Friday, August 16, 2019

Joy of a Toy Story: Kevin Ayers 75

It's two nights in a row of smashing posts as we really escalate the August approach.
Today we've got a milestone birthday for a truly wizardly eccentric, who'd have been 75 today were he not deceased. Indeed, the whole "death" thing sure does impede getting older.
This guy really did it his way, often much to the chagrin of whatever record company exec he was gleefully soaking for whatever advance said exec was dangling.
He began in the Soft Machine, but the experience of touring the USA with the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1968 caused him to sell his bass to Noel Redding and split for Ibiza, much to the chagrin of his bandmates.
Hunted by record companies eager to sign as many eccentric songwriters as could be fit into a paisley carpeted recording studio, he briefly joined Gong -- which his Soft Machine brethren Daevid Allen had just begun in France, his expired visa keeping him out of the UK -- before beginning to record on his own.
He spent his remaining 45 years making some of the most riotously unusual music of ever, and even more riotously spending the lucrative advances of idiot record execs.
As visionary and individuated as any musical figure of the last half century, Kevin Ayers is considered one of the fathers of Psychedelia and his records will always be beloved by millions.
Although he helped launch the careers of stalwarts like Mike Oldfield and Bridget St. John, he toured sporadically throughout his life and live recordings of him are not awfully common.
This one does circulate though, and from the Dutch radio pre-FM reels to boot. Yes, to boot. That was an archival pun.
It dates from 1970 and his all-star aggregation The Whole World, which had Robert Wyatt on drums and the exceptionally bizarre Lol Coxhill manning the reeds, flutes and bird whistles.
And you even get Bridget St. John, guesting with Kevin on a couple of tunes.
Kevin Ayers & The Whole World
Gemeente Centrum
Driebergen, The Netherlands

01 The Oyster and the Flying Fish 
02 We Did It Again
03 Hat Song
04 If You've Got Money
05 Clarence In Wonderland 
06 Rheinhardt and Geraldine/Colores Para Dolores  
07 Why Are We Sleeping?
08 Lady Rachel 
09 Kevin Ayers VPRO interview fragment

Total time: 59:31

Kevin Ayers - vocals & guitar
Mike Oldfield - bass
Robert Wyatt - drums
David Bedford - piano & organ
Lol Coxhill - soprano saxophone, bird whistles & flute
Bridget St. John - vocals on Track 01 & 04

spectral analysis looks like the VPRO pre-FM master reel
retracked & pops removed from beginning of Track 01 by EN, August 2019
I'll be back tomorrow night with a lovely 35th anniversary show for your Saturday night specialization.
Don't miss out on Dr. Dream here, though. Born this day in 1944 and continually singing a song in the morning, there will never be another musician remotely like Kevin Ayers.--J.
8.16.1944 - 2.13.2013