One of my all-time late 60’s, & perhaps all-time faves, is The Crazy World of Arthur Brown – I can remember the first time I heard ‘I am the God of Hellfire & I bring you to burn’ on my radio – it was a ‘wtf is this’ moment? you can say something like that on the radio! He did it with such dedication, energy & bravado it scared me a little. Was I inviting Satan into my life with a song?


Brown was a showman – somewhat in the order of Alice Cooper – a persona & the Crazy World was not a real world. The lp grabbed me but by the time I got to side two he seemed to have run out of Hellfire and was hallucinating his Spontaneous Apple Creation.


But I loved everything about this – the use of organ made Vanilla Fudge seem even more bubble gum than ever. (Not that I still don’t dig the Fudge but more about them when I get to V) I wore out my first lp & found a second copy in a remainder bin at Zellar’s. Listening to it today brings back lots of good east coast memories.


Sadly this was one of those one-hit wonders. He did record more but nothing that caught the public the way this did. When I finally got high-speed I did find a few other releases by him: Strange Lands: experimental noodling that is diverting enough but nothing special. Brown, Black & Blue: which he recorded with Jimmy Carl Black (of the Mothers): an lp of cover songs which is fun stuff if not all that fresh. Nothing has that breathless energy of ‘I am the God of Hellfire & I bring you to burn.’ Man I’d love to have been the first one to say that on stage. Or turn it into a gay anthem: “I am the God of cock suckers and I bring you to squirm.”



The edge of the cliff was closer than any of them realized. Sylver Rayn Myst stepped back but the shale at the edge crumbled with her weight. She turned to grab an arm but found herself pitched back and away from the faces and outstretched hands of her companions.

The brilliant afternoon sun blinded her as she sped down. She could hear the wind flutter through her clothes, feel it tug at her hair. She tried to turn but her body didn’t follow her will. It was in the power of the fall.

No one knew what lay at the bottom of Dark Gorge. There was no edge on its rim that allowed for looking directly into it. No one had seen where she was heading. Or if they had they hadn’t returned to tell of what they saw.

Sylver cursed the day she had been forced to join the caravan that had stopped at Myst Edge, her father’s tavern. They had needed a cook and nurse. Two things that she had learned well at her mother’s knee.

None of her sisters were interested and even she was reluctant but the pieces of gild the travellers had flashed before her father had made him willing to let go of one of his middle daughters.

Bought and sold and now cast down into this pit.

She saw herself in the kitchen at the inn. She must have been about seven winters at the time. Her mother was pressing a thin skin of white flower with her thumb to show Sylver how to make the little shells that held the beef in the Catcher’s Stew. Why was she seeing that now? Right, she wanted a catcher, something to catch her, to grab her now in mid-flight.

Her cape caught on a rocky spur, held and began to tear. In that moment she spun helpless and saw some of the sheer, endless grey of the gorge’s walls. A shaft of sun bolted down one side and ended. It would be another two hours before the evening sun could reach the bottom.

She knew this in that brief second. She even had hopes of grabbing the stone outcrop but before she could will her body to move her cape let go of her and she continued her plunge.

If she hit a rock ledge she’d die instantly. Perhaps there would be some trees, branches to break her fall. Hope and fear were a jumble in her mind.

She looked up and saw the last of the above world. She entered the cool gloom at the bottom of Dark Gorge.


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