The Beginning of Words
I really fancied my English teacher, Miss Ashton. She was firm, but fair, and to me, totally wonderful. I was thirteen then and full of hormones, but always did my best to please her with good written work.
You see, when Miss Ashton gave us an essay to write, we would start it in class and finish it for homework. This enabled me to get my ramblings edited by my Father, a former journalist, and then top PR man. His English was impeccable and he corrected my grammar and reworked lines and passages that he deemed to be ‘too wordy’ or ‘unclear’. And thus my essays were always ‘beyond my years.’ I often wondered if Miss Ashton was aware of the identity of the guiding hand that moved secretly behind mine.
I would wait impatiently for her comments and the vitally important ‘reward’ being the mark she awarded for my work. I considered a seven to be acceptable, but only an eight or a nine was guaranteed to raise a smile. And as for a ten, well, I don’t think she ever gave them!
But what spurred me on the most were those episodes when things went awry. Those horrendous ocassions when her appraisals were as arrows that pierced my heart. Such as the time I received a meagre five for what I thought was worthy of an eight, but that she down-graded because of ‘untidy handwriting’. I felt like a hapless lover scorned. But later she loosed the sharpest of arrows when she branded one of my poetic lines a ‘cliche’. How profusely I bled, but l learned, and have not erred so badly since.
So Miss Ashton thank you for being you, and for the excellent teaching, and Dad thank you too, for together you made a remarkably effective team.
My next step up with words came four years later, when, I took a two year ‘A’ level course in English Literature at Boreham Wood College. My tutor was an amiable and enthusiastic Welshman whose admiration and deep affection for the work of his compatriot, the poet genius, Dylan Thomas, was so infectious, that I caught the bug and still regard him as being my single biggest literary influence. His writing was so lyrical, so abundant in sound, so rich in rhythm and rhyme and oft-times, so profound.
Mr Reece’s classes where pure joy and it was through him that my appreciation and knowledge of literature, took a momentous leap forward. Through his critical evaluation of the works of the giants of English Literature I learnt how positive messages could be imbedded into poetry and song lyrics, and that the compact format of these two forms of writing made them very powerful tools for communication.
In my first book, A Golden Age Economy, I used poems in some places as a substitute for prose, in order to reduce the number of words needed to make my points. The Ballard of Voodoo Rock, for example, is a poem that explains in six hundred words what in narrative form would have taken six thousand.
Mr Reece’s lectures lit the fires of my latent desire to become a writer, and it was at this time, that my first poem was published in the student union magazine. During his classes I became close friends with a girl who I sat next to and about whom I wrote one of my favourite songs, forty two years later. It is called ‘I wish I’d said I love you.’
I am indebted to Dylan Thomas and Mr Reece.
Messages in Words
After our prog. rock band, First Things First, folded in 1981, my output as a songwriter/poet fell significantly and did not rise again until 2003 – the year of my spiritual awakening. This was a magic time for me as I had been guided to study the teachings of the ascended masters through a number of mystery schools sponsored by them. And it is this body of knowledge combined with my life and work experiences that has been the source material for my songs, poems and books.
Indeed, I could not have written the words to Funny Money or both the books it inspired (A Golden Age Economy and Babel’s Tower) without the benefit of my extensive experience in sales, marketing and commerce, and especially the twenty years I worked as a Financial Adviser. Saint Germain’s teachings on the money and banking system would have fallen on deaf ears had I not gained the incites and insider knowledge that enabled me to see through the smoke and mirrors that surround this Illusory world.
Indeed, had I not spent two decades helping to protect my clients from the vagaries of the financial system by anticpating events, I doubt I would have had the motivation to write about the multitudinous levels of fraud, deception and lies that permeate an economy designed to deny abundance to all but the gilded few.
And thus, it is not surprising that many of my songs deal with complex subjects beyond the mainstream. In such cases I always explain what they are about as well as provide reference material for further reading – all of which can be found in the Lyrics section of this website.
I now have sufficient songs, lyrics and poems in my catalogue to publish a substantial single volume book or three smaller ‘themed ones, and that is certainly something I would like to do.
I have been asked what type of writing I prefer and my answer is that I am happiest writing songs; because if you are able to combine great words with great music you have within your hands the power to change and create worlds.
One of my best Christmas presents was an ingenius notepad and pencil that works underwater. Before Kathy gave it to me, there had been many times when a good line had come to me in the shower that I desperately wanted to write down, but could not, for lack of a pen and paper. On such occassions my only recourse had been to leave the shower while simultaneously repeating the line and looking for writing materials. But if none could to be found, I had to run down to my office, jot down the line and despite the distractions of my nakedness, the cold, and the water I was depositing, remember to return to the shower with notepad and pen should more words come – as indeed, they were wont to do .
This crazy scene has, on numerous occasions, been the birthing place for many a song, but it is not the only one.
The symbolism in the shower scene above is that most songs come to me when I am clean, meaning spiritually clean, and thus free of all energies that disturb the natural rhythms of life.
My best ideas tend to come early in the morning, when I am refreshed, alert and still. These are the times when I am awoken, as if by some silent command, with words on the tip of my tongue that I have to write down before I forget them. One good opening line can lead to others and before long, perhaps after twenty minutes or so, I may have several verses, and sometimes a chorus too.
On other occassions it can take weeks. This is when the work on the words becomes more like a sculpure that you chip away at until it has an acceptable form that can be refined and perfected.
Drumming frequently unleashes spurts of creativity, as I usually sing to myself while I am laying down a rhythm, and this can yield a tune or a hook that can be added to and turned into a fully formed song.
There are also times when I start something but cannot finish it simply because it was never meant to be. About one third of my compositions fall into this category.
But for me the source of my best songs is always my heart, my spiritual heart that is, because these are the songs created out of love – for a person, an idea or a particular truth, and thus will always reasonate within me as powerfully as I hope they will in others.