Message Number: 0001
Date: 04/18/1997; 02:50 PM
From: Bill Bates, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ok, let's talk seriously about creative genius and whatever the heck psychedelia is supposed to be. "scuse me while I light a cigarette....
Now the great American novelist,John Kennedy Toole, titled his one, great and only novel, "A Confederacy of Dunces" (First Evergreen Edition 1987,ISBN 0-8021-3020-8) after a quotation from Jonathan Swift:
"When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." (Jonathan Swift, "Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting")
Vanilla Fudge, together with their producer, George "Shadow" Morton (the guy who taught Phil Spector the producer's trade at Red Bird Records), recorded a really amazing album called "The Beat Goes On" in 1968. Perhaps no record album has been more unjustly savaged by the Music industry and it's media than that particular album. Hey, the corporate music industry is like everything else in this sordid age: it suffers genuine creativity and diversity about as well as the middle class suffers schizophrenics begging for loose change on a street corner. The American Music Industry shook hands with the devil long ago and for the riches bestowed on it agreed to burn every heretic (ie creative artist) at the stake. Well, so the history's inform us, Shadow Morton and Vanilla Fudge became the wicker man of Corporate Rock. No detraction, calumny or scandal mongering was over looked in the campaign to bury the "Beat Goes On" in the auto da fe enjoined on it by the powers that be...
The following is the transcript of a dialog between
myself and Mr. Peter Bremy . Random minds occasionally meet
Sometime along about the 14th century an anonymous Carthusian monk in merry England wrote the mystical classic, "The Cloud of Unknowing". In the last chapter of that small book our monastic author wrote concerning the relationship of "holy desire" transcending the limitations and constraints of time, space and human inabilities. HE said:
"It is not what you are nor what you have been that God sees with His all merciful eyes, but what you desire to be. St. Gregory declares that 'all holy desires heighten in intensity with the delay of fullfilment, and desire which fades with delay was never holy at all.' the entire life of a good Christian is nothing less than holy desire." ("The Cloud of Unknowing", Trans. by William Johnston, SJ., Image Books, 1973).
So let's talk psychedelic music. For me, psy music is not something one plays or listens to, to enhance any hallucinatory experiences using artificial substances. Psychedelic music at its worst is simply something played as "background noise" to a delusional experience that cannot stand on its own intrinsic musical merits.
Psy-music at its very best stands alone - forcing the listener to stretch his brain in ways to think and feel more creatively and effectively. Sort of like Rhaasan Roland Kirk playing two different melodies at the same time on two musical instruments, forcing his listener to become the link uniting the two melodies in time & place via the listening experience. Sort of like Vanilla Fudge & Shadow Morton recording samples of Thomas Edison, Franklin Roosevelt together with musical sketches of obscurely or unrelated themes forcing their listener to unite that collage of sounds, feelings and ideas into a coherant wholeness or unity. In fact the listener is like the key stone uniting an arch by exerting downward pressure or consciousness upon the voussoirs, springers and columns of the arch.
You got me feeling poetic, I guess<> "Poetry says everything that can be." Tim Bogert, The Merchant, 1968
Mama, ....I'm cold.<> Listen to the warmth: "singing is fire" (Johnette Nappolatino, Pretty & Twisted, 1996)
"And the Beat Goes On... the Mind goes on..." (Vince Martell, The Merchant, 1968)
"Music is touching your life These moments are golden Give thanks that you are One of the chosen tonight....
"There are no lost horizons Here on the edge of time The future flies on And now is never ending Sometimes it's all we've got There's no pretending."
("Golden Age Dreams, Vanilla Fudge, 1984) end
Some very profound thoughts, Bill. And a great interpretation of what I too think psychedelic music is. The skill of the musicians and the emotional surges of the music could never truly be enhanced by chemicals, merely distorted. It is the music itself which creates the scenarios in our own minds. As Tim Bogert once said, "The music speaks for what we feel." Should we not listen?
" ...but you can be rich in dreams, no matter how dark it seems! So don't be afraid, cause you're free to be free. You're free tonight, dreamin' in the moonlight."
Golden Age Dreams? ...don't ever let 'em go.
Golden Age Dreams? ...don't ever let 'em go. <>Amen Brother Pete! :-)