*Legal disclaimer: this did not definitely happen.
Seven True Stories About Lemmy That Aren't Necessarily True # 1: Lemmy And The Swedish Ground-Hammer
So anyway Lemmy comes round and we're in the garden listening to Miles Davis and The Subhumans, consecutively rather than simultaneously. Lemmy is approving of the marmande tomatoes which swing like snooker balls on their stems. He has to hide his enthusiasm for pomology; it could compromise his reputation. We eat a little cous-cous and watch a Kaurismaki film. That's the kind of thing Lemmy likes. We go for a walk along the canal. I ask Lemmy about his tools. He values the shovel, the hoe and the weeder. He's got an antique army earth-axe. Also a lubricated Iranian sand-hoist. Additionally an articulated Swedish ground-hammer, and those are barely legal round here. "What's your favourite garden implement Lemmy?" I say. "I really need to know." He gazes impassively into the sun. The sun just glares on down. He is unquantifiable age and noise. He is unexpectedly knowledgeable on this topic. "For its versatility and compact design," he says, "and the leverage it applies, I crown the trowel the king of the spades." "Really?" I say. "The trowel? I wasn't expecting that." We carry on walking along the canal. Soon we'll be in Stratford.
*Legal disclaimer: this did not definitely happen.
More a marriage than a mash-up since you ask, which you didn't, because Hawkwind's resident poet Robert Calvert used to declaim this surreal allegory from Gunter Grass's 'Headbirths, or The German's Are Dying Out' before the band ploughed into 'Orgone Accumalator'. Unfortunately cameras hadn't been invented yet in 1972 so there's no video evidence. Still, as Peely used to say, let's try and recreate the experience together. Hawkwind: so far out they're coming back from places we ain't even been yet. (ie. A tent made out of bin bags and bus parts at a free festival in the People's Republic of Wiltshire.)
In The Egg
We live in the egg.
We have covered the inside wall
of the shell with dirty drawings
and the Christian names of our enemies.
We are being hatched.
Whoever is hatching us
is hatching our pencils as well.
Set free from the egg one day
at once we shall make an image
of whoever is hatching us.
We assume that we're being hatched.
We imagine some good-natured fowl
and write school essays
about the color and breed
of the hen that is hatching us.
When shall we break the shell?
Our prophets inside the egg
for a middling salary argue
about the period of incubation.
They posit a day called X.
Out of boredom and genuine need
we have invented incubators.
We are much concerned about our offspring inside the egg.
We should be glad to recommend our patent
to her who looks after us.
But we have a roof over our heads.
chatter all day
and even discuss their dreams.
And what if we're not being hatched?
If this shell will never break?
If our horizon is only that
of our scribbles, and always will be?
We hope that we're being hatched.
Even if we only talk of hatching
there remains fear that someone
outside our shell will feel hungry
and crack us into the frying pan with a pinch of salt.
What shall we do then, my brethren inside the egg?
Me (to the bearded hipster fingering an empty coffee cup at a table outside a Camden café): Have we met before? Do I know you?
Bearded Hipster (squinting sceptically): Maybe. I'm not sure.
M: I know. Are you a mate of Andy's? Did we meet at his party in Maida Vale?
BH: No. The Andy I know lives in Dartford. I hardly even know him. He's a nasty piece of work.
M: Yeah. I hardly know Andy either.
BH: No. I don't really know either Andy.
M: Or any Andy.
BH: Well, there's an Andy that I know of. But he doesn't sound the same as yours.
M: I got it. Did you used to work at that printer's in Farringdon? The night shift back in '99?
BH: No. You'd never have met me there. Did you used to go out with a girl called Samantha whose brother said he knew The Bluetones?
M: The Bluetones?
BH: Yeah. The Bluetones.
M: God no. Not The Bluetones.
BH: This brother wasn't in The Bluetones. He just used to say he knew them.
M: No. I hated The Bluetones.
BH: Of course. I hated them too. Though that needn't have prevented you from knowing them.
M: But I didn't.
BH: For sure buddy. I believe you. So no Samantha then? Or her brother?
M: No Samantha then or now. I know. You're a mate of Simon's. We got drunk in his garden in Brighton and we were talking about the best moustaches.
BH: I wasn't.
M: What? There? Or drunk? Or talking?
BH: Each of the above. I don't know Simon in Brighton. And I would never discuss the best moustaches.
BH: Yeah. This is odd. You do seem kinda familiar.
M: How about this. Do you know Dan?
BH: I did. I did. I did.
M: And then what happened?
BH: Dan died.
BH: Yes. I did know Dan but he died.
M: The Dan who was with that Thandie? That's the Dan who died?
BH: No. This was the Dan with Colette.
M: And he's dead?
BH: Yeah. The Dan I used to know - he died.
M: I didn't know…
BH: I know.
M: I mean, I didn't actually know him. So I didn’t know he'd died.
BH: You couldn't have.
M: I didn't.
BH: He did though. He just died.
M: What, like, just? I'm sorry.
BH: No. It was a while back now but anyway.
M: Maybe you know James? Could we have met through him?
BH: Hmm, a bit. I do. Actually I was thinking maybe you knew James. But now you don't seem the type.
M: Oh definitely! I know James. Me and him - we're like that.
BH: You and James are like this?
M: Yeah. Me and James are like that.
BH: No way. You wouldn't want to be like this with that James. Not with this James that I know. You've gotta trust me on that.
M: I do?
BH: You should.
BH: You wouldn't want to. Trust me.
M: Okay. I got it. I do.
BH: Right. I've got it. You're Will!
M: Weird! That's just what I was thinking.
BH: That you're Will?
M: Ha. That's very funny. No. You're Will.
BH: I'm not Will.
M: Well, I'm not Will.
BH: And we didn't meet at Will's?
M: Will Wright's?
BH: No. Will Blanchard's.
M: Jesus. I don't know him.
BH: Well I don't really know him either.
M: Hmm. Can I ask you your name? Are you Marcus?
BH: No. I'm not Marcus. I'm Brendan. Could you be Toby or Saul?
M: Probably not at once. I'm not Toby or Saul. I'm Edward.
BH: Alright Ed. Nice to meet you again. Or possibly not. As the case may be.
M: Alright Brendan. Likewise.
BH: Maybe we just haven't met.
M: Maybe. But I just think we have.
BH: I think we just may have too.
M: I definitely think we have now.
BH: That's the kind of thing my ex-girlfriend used to say. I think we definitely have now. I guess she thought it was poetic.
M: Hang on. Melanie, right? Did we both used to…?
BH: I think that's highly unlikely mate. This girl was called Trudi Kokovich.
[Astonishingly, I am prepared to recite this sort of doggerel in public. Book me now for your Samuel Beckett-themed stag night, sports day or fete.]
I started working on this one with Beckett back in grey Paree in '56. He proposed the addendum 'Non', later translated as 'Don't'. But that was Sammy all over – always so hard to read. Dylan suggested the preceding line: 'Please.' Lennon had his own opener, 'God'. Warhol weighed with 'Yeah, but…' which was typical of the way he worked. The Pistols incorporated it into a song they had, at that time just called 'The Future.' Later Martin Amis called it a 'woe-induced physical rupture.' He asked me what it was about. I was able to tell him nothing. Now I'm putting it out there. It's my last word on the subject. I accept it was probably too extreme. But maybe eventually you people can get it.
Re-reading The Disinformation Company's mammoth compendium of modern occult arcana, The Book Of Lies. Magic(k), from my intrigued but unenlightened perspective, is a system of metaphors and symbols designed to accelerate self-empowerment, but it's driven by the poetic imagination. It seeks the same covert connections. It's a system built on sensory derangement. No surprise then, that William Burroughs makes several cameos. Genesis P.Orridge writes about Burroughs' theory of Do Easy. I'd never come across it before, but by the magic(k) of the internet - or is it the interzone? - I discover Gus Van Sant filmed it in 1982. It's a Zennish way of keeping the flat clean, but since this is Burroughs it ends with a shooting.