martes, 23 de junio de 2015

Back Pages - Brown Notebook - Spanish Song

S P A N I S H     S O N G

Ramona's melody
longing for the boots of Spanish leather
Spanish Mary's enigma

Mix in equal parts
and dare to shout it all
in Spanglish


Winning a bet in Spain, Nar :

shifting landscapes
changing the date of the moment

domingo, 14 de junio de 2015

Caravan (14) End-June 1967

     From inside the caravan, I watch Dylan arrive in a cobalt blue Chevrolet. I tune my Ibáñez again and let a long while pass before heading to the basement. From the top of the steps I listen to them play a couple songs. I gather my strength to begin the descent. I inhale deeply and start to go down, as if submerging. Rick sees me first, he hails smiling before I even get to the bottom.

      - Hey there, Nar! Cool. You brought your guitar.

      Dylan has his back to me. He´s talking to Garth. He takes what seems like forever to turn round and face me.

      - Well, well... the famous Salvador Ibáñez. Turns out these guys were telling the truth after all...

     I lift the instrument in my left hand, holding it out towards him. He does not move, just asks sarcastically,

      - Are you just a collector or do you actually play?

     - Well... I´m not too bad, they say. And yes, I´ve got a few guitars, but this is my favourite. I won a bet, a long time ago, in Spain.

    - Quite a story, I´m sure. You might wanna save it for another day. OK? Now, let´s listen to this Ibáñez. I wanna carry on with the songs we got planned for today – old, mysterious, even tragic... that´s the vibe. Know this one?

     With his twelve-string acoustic he starts strumming a melodic wave ridden by a whaler I know well: Bonnie Ship the Diamond. I respond by joining in and a surprised look fleets across his face. Without a word, he looks at the band, indicating that they should follow suit. One by one they come in with their instruments, except Richard who remains seated in silence at his drums. So intense is the feeling from hearing us together on the deck of that ship that I am about to lose time when Dylan - his voice aflame- gets on to the chorus a second time:

So it's rise up my lads
Let your hearts never fail
When that bonnie ship the Diamond goes
fishin' for the whales

      We finish up and Bob looks at me for a few seconds, his head cocked to one side. Rick smiles, giving me a thumbs up. Standing next to his drums, in silence, Richard takes a photo.

      In the newspapers, and for months now, space ships like flags have been taking off in a race to set foot on the moon. In the basement, just this evening, on board his ship, I have just landed.

sábado, 6 de junio de 2015

Caravan (13) End-June 1967

   Rick has come round and announced I can go back down to the basement this evening to hear them play. We´re sitting outside the caravan, on a blanket spread out on the floor. Whilst we drink our coffee he tells me about the traditional Irish and Scottish songs they’re working with along with a few from the vast American repertoire – which includes Canada he emphasizes – and he´s telling me how he flips out adding a bass line to melodies which may be hundreds of years old whilst Dylan tries out arrangements which not everyone finds easy to follow. I let him talk, as if I didn´t already know a large part of what he was telling me just from listening through the open windows of the basement.

      - Sometimes Dylan feels like trying out his 12-string acoustic or letting Richard add random percussion or use his Rickenbacker lap steel, which sounds goddamn good. Oh, by the way, on the subject of guitars, Bob didn´t believe me the other day when I told him you had a Salvador Ibáñez. He thought we had made it up. He said it couldn´t be an original, that if it was, you wouldn´t have it lying around in your caravan which half the time you leave open. And, you know what? When he says stuff like that it makes me think… I can´t imagine him talking like that a couple of years ago. It seems to me that time is making him distrustful, I don´t know…
     - Well, if what you say is true, he must have his reasons, don´t you think?, I say half-respectful half-smiling.
     - I suppose so…

       Rick replies without looking at me. He´s picked off a branch from one of the elm trees, and is drawing something in the damp earth. We join in a reflective silence for a long while until suddenly I hear myself say:

      - Hey! I have an idea! How about I bring my Ibáñez down to the basement this evening?
      - Fucking great! - Rick´s laughter lights up his eyes -, I can´t wait to see Dylan and Robbie’s faces! Got to go, talk later, I need to go down to town to buy some stocks. See you !

      He leaps up and runs off towards one of the cars parked outside the front of the pink house. He´s left the elm stick on the blanket. Next to it, etched in the earth, is a picture of a boat carrying an octahedron, a diamond as big as a whale.