While Driving West

Just a short story. It’s a story about finding a different world, when only a week before, there wasn’t even a hint of any relief.

The second or third time I got really cheesed-off with the music business, I decided not to vent the extreme spleen I felt on either my then current management or upon the record company, EMI, because I felt that I’d already worn those particular lines fairly thin. I was of course the same round pin trying to fit myself into the same square holes that still exist today. I wasn’t so much round, perhaps, as of varying and unpredictable shapes, but that’s a boring old story. And too long a diversion.

Anyway, I was cheesed. And, spur of the moment, I just got into the car. Driving west into the sunset at a fast rate of knots, I just went. I didn’t have the slightest idea about where I was going. I just wanted to get away. Soon enough there was dust behind me, and I felt free. I was angry. There’d been a few scenes after ‘Flat Baroque And Berserk’, and I knew that I wanted to do something very different. I was searching for sparks in myself that would set the work apart. ‘Flat Baroque’ had been a muted success, and I was being asked to come up with more of the same. But more of the same wasn’t happening; I’d moved on. Stormcock was on the way. And so was I. I can remember tearing down the old A4, which was quite winding, and good to drive at speed along because it kept you 100% alert. Which only heightened the state of consciousness I imagined I was achieving.

As I got further west I began to slow down. I’d backed it off from the 100 mph I’d started at and it had got down to a sedate 80. I’d started in London, and, after a few hours, I was in Wales.. and the pace began to drop even further. I can remember almost sauntering through Bridgend in traffic. Shortly after that my temper had diffused enough for me to be able to start to think about other things. Other things entirely. One of the first of these was, ‘where am I going?’. I can remember that the first time I thought it, the answer came without thinking, almost as a part of the question. ‘West’, was the immediate response.

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