On a strange day
in a life that’s becoming stranger
Myron is driving north of Kona
on a road bisecting the black lava landscape
when Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
comes on the radio,
and in no time at all he’s picturing himself
on a boat on a river
and marvelling for the first time
at that rhyme between
marmalade skies and kaleidoscope eyes;
not the skies and eyes
but the lade and leid
and just when his head
is filling with technicolor,
the black cloud, that’s sitting
on the mountains to the right,
moves across the sun
that’s shining on the blue ocean to the left
and the jumbled chunks of frozen black lava
that cover the landscape,
and suddenly the remaining light is sucked from the air
leaving everywhere
a dull monochrome.


This poem was published in The Galway Review a little while back but I thought it was worth bringing out again because of the recent anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper. The photos above are of the Beatles’ single featuring  Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane. My family got it’s first record player in the early sixties just when the Beatles and the rest of the British groups that formed the British Invasion were emerging. The first single we bought was “Needles and Pins” by The Searchers, a remake of a Jackie De Shannon song. My mom, older sister, older brother and myself would take turns every week to buy a record to build our collection. When I was back in Dublin a few years back for my dad’s funeral, I picked out the record shown above and a few others from our collection.  The sleeve has a picture on the front and on the back which was not typical at that time. Both songs were originally intended for the Sgt. Pepper album but were released early because they needed a single.

I can still remember hearing Strawberry Fields for the first time on the radio. The Beatles were busy spawning genres at the time but this was the strangest piece of music I had ever heard. It was and still is undefinable. Penny Lane wasn’t bad either.


10 thoughts on “Drive

  1. Tim

    Re Needles and Pins
    I remember listening to that record in your house, Jim!
    My first record was the Spencer Davis group. Still playing “washed my hands in muddy water” on the guitar 😂😂


    1. sdtp33 Post author

      Hi Tim…how’s it going? I remember you bought the second Spencer Davis album and I bought the first. The second was much better as you pointed out a number of times! Is that recording we made of “muddy waters “ still around? Must be priceless by now! Jim


      1. Tim

        Hi Jim,…I’m great thanks. Unfortunately that recording is no longer around. We had it in the vault along with Tom McAndrews version of G L O R I A AAA. We had it out years ago to be checked for water damage (from the rain) and it went missing from the repair shop. The investigation which followed proved fruitless. Bono was in town at the time, and it wasn’t long after that that U2 released an album. I’m not saying anything but I have my suspicions. Anyway it is probably prudent to remind you that I retain full ownership should the recording ever surface. So, how are you and Marie keeping?


      2. sdtp33 Post author

        Hi Tim, Marie and I are doing fine, still staying out late and wondering why we are tired in the morning. Talking of U2, I always thought I that played The Edge to your Bono, you know the talented guy behind the showy front man. Regarding ownership of the recording, my lawyer, a Mr. Giuliani will be contacting you.


      3. Tim

        Thanks for that, sdtp33.
        I think your analogy with The Edge and Bono is a bit slim. Whereas I always thought that the only difference between me and Bono was the fact that he has more hair, I think you would have to accept that the Edge knows more than 3 chords. You and Tom McAndrew were, as I recall then, 3 chord merchants and I have often wondered how people got through life knowing only 3 chords but I can see now that one avenue they can take is writing weird poetry where you dribble the words down the left hand margin. I have always stuck with the conventional format, using the available space in an environmentally friendly way but I have enjoyed reading your machu pichu and the post led to a photo of you in the Galway review.
        Regarding your lawyer, save your money and put it into your pension. He will never find me. I have moved 5 times since that jamming session with you and Tom McAndrew in my bedroom, and this email comes through a VPN in Siberia. I know this stuff, I watch NCIS.
        Anyway, you are looking great in the Galway photo, that’s good to see. My own poetic efforts are still a bit childish and not in the dribble poetry league…..
        There once was a poet named Jim
        Whose works were exceedingly slim…

        But that’s for another day


  2. sdtp33 Post author

    Thanks Tim…faint praise indeed. I have to note though that in a recent interview in Guitar Magazine, Adam Clayton revealed that The Edge can only play three chords, he uses a Yakinawa chord multiplier foot pedal and a flanged humbucker to create that signature U2 sound.



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