Monday, July 27, 2009

Toyah Willcox : The Enigma of The Hands

In 1973, ‘A Book Of Dreams’ by Peter Reich was first published in the U.S.A. The content of the book largely concerns Peter Reich’s relationship with his father, the scientist Wilhelm Reich, who died in 1957 after being imprisoned substantially due to an irrational investigation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration of his Orgone Energy discovery and therapeutic applications thereof.

‘A Book of Dreams’ was an influence on the Patti Smith track ‘Birdland,’ which can be found in a variety of forms on various live recordings from the mid-1970s, as well as on the Patti Smith debut (1975) LP release ‘Horses.’

A couple of years after this ‘classic’ album was released, the group Toyah, fronted by Toyah Willcox, began playing live dates in England. One of the songs which they played and would continue to play over the coming years - ‘Danced’ - is about a “strange man” who has come to Earth from a planet “so far away” and whose last visit was “2,000 years” back. ‘Danced’ appears to be based around the concept of Jesus Christ returning to Earth as an Extraterrestrial, and yet, from the passionate first person vocal delivery of the lyrics by Toyah Willcox, we might justifiably wonder whether or not the song is also inspired somehow by some sort of profound personal experience.

In a passage from ‘A Book Of Dreams’ relating to his childhood, Peter Reich mentions a pictorial illustration of the concept that the facing palms of two hands held apart generate an orgone energy field:

“..Oranur was when Daddy put a radium needle in the big accumulator in the lab and everyone got sick. The lab closed, the mice died. People went away. The air was so bad I had to take a bath every day and have blood tests. A lot of people got sick. Eva got sick. Mummy had to go away for a long time. She was sick too. I missed her a lot. Then she came back. I wanted her to stay.
The instruments were still and quiet in the big room downstairs in the observatory. After the lab was closed all the instruments were moved up the hill. The red linoleum floor was soft, cold grey. I tiptoed upstairs. Daddy was sitting at his desk working. I waited at the top of the stairs underneath the picture of the two hands making an energy field…”

In another passage dealing with events - dream or real - after his father’s imprisonment and death, the energy concept of the hands held apart is described as being put to practical use in focussing the attention of people in a spaceship (EA):

“Every night after lights out I went to the window to watch for EAs because they were going to come and take me away. One would land on the lacrosse field behind the dormitory and I would know and they would know and Daddy would be inside, happy again, smiling…
…It happened the night that Blackman and MacGregor fixed up a special thing on the doorknobs of their room… I slid out from under the bed to look out of the window. Three red and green balls were flying in tight formation in the sky over the lacrosse field, flashing, glowing, and signaling… These flying saucers were coming to take me away… I had to let them know I was here. If I concentrated hard enough and thought real hard, they would catch my signal… My eyes were in give and they went up through the sky and the wind saying please come and take me away to the stars, please come please come…
…It could land right over there at the end of the field if I could only signal them. There must be a signal in case they don’t know. What if Daddy is in the spaceship? How will they know if it is really me and not a spy? I remembered the photograph of the two hands making an energy field, hanging in the observatory. As I walked to the end of the field I started making the energy with my hands, holding them out in front of me, palms facing. Slowly I brought them together and then apart until I felt the energy field between them. They would be able to see it on the scope…”

Several audio-visual recordings exist of Toyah performing the song ‘Danced’, in which Toyah Willcox sings (ostensibly) of how she communicated with a spaceman, who inspired great love and devotion in her. The earliest include performances…

1) …broadcast on the TV drama ‘Shoestring’.
2) …included as part of the various artists concert film ‘Urgh! A Music War’.
3) …broadcast on the rock music BBC TV programme ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’.

The images here are from the 1980 performance on ‘OGWT’ and show the sort of hand and arm movements Toyah went through when performing the song ‘Danced’ on this and other occasions. The similarity of the dream-or-reality personal experience in the lyrics of ‘Danced’ to the also dream-or-reality based experience I quoted earlier that is related in ‘A Book Of Dreams’ exists, and would, perhaps, not be an issue were it not for the fact that on multiple occasions when the song was played live or for television, Toyah portrayed physical movements remarkably comparable to those described by Peter Reich in his E.T. contact, including movements of the palms of the hands held apart facing each other.


Post a Comment

<< Home