Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October 1, 2014

October 1, 2014

Here I’m in Tokyo, and I haven’t the foggiest idea why I’m here. I have a tendency to get excited about doing something in the most vaguest thought in my head.  First things first, since I’m in the land that seems to worship vinyl as if it was the most expensive currency on the planet.  People tend to collect to enhance one’s life. I, on the other hand, collect that is basically who I am. I see myself as part of a collection that is my own mind, and to be honest, I have no other interest beyond my writings and what I collect.  Vinyl is thus important to me, but I also collect my thoughts and words.  For instance, I keep a detailed journal in what I “think” in the first thing in the morning, or literally the first thought that comes to my head when I open my eyes.  Then I do another journal entry around 2PM, where I have a tendency to organize my thoughts in alphabetical order of subject matter.  At nighttime, I’m usually drunk, so that is when I get “poetic” and for a peculiar social circle, quite witty.

I have heard through the vinyl “underground” that there maybe a copy of the original edition of the Moondog/Julie Andrews recording of “Tell It Again, ” which is technically a children’s album of songs and stories.  Finding a copy, and if it’s in good condition can be expensive, which again, to be honest, I may not be able to afford the desired object.  Nevertheless I take the bite out of chance, and booked a ride on the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Nagoya, where the owner of this record lives and works.

At first, I’m scared to meet the citizens of this country, due that I can’t speak a word of Japanese - nevertheless the owner of “Tell It Again” is a French man by the name of Charles Cros.  It seems he’s a poet by desire, and an inventor by practical means.  He has lived in Nagoya since the 1960s, and it obsessed with sound.  For instance, I have heard that he came up with the first idea of the compact disc, but was not aware that Sony was also developing their (and much successful version).  Cros version was more of an updated version of the Long Player Record.   His contact disc looks very much like the Sony version, but the big difference was his invention, one actually put it on a turntable and put a needle on it.  He actually got sound, but not the sound he was expecting, and there lies the problem.  Also the fact, that when you invent a new medium, you are required to have a new player to “play” that medium.  Cros is such a whacky individual by what I read about him, that I almost want to collect him as well.

When I did eventually meet him, at a near-by coffee shop that is close to the Shinkansen station, he brought with him his copy of the “Tell It Again” album.  It looked perfect and he wouldn’t allow me to touch it. In fact, he said he wasn’t going to sell it.  He seemed to change his mind, and was sorry that I went a great distance to see him and his record. I told him not to be concerned, because I live for the experience, which of being a collector, is quite wonderful.  What happened next, was quite remarkable.  He told me he had a demo recording of Geoff Stephens singing his great composition “The Crying Game.” This song, this 20th century masterpiece… is the most essential piece of music I have ever heard.  Also it helps that I’m a huge fan of Stephens’ first (and maybe only) band The New Vaudeville Band.  “Winchester Cathedral.” Is another masterpiece.  Some think that Stephens stole the idea from The Bonzo Dog Band, who also had a similar style or interest in British music hall music.  Nevertheless that’s not the point of my interest. I like the record because it exists in its own world, and therefore a great desire for yours truly.  I bought an original mono edition of that album at Blue Bag Records in Los Angeles.

Charles Cros other great interest is that he believes that there is life on other planets - specifically Mars and Venus.  He had seen pinpoints of lights from those two planets and is convinced that it is the reflection of the lights of a large city on Mars and Venus.  He petitioned France to build a huge mirror that could be used to communicate with the Martians and Venusians by “burning giant lines on the deserts of those planets.” France refused to do so, and therefore that is why he’s now living in Japan.  He also writes poetry, which is an art that deals with thinking outside of the box, and at the end of the day, this is where he can rule his world.  I, on the other hand, left our meeting empty-handed, but a wiser man.
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