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'Lifemask' was made at the height of the 'flower power' expression/boom. I never considered myself a part of all that. I'd been an impressionable little 'beatnik' in the early sixties and by the seventies I tended to ignore the more outrageous vagaries of fashion, even though I was a very young person with an eye for fashion. However, I think that I'd become jaded by media fashion manipulation by the seventies.
I rarely wore flares. I always thought that you had to be over six feet to get away with that, and I was a vane boy. Still am. Considerably more central to my existence though, was my poetry, and how I was relating to the world with it. How I could make the world relate to me with it.
I had always regarded Tim Leary as half a charlatan, Allen Ginsberg as a quarter, and Byron as a smidgin or two. My heros were Shelley, Kerouac, Miles Davis and Keats. Latterly I see reflections of Hunter Thomson and Blake in the disturbed mirror.
In the light of these admissions, it may not be too difficult to see where the major work on Lifemask, 'The Lords Prayer' is coming from. All that would be needed perhaps would be to be given the appropriate stimuli at the appropriate time of day.
The song catalogues spontaneous interpretations of how we are inter-acting with the planet. It was never aimed at mass market and is just a poem for friends and kindred spirits. The poem was inspired by a collage of Geronimo in an eighteenth century English landscape drawing given to me by my friend, artist James Edgar, whilst I was in the mind altering substances period of my life. Jimmy Page plays throughout.
The rest of the album is more conventional in structure, with two songs that are still regularly featured in my live set list. As a live song Highway Blues is a different song now than the song David Bowie once tried to record. And 'South Africa' is a dream come true. A love song to calm the fears and wash away the horror and stain of apartheid.
Some of the songs comprised the soundtrack for the movie 'Made' which was on general release at the time. I co-starred with Carol White. There was a bath scene in which everyone got to see my bum. Unfortunately the film is no longer available, but I'm sure that there are some long memories out there able to recall other bum excursions.