Wednesday, 20 February 2013

WEDNESDAY CLUB - Captain Beefheart - Gimme Dat Harp Boy

Some 'C' inspiration, a great guy, a sad bunch and meet the Captain

The Captain

CAPTAIN BEEFHEART - Gimme Dat Harp Boy (1968)

I had just moved down to London I managed to 'swing' a transfer from East Kilbride Tax Office to one in Isleworth, opposite the Fire Station, if you know Isleworth. I think it is a college or something nowadays. The Inland Revenue paid all my moving expenses etc. Nice people!

Compared to East Kilbride, the place was like something out of Dickens, it smelt musty and of old books. The people there were all ancient and set in there ways, I was like a toad in heat without a pond.

There was one guy who was different, he was black, had a straggle beard, was always hunched and always smelt of stale tobacco. The tips of his fingers were stained brown. Sometimes, when he returned from the toilet, there was that unmistakable aroma in the air which you would associate more with Lee Scratch Perry than with a Tax Officer.

He was always alone and people avoided him. When I first talked to him, I was told I should not get too close as he was not the type to be involved with and he was being watched??. This just annoyed me and I started to make a point of going with him for lunch and tea breaks.

He invited me round to his pad one night and I found him to have a wicked sense of humour and he was heavily into music and poetry. He loved Zappa and Captain Beefheart, I had just got into The Captain and had just bought Strictly Personal where this song comes from. He was a great guy when you broke the surface and we became friends..

I only stayed about 4 months as I got a job with British Airways. I never did pay back the expenses I got from the Inland Revenue. I pleaded poverty.

I do know one thing, I disliked working there and the only thing that made it bearable was  'the guy that nobody talked too'. I can't even remember his name, but I have a clear vision of him and the laughs we had together. It was a shame I lost contact with him. I seem to loose contact with most of the people I have had 'close encounters' with. Still, I have the visions, I have the memories. They can't take that away. Can they?!

With thanks to 'C' for the inspiration from one of her Posts   

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WEDNESDAY CLUB - Captain Beefheart - Gimme Dat Harp Boy
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20 February 2013 at 15:16

Ah, thanks so much OPC, it's really nice to have inspired! Such a touching, thought-provoking story too. The fact that your guy was the only thing that made the job bearable for you - he sounds great. The others were missing out...but I suspect they were all just too straight!
And Captain B - another 'outsider'! Impossible to fit into any neat box, delightfully eccentric and maybe just a little bit scary at times too...though didn't he always have a special twinkle in his eye. We need people like that!

20 February 2013 at 15:26

'C'I have to say that there was alot of stuff the Captain did that I just did not get...but when he was good....

20 February 2013 at 18:01

A touching tale accompanied by a fine tune Old Pa. It's always a treat to hear the Captain.

28 February 2013 at 11:47

Brilliant post, I'm proud of you Old Pa! I had a few friends like that at school that were always being bullied for being a little of centre. One guy was called 'fluffy jeans' he had a rough time. More so when the Gulf War kicked off as he was half can imagine. Great blues track, I can see this being in a movie or something with a Captain Beefheart revival. Love the final honk at the end.