14 +14 – (The Magickal) 5 = 23
A 14 Sonnet Sequence in Appreciation of Greg Wilson’s 14 Hour Super Weird Substance Happening:
The Florrie, Liverpool, April 1ST, 2017 11am-1am
Art: Pete Fowler
I: GET ON BOARD
Invited to the city in which my poor father died in, and where
I started out as an actor and fulfilled my degree; to cover
The 14 hour Super Weird Substance happening as organised
By Greg Wilson as a way to wake Liverpool and allow some
Of its tired hearts fresh release. My Father’s soon slept,
But we’ll be partying on through the evening. Here to mark
April Fool’s Day and the full fifty years since Pink Floyd
Placed their own technicolour exchange in and around Ally Pally,
Along with the others who painted the air and chased ground.
As I get on the coach I experience some trepidation,
As it journeys on the sharp remnants of all that once was
Are profound. For a happening comes when you might least
Expect it. Infiltrating the day to remind you that despite
All your troubles the purest solution awaits, birthed in sound.
Photo: Jane Macneill
megan’s mandrill tv
Photo: Jane Macneill
II: UNDERGROWTH TO LIGHT BEAMS
The Florrie is placed right at the heart of the Dingle, Ringo’s birthplace,
Just minutes away from the city its where a sense of community starts,
Here so many things are achieved and so much done for young people,
All proceeds, day and evening, are made to ensure it survives as Life Art.
On floor One, the main hall, housing Rafters and Beams hosts
The party. On the ground floor, Dingle Be–In, with the
Undergrowth Of Wonder Basement, plus stalls, bookshop, food and portable
Statues of the Beatles, who roam when pushed, laps of honour
Among the gathering wild and the free. A massive bird cage
Dominates, as do hanging stars and abstractions. On the high flung
Walls there are images from Melinda Gebbie, and along with a talk,
Jamie Reid. Megan Lucas’ Alan Moore as the Mandrill display, in a line of
Fused televisions shows not only her genius and her talents, but that
As this Happening happens the full powers of mind can be freed.
Photo: Robin Clewley
III: PREPARING THE WAY
Tommy Calderan, Liverpool Discordianist and Fanzine maker
Galvanises the forces with all of his charm on display.
An amiable general, anyone would serve Tommy. As he readies
The room, flock are fielding as the doors open below on ground floor.
Dust to be plucked. Sheets to move. Displays to arrange and lights tested.
The Invisible Wind Factory houseband after dazzling all, start to play.
They carry on all afternoon, granting the room a sound, just as Megan
Focuses in on the problem of connecting a varied installation; more Moore.
John Row appears, a psychedelic pearly King of lost London.
His bonhomie and his humour will power on through it all.
And Alistair Fruish, too, part of Megan’s NAL grand collective,
Assisting the air around Tommy, while preparing his one sentence call.
I do what I can, following my host Josh Ray, who is Greg Wilson’s assistant,
My manly tasks as a half man and as I’m clearing, a non McGough scaffold falls…
Photo: Robin Clewley
IV: FROM THE SCAFFOLD (FOR ALISTAIR FRUISH)
An unreal moment in time when it fell, saved by your observation
At least from then, as times follow, I’ll be allowed to continue a while
With my work. You mentioned a karmic exchange, so I was glad
To help you complete it. I hope perhaps there’ll be hours in which to explore
Our joint worth. You scour language of course with your experimental take
And precision, as I, in turn mine convention to locate the active response
And unearth, the secret understandings of men and the sometime enigmas
Of women; a part description of theatre, which we both populate
With charged words. I forge an honouring dialogue now somewhere within
This small effort, coming as I am from a tight space, and separate to the group
You defend. And yet I raise my hat to your cap, in partial praise from the shadow,
Of that other Liverpool scaffold from which you so judiciously barred my end.
My thanks again, Alistair and for the book also. Its fine achievement I mirror
In the tritest way with a sentence made with a one syllable question: Friend?
Photo: Jane Macneill
V: THE DAY OPENS
Saved , I go on. The celebration commences. Parade of Fools runs a gong bath
In waves that become spiritual. As people lay on the floor, the gong resounds
Across silence. The ride of noise makes air water, in which the soul’s daughter
Invokes all that’s peaceful by opening the day’s miracle. All at once, it begins
Every room is now active. In the Undergrowth, Kooky DJ’s followed on
By Josh Ray. As Invisible Wind Factory play, upstairs in the Atlantis room
Swims Cat Vincent, feline above water, espousing ways to repeal the dark arts.
His presence commands as he teaches a room of the grown about breathing,
And how the illusion of magick can manifest on the skin. From picturing
A small silver ball at the pit of your stomach, to the enveloping of your
Main frame, even those who are sceptic and come with scant defence can still win.
It is a mesmeric display. Cat praises my concentration. I move to cast an eye
On Ben Graham, and then move back downstairs for John Row. But already, a change,
As you walk, each hall is singing. Music and society mingling. The happening is within.
Invisible Wind Machine
VI: FIFTY YEARS AND THREE THEMES
Greg hosts a talk with Bryan Biggs, Melinda Gebbie and Norman Killon
About 1967 and that first happening’s influence. From the psychedelic smoke
In The Smoke, to the rooms fuelled by Jasmine, to San Francisco and all of that great
Poster Art. Each speaker holds forth with the International Times championed also,
The thrust being how those innovations are part of the blood through time’s heart.
How important Yoko was to the rebirthing of Lennon, from Primal to fatal,
But ultimately seminal. This and other talks showed the aims behind the Super Weird Substance;
Mixing the psychedelic to Liverpool’s black music legacy. Levi Tafari, Sugar Deen,
Joey Ankrah, Laurence Westgraph, and then Bernie Connor, Jayne Casey and John Higgs
Expound Matthew Street’s history; a tri-thrall. It is a vital day, visceral, and we are nowhere
Near lunchtime. A Humuments display (after Phillips) opens upstairs, then a play.
Phil Harding’s collages. Tim Holmes and Festival 23. Dan Lish and Mook Loxley.
Tristan Brady Jacobs and the reels of steel. A Disco Dalek of course, and outside a Tardis.
TV’s in a Coma. Liz Von Graeventitz and The Night and Days, each conveys.
Participants in Greg Wilson’s three discussions
Photos: Robin Clewley
John Higgs gives a talk on the discordian theory. Cat Vincent too also lectures
On the magical 23. Drawn from the mystical 5 as lain down by the goddess Eiris,
We see its repetition at virtually every twist in the air. Private Sector sound in,
Rewiring Joy Division, their tumultuous thunder lends a tectonic gravitas,
As Higgs reasons through and Cat Vincent guides us, Mamatung are preparing
To sweep us into song, all’s world class. If that world weren’t this, primed as it is
By the shallow. In this Victorian building art’s victory is assured. There is something
Happening here greater than, perhaps its intention. The passing of time has created
A deeper reverence for the word. And it is a word made of gold, a kind of key
To unlock us, if we can move beyond the set boundaries of the copper cages we prize.
As the people swarm in across the day you can hear it. Its sound is what the music
Here echoes. You see the need for it in each eye. We want to find what connects,
What makes us think and what moves us. Either through dance, meditation,
Or the personal poetry that’s inside. Its a day full of hope that can’t die.
John Higgs (and Ken Campbell)
Photo: Robin Clewley
VIII: FOREVER YOUNG
In room 23 Jeff Young’s 23 Enigma Vortex Sutra. A transcendent rumination
On Ken Campbell’s Liverpool stay. 1976 was the year. Now why don’t you add up
Those numbers? As you listen to Young’s exhortation of ‘Chicken bones in his pockets
And magnolia on the air,’ Campbell blazed. Young reads his epic prose from cue cards
Which he sets to flight like cast petals. As they rise and fall they return us
To some of the leaves from Ken’s north. From a time in his life when he sought renewal
Which Science Fiction soon granted with his own magisterial production, The Warp.
Ken’s daughter, Daisy attends, her face a perfect blend of her parents, as does Jeff’s
Partner Amy and their daughter, Pearl. Pete Townshend has sung ‘Behind Blue Eyes’
To this child and so like Daisy C, she is gifted, by the music of men and their words.
The prose poem transports. Young is a genius writer. Famed in Liverpool since
The Eighties, on Radios three and four, Methuen. He has hjs mother’s fine face
And the leaness and look of Capaldi. Watching his love you too love him.
His work has such beauty and so you wish upon hearing that such work never ends.
VIV: ON THE LEVEL
On a personal level this place having become so intrinsic, has caused me as much
Trouble as it has led to the creations of standards and joy. No-one I had remained in touch
With was free, so I thought I would prowl the day penned and lonely, so to see Jeff, and
His student and friend Luke, returned some of the desolate man to the boy, who started
Things here and left other things ending. But I had connected with Josh Ray
On a non Beatleseque Night Before. Seeing Alan and Melinda as well, and then
Megan and Vicky, Michelle Belle, too, and then popping out for a late but much needed
Breakfast, waving to me, warm and sweetly, my hopeful new friend and colleague,
Youth appeared at the door. He would be DJing upstairs and then interview Alan.
To see such people appear in this building in a run down scouse street was divine.
We were certainly blessed by the groove of creation and chaos, in the back yard
Of McCartney, and where he and the others that soon followed on, attained shine.
The day, although strange was suddenly glazed by these faces. And I was refreshed,
Although tired, keen to see what and who else I would find.
Photo: Jane Macneill
X: THE ALAN CONNECTION
Magically, Steve Givnan appeared along with the mother of his kids, Debbie Howard.
Both significant artists, I shared with Steve many things. My first major play on Lenny Bruce.
Steve and Jeff Young directed. And we had spent the times I remember after my father’s death
Which had cured. They had come for the vibe and like everyone else to see Alan.
Alan Moore is a Godhead for those who like him, reject God. His eternalist view is as vital
To the world as his writing and the fact that he walked among us, as approachable as he is
Shows how pure this man of magick is. His words illuminate everybody. He fired the
Technicolour room with black and white magick and the Robeson appeal of his voice.
It thunders through a room, granting linguistic rain and scorched sunlight, as he invokes
And advises as his and Joe Brown’s Mandrillifesto has shown. Megan Lucas’ promotional film
Is a lightning strike of invention. As Youth talks to Alan their magicks combine and amuse,
Minds are blown. The room is peopled it seems with more than enough for one city.
The collective wound is sealed just by talking and as the evening arrives, there’s still sun.
Astral stuff in the hall, planets purged, coruscations, all sent to show us how the magick reform has begun.
Poster by Dominic Mandrell
XI: FURTHER OBSERVATIONS
Alan Moore’s grandchildren perch at the feet of Leah, their mother,
Reflecting back the shared beauty of her similar face and its muse;
As Leah echoes her Dad, so her boys provide music to the face
Culture’s needed and whose kiss it should never refuse.
Then there is Daisy Campbell and co. As she prepares Cosmic Trigger,
Playing in May at The Cockpit she stages a shortened preview.
She approaches me to play Trump, which I do in shame and pride
Very quickly. I watch as she rehearses and performs in an instant
As I try to honour and prize each small cue. There is also the beautiful
Art of Melinda Gebbie. The sweet soul of The Reynolds and the charisma
Of Kermit Leveridge. Readings and songs from all rooms. A constant parade
Of fine faces who have marked this time and this city through each golden
Splinter, ensuring that it could never be average. The golden age gleams. Horton Jupiter.
Verity Spott. Meesh and Skinner. The jubiliation empowers even as evening looms.
Youth and Alan Moore
Photo: Tim Collins
XII: WHAT OTHERS COULDN’T
London could never stage this, papered as it is by the leaden. The founding of Arts Labs
Ensures this, evidenced by the NAL. There is a community feel in terms of the people here,
And creation, as it all comes together to help restore Liverpool. Not that its ever been split,
The city survives every shatter. Greg Wilson knows this as does Josh Ray and Tom C.
It is a magical place as Johns Higgs and Row would inform us. There is so much in its
Accent, even the buildings here speak to sky. They comment on the days before we could all
Look no further than the limits of money, and back to the soul and the why,
That explained where we live and what we try to do for each other. A happening on a Fool’s Day
That makes the wisdom in all harmonise. It was a privilege to be here, watching it all
Come together. From the food and the drink that fuelled talking to the goals achieved
Grandly by the homeless football club. Efforts like this in the glare of a party night
Make it noble. As the gathered danced, then they honoured those whose lives before
Had been snubbed. The 14 hours were a dream that we all dreamt together, but unlike
That night reveal, here was glory in which everything was just as it seemed.
XIII: FLY BOY (for Josh Ray)
Josh Ray, 26 but in some way the product of ages
Gifts me a room and his carpet, and a place at the feast,
Of inspiration and joy; See how he helps define futures,
Gorging down on the vital and making them rise
Through dream’s yeast. But his are the dreams
Made by day as he fills each hour with searching,
Chasing down the right rhythm, freeing each groove,
Each held beat. An impatient young man with no time
For waiting;he’d rather walk in then taxi, he’d rather
Feed on the room than just eat. He looks for page 223
From Gurdjieff’s treatise, he opens his heart for endeavours
Sharing the adventure with all. From the Netherlands
To Paradise in the Dingle; My thanks, friend, keep flying,
Master those clouds. Never fall.
XIV: LIGHT FROM THE SHADOWS (for Greg Wilson)
Greg Wilson as iconic DJ is lending himself across nature. There is in his stance
A stopped beauty as he nutures the room in repose. Something to do
With his understanding of sound and its representation through rhythm;
One hand to his ear, fingers cradling the frequencies shared and love found
When you can make a room dance you attain the same God-heights of laughter,
As you alter the air in which people have discovered a home or new place.
There is then, the still angel held, as you manipulate across silence,
Foraging through noise-shadow for a new brand of light for each face.
There is sense of sanctity in the dance; but you prefer a spiritual and unseen
Communion. As the sacred sweats through flesh fever and the room grows ascendent,
You sculpt so discreetly all manner of sharp and soft shapes. Greg, you created
The day in which all achieved favour. In dignity and dynamics, long may you rise
And continue, to give the higher realms greater access
And permit the dancer to follow your lead, primed by Grace.
David Erdos, 3rd and 4th April 2017
Photos from the 14 Hour Super Weird Happening