Maybe I’m just an old romantic, but...

Maybe I’m just an old romantic, but...
Authored By John Nicholson
I like to have kippers for breakfast, in a bread bun with melted butter along with some good, strong coffee. In case you don’t know, kippers are smoked herring. They’re not eaten as much today as they were when I was a kid but I love them, even if they make the house stink of smoked fish.

I don’t know why they fell out of favour, but suspect it was because they used to be full of bones but these days, the bones are really soft and easily eaten. My dad used to eat them and tripe too, though we weren’t given them as kids. Even so, eating them now throws me back to the 60s and a totally different world.

Just like the music then. Because you can’t help being thrown back to when the music was recorded. Or I can’t anyway. I was listening to In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida by Iron Butterfly the other day. A live version lasting 19 minutes, recorded in 1970 and you can hear the past, if you know what I mean. It happens in 1970’s air.

This isn’t commented on much, but music captures a moment in time and this was a very different moment in 1970, a time before there was even a culture of rock n roll. It was just 14 years since Heartbreak Hotel. It was all still new. No one knew how to respond. If you travel back in time and put yourself in that crowd, it must have sounded otherworldly. We hear it now with the knowledge of where it fits in rock’s timeline, but they didn’t have that luxury.

Particularly with live recordings, I always try to put myself in the space that it was happening in. What was it like? What would have been my reaction? Maybe I’m just an old romantic, but it all helps appreciate the music and places it in its proper context.

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