...being the observations and navigational extracts
from the ongoing expeditions of San Francisco Piano Pop trio
True Margrit

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Freebird in Oxford

A musician must do what a musician must do for the spirit of rock n' roll--even if it's a hazardous photo session in front of Abbey Road Studios (it gets dicey with that key issue that the traffic is coming from the opposite direction an American expects...eek). But all so worth it-- to get to tread in THE FAMOUS CROSSWALK~~~think of all the Fab Four did mere meters away from this spot... YEAH YEAH YEAH.




And also:
As y'all get your copies of THE JUGGLER's PROGRESS, and read the lyrics, and so on, the various themes of the album will rear their lovely (not ugly) heads--one of which is a strand that weaves in some threads of Shakespearean references. So natch, it has been particularly poignant on this, practically the eve of the release, to go to William Shakespeare's birthplace (and incidentally, deathplace too) Stratford-upon-Avon. We even saw a SUPERCOOL production of Winter's Tale (the one with the stage direction that famously says : "exit pursued by a bear"). Oh, and the bear was SPECTACULAR.






But after all, it's William Shakespeare's world--we just live in it.






We also went to Warwick Castle which (for reals!) housed so many actual Henrys & Richards from the War of the Roses--the notorious feud between the houses of Lancaster & York that elevated many of England's most memorable monarchs. Much of what I know about this Tudor genealogy is gleaned from Shakepeare's historical plays-- which led me ( as a true science fiction aficionado) to imagine this archeology in reverse: based on all that we leave behind, what will be gleaned about our culture in 500 years?? ( a rumination that is can be enjoyed in our tune, "500 Years" on THE JUGGLER's PROGRESS-)




Back in the 21st century we went to London's Tate Modern museum & checked out Jill Magid's show about censorship (and related topics of power abuse & secrecy): AUTHORITY TO REMOVE. Apparently, she was commissioned to do a series of pieces for the Dutch Secret Service who then tried to control & censor her work--so uncool. Although, compared to the climate 500 years ago when one was in hot water with, say, the Spanish Inquisition, Jill Magid's situation was less dire...to say the least...








Meanwhile, in the 1100's this church near Oxford was built. Oxford as you can see, is ridiculously picturesque. Just think: USA east coast university town meets Hogwarts & you're pretty much there. My first night in town I tried to get on the list for the at the local event called Catweazle Club ( an open mic) but I missed the signup. I've really really been increasingly itching to play some tunes ( where's my piano??) so I wandered about the pretty pretty town a wee bit dejectedly. I ended up in a rather tonily appointed Moroccan restaurant & snacked on some tasty treats whilst, of all things, FREEBIRD by Lynyrd Skynrd played. I had to laugh--I had my first band (HQ!) in college in Knoxville, TN-- the homeland of the rowdy drunken guys who yell for FREEBIRD ( unironically) . And here I was in the planet's ultimate college town-- Oxford, England-- listening to FREEBIRD. Whoa...








The Thames is referred to as the ISIS by some of the locals here.

The geese have blue eyes.

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