10 Junio 2009

Mike Oldfield entrevistado en Telegraph

(Enviado por Soltero)

Mike Oldfield interview for the re-release of Tubular BellsMike Oldfield interview for the re-release of Tubular Bells


On the island of Bimini, a tiny half-forgotten spit of land in the Bahamas, Mike Oldfield and I are having breakfast. We are in the restaurant at a resort where the white-coated staff seem to outnumber the guests by about four to one; outside, in the pool, a couple of elderly Americans are flopping around. After a thundery start to the day, the sun is out, but the sunbeds are empty.

I have just asked him a question, and he has paused for such a long time that I am not sure if he has heard or understood it. Oldfield was a deeply troubled man for most of his twenties, beset by countless anxieties, terrors and phobias, drinking heavily to dull his hyper-sensitivity, reeling from the long-term effects of a bad LSD trip, and in a state of shock following the success of his groundbreaking debut album, Tubular Bells, now re-mixed and re-released. I am wondering, if he were able to go back and talk to his younger, tortured self, what he would say.

He digs into his breakfast and wipes his brow. Long pause. "I'd really have to think about that."

Another pause.

"Unfortunately, the things I would have to say would be not that positive."

More silence. Finally, some minutes later: "The biggest problems were to do with... well, to get that successful when you're so young, it attracts hangers-on, parasites, people who want to feed off you. I thought people actually liked me, but they actually liked my money."

Another pause.

"I'd probably say to my younger self, get yourself a whole collection of lawyers. Which is what I have now. I don't have any friends; I just have lawyers. At the last count I had about 15 different sets of them for all kinds of problems. And you can trust them because you're paying them. I know that sounds very negative, but that's the world we live in."

Then he gestures in the direction of the nearby marina, where his £3 million boat is moored, and brightens. "Also, I think I'd have told myself to get out on the water a lot sooner than I did, and not wait until I was 50 [he took to the ocean life a few years ago while living in Majorca]. There's still a lot of negative things, I suppose, but they're all made up for by the time when you're out there on the ocean, just looking; it makes it all worthwhile."

On board his smart vessel are his youngish wife, Fanny, his two young sons, aged five and one (he has nine children in total, by various partners – hence, he says, the lawyers), and their childminder. Soon they will be slipping out to sea and south towards Mexico, where a chain of islands beckons, and where Oldfield and his family plan to spend the winter.

As well as taking him to exotic locations, his boat satisfies a fascination with engines and mechanical things that began when Oldfield was a small boy making model aeroplanes with his dad, and which also expressed itself in the extraordinary mastery of recording technology that gave rise to Tubular Bells.

The story behind Oldfield's album is a remarkable one. By the early Seventies he had made a bit of a name for himself as a member of Kevin Ayers's touring band, but there was no inkling of the groundbreaking work that was to emerge intact from his feverish brain – "It was all in my head," he says.

But on the basis of some demos recorded on an ingeniously modified old tape recorder, he signed a deal with Richard Branson's nascent Virgin Records. Having cajoled his way into Branson's newly created Manor Studios, Oldfield recorded the bulk of the album in about a week, laboriously multi-tracking guitars and other parts, with a bit of help from session players and, famously, Viv Stanshall ("Plus... tubular bells!").

Although this was the age of prog-rock and experimentalism, nothing like it had been heard before: repetitive, hypnotic, multilayered, and with moments of transcendent spine-tingling beauty.

Released to muted praise, it caught on slowly, by word of mouth, and through radio airplay by DJs such as John Peel; helped along the way in 1974 when a section of it was used as the theme music to The Exorcist, it dominated the upper reaches of the album charts for years, and its largely wordless music propelled it to international success.

Oldfield was made – and was plunged into a spiralling vortex of mental anguish from which only now does he seem to be emerging. "I don't have the paranoia that I used to," he says as our waiter brings more coffee. "I suppose age does it. I'm not saying I'm turning senile, but when I was younger I had an incredible sensitivity; I suppose there were too many brain cells, or they were organised in the wrong way, and they've either reorganised themselves or I've lost lots of them through alcohol and substance abuse. I can get along without being terrified now. Maybe I've just got used to it."

Last year, Oldfield's 35-year deal with Virgin came to an end, Tubular Bells became his property again, and so he has remixed it and released it on Universal's Mercury label in various formats, including a handsome new "deluxe edition" box set containing the newly remastered version alongside the original mix, a fascinating booklet, and other curiosities.

The remixed version has come up like a restored Old Master, with details revealed which were buried in the mix, or behind the "hum" that Oldfield said was present throughout the tapes.

The remixing process brought back memories, both pleasurable and dark, of the recording process and its aftermath.

"To begin with, it brought back bad stuff, because I remembered how unhappy and terrified I was of life at the time. But the more I worked on it, the more I realised that it doesn't sound like that at all – it sounds like somebody who's totally confident; it's very, very uplifting. You'd never suspect that it was such a tortured soul who produced that.

"Everything on Tubular Bells was done on the first take – it was lovely, so spontaneous. I had such a long time to prepare it, and I had just one little chance to do it, and now I listen to it and it has a lovely spontaneous energy. It's got mistakes, and I could easily have cut them out, but I left them on.

Oldfield has made much more music in the intervening years, but to the world at large, beyond his international band of loyal followers, he will always be Mr Tubular Bells. And he betrays not a glimmer of resentment.

"If it was a horrible thing I was known for, like some horrible pop song, it would annoy me, but it doesn't. I'm proud of it."

Nor does he bear a grudge against the punk's revolutionary guards who lumped Oldfield in with all the other so-called rock dinosaurs and tried to consign him to musical history.

"Recently I was trying to work out exactly what punk is," he says, still puzzled after more than 30 years. "I was thinking about John Lydon, and I suddenly realised that he's a typical English eccentric, a bit like Patrick Moore, masquerading as this terribly dangerous nasty thing.

"So it doesn't bother me any more. Nothing bothers me any more. I'm just so grateful and astonished that I'm still respected and listened to. It's fantastic, isn't it?"

  • 'Tubular Bells' is out now in four versions: the standard edition, the deluxe edition, the vinyl edition and the ultimate edition.
  • More information at Tubular Bells 2009

Tubulina500 dijo:

Me da un poco de pena que Mike diga que "no tiene amigos, sólo abogados", pero supongo que habrá tenido mala suerte con el enjambre de parásitos que se le habrá ido pegando a lo largo de los años. Espero que no se haya retirado del todo y volvamos a escuchar alguna composición nueva, aunque sea como colaboración en discos de otros artistas.
Lo que no entiendo es lo de los nueve hijos; a mí me salen siete (3 con Sally Cooper, 2 con Anita Hegerland y 2 con Fanny). ¿?

s3ntin3l_ dijo:

alguien podria traducirlo entero al español????? plis plis!!

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