The photo above was taken by Kasia Rose Hrybowicz, my Daughter.
A woman growing older in the 21st century
I have recently Published my first book. I have become addicted to the writing. I have written many songs and poems in my life, but a book is a milestone. I had limited education and left a Secondary Modern School just before my 15th Birthday, with not a single GCE, as they were in 1959, to my name, but I could read, a gift to me from me at a very young age. I was educated by books, music, extraordinary people and the Radio.
Look for more detail on the Home Page.
A track called Skin-side out
Photo Carol Grimes
Skinside Out ©
On the skin, human skin. Skin side out
Shssssss don’t look ……
Inside out, the skin is inside out.
Outside the skin are other eyes,
see those eyes, see those eyes looking for the inside.
close the eyes, hide, hide from the eyes, on the outside looking in.
skin side out, the skin is inside out
Inside out, the skin is inside out.
outside is everything, outside is everyone,
outside is too hot, outside is too cold,
inside lies the unborn,
outside is dying. skin side out, the skin is inside out.
Outside in, you can impale a heart, break a heart.
outside confusion, hullabaloo out of you, out of mind, and out there.
inside lie shadows to hide in, inside out
Outside the skin is out there.,
outside the skin is out there. let me in.
I’m out here let me in, I’m out here. skin side out, the skin is inside out.
Outside in, within the walls of skin and bone,
intestines coil and spit sits behind the teeth and lips,
bile in the spleen squeezes in between the cracks on the scars on the skin
inside it is warm, and red blood pumps life inside beating, beating.
Outside in lies the wind, a howl in the ears appearing to pierce the skin
drum the skin, inside in, the heat on concrete burns the skin
inside through a split in the face, I need ice to freeze the disease.
Photo below , Sheila Burnette, 1985
Playing the cards.
I was born in 1944.
I don’t like this getting old malarky, however, lucky me! Every day a bonus. (unless it is a bad day and I feel like a turd) I dislike, even more, ageism, indeed, any form of discrimination. I dislike cliques, people who exclude, the meanness of spirit that goes with all of that. I dislike snobbery, the class system, I dislike greed and avarice, I dislike hatred and War. I dislike those who shun people with mental health problems and disability. I could go on?
My generation is slowly leaving, one by one by a hundred and more, the War Babies and the post-war baby boomers are cutting loose to God knows where? My growing up years, my young womanhood, were spent in a ragbag way. Bedsits in Earls Court, the edges of Fulham, North Kensington, spates of homelessness, sofa sleeping, sleeping bags, until I settled for a while in London W2 near Portobello Road in 1966. That was when Portobello Road was called ‘The Lane ‘ and everybody knew everybody else, or imagined they did. The smell of those times still lingers occasionally, an old forgotten door momentarily ajar, Joss Sticks and Patchouli Oil, Weed and Hashish, Mick’s Cafe and The Apollo Pub on the All Saints Road, a sound check in Amsterdam or Stockholm, San Francisco or Bolton or Lancaster, Hamburg or Krakow.
I always felt that the Hippy life was not for me. I had intended to be a Beatnik, a Daughter of the Fifties artistic revolution, wearing 501 red tag Levis and black sweaters, with a cigarette on the go, preferably French. In my bag, the obligatory book of Poetry, Miles Davis on the Dansette Record Player in my own pad somewhere in Central London, Paris or New York.
I fell in Love with Jeanne Moreau and Miles Davis, Marc Chagalle and Charles Mingus. I fell in love with Striped Breton T-shirts and 501 Levi Jeans, Gingham red and white check shirts, black Jumpers and red lipstick Berets and Funky Boots. I read Poetry and books, devouring them, not always understanding the words and meanings, I read George Orwell, and was alive in 1984! He was right.
But! I love, love, love a lot of things in our lives, on our Planet Earth
On Sexism ©
I have had both luck & misfortune in my time… The luck to have had two wonderful children a Girl and a Boy, the luck to have found a means of self-expression, I could sing, I could put words together and make songs and it fed me & my Kids…. me and my heart, singing for a roof over our heads and our suppers. The luck to have worked with both great male Musicians and as the late 1970s arrived there were more women appearing on the scene…Loverly. Some images of my loves below.
No longer the lone woman in the Pack. Few of the men, the musicians took advantage of me..on the road, far from my Home…long hours in studios. I met many men who were pretty free with their mouth, often in a highly sexist manner, but they rarely physically harmed or harassed me…or took liberties. You could say it was the laddish mindset of the times…no excuse, it was the 50s & the 60s, not a very enlightened time.
I reckon that is in part why I never settled with anybody or anywhere too long. Those who didn’t care for me and told me that I would end up slapping Butter and slicing Cheese on a marble slab in a back street Grocer Shop, they have to bite or hold or their tongues and that is not a good thing to do. It hurts like Hell and tongues are like wriggling eels if you try to hang on to them. The Grocers shops and marble slabs have vanished.
We dwell in a different world now, Internet and High-Speed Train, Mobile Phone and out of Town Shopping Centers. Twitter and Facebook, Linkedin, Whatsapp Skype, Messenger, Text, Online Dating, Online Shopping, Online Banking, Spotify, Soundcloud youtube, more films and tracks, cats and dogs that you ever listen to or watch in seven lifetimes. Hive, Alexa Pandora and the Smart boxes, Robots, and Uncle Tom Cobley and all.
What a palaver. A brand new face on a new neck above new breasts if you can afford or want the Surgeon’s Knife, skin peeling, botox, tattoos, plastic nails, false eyelashes, on and on… 20th and 21st Century life.
My take on the ‘Me to’ Debate… Yes, me too.
Recently, we have been finding out about the rampant abuse, like no one knew? DJs, of the old Radio kind, BBC! The record company chiefs & managers, the A & R Guys, the agents, the producers and the man on the street… We must not vilify every man for the appalling behaviour of some. Similarly, I was vilified by other feminists during the 70’s when I was working hard, singing at benefits and raising awareness about female and racial inequality, let alone homophobia.. young men and boys in those days were at the same risk of abuse from predatory men.
Particularly for the Gay community and vulnerable young people new to City ways. I was on the music scene as an inexperienced fledgling from1964/5 and that speaks for its self, I was out in the world alone from the age of 15.. it was a cruel corrupt business, however, whenever a promoter or agent cornered me in a dressing room or backstage, it wasn’t very long before one or more of the lovely musicians I worked with would wade in, making it very clear that it wasn’t appropriate behaviour. And yes, I was sometimes in very precarious situations, far from home and sometimes, close to home, and I was attacked, verbally and physically.
I weep for all those women and we must not forget, Men, who have been abused both, on the so-called casting couch, ‘suck on this and you will have fame…. ‘ defenceless and vulnerable young people often afraid of being pushed out in into wilderness if they didn’t comply, failure. This furore over the Hollywood practice of powerful and rich film moguls is not new. The scandal of the BBC personalities was covered up for many years despite being reported often. As human beings, both men and women must learn to speak up. Tough, as I well know, nobody listened or believed me as a child and then a young woman. The Men who abused me in my adult life were the Deal makers and breakers, the men with power and the cheques, the power to lift you into the world of fame and fortune, or not!
The vilification came because at the time I was in my 20’s, a single mother with a boy child. I was told on a few occasions when asked to sing at women-only festivals and benefit gigs, that I could not bring my son, aged 5/6/7/8, which is an attitude that will only extend the lack of male respect towards women. I wanted to raise a very different sort of young man and I was successful.
The luck I spoke of, lay in the ability and the privilege I have been given, singing, music and writing about my own experiences whilst the horrendous and cruel mistreatment of people in our world, the darkest side of Human Nature, continues. Yours in love and respect Carol Grimes
Below is the inner label of an album released on the Virgin label Caroline….1972
A track of mine included without my knowledge. A cover I would never have wanted. The naked women with a Guitar not any singer on the CD.