Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Confessions Of Dr. Dream And Other Stories
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop, Rock
AYERS - A RARE GEM FOR BRIGHTER MUSIC LOVERS
Foot Artist | Houston, Texas United States | 05/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ok, In 1970 (which is when this album was released) I was busy with my crayons in kindergarten, so I would not discover Kevin Ayers until about 1982...and quite by accident. I was in a flea market looking at old records and found a used LP for 50 cents called THE CONFESSIONS OF DR. DREAM AND OTHER STORIES. I bought it just because I didn't want to go home empty handed.As soon as I put it on my turntable I became engrossed with Kevin's work. After listening to the LP a couple of times I had a "favorite" song. It is called THE CONFESSIONS OF DR. DREAM and it is divided into parts a, b, c, and d. Part A is called IRREVERSIBLE NEURAL DAMAGE. It is one of the most unusual if not downright bizarre songs I have ever heard. It is a duet. A man and a woman take turns singing to each other while an eerie tune plays softly in the background. He begins with these words "If you wear this silver bonnet I will sew my heart upon it; for this bonnet makes you seem like someone I met in a dream." She responds, "I won't wear your silver bonnet - not unless some gold's put on it, you may take your dreams back home I have plenty of my own." He continues "Tell me something distant sister if I found my dream and kissed her would this vision of perfection turn into my own reflection?" She replies "Who or what I am escapes me, every changing minute shapes me what I have is what I yearn for...dreams are what I gladly burn for." Then together they sing the last stanza and it is at this point that you realize it's their version of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. "In her cradle we have rocked her, tended by our dreaming doctor. Now she waits in sleeping beauty for some prince to do his duty."From beginning to end this CD is very hypnotic. Kevin Ayers is a few years before "my time", but I can envision him in the company of his contemporaries The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix etc. all of whom enjoy a certain notoriety in history. And yet, he did not achieve the status that those artists did. I truly believe that obscurity is the price of non-conformism. Of the bands I mentioned perhaps only Jefferson airplane and Jimmy Hendrix produced material that was openly drug-induced and/or drug-related. Perhaps Kevin Ayers' work was too surreal for American audiences. Hopefully he did better in the UK. He seems to have been rather prolific in spite of it all.His work seems to be laced with this off-beat humor that is reminiscent of Frank Zappa. Like his song DIDN'T FEEL LONELY TILL I THOUGHT OF YOU. Aside from containing some incredible guitar-work that rocks with the best of them, it has lyrics that are absolutely clever and rather "trippy." Then there's EVERYBODY'S SOMETIME AND SOME PEOPLE ALL THE TIME BLUES.My second favorite song is called IT BEGINS WITH A BLESSING BUT IT ENDS WITH A CURSE. Kevin drawls as if in the middle of an LSD trip"...making life easy yet making it worse. My mask is my master. The trumpeter weeps and his voice is so weak as he speaks from his sleep. Then the chorus goes "Why, Why... Why are we sleeping! " It shows off, in all its glory, the way electric guitar was meant to sound. Then Kevin goes back to his drawl, "...People are watching, people who stare, waiting for something that's already there. Tomorrow I'll find it, the trumpeter screams and remembers that he's hungry as he drowns in his dreams..." The song moves on without any regard to the established, run-of-the-mill tempo and structure. It has no end. It simply blends into the next song ONCE I AWAKENED, which tells yet another story. One about awakening "...eyes filled with tears. I had been sleeping for thousands of years. Dreaming a life full of problems and sadness, endlessly turning in spirals of madness..."If you have a few bucks to spare, and are the kind of individual who appreciates discovering unexpected treasures, treat yourself to Kevin Ayers. True, his work is very offbeat and not for everyone. Myself, I really enjoyed getting a glimpse of the early 70's from the point of view of someone who was probably considered an oddity even by his contemporaries."
The Confessions Of Dr Mott The Dog
Kim Fletcher | Pattaya, Chonburi Thailand | 04/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the early Sixties a very young Kevin Ayers was drawn to the Canterbury, Kent social whirl from his birth town Herne Bay by the happening scene in the Cathedral City.Mostly this involved copious amounts of drinking and girls which the young Ayers found much to his liking. Out of this disarray a band was formed ,which have always been accredited with what became known as the Canterbury sound 'The Wilde Flowers ' .( The 'e' to Wilde was not out of misspelling like 'The Beatles' or ' The Byrds' ,but as a tribute to Kevin Ayers hero Oscar Wilde.) At the time Kevin Ayers had no musical knowledge at all, not letting this get in the way Ayers became the vocalist whilst he learnt rudimentary guitar (Which he was later to become more than proficient at.) After being replaced from the Wilde Flowers when Robert Wyatt was moved up front of the stage to sing instead of sitting behind the drum kit. Kevin Ayers took an extended vacation in his beloved Spain, which was to become a recurring theme, where he practiced his guitar and started to write his own songs upon his return, he ventured out to form a new band.
They were to be called 'Soft Machine 'after the William Burroughs's novel (In the book the soft machines were the humanoids) Finding the aforementioned Robert Wyatt had also taken his leave of 'The Wilde Flowers' he was quickly roped in behind the drum kit, like minded guitarist Daevid Allen was brought in on guitar, and the line up was completed by the rather sinister keyboards player Mike Ratledge.
According to legend the initial finances came from one Wes a spectacle manufacturer/millionaire from Oklahoma who came across Allen and Ayers on the beach in Majorca.Without asking anything in return, he gave them enough money to buy top of the range equipment and more importantly food to eat! By the time the band had made some money and went to look for their mysterious benefactor, he had joined some religious sect and no longer had need of material things, Oh well hope he liked the music.
The Soft Machine soon became part of the London underground scene , even playing at the legendary 24 Hour Technicolor Dream Concert ,as well as at other concerts with such bands as Pink Floyd ,Jimi Hendrix Experience, Eric Burdon and the Animals , The Move, The Who,The Graham Bond Organization ( With Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker) Blue Cheer, Jeff Beck,,Sam Global Dream and Paper Blitz Tissue . I did not make the last two up. But what would you give for a time machine .The Soft Machine also did a six month tour of America as part of a package with Jimi Hendrix, and managed to release the first Soft Machine album, Soft Machine (1968) .Which was taped and recorded in four days and was not released in Europe for some twenty years, which made it even weirder when the first Soft Machine album was released in the Europe under the title 'Soft Machine Volume Two'.
But by that time of course both Daevid Allen had left to go and form Gong, and Kevin Ayers finding life on the road in a rock band just a little bit to much, had departed back to Ibiza. Soft Machine went off into their own little world of Jazz/Rock with a constantly revolving line up, but the first whimsical album still keeps it's charm to this day.
A year later Kevin Ayers was to return, and was immediately snapped up by the fledgling Harvest label and released a well received solo album. Joy Of A Toy (1969), Then with his backing band The Whole World, 'Shooting At The Moon'(1970) 'Whatevershebrings'(1972), and Bananamour (1973). Then the band sort of broke up in a drunken shambles, no one is quite sure why, to drunk to remember.
By this time Kevin Ayers had become the Canterbury sound equivalent of what John Mayall was to the blues with lots of musicians going through his band to go onto relatively better things, including, David Bedford ( Big time producer) ,Mike Oldfield ( As if you need to ask) Andy Summers ( The Police) Lol Coxhill ( Saxophone Everybody) ,Archie Leggit ( Everybody else) Steve Hillage ( Gong and an illustrious solo career) Rabbit Bunrick ( The Who ).
But it was perhaps during the making of Kevin Ayers next solo album the wonderful ' The Confessions of Dr Dream and other stories ' that Kevin Ayers met his musical soul buddy the great guitarist Ollie Halsall . (It was perhaps after Ollie Halsall was taken away from us to the great gig in the sky that Kevin Ayers gave up his music, apart from the odd dabble here and there).
But the first time that Halsall and Ayers got together on 'Dr Dream and Other Stories' they produced the best collection of music to come out under the Ayers banner.
'Day by Day' is a lovely little song to get us under way telling the story of each day insisting upon going it's own separate way , and there really isn't very much you can do about it all, so you may just as well let fate take it's course.Second track in is where Ollie Halsall first makes his presence felt with some attention grabbing guitar , although Kevin Ayers had no regular band at the time of this recording , Ollie Halsall being the only musician to play on every track ,all the rest being session musicians , you would never know from listening ,as it all sounds very tight and inventive. ' See You Later' is a song about saying seeing you later ,but not exactly meaning it, a sin far to many of us are guilty of.' Didn't feel lonely till I thought of you ' is self explanatory, with some wonderful guitar picking from Ollie Halsall, whilst Kevin Ayers gives out his most melancholy vocals.
From here on out Kevin Ayers turns into a storyteller the Vincent Price of Progressive rock, as he keeps you balanced on the edge of your seat waiting for either each spoken word, or knocked over the back of the settee with a sudden rousing chorus, lulled into a totally false sense of security by a lilting piano lyric, or with Ayer's whispering over the top, of some quiet Hammond organ chords,
'' It begins with a blessing, once I awakened, but it ends with a curse, My head is a nightclub, making life easy waiting for something already there, tomorrow they will find it if they don't drown in their dreams, with glasses of wine, but the customers are always dancing, and as you turn to your partners she screams " Get Out Of My Dreams ".
In the middle of all this you get a quick burst of some old blues style acoustic guitar with 'Ballbearing Blues', which just softens you up for the main course, the multi structured guitar riff of the title song which comes to you in four parts, but always with that incessant riff bludgeoning into your self conscious, with Kevin Ayers at his most menacing as he warns you of the perils of falling asleep, and what lies waiting for you there. Without doubt this is the most haunting piece of music ever listened to by these ears, fair makes the blood run cold. The vocals are all fed to you through echo chambers as if from beyond the grave, dragging you further and further into the mind of Mr Ayers. In the middle section Ollie Halsall leads the musicians into the gloom like a burning torch to show you the way home, and some lovely piano work gives you some respite, whilst Kevin Ayers sings words of hope as if by way of apology. Of course for the finale the dirty riffs come storming back as they drag Ayers, and you, screaming back into his nightmare. If you are a Stephen King fan you will enjoy Kevin Ayers and his alias Dr Dream.
Surprisingly the album ends with an almost Beatlish song even Kopping (sic) some of the Fab fours lyrics to finish off the album.
I was never sure why Kevin Ayers never became a huge star, maybe people were just to scared.
Mott The Dog.
One of the '70's Best
The Sleak Strider | Trespresenthoid, CA USA | 12/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought my original vinyl copy of this album in a dollar bin at a radio station fundraiser some time in the early '80s. It quickly became one of my favorite albums, and served not only as a great inspiration to me as a songwriter, but also filled in some gaps in my understanding of English progressive rock. Subsequently, Kevin Ayers, Robert Wyatt and Daevid Allen have all become heroes of mine. Dr. Dream also introduced me to Ollie Hassel -- his solo in "Didn't Feel Lonely Till I Thought Of You" is perhaps one of my five favorite guitar solos -- brash and slightly sloppy but expressive and ecstatic all the same. It was a revelation. Great production, excellent lyrics, superb playing by Hassell as well as Mike Oldfield and the original King Crimson drummer, Mike Giles (of Giles Giles & Fripp). ONE CAVEAT: When I ordered this great album, mention was made of "Additional Sleeve Notes" and "Faithfully Restored" artwork. However, when my CD arrived it was devoid of lyrics and credits, all of which I DO have on my version of the vinyl. So either I was shipped the wrong version of this CD or something has been lost in translation."