People come up to me all the time and say, Bill, why can’t you just leave well enough alone? The answer’s simple. I say, because you can get well enough alone the rest of the time. Why not a little something different now and then? No reason to be afraid. I mean, it’s the reason we say that in the Way Back Studios it’s not just what we play, it’s how we play it. The whole point is to have some fun with the music, and today’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl is a perfect example. So, are you sitting comfortably? Do you have a beverage? Good. Take another sip and see what you’ll see because with the help of The Moody Blues, Al Stewart, and Mike Oldfield, we’re going to take a look at the days of future past through the eyes of a 16th Century prognosticator, a provincial doctor by the name of Nostradamus who published something called The Centuries in 15 and 55. Inarguable as a horoscope, necessarily vague, and prone to misinterpretation, the doctor suggested that he saw a lot of things that would come to pass, but — in all his wisdom — he didn’t include a single quatrain about his book being turned into a song by Al Stewart in 19 and 74. Let alone did he shed any light on Year of the Cat.
Be that as it may, we took the Al Stewart track from Past, Present, and Future, diced it into three parts and filled in the blanks with two from the Moody Blues, also chopped in three. There’s one about standing alone on the threshold of a dream and seeing the golden galleons on the crystal sea. And not only that, but they’ll pose epistemological questions like: Are you real? And have you heard Mike Oldfield’s “Tubular Bells” lately? Okay, that’s not really epistemological but it applies nonetheless. Somewhere in the middle, we hear from that band Pete Best and Stu Sutcliff used to be in. And at the very end, we’ll hear a Joni Mitchell classic covered by Randy Scruggs. But here’s the best part: the whole thing unfolds right before your ears.
|Al Stewart||Nostradamus (part 1)|
|Moody Blues||Are You Sitting Comfortably?|
|Beatles||You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away|
|Al Stewart||Nostradamus (part 2)|
|Moody Blues||Have You Heard (part 1)|
|Al Stewart||Nostradamus (part 3)|
|Moody Blues||Have You Heard (part 2)|
|Michael Oldfield||Tubular Bells (excerpt)|
|Nitty Gritty Dirt Band||Both Sides Now|
From the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s three record set, Will The Circle Be Unbroken, an album brimming with over 30 musicians and singers, that one stands out as the only solo performance. Just Randy Scruggs and his guitar covering Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” Before that, a stereo record that cannot be played on old tin boxes no matter what they are fitted with. If you are in possession of such equipment please hand it in to the nearest police station. That’s the liner note written on the back sleeve of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells from which we just sampled the last third of side one. The story goes that Oldfield got some free studio time from a friend of his who had a studio associated with a small mail-order record business. Oldfield then shopped the tapes and was rejected by all the major record companies who said it was unmarketable. So his friend formed a record label and ended up selling around 16 million copies of the record. The label was called Virgin and his friend was a guy named Richard Branson who went on to do about two and a half billion dollars worth of other things.
Before the “Tubular Bells” we had a six part mash up of Al Stewart’s “Nostradamus” and the Moody Blues asking questions like “Are You Sitting Comfortably” and “Have you heard?” In the middle of that, a brief reminder that you’ve got to hide your love away, from the soundtrack to the film starring Leo McKern and Eleanor Bron. The same film that answered the questions: Will John live to sleep in his pit again? Will Paul ever get back to his electric organ? Will George be reunited with his ticker-tape machine? And Ringo — will he ever play the drums again? Tune in again next time for the answers to these and other burning questions, same Way Back Time, Same Way Back station. I’m Bill Fitzhugh, thanks for listening. I’ll have another batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl before you know it and I hope you’ll join us right here, in the Deep Tracks.