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Steve Hackett: Dartown

 A l b u m   D e t a i l s

Label: Camino Records
Released: 1999
52Category: Pop/Rock
Producer(s): Steve Hackett
Rating: ********** (10/10)
Media type: CD
Web address: www.hackettsongs.com
Appears with: Genesis, GTR, Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, Mike Rutherford, Phil Collins, Chris Squire, Steve Howe
Purchase date: 2000
Price in €: 15,99

 S o n g s ,   T r a c k s

[1] Omega Metallicus (Steve Hackett) - 3:48
[2] Darktown (Steve Hackett) - 4:59
[3] Man Overboard (Steve Hackett) - 4:18
[4] The golden age of steam (Steve Hackett) - 4:09
[5] Days of long ago (Jim Diamond & Steve Hackett) - 3:23
[6] Dreaming with open eyes (Steve Hackett) - 6:55
[7] Twice around the sun (Steve Hackett) - 7:15
[8] Rise again (Steve Hackett) - 4:27
[9] Jane Austen's door (Steve Hackett) - 6:13
[10] Darktown riot (Steve Hackett) - 3:10
[11] In Memoriam (Steve Hackett) - 8:00  

 A r t i s t s ,   P e r s o n n e l

Omega Metallicus:
Recorded & mixed by Roger King
Bass Sir Douglas Sinclair (Twice Removed)
Rhythm Design Roger King
Loops Courtesy of Beats ‘n’ The Hood
Guitar Handler Steve Hackett
Guitar Trainers Roger King & Ben Fenner

Omega Metallicus is of course old Etruscan for "Let’s Party" a tune for all bass instincts! Although guitars were stretched and frets were rattled, no instruments were injured during this recording. Experiments on live guitars were carried out in the most humane conditions imaginable. A big thank you to Fernandes for finally making my dreams come true, If there is a God of sustain, you are it!

Recorded & mixed by Roger King
Sax Ian McDonald
Keys Julian Colbeck & Roger King
Lacerated guitar, ambient harmonica & narration Steve Hackett
Bass extractions Roger King

This fondly remembers the abuse of power masquerading as education. Congratulations to all who have observed and survived this phenomenon in our Great British schools - "The best years of your life" - which is why half of you are in therapy right now and the other half are probably too drunk to feel the pain anymore. (Wonderful sax from Ian by the way on a very pretty tune, don’t you think?)

Man Overboard:
Recorded by Richard Buckland, Ben Fenner & Roger King
Mixed by Ben Fenner & Roger King
Seascape Steve Hackett, Richard Buckland, Ben Fenner & Roger King
The Siedlaczek choir, Davy Jones Locker guitar, thumb piano, rainstick, 12 string, harmonica & orchestral simulation Steve Hackett.

If you haven’t got time to go on holiday, perhaps this track might convey the feeling of "slowing down in the sun" Bermuda style, which is where I wrote this many years ago. The song popped into my head while sitting on a rock overlooking Jobson's Cove and watching a sunset work its magic while Kim searched for parrot fish in the salt water below. A parrot fish lookslike a swimming rainbow by the way.

The Golden Age of Steam:
Recorded by Ben Fenner, Jerry Peal & Roger King
Mixed by Jerry Peal & Steve Hackett
Post production Roger King
Drumming & flageolet Roger King
Marcato string arrangement & design Ben Fenner
Woodwind modelled by Steve Hackett Jerry Peal & Roger King
Children’s choir designed by Ben Fenner
End Choir Steve Hackett, Mae & Jamie McKenna
Additional vocals Steve Hackett
Normandy Beach Landing, commentary voice unknown but genuine
Bells by Jerry Peal
Additional strings by Jerry Peal & Steve Hackett

A strange track (partly dreamt) influenced by the book "The Diary Of Anne Frank"... I remembered being told that children made the best spies in World War Two ... What if a child had been responsible for her family’s discovery? The song follows an imaginary character’s development from child, to spy and to monster - a story of opportunism at its worst.

Days of Long Ago:
Recorded & mixed by Billy Budis
Post production Ben Fenner & Roger King
Written by Steve Hackett & Jim Diamond
Vocals Jim Diamond
Guitars Steve Hackett
Violins Shaped by Steve Hackett
Cello line Billy Budis

A wistful love song featuring Jim Diamond as the one and only special guest vocalist on this album. The melody seemed to write itself as Jim and I sat down after a walk in the park. It served to calm us both after the hectic business of living was put to one side. The following day Jim arrived with a complete set of lyrics and, as I recall, we recorded it right then and there or was it there and then? Those of you unfamiliar with Jim Diamond’s voice will of course please note that his unique sound shines indeed like a diamond and is also as clear as a bell - a true original . Why do all the great singers come from Scotland?

Dreaming with Open Eyes:
Recorded & mixed by Jerry Peal
Rhythm shaped from slapped & slowed nylon guitar by Steve Hackett
Voice, guitar & vibrator through pickups Steve Hackett
Flute & pan pipe John Hackett
The rest by Jerry Peal including bass, strings and keys:
Windscreen wipers Jerry’s Citroen(heavy tension) Steve’s BMW (extra slack gauge)

A car journey, this time put to music - a serendipity of daydreams and night dreams. The mind wanders off and you’re in two places at once -the rain beats down and you feel protected in your bubble ... Dad’s old Standard Vanguard is brought to mind, shaped like the Batmobile, painted battleship grey and roaring like a lion. Lots of happy memories listening to Jim Reeves, The Everlys, Dylan & Duane Eddy. "My baby goes to the movies, nobody looks at the screen "... and the beat goes on with its irrevocable exhortion towards movement in the young. Where will it end?

Twice Around the Sun:
Recorded by Ben Fenner, Jerry Peal & Roger King
Mixed by Roger King
Fretless Bass Sir Douglas Sinclair
Rhythm design Roger King
Slap Echo guitar Steve Hackett
Mellotron Mk 2 specimens carefully preserved enhanced and finally played by Ben Fenner
DX7 and organ particles also by Dr. Fenner

An instrumental track which both pounds and occasionally floats, notable for possibly the longest sustained guitar note in the history of modern recording to date - played with my favourite ‘Golden’ tone.

Rise Again:
Recorded by Richard Buckland & Ben Fenner
Mixed by Ben Fenner
Drums Hugo Degenhardt
Drum post production by Aron Friedman & Ben Fenner
Bass guitar Billy Budis
Vocals & Gibson Goldtop guitar Steve Hackett
Piano & keyboards Aron Friedman

Reincarnation & survival - pet themes of mine - consciousness exists outside the body - you’ll see it’s so-called ‘Reality’ that’s the big hoax ...

Jane Austen’s Door:
Recorded & mixed by Roger King
Rhythm design, keyboards & bass by Roger King
Les Paul Goldtop Guitars & vocals Steve Hackett

A song about wishing someone the best - shine on wherever and what-ever you choose

Darktown Riot:
Recorded & mixed by Roger King
Rhythm design by Roger King/Beats ‘n’ The Hood
Talking guitar, Fernandes Sustainer & droning voice by Steve Hackett
Mellotron plundering, marcato string stealing & choir hijacking by Roger King.

If you push people, including children, far enough they will retaliate - here endeth the lesson!

In Memoriam:
Recorded & mixed by Roger King
Bass samples courtesy of John Wetton
Bugle guitar, jazz tone guitar, nylon guitar & vocals Steve Hackett
Siedlaczek choir conducted and uncorrupted by Monseigneur Roger King
Virtual drums Roger King
Voiceover Steve Hackett
Strings, choir & mellotron modelled by Sir Roger of the Kings

I might be saying too much here, but I believe alienation strikes even the most communicative of us all from time to time, and we are bound to ask what could we even-tually do without? The paraphernalia of living ... Like a theatre stripped of its props ... or a drawing almost completely erased ... Emotionally gutted as we all must become as the forms we hold dear slowly crumble about us. Yet the spirit lives on ... Even the lowliest of us are worth something from the "use-less" butterfly to the "grubbiest" slug. In other words an idea of God as the sum of all experience ... A party to which everybody is invited.

Mastered by Ben Fenner
Portrait of Steve by Hackett Paul Cox
Design & Photography by Harry Pearce

 C o m m e n t s ,   N o t e s

All tracks written by Steve Hackett and published by © 1998 Stephen Hackett Ltd. except "Days Of Long Ago" written by Jim Diamond & Steve Hackett published by © 1991 Diamond Brothers Music & Stephen Hackett Ltd.

One of rock's most uncompromising and complex individuals, the inventor of 'tapping', has moved on. More revealing than ever before and firmly autobiographical, DARKTOWN is as personal a Hackett album as you're likely to see. The guitar work is as alive and inspired as ever and the usual impossibly big and haunting sounds are occasionally twinned with Ian McDonald's searing, angst-ridden sax bellowing from places only glimpsed in a child's nightmare.
DARKTOWN is like a series of miniature movies or short stories - but don't zoom in on one fragment - you need the whole picture which is detailed to say the least.

"I didn't want to impress my personality on any of it... just to go at it like a character actor, turning up in different guises to help the plot along."

Hackett hasn't flinched from exploring the limits of the term 'progressive', he drags that much maligned genre screaming and kicking into the 21st century. The album opens with "Omega Metallicus", a remarkable 'beats' driven guitar tour-de-force where everything you hear that isn't bass and drums is wrung from the electric guitar. In the Latin-tinged "Dreaming With Open Eyes" the entire percussion picture springs from Hackett's nylon guitar - slapped, plucked, sampled and looped. The ride through the dark continues - who could fail to be moved by the evident pain of "Jane Austen's Door"? - and when light finally emerges in the shape of tracks such as "Days of Long Ago", with Jim Diamond's soulful vocal, the sense of relief has been well earned. Finally there's a magnificent goodbye with "In Memoriam", a deceptively relaxed and world-weary but ultimately salient observation.

Steve Hackett has never lacked the nerve and imagination to take risks, try out new techniques and push forward the boundaries regardless of the consequences. He has always gone out on a limb, even courted unpopularity in his pursuit of fresh musical satisfaction.

This is a record from someone who has lived and needs to tell you what he's discovered - an exorcism, from the harshest moments to the most cherished memories.

Über 20 Jahre hat es gedauert, bis Gitarren-As STEVE HACKETT das gelungen ist, was sein Ex-Kollege Peter Gabriel schon in den späten 70ern schaffte: sich fast vollständig vom Einfluß ihres gemeinsamen Ex-Betätigungsfeldes Genesis zu lösen. Hacketts Outputs der 80er und 90er konnten weder an die Großtaten seines alten Arbeitgebers noch an sein famoses erstes Soloalbum "Voyage Of The Acolyte" (´75) anknüpfen, doch mittels geschickt eingesetzter Drum-Loops und einer allgemeinen klanglichen Frischzellenkur vermag er sich nun endlich aus dem übermächtigen Schatten zu lösen. Artrock-Zitate sind natürlich immer noch an jeder Ecke erkennbar, es dominiert allerdings eine düstere, intensive Grundstimmung, die sich wie ein roter Faden durch die sehr variabel aufgebauten Songs zieht. Wo bei Hackett lange Jahre über nur blasse Soundblasen durchs Nichts schwebten, glitzern wieder tiefe Gefühle und einige exzellente, zumeist recht ruhige Songperlen. Insbesondere den schrägen, perfekt zu Filmen wie "Dark City" oder "Die Stadt der verlorenen Kinder" passenden Titeltrack hätte anno ´99 wahrscheinlich kaum jemand von dem Briten erwartet. Ein Album, das für die Zukunft hoffen läßt.

© RockHard.de

For those of you who still categorize all of Steve Hackett's solo output under the same label as Voyage Of The Acolyte, you have to agree that Hackett today has very little in common with the young virtuoso of days gone by. Like the title suggests, Darktown holds some dark coils grown inside the obstinate mind of Mr. Hackett himself. Helped out by ex-King Crimson stalwart Ian McDonald (onetime moneymaker with Foreigner, but also poor guy with Fruupp!) and the soul voice of Jim "I Won't Let You Down" Diamond (once half of the world famous PHd), Hackett delivers one hell of an album.

The naive beginnings [of his solo career] have evolved through bluesy detours towards this mature, dark and autobiographical outlook on life. Listen to the heavy bass and the contemporary rhythms in "Omega Metallicus" which has Hackett on the same level as the current King Crimson. Like Andy Latimer [(Camel)], Steve Hackett isn't really a singer, so most of the time he restricts himself to some narration with a heavy voice like in the "Eastern rhythm meets free-jazz" of "Darktown." The love of simplicity and romance is expressed by the acoustic guitar in "Man Overboard," a song which, like so many others before, is based around the big love in Steve's life: Kim Poor. Having met the lady in question once I know that his wonderful music certainly is a personification of her beauty. Apparently her beauty has also been noticed by Jim Diamond who, during "Days Of Long Ago" sort of sings a musical ode to her. Also the Brazilian roots of Poor are apparent in the jazzy, bossa-nova like "Dreaming With Open Eyes" which is also the miraculous re-incarnation of brother John Hackett! The retro feeling goes once step further in "Rise Again" where I note a percussive "soundalike" as in "Los Endos."

Final song "In Memoriam" is a soft, babbling, bluesy dirge backed by a huge mellotron and resulting in a song which could easily have been featured on the first King Crimson album. To emphasize that influence, some bass samples from John Wetton have been used. Sort of back to the beginning! With Darktown Steve Hackett delivers a very contemporary album where his virtuosity, his compositional skills, and his technical ability are highlighted. Without any doubt, the purest, most honest and most powerful Steve Hackett album of all time!

John "Bo Bo" Bollenberg
www.progressiveworld.net - Your Ultimate Guide To Progressive Music

More revealing than ever before and firmly autobiographical, Darktown is as personal a Hackett album as you're likely to see. The usual impossibly big and haunting sounds are occasionally twinned with Ian McDonald's searing, angst-ridden sax or Jim Diamond's soulful vocal. This is a record from someone who has lived and needs to tell you what he's discovered - a nightmare theme park of an album from a man truly possessed. Packaged in a beautiful slipcase, this is, without a doubt, the most powerful and most progressive album Steve has done in years. You'll have to go back to Voyage of the Acolyte to come close. The diversity on the CD is impossible to represent with just two soundbites. You owe it to yourself to get what is bound to be one of the best progressive releases for 1999!


Like the album’s macabre CD cover art, the music on guitarist Steve Hackett’s Darktown is potent and penetrating. From his soaring and immediately identifiable early ‘70s guitar sound in Genesis to his recent classical guitar albums, Hackett has constantly turned up with fresh and innovative guitar projects. Just out on the U.K.-based Camino Records, Darktown should prove to be among Hackett’s most acclaimed efforts to date. The sinister title track is fueled by Hackett’s ominous spoken word vocal and repetitive electric guitar riff, further propelled by the soaring sax work of King Crimson founder Ian McDonald and the keyboards and bass work of Julian Colbeck and Roger King respectively. The disturbing, rocked-out title track, the similarly foreboding "Darktown Riot" and two instrumental cuts, "Twice Around The Sun" and "Omega Metallicus" are further examples of the album’s powerful, sonic spark. Displaying Hackett’s virtues as a masterful acoustic guitarist and vocalist, Darktown also contains several pastoral, pop vignettes like the charming "Man Overboard", "Days Of Long Ago" and the bossa-nova flavored ambient pop beat of "Dreaming With Open Eyes". Darktown is undeniably a gem of progressive rock, containing that same rare chemistry first heard on Genesis albums like Foxtrot and Nursery Crime. Amusing track by track observations by Hackett underscore the fine musicianship of Darktown. In other news, the U.K.-based Snapper Music is also re-releasing a number of Hackett’s earlier albums like Guitar Noir and There Are Many Sides To The Night. First issued in 1993, Guitar Noir presents a cross-section of progressive rock vocal and instrumental cuts including the amazing track "Sierra Quemada", easily one of Hackett’s finest guitar instrumentals. Recorded live in ‘94 before an appreciative crowd in Palermo, Italy, Sides To The Night is a treat for fans of Hackett’s classical guitar works. Paired with keyboardist Julian Colbeck, Sides finds Hackett revisiting tracks from solo albums such as Bay Of Kings and Momentum. With liner notes and concert photos, Sides To The Night masterfully blends the subtle shadings of classical guitar with the prog rock spirit in an elegant and intimate setting.

Winter 1999/ 2000 CD Reviews

Ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett released his first solo album Voyage of the Acolyte in 1975 while he was still a member of Genesis. Pleased with the success of this album and increasingly discontent with his relatively subdued role in the creative "democracy" of the Genesis collective, Steve embarked on a solo career in 1977. Of the numerous albums that he has released since then, it is of some surprise to his fans that his most cohesive and authoritative statement has come only recently, in the form of Darktown.

More than 20 years have elapsed since Steve said goodbye to the lads in Genesis, and during that time he has made a name for himself as an artist who is not easily pigeonholed. He has chosen to sketch in a number of styles, switching between rock/electric and classical/acoustic at about every turn. Refreshingly, he has also chosen to continue improving his technique over time rather than just rehash old tricks. In that sense, Steve's output has never been in danger of devolving into self-parody. In terms of songwriting, however, Steve has been a bit on the inconsistent side througout his career. From the soaring melodies of Spectral Mornings to the limp pop of Cured, and from the deft orchestration of A Midsummer Night's Dream to the experiment-run-amuck shambles of Till We Have Faces, Steve's back catalog has proven to resemble Forrest Gump's box of chocolates. Nevertheless, nearly every album has shown sufficient flashes of brilliance so as to warrant repeated close listens.

Bearing all of this in mind, it becomes apparent only in retrospect that Steve's entire career has been leading to Darktown. In terms of style and technique, he has at last seamlessly fused his acoustic/classical stylings with his electric, heavier rock tendencies. Perhaps more importantly, his songwriting has matured beyond mere eclecticism to the point where every track on the album is bursting with craft. Each song on Darktown has a brief but absorbing storyline, creating a series of always intriguing (and occasionally disturbing) musical vignettes.

Omega Metallicus opens the album with a menacing bass line courtesy of session ace Doug Sinclair. Steve quickly interjects a parade of seemingly unrelated hooks into the rhythm, as well as some jagged, atonal guitar torture. Strident as it is, the song never loses its sense of fun, nor its passing similarity to some of Jeff Beck's contemporaneous work (namely "What Mama Said" from Who Else!). Though the track seems to be a series of short melodies thrown together in random fashion, it does reward repeated listens by slowly revealing its structure.

The listener has little time to reflect on first impressions made; just as the final, unaccompanied note of "Omega Metallicus" fades into the distance, partially muted guitar notes open the album's title track. Between Genesis and Pink Floyd members, nobody has much of anything positive to say about England's public school system during the 1960's. In the fine tradition of Pink Floyd's "The Best Years of Our Lives," Steve again rips into England's not-so-sacred institution with an expose of his own. Ian MacDonald uses his twisted sax to convey just how "warm and fuzzy" it all must have must have felt to any fragile, impressionable child in attendance.

"Man Overboard" is the album's most laid back song. It features a soothing, natural vocal from Steve. There is no "chorus" per se, only verses and orchestral interludes. The track feels like it has little purpose, but that's exactly the point. It's simply painting a picture of a moment of beach relaxation, and it works.

"The Golden Age of Steam" has one of the album's most memorable melodies, which might leave the listener humming long after the album has finished playing. It tells a story of the exploitation of people's inherent trust in children by focusing on a young boy who served as a spy in Europe during WWII. For added realism, the track closes with a geniune narration of the Normandy Beach Landing.

"Days of Long Ago" features Jim Diamond as the album's sole guest lead vocalist. Though his nasal tone takes some getting used to (and tends to lay a saccharine feel on about anything he touches), he does a thoroughly convincing job delivering a set of innocently romantic lyrics. Steve's gentle acoustic guitar parts only add to the mood of this rather lightweight track (co-written by Steve and Jim).

Steve describes "Dreaming With Open Eyes" as a car journey put to music. Though no track on Darktown sounds underdeveloped, it does appear as though the greatest amount of time and loving care went into the arrangement of this lovely tune. Steve has helped devise a unique rhythm section here by creating the "drum" sound out of what he calls "slapped and slowed nylon guitar." Jerry Peal provides the slow, rattly bass groove. Numerous melodies played on a variety of instruments (including John Hackett's sole album appearance on flute) dart in and out of the mix throughout the proceedings, the aural equivalent of scenery rushing by the car's window.

"Twice Around The Sun" seems to be the album's centerpiece. Musically it picks up right where "Sierra Quemada" (from 1993's Guitar Noir) left off. Steve has said that in one sense this is his least favorite track on the album, because it retreads familiar territory. From a fan's point of view, however, this track is a thoroughly satisfying showcase of what has become the signature Hackett electric guitar sound over the last quarter century. Comparisons with the aforementioned "Sierra Quemada" as well as "Please Don't Touch," "Everyday," "The Steppes," "Valley of the Kings," and others all come to mind. However, this one tops all of them with its seductive melody and flawless excecution. With the help of some exquisitely tasteful vibrato and sustain, Steve's playing displays as much fire here as his much-loved "Firth of Fifth" solo from the heyday of his Genesis tenure. A brief Mellotron intro adds to the hint of nostalgia, but some innovative percussion loops and a warm feel to the production keep "Twice Around The Sun" firmly rooted in the 90s.

Though Steve has chosen to base much of his 90s drum sound on young session man Hugo Degenhardt, "Rise Again" is the only track on Darktown that features him. Though this arguably is the most percussion-based track on the album, the bulk of the listener's attention is still pulled toward Steve's guitar (especially the electric parts) and vocals. Hackett uses the lower registers of his voice on this album better than he ever has before. Compare his assured performance here to "Like An Arrow" from Guitar Noir, where he sounds more like a poor man's Brendan Perry (from Dead Can Dance). After the relatively subdued intro verse, a fast rhythm takes shape. Steve contrasts his initial performance with a slightly delirious yell similar to some of the moments on Blues With a Feeling. Steve talks about working creatively within his limits as a vocalist, and he has finally "gotten it right" on this album, appearing not only as competent but even versatile.

"Jane Austen's Door" is probably the most accessible track on the album; it is certainly the most vocally oriented. Steve says that its a track about wishing someone the best. With its final "Shine On" phrase, one can't help but think that it's some kind of oblique nod to Pink Floyd, even if the music shows no similarity. This is as close as Darktown ever gets to a straight ahead "pop" song.

"Darktown Riot" is a reprise of the title track's main theme. With some creepy looped sound effects, it also bears some resemblance to "Omega Metallicus." It's a relatively short track that segues nicely into the album's finale.

"In Memoriam" is a hypnotic narration in which the main character ponders about which details in one's life are truly important. Soft Mellotron chords behind a weeping electric guitar make for an obvious homage to "Epitaph" from King Crimson's In The Court of the Crimson King. For the rest of the track, the proceedings are guided primarily by the slowly wandering bass line and Steve's high-pitched, keyboard-like guitar tone (used to equal or better effect here than its previous appearances on "Wonderpatch" from the 1990 live video and Genesis Revisited's "Valley of the Kings"). About the lyrics, the reflective moment is brought on by some event in the protagonist's life that has caused a feeling of alienation and cynicism. This could be the instant at which one first considers suicide, especially in light of the goodbyes near the end of the lyrics. This would certainly add an eerie poignancy to the song title, but ultimately the listener somehow gets the sense that the feeling is little more than transitory, i.e. a phase that all of us go through at some point in our lives. In this way, the album closes with a sense of hope. However, since it is never explicitly spelled out as such, the final mood is not so much dependent on the music as it is upon the listener's coping skills and general outlook on life. The fact that we are never told what to think makes this final track all the more admirable.

L y r i c s


Take a trip take a ride
Through Darktown don’t be shy
Gather by the clocktower take your seats
Glad you’re here it’s for keeps
Festering wounds from years gone by
Toxic waste you buried inside
In Darktown

Take a turn step on down
Through an alleyway you’ll find
By the backstreet trash resides
The underworld you tried to hide
And from a dark corner where walls loom high
You’ll hear the sound of a small child’s cry
In Darktown

Legions of hate schools of fear
Proudly accomplished their mission here
A hidden agenda behind the eyes
For the gifted ones they most despised
They couldn’t do it in the X-rated world
But presided over the boys and girls
In Darktown

It’s all on camera it’s all on film
On the couch in the shower
The stains are there still
Drink to the ones who dished out the marks
Rabid animals right from the start
It’s happy hour shut the beasts away
Come along children it’s time to play
In Darktown


When I wasn’t looking I found you
And the nights they don’t seem so long
There are moments when I just can’t believe
That I’ve waited so long

So take me and love me don’t ever let me go
Oh take me and hold me you know I want you so
Cause you’re so precious like the days of long ago

And I feel now that I can make it
Like the sunshine of a new day
All these times of so much confusion feel them drifting away
Feel them drifting away

So take me and love me don’t ever let me go
Yeah take me and hold me you know I love you so
Cause you’re so precious like the days of long ago


A rainy drive on a long straight highway
Can cause time to lose it’s meaning
And the mind to wander far from the act of driving
Interruptions at every curve no longer jangle against your nerves
A rainbow bridge is not far away
Now you’re standing on the steps of a fountain
On a hot summer’s day

Running along a tree-lined pathway
Slowing your pace until you feel
Your heart beats in rhythm to the first light of day
Now you’re running down a mountain
In the cool blue shade

A waterfall where you lift your head
Colours cascade from green to red
And the fireflies that dance when the light is fading
You drift away on the night ride
With eyes that dream as much as they see
The wind in the willows winding through the grass
The drawbridge of consciousness is lifted at last

Where are you going?
Towards the sky
Between the craters of the sun and the moon
Flying through entrances
Floating free


For someone else the blues and greens
The dreaming spires the skin-tight jeans
The armchair armies on the march
The transfer unit tube and mask
Who needs all the endless lies
That serve to keep the world alive
To taste the sweetness of the grave
And not regret mistakes I’ve made

In memoriam

Goodbye to all the angry dawns
Committee meetings pistols drawn
You can keep the rave reviews
The priests the guards the prisons and zoos
Goodbye to all the nation’s pride
Farewell to those all choosing a side
In hut number twelve they’re issuing guns
But only for the chosen ones

In memoriam


Has Jean Paul Sartre deserted you
Do you still listen to the blues
Is there a needle beside your hand
A poisoned chalice or the promised land
Some doors open some doors close
Do opposites still seem close

Did Ruby Tuesday get to you
Or the caretaker whose film we used
A purple rose that was ignored
The child behind Jane Austen’s door

Oh has your life seemed unkind
With all those friends you left behind
We burned our bridges fast those days
Don’t think about them it doesn't pay

My drunken guitar Sloane Square tube
Falling backwards me and you
Tumbling over to the floor
You cried inside Jane Austen’s door

So long

Let it die let it go

Heureusement vivre dans une cage
Un homme et femme peut-etre mon age
I’ll take your part when this wheel turns
How many lifetimes it takes to learn

So goodbye goodbye little star
Forgive yourself heal that scar
A purple rose that was ignored
The light inside Jane Austen’s door

Shine on


We’ll sit and watch the sun go down
See the waves wash to and fro
The world runs by sailboat slow

We’ll anchor at the sight of land
Never doing all the things we planned
The sun sinks down way below

You pushed a man overboard
In the middle of a stormy sea
The wind blows high the palm trees moan

I think about you night and day
I’m sorry when I hear you say
The coast is clear we’ll head for home


Take me where the sun don’t shine no more
And the moon echoes where once was light
The wind is howling but it has no face
I know that we will rise again

We will fly from this city of the dead
Even if our ship flies a pirate sail
Underneath a bruised and broken sky
I know that we will rise again

There are skies of scarlet and skies of grey
I’ll keep them in my heart always
Like the sea loves the land
I know that we will rise again


12 years old in Amsterdam in 1939
A blue-eyed boy my clean complexion always got me by
A boy with real potential sold secrets by the score
Where refugees were hiding I’d just point out the doors
In the golden age of steam I learned those German songs
I had to stay alive there was no right or wrong
In the golden age of steam

The fatherland was rising the world would hear the roar
Both sides fed and trusted me in 1944
Trains ran on time those days oiling the machine
Smoke rose up like serpents I was barely seventeen
In the golden age of steam

It’s over now but not somehow
I was a hero then to many men

Switzerland was a short ride for an eager blond haired boy
With a silver smile and loaded with jewellery to enjoy
Maybe one day they’ll come for me they’ll take me from my bed
A soldier of fortune that’s what my passport read
In the golden age of steam

 M P 3   S a m p l e s

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