Zounds 1978 The Bird Of Bob

This is a song called The Bird Of Bob recorded at my final gig with Zounds in June 1978. The recording quality is a little rough, but it does pick up as the piece goes on. The song is one that I wrote in late 76 early 77. At the time I wrote it I thought I was writing a kind of surreal fantsy odyssey about the very very long walks that we frequently took in the woods. There often seemed to be a quality of the mystical quest about these walks, as if we were looking for something.

As the months went by though I realised that it wasn't as if I was looking for something. I really had been looking for something. I had in the intervening months, been exposed to Mysticism through the music of Gong, Daevid Allen, Steve Hillage, Can, The Incredible String Band, The Grateful Dead, The Beach Boys and many others. I knew that if there really was a higher Consciousness then I had to find it. And somehow I just knew that there was a higher Consciousness.

The original Zounds group was Steve Lake on Bass and vocals, Jimmy Lacey on drums, and myself on guitar and vocals. After our first gig we added Nick Godwin on guitar. Really, I think of the four of us as the original group. Nick is one of the best guitar players I've ever worked with. Unique, inventive, rhythmic, and alive. Jimmy was fantastic too, fast, powerful, and yet subtle. Steve was powerful, creative, and held it all together. His deep character gave our music a kind of breadth and solidity.

Steve and I put the Band together really, and in many ways we fronted things. We wrote the songs and sang them. We'd been friends for six years by 1978, so knew each other pretty well. We'd been jamming together all that time. We knew how to jam and how to make music work. All four of us had lived together in a house in Oxford, so we all had a kind of bond. We had been jamming all the time in Oxford.

This recording has Nick playing the lead guitar parts during the singing, and then for the first part of the jam. Then I start playing lead about four minutes into the piece. The jam then grooves on and goes through different moods. It's really snappy and alive. Really Nick and Jimmy are fantastic here the way they create these grooves. We had of course rehearsed the song, but the jam is totally unrehearsed. I still love this recording nearly thirty three years later.
  Words & Music © Steve Burch