Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hooked (Avalon revisited)

Once a year for as long as I can remember I hook up with a few old school friends, pack the camping and fishing gear, and head for the countryside for a long weekend of uninterrupted fishing (and drinking). Any of you who are regulars around here may remember a post about a year ago entitled Avalon. That followed last year’s event where we found a cracking lake near Glastonbury called Avalon. We liked it so much we went back for more this year and fished it three days running. We had varying degrees of success, but I was quite happy with the array of fish that decided to jump onto my hook.

As well as fishing at Avalon, the campsite we stayed at this time was called Isle Of Avalon. Of course lots of things around the Glastonbury area bear the name Avalon. For various takes on why, you could try here, here, here and here.

The legends, and more recently the Glastonbury Festival, have proven to be a powerful draw for a certain type of person – shall we say, the more mystically aligned - and many have stayed. I imagine it’s rather like California in that respect. I’m not really into all the mystical stuff but I have to say I’ve fallen in love with Glastonbury and its surrounding area. It seems to be full of friendly people and really has a uniquely magical air to it.

The magic extended to the weather and the fishing. The British summer has been a damp squib so far but we were lucky. The rain stopped ten minutes before we put the tents up and, save for a couple of downpours that were over almost as soon as they had started, stayed away until ten minutes after we took the tents down. On Saturday 07-07-07 Somerset was the sunniest place in Britain racking up 14.3 hours. That also was the day I caught the biggest fish of my sporadic angling career – a mirror carp that give or take a couple of ounces weighed in at, yes strange but true, 14.3lbs! Magic indeed! I tell you, legends have been formed around less. I’m betting we will be returning to the same venue next year.

Anyway, enough of my outdoor pursuits, it’s time for some music. The Mighty Hannibal’s “Fishin’ Pole” might be the obvious choice – but I’m not going to give you that – mainly because I don’t possess it!

I’ve settled for two versions of “I’m Back For More”. This beautiful song was written by Kenny Stover who with Johnny Simone were sometime backing singers and backroom hands on some of Marvin Gaye’s 70s output. Although uncredited, Stover is reported to have had writing input to Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” and “Inner City Blues”. Another claim to fame, if you can call it that, is that Stover lent Gaye his car after an IRS guy had driven off in Gaye’s car! In 1977 Stover teamed up with Simone and Alvin Few to form Leo’s Sunshipp. “I’m Back For More” appeared on their one and only album, the now much sought after (on Lyon’s at least) “We Need Each Other”. The album contains four vocal tracks and then “mini-tro” (instrumental) versions of the same. I always felt short changed by this when I bought the album. What I didn’t realise then was there was a good reason for this - Simone tragically died of cancer sometime during the recording of the album. It was released in 1978. Oddly though there was no reference or memorial to Simone’s death on the sleeve. “I’m Back For More” became a favourite in soul circles having been performed by a number of artists including Tavares, Marlena Shaw, and Bobby Womack & Lulu. The most well known version, and also best in my opinion, was recorded by Al Johnson & Jean Carn, which is here in it’s single form.

The title of the tracks I’ve chosen says it all about how I feel about Avalon, and the tracks mellow, slightly dreamy feel is in keeping with the pace of our weekend.

(In fact on playing it again for this post the Leo’s Sunshipp version is a lot faster than I remember it, so I’ve taken the liberty of slowing it down a bit).

Now I must go and hang out the dream catcher, and maybe I should buy some bells for my toes...

Leo’s Sunshipp – I’m Back For More 1978 [Darcy’s slower version!]
Al Johnson & Jean Carn – I’m Back For More 1980

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jamaica embraces white singer. Download free music at avaleigh.co.uk