Thursday, 17 June 2010


I woke up this morning thinking about Popcorn; not the food but the classic Moog-inspired instrumental track. I don’t know why it suddenly sprung to mind and I even had to phone Nathan to ask him what it was actually called. I did some research and discovered that the version we all know by Hot Butter actually goes all the way back to 1971, which confused me because it feels so quintessentially 1980s.

I was even more surprised to discovered that the Hot Butter track is actually a cover of a piece of music which was written and recorded by Gershon Kingsley in 1969 - and you must must listen to it... right now!

Am I the only person who thinks this piece of music is mind-numbingly ahead of its time? When I first heard it, I actually gasped, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I started to feel emotional. I’m really not sure why it's had such a visceral effect on me and I’d love to know if anyone else finds it as extraordinary.

I shaved my beard off a few days ago, and have been feeling somewhat naked ever since. That said, it’s probably also shaved a number of years off the age that I look. There’s nothing like a big grey goatee to demonstrate you’re no longer as vibrant as you used to be... or indeed would like to be.

It's been a really tough day in the studio and my feet and legs are aching. We’re now dealing with people with much smaller sections of music to play, and I’ve been horrified to discover how few of them have bothered to learn what they're playing. Simon, the engineer asked a couple of the younger ones if they’d been practising and were told; “not really.” And boy did it show; to the extent that we’re now having to go out of our way to make some people sound even half-decent, which isn't fair on the musicians who've worked really hard who have subsequently been given less time in the studio. We’re also having a number of glitches with the music software; possibly because it's overwhelmed by the sheer number of musicians who are already playing on the tracks but more likely because it's me... and I have an adverse effect on all technology. It’s no life for any of us. We were meant to have the evening off today, but most people were so rubbish, we just had to keep plodding on...

June 17th 1660 was a Sunday and Pepys had a good lie-in before heading off to church. He noted that church organs on this date were played for the first time since Cromwell had called for their removal in 1644. This must have appealed greatly to the musician in Pepys but sat fairly uncomfortably with that inner-Puritan who hated fancy polyphony and felt music, particularly sacred music, should be as simplistic as possible. None of this stopped our hero from using church as a shop window for ogling attractive women, and today was no different; “just by the window that I stood at sat Mrs. Butler, the great beauty”

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