For You” is haunting my very life and I can’t stop listening to it. People back in Australia have compared him to Bob Dylan and Neil Young but personally I don’t think he is like either of those guys. He is a singer who may well have been influenced by those two greats but he has come through the other side with his own style and sound. His sound is young and fresh and yet poignant.