Sunday, April 06, 2008

Scottish Sunday: Gently, Johnny


I've been puzzling for weeks about which band I wanted to kick off Scottish Sundays with. Big Country, the band that ruled my late teenaged years? Pilot, whose hit "Magic" inspired me during the magical Spring of 1975? The Cocteau Twins? Pre-sellout Simple Minds? 

Then it occurred to me that there's only one place to begin: the all-time subversive classic, the film they couldn't ban, The Wicker Man. 

The more I watch this film the more dangerous I realize that it is, and the more I realize why the powers-that-be were so eager to suppress it, going so far as to bury the negative under the asphalt of a highway. I start to (strongly) suspect that the roundly-hated remake of the film was no homage, rather a deliberate effort to discredit and tarnish the reputation of the original. Given all of this drama, it almost pains me to note that none of the stars of the film are themselves Scottish!

And on the heels of all the Hathor symbolism we've been looking at, what else but this ritual to the goddess of love and music and drink could be culled from that epochal film? 

This scene features Wicker Man soundtrack composer, the Italian-American (!) Paul Giovanni singing the lead. 

Aside from acting as the setting of The Wicker Man, Scotland is the land of the Templar Diaspora, Rosslyn Chapel, the Edinburgh Beltane Festival, and a whole host of shamanic musicians whose work will be celebrated here in the weeks to come.