1. Almost a quarter-century after its first release, I watch a video for the Deep Purple album track “Mean Streak” off the “Perfect Strangers” record. It is a fairly run-of-the-mill performance video set in an orange, red and yellow autumn forest, though the video quality is outstanding. One thing is slightly off though: former Gillan basssist John McCoy, looking the age he is today, is sitting in the front of the stage. When the guitar solo comes, we don’t see Ritchie Blackmore playing it; instead, McCoy holds up an old transistor radio on which the solo is heard in a tinny, distorted sound quality. After that, the camera zooms out to reveal fewer and fewer musicians on stage. The song morphs into the album’s power ballad “Wasted Sunsets”.
Afterwards, I talk to singer Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover about the video. It is the present, but they both look like they did in 1984. I want to broach the subject of how John McCoy, with whom Gillan has not been on speaking terms since before the release of the album, ended up in the video (I guess there was no real reason to wonder why Blackmore wasn’t in it; that was just Blackmore being Blackmore). Instead, I ask them about “Wasted Sunsets” saying it is a much underrated song. Gillan thanks me but Glover says nothing. Gillan mentions that they wanted to play it on a recent Deep Purple tour, but current guitarist Steve Morse couldn’t get one of the licks right, so it ended up being played on the latest Gillan solo tour instead. The dream fizzles out.
2. I am in Trinidad & Tobago, having taken on my therapist’s offer of a vacation in a place she regularly stays in, in exchange for a simple favour: I have to go to the beach and read stories from a storybook to a cat. Initially, I want to skimp on that duty, taking just the (gorgeous) illustrations collected in a separate volume with me and improvising stories for the cat should it arrive, but the person behind the assignment is adamant that I take the storybook, and read the stories from it. The person trusts that the cat will arrive and listen to the stories.
Trinidad & Tobago is dirty and impoverished. The water isn’t drinkable and is poisoned with nitrogen. Swimming in it is also not encouraged, though some local children do. The sunshine is nice though, and walking down the slope from the house to the beach, and back, is decent exercise. In the house, I find some of the notes my therapist has taken about me, among the mess she has left in the bedroom – which I am quite sure is her mess and not mine. The dream fizzles out and I wake up.
Both dreams were very vivid and I can still remember them pretty well several hours later. The autumn forest in dream number one was beautiful – who said people only dream in black and white? I sure don’t. In the second dream, I could feel the tension in my stomach muscles from walking down the slope, exactly the way it feels in the waking world.
Bonus dreams: I actually had two other dreams that I still remember in part last night. Both involve running. In one of them, I was planning a trip to a running competition in Zuidwolde at short notice and not getting the schedule together (the competition would have been today, Sunday December 14). In the other, I am on a hiking trail with Aggie and her kids. Aggie is energetic, bouncing along ahead of us and occasionally speeding up into a run (in the dream, she has an excellent running technique). I point this out to Squirrel, her oldest and he shrugs it off.