The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

Cover of the first edition

 

The Wind in the Willows is a children’s novel by Kenneth Grahame, first published in 1908. Alternately slow moving and fast paced, it focuses on four anthropomorphised animals in a pastoral version of England. The novel is notable for its mixture of mysticism, adventure, morality, and camaraderie and celebrated for its evocation of the nature of the Thames valley.

In 1909, Theodore Roosevelt, then President of the United States, wrote to Grahame to tell him that he had “read it and reread it, and have come to accept the characters as old friends”.

In addition to the main narrative, the book contains several independent short-stories featuring Rat and Mole. These appear for the most part between the chapters chronicling Toad’s adventures, and are often omitted from abridgements and dramatizations. The chapter “Dulce Domum” describes Mole’s return to his home, accompanied by Rat, in which, despite finding it in a terrible mess after his abortive spring clean, he rediscovers, with Rat’s help, a familiar comfort. The Piper at the Gates of Dawn tells how Mole and Rat search for Otter’s missing son Portly, whom they find in the care of the god Pan. (Pan removes their memories of this meeting “lest the awful remembrance should remain and grow, and overshadow mirth and pleasure”.) Finally in Wayfarers All, Ratty shows a restless side to his character when he is sorely tempted to join a Sea Rat on his travelling adventures.

 

Illustration by Arthur Rackham

 

The book was originally published as plain text, but many illustrated, comic and annotated versions have been published over the years. Notable illustrators include Paul Bransom (1913), Ernest H. Shepard (1933), Arthur Rackham (1940), Tasha Tudor (1966), Michael Hague (1980), Scott McKowen (2005), and Robert Ingpen (2007).

The Wind in the Willows was the last work illustrated by Arthur Rackham. The book with his illustrations was issued posthumously in a limited edition by the Folio Society with 16 color plates in 1940 in the US. It was not issued with the Rackham illustrations in the UK until 1950.

 

The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, frontispiece to a 1913 edition by Paul Bransom

 

The first album by psychedelic rock group Pink Floyd, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967), was named by former member Syd Barrett after chapter 7 of The Wind in the Willows,which contains a visionary encounter with the god Pan, who plays his pan pipe at dawn. It was one of Barrett’s favourite books, and he often gave friends the impression that he was Pan, that he was the Piper. The moniker was later used in the song Shine On You Crazy Diamond, in which Barrett is called “you Piper”. However, the songs on the album are not directly related to the contents of the book. Barrett came up with the album title The Piper at the Gates of Dawn; the album was originally titled Projection up to as late as July 1967.

 

Up-and-coming society photographer Vic Singh was hired to photograph the band for the album cover. Singh shared a studio with photographer David Bailey, and he was friends with Beatles guitarist George Harrison. Singh asked Jenner and King to dress the band in the brightest clothes they could find. Vic Singh then shot them with a prism lens that Harrison had given him. The cover was meant to resemble an LSD trip, a style that was favoured at the time.

 

Syd did his own little drawing on the back cover

 

The same chapter was the basis for the name and lyrics of Piper at the Gates of Dawn, a song by Irish singer-song writer Van Morrison from his 1997 album The Healing Game. The song The Wicker Man by British heavy metal band Iron Maiden also includes the phrase. British extreme metal band Cradle of Filth released a special edition of their album Thornography, called Harder, Darker, Faster: Thornography Deluxe; on the song Snake-Eyed and the Venomous, a pun is made in the lyrics “… all vipers at the gates of dawn” referring to Chapter 7 of the book.

 

To listen to Van Morrison’s rendition of this literary classic, please take a gander at The Genealogy of Style‘s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Genealogy-of-Style/597542157001228?ref=hl

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Metamorphosed Obsessions

 
 

Metamorphosis is the sixth album by California rock band Papa Roach. It was released on March 24, 2009. The album was originally planned to be titled Days of War, Nights of Love, which is a lyrical quote from the song No More Secrets on the band’s previous album, The Paramour Sessions. Subsequently, two songs on the album are titled Days of War and Nights of Love. The album was renamed to Metamorphosis to mark the band’s tenth anniversary of signing with DreamWorks Records in 1999 and all of the changes the band had experienced in that time. This is their first album to feature Tony Palermo on drums, after the departure of Dave Buckner.

Papa Roach was formed in 1993, as a funk rock and rap metal band. In 1997, Papa Roach released their first album, Old Friends From Young Years, though the album failed to get the band a record deal. Papa Roach release new demos in 1998, and a demo in 1999 featuring the songs, Last Resort, Broken Home, She Loves Me Not, Infest, and Dead Cell. Papa Roach toured in 1999; the band had an underground fan base in California. Due to the underground success of the 1999 demo that features, amongst other songs, Last Resort, Papa Roach were signed to DreamWorks Records.

 
 

 
 

In late of 1999 Papa Roach went to the studio to record Infest. Though many songs including Last Resort, Broken Home, Revenge, Dead Cell had already recorded, the band re-recorded them and made some changes to the lyrics. Broken Home deals with Jacoby Shaddix broken relationship with his father. Papa Roach decided what songs would appear on the album, though the band only wrote 3 songs for the album, Obsession, which would later renamed Between Angels And Insects, Blood Brothers and Never Enough. Papa Roach got Adam Goldstein to play DJ for some tracks including Snakes. Papa Roach were finally done recording the album by early 2000.

 
 

 
 

The video of Between Angels and Insects was directed by Joseph Kahn and features the band playing in a concrete basement/garage. The camera does several special effects like morph from angle to angle rapidly, show the band moshing in super slow motion and even passing through the band’s body, revealing their insides, effects that are reminiscent of the film version of Fight Club (David Fincher 1999), . Cockroaches appear on several occasions, even coming out of Jacoby Shaddix’s mouth when he screams.

The song’s lyrics feature numerous references to the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. A couple of lines in the song, “…working jobs that you hate for that shit you don’t need…”, “…the things you own, own you now…”, are taken directly from a speech by Tyler Durden in the film adaptation of the book. It also seems critical of consumerism, as the chorus lyrics include, “Take my money, take my possessions, take my obsession, I don’t need that shit…”.

The opening riff is similar to the main riff to the song Prowler, a song by the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden, from their self-titled album.

The band’s name comes from  Shaddix’s step-grandfather, Howard William Roatch, who was nicknamed Papa Roach. Roatch committed suicide in 2006 after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The band pay homage to him with The Paramour Sessions and during live performances of the song Roses On My Grave.