The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and Hello magazine has arrived to photograph my Wife & our home.
This is our third home Hello have visited. The first, Reddish House in Broad Chalke near Salisbury, was an event to celebrate T's 40th. birthday. The resulting article was read by an Inland Revenue Inspector whose speciality (and, I believe, his personal interest) was pursuing celebrities for what he believed to be unpaid taxes. He took an interest, not in Toyah, but in myself as the homeowner. When he visited to make an inspection, I felt that he was substantially motivated by a reaction to (what he clearly saw me as) celebrity. That is, he had an attitude accompanying his professional calling: one that I know as English Resentment. The question implied is: who are you? Who do you think you are to live in a big house, get paid lots of money (wish), get in Hello! , stand on stage, get attention, etc. etc. The price and consequences of this (actual or presumed) celebrity are not factored into the account.
Mr. Celebrity Inspector's dealings with me were characterised by his threatening tone. An IR inspector can chase, harry & pursue an individual for as long as the IR is funded (by taxes), i.e. without end. The individual, however, has to pay their own accountancy fees from their own post-tax income. This gives an IR Inspector's threats to pursue without end a set of serious, sharp & snappy teeth.
I support proper & due payment of an equitable level of taxation, one that has widespread popular support. So, I have no objection to unpaid taxes being sought from those who have unfairly evaded them. Mr. CI sent me a demand for £200,000 in "unpaid" taxes. When the matter was eventually settled, some 18 months later, he sent me a cheque of £2,500 for overpaid taxes.
In other words, the basis for his interest in me as a tax-evading celebrity was somewhat exaggerated. This took the time and energy of DGM & myself, plus substantial accountancy fees, to meet the antipathy of a person in an authoritative & responsible position, with attitude, whose nominal justification for action was flawed. Something like, dealing with Bleater The Sour but with lead in their pencil.
One unexpected outcome of Mr. Celebrity Inspector's investigation was his discovery that my business company owed me (as an individual) significant sums of personal monies that I had used to finance the company. In the collapse of my affairs, precipitated by the events of Endless Grief in 1991, my auditor of that period was not quite able to set my affairs in order. This auditor was the same auditor as during the EG period, and who had taken direction from Mr. Adler of EG in how to present my affairs. As the auditor of EG he was clearly aware of the overall circumstances at that time: that EG were diverting money from the Music Group into their own business activities to keep themselves afloat. Professionally, he was not able to know what was taking place on both sides of the curtain. Personally, I believe he was embarrassed and reports came to me that he went to drinking. Whatever his personal response to the debacle, representing my interests as an artist no longer managed by EG, he wasn't quite able to get on top of things. So, my accounts were not as organised as I would have liked.
If I were to put a date for the final settling of my business affairs, declaring them put them in order after Endless Grief, it would be April 2003: the recent out-of-court settlements by Virgin & BMG in respect of significant sums of unpaid royalties. EG began to default on royalties in October 1988, and the actual dispute began in April 1991. Say, 14 years of mess.
Regrettably, neither of these recent settlements would have happened had Virgin & BMG both known, without any doubt, that my intention was to return to litigation to pursue an honourable outcome. That's another story, and it is worth telling.
The second home to be visited by Hello! was the wonderful Old Mansion in Evershot, Deepest Dorset. The superb Sven Arnstein was also the photographer on that shoot. Then in 2001/2 we left Evershot to be near to Toyah's parents here in Bredonborough.
Now, on Whit Monday, at our third home photographed for Hello!, there is a Farmers' Market being held in the market square right outside our front door. The countryside waits outside the back door, moving down through the garden to the River Avon at the bottom, with water meadows opposite and beyond. This is not a perfect place to be, but it substitutes for perfection to a degree greater than I deserve.
This is my Wife's part of the world and the spirit of nearby Bredon Hill speaks to her, as did Badbury Rings call to me when I looked out of Fernhill House, in the Fripp family village of Witchampton, between 1980/85. Toyah loves being here. And, as all husbands know (or should learn very rapidly), a happy Wife is 90% of a happy marriage.
19.04 The Hello! shoot is coming to an end after a very good day's work. I am even in some of the photographs. Today's photographer says he worked abroad for The Guardian & The Observer before moving into more commercially oriented work. He is both relaxed & superb.
Now, for something completely different --
One of the rewards, and joys, of Guitar Craft is that many of the Team are specialists in their own fields, with a wide range of experience, skills, insights & informed viewpoints. Recent e-mails include these --
From Seattle --
Regarding Emory's post of Saturday 10th. May, 2003 on the sabotage of points of transition in a performance:
Tony Blake & I were speaking at one of his weekend Ruminate-A-Thons. It was the morning of the 2nd day, just before things were to resume. I asked him about something that had happened the previous day: there was a moment when he was right on the precipice of something; the room was silent and you could feel something about to happen. At what seemed like the moment of greatest tension, someone in the room, on the course, broke the silence, broke the moment, broke the possibility. This person grabbed the attention of the room and redirected it. I was dumbfounded.
When I asked TB about this, he didn't hide his disappointment but he also seemed to accept it, with some resignation. He said to me - flat out - that this always happens. Right at the moment of transition [my words] someone comes along and fucks it up [definitely my words]. He & I were getting into a bit of a discussion about this and were heading toward an interesting conclusion within the conversation. Just then, the same guy from yesterday interrupted. This interruption again took away the attention in the room. Tony looked at me with a wordless expression as if to say, "See, what'd I tell you?"
I have never considered the idea of the deliberate wrecking of a performance. Then again, heedlessness comes in all shapes and sizes. Not an encouraging proposition, I regret to say.
From New York --
I've been dealing a lot with the issues of fantasy and projection both as a teacher and as a practitioner. In medicine - it's a tricky issue. How do I treat a person whose illness is largely caused by their fantasy running the show? I can treat the symptoms, which is a start, but not the same as treating the person. I can clonk the fantasy on the head, which can often result in the person leaving my practice (no doubt in high dudgeon) in which case I can't help them further. And they may spread poison about their practitioner which doesn't serve either of us. So the quandary often becomes: How to treat the person who wants to have someone else fix them and doesn't want to actually take responsibility for their health. It's a product of our culture, an attitude prominent, but not limited to, our times.
From New Jersey --
The transitions between each stage is liminal: there is a change of state which accompanies each transition. For example, ice > water > steam. The basic component is the same (hydrogen & oxygen molecules) but the state changes when heat is applied. In a performance context, when the transition is underway, the moment (and performer) is maximally vulnerable to changes in "heat" - the consciousness of the audience.
The Analogy may be better then you know. For sitting with an Ovation. A classic experiment in grade school is to simply heat some water; then take its temperature as you apply heat and measure the temp vs. time. One would suppose since theres a constant steady amount of heat being applied; the rise would be a constant increase.
We (see) on the graph where over time, even though the same amount of heat is being applied; the temperature remains constant; it plateaus on the graph. JUST before boiling. Theoretically at 99.99999....C
Because when you heat water from say 20C to 30C you're just making the molecules move faster relative to one another; and this motion, the water-cules hitting the thermometer, the kinetic energy, is what the thermo reads. But when water reaches the boiling point; RIGHT before the boiling point; the energy changes.
The heat energy goes from making the molecules move faster to Breaking the Bonds between the water molecules, so that the change in state might take place. The energy is no longer used to move the molecules; so No Increase in Temp.
In a perfect experiment; the temp of the water in the system would remain at 100C [boiling point] with NO temperature change, until All of the bonds have been broken; and the liquid is gone and the steam; under pressure can rise past 100C.
The analogies between these changes in state, and how breakthroughs in guitar practice [a state change] occur. A person Will, Necessarily, reach a seeming plateau, and even with the constant addition of heat, there's no change. Because that amount or intensity of practice isn't enough; it will just maintain the almost-boiling-about-to-break-free level. But there's NO way to heat water above 100C without also adding addition energy; in the form of pressure.
Search Robert Fripp's diary archive.