Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Lodge

"What are men alone, by themselves, & how through common experiences are they brothers?" - C.P. Snow

Last night, I went running around with Joe C., and he was playing The Lodge CD in his car. We both sang along (as best as we could), mumbling the words, striking notes when acceptible to our middle-aged voices etc. This album from 1988 has come back to haunt me once again.

"Smell Of A Friend" is the sole album by The Lodge, a "super group" of misfits - Jakko Jakszyk on guitars, Anton Fier on drums, John Greaves on bass and keyboards, Peter Blegvad on guitar and vocals and Kristoffer Blegvad on lead vocals. John Greaves was also in Henry Cow, and Peter Blegvad comes to us via Slapp Happy. But The Lodge is rock music, not 'obscure' at all. Some guests on The Lodge are Lisa Herman and the late Gary Windo. Blegvad and Greaves worked together before this, on "Kew Rhone".

I have been a Peter Blegvad fan for decades. I loved the Slapp Happy album "Sort Of", and I followed his work with Henry Cow and Faust. I was also most fond of his 80's solo work with Andy Partridge ("Naked Shakespeare", anyone?). The Henry Cow "Legend" LP was my favorite album while I was in high school in the mid-70's. So, I suppose I am the intended audience for The Lodge.

Yes, I have the British CD of The Lodge, with a 9th track. I also have a US LP of it, and a British re-issue CD. What Joe had in his car last night was the US version of the CD, which does not have the 9th track. Don't worry, it's fairly slight - just an acapella coda, as it were (of the quote at the top of this posting). Before writing this morning, I went to look and see where my LP of The Lodge was - alas, lost in the abyss. In it is a black & white press photo that I wanted to post. No go, so you get to see the cover of the original UK CD today.

Pretty impressive for an album of songs about allergies to milk! "Mothers milk was stiff as sand" - Dylan Thomas.

Some of these songs have been re-recorded for solo albums by John Greaves and / or Peter Blegvad. Always nice to receive illumination on favorite material! I also have solo solo works by Jakko Jakszyk that were pretty good - and I know he has more stuff released that I have been able to find. But The Lodge is surely more than the sum of it's parts. "MUST HAVE THE VENT OR DIE" - C. Olson.

I once saw Peter Blegvad play live at McCabe's Guitar Shop on Pico Blvd in West Los Angeles - there were slavering fans of The Lodge imploring him for more Lodge recordings, of which he assured the fans that "The Lodge was a one-off" and that "no more was forthcoming".

I once woke up at night - at some time in the mid-90's - with "Matchgirl" running through my head. I had to get out of bed, find The Lodge CD in the wall of CD envelopes and pop it on briefly, just to reassure my sleeping brain that it did, in fact, exist. Satisfied, I went back to sleep.

I love this album. If you do not know it, please contact me - and I'll see what I can do.

- Ron


chas_m said...

This is incredible high praise for a record I know nothing about! I must search now ...

Ron Kane said...

I'll see if I have an extra copy, Chas-san.

- Ron

Brian Ware said...

I'd certainly love a dub if possible. This is the first time I've heard of this LP as well. In fact my exposure to this whole group of musicians has been very limited.