The State - A Podcast from The State News + Impact 89FM
In the news today: For our first headline of the day focusing on MSU football, Michigan State fined $100k by Big Ten for Michigan Stadium tunnel incident. For our second headline focusing on this year's thanksgiving break, going home for break told by the out-of-state students at MSU. For our final headline of the day focusing on culture, MSU organizations team up to provide fresh produce for international families.
A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs
Episode one hundred and fifty-seven of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “See Emily Play", the birth of the UK underground, and the career of Roger Barrett, known as Syd. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a twenty-five-minute bonus episode available, on "First Girl I Loved" by the Incredible String Band. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ Resources No Mixcloud this time, due to the number of Pink Floyd songs. I referred to two biographies of Barrett in this episode -- A Very Irregular Head by Rob Chapman is the one I would recommend, and the one whose narrative I have largely followed. Some of the information has been superseded by newer discoveries, but Chapman is almost unique in people writing about Barrett in that he actually seems to care about the facts and try to get things right rather than make up something more interesting. Crazy Diamond by Mike Watkinson and Pete Anderson is much less reliable, but does have quite a few interview quotes that aren't duplicated by Chapman. Information about Joe Boyd comes from Boyd's book White Bicycles. In this and future episodes on Pink Floyd I'm also relying on Nick Mason's Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd and Pink Floyd: All the Songs by Jean-Michel Guesdon and Philippe Margotin. The compilation Relics contains many of the most important tracks from Barrett's time with Pink Floyd, while Piper at the Gates of Dawn is his one full album with them. Those who want a fuller history of his time with the group will want to get Piper and also the box set Cambridge St/ation 1965-1967. Barrett only released two solo albums during his career. They're available as a bundle here. Completists will also want the rarities and outtakes collection Opel. ERRATA: I talk about “Interstellar Overdrive” as if Barrett wrote it solo. The song is credited to all four members, but it was Barrett who came up with the riff I talk about. And annoyingly, given the lengths I went to to deal correctly with Barrett's name, I repeatedly refer to "Dave" Gilmour, when Gilmour prefers David. Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript A note before I begin -- this episode deals with drug use and mental illness, so anyone who might be upset by those subjects might want to skip this one. But also, there's a rather unique problem in how I deal with the name of the main artist in the story today. The man everyone knows as Syd Barrett was born Roger Barrett, used that name with his family for his whole life, and in later years very strongly disliked being called "Syd", yet everyone other than his family called him that at all times until he left the music industry, and that's the name that appears on record labels, including his solo albums. I don't believe it's right to refer to people by names they choose not to go by themselves, but the name Barrett went by throughout his brief period in the public eye was different from the one he went by later, and by all accounts he was actually distressed by its use in later years. So what I'm going to do in this episode is refer to him as "Roger Barrett" when a full name is necessary for disambiguation or just "Barrett" otherwise, but I'll leave any quotes from other people referring to "Syd" as they were originally phrased. In future episodes on Pink Floyd, I'll refer to him just as Barrett, but in episodes where I discuss his influence on other artists, I will probably have to use "Syd Barrett" because otherwise people who haven't listened to this episode won't know what on Earth I'm talking about. Anyway, on with the show. “It's gone!” sighed the Rat, sinking back in his seat again. “So beautiful and strange and new. Since it was to end so soon, I almost wish I had never heard it. For it has roused a longing in me that is pain, and nothing seems worth while but just to hear that sound once more and go on listening to it for ever. No! There it is again!” he cried, alert once more. Entranced, he was silent for a long space, spellbound. “Now it passes on and I begin to lose it,” he said presently. “O Mole! the beauty of it! The merry bubble and joy, the thin, clear, happy call of the distant piping! Such music I never dreamed of, and the call in it is stronger even than the music is sweet! Row on, Mole, row! For the music and the call must be for us.” That's a quote from a chapter titled "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn" from the classic children's book The Wind in the Willows -- a book which for most of its length is a fairly straightforward story about anthropomorphic animals having jovial adventures, but which in that one chapter has Rat and Mole suddenly encounter the Great God Pan and have a hallucinatory, transcendental experience caused by his music, one so extreme it's wiped from their minds, as they simply cannot process it. The book, and the chapter, was a favourite of Roger Barrett, a young child born in Cambridge in 1946. Barrett came from an intellectual but not especially bookish family. His father, Dr. Arthur Barrett, was a pathologist -- there's a room in Addenbrooke's Hospital named after him -- but he was also an avid watercolour painter, a world-leading authority on fungi, and a member of the Cambridge Philharmonic Society who was apparently an extraordinarily good singer; while his mother Winifred was a stay-at-home mother who was nonetheless very active in the community, organising a local Girl Guide troupe. They never particularly encouraged their family to read, but young Roger did particularly enjoy the more pastoral end of the children's literature of the time. As well as the Wind in the Willows he also loved Alice in Wonderland, and the Little Grey Men books -- a series of stories about tiny gnomes and their adventures in the countryside. But his two big passions were music and painting. He got his first ukulele at age eleven, and by the time his father died, just before Roger's sixteenth birthday, he had graduated to playing a full-sized guitar. At the time his musical tastes were largely the same as those of any other British teenager -- he liked Chubby Checker, for example -- though he did have a tendency to prefer the quirkier end of things, and some of the first songs he tried to play on the guitar were those of Joe Brown: [Excerpt: Joe Brown, "I'm Henry VIII I Am"] Barrett grew up in Cambridge, and for those who don't know it, Cambridge is an incubator of a very particular kind of eccentricity. The university tends to attract rather unworldly intellectual overachievers to the city -- people who might not be able to survive in many other situations but who can thrive in that one -- and every description of Barrett's father suggests he was such a person -- Barrett's sister Rosemary has said that she believes that most of the family were autistic, though whether this is a belief based on popular media portrayals or a deeper understanding I don't know. But certainly Cambridge is full of eccentric people with remarkable achievements, and such people tend to have children with a certain type of personality, who try simultaneously to live up to and rebel against expectations of greatness that come from having parents who are regarded as great, and to do so with rather less awareness of social norms than the typical rebel has. In the case of Roger Barrett, he, like so many others of his generation, was encouraged to go into the sciences -- as indeed his father had, both in his career as a pathologist and in his avocation as a mycologist. The fifties and sixties were a time, much like today, when what we now refer to as the STEM subjects were regarded as new and exciting and modern. But rather than following in his father's professional footsteps, Roger Barrett instead followed his hobbies. Dr. Barrett was a painter and musician in his spare time, and Roger was to turn to those things to earn his living. For much of his teens, it seemed that art would be the direction he would go in. He was, everyone agrees, a hugely talented painter, and he was particularly noted for his mastery of colours. But he was also becoming more and more interested in R&B music, especially the music of Bo Diddley, who became his new biggest influence: [Excerpt: Bo Diddley, "Who Do You Love?"] He would often spend hours with his friend Dave Gilmour, a much more advanced guitarist, trying to learn blues riffs. By this point Barrett had already received the nickname "Syd". Depending on which story you believe, he either got it when he started attending a jazz club where an elderly jazzer named Sid Barrett played, and the people were amused that their youngest attendee, like one of the oldest, was called Barrett; or, more plausibly, he turned up to a Scout meeting once wearing a flat cap rather than the normal scout beret, and he got nicknamed "Sid" because it made him look working-class and "Sid" was a working-class sort of name. In 1962, by the time he was sixteen, Barrett joined a short-lived group called Geoff Mott and the Mottoes, on rhythm guitar. The group's lead singer, Geoff Mottlow, would go on to join a band called the Boston Crabs who would have a minor hit in 1965 with a version of the Coasters song "Down in Mexico": [Excerpt: The Boston Crabs, "Down in Mexico"] The bass player from the Mottoes, Tony Sainty, and the drummer Clive Welham, would go on to form another band, The Jokers Wild, with Barrett's friend Dave Gilmour. Barrett also briefly joined another band, Those Without, but his time with them was similarly brief. Some sources -- though ones I consider generally less reliable -- say that the Mottoes' bass player wasn't Tony Sainty, but was Roger Waters, the son of one of Barrett's teachers, and that one of the reasons the band split up was that Waters had moved down to London to study architecture. I don't think that's the case, but it's definitely true that Barrett knew Waters, and when he moved to London himself the next year to go to Camberwell Art College, he moved into a house where Waters was already living. Two previous tenants at the same house, Nick Mason and Richard Wright, had formed a loose band with Waters and various other amateur musicians like Keith Noble, Shelagh Noble, and Clive Metcalfe. That band was sometimes known as the Screaming Abdabs, The Megadeaths, or The Tea Set -- the latter as a sly reference to slang terms for cannabis -- but was mostly known at first as Sigma 6, named after a manifesto by the novelist Alexander Trocchi for a kind of spontaneous university. They were also sometimes known as Leonard's Lodgers, after the landlord of the home that Barrett was moving into, Mike Leonard, who would occasionally sit in on organ and would later, as the band became more of a coherent unit, act as a roadie and put on light shows behind them -- Leonard was himself very interested in avant-garde and experimental art, and it was his idea to play around with the group's lighting. By the time Barrett moved in with Waters in 1964, the group had settled on the Tea Set name, and consisted of Waters on bass, Mason on drums, Wright on keyboards, singer Chris Dennis, and guitarist Rado Klose. Of the group, Klose was the only one who was a skilled musician -- he was a very good jazz guitarist, while the other members were barely adequate. By this time Barrett's musical interests were expanding to include folk music -- his girlfriend at the time talked later about him taking her to see Bob Dylan on his first UK tour and thinking "My first reaction was seeing all these people like Syd. It was almost as if every town had sent one Syd Barrett there. It was my first time seeing people like him." But the music he was most into was the blues. And as the Tea Set were turning into a blues band, he joined them. He even had a name for the new band that would make them more bluesy. He'd read the back of a record cover which had named two extremely obscure blues musicians -- musicians he may never even have heard. Pink Anderson: [Excerpt: Pink Anderson, "Boll Weevil"] And Floyd Council: [Excerpt: Floyd Council, "Runaway Man Blues"] Barrett suggested that they put together the names of the two bluesmen, and presumably because "Anderson Council" didn't have quite the right ring, they went for The Pink Floyd -- though for a while yet they would sometimes still perform as The Tea Set, and they were sometimes also called The Pink Floyd Sound. Dennis left soon after Barrett joined, and the new five-piece Pink Floyd Sound started trying to get more gigs. They auditioned for Ready Steady Go! and were turned down, but did get some decent support slots, including for a band called the Tridents: [Excerpt: The Tridents, "Tiger in Your Tank"] The members of the group were particularly impressed by the Tridents' guitarist and the way he altered his sound using feedback -- Barrett even sent a letter to his girlfriend with a drawing of the guitarist, one Jeff Beck, raving about how good he was. At this point, the group were mostly performing cover versions, but they did have a handful of originals, and it was these they recorded in their first demo sessions in late 1964 and early 1965. They included "Walk With Me Sydney", a song written by Roger Waters as a parody of "Work With Me Annie" and "Dance With Me Henry" -- and, given the lyrics, possibly also Hank Ballard's follow-up "Henry's Got Flat Feet (Can't Dance No More) and featuring Rick Wright's then-wife Juliette Gale as Etta James to Barrett's Richard Berry: [Excerpt: The Tea Set, "Walk With Me Sydney"] And four songs by Barrett, including one called "Double-O Bo" which was a Bo Diddley rip-off, and "Butterfly", the most interesting of these early recordings: [Excerpt: The Tea Set, "Butterfly"] At this point, Barrett was very unsure of his own vocal abilities, and wrote a letter to his girlfriend saying "Emo says why don't I give up 'cos it sounds horrible, and I would but I can't get Fred to join because he's got a group (p'raps you knew!) so I still have to sing." "Fred" was a nickname for his old friend Dave Gilmour, who was playing in his own band, Joker's Wild, at this point. Summer 1965 saw two important events in the life of the group. The first was that Barrett took LSD for the first time. The rest of the group weren't interested in trying it, and would indeed generally be one of the more sober bands in the rock business, despite the reputation their music got. The other members would for the most part try acid once or twice, around late 1966, but generally steer clear of it. Barrett, by contrast, took it on a very regular basis, and it would influence all the work he did from that point on. The other event was that Rado Klose left the group. Klose was the only really proficient musician in the group, but he had very different tastes to the other members, preferring to play jazz to R&B and pop, and he was also falling behind in his university studies, and decided to put that ahead of remaining in the band. This meant that the group members had to radically rethink the way they were making music. They couldn't rely on instrumental proficiency, so they had to rely on ideas. One of the things they started to do was use echo. They got primitive echo devices and put both Barrett's guitar and Wright's keyboard through them, allowing them to create new sounds that hadn't been heard on stage before. But they were still mostly doing the same Slim Harpo and Bo Diddley numbers everyone else was doing, and weren't able to be particularly interesting while playing them. But for a while they carried on doing the normal gigs, like a birthday party they played in late 1965, where on the same bill was a young American folk singer named Paul Simon, and Joker's Wild, the band Dave Gilmour was in, who backed Simon on a version of "Johnny B. Goode". A couple of weeks after that party, Joker's Wild went into the studio to record their only privately-pressed five-song record, of them performing recent hits: [Excerpt: Joker's Wild, "Walk Like a Man"] But The Pink Floyd Sound weren't as musically tight as Joker's Wild, and they couldn't make a living as a cover band even if they wanted to. They had to do something different. Inspiration then came from a very unexpected source. I mentioned earlier that one of the names the group had been performing under had been inspired by a manifesto for a spontaneous university by the writer Alexander Trocchi. Trocchi's ideas had actually been put into practice by an organisation calling itself the London Free School, based in Notting Hill. The London Free School was an interesting mixture of people from what was then known as the New Left, but who were already rapidly aging, the people who had been the cornerstone of radical campaigning in the late fifties and early sixties, who had run the Aldermaston marches against nuclear weapons and so on, and a new breed of countercultural people who in a year or two would be defined as hippies but at the time were not so easy to pigeonhole. These people were mostly politically radical but very privileged people -- one of the founder members of the London Free School was Peter Jenner, who was the son of a vicar and the grandson of a Labour MP -- and they were trying to put their radical ideas into practice. The London Free School was meant to be a collective of people who would help each other and themselves, and who would educate each other. You'd go to the collective wanting to learn how to do something, whether that's how to improve the housing in your area or navigate some particularly difficult piece of bureaucracy, or how to play a musical instrument, and someone who had that skill would teach you how to do it, while you hopefully taught them something else of value. The London Free School, like all such utopian schemes, ended up falling apart, but it had a wider cultural impact than most such schemes. Britain's first underground newspaper, the International Times, was put together by people involved in the Free School, and the annual Notting Hill Carnival, which is now one of the biggest outdoor events in Britain every year with a million attendees, came from the merger of outdoor events organised by the Free School with older community events. A group of musicians called AMM was associated with many of the people involved in the Free School. AMM performed totally improvised music, with no structure and no normal sense of melody and harmony: [Excerpt: AMM, "What Is There In Uselesness To Cause You Distress?"] Keith Rowe, the guitarist in AMM, wanted to find his own technique uninfluenced by American jazz guitarists, and thought of that in terms that appealed very strongly to the painterly Barrett, saying "For the Americans to develop an American school of painting, they somehow had to ditch or lose European easel painting techniques. They had to make a break with the past. What did that possibly mean if you were a jazz guitar player? For me, symbolically, it was Pollock laying the canvas on the floor, which immediately abandons European easel technique. I could see that by laying the canvas down, it became inappropriate to apply easel techniques. I thought if I did that with a guitar, I would just lose all those techniques, because they would be physically impossible to do." Rowe's technique-free technique inspired Barrett to make similar noises with his guitar, and to think less in terms of melody and harmony than pure sound. AMM's first record came out in 1966. Four of the Free School people decided to put together their own record label, DNA, and they got an agreement with Elektra Records to distribute its first release -- Joe Boyd, the head of Elektra in the UK, was another London Free School member, and someone who had plenty of experience with disruptive art already, having been on the sound engineering team at the Newport Folk Festival when Dylan went electric. AMM went into the studio and recorded AMMMusic: [Excerpt: AMM, "What Is There In Uselesness To Cause You Distress?"] After that came out, though, Peter Jenner, one of the people who'd started the label, came to a realisation. He said later "We'd made this one record with AMM. Great record, very seminal, seriously avant-garde, but I'd started adding up and I'd worked out that the deal we had, we got two percent of retail, out of which we, the label, had to pay for recording costs and pay ourselves. I came to the conclusion that we were going to have to sell a hell of a lot of records just to pay the recording costs, let alone pay ourselves any money and build a label, so I realised we had to have a pop band because pop bands sold a lot of records. It was as simple as that and I was as naive as that." Jenner abandoned DNA records for the moment, and he and his friend Andrew King decided they were going to become pop managers. and they found The Pink Floyd Sound playing at an event at the Marquee, one of a series of events that were variously known as Spontaneous Underground and The Trip. Other participants in those events included Soft Machine; Mose Allison; Donovan, performing improvised songs backed by sitar players; Graham Bond; a performer who played Bach pieces while backed by African drummers; and The Poison Bellows, a poetry duo consisting of Spike Hawkins and Johnny Byrne, who may of all of these performers be the one who other than Pink Floyd themselves has had the most cultural impact in the UK -- after writing the exploitation novel Groupie and co-writing a film adaptation of Spike Milligan's war memoirs, Byrne became a TV screenwriter, writing many episodes of Space: 1999 and Doctor Who before creating the long-running TV series Heartbeat. Jenner and King decided they wanted to sign The Pink Floyd Sound and make records with them, and the group agreed -- but only after their summer holidays. They were all still students, and so they dispersed during the summer. Waters and Wright went on holiday to Greece, where they tried acid for the first of only a small number of occasions and were unimpressed, while Mason went on a trip round America by Greyhound bus. Barrett, meanwhile, stayed behind, and started writing more songs, encouraged by Jenner, who insisted that the band needed to stop relying on blues covers and come up with their own material, and who saw Barrett as the focus of the group. Jenner later described them as "Four not terribly competent musicians who managed between them to create something that was extraordinary. Syd was the main creative drive behind the band - he was the singer and lead guitarist. Roger couldn't tune his bass because he was tone deaf, it had to be tuned by Rick. Rick could write a bit of a tune and Roger could knock out a couple of words if necessary. 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun' was the first song Roger ever wrote, and he only did it because Syd encouraged everyone to write. Syd was very hesitant about his writing, but when he produced these great songs everyone else thought 'Well, it must be easy'" Of course, we know this isn't quite true -- Waters had written "Walk with me Sydney" -- but it is definitely the case that everyone involved thought of Barrett as the main creative force in the group, and that he was the one that Jenner was encouraging to write new material. After the summer holidays, the group reconvened, and one of their first actions was to play a benefit for the London Free School. Jenner said later "Andrew King and myself were both vicars' sons, and we knew that when you want to raise money for the parish you have to have a social. So in a very old-fashioned way we said 'let's put on a social'. Like in the Just William books, like a whist drive. We thought 'You can't have a whist drive. That's not cool. Let's have a band. That would be cool.' And the only band we knew was the band I was starting to get involved with." After a couple of these events went well, Joe Boyd suggested that they make those events a regular club night, and the UFO Club was born. Jenner and King started working on the light shows for the group, and then bringing in other people, and the light show became an integral part of the group's mystique -- rather than standing in a spotlight as other groups would, they worked in shadows, with distorted kaleidoscopic lights playing on them, distancing themselves from the audience. The highlight of their sets was a long piece called "Interstellar Overdrive", and this became one of the group's first professional recordings, when they went into the studio with Joe Boyd to record it for the soundtrack of a film titled Tonite Let's All Make Love in London. There are conflicting stories about the inspiration for the main riff for "Interstellar Overdrive". One apparent source is the riff from Love's version of the Bacharach and David song "My Little Red Book". Depending on who you ask, either Barrett was obsessed with Love's first album and copied the riff, or Peter Jenner tried to hum him the riff and Barrett copied what Jenner was humming: [Excerpt: Love, "My Little Red Book"] More prosaically, Roger Waters has always claimed that the main inspiration was from "Old Ned", Ron Grainer's theme tune for the sitcom Steptoe and Son (which for American listeners was remade over there as Sanford and Son): [Excerpt: Ron Grainer, "Old Ned"] Of course it's entirely possible, and even likely, that Barrett was inspired by both, and if so that would neatly sum up the whole range of Pink Floyd's influences at this point. "My Little Red Book" was a cover by an American garage-psych/folk-rock band of a hit by Manfred Mann, a group who were best known for pop singles but were also serious blues and jazz musicians, while Steptoe and Son was a whimsical but dark and very English sitcom about a way of life that was slowly disappearing. And you can definitely hear both influences in the main riff of the track they recorded with Boyd: [Excerpt: The Pink Floyd, "Interstellar Overdrive"] "Interstellar Overdrive" was one of two types of song that The Pink Floyd were performing at this time -- a long, extended, instrumental psychedelic excuse for freaky sounds, inspired by things like the second disc of Freak Out! by the Mothers of Invention. When they went into the studio again with Boyd later in January 1967, to record what they hoped would be their first single, they recorded two of the other kind of songs -- whimsical story songs inspired equally by the incidents of everyday life and by children's literature. What became the B-side, "Candy and a Currant Bun", was based around the riff from "Smokestack Lightnin'" by Howlin' Wolf: [Excerpt: Howlin' Wolf, "Smokestack Lightnin'"] That song had become a favourite on the British blues scene, and was thus the inspiration for many songs of the type that get called "quintessentially English". Ray Davies, who was in many ways the major songwriter at this time who was closest to Barrett stylistically, would a year later use the riff for the Kinks song "Last of the Steam-Powered Trains", but in this case Barrett had originally written a song titled "Let's Roll Another One", about sexual longing and cannabis. The lyrics were hastily rewritten in the studio to remove the controversial drug references-- and supposedly this caused some conflict between Barrett and Waters, with Waters pushing for the change, while Barrett argued against it, though like many of the stories from this period this sounds like the kind of thing that gets said by people wanting to push particular images of both men. Either way, the lyric was changed to be about sweet treats rather than drugs, though the lascivious elements remained in. And some people even argue that there was another lyric change -- where Barrett sings "walk with me", there's a slight "f" sound in his vocal. As someone who does a lot of microphone work myself, it sounds to me like just one of those things that happens while recording, but a lot of people are very insistent that Barrett is deliberately singing a different word altogether: [Excerpt: The Pink Floyd, "Candy and a Currant Bun"] The A-side, meanwhile, was inspired by real life. Both Barrett and Waters had mothers who used to take in female lodgers, and both had regularly had their lodgers' underwear stolen from washing lines. While they didn't know anything else about the thief, he became in Barrett's imagination a man who liked to dress up in the clothing after he stole it: [Excerpt: The Pink Floyd, "Arnold Layne"] After recording the two tracks with Joe Boyd, the natural assumption was that the record would be put out on Elektra, the label which Boyd worked for in the UK, but Jac Holzman, the head of Elektra records, wasn't interested, and so a bidding war began for the single, as by this point the group were the hottest thing in London. For a while it looked like they were going to sign to Track Records, the label owned by the Who's management, but in the end EMI won out. Right as they signed, the News of the World was doing a whole series of articles about pop stars and their drug use, and the last of the articles talked about The Pink Floyd and their association with LSD, even though they hadn't released a record yet. EMI had to put out a press release saying that the group were not psychedelic, insisting"The Pink Floyd are not trying to create hallucinatory effects in their audience." It was only after getting signed that the group became full-time professionals. Waters had by this point graduated from university and was working as a trainee architect, and quit his job to become a pop star. Wright dropped out of university, but Mason and Barrett took sabbaticals. Barrett in particular seems to have seen this very much as a temporary thing, talking about how he was making so much money it would be foolish not to take the opportunity while it lasted, but how he was going to resume his studies in a year. "Arnold Layne" made the top twenty, and it would have gone higher had the pirate radio station Radio London, at the time the single most popular radio station when it came to pop music, not banned the track because of its sexual content. However, it would be the only single Joe Boyd would work on with the group. EMI insisted on only using in-house producers, and so while Joe Boyd would go on to a great career as a producer, and we'll see him again, he was replaced with Norman Smith. Smith had been the chief engineer on the Beatles records up to Rubber Soul, after which he'd been promoted to being a producer in his own right, and Geoff Emerick had taken over. He also had aspirations to pop stardom himself, and a few years later would have a transatlantic hit with "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?" under the name Hurricane Smith: [Excerpt: Hurricane Smith, "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?"] Smith's production of the group would prove controversial among some of the group's longtime fans, who thought that he did too much to curtail their more experimental side, as he would try to get the group to record songs that were more structured and more commercial, and would cut down their improvisations into a more manageable form. Others, notably Peter Jenner, thought that Smith was the perfect producer for the group. They started work on their first album, which was mostly recorded in studio three of Abbey Road, while the Beatles were just finishing off work on Sgt Pepper in studio two. The album was titled The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, after the chapter from The Wind in the Willows, and other than a few extended instrumental showcases, most of the album was made up of short, whimsical, songs by Barrett that were strongly infused with imagery from late-Victorian and Edwardian children's books. This is one of the big differences between the British and American psychedelic scenes. Both the British and American undergrounds were made up of the same type of people -- a mixture of older radical activists, often Communists, who had come up in Britain in the Ban the Bomb campaigns and in America in the Civil Rights movement; and younger people, usually middle-class students with radical politics from a privileged background, who were into experimenting with drugs and alternative lifestyles. But the social situations were different. In America, the younger members of the underground were angry and scared, as their principal interest was in stopping the war in Vietnam in which so many of them were being killed. And the music of the older generation of the underground, the Civil Rights activists, was shot through with influence from the blues, gospel, and American folk music, with a strong Black influence. So that's what the American psychedelic groups played, for the most part, very bluesy, very angry, music, By contrast, the British younger generation of hippies were not being drafted to go to war, and mostly had little to complain about, other than a feeling of being stifled by their parents' generation's expectations. And while most of them were influenced by the blues, that wasn't the music that had been popular among the older underground people, who had either been listening to experimental European art music or had been influenced by Ewan MacColl and his associates into listening instead to traditional old English ballads, things like the story of Tam Lin or Thomas the Rhymer, where someone is spirited away to the land of the fairies: [Excerpt: Ewan MacColl, "Thomas the Rhymer"] As a result, most British musicians, when exposed to the culture of the underground over here, created music that looked back to an idealised childhood of their grandparents' generation, songs that were nostalgic for a past just before the one they could remember (as opposed to their own childhoods, which had taken place in war or the immediate aftermath of it, dominated by poverty, rationing, and bomb sites (though of course Barrett's childhood in Cambridge had been far closer to this mythic idyll than those of his contemporaries from Liverpool, Birmingham, Newcastle, or London). So almost every British musician who was making music that might be called psychedelic was writing songs that were influenced both by experimental art music and by pre-War popular song, and which conjured up images from older children's books. Most notably of course at this point the Beatles were recording songs like "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" about places from their childhood, and taking lyrical inspiration from Victorian circus posters and the works of Lewis Carroll, but Barrett was similarly inspired. One of the books he loved most as a child was "The Little Grey Men" by BB, a penname for Denys Watkins-Pitchford. The book told the story of three gnomes, Baldmoney, Sneezewort, and Dodder, and their adventures on a boat when the fourth member of their little group, Cloudberry, who's a bit of a rebellious loner and more adventurous than the other three, goes exploring on his own and they have to go off and find him. Barrett's song "The Gnome" doesn't use any precise details from the book, but its combination of whimsy about a gnome named Grimble-gromble and a reverence for nature is very much in the mould of BB's work: [Excerpt: The Pink Floyd, "The Gnome"] Another huge influence on Barrett was Hillaire Belloc. Belloc is someone who is not read much any more, as sadly he is mostly known for the intense antisemitism in some of his writing, which stains it just as so much of early twentieth-century literature is stained, but he was one of the most influential writers of the early part of the twentieth century. Like his friend GK Chesterton he was simultaneously an author of Catholic apologia and a political campaigner -- he was a Liberal MP for a few years, and a strong advocate of an economic system known as Distributism, and had a peculiar mixture of very progressive and extremely reactionary ideas which resonated with a lot of the atmosphere in the British underground of the time, even though he would likely have profoundly disapproved of them. But Belloc wrote in a variety of styles, including poems for children, which are the works of his that have aged the best, and were a huge influence on later children's writers like Roald Dahl with their gleeful comic cruelty. Barrett's "Matilda Mother" had lyrics that were, other than the chorus where Barrett begs his mother to read him more of the story, taken verbatim from three poems from Belloc's Cautionary Tales for Children -- "Jim, Who Ran away from his Nurse, and was Eaten by a Lion", "Henry King (Who chewed bits of String, and was cut off in Dreadful Agonies)", and "Matilda (Who Told Lies and Was Burned to Death)" -- the titles of those give some idea of the kind of thing Belloc would write: [Excerpt: The Pink Floyd, "Matilda Mother (early version)"] Sadly for Barrett, Belloc's estate refused to allow permission for his poems to be used, and so he had to rework the lyrics, writing new fairy-tale lyrics for the finished version. Other sources of inspiration for lyrics came from books like the I Ching, which Barrett used for "Chapter 24", having bought a copy from the Indica Bookshop, the same place that John Lennon had bought The Psychedelic Experience, and there's been some suggestion that he was deliberately trying to copy Lennon in taking lyrical ideas from a book of ancient mystic wisdom. During the recording of Piper at the Gates of Dawn, the group continued playing live. As they'd now had a hit single, most of their performances were at Top Rank Ballrooms and other such venues around the country, on bills with other top chart groups, playing to audiences who seemed unimpressed or actively hostile. They also, though made two important appearances. The more well-known of these was at the 14-Hour Technicolor Dream, a benefit for International Times magazine with people including Yoko Ono, their future collaborator Ron Geesin, John's Children, Soft Machine, and The Move also performing. The 14-Hour Technicolor Dream is now largely regarded as *the* pivotal moment in the development of the UK counterculture, though even at the time some participants noted that there seemed to be a rift developing between the performers, who were often fairly straightforward beer-drinking ambitious young men who had latched on to kaftans and talk about enlightenment as the latest gimmick they could use to get ahead in the industry, and the audience who seemed to be true believers. Their other major performance was at an event called "Games for May -- Space Age Relaxation for the Climax of Spring", where they were able to do a full long set in a concert space with a quadrophonic sound system, rather than performing in the utterly sub-par environments most pop bands had to at this point. They came up with a new song written for the event, which became their second single, "See Emily Play". [Excerpt: The Pink Floyd, "See Emily Play"] Emily was apparently always a favourite name of Barrett's, and he even talked with one girlfriend about the possibility of naming their first child Emily, but the Emily of the song seems to have had a specific inspiration. One of the youngest attendees at the London Free School was an actual schoolgirl, Emily Young, who would go along to their events with her schoolfriend Anjelica Huston (who later became a well-known film star). Young is now a world-renowned artist, regarded as arguably Britain's greatest living stone sculptor, but at the time she was very like the other people at the London Free School -- she was from a very privileged background, her father was Wayland Young, 2nd Baron Kennet, a Labour Peer and minister who later joined the SDP. But being younger than the rest of the attendees, and still a little naive, she was still trying to find her own personality, and would take on attributes and attitudes of other people without fully understanding them, hence the song's opening lines, "Emily tries, but misunderstands/She's often inclined to borrow somebody's dream til tomorrow". The song gets a little darker towards the end though, and the image in the last verse, where she puts on a gown and floats down a river forever *could* be a gentle, pastoral, image of someone going on a boat ride, but it also could be a reference to two rather darker sources. Barrett was known to pick up imagery both from classic literature and from Arthurian legend, and so the lines inevitably conjure up both the idea of Ophelia drowning herself and of the Lady of Shallot in Tennyson's Arthurian poem, who is trapped in a tower but finds a boat, and floats down the river to Camelot but dies before the boat reaches the castle: [Excerpt: The Pink Floyd, "See Emily Play"] The song also evokes very specific memories of Barrett's childhood -- according to Roger Waters, the woods mentioned in the lyrics are meant to be woods in which they had played as children, on the road out of Cambridge towards the Gog and Magog Hills. The song was apparently seven minutes long in its earliest versions, and required a great deal of editing to get down to single length, but it was worth it, as the track made the top ten. And that was where the problems started. There are two different stories told about what happened to Roger Barrett over the next forty years, and both stories are told by people with particular agendas, who want particular versions of him to become the accepted truth. Both stories are, in the extreme versions that have been popularised, utterly incompatible with each other, but both are fairly compatible with the scanty evidence we have. Possibly the truth lies somewhere between them. In one version of the story, around this time Barrett had a total mental breakdown, brought on or exacerbated by his overuse of LSD and Mandrax (a prescription drug consisting of a mixture of the antihistamine diphenhydramine and the sedative methaqualone, which was marketed in the US under the brand-name Quaalude), and that from late summer 1967 on he was unable to lead a normal life, and spent the rest of his life as a burned-out shell. The other version of the story is that Barrett was a little fragile, and did have periods of mental illness, but for the most part was able to function fairly well. In this version of the story, he was neurodivergent, and found celebrity distressing, but more than that he found the whole process of working within commercial restrictions upsetting -- having to appear on TV pop shows and go on package tours was just not something he found himself able to do, but he was responsible for a whole apparatus of people who relied on him and his group for their living. In this telling, he was surrounded by parasites who looked on him as their combination meal-ticket-cum-guru, and was simply not suited for the role and wanted to sabotage it so he could have a private life instead. Either way, *something* seems to have changed in Barrett in a profound way in the early summer of 1967. Joe Boyd talks about meeting him after not having seen him for a few weeks, and all the light being gone from his eyes. The group appeared on Top of the Pops, Britain's top pop TV show, three times to promote "See Emily Play", but by the third time Barrett didn't even pretend to mime along with the single. Towards the end of July, they were meant to record a session for the BBC's Saturday Club radio show, but Barrett walked out of the studio before completing the first song. It's notable that Barrett's non-cooperation or inability to function was very much dependent on circumstance. He was not able to perform for Saturday Club, a mainstream pop show aimed at a mass audience, but gave perfectly good performances on several sessions for John Peel's radio show The Perfumed Garden, a show firmly aimed at Pink Floyd's own underground niche. On the thirty-first of July, three days after the Saturday Club walkout, all the group's performances for the next month were cancelled, due to "nervous exhaustion". But on the eighth of August, they went back into the studio, to record "Scream Thy Last Scream", a song Barrett wrote and which Nick Mason sang: [Excerpt: Pink Floyd, "Scream Thy Last Scream"] That was scheduled as the group's next single, but the record company vetoed it, and it wouldn't see an official release for forty-nine years. Instead they recorded another single, "Apples and Oranges": [Excerpt: Pink Floyd, "Apples and Oranges"] That was the last thing the group released while Barrett was a member. In November 1967 they went on a tour of the US, making appearances on American Bandstand and the Pat Boone Show, as well as playing several gigs. According to legend, Barrett was almost catatonic on the Pat Boone show, though no footage of that appears to be available anywhere -- and the same things were said about their performance on Bandstand, and when that turned up, it turned out Barrett seemed no more uncomfortable miming to their new single than any of the rest of the band, and was no less polite when Dick Clark asked them questions about hamburgers. But on shows on the US tour, Barrett would do things like detune his guitar so it just made clanging sounds, or just play a single note throughout the show. These are, again, things that could be taken in two different ways, and I have no way to judge which is the more correct. On one level, they could be a sign of a chaotic, disordered, mind, someone dealing with severe mental health difficulties. On the other, they're the kind of thing that Barrett was applauded and praised for in the confines of the kind of avant-garde underground audience that would pay to hear AMM or Yoko Ono, the kind of people they'd been performing for less than a year earlier, but which were absolutely not appropriate for a pop group trying to promote their latest hit single. It could be that Barrett was severely unwell, or it could just be that he wanted to be an experimental artist and his bandmates wanted to be pop stars -- and one thing absolutely everyone agrees is that the rest of the group were more ambitious than Barrett was. Whichever was the case, though, something had to give. They cut the US tour short, but immediately started another British package tour, with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Move, Amen Corner and the Nice. After that tour they started work on their next album, A Saucerful of Secrets. Where Barrett was the lead singer and principal songwriter on Piper at the Gates of Dawn, he only sings and writes one song on A Saucerful of Secrets, which is otherwise written by Waters and Wright, and only appears at all on two more of the tracks -- by the time it was released he was out of the group. The last song he tried to get the group to record was called "Have You Got it Yet?" and it was only after spending some time rehearsing it that the rest of the band realised that the song was a practical joke on them -- every time they played it, he would change the song around so they would mess up, and pretend they just hadn't learned the song yet. They brought in Barrett's old friend Dave Gilmour, initially to be a fifth member on stage to give the band some stability in their performances, but after five shows with the five-man lineup they decided just not to bother picking Barrett up, but didn't mention he was out of the group, to avoid awkwardness. At the time, Barrett and Rick Wright were flatmates, and Wright would actually lie to Barrett and say he was just going out to buy a packet of cigarettes, and then go and play gigs without him. After a couple of months of this, it was officially announced that Barrett was leaving the group. Jenner and King went with him, convinced that he was the real talent in the group and would have a solo career, and the group carried on with new management. We'll be looking at them more in future episodes. Barrett made a start at recording a solo album in mid-1968, but didn't get very far. Jenner produced those sessions, and later said "It seemed a good idea to go into the studio because I knew he had the songs. And he would sometimes play bits and pieces and you would think 'Oh that's great.' It was a 'he's got a bit of a cold today and it might get better' approach. It wasn't a cold -- and you knew it wasn't a cold -- but I kept thinking if he did the right things he'd come back to join us. He'd gone out and maybe he'd come back. That was always the analogy in my head. I wanted to make it feel friendly for him, and that where we were was a comfortable place and that he could come back and find himself again. I obviously didn't succeed." A handful of tracks from those sessions have since been released, including a version of “Golden Hair”, a setting by Barrett of a poem by James Joyce that he would later revisit: [Excerpt: Syd Barrett, “Golden Hair (first version)”] Eleven months later, he went back into the studio again, this time with producer Malcolm Jones, to record an album that later became The Madcap Laughs, his first solo album. The recording process for the album has been the source of some controversy, as initially Jones was producing the whole album, and they were working in a way that Barrett never worked before. Where previously he had cut backing tracks first and only later overdubbed his vocals, this time he started by recording acoustic guitar and vocals, and then overdubbed on top of that. But after several sessions, Jones was pulled off the album, and Gilmour and Waters were asked to produce the rest of the sessions. This may seem a bit of a callous decision, since Gilmour was the person who had replaced Barrett in his group, but apparently the two of them had remained friends, and indeed Gilmour thought that Barrett had only got better as a songwriter since leaving the band. Where Malcolm Jones had been trying, by his account, to put out something that sounded like a serious, professional, record, Gilmour and Waters seemed to regard what they were doing more as producing a piece of audio verite documentary, including false starts and studio chatter. Jones believed that this put Barrett in a bad light, saying the outtakes "show Syd, at best as out of tune, which he rarely was, and at worst as out of control (which, again, he never was)." Gilmour and Waters, on the other hand, thought that material was necessary to provide some context for why the album wasn't as slick and professional as some might have hoped. The eventual record was a hodge-podge of different styles from different sessions, with bits from the Jenner sessions, the Jones sessions, and the Waters and Gilmour sessions all mixed together, with some tracks just Barrett badly double-tracking himself with an acoustic guitar, while other tracks feature full backing by Soft Machine. However, despite Jones' accusations that the album was more-or-less sabotaged by Gilmour and Waters, the fact remains that the best tracks on the album are the ones Barrett's former bandmates produced, and there are some magnificent moments on there. But it's a disturbing album to listen to, in the same way other albums by people with clear talent but clear mental illness are, like Skip Spence's Oar, Roky Erickson's later work, or the Beach Boys Love You. In each case, the pleasure one gets is a real pleasure from real aesthetic appreciation of the work, but entangled with an awareness that the work would not exist in that form were the creator not suffering. The pleasure doesn't come from the suffering -- these are real artists creating real art, not the kind of outsider art that is really just a modern-day freak-show -- but it's still inextricable from it: [Excerpt: Syd Barrett, "Dark Globe"] The Madcap Laughs did well enough that Barrett got to record a follow-up, titled simply Barrett. This one was recorded over a period of only a handful of months, with Gilmour and Rick Wright producing, and a band consisting of Gilmour, Wright, and drummer Jerry Shirley. The album is generally considered both more consistent and less interesting than The Madcap Laughs, with less really interesting material, though there are some enjoyable moments on it: [Excerpt: Syd Barrett, "Effervescing Elephant"] But the album is a little aimless, and people who knew him at the time seem agreed that that was a reflection of his life. He had nothing he *needed* to be doing -- no tour dates, no deadlines, no pressure at all, and he had a bit of money from record royalties -- so he just did nothing at all. The one solo gig he ever played, with the band who backed him on Barrett, lasted four songs, and he walked off half-way through the fourth. He moved back to Cambridge for a while in the early seventies, and he tried putting together a new band with Twink, the drummer of the Pink Fairies and Pretty Things, Fred Frith, and Jack Monck, but Frith left after one gig. The other three performed a handful of shows either as "Stars" or as "Barrett, Adler, and Monck", just in the Cambridge area, but soon Barrett got bored again. He moved back to London, and in 1974 he made one final attempt to make a record, going into the studio with Peter Jenner, where he recorded a handful of tracks that were never released. But given that the titles of those tracks were things like "Boogie #1", "Boogie #2", "Slow Boogie", "Fast Boogie", "Chooka-Chooka Chug Chug" and "John Lee Hooker", I suspect we're not missing out on a lost masterpiece. Around this time there was a general resurgence in interest in Barrett, prompted by David Bowie having recorded a version of "See Emily Play" on his covers album Pin-Ups, which came out in late 1973: [Excerpt: David Bowie, "See Emily Play"] At the same time, the journalist Nick Kent wrote a long profile of Barrett, The Cracked Ballad of Syd Barrett, which like Kent's piece on Brian Wilson a year later, managed to be a remarkable piece of writing with a sense of sympathy for its subject and understanding of his music, but also a less-than-accurate piece of journalism which led to a lot of myths and disinformation being propagated. Barrett briefly visited his old bandmates in the studio in 1975 while they were recording the album Wish You Were Here -- some say even during the recording of the song "Shine On, You Crazy Diamond", which was written specifically about Barrett, though Nick Mason claims otherwise -- and they didn't recognise him at first, because by this point he had a shaved head and had put on a great deal of weight. He seemed rather sad, and that was the last time any of them saw him, apart from Roger Waters, who saw him in Harrod's a few years later. That time, as soon as Barrett recognised Waters, he dropped his bag and ran out of the shop. For the next thirty-one years, Barrett made no public appearances. The last time he ever voluntarily spoke to a journalist, other than telling them to go away, was in 1982, just after he'd moved back to Cambridge, when someone doorstopped him and he answered a few questions and posed for a photo before saying "OK! That's enough, this is distressing for me, thank you." He had the reputation for the rest of his life of being a shut-in, a recluse, an acid casualty. His family, on the other hand, have always claimed that while he was never particularly mentally or physically healthy, he wasn't a shut-in, and would go to the pub, meet up with his mother a couple of times a week to go shopping, and chat to the women behind the counter at Sainsbury's and at the pharmacy. He was also apparently very good with children who lived in the neighbourhood. Whatever the truth of his final decades, though, however mentally well or unwell he actually was, one thing is very clear, which is that he was an extremely private man, who did not want attention, and who was greatly distressed by the constant stream of people coming and looking through his letterbox, trying to take photos of him, trying to interview him, and so on. Everyone on his street knew that when people came asking which was Syd Barrett's house, they were meant to say that no-one of that name lived there -- and they were telling the truth. By the time he moved back, he had stopped answering to "Syd" altogether, and according to his sister "He came to hate the name latterly, and what it meant." He did, in 2001, go round to his sister's house to watch a documentary about himself on the TV -- he didn't own a TV himself -- but he didn't enjoy it and his only comment was that the music was too noisy. By this point he never listened to rock music, just to jazz and classical music, usually on the radio. He was financially secure -- Dave Gilmour made sure that when compilations came out they always included some music from Barrett's period in the group so he would receive royalties, even though Gilmour had no contact with him after 1975 -- and he spent most of his time painting -- he would take photos of the paintings when they were completed, and then burn the originals. There are many stories about those last few decades, but given how much he valued his privacy, it wouldn't be right to share them. This is a history of rock music, and 1975 was the last time Roger Keith Barrett ever had anything to do with rock music voluntarily. He died of cancer in 2006, and at his funeral there was a reading from The Little Grey Men, which was also quoted in the Order of Service -- "The wonder of the world, the beauty and the power, the shapes of things, their colours lights and shades; these I saw. Look ye also while life lasts.” There was no rock music played at Barrett's funeral -- instead there were a selection of pieces by Handel, Haydn, and Bach, ending with Bach's Allemande from the Partita No. IV in D major, one of his favourite pieces: [Excerpt: Glenn Gould, "Allemande from the Partita No. IV in D major"] As they stared blankly in dumb misery deepening as they slowly realised all they had seen and all they had lost, a capricious little breeze, dancing up from the surface of the water, tossed the aspens, shook the dewy roses and blew lightly and caressingly in their faces; and with its soft touch came instant oblivion. For this is the last best gift that the kindly demi-god is careful to bestow on those to whom he has revealed himself in their helping: the gift of forgetfulness. Lest the awful remembrance should remain and grow, and overshadow mirth and pleasure, and the great haunting memory should spoil all the after-lives of little animals helped out of difficulties, in order that they should be happy and lighthearted as before. Mole rubbed his eyes and stared at Rat, who was looking about him in a puzzled sort of way. “I beg your pardon; what did you say, Rat?” he asked. “I think I was only remarking,” said Rat slowly, “that this was the right sort of place, and that here, if anywhere, we should find him. And look! Why, there he is, the little fellow!” And with a cry of delight he ran towards the slumbering Portly. But Mole stood still a moment, held in thought. As one wakened suddenly from a beautiful dream, who struggles to recall it, and can re-capture nothing but a dim sense of the beauty of it, the beauty! Till that, too, fades away in its turn, and the dreamer bitterly accepts the hard, cold waking and all its penalties; so Mole, after struggling with his memory for a brief space, shook his head sadly and followed the Rat.
In the news today: For our first headline of the day focusing on Michigan State Men's Basketball, FINAL: MSU men's basketball separates late versus GVSU in exhibition game. For our second headline focusing on Michigan State Football, four additional Michigan State players suspended following tunnel altercation at Michigan Stadium. For our final headline of the day focusing on culture, MSU Horticulture Gardens to hold annual houseplant and succulent sale.
We hope you brought your thickest black mascara, your fishnets, and your leather black trench coat because the GateCrashers are getting all kinds of Goth as we cover The Sandman! It's their first time reading it and the first time Neil Gaiman has been covered on GateCrashers! Jake and Dan both read The Sandman from DC Comics for the first time ever. It's the first episode in nearly 2 years where neither of these hosts has had read the title before preparing for the episode. Spoiler for the episode but they both love The Sandman. Maybe not as much as Wesley Dodds but Dream is getting pretty high on the cool character scale with his goofy little guy posing in his debut series. The series helped kick off DC's iconic Vertigo imprint that features other titles like Swamp Thing and more. With the new Netflix series on the horizon, we decided it was finally time to crash the gates of The Sandman's dream kingdom to see if the comic is one you should check out. It's a great series but you should be prepared for some unsettling topics that may not be for all readers. As always, the first half of the episode is dedicated to telling you a little bit about the series to see if it's for you! We get into the themes explored in the first book of The Sandman. Dan goes on a rant about how good the covers of the series are and how they're iconic. The series first 8 issues are currently available on DC Universe as well as in physical form at most comic book shops and book stores. With the upcoming release of the show, The Sandman should be easy to find where you get your comics! If you don't have a shop, check out Third Eye Comics who is always there to help you find this and many other titles. The boys always may or may not get into a fight in today's cold open... honest mistake. Dreamy, wake up... I don't like this. The Sandman's creative team includes iconic names like Neil Gaiman, Karen Berger, Todd Klein and more! What's covered in the episode: The Sandman Book One Writer: Neil Gaiman Artists: Sam Kieth, Mike Dringenberg, Malcolm Jones iii, Chris Bachalo, Michael Zulli, Kelley Jones, Charles Vess, Colleen Doran Colorist: Daniel Vozzo, Zylonol, Steve Oliff Letterer: Todd Klein, John Costanza Cover art by Bree King
This service was the first time that we could bring the Zoom worshippers in through a screen in the sanctuary. Cindy Liu and Dave Forter led worship. Malcolm Jones on vocals, Ezra Costanza on viola and Barbary Grant as lead musician. Pastor Jenny preached on the Baptism of Jesus in Luke 3.
Today's worship service was the first in our February series, "Intersections" which will feature black women authors during Black History Month. Today we listened to Amanda Gorman in reflection on the story of Jesus taking the disciples out fishing in Luke 5:1-11. Music included Ezra Costanza on viola, Malcolm Jones on vocals, Barbary Grant as lead musician. Ginger Holt and Asher Allen were liturgists. Rev. Jenny Warner preaching.
Chapter 19: The Chase1. 2 Samuel 1:25-26, NIT.2. Malcolm Jones, "The History and Lost Art of Letter Writing,"Newsweek.com, January 17, 2009, www.newsweek.com/history-and-lost-art-letter-writing-78365.3. Jones, "The History and Lost Art of Letter Writing."
It's time to return to The Dreaming! This week, we're discussing the third and fourth volumes of Neil Gaiman's celebrated series. Come for the one-off stories of Dream Country, and give the devil his due when we cheer Lucifer's epic trolling of Dream in Season of the Mists. ----more---- Episode 17 Transcript Jessika: [00:00:00] I just, I like have had five sets of teeth in my life. They just keep growing bigger and bigger each set I got, Hello, and welcome to Ten Cent Takes, the podcasts where we morph from delight to delirium one issue at a time. My name is Jessica Frazier and I'm joined by my cohost, the blasphemous baker, Mike Thompson. Mike: I am full of carbs and caffeine. How are you doing? Jessika: Oh, I am somewhat of both as well. Could use a little more sleep, but I have a day off tomorrow, so I will be doing that, Mike: I'm jealous. Jessika: Dude. I work nine hours a day. Don't be too jealous. It's those nine hours that get me that day off. Mike: Oh man. I've been pulling [00:01:00] like 10 to 12 hour days for a couple of months and I'm just, Jessika: Oh shit. Nevermind. Goodness. Well, the purpose of this podcast is to study comic books in ways that are both fun and informative. We want to look at their coolest, weirdest and silliest moments, as well as examine how they're woven into the larger fabric of pop culture and history. If you'd like to support us, be sure to download rate and review on Apple podcasts or wherever you live. Mike: Yeah, that really helps with discoverability. We know that we are not a large podcast, but the support that we've gotten from everybody has meant a lot to us. And we're hoping that we can continue to reach more people. If you like, what you're hearing, do us a favor and invite your friends to like our pages, every little bit helps. Jessika: Yeah, well, today we're continuing on. with the second episode of our book. As we discuss volumes three and four of the Sandman series. But before we jump into [00:02:00] that, Mike, what is one cool thing that you've read or watched lately? Mike: Something actually that you mentioned on the last book club episode that we did was that there is a Sandman Audible book right now. As much as I don't like giving Amazon my money, if I don't have to, I've had an Audible membership for like a decade. And that means I have access to their Audible originals, which is what this audio book is. And then one of my friends, hi, Darren, also recommended that I listen to the audio book after I told them that we were doing a Sandman book. So I finally downloaded the audio book and started listening while I walked the dogs. And it's legit incredible, like all-star cast. It feels like an audio play complete with like all these incredible production values. Neil Gaiman is serving as the narrator and then they have all of these incredible actors voicing characters and it actually, you know, Neil [00:03:00] Gaiman rewrote it. And so it feels like what he wanted the Sandman, the first volume Preludes and Nocturnes to be, with the hindsight of 30 plus years. Jessika: Nice. Mike: Yeah, it's great. Jessika: And he's such a good orator. Mike: he is he's done a couple of his other audio books that I've listened to over the years. He did The Graveyard Book, which was The only way I can describe it as a Victorian Gothic version of the Jungle Book. And then he also did Coraline. I think he did Coraline. I'm pretty sure he did, but every time that I've listened to him, narrate stuff, it's always been just fantastic, But, yeah. Jessika: Great. Mike: How about you? Jessika: Well, I grabbed another $1 image teaser comic. , this time it was Kill or Be Killed by Ed Brubaker. Sean Phillips and Elizabeth Breittwiser. It was okay. It didn't grow. It followed the first person account of how a man was driven to be an assassin. He basically attempted to die by suicide by jumping off a roof, ended up not dying, but [00:04:00] being visited by what appears to be a demon who tells him , that he now owes him for the life. He tried to waste or something, a life for a life, kind of a such and the rubric for killing being , someone basically like bad and it's not very well defined. So he goes from this guy who can't fathom killing someone to being ready to kill. So he doesn't die. The whole reason he wanted to die was over a woman that chose his roommate over him, by the way, like his best friend. And it was this whole pining love thing. It was just a little just had, really bad incel vibes. You know what I mean? Mike: Yeah, Jessika: I don't know. It just felt very strange. Like his whole motive was very, contrived it felt, Mike: Yeah. Brubaker does a lot of good stuff, but he writes a lot of, kind of the modern equivalent of pulp noire. Jessika: Mm. Mike: Everything that you've described sounds very much like a Brewbaker story. You got to find the right thing. He writes some really good stuff. Like he's the guy who actually created the winter soldier for the Captain America Comics. Jessika: [00:05:00] Okay. Mike: Yeah. He did a couple of other kind of like noire-ish stories for image that they were hit or miss for me, but when he's good, he's really good. And then other times it's just, it's not my vibe. Jessika: Okay. That's fair. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: So, honestly though, again, it was one of those $1 Image teaser situations. Mike: I love how they do that. Jessika: I didn't feel like I really lost anything. Mike: No, I think that's a really great strategy of theirs where it's just kind of the entry-level pilot. Jessika: Yeah, well, let's mosey on to our main topic. Mike: Yes. Jessika: So last episode, just to recap, we covered an overview of the history and places you can read, watch and listen to the Sandman series. And if you haven't already listened to episode 15, we highly recommend you check out that episode for that. And our discussion on the first two volumes of the Sandman series, because from here, we are going to be discussing [00:06:00] volumes three and four. I don't really have many tidbits per se for us this episode. Really? We're just going to look at the plot and then talk about what we thought. Mike: I actually have a couple of tidbits. Believe it or not, not many, but a couple. Jessika: Mike has tidbits everyone. I love it. I didn't even know. Well, awesome. Mike: All right. So should we kick things off? Jessika: Let's do it. Volume three is titled Dream Country and it was published in 1990 and only included issues 17 through 20. And what made up a four-story anthology. It was, of course, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Kelly Jones, Malcolm Jones III, Charles Vess, and Colleen Duran. We start with the story of Calliope, the youngest Greek muse, who has been imprisoned by Erasmus Fry to be his own personal muse. Super gross. [00:07:00] She'd been captive for closest 60 years. So Erasmus gives Calliope to Richard Maddick, who is a writer who has one successful novel but now has hit a patch of writer's block. And unfortunately for Calliope, he's a greedy motherfucker who only cares about his own success. So he takes Calliope who has been left without clothes in a room alone. And of course, immediately rapes her. This one was really hard for me. You can already tell, as I'm trying to get through this description. Mike: Yeah, it's an uncomfortable issue to read now. Even now it's, mean, it was really uncomfortable when I first read it when I was, I don't know, 18 or so. And it's just gotten increasingly gross as time goes on, especially now, post me too in the entertainment industry. Jessika: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, definite correlations there. Mike: Oh yeah. Oddly prescient. Jessika: Yes. So Richard of course gets gains from this whole [00:08:00] situation and enjoys a few years of very good success. He writes more hit novels, some award-winning poetry, and even gets into Hollywood with writing and directing. So here we are again with the correlation situation and of course winning awards in that area. And this is all happening while Morpheus is still in prison, by the way, until he isn't any longer. And one thing we need to know about Calliope is that she and Morpheus have history. In fact, they have a child together. So Calliope calls out to him in desperation. After being told by her visiting muse sisters, that they were unable to help her and help Morpheus did. The author wanted ideas, then he was inundated with them. So many that they were causing him to have an actual breakdown seemingly with psychological effects. In the end, Richard sends someone to release her where he only finds Erasmus Fry's book in the room where she should have been. Mike: And doesn't it [00:09:00] originally start out with Morpheus trying to free Calliope, but Richard doesn't want to, because he needs the ideas she gives him when he rapes her? Jessika: Yeah Mike: Yeah. And that's when Morpheus sits there and basically punishes him with an overflowing chalice of ideas. Jessika: Yeah. It's, definitely a fitting punishment. In my opinion Mike: Yeah. Jessika: story, number two was super fun. I think you and I can probably agree. And this story was about a cat speaking to a crowd of cats in a graveyard. And this cat told the story of having kittens and having them taken away by the people that owned her. And of course, the guy was super level-headed about the whole thing and took the kittens to a shelter and they were adopted by loving families and, oh wait, never mind. He put them all in a bag, tied the bag to a large rock, and threw it in a body of water. I just can't with people. Like, honestly, I can't, Mike: It's a safe assumption that people are going to be terrible throughout this series. Jessika: I mean, it's true, [00:10:00] but I would love to have them all adopted. So the cat naturally is super upset but also looking for some sort of vengeance or something. And that night she has a dream where she goes on a long and difficult dream quest to see what is ultimately Meowpheus the cat. Mike: Meowpheus I like that. Jessika: So basically a Meowpheus tells her that cats used to rule. They were larger and humans were basically the pets. Instead, cats choosing to hunt humans for food and sport and keeping them to feed and groom them. One day, humans banded together and with participation from only 1000 humans, they were able to dream the same dream together and basically manifest humans being the alpha in the world, instead of the cats. And this went back into time where the power of the collective dream actually rewrote history in favor of humans, making the cat subservient. Instead. [00:11:00] The cat in the graveyard was basically preaching a gospel, asking all the cats in the graveyard to dream the same dream. That she was trying to get 1000 cats to help her so that, they could all pull a Cher and turn back time to be in power once again. I enjoyed the partying quippy remark from one of the listener cats, which was effectively good luck getting multiple cats to do anything at the same time. Mike: Uh, yeah. Accurate. Jessika: And while it was really sad and cruel I like the idea that cats have an attitude for a reason. Mike: Yeah, I thought it was cute. It was just, it was a very, I mean, we'll get into this later on, but it was, I thought it was very. Jessika: Yeah. The third step. Told us, the creation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream wherein Morpheus has actually requisitioned the play in specific terms and asks Billy Shakes and his troop to perform in the middle of an empty field. Well, kind of. That field is not empty for a long as [00:12:00] Titania, Oberon, Puck, and all the other characters from the fairy realm have arrived through the portal, which Morpheus opens for them. It's mentioned during the dialogue between Titania and Morpheus, that this is probably the last time the mortal realm would allow them to enter, that they were feeling the hostility from Gaia upon their entry. During the play puck steps in for the actor playing himself and kills of course, and Titania is very strangely fascinated with Billy's 11 year old son Hamnett and is like trying to entice him. And then in the end, everybody, but Puck leaves the realm. And it's mentioned at the end of the issue that Hamnet died later that same year. So like, did Titania finally get Hamlet to go with her? Mike: You know, it's left a little bit open, but it's playing into that whole idea of the changeling child and, you know, the mortals who go over into the very realm, as children, which I really liked that I thought it was a nice ending that was very bittersweet. Jessika: Yeah. I thought so too. And the fourth and final story [00:13:00] of this volume is called Facade and it is about a woman named Rainey who we learn has been given a gift by the sun, God Ra, which makes her a metamorph. Meaning that she can change her physical appearance, physically change faces, skin, everything. But this also means that she no longer has a normal human appearance. Her skin is scaly and multicolored. Her hair has turned of violent shade of green and her face is withered and her nose is almost completely gone. We find Rainie living a very solitary life, getting a monthly disability check and only interacting with the worker assigned to her, but disability case she's depressed and has suicidal ideations. Probably the scariest part of the story is when an old friend who works for the same company that Rainey was working for, when Ra messed her up, who invites her to lunch, Rainie sucks it up, puts on a face literally and meets [00:14:00] at the restaurant. Where her entire face falls off into a plate of spaghetti. I don't, I don't know about you like that. I thought it was super terrifying. Mike: Yeah. I mean, it goes back to that very human emotion of seeing someone that you haven't seen forever. And you're trying to do as much as you can to make sure that they don't see that you've changed too much. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: You and I are at that age now where it's like, people from high school want to get in touch and we're all older. You know, some of us are. And so you see these people and you still want to seem like the person that they knew, because you don't want to, you don't want them to comment on how you've changed. You don't want to acknowledge it. And I read it as she'd been working for like the CIA or an intelligence agency because they call it “The Company.” They don't ever refer to it as anything else. Jessika: I think it was something of that nature kind of checking out sites, et cetera. Mike: Yeah.[00:15:00] But yeah, and then the whole thing is that because she can change her body into elements. She's, she's a sidekick from the old Moetamorpho series in the sixties. I didn't really know much about her, but I did a little digging cause I couldn't remember a lot. And so Metamorpho is a DC hero who is part of the justice league and his whole thing is that he can't. Basically change his body into any element that he wants. And so that was the whole thing where she's talking about, oh, like it's not hard for me to change the color of my hair. I I just turned it into copper and, and then she basically grows a kind of silica over her face, but she was saying that after roughly a day it gets stiff and, it falls off. And unfortunately, that's what happened with her, at her lunch with her friend. Jessika: Yeah. it was definitely a bummer. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: So of course, Rainey goes home crying where she has to break into her own house by melting the handle because she forgot her purse with her keys and breaks down crying. Death appears having been visiting one of Rainey's neighbors who fell off a stepladder and talks with Rainie, advising that she should [00:16:00] ask rah nicely to take away her gift, or at least giving us an option. She looks into the setting sun and becomes what I'm assuming is a pile of Ash. It looks like death didn't actually take her. So I'm not sure if Rainie is supposed to be just with the world. You know, just one with the world as it kind of seemed like she fear being Mike: You know, I read it as like she was, she had her immortality taken away from her because she seemed so happy when she turned into, I don't know if it was ash or glass or something. It was kind of hard to tell what the art, and then it cracked and fell apart. And then Death answers the phone and says something along the lines of like, no, she, she can't come she's gone away or something to that effect. And, death isn't this cruel being or anything like that. I think death helped her move on. I'd like to think that she did. Jessika: Okay. Okay. Yeah. it was Fe usually. she like wanders away with the person [00:17:00] she's like low key reaping. Mike: Usually. Yeah. I don't know. I think maybe it was just a little bit, it, it was for the sake of narrative in this case, Jessika: That's fair. That's fair. Mike: But yeah. Urania was this, so her full name is Urania She was a side character for a few issues in Metamorpho's sixties series. And then she wound up basically giving herself the same powers that he had, and it was delivered via device called the Orb of RA. So it's really interesting because, Metamorpho is always a science character, because it's all about the elements of what he can turn himself into. But at the same time, there is in his background. is this like, you know, mystical quality to it. And so I liked that they kind of tapped into that mythology a little bit, and really they did a nice job with a character that I think most people had forgotten existed. Jessika: So, Mike, did You have a favorite [00:18:00] character part of the story? What did you dig from this? Mike: This volume in particular, I really like, because it feels. Like a breather from the main narrative. And honestly, I think that's something that we needed because I mentioned last time, how I always am a little bit surprised at how dark the early stories are. They're very much horror stories with a little bit of fantasy kind of softening the blows a little bit, but there's a couple of moments in those first couple of volumes where I feel like I need to pack a flashlight. it's dark. but yeah, this collection is just, a much-needed change of pace just for a little bit. My least favorite story is the one with the cats. And it's not because I think it's bad. I just don't connect with it that much. Part of it is because we've got a rescue cat, we treat her better than the kids. Let's be honest. I can't fathom throwing kittens into a pond. It was just, it feels a little bit too mustache-twirly. You know, especially in this day and age where like, if people find out [00:19:00] about that you get tracked down on social media and just annihilate it. But it was cute. The whole bit where at the end, it's like, oh, it must be, it's dreaming, you know, it's chasing something and, you're like, oh, okay. Yeah. So it's, it's dreaming of hunting humans. Cool. Jessika: [laughs], Mike: And it's funny, cause I was actually in a production of Midsummer Night's Dream when I first read this collection. So I loved everything about that specific issue. I loved how it tapped into fairy lore it showed this kind of weird, strange relationship with Titania and Oberon. And how absolutely sinister pock seemed not to mention how there's that dangling plot thread, where he basically gets loosed on earth afterwards Jessika: mm. Mike: I don't know. It's just, it's very different than any other portrayal I'd seen up until then. And, , it's interesting because they brought those characters specifically back in a number of different ways across the vertigo comics later on, like to Tanya actually had her origin explained in the Books of Faerie, which was in itself a series that [00:20:00] spun off of another comic that Neil Gaiman wrote called the Books of Magick, where eventually it's revealed that the main character from the Books of Magick, Tim Hunter, who was like the next great magician of the age, he's like our version of Merlin. It is very. They always leave it a little bit up in the air, but Titania''s his mother, because she was a human who was brought into the world of Fairie. And then eventually he got married to Oberon and then she had an affair with a human that was in service to Oberon. Jessika: Okay. Mike: She becomes a major part of the lore in her own right. Which I thought was really cool. And Puck shows up again later in the series. I, like I still squirm when I read that story of Calliope, especially where we are like sitting on the other side of me too, and the ongoing flood of stories about successful men in the arts, just being abusive, assholes to those who aren't as powerful as they are. Like when we're recording this, there's a whole flood of stories coming out of Activision [00:21:00] blizzard, if you're not in video games, they make Warcraft and a bunch of other stuff. it turns out that that was a really toxic place for women. And I spent almost a decade working in video games with various companies and yeah, it's not surprising, but it's just, these stories need to be told that at the same time, they're always super uncomfortable to read. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: Um, yeah. And then, the facade story, I really liked, I really appreciate how gaming does this amazing job spinning out a story that's focused on loneliness and how harmful it is. and then I thought it was kind of neat that it arguably has a happy ending, though the main character dies. Jessika: Yeah. I can see that. Mike: Same question back at you. What about you? Jessika: So, you know, I really enjoyed the cat story. Mike: You don't say. Jessika: I did. I mean, I get it though. Like cats are, are super intense and honestly they make [00:22:00] me a little nervous. I heard some horror stories about cats, just going bananas on people and them just like getting super fucked up, like missing part of an ear and shit. Like I've heard some stories. That's just like a regular house cat. Oh, I don't think so Mike: Well, and then you've met our cat. Jessika: Yeah. Well, yeah. You know that's but I don't, I didn't fear your cat right away. There are some cats I go into someone's house and I'm just like, oh, I got to watch my back. Mike: We have a dog and a cat's body. Jessika: Yeah. Your cat's sweet. Mike: No, she... she's fat and lazy and she knows who feeds her. So she's like, I'm good. I don't need to get out. I don't need to be now. Jessika: I'm strictly a dog household, so I just don't really truly get them to be honest with you. And I honestly, I'm kind of glad I have allergies as an excuse, not to have to get one. So did you have a favorite art moment in this volume? Like was there a panel or cover that really stood [00:23:00] out to you or hit you in some kinda way? Mike: Yeah. That final sequence in the Midsummer issue, so that one was illustrated by Charles Vess and he's this really he's this artist that has this really beautiful illustration style that feels very old school storybook. Sarah loves this British artist named Arthur Rakim and Vess always kind of reminds me of his work, but the closing monologue by Puck is I gotta be at that closing monologue is kind of terrifying, especially with the way that it's illustrated. I also liked how this felt almost like, well, I mean, it was in certain ways, it was a sequel to men of good fortune, that issue that we talked about last time with Hob Gadling and the mortal that keeps on meeting up with Morpheus. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: Yeah, you remember during, the last book club episode, how I mentioned that Sandman won the World Fantasy Award. Yeah. So it was for this issue specifically, you know, and then they got all grumpy about it and they [00:24:00] changed it so that you could no longer win a world fantasy award with a comic book. So. The only comic book to ever win a world fantasy award, Jessika: extra salty, Mike: extra salty. Jessika: Hate to see it. Mike: what about you? Like, I'm actually curious. What did you think about Vess's illustration style? Because we haven't seen, I don't think we've really seen much of his artwork in the series up until now. Jessika: We haven't, and that's actually this, this was my favorite art volume as well, or art issue as well. I mean, it just, it was beautiful. It used color in a really interesting way that went from playful to dark and serious. I mean, it just with the same type of illustration and the color would just change the whole. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: Which was super cool just by adding shadows, moving the colors. Plus you got to love a good donkey head and you know, okay. I was musing and you have to go with me on this journey. They had to have used a taxidermied donkey's head. Right. Mike: [00:25:00] No, they, I Jessika: Please. Come on, come on, go with me on this journey. Mike: Ugh no. Hmm. Jessika: Ah, Mike: Like, like that's a whole element in that American Horror Story series, like where they make a mandatory by putting a bull's head on a dude. Like, no, no, Jessika: I am going horror with this one. Mike: Well, have fun going down that road. I'm not there with you. Jessika: Okay. Well, that's good. I suppose we are on volume four Mike: I suppose Jessika: Volume Four!. Alright. Mike: What accent is that? Jessika: I don't know, I do a lot, don't I? Mike: A little bit? Jessika: I think it's my 1920s. Mike: Okay. Jessika: I don't know. It's like my newscaster, I used to have an old-timey newscaster kind of an accent that I did. And I think I'm combining, I'm combining my Virginia [00:26:00] Montgomery Prescott, the third Esquire. Mike: It's, that so proper American that it's almost English kinda like that very Northeastern accent. Yeah. Jessika: Yes. Yeah. Mike: Yeah. All right. Jessika: All right. Volume four is titled season of the mists and came out between 1990 and 1991 and included issues 21 through 28. Story as always was written by Neil Gaiman and illustration was done by Kelly Jones, Malcolm Jones, the third Mike Drigenberg, Matt Wagner, Dick Giordano, George Pratt, and P Craig Russell. Volume four begins with our introduction to destiny. Ooh. While wandering his realm is visited by the fates, the three sisters that we have seen previously, the sisters inform him that he needs to call a [00:27:00] reunion of all his siblings of the eternal realm. So off, he goes to the family gallery where he goes up to each portrait of his sibling and they appear out of the portrait. When summoned the siblings are a mix of characters we have seen. And one that is new to this issue. Death who is told to change her outfit, even though no one else was, I thought that was kind of rude. Mike: Yeah, Destiny's a stickler for formality. Jessika: Yeah. Well, the other one's got to wear nimble to CWA. They got to wear whatever Mike: Hmm. Jessika: I, whatever. I don't know. It makes me angry. So don't tell women they have to change. They are not a distraction. Death has followed by Dream and then the twins, Desire and Despair, and lastly Delirium who we come to find out, used to be Delight. So during their reunion, desire calls out Dream's treatment of lovers who have spurned [00:28:00] him, leading him to ask for validation of his actions from Death. And Death instead agrees with. Prompting dream to plan, to travel to hell in order to remove queen nada from her torturous captivity, who was, that was the subject of their whole conversation. Mike: Yeah. And we actually saw that whole story in the previous volume to Jessika: Yes, Mike: saw what happened to. Jessika: exactly. so destiny closes out the reunion basically stating that the actions that needed to be put into motion had been accomplished by dream deciding to go back to. hell. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: The next issue gives us a taste of what hell looks and feels like. So back in the dream realm, Dream is saying his goodbyes and makes a big announcement to those living in his realm. He tells them about Nada, how he had been unjust and how he had to rectify his actions and that he may not return as he is not on good terms with Lucifer. So [00:29:00] he sends Cain to Hell as a messenger to let loose for know that dream will be visiting whether he approves or not basically. So that was fun. Mike: Well, he knows that he can't kill Cain because Cain is protected by the mark of Cain from, the Cain and Abel story. He knows about that. Jessika: oh yeah. Yeah, for sure. Mike: That's why dream sent Cain it's because he knows that Cain can't be killed. Jessika: Exactly. Exactly. Lucifer clearly is still really salty about being embarrassed. The last time dream was there and he makes an announcement to his, his demonic minions reminding them that he is the oldest and strongest bad-ass lets them know that dream will be returning and implies very strongly. That the day that Dream returns will be very memorable. Kane delivers the response to Dream. And on the last stop of his farewell tour, Dream also visits Hippolyta whose husband [00:30:00] was the pho dream king superhero thingy from one of the other stories while he was enslaved or, you know, captive. Mike: Yeah. she and Hector the previous Doctor Fate were being used by Brute and Glob to basically create kind of like an island for them to operate outside of the dreaming the dreams of a kid who was being abused. Jessika: Exactly. Mike: And then, Dream is on her shit list because he sent her ghost of a husband on to wherever he got sent onto, but she was pregnant at the time. And so there's a connection between Dream and the baby because she carried the baby to term mostly in dreams, Jessika: Well, the baby was in gestation for like that, like 30, 30, 40 years or something more than that. I mean, it was like 60 years? I don't remember how many it was like however long or Mike: I, Jessika: or was it just the kid timeframe? Mike: I think it was just the kid timeframe. So I think it was only for a couple of years, but still it was in gestation injuries for a long time compared to. Jessika: Oh, I can't even imagine [00:31:00] being pregnant once, let alone for like two years straight. Holy crap. And she was like really pregnant. That's not comfortable. So Morpheus advises Hippolyta to take good care of the kid that had been gestating in the dream realm, because he will take it someday. So. Cool. Thanks, Dream. That's awesome. Mike: Really endearing us to you, buddy. Jessika: Yeah. serious. Oh, he also gives her the name Daniels because she had kind of been struggling with a name for him. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: So that's the kid's name now? I guess. So Dream makes his way to hell anticipating a fight with Lucifer, but what He finds is an eerily empty hell with Lucifer in the process of locking all the gates. And when asked about this loose advises that he's, he's done, he's quitting and he is no longer the ruler of hell. He's freed everyone and everything that was locked up. And he's not really sure what happened to them or where they all went, whether it was to earth or other realms or what, but he just [00:32:00] knows they're no longer in hell Mike: Yeah. He likes straight up. Does not care. Jessika: Oh, zero fucks. None. Mike: They're his favorite kind of problem. Not his. Jessika: Then he goes, Yeah. think I'm bluffing. Hey, here's a knife. Why don't you cut off my wings? Just see, just, just go ahead and see. And, and Dream does. And then as a parting gift, he hands the key to hell Dream stating basically Like Hey, this is your problem now. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: that's some high-level trolling. Mike: Dream was prepared for just about every outcome except that one. It is. Jessika: Exactly. We are then introduced to Oden who travels to the cavern where Loki is being held captive and has been enduring an eternity of torture until Ragnarok, the end times in which the Asgardian realms would be destroyed. Odin [00:33:00] frees low-key from his situation and asks him to help him as he wants to take over the Hell situation since Lucifer abdicated and Loki agrees to help, then we cut back to dream because he's not really sure what to do. So he calls on his sister death for advice. And she has like, no time. First of all, she has no time for him in that issue. She's like, what do you need? I'm super busy. She pretty much says, this is your problem. Also, he knows things are going to go down and he hides, frustrated his castle basically. And then he just starts getting visited by all these different parties, all wanting the keys to hell. So you have the Asgardians, Azazzle and a demon Envoy who're like “That's my house. I just want to live in my house again.” Mike: Yeah. Jessika: Yeah. Anubis and Bastet who are like, yo, [00:34:00] you know, who does a good job with death with underworlds let me show you. Mike: it's a really eclectic mix of mythological figures because you also have. The Lords of chaos and order send their envoys, Shivering Jemmy from the Lords of chaos who... I really like her. I think she's a great, Jessika: did too. Mike: and then the Lords of order send their representative and it's a cardboard box that basically spits out ticker tape and Jessika: Which Mike: And, then you get the elves, a ferry at one point. And they have, a really unique proposition, which is that the lands of Faerie had a tie to hell where every seven years they had to send over a certain number of , their best and brightest as a sacrifice. And they wanted, basically begging dream, not to let hell reopen. Jessika: And we did. We establish that That was still a thing when all the other shit went down. Mike: That specific deal? Jessika: yeah. Mike: Oh yeah. It's still a deal. And actually, that was a whole thing in the books of [00:35:00] magic. They have a whole thing with ferry and hell going into conflict with each other, because I think it has been almost 20 years since I read this last. But if I remember right, it was, I think Faerie refused to pay the tithe anymore anymore. And as a result, they basically straight up, went to war with hell. and it was, oh man, it was cool. I remember liking that storyline. I don't remember it enough to really talk about it a lot though, because it's been so long. But it's, it's good. It's in one of the collected volumes of the Books of Magick that they did, they only collected the first 50 issues, 50 through 75 aren't collected anywhere. Jessika: Hmm. Hmm. So we also had Suzan O No Mikto Mike: Yes. Jessika: Oh, and a couple of angels who were there just to be voyeurs to the situation Mike: Yeah. Jessika: and Dream finally lets them into the castle. [00:36:00] After he stopped sulking and he advises that he'll be hosting a banquet and having accommodation set up and they could discuss the key to the realm the next day, basically. And we start seeing the consequences of hell's release through a boys boarding school where one solitary boy is staying over during the holidays while his father, as a prisoner of war in Kuwait and all hell returns. When boys and staff who used to attend the school, start to show back up Mike: yeah. Jessika: Along with the headmasters previously deceased mother. Mike: Yes. It's... that issue. It's really interesting because I really didn't like it originally. And I've come to appreciate it more because it feels like a very Gothic or story kind of like the Hunting of Hill House from Netflix. Jessika: I can see that. Yeah. Mike: yeah. Jessika: It was wild. Like all of them had reasons that they were in hell. Mike: Yeah. That [00:37:00] issue is really interesting and it's really weird because it's drawn by Matt Wagner, who has a very interesting style. All of his own Wagner himself is famous for creating a couple of different characters on his own. Like he created a character called the Grendel, who is this assassin and wound up becoming a cult property, had a long run with Dark Horse, if I remember right. But this story in season at the mist is really creepy because the whole thing is that the dead are coming back to earth and all sorts of unexpected ways. And then there were a bunch of boys who were really awful, Who come back and they start tormenting Charles, because he's the only living soul there. And he's also, you know, he's a sweet, sensitive little kid, like who is just an easy target for people like that. And the thing is, is like, that was me when I was at that age was I was that sensitive kid who was just an easy target for bullies. And so it was really hard to read it when I was younger. And, I've got a little different perspective now, [00:38:00] but it's, still tough. Anyway, go on. Jessika: Oh, that's okay. So yeah, Charles, unfortunately, he got tortured by that trio of boys. And apparently those boys had murdered another school boy as an offering to Lucifer. So joke's on them, the offering didn't save them from the torture of damnation, Mike: Yeah. Jessika: so Charles ends up being physically tortured and then starves to death. And his only companion was that other boy who had been killed on the premises that boy, that, those, that trio allegedly sacrificed. Edwin. Yeah. So death rolls up to pick them up and Charles says “Yeah, no thanks. I'm gonna hang out with, uh, Edwin and deaths. Like you don't, I don't, I don't have time for this. Like literally every one is coming back. Like I literally don't have time. I will come back for you. Mike: I loved that she was in early nineties, jogging paraphernalia, like Jessika: Yeah. Mike: I thought it was fantastic. Jessika: was ready for it. Mike: [00:39:00] I may be misremembering this, but I thought it was really funny how it was like, I think it was like pink and purple too. Like it was very colored. Jessika: I think it did have some color to it. Yeah. Oh, funny. So back in the dream realm, two more guests from the theory realm, those two that we had talked about, they arrive and the banquet in. And each of the guests eats and drinks, their desire delicacies, cause , poof we're in dreamland and shenanigans ensued due to the differences of the attendees. And one by one, they basically corner Morpheus requesting a private conversation and he provides each of them with a signal stadium that he'll meet with them after the banquet and entertainment have concluded Cain and Abel show up as the entertainment we're able dies,by being cut in half and then being made into sausage in a magic act Mike: which. That is a, that is a recurring theme with Cain and Abel in, in the Sandman comics. Jessika: Yeah, I've noticed. Mike: But, [00:40:00] Cain was the host of another horror series called the house of misery. And he always had this kind of macabre sort of sense of humor. I know Abel eventually showed up in the house mystery series. I don't know if Cain murdered him every time. I wouldn't be surprised. Jessika: Fair enough. So this is this tracks apparently, each of the guests go off to their respective quarters to wait to be summoned. And they each go to Morpheus, either offering something they think he would want or threatening him in order to turn over control the key to hell. And he advises each one of them that he will announce his decision in the morning. And once in the privacy of his own quarters, he ruminates on the pressure of the weight of his responsibility that was dropped on him. Mike: Yeah. What was your favorite bargaining tactic? I've got mine. I'm curious about yours. Jessika: I didn't like the whole trading people thing. I don't know. Cause they were all so good in different ways. Like order and chaos were both really interesting to me. I think chaos just being like, [00:41:00] we will find you Mike: Chaos was my favorite Jessika: I was going to say like, but Shivering Jemmy was just so funny to begin with. Mike: Well, Jessika: was just such an interesting. Mike: you know, they play, they play with this a lot because, Dr. Fait is one of the Lords of order, DC comic books. And so there's always been this presentation that, order is, the right way to go. And what I kind of enjoyed is that this very much embodies, no order is a dull little box in chaos is chaos. It's not what you expect. And so they send this, hobo girl with a red balloon and Jessika: like, uh, like a clown face. Mike: yeah, and she's like, speeding. Almost like toddler English, like it's much younger phrasing than you would expect from a kid who looks like they're 10 or 11. And then, turns into this monstrous thing, delivering ungodly threats to the Lord of dreams. And then, you know, it turns back into the little kid again, after when it was like,[00:42:00] byeeeee. Yeah, I can get behind this. Jessika: So good. She just ate ice cream for dinner too, which I loved. Mike: Oh yeah. It was so good. I, again, I think she shows up in the books of magic later on, but I can't remember for that one. Jessika: That's amazing. So I really did like her as a character. Mike: it was good. Jessika: So the next morning. As Morpheus, still struggles to decide to whom he will grant the key. He is visited by the voyeur angels who tell him they have a message for him from the creator who dictates that the two angels will now run hell and guess what guys, you're not allowed back to the silver city Remiel. Oh, Remiel was not happy about this situation. He did not take this well. Mike: No, he did not it was very much implied that he was about to rebel, like Lucifer. Jessika: Yup. He's like fuck the shit. [00:43:00] Why do I have to go down there? And he had that. He was like, this is your fault. I was like, whoa, damn, you need to go calm down. Your silent homie is not the enemy. there was some salt. This issue. So Morpheus hands over the key after Remiel takes a chill pill and Morpheus still has the task of telling the other as the outcome of his decision and lets them know the decision was really made for him that if the creator of hell wanted angels to run it, who was he to decide differently from what the creator of that thing wanted to do with it. And most of his guests took this. Okay. I liked orders response of this? This is logical. Mike: Yeah. And then chaos is like, man, it's fine. We just didn't want order to get it. It's fine. Whatever. Jessika: Exactly. Mike: And then Jessika: was even better. Mike: doesn't she give Morpheus her balloon afterwards? Jessika: Yeah. Mike: Yeah, I thought that was great Jessika: She's like, oh, well, I didn't really want this anyway. [00:44:00] but Azazel was especially upset about this whole situation Mike: Embodiment of bitter party of one. Jessika: Yes. yes. Table for one. Absolutely. And he pretty much said that he was going to consume the souls of Nada as well as his companions from hell, because he had actually kidnapped her. Mike: Yeah, and we should note that one of his companions from hell was actually, the demon who had Morpheus's helm before. it was a honied offer of him sitting there and saying, well, I will give you the woman that you're searching for, but then I'll also let you enact punishment of this guy who challenged you and to make you look bad in front of all of hell. Jessika: That makes sense. I was kind of wondering why he was like, why would he care about this one, dude? But that makes way more sense. I forgot about that, dude. Mike: Yep. Jessika: There's a lot. There's a lot to remember in this. Mike: You know, I can't remember everything and I've read this series multiple times. It's a dense story. And I always feel like. I probably caught things before, but, I always [00:45:00] find things that I feel like I'm discovering for the first time with each reread. Jessika: Oh, that's so cool. I'm so glad I picked up the trade paperbacks. Mike: Yeah. I'm glad that you, I'm glad you're spearheading this. This is a really fun series to talk about. Jessika: Thank you. So Azazel tells Morpheus, basically, I'm going to consume the souls of Nada and my other companion, unless Morpheus could jump into the abyss of space of teeth, the abyss of his Azazel's teeth, which he's just like space with teeth. Like that's what he is. Mike: And eyes.. Jessika: And eyes. Yeah, that's right. He does have eyes too, but he's just like a bunch of Maltz mostly. Yeah. So Morpheus does it. He does the thing and jumps in, finds them, captures his Azazel after he tries to go back on his word of letting them go. If he'd have found his company. And then asks his Raven friend, Matthew, to tell Nada that he needs to talk with her because he has some apologizing to do, Mike: Mm Jessika: The inhabitants of hell [00:46:00] begun to return as the new angel leaders look on and dream meets with nada and makes a pitiful attempt at half-apology and Nada slaps him and in doing so extracts an actual apology, which it shouldn't take that much. But Dream seems to realize how he's in the wrong. Although he almost immediately negates that understanding by once again, asking her to be the queen of the dream realm. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: Bro. She was, and she was like, bro, we've done this already. I don't want to do this. I already said no to you once. And I meant it. Mike: I really appreciate that gaming does not make dream this infallible being, he very much shows like, no, he is. A flawed dude Jessika: Yeah. Mike: and he doesn't always get things immediately. Jessika: Yeah, That was really interesting. [00:47:00] That piece of it, I mean, dream has to concede, but he he basically says, let's go discuss your future. Mike: yeah, Jessika: Which is really neat, cause he's taken her whole life away and, and then some, and he's in a, he's a negative said this blank she's for thousands of years been tortured in hell. Like how do you even make that up? Mike: Exactly. And that was actually something that I was curious about the first time I read it, I'm like, how do you make this right? cause that's, that is so much red in the ledger. Jessika: That's What I was thinking too. It's like, oh, okay, well, what are you going to do now, dude, aspire flowers and be like, well, babe, Mike: What about you chocolates? I only ate half of them. Jessika: right? It's Valentine's day it's. This is what we do. Right. So, so Loki who was supposed to have been taken back to his cave of acid dripping wonder Mike: His torture cave, Jessika: his torture cave with a snake and a woman. And torture. Mike: where he is [00:48:00] bound in the entrails of his own son and his wife catches venom dripped from a snake's fang. And then occasionally when she empties the cup, that's catching the phenom. It causes him to shake the earth and agony. And that's why we get earthquakes. Norse mythology is a thing. Jessika: Yes. And so Loki though has switched places, the little trickster he is with Suzano No-Ol-Mikoto who was sent back to the cavern to be forever tortured, which is rough. He didn't do anything. And then he tries to cut a deal with dream, to not get them sent back. Mike: he, he does like, he actually cuts a deal with him. Jessika: I mean, he does cut a deal He does, which. Guy, are you at least get a, go get the other homie from the blade? He doesn't, he doesn't even go other homes. Mike: yeah, he does Jessika: like he does. Mike: Yeah, he does. He says what I'll do is, as I will, I will basically create , an illusion of you in that tormented space. Jessika: Okay. I must have missed that part because I was just like guy. [00:49:00] Mike: it's a throwaway line. It's he basically sits there and he says like, but if I do that, you owe me a favor. Jessika: Okay. I mean, I got that part of it. I was like, you're getting out of this, but like, whoa, Mike: I have a lot of favorite moments in this, in this volume, but that was one of my favorites where dream asks him and he's like, why did you choose Susano No O Mikoto, but Loki basically just says, yeah, I just really don't like thunder gods. And I was like, Jessika: Which all Mike: also I love how much of just a turd Thor is throughout the entire time that he appears he's such a gross dude. Like there's Jessika: gross. Mike: the bit where he's trying to hit on bass and he's like, do you want to touch my hammer? It gets bigger when you play with it. I'm like, blech Jessika: it was so bad. And that he's just trashed. He's just like,Ugh. Mike: Well, I think bast actually scratches up his face too, which I thought was great. Jessika: Yup. Yup. Mike: but it's funny because I read this in the nineties, give or take my only exposure to Thor in comic [00:50:00] books before that had been Thor, the superhero, and this was such a wildly different take on him. I was like, this is amazing cause Thor was awful and mythology. Jessika: Yeah. Oh Yeah. there were definitely some, questionable stories that I have read. Yes. Mike: Anyway, I really enjoyed that. Jessika: yeah. So we also find out that Nuala that was one of the two ferries is being left in the dream realm, even though the ferry deal was not the one that panned out her bros, just like, see ya. I, I wasn't ever supposed to bring you back. You're staying regardless. Mike: Yeah. You're, a gift from the court to dream. Jessika: Which, and he's just like, okay. And he's like, oh, by the way, I don't dig glamour here. So you can just drop the glitz. You're glimmering right now. And then she's just this little petite, mousy hair, smaller elf looking, which, you know what I did not, I didn't like the whole idea that, she had to be, [00:51:00] that, That she felt like she had to glamour to begin with. And that, that was a whole thing. Mike: I don't know what part of mythology it is, but, but one of the European pieces of mythology is that the elves have an ability to wrap themselves in illusion. in that they're actually these kinds of weird, gross little things. So that, that was tying into kind of the European folklore. But yeah, it's a thing. I don't remember if she shows up in later issues. I think she does, but I don't remember. Jessika: I mean, that would suck to just be like, by the way you live in the dream realm now oh and we're never featuring you again. Double rough. Mike: yeah, Jessika: Yeah. So after dream is like, nah, you gotta be you, boo. He goes and puts not a soul into a newborn child basically. So it's assumed that she will get to live the life that dream took from her so many centuries ago. Mike: Yeah. He basically, he, he gives her the opportunity to live life again, kind of wiping the slate clean, which is, mean, let's be honest. That's probably the best offer that [00:52:00] he can give her. Jessika: He also puts her in a male body, which like, talk about like leveling up, Mike: Yeah. Jessika: Come on. You're already doing better. Mike: Yeah. And then he has that really nice moment where he says something along the lines of I will remember you and love you matter what body wear. And you will always be welcome in the dream realm. I have my quibbles with, with Dream, especially with this whole storyline. But I feel like that was arguably the best solution he could have come up with. Jessika: Oh I agree. Yeah, when I did see that, that was the solution. I mean, you can't provide somebody with multiple lifetimes, but you can take away the pain of knowing that that happened and provide them with a new life that you don't interfere with. I thought it was a good, a good deal. I guess. All things considered. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: We then cut to Lucifer, wingless, chilling on a beach, looking at the sunset where he is approached by an older man who walks [00:53:00] over and make small, talk about the sunset with him and stay till, see him tomorrow. If he's still there and Lucifer admitting that the sunset is actually really beautiful, goddammit and giving some credit to the creator. And we end the volume with the two new leaders of hell going around and making quote unquote changes Mike: yeah. Jessika: the way things are. Basically, they're still going to be torture, but it's supposed to be phrased differently as a rehabilitation, but the angels don't quite understand the meaning of the tortures of hell, which makes it even worse. Mike: Yeah. It's so uncomfortably abusive where they're like, no, we're doing this because we love you. And one day you'll thank us for it. Jessika: Yeah. Mike: you're just like, woo. Jessika: It's it was a gross abuser situation. Mike: Yeah. And then there's that bit where one of the souls is like, no, you don't understand that makes it worse. Jessika: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Oh Yeah. And unfortunately the angels start to embrace their [00:54:00] roles in the endless pain and suffering. Mike: Yeah. And that's actually, that's something that is, brought back to the forefront in Lucifer, the series that Mike Carey wrote in the late nineties to early odds, which I've talked about this before, but like that series is also, I think just as good as Sandman. It's really great, we also see a lot of pantheons of different gods getting pulled into Lucifer's machinations and there's a whole thing where he makes things difficult for the angels running hell. Jessika: Oh, I'm excited to see it Mike: It's very good. Jessika: Well what were your overall impressions of the story and who were your favorite or least favorite characters or events of this? Mike: It's actually hard to sit there and talk about just a couple of favorite moments because I really love this collection. I loved it when I first read it. I still love it. I love the strange sadness of the overall story and the original takes on the gods. And also, I really love the twist that heaven takes over [00:55:00] the running of hell. We talked about how I really enjoyed Dream kind of, spoiling the plot twist about Loki, having switched places with Susano. And, I really soured on Dream as a character in these early issues over time. I dunno it, like, when I read this as a kid, I was like, oh, okay. He feels bad about his actions. And is going to rescue this woman that he loves from hell and now I'm like, motherfucker, you put her in hell. And she details how awful her time there was like, come on, dude, you condemned her there for millennia just because she wouldn't marry you?Like, get fucked. Jessika: And then you said, I guess I did something bad if that's how you feel. Mike: it wasn't even, you didn't even come to this realization on your own. You had to be told by multiple people that you fucked up. Like a mediocre white guy in his thirties, you sat there and dug your heels and went no, no. Well, maybe Jessika: “I don't think that's right.” Mike: maybe. All right, fine. [00:56:00] It's like, whatever, Jessika: Oh, no. Mike: like that. I'm coming down harsher on dream than you are. Jessika: No, but that's how I felt about it too. I mean, you're just doing all the work. I'm just going to sit back and ride this ride because I'm like, I'm there with you, but I'm like passenger seat. I'm chilling. Like I don't need to be the navigator. We have maps now we have Google maps. It's fine. Mike: I'm sitting there swinging my arms and getting all mad and getting the cardio. Jessika: Oh yeah. And I'm doing the pumping our movement of the trucks next to me. You know, I'm just along for this ride. No, I agree. He's a shit heel and a lot of these, and I'm like, I have had more than a few moments where I think to myself, how am I supposed to feel about this character? But then I think to myself, no, that's a good character. But then I think to myself, no: That's a good character. That's a good character, because that means it's complex. It's more realistic because that's what people. Mike: Yeah. To be honest, he is that privileged male character who has never had to really stop and think about his [00:57:00] actions really not have things go his way. And we are now at the part of tonight's program where we are finding out after having fucked around for a while. Jessika: Fucked around so hard. So Well, I really enjoyed the banquet and I really liked the different interactions between the different mythologies and how they behaved and what they ate. And it was really funny, but I also thought it was very thoughtful. In the way that it was done. And similarly with the way that each party had a different way and signal to meet with dream, it just really showed his understanding and empathy by adapting to each of his guests needs. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: Or perhaps he's just used to doing this for each individual's dreams. Mike: Well, it's a little bit open to interpretation because in other episodes you see his appearance changed. Like there was, you know, he was Meowpheus. Jessika: Yep. Mike: So my take on him is that his appearance. Doesn't change. It's just, we [00:58:00] perceive them in different ways. And because we are, you know, people reading the story, we are seeing him in his siblings manifest as people. Jessika: That's very astute, sir. Mike: But yeah, I mean, like you looked at like the different art styles that came into play when he was meeting with the different gods. And I mean, I, I still think about how doesn' het have like a tea ceremony with Suzano when they're, when they're talking. And then I feel like it's much darker and moodier when he meets with Odin. And then again, the art style changes again when he meets with Bast. Jessika: Yeah. Well, speaking of art, did you, did you have a favorite art moment in this volume? Mike: Yeah. okay. So you remember how last time we talked about how I have this, one defining moment where in Men of Good Fortune hob has these three panels where his face changes? Yeah. There's a couple of different images throughout the series that I always just kind of have pop up in my head when I think about it. And one of them is from this volume and it's the bit where he's inside a Zazzle and [00:59:00] he's like prying open the mouse and the empty space and he's floating around it feels kind of more traditionally action comic booky, and the way that it's drawn, that's not a bad thing. It's just, for some reason it feels that way. And I, I think it's really good. and I also really liked how at the end of it, he reveals that he is trapped. Azazel in a jar. It's very in keeping with how Gaiman would resolve conflict in ways that could be a giant battle, but instead they're very clever. , it was like when they had the battle between him and Dr.Destiny, and then afterwards you get the field of white and then it turns out he's just sitting in the Palm of dream's hand. Jessika: Yes. Yeah. Mike: Yeah. Jessika: So good. Mike: I'm curious, you're approaching this with fresh eyes because this is the first time you've read through this. So I'm wondering, do you have the same moments or are they different? Jessika: I actually thought Morpheus had a lot of really good billowing robe moments. Mike: Yes. Jessika: Like, I mean, they didn't have, I think they may have had like one semi-full page of like a billowy robes situation. But there were quite a few shots of him, like floating into [01:00:00] hell and he was just making an entrance Mike: yeah. I was just thinking that Jessika: here for it. Yeah. Mike: he's got his helm Jessika: Yeah. Mike: the bit where Jessika: dressed up. This is the met gala. He is here. Mike: Yes. And then what I really liked about that was there's that moment where Lucifer is like, are you afraid of me? And more visas? Like, yes. And I'm like, all right. Not, your difficult comic book. All right. Cool. Jessika: Just being real between you and I. Absolutely. Mike: That was great. Jessika: Yeah. So I really like, again, to your point about what you really enjoyed was the kind of feeling of movement of probably him floating through space and having that action feeling. That's what I really liked about the billowy ropes. Was it just, I could almost see them moving, and I could feel the movement of him floating down, which was so neat. Yeah. Well, let's move along to our brain wrinkles. [01:01:00] Mike: All right. Jessika: So this is the one thing comics or comic-related. That has just been sticking in our noggin since the last time we spoke. So, what is it for you? Mike: Well, Sarah and I had our anniversary this week, and she got me this really cool book called American Comic Book Chronicles, the 1990s by Jason Sachs and Keith Dallas. Do you remember those American century books from time life? They were those prestige format photo history books, and they would document major moments in America and world history from across the 20th. Jessika: I do. Yup. Mike: I feel like every school library had a complete volume. Jessika: Exactly. Mike: So this is like that except for Comics. And so it's really cool. And nobody should be surprised at this point to hear that I particularly love comics from the eighties and nineties. And as I'm reading through this book, it's reminding me about how absolutely insane the early nineties were when it came to the comic book industry and [01:02:00] also just comic collecting in general. So I think we're going to have to do an episode where we talk about something related to that topic sooner or later, probably sooner. it has been rattling around my head for the past couple of days where I just reread I've read the stuff that some of it, I knew some of it I didn't and all of it's insane. Jessika: well, let's definitely talk sooner rather than later, because let's go back to childhood. Mike: All right. You talked me into it. We're going to do a nineties episode at some point. It's fine. FINE! Jessika: Twisted his arm. There's no violence on this podcast. I'm a pacifist. God dammit. Mike: Uh, but yeah, that's me. What about you? Jessika: Well, Mike, you told me about the podcast Bitches on Comics, which, okay. I'm not going to lie to you. I've binged the first 45 episodes since you told me about it less than a week ago, you haven't, it hasn't been a week. Mike: I can't remember. I know it's been about a week. [01:03:00] I really like that show. Jessika: It's been about a week. Okay. It's so good. And they have their, I mean, they're very queer, which are, you know, a hundred percent I'm here for, and I got to tell you, they, Mike: Like more queer fans of comic books. Oh, no. Jessika: Oh, no. Well, and they have this thing in there where they're. There aren't a lot of queer podcasts about comic books and I'm like, wait, we're here now, here we are. Pick us. Mike: Yeah, exactly. I'm like, oh, can we come talk to, you want to have us on, or do you want to come on our show? Like, whatever you want to talk about, it's fine. Jessika: I, will awkwardly approach them with my bag lunch and ask if I can sit with them. Mike: Oh, a hundred percent. Yeah. They're great. their Mojo episode, I thought was really interesting and I wound up tweeting with them for a little while because they pointed out that there really aren't many characters like mojo. And I think I made a good point with him. I mentioned how Superman's bill and Mr. Mxyzptlk might be another equivalent character[01:04:00] where he's all about throwing shit up in the air and, disrupting everything but no, they, they were great. Jessika: So good. Well, they, in episode three, they introduced me to the novel, the refrigerator monologues, which delves into the, the idea of women in comics being fridged or killed just for entertainment sake, or to drive a plot narrative, or to make the, the main hero sad, or, basically as a plot tool and the refrigerator monologues delves into it as first-person accounts of female superheroes and how they had been used. And I went and listened to it because you can find it. I kept it on hooplah actually. So I listened to it for free and it was an audiobook. It was very, very good. And he talked about them not having autonomy or storylines of their own. it got me thinking about the way that we write characters and who we are allowed to succeed in [01:05:00] any given situation. I don't know, I just, I highly recommend this book and I highly recommend listening to Bitches on Comics because they have got me just like thinking about shit. Mike: Yeah, you and I should talk about a Hawk and Dove from DC in the 1980s and how they just did the most egregious fringing of Dove in a 1991 crossover in a way that was really bad. it's one of those things where I still talk about it. I've been talking about it for 20 years because it's so wild. Jessika: Man. Well.I guess we'll have a really uplifting conversation about that later. I'm sure I'm going to have no zero opinions about that. Mike: No. Jessika: I tell you, I commit now. No opinions. I can't commit to that. Everyone knows I'm
In this episode, Jeannette speaks to Chris Hope. He is the Senior Partner of Dawson´s estate agents, Swansea´s dominant independent agency. Chris talks about his 40+ years working in the property market. Weaving advice into the conversation that any entrepreneur, property investor, or developer can apply to their own business. Chris explains how he and his partners have built their brand, found success by working with other agencies, and successfully weathered difficult trading circumstances. He provides an insight into what is likely to happen to the property post-Co-vid. As well as sharing details of how the process of buying and selling UK properties is evolving. KEY TAKEAWAYS When you get to the top, don´t sit back and relax - it´s all too easy to fall backwards Use role models and mentors to show you the way Learn from the mistakes of others A strong business team is made up of people with different skills, points of view and approaches Work with companies in your field, who are not your direct competitors & look for win-wins Learn from what your competitors are doing. Rebrand and tweak it to make your own. Networking is all about building real relationships. Learn to listen properly. It is the only way to understand what your client genuinely wants. Talent is hard to find, so look after your staff In hard times, looking after your business first is vital - if there's no business nobody has a job The way Dawsons as agents work now, greatly reduces the chances of a sale falling through. Good agents ensure investors do not waste their time on properties that can't be developed in the way they want This is the perfect time to get focused on what YOU want to really achieve in your business, career, and life. It’s never too late to be BRAVE and BOLD and unlock your inner BRILLIANCE. If you’d like to join Jeannette’s FREE Mastermind just DM Jeannette on firstname.lastname@example.org BEST MOMENTS ‘I think a good blend of different people and different disciplines...has been key to our success. ´ ‘You can learn a lot by just sitting at a table having no agenda and listening.’ ‘If somebody gets the better of you, learn from it and find a way of doing it differently.’ ‘You have to look after the business first before you can look after the staff.’ VALUABLE RESOURCES Brave, Bold, Brilliant podcast series ABOUT THE GUEST Chris Hope joined the originating Dawsons company (David Henry, Malcolm Jones) in late 1977 and became an area director when the company was purchased by Abbey National in 1986 under the Cornerstone brand. Dawsons was created in 1991 and Chris remains as the senior partner and is still very active in the business. He also oversees the Fine & Country Swansea brand, and actively supports the Relocation Agent Network and the industry charity Agents Giving. Chris is a family man and a keen sportsman, plus a very proud supporter of The Swans FC. In his spare time Chris enjoys his coastal surroundings in Swansea and takes part in a variety of water sports. CONTACT METHOD www.dawsonsproperty.co.uk https://www.facebook.com/DawsonsPropertySwansea https://twitter.com/DawsonsProperty https://www.linkedin.com/company/dawsons-swansea-estate-agents/ ABOUT THE HOST Jeannette Linfoot is a highly regarded senior executive, property investor, board advisor, and business mentor with over 25 years of global professional business experience across the travel, leisure, hospitality, and property sectors. Having bought, ran, and sold businesses all over the world, Jeannette now has a portfolio of her own businesses and also advises and mentors other business leaders to drive forward their strategies as well as their own personal development. Jeannette is a down-to-earth leader, a passionate champion for diversity & inclusion, and a huge advocate of nurturing talent so every person can unleash their full potential and live their dreams. This is the perfect time to get focused on what YOU want to really achieve in your business, career, and life. It’s never too late to be BRAVE and BOLD and unlock your inner BRILLIANCE. If you’d like to join Jeannette’s FREE Mastermind just DM Jeannette on email@example.com CONTACT METHOD https://www.jeannettelinfootassociates.com/ YOUTUBE LinkedIn Facebook Instagram Podcast Description Jeannette Linfoot talks to incredible people about their experiences of being Brave, Bold & Brilliant, which have allowed them to unleash their full potential in business, their careers, and life in general. From the boardroom tables of ‘big’ international business to the dining room tables of entrepreneurial start-ups, how to overcome challenges, embrace opportunities and take risks, whilst staying ‘true’ to yourself is the order of the day. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Join us for the first Sunday in our series, "May It Be So," our summer series on the Lord's Prayer. The video contains the Scripture reading, sermon and a rendition of Malotte's Lord's Prayer sung by Malcolm Jones. To support VPC, you can donate online here: https://valleypreschurch.org/give Thank you!
In this episode, Matt talks with Dr. Sarah Young of University College London about her upcoming book "Writing Resistance: Revolutionary Memoirs of Shlissel'burg Prison, 1884-1906" and the genre of carceral literature. Where do Russian literary titans like Dostoevsky and Shalamov fit in and how are they perceived in the Russian imagination? Dr. Young also speaks about the uses and importance of spatially mapping historic and literary events and why she undertook such mapping projects in the course of her research. We hope you enjoy! Some extras for those viewing this episode on our website are found below. 1) The Interior of Shlissel'burg Prison as found in the memoir by Ivan Iuvachev (image provided by Dr. Sarah Young) https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/9/9a59b135-7876-4254-b600-3839b3aa3ab1/0kuGEG7J.jpeg 2) Exterior view of Shlissel'burg Prison (image source: Wikimedia) https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/73/Shlisselburg.jpg ABOUT THE GUEST https://assets.fireside.fm/file/fireside-images/podcasts/images/9/9a59b135-7876-4254-b600-3839b3aa3ab1/guests/7/70e8e88f-fb9f-43a6-97b0-05a4a3b33e3a/avatar_small.jpg?v=2 Dr. Sarah J. Young is an Associate Professor at University College London. Her main areas of research are nineteenth- and twentieth-century Russian literature, thought, and culture. She began studying Russian at school, and got hooked on Russian literature after an early encounter with Gogol's Nose. A degree in Russian and French at Trinity College, Cambridge, including a year studying in Moscow and Minsk, was followed by a brief period translating books on chess theory from Russian. After studying for her Masters in European Languages and Culture at the University of Manchester, she was supervised for her PhD by Malcolm Jones at the University of Nottingham, resulting in a thesis on the role of character in the structuring of the narrative of Dostoevsky's The Idiot. This later became her first book, Dostoevsky's 'The Idiot' and the Ethical Foundations of Narrative. She is currently finishing up a book on narratives of prison, hard labour and exile, and on a new digital project on the geography of the Petersburg text in the nineteenth century. She writes a blog about her research and teaching at www.sarahjyoung.com. Visit her on the web and follow her on Twitter @russianist A blurb about Dr. Young's forthcoming book Writing Resistance: Revolutionary Memoirs of Shlissel'burg Prison, 1884-1906 (to be released in 2021 by UCL Press): In 1884, the first of 68 prisoners convicted of terrorist offences and membership of the revolutionary organization the People's Will, were transferred to a new maximum security prison at Shlissel´burg Fortress near St Petersburg, the Russian Empire's most notorious penal institution. The regime of indeterminate sentences in total isolation, complete inactivity and constant surveillance, caused severe mental and physical deterioration among the prisoners, over half of whom died. But the survivors fought back to reform the prison, ultimately overcoming the system of solitary confinement and improving the inmates' living conditions. The memoirs many survivors wrote enshrined their story in revolutionary mythology, and acted as an indictment of the Tsarist autocracy's loss of moral authority. Writing Resistance features three of these memoirs, all translated into English for the first time. They show the process of transforming the regime as a collaborative endeavour that resulted in flourishing allotments, workshops and intellectual culture – and in the inmates running many of the prison's everyday functions. Sarah J. Young's introductory essay analyses the Shlissel´burg memoirs' construction of a collective narrative of resilience, resistance and renewal. It uses distant reading techniques to explore the communal values they inscribe, their adoption of a powerful group identity, and emphasis on overcoming the physical and psychological barriers of the prison. The first extended study of Shlissel´burg's revolutionary inmates in English, and the first in any language to assess their experience and memoirs as a collective, Writing Resistance uncovers an episode in the history of political imprisonment that bears comparison with the inmates of Robben Island in South Africa's apartheid regime, and the Maze Prison in Belfast during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. It will be of interest to scholars and students of the Russian revolution, carceral history, penal practice and behaviours, and prison and life writing. NOTE: This episode was recorded on October 26th, 2020 via Zoom. CREDITS Host/Co-Producer: Matthew Orr (Connect: facebook.com/orrrmatthew) Co-Producer: Tom Rehnquist (Connect: Twitter @RehnquistTom) Associate Producer: Lera Toropin Associate Producer: Cullan Bendig Assistant Producer: Samantha Farmer Assistant Producer: Katherine Birch Assistant Producer: Zach Johnson Assistant Producer/Administrator: Kathryn Yegorov-Crate Recording, Editing, and Sound Design: Michelle Daniel, Charlie Harper Music Producer: Charlie Harper (Connect: facebook.com/charlie.harper.1485 Instagram: @charlieharpermusic) www.charlieharpermusic.com (Main Theme by Charlie Harper and additional background music by Charlie Harper, Ketsa, and Jazzafari) Executive Producer & Creator: Michelle Daniel (Connect: facebook.com/mdanielgeraci Instagram: @michelledaniel86) www.msdaniel.com DISCLAIMER: The views expressed on this episode do not necessarily reflect those of the show or the University of Texas at Austin. Special Guest: Sarah J. Young.
In this episode, me and my guest, Malcolm Jones, analyze the landscape of the NBA Playoffs. We also make predictions of what the league will look like in the future.
On this Edition of Quarantine Phoner's on the East Coast West Coast Podcast, our hosts "East Coast, West Coast Ali's" and "Saucey Ed" talk to friend of the show and LEGENDARY Director, Writer and Producer R. Malcolm Jones. We get his take on the current state of the world and what's going on in LA and Las Vegas. He also gives us his tips on how to survive this pandemic. Instagram: @ecwcpodcast @aliextramile @manageking Youtube: Youtube.com/eastcoastwestcoastpodcast contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tune in to hear us discuss the lessons learned from this important report.Topics:Why the Brady Report was made.The pros and cons of this type of study.Malcolm Jones' paper about grief cycles in business.Why fatalities aren't extraordinary events.HRO theories and programs.Why LTI's aren't relevant.Why reported incidents aren't a negative indicator.How fatalities could have possibly been avoided.Practical takeaways from our conversation.Quotes:“The report contains, like, a couple of hundred pages of graphs and nowhere is there any sort of test to see what model best fits the graph.”“It's not new for big investigation reports...for people to get hold of one particular theory of safety and think that it provides all of the answers.”“This definitely shows the naivete, if you think you can't hide hospitalizable injuries.”Resources:The Brady ReportFeedback@Safetyofwork.com
Gloves Off with Producer Kyle Podcast
Malcolm Jones and Frank Martin. Two guys with a combined 10 Golden Glove jackets as amateurs plus Frank Martin won National Golden Gloves in 2016 and there hasn't been a national GG champ from Indiana since 1993. Malcolm is 15-1 and Frank is 10-0 as pro boxers. The opportunity and stakes are about to be bigger here in another week. You know Producer Kyle loves the sport of Boxing and MMA, used to compete in Golden Gloves and still spars from time to time. PK had a chance to spar/workout and interview Malcolm and Frank as they get ready for Showtime Boxing in Las Vegas on Mayweather Promotions. Friday February 28th, Sam's Town Casino in Las Vegas, Showtime Boxing, Mayweather Promotions. Catch me in front of my TV next Friday night.
Immerse yourself in the sounds of the North Cornwall surf with thirty-year lifeguard Malcolm Jones, and let him save you from the rip...
Foot Stompin Free Scottish Music Podcast
The Foot Stompin' podcast is back for 2019 with a great lineup of albums old and new from the Scottish trad music scene. Feat Deaf Shepherd, Claire Hastings, Lau, Mairearad and Anna, Julie Fowlis, Dallahan, Fara, Iona Fyfe, Sineag MacIntyre, Ross Ainslie and Malcolm Jones, Brian McAlpine, Christine Kydd and Eriska. If you enjoy these podcasts please consider supporting our Patreon account at http://www.patreon.com/handsupfortrad. Even in the Rain by Deaf Shepherd Track - The Braemar Gathering / Morag MacNeil, Tangusdale / Colin Clark Caruthers / New Hands / Donella Beaton https://www.facebook.com/Deaf-Shepherd-329735396549/ Those Who Roam by Claire Hastings Track - Jack the Sailor https://www.clairehastings.com/ Midnight and Closedown by Lau Track - Dark Secret http://www.lau-music.co.uk/ Farran by Mairearad and Anna Track - Coigach https://mairearadandanna.bandcamp.com/ Allt by Julie Fowlis, Eamon Doorley, Zoe Conway & John McIntyre Track - Air an Somme https://www.juliefowlis.com/ Smallworld by Dallahan Track - Footsteps http://www.dallahanmusic.com/ Times from Times Fall by Fara Track - The Port Polka, Rognvald Ritch, The Little, The Shore http://faramusic.co.uk Dark Turn of Mind by Iona Fyfe Track - Iona Fyfe http://ionafyfe.com/ Lòn Bàn by Sineag MacIntyre Track - Puirt a Beul https://www.greentrax.com/music/product/sineag-macintyre-lon-ban Hope in the Chaos by Ross Ainslie and Malcom Jones (single) https://rossainslie.bandcamp.com/ Mutual Imagination Society, Vol. 1 by Brian McAlpine Track - D Minor Air https://brianmcalpine.bandcamp.com/ Shift and Change by Christine Kydd Track - Norland Wind https://www.christinekydd.com/ At the Wrong Gig by Eriska Track - Nae Pressure https://www.facebook.com/eriskaband/ More about Hands Up for Trad: http://www.handsupfortrad.scot https://facebook.com/handsupfortrad http://www.twitter.com/handsupfortrad http://www.instagram.com/handsupfortrad http://www.scotpodcast.com https://soundcloud.com/handsupfortrad
We're joined by Malcolm Jones from Sun Moon Healing Essential Oils & Rebel-Lion Radio Show. We talk about the creative process, healing oil composition, and growing up without an inferiority complex. Guest- Malcolm Jones Host/Producer- Tariq I. El-Amin Engineer- Ibrahim Baig Executive Producer- Abdul Malik Mujahid Music Manuele Atzeni- Cronache https://goo.gl/dvw8Xm Ant The Symbol- Main and Eigth https://goo.gl/6bZEKK Image Courtesy of Malcolm Jones (Modified by Tariq I. El-Amin)
Foot Stompin Free Scottish Music Podcast
Listen to the latest Foot Stompin’ Free Scottish music podcast with another great selection of music from Scotland. This month we feature Hamish Napier, Boys of the Lough, The Poozies, Lori Watson, Alistair McCulloch, Emily Smith and Jamie McClennan, Rura, Skerryvore, Skipinnish, Eabhal, Frigg and Hò-rò. Please share! The Railway by Hamish Napier Track - Double-Header http://www.hamishnapier.com/ The New Line by Boys of the Lough Track - Liffey Side http://boysofthelough.info/ Punch by The Poozies Track - Knees of Fire http://www.poozies.co.uk/ Yarrow Acoustic Sessions by Lori Watson Track - Fine Floors in the Valley http://loriwatson.net/ Off the Hook by Alistair McCulloch Track - Mazurkas http://www.alistairmcculloch.com/ Unplugged by Emily Smith and Jamie McClennan Track - While Roving On A Winter's Night https://emilysmith.org/ In Praise of Home by Rura Track - Day One https://www.rura.co.uk/ Evo by Skerryvore Track - Take My Hand http://www.skerryvore.com Wishing Well by Skipinnish and Malcolm Jones http://www.skipinnish.com 'The MaSìm' by Eabhal https://www.eabhal.com/ Frost on Fiddles by Frigg Track - Ode to Ravintola Pelimanni https://frigg.fi/?lang=en Transatlantic Sessions - Series 4, Vol. One featuring Emily Smith, Mairéad Ni Mhaonaigh & Martha Wainwright Track - Bleeding All Over You Hex by Hò-rò Track - Nuggets https://www.musichoro.com/ Subscribe to our Hands Up for Trad YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/handsupfortrad More about Hands Up for Trad: http://www.handsupfortrad.scot https://facebook.com/handsupfortrad http://www.twitter.com/handsupfortrad http://www.instagram.com/handsupfortrad https://soundcloud.com/handsupfortrad