Monday, August 24, 2009

after balloon burning...

The wasted tail fin hovers under the radar. Peeling decals fluttering. The cockpit has been hosed down and the instruments crackle on autopilot; a rusting colossus immune to nagging; neglect; and niggardliness.

"So far as I'm concerned, the early 70s were the Pretties' finest twinkling hour. Ladbroke Grove was their acid drenched stamping ground, home to Van Morrison's Madam George and the group's fluctuating line-up saw them brazenly trading key members with pioneering mental cases, the Pink Fairies ; recording in and out of Abbey Road studios and switching record labels as quick as jumping on a London borough bus."

From the ground its black silhouette hangs like a painted flag. The ghost of 'SF Sorrow'. One by one those remaining occupants crawl through the hatch and drop. It would be cheaper to get there by underground, missed opportunities refracting off steamed glass like kisses on the top deck window of a stalled bus.

"As smokey brown as the Beatles' "Abbey Road" in places, but shimmering and translucent too as the best of Chilton & Bell's Big Star. A perfect pop masterpiece painted from a well rehearsed palette of limited colour, a perfect teenage summer's trip."

The girl you covet waits at the bus stop. Her knees are trembling. She glances up and over her shoulder, where sweet wrappers and discarded beer tins pock thistle and wayward berries. There is something moving behind the fence. This is the sound of your free period on a summer's afternoon. Or the 8:00 AM journey from a suburban outback into a blotter tinctured oasis of hallucinogenics and Ritalin lozenges; an aggravated spinster in laddered tights by the roundabout who shares much in common with Sunday's maiden aunt. A spindle-legged hankering. Old English Spangles and Dandelion Clocks. Arachnids weaving unseen in the dewlaps, spotted hounds off the leash and foaming. And. Transgressions on your tongue.

A tangle of strings.

Free-fall. For aviators and survivors of 1970's unopened "Parachute" everywhere.

THE PRETTY THINGS: GRASS from "Parachute" LP (Harvest EMI) 1970 (UK)

THE PRETTY THINGS: LOVE IS GOOD from "Freeway Madness" LP (Warner Bros.) 1972 (UK)


Löst Jimmy said...

I'm on the mend now ib thanks, and thanks for the Pretty Things 'Love Is Good' taster & also for the intriguing photo accompanying your latest post - I did viddy well my droog!

ib said...

Glad to hear you're well down the road to a full recovery, Löst Jimmy; I narrowly escaped a minor encounter with the scalpel myself earlier in the year.

Had I thought on it more carefully, I really ought to have endeavoured to write the post in Burgess's droog speak. I don't think I'd have been able to pull that one off, though.

Löst Jimmy said...

Interestingly topical anecdote, when awaiting the anaesthesia the kindly person who was meting out the dosage told me that this was the stuff that killed Michael Jackson but don't worry I won't forget to wake you!
And who says the art of black humour is, pardon the pun, dead!

ib said...

A dire wolf's sense of humour that, Löst Jimmy; those fuckers like to put there patients at ease. Did he (or she) ask if you had any loose teeth ? They did me, and promptly informed me they would do their best to ensure they would not whip them out as - presumably - I writhed on the table.

They kept me in overnight, although I must confess I was impressed a good deal more with the aftercare. I got lucky on the hospital lottery that time. A nurse even wheeled me down into the visitors area so I could light one cigarette after the other without slyly puffing out the window.