Late words, old tunes. And the old man.
No, I shouldn’t be up. Amazing how hard it can be to knuckle down during daylight hours sometimes, but the late-night glow of the studio jelly lamps has enticed me to keep going with a particular job that needs sending to press tomorrow. Daft. But the wife’s away for a second night.
One reason I’m at the Mac late is that I saw Dad again tonight. Yesterday he was looking almost chipper – rested, tested and no, not bare-breasted, a little reassured that the shadows on his lungs were probably not nearly as sinister as the GP’s suspicions that had shocked him into hospital. However, today, on the phone, he sounded very down after having had a Funny Turn. One of the nurses had to help him back to his bed from the washroom and I think he was pretty worried by it.
By the time I saw him in the evening, though, he seemed more himself again. Frantic ECG’s and blood pressure tests and yet more blood tests showed his heart and system in bizarrely fine fettle.
“You’re in good shape, Mr Peach” said the young doctor, staring quizically at the the machines strapped to my pale-looking Dad.
“Good shape?” I can hear him saying, “Good shape? But I feel like I’m about to meet my maker?”
“Yes I know” replied the doctor with a cursory smile, “– odd, isn’t it?”
I wasn’t there, of course, but this was the gist. What did come out of it though, is that they’ve ascertained that the shadows on his lungs are likely to be a build up of fluid – and that’s what’s causing his funny turns. Probably not directly a heart thing. This might be progress.
Mind you, a potentially life-threatening condition is a potentially life-threatening condition, I guess – who cares what they’ll end up feeling confident about putting on your coroner’s report?
And this does nothing to pin down exactly what is wrong with other issues he’s dealing with. One thing I’d like to see really is hospital consultants actually consulting one another…
Funny, as a nice diversion, I had a note from Tim Colthup last week telling me he’s been listening to an old album of mine – Outrider. What a mate, eh? I mean, what a mate. Made me pull it off a forgotten shelf and listen to it – sat there in bed last night, headphones on in the dark like a teenager. 1995 I recorded that album; a dozen years ago. And, though I’ve always had a special, vaguely prophetic-feeling affection for that album in particular, it does now seem like another time and mindset, listening to it.
Not to be put off such splendidly distracting whimsy, however, it made me dig out the follow-up album, Worship the system – 1997. And then a couple of live recordings from the same time. And then a couple of old DATs of random stuff from as far back.
I can’t help feeling a strange affection for all of it, actually; for the small truckload of tunes and songs I laboured over in the pre-Momo years. The confidence and the creative youth mixed into those pieces; bless me. I had more of a different head on my shoulders then than I had previously realised. Plenty of worthy work along the way I think, but it certainly belongs behind me, paved into the little track I’ve tromped through the daisies.
You see? Whimsy.
I’m not a big look-backer. Prefer to look forward, generally. But, as I prepare to hit the sack at last, I am distressed to consider that the finest revelation tonight was from a DAT from ’98 or so – and the coolest version of the Knight Rider theme I’ve ever heard. I’d completely forgotten it. I arranged it, I recall, for guitar legend chum Greame – had a funny thing about it at the time it seems.
So there you are. My father is pondering lying in state and I’m wondering if my finest musical hour in the first twelve years of my ignominious recording career was an electro cover of the Knight Rider theme. Goodness, my Dad feels proud for good reason.
Think I’m ready for some new tunes now.