Roy Harper: Another Day (1970)

Roy HarperI saw Roy Harper play live at the Half Moon in London on August 19, 1991. Since he rarely played in the United States, I was grateful for the opportunity to finally see him.

The show was kind of a disaster. Roy came onstage in what can only be described as a severely altered state. “I’m not ripped—I’m shredded,” were his first words to the audience. Things went downhill from there. He forgot the words to some of the songs. He changed songs before finishing the one he was playing. He rambled and at one point made chicken noises into the microphone. To make matters worse, there was a drunken heckler at the front of the stage that yelled out nonsense throughout the show, at one point attempting to knock over the speakers at the side of the stage. Apparently, the club didn’t believe in bouncers.

At the end of the set, Roy told the audience that there would be some improvement during the following two nights. That was little consolation to me—I was catching a flight back to the States the next day.

Still, I don’t hold it against him. I heard that he’d had some personal problems that night. Besides, it’s Roy Harper.

If you don’t think you’ve heard Roy Harper, you probably have. He sang the lead vocals on the Pink Floyd song Have a Cigar. In addition to Pink Floyd, he’s worked with a myriad of rock luminaries, including Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Ronnie Lane, Keith Moon, David Gilmour, Paul and Linda McCartney, Keith Emerson, and Kate Bush.

“I was never really a bone fide member of the folk scene. I was too much of a modernist, really. Just too modern for what was going on in the folk clubs. I wanted to modernize music, but more than that to completely modernize people’s attitudes towards life in general. I was involved in trying to bring meat to the folk music, which is a big mistake anyway.”

Roy Harper, October 2008

Roy recorded 21 studio albums, plus a number of live albums and compilations. The featured track, Another Day, is from the 1970 album Flat Baroque and Berserk. The first version is the album track. The second is a video by Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush, which I added because it complements the Peter Gabriel/Kate Bush video from my last post.

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Peter Gabriel: Don’t Give Up (1986)

Don’t Give Up (Version 1)

Don’t Give Up (version 2)

Don’t Give Up (Secret World Live with Paula Cole)


Peter GabrielReturn with us now to the thrilling days of yesteryear, a time before music had turned to crap, a time when people who made music could actually sing and play instruments.

Peter Gabriel’s tenure as lead singer of Genesis marked the band’s creative heyday. After his departure, Genesis went on to become a hugh commercial success (emphisis on the word commercial), while Gabriel eventually became a megastar in his own right. No cause-related benefit concert of the 1980s was complete without Gabriel performing Red Rain and Biko.

I was at Gabriel’s first-ever solo show at the legendary Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ on March 5, 1977. The opening act was Television. Unfortunately, the suburban prog-rock audience wasn’t ready for Television’s New York new wave sound, and the band was literally booed off the stage.

But I digress. The reason that I chose to highlight this particular song isn’t because it’s Gabriel’s best or even my favorite. I selected it because it’s topical.

Don’t Give Up, a duet with Kate Bush, tells the story of an unemployed man who’s at the end of his rope because he can’t find a job during hard economic times.

We’re living in that time now. The current American president cares more about nationalizing the private sector and listening to the sound of his own voice than doing anything effective to stimulate the economy so people can get back to work.

There are three videos this time. The two studio versions were directed by Kevin Godley and Lol Creme. The first features Peter and Kate embracing and revolving while the sun slowly goes into and out of an eclipse. The second shows Gabriel superimposed over a town with people in hard times. The last video is a live version filmed at the Secret World Live concert in Italy and features Paula Cole as the other singer in the duet.