Saturday, January 18, 2014


Occasionally, during our long hard period of not getting along, my mother said -- in cryptically guarded or cryptically unguarded -- I'm unclear -- moments -- that she admired and was envious that I had never lost a friend.  

The admission surprised me because even though she was correct (then), I never believed my mother paid any attention to things beyond herself and my father and certainly not to me.

This was years ago.  At this point, I’ve lost a small multitude of citizens I once regarded as friends.  To state things more precisely, I think they decided to lose me.

Now I have a better, if smaller, family, and they and those friends I've somehow retained are precious to me.  The circle is more wedding ring than tennis ball or hula hoop size and circumference, but it is quality that counts.

Pathetic to mention, but sometimes I contemplate that majestic/bathetic Badfinger song“Without You”and I want to retitle it“Without Me,”adjusting Pete Ham's  lyrics and revising and reversing his story and intentions.  Advancing age and Obama's economy have authored a period of utter personal savagery generally and among my peers especially.  As Graham Greene wrote, “It’s A Battlefield." The hoi polloi have taken the scrum scouring corpses and vandalizing dental work.

The old me never knew, never imagined.  My mother twigged all of it, the whole ball of wax, a long time ago.  She said, and I’ve freaked out several shrinks relating this:

“Don’t trust anyone – not even me.”

Can you believe it? 

Badfinger: Without You (Link)

Bruce Nauman Art


  1. It is interesting how one or two 'friends' hang in there, probably to the end, to recall Mr. Spock and James Kirk. I've moved around so much in my life that I'm surprised at even that. One fellow lives 2000 miles from me, and has for 30 years. But I did get his address back in the day and wrote to him, as we were record collector buddies, and went to more than a few concerts together. So we kept each other current on music news. I've visited him, he's in San Diego, several times over the years and he has reciprocated. We call and email each other frequently, most recently about Peter Blegvad and Andy Partridge's 'Gonward'. He sent me that for Christmas, and also the new Robert Wyatt retrospective '68'. I send him albums I either don't listen to anymore or burns of ones I do and he does the same. I thank heaven for the fellow.

    1. Hi and thanks for reading this. Your note popped up yesterday around the same time as my college roommate who lives in San Francisco wrote to me in mid-snowstorm to inquire about our well-being, which seemed appropriate. One nice thing about the internet is how easy it makes it to dash off a note to someone you're thinking about and would like to be in touch with knowing that you'll have instant, almost-guaranteed delivery. I had some funny and unexpected contacts with people over Christmas, but I think they were mostly feints in the dark, which you kind of expect at the holidays. One came from a girl I attended the Woodstock festival in 1969 with. We also saw The Kinks return to US live performance at the Fillmore East later that year. That was an important date for me, so I was happy to hear from her, if only once. I think she's dropped me, however, because she's decided I'm not liberal enough politically. (That's just a guess; I merely remarked that I was glad to be out of NYC at this point because, in part, of Mayor de Blasio's tax plans.) How is Gonwards? I've heard some of it but haven't bought it yet out of a sort of trepidation that I wouldn't love it. I do wish Peter Blegvad would make a new record on his own, but I can see how he might feel that there are greener pastures elsewhere. I really liked his song Simon At The Stone, released through the Radio Free Song Club, if I'm remembering the name correctly. Freezing here. We had 10+ inches of snow. My daughter's midterms have been delayed two days and I'm just trying to figure out the way forward. Curtis

  2. Gonward I
    Curtis, I wasn't sent the box set of 'Gonward' unfortunately, just the main cd and a lyric sheet. So far I've only listened a couple of times. Much more elaborate than 'Orpheus: the Lowdown", which I also have. Partridge is much more prominent. I've never been a real avid XTC fan so I couldn't tell you if the others are on there (I just have 'Nonesuch'). From what I understand the box set is available from Burning Shed. It has a dvd, clips of which are on You Tube, the lyric sheet and a Blegvad art booklet, which I imagine is worth the price of the set. I'd love to get a couple of prints. So far I really like the tunes 'Sacred Objects' and 'St. Augustine'. In 'The Devil's Lexicon' there's even a bit of blues.
    In the liner notes to 'Robert Wyatt '68' he says he stayed in a house that was used as a set for the tv series 'Perry Mason'. ha 'Rivmic Melodies' is quite nice. It explains some of the samples used on 'Soft Machine II'. If I recall correctly, in late '68 there was quite a bit of turmoil here in the States, some of which Wyatt was privy to I'm sure.

    1. Thanks. What I've heard of Gonwards is what I've seen on YouTube. I'm not a great XTC fan either, but I think that at some point (soon), I'll take the plunge and make the purchase. I like the Wyatt set a lot. From the first time I heard it, it just drew me in because of its imagination and combination of discipline and free spirit. I guess it reminds me of a time when I felt young, more carefree and that the world was just perfect for exploring every day. Today I just feel ice cold, but that's VERY easy to explain. Even in a warm house, it's very difficult to shake the cold after you've been out. The dogs HATE it. Curtis