I have just finished this book by Will Hodgkinson. A companion to his first tome ‘Guitar Man’ it pretty much what it says on the label. A series of encounters with various songwriters underpinning his first and possibly last recorded work being recorded at Liam Watson’s Toe Rag studios and then released as a 7″ single.
A charming book. As my drunken Rockabilly band also recorded at Liam’s Toe Rag as did a unheard of garage band called The White Stripes everything described rings true. I found the encounters with Andy Partridge, Chip Taylor and Richard Hawley the most engrossing and could possibly have done with more from their interviews.
Overall a worthwhile read if interested in songwriters and the un-pleasantries of trying to form and keep together a band. The final encounter with Shirley Collins and a brief reprise of Bert Jansch leads directly nicely onto his next book ‘ The Ballad of Britain’ which next on my reading list.
Most interestingly the musicians comments were quite pertinent to my writers block with poetry/prose. I found Hawley most entertaining with his comments where he quotes Hendrix..’learn everything, forget everything, play’...and how other people’s music ‘knocked him off his radar‘…..
To celebrate tonight’s news here the background to the track…here the original slip of paper I wrote it on….plus a note on reverse mentioning the song ‘Satisfied Mind’ maybe for ‘feel’. I never recorded it as far as I can tell.
Sunday 21st October 2001
A blank week in diary…aged 42 and still working at St. Catherine’s Library Oxford University as a library assistant for £14k full time in 2001. About to resign following a miserable year rebounding from a relationship of 7 years with a Spanish woman.
I was in a quiet time writing….and here it is.
Inspiration is a funny thing…the song came from the sky literally….
I know that because I date everything. Written on a small piece of paper no more than a post-it note. Almost the whole lyric written in one go no edits. Then transferred to an archive where Claudia Scott found the following in 2003 when I putting together The Moon Over the Downs charity disc for my father after he was diagnosed with cancer. (Full album available to listen to on Bandcamp at http://www.trailerstar.bandcamp.com )
Here the ‘official’ online version Claudia found I not sure if I amended to ‘my dear’ or Claudia did.
THE DEVIL’S HOUSE
I LIVE IN A HOUSE ON TOP OF A HILL
I’VE BEEN HERE FOR YEARS AND I’M HERE STILL
AND I WATCH YOU EVERY DAY YOU GO BY
EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE
AND THE RAIN POURS DOWN LIKE TEARS
FROM THE COAL BLACK CLOUDS MY DEAR
ON TO THE DEVIL’S HOUSE
WELL YOU DO THINGS THAT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND
YOUR FEEL CONFUSED BUT YOU WORK AND PLAN
THEN ALONG COMES A GIRL WITH A PRETTY SMILE
AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT YOU’RE ALREADY MINE
COS I BEEN WATCHING YOU ALL THE DAYS OF YOUR LIFE
Then Claudia recorded the lovely version on the original Moon Over The Downs in 2003 with Fats Kaplin.
Here it is followed by the new version.
and today the great news…Claudia pictured below with the Spelleman award 🙂
My mother and father who both passed on from cancer would be proud they met over a turntable playing Bill Haley and Fats Domino:-)