Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Remembering the guitar

I was watching a not particularly good film about a teenage boy who has crippling shyness and discovers that his next door neighbour was once a famous rock star but faked his death in order to avoid paying taxes (or something similar). I discovered that the film is called 'The beat beneath my feet', but it's not worth looking for. 

Something however clicked in my mind, and I found myself playing 12 string guitar and singing a song which I wrote in February 1972, called 'Gemini and Leo' (I'm the Leo and Mimi was the Gemini ... funnily enough, several of my closest friends were Geminis).

Gemini and Leo are incompatible
 But don't let that fool you 
They'll trick you with any phrase of doom
As long as their personal aims are satisfied
And the witch cries 'folly!' up on high

Man and woman are incompatible
Unless both make a try
Don't sit back with your tea and sigh
About the things you'd do if you had the time
But don't, for is it really that wise?

We say we're as close as the pages in a book
But we know we'll never get to that stage
We'll try as we may but we know deep inside
I'm not your opposing page

So dear friend, as we grow old
We grow away from the ideals we set ourselves
They'll remain in situ till the wedding bells
Which will never ring, as we know so well
For Gemini and Leo just don't gell

I have a memory of writing the lyrics during a free period at school, but I don't remember whether I had the tune before the lyrics or vice versa. I certainly didn't have a guitar with me at school! Some good lines in there, along with one clinker and one obscure Hammill reference. I also remember playing this song on my beaten guitar at an open mic session at the 1972 Lacock festival, and discovering to my mortification that Maddy Prior, lead singer of Steeleye Span, was in the front row (believe it or not, I used exactly the same words to describe this eight years ago).

Finishing the above song, I then went on to play two songs from Richard and Linda Thompson's "I want to see the bright lights tonight" - "Withered and died" and "Has (s)he got a friend" - which is when my wife came into the lounge and took a picture of me playing.

No comments: