Winter; Exorcist; Peter Cook and Dudley Moore; Buffalo Springfield;   Leave a comment

I woke up yesterday to a surprise Winter Wonderland.  Snow hadn’t been forecast and when I looked out of the window I saw the first really snow falling this winter.  It didn’t stay snowing for very long and by the evening most of it had gone.

Winter is a very romantic time of the year, although I suppose any time is – summer nights on a beach, spring afternoons in a meadow, fall walks in a wood; but the winter nights, a log fire, hot chocolate with marshmallows of course.

Winter of course though also brings the dreaded winter bug!  Taylor and Bailey have both had it in the last few days; it seems it lasts for 12 hours and then the ‘hangover’ effect kicks in.  Luckily CJ and I haven’t caught it, (tempting fate I know).  I truly truly hate being ill.  I think that’s why I learnt to know my limit when it comes to drinking and I stop.  Also hate being out of control too, seen quite a few professional careers destroyed by one drink too many at a company’s do.

Taylor was well enough by Friday to drive ‘up north’ to Sunderland at the weekend.  Bless her, after she had read about both Arsenal and Spurs playing there are the weekend, Newcastle and Sunderland, CJ commented that there would be a lot of English people there!  Now we know where Courtney gets it from!

Talking about the good and bad sides of winter, it reminds me of a great sketch I remember from years ago.  It used to be on an album, and the track was called the Hexorcist, and was basically poking fun at the then hugely successful Exorcist, still one of the best films ever made.

In the sketch a reporter is interviewing people in line at the movies waiting to see The Exorcist;  Two people at the end of the line are God and the Devil and they compare their own successes – god says He made grass to lie on in the summer, the Devil says he made it to smoke!  Very funny.

I remember going to see the Exorcist at a midnight screening with my friend Setab, Michael Bates.  We had to walk home afterwards, I think we were about 14 or so.  It was a long walk!

The film is generally accepted as a masterclass in film making.  Yes the efforts are dated perhaps but the structure, the direction, the acting are all superb.

Here’s the original trailer:

William Peter Blatty

What makes the Exorcist all the more powerful is that it is based on a true story, although it was a young boy it happened to.  The boy lived down the road from writer William Peter Blatty, who was himself a young boy at the time.

The use of Tubular Bells was also a stroke of genius.

The Exorcist, with Tubular Bells:

The choice of good and bad, God and the Devil, has been covered many times – Chris de Burgh’s Spanish Train is perhaps his best song, and the original film Bedazzled (no, not vejazzled!)  Peter Cook starred as the devil trying to get Dudley Moore’s soul.  Very funny, totally destroyed by Elizabeth Hurley in the appalling remake.

Here’s the brilliant original 1967 trailer:

The premise is the idea behind my own story, For What It’s Worth, when a man wakes up in a hospital bed, in a room he shares with two other ‘patients’ – God and the Devil.  What is a man’s soul worth?

The title of course comes from the classic Buffalo Springfield track and here they are, an incredible 45 years later, playing last year at Bonnaroo, where I am determined to play.  Stephen Stills, Ritchie Furay and Neil Young were all major influences on me, especially Young.  Ritchie used to live in Santa Barbara and used the same studios, a lovely guy.  Some useless trivia about Stills, he was down to the last round for a role in The Monkees, losing out to Peter Tork.

Love the intro by Young to this, “Here it is, our hit, yes we did have one!”  Well, if you’re going to have only one, can’t think of a better one!

Buffalo Springfield:

Here they are 45 years earlier at Monterey (minus an absent Young). What is ironic is that they are introduced by …. Peter Tork!



Posted February 13, 2012 by Jon Johanson in Uncategorized

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