Andy Martin’s prog-rock/avant garde/difficult to label music group Unit have re-recorded The Wasteland for their forthcoming album (release date as yet unknown). Martin wrote the song many years ago, but it wasn’t suitable for his group at the time, The Apostles, so it was recorded with the remnants of The Joy of Living, the band I was in at the time and it appeared on our joint e.p. (see this entry for details). Andy has sent me an MP3 of the track and while it’s utterly different from that version, with some ethereal lead and backing vocals and different instrumentation, it’s still almost instantly recognisable. I am extremely fond of both versions and Andy says the new version is closer to what he originally had in mind. The band has also been generous enough to dedicate the track to myself, drummer Yvette Haynes and singer Sharon Cooper, a very touching gesture.
And for a heavy but essential read, try Andy’s recently published account of English comprehensive school life during the 1970s, Faded Fragments of Distant Dreams. Anyone who suffered at the hands of bullying ‘classmates’ or teachers during their school years will find parts of this tome shudderingly familiar. These things need to be documented, but it’s taken a braver person than I’ll ever be to set these stories down.