Hey Drudes & Drudettes,
I just got back from megalithic travels in the east of Ireland, and what a fine time was had there. Thanks to the guidance and hospitality of Tom FourWinds (and his dear family), that leg of this epic sojourn is just about sewn up. I’ll be returning to the Cork area next week to visit the final hidden monuments which have so far eluded me on two previous trips, and then my Irish visits will probably be over for at least a year (blubber, blart, sniff!).
Of course, being in deepest Wicklow last Saturday meant I missed the anti-war demo, which Merrick informs me was attended by way more than the media claimed. In fact, this stuff is too important to ignore so I think I should quote Mecca right here. He writes:
"The media coverage has been such utter nonsense that I want to set the record straight. Sky News Live were reporting 400,000 people, yet by the time they did their composed bulletins they'd dropped it to the police estimate of 150,000. Even this wasn't low enough, and their headlines merely referred to 'tens of thousands'. The rest of the media went with the coppers figures which, as anyone who's ever been on any march will know, can never be trusted. The march was simply enormous. We started from Embankment two hours after it moved off, and we were nowhere near the back. It took us three hours to get to Hyde Park. The figure of 400,000 seems about right. This makes it the largest anti-war demonstration in British history. What a brilliant thing to happen in the one country that's solidly backing the US government."
However, it must be noted how unfortunate it is that America’s proposed ‘victim’ happens to be that mother of all fuckers Saddam Hussein. This guy must be the easiest world leader of all for the Americans to peg as Bogeyman Rotter of the World. He ain’t black, he ain’t Jewish, he ain’t female, so he falls right through the PC crack everytime, and we can all still remember him menacingly caressing some child of West back in ’91. However much we see pix of Dubya in American primary schools holding children’s atlases upside down, the fact is that we still ain’t seen photos of that genius personally threatening the Children of Islam. And I’m sure it all comes right down to that in the end – Saddam Hussein looks less like your uncle than Bush, so can we bomb him please? Wars seem to be like weddings - when you’ve spent so much on the outfits and hiring the fancy transport, you hardly wanna cancel at the last minute and upset all the guests.
Anyway, for some light relief, I’m now listening to the Flowers’ version of Led Zeppelin’s "How Many More Times" and wondering if it’s not the greatest lost Number 1 of all time. It sounds like Janis Joplin and Robert Plant singing over a huge ensemble culled from the Misunderstood and the Jimmy Page/Jeff Beck-period Yardbirds. It’s one of the most deeply moving soul revue stomp-a-thons I ever did hear. Back off, River Deep, Mountain High, and give the Flowers some… Babies, I’m crying… Crying and wailing and… preparing future itineraries for this new book… which is taking a dog’s age.
Which brings me right back to my dear friend Merrick, who recently made the percipient comment that the stature of future scholars will be determined by their ability to take information from the internet and discern whether or not it is of any value or not. Man, that’s so damn true. In the 90s, when I wrote both KRAUTROCKSAMPLER and THE MODERN ANTIQUARIAN, so little was available on the Net that I didn’t even consider it to be a real resource and, therefore, relied on libraries and books. But nowadays there are umpteen barely usable websites there to wind us up with false claims about being able to guide people to megaliths in Europe, when their directions are sketchy and their grasp of the material itself is less than useless. So many times I have given up on these sites and returned to my books, often over thirty years old, rather than rely on the mere enthusiasm of the nicely designed-deluded-webpage.
But enough, I’ve got to finish with a comment about the deluge of questions about that Rallizes Denudes article last month. Album of the Month is always a frustrating, nail-biting, over-inspirational thing for me, so I’m vibed like a fucking Hooligan that so many people dug that record. Also, since then, we’ve been deluged with offers of various Rallizes LPs, many I ain’t never even heard of - so look out for new ones coming up on the Merchandiser soon. It’s been hard to get any real stocks in as they come in such dribbles that they’re gone afore ye knows it. If this persists, we may just have to get whatever we can find up on the Merchandiser – this band are that fucking great!
Can Rock’n’roll save the world? Of course it fucking can. It surely ain’t gonna be democracy and capitalism and religion what does it!
Peace in our Time,
Mr Drude (M’Lud Yatesbury)