Revive me!
Kenny Graham bio
Hi there, pop fans!
Smile, smile, smile
It's all over
I have got the furious needle
Brain Drain
Revive me!
My inheritance

The Devil looks after
Hymn Number Dinky Do
The Expert
Post mortem
Tete a tete
Fine, fine, fine
Fame and fortune
Mars, they're making eyes

Revive me! I wonder what it feels to be ‘revived’.

I’ve had several albums to review lately that have been reissues of the original 78s—mostly 30, and sometimes 40 years old. A lot of the guys that appeared on these sessions are still active today, and it makes me wonder if some of them don’t mind just a weeny bit having work done several decades ago suddenly shoved onto the market again.

It would be a sad man who hadn’t improved a bit in even ten years; some might well have passed their peak. But no matter how you view it, it can’t be a very happy thing to have your earlier attempts put up for recriticism. In the name of history and scholarship it is, of course, a commendable thing, but I do seriously wonder how many winces these albums cause the musicians concerned. Very few people. even thee geniuses, can bear to go back too far to re-hear their early musical indiscretions. However, contractual circumstances being worded heavily in the favour of the owner and not the performer, I doubt if one could do much about it, anyway.

Okay fellers—five in
So they are out of their tiny little minds again. We’ve gone decimalisation crazy. Decimal currency, and soon it will be grammes and litres all round. And what are we musicians doing about it? Sweet Fanny ‘Addock! Take note of my plan, folks, then you too will be in the swim.

First, the octave will have to go. It won’t be decent to have a eight–note octave when everything else is in tens. So the twelve-tone boys are in for a shock. What will they do when I’ve split up the octave into ten equal parts? All the present rhythms are out.

Crotchets and quavers are still okay, except that a quaver will be known as an 6 point 5 note. Next will be a crotchet as a whole note; minims and semibreves can stay as they are. But what about time signatures? Can’t very well have four beats to a bar, can we? It will have to be five. Then you can Beat Me Daddy, Ten-to-the-bar.

Waltzes, marches and everything except “Take Five” will be out. A ceremonial burning will take place outside Broadcasting House of any music with signatures of 2/4, 4/4, 3/4, 7/4, 6/8, etc just as soon as I get the Musical Decimalisation Bill through Parliament.

So if you want my advice, go out and buy all the shares in musical instruments you can get your paws on. When my Bill gets through, all present instruments will be useless. Maybe we can get hold of a little extra loot than I strongly suspect other people are getting through the other metric changes!

As ye sow. . .
In Germany they have Jugendmusikschulen, over 200 of ‘em. The aim of these Youth Music Schools is to initiate the young into the Mysteries of Music. Similar schemes are operational in the U.S.S.R., Hungary and Sweden. Dare I ask?—where are ours? Contrary to what politicians would have us believe art is a very necessary part of our lives. Philistine nations don’t survive for long. Even in war, great use is made of the artist—a time when one would think that such frivolities were meaningless. Writers are used to think up ‘plots’ for propaganda, artists are used to record the happenings and even to do the camouflage, musicians are used to entertain and sooth the savage breast. As soon as peace hits us, all this is ignored and our leaders find it difficult to understand why the country is swinging in name only. Grants to the arts are handed our grudgingly, as with education. The thought of allotting our money to educate the young in the arts is an even more horrifying thing for them to swallow. Why should this be so?

History has shown us that it is the artistic side of man that benefits mankind: industry and finance tend only to imprison us. Art (and especially music) frees a man’s soul—really sets him free. But unless we are educated to this way of thought, bingo, bull and ballgames will dominate our lives and stifle our very guts.

The countries that have begun these Youth Music Schools have obviously realised all this and are doing something about it. From what I can make out from various reports, the scheme is centred on free participation in the wonderful game of making music. Musicians are the teachers, and not teachers begrudgingly trying to act as musicians, as is so often the case with our methods.

I wince every time I hear the BBC’s sickeningly condescending broadcasts to schools in their meagre effort to spread a little culture. Kids don’t want to be talked down to: they are intelligent and react favourably to well-informed explanations of the most complicated subjects.

Let us stop all this messing about with our young ‘uns. If they show any promise at music (or anything else, come to that), let’s encourage them to the best of our ability. Let’s allot some of the money spent on biological weapons, Polaris submarines and other scientific monstrosities to educating our next crop of grown-ups. As the man said in the Good Book, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.”

MD wanted—must like football
When I hear the noises off at any of the big football matches I get to wondering who does the conducting. I watched diligently to see if it might. be the ref giving some sort of downbeat to cue–in several hundred voices in perfect unison, but I’ve never caught him at it. When there have been brief glimpses of the crowd, I’ve tried to sort out from all the thousands there the one responsible.

Still no luck. So please tell me who he is as it’s driving me frantic. The idea of an MD who can bring down his stick on a couple of hundred thousand people and get them all to sing AAAAhhhh ! ! ! ! together deserves an award of his own.

It’s not the Bandmaster of the Marines, ‘cause I asked him.

If you looked at the goo that forms in a saxophone mouthpiece under an electron microscope you would wonder how on earth Guy Lombardo ever managed to play The Sweetest Music This Side Of Heaven.


Copyright © 1968, Kenny Graham. All Rights Reserved