by Norman Hadley
Let there always be young men on this earth.
Let there be young women also, of vast and dazzling talent, but let us speak of them some other time.
Go quickly – gather the elders in the square, that we may finger our pocket-watches, stroke our beards of many hues and ask, in rasping whispers, can it be true? That, even now, more than forty harvests since Astral Weeks, there are still swains in gardens misty wet with rain, who gravely shoulder the privilege of youth, howling gratitude unto a heedless moon. Whose eyes, as yet unlined by the origami of time, will sing of what they’ve seen so far and never fear to waltz across the strings of an old guitar.
Let it also be ordained these men take maids to their embraces. Let these maids gaze adoringly upon their cloth-capped troubadours, that their menfolk may know the sweet burden of belief, of expectations their tousled heads will never stretch to encompass but grow wise in the falling short.
And always, always, let them sing to the fullest volume of their hearts, that the world may feel the smarting of the simple things, to step beneath a swollen sky at cusp of dusk, to navigate a torch-lit lane to greet the girl who makes a world complete, whose kiss will lift him far above the road of croaking toads.
Then may the elders say, with many a begrudging grumble, that youth is not always wasted on the young.
[Post review notes for fact fans : Van Morrison was 23 when Astral Weeks was recorded. Neil Young (geddit?) was 26 when Harvest (tangentially referred to in the review) was recorded]
Here are the two videos I took of Mikey’s solo set at Spotlight.
Here are some links to his myspace pages.