If Love Is Dead

I see love in ghost form

– mocking, confusing, wheezing –

and I wonder whose hand it is holding.


The Phone

I woke up in a daze. A terrific night of live music and booze at Ivory Blacks to celebrate handing in my dissertation. Fantastic. You can’t beat it. 

Surveying my surroundings, everything seemed normal. The door was locked, the oven wasn’t on and I hadn’t started any ritualistic fires. And of course, I had assumed that leaving my wallet in a taxi two weeks ago was a simple accident that would never happen again.


This time it was my phone. Reality seemed to be lying to me, because I “clearly” recall making a mental note to pick my phone up, having placed it on the seat as I paid the taxi driver. Unlike when I lost my wallet, I went home convinced that the phone was resting in my pocket and that all was well in the world. 

Fortunately, I was aware that my phone – an iPhone – has a “Find iPhone” app. I had no idea how it worked, but it sounded like something that could help. At this stage I was ready to try anything.

So I logged into my online account and found that I could track my phone. From what the satellite images showed, it appeared that my phone was loitering in or around Glasgow Central station. I wondered what sort of horrible deviants it was hanging out with.

Of course, it had occurred to me that I could just phone my phone and see if anyone answered. However, this would have required an additional mobile phone or a landline, and I have neither. So I visited the local phonebox. 

I hadn’t been in a phonebox for the purposes of anything other than drunken Bez dancing for about 15 years, so this in itself was going to be a challenge. Ignoring the abandoned can of Special Brew to my left, I fired in some coins and dialled my number. 

“Hi…Eh, I’m the moron who left his phone in your taxi”, I said. 

The driver’s reaction was going to be crucial. I was counting on laughter. Thankfully, he saw the funny side. And then I ran out of credit. Nae joy. 

At this stage I remembered what day it was and had a brief laugh at myself. I would have to go into work to ask them if I could use their phone to call my phone because I’d left it in a taxi. 

I called him again and he said he would drop by Anniesland if his next passengers were travelling nearby. Meanwhile, I regaled customers with stories of my troubles. Stories such as this one do not build character, but they do illuminate character flaws…

Thankfully, the driver was quite understanding, and it wasn’t long before he showed up at my workplace with the phone. A true Scottish hero. 

Personally, I’d like to congratulate whoever was responsible for this elaborate April Fools’ Day prank. I’m going to spend the rest of the day in solitary confinement in my flat, thinking about what I’ve done and what a total fudrick I am. 

Blue Cheer – “Summertime Blues”

Recently, I was texted by my good friend @sheikysocialism and asked if I’d ever heard of a band called Blue Cheer. I was in work at the time, but I smiled and replied that I had indeed, and that I had enjoyed what I’d heard of Dickie Peterson and his power-blues trio. If memory serves, the following song had been featured on a compilation CD from Classic Rock magazine about a decade ago.

Poor Eddie Cochran didn’t live to hear Blue Cheer crank up the distortion on their cover of “Summertime Blues”, but he might’ve had to listen twice to make sure it was really the same song. In the space of ten years, an upbeat rockabilly tune had become a tweaked-out noisefest. Blue Cheer really didn’t give a fuck. Unfortunately for fans, this attitude was to sum up their career, which saw endless line-up changes, break-ups, reformations and, ultimately, deaths – most notably that of founding member Dickie Peterson in 2009. Nonetheless, thanks to the wonders of the internet, we’re able to pour a drink, sit back and transport ourselves to periods of musical excitement like this.

Cromagnon – “Caledonia”

I can’t remember exactly how I came across it, but for the sake of the story, let’s just say that I was drinking and listening to songs on YouTube one night – the simplest and therefore most likely circumstance…

It’s quite incredible that this song was recorded in 1969. Although it’s unlikely to have been terribly popular at the time – a lack of information on it would seem to confirm this – it has become something of a musical curiosity in recent times. And why not? “Caledonia” draws on primitive noises (and bagpipes!) to create sounds that would not be replicated in even the most alternative musical universes until decades later.

Cromagnon was a short-lived late-1960s experimental US music group led by Austin Grasmere and Brian Elliot. “Orgasm” was their only full-length album.

Not My Own

“Poetry is nothing more than an intensification or illumination of common objects and everyday events until they shine with their singular nature, until we can experience their power, until we can follow their steps in the dance, until we can discern what parts they play in the Great Order of Love. How is this done? By fucking around with syntax. ” – Tom Robbins