Monday, October 10, 2011

Music Monday ~ Midge Ure ~ Bert Jansch

A Scottish two-parter today ~

Happy Birthday Midge Ure ! His real name is James/Jim Ure, "Midge" being Jim backwards, phonetically. He was born on 10 October 1953 in Cambuslang, Scotland at 8:30 am (Astrodatabank).

He's an all-rounder: pays guitar, keyboards, is both vocalist and songwriter. He co-wrote, with Bob Geldorf, the famous charity hit Do They Know It's Christmas, to raise money for relief of the famine in Ethiopia in 1984.
He has done a goodly amount of charity work in the UK and Africa, co-orgainising TV charity specials Band Aid, Live Aid and Live 8 with Bob Geldof, and acting as trustee for the charity. He also serves as ambassador for Save The Children.

Ure has played and sung in several different bands from the 1970s on, best-known : Visage, Thin Lizzy and Ultravox. When Ultravox disbanded he pursued a solo career.

A recovering alcoholic (par for the course, I guess), he still tours solo, or occasionally with a band. Lives in the south-west of England with second wife and their three daughters.

Sun, Neptune and Saturn close together in Libra the sign ruled by Venus, planet of the arts. Neptune's creativity and imagination feeds into his songwriting ability, Saturn includes discipline enough to balance Neptune's dreaminess and potential for addiction of some kind. His Saturn in this position will strengthen his resolve to remain a recovering alcoholic, and never to slip "off the wagon". Venus and Mars conjoined in Virgo is another indication of a love of order and discipline, which, along with his natal Saturn placement will have helped him to stay sobre and overcome addiction.

Scorpio rising, with Moon and Mercury in that sign in first house of self indicates a passionate, emotional and determined personality, not easily swayed from his goals.

His good works probably link back to his Libra Sun. Libra loves balance, his charity work is his attempt to bring some sorely needed balance to the under-privileged of this world.

Last week, commenter Sabina asked me to feature Bert Jansch, Scottish acoustic guitarist, who died last week on 5 October, aged 67.

From a Washington Post obituary:

He was quiet, modest, uncomfortable in the spotlight — not looking for No. 1 hits or commercial ditties. But when Bert Jansch picked up an acoustic guitar, people listened, often spellbound by his subtle innovation and mastery.....a virtuoso, hailed by the likes of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page, Canadian rocker Neil Young and Johnny Marr of the Smiths as a force to be reckoned with, and learned from.

Bert Jansch is acknowledged to have influenced and inspired a generation of rock guitarists, has died at the age of 67, it is announced Wednesday Oct. 5, 2011. Jansch was a founding member of the influential folk-rock group Pentangle with whom he gave his last public performance at the Royal Festival Hall in London in August 2011. Known for his gentle eloquence on the acoustic guitar, Jansch died in London Wednesday after a long battle with lung cancer...... He was at the center of the British folk revival of the late 1960s and early 1970s at a time when British music — led by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who — dominated much of the pop world.
“I don’t know anyone who had less of a sense of celebrity. He was always very self-effacing and critical adulation was completely irrelevant to him,” Houghton said.
Folk singer Eddi Reader called Jansch “a gentle, gentle gentleman.”

From Rolling Stone
Without Bert Jansch, rock music as it developed in the 1960s and 1970s would have been very different. You hear him in Nick Drake, Pete Townshend, Donovan, the Beatles, Jimmy Page and Neil Young. There are people playing guitar who don't even realize they've been influenced by him one step removed.

This isn't one of those "obvious" charts where something immediately stands out as representing what we know of its owner. Sun and Mercury in passionate Scorpio connect to parts of Bert Jansch's nature of which we perhaps were not aware. The Bert Jansch as described above, by those "in the know", is more identifiable from his quietly capable Capricorn Moon, and Venus (planet of the arts) in perfectionist Virgo. Moon and Venus in Earth signs seem to match the musical genre to which he was drawn - folk. Folk music is earthy - isn't it?

There's a Yod (Finger of Fate) in his chart with its apex at Moon in Capricorn, linked by to 150* aspects (known as quincunx) to sextiled planets: flamboyant Jupiter in Leo, and a rather serious, disciplined Saturn and Mars in lively communicative Gemini. A blend of opposites - flamboyance and discipline - being chanelled through solid, reliable, Earthy Capricorn.

RIP Bert Jansch.

Here he plays Angie - said by a commenter at YouTube to be "a tune which was very popular with guitar players on the folk scene in the 1960s. If you could play this you were a 'made man' "

and with Pentangle: Light Flight in 1970 - then later..

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