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‘I Was A Stoner & He Was the Cowboy’ – Songwriter Jimmy Webb Remembers Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell was every aspiring lyricist’s dream – and Jimmy Webb remembers how their work together was the truest of collaborations – as they became friends for life.

1968 started a five-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Wichita Lineman.’ American Songwriter Jimmy Webb’s inspiration for the lyrics came while driving through Washita County in northern Oklahoma. Webb was driving through an endless litany of telephone poles, each looking exactly the same as the last. Then, in the distance, he noticed the silhouette of a solitary lineman atop a pole. Webb then “put himself atop that pole and put that phone in his hand” as he considered what the lineman was saying into the receiver.

Correspondent Bill Nutt spoke with Jimmy Webb as he payed homage to his amazing journey with Glen Campbell.

Jimmy Webb remembers the first time he met Glen Campbell. It was not an auspicious moment.

In 1967, Webb was in the early years of his career as songwriter. He had been a fan of Campbell, and he further appreciated the fact that Campbell’s version of his song “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” was a hit on the country charts.

So Webb went to a recording studio to meet Campbell.

“I had long hair, and I wore a vest and a pair of jeans I never took off. I was in my hippie stage,” Webb says.

Campbell was fiddling with a guitar and amp, apparently paying no attention whatsoever to his visitor. “Finally, I said, ‘Mr. Campbell, I’m Jimmy Webb.’ He looked up at me and said, ‘When are you gonna get a haircut?’ ”

Now Webb laughs at the meeting. “He was a straight shooter, clean-cut,” he says. “I was a stoner. I was the mad professor, and he was the cowboy.”

From that unlikely mixture, however, came a fruitful collaboration and a deep friendship. Campbell ended up recording over 100 Webb compositions, including acclaimed versions of “Wichita Lineman” and “Galveston.” The rapport that blossomed between the two men arose from similarities that overcame any differences, according to Webb. He points out that he was born in Oklahoma, while Campbell was a native of Arkansas.

“We came from dead identical backgrounds, very poor in adjoining states, and from a fecund mix of church music, country, and a lot of family singing. We brought that common origin story. I’ve been accused of writing melodies that are rangy. My songs modulate; they start in one key and end in another. Glen had the ability to sing what I wrote, and not everybody can. It’s past time to go back and look at Glen’s contribution’s to music, which have been sadly overlooked. 50 years of friendship and partnership. There was a lot of love on both sides that resulted in unsurpassable pop music. Glen and I touched the sky a couple of times.”

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John Lennon Talks About the Inspiration Behind Woman

WOMAN
Woman came about because, one sunny afternoon in Bermuda, it suddenly hit me. I saw what women do for us. Not just what my Yoko does for me, although I was thinking in those personal terms. Any truth is universal. If we’d made our album in the third person and called it Freda and Ada or Tommy and had dressed up in clown suits with lipstick and created characters other than us, maybe a Ziggy Stardust, would it be more acceptable? It’s not our style of art; our life is our art… Anyway, in Bermuda, what suddenly dawned on me was everything I was taking for granted. Women really are the other half of the sky, as I whisper at the beginning of the song. And it just sort of hit me like a flood, and it came out like that. The song reminds me of a Beatles track, but I wasn’t trying to make it sound like that. I did it as I did Girl many years ago. So this is the grown-up version of Girl.
-John Lennon, 1980

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Bumi Thomas

We met Bumi Thomas purely by fate.

Lost in the dark of the night on a recent trip to London we searched for the flat of our next interview.
Bumi was the only person in sight when we asked her where the address was and she coyly replied , “I think I know who you are looking for (with a smile we would soon recognize) follow me…” it turned out Bumi was the assistant to the subject we were searching for.

Check- out another song, “Mother Tongue” 

Bumi, your music is a gift to the world and it likely was exactly at the stroke of midnight you surprised us with your voice one night.

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Andrew Maxwell Morris Talks Glastonbury 2017 and the Release of his latest single

We always hold close the good friends we have met along our journey here at Fresh Independence. Andrew Maxwell Morris is an artist that many can relate to – because in our real worlds we are all walking well tread roads of responsibility to a life beautifully lived with family – friends and making time for what fills us up creatively. That is why it feels good to connect with music that resonates from that place you can trust. This well seasoned performer, British poet and troubadour, has had his music featured in television series and commercials – which pay true testament to the depth of his talents.

Have a listen to his latest offering below and a personal memoir of his Glasto 2017 experience.

Today Andrew releases his latest single “Don’t Give Up On Us’  and I asked him what this song means to him.

Wow it’s really hard to define your own work at times! The song just grew really from a bass line that I was playing about with. It’s one of the first tracks I’ve written just from the bass, and as the song grew I realized that it was about standing by someone, even when it doesn’t seem right at times.  The lyric has a reflection in, looking back as an older wiser person ‘don’t leave me to wonder, how on earth I got here,’ cause I’m old in the sidelines, looking back at our years. I produced ‘Don’t Give Up On Us’ – played most of the instruments and the female vocals are from Hattie Whitehead who was a finalist in the Glastonbury talent competition in 2016.

Last week Andrew played at Glastonbury 2017 and he’s here to share what that experience was like for him. Everyone tends to think of the big stage – but any true music lover will wander to some of the smaller stages where expression is in full bloom and experience ‘the heart of the festival.’

My Experience at Glastonbury 2017

 By Andrew Maxwell Morris

I felt how lucky we were to be playing there – and felt an instant connection to the audience – it was one of the few times I really felt I was communicating through music…

Arriving at Glastonbury is like arriving into a new town – a temporary town, set up and built for one purpose; to give everyone who attends the chance to have the time of their life. It is not just a festival of music – it is a gathering of like minded people from the old to the young and in between. As a music festival, it is an assault on the senses – for everywhere you turn there is a music stage – every corner a band. Music is played almost twenty four hours a day.

Arriving as an artist is a unique feeling – you know deep down that you are about to play a small part in the biggest festival in the world. The energy that surrounds you there is so different from anywhere else. I have planned my appearances at Glastonbury over the past 10 years and I have worked towards each one of them like it would be my last. My home is in the Greenfield’s of Glastonbury, the spiritual heart of the Festival, where the you get a sense of how things used to be, when the festival first opened it doors in the 1970’s. In the Green fields, they promote environmentally friendly causes, campaigning and liberal values. There is an arts and craft field, a healing field and a green futures field. It is peaceful and beautiful. It is infectious.

As an artist who is still trying to make a name, it is easy to arrive with high expectations. But when you realize it is not just about you but what you contribute, it starts to make sense. In between our 4 shows, we get a chance to walk around. It is massive. To put it into perspective, there are fields dedicated to theatre and circus, kids and families, poetry and drama. There are two cinemas, politics stages, forums and this is just the start. There are almost 200,000 people.  There simply isn’t enough time to see everything on your first visit – you can only skim the surface. Just when you think your senses can’t take anymore, you are hit again. In the ‘Unfair Ground’ the field is set up like a circus noir, with strange fair games and people dressed up like dark circus figures, smiling and trying to entice you in. At Shangri La, the main exhibit might be a plane wreck, with actors playing survivors and waving white flags. There are so many bars playing different types of music, you can hardly believe your ears. At 3am on Saturday morning, we stumbled across the Truth stage, with a band fronted by a Spanish rapper, a rapper from Bristol (West of England) and a female singer. The band were amazing and full of energy. You would not realize how late it was by the amount of people around.

My band and I played on three stages this year – the bicycle powered “Mandala Stage’, the solar powered ‘Toad Hall’ stage and the  wonderful Avalon Cafe, in the ‘Field of Avalon’. At 11.30 on a Thursday morning, we took to the Avalon Cafe with a good crowd ready for their first music of the day. It was one of those moments when I knew it was going to be special. I couldn’t put my finger on why, but I looked around at the guys in the band and I think we all felt it. There was an instant connection with that audience, and for one of the few times, I felt like I was really communicating through music, that I had something to say. This was the highlight for me, and I hope everyone there felt the same. I sang a song about my mother called ‘Upside Down’  – I think it brought a tear to a few eyes. I remember feeling how lucky we were to be playing there, in front of an audience who really appreciated it. At the Mandala stage, we had a blast and I was particularly touched by people who waited over an hour to see us perform (thanks guys!) Between gigs, we chilled out and took in the vibe, drank Cider and enjoyed some hospitality from PRS ( the UK version of ASCAP), We met and saw a short set by the 80’s artist Roachford, which was amazing. The problem with Glastonbury is that you have to walk miles to get everywhere, but I suppose when time stands still, walking isn’t really something to complain about.

ANDREW MAXWELL MORRIS

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