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84 Caesarean black tent confusion solution, metric Missourian strategy, groupies, ig on mc pc

From: Nckersh

Ian, saw you in Caesarea on may 14. Absolutely bloody fabulous. But what was the deal with the black tent....?


Hello Nckersh,
Thank you, that's quite a venue.

Aaaah, the black tent - yes.

It's a multi-purpose structure erected hastily on the night by Lothar - our wonderful production manager - and since developed into a more sophisticated hut, to accommodate the field hospital needed by the medical staff to look after my leg. I had a ski-jumping accident last winter (there was a time I could jump over a pair of skis quite easily) where I damaged my Achilles tendon. I didn't get it seen to at the time - or since - and it has never really been repaired; so I have a couple of lightly oiled nurses to give it the necessary between songs. There is also a tiki bar, a hammock and a hot tub back there.

Cheers, ig

From: John the Missourian


Ian, I have followed you since I was a boy. I am a man now. I picked up my copy of Perfect Strangers the other day to practice my singing. I have had this album for years but actually never read the lyrics intently. As I sang and read the lyrics I was deeply moved by sentiments outlined in them. It was as though, in an abstract way, I have lived this album. This album seems to encapsulate my identity in many profound and deep ways. I want to tell you this for no real good damn reason. I suppose upon further reflection as I write this perhaps its because Perfect Strangers gives me a comfort to know that I'm not alone. That somewhere in the world there are men who have led a life and have viewed the world in a similar way.

Allow me some time for exposition...there is a question in all of this. I have led a charmed life and am in good spirits. I have my freedom...absolutely. I have never been more free in my life. However, circumstances being what they are I still haven't gotten out of Dodge...yet.

As a lion's whelp, I've learned a lesson recently and would like your insight into this. My experience as a professional in business with media, marketing, sales, radio, etc. has given me an intuitive edge and a vision to succeed. A full proof plan to achieve satisfaction in the music business for myself. But I want to get there with my mates who've stuck with me as friends for years. Most of them can't seem to see opportunities that are hiding in plain sight.

My frustration is that when I show an good opportunity plainly it gets rejected out of hand for no reason other than some mysterious, abstract and restated version of what all of us have agreed upon. I don't know how to explain it. It's like I'm being lied to when we're in agreement on a direction to go. It baffles me and something tells me there are some complexities that I can't quite wrap my mind around. There is something innate in them that has conditioned them to fear change? Lose something? Being working poor? I don't know what.

I've begun to use a new approach. I seem to have more success getting things done if I'm an insufferable asshole, call bullshit, use intimidation and threats of violence. I am unmerciful in my prickness. It's like I'm a teenager again. It actually seems to suit me quite well. I'm starting to like it. Ruthless, patient, cunning, and sweet as an old friend told me.

Anyhoo, I'm rambling. But my question is, if I start sowing these seeds what type of future might I be looking at? My fear is that I might be wasting valuable lifetime and am tired of fucking around. I want every action to count towards not having to really work...and my mates want that too.


John the Missourian


Hello Boy-Man John the Missourian,

It seems that you've found the answer to your own question.

You can't know what lies ahead unless you gain some height, travel faster than light or fix the game, but you can use your experience to evaluate your options and take the most promising path. Personally I prefer the scenic route; the Rock 'n' Roll Highway is over-crowded and over-regulated.

In Physics, Newton's Third Law of Motion assures us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. We know that's not true otherwise we'd have perpetual motion and no need for gasoline. However as with Euclid's parallel lines it's been good enough to get us by in practical terms. We wouldn't be where we are today without early science but quantum thinking has changed everything, as if we've stepped through a stargate. Arithmetic is a device of convenience that has helped us build our cities, sail the seven seas and lob vehicles into near space. And yet we have different sets of measures for distance, weight, beer etc.

At the end of DF36 I remember printing my new metric scale of time

100 seconds = 1 minute
100 minutes = 1 hour
10 hours = I day
10 days = 1 week
3.651 weeks = 1 month
10 months = 1 year

I was successful in my attempt to eliminate the leap year, but not without nodding to the power of the moon. I am now living by this code quite happily, but it's driving my manager nuts. Therefore it's a worthless achievement.

What I'm getting at (if you're still awake - you started all this rambling) is the notion that eccentricity is essential to progress, but change alone is no good to anyone outside of a mutually agreed framework.

So go for it John, but if your ideas are scary to your mates you'll have to make a decision…whether to go on alone or slow down a bit. If, on the other hand, you just want to be rich and influential then I'd recommend a life of crime.

And, as a matter of interest, the days of the week in my new and futile metric week are named as follows: Minky, Wurzel, Flicker, Bra, Terry, Hipster, Fraulein, Wasp, Saturday and Sunday.

Cheers, ig

From: Lou and Angie

Hello Ian! Very nice to make your acquaintance! My friends and I are big Deep Purple fans! We are doing research on groupies from the 60's & 70's and we were interested in your opinion. Deep Purple came of age in the time of free love and sex and we were curious as to what your thoughts were! Is there a difference between Brit and American groupies? Also, can you tell us your inspiration behind your song,"Knocking at your back door"? This song is hauntingly crazy! Love your fans! Cheers!


Hello Lou and Angie,

How fascinating - this research of yours - in the sense that I wonder what it's for…a project of some kind, or curiosity?

Never mind…you ask about the difference between Brit and American groupies. That should be European as German, Austrian, Swiss, Scandinavian as well as British girls were all very keen to share the excitement of the day.

Of course we didn't call them groupies; that's an American invention; used subsequently in every lascivious media inquisition - worldwide. At the time all backstage familiars were known as liggers; a collective term we English musicians used to embrace the regulars - male and female - who made the scene at the venues and afterwards in the clubs. That was an affectionate word describing the flotsam and jetsam riding the 60's maelström. For example writers and photographers from the music papers, the new suits (business types, managers, agents etc.) in Carnaby Street gear, real friends and hangers on. To be honest it was this crowd that really enlivened the evening after a gig as most musos were too knackered to party and were just on the lookout for an obligatory shag requiring the least amount of effort.

As for character, as much as you can generalise a culture - and the differences were much more evident then - they were what they were; Europeans were quiet and Americans were loud. Also, the Americans seemed to be much better organised; they hunted in packs - with specialised clothing. One other significant difference was gum chewing - generally Europeans didn't and Americans did.

On the whole I found them to be wonderful people. They brought added excitement and…I never met a nasty one.

As for Knocking at your Back Door, the lyrics were designed to be enigmatic so the subject matter can be either elusive or penetrating, depending on your position.

Cheers, ig

Thomas Forup

Hi Ian. I was just reading your answers to various questions on your great page and came across the phrase "the naïve experiments with multi-culturalism". What exactly are you referring to here? I am not sure I understand…. Thanks

Thomas, Copenhagen

Hello Thomas, Thanks for your letter with reference to Q & A number 83…Maybe instead of the phrase 'the naïve experiments with multi-culturalism' I should have written 'the calculated push for multi-culturalism'. And maybe I should have mentioned that I was talking about the UK where it seems this policy has been more ruthlessly applied by eager descendants of the Cold War Real Politick warriors'. And let's call it M.C. for convenience.

OK, to put the phrase in context, and hopefully answer your question by doing so, let's start with the preceding words in the relevant sentence, and deal with the Greek question regarding the common currency. Greece joined the Euro in January 2001. At the time many observers and investors said they were worried that in future other weak or even weaker economies may be allowed to join, without meeting the conditions for entry.

Even the ostriches at Central Bank, those collectively criminal commissioners (The Hole in the Wall Gang) and joyriding MEPs know that The Greeks were coerced into joining the Eurozone. They did not meet the requirements; it was a criminal move that resulted in today's difficulty. There's no debate about that, only obfuscation, and you can't un-ring a bell so the consequences will have to be met and it won't be pretty - and I say the same about M.C.

Whatever the motives - and that is for another Q & A - it wasn't part of the hasty program to discuss the merits of joining in marriage two (or more if you consider the other Mediterranean ancient cultures of democracy, sunshine, wine, olives and tourism that have been wed to central Euro countries of great industrial and economic weight) such disparate societies as Northern Europe and Greece.

So, how does this resolve itself into an analogous critique of multi-culturalism? The word coercion is the link to that.

Political stagnation gave the opportunity. Tony Blair was the first to recognize that, post-Thatcher, the pendulum had slowed to such a point that a void had been created. And, much as in science where nature loves a vacuum, shrewd politicos recognized such an opportunity for populism. From that ineffectual yet carcinogenic period of government in the UK we have a legacy of what is popularly known as Political Correctness (sic-joke); and that phrase, if I may be so bold, is a Euphemism of the first water.

From the newly-enlightened few in my country there was a hatred of Olde England. And, in their ignorance, they lashed out at everything connected with our history - including education. Real history is no longer taught in most schools (check it out- it is true), rather a jaundiced view of the past with today's judgments in place; and that based upon an uneducated stance - duh!

For example, some years ago Rudyard Kipling's work was banned from the general schools syllabus in England. One can only assume it was because he wrote much of his material from The Raj, and The Raj was all about English Colonialism. Colonialism is a bad thing (…swing a cutlass for king and country…DF 21) in the mind of a thick-as-a-post-modern metropolitan, of course…nasty stuff colonialism - give me, and Darwin, a break. If colonialism was not a Darwinian trait then will someone please write me a letter? Ironically these peeps would be so proud of Barrack Room Ballads - if only they had an education. And thankfully Kipling's work was still around and highly influential in the fifties and sixties, otherwise John Lennon may never have read 'If' and then may never have written 'Imagine', which, no doubt will be banned at some time in the future when the arbiters of taste discover its insidious link.

P.C. zealots - notably including the politically bent BBC - whilst proclaiming holiness in all things cultural, have been promoting an idea that has no substance in reality; it is merely a phrase rooted in denial and malice. When I think about the phrase 'Multi-Culturalism' and from whence it came I find it hard to avoid the suspicion that possibly it might not have been conceived in the true spirit of altruism.

Most people I know are tolerant easy-going types, but not one of them thinks this lax program makes any sense. It's not immigrants creating the problem it is the uncontrolled number of immigrants, and the resultant crowding. We talk about assimilation as if it's expected from the incomers, but really that's not fair; assimilation is a two-way street. We are neither higher nor lower than our new residents. I remember well the complaints about the smell of Asian/Chinese/Indian cooking emanating from immigrants' houses in the late 50s and early 60s. But I also remember the state of post-war English cuisine; it ranged from bland to utterly foul. And look now at the glorious diversity available across the board. We love Indian food and Chinese/Italian/Mexican/Caribbean and so on. But this has happened at a natural pace as new generations explore their possibilities.

Of course there is always a desire to love our neighbours, but not unconditional love. They need to love us too, and that is very difficult for us all under forced conditions, particularly when social issues such as religion, jobs and housing etcetera are fraught with tension. Suddenly people are at each other's throats and all because of a pushy, coercive social engineering program.

Cheers, ig

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