Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

13. David BedfordStar Clusters, Nebulae and Places In Devon

I got to know David when we were both playing with Kevin Ayres. His hobby was flying model aeroplanes and mine was, too. So we would go flying planes together. He was a great avant-garde composer. He was also interested in astronomy and he was fascinated by this whole concept of the light from stars taking hundreds of years to reach us and the notion of the light connecting us to these Bronze Age settlements from that time: the light being concurrent with the time at which these settlements were active. To put that into a piece of music was just so odd and so fantastic. We were on the road together for two or three years with the Kevin Ayres band. We were constantly on the road, in the same transit van going all over the place. It was exhausting. I didn’t actually work with David on his recording of The Orchestral Tubular Bells. I didn’t approve of that. I really didn’t want there to be an orchestral version. That was Richard Branson. He wanted me to go on tour to promote the album and I just wasn’t up to it. I had done this one concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall but he wanted me to tour the world. His answer to that was to make an orchestral version so that so that the album could tour, be played by different orchestras. So it was him who hired David and I wasn’t involved. Of course, I got my own back eventually with Amarok. [Oldfield, in response to ongoing lack of promotion for his work, inserted a section of morse code into his 1990 album that spelt out: "Fuck off RB."]


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