Category Archives: GUEST EDITOR

From The Desk Of Nick Garrie: “The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanislas” Part 2

In 1969 Nick Garrie recorded The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanisla, a lush folk/pop album. When collectors discovered it in the ’80s, it began fetching astronomical sums, and it was eventually reissued on CD in 2005. Garrie’s life in obscurity has too many twists to recount, but includes two albums as Nick Hamilton and an opening spot on a Leonard Cohen tour in 1984. The Moon And The Village (Tapete), Garrie’s first release in 23 years, is another subtle charmer. His mellow vocals are supported by arrangements that let his stories glow with a warm inner light. Garrie will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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Garrie: I had never been in a recording studio before, so I splashed out on a striped Biba jacket assorted with cricket whites and black patent mocassins. I looked ridiculous, and when I walked into the studio to find an orchestra of grumpy old men in cardigans, the scene was set.

We started with “Stanislas,” which I couldn’t recognize, and then Vartan (producer) got me under control. When we got to “Little Bird,” which I had written as a gentle strum, I was convinced the orchestra were racing through it to catch the last metro home. Vartan and I had words. By the last song, “Evening,” he was exhausted and said, “You do it how you want and take the instruments you need.” I sent them all home except a young, longhaired American trumpet player, and we sat on the floor and played it together joined at the hip.

I went for a pee, and one of the guitarists was there.

“Did you write this shit?”

I nodded glumly.

Stanislas was released some 40 years later, and even then I still didn’t get any royalties. So when some well-meaning journalist calls me a cult hero, I say, “My arse.”

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From The Desk Of Nick Garrie: “The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanislas” Part 1

In 1969 Nick Garrie recorded The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanisla, a lush folk/pop album. When collectors discovered it in the ’80s, it began fetching astronomical sums, and it was eventually reissued on CD in 2005. Garrie’s life in obscurity has too many twists to recount, but includes two albums as Nick Hamilton and an opening spot on a Leonard Cohen tour in 1984. The Moon And The Village (Tapete), Garrie’s first release in 23 years, is another subtle charmer. His mellow vocals are supported by arrangements that let his stories glow with a warm inner light. Garrie will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

Garrie: I was taking a European Lit degree and got hooked on surrealism and, in particular, automatic writing, which was said to reveal unknown truths to the writer. It made perfect sense to me, and I wrote “Stanislas” in Paris thinking of my student gigs and “my window pane.” The rest just flowed, and I discovered that I was Russian, Stanislas—and not Scottish, Garrie. I had spent 10 years cowering at boarding school where bullying was par for the course, praying that nobody would discover my real name. I wasn’t alone in this. Tati and Gainsbourg were also of Russian origin.

I don’t much like to play it because it’s 5:30 long. I was opening for Camera Obscura at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire when I reached the last song, and some rowdy fans started chanting “Stanislas.”

“It’s too long.”

And a Polish woman screamed, “Well play half of it.”

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From The Desk Of Nick Garrie: Andy Ripley

In 1969 Nick Garrie recorded The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanisla, a lush folk/pop album. When collectors discovered it in the ’80s, it began fetching astronomical sums, and it was eventually reissued on CD in 2005. Garrie’s life in obscurity has too many twists to recount, but includes two albums as Nick Hamilton and an opening spot on a Leonard Cohen tour in 1984. The Moon And The Village (Tapete), Garrie’s first release in 23 years, is another subtle charmer. His mellow vocals are supported by arrangements that let his stories glow with a warm inner light. Garrie will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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Garrie: I first met Andy Ripley (England, Lions and Barbarians rugby player) at the first Heineken 7s Rugby Tournament in Amsterdam. I didn’t have to play against him, thank God. He was a giant, albeit a gentle one, off the field. After a few years, we skied together and became fan friends. I was the fan, although he came to my gigs. He beat cancer once, then it came back remorselessly, and he lost his sight. I would play to him in the afternoons, and he would say, “It works, Nicky.” Then he would remonstrate with me for not having shaved as he kissed me goodbye. (Very unrugby like.)

I was standing in the village church reading the order of service when I saw the last line of the poem. I asked the family, and they didn’t know—someone had just sent it in. Andy was always meeting people and touching their lives. Andy got to hear Leonard Cohen before he died and was bowled over. They were brothers without knowing each other and they “showed us how to wave goodbye.”

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From The Desk Of Nick Garrie: Francis Lai

In 1969 Nick Garrie recorded The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanisla, a lush folk/pop album. When collectors discovered it in the ’80s, it began fetching astronomical sums, and it was eventually reissued on CD in 2005. Garrie’s life in obscurity has too many twists to recount, but includes two albums as Nick Hamilton and an opening spot on a Leonard Cohen tour in 1984. The Moon And The Village (Tapete), Garrie’s first release in 23 years, is another subtle charmer. His mellow vocals are supported by arrangements that let his stories glow with a warm inner light. Garrie will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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Garrie: I first met Francis Lai in the late ’70s. I had just seen him in a film playing a blind accordionist and rather foolishly assumed he was blind when I met him. He produced a single in French for me and asked me to write some English lyrics for his songs. Happy times! “Love In My Eyes,” “Lovers” and “Smile,” amongst others. These got me a slot on a long tour of Japan with the Francis Lai Orchestra.

“Smile” was very quietly an antiwar song.

“Time, God only knows the things you do
So many died to be a part of you
Eager young men to go to war
Crossing the seas to die on foreign shores”

When I sang this in Hiroshima with the full orchestra, the hall was silent for what seemed like long minutes, and then tumultuous applause. The Peace Memorial Museum touched me deeply and should be a compulsory visit for all gung-ho war-mongering politicians.

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From The Desk Of Nick Garrie: My Dear Ones

In 1969 Nick Garrie recorded The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanisla, a lush folk/pop album. When collectors discovered it in the ’80s, it began fetching astronomical sums, and it was eventually reissued on CD in 2005. Garrie’s life in obscurity has too many twists to recount, but includes two albums as Nick Hamilton and an opening spot on a Leonard Cohen tour in 1984. The Moon And The Village (Tapete), Garrie’s first release in 23 years, is another subtle charmer. His mellow vocals are supported by arrangements that let his stories glow with a warm inner light. Garrie will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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Garrie: I was a teacher for 13 years (still teach little ones one morning a week). Ten years were great, and then the observations and inspections and Ofsted started, so I looked for something else. I applied for a job as a carer (I know now I could not have been one), and my interviewer asked me if I had any qualifications.

“BA Honours, PGCE.”

“No, I mean real qualifications.”

“I’ve got a guitar.”

“Can you play it?”

“Yes.”

“Go on then.”

And I’ve played there every Saturday morning for the past three years. I play in 15 dementia homes and two adult disabilities. You see, I’ve always liked young people and old folks. It’s the ones in between I couldn’t get on with.

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From The Desk Of Nick Garrie: The Beatles’ “And I Love Her”

In 1969 Nick Garrie recorded The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanisla, a lush folk/pop album. When collectors discovered it in the ’80s, it began fetching astronomical sums, and it was eventually reissued on CD in 2005. Garrie’s life in obscurity has too many twists to recount, but includes two albums as Nick Hamilton and an opening spot on a Leonard Cohen tour in 1984. The Moon And The Village (Tapete), Garrie’s first release in 23 years, is another subtle charmer. His mellow vocals are supported by arrangements that let his stories glow with a warm inner light. Garrie will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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Garrie: I was sitting in a ritzy hotel restaurant in northern Portugal feeling sorry for myself because my daughters had gone back home. A young couple came in with their young daughter and sat at the next table. The girl had to be propped up and fed. I chatted to the father and asked him if she liked music. “Sometimes yes, sometimes she howls.” When I started my set in the Atlantic Bar, she was watching me, propped up by cushions. I saw her mother lean over her like a Madonna, and I spoke to the girl and told her her parents loved her very much and I was going to play a song for the whole family: “And I Love Her.” When I finished, she tried to put her hands together and clap. I think that night for the first time I realized how lucky I was to be a musician.

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From The Desk Of Nick Garrie: Singing In The Caves

In 1969 Nick Garrie recorded The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanisla, a lush folk/pop album. When collectors discovered it in the ’80s, it began fetching astronomical sums, and it was eventually reissued on CD in 2005. Garrie’s life in obscurity has too many twists to recount, but includes two albums as Nick Hamilton and an opening spot on a Leonard Cohen tour in 1984. The Moon And The Village (Tapete), Garrie’s first release in 23 years, is another subtle charmer. His mellow vocals are supported by arrangements that let his stories glow with a warm inner light. Garrie will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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Garrie: I’ve played in some nice places but nowhere as beautiful as this. And so I waited with the boatman on the lagoon till just before midnight. Five wooden boats pulled up silently, and I sang my song and it went round the caves and back to me. The clapping seemed to come from distant shores. I watched them disembark for my concert. Children, grandparents, gig lovers, first timers, stern husbands with their doe-eyed wives. I finished, and they wanted more, so when I saw the little lady at the back, I played “Que Sera, Sera,” and they all left singing and laughing.

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From The Desk Of Nick Garrie: Roger Moore

In 1969 Nick Garrie recorded The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanisla, a lush folk/pop album. When collectors discovered it in the ’80s, it began fetching astronomical sums, and it was eventually reissued on CD in 2005. Garrie’s life in obscurity has too many twists to recount, but includes two albums as Nick Hamilton and an opening spot on a Leonard Cohen tour in 1984. The Moon And The Village (Tapete), Garrie’s first release in 23 years, is another subtle charmer. His mellow vocals are supported by arrangements that let his stories glow with a warm inner light. Garrie will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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Garrie: It was a quiet January in Gstaad, and I kept bumping into Roger Moore, who would always offer a cheery “hello.” I would sometimes follow him at a respectful distance on the T-bar, and he would be wearing his James Bond outfit and wobble off when he reached the top, which was cool because he’d only just started skiing at his age. The snow got worse, and my schoolgirls arrived. (Same school as the McCartney post.) I was taking them down to Gstaad very gingerly when we were surrounded by a sea of mud with just one large patch of snow. On that patch of snow stood Roger Moore and his instructor. I had no choice, and when the scamps saw Roger Moore, they squealed and collapsed like a pack of cards.

“All right, 007?”

“No, I’m not. Bugger off!”

Didn’t see so much of him after that.

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From The Desk Of Nick Garrie: Paul McCartney

In 1969 Nick Garrie recorded The Nightmare Of J.B. Stanisla, a lush folk/pop album. When collectors discovered it in the ’80s, it began fetching astronomical sums, and it was eventually reissued on CD in 2005. Garrie’s life in obscurity has too many twists to recount, but includes two albums as Nick Hamilton and an opening spot on a Leonard Cohen tour in 1984. The Moon And The Village (Tapete), Garrie’s first release in 23 years, is another subtle charmer. His mellow vocals are supported by arrangements that let his stories glow with a warm inner light. Garrie will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week.

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Garrie: I was not Paul McCartney’s ski instructor as I read online, but I did meet him when I was running my ski club in the Swiss Alps. I had a restaurant reserved for my school clients, but half were missing when I turned up.

“Where are the rest of you?”

“With Paul McCartney.”

“Rubbish.”

I set off and found him chatting to the girls.

“You must be Nick” he said.

“How do you know?” I answered kind of hoping he’d heard one of my songs.

“I asked the girls who they were skiing with, and they said, ‘Nick.'”

I explained to him that we were doing a torchlit run that night and there’d be music, maybe one of his songs.

“Which one?” he said.

“‘Baby’s request.'”

“Good. I’ll come up. I’ve never heard anybody play that.”

Suddenly out of the mist, Mrs. McCartney loomed up. “Come on, Paul. We’re going back to Gstaad.”

A rueful grin. “Sorry, mate.”

Ships in the night, and I never got to thank him from the bottom of my heart for all the beautiful songs he’s given us.

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From The Desk Of Cold Specks: Paradise Playlist (Dur-Dur Band’s “Dooyo”)

Ladan Hussein, the woman who records and performs as Cold Specks, is quietly intense. On Fool’s Paradise (Arts & Crafts), her third album, Hussein’s music is stripped down to the essentials. Soft, mournful synthesizers drift through a melancholy space, with elusive percussion accents in the background. Her hushed, jazz-inflected vocals are full of passionate yearning, the sound of a soul on the verge of tears or explosive anger. “This is a deeply personal album,” says the Toronto-based Hussein. “It deals with a variety of topics from self-love, identity and diaspora dreaming during the apocalypse. I wrote most of the record in a period where I was feeling as though I needed to detach from the world, for the sake of my own sanity. The album is a brutally honest document of it all.” Hussein will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on her.

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Hussein: Apathy during the apocalypse is the goal. Switch it off and sigh. Here are songs to keep you warm during the disconnection process. (You can keep up with my Paradise Playlist on Spotify.)

The cover art alone is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. The music scene in Mogadishu before the war was rich and vibrant. Dur-Dur were probably the most important band at the time. A collection of warm tones, skilled, tight-as-fuck band and striking melodies.

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