007 & ME

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

James Gull, ‘Licence to Poo’ – all over my car on a daily basis

I first went to St Margaret’s Bay, just along the coast from Dover, a few years ago when I was capturing the sounds of the sea for a sound art project. I go over there every so often because it’s not a place that has tons of tourists and I can think there. I made my first visit this year early on Bank Holiday Monday, before the heat got silly hot in the hope it might help cure the dreaded block – writer’s block, I have to stress. It is posh and pretty after all. What I’d never realized is that it is the closest part of England to France. On the pic below you’ll see a White Cliff. The tip of that cliff is the exact closest place to France, just 21 miles from Calais. It’s that close when roaming your phone gets connected to French networks.

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After learning that possibly boring but true piece of information I then researched some more. Don’t ask me why. It just happened. Anyway, during WW2 the Brits built a massive fake wooden gun there. Even though it was a useless lump of sh…, sorry, timber, the idea was that the sight of it might put the Germans off flying over the area. The thing was the Germans worked out it was just a lump of wood and, for a joke, dropped a wooden bomb on it. Neat.

St Margaret’s Bay also has had some of the famous posh living there. For example, the next pic. My online guide advises me, ‘The two cottages at the end of the beach were owned by Noel Coward and Ian Fleming, who both enjoyed the sea views and walks in this tranquil area.’ The pic below is of where, Fleming – the James Bond author – lived.

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Also, although I haven’t got an actual pic, the guide says, ‘The picturesque location drew several well-known people to build holiday homes at St Margaret’s, including actor Peter Ustinov. His clifftop residence is now owned by actress Miriam Margolyes.’ I’ve heard of Ustinov but I’m not sure who Miriam Margolyes is so I’ll take their word for that one. I’m guessing the clifftop property must be one of those in this next pic.

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Enough was enough. It was at this point that the online guide was causing me to glaze over and lose the will to live, so I gave up fact finding and took a shot of a piece of the chalk that The White Cliffs are made of. You’ll note it’s not so white close-up.

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Given that this post is about cliffs and cliffs have edges I thought that my instrumental – with an electronic choir – called ‘On the Edge’ might just work. I hope you enjoy;

Copyright © 2017 – 2019 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

‘NO FEEDING THE BIRDS’

G1‘Unfeasibly Giant Hands’

I’ve been working on a couple of big – at least to me they’re big – music projects these last couple of months and now, near the end, I find I’m putting so much into it trying to get it finally finished that I can’t write the words I want anymore. I’ve hit a dull patch of blog creativity. The pressure to complete the project got worse with the rising heat these last few days. 30 degrees+. I work from an attic studio and it gets amazingly hot when it’s hot – even blasting cold air via the fan does nothing to cool it down. It got so hot I thought I’d take a walk to the harbour. At least there’s usually a sea breeze there. How wrong I was. The harbour was in still air and was just as hot as the attic, but at least I took a few pics.

Anyhow, the first pic is of the famous White Cliffs of Dover – that’s never had any bluebirds, by the way – taken from the end of the new pier that’s been put up as part of the Western Dock revival.

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Next a shot – again from the new pier – of the marina. You can get a decent hot chocolate there although they serve it up with a sugar-central square of some kind of rubbery chocolate cake I don’t like. Luckily for them the seagulls do like.

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The following one shows the, as yet, work in progress on the Western Dock. I’ve seen the pics of what it’s going to look like when it’s finished. It looks really good although I know this project has been mainly funded with a lot of EU money so I’m wondering what will happen if Brexit actually happens. I’m hoping it never happens. It’s already cost me money losing the opportunity to take on some sound design work in France.

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On the new pier a thing that got me is that there’s a sign that says – amongst other things – ‘NO JUMPING’.  Why would you ‘jump’ on a pier when you can walk, jog or run? Up on the steep White Cliffs, especially near the sheer drop edges, where there should be a sign saying ‘NO JUMPING’ there isn’t one. Odd. Also, I wonder if when the Cockney’s from the  East End of London pay a visit will they take the line, ‘No feeding of birds’ to mean that their wives’ have to starve during their stay here? Odder still.

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I thought some ambient music might fit the serenity of the harbour on a day like this. It’s the title track from my ‘Pigeons Are Switzerland’ album. I hope you enjoy;

Copyright © 2019 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

KINDA

G5 (B&W)‘Defeat Looms’

An adapted story. I say adapted only because I turned it into verse for this post.

What’s the worst thing you want to hear about if you’re an artist, photographer, writer, poet, musician, whatever apart from being ignored? I’d often wondered. Now I know.

KINDA

“I kinda like your kinda great kinda music

I kinda like the way you kinda write a kinda song

I kinda like the kinda words for your kinda lyrics

I kinda think we might kinda get along”

 

Not sure if I was being dissed or liked, my reply;

“I kinda think I better be off now”

Was my kinda way of saying goodbye

I kinda hope she hasn’t kinda killed my kinda creativity

If so I kinda think I’ll just break down and kinda cry

There’s got to be a song in there somehow. Having said that here is a song. It’s an older number written about a front man in our teenage band I played lead in. He thought he was the only talent and owned the show. Big ego’s kill bands as he found out. After that I gave up being in bands. Politics doesn’t do it for me. Anyway, I hope you like it;

The pic below I took from a clifftop. I was looking down and spotted just the tail of a giant mermaid on the beach below. I hope she wasn’t harpooned and washed onto the beach on the incoming tide.

folks8‘The Giant Mermaids Tail’

Copyright © 2017-2019 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

MR ANGRY’S PLAYING FIELD

G4 (B&W)‘Hot Day in Berck’

I’ve written a few protest songs before.  Generally mine are not angry songs. It’s not how I’m made. However, this one I’m playing around with is singing well enough, but singing angry. Maybe that’s the way it should be sometimes?

ONE LESS INNOCENT

Guns and souvenirs

No wasted bullets, just wasted tears

As shots ring out the big man sneers

He takes no notice of honest fears

 

To the refrain of abusive jeers

And poor excuses no one hears

They pull the strings, the puppeteers

The firearm freaks, the profiteers

 

Cries for help fall on stone deaf ears

Who cares if death finds new frontiers?

Who cares that under a gravestone she premieres

On the ‘One Less Innocent’ stage of slaughtered peers?

Here’s an example of one of my regular style protest songs. This one is from the ‘Dream Rescuer’ album that hopefully makes its point without any anger. It’s called ‘Ticking Clock’. I hope you enjoy;

Stupid things make me laugh. This is a true story. So I’m in the smelly post office. As ever a long queue. The only good thing about being in a queue is you get to listen to people chatting. In front of me two blokes. One says that he’s sick and tired of rowing with his wife all the time. He says to his mate, “I’ve told her time and time again we need to find a level playing field.” His mate agrees and says, “Perhaps you both will find that level playing field when you go on holiday. A break always helps – you know, a change of scenery and all that. Where is it you’re going by the way?” Mr Angry with his wife replies, “We’re hiking up in Welsh mountains’.” His mate says, “Well you ain’t going to find a level playing field up there it’s all hills.” Like I said, stupid things make me laugh.

Finally and probably the best lyric of all time, although you might not agree unless you’re a Gooner like me. An Arsenal classic originally from the Invincible years – before my time sadly – and just perfect after beating Newcastle ‘1 – 0’ in the first match of the new football season last Sunday. Class act.

Copyright © 2017 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

 

SEVEN DAYS & THREE DISNEY T-SHIRTS LATER

mari13 (2)‘Weird but Harmless’

‘The more things change, the more they stay the same’ – A French expression

On a sunny Saturday the white bloke wearing khaki shorts, a Disney ‘Lion King’ t-shirt and a battered tin hat carrying a rifle shot a pregnant lioness. Chuffed with himself he had his wife take a photo of him standing over the furry corpse. Come Sunday morning he went to church to thank his god for his good fortune. He got on well with his god although even he had to admit it was generally a one-way conversation.

Come Monday he carried the furry corpse off to the taxidermist to have it stuffed. The taxidermist was up for the gig but pointed out that inside the body of the furry corpse there were three unborn lion cubs. Two females; one male. The taxidermist asked the bloke still wearing khaki shorts, a Disney ‘Lion King’ t-shirt and a battered tin hat but no longer carrying a rifle if he wanted the embryos stuffed as well. The bloke who shot the lioness said, “No thanks. I think that’s disgusting.” The taxidermist just shrugged and got on with his work.

On the Tuesday, the lioness and the ‘cubs that never were’ killer got a phone call on his landline from a midwife who worked in the hospital down town. She told him that his daughter was about to give birth to triplets. Two girls and a boy.

Rather than take the shower he needed he changed out of his Disney ‘Lion King’ t-shirt because it was chucking up a bit into his Disney ‘Beauty & The Beast’ (remake design) t-shirt but kept the rest on, even the battered tin hat. He left his rifle locked up safe in the cupboard and drove off to the hospital.

When he got there he was introduced to his new grandchildren, Eric, Derek and Moonbeam. He wasn’t sure about the name ‘Moonbeam’ but kept his mouth shut. After telling his daughter he was chuffed to be a grandad he showed her the pic of him with the dead lioness. The daughter told him he must be sick in the head.

By Wednesday he was down in the dumps about falling out with his daughter. She’d also told him to get out of her and her kids’ lives. Finding that hard to take he went back home thinking he’d have a private chat with his god. His god must have been busy that day.

His wife asked him if it were possible would he bring the lioness and her three unborn cubs back to life if it meant getting along with his daughter again. He said ‘Yes, I’d never shoot a lion again. If that was possible I’d shoot Elephants instead’.

His wife left him on the Thursday. By Friday, to help get back into the hunting zone, he’d shot the taxidermist dead, just prior to doing what he saw as the honourable thing.  He got himself a Disney original ‘Dumbo the Elephant’ t-shirt.

This post was prompted by a thing I saw on the news last week about some idiot Englishman who called himself a conservationist who thought it great to get over the South Africa and get photographed with lion he’d just murdered.

While on the subject of weirdness here’s probably the weirdest song I’ve ever written. It hasn’t had an outing for ages, so here it is. I hope you enjoy;

derek owl (2)‘I Like Birds’ – An Eels song title

I like birds as well. In Australia they discovered the 19 million year old fossil of a giant parrot that stood over one metre tall. That got me wondering how tall pirates must have been back in the day as they generally have a parrot on their shoulder. Anyway, here’s the song ‘I Like Birds’ from Eels;

Copyright © 2015 – 2019 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

‘SUMMERTIME MADNESS’

birm5 (2)(‘Gulp’ by Zoolon) 

SUMMER DIED ON A SATURDAY

You gave safe passage to your demons

When the darkness came to call

Waved ‘goodbye cruel world’ and whispered

“Why stumble when I can fall?

I’ll be the ghost who comes to haunt you

The one who’ll own your every waking hour

And when you’re trying to ‘rescue dreams’

Your sanity I’ll devour

That’s the price you pay for breaking

This heart you once held dear

From here and till the end of time

Memory of me will never disappear”

 

You gave safe passage to your demons

But I couldn’t move on and never say

The words I wrote for your epitaph read

‘Summer died on a Saturday’

Here’s my original ambient electronic song by the same name, ‘Summer Died on a Saturday’.  I hope you enjoy;

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‘Zoolon, his guitars 100 miles away, is having a think

somewhere in Birmingham just minutes before trying

to write a traditional type poem instead of a lyric

 – this weird poem’

birm8 (2)‘Saturday just gone – the day Summer died’

 Zoolon in Stratford Upon Avon being extra nice to his ancient old mum

trying to convince her he is the reincarnation of Shakespeare

and that if she had any heart at all she’d give him his inheritance right now

If you fancy owning the whole 5 album Zoolon discography (47 tracks in total) for just £16 (or equivalent in other currencies) here’s the download link BANDCAMP

Copyright © 2017 to 2019 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

THE WOLF & THE POSER

zoo1Hidden Corner’

Like last year and the year before and the year before that, Zoolon never got an Easter Egg. Is the world of eggs trying to tell me something?

I’d never noticed it before yesterday. Driving out of town into the countryside there’s a Beefeater franchise type restaurant. I’ve never been there but I think it’s just a steak, chips and ketchup sort of place. Nothing special. What I hadn’t noticed before was the field of cows smack bang next door to the Beefeater. Odd and hardly considerate if you’ve been born with cloven hoof. Not good.

Anyhow, I got the chance to go to a wildlife park a few days back. The place wasn’t that big but felt better than the average big zoo. The animals looked to have more freedom there. Here’s (inc. above) a few pics of some of what I saw plus a 60 second piece I made on Ableton with my Fender Telecaster (I’m hoping the animals like a guitar solo).

zoo5‘Castaway the Wolf’

bird‘Poser’

zoo4‘Neat’

zoo6‘Really?’

In praise of the wolf, here’s an instrumental piece ‘Castaway’ from my Dream Rescuer album. Hope you enjoy. New music is on the way soon.

Copyright © 2017-2019 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

A CAT WITH A CAMERA

CAT2 (2)‘Nothing to Scratch Here’

You’ll have to bear with me on this one. It’s a bit mad.

I had a ‘What if?’ moment. I was thinking that most photos I take are of things either ‘straight ahead’ of me or upwards. I never take shots at ground level – like, say a passionate artist type cat with a camera would. That sort of cat with a camera would be pretty much at ground level doing his/her thing. That means – to me in ‘What if?’ mode at least – that there must be a whole new world of pics to take ‘straight ahead’ at ground level.

Ideally, I would have preferred to take the ‘Cat With a Camera’ pics outside but right now it’s either pouring with rain everyday or frosty and freezing. That meant mainly indoors had to be the location, plus I had to think like a cat thinks – not easy when you don’t know how.

I hadn’t considered giving the mythical cat a name until someone suggested I should. I was offered ‘Cat Ray’ or ‘Robert Cata’ by someone much older than me, but settled for ‘Hetfield’. Above and below is ‘Hetfield’s’ first go at this new art form/sub-genre (maybe I’m pushing my luck here), ‘CAT ART’. I hope you enjoy.

CAT (2)‘A Hiding Place’

cat5 (3)‘Sleeping Bat?’

cat6‘Somewhere above, poached eggs – with mushrooms’

And to finish, not one of my songs this time but a vintage number called, ‘Cool For Cats’ from Squeeze.

Below the link to my new album on Bandcamp that’s helped keep me at No. 1 on the ReverbNation UK Chart;

‘DON’T LOOK BACK IN ANGER’

mushrooms‘Six Wives of Henry’

All I asked for was a plain omelette. I was in France at the time so what I said must have got lost in translation. What I got served up was a mushroom omelette. I hated mushrooms. Always had.  However, one bite later I discovered I loved mushrooms. That was about a year ago and I’ve been addicted ever since. I eat them most every day, apart from the days I forget to eat. I can’t get enough of them. Even on those days I forget to eat, I think about mushrooms all the time. I even include them in my favourite of all favourite meals, homemade Macaroni Cheese.

I got a mushroom related Christmas gift. ‘Grow Your Own Mushrooms In Doors’ it said on the box – note the spelling mistake on the packaging. Even dyslexic me eventually picked up on that one although at first it left me confused for a while, thinking how am I going to grow my mushrooms ‘in a door’ when all my doors are solid wood, painted gloss white. True.

I’d never grown any plant type things before. After I’d eventually unwrapped the box, I took a look inside. I presumed the present was a p**s take. It was just a box full of dirt. Nearly a month later and my mushrooms are beginning to happen. I keep the box in the dark in the cupboard under the stairs where all the shoes I’ve forgotten I ever owned and a broken violin live. The pic I took (above) reveals all. As the first six mushrooms appeared I thought I’d give them names. I went for the six wives of Henry XIII. Big mistake that was. Three of his wives were all called Catherine, two Anne and one Jane. I should have thought it through better. The big mushroom, top and left of centre is Anne of Cleeves. Off centre, top right is Anne Boleyn. I can’t remember who’s who after that.

corm3‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’

I was on my way to the harbour, looking forward to a breakfast of poached eggs (and mushrooms) when I saw a freak of nature. It couldn’t have come at a worse time as I thought my confusion levels had already peaked. A cormorant with its head on back-to-front. Obviously I had to take a pic, otherwise no one would have believed me. I had to give him a name. I chose ‘Ivan Issue’ – it sort of fits. I spent the rest of the day with ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ by Oasis on a loop inside my head. I hope Ivan’s mates don’t give him a bad time. Sometimes I wonder why life is so confusing away from my guitars.

After a lot of thought I’ve let Zoolon loose on Instagram. If any of you on WP are also on Instagram and want a follower who follows back and who also takes time out to view your stuff I’d be only too pleased to oblige. Here’s my first post there, a bit of free form guitar. I hope you like it;

Time for some music. Another from the new instrumental album, ‘THE FORGOTTEN DAUGHTER OF ZEUS’. This one is called, ‘Summer Died on a Saturday’. I hope you enjoy;

The 11 track, 45 minute long album itself is available to download at Bandcamp per the below;

Copyright © 2019 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.

 

VICTORY & AN ARTIST

folks4 (2)

I took this photo on Christmas Eve. The statue lives in the Western Docks of Dover Harbour. I read the girl the two soldiers are holding is called ‘Victory’. The statue is a memorial created in remembrance of the 556 employees who worked on the railways and who died in service during World War I. I’ve got to try the best I can to compose a piece based on this.

A less important, yet a problematic thing followed. So, it’s Christmas Eve late afternoon. The shops will be shutting soon. A random memory grabs hold. A couple of weeks back I ordered my mother’s Christmas present. To save paying postage and packing I’d opted to collect it from the store a couple of days later, but I forgot. In a panic I drive down town to the store. The song ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham is playing loud. I hate that song. There’s nothing in it or about it I like. Anyway, I get to the counter. “No can do,” says the girl, “I need proof of identity.” I’d left my phone and my wallet in the car.

I’d had to park a good distance away and closing time was closing in. I rush back to the car. Grab my phone and wallet. Back to the shop. The girl on the counter says, “Not again, please God, not again.” Thinking she was having a dig at me I point out that this is only my second visit and that’s it’s not like I’ve been in and out of the shop loads of times. She says, “Sorry, it’s not you, it’s this song. It’s mangling my mind. I’ve had to listen to it all day, every day for weeks. I can’t cope.” The song? ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham. It just had to be. I sympathise with her. Tell her I understand.

I go on to say, the first two lines of the lyric are the worst opening lines ever written. She asks me why. So, I give her the first two lyric lines, “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, But the very next day you gave it away,” adding, “Think about it. Those words are definitely not Organ Donation friendly.”

She says, “Wot you mean?” I decided that elaborating might be a bit long-winded. I collect mum’s gift and leave the shop.

Come Christmas morning I remember I’ve forgotten to wrap mum’s gift in the sparkly paper I got last year but never used and couldn’t find anyhow. All the stuff my mum gave me were wrapped up dead neat.

Time for a song. The new album is a couple of weeks away, but for now my song plus instrumental, both in remembrance of just one person. A unique photographic artist. The song, ‘Francesca’, her suicide reflected in the instrumental, ‘Eastside 1981’. I hope you enjoy.

Last thing. On Christmas Day I was No. 1 artist on the ReverbNation UK Chart. 

Copyright © 2018 Zoolon Audio.  All rights reserved.  Unauthorised copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.