Friday, 6 July 2007

Loving Angels In Bed...

'Oddball rocker' Robbie Williams has guested on these pages on more than one occasion. All the way back in January we noted the latest addition to his impressive body art collection: an Eye of Horus; and asked then what this particular selection indicated about the astral links being forged by the famously troubled star. Then in April we noted the weird timing of his last stay in rehab: synchronised, almost to perfection, with the demise of chanteuse Britney Spears and the release of his poorly-performing 'She's Madonna' single. (The curse of the Mummy?)

Now he's back on your screen, declaring his love for Jesus and other semi-strange things. Of course, Robbie has been honing his 'weird' act- an almost compulsory adjunct of the celebrity existence- for years now; we got bored of it over here which is why, sensibly, he lives in LA. But there was at least one line from an earlier nadir, the She's Madonna video, which struck me then and now as quite genuinely strange- in rather a good way- and perhaps the nearest thing to authentic disclosure that can be expected from the self-doubting piece of merchandise that Robbie has, reluctantly, become.

Over instrumental flourishes, Robbie- kitted out in incongruous drag- recites lines allegedly drawn from real-life therapy. 'At one point, when all these worlds and people that are inside me- and each other, cos I'm not the only one that's got multiple personalities- when all these worlds collide, and the jumbo cataclysm happens... [Smiles] Watch out, cos it's gonna be quite an afternoon.'

Watch the video here, if you like.

It was this sense of the struggling Indigo, wrestling to integrate the human and non-human parts of his personality, that he emphasised on a recent album cover: Intensive Care. (We could talk for hours about this image alone.) And then there was the well-titled, and vastly lucrative Close Encounters tour, which not only broke ticketing records but effectively spelled out Robbie's apparent certainty that we are not alone. What follows is cribbed from an article by journalist Wil Marlow:

'As you may have guessed from the title, the Close Encounters tour has an alien theme. The stage set is designed to look like a spaceship by tour producer Lee Lodge, along with set designer and architect Ray Winkler, who has worked with The Rolling Stones and Tina Turner.

"We wanted the stage to look like a huge alien contraption that had landed in the middle of the stadium," says Ray. "It stems from Robbie's obsession with aliens and all things extra-terrestrial. The geometry of the stage set is built around circular motifs - resembling crop circles."

The beginning of the show starts with the musical notes from Close Encounters Of The Third Kind as well, with Robbie bursting out on to the stage to the power pop blast of hit single Radio.'

(You can get a good idea of what the set looked like here, taken from a documentary of the tour entitled, fittingly, Robbie Williams: We Are Not Alone.) From Wikipedia, we learn that the musical theme alluded to above, 'the five tones that the UFO plays back and forth with the humans, is re - mi - do - do (octave lower) - sol. These tones all lie on a major pentatonic scale.' Interestingly, this five note theme boasts patronage from a very high source: it is used as a cosmic greeting card by no less an agency than the United States government, in its official SETI-programme.

In these regards, Robbie is simply the latest in a distinguished line of rock and roll stars with a keen interest in extra-terrestrial phenomena. We've already essayed a few of those here (or at Battling the Behemoth.) In this post we referred to Mick Jagger's claim to have spotted a UFO in the skies over Altamont during the Stones' infamous concert there in 1969. We also refer to what must rank as the best compendium of the many correspondences between rock music and alien activity: Michael C Luckman's well-researched tome, Alien Rock. In that book we discover that the undisputed doyen of cosmic rock stars, as well as one of the very finest musicians, is Jimi Hendrix; who was once interred beneath a giant flying-saucer sculpture commissioned by the guitarist's father at Greenwood Cemetry in Seattle.

In that same city we find the Experience Music Project, designed by the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen, intended as an alternative to Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame- already identified as a possible 'Talisman of the One World Religion', in this article from March. Drawing a nice association between the twin fields of popular music and ETs, Luckman observes that:

'Soon to occupy part of the premises is a state-of-the-art Science Fiction Experience museum separately bankrolled by Allen to the tune of $20million. Flying saucers and aliens from the 1950s era of classic films and television shows will take their place alongside props from Hollywood's latest multi-million dollar sci-fi epics. Captain Kirk's original command chair from the Star Trek TV series will again bask in the spotlight. A Jimi Hendrix museum will be sharing space with flying saucers and extraterrestrials from out-of-this-world movies like The Day The Earth Stood Still and Earth vs. the Flying Saucers. Is somebody up there trying to tell us something?'

For more on these subjects, keep watching this space... Literally.


Michael said...

Nice to see my home town make TDB. Allen is a devout Trekkie - his venture capitol firm is named Vulcan Ventures which resonates both aliens and the Roman God of fire, iron and arms, and perhaps... Tubal-Cain.

BTB said...

Thanks Michael,

Tuban-Cain, the name rings bells but it's late... Masonry? Vulcan, too, is the consort of Venus; and thus linked to Lucifer.

Thanks, too, for your recent e-mails. I will be in touch shortly... I've been busy, as you can see.

All the best,

Michael said...

Yes, a Masonic ancestor held in high esteem - a builder of cities, armies and empire. Love your recent posts, and the new icon.


BTB said...

Thanks Michael, I appreciate that.

Yes, I thought you might like the new icon. Funnily enough I discovered it whilst Google-searching under 'Mystical Rose': important words with close connection to Fatima.

For whatever reason, it seems to sum up the space I'm presently inhabiting... Make of that what you will!