Across The Universe

Posted: August 26, 2016 in Uncategorized

It may come as little surprise to you folks that I was a bitt odd as a teenager.  I loved heavy metal, but I was also bookish.  I was heavily involved in arts classes, science classes, English classes, and shop classes.  My assigned counselor took a look at my class history, and that I had As and Bs in everything besides athletics, and threw up his hands.  When I told him I already had and after school job in an engineering firms’s drafting department, he said “sounds good to me!”  Thanks, guy!

The company was kind of hi-tech for the time, creating scientific and medical scanners.  The drafting department was one of the first to incorporate serious CAD equipment, to the extent they had to have a climate controlled room for the mainframe.  the rest, of course was done by hand; some by pencil and some using line-tape on mylar.

Although I only spent a few hours  daily, I soon proved my worth and moved up from basic filing and such and started doing real drafting remarks and such.  I was pretty good at it and it was a damn sight better than other work I had available.  One of the other draftsman, Kell, took me under his wing or maybe he just liked that I could be effective; although older than me, we became friends.  At a company picnic, when another employee got me shit-faced on Yukon Jack, Kell made sure I got home safe.

Kell was a great guy.  His mother had been treated wth Thalidomide when she was pregnant, and he was ‘fortunate’ in that he was ‘only’ born with the lack of two vertebrae in his neck.  he had to turn his upper body to look at you….but he was an awesome athlete and even made the Pittsburgh farm team.  But he decided he needed a career.

He introduced me to lots of great music.  Genesis.  And he also introduced me to good pot.  And he introduced me to 10cc….

I linked on Facebook to a This Day In Music post. And I have been on a 10CC kick since….may not stop for a few days.  If any blog readers would actually stop by our party, it might be a 10cc/related loudness….

I don’t know what it was that clicked for me with this band.  Previously, I was much into metal and loud rock.  They are hardly that.  They have an amazing background in music, and also were in school for graphic arts (like the Mekons!).

They are gifted songwriters, as you are likely to know because you all have heard their hits.  But they are also sarcastic and sardonic and snarky.  Kell introduced me  by playing “Good Morning Judge”.  “I’m Not In Love” is a vicious break up sex song.  FFS they wrote a prison riot song called “Rubber Bullets”.  AND IT WAS A FUCKING HIT.

“The Dean And I” was about screwing the Dean’s daughter. “Clockwork Creep” was about a guy who planted  a bomb.

They are fucking hilarious, and they are such great musicians.  They once did a prog rock masterpiece called “Feel The Benefit” and made it fucking FUNNY….

And on top of that, they invented a guitar effect, called the Gizmo, and used it to create one of the most intense prog-rock-concept album masterpieces called Consequences.  I actually have the full release vinyl version of it. Smut Clyde can be jealous…

At the time I was a huge Queen fan, so I was very open to varied musical influences and histrionic effects.

I will say, however that 10cc had a huge impact on me and I still love them and all the musicians who have been part of them.

And their cover of this song made me buy the Beatles album, but fuck you, I think this is the right way to play this song…

  1. The only 10cc song I have is “I’m Not In Love” so I put that on. The whispering is kinda creepy.

    Also, too: I shouldn’t be surprised that we had similar teen years — except my after school job was at a local shop building and installing the CAD systems. I moved from there to a combination IT/drafting gig that lasted 7 years. Eventually followed the lure of better money and gave up the drafting side and moved to programming and databases. I still get to draw some for work though, which is nice.

  2. Mikey Hemlok says:

    I didn’t have the confidence or maybe structure to get a job like that. I read constantly, I built HAM radios and telescopes (including grinding and figuring the primary), breadboarded electronics and etched my own circuit boards in the back yard (killed the lawn – dad was thrilled). By the time I was in high school I already had pretty high level skills – I could design circuits, draw schematics, read schematics, solder and do the necessary math to support both the electronics and the optical design work. But I worked at lumber yards – basically as a human fork lift. The good news is that I worked at Marin Lumber, which wasn’t what you think of as a lumber yard, but rather a door shop and millwork provider. We had an extensive shop, we ground our own knives, we built big elaborate hardwood stile & rail doors and sashes, custom panels, exotic hardwood inlays and all the things a county exploding with sudden wealth would demand. (I once worked on a project that was ash cabinets with purple heart inlays, while the floor was walnut with ash inlays. It was fucking spectacular)….

  3. Herr Doktor Bimler says:

    I actually have the full release vinyl version of it. Smut Clyde can be jealous…

    Have copy. Not jealous.

  4. Herr Doktor Bimler says:

    You know whom I am jealous of at the moment? People who do not have feckin’ cracked ribs. “Held together with duct tape and painkillers” is no way to be travelling around Yurope.

Go ahead, tell me how I fucked up this time.

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