My second run of collaborative posts with reader Spencer continues today, the third part for 2023 following last week's lo- fi 1990 psychedelia courtesy of Woo and the previous week's song by either Brian Eno or Cindy D'Lequez Sage, the song that plays over the closing titles of The Lovely Bones. This week's takes the gentleness trippiness of Woo's song and the slightly spooked atmospherics of Cindy/ Brian's are delves even further into the cosmos although it predates both by decades.
Full Moon is new to me, and already a firm favourite. Recorded in 1960 the song opens with some gently played piano and some glockenspiel, somewhere in the region of what in record shops today is put in the Exotica/ Library/ Weird Stuff section. It could be from a shelved Disney film created by some proto- hippy cartoonists and musicians when everyone else has gone home. The chords and notes shift slightly, a minor key melody with some very faint brushed drums and bongos. ' To live in an old shack by the sea/ And breathe the sweet slat air', the voice begins, close to the microphone and laced with a little echo, 'going on to describe the joys of getting away from it all- from life in Eisenhower's hyper- consumerist and conformist America at the dawn of the 60s, that decade's long, strange trip yet to unfold.
The voice belongs to Eden Ahbez and he goes on, 'to know the thrill of loneliness and lose all sense of time and be free'. Nothing happens much but Full Moon is moving places slowly, Eden describing a life outdoors away from society 'in the evening when the sky is on fire/ heaven and earth become my cathedral/ all men are brothers'. He goes on, wanting to 'dream the dream that the dreamers dream' and then casually and in a calm and understated way says 'I am the wind, the sea, the evening star... I am everyone, anyone, no- one', (in a way that reminds me of San Pedro's punk heroes Minutemen, weirdly, given they play at twice the speed of Eden's song and two decades later). The word Spencer used to describe Full Moon was enchanting and I can't find one better.
Eden Ahbez's album, The Music Of An Enchanted Isle came out in 1960, a much sought after record now. Eden was born George Alexander Aberle, a songwriter in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. He was very much a proto- hippy, living a very bohemian lifestyle in California, wearing sandals and robes and growing his hair and beard long way before the counter culture kids did it. For a while he camped behind the letter L in the Hollywood sign. He often slept outdoors with his family, and lived on fruit, nuts and vegetables. When stopped by the police once he told them, 'I may look crazy but I'm not. And the funny thing is that other people don't look crazy but they are'.
A hymn to anti-consumerism. Beyonce should cover this. I'm sure she would add a little melody, but then take away everything else!
Enchanting indeed. Thanks Spencer!, And thanks Adam for describing so eloquently.
I recognise now from Trentmollers LateNightTales, which is a goodun.
A Beyonce cover would be interesting
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