V is for….

VdGG, obviously. This month the John Peel record collection archive (as curated online at http://www.thespace.org, an Arts Council/BBC website, unfortunately only available within the UK, I understand) reached the 22nd letter of the alphabet and Aerosol Grey Machine was the featured LP.

The idea of the archive is that John’s family have chosen 100 albums for each letter of the alphabet from his massive LP collection. As I understand it the choices were as often as not emotional as musical and I was, actually, quite touched by John’s widow, Sheila, saying that AGM was her personal choice as it reminded her so much, so warmly of long gone but fondly remembered days.

Some while ago I did an interview, which is now up at the site. Among other things I referred to the strange and singular meeting which led to Judge and I playing for John at his flat back in ‘68 or ‘69 and his subsequent nomination of us as the “V” in his A to Z of Psychedelia (ahem, note, another P word) in Record Mirror. This gave us some measure of public credibility which, to be honest, we were quite shy of deserving at that stage. It’s not overly fanciful to suggest that this led directly to such industry interest in us as there was in those early days and so, eventually, to the beginning of our path to being signed…and the whole beckoning future..

Looking back it’s extraordinary how such small connections, such little happenstances in the end provide the links which make up a story, a career, just as much as the considered, major moves.

Perhaps we steer ourselves, dreamlike, past all the other possibilities; or perhaps we are steered.

In any event we end up where we are.

As I say, quite as much is built on randomness and accident as on best-laid plans, most of which are overtaken by circumstance in any case.

V is also for Visionary; some may know that I was given this award at the inaugural Prog magazine ceremony a couple of weeks ago. You’ll know, of course, that I regard The Work as rather more siugnificant than any personal big-ups; nonetheless, I have to say that this was a highly good-humoured event, particularly notable for a singular lack of pomposity from all concerned. And it was great to see so many young faces as well as old ones in (comparatively) rude health.

Um, it’s been a busy month for me. Proportionately, this is a tiny journal entry. More will emerge, later….