200 YEARS OLD
Tbh, I wasn't planning on posting here any more - the blog felt like it had come to a logical end-point - along with a handful of other things in my life - how fickle am I to renege on a self-made 4am promise?...but, well, I couldn't not comment on Don van Vliet's passing.
Actually, I heard "Lick My Decals Off, Baby" before...before the, uh, the other one. I was in my mid-teens and...well, if I'm honest, hearing it really didn't change my life or nuffink - I'd be a liar if I said that it did - I think I was already well-and-truly doomed by that point. Hearing Beefheart just sort of, well, confirmed what I already suspected about...things. It was like someone sort of slapped me on the shoulder, really hard, and sent me staggering down the garden path slightly faster than I intended.
I was exactly, totally, absolutely...ready for it, y'know?
After that I could look certain people who were older than me - people like Rob Bacon - I could look them in the eye. I was in on the joke, I thought I knew what's-what (I didn't, of course; still don't...but...). They'd smile and nod slightly if they caught you checking out "Safe As Milk" in the rack. They wouldn't take the piss out of you.
Liking Beefheart or Nico or whatever in a small provincial town in the Mid-Seventies was, like...well, it wasn't like Punk; there was no gang - no mates to back you up - it was just one or two Others... then slowly, you meet another Other, then another...a couple mates get into it too and become Others...blahblahblah...
I'm still meeting Others.
I still define people by whether they're an Other, or not. I know I shouldn't, but that's engramm'd into me now...
Beefheart was a calling-card, a gentle nudge-down-the-garden-path, a nod-and-a-wink...
BY HIM WE SHALL RECOGNISE YOU.
WE SHALL KNOW YOU.
The music was pretty fucking good too.
Why, when Kid Kid Shirt was kneehigh to a grasshopper, I...I was pretty ill round that time, but when I was well enough I used to bottle-feed her in the early evening and sometimes I used to sing-talk this song to her:
Said the momma t’ the baby in the corn
You are my first born
You shall here on in be known as The Spotlight Kid
‘n the mornin’ cry of the rooster
The baby lay alone
‘n the old cow in the green grass
Shed white tears in the red hot sun
‘n The Spotlight Kid stood under the moon that evenin’.
Nobody knows that 'cept you. Ssssshhh
My choice of song is not 'classic', canonical Beefheart, but it's my choice, my song, so humour me, huh? Actually, I always liked "Upon The My Oh My" for reasons that I'm not - ever, never - gonna share with you. Somethings will always remain mine. So, no, it's not that, but...
Thank You and Goodnight.