Sunday, March 12, 2006

The Evil of Capitalism

In 1968 hippiedom was in its first full flush. The singer Donovan Leitch bought an island off Skye and announced an artistic commune. Beautiful hippie-chick singer/songwriter and art-student boyfriend are invited.

Naturally, the way to get from Sidcup to Skye was by horse-drawn caravan - a journey that took them more than a year, by which time the artistic commune had collapsed and everyone was leaving. But from the journey came one vinyl LP released in 1970 and almost the defining musical document of a certain strand of the hippy culture - fey, childlike, twee and IMHO absolutely charming.

It sank without trace. The singer, the delightfully named Vashti Bunyan, stayed in Scotland, raised kids. I first heard it on a tape copied from a tape copied from a tape in the early 80s - passed around the rainbow sweater, wool-carding, circle-dancing and spinning wheel set. Her fans were Type 2 people, as was Vashti herself.

Fell in love with it, passed on copies to friends. Imagine my delight when 'Just Another Diamond Day' was released on CD in 2000.

And imagine my horror when I heard the title song last night on a T-Mobile advert.

Ah well. I suppose the money's useful.


Anonymous said...

It's funny how socialists feel a system in which no violence needs to occur is evil, and they want to replace it with a level of violence that killed 100 million people.

Some people said about socialism "nice idea, wrong species" I just can't think were they get the idea that this form of state slavery is a nice idea!

Anonymous said...

My favourite analogy about socialism is this "Socialism is to Sharing as Rape is to marriage"

Rob Read.

Anonymous said...

aah, those were the days, Laban. Spent a year or so in a commune myself, living in a caravan on the side of a hill. Supposed to be working towards self-sufficiency. Every afternoon after the communal duties, everyone used to sneak off to town to shop for 'essentials'. Shopping llsts got longer and longer...

Donovan is quite a bard, his version of 'Wandering Aengus' haunts me.

Shall try to find that cd. But, yes, oh the irony! Nick Drake has already been Hollywoodised. I wonder what he would have made of that?

Anonymous said...

I say, Laban,

Isle of Islay,

eh what?

Laban said...

I'm not really griping about capitalism - that was irony ... I guess when something like that happens it just damages a little memory.

"It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for"

My copy of the tape came from a girl who carded and spun her own wool, who'd got it from a girl living in a caravan on Dartmoor, gathering mosses and lichens to dye the wool with.

But the whole hippy project proved to be unsustainable in every sense.

Anonymous said...

"Never trust a hippy" - J. Rotten.