Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-06-07 - 9:43 p.m.
Have been watching a Doors DVD - doesnít look or sound 35 years old to me.
On Sunday I drove along the south side of the ridge that connects Leamington and Rugby until I hit the road from Coventry to Southam - spotted the Leam crossing and then the Grand Union crossing. From Southam I drove to Daventry - meeting the Oxford Canal as it came off the Jurassic scarp and then meeting the Leam again near its source on the scarp. My goal was the A361 which may be the most dangerous road in England.
I joined the road pretty close to the watershed between the Severn system and the Thames system and then drove south west along it - initially on the hills which make the west aide of the upper Cherwell valley down to Banbury. Last year Rob and I met up at a village along this road and did a circular walk which took in Cropreddy. At Banbury I crossed the Oxford Canal and moved into the Cotswolds proper with its signature stone buildings. Then I picked up a B road going almost due South and stayed on that until almost at the main Woodstock road. Turning left I drove down to a little valley with a lake and there as predicted were Mark and Caroline who live in a converted barn in the grounds of a very attractive stone Edwardian house.
From then on it was pretty much non-stop fun as we worked our way through a couple of bottles of Bordeaux and an absolute galaxy of guitars - interrupted by a roasted Cotswold chicken. Bottom of the bill was definitely my 100 pound Chinese Duo sonic - which sounded at its best through Markís Fender valve combo. Mark has a 1980s Rickenbacker 2 pick up. I havent played a R for 35 years since I was deciding between that and the white Tele. Markís is a really stunning instrument - very easy to play and a brilliant single coil sound. There were also a couple of attractive acoustics around - a specially built thing Mark has on loan and his trusty Martin. I was also very taken with his Bentley piano which has a really good sound given its size. Mark got his collection of large prints from the hey day of Cousins - the one of Dorris and JR in the grave yard really caught my eye plus a recent one Mark has taken of D Graham. Mark has some of his Turkish licks down which still sound like the future to me.I managed to drag myself away just before 11.00 and found the quick way back to Leantown. My idea of a great Sunday.
Talking of D Graham and eastern music - I have been listening to Yusef Laseef the Detroit based sax flute and oboe player. DG and YL are the two people on the globe who in 1958 who were thinking that eastern modes might be the way to go. itís a Blue Note session from 1961 with Grant Green on guitar and J Mcduff on organ - funky bebop.
At work yesterday Steve reminded that we had a 5.00pm meeting at Kings Norton. As so often when I try to find something in south west Birmingham I got lost. Eventually I found the factory I was looking for - only slightly late - just as well I made it as the meeting really took us forward. Then I tried to find my way back - I discovered part of Kings Norton that reminded me a lot of an area in Chiswick where Jamesí girl friend lives - a middle class arts and crafts planned suburb. I stopped at a very fetching pub - from this period - and made my way with Ms Wagnerís 3 fem artists newly flown across the Atlantic.
The youngest is Eva Hesse - people like to compare her with S Plath but this is thought to be a bad idea. I am not sure I am convinced - obviously there are good and bad EH/SP comparisons but just because some are bad it doesnít mean they all are. The first section is on Miss Mís favourite artist, Georgia O Keefe - which I am saving til later - when you see her imagery end to end its hard to resist the oonclusion which the artist herself resists. Obviously a puzzle. Finally there is Lee Krasner - who was married to Jackson Pollock. The suggestion here is that there is autobiographical approach to the work - hampered by the artists approach to her own privacy - this is like Orton Jjohns thesis.