Memory as Epitaph

“Unfortunately I have some sad news Leon Reedjik suffered a massive heart attack on Tuesday and has been in Wgtn ICU since. He was deprived of oxygen for 37 minutes the result of which was severe damaged to vital organs which has been supported by scans. The family has decided to turn off the life support in the morning. Would like to offer our support and condolences. End of a hairy era!”

Woke up to this on my Facebook.
Leon was one of the “Laketowners” together with myself on the set of the Hobbit movies. Giant of a man. Big full natural beard. Friendly and gentle. A common purpose bonded us Laketowners. Maybe 80 of us. Not all of us there on set at the same time or called in on the same days. But many of us spent a considerable number of hours, sitting around, eating great meals, sitting around, being moved to sit around somewhere else, standing around on set, waiting, eventually standing around on set with a purpose ordained by the director, joy of joys, running around or being allowed to be animated, sometimes under lights so hot we had to have ice packs pushed down our costumes. Jostling to get to the crew member carrying water in order to be handed a plastic cup of precious water between takes. All this for maybe 10 plus hours a day. For acquaintances sharing a common purpose most of us got to know each other comfortably well. Genuinely enjoying our time together.
I remember Leon as that friendly uncomplicated gentle giant. Sitting on the set of Laketown the canal wharf to our side the medieval buildings of Laketown in front, the towering wall of the studio draped in green screen, wind machines, lights scaffolding and more lights; Leon and I waiting for the next shot to be set. Likely to be off camera but giving ourselves a role to pass the time. We salvaged a stone jar of rather quaffable Elvish wine which we shared, enjoyed and made merry with. Eventually, there was a call of “action” we continued to pass the jug.
Won’t find that scene anywhere but in my memory now.18767622_1693708213973482_8672077541577661352_n

“The proper, wise balancing
of one’s whole life may depend upon the
feasibility of a cup of tea at an unusual hour.”
― Arnold Bennett, How to Live on 24 Hours a Day

or I may add the occasional jug of wine.

It was 50 years ago today

Celebration of the release 50 years ago. Putting aside the actual release date [world wide it was 1 June 1967]
Other records state rush release 26th May as had been “leaked” on radio. Pirate radio strong at the time apparently played on Radio London. I, however, heard it on Radio Luxemburg which was in a way the original pirate broadcasting from Europe but having all its DJ’s and music pre-recorded in London. The Pirates of course on old oil rigs or trawlers operating outside the 3-mile limit and therefore legal.

I could pick up my local Radio Caroline which operated from the Irish sea anytime day or night. But generally, the broadcast range was limited so night time in bed with my precious loved battery transistor radio, aerial extended, tuning carefully hair width by hair width and moving the transistor around the room to get the best reception. Oh, Bliss. Maybe because we had to work hard to connect to the burgeoning counterculture, the youth revolution, rock and roll [and in my case blues as well] the dawn of Tune In and Drop Out, maybe that’s why it’s carved into memory.

But it wasn’t Caroline it was Luxemburg. Not the transistor but the radiogram. Radio and turntable built into a substantial piece of furniture. The radio had the ability to tune into long wave and at its high end all sorts of marine and aircraft broadcasts. Medium wave which was where all the normal radio broadcasts were but with the right conditions one could pick up European broadcasts. Short wave in all sorts of bands which I swear you could tune into Jupiter with.
Must have had a big and good speaker as I never found the sound an issue. Mind you it was mono. Stereo equipment was just about available but like colour TV it was a way off being in everyone’s home.

Can’t remember the actual day but I seem to think the broadcast I heard was the night before, which would have made it the Thursday night. After 50 years I can’t remember when I actually got a copy in my hands. I like to think it was the next day after the release which would have been the Saturday.

Once home it was on the radiogram. I remember being engrossed in the cover. This wasn’t packaging this was an event in itself.
Commercial art, pop art. The front cover, all these people, none of them named but clearly famous, cultural icons. At 15 couldn’t know them all, but I went from face to face recognizing some being able to name others and reviewing again till names drifted up from my subconscious. Think it was the Sunday Times or the Sunday Observer in their colour supplements which eventually listed them all. It was a fold out cover. None of this single sleeve. There, the Fab Four in technicolor uniform, at once circus and so so cool.beatles-sgt-peppers-lonely-heart-club-band


Then there’s lyrics. A whole sheet of lyrics to prompt a sing-along.

AND the cardboard cut outs

And the flaming paper sleeve.


As for the music. Then it was truly remarkable. The Beatles were riding high. Yes, I know all the denials!
Despite all the fame and frustration, internal and external forces that would eventually fling them apart. They made the “studio” album as a defense and an answer to the critics, as proof of their talent.
It’s also a fun album in the main, swings along as if it is the eponymous band of one Sgt Pepper.
They [and I include Martin and the other engineers, but will not exclude the seemingly quieter members] created an album with new sound qualities new textures which even in mono I could hear on that first play. It was a risk. Even though it was the Beatles it was a risk. In the context of POP, it expanded the possibilities. For me it’s not a rock album yet in some ways it heralds the era of progressive rock that was to follow The tale is that within days of its release McCartney was in the audience watching Jimi Hendrix playing the title track. Sad no recording of that exists!

1967 The middle. 1966 sort of beginning 1968 an end to something that never quite made it out of the delivery suite.

Some of the comment I’ve heard today is a little dismissive of Sgt Pepper not being the Beatles best work. That may be true anyone’s best work in terms of songs or performances is bound to be spread across their published careers. The whole point was the album the idea of which is somewhat lost now in the age of Spotify and iTunes.

It was one of my first album buys somewhere in my first 3 or 5 and it influenced what I bought next that year.

What follows is a list of albums I bought that year. In what order exactly when I can’t say but that year. [Well late 1967 maybe sometime early 1968]


On Love

I make choices. I could say we make choices which are obvious really but I will stick with what I know as well as I can.
I made a choice to love, to love one particular human, one woman. All sorts of thoughts, feelings, emotions and experiences get stirred up and mixed together till one says to oneself “I love” and then to risk saying to that special other “I love you”. There, at that point I have made a choice to love; have someone to love and to express that love. If one is favored then one gets loved back.

So there I am in love, maybe loved back or not. In many ways, reciprocity is not so important as it may seem. So far there’s an implication that I can choose not to be in love. I could make that statement. I’m left with all the thoughts, feelings, experiences and emotions to unravel. Historically I can’t deny them. I have to falsify them or devalue them wholly, completely in order to make my new choice not to love this particular person. A reality for me here and now; in the present.

A big chunk of all the above is dispassionate even though emotions are involved. Homo sapiens are not so simple. We have egos, in-built irrationalities,desires,cravings,beliefs,self-justifications etc. All of which can also become enmeshed in how I make the choice to be or not to be, or as in this case to am or not to am.

Growing older I have more opportunity more experience to undertake that first of all dictates “First Know Thy Self”.
Age should not allow me to fudge this.

I have been in love and chosen to be in love. Hormonally my adolescence through to early manhood was littered with one or two which to my detriment were silent. never voiced. Then later, as a young man it happened as above, was reciprocated, and marriage ensued. I was happy with my choice and in life.

So here enter other factors. We make other choices not directly about love but that can affect love. If those choices are made collectively then there shouldn’t be too much of a problem. But the sum of choices made can grow to clash and can appear to become greater or detrimental to that earlier choice to be in love. This happened to me [and her]. All the other choices we made were more important to each of us and for each of us, the choice to not be in love became actionable. We each in our own way falsified or denied till we could part with the least emotional hurt.

My decision not to love lasted a good long while. Busy making lots of other choices that I must have found self-fulfilling.

Whether I was available or not whether I acted to avoid situations, one is still likely to get bushwacked. I was and had to ask and make a choice. Made it said it and reciprocation ensued. Now eventually this situation became one of where the other initiated the choice not to be. Hard to accept ego etc but lots of the situation [ she was having an affair in love with someone else] enabled me to go through a process of denial and devaluing leading to being able to choose not to be in love.

We have I believe an integral need to love, to share; socially, culturally and biologically. So when we experience the shift from being loved to not being loved, for a while one crashes a bit, not in love just suffering withdrawal symptoms.

Next, I made a choice to commit rather than love. Here I am separating affection, endearment from love. Eventually, I made a decision to uncommit. Unraveling was easy. There was nothing to deny or falsify. Still some emotional flotsam and jetsom.

Found I made another choice to love. Based on history this felt like nothing before. Though I, of course, need to concede I could be deluding myself. But then perhaps that’s part of love part of the process a wonderful delusion. The metaphor of an addict raises itself again. Too much introspection not required or perhaps in this case completely unnecessary. The introspection of my youth kept me silent.
Never had so much joy being in love being able to love being able to receive love. Giving receiving sharing.
Fast forward to her decision not to be in love.
Sparked all the above introspection.

Thought about making the same statement and going through the process of devaluing falsifying denying.
Can’t actually in all truthfulness make the statement. Have to be true to myself and the fact I still feel love, am still in love. That makes the following process academic but still, I can’t, even as an experiment, imagine doing any of it.

So even if I disregard the choice I made, I am still in love with her. I am. I want to be. I will be.
No choice no decision. Hard but beautiful fact. Feels like its always been there and always will be. Terms we used. Soul Mates. Irrational Ridiculous Romantic Dream Delusional. Don’t care. Label away. What is is what is.
What is is that……
I know now I can say what it means to love, to be in love, with a confidence, a conviction, not in a belief, but in a fact as physical and hard and clear as a diamond and yet at the same time as ephemeral as starlight.

First and Last Post

This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Echos of the Bugle drift down time. There will be always be a Reville followed by a Last Post 

However given my erratic nature when it comes to commitment [ I excel at inconsistency] There may be many revolutions of the earth between one or the other. So at any one time this may be the first or the last post. Just an explanation in case of curiousity.


Live Music

Live music sadly does not play a big part in my life whereas recorded and broadcast music has. Over the past 12 months there have been 2 events. Herbie Hancock’s NZ Tour and WOMAD NZ 2008. Prior to that was 2005 Diana Krall. Wellington is increasingly seen as the poor smaller brother of Auckland and not economic to tour. Despite that we do have the NZ International Festival of The Arts and that is more likely to attract the sort of artists that I like.