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Author Topic: Clinton Heylin Fairport Biography  (Read 7091 times)
GubGub (Al)
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« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2018, 09:37:32 PM »


What I am interested in is the creative process and the music not the bickering of drunken/stoned people.



Except that those things give context to the music. To give a well known example, how much more immediate and visceral is the experience of listening to the albums Ram or Imagine, given what we know of the the state of Lennon and McCartney's relationship at the time, which informed some of those songs?

I'm not suggesting that we should have the right to know all of the intimate details of the private lives of our favourite artists but it is often instructive to understand the circumstances that inform the work, particularly with with confessional writers which, to some degree, both Sandy and RT were/are for example. It is probably less relevant for someone like Randy Newman whose writing is more detached.
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peter m
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« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2018, 09:47:17 PM »



What has Clinton Heylin done to incur such dislike?  Sorry, I just need to catch up.


He's brutal in his opinions regarding other writers, declaring himself the only one who has the answers.  He's often similarly brutal in his opinions regarding some of the musicians he writes about, often overlooking a more balanced perspective (cf Trevor Lucas).  His research is often top notch, but he can be real pitbull as a writer and as a human being.

Jules


Yes agree. His dismissal of Robert Shelton on Dylan has always stuck in my mind, almost as if competition was some kind of personal threat. And Shelton was actually there at some key moments in the 60s, wrote the article which gave him his break, wrote the sleeve notes for Freewheelin' etc. He just can't be dismissed like that.

Then wasn't there a weird outburst at the end of the second edition of the Sandy book where Heylin has a rant at the executors of her estate for not exercising proper quality control over the releases, the box set etc, the sole exception being the one he wrote the sleeve notes for. See Philip Ward's site. Again almost as if for example Andrew Batt has no right to be invading his territory.

Not pleasant but he knows how to do research of the what happened and why kind. I predict he will have found out things which are new to most aficionados. But a lot depends on what sort of sources he has access to. With Dylan there was a private treasure trove of bootlegs which in retrospect he based a lot on. Is there anything to be unearthed about the music side of things with fairport which isn't already out there?

So reviews behind a spoiler notice would be good,
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Andy
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« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2018, 11:51:24 PM »

Just a short interjection to note that Morrissey crossed all cut-off lines for me over the course of the last few years.
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« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2018, 02:16:07 AM »



What I am interested in is the creative process and the music not the bickering of drunken/stoned people.



Except that those things give context to the music. To give a well known example, how much more immediate and visceral is the experience of listening to the albums Ram or Imagine, given what we know of the the state of Lennon and McCartney's relationship at the time, which informed some of those songs?

I'm not suggesting that we should have the right to know all of the intimate details of the private lives of our favourite artists but it is often instructive to understand the circumstances that inform the work, particularly with with confessional writers which, to some degree, both Sandy and RT were/are for example. It is probably less relevant for someone like Randy Newman whose writing is more detached.


I don't find the in depth confessional stuff very interesting, it's why I never got to the end of the Graham Nash book, I guess understanding the relationship is one thing, being forced to live with them the point and counterpoint of arguments is annoying for me.

I
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« Reply #44 on: June 10, 2018, 10:26:35 AM »

The truth is that many of our musical heroes have feet of clay.  The list of artistes who are arseholes but whose music I like is a very long one. It's only very occasionally that I stop listening to them altogether - Gary Glitter doesn't get played at our 70s parties, for instance.
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« Reply #45 on: June 10, 2018, 02:48:43 PM »

This is an interesting thread. I'm finding it more  so perhaps, because I almost make a point of not reading books about music. I've been a great Strawbs fan, for instance, for many years, but I'm in no great hurry to read Dave Cousins's autobiography.. The book about all of the  DC/Strawbs songs and their origins I did read, and found it only of minimal interest. I bought Fairport by Fairport on publication, and read it very carefully, then sold it online.  I absolutely love Sandy Denny but I still have not read Clinton Heylin's book about her. I'm a great fan of Nick Drake, but the Patrick Humphries book has been on my 'to read' list since it came out, and that must be a couple of decades ago.  I think there's part of me that wants to keep the art and the artist well insulated from every temper tantrum and infidelity they may have indulged in, which a thorough biography might reveal, and interfere with my enjoyment of the music.

 
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Peter H-K
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« Reply #46 on: June 10, 2018, 04:30:19 PM »



The art work of Rolf Harris is now effectively worthless because of his behaviour



In fairness, it kind of always was.
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hendo (Dave)
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« Reply #47 on: June 10, 2018, 06:14:25 PM »




The art work of Rolf Harris is now effectively worthless because of his behaviour



In fairness, it kind of always was.

Before his 'fall' Harris's paintings were selling for £50,000 plus.
After his court case they were selling for £7,500 .
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Peter H-K
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« Reply #48 on: June 10, 2018, 07:12:58 PM »





The art work of Rolf Harris is now effectively worthless because of his behaviour



In fairness, it kind of always was.

Before his 'fall' Harris's paintings were selling for £50,000 plus.
After his court case they were selling for £7,500 .


Aha! You meant financial worth. My comment was about aesthetic worth.
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Jules Gray
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« Reply #49 on: June 10, 2018, 09:36:39 PM »



The art work of Rolf Harris is now effectively worthless because of his behaviour  

In fairness, it kind of always was.


Whatever else he may or may not have done, I always thought he was a talented painter.

Jules
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hendo (Dave)
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« Reply #50 on: June 11, 2018, 06:39:54 AM »






The art work of Rolf Harris is now effectively worthless because of his behaviour



In fairness, it kind of always was.

Before his 'fall' Harris's paintings were selling for £50,000 plus.
After his court case they were selling for £7,500 .


Aha! You meant financial worth. My comment was about aesthetic worth.

Ah, aesthetic worth will always be subjective.
One of my wife's paintings was in an exhibition and I stood behind a woman as she expounded to a friend how much she liked it and was going to buy it.
She then asked some pretentious bloke if she should like it or not!!!!! He talked some kings new clothes b*****ks and she didn't buy it. She came back sometime later, vacillating, to find it had been sold. Karma!
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« Reply #51 on: June 11, 2018, 06:41:52 AM »




The art work of Rolf Harris is now effectively worthless because of his behaviour  

In fairness, it kind of always was.


Whatever else he may or may not have done, I always thought he was a talented painter.

Jules

That's the point really, isn't it Jules. Can you seperate. the art/ music from the artist.
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« Reply #52 on: June 11, 2018, 09:47:10 AM »





The art work of Rolf Harris is now effectively worthless because of his behaviour



In fairness, it kind of always was.

Before his 'fall' Harris's paintings were selling for £50,000 plus.
After his court case they were selling for £7,500 .



Aye, but just wait till he dies.
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GubGub (Al)
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« Reply #53 on: June 11, 2018, 10:29:50 AM »





The art work of Rolf Harris is now effectively worthless because of his behaviour  

In fairness, it kind of always was.


Whatever else he may or may not have done, I always thought he was a talented painter.

Jules

That's the point really, isn't it Jules. Can you seperate. the art/ music from the artist.



Ask the BBC. The beautiful art deco Broadcasting House is adorned with the sculptures of one of the most loathsome individuals ever to be celebrated as an artist. The BBC did not know that at the time of course but the Eric Gill saga continues.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/apr/09/eric-gill-the-body-ditchling-exhibition-rachel-cooke
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Jules Gray
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« Reply #54 on: June 11, 2018, 11:51:21 AM »


Ask the BBC. The beautiful art deco Broadcasting House is adorned with the sculptures of one of the most loathsome individuals ever to be celebrated as an artist. The BBC did not know that at the time of course but the Eric Gill saga continues.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/apr/09/eric-gill-the-body-ditchling-exhibition-rachel-cooke


Gulp.  I had no idea.

Jules
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« Reply #55 on: June 11, 2018, 12:29:45 PM »

Blimey! I had no idea about Eric Gill…all we can do is honestly look deep within our selves and to see if we can separate the artist (but not exclusively so) from his/her work from how they have treated others…it is a massive moral, ethical conundrum to deal with…each and everyone of us (I feel) has to take this journey on a case by case basis…I tread carefully yet sometimes (such as in the case of Jackson Pollock) I am fascinated with his work…he was a real horror show to Lee and no doubt I still struggle to make an informed decision (if one is blatantly asked to come down on one side or the other)…it is not about sitting on the fence…the repercussions of committing any individual to a single state which then becomes the bench mark for every human failing could mean we loose art, music…architecture…books, knowledge, and so on and so forth…I have no answers…I feel better informed now about Eric Gill…and i am just a little more hollow inside.
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Simon Withers
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« Reply #56 on: June 15, 2018, 09:17:25 AM »

This morning I have completed the reading of Clinton’s Book…I am not best disposed to write a review of the book…what I will write is other than a few books on the band, Meet on the ledge (Humphries 1982) and Fairport by Fairport (Schofield 2012) and the usual sleeve notes from CD’s, subscriptions to the Ledge fanzine and material picked up over the years from this website; I am not really that informed about the more personal narratives of the band.

I found the book informative and overall a valuable and earthy (and sometimes) an emotional and moving account of the people involved…for me (as aforementioned) there is content within that is new to me…so I wasn’t thinking I knew that…as I was reading it. I would also say that overall his assessment (given the passage of time) of some of their albums made me realise (when I reflect back) that I felt similar to his feelings and assesments on albums such as ‘Rosie’ and ‘Gottle of Beer’…I could not always convince myself (at the time) that I disliked some material on those LP’s or why other LPs had something not quite right…One of my favourite Fairport songs is ‘One More Chance’, even now i love it to death…something is not quite right within it…and have (for me) always known what it is…they are trying too hard…grasping…hanging by a thread…holding on (only just) willing something to work  with the analogies of grasping on to the ledge (slipping into Heylin teritorry!)...this may not make sense to anyone else…its a feeling or more specifically a profound sense of the stuff in between that which is presented…it is the space…it is the human art…it is the art.. and yet the explanation (I am aware) is inadequate.

It was I realise that I was and remain a loving fan of the band. Certainly there are a few comments in the book that that req further investigation…and I did not always warm to the author illustrating his narrative by inserting a ‘knowing’ fairport (family) song title…to ram home the irony, the insightfulness…that said the trauma of the ‘Shoot out the Lights’ time is actually very raw…

I prefer this book than the one written by Nigel and I will not go into my reasons herewith why it resonated with me…suffice to say although I am not a musician I am a visual artist…I can identify with the 'endurance of the journey’…a celebration and the tragedy go hand in hand…

if you have space in your life and you are interested in Fairport…give it a go.

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« Reply #57 on: June 15, 2018, 10:01:41 AM »

Thanks, Simon.

Good to read your review.
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« Reply #58 on: June 15, 2018, 06:56:55 PM »

I've just finished it, and I'll (probably, given time of which I have very little now my lovely little holiday is over) write a full review in the next few days.  

Overall headline summary: enormously frustrating, massively opinionated (which is almost always presented as fact), and (very occasionally) inaccurate, but most assuredly well worth reading (but with nasty cheap paper and production definitely not worth the £25 quid cover price).  Also, some extremely odd virtual emissions (D.M hardly appears in the story at all until the point he's due to leave the band...what is that all about?).  Still, I learnt a great deal, especially about Ashley, actually.  It rather changed my opinion of him.  It's a somewhat disappointing reality that (as much as I like some of the other titles) this is the definitive story of '67-'82(ish).  So far...

ps Heylin's photo in the rear of the book is hilarious (well, it makes me laugh, anyway).  A face just begging for a slap.
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« Reply #59 on: June 15, 2018, 10:24:43 PM »


Still, I learnt a great deal, especially about Ashley, actually.  It rather changed my opinion of him.


Intriguing. Positively or negatively?

(Or should I just read the book?? ☺)
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