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An Open Letter to Steeleye Span

Claire M 25 Nov 13 - 03:32 PM
Brian May 25 Nov 13 - 06:00 PM
Betsy 25 Nov 13 - 07:25 PM
GUEST,BigDaddy 26 Nov 13 - 01:19 PM
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Subject: An Open Letter to Steeleye Span
From: Claire M
Date: 25 Nov 13 - 03:32 PM

Dear Steeleye,

I know you are a band, not a person but I find this way easier.

Off to your gig on Fri. I didn't think you could disappoint me, & you haven't. I almost wished you would, then I wouldn't find this so hard. I've had favourites who sooner or later released albums I didn't really like.
My dad took me to one of your gigs. I didn't know your proper names, what you looked like, who was in the band @ any given time, let alone whether you were still performing –- nor did I care. All I knew was that you said funny words, that one of you was a lady called Maddy Prior, and that I thought you lot were brilliant.

Dad took me to one of your gigs. Memories of a tiny, very short little girl living inside her own head, singing along to songs where torrents of blood poured out of people when they died in horrible pain, who saw Maddy Prior as a sort of confidante (we'd have long "conversations", she could take away pain w/ her voice, she'd teach me spells, which I loved to learn, & she would glare @ me w/ her steely eyes when she was cross w/ me– I was a very strange child) suddenly hit me – but memories of a teen refusing opportunities, kicking up a fuss at a concert full of trad songs, ruining it for everyone, hit me 10x harder. I felt torn in two & I sat & howled my eyes out.

When I saw Maddy afterwards, in "earthly flesh & blood" I nearly weed myself. Thankfully she
was really nice & patient w/ me.

Imagine how pleased I was when I found there were 20 more albums!! My enthusiasm for life began to come back. I moved house & started soaking up folklore books, writing fantasy and wearing the bright, floaty dresses & long earrings I used to love. It was very rare I didn't play your music –- when it was on, nothing bothered me.
As I'm always saying, I couldn't stop once I'd started. It was as if I needed it. I'd look forward to your gigs for literally months. 'Gaudete' was a favourite, which a flatmate who became a good friend used to play when I got anxious. I loved listening to you. It was a strange choice for my age, so I only discussed you w/ older people. It's not that I was embarrassed – I wasn't any more – there was simply no point.

At yet another gig, as Maddy yelled out her grief & woe & her unrequited love, I continued to cry. My mouth was dry from crying but I shook so much I could hardly manage to hold my pint.
As she prowled the stage, growling out the lyrics to a particular song about a certain wild animal, my ♥ pounded to the sound of a screaming gui– *violin??!!* – *That* was a * violin* ??!! , I started to question things about myself I'd brushed off before. This earned me a lot of teasing, but I didn't care – still don't.

I found Terry Pratchett via you. When I found the Wintersmith trilogy so I could make sense of your latest cd, something clicked – it was as if he'd known me. I only wish Discworld was real so I could live there. Then I read that your fiddle player wanted to leave – & indeed would when this tour ended.

Most of my previous favourite bands had split before I was even born-- key members leaving usually sounds their death knell -- so I wasn't really bothered that I never got to see them live. I know you can't carry on for good and you're going to have to wear midnight – as the song says -- one day, whether you find a replacement or not, – but if this gig shall be your last, Steeleye, please make it a good one. I know people go through a lot worse but that doesn't make it easier.

I just wish I hadn't realised how much I loved you too late – as per bloody usual!.

Thank you so much!.
Time I was away.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Steeleye Span
From: Brian May
Date: 25 Nov 13 - 06:00 PM

Yep, since I introduced Tim Hart and Maddy Prior at Ashley House Folk Club in Bognor Regis in 1969 ish, they have given me pleasure - in all their iterations.

Especially the Steeleye flavour.
   
Thank you for the music - as the song goes . . .


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Steeleye Span
From: Betsy
Date: 25 Nov 13 - 07:25 PM

Maddy is a truly lovely lady - as is her "Silly Sister " June Tabor.
Both are an absolute credit to Music in the UK and further afield.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Steeleye Span
From: GUEST,BigDaddy
Date: 26 Nov 13 - 01:19 PM

I discovered the magic of Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention and Pentangle in my late 'teens and early twenties, and they, along with others, have sustained me over the past 40-plus years. I've had the good fortune to see Steeleye twice, Fairport once (when Sandy Denny was still with us) and John Renbourn and Jacqui McShee. Unfortunately for those of us in the "States," most of this lot have ceased touring here. So thankfully we have CDs, LPs, and now YouTube to keep the good stuff alive. A hearty thank you to Steeleye and all their musical kin for so many years of enjoyment.


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