That pure Cane Spirit since 1848.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Minus 6 all day.
The first sniff of a deep frost is always profoundly evocative for me. It’s an acid flashback is what it is. I am returned to the bedroom I had as a fourteen year old, God knows why I am transported back there, it’s just where I am taken is all.
It was a cool bedroom, everyone said so. I had painted a big Oor Wullie sitting on his bucket on one wall and a big version of the face on the King Crimson LP on the other. I had posters from Sounds and pictures cut out of NME, especially Frank Zappa, tacked and sellotaped to the wall and I played my records on a huge valve radiogram the size and shape of a chest freezer. I bought it at a scout jumble sale and they, the 72nd Troop, brought it round in a van and bustled it into the house in their kilts totally ignoring my mother’s embarrassing objections.
And then there were the fabulous mobiles that I made out of tin foil hanging from the ceiling. It’s a thirteen foot ceiling so they worked really well. I had painted the ceiling and frieze deep blue and stuck white stars on it. I loved those mobiles. They were an excellent embodiment of some-sort-of-Roger-Dean-type-mysticism.
Back to the green microdot. On just such a cold night as last night then, I sloped back in, having dropped some LSD. Well I ask you. There I was, fourteen and a half, eyes like organ stops, sitting up in bed listening to Wishbone Ash considering the mobiles and the soft focus girls in Mayfair, when God unexpectedly turned up in my head to tell me everything.
I mean the lot. The whole meaning, the structure, the point, 42, everything. I felt very pleased with myself. It was a marvellous privilege having God explain everything. After an hour or so, once God was sure I understood all these marvellous revelations, they were gently withdrawn, in the way you would remove a book from the hands of a sleeping child.
By December the room was emulsioned white, the mobiles, posters, and radiogram were gone in favour of Habitat Scandinavianism and I had inveigled my way into the 17th birthday party of a girl whose boyfriend never turned up. Obviously I kept the Frank Zappa pictures, because he, more than anyone, I realise now, was who I wanted to look like! Can you believe it? Frank Zappa. Me.
35 years later I was floating through Tate Liverpool on its disturbing sprung floor, tutting and sighing to myself at their utterly pisspoor mobiles when I was arrested by something much more to my taste; the altogether breathtaking sight of a beautiful woman. Well, who would have thought it?
If you are very, very, good, I will tell you what the smell of woodsmoke does to me. RZZZZZ!