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(November 2017)

When I recently posted a picture on Facebook showing a fold-out sleeve of a double LP in my hand (a Kayak 2LP, to be precise, showing all the A and B sides of the singles 1973- 1981), I was amazed about the number of responses. I had received the album from Universal, and did not even know that it had been in stores for a long time.

I usually get the most response to (rarely published by me) really personal posts, children, married for so many years, or nice (intended) anecdotes or pictures or just nonsense. When it comes to serious information about what I do, it is significantly less massive.

I accompanied the photo with the comment that I now only needed a record player to turn it. Gingerbread of course. I have a record player, but it is not connected because I do not play records. Moreover, I only listen to my own or Kayak work when it is necessary - so for checking, or when something needs to be studied. From delivered 'friends' I was offered at least four record players, to take over for free or not. Someone suggested sending him that LP if it didn't help me, he would give the address in a private message. I still don't know if that was a joke.

At the same time, a discussion started between respondents about the for and against of CD or vinyl. Fairly predictable, but no less passionate, creaks and taps did not outweigh the benefits of the warmth of the sound for vinyl fans. So for the CD fans it is. Okay, nice, such a large cover, but if you have to get up every 15 minutes to turn over such an LP, it will not benefit the listening pleasure.

I responded to one of the discussions by wondering if the LP would have been so successful had the CD been invented first. So without the nostalgic element. Would one also think that the tapping and cracking didn't matter, because the sound was so much warmer? I wonder. I don't think the industry even started developing such a fragile invention. Have a listen! Yes, sorry, it ticks and it creaks, dear buyer. But warm that it sounds!

The number of reactions was so great, I think, because people are increasingly longing back to the past. The analogous, tangible world of vinyl. Nostalgia. See the almost endless row of tribute and cover bands that we are thrown to death: it says everything about the present. The past has disappeared, so we are doing it over again. A real album with old work: that's what we get excited about.

There have been some other sound carriers over the years. An 8-track (in our manager's car at the time, what a strange thing), audio cassettes, MP3, and blue-ray for example. And probably more that I don't know about, or what I've never had. I still own a 1985 CD player, which is doing fine. My latest computer is now a 9 year old laptop. Ok, the letter 'n' has been missing for a while, the CD drive has stopped working and the system itself is clearly at the end of its update latin. But all newer models actually do little more or better than what I already had, I noticed. In fact, you even lose programs you liked working with. So well, then we will just postpone the purchase of a new one - but you know that you will not escape it.

Once in a while you have to get a new one - not because the thing wouldn't work anymore, but because your computer can no longer handle new, heavier programs. The thing has become too slow. My Big Mac (a G5), now 11 years old, still functions perfectly - although the internet has been unsuccessful for some time. But the new Kayak album was just recorded there. Nobody hears that it was not Protools v.12 but 7.1 - actually antique, so to speak. I can buy a new computer, but some of the sounds and libraries I was attached to will no longer work because they have not gone into the world of updates and upgrades. So I keep it for a while, until it gives way on its own.

For me, a lot of recording tech is old wine in new bags, forcing you to repurchase by a nifty industry with iPhones programmed to slow down after two years. And let me talk about keyboards. I don't often buy new things. As nice as it is, I'm not going to play better or write better songs. Every keyboard I have has something useful - still. I have had my old D70 for almost thirty years, but it will be there again at the next show. My latest addition is a Crumar Mojo 61 - nothing but a good hammond organ copy, and certainly less heavy. I have been working with the rest I carry around (a Korg Triton, a Roland Fantom-8 and perhaps a Kurzweil 88 as an extra piano) for years.

My mobile, also something like that: it is a smartphone, but I don't play games with it, I don't even have a whatsapp (to my wife's annoyance) and mainly use the call and text function. Oh yes, google maps, if my tomtom doesn't remember.

I now see it myself. I just became a dinosaur, a fossil, in this fast-changing world. I have even temporarily deactivated my FB account, noting that I am increasingly struggling with the increasing tendency to always find everything and make it public at the expense of anyone or whatever. Everything and everyone is judged, weighed and, if necessary, mercilessly slaughtered. In early 2017, I had an FB woe with a former Kayak member, who on an impulse published something thoughtless about me. However much he later put that into perspective, the damage had already been done. Obviously I was a ruthless prick, many people knew that now, and they liked to share it with the rest of the crowd.

It was then made clear to me that the protective buffer of time and distance between myself and 'the public' had disappeared. That idea bothers me, hinders me, and ruins the pleasure in what I believe to be right or mainly in this world: making something that was not there before. I am not everyone's neighbor who enjoys his hobby in a shed, but someone who is vulnerable with his music and lyrics. Sometimes that works well, often less - I know that better than anyone, I don't need the internet for that.

Writing blogs through my own or the Kayak site is fairly bastard-proof. The only reactions I (like) to read come from the site mail, when people take the time to write me something and probably read their words three times before they press 'send'.

Long live progress. I just crawl into my egg again.


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