Tuesday 6 September 2011

See What Tomorrow Brings

It’s not the screams that will do for me so much as the music. If they could play one LP forward then I’d be happy but Rob’s obsessed that there’s a message, somewhere, backwards and he’s trusting no one else to find it. I’m pretty sure it has more to do with Simon scratching the fuck out of the Dead when they started so that now Rob’s made a nest at the arse end of the library and he’s letting no one near.
Every time in the 60s and it goes wrong. I don’t know why we bother.
There’s gunfire outside which might be bad or might be Simon. He’s got those eyes here, too dry from not enough blinking and if we’ve been here a day he’s not slept for three. The last I saw of him he was laughing over by the door, naked to the waist but for a straw hat and scarf and packing more pistols than a pirate. This time it’s the Yardbirds and the same for the next, and the next. Outside and a tallyman sneaks by. It’s dark but his sunglasses reflect the fires, the scissors that make for his fingers not at all.
“Stop it!” says Moz, shouting. Rob’s looking angry but Moz decided on minute-one that this time – no piggy. It’s Duncan that's still screaming, hung half from the ceiling and half from the floor on phone flex and fishing line. Moz is red. His head is burning so that shouting and spitting it might be from the heat. I wish he’d put down the cricket bat. Half bat to be exact, he lost the end six inches on Duncan. I wish Duncan would shut up.
The 60s are rubbish. It’s not Austin Powers, and it’s certainly not the Monkees. The hippies you think you’ll find are nowhere to be seen. Everyone still dresses like their Dad, or at least here. Or not here exactly because this is the library. Good stone walls, sturdy, with narrow windows and built at the same time as the town hall - a moat. We should be safe and we would be safe but nothing’s got a paperback and the records started to skip.
The tides so far out we can’t even see the New Wave.         


  1. A shit Pub close to the Marquee, London - Winter 1976

    “You would have thought that one of the advantages of being a time travelling agent of the counter culture would be that you wouldn't end up eating Prawn Cocktail crisps and drinking luke warm pints of Bass bitter in a pub that smells of vomit,” said Jerry as he returned the barely sipped pint to the wobbly pub table. “And this place only has two wines and I swear the words 'Blue Nun' and 'Black Tower' are ones I thought I'd never see again. Remind me never to visit 1976 again.”

    “Cheer up! It's character building.” I grinned as I made the most of my pint of Bass bitter. “You have to get with the year, man. Otherwise everyone will suspect you're a time travelling super-agent of the counter culture.” The faces around the table were sadly bereft of cheer and good will to all men, despite the fact we'd just come back from a corking gig at the Marquee. “Oh, come on, you have to admit it was funny!” Alan and Maurice in particular looked like they'd just seen a corpse eviscerated in front of their eyes. “Funny... just a little bit? Yeah?”

    “I liked the giant back-lit glass lobsters,” said Jerry, the only one of us who had actually taken it all quite seriously. I picked up the concert programme – a glossy affair with it's Roger Dean airbrushed logo for the 1976 Sex Pistols tour and gazed with smug satisfaction at the band photos. Long haired John Lydon looked especially dramatic in his denim loon pants and skinny-fit Camel band t-shirt as he posed on one leg with a flute, as the other band members emerged from the Roger Dean designed giant glass lobsters that constituted a major part of the stage set.

    “It just... didn't feel... right, somehow...” said Alan as he gazed in unnatural silence at his point of fizzy Strongbow cider.

    “They had a Mellotron...” said Maurice after a while, his voice not quite recovered from the shock.

    “Yeah, great wasn't it. And 'Anarchy in the UK' – not only eighteen minutes long, but based on the Oswald Bastable books. Brilliant.” Only Simon, seated in the corner, still trying to light his pipe, offered a nod of encouragement.

    “Indeed. Quite marvellous.” The pipe had gone out numerous times, but Simon refused to give up on it. That Simon was smoking a pipe gave a clue as to which particular year he had come from, though knowing Simon, he could possibly be faking it to keep us all on our toes. His double bluffs often had triple bluffs hidden somewhere within.

    “Do you guys have any idea how long it took me to find a time stream where John Lydon had got obsessed with Moorcock, Tolkien and Marvel comics at an early age? Come on, it was funny!”

    “It just... didn't feel... right, somehow...” said Alan as he gazed in unnatural silence at his point of fizzy Strongbow cider.

    “Yeah, well, I liked it.” Sometimes they really could be hard work. “So, look, I found another place where Abba started doing Motorhead style music in 1975. That's got to be worth a look, right? Yeah, of course it is!”

  2. Thick as a Brick in full will be touring next year.