Gong is one of those influential prog-rock groups one hears about but few rarely hear them 🙂 They influenced Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Genesis, ELO, ELP, Soft Machine & well you get the sound picture. I was one of those who knew them by reputation & in my compulsion to reclaim a history I never had I tracked down their Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy: The Flying Teapot, Angel’s Egg, 1974 – You.
The plot of the trilogy is as comprehensible as A Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. or the Russian film Solaris. Pretentious artsy rock with jazz, electronica & psychedelic favouring, a sense of humour too. Wild time signatures, fun sax & space guitar – these lps are fascinating if a bit twee. I think their sense of humour kept them from breaking into the US market. Definitely worth listening to if you are King Crimson fans.
Also in this mp3 collection is Marvin Gaye: M.P.G – I had this as an lp that I picked up at some yard sale – early years work but polished. Which lead me to include The Temptations: Puzzle People. This I also once had as lp & it is a nice compliment to Gong with the Motown psychedelic sound creeping in. Where else would one hear Little Green Apples & Message From A Blackman on the same lp? Who thinks of Motown as the home of American prog-rock?
So it made sense to also include Jimi Hendrix: Cry of Love. The mix is a little muddy but the songs are great. His voice is always better than I recall & his guitar work is more subtle but still brilliant. It seemed only natural to include E. Grizzly: The NAH Mixtape – densely sampled, often aggressive rhythmically with poetical rap on top off everything. E. Grizzly is Gong taken to the extreme.
Finally a fun Mexican group: Banda Zarape: Es la primera vez. Someone posted a couple of their videos on Tumblr & they were strange, to say the least. The music is energetic but not know Spanish I can tell if the lyrics are that radical but the music itself is fairly straight forward.
The three girls, Jane, Jenny and Laurie stood at the corner of the front steps. The school yard was full of students. Morning classes would soon begin. They stood and looked at the other girls. Sometimes smiling snidely to each other as certain ones went by.
‘Who she fooling with that?’
‘Get those zits. Pizzass Face.’
‘What you looking at?’
Mean giggles and elbows to anyone who stopped too long or blocked their view.
‘There she is. Judy.’
Judy was no one. Just another of the girls but the one they had zeroed in.
‘Hey scab what did we tell you about coming up these steps when we was here.’
They stepped down toward her. She shrank back.
‘That’s right. Just fuck off now like a good piece of crap.’
‘And don’t worry about being late. Death is worse and we’ll kill you cold next time we see you.’
The girl looked around for someone, anyone to shield her. It was as if she was invisible.
‘Come on Jane we better get in. Mr. Sniff-finger’s waiting for us.’
The three shouldered their backpacks and strode in to the school.
Students crowed the halls.
‘Outta our way.’
‘Who you pushing.’ a guy sneered back.
‘Not you asshole.’ Foot on his heel followed by elbow sent him stumbling into the lockers.
‘Good one, Jenny.’
The three slapped hands over head.
‘Teach them fools to mess with us. Right Laurie.’
‘You get your homework done?’
‘What you think?’
‘I think … what me think. You gotta be kidding me Jenny.’
‘No time for thinking here. Why waste it? Eh. Oh ee look now, he’s all right.’
They stood to stare as a tall boy walked by.
The three girls blushed and looked away.
‘Oh god. I didn’t think he’d answer.’
‘Guess he wants something.’
‘Yeah and I’m the one to give it to him.’
‘Any time soon.’
‘No you follow Laurie.”
The three started shoving each other a bit.
‘Yeah what you think. He got no time for likes of us.’
‘He said ‘Hi’.’
‘True. Nice butt too. Why don’t you follow Jane?’
‘Nah he had eyes on you Jenny. All over you.’
‘Yeah. Go on or I’ll follow him. What’s his name.’
‘I’ll find out. Okay?’
‘Cause I’m the one who know how to find out things.’
Laurie stepped away from the others. He had stopped at the bulletin board.
‘Hi.’ she stood beside him.
The other two moved down the hall but kept their eyes on him.
‘What are they saying?’
‘Must be something funny.’
He glanced down at them. The two looked away fast.
June 8-9 – Capturing Fire 2018 – Washington D.C. (flight & hotel already booked)