THE NATURE OF THE eBEAST DECEMBER 2005
— RELEASES IN THE PIPELINE
— CAMEL AT AMAZON.COM
— A PERSPECTIVE FROM SUSAN HOOVER
Greetings Camel Trackers,
This will be the last of CP’s 2005 eBeast newsletters. We’re all enjoying a short break now and we’ll be back on 3rd January, when Highly Collectable’s merchant shop will reopen.
But before this year’s end, Emma, Harry, Sean and I wanted to send everybody our very personal wish of peace and goodwill.
RELEASES IN THE PIPELINE
We also want to let you know what’s in the pipeline. CP is working on obtaining the necessary licenses to release 1976 and 1977 live recordings as a whole. As soon as the agreement and the licensing fees are sorted, and manufacturing is underway, we’ll open for our preorders. We’ll let you know when we’re ready.
CP is also giving every effort to releasing, on DVD, Total Pressure, the full concert recorded at London’s Hammersmith Odeon, portions of which are contained on Pressure Points. Previously released on VHS, Total Pressure was, for a time, out of print. CP once again has the rights to release this great concert, including the unreleased tracks that were allegedly erased by PolyGram shortly after Pressure Points had been released. We continue to say allegedly because we live in hope that, one day, these tracks will be discovered in some attic or basement in a London borough. It still seems unbelievable that the tracks were erased, but that is what PolyGram informed the band back in 1985 and they have yet to be found. It’s pure luck that the band had copies. And if you’re wondering why the tracks weren’t included originally, it was because Decca and PolyGram thought the footage was too dark. While darker than the rest (stage lighting was brightened during the show), it is still superb footage of some great tracks. Total Pressure is the entire concert and doesn’t have the extra visuals included on Pressure Points.
More details to follow in the New Year.
CAMEL AT AMAZON.COM
CP has linked with Amazon.com to enable fans to purchase, via one-click, much of Camel’s back catalogue and, the band will earn a little money from each sale. CP emphasizes ‘a little money’, as that’s not the object. All recordings prior to 1991 (Dust and Dreams) are owned by Decca Records/Universal Records (the one exception being the first Camel album on MCA which is also owned by Universal now), and can’t be offered directly by CP without a license agreement. With so many titles, this isn’t possible, so CP is pleased to be able to offer the next best thing: a reliable source for purchase.
You can’t combine any purchases at Highly Collectable’s shop with purchases at Amazon. Any order you place through Amazon.com is filled and shipped by Amazon.com. Once you order from them, you’ll be dealing directly with them. Of course, we hope you’ll do the majority of your shopping with us before you click through to Amazon to get those titles CP is unable to offer. For a list of titles offered at Amazon click here.
That’s it from The Merchanteers. Thanks to you all for allowing us to keep our jobs. We’re looking forward to seeing you next year.
Paris, Emma, Harry and Sean.
A PERSPECTIVE FROM SUSAN HOOVER
As many of you know, there is a track on Harbour of Tears titled The Hour Candle. Andrew wrote this track shortly after the death of his father, Stan Latimer, in 1993. He called it The Hour Candle because we lit a small candle, in his memory, which burned for almost an hour. During the hour, we would sit with the candlelight and reminisce the good — and not so good — times that all families have. We would cry. We would laugh. Sitting with a little flame for this little hour gave us both enormous comfort. It seemed to bring Stan into the room with us, as if he were visiting. When the flame went out, always by itself, for we never blow out an Hour Candle, we would watch the smoke trail upwards, swirling as it dissipated. The hour always went quickly by, but we felt we could bring him back to us by lighting another candle.
As these 12 years have passed, we have maintained this tradition, expanding it to lighting a candle not just for those who had passed away, but for anyone whom we thought needed comfort, including ourselves. During 2005, we burned many Hour Candles. Somehow, it has seemed a long year, with disasters on colossal scales. When, last year, I wrote of our personal experience of having family in the Tsunami zone, I could have no idea of the natural disasters our world was yet to face. With each catastrophe, we personally became more aware of our good fortunes, our blessings.
Andrew and I have our own challenges to face each day, as many do. I know that ours paled in comparison to the events of 2005. We contributed financially, but it felt inadequate. Ultimately, I chose to take a path that led me to New Orleans, where I volunteered on the Animal Rescue team. It was a recent trip, so I did not deal with the horrors of earlier days. But I was still quite overwhelmed by the tremendous need. I quickly found that I would not only meet animals in need. In the unimaginable devastation of the Lower 9th Ward, where the animals have a basic need to be fed because their humans will not likely return again, I also met humans with a very basic need: someone to listen. They had stories to tell, but among the ruins that surrounded them, there was no one to listen. In the Lower 9th Ward, I found a great and unexpected reward, simply for the taking. I listened. Sometimes for a few minutes; sometimes much longer. I found qualities in these people that made me think much kinder of our species. They taught me a different perspective on respect, and acceptance. And they taught me a very different perspective on need. No one, during the entire time I was there, ever asked me for a thing. But many, many people thanked me, for no obvious reason. I wanted to thank them, but it seemed so inappropriate. Instead, I listened. I shook hands. I said, ‘Take care’. Thankfully, what is often a throwaway platitude was taken from the heart. I have never experienced such warmth and tenderness from the touch of a human I knew I would never see again, yet never forget. I think they gave me far more than I gave them.
So this year, when we light our Hour Candle at midnight, we truly hope you will light yours. If it can’t be at midnight, light it whenever you can sit with that tiny light, for just an hour, to reflect on those we’ve known & loved, those we do love, and the many good fortunes of our lives–those blessings we all have but somehow overlook when the tougher aspects of life get over our heads. Light a flame for the sake of it. For the sake of just listening to any heart that has something to say, even if it’s merely the sound of your own heart beating. That is absolutely worth listening to.
We wish you all good health, happiness and, as always, peace in your life.