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Enjoyed Julian Temple’s film about Ray Davies yesterday. Every shot was both illuminating of its subject and  a sort of hymn to North London. I kept thinking we could have filmed it ourselves – it was like our own biography (and of course n million others). We’ve got a couple of years on the Muswell Hillbilly boy though – that is if you take his claim to have been born in 1964  – the year You Really Got Me propelled the Kinks to the pop top table – seriously.

Very sad to hear that just as I was closing the book on WNP Barbellion, another fantastic writer and painter died of MS related stuff. Don Van Vliet  aka Captain Beefheart pretty much redefined what could be done with your standard rock combo. The only reason I haven’t hewn my own very nice little niche slavishly copying his chops – and quite possibly his face furniture – is because I’ve got  no idea what’s going on in his best records: just that they demand my attention, demand too not to be put on shuffle with Morrissey and the Carpenters, and probably shouldn’t be listened to whilst driving or operating heavy machinery … but perhaps I’m a wuss. Most people regard Trout Mask Replica as the definitive Beefheart album. My favourite is  Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) which manages the neat trick of being both accessible (unlike Mask) and tricky at the same time – like Tom Waits’s best work.

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