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Baker's Dozen

Songs Of Praise: David Keenan's Baker's Dozen
Jennifer Lucy Allan , December 2nd, 2020 09:46

Jennifer Lucy Allan hears about high-fiving Edgar Froese, frightening the neighbours, disavowing the devil and how Scottish author David Keenan is all about saying yes. Portrait by Heather Leigh.


Tangerine Dream – ‘Ultima Thule’ 7”
Probably my favourite 7" of all time, this sums up everything I like about music: Incredibly massive heavy drones; a slightly freeform improvised freakout, and mad bombast. In the 1990s when I was living in London my girlfriend was the producer of the John Peel show. Into Radio One comes these backstage passes for John Peel to see Tangerine Dream at Shepherds Bush Empire. Peel didn't want to see them, not by then, and he gave them to my girlfriend.

The gig was so bad. Edgar Froese had his son with him and they did a 35-minute instrumental cover version of 'Eleanor Rigby' to a backdrop of his son driving a Porsche in the desert, it looked like an Athena poster. At the end Edgar Froese asks for silence, and says, 'we've got a very important guest with us tonight, I want everyone to give a standing ovation to Mr John Peel!' So everyone looks towards us in the balcony and starts clapping. We just stood up and clapped as well.

So then backstage there's no sign of Froese or anyone. Everyone's drinking champagne in these long flutes, really cheesy vibe. Then a door opens at the far end of the dressing room, and Froese walks in, big 'tache, mad hair, wearing some massive 80s padded suit, and I thought fuck it, this is my one chance. As he walked past me I raised my hand, and he high-fived me so hard, without looking at me, and walked straight by. It was a baptism – an initiation into rock.