Saturday, 20 September 2014

Year Zero

It feels so good to have bought the ticket!  I feel like I am starting again with the busking now, enjoying it so much more.  Because I am not so desperate for money it is like how it always used to feel when I went busking.  It’s a pleasure.  Now I can have a look round the charity shops, find some treasures and not feel guilty for spending a few quid.  Buy some nice coffee, some muesli and have a nice few weeks until Niz is here.

I was speaking to Niz the other day and we had this idea which has just grown and grown.  Niz is a great photographer, and we need to get some stuff to make the caravan ride productive.  If we get a semi decent camera with good video, we are going to make a film about our journey when we travel the whole Americas.  Then make an album to accompany it when we get back to Argentina.  Alls we need for our travels is a good audio recorder and a camera, a mandolin and some percussion bits.

We will have a great show wherever we play, and then we take footage every day and at the end build it up into a little film!  I am really excited about this, we both are.  It’s not long now until she is here and then we can move forward with our lives in love and music together.  She is my partner in every way, the most beautiful girl in the world, and the best musician I could dream to work with.  I am truly a lucky soul.

I am getting very organised with money and stuff now, I keep a log of everything I have earned and spent in this excel file.  It makes you look after your money much more, when you know where every penny is going.  I am feeling very productive, enjoying writing a lot.  My busking blog gets so many hits.  25000 so far!  And it is the top result for busking Amsterdam on google.  I feel that with Niz we are on the verge of making a great living as musicians together.

Our next step is building a fanbase.  Playing everywhere we can, selling some CD’s making some friends and being on an Ireland full of music and musicians learning and writing lots of new songs.  We have such a great chemistry when we play together, this Ireland adventure is going to make us even stronger.  Niz will also be playing mandolin and vocals when we go on this tour, as well as fiddling her old violin.  I am so excited about this!!

If anyone is in Ireland and wants to meet up, or knows of any good places to play then please get in touch.  Liverpool is like another capital city of Ireland (a good friend told me) and I agree.  Liverpool and Ireland have always had strong bonds together.   I cant wait to play music with Nizha again.  I have missed that just as much as I have missed cuddling, snuggin and kissin.  We have a great bond in so many ways.  2 more weeeeeeeeeks!!!

A Different Journey

I walk through the door after my 4 day journey on planes trains and automobiles and step inside the family home.  I had reached the finish line, but I didn’t feel like I had won.  It started to feel like I had lost.  The beautiful green in the morning sunshine of Great Britain after the yellow of the desert just made me think of Niz, and how she would love it.  I felt good to be here, but this little seed of loss would grow and grow.  I had just spent a life changing 5 months in Argentina, making an album in the desert and falling so in love with Niz.  Now I’m back to where it all started, the old family house, the same view from the window.  I felt that I had just been through something incredible.  Something that made me feel so strong and fearless.

Two and a half months down the line, I am still here.  I was craving for a European summer and I got it.  But I would rather be in an Alaskan Winter as long as I am with Niz.  This time away from her has really made me sure of what I want and where I want to be.  I don’t care where I am, as long as it is with Niz.  I am never going to be apart from her like this again.  My whole time here has been spent on trying to get her here and missing her so much.  We are so close now, we nearly have the ticket money and we are going to go to Ireland, plan a little tour and hitch hike all over it.  It’s been a hard 2 months and it feels like it has been a journey itself!  I have been through so much, highs and lows making mistakes trying to reach the goal of getting money for Niz’s ticket.

I have never been driven by money primarily.  If you do things for the love, it shows its rewards in many other ways.  Also, you can’t really be money driven with busking.  You need to be happy with what you get and not expect too much.  I have learned a lot about myself in these 2 and a half months without my love.  I have learned that being away from her is horrible and no European summer can compare to just being close to Niz;  making music, making love, falling asleep with her in my arms, laughing and screaming at each other, all the great food she makes and us seeing the world together.

The busking has been harder than it ever was.  When you are so used to having your musical partner with you playing stunning violin and singing with you, to go back to playing on your own is a big step backwards.  Busking is always great when you have someone with you; someone to watch the stuff if you need a pee, or to get some beer.  But I got back into it alright, mainly because I had to.  I tried to enjoy the songs like I used to, and did to some degree, but nothing like I enjoyed playing with Niz.

Even though she is in Argentina, it’s like she was still with me.  Everyone who would come and talk to me while busking I would tell them how I am trying to make enough to get my wife here.   I would tell them all about the amazing gypsy violin lines she would play, how we made the best album of my life in the desert.  She was all I would talk about to anyone I met.  And they all believed in me, they knew I would get her here.  And now we are just a few pounds away from buying her ticket it feels great.  I have made a few mistakes along the road trying to get the money as fast as I can.

But that has all been part of this journey.  Though I am in my hometown, I have still learned a lot about myself here in the search to find a way to bring Nizha here.  I have made mistakes; I think I have learned that my bad side is my temper.  Though I don’t attack with fists, I attack with words.  I can really hurt people with things I say.  When I am hurt or feel insulted, I hit back hard.  There are times when I am talking to people in bars or on the streets I get a crowd of people listening to me.  I have a voice that booms and people seem to listen to it.  I speak with a passion about the things I have learned in life and my views about the world.  But you need to listen just as much as you speak.  Those who only speak without listening never grow more enlightened.  But those who listen, learn.

Since starting to write this chapter, we have now bought the ticket!  We reached our goal.  It feels great, and it feels like I can start to relax a little now.  Not get so worked up about making money and enjoy my busking.  It’s still hard without Niz, but knowing that she will be here in a couple of weeks bring a smile from cheek to cheek.  Thank you to everyone who has helped us in any way and believed in us.  We did it!!!!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Buskers Survival Guide Part 3 - Tips For Busking

Busking is an incredible experience, incredible that you go from high to low so fast and never know when things will turn.  You play for an hour and make pennies, start to lose heart and think of quitting and then a wave of drops come and fill you with a new  energy.  What is it that makes a successful busker?  Is there a formula and a way to know you can make a good return for your time and energy each day.   The answer is yes and no, you can certainly do things to make sure you make something, but the only certain thing about busking is the uncertainty.

I have come to understand that it is a percentage of many things.  The song you are singing, the people passing by, the spot, the time of day, the day of the week, how you’re feeling, the sound of the place and yourself, many things.  But that would make up only around 50% because the other 50% goes to uncertainty.   You just never can truly tell.  I have been singing my heart out in beautiful sunshine at times, with a real good sound with good passing traffic and made nothing and no one bats an eyelid.  Even though I think I am playing the best in my life, it still isn’t enough to trigger a drop.  Then you can be playing and still getting warmed up, not really feeling it and people are filming and dropping lots of coins in your hat.

You can think that you have to play songs everybody knows, but that isn’t always the case.  Of course there are some that I have found that pay for themselves, I must owe Pink Floyd and Bob Dylan a few quid for singing ‘Wish You Were Here’ and Like A Rolling Stone’ so much, but if you are singing an unknown song or one of your own with all your heart and passion that can also trigger just as much drops.  As long as you are really giving something in the performance it’s what can draw people in.  The accordionist who has ‘My Way’ on a loop and plays with no heart or love or passion will only ever make charitable pennies.  But you can really bring life to your surroundings by singing with passion.

Eye contact is another good thing to maintain.  If you are on the streets singing away with your eyes closed, people don’t come as near.  You have made your space that people steer away from.  It can still get drops, but it seems like you are playing for yourself rather than the streets.  Some of the biggest drops I have had is when I have been singing to the people passing by.  Songs like Working Class Hero which contain wise words are always appreciated when it’s sung to them with heart.  You engage them to feel a part of the music.  They would normally walk past, but you look them in the eye as you are singing and connect with them, and of course they are obliged to drop a quid or 2 in. 

The weather is a strange one to understand.  I have gone out on a sunny day, played good sunshine songs and made relatively little.  I have gone out on a grey pissing down Friday night and made 100 quid in 2 hours!  Do people feel more appreciative of street music when the skies are grey?  Perhaps.  I think it could be down to being upstaged.  If there is something nearby that is taking the focus off you playing music in the streets, then you are second fiddle and wont make hardly any as much.  Maybe you can be upstaged by the sun.

Another example of being ‘upstaged’ is when I was in Amsterdam; I was playing on my favourite bridge, singing ‘me’ heart out like you do, when a group of transvestites came to do a photo shoot not far away from me.  Already the people walking past are noticing the trannys in drag rather than the singer songwriter singing a sad song on a street corner.   I went out the other day, feeling good about a nice busk.  There was a great 3 piece band close to my normal pitch playing sunshine rock n roll and funk.  They looked the part and sounded great.  I couldn’t compete with that. They had a crowd round them and had to empty their case 5 times.  They had a bass, Cajon drum, guitar and the 3 vocals.  It was a true show, and that is what any street musician should aspire to.  Its good to have your favourite spots and sing and do your thing on your own, and you will get by good with it.  But creating a show that draws a crowd is how you make the step up to making a very good living from your music.  

That is the next step from the singer songwriter – Make a show!  If you can start to draw a crowd, the laws of the universe make that crowd grow, and your hat full.  What is it that you can do to make this show?  Look the part, look like a cool musician who has just made a normal street corner into his own stage.  Even playing with another person adds a big chunk to this. 2 acoustics and vocals can have a very strong presence.  The money you make is probably about the same once it is split between the people, but it is much more fun to play with more people.

Persistence pays!  Just when you are thinking of giving up, give it an extra half hour and it will turn.  You can be playing for an hour making slow pennies and then all of a sudden there is a turn and the drops will flow in.  You never know when this will be, so just when you are thinking of giving up, go that extra little bit and the universe rewards it.  Don’t feel down hearted if the drops are slow.  Keep strong and just know that the tide will turn and that will give you the energy to go an extra hour or two.  The best fuel for a busker to keep going is a steady drop rate.  If you’re making good money you don’t wanna stop.  If you are hardly making anything it becomes harder, but always give it an extra half hour and see what happens.

Serve yourself!  Don’t try and play to please the people around you, please yourself by playing songs you are feeling more, and that’s what people will connect with.  If you are really enjoying playing the song and giving it your all, regardless of what song it is people will connect with that.  Though, it is crazy how many people ask for ‘Wonderwall’ on a Friday and Saturday night.  They just wanna sing their heart out with you to that song.  So it’s worth learning because if there is a crowd it is guaranteed they will all drop quids in as they sing away.  Plus it always feels good when you can play whatever song someone requests.  But don’t ever doubt yourself when you are playing what you want.  If you try to please the hundreds of people walking past, you will fail.  You can’t please everyone!  So just please yourself, and play what you love with confidence.

Singing in the rain.  I have had my best days when it is pissing down with rain.  Find a sheltered spot and see how people really appreciate it more.  Most buskers think the rain will make them make nothing, but that is far from it.  Also, there is less competition in the rain.  Most buskers stay home, but you get out find your sheltered spot and see how full your hat becomes.  I actually make more during the Winter season than the summer.  People respect the fact you are out there and still doing it in bitter cold and wind.  Though, the wind is the hardest of the conditions to play in.  You can’t win against the wind.  It will blow your hat over, drown your sound and do whatever it wants to do. 

Busking has not just made me a much better musician, it has also taught me a lot about life and made me a much stronger person.  The things to remember are just to believe in yourself, a nervous busker does not fare well.  Be strong and command your space, make eye contact, sing with all you got, learn lots of new songs and never give up, no matter how slow things are, it will always turn.  Do not have any expectations about money, be happy with what you got and only aim to enjoy yourself and the songs.  That way; whatever you make is a bonus.  If you get frustrated by not making enough much money, then you are expecting to make too much money, be happy with what you get and the real reward is enjoying playing your music to hundreds of different people every day

Download the fanastic album from 'Dead Sea Caravan' for just £5.  It was made in the desert of Argentina and is full of love and harmony in every way..

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Tomorrow's never late.....

This last month I have been so intensely driven to making money that I have made bad decisions and lost friends and ended up reaching my lowest point this weekend. I have never been driven by money, and anyone who knows me will know this. But the one thing standing between me and my love is a chunk of money. If I had a chunk of money we can move on with our lives, hitch hike and tour around the whole of Ireland, get a place in Berlin for a month, have a nice cosy English Christmas and then head back to the Americas sort out some paperwork and record another little album and then tour all over there for a good year or so. Continue building on our great album we made and playing music and being together in love. 

This to me is heaven and all I want, and when I want something I want it bad and I get impatient. I busk and if I havent made enough after half an hour I start to get frustrated and pissed of and this is the wrong energy to have while busking. I just watch the sunny days pass and I wish Nizha was here more than anything. It's killing me, I had made a lot from busking and almost had it, I made a wrong decision and lost friends, time and money because I was so determined to make money. Strange one that.

But I'm feeling in a much better positive mindset after this lost weekend. When you do things for the love and not the money it has much better effects on you and what you do. The effects of being so focused on money just cause impatience, greed and dis satisfaction. Niz and I are getting a lot of setbacks lately, just when we think we have it, it gets taken away. But the hardest challenges in life reap the biggest rewards. And this time away from eachother is enough to make sure we are never apart again like this. Also, perhaps it has been our mindset of needing the money as fast as we can that has caused some of these setbacks.

Time is a constant motion of change. Like a 24 hour bus journey, you think the end wont come and you get frustrated cos you want it to be sooner than it is, but that just makes an unpleasant journey. But if you enjoy the ride, do your best with love and a smile and know that the moment will always arrive when you reach your destination, it makes it much more pleasant. My impateince has made me make bad decisions and I have learned hard lessons from it.

After feeling so broken and burned out this weekend, it's time to just keep a strong heart and smile and laugh and know that the motion of time will keep on keeping on and that Niz will be here soon, and we will be stronger than we ever have been.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Desert Memoirs Part 1

As my time in the desert is becoming more and more distant, the memories get a touch of reverb on them, the people, the smells, the sounds and the sights are all like a distant and beautiful experience that has strengthened me in so many ways.   The beauty was the tempo of life there, nothing rushed, you get whatever you need, it just takes a little time, there is nothing rushing you or throwing you down an escalator.  In Buenos Aires of course, but not in the North and in the middle of a mountainous spine that runs all across the American continents.  

Vastness, eternal vastness for as far as the eye can see.  Stars you could reach out and touch if you could climb a little higher.  The procession of the constellations, how the moon would rise and fall in symmetry.  We say the Days had no name there, but the moon gave us our clock.  We would build up to  a full moon, and know exactly when its rising and falling and crescent.  On a full moon you could see like it was a pale early morning, moon shadows of the dark desert landscape filling the ground.  The mountains all around, silhouetted with pale moon light.  

Then when there is no moon, there is no light.  Just blackness in front of you we had to walk from the studio without a lantern sometimes and you never knew where you were stepping.  There is so much harsh forms of life there.  Because the conditions are extreme, the life around around it grows to live from it.  Everything is sharp, thorny, dry and does everything to protect itself.  The sand is everywhere, the floor is sharp stones and thorns of all shapes and sizes, and the wild life still runs wild.  A herd of donkeys will come and wake you in the night, horses will dart past your window and poke their long faces in, wild boar like animals that go for the chickens and have little hands and fingers.  I never found out what it was called but I seen a picture of one that Nizha’s friend had to kill with a hammer!  Lots of dogs, foxes, snakes, big spiders, lizards, scorpions, ant nests every few steps.  If you ever kept your feet still, the ants would start crawling up your shoes.  You got used to it by constantly tapping your feet to any sound you could hear.

After 2 months of being there, feeling so isolate and away from everything, writing a lot of songs and jamming lots with Niz we started to realise we could have a studio with the gear we had.  Niz had an old computer with a quite decent onboard sound built into it.  A good set of studio monitors, a nice box of cables and adapters.  We just lacked a microphone and mixer.  We borrowed an SM57 from Nizhas friend and it was the best sound with a mic I have ever recorded with.  It was plugged into a Dictaphone to give it gain, and then into an auxillery cable into the computer.  It really was a beautiful sound, and 90% of everything recorded was going through that mic.  

Once we had the studio it felt so great, something to invest our days in while we were here.  I always believe that isolation is the perfect ingredient for creativity.  And here we had perfect isolation.  It was in a little shack about 70metres from the house.  It had a bed in there, a power supply and lots of insect and lizard friends.  Bit by bit we made it into our studio, started recording and getting better and better quality and ideas with the recordings.  Niz and I became a true songwriting partnership.  Working well with eachother, screaming at eachother of course, but that’s the way it should be.  I would sit and watch in awe and love as she would write out some staves and come up with magnificent string arrangements for the songs.  She would put perfect harmonies on, and not be satisfied till she got it right, which she always would.  

We became like one in the studio, her ears mixed with mine, everything I have ever lacked and wanted in music I felt with Niz we had it together.  She would stop me rushing things, and we would take time to get it right.  I would insist on getting things finished and seeing them through.  We just worked well together and the studio allowed us to really make use of us being there.  It sometimes seemed like it was meant to be, how everything just fell into place.  We would drink some mate, take a flask of tea, have a little smoke and immerse ourselves in the songs, as perfect isolation will allow you to do.  The mountains don’t ask you to keep your voice down, they empower you to sing with all of your heart.  We wrote on our white board ‘Sing like it’s your last day on earth!’ ‘  We felt really inspired together in this place and I fell in love with Niz even more so.  I remember thinking ‘If I had of met Niz in the studio and worked with her as a musician, I would have fallen in love with her right there and then’.  She is so feisty, and determined to get it right.  I love everything about her and the studio side especially.

Juan, the legend that he is, managed to get hold of a motorbike for us.  It was a little red Italian chicken Chaser.  The first time I rode it through the mountains I felt it was the best day of my life.  It really was amazing.  It broke a few times, like a lot of stuff there does and he would rip it open, take it apart and fix it, lift it and do his best to get it working.  He is a man that truly never stops; there is so much strength in him that it inspires me incredibly.  I would ride through the mountains on this bike with Niz on the back singing to her, and feeling the beautiful 2 winds in my face.  There was a hot wind and a cold northern wind that would meet and you would feel them both as you rode. It was a great sensation.  

We would ride the 3 miles to the nearest town and get a few different bits from each shop.  Potatoes here, cheese there and so on.  I kind of missed very clean supermarkets at times, as the flies would be crawling in and out of pumpkins, all over the meat and you had to look for the good batches of fruit and veg as a lot of it was turning bad.The smell of raw meat in the hot sun will always stay with me.  But you could always find the good stuff, you just had to look and Niz was great at finding the ncie stuff.  Choice was very limited, but Niz cooked amazing meals with whatever we could get hold of.  The cost of living was perhaps a little cheaper than here, but not that much.  The cigarettes were 80p for 20, you couldn’t get hold of any tobacco unless you went 300 miles to Salta.  But everything found a way.  Whatever I ever wished for, I would get.  It sounds strange to say that.  But it’s true.  Especially when a little smoke would turn up at the perfect time and  Juan would come back from his travels through Argentina with the 5 litre bottles of Vino and bananas from the North, oranges from the South and so on.

No chemtrails.  Everyday the skies were clear and blue, sometimes overcast and sometimes a few plane trails.  But nothing like the dirty skies of Europe.  A burning sun, howling winds full of sand and everywhere there was sand.  It would get in through closed windows, the studio floor was often caked with a whole layer each morning.  It would get in your skin, eyes, hair everything.  I remember seeing an old man once just after a dust storm and his brown skin like leather, with sand in the wrinkles.  His shoes and clothes all had that yellow layer of dust that blends you into your surroundings.  

One of the most magnificent experiences ever was watching a lightning storm on a few occasions.  Lightning would fill all the skies around you, no rain but thunder and these constant flashes that were like electricity strobe lighting the mountains all around you.  I would watch in awe at the skies ripping open and the huge streaking lightning bolts.  Once a lightning bolt hit the house, blew the wiring case off the wall and left us without power for a few days and without water for a month!  The thunder ripped the sky above us, the house shook and then within a second this flash that caused this big bang!  I just held Niz close and we waited in wonder and worry for it to pass.

All the water was drawn from 70metres under the ground by the river that flowed nearby.  It was much different water to any I had known.  Very heavy, your hair would stick and be straight after a shower, you felt it on your stomach when you drunk it, but it was nice.  When we went the month without water, we would fill lots of bottles up at the nearest village, and bring them back.  Not waste a bit of it, re use anything we could. Try to flush the toilet only once a day.  It was a hard test, but it brought Niz and I even closer.  

Our little kitten, Haku was also such a joy and beautiful energy to have round.  Niz saved her from the garbage abandoned.  We made it our mission to make her strong and get her prepared for life in the desert.  And she loved us so much, she would jump on my shoulder sit with me on my lap for hours in the studio, happily purring away.  It’s making me a little sad writing this, as not long after I left for Europe the desert took her and she never returned.  But I know that the beautiful energy she was so full of will return to the universe and come back into the world.  We really loved that little kitten, so did Chihero the other Cat at Niz’s.  They would snuggle up and lay together on the bed, he with his arm around her for hours.  Their story is a beautiful love story aswell.  He wouldn’t let her in at first, and was quite moody and distant but she was persistant and won his heart and we would see them laying together and our hearts would melt.  Rest in peace my beautiful Haku.

Nizha’s mum, who is a philosophy master, a brilliant poet and singer songwriter came into the studio after we had finished our album and recorded the most wonderful songs.  To see her sing so passionately full of life and love and wisdom in her lyrics, it made me love Nizha even more.  You can tell a lot about the girl you are with by knowing her parents and Nizha has such wonderful strong, creative and beautiful parents that it made me sure I will grow old with Niz and love her for as long as I have breath.  Niz would translate to me her Mums lyrics and they were so deep and profound I was so happy to record them with her.  Normita, Nizha’s mum has the most amazing smile full of positivity and a contagious laugh so full of happiness.

Her Papa, Juan is also a special soul in this world.  Everything is so positive, always muy bien and he eats his meals like it’s his first and last with a beautiful appreciation.  He is a great man, and even with my bad Spanish we would communicate well, we said it was telepathic when I would know he needed a Vino Con Soda.  Wonderful people in a wonderful place, and being with Nizha in her home land made me love her so much.  I am so happy that I went there, and didn’t just wait for her to come back to Europe.  She looked after me so well, and Argentina became a part of me just like Nizha is a part of me.  I took a big risk by heading to South America with a one way ticket to a girl I had just had the best summer with.  But it seems when you take a big risk, you get rewarded with the most incredible experiences.

The house in San Carlos is also the home of the most beautiful grandest collection of coffee cups in the world from all around the world.  For years Normita has collected espresso cups from everywhere.  They are lined up perfectly on shelves around the kitchen, each one with a story to tell.  I used a few of them sometimes for an espresso and I held them so tightly and carefully, petrified something might happen to them.  I must admit, it did make the coffee taste gooooood.  I have already been collecting some for her here to take back when we go again.

We also played a nice few little gigs at this wonderful wine bar that is owned by one of Nizha’s good friends.  It has the most beautiful green colourful garden, Columbian coffee, an indoor part with a wood fire, so thoughtfully decorated and built with so much love.  There were pictures of the Beatles all around, lyrics from Dylan.  It is a very stylish bohemian place.  Right next door was the hostel that they owned also.  We would stay there when we played and it felt like a little holiday night out for us.  We would go to our favourite Lomita house and I would have the best steak sandwhich of my life.  It was a foot long bread with tender good steak wrapped in cheese, with a fried egg or two, salsa sauce, tomatos, ham and other lovely stuff.  Combined with the Cerveza De Salta it was a perfect combination.  After our food we would go to the Wine bar called ‘Ombu’ which is Tree in Spanish.

They were always quiet gigs, the acoustics of the room were so perfect.  Whenever we played there were only ever a few tables in the room but we loved it!  I would rather play to a handful of people who really enjoy and listen to your music rather than a room full of people talking over you.  We would leave some envelopes out on the table with saying donations for the band and we always did really good from that.  One night 300 pesos, which is a lot!  Niz was singing a lot more in the sets, we had learned some old classics like ‘After you’ve gone’ and ‘All of Me’ and we were singing so well together.  We naturally harmonise with eachother in so many ways, and we enjoyed some really nice gigs at Ombu.  Nadine and Fede are wonderful people who built the whole place themselves and Fede loves to grow many things. The roof of the outdoor area has grape vines running all through it, so you just reach up and eat the best grapes you’ve tasted.  It is a garden that’s like a little green paradise in the middle of the desert.

I miss it all so much, and just wish Nizha was here with me now.  And she will be soon, I am working hard and saving good to get her here and I know that the universe is in motion to bring her here.  I went there to marry Nizha, and I did.  I feel with all my heart she is my wife and partner in every way.  The desert bonded us so closely and though we may not have the paperwork for it yet, we are as close as 2 people can be.  Why not download our album we made in love and help bring her one step closer?

Friday, 1 August 2014

Always look on the bright side of life.

Always look on the bright side of life.

Away from the physical journey I have made through Europe and Argentina there has been another journey I have been on; the journey to understand life, to experience things and come through them a stronger person.   They can’t teach you experience in a book, you have to get your heart broken, you have to get blind drunk and make a fool of yourself, you have to push your body to the limits by putting all kinds into it.  One aspect in particular I would like to talk about is the online ‘conspiracy’  and  Illuminate world that exists within the tube.   

In 2001 the world as we knew it changed.  A domino destruction in the Middle East started, all kinds of rights were taken away, government funding for secret services and more intelligence agencies skyrocketed.  Community police were enrolled - normal people given a night stick and jack boots to police their neighbourhoods.  In the years that followed the economy collapsed, all business was shifted to China, the military hung from a barn President Suddam Hussein!  Literally they hung him from a barn by the neck, and Colonel Gadaffi.  Lots of bad, terrible things were happening and continued and continue to happen.  It all seems to stem from 911.  

Can we remember a life before September 11th?  My recollections are of a good social welfare and youth system.  Tony Blair had just come into power, Oasis and Blur were bursting with fresh musical energy, Britain was a buzz.  You could get your driving test for free, there were so many youth schemes and apprenticeships and always jobs, either in a factory or a call centre, depending on your collar.  Things built up nicely and my memories of the late 90s are all good ones.  Still hardships, but it seems that things have become harder for everyone now.  I used to sign on the dole and proudly say I was a musician.  They really liked me there and wouldn’t make me do any job searches or make me come in more than the bare 3 minutes to sign my signature once a fortnight. It’s almost like giving the Queen your autograph.  

They even sent me on a 6 month course to the most prestigious school of music in Liverpool....Lipa!  And there I made some great recordings, met some good contacts and jammed with Paul McCartney!  I went to Music College for four years for nothing, no fees just good musicians to meet.  The year after I left they stopped the free college, they made it hard to claim any money without giving an ounce of flesh.  The benefits system was under attack, and so was everyone it seems.  Lots of people around me were losing their jobs, people with money saved were losing that somehow everything seems to have gotten shitter, and is getting harder for a lot of people more and more rapidly.

 That is what I know for sure, trusting my own memories I can definitely say that yes, since 2001 things have gotten worse in a lot of ways.  So what happened on that September day?  We see the giants of World Trade brought to their knees and destroyed.  We are told another plane hit the pentagon and that one was brought down before it hit the White House and this is where it all starts.........

For a good couple of years I didn’t even question that it might have been anything else than the bogeyman of Osama Bin Laden.  It only took them a couple of hours from when the planes hit to put the blame on him.  I think it was around 2004 and my bass player sent me an email saying you have to watch this video.  It was called Loose Change, and it showed some crazy evidence that things were not exactly how they told you about September 11th.  Mainly that there was a whole building demolished in a controlled way ‘WTC7’ and that there was no wreckage of a plane hitting the pentagon, and that the flight path it was on was near impossible to hit it at the angle it did.  There were signs that the two towers had ‘squibs’ which were thermite explosions which allowed the towers to fall at free fall speed.  What hit the Pentagon was claimed to be a missile, and it hit the exact department that was investigating why trillions of dollars from the budget was missing.

‘Wow!’ I thought, could this actually be real.  Could they have really tried to get away with this?  ‘They’ being the Bush Dynasty who had been trying to wrestle power from a constitutionally empowered people.  This was the starting point of me really starting to question things and going deeper into what is now a dark cheap made world that blames everyone from Jews to Arabs to Bush’s to Clintons to lizards and aliens and Jesus to Satan for those world changing events.

I would dig deeper and watch even more videos on this wonderful site called You Tube, which had no adverts and had videos on everything.  I am told how the Illuminati had planned all this since 1991, and how the Jews are really in control of America, how aliens have been interacting with our world leaders for decades and how there is a Satanist cult running the entertainment industry.  I remember feeling so awake when watching all this stuff.  A lot of it made sense, a lot of it was nonsensical, but I remember seeing one website in particular that as soon as I saw it gave me shivers because it opened my eyes to the skies above me.

It was these pictures of planes filling up the skies with grey smog.  I still remember the feeling now, seeing them and then something inside me just waking up.  I look out my window, and see the blue being smeared over with these jet trails.  I had seen it so much, and not thought anything of it.  But the moment I saw this site, it made me see it clearly.  This is what affected me the most, and still does to a large degree.  This was the catalyst which really excelled my immersion into this conspiracy world; ‘How could they take away our sunny day?!?!?’ I would scream inside.  I started to tell everyone I met, look up to the skies; can you not see what they are doing?  

I was not the only one who could see this horrible act, I joined a movement in Liverpool handing out leaflets and going to weekly meetings.  I started listening to the ‘Alex Jones Show’ and would listen to him rant and cry about how the world as we know it is ending.  Every day the horrors he would broadcast seemed to be getting closer and the world was becoming darker and darker.  People would find it hard to spend time with me, because I would end up ranting about Chemtrails and big brother and getting really worked up about the problems of the world.  I could only see the bad in the world which there was lots of, for 5 years now I had been in immersed deeper and deeper into it.  I could only see fat hateful ugly kids, stupid people breeding 7 kids they will never love or look after, 4 cameras on every bus, automated voice systems constantly spitting out information over loud speakers, community police with jack boots and tear gas, the destruction of the middle class, the closing of the very British pubs all over the country, lots of independent business’ going under.  

And then I went travelling....

After being so sick of England and its deterioration into this world I was seeing, I left the place.  For the first time in 29 years I left the little green island and went busking around France and Holland with a few hundred quid in my pocket.  I think it took 2 months away for the hatred to start to fade and for me to start to remember the good sides of England; the things I took for granted like the music and busking, real ale, funny accents and red brick houses.  I came back after 4 months away and felt like a different person.  I tried to pick up where I had left off, but couldn’t!   Things were different for me.  Having a taste of a different culture and being on a great adventure had wetted my appetite and opened my eyes.  I have been travelling for over 3 years now and the longer I am away for, the more English I become.  

The point of this blog is that I came to a realisation.  After seeing only the bad in the world, I started to see the good again.  You could be a racist homophobe and stay with a gay Indian couple and lose every bit of hatred you would have.  Not that I was a racist homophobe, it’s just an example to show that goodness exists everywhere in the world, more so than the bad.  And the conditioning of your environment starts to shed the more of the world you see.  We are all born with 2 legs and 2 arms 2 eyes (if we are lucky) but it is our surroundings that make us who we are.  How we talk, how we behave, what we believe.  The more of the world you see, the more you see this.  The same human behaviour exists everywhere and has done since the start of time.  Even in the Mongolian desert they send the kids to the shops for batteries for their radio, even if it takes 3 days to get there. (I watched a film about camels and seen this)

There is a quote that sticks in my mind, if I can get it right and it says ‘If you want to keep a secret, then shout it from the marketplace’  I think this is the case with the world of conspiracy videos.  There are that many crazy theories out there, you just don’t know what to believe anymore.  I know something about September 11th stinks, I know that propaganda exists in every channel of the Television, I know that the smears from the jets stink and are not just harmless contrails.  If I’m honest I think they are something to do with HAARP and the technology Tesla discovered about weather modification.  I know the 2 party system is just an illusion of democracy.  I know the cameras are watching everything, your computer watches you inside and out, I know that the queen is probably responsible for the wars in the Middle East.  Why else would she have her sons photographed in the military.  She wants these wars.  She is not as useless and ornamental as she wants you to believe.

But you know what?  I don’t care.  Since the beginning of time there have always been bad people trying and doing bad things, and good people doing good things.  It is that fusion of positive and negative which gives the world its charge.  Maybe now we are in a position where technology can free us and bring on a planetary golden age, and maybe one day we will get there.  But life will always be a struggle, sometimes we will have great times, and sometimes we will have hard times.  Genocide existed long before Hitler and war has been a natural part of human existence since the monkey used a bone to beat the other monkey up (2001 ref).

I still see the Chemtrails fill up the skies, I still see the rise in police and economic warfare, the Orwellian camera state and Brave New World eugenics.  I see the bad in this world, but I don’t let it bring me down anymore.  I look at youtube vids of internet casualties with bagged blacked eyes ranting about lizards and jesus and all kinds, and I laugh now.  I just keep a faith, that no matter how bad things seem, there is a good side to life aswell and the only constant thing is change, this system will collapse, a new one will take its place, and that will collapse.  These empires who think they can rule the entire world will never do it.  Because the lessons life teaches you is that even when you think you have it all going your way, something will happen that you never planned would and will fuck things up.  The world is so vast and huge, and there are so many things going on that it is impossible to control them all.  

I just try to affect my surroundings positively through music and optimism and also with an understanding of why and how these things happen.  I will never understand it all and even if I am right no one comes down with a gong and says ‘Well done, you got the right answer’ alls you have is faith and the evidence you gather from the world around you.  I know that the universe is infinite and is just everlasting cycles of beautiful chaos and collisions and destruction and harmony and symmetry. This earth is a violent place, everything eats it eachother, the earth rips open the floor when it wants to, the wind twists and sucks everything up, the sea destroys what it wants to.  We are the conscious reflection of this earth.  We are violent, we cant ‘Save the earth’ it is a self supporting system and everything we put into this earth comes from the earth.  It rules all. 
I feel I am starting to drift, but want to do another chapter about the earth religion and all.  I hope my point has come across in this blog. 

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