|| Thursday, 3rd January 2008
A grey day along the valley…
Morning listening: Schuman.
11.04 What’s Mr. Stormy doing?...
… working on a League of Gentlemen bootleg…
… drawn from one of two boxes of
surreptitious materials sent to us for archiving. Some of the cassettes are in
such bad condition it is impossible to copy them.
Shortly, off to the Chewton Glen
16.43 DGM HQ.
Recently, Douglas Ward made
contact for the first time since 1979. Douglas was in Wimborne, as an
accordion-adjudicator, and made the association: Wimborne > Fripp >
contact. Douglas was my bandleader 44 years ago
when The Douglas Ward Trio featuring the
Fabulous Cordovox was the Saturday night house band at the Chewton Glen Hotel when it first became a country
house hotel. Douglas is best known nowadays as a foremost expert on Cruises (see also here and here).
When last in touch, Douglas had
recently moved to Philadelphia & I was moving through town on the small,
mobile & aspiring-to-intelligence Frippertronics tour of 1979. Prior to
that, our last contact had been in 1968 when Douglas offered me the guitar
chair in the First Class Trio on the QEII. Prior to that, but only just, Giles Giles & Fripp had moved to
London to play as 3 members of The Douglas Ward Quartet at the Dolce Notte.
The week before The DW4
were due to open, Douglas stopped his car South of the Thames, to remonstrate
with 3 men who had cut him up on a roundabout. Their bad driving manners were
sufficiently reprehensible that a small, gentle & civilised musician from
Barton-on-Sea near Bournemouth felt they should be reminded of the value of
good driving manners. The 3 men were not as small, gentle nor civilised as
Douglas: they kicked & stomped him flat. Douglas woke up on the ground to
see them walking away from him. I visited Douglas in hospital shortly
afterwards: every movement, to move his body off bruises or injury, was accompanied
by a groan as Douglas found another bruise or injury. GG&F went solo, as it were, a development perhaps not welcomed
by Hotlips Moreno.
Douglas indicates the space & place where The Douglas Ward
Trio set up on Saturday nights in 1963…
Chewton Glen has been much
extended since our days I…
I mentioned that, at the Dolce
Notte, GG&F were being ripped off by the agent (Douglas’
contact, who had initially contracted Douglas for the gig). Douglas replied: he stole an
accordion of mine. The agent / impresario was a well-known accordionist
himself; Douglas gave him an accordion to be tuned in Italy (1973); the agent /
impresario sold it instead; the accordion ended up in Barnsley some years ago;
and Douglas believes it is currently for sale in London.
A most enjoyable re-connection
Back to DGM HQ and Alex working on
Frippertronic & KC bootlegs
in Soundworld II.
A point of seeing: if we are
unable to establish the criteria of the next level, we will not reach it.
19.54 Mucho printing-up of various articles sent to me by Dr. Alfonso
Montuori in preparation for a talk at the
CIIS this February.
20.35 Oh no! The printer is out of black ink & none of the spare
cartridges fit. Pooey pooey. Off to Reading.
22.31 Hotel Acceptable, Reading.
Gentling with the Minx.
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