Sunday, October 4, 2009


Saturday and Sunday were spent finishing up work on the house: removing the scaffolding, last of the painting, placing the mountain of accumulated house debris and trash in the 20 cubic yard roll-off. With the exception of putting all my tools away until next year, I was done. To celebrate this momentous occasion this Sunday evening, I climbed out onto the highest point on the roof, with cigar, a couple shots of tequila, my music and a lawn chair to watch the gray clouds overhead darken with the approach of evening.

People of the book
Quest for illumination
Blinded by the light

Failed wars lies resound
Fool-me-once skepticism
New claims on deaf ears

First up was Echo & The Bunnymen's January 17, 1981 "Shine So Hard" show at the Pavilion Botanical Gardens in Buxton, Derbyshire, UK. A great sounding recording, first released as a video followed by a live four-track EP from the soundtrack. Each song a Bunnymen classic.

Chris Adams says this about the Shine So Hard endeavor:

While the Bunnymen were completing the Camo Tout, Bill Drummond had the idea to kickstart 1981 with a secret happening, an event akin to The Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour." The concept was to transport fans from all over the country to an undisclosed location, where the Bunnymen would play a show in full camouflage regalia within the Faustian nightmare of the stage set. Bill Butt would capture the whole event on film. It would be a celebration of the Bunnymen's successes over the previous year, and an appetizer for future glories.

Despite the pomp and preparation, the concert itself was something of an anti-climax. Due to heavy snow, the show was under-attended, and the momentum of the performance was constantly interrupted by lighting and camera arrangements. The Bunnymen were a little uneasy and confused by the whole production, and the show reflected their bewilderment.

The band lacked power and commitment, the very qualities for which they'd previously been championed, and looked as if they'd lost their way. The rock press turned on them for the first time and the band were shaken. - Mark Cooper, Liverpool Explodes

I feel a bit let down. You come all this way and I suppose I expected a bit more, really. It wasn't as if there was any mystery 'cos we all knew where the gig was going to be ages ago. - Unnamed attendee, 1981

I didn't like it much. It was really embarrassing to see myself on film, where everything I did looked unnatural. - Les Pattinson, 1983

Gray clouds move northward
Pines feel coming winters chill
Swaying in the wind

Chores are completed
A seasons work at an end
Heavy weight lifted

Turns his eyes away
In the approaching darkness
See only the past

Next up this evening was the Bunnymen's live performance at a club called Eric's on September 15, 1979. An excellent recording, the band a bit rough around the edges but you could sense they had the talent to take it much farther. Twenty year olds on the verge of fame. Ian starts with "Hello, we're the Bunnymen." This was less than a year since they first stepped on that same stage when they stunned the crowd with their debut performance. Their drum machine pulsating in the background, a few months before they invited drummer Pete de Freitas to become a full fledged Bunnymen.

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