And Nothing can be hidden

From this…

oz cover

…to this…

sex pistols

… took about a decade. Which is the point from where this blog page begins.

Up until I was nearly eighteen, my school – as advocates of normal society – pretty much tried to kill me – but, happily, they failed…

dharma bums quote

solzhen prison quote

Nor had they reckoned with the vices…lagerJoint

lsd

How could they…? Nobody knew… We were making it up as we went along…

pinks

hawkwind

…combining a kind of homely bucolic cheer with cold astronomic space discovery. The ideal would be living on a farm yet holidaying in the Andromeda Galaxy…

andromeda

Actually, there was a logic, since each aspect represented a removal from the interminable reality of everyday existence – like the one which has re-emerged in the last few years – whereby investigation of the inner world was that of the outer, and vice versa…so, on the one hand, you could Hearken to the lark and hear the barking of the dog fox gone to ground, while at the same time Set the controls for the heart of the sun, or fly sideways through time in a silver machine…you get the idea…hurry on sundown…Then of course Stacia joined in and provided a healthy dollop of sexuality

stacia big
Stacia

While punkified anarchy was just gearing up…

raw power

ramones

damned

And throw in some reggae…

bob marley

Not that complicated, really. Just a lot of fast-moving cultural input… I mean. My hometown contained the lot…So, yeah – the Prison on the Hill (nickname for my old school)…it just wasn’t going to happen…

Gradually, you work stuff out for yourself. I began writing about it. For a start, I learned to distrust ideology – any ideology – and certainly anybody else’s ideology. If you couldn’t think out something for yourself – especially if you couldn’t really understand what someone else was saying, doing, or conveying…then you’d better watch out: you were going nowhere, you were a pawn in somebody else’s grand scheme. Better forget it.

People die all the time, and usually for no good reason. If people die from me it had better be good, it had better be worth it. I’ll make it worth it. They’ll die anyway with a worm in their head. I am not important and they are not important, the few that die from this stuff; I, they, are paltry. It’s the idea that’s important. – QUESTION

More upbeat, this old van was like the Bedford we used to bomb around in circa that time…

bedfordvansprayed

One day Evad came up with the idea of opening all the van’s doors and sticking an audio cassette player on the roof. It was magnificent. Awesome. The van was standing in a field and the music boomed out for miles around. Some kind of ethereal Jethro Tull or Genesis song interconnecting and maybe even penetrating the benign spirits of the fields, woods and misty air. You could believe in fairies back then, you really could.

When the rain fell you were warm and snug inside, wrapped up in your smelly afghan coat, your doe-eyed partner cuddled up to you, a joint passing round the group. With the back doors opened it felt like a porch. Doug was a great and willing driver so that getting back from parties wasn’t a bother either. He rarely drank and you never felt you were putting your life at risk when he was at the wheel. He would whoop and gush and grin and change gear and you felt like the party would never die away. And when it did, it departed peacefully, while you were snoozing worn-out in the back. – LIFE IS A FEELING

(I ain’t gonna tell you right here about the rest of the stuff we used to get up to…)

And then this is the car Gee Ward buys with the overdue royalties from his number one selling hit record NERVE:

At the weekend, the August Bank Holiday, Gee rolled up in a big VX4/90 he’d bought from the Nerve royalties that had reached him at last. He’d been out to score some dope but had come back empty-handed, and was in a foul mood.
‘What’s up?’ I asked.
‘He sold the last quarter to someone else because he thought I wasn’t coming. I was about an hour late, that’s all.’
‘So what are we gonna do?’
‘Dunno. Go for a ride.’
The band piled into the big roomy vehicle and Gee revved its big twin-carb engine.
‘Where to?’
‘Is there anywhere else we can get some?’
‘On a Bank Holiday, doubtful.’
‘Well let’s just drive around then.’
‘We’ll head for Beccy. All right? Go round the back way, up through Penn.’
The gorgeous colours of the summer trees had reached their peak and a heavy listlessness hung around in the air.
‘I hate Bank Holidays. They’re so boring. No one’s about.’ – DEATH AND THE DEAD

oldcarsprayed
My favourite motor: VX 4/90

It was around the same time this blogger left the hometown and ventured out to the southern coast and capital city in a triangular and seemingly never-ending motion of buses, cars and trains; white powder, brown powder, green and brown vegetable matter and golden-coloured liquids; faces and bodies and recycled clothes; vinyl and cassettes and CDs…life and death and detritus… Worked here for a bit…

wardor st

Drunk on sangria and vodka they got out of the taxi at the end of Berwick Street. Already a few booths and glass-fronted shops glittered with neon signs yelling SEX SEX SEX and GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS. From up the street came the shouts and cries of people’s delighted and angry voices mixed in with the barking of doormen touting for punters. A couple of young women dressed in leotards and vests and tottering on high heels were busy arguing in the street. Nighttime darkness was still a couple of hours off. – A SORT OF SYMPHONY PIECE

It didn’t stop…until

…after my drug-addiction helped in the break-up of Zeitgeist, until finally Gee was convicted of the armed robbery and sent to Wormwood Scrubs, a move to London followed. There, unsurprisingly, my heroin use increased until a call came from Matt that Gee had been released and they wanted to re-form the band. Well, that happened, up to a point: the original album was released on CD and a few gigs were lined up, but the whole thing really just fizzled out – I went into re-hab and at last reckoned that my future might be more secure if I were to take another – more spiritual – route. – LIFE IS A FEELING

capri cropped

I bought this fellow – and just ran it into a brick wall one August Bank Holiday…

That was pretty much the end of me…the Me who started out as a complete naif playing on the beach before going to school with no idea of who he was or where he was going or where he had been… The end of the individual from nowheresville who hadn’t a clue of what was up and what was down and what was round and round and who was entirely reliant upon authorities from parents to school to police to court magistrates to shithead politicians to everyone else except himself to know what was going on…

But, you know…

It began to become clear, although nobody told me how to do it.

I STOPPED

I left London and moved back to the British countryside…beautiful, beautiful southern England, with its woods and valleys and sunshine and clouds and frost and rain and snow and big skies…

aylesbury-vale

How to tell you of the unfolding of all my horizons and the excruciating diminution of all my hopes, how to relate the awfulness of breaking with that multi-pictured past and treading on into an awful future…

Apart from the English countryside, all I had was…

amorc

…an amorphous, unknown entity from a wholly unknown source

So back to bucolic serenity and an investigation of the inner and outer worlds – the personal and the cosmic – only this time more systematised.

What I did have was a trust in the fact that knowledge could be obtained if a person were prepared to undergo all the most impossible trials they could ever face and give up on everything that they previously believed in. Everything.

Slowly, slowly, I undid everything that I thought I knew, and slowly, slowly, new knowledge and understanding came my way…

And then this happened, in my room…

Holy_Trinity01

I was 28

It seems the world just wants to keep on pulverising you until you are conformed to the shape that it desires. If your parents and school don’t get you, the demands of work and the politicians will; should that all fail, serious diseases and illnesses lurk around the corner: major organ failure and cancerous tumours, botulism and blocked arteries, avian flu and dementia, genetic malfunctioning…

Not to mention heartbreak.

Except…

Just occasionally you discover that someone has broken away – a Lennon or K. Dick, a Solzhenitsyn or a Kerouac, a MLK or Mandela, and then you start to understand that in many ways it is actually possible to go your own way and be free.

You read novels and listen to music; experience art, analyse history, study philosophy, and bit by bit it begins to dawn on you that new horizons quite possibly exist, maybe just around that next bend – not wholly out of reach.

Or, you lose heart, and give up altogether – succumb to the seemingly inevitable: the economic penury, the incipient illness, the unfeelinglessness of an uncomfortable relationship…the broken mind and busted heart.

Growing up round my hometown was magnificent because there were at least three major cultures intermingling from around the world: the indigenous peoples of southern England – Angles and Saxons, peoples originating from seventh-century Islamic Asian tribes and Afro-Carribeans freshly-migrated from off the American coast of the West Indies. All come together in one little market community in a hazy valley set amongst a profoundly English river valley surrounded by forests of deciduous trees where just a few years earlier only bodgers and charcoal-burners were able to make a living. Now, post-war, there were factories and warehouses, estate and insurance agents, shops lodged in the UK’s first covered retail mall, the river concreted over, a fishermen’s knot of intersecting roads and railline taking you up to the capital or second city in about the same time east or west, or a motorway doing the same.

This was modern freedom. This was the world congregating in one small corner of one small island off one small continent situated in the small acreage of one small planet. This was an economic and political reality that was the outcome of Athens and Rome, of Constantinople and Mecca, of New York and London. This was home. My home.

With Pink Floyd, Hawkwind et al we had our rustico-cosmicsm – a mindset stretching out from the rural threshing machine to the orbiting satellites of planet Earth; from idyllic country Sunday afternoons of roasting meats and clanging church bells to the ultra-gleaming, flashing steel of inter-planetary travel; our world then was a Platonic philosophy writ large-cum-real, a Mediaeval woodcut of possibilities – and then the centre collapsed, as it had done exactly sixty years previously in the wintry monarchist Russian north and the nihilists (in the form of Punk) brought all that idealism to an end. Now – 1977 – all we had was industrial-based destruction. And the end was nigh. Toryism (yet again), neo-cons, neoliberals and emerging New Labourites. Holy Mother of God! (And welcome to 2017 – 100,50, 40 years on respectively with regards this blog post…)

(Cue three-chord music and youths with spiky haircuts wearing safety-pins, bin-liners and bondage gear…)

Nothing can be hidden, and this you will eventually learn so that at last you shall be relieved to understand that such is the truth. In this truth you will bask as in a radiant sun; in this truth you will comprehend the actuality of being – of the very knowledge that you sought for so long and hard. To know that nothing can be hidden comes as a real surprise and pleasure, and a relief from carrying a heavy psychic burden of lies and untruths; to know that all is revealed is to be near the end of your [mystical] enterprise. – ANSWER

chiltern-hills

P1020489click on the photo for all the novels