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My Old Studio Setup

This is my old setup – windows with, I think, Cockos Reaper (a great programme which is ridiculously cheap for what you get), an M-Audio Keyrig 49 controller keyboard, a pair of Yamaha NS10s – borrowed from Steve and now, sadly, no longer with me – an M-Audio Fast Track interface (not shown), various mics and guitars etc.

My Music Recording Setup

I haven’t done any recording for a while and, when I last recorded any music, I was still using Windows. Recently I’ve switched over to Linux – Ubuntu Studio – and though the operating system is fantastic (and free!!) I’m finding the setting up of programmes for recording to be a bit of a hassle.

I’ve installed Ardour 4, a free Digital Audio Workstation, and a bunch of plugin effects and software instruments etc., but I seem to get quite a few crashes when using the plugins – very frustrating. Anyway, I’m sure I’ll get it sorted over the next few days.

The other thing I need to do is to put new strings on my acoustic. I haven’t played it for weeks and the old strings are a bit dead. One thing I hate doing is changing strings, it always seems like a real chore. But then, when the new strings are on, I get excited because the guitar is suddenly sounding good again.

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This is my acoustic, a Freshman FA400FBJ which I’ve had for about 10 years

The main reason I’m trying to get everything set up is that, last week, we had a visit from Steve and Ric (a musician friend) to go through the script for Limestone Wood. It feels like it’s all starting to move again. Steve has come up with some more lyrics for the programme and I’m keen to get back into putting together more children’s songs.

I’ll write more as I get back into the swing of things.

A bit exhausted today as I was down in South Wales yesterday running a course on ‘Heroin Addiction and Blood Borne Viruses’. The drive back took about 6 hours, the traffic was very heavy, and I’m not as young as I was.

1969 – Bread on the Night, Liverpool Scene

liverpool scene

I had thought this album was released earlier than 1969 as it was around this time that I first encountered cannabis. Ah well.

There used to be a hall on China Street in Lancaster. I think it was called Priory Hall but I’m not sure. if I ask Steve, he’ll know. Anyway, it was there that we (Steve and I) went to watch Liverpool Scene. They were a group of poets with musical accompaniment. The best known member was Adrian Henri, a poet from Liverpool who had already become fairly well known from two poetry books, ‘The Mersey Sound’ (1967)the mersey soundand ‘It’s World that Makes the Love Go Round, (1968)its world that makes the love go roundI don’t know who did the cover for this book, but it certainly fits the times.

So we went to the concert. It was good. Before Liverpool Scene we had what seemed like several hours of Jeff Nuttall reading from his book ‘Bomb Culture’. Then came Liverpool Scene.

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1978 – Street Legal, Bob Dylan

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Dylan at Blackbushe Airport 1978

This was just around the time that ‘Street Legal’ came out and a few of us decided to get tickets. Christine had been a Dylan fan since the early sixties, in fact it was Christine who first got me listening to him. Like a lot of other people I had heard him and thought he couldn’t sing. But when I started listening to his early albums I realised what a phenomenal songwriter and singer he was. The first album that made an impression was ‘Another Side of Bob Dylan’. There are some fantastic songs on there – ‘My Back Pages’, ‘Chimes of Freedom’, ‘To Ramona’. It was a move away from the protest songs with which he had, much to his displeasure, become associated. But the album I was ultimately most impressed by was ‘Bringing it All Back Home’. This was where he made a big move from acoustic to electric music. Although he had used electric guitars and drums before this, on ‘Bringing it All Back Home’ one whole side of the album was electric, starting with what is, in effect, a beat poem put to music, ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’ which, in D.A. Pennebaker’s documentary ‘Don’t Look Back’ is the music to what I think is the greatest music video ever made, long before music videos were the mindless accompaniments to music they have become. See what you think…..

Anyway, back to what this post was meant to be about, Dylan at Blackbushe. As I said earlier a few of us decided to get tickets. I can’t remember exactly who went, my memory generally isn’t of the best. It surely can’t have been the alcohol and valium that I was consuming. Christine and I were there, of course and, as far as I can remember, an old school friend of mine called Roy and his wife? girlfriend? companion? There may have been others. We travelled down in, I think, Roy’s camper van. When we got there the place was huge, a massive field surrounded by a fence and then further surrounded by car-parks. I recall later in the day deciding to go back to the van for something and it taking forever to find it. Continue reading