Sit back, relax, click the player and I shall tell you a story. A story of a young weasel who knew jack shit but who was trying to make his way in the world. It was Mrs Carbutt's semi-derelict student crash pad on Lindum Hill. Think Withnail, but shittier and not in Camden, but Lincoln. The Weasel was 17 years old. Mrs Carbutt hated students. I can understand why now, but then it was a mystery. We had to feed the gas meter with shillings, but then discovered we could rig the two bar electric fire up to a light socket and make toast that way. I shared a flat with someone who probably despised me, and was certainly a lot cooler and a lot more successful with girls, but we somehow managed. He strangled himself to death years later after having become enamoured of some kind of erotic fetish, and left a family behind. He is remembered by his friends even to this day, which is all you can ask of any friend. I used to get drunk in the Adam & Eve and then throw up by a lampost. In that way, I was able to squander my grant in the first few weeks of term, and then live on cornflakes and other peoples' tea and sympathy.
Then one day, I got an interview for Art College in Croydon.
The trouble is, I had no alarm clock. I had to catch a train at about six in the morning, so decided, as you do, to stay up all night to make sure. And so it was that the young teen set off, with his portfolio, to an new adventure. All night long I kept myself awake to the radio and this song played a couple of times during that long night. The song is not about Jesus (as Judee Sill would say to an audience) it was about a bandit and a heartbreaker.
Of those times, in many ways so rich and yet so uncomfortable, this song haunted me forever. Judee Sill is dead and gone. She had an unhappy and short life, not loved much and so confused about it all, but she left us a body of work that should be remembered and enjoyed.
Judee Sill - Jesus was a Crossmaker - produced by Graham Nash.