Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Vincent Van Gogh was so poor he had to trade his paintings for new canvasses and frames. The owner of the shop was immediately covering Vincent's art with white painting to blank them out and eventually resell them for virgin ones... how many masterpieces disapeared that way ?

.. The shop still exists , picture above, and is owned by the same family as in Vincent's time.. they are said to have had nightmares about the treasures they have erased...

It is a small village not far from Paris, Auvers-sur-Oise. In this place van Gogh painted his last works, the fields, the church which appeared on his paintings are still there unchanged. Vincent last days were very well recreated in Pialat's eponymous movie. But even in this nice and cosy little village, life got unbearable for Vincent and he took his life in this place where he used to live.

His brother Théo died one year later and was buried next to him in Auvers little cemetery .

Sunday, January 16, 2005

It's through being..#46

Radiating water drops are compacting this mist
of fog in the streets, over my head I can feel this hazy water
so just back to listen to my old Groovies Lps, Flamingo this time ?
ever eaten some crocodile food ? I have, nice change for the predator _role
but it tasted strangely like a mixture of duck and not fish
"Ultimate spinach" must have been the silliest name for a band
dedicated to you .. de l'ame pour l'ame ..

Flamingo is the peak of the Flamin Groovies first period, it will be finalized with Teenage Head, but here Roy, Cyril and the boys are still angry and looking for kicks. See those cravy eyes on the LP cover shot, they illustrate properly the contents of this record. They want to rock and they want it at once. They are like a soda fountain gang and they know how to play their instruments. Just a few hints, "headin' for the Texas border" is the perfect road movie song which would be developed twenty years later by the like of Wall of Vooddoo (one day I will expand on the importance of that band which managed to mix Morricone, Lynch and "ring of fire".

So Flamingo has all the Groovies gems, from "Comin' after me" to "Jailbait", "Roadhouse", "Second cousin", "She's fallin' apart" and obviously "Texas ;;" as the Groovies afficionados call it .. Run for this record ... it is revved up !!!

Friday, January 14, 2005

Passage of the poets...#45

The rue Delambre , nearby Montparnasse, is haunted by all the artists which went through it one day or another. I lived there for about four years and often found new hints of their past presence. The hotel Delambre had Tristan Tzara and André Breton staying during the 20's, one can imagine how the surrealist wizzard poet and the ultimate creator of Dada could have troubled the walls of the hotels with their comvulsive creations in progress. Modigliani used to go to one of the numerous bars which are spread along the street.
There was also a small restaurant, nearby a cute lingerie boutique, called "l'auberge de Bourgogne" which disappeared during the 90's to be replaced by an arty bar called "Smoke", after Paul Auster's movie.

Quickly the new place gathered lots of students and a part of the intellectual gentry which lived nearby. The atmosphere was cosy and the prices very reasonable, there were often jazz musicians jamming during evenings.
Unfortunately last year, the owner of the building decided not to renew his renting contract as he wished to install a bank office in the walls. A rescue committee was created which managed to collect hundreds of signatures and deposit a request in front of the mayor of Paris so that this unique spot could stay unharmed. And eventually they won, the Smoke is here to last. It has also been dear to me as it is the bar I had chosen to invite Ms Xquisite to share exotic cocktails with me when she came to Paris and we met. I would have hated this nice memory to be erased from my wanderings.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

A magic place ..#44

There is a magic place in the Salisbury region in Wiltshire, where is set a Giant Stone Circle enclosing a village.

This spot, not far from Stonehenge is not as famous but more impressive to my mind. Each time I come to that area, I never skip the visit to Avebury when I might forget to have a look at Stonehenge though it is also a beautiful place.

It is incredible what neolithic people started there, what was it ? , some fort mixed with some cult place. Today it is unusual to walk in a village surrounded by megaliths like here and surely unique.

New Agers are feeling telluride currents and pakistanese immigrants have opened ashrams catching naive people in some faked second rate philosophy.. they get wealthy, it makes a nice paradox.

Avebury circle is connected through visible avenues to other "monuments" around like Silbury Hill, to let you imagine the size of that hill, it is known that people in the former centuries used to play cricket at its top.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

2004 Souvenirs #43

What did I remember from the past year apart from the tsunami which everyday looks like the major catastrophe of the century and brings metallic taste to the mouth when seeing thieves already at work over there.. I would rather think of lighter things.. like having found eventually the three LP box of the Yardbirds "last rave up in LA" with that cover of "waiting for my man".. or that Plimsouls show from 83 where they cover "making time" from the Creation and also the Flamin' Groovies' "Jumpin' in the night". There is the beautiful cd from Mr airplane man , those Boston girls know their Howlin' wolf lesssons .. I read with pleasure some Reginald Hill novels and loved Sarah Waters' "Tipping the velvet", so victorian. Then re-read for the x-th time some parts from Proust's "La Recherche du temps perdu" in honour of Ms Xquisite. I started this "Song of RememBerance " blog thinking of Jonathan Richman, of friends of mine, surrealism and of some stories I lived..

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Back home right in time #42

Just right in time to wish you all a very Happy New Year !!
Oxford was perfect, just like in Dickens christmas short stories, night falling down at 3 pm and dark streets nearby the Thames river. Wandering at night along the canals, I was also feeling like revisiting Edwin Drood mysteries.
This is the hotel where I used to stay.

It is also a pub and here is a pic of my favourite waitress below, she had the ideal English type which wins me all the time. Blond hair and green eyes, wearing a white shirt just sheer enough to show a nice lacy bra underneath, a tie to fit with the local colleges environment, a pleated skirt and smoked grey stockings. In the mixtures of fragrances which flood the pub atmosphere, mixing deep battered fried cod and chips to kidney acerbic smell, was the amazing flowery cologne from that girl .

There were lots of students everywhere reshaping the world and trying to recover from their ninth pint'a bitta'.
Why is tea so good in England and not even thinkable to drink everywhere else in the world ? It is not the water, neither the tea nor the milk.. I tried to bring all these items home and make tea then but it was a failure again.
I bought the Embrooks last cd, they rule !! Now I am listening only to my Jonathan Richman recordings.. playing right now "new kind of neighbourhood", I'll never get fed up with that magic bass line.

Who links to me?