Messrs Wood, Winwood and Capaldi (but where’s Mason??)
Listen – Traffic – Hole In My Shoe – MP3
As related over at the mothership, I am recovering slowly from surgery performed upon my person Friday last, and am not firing on each and every intellectual cylinder. I’m in one of those bags where everything – mind, body etc – is tired, and needs rest.
However, I couldn’t very well leave you all hanging on a Monday, so I’ll make it short and sweet (and psychedelic).
The tune I bring you today is one that I didn’t hear until after I had heard it ripped off (or paid homage to…).
I was, in my long-haired rock guy years quite a fan of the later, jazzier incarnation of Traffic, once having taken a bus into New York City to procure a copy of the album ‘John Barleycorn Must Die’, then only available as a pricey import.
That said, I was, until my mid-80s garage/psyche road to Damascus moment (of sorts), utterly ignorant of the fact that those neo-jazzers had a seriously psychedelic skeleton in their closet.
The “homage” I reference above was the Dukes of Stratosphear song ‘Have You Seen Jackie’ (there’s also a similar bit between ‘Little Lighthouse’ and ‘You’re a Good Man Albert Brown’), which pretty much takes the spoken interlude from ‘Hole In My Shoe’ and runs with it. Of course I didn’t know this until I found a copy of the first Traffic album, and heard said song, at which point I was all “What ho?” and “Hey, wait a minute…”.
No matter really, since the compleat works of the Dukes (actually XTC) is as fine a bit of tribute to the first psychedelic era as has ever been recorded.
However, you’ve got to eat your broccoli or you don’t get your cake, so you simply must return to the source material in question.
The OG by Traffic, despite the picture above, taken from the back cover of the US release of their first album, was written by none other than Dave Mason, who in an odd bit of Stalinist purge was omitted from the cover (or personnel listing) on said record, which he is, of course, all over.
Mason made significant contributions to the early Traffic catalog, and ‘Hole In My Shoe’ is one of his best, with the sitar, the mellotron and the dreamy pace, and of course when the tot arrives to relate the tale of an albatross and the whole thing erupts into a tidal wave of English toffee, LSD and embroidered waistcoats.
Very groovy indeed.
Interestingly enough there was a cover of this song by Neil of the ‘Young Ones’.
Now I’m going to bed.
See you later in the week.