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Changeling : Mike Oldfield autobiography

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    Changeling : Mike Oldfield autobiography

    In lieu of Trevor Horn's memoir bein' released in October, my son got me this 2007 book for Father's Day.
    Have read a few reviews online. The early chapters are about his panic attacks and his childhood with insights Oldfield reveals. Mainly to do with his introverted/ auto-didactic personality and his Mother's mental illness and barbiturate addiction to treat it.

    Now the openin' chapter describes a therapy EST session where he relives the trauma of his birth. I remember doin'somethin' similar in the early eighties. It was quite trendy. Personal development. Catharsis. Explorin' childhood trauma. Bein' in a conference room at some hotel with total strangers breakin' down. All middle class folks. Total tosh led by charlatans, unqualified. A good cry does make you feel better I spose but there was a lot of cod psychology.

    Mike was in a lovin' home. Family holidays. Buildin' models with his Dad. Discoverin' musical instruments. It's a lot more personal and touchin' than say Steve Howe's memoir which was dry and factual. Oldfield describes a feelin' of yearnin'about the world he found expression in music. I spose I could say the same thing about drawin' and paintin'.

    It's funny how much I relate to Oldfield. Introverted. Half Irish. Half English. Catholic schoolin'. Youngest child of sister and brother. Except he strums when I would draw.This year as well I discovered his extensive catalogue. Ommadawn I knew and loved from listenin' at a friend's house. Hergest Ridge, a demure beauty. TB3 a favourite with Bollywood flavors my wife loves, Music of the Spheres, a triumph. Then the songs, a hoot.

    Hopefully he gives insights into them all. Oh. And you know you're a Yesfan when you first look up the index for a mention of Jon Anderson. Heeeheeee. He's on page 106..


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    Last edited by Gilly Goodness; 09-16-2022, 10:47 PM.

    #2
    Yep. Finished the book. Bit unnerved to be honest. Accordin' to Oldfield he has struggled with manic depression and panic attacks for most of his life. Fearin' for his mother's sanity and wellbein'. He expressed his mental state furiously with TB. Then found solace and seclusion with HR. Then triumph and self-satisfaction with Ommadawn. Then his mother dies. He was 21.

    That was a shock to know he had been a full time muso since he was 15 and able to leave school. A tortured genius. Yes. But not in a Hollywood sense. More a mundane week in week out existance of loneliness and exclusion only to be comforted by music and alcohol. It's a constant throughout the book.

    Fame and fortune allowed him to buy houses and build studios all the while not tourin' or promotin'. A few gigs he felt didn't work out. Branson always urgin' him on. Another TB. More success and money.

    So the EST episode comes along and Oldfield sincerely believes it changes everythin' for him. A burden has been lifted. He comes out of his shell. He becomes more social. Overcomes his fear of flyin'. Travellin'. Though he fears his talent came from the angst he experienced. Overtime he learns to create again.

    Particularly proud of Amarok. Platinum. The songs by Maggie Reilly, Moonlight Shadow etc. He mentions Jon Anderson only in regard to his belief in fairies. Trevor Horn gets a mention for production duties. He doesn't go in for commentin' on other artists or their music. He lived in a kind of bubble. Loved Sibelius. Never mentions if he knew about Anderson's shared love.

    So book ends in 2008 with him hopin' to do a full orchestra piece. Music of the Spheres apparently. He's also got a new wife. 3. Or 4. Not much more said. He knew he had trouble with relationships and like Steve Howe. It just might be English reticence. A biographer may dig deeper one day. Lives in the Carribean now. Seems balanced and and healthy. A simple soul who loves pub grub and Guinness, folk music and classical, an amazin' ability to express and see emotion in music.

    A young genius who found fame early without the inner strength to embrace it. But stubbornly continued to create. And use ancient technologies. There was a reason why many hands were needed sometimes on the faders on an old mixin' desk.

    Like Kate Bush and Jon Anderson. An English eccentric. Gifted with incredible mathematical powers to play complex arrangements. A tax exile celebrated by Danny Boyle at the 2012 London Olympics. A national treasure happy to play with model gliders up on Hergest Ridge with his Irish Wolfhounds.
    Last edited by Gilly Goodness; 09-18-2022, 09:30 PM.

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