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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2015 at 16:26
I can't really believe that it has been a couple of months since I posted here on this little blog. Readers will, though, understand the reason why as the post goes on.

Very early on in my blog, I explained that my wife, son, and I had moved in with her parents three years ago in order to help care for John, my father in law, who had a type of dementia, alongside Parkinson's symptoms.

Well, I am sad to report to you that John passed away on May 31st, following a very short illness. He passed peacefully, with family around his bedside. My son, very bravely, closed his eyes to rest.

That has, as you can imagine, had quite a large impact on the family, and it is only really now that life is settling down again, to the extent where I was able to take the wife out on Friday for a meal, and a session to follow, at our local pub. The hangover on Saturday morning was a blinder

And then, of course, we all heard the news of Chris Squire's passing. He had announced he was receiving treatment for a rare form of leukaemia just a month before. I remember posting at the time that it was clearly very serious. I will not repeat here all of the tributes found elsewhere on another thread, but, it is fair to say, the respect and love felt for him was truly heartfelt and a mark of the man.

I have played two Yes live albums this week. Firstly, House of Blues. I reviewed this a while back, and I think it was a positive review. In hindsight, though, I feel it is the weakest of the Anderon era live albums. The production felt to me to be rather poor, and it felt very much to be a band going through some motions. I don't know, maybe it was my mood.

That, though, recovered tremendously last night, when I put on the Yes Symphonic DVD. I took my wife to see this tour in Cardiff, which must have been 14 years ago now. The live picture is from Amsterdam, and it is simply wondrous (apologies for the pun). It is, to me, the perfect fusion of all that symphonic prog should be, the joining of musicians at the peak of their powers with a divine sounding orchestra, although, I suppose, many would feel that was the only way they could get away with life without Wakeman.

It was blasting out, and the three tracks off of Magnification, especially, came out extremely well.

Anderson sung his heart out. When he, and the band backing, blasted out the sacred ground passage, you were transported there.

Squire, though, was, well, at the very heart of everything good about the album, his trademark bass literally singing lead licks, and his beautiful voice providing a lovely counterpoint to Jon's lilting lyrics.

Last night reminded me of just how much this band, and, by extension, Chris Squire, mean to me. They were my introduction to progressive rock, and with the exception of Open Your Eyes, they produced works of fundamental importance to rock music when Squire and Anderson were together.

The spiritual element is also extremely important to me. I do not know what Squire's beliefs were. I think he was brought up Church of England, but I would find it rather strange if he dismissed out of hand Anderson's spiritual view of us as a race, even if, half the time, he, and the rest of us, we're not quite sure what, precisely, he was talking about!

I finished listening about 11 p.m., and was elated after nigh on three hours of the finest concert, not a bum track, or bum note in evidence.

I thought to myself, and do tonight writing this as my lovely wife watches television, that life really is extremely special, and this site is special when we remember this, and the genre we love.

I do not pretend to know where John and Chris are now. I know that more than a few on the site believe they are, literally, nowhere.

I do not share that scepticism. John was a dairyman, running his own business, in London for many years. If you look carefully at the Abbey Road album sleeve, you will see a milk float in the background. It is his.

I like to think that John is in a happy place, recreating his younger days. I like to think that Squire is jamming with Entwistle, Peter Banks, and the rest of the fine musicians we have lost from this mortal coil.

I like to think that I will, someday, see them all again. In other words, I do not believe that Jon Anderson speaks nonsense when he talks and sings of the Divine.

None of us, of course, will know until the day comes upon us.

What I do know, though, is that it can be extremely positive to remember and celebrate the finest in them, and all of us.

RIP to you both, chaps. Thank you humbly for some lovely moments and memories.


In Lazland, life is transient. Prog is permanent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2015 at 18:24
^Thank you, Steve, for a touching and heartfelt post!  

I was raised as an American Roman Catholic, and when they changed from the Latin mass (which I learned as an altar boy) to English, I felt they ruined the whole thing, so I lost interest.  

Later in life, my spirituality awoke with "The Revealing Science of God" and other songs of that period by Yes.  I now live by Jon's suggestions, such as "don't doubt your part, be ready to be loved." 

Very comforting words for me through the deaths of my grandparents, parents and other loved ones indeed!  

All is well with the world, despite numerous hiccups here and there around the planet.  As long as more people strive to live in a positive manner than not, we'll get by.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2015 at 19:07
Great post Steve, and my condolences on the passing of your FIL.  I'm with you on the afterlife thing.  Not one of us on earth, science genius or not, knows what is coming after death.  Therefore we are all entitled to our beliefs as that goes. 

Cstack....I was raised in the Novus Ordo church but despite being younger than you have reached a similar conclusion.  I study and immerse in the pre Vatican 2 church, attending Latin Mass when I am able (it's quite a drive).  I love it.  The current church is spiritually empty in comparison. 

And I feel the same way about the music of Tales....that album almost makes one feel like you do when listening to gregorian chant....open hearted, with a realization there is something greater than ourselves. 

SteveHug
Ours is a world too careless with its memories...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2015 at 15:15
Thanks chaps for your responses. It's interesting that both of you miss the Latin mass. The whole point of doing away with this after Vatican II was to open up the church to more people.

I will return to the church, of that I have no doubt. However, I am as comfortable with Welsh non-conformist, as I am with Anglican, as I am with the Catholic Church of my family and younger days. The denomination is merely a human invention. It is the God, Christ, and belief that is important.

I guess what that means is that decent Catholics have as much chance of entering heaven as anyone, in spite of the words of the late Ian Paisley

I am heartened to see that Jon Anderson's spirituality is becoming far more accepted as the years have rolled on, following many years when he was subject to a lot of ridicule, including by many prog fans. Many of his practices have become quite fashionable of late. Indeed, my wife and I have started meditating, and she is exploring many of the spiritual concepts we first heard of in Tales. Neither of us, btw, are particularly faddish, or followers of the latest trends. I'm a prog fan, so am living proof of that

It is, perhaps, a reaction against the shocking secularism we live in, that search for an inner truth and belief. Jim, your point about scientific geniuses not knowing the truth is very well made. Not one of us knows for certain, and Dawkins, in particular, annoys me far more than religious fundamentalists, because his mind is just as closed, just as ignorant.

The overall point, though, is the love and the expression of that love by living and the music. Good enough for me


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tszirmay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2015 at 16:34
Words! Sounds! Feelings! 
All nicely expressed, Laz! 
As usual. 
Please remember that when one thinks of someone who passed away, that is when they become eternal!
"The more I analyze the human race, the more I love my dog" Mme de Stael
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2015 at 16:44
Originally posted by tszirmay tszirmay wrote:

Words! Sounds! Feelings! 
All nicely expressed, Laz! 
As usual. 
Please remember that when one thinks of someone who passed away, that is when they become eternal!


Thanks, Thomas. Yes, I have often had that thought myself. I regularly speak to my son about my beloved grandparents, and, through this, they are very real, and, in a sense, with us.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Finnforest Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2015 at 18:26
Indeed Steve I do believe what occurred in the RCC in the 60s and since is a tragedy.  But I won't get into that subject on a PA blog.  LOL

Well said Thomas!!Smile
Ours is a world too careless with its memories...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2015 at 08:00
Lazland hello my dear wonderful HugI mentioned your name here on radio at this was pre-release album Corvus Stone Unscrewed show and quoted/named you on here too.
Lazland quoting what you said I must about Corvus Stone II, loved it and said it too on there.  LOLThumbs Up I only appeared at the end on Skype live radio show. 1hour.46min right after funny I mentioned you on here lol LOL
Hug


Edited by Kati - July 10 2015 at 08:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Roland113 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2015 at 08:21
I am very sorry to hear of your loss Steve and can feel your pain.  I'm trying to convince my Dad to move in with me for much the same reason.  I don't have any sweeping words of wisdom or anything other than you're not alone.  The weird reality of the internet age is that we often end up 'talking' to people from across the globe more often than our traditional friend base.  I've come to the realization that I have friends scattered all over the place . . . and you do as well.
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I don't have an unnatural obsession with Disney Princesses, I have a seven year old daughter and coping mechanisms.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2015 at 08:32
I try not to emphasize on your loss, Steve Heart I want you to feel a bit happy considering all you, I tried to make you see a different outlook. I do feel and see all you said, Steve xxxxx You are so nice I hope you and your beautiful better half get through this well and happy as you deserve.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2015 at 08:53
Beautiful post Steve. I don't know if life lives on, but I know that love lives on, and perhaps that's the clue to the mystery of eternity. Peace to you and your loved ones.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Kati Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2015 at 10:09
I like Lazland a lot, he is so nice and much prefer to make him smile :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2015 at 10:42
Wonderful to read pg 12 of master Laz's blog/thread.
I come from the church of Psychedelics. Same as Jon Anderson.
Conscientious expansion is vital to a good and healthy spiritual outlook.
Anderson infuses a lot of his experiences in his music from his experience with higher conscientiousness exploration. He is a lovely man, a teacher and a musical genius who sparked so much creatively out of his band mates including the awesome, Chris Squire.

May Mr. Squire shine like a beautiful crazy Diamond like the great Syd Barrett. I have no doubt that he will.
A legacy to last forever. Never forgotten!

Beautiful as usual Steve and it is just incredible how crucial and vital music is to all of us here on this thread. I believe for all that we've discovered sonically will echo in eternity for all our many lives to come!

Enjoy the day as prog provokes the beauty in all of us. ;)
Raving and drooling I leaned on his neck with a screeeeeeeamm! ;)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 12 2015 at 12:24
Thank you everyone for your very kind wishes and thoughts. This community is very special.

Sonia - great to put a voice to the posts in the forum on that show, and thank you for the mention. I don't know.....mentioned for a little review on the world wide intertit. What would my old grandad have made of it all?

Talking of tits, I now have to go to bed tonight with the images of bouncing tits flashing before me......mmmmmm. bouncing tits

Next blog follows along shortly.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 12 2015 at 12:44
This latest post in the meandering thoughts of a man named Laz in the wonderful PA blog spot does, to an extent, follow on nicely from the last one, but is, shall we say, a little more upbeat.

I mentioned watching Yes Symphonic Live in my last blog. Well, this week, the classical rock theme moved on, when my wife informed me that she had recorded Classic Quadrophenia on the goggle box last weekend for me, bless her.

Of course, fusion of classic rock and classical music is nothing particularly new. I remember first hearing Deep Purple (in reality, though, Jon Lord) Concerto for Band and Orchestra some thirty odd years ago, now. I have to admit, I was always far more impressed with the band set, playing classics such as Child In Time, Black Night, and Strange Kind of Woman, which surfaced a bit later, and I never heard the follow up he did many years later. I suppose that must be an age thing. As a callow youth, I wanted to hear loud, inventive, rock music. Classical music was for a different, older, generation, with far different standards and expectations to mine.

The Quadrophenia experiment is a new one, and was recorded at The Royal Albert Hall with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, who added a gorgeous depth to the music of Pete Townsend. Quadrophenia was always my favourite Who album, and I did review it here, although the finest review of this album, and one of the finest on this site ever, was Jim Finnforest's review. I urge all who wish to see how reviewing should be done to look at this. It is a fantastic piece, made amazing to me by the fact that an American "got" British youth culture of the time so well.

Anyhow, the part of Jimmy was played and sung by Alfie Boe, a tenor from these shores. I have to say he has one hell of a set of lungs on him, and, his was an exceptionally pleasing performance. When the choir backed him and orchestra, the result was stunning.

Guest performances were by Phil Daniels, the original lead in the film, who cannot sing to save his life, but was fun. Billy Idol who was, well,....Billy Idol! Actually, his turn as The Face on Bellboy was exceptional. Townsend also did a couple of short turns, but, it is fair to say, this was about the quietest I have ever seen or heard him, almost as if he was overcome with the emotion of it all.

All in all, this was a project and fusion which worked extremely well. I have already stated my high opinion of the Yes project, which was almost made for classical fusion.

Is this part of the future for classic prog? Certainly, Tony Banks has now moved into the full classical world with marvellous accolades and success, and, I have to say, some of the classic Genesis could definitely benefit from a decent classical music fusion. Suppers Ready with the Philharmonic, anyone? Why not?

This is a world with which I am still unfamiliar. I love decent classical music when I hear it, and that is something which has definitely evolved over the years. Can readers of the blog recommend other rock and classic fusions for me to try?

I am not aware of that many, but it is definitely time for me to revisit the Purple one. I think I might rather enjoy it more, now. What are your thoughts on it?

As I said in my last post, my thanks to all of you for your best wishes, both on this blog, and by PM. They are all very much cherished and valued.

Life moves on here in Lazland, and I will speak to you all, hopefully, very soon.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2015 at 16:18
A night in a hotel.

Tonight's blog is being written in a hotel in beautiful South Devon, where work has taken me these last three days. My work increasingly means travelling these days, as centralisation in government takes its toll.

Having watched films the past couple of nights, tonight was a night watching Tubes whilst drinking and eating in the hotel bar. It is only a small selection, but, of course, sharing such things is the purpose of the Lazland meanderings.

I have to say I really do not enjoy being away from home, and wish for the days when all of my investigations were local. These days, as more and more local offices close, and I am regarded as a "national resource", local work is a rarity to be savoured.

Anyhow, for starters, I decided tonight would be a Pendragon live night. There are plenty of live gems from this venerable band on YouTube, and I think they actually get better as they get older. Certainly, Nick Barrett's words resonate with me extremely strongly, far more than they did during the band's symphonic phase, and I speak as a massive fan of those days.

The tracks were:

King of the Castle
Green & Pleasant Land
Breaking The Spell
If I Were The Wind (and you were the rain)
Beautiful Soul
Faces of Light

The last two tracks are from the last album, Men Who Climb Mountains, a fantastic album, and highly recommended if you don't already have it.

I then had a look at a few random videos I picked up from other sites.

Anderson Ponty Band - Soul Eternal. Not bad, and a decent taster for the long awaited main event. They have, apparently, announced a tour in America.

Deep Purple - Perfect Strangers. Great track.

Billy Sherwood. Chris Squire Dedication - Amazing Grace. Very poignant indeed.

Well, time for bed, Zebedee! Train home to catch tomorrow morning.

Nos da, all


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2015 at 09:29
Steve!! Great to hear from you and that you are doing your best in "Hotel hobby" land. Mr. Fish wrote a thing or 2 about that. ;)
Anyhow, of course to answer/respond to your last post(s) I feel that, as far as quadrophenia goes, the similar classic "rock opera" set up really goes full tilt with beaming quality to Clive Nolan and his work on "Alchemy."
I'm quite sure you've heard of this Nolan offering, but I have to say its an instant classic in vein of a rock opera style or approach. Do give it a go. It's lovely. Think of it as Prog's take on broadway musicals. ;)

As for your recent playlist. Yeah. Pendragon. I always break down into immersion mode when I hear "breaking the spell." I feel this is the true definition of a perfect track. One of their very best. I've also spun that latest pendragon: the man who climbed mountains and I have to say its nothing but inspiring to me. Love the cover art. A never give up attitude, which suits me well! :)

Glad to hear from you. Keep on bloggin' :)
Raving and drooling I leaned on his neck with a screeeeeeeamm! ;)
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