Wednesday, 4 September 2013

John Fahey and The Clockwork Blind Joe Death

I recently picked up Claudio Guarneri’s self-published, labor of love John Fahey Handbook - Vol. 1, a 476 page compendium of biographical and discographical information about the great American guitarist. As well as obsessively cataloging the myriad of Fahey releases over the years, this book is teeming with weird and wonderful factoids and among my favorites is Stanley Kubrick’s tip of the hat to Fahey in A Clockwork Orange. In the sequence where Alex stands at the counter of the record store, one can see Fahey’s 1965 album The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death in the rack alongside the 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack. Of course it’s possible that the Fahey album was placed there by the production designer, but it’s worth noting that in the sequence in 2001 where HAL is being shut down, the malfunctioning computer sings the popular American song, Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two), a song Fahey covered on... The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death...