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Thread: Peter Hammill turns 70

  1. #1

    Peter Hammill turns 70

    Born on the 5th November 1948. What else has been keeping him in action for half a century if not tremendous passion for music?

    I feel privileged to be on this planet at the same time with him.

  2. #2
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    How many other artists have been able to be so consistently productive over a lifetime? I admit I have stopped following his solo works in the new millennium but I am very happy he remains physically and spiritually able to keep 'em coming.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    How many other artists have been able to be so consistently productive over a lifetime?
    Surprisingly many, depending on how you look at it; Richard Thompson, Scott Walker, Fred Frith, Linda Ronstadt - well, ok, she's kinda in a littabitta different league, commercially speaking.

    But the amazing achievement of Hammill's consistency in activity is the leverage of quality vs. lack of (apparent) success. It's as if the latter never really discouraged him to any noteworthy extent at all. This being said, I haven't been listening to his solo endeavour since 1980s A Black Box. There's simply too much greatness coming from younger names these days, although I still think quite highly of what Hammill accomplished with the reformed VdGG. A Grounding In Numbers in particular.

    And the guy endured two heart attacks, if I'm not entirely mistaken. WHich means he's got a couple to go before he reaches W. Churchill, give or take the cigars and Scotch for breakfast.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  4. #4
    Member thedunno's Avatar
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    One of my big musical heroes. I've probably seen him play live around 40 times.

    Lately he seems more frail and thinner every time I see him on stage. Untill he starts singing; then he's a giant again.

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    Happy birthday!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    But the amazing achievement of Hammill's consistency in activity is the leverage of quality vs. lack of (apparent) success. It's as if the latter never really discouraged him to any noteworthy extent at all.
    He just doesn't care, plain and simple.

    To me his greatest achievement (which isn't irrelevant to what you claim) is that he didn't lose strenght after Pawn Hearts. Let's face it, Pawn Hearts is his magnum-opus, in terms of ambition and artistic achieving, his pinnacle in terms of creativity. Reaching this, with complete lack of commercial success, his band disbanded, possibly anybody else would have either completely change musical style or give up altogether. Hammill's answer was banging the one masterpiece after the other: Chameleon, Silent Corner, In Camera, Godbluff, Nadir, Still Life, Over, A Black Box. The list is almost frightening.

    Which leads to the simple conclusion: you cannot shut up this guy. If he feels he has something to say he'll say it.

  7. #7
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    Happy birthday, Peter Hammill!

    A great talent and a great inspiration.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Linda Ronstadt
    She hasn't released a solo studio album in 14 years, you mofo progsnobsonofabitch cxsck'n icehole elitist bstrd!
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  9. #9
    According to Prog Archives, Peter Hammill is "Eclectic Prog".

    I would rather call it "Neglected Prog"

  10. #10
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Happy Birthday Peter! I am grateful to have his music and words as part of my life's soundtrack illuminating dark hours and providing much needed emotional catharsis.

    Scotum, as an incorrigible progsnobsonofabitch although his prime for me is indeed black box and before I always find at least a gem or two in terms of song craft in nearly all of his output since then and last year's From the Trees shows to me that the flame still burns...
    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

  11. #11
    Speaking of still having it later in his career, the track White Dot from the album Singularity is a standout for me. Musically and lyrically. Along with many others.........

    Happy Birthday Mr. Hammill!

  12. #12
    One of my all time favorite musicians.
    Be a loyal plastic robot for a world that doesn't care... Frank Zappa

  13. #13
    Still got 8 minutes (or 2 hours, for England's timezone) to say happy birthday!!
    One of my all time musical heroes, have seen 5 shows by him last year and those shows were some of the best I ever saw, it is amazing how one guy and a piano or guitar can make such captivating music.
    Am so stoked to see him again in Poland in March...

  14. #14
    Matt! polmico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck AzEee! View Post
    One of my all time favorite musicians.
    Yep. He’s consistently awesome. There are very few tunes I’d skip. Note that. Not albums, but individual songs.
    I want to dynamite your mind with love tonight.

  15. #15
    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    ^^^^

    Even his worst albums always have some redeeming quality or songs.

    An amazing run.
    Steve F.

    www.waysidemusic.com
    www.cuneiformrecords.com

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    "You run a great label, but sometimes you go out of your way to be a jerk." - Jed Levin

    "The older I get, the more I realize that cynicism is just realism spelled wrong."

    "Death to false 'support the scene' prog!"

    please add 'imo' wherever you like, to avoid offending those easily offended.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    How many other artists have been able to be so consistently productive over a lifetime? I admit I have stopped following his solo works in the new millennium but I am very happy he remains physically and spiritually able to keep 'em coming.
    Three come to mind: Todd Rundgren, Steve Hackett, and for a shorter lifespan but more productive, Frank Zappa.

  17. #17
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    Just in case anybody missed it (I did until now), somebody posted a (now) rare live performance from March of this year. Weren't you there Zappathustra?


    Still playing his Washburn Woodstock 80's guitar, and there are some surprises in the set list...
    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhabreath View Post
    Just in case anybody missed it (I did until now), somebody posted a (now) rare live performance from March of this year. Weren't you there Zappathustra?


    Still playing his Washburn Woodstock 80's guitar, and there are some surprises in the set list...
    He played Athens Friday, Saturday, I was there on Friday, the video is from Saturday. I wish I could have attended both days - the Saturday night setlist was completely different and more to my taste. But I am not complaining: Peter is in superb form and we'll be seeing him again pretty soon I think. There's always audience for him in my country.

  19. #19
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    There's always audience for him in my country.
    Lucky you! I've been to beautiful Greece four times. Maybe he loves it like me.

    <edit> BTW, I don't recall PH using open tuning/re-tuning his guitar before as he did here on "Slender Threads" and a couple others. Has be been doing that all along and I simply wasn't paying attention or is this something new?
    Last edited by Buddhabreath; 6 Days Ago at 11:21 AM.
    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Buddhabreath View Post
    Lucky you! I've been to beautiful Greece four times.
    And if there is a fifth, you'll give us notice.

  21. #21
    Orange Tick Squasher Buddhabreath's Avatar
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    ^^^

    I will!
    The combined fortunes of the world's 26 richest individuals reached $1.4 trillion last year the same amount as the total wealth of the 3.8 billion poorest people.

  22. #22
    A genius and creator of possibly the only music that has genuinely scared me.
    When not wasting time here, wasting time at:
    historyofliverpool.com

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