Monday, June 3, 2013

Shawn Phillips,

Shawn Phillips
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Born February 3, 1943 (age 70)
Origin Fort WorthTexasUnited States
Genres Folk rock
Years active 1960s–present

Shawn Phillips (born February 3, 1943, Fort Worth, Texas, USA) is a folk-rock musician, primarily influential in the 1960s and 1970s.

Phillips has recorded twenty albums [1] and worked with musicians including Donovan, Paul Buckmaster, J. Peter Robinson, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Bernie Taupin, and many others.[2] The Texas-born singer-songwriter was described as "The best kept secret in the music business" by the late rock impresario Bill Graham.

In the 1960s Phillips worked as a session player on several Donovan albums including Fairytale, Sunshine Superman, andMellow Yellow, [3] performed at the Isle of Wight festival, sang on "Lovely Rita" by the Beatles, [4] and was cast to play the lead in the original production of Jesus Christ Superstar (he had to withdraw due to his heavy recording and touring schedule). In February 1969 Phillips wrote and performed, with The Djinn, the music for the controversial Jane Arden play Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven at the Arts Laboratory on Drury Lane.

Phillips worked the folk music scene in Los Angeles, New York's Greenwich Village, and London. In 1967, Phillips moved to PositanoItaly, where he remained throughout the 1970s, recording the albums Contribution, Second Contribution, Collaboration, and Faces'.

Four of his albums Faces, Bright White, Furthermore, and Do You Wonder made it into the Billboard Top 100. In addition, the singles, "Lost Horizon" and "We", made Billboard's top 100 in 1973 (63 and 92 respectively).

His album No Category, featuring his longtime collaborators Paul Buckmaster and Peter Robinson, was released in 2002.

In 2007, his first live album, Living Contribution, was released, along with a Live DVD of the same title.

Phillips today lives in Port Elizabeth, South Africa with his wife Juliette and their son Liam. He quit touring after 2011 and now he divides his time between writing, recording, and his work as an emergency medical technician (EMT), firefighter, 1st Officer, Navigator, and Extrication Specialist with the National Sea Rescue Institute of South Africa (NSRI).

I'm a Loner (1964) [re-issued in 1965 as Favourite Things]
Shawn (1965) [re-issued in 1966 as First Impressions]
Contribution (1970)
Second Contribution (1970) US #208
Collaboration (1971)
Faces (1972) US #57
Bright White (1973) US #72
Furthermore (1974), A&M Records US #50
Do You Wonder (1974) US #101
Rumplestiltskin's Resolve (1975) US #201
Spaced (1977)
Transcendence (1978)
Beyond Here Be Dragons (1983)
Best of Shawn Phillips (1990)
The Best of Shawn Phillips: The A&M Years (1992)
The Truth If It Kills (1994)
Another Contribution: Anthology (1995)
No Category (2002)
Living Contribution (2007)
At The BBC (2009)

A Christmas Song (1970, A&M AMS-819)
Lost Horizon
Anello (Where Are You)
Do You Wonder (1974. A&M)


 "Shawn Phillips official website home page". Retrieved 2012-02-19.
 Eder, Bruce (1943-02-03). "Shawn Phillips". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
"Shawn Phillips website - Session Discography". 2004-04-26. Retrieved 2012-02-19.
 "Shawn Phillips". Retrieved 2012-02-19.

 [1] "Shawn Phillips Generated and Copyright on: October 26, 2004 6:05 pm by Leslie J. Pfenninger"

External links

 (The beginning of the end of the story by Razzledorf Rebumpkin)

A thousand million things have gone reeling through my mind: of worlds and girls and traffic snarls and thoughts tremendously exciting. Red and gold the ripples of but one which I was seeing; black and gray are waves of the other, the one which I was fleeing. It came to pass on this bleak night in the house of Hansel and Gretel, in the house of the girl with salmon feet and bright disordered mettle, with diamonds and rubies all in her hair, and her flash-lovely eyes in fire. We came to the place known only to us as the house in the Land of Ire.

Now also in this land lived a lovely witch who rode in the skies with a fox. And one lived in a cave with a donkey  or two and a rooster she kept in a box. Now the donkey, the rooster, the fox, and she were said to have magical powers to bring rain to the land, or sea to the skies, or love to the poor dying flowers, and the flowers in turn would face towards her and give back her magical powers, with a fragrance so sweet of lavender peat, and of candlelight scent in the hours.

Now one day the witch flew away from the home in the valley of myriad streams to go to the land of a man she had met who was known as the seer of dreams. She said, "Can you tell me the time of the day, and all of the worlds we have seen: the world of the dove, the world of the love, and the world of the mountains of breen. And what is its color, and why it's alive, so peaceful and fertile and clean?" He said of the time, "It's much like a rhyme; it comes and it ripples away," and he said of the dove, "It's the same as the love, and the worlds are together forever. And the mountains of breen have always been clean, and the color is far velvet green." So the witch thanked him much, for his wisdom and such, and said she must travel again.

So the seer reached down to the base of his robe and produced such a beautiful gem. First it flashed red, then it flashed green, then again it went silver and blue. This jewel is the night, and this jewel is the day, and it works for one person but you. And that is the one that you love, who fits like a glove, and who stares at you as through a mist, and just counting some that day will become, and soon you'll be reached and be kissed. So when you're in trouble, just reach for this bauble, and it will turn any night into day, and likewise, in turn, a day into night, and nothing will know what to say." Then the seer reached out and stroked her long hair and vanished out into the air.

So the witch followed suit and quick as a hoot she'd traveled as far as the moon. And the dwarf that was there said, "Good heavens, my dear, I didn't expect you so soon." But to say more for the dwarf, he was not quite as short as dwarfs are expected to be; his eyes were a puzzle, and his hair was quite long, and he repeatedly said, "Do you see?" "Do I see what?" the witch always said, while on both her hands flowed her hair. "Why, the table I made," he'd cry with a grin, and he'd fling both his hands in the air. Now this answer wasn't rightly what the witch had wanted to hear, nor not at all wrong, nor not at all right, but not exactly just what she had feared. But nevertheless, he'd stamp both his feet and he'd laugh in his luminous beard.

But then that they'd forget, and they'd speak with regret of their friends who had lived in the clouds, in a white serene house with a terry lene mouse and a cat named Jebidiah Benign Hossifatt who wasn't so bright, but usually right in the things he would say off the bat. But their friend was a horse, who was special of course. He was known as a winged unicorn, with silver white hooves and a long flowing mane, and a multi-hued pearlescent horn. And they'd lived there for years, without any tears, until came the time of the war, and bad flying things, and electrical rings and storms that raged just out the door. Now one day, you see, they were just having tea when the window shuttered in with a crash, and the table went flying and the mouse started crying, and there instantly followed a flash. And Jebidiah said, "Vile! It's the big rubbish pile, who never can find where to land, and wherever he'll go, there's always black snow, and an evil falls over the land."

But now back to the witch who was fit to be stitched, for she remembered this ever so well. She was flying along with the fox and the cat, and they'd come from the tropical dell; and she felt with a start in the pulse of her heart that something was wrong down below. So she went with a care to see what was there and soon they flew into dark snow. And it got darker and darker, and then it got starker and starker, and suddenly went fully black. And they tumbled around in the midst of old cans and dry broken-down bubble pipes. And there were other things there, that were caught in the snare, things ugly and beastly and mean, like minotaur's heads and uniformed feds, and things that should never, never be seen. And in the midst of it all they continued to fall, until they came down with a bump. And all three got a lump, they were literally stumped. They didn't know where in the world they could be. It was cold and then hot, and then wet, and then dry, and they'll tell you they still couldn't see.

But one thing had fared: they knew they weren't scared. For the witch had powers to behold, and the powers were fair in her heart in the air. And she bade the cat and the fox to come close, for she had decided that enough time had bided to find out what this thing was they were in. So with courage up front, and a magical stunt, they began on their terrible hunt. And the cat started howling, and the fox started yowling, and the witch began speaking in Latin: "Non illigitimatus carborundum," she said. "Everything here has begun in my head. So spin around, spin around, we'll finish this plight. Be gone with your demons and devils of night. Away with your evil that lies in this place! Straight away to your own land, and leave not a trace!" So spoke she these words with her face full aglow, and all of a sudden there was white crystal snow, so gently falling, but with a sound ever so loud.

But then it quietly returned to a bright, peaceful cloud, and off to the right was the sound of a grouse, and off to the left, was the white serene house. And all of her friends were there at the door, beckoning and calling for them to come o'er. "You must stay a month, or a week at the least. And we'll celebrate your victory with a magnificent feast." And so then it was, the place was abuzz. And friends came from great far and near. And some of the dishes you simply must hear. There was eggplant and breadfruit and olives and oil, and honeydew cakes and rock candy soil; figs and bananas and litchees and cream and all was so lovely, it seemed like a dream.

But then all were gone except the witch and her friends and the unicorn said, "Now we must make amends. We all have just been through a terrible strife. And you came just in time and gave us our life. So a gift we will give that will be as long as you live that will float in the sky o'er your land." Now the witch had sat next to a blue dragon snap, and
the unicorn came and put his head in her lap. "Just follow the spiral on my horn with your hand, and think in your mind of your own lovely land" And as soon as she'd done this, there appeared up above, the most beautiful colors, that were made out of love. "The violet is for the color you wear. The indigo's for the brilliant night air. The blue is the color to go around your head. The green is the place where you make your bed. The yellow is the one to fashion your sun. The orange is the thing to eat and have fun. And my blood is red," the unicorn said. And his horn had spread out like a fan. So the witch said goodbye, with a tear in her eye, and that's how the rainbow began.
Over the horizon came a long graceful yawl, and the man there on board was strong and sea tall. He was watched for the first time as he walked down the bank, as free as the wind, but he looked sacrosanct. "Very strange," people thought as he looked neither way, but they felt from his presence he was enjoying the day. Then a woodworker stopped for a rest and a smoke, while all ears were turned as his voice softly spoke. "Please could you tell me a room with a bed, for I've traveled some time, and I feel nearly dead." A clear, steady gaze from ocean blue eyes made the carpenter wonder as he swept off the flies, "Just go up those stairs and turn to the right, and there see a man with hair of salt white. And he'll give you a bed and a place for the night."

   Thanks were then given, and the man made the lease, and he said he was there for some "quiet and peace." But the people of there didn't care for his sake, there were tourists around and money to make, and hotels to build and boats to be rented, as if they believed that could make them contented. So he went quite unnoticed for nearly a month, while the people kept on and continued their hunt. Then one summer night under cold glistening stars, he began making round of the fisherman's bars, asking questions in one, being silent in others, while curiosity grew amongst townspeople and brothers. Then some of the elders decided to go near, when he came in
the bar and ordered a beer.

    "We was just wondering what you're all about, with that beautiful boat and soft talk, never shout" "First let me ask you," said the man, wiping his mouth, "Do you know of a shell in the sea hereabout, that's as long as you are and blood red inside; and it'll take off your leg as quick as your pride, and once that you have one you never will sell, for in order to find it, you must live through hell?" The oldest of all had stepped up to the front, and he said, "Listen my friend, for I'm going to be blunt. That shell that you speak of, I know the one; it went and it took my one only son. But I also Know it's not the shell that you want, so why have you come here and what do you hunt?"

    The bar was dead quiet while the man got a beer, and everyone strained to see what they'd hear. There was a long hesitation and he blew off the curl, then he said to the crowd, "I've come for the pearl. A pearl 'bout as large as a man's fist and bigger, and gives peace to who finds it, be he white man or nigger. And God is my witness that it radiates bliss, for I've held one but once, and had the privilege to kiss. But now the man's dead, and he died of old age, and the pearl disappeared like a burning book page. But before he died he said where to be near, and now here I sit as I'm drinking my beer. The pearl is all colors of green and of gold; it's warm like the sand when the sun has grown cold. And it picks up vibrations from all over the land, and transmits to the holder be it woman or man, radiations of love, of mercy and strength, and all the secrets of life will be yours then at length. For once you have found it, you will always stay poor, but confusion and sorrow will be there never more." He finished his tale and went out with a lurch, but they knew tomorrow he'd begin his search.

    The day came with yellow and hazed-over veils, and the mountains were misty as up went his sails, with a slight southern breeze as he left wing in wing, and snatches were heard as he started to sing. And all on the beach wished he would find his goal, and there was no sign of motion as they prayed for his soul. With a hand on the tiller and the bow throwing spray, the man had been sailing for all of the day. The sky now was claret into deep purple blue; there was the landmark that in his memory he knew, so he let away anchor with the ship set to keep, and went down to his hammock for a restless night's sleep.

    The sun came up red and glaring and mean, with rolling swells coming, but his senses were keen. Then he ate a small bite and prepared his gear, and wondered how long he'd be there. "Well it could be a year, or maybe I'll die here, but I'm feeling brave. What better place than the sea as your grave. That's where we all started with lightning and storm, then tossed on the rocks just a small shapeless form, to begin crawling and walking and flying out free, with not much progress made as far as I see." Then all was prepared, and he made his first dive, and the shock of cold water made him feel well alive. The numbness had passed in seconds so few, a cacophony of bubbles surrounded his view, then sank a few fathoms and the water went clear. So downward he started with no trace of fear, while fish of all wonders departed asunder. And the sound of his breathing was roaring like thunder, from gray to gray green then to deep velvet blue.

    Something inside told him he'd started off true, he stopped for a moment to think of intention, then visually sank into another dimension. Colorless line separated the cold from the warm, and the bottom was ninety freezing meters or more. So onward he went with pressure increasing, adjusting his tanks with air to be easing. He then spied partly bottom, a world of its own, with graceful fans waving in currents unknown, and millions of creatures just went their own way in this deep murky gloom denied light of day. A long table reef as if looking at night, which dropped off even more and out of his sight, and over the drop-off was where he'd find the shells, in eternal darkness and fish dwelling dells. All crackling and snapping were sounds in his ears, the sounds of continuum for thousands of years.

    Then over the ledge and downward again, to meters that measured at ninety and ten, the pressure was frightening as if living in hell's. On a mud-rippled bottom he saw the first shells, they stuck up from the mud like monsters unknown, with living things on them just flat ragged cones. He hated to kill things, but lives had to sever, besides he was searching for a treasure forever. He wrestled the first one from out of the muck, then pried it wide open to look, search, and cluck. Quickly he went through what must have been five, then noticed air getting shorter and he must stay alive. Also he'd stirred up a whole lot of mud, and the black-pink was made from the shell's ebbing blood.

    So he rose a few fathoms where the water was clear, and a shadow passed over with a shiver of fear. A fear that he'd thought of while down in the dark, with all of its menace it was there now, a shark. Fifteen feet of fury, and not any of it nice, the water was warm, but he'd turned to ice. All that he had was a small twelve-inch knife, with air running out, maybe not long his life. The shark made a pass, but high overhead, just circling and turning, enforcing his dread.

    Suddenly a thought came: "A shark's nose is soft. If only by some means work my way up aloft." The shark by then thought that this thing was ill, so driving down hard, he came in for the kill. But the man saw it coming and flippered up in an arc. As the huge shape drew near, he stabbed out in the dark. He felt the knife rasp and go in leathery skin. Then he was slapped silly sideways by the pain-ridden fin.

    When he woke up, little waves were slapping his neck, so he swam to the boat and fell asleep on the deck. He woke with a fright, and reached out in the dark, then realized he was dreaming of his fight with the shark. A drizzle had started and he was cold to his feet, so he went down below and had something to eat. Half a bottle of brandy made him feel warm and better, so he drifted back to oblivion with thoughts then unfettered. He slept then unknowing and the wind started blowing.

    The sea started rising and the rain began pouring, he worked in the middle of a rip-roaring gale. Half drunk and stumbling, he thought of the sail. He'd secured it right down, but he'd best double-check. So opening the hatch, he made aloft to the deck. The rain stung his face like a cat-o'-nine tails, but tight battened down were all of his sails.

    The storm anchors were set and all that moved was lashed down, including himself to the mainmast and crown. The seas were so angry but he must stay on top until the storm had abated and come to a stop. Twenty foot waves now knocked him around, and wind shrieked through the guy wires with indescribable sound. The bow rising sharply with a sixty degree list, then smashing down in the trough like a stainless steel fist. Salt in his eyes, and an ache in his head, he thought of the two-week long storms with a fast growing dread. After what seemed nine hours, so long, the storm had depleted with the coming of dawn.

    On the edge of the mountains came a grayish tinge, then brightened to rosy hue, that made the mountains look as if transparent gray green with a lightish blue. And the dawn brought back a memory to an aching weary mind. The woman who of course had been to him one of an only kind, "Caterina, Caterina, as if heralding horns came near. What forces came that keep us apart in pair forever and a twisting inner fear. If only to brush your lips again and lay with hand on breast, to release all emotions in a fiery rush and revel in the flow of your undaunted love and search stillness in your face as you rest. Why must happiness go like a last flicking spark, to have you looking and wandering and groping in a horrendous torturing dark, like a facet on a wave which the sunlight will catch and startle your not-seeing eyes? Is it like that to be gone in a flash when before your souls were the skies? Oh God, or whatever, rid me of this pain. It torments me down to the bone, but now I am here and here will I stay forever and
always alone."

    The sun was at zenith when he broke off his train and began to clear off his ship. He hadn't been hurt in the storm that night; but he'd fallen and busted his lip. So again preparation for another long look to be made in another place, where the shells were much bigger and the water much deeper. He thought of a soon-ending race, but races are to be won, and "I am the one I'm running, neck and neck with myself. And seeing how there's only one in this race I don't think I need any help." With this bit of wit, he went over the side.

    He felt better than he had done before, and the color was astounding, and schools of bright fish angled on with the currents of tide, down deeper than ever, to a smooth inky dark, where his torch shot a pale sickly beam to pick up the shells as they stuck in the bottom, like gravestones in a cemetery scene. Now up to the first, and it clamped strongly shut, but his knife had just gone in the edge to cut the great muscle that held it together, then search in the mucous like a dredge. He'd wandered through nine while the kelp gently fanned, then he came to the tenth to cut through the flesh, and it silently closed on his hand.

    Pain shot through his body as he struggled to pull free, but the shell closed down even tighter and in bubbles he silently screamed. The hand was inside just up to the wrist and he'd felt the bones snap as it shut. So slashing the knife in rack-shooting pains, he felt the big muscle get cut, and the edges released their death holding grip. He changed hands with the knife and he slashed and he ripped, not knowing how long he did this. He finally stopped and the fever subsided and the pain turned to throbbing and he returned to
the world on the top.

    It had been quite a job getting out of his tanks, but setting up sail, he began to give thanks and scour the coast in search of a town, a doctor to relieve the pain all around. He found one at last, and stayed a few weeks, healing his arm and repairing some leaks. Then again he was off, and back to the spot. He knew that this time, he'd now find his lot, in the back of his mind something was sure, a quick flash impression, short, but yet pure.

    A drizzle had started, but the sun was still high, and a rainbow beamed forth its arch in the sky. Raindrops dripped from his face as he stared, enhanced by the colors, it seemed that they cared, cared to be seen, to be felt and believed. If only by one man alone on the sea, but one man is all men, and what is the sum? To love and let live or go cry in your rum, to love and let live is by far the best. "Before the next dive I'd best get some rest." The sea was dead calm with nary a chafe, and the tanks had been filled and checked out and safe. Over the port side and into the brine, and straight for the bottom he made a beeline. The fish he encountered scattered out at a run, dancing through pale filtered rays of the sun. Angling on down and following a ray, he came to the realm of deep dark and no day.

    Little blind things scuttled out of his path, as if he were a predator exerting his wrath. These little blind fish without any sight, how are they content in this eternal night? An unanswerable question and he mused, "What the hell!" And then off to the right he saw a big shell. Nothing was there nor in the next twelve, so on deeper down held begun to delve. He did five or six more then had to go back, he was ravenous hungry with his air going black. When he returned it was late afternoon, and it was blacker than ever in this far reaching gloom. He'd just passed the place where he'd begun to work with the freezing sea round like an all knowing smirk. "Laugh in my face, will you? But you are but finite, and out of your black I'll rob you of your secret."

    Just as he thought that, he saw a huge shell, towering over a cathedral-like bell. It didn't stick up from the mud like the rest, but lay on its side, an immense cradled nest. And wide open it stood, as if then inviting, and he looked in it then with his heart wildly beating, and he could not believe what his eyes had to meet. There was an enormous great pearl cradled there in the meat. "How can this be true? I've found it at last. The future is mine and gone is the past." Now reaching in with great care, so the shell wouldn't close, he took hold of the pearl and silently rose. Getting back to the boat, he stripped off his gear, with attacking relief and feeling some...fear?

    Then he took the great pearl and sat by the wheel. He sensed apprehension, and wondered "could it be real? I've searched half my life for this thing in my hand, and I know it started with one grain of sand. But how many years did it take to grow? And the power I felt of this I must know, from whence came this joy that surged through myself, so open and vibrant with no trace of stealth." He sat for a long time with the pearl in his hand, looking first at the sea and then at the land, then back to the pearl and waited and waited. And nothing at all happened; he felt so defeated. "Yes, I have found the pearl, but all I feel is relief, but where is the happiness I felt so beneath? Could this not be the one, could this not be the place? Oh my God, I'm confused. Have I not finished this race? But I keep saying 'I' and what does this mean? That I'm aware I'm aware with five senses so keen. But my mind is so filled with puzzle and thought. Am I going insane? What has all of this wrought?

    "I know now I'm nothing, not even a mar, compared with these mountains, this sea, and that star. On velvet green mountains, the clouds were so white, with splotches of yellow, electric and bright, the sea ever moving like the stars and the moon, the sun was descending and just cut in two, and long shafts of light were thrown from the sky. The man bowed his head and began to cry. To cry for himself and also the world, and his sorrow reached out and let truly unfurled, then he felt a great wind come and blow through his heart. And he was no longer alone, with blind fish in the dark, for the sun had gone down, but there was a light, all colors imaginable and pulsating pure white, with the full-yawning sorrow and a great sweeping joy. He was filled with the happiness he'd set out to employ, but it wasn't even in the pearl; it was there in the man.

    And he was at one with the sea and the land, in this magnificent moment he knew he could see the infinite and the infinitesimal simultaneously, and crying and laughing he said to the universe, "Absolute be you there, and you are the first; and awoken am I, and I know I am me." And with a stroke of his arm returned the pearl to the sea.

©Shawn Phillips, all rights reserved.

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