Monday, February 29, 2016

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

punk caught my attention in 77 because it had a political edge i could relate to, it had a healthy distrust of everything in authority, it had an interesting allegiance with reggae music and it was energetically charged for changing everything, for the first time london was exciting, exploding with creative energy and vital. it didn't last and like the clash say, it was not long before someone turned rebellion into money but by then the cat was out the bag and the idea was seeded in many a young punks mind. bands formed with cheap electric guitars that were never tuned correctly, garages were filled with adolescent dreams, the record companies had no idea anymore. what was good. what would be a hit? what bands should they sign up? bands became random, many died an honourable indie death and some went on to become awesome, the stranglers, the clash, the psychedelic furs, the sound, alternative tv, magazine, the only ones, the au pairs, buzzcocks, slits, the pop group, x ray specs and the banshees. many bands just fell to the wayside but some became very interesting and really bloomed in the post punk years. i enjoyed the music of the post punk period but the energy had changed as thatchers influence strangled us all. 
in london everything was charged with an angry energy of youth, it was our time and we were not interested in hippie feel good words of peace and love as they became the very thing they protested about,   the establishment. we wanted to tear everything down and start again. destroy every column that it stood upon and lets take it from there. kinda stupid when you think about it as an older man but at the time it was easy to get disillusioned with thatchers plans. back then the left meant something, the left wing cared about people no matter who they were, the left wing was against censorship and supported the arts and also supported equality and fairness, workers rights and all that jazz. (nowadays the left are the fucking right with their overwhelming love of bureaucracy and controlling everything we think)
was it destructive, yes, it was. the punk movement said we don't need a fucking corporation distributing our records, printing our news, dictating our fashion, telling us what to be, we can do that all ourselves. we can just be ourselves. punk was about intent. 
it spawned magazine's newspapers, ideas, new forms of writing, photography and design, fashion, tv shows, hair cuts, politics, self identification, philosophy and music. seeing xtc with barry andrews at st albans club was no ordinary concert experience, it was like being in the centre of the atom watching it explode. seeing the clash play was a inspirational moment of what could be done with three chords and the truth, seeing the ruts break into a reggae song halfway through their set showed what rebel music really was. it was a great time to be in london. 
but while all that was going on bowie was in berlin recording with iggy. it was low that was released first. the idiot and low were embraced by the punk movement, bowie had a free pass which he had worked hard for and amongst my peers was respected and valued as beyond the industry of pop music, he was a serious artist and punk loved him. iggy was also embraced by the punk movement, many call him the godfather of punk but i didn't, i just saw him as a rocker from detroit who worked with bowie on raw power and now they had influenced one another through berlin, working on the idiot and low together with similar musicians and tony visconti as producer. despite the bones being worked on in switzerland and france these albums reeked of a west berlin influence where the seed was germinated. i'd always loved bowie and iggy's presence together and their influence created something quite different. a third current of creativity which felt origional. 
when i heard these two albums i was convinced this was the future. punk came and went very fast, it was dead in london by the time it hit america. punk was never a single sound or statement, it was an art movement, a do it yourself attitude. artists don't need masses of money or record companies or big publishers, you could do it in a garage, put it out on cassette, zerox machine your book or just dye your hair purple and make a statement. there was no intellectual philosophy, no wanking on about anything, it was classless and multidisciplinary, made by the people for the people with brains and the people of this age, they all loved bowie. 
back in new york there was talking heads, the ramonnes, television and patti smith whom embodied punk and though they extended influence to the uk in london punk was now dead.

but this new music had come now, it was impressionistic, hard almost industrial sounding, and the drums sounded weird. 
lyrically i think bowie borrowed from iggy stylistically at least, short phrases often made up on the spot. both albums were incredible. 
i was working in london, in a punk shop on covent garden. boy george owned a shop next door and i'd see him often ordering his tea. he was always wearing a big white gown and had make up on his face. one day he dropped all his lyrics and i helped him pick them up. around this time carnaby street was filled with characters, i'd have to stand outside the shop amongst all the clothes spilling over onto the pavement and watch all these people walking by. around lunch time i'd notice this orange headed geezer strutting down the street just like the little red rooster but he was skinny and had a ziggy haircut he wore chelsea boots and a tight leather jacket. his face would stand out from everyone else's and one day he came in and started talking to me about the rolling stones.
'yeah but i don't really listen to them much, i like david bowie.'
'oh yeah me to, you ever heard any of his bootlegs?'
'no just his albums.'
'i have a great one where he sings waiting for the man.'
'oh wow, i'd love to hear that,' i said in an awesome and sincere way.
'yeah my band are trying to learn it, it's not a difficult one and we do the bowie version.'
'you in a band?'
'yeah we are called the blue meanies.'
'oh wow, i always wanted to be in a band but i don't play anything.'
'do you sing?'
'i guess i could, never really tried.'
'we need a singer. why don't you come for a jam.'
a few days later i crossed over into south london and was met by martin at pekham station, where i was introduced to chris the piano player and his crazy old red vw beetle. i don't know how that car managed to sustain us, i still can vividly recall the way it turned corners, almost frictionlessly like a loony tunes car where the wheels stretch.
i can't quite recall whose house we jammed in but there were a few people in a room all making a racket, they did a stones song which i couldn't sing at all, then a bowie one, i think it was 'man whom sold the world.' that i could manage. 
i must have sounded okay as they invited me back, but i knew i marched to a different rhythm even then, my inner beat does not match the outer one, yet sometimes this seems to work, i dunno the dynamics of it but i do know for me, i just had to feel the love for the song, music and words and the bowie ones and lou reed songs were definitely inside my bones whereas mick and keef were martins musical influence. eventually there was an amalgamation of bands, we joined up with two brothers, a guitar player called tez and his brother tone. these guys changed our sound into something very dynamic, it was sounding more powerful as they made a great rhythm section. now these two lived in a big old house somewhere in south london and we rehearsed in their attic eventually getting gigs. the brothers were influenced by rhythm and blues so our songs were mostly old blues songs which i was crap at singing, but the few bowie tunes we did or lou songs i found myself feeling confident and managed to sing reasonably. it was not until we met terry and tony that we realised all instruments had to be in the same key so those two contributed a massive learning curve to our musical lives. i dunno, i was still a teenager the idea of being in a band was a pipe dream and even back then despite my enthusiasm in reality i knew i was their weakest man. my own ability was unique, i couldn't conform but those guys seemed to believe in me, martin was amazing, a very encouraging guy who on the sly was making plans to relocate to west berlin.
we had a few adventures in london, martin, chris and i, my memories fuzzy but they always involved soaking up some invisible bowie trail. we started to frequent the three tuns pub where he played and hanging out in bromley at the art collage. stupid stuff i know but what did i really know back then? i thought you could pick up a trail of some one and it would kinda lead you to them. i still think in those magickal thinking terms, it's very strong and often works. it leads me to interesting places, it led me to west berlin.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

late night antics, cross the city electromagnetic forces ripple in invisible networks, i see the matrix on empty highways, super information everywhere, transmissions connect everything together in a sheet of white noise. short, medium and long the atmosphere is a web of energetic pulses. invisible tron. have to fly under the sound waves of man, the chaos sphere, they strip everything into a cricket chorus of informational overload. it comes and goes.  
out this late in my mirror suit, chameleon, predator alien skin, man i am picking you up on my radar. my moon flowers are standing tall, once a month they bloom into female princesses from some cosmic fairy tale. i weave past them on my balcony, under the palm trees and out under stars that shine. it's so bright moonlight washes over everything, the sky is alight with strange energy. invisible me, i sneak along past the fairy lands past the elves fixing broken things, past the sleeping pan. i am. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

well i'm in the thick off it, laid my cards down on the table, let's see how the other side play their hand. ah, wait a second. i know exactly what they will do, they shoot the messenger. they will support their friends and keep the status quo because it reflects badly upon them. they will do whatever they can to put me in my place and keep me quiet, they will manifest a strange job description with fixed boundaries, they will minimise the abuse i expose while maximising my anti authoritarian position. they will stop me moving forwards, giving evidence and exposing their failure as a dept. to deal with the situation. however fate aligns with me, i am supremely confident that i have a good hand and i played it well strategically. the wheels are in motion, the game afoot and i will bring a light upon the shadow world of corruption and abuse. it's far to late to stop and far to dangerous to ignore. soon, perhaps in a month i will be able to talk about this. it's an incredible situation to be in. yet, it is perfectly serendipitous that i with all my experience the responsibility fell at my feet.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

my dear friend ed sent me this and it's perfect for olde captains blog, so turn on, tune in and drop out.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

more surf, from dawn to dusk, the waves are warm monsters that come every so often sweeping along in rippled sensual pulse. the fin is attuned now, it knows what to do as it operates my body, it knows it's purpose is to transcend itself, it's time to name it. it's known as pod or fin but it now needs christening since it has become sentient. think i'll call it neptune after my mentor. 
so we surf, healing away all fractures, sealing auric leaks and fissures in energy fields. negative ions bounce around my skin, i watch them construct iconic symbols, i fill my centre with them, build up my internal reservoir. 
in between waves i frolic with the mermaid and dolphins, they leap around me in a ballet of joy, the sky brilliant blue and the sunshine of the moment spreads across all horizons. a perfect day.

Monday, February 15, 2016

in big surf today, water warm as embryonic fluid, my central nervous system tunes in to conditions from all angels. 
surface issues can be dealt with with my surfing philosophy, challenges come in waves. some wipe you out, some you ride, some you have to know when to dive under and let them pass. 
im in zen surf now, time obliterates, self in non existence. my fin is me, i am.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

most people in australia would not really have an insight into their own country from a political perspective. there are many people who think in terms of left and right, without understanding both sides are completely broken. i can add the greens to the list, because they are not an environmental party, they use the environment but have ambitions based upon the united nations model which is equally as broken as anyone else's.  
the bottom line is australia is very corrupt. it exists deep within all levels from the lowest to the highest, in fact the body that investigates corruption in australia is corrupt itself so there is no way out. the whistleblowers end up as the villain, hounded into foreign embassies, jail or made out to be some sort of traitor.
communist russian tactics were to label the whistleblower with a mental illness or ship them to siberia. in modern times it's no different, in australia you are taken to various assessments and questioned for weaknesses, it's almost like a catch 22 situation. to declare corruption you must be insane and if you are insane you cannot be a reliable witness. 
the consequences of whistle blowing are extremely damaging which is why very few people do it. i have done it twice.
the first time was in reference to a pedophile ring that three work colleagues and i blindly stumbled upon and uncovered that connected to the highest levels of government (yes its a clique but it was true) and personalities in this very country. it was exactly at the same time that franca arena stood up under parliamentary privilege and made her speech about pedophiles operating in parliament and beyond for which she lost her job and was ridiculed. we met with her many times, especially when one of us was killed. anyway i will return to this story in a novel i am working on.
right now decades later i am involved in a very different type of corruption and time will tell if there will be any justice. i would stake my professional reputation on it there will not be because fundamentally these people are all protected, not just by one another but by other corrupt institutions. 
so for the average person in australia none of this registers upon the radar, but when you work below the line as i do, with vulnerable people things are not what they seem. the people that appear caring are usually the ones that don't, the people that write and enforce policies are usually the ones that break it, the people that find themselves in positions of power usually abuse it, and the people that do the right thing and call it are squashed while the real villains are promoted thus entrenching the system. 
in a few months i will spill the beans on the new situation i face but i have to wait until it goes through legal proceedings, another tainted construct itself, but one has to try when the stakes are high.   

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

sometimes i am amazed by my own trajectory. i set of for calm waters but end up in the eye of the storm, that's my fate it seems a writers life.
so many things to tell you, the current one is a situation that is unfreaking believable, and each day gets more and more bizarre. i can't write about it until after march and maybe april but man, i want to share this story because truth in my world is much stranger than fiction.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

the ideal birthday present for my dad, the boxed set of deadwood, series 1 to 3. open up a can of peaches dad, it's in the mail.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

the surf brings me back to the moment. 
i'm here now, the perfect place to be. 
i chat with my dad over skype, i miss him heaps, wish i could just be there but i'm here. we talk about a lot of stuff, books, kabbalah, david bowie and it's his birthday! i forgot so have to get something in the post but what? 
i don't know.
better go have a think.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

in the foggy haze of communist smog appeared two stars that slowly revealed themselves to be the eyes of my memory keeper, she was sitting back in her high backed chair with that mona lisa look, part oriental beauty and part unsolved mystery.
we had run out of tea and the music had gone sub sonic, my bones vibrated with some deep throbbing bass line... i returned before i was swallowed up, came back to london with an australian, she had warmth and a kind nature, and i clung to her until she turned cold. the vampyre inside me consumed it all. something like west berlin has a wall around it for a reason i thought, it's not to keep the people out but to keep the darkness in. i'd spent several afternoons and evenings in the east and i had always found it warmer, friendlier and richer despite the obvious lack of freedom people were genuine and unpretentious, down to earth. i never would have wanted to live in the east but it had a lot going for it. 
i guess i liked tension back then, now i despise it. if the wind chances direction it interferes with my serenity. but back then i liked the environment to have a little edge, some conflict and danger was good for my creative juices. cities like london in 1977 to 1979 were fantastic as punk exploded in the skools and suburbia, then new york before they cleaned it up, wow, there was a zoo station, man times square was indescribable and then west berlin, satellite of western civilisation, capitalism and freedom. i'd made temporary homes in the nexus of tension and i was soaking it up, when you are young you can do it but as i recall it youth was wasted on the young, but i always knew i was a writer so i soaked up everything i could through my young mind, what i didn't understand or comprehend i would later digest when i matured. i collected impressions, feelings, sounds and ones, colours, shapes and ideas. those albums the idiot, low, lust for life, heroes they do capture the berlin i lived in, the strange eccentric characters. the art of the place, the hopelessness the depression, the absurdity, the amazing singularity. fun baby baby we like your lips, the history and decadence, it's all in those albums so when people return to capture the berlin energy like u2 tried with 'achung baby' the energy had changed by then, it's safer and less volatile, more consumable, marketable and popular. when low came out no one knew just what it was, those moron journalists singing out now about how much bowie meant to them forget i was there, i read their reviews and low was slammed. the record company didn't want to promote it, it had no advertising potential, no hit single but mr jones pushed because he believed in himself and what he was doing and now those very idiots who slammed it put it on their lists as the most influential album of all time. i don't blame them really, it takes a lot of skill to listen to it. skill and context, side two captured something pop music had never done. it had moved into impressionistic painting, captured a new age of music, heralding many other bands and musicians who were experimental and willing to go just a little bit further than making a buck. lou reed had already done this but he didn't have what david bowie had to loose. 
that city, west berlin was something else. as soon as i stepped on the ground there i felt the energy surge, it was so powerful if you were attuned it could drive you insane, i saw this happen to people or channelled with the discipline few artists have would lead somewhere interesting. 
i'd been somewhere interesting and it had visited itself upon me. i owe that partly to david bowie and my ex wife who paid for my fare, and my friend martin von donaldson who i have lost contact with since he  surprised us all and became a rabbi. it's strange how the past comes back sometimes, i hope he does. we have some unfinished music to make but the chances are looking slim. when bowie died i thought he would contact me but he never did as much as i reached out to him. fortunately i'm in contact with some friends from that time, mr chris kibble whom plays a mean piano, tez the wonder kid on guitar who has been a great friend, teacher and true wise man. jean whom is also a sage and friend. they are my oldest friends and i remember them well but it was martin who brought us all together and we await his return like some leper messiah. ha!    
...the place was empty. 
i was alone. just me and my memories.    

Monday, February 01, 2016

the atmosphere shifted, the strange music slowed right down to a few beats and the faces of people seemed to distort as i focused upon the woman who had given me the tea. she was staring at me intently and her lips were like an exotic fish, pastel coloured half pouting but her eyes shone like jewels as i watched them sparkle and take over the room.
uncertain if i had closed my eyes i was drifting in time, the memories had flowed over me like fresh river water but now they were carrying me downriver into deep time.  
i was so skinny, almost skeletal, my body was all angles and straight lines, sunken cheeks and part of the berlin night between my ears, half human half creature. wrapped in tight leather and a peaked black cap, my boots were older than me, an old nazis i had procured from a vintage shop in nuekolln, they were supremely comfortable and i loved stomping around the snow in them. well you old nazi i'm wearing your boots now i would think, hoping he would be cringing in the spirit realm. i was talking to ghosts in a city spilling over with them, and the strange thing was i was also a ghost but i didn't know it yet. i was loosing myself, falling into the dark zone of europa, a history of tears, bones and ghosts. sometimes i would see shadows where there were none, disembodied things were everywhere if you knew where to look so for most of the time i would be in bars and clubs drinking to stay warm and escape the phantoms, talking to girls or driving around in the back of a beaten up old merc. 
the car belonged to von donaldson's friend peter, a dealer in medical antiques. 
one night we smoked some very strong hash in the back room of his shop and drunk cognac from the previous century, a bunch of decadent expats at the end of the line, the crossroads of all influence, a city of random fate hurling us one by one on our way. a city whose history had burnt and whose future was rising from ashes, whose shadow was cast as long as it was wide. i was out of time, money and luck stumbling around in jackboots, unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed. 
peter was boring me to tears with intricate details of his skiing holiday in austria, martin was sitting on a milk crate discussing pool strategy, the room was filling up with smoke and there was no ventilation, i could feel myself phasing out while peter was talking and talking and i was drinking and smoking until all i heard was a fade in fade out atonal sound, 'wha wha wha wha wha wha' that was pulsing in and out, there was no air in the room any more. i just fell, straight as a ruler and just as rigid. passed right out but old peter just carried on talking even though i was on the floor being helped up by martin and some drummer from a band called the planets. they lifted me right back to where i was standing next to peter whilst with his story not even acknowledging my temporary absence, didn't even miss a beat and i just continued as if nothing had happened.  
we would always end up at der jungle, the one with the fashion police, that balcony overlooking the tiny dance floor, i never noticed that balcony until a few months of clubbing when i looked up to see a whole strata of nightclubbers looking down at us.
my girlfriend was an austrian air hostess called gabrielle. for some reason i was always going out with air hostesses, mostly whom worked for dan airlines, they were gorgeous but way to far gone to ever come back. i was pretty out there myself but i never follow trends, i never follow crowds and i just never really follow so i was outside her scene. 
gabrielle was always dancing, always on something or the other, always luring me into her with her sexy movements and motions. to be honest i didn't need luring i was quite happy to be trapped by her many charms. we didn't seem to talk much, my austrian was zero, my german was abysmal and i don't think she really liked talking in english and so our communication was all non verbal. i didn't care, never been good at small talk anyway. so we had this strange relationship. we would meet on the dance floor, we would embrace and kiss and dance together, she would watch me doing my crazy jungle stomp and i think was impressed with my originality and uninhibited ability to dance to my own beat and then she would lead me home to her apartment somewhere where if we were lucky we would be in bed before sunrise. gabrielle spoke a different language, her's was fluid, body movements and theatrical gestures, like a dolphin playing with a surfer she elegant and supremely decadent. i'd never take her to my apartment although it was big enough, my room was sparse, a mattress and a pile of books, a few candles, there was never any food there and there were always people coming and going. 
i hardly ever saw daytime back then, my existence was totally nocturnal. i liked that club as it played the kind of music i could dance to, tribal, organic and funky. it was a good place to meet people, i never found a similar club like it ever again. one day gabrielle flew away and i never saw her again. i wasn't to fussed, i had no expectations and always knew a relationship with her would be transient and beautiful, strange and surreal. the city got a lot colder after she left.
i was always looking for heat. winter was hard, everyone just got absurdly drunk. the wall was everywhere i went it would just loom out in front of you, it was always present so you could never forget where you were, tanks rolled down the streets, german, american, english and russian, every night there was some kind of riot, cars burning upside down. punks, hippies, zen masters, junkies, draft dodgers, speed freaks, artists, the city was spilling over with them. sex was everywhere, i never saw a city so turned on as west berlin. 
they had clubs where people just fucked on tables while you ate a burger. i was living on whiskey, weed and poppy cake, occasionally on market day i'd wander down to buy some bread and a big block of cheap cheese. 
some afternoon's when the weather was not so severe, it may have been spring i wandered over the bridge and picked up some onion bread and some cheap cheese which i purchased every week, the markets sold all sorts of produce but in those days i was kinda not an eater but i did like my cheese. for some reason it was getting cheaper and cheaper each visit or i was getting more and more for the same price. so in the end i had to ask my cheese dealer why it was so cheap only to be told it was from the part of norway that had been contaminated by radioactivity during the chernobyl disaster a few months ago. there i am eating fucking radioactive fucking cheese. in those days there was no health inspector, people could sell anything, in a few years they would be selling part's of the berlin wall. 
there was a greek guy called steel who played keyboards, he would always walk into a room and spit on the floor and rub his spit into the carpet or wood. he would often come over in the middle of a cold night and we would drink, get stoned and play cricket to warm up. indoor cricket with a real bat and cricket ball, and there was no holding back. our place was big but inevitably windows would get smashed. fuck, then it would get cold. after a few months of this i became adept at fixing broken windows with tape.
some nights i would wake up in the early hours, it would be freezing, my bones would be like ice bones freezing me from the inside out, sometimes i would sit in the kitchen with the oven on and open just to warm myself. outside dogs would be frozen on the street, the bars would be emptying people out and they would stumble along reichenberger strasse. 
next door was a bar frequented by older berliners, often men and middle aged whores all by the end of the night so drunk they couldn't walk, talk or find their way home. so one night i wake up and wrap myself in a big black cape, the classic kind with high collar and red silk lining on the inside. i roll myself a joint, the north london four skin, a spliff and gaze out at the window below. it's about 4am and the bar next door must be closing as a few people stumble out and stagger down the street. they only have to look up slightly to see me. my joint burns down and the awful stink of industry from the east manifested in some dark ambient cloud appears over the horizon. a lone figure ambles out from the bar, he is holding a bottle and taking large swigs from it. each step he takes is random, he's all over the place, two steps forwards one step back, he makes several attempts to bring the bottle to his lips but can't quite manage it and he's confused about which direction he should walk in. i gaze downwards and he suddenly stops walking and looks up.
our eyes make contact, he drops the bottle and i watch it explode into fragments on the pavement, it makes no sound but the man is open mouthed in horror, struck  by the shock of seeing me he runs away into the night.
and then it dawns on me, he's seen a strange naked man smoking a joint wrapped in a cape staring down at him. he's drunk and disorientated  so perception mutates but he would have a good story to tell tomorrow at the bar. i watch him disappear in the distance and then my gaze shifts to the reflection in the glass. i'm not there, just the cape and a burning joint.
outside i looked for the stars to guide me but the smog blocked out the sky, the city was consumed by it and i had been consumed by the city.