Friday, 31 May 2013

It's T-Shirt Friday 13 ! (Unlucky For Some...)

Would You Like A Chocolate Progressive Biscuit With That... ?
Banana! ...No I'm not just shouting out the names of various fruit to pass the time... Although having said that, it does sound like a good way to fill the odd hour or two! Banana happens to be the name of the dog that was owned by Brian Wilson that can be heard barking at the end of 'Pet Sounds' - 'Caroline No' in fact actually Brian owned two dogs Banana and Louie, Banana was a Beagle and Louie was a dark brown Weimaraner... Max was a name that was bounded about, if you thought it was Max, then perhaps a suggestion could be that you have a 'Banana' Split with lots of extra ice cream and sprinkles to celebrate, this might help you to remember what the answer is. If you already knew that the answer was Banana though, what about having a nice slice of Apple Pie with a side of whatever you wish... cream, Ice cream or perhaps even Cr√®me Fraiche, also to help you celebrate! But to help you forget what the answer is as well...

Today's T-Shirt is available directly from: http://www.progrockmerch.com 

Prog Rock... what do you make of it? Are you a fan... It's really popular at the moment and has had a huge upsurge. Ok, I'm about to make a life changing announcement, I'm coming out of the closet and putting on my pointed wizards hat, robe and gold prog shaped cape, adding perhaps a rainbow coloured kipper tie around my high collar lace ruff shirt... I am a huge progressive rock fan! 
It all began many, many years ago... Hale End Library in Highams Park (Just between Chingford and South Woodford) was our local point for borrowing books and more importantly they also happened to have a very well stocked music section, many great albums were borrowed from that library. MP3 was a thing of the future, even CD's were only just coming in. Hale End was a place that could offer a huge spectrum of astounding sounds, but it was all on cassette tape! The happy memory of borrowing tapes, having the date stamped on the specially prepared sticker that fitted on the cassette case, taking the tape away and excitedly putting it into my Sanyo Walkman, still lingers on even now! One fateful day, just before a journey and a weeks stay with our Auntie Edna and Uncle John in Bristol, both my sister and myself took a trip to the library, after a bit of a hunt I came across something I'd not seen before, an album called 'Talk' by a band called 'Yes'. I saved listening to it until our Mum and Dad drove us to our Uncle and Aunt's and on the first click of the walkman play button the album sucked my brain through a strange compositional worm hole and into a boundary breaking musical universe! Then when it had reached it's full eclipse, pushed it back through an extended variation of interstellar themes causing my mind to lose all sense of time... (Of course the music had no sense of time either, with tracks like 'Endless Dream' extending over 3 movements and at nearly 16 minutes!) It was a musical epiphany, it was prog and I couldn't get enough of it! Every night, while staying in Bristol I would listen to the album until the early morning hours, taking in all the musical nuances. From that day onwards I was hooked by both Yes and Prog Rock....

Appropriately (in a way) today's T-Shirt has had a very unlucky existence....

How do you tell the world that you love Progressive Rock? Make a prog mix tape? collect all your favourites together on one cassette tape, Hawkwind, Pallas, Eloy & Rick Wakeman... do the cover artwork and logo design in a style akin to Patrick Woodroffe and send it too whispering Bob Harris on The Old Grey Whistle Test? Apply for a spot on the 4th Plinth, prepare a speech on the finer details of Atomic Rooster, King Crimson, Le Orme, Gentle Giant and Rush and tell the whole of London... Social media? You could put a message on twitter and openly admit that you have spent many years locked in a room listening too 'Focus' and 'Nektar' or you could just send off for the below t-shirt and wear it proudly! Which is what I did... It's a fans tee, with a prog message that can be read from the moon! 
The package arrived with the t-shirt in, no one else was in our flat, so I put the tee on and spent the day in it, getting accustomed to the shirt, as you do, and waited to surprise Miss Russell... She arrived home. As Miss Russell walked through the door I hid and then at the crucial moment, I jumped out in my newly purchased purple prog wonder! "Surprise!" I exclaimed and she certainly was surprised! The T-shirt has taken the mantel of being the least liked tee in our flat! So much so that it has only made it out into the daylight twice since it's been in the collection! It's stature now is one of being a flat bound only t-shirt, due some what to it's slightly over the top nature, just like progressive rock itself it's not everyones cuppa... But like Emily in Bagpuss I still love it, It's great to sit around the flat with the T-shirt on, think back to those early Hale End days, drink a cup of tea and listen to prog... 

... and now and again wear a gold cape too!


Well... it's that time again and this week the T-Shirt Friday Quiz Conundrum is: who or what is King Crimson a synonym for?