1. Peter is preparing two books for release in the Autumn of 2013:
PLAY NOW, PAY LATER is about the London Jazz Club "The Bass Clef" which ran from 1984 to 1994 and featured a host of well-known Jazz musicians, American, British and European.
However cheerful and vivid this book may read, it must in some respects be seen as a requiem to grand aspirations. There’s an old musicians joke about how to make a million out of jazz for which the venerable punch line is ‘start with two million’. But there’s more than a grain of truth amid the humour. Jazz, as well as jazz clubs in Britain – and elsewhere – are both regularly supported by monied patrons who have made their millions already in property, or business or industry and whose selfless devotion to a frequently penniless music, might in some cases, be seen equally as an artistically-motivated taxloss. But let’s not be over-cynical. Occasionally from the woodwork comes a truly remarkable man like Peter Ind – who in the case of Bass Clef – was prepared to back his dream to the hilt from highly limited personal resources, and if necessary to go to the wall in the process. It’s not the greatest reflection on our society that, in fact, he was allowed to do so. Were Great Britain’s cultural parameters – and our media – more finely focussed, Peter Ind would have become as much a front page issue as the now-legendary portrait of a single man defying the course of an oncoming tank by the simple process of standing in front of it. Instead he was subjected to all the standard – and frequently brutal indignities – of our so-called ‘authorities’ who raided his joint and took everything away for free. At no point of course did they bother to worry their heads over the possible reasons for the proud musical existence of the Bass Clef, its constant provision of space for truly creative minds, and the musical legacy it was in the midst of creating. Luckily with this book that legacy is now set down; we can only reflect ‘better late than never’.
I played in the Bass Clef several times and was always happy to do so. The club opened its doors during a jazz period, which may now be seen as something of a no-man’s-land for the music. It had been almost two decades since the Beatles had swept away the notion of ‘star quality’ for jazz performers. And still to come was the nouveau-riche fashion-conscious era of designer after-shave named for the music; dinner jazz, smooth jazz and all the regrettable bowdlerisations, which sometimes fruitlessly attempt to shoot the balls off the music. The ambiance of the Bass Clef – in everything from décor to artistic intent – took you back to the classic years of the music when jazz soloists were required to demonstrate their art rather than dress for it. Listeners brought a critical as well as a loving ear to the performers they were hearing and the performers in turn brought forth the best from themselves in response. The Bass Clef was both a progressive and a traditional club, which acknowledged the onward push of jazz music but honoured its highest creative traditions too.
My own favourite story about the club I remember hearing when I’d gone to the Wave recording studios (situated above the clubroom) to record an album with Buddy Tate, Jay McShann, Jay Thomas, Allan Ganley and Peter Ind himself. A few weeks before a punk-rock group had been in to record and the bass guitar was a hundred yards out of tune. After several frustrated queries Peter went out to tune the instrument and found the machine heads jammed tight. ‘They tuned it in the shop’ explained the owner – ‘and then my Dad welded the heads together to make sure it stayed the same’. I’d love to have heard the record.
A CRITIQUE OF IMPURE REASON (with apologies to Emmanuel Kant) concerns the energy crisis that the World faces today.
In 1964 I wrote a thesis based on the study of Wilhelm Reich's work, comparing his concepts about cosmic life energy, with the then current scientific viewpoints. Having spent several years fascinated with what Reich had written (including also my own experiments which confirmed his views)
my thesis was an attempt to correlate the differing concepts. Though I still feel my thesis has value, Reich's own work, presented a completely different concept than what was orthodox at the time.
Believing that what I wrote then does extend concepts of life energy (termed Orgone - by Reich) but in the intervening half century, little has changed regarding orthodox concepts; the gap between the two concepts seemingly as wide as ever. Reich clearly understood the limitations of orthodox theory, but having been jailed for alleged contempt of court, and dying in jail eight months later, his work, though of immense validity for the future, remains overlooked by academics and is still hardly known by the public at large. The more so as his books were burned by the order of the court. Today it is again possible to obtain them though few people have any idea of his existence; of the huge influence he had prior to his jailing. I know of no other case that has been so thoroughly expurgated from public knowledge and awareness.
Recently I began to transcribe what I had originally written. Though I am as convinced as ever of the validity of what I had written, I have become a better writer and I have also learned of other aspects that I wish to include. Some people today are of the opinion that what happened to Reich in those days of the 1950's could not happen now. Perhaps they are right, but my opinion is that Reich's work has not lost any of its validity (in fact being even more significant in today's world). However his discoveries present such a different picture and these conflict with the imperfect views of many of the World's cartels. Therefore danger still exists, the more so whenever Reich's work re-merges.
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