The band were all back at work in the studio dishing up backing tracks and being creative in 45. Its early May. A studio very much Glenn’s home, its filled with his life, his collections of LP’S and old hoovers, fairy lights and posters, wires and sofas, and lunch cooked by either Carly or Jayne. Thank you. Its often a hot house of glances and words unsaid, its often a very chilled place to be, even in the heat of battle. Mostly its a place of happiness and love. Outside the trading estate, men in overalls spraying cars, stacks of bricks steel and beer barrels. The smell of The Thames. Its home for this album and all of its twists and turns. Its going very well i must say and the mixes are turning out very full, and Squeeze like in so many subtle ways. Meanwhile the TV show we are putting the tracks to is being worked on and mixed as well, at first glance im full of laughter as i see and hear the funniest TV scripts for a very long time. Danny Baker and Jeff Pope will clearly mop up with this. Awards a plenty. Our music sits on the edge of the picture and is placed with great care so as to not disturb the time frame and the humour. Cradle To The Grave stands out as a great song, its simple and says everything as a lead track. Happy days, we hope. How did that happen. I blame South East London Boys School and Mr Dunn.
This month has seen some more driving and some mad routing, Home (Lewes) to Glastonbury, then on to Frome Somerset, then to Cardiff in Wales, onto Home and Brighton for a day. Then off to Cornwall and back up the A303 to Whitstable, completing the circle back to the South Coast and Shoreham. On the glorious A27. Oh, i forgot Shrewsbury. With Gordon by my side i felt like i had been beaten with a thick stick, he is good company, the very best man. We laughed and drove like old blokes in a car. The stick being the tiredness. I interviewed Chalkie Davis in Cardiff and enjoyed the moment, he has produced a wonderful exhibition of his work. Chalks has always been a friend and always will be, such a wonderful person. The Strypes were on fire as ever in Frome and on stage in Brighton, they are now on tour forever. I can hardly keep up. My solo shows were great fun and i felt loved. I did a few with Mrs T and they were equally as good, i felt loved there also. During this time Bobby Irwin passed away, a drummer of much skill and love. He played with Nick Lowe, and for some time Van Morrison. I always enjoyed his company and remember him for the way he always spoke directly into my ear as if we were talking in code. His drumming on Nicks records is sublime, not many drummers like Bobby anymore. Sadly missed but always admired.
Outside in the real other World the sun is out and summer is almost here, the green fields are beaming with hope and happiness. To round off the month a few shows with Squeeze, and JB says farewell in a very dignified manor, he looked great and played solidly. I will miss his dry backstage and the honest way in which he conducts his life with his friends. Its inspired and i love him. The shows felt like passing clouds, they came and they went, i stood beneath and sheltered in their shadow. Will nothing change. Self drive, self sleep and self satisfaction. Naturally i can’t tell you how i really feel, thats for the book, but on general terms i think im ok, driving for England as ever and filling my days with this and that, and some of the other too. When you are present in this moment, you break the continuity of your story, of past and future and true intelligence arises, and also love. So the book is on the back burner while i re group my feelings and learn how to change the things i can while observing only the now. I look to the future with sharp focus on how i must survive in this ever changing dynamic, as friendships grow and turn on the lathe of life i get to feel the shape of things to come. And i don’t know why but i feel exhausted from trying to make things clear in my head. Its really not all about me. Each day comes at me like a train, i wake and run for it at the station, its no way to keep your sanity. Christ on a Bicycle on platform 7.
One of the highlights of the month was going to the Ivor Novello awards in London with Louise, we sat on the PRS table and soaked ourselves in the wonderful love within the room. Its so great to be there with your peers and hear who gets what and from whom, a real treat. Elton gave a lovely accolade to both Ed and later to Annie Lenox, he is well versed in giving and he does it with style. Donovan was the gnome, and Boy George the person who i admired for his recovery and passion for all things George. Bob Geldof talked for hours, but i hung on every word. I have two Ivor’s next to me as i write this blog, and they remind me of how wonderful life can be, its not about the awards so much, more about the being in the room and to be held in the applause of your fellows. I like that, some don’t but i like that feeling of collective joy. It can make me proud. Like when i got The Dambusters book at School when i was 10 years old, for effort. I stood on the stage with my class there in front of me, chewing gum and pulling faces. I guess that’s what i would get one for now, another book, for being in the car and being that voice on those Squeeze songs that says, this is Squeeze, like a pinch of salt on a small piece of Cod. To hang on to the passing expensive coat tails of all those very famous people is enough, knowing that on another day i would have been famous and revered by the great and the good, not that it maters. I am that. Its all i need to be. I feel a sense of luck to be where i am, that voice those words this person, this love. And i feel loved. As i watch the screen above me i see the faces of those gone now to dust, i feel the sadness and i feel loss. Its a sober moment. On other tables publishers and writers, guitarists and drummers, Classical writers and singers, people from the sharp end of our journey and our industry. A great day. I love a mingle.
Back in the studio and more songs are being prepared to be sent off to ITV for the lock, as they say in the trade, its so exciting. Im called up for a sing, the salt on the Chips, and we do sound great together i must admit. 1973. I submerge myself in the mixes as i travel up the motorways of life. Glenn, and indeed Laurie have done a very fine job, its a skill, one i don’t have. I owe them both so much for this album, and to think it was 30 years ago when we last worked with Laurie on the Cosi album, a dense and sometimes bothersome record which folds away in that time when divorce was on all of our minds. Quick change. So its the end of May and the sun has come to say hello, its that time when Summer sings. Birds sing with such vigour as they attract the other half to the nest, the branches sway, the silent ones nest in the eves of the Barn, they whip in and out of the rafters like bats, the countryside is alive with growing and loving which is simply wonderful, a vision to take with into the cold months of Winter off in the distance. Most of the year i sport a White Shirt and jeans, and then when the summer comes i turn my wardrobe to Fred’s and the White shirts just for colder nights. We are not there yet, its a uniform in many ways but it always speaks of comfort, a small part of my life. I have things i stick to and seldom drift from the path of me. If i did how would that look?
Above the great guitar work of Danny Ferrington, long in the cupboard now long by my side.