I remember one night with my hairy Hills District friends, sitting around in a circle at the Dural Memorial Hall. We were in a band and decided to sleep over the night before our rehearsal – somehow we had permission to do so (it was the freewheeling ’70s, not the nanny-state, actuary-driven 2010s) and we had no food or mattresses/sleeping bags – just music and dope. Tony Dunshea had brought his new quadraphonic record system and we sat in a circle with the quadraphonic (4 speakers for two ears) system in a circle around us.11032698_10204092489264108_5995010883240137524_n

We passed joints and bongs and got into a mindspace very receptive to the beauty of music. I dimly remember a David Bowie (and the Spiders from Mars) bootleg – shitty recording and a great version of “Hang Onto Yourself” and an awkward version of “Space Oddity”.

I very very clearly remember “Close to The Edge” – the YES track, a suite of tracks really, which covers side one of the eponymous album. The album sounds like nature – warm, myriad-leaved, churning with life (dig also the factory of Spring thudding in Igor’s “Rite of Spring”) – the intro alone, that of a humid forest’s insects and wing’d creatures buzzing & whirring & clicking until the crescendo bursts into sunshine and eternally returning Spring. The album moves through all the seasons and all the days of our lives – the frosty mornings, the golden afternoons, the endless rocky coasts (thank you, Roger Dean), the tiny city gardens.

We took it all in and talked about it, lying on our elbows and then we all shut up and were in our own private zones and zoning in our zones, and it was bliss to be all together as the music raised oaks and twirled vines among us all.

  1. Gary says:

    Beautifully put and so true and what a pleasure to have been there. These were the formative times of our formative years. So very important in shaping us into what we are today. And such fun.

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