Last time we talked about the origins of The Moody Blues and some of their earlier work. We ended on "The Best Way to Travel" from In Search of the Lost Chord.
I was called away to help my friend do something to get ready to attend a wedding the next day, so we shall finish that album tonight and start on the next one, On the Threshold of a Dream. That was also a fine album.
The third song from the second side of In Search of the Lost Chord was "Visions of Paradise", written by Hayward and Thomas. This is a really nice song, very mellow and calming.
Here is what seems to be a mimed version, but the clothes are still cool! It also contains the next song on the album, Hayward's "The Actor".
Speaking of which, here is the studio version of "The Actor". "The sounds that I have heard in your hello, oh darling, you're almost part of me. Oh darling, you're all I'll ever see." is one of the sweetest expressions of love in English. It makes me teary. I could not find a good live version.
"The Word" is a poem by Graeme Edge. Mike Pinder spoke it. Most versions that I can find also include the last song of the record, Pinder's "Om", since they seem to be so connected.
Whilst the science is not quite correct (acoustical vibration are NOT electromagnetic waves), I do like the line "Vibrations reach on up to become light, and them to gamma and out of sight".
The cover art for In Search of the Lost Chord was interesting. I have an original Deram release with the full "gateway" spread. Record company hated those because they were a high cost factor before the price of vinyl itself went sky high in 1973 after the Arab oil embargo. Then the additional cost of adding a flap and a hinge was quite high in 1968. Here are pictures of my personal copy from front, second and third pages, and rear. If I can find it, I also have a real treat.
I did find things, and shall close with pictures and a few comments about that time of my life. We shall take up One the Threshold of a Dream next time. I do not like splitting albums, and the personal pictures give a nice segue from starting a new record in mid stream of another one.
The first set of pictures were of my own gateway jacket, evidently worn from being 44 years old. Here they are.
The first and second photographs are the front and back cover of both the gateway and regular record. The front picture is easy to find, but the back one less available. Phillip Travers was the graphic artist who created it, and many more covers for them.
In this one you can see Death, Birth, evolution, and a higher plane of existence, all in one painting. I find it to be brilliant, and another reason to express emotion. Here is more crisp one than from my old album.
The second page was note liners. Here is a picture of mine.
Before we get to the next page of the gateway version, here is the back cover. Note how all of them in one series seem to be quite in another dimension. They were quite receptive for psychedelic drugs, and they were one of the few sets of artists that could deal with the rapidly expanding consciousness and make it well. They succeeded beyond all. Here is the back of the gateway and the regular album.
On the last line you can see that those folks were tripping! They were able to use those experiences and make them to have meaning for many of us, and I appreciate them for doing that!
On the right panel inside the gateway cover is this:
It is a yantra, the graphic analogue of a mantra. I could not get a good image of the text, so here is what it says above the yantra. The text below is "The Word".
To anyone who has practised meditation or Yoga; the word MANTRA is familiar as a word of power concentrated upon in meditation. The most important word or power in the Hindu scriptures is the word OM, which pronounced AUM means 'God', 'All', 'Being', 'The answer'. Thought or intentness on it's meaning will cause the exclusion of all other thoughts, ultimately bringing about the state of mind to which the meditator aspires.This is pretty heady stuff. I liked that yantra so much that the former Mrs. Translator, who was very handy with needlecraft, embroidered it on a white tee shirt, which I possess to to this day. She added some color to it, and here is a picture of it that I took last night:
A YANTRA is used in much the same way as a MANTRA, though visually. There are varied forms of YANTRA design, which always consist of a form perfectly co-ordinated and integrated.
The YANTRA is something which can hold the mind much as in the less organised way one can see pictures in the glowing embers of a fire or cloud. The mind, contemplating the that form and including all of the designs it contains may easily pass along to the integral concept.
I do not wear it any more because it is far too precious as a holder of memories from the days that she and I were so dedicated to each other. I do not want to risk the artwork being damaged during the laundry. If you look at the thumbnail picture of me at the beginning of this piece, I am wearing an authentic 100% wool scarf from Dr. Who that she knitted from a written pattern.
I had forgotten how much I like The Moody Blues. I thank my dear friend Steve for reminding me by suggesting that I write this series. Please comment profusely, because there is little chance that I am going anywhere tonight.
My wrist continues to improve and the recovery is accelerating, for which I am very thankful. I am beginning to use more than my right index finger to type now as function returns to my thumb, middle, and ring finger. The little finger is still quite weak, but coming back. I was able to mow my entire lawn today for the first time since my wrist dropped. Before I had to do the front one day and the back another. Things are getting better.
Doc, aka Dr. David W. Smith