Search this Blog


Sunday, June 30, 2024

Sir Winston Churchill’s wisdom


When someone proposed to Sir Winston Churchill to cut the cultural budget to help the war efforts, he simply replied:

"But then, why do we fight for? »


Saturday, June 29, 2024

Mr. Lot Long and Led Zeppelin IV


An Accidental Rockstar: Lot Long, the mystery man on Led Zeppelin IV

For years, the enigmatic image of a man hunched under a bundle of wood on the cover of Led Zeppelin's fourth album, known as "Led Zeppelin IV," has sparked curiosity. Thanks to the research of Brian Edwards of the University of West England, we can now give this man a name: Lot Long.

Born in 1823, Lot Long was not a rock celebrity, but a seasoned thatcher from Wiltshire, England. The photo, taken by Ernest Howard Farmer, the first director of the university's School of Photography, shows Long with a bushy beard, loaded with wood – probably material for his work as a thatcher.

This image impressed the designer of Led Zeppelin, who purchased the rights to use it on the cover of their fourth album. Released in 1971, the album, known as "Led Zeppelin IV," featuring Long on the cover, became one of the best-selling albums of all time.

Lot Long died a widower in 1893. Although he did not live to see the fame his image of him would achieve, his photograph is a fascinating example of the unexpected ways in which lives can intersect with history. The next time he listens to Led Zeppelin IV, spare a thought for Lot Long, the involuntary rock star.

The End of an Ear… aehm: Era 😏


Waving goodbye 👋 


My nephew and friend Greg, always supporting me with a smile ❤️

Gotorama splitted 😱 for “easier” handling and moving.




… see you from new Studietto.


Phillips EL-6471 Power Amplifier


Tom Waits’ Choice



“I didn’t really identify with the music of my own generation,” Tom Waits once said, then pausing for a moment, and adding: “But I was very curious about the music of others.” It is in that sentiment we go looking inside the curiosity of one of contemporary music’s greatest minds.

There are very few living artists that we would wholeheartedly listen to when they suggested their top 20 albums of all time. Usually, such a list is riddled with personal choices that don’t necessarily resonate far and wide. However, the favourite albums of Tom Waits is a collection so perfectly balanced, so neatly constructed, and so rich with the sonic texture that made Waits himself a star that we’re just happy to press play and let the playlist ring out.

As Tom Waits once said: “My reality needs imagination like a bulb needs a socket. My imagination needs reality like a blind man needs a cane”. With that, it will come as little surprise that the deep, gravelly voice of Mr Waits has been discussing some artists that have inspired him through the years. A few years back, Waits compiled a list that brings together what he would consider being 20 of his most cherished albums of all time, a collection of records that he has carried around with him since his early days working in music.

Starting life primarily as a jazz musician during the 1970s, it is unsurprising that Waits has decided to include the great Thelonious Monk as part of his most favoured albums. “Monk said, ‘There is no wrong note, it has to do with how you resolve it’,” Waits once told The Guardian. “He almost sounded like a kid taking piano lessons. I could relate to that when I first started playing the piano because he was decomposing the music while he was playing it.”

He added: “Solo Monk lets you not only see these melodies without clothes, but without skin. This is astronaut music from Bedlam”. It shows Waits to be a consummate artist, capable of spotting clean lines where others might be confused.

Being inspired by Bob Dylan and The Beat Generation, Waits would later move to Los Angeles, where he signed his first recording contract with Asylum Records. The development of Waits’ sound would gradually move closer to rock, blues and experimental genres, so it was clear that he would cite Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart as an album that had a significant impact on his life.

“The roughest diamond in the mine, his musical inventions are made of bone and mud,” Waits said of Beefheart’s album. “Enter the strange matrix of his mind and lose yours. This is indispensable for the serious listener. An expedition into the centre of the earth, this is the high jump record that’ll never be beat, it’s a merlot reduction sauce. He takes da bait. Dante doing the buck and wing at a Skip James suku jump. Drink once and thirst no more.”

Meanwhile, when discussing the freewheelin’ troubadour Bob Dylan, Waits added: “For a songwriter, Dylan is as essential as a hammer and nails and a saw are to a carpenter. I like my music with the rinds and the seeds and pulp left in – so the bootlegs I obtained in the sixties and seventies, where the noise and grit of the tapes became inseparable from the music, are essential to me.”

With the likes of Frank Sinatra, the Rolling Stones, The Pogues and more listed, see Tom Waits favourite records below and press play on the playlist to get the party started.

Tom Waits’ 20 favourite albums of all time:

In the Wee Small Hours – Frank Sinatra

Solo Monk – Thelonious Monk

Trout Mask Replica – Captain Beefheart

Exile On Main Street – The Rolling Stones 

The Sinking of the Titanic – Gavin Bryers

The Basement Tapes – Bob Dylan 

Lounge Lizards – Lounge Lizards

Rum Sodomy and the Lash – The Pogues

I’m Your Man – Leonard Cohen

The Specialty Sessions – Little Richard

Startime – James Brown

Bohemian-Moravian Bands – Texas-Czech

The Yellow Shark – Frank Zappa

Passion for Opera Aria

Rant in E Minor – Bill Hicks

Prison Songs: Murderous Home – Alan Lomax Collection

Cubanos Postizos – Marc Ribot

Houndog – Houndog

Purple Onion – Les Claypool

The Delivery Man – Elvis Costello

“Songs really are like a form of time travel because they really have moved forward in a bubble,” Waits once said. “Everyone who’s connected with it, the studio’s gone, the musicians are gone, and the only thing that’s left is this recording which was only about a three-minute period maybe 70 years ago.”

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Goodbye & Hello 💫


Thanks to Tim Buckley for suggesting the post title and to my pal Yanislav Yankov who took the picture 🙏


Handling the beast 🙃


Thursday, June 20, 2024

Gustav Mahler’s 🔥


Gustav Mahler, was known for his exacting standards and intense rehearsals. During his tenure as the director of the Vienna Court Opera, he was conducting a rehearsal when he suddenly stopped the orchestra and shouted, "Gentlemen, you are playing as if you don't care. You must play with passion, with fire, with life!"

One of the musicians, trying to lighten the mood, replied, "But Herr Mahler, if we play with too much fire, we might burn the house down!"

Without missing a beat, Mahler shot back, "Better to burn down the house than bore the audience to death!" 

Mahler's fiery personality and quick wit often made his rehearsals as memorable as his performances.

Igor & Charlie


Igor Stravinsky playing with Charlie Chaplin in one of those rolling hoop thingies.


The Persians’ knowledge 💫


Ice making during the Persian Empire in the middle of the desert: the Yakhchal or “Ice Pit” is an architectural method that was used to produce ice and preserve food. The Persians were already making tons of ice and freezing food in the desert 2,400 years ago.

 1- Design of the structure: The Yakchal had a dome shape with thick walls made of bricks and clay. This construction helped maintain a cool temperature inside the vault. 

2- Water collection: During the winter, water was collected from rivers or from melting snow in the mountains. This water was directed towards the Yakchal through canals.

3- Freezing process: The water was distributed in small ponds or pools within the vault. During the night and in the coldest hours of the day, the water would freeze due to the low temperatures of the desert at night.

 4- Ice storage: Once frozen, the ice was cut into blocks and stored in the lowest part of the Yakchal, where the temperature was coldest. The dome shape and natural insulation of the walls helped keep the ice frozen for many months.

 5- Later use: During the summer, the stored ice was used to cool drinks, preserve food or even for medical purposes if necessary. In short, the Yakchal took advantage of the natural cold of desert nights to create and preserve ice, using simple but effective storage and thermal insulation techniques.

Happy birthday to 33 1/3 disc 🥂



June 18, 1948 - In New York City, Columbia Records publicly unveiled its new long-playing phonograph record that turned at 33 1/3-RPM rather than the standard 78-RPM disc.

CBS Laboratories head research scientist Peter Goldmark (December 2, 1906 – December 7, 1977) led Columbia's team to develop a phonograph record that would hold at least 20 minutes per side. Research began in 1941, was suspended during World War II, and then resumed in 1945. The team included Howard H. Scott, who died September 22, 2012, at the age of 93.

The first vinyl LP to come off a press at the CBS laboratory occurred on February 27, 1946. It took two additional years for problems with mastering, cutterhead mechanics, corrective equalization for the inner grooves (where the same amount of information is packed into ever shorter spaces), and vinyl formulations to be resolved.

Columbia Records unveiled the LP at a press conference in the Waldorf Astoria on June 18, 1948, in two formats: 10 in (25 cm) in diameter, matching that of 78 rpm singles, and 12 in (30 cm) in diameter. Although they released 100 simultaneously to allow for a purchasing catalog, the first catalog number for a ten-inch LP, CL 6001, was a reissue of the Frank Sinatra 78 rpm album set The Voice of Frank Sinatra; the first catalog number for a twelve-inch LP, Columbia Masterworks Set ML 4001, was the Mendelssohn Concerto in E Minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 64, played by Nathan Milstein with the Philharmonic-Symphony Orchestra of New York conducted by Bruno Walter. These two albums are therefore the first long-players.

In 1948, Columbia gained a formidable edge on its competitors with the introduction of long-playing 33-1/3 rpm records (in 10" and 12" formats), establishing a new industry standard that would hold for almost 40 years. The first 12" recording, released on June 28, 1948, and selling at a premium price of $4.85, featured violinist Nathan Milstein in the Mendelssohn Concerto in E minor with Bruno Walter conducting the Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra of New York; the first 10" 33-1/3 recording (selling for $3.85) featured Walter conducting Beethoven's Symphony No. 8.

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Azimuth 💫


This trio truly represented the azimuth of British jazz and a peak in whole ECM offerings…

Norma Winstone, Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor where so beautifully expressive and their music never sounded dull or calligraphic.

I was fortunate enough to experience them alive twice and their live performances were flawless and poetic.