Poem: “Speak to Me”

We don’t have as many voices

As it seems we did before

We are diluted by time

Our attention by apathy and the promise of instant gratification

 

 

We neglect the ocean

To play in closer, calmer streams

 

It’s easier to view the writing on the wall

Through a borrowed lens

It’s easier to be told than to think

But so rarely are we told to think

 

It’s a hard idea to sell

Far better to sell earphones, army toys, kaleidoscopes, and white noise

 

Distraction sells itself

The promise of freedom

Release at the price of your soul

A glass cage

 

Epidemic prejudices go untreated and unnoticed

Power in numbers

The seeking out of like minds

Honest strangers go unheard over the chorus of yes men and sycophants

 

But the calm of ignorance is favoured by natural selection

When reality is subjective

To see the world becomes a choice

 

So

These words go unread

These pages remain unturned

 

We don’t have as many voices

as it seems we did before

But your voice is loud enough

To reach a great many more

Than I, for one, could hope for

 

You speak for us

And what’s more

You speak to us

Roger Waters’ Black Fender Stratocaster

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During the “Us and Them” Tour, Roger has been playing what appears to be a vintage Fender Stratocaster on a few tracks. There isn’t much information online, but it’s clearly a well-worn instrument, which if it’s a genuine Fender, suggests either a custom shop model or a real vintage instrument. There doesn’t seem to be a CS logo in pictures, so my bet would be on the latter.

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The small headstock and Transition logo suggest a 60’s instrument, earlier than the large headstock came in (very late ’65). To my knowledge, Fender don’t produce anything like this guitar at the moment.

“Smile”

In a world where being a consumer

Is more important than being a thinker

 

Where a smile sells

And a heart sits on the shelf

 

When appearance is everything

Changing one’s mind becomes an admission of something unsavoury

The shame of having not known everything before

 

One must protect one’s own perfection

One must retain imperfection to hide from it

 

We devolve to prove we are not animals

We sink continents to keep ourselves afloat

 

We elect to stick to our guns

Even when they are pointed back at us

 

Smile

We Look To The Stars

It wasn’t always like this.

There used to be more.

Sometime far from the beginning, creation, seemingly too curious to be satisfied with mere existence, begat self-conception.

The same lifeless stardust, the same burning energy of infinity coalesced into the white-hot presence of life itself. And for a while, everything moved in the wake of our significance.

But, forever true to form, things change.

Whether by decree or by some unconscious turning of the tides of minds, substance seemed to fall from favour. Insatiable hunger became the impetus for instant gratification, to the detriment of all else. A waste of time. A waste of life.

And, as greed and ignorance formed an enviable bond, there was a moment felt around the world. The passing of something.

We shun empathy, unwilling to entertain the concept of equal ground at the expense of the possibility of being the victor. We find it’s hard to listen when we’ve got so much to preach.

After all this time, still we allow ourselves to be overtaken by the mad desire to beat the rest at the human race.

So now, tired of what we’ve made for ourselves here, we turn from introspection to escapism.

Every civilisation in history has turned to the stars in longing.

But whereas we used to look for meaning, now we yearn for release from the prison we built ourselves, trying to make a home.

Still we dream our dreams like boys as we look out to stars on the outer reaches of observable space. Blessed, as we are, with reflections of their past lives. Long gone now, but preserved for us by the lethargy of light within the context of forever.

And as we look upon those stars, we see ourselves. Long since dead by our own hands. Preserved for time being as the amusement of a universe made conscious. An ironic embodiment of self-awareness.

And we still cry at night, instead of making any change at all.

 

“Puppet Boy” single

Finally decided on a video for my new single “Puppet Boy”.

You can watch it here, and stream free or download for $1

at https://www.reverbnation.com/thomaswilliams7/song/27432620-puppet-boy

Moving as if in a trance
the puppet began to dance
moving his mouth to the things they said,
carving their name in his wooden head.
lifted by golden rings
soft, caressing strings
and so the puppet boy sang the words from the wings

You got lucky
Little Puppet Boy
And you owe it to us
Little Puppet Boy

Nothing more than a mask
the puppet never turns to ask
all of the things that fill his head
the reason or rhyme of the things he said
and fearing his release
severed, broken strings
Still the puppet boy sings the words from the wings.

He fears his release, above other things.
The impotence brought on by broken strings.
So under his spotlight,
the puppet boy opines
spouting words his wooden hands could never write.

You got lucky
Little Puppet Boy
And you owe it to us
Little Puppet Boy
You’re a superstar
Little Puppet Boy
you’re the new sensation
Little Puppet Boy

Roger Waters studio bass*

IF you are enough of a Roger Waters fan to be reading this filler post, you might want to head over to @deadskinboy on instagram and follow his profile. He often posts fantastic, intimate and detailed pictures of Roger, which I gather he takes himself.

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I wont post too much from his account, because it’s not mine to use, but he did post an image recently which piqued my interest, which I thought I’d share.

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This is Roger, apparently in the studio, playing a bass which has been previously unseen in connection with him. No reason to assume it’s his, but for a gearhead, it’s certainly an interesting change. Perhaps he is taking a step away from the sound of the Duncan quarter-pounders in his original Precision, or perhaps this is an occasion of convenience. Time will tell!

Mike Oldfield’s Pink Fender Stratocaster

strat_1961_1Frequently spoken of by the man as his favourite guitar, Mike Oldfield owned this Strat from 1984 to 2007.

It is a 1963 Strat, serial number L08044, in fiesta red (visibly a very pink looking red, perhaps due to finish fading, perhaps due to a non-factory refinish either before or after original sale) over sunburst. During the time it was owned by Mike, it was used on 15 albums, and consistently for live work and music videos as well.

Mike has been known to use modified guitars (his 1959 sunburst Strat has an extra two way switch between the original pickup selector switch and the middle tone, a common mod for extra pickup combinations), But it seems from pictorial evidence that this is a completely stock Stratocaster, with the exception of the fact that the volume knob has apparently been exchanged for one of the tone knobs, perhaps because the numbers have worn off the volume.

It was reportedly last used during rehearsals for the 2006 Night of the Proms in Antwerp (this is borne out by photographs of these rehearsals), before it was sold via Chandler guitars to a fan for 30,000 pounds.

The pictures below are in chronological order, and show that the Strat picked up a little more cosmetic damage while in regular use by Mike. More pictures are available at http://tubular.net/instruments/

 

tofrance

“To France” video, 1984

tricksofthelight1

“Tricks of the Light” video, 1984

tricksofthelight2

“Tricks of the Light” video, 1984

tubularbellsii1

“Tubular Bells II” Premiere, 1992

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“Tubular Bells II” premiere, 1992

tubularbellsiii

“Tubular Bells III” premiere, 1998

milleniumbell

“The Millennium Bell” Premiere, 1999

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Night of the Proms rehearsals, 2006