Musician Andy Reed secured the honors of Best Solo Artist and Rock Musician Deserving Wider Recognition at this year's 21st annual Review Music Awards.
We asked music aficionado Bo White to scribe a few thoughts about Andy and his latest recorded work, 'The Great Compression'.
By Bo White
`It was a helluva scamp, more dumb luck than coincidence and perhaps, just an unusual twist and turn of circumstances - still, it was a thrill of a lifetime.
It started with Laura, this psychologist friend of mine. Seems she's a big Beatles fan, collected all the records, cds, videos and the odds and sods that accompany that type of passion.
Her goal was to meet the Beatles, at least one Beatle before she died. It was a few years back when she told me her cousin, Noogie Wicker, is a musician and that his group Jackie-O-Sister Lovers was playing the Cavern Club in Liverpool. It was a benefit for something, can't remember offhand, and I suppose it doesn't matter.
But what does matter, at least for this piece, is that Paul McCartney turned up at the benefit and shared the stage with the Sister Lovers. They got along smashingly and agreed to collaborate again someday when they were back in the states.
Well, as luck would have it, Sir Paul traveled back to Arizona in late November fresh from the debut of his latest classical offering, Ecce Cor Meum, at the Royal Albert Hall. Though the music raised a few eyebrows and seemed to register just above tepid on the response meter, Sir Paul was undaunted, even enthusiasticŠand ready to take on the world.
So Paul rang up Noogie who called Laura who told me and I contacted my buddy Andy Reed. This was itŠfinally - a chance to meet a Beatle! But to everyone's disappointment Paul had to cancel our meeting; something about a court solicitor. So, Paul apologized and gave Noogie the exact location of a portal to the afterlife so we could interview a "Dead Beatle" - yep, John Lennon.
George declined citing ill health and a preference for a disembodied state. Yoko Ono first discovered this portal back in '85 but kept it secret for all these years, only her closet confidantes, spiritual advisors, and investment bankers knew about it. According to Noogie, the astrological aspects had to be aligned with the algorithm of the earth's rotation in order for the portal to open.
Noogie calculated that perfect alignment would occur at 7pm on December 7th in the front yard of Andy Reed's home. Andy and I were beside ourselves- my god, this is a dream come true - to meet a dead Beatle...it had to rank just a notch above meeting dead Elvis! What a thrill!!!
Finally the day arrived, I got to Andy's around 6pm, Laura and her husband arrived a few minutes later and at 7pm. Noogie knocked Andy's front door with John standing beside him. After the obligatory introductions - "Hallo, I'm John and I'm as dead as a doorknob - nudge, nudge, wink, wink" - an awkward silence filled the room. It was excruciating, I could hear myself swallowing as I attempted to say something clever. But nothing came out except a strangled wheeze and a whistle of hot air.
I was paralyzed. Finally John spokeŠto Andy, "Heaaarad you have eh neeuw rechaard."
Andy nodded, "Ahem, yes it's called the great compression and it's just 5 songs, would you like to listen to it?
"Shor 'enuuff, laddie buck, sooo wha doos grrreat cumpression mean?"
And that's how it startedŠ
"Hmm. wha's the neame of the fuurst one, cum againŠThe Day The World Was Lost?...hmmm - like that harmooonika, sounds like Baaakcly James HarvooostŠor a bit like George unn Ohnlee A Noothen Sung".
And then Lennon leads us in singing' the chorus,
"When I leave you, don't forget my name"
"Don't wear it out"
"Cos you're the reason I got beat in this game"
" So don't ever change"
Š"luv them wuurds, reminds me ovv Yoko", noted John.
At that point Lennon looks a wistful, even sad, "We was jus' wuurkin' it all owt when it happenedŠdamn her fir takin' up with Elliot, I wuz barely cold und pushin' up the daisies when Yoko stahhted shaggin'that bahhhstid Šand he sez he's a frriend ovv mine - and I donna cah what Yoko sez about May and me Šit was hehr idea in the fuurst plez, it donna givv her the right to shag evvvryone like some tweedy coont affftah I'm gonn."
"What About Your relationship with Paul?
"Hmmm, Macca...he ain't dunn noothing since Yuusterday. Now he's juust Anoother Day"
"Oh...I see - sounds kinda familiar"
"Well, it shoood ya twit, it's one of me song lyeerics. Doncha remummmbah How doo Ye sleep at nacht?...baaasturd, he's always hadd hees head uup hees boooshwah arse."
We all sat silently, stunned at Lennon's brutal honesty and wondering why a spirit would be so attached to such earthly matters. We didn't know quite what to say so we listened to the next trackŠJune. At the first piano trill, Lennon perked up, "sooonds like ah Carole King riffŠhmm, "It's too LaaytŠ luv her. And yer vocal sounds like the Rip Chards or the Beeech Bouys, he sings, "Let the Love shine"Š I cahn feel the sugah plooomb fahary oon tha wun. Yer gitar solo is smaaashing, full booodied is that a Fendah strut?"
"Andy, tha next toon - Suuuft Taagit - sounds like a few old chums oov mineŠPeter and Gordon - right outta World Without Love. Paul worked that woon oout. I luv the aloneness in yer wuurds" - "No, No, NoŠhmmm, that minor chorrd is quite the menacing lil buggah, innit? Yer lyeerics are jus what I'm going thruuuŠ.canna get outta the paaast, and soma tha time I feel so sick and boooring like a spv or a wanker, all them earthly questions have lingahhed sinceŠ
"What's that last oneŠSmile Looook and Listen? AhhndeeeŠyer cool synthesize rriff sooonds like that chap Roondgren or the CarsŠI keep up on all the latest ya know, up to 1980 anyway. The middle eight sounds like suuumthin I woood writeŠ.nice. I can hare the messageŠ."left feelin' so dirty but endin' up so clean" - sooonds like me."
"Andy, we were the hip ones in the sixties. But it's nahtt the sixties anymooore. I luv yer music, you can doo anythingŠthe unknooown is what-it-is, doncha' be frightened by it all, thaat's why people are scurrying about chasin dreams, illusions. Bollocks to 'emŠthe dream is over, it's yer turn."
With that Lennon walked out the front door and disappeared into the whiff of a cloud. We looked at each other silently but knowing Andy Reed is the toppermost of the poppermost