Friday, 26 April 2013


working on a new song
the burning cliff
looking for a killer riff
one to give meister keith richards a run for his money
i begin by tinkering with one of my favourite bits of johnny marr
the opening to what difference does it make?
an A chord that shifts abruptly to C and then D
suddenly i find myself playing around with the paperback writer riff
(an all-time classic)
which never moves out of A but holds the attention like a magnet
finally i accidentally stumble upon a solution
instead of picking a seventh note a la paperback writer
i switch to a major seventh by raising the g a semitone to g#
not so obvious
kind of hidden
but oh so effective
this is much tougher to play
necessitating a deft repositioning of the fingers
midway through the pattern
it takes a bit of practice to get it right
never my strong point
but it grounds the song
and boy does it rock!
somehow this one little note takes the riff to another place
which also echoes the melody and chord structure of the song
but i shouldn't be surprised
for as mies van der rohe once said:
the beauty is in the detail

Thursday, 25 April 2013


elephant bird
giant ostrich
hunted to extinction
your aborted child
auctioned off to the highest bidder
lumbering mammal
you didn't move fast enough
lying by the roadside
black and white
and red all over
disease is spreading from farm to farm
and your children must pay the price
no matter what the scientists say

Sunday, 14 April 2013


Beneath the burning cliff
There’s a smouldering beach
Where ancient creatures are washed up on the shore
High above the sea
Lives an old alchemist
Who takes blank canvases and turns them into gold

Where Heaven meets Earth
Where time stands still
On the burning cliff
On the burning cliff

On top of the hill
Is an enchanted garden
Where a boy sits petrified afraid of growing up
Beneath the spreading boughs
A child rocks in a swing
Soon she will clamber up her stairway to the clouds

Comfort to the mind
Balm to the soul
On the burning cliff
On the burning cliff

Hestia cooks up a cauldron
Poseidon brews up a storm
Ptolemy clings to old certainties
Copernicus squints at the Sun

An orange sunset glows
On a shimmering sea
Unwelcome strangers are pelted with small stones
A revolving gaze
A two-headed tree
Giant oil jars overflow with wine

Where Heaven meets Earth
Where time stands still
Comfort to the mind
Balm to the soul
On the burning cliff
On the burning cliff