For Ellison, love was a mysterious force whose potential he could not quite grasp, but which he imagined could be something with and in excess of individual love: as a radical politics. After the death of Clifton, the invisible man wonders, “could politics ever be an expression of love?” (452). But even to the novel’s end, he remains incapable of harnessing such a force, and he is thrown into a kind of reactive violence. The prologue of the novel contains, with the exception of the pre-epilogue fantasy, some of the strongest accounts of the invisible man’s anger and violence: invisible, he is finally free to be improper and experience anger about his particular structural position and the ideologies that, under the guise of liberation, have consistently reinscribed his oppression. However, Sara Ahmed, drawing on Audre Lorde’s account of the Combahee River Collective and Lorde’s feelings of anger about racism, offers a different way of comprehending the invisible man’s anger. Rather than understanding anger as a reactionary force of negation, Ahmed writes:
“Here, [for Lorde] anger is constructed in different ways: as a response to the injustice of racism; as a vision of the future; as a translation of pain into knowledge; as being ‘loaded with information and energy’. Crucially, anger is not simply defined in relation to a past but as opening up the future. In other words, being against something does not end with ‘what one is against’ (it does not become ‘stuck’ on the object of either the emotion or the critique, though that object remains sticky and compelling). Being against something is also being for something that has yet to be articulated or is not yet.” (Ahmed 248)
The invisible man’s retreat to the hole and his unchecked rage in the prologue have long been read as the abandonment of political possibility, but by taking Ahmed’s and Lorde’s revision of anger we are given a way to understand the inventive possibility and political engagement that the invisible man experiences: to be against a history of racist science and its material effects is also to maintain a relationship to political futurity. The invisible man’s anger and rage can then be understood as “being for something that has yet to be articulated or is not yet.”
Anger that is also a becoming “for” the not yet disorganizes the relationship, both conceptually and practically, between what is and what can be. In the final lines of the novel, the strange and dream-like perceptions that pervade the invisible man’s experience of the hole produce the possibility of a new and different plan for living, a plan for living that can only be accessed by abandoning the historical narrative of modernization and progress, and returning to the conceptual and ontological priority of a chaos on which to build new forms of organization. He concludes the epilogue, stating:
“The mind that has conceived a plan of living must never lose sight of the chaos against which that pattern was conceived. That goes for societies as well as for individuals. Thus, having tried to give pattern to the chaos which lives within the pattern of your certainties, I must come out. I must emerge.” (Ellison 580)
This complicated formulation acknowledges that within the patterns of certainty—perhaps especially the certainty of scientific knowledge—there resides chaos, irrationality. The narrator’s goal is to make a new pattern, a life, on and with such chaos. His attempt to pattern chaos results in an emergence filled with the political charge of a plan for living that is not so much a new ideology, a new governing epistemology, as it is a plan to live itself, a plan to construct new forms of organization that are yet to be known, but that can respond to the irruptive material conditions that have conditioned him.
In the final line the narrator begins to imagine producing a community of his own. Responding to a question that has animated the final searching of the novel—“Can politics ever be an expression of love?”—he says finally, “Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?” Here, rather than reading “speaking for” as a standing in place of, or speaking on behalf of, the seeking and yearning of the narrator, his hope for a “plan for living” that will lead him out of the hole, seems not to indicate an authoritative “speaking for” so much as a speaking to, speaking for as a gift to be received and reciprocated, to be spoken back to. And it is this transmission, on the lower frequencies, that finds the novel engaged with and animating a strain of black radical thought that extends the line of materio-philisophical thought-action, of thinking-tinkering, into particular activist struggles—struggles that mirror and extend the invisible man’s own struggles and potentials developed in “the hole.” Beyond not merely physical space-time separation, but also juridically imposed space-time separation, Ellison and his narrator make possible an unacknowledged community with Jackson.
The desire to make a radical and resistant community, a community that could plan to live against imposed and systematic plans for life, was central to Jackson’s own writing. Unlike Ellison, however, who in writing Invisible Man was limited by his attempts to master what it would mean to be a proper novelist, Jackson struggled against prison conditions that limited his capacity to write at all. Ellison felt that one had to narrow experience and produce coherence out of chaos; Jackson, by contrast, had to produce excess that could communicate above and beyond his writing. As the editor of Soledad Brother comments in a footnote: “All of Jackson’s correspondence had to pass through the rigors of prison censorship. Much of it was completely destroyed or mutilated. Only his last letters to his lawyer passed through uncensored” (Jackson 57). In addition to the restraints imposed on his communication with the world outside the prison, his access to books was limited to particular sizes and editions approved by the prison, which he relied on those outside to send him and which were often difficult to get.
Jackson was intensely aware, and often angry—angry in ways that pulsed with a desire for the not yet—that his access to knowledge about the world was hampered by both the prison system that contained him and a failed and misguided educational system that preceded it. He recognized that the dominant epistemologies that governed the systems constraining him were constituted through the elision of black life and black thought; their absence was its condition of possibility. But he also understood that full knowledge, in or out of the prison, was impossible—the world would always exceed any attempts at total rationalization. Any given ontology, founded on the possibility of epistemologically totalizing being in the world, would be, in Moten’s phrasing, “inadequate to blackness” (Moten “Case” 187). Jackson therefore has to invent a relationship to the world beyond ontology itself, a relationship that improvises its own relations on the fly, in ways that affirm and make use of the excesses that emerge most significantly in the prison’s attempts to suppress them.
Jackson’s attempts to produce a community of being through his correspondence had to operate at levels quite different from that of information transfer or signification. He often feared, rightly, that his letters had not gotten through. He therefore expressed things indirectly, punctuating his letters with “you dig?” Given the necessary opacity of his letters, the phrase seems to indicate something more than a colloquial query about understanding; it indicates a materiality that had to be dug into beyond what he could write “directly” (Jackson 57). For him, the ways in which his letters were cut out and censored is another means of enforcing divisions that hamper the political potentials of love. He writes:
“It is terrible that we have all been so divided. The social order is set up so as to encourage this. The powers that be don’t want any loyal loving groups forming up. So they discourage it in subtle ways. And as it is said, when poverty comes in the door, love leaves by the window!” (Jackson 151)
The barricades produced by poverty, while seemingly metaphorical, are as real for Jackson as the prison walls; division is a real social and ontological effect of an always material epistemology. For Jackson, the prison operates as a means of guaranteeing a national community of proper citizen-subjects through the eradication of that which is irrational to and in excess of it. More forcefully, it is a means to eradicate alternative social formations, any actually existing loving groups that might form out of shared interest and need, groups whose composition was another name for black life. The prison is but a last, stopgap measure for enforcing the divisions already formed by economic inequality, racialization, and (as he comes to realize in his final letters to Angela Davis) hierarchical gendering.
But Jackson understood love as a force that, despite being under attack, was not only necessary but also resilient, immanently produced in the autonomous formation of shared communities—whether they be communities of any two people with similar struggles or communities of global millions across the third world. So, though he would speak of love under attack, it would also be in speaking of love, and the possibilities of love—love that needs to be dug into—that he could articulate his own improvisational politics that did not depend on a given ontology or originate with systematic organization (though it might try to organize). In fact, we might say that he articulates a science that abandons ontology all together, making a space for what Moten earlier called “the possibility and project of a utopian politics outside ontology” (Moten Break 197). Although Einstein and Ellison both sought an epistemology that might be open to the invisible and irrational that traverses the systematization of objects, systemized and given coherence out of chaos, Jackson’s concept of political reality evinces an understanding of materiality that is itself always in formation and deformation; in which systematicity itself cannot even be thought as given.
Indeed, even as his writing attends to the contributions of systemic critiques of US governance and capitalism that inform his thought—especially those provided by Marxism—he rejects historical determinism in favor of undetermined production on ever-changing and unanticipatable grounds. He writes:
“My life is so disrupted, so precarious, my inclinations so oriented to struggle that anyone who would love me would have to be bold indeed—or out of their head. But if you’re saying what I think you are saying, I like it. (If I have flattered myself please try to understand.) I like the way you say it also; over the next few months we’ll discuss the related problems. By the time I’ve solved these minor ones that temporarily limit my movements, we’ll have also settled whether or not it is selfish for us to seek gratification by reaching and touching and holding, does the building of a bed precede the love act itself? Or can we ‘do it in the road’ until the people’s army has satisfied our territory problem? That is important to me, whether or not you are willing to ‘do it in the road.’ You dig…” (Jackson 272)
For Jackson, the prison is a “minor” problem that “temporarily limit[s]” his movement. The prison is not a fully planned system at all, but an ad hoc response to the constant emergence of life; the prison’s capacities are temporary in that it is simply trying to plug the holes of a leaking, constantly constructing system.
The difference between an epistemology that would see society and the world as “systems” or as something else marks a difference that also concerned Deleuze, which he articulated by posing his understanding in apposition to Foucault’s:
“Michel [Foucault] was always amazed by the fact that despite all their underhandedness and their hypocrisy, we can still manage to resist. On the contrary, I am amazed by the fact that everything is leaking, and the government manages to plug the leaks. In a sense, Michel and I addressed the same problem from opposite ends… . For me society is a fluid—or even worse, a gas. For Michel it was an architecture.” (Deleuze, “Intellectual” 21).
Jackson’s vision of the prison as an ad hoc construction of barricades resonates with Deleuze’s description of plugging leaks. This is precisely what would be revealed if science turned its inquiry to the system itself as Jackson demanded: it is not a system but a reaction to irrationality, a delirium, desperately trying to prevent the formation of a society rather than maintain the social order.
Jackson’s interest then is in not only the possibility for but also the necessity of action—the act of love—that would precede the establishment of “proper” conditions for it. To “do it in the road” would be to act in the improper place: in the “road” that has been constructed for traffic and transport, not for “love.” But more to the point, it eradicates any sense of propriety by suggesting that the act of love will produce the territory. The act composes materiality. In a mix of literary, scientific, and political writing, Jackson develops a mode of composition that evinces the ways in which literature, science, and politics all operate to compose chaos through forces, at least one of which is love, forming and deforming against the supposed imaginary of a system, total or not. The understanding of politics he evinces here is one that both affirms a larger and directed struggle against what consistently appears as a system; but more forcefully, it also operates and acts on the materiality that is prior to such a struggle. Action that waits for the proper time to confront a systemic totality is a false hope, and could likely never be enacted at all.
Immediately following that passage in the letter, Jackson continues, emphasizing the excessive historical and physical capacities of the force of love: the capacity of love to disrupt historical and physical determinations and the very concept of ontological determination. He writes:
“I’ll love you till the wings fly off at least, perhaps beyond. My love could burn you, however, it runs hot and I have nearly half a millennium stored up. Mine is a perfect love, soft to the touch but so hot, hard, and dense at its center that its weight will soon offset this planet.” (272)
Here, love becomes a dense physical force, a way of describing a productive desire and its potential to offset the planet. It has a capacity—an unsettling and unruly reality— that can disrupt ontology itself with physical and political consequences that exceed even Ellison’s greatest hopes for it.
Love names the excessive force of composition beyond both epistemology and ontology, which has been carrying, above and beyond his letters, the connective tissue the prison sought to sever. That is, for Jackson, love names the very force generated and made invisible in that anoriginal entanglement, the force that continues, impossibly, to connect those who have been dispersed and divided in the scattering of the black diaspora as they continue to constitute themselves, constantly forming and reforming. And it is this love—this violent, caring, connecting force—that makes his letters something far in excess of—more politically powerful, aesthetically inventive, and scientifically vital—than information transmission that we might call knowledge or meaning (transmission that would be governed by the physical and juridical limits of space-time separation). Through the excessive materiality of his letters and of writing itself, Jackson produces the community he has imagined, the community otherwise denied to him by the epistemology that founds the prison as a necessary and dividing force and instantiates its divisions as ontological reality. For Jackson, thought itself becomes a physical experiment. And, in the midst of physically- and juridically-imposed space-time separation from Einstein and Ellison, he forges a seemingly impossible connection with them, too, by actualizing the real possibilities of the dissolution of ontology immanent to the open ontology they sought to make.
i’ve been purchasing recently. i’m prepping for a few different courses, so here’s the list of books i’ve purchased, in random order:
Marx on Religion
my face when huck’s son gave him a dollar …
I believe in Black Study and “Black Sacred Breath” is about the possibility for such a collective intellectual project. Black Study is the force of belief in blackness set loose in the world, disrupting the institutionalization and abstraction of thought that produces the categorical distinctions of disciplinary knowledge. To make a claim for belief – in and of Black Study – is to already trouble and disrupt epistemological projects founded upon pure reason, pure rationality, in the service of thinking with and against how that which we call knowledge is produced and dispersed. Black Study is a wholly unbounded, holy, collective intellectual project that is fundamentally otherwise than an (inter)discipline. This refusal of disciplinary boundaries is important because disciplinary knowledges attempt resolution, attempt to “resolve” knowledge “into objectivity…that have characterized modern knowledge since the earliest statements on how (Bacon’s instrumentalism) and why (Descartes’s formalism) of knowledge with certainty.” “Black Sacred Breath” is not about resolve but about openness to worlds, to experiences, to ideas. “Black Sacred Breath” does not so much arrive to conclusions as it tarries with concepts.
Black Study is the affirmation of and belief in blackness, though belief is radically under assault, coded through and attacked as “the religious.” One need only read contemporary work of the “New Atheist” movement – Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens as two such examples – for the ways belief becomes racialized, and how that racialization is part of, not distinct from, a general anti-blackness sentiment. Characterized by Harris as the most virulent and dangerous strain of belief, one wonders at his interarticulation of Islam and otherness that seems to animate Harris’s thought. It is not simply that belief is a problem, but belief that is accompanied with overt, explicit aesthetic practices – wearing hijab, praying five times a day eastward – that makes of such belief a general antagonism, a general threat. I opine that the general antagonism and threat of belief is because belief, when borne out through certain aesthetic behaviors, is considered to be blackness itself. Whiteness is considered the absence of such purportedly primitivist behaviors, and thus, a lack of belief that moves the flesh. As such, “Black Sacred Breath,” considers the aesthetics of belief, the performative behaviors and gestures that accompany collective modes of intellection and knowledge of divine, otherworldly worlds.
In “On the Jewish Question,” Karl Marx interrogates Bruno Bauer’s idea that integration into German society for Jews depended upon forced relinquishment their relationship to Jewishness – the cultural and historical performative practices of religiosity. Usually figured as anti-religion, Marx indeed otherwise and famously claimed that religion and opiates were co-constitutive for masses. However, in “On the Jewish Question,” which queries the possibilities for Jewishness, Marx demonstrates how relinquishment to gain freedom and citizenship – what he calls “political emancipation” – is a ruse. Giving up cultural and historical performative practices does not produce abolition but another set of strictures and bondage. In another register and key, we can say that one gains political emancipation through aversion, embarrassment and abandonment, and this political emancipation is the condition of emergence for the theological-philosophical production of “the body.” “Black Sacred Breath” allows me to think not only about the generalizability of Marx’s analysis to consider the ways in which black pneuma and black flesh are denigrated, but how BlackPentecostal aesthetics rise to the occasion of, and overcome, the denigration of and distancing from blackness.
This is no history of the modern global Pentecostal movement and I am not primarily concerned with creating an historicist project with names, dates and primary, spectacular events that took place in Azusa, and things that both preceded and came after that particular flashpoint. I opt, instead, for historicity, a mode of thinking of performance as history, of a way ask: what is the thing, or the things, we call history and historical? This may prove troubling for religious historians but I want to pressure the assumption about the narrativity of historical events to think through other lineages, to move toward, after Foucault, genealogy rather than archeology. I am not looking so much for missing documents as much as I am looking for the “broken claim to connection” between anything that has receded into the ago and that which bears down on the now moment through its categorical soon-ness.
“Black Sacred Breath” is about, and is an attempt to produce, Black Study. Black Study is similar to what Denise Ferreira da Silva describes as “knowing (at) the limits of justice,” that is “at once a kind of knowing and doing; it is a praxis, one that unsettles what has come before but offers no guidance for what has yet to become.” And Black Study is a particular strategy of mixture, “self-life-writing” of both “cultural and political critique.” For this reason, “Black Sacred Breath” moves in and out of the autobiographical, the fictional, the performative, the theological and philosophical in order to enact a politicocultural criticism, one that is unflinching in its belief in blackness as a sociohistorical and ontological force of change, resistance, pleasure and love in the world.
 I use the term Black Study as opposed to Black Studies to intimate a relation between what gets institutionalized in the university as Black Studies, African American Studies, Africana Studies, Ethnic Studies and Multicultural Studies beginning with the student protests on college campuses in 1968 with a intellectual practice that is always collective and resists institutionalization. This claim about the resistance to institutionalization will be argued throughout “Black Sacred Breath,” it is a claim that is the grounds for the project’s genesis. Several books and articles have been written about the history, emergence, sociology and future of institutional Black Studies and this work is both in conversation with and moving in another direction from that work. See, for example, Martha Biondi, The Black Revolution on Campus (Berkeley: University of California Press„ 2012); John W. Blassingame, New Perspectives on Black Studies (Urbana, University of Illinois Press : University of Illinois Press, 1971); Carole Boyce Davies and others, Decolonizing the Academy : African Diaspora Studies (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press„ 2003); Mary. Prince, The History of Mary Prince : a West Indian Slave (Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c1997.); C. L. R. (Cyril Lionel Robert) James and Anna Grimshaw, ‘Black Studies and the Contemporary Student’, in The C.L.R. James Reader (Oxford ; Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell„ 1992); Ronald A. T Judy, ‘Untimely Intellectuals and the University’, boundary 2, 27 (2000), 121–133; Ronald A. T. Judy, (Dis)forming the American Canon : African-Arabic Slave Narratives and the Vernacular (Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, c1993.); Shirley Moody-Turner and James Benjamin Stewart, ‘Gendering Africana Studies: Insights from Anna Julia Cooper’, African American Review, 43 (2009), 35+; Hortense J. Spillers, ‘Peters’s Pans: Eating in the Diaspora’, in Black, white, and in color : essays on American literature and culture (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2003.); Robyn Wiegman, Object Lessons (Durham, NC: Duke University Press„ 2012).
 Denise Ferreira da Silva, ‘To Be Announced Radical Praxis or Knowing (at) the Limits of Justice’, Social Text, 31 (2013), 43–62 (p. 44) <doi:10.1215/01642472-1958890>.
 See, for example Glenn Greenwald, ‘Sam Harris, the New Atheists, and anti-Muslim Animus’, The Guardian, 3 April 2013, section Comment is free <http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/03/sam-harris-muslim-animus> [accessed 17 April 2013] for a discussion of anti-Muslim sentiment within the New Atheist movement.
 See, for example, Talal Asad, Formations of the Secular : Christianity, Islam, Modernity (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press„ 2003).
 Karl Marx, ‘On The Jewish Question by Karl Marx’, 1843 <http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1844/jewish-question/> [accessed 4 August 2012].
 Numerous histories and studies of Pentecostalism have been written. For a small sampling, see, for example, Estrelda Alexander, Black Fire : One Hundred Years of African American Pentecostalism (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic„ 2011); Frank Bartleman, Azusa Street (Plainfield, N.J.: Logos International„ 1980); Ithiel C Clemmons, Bishop C.H. Mason and the Roots of the Church of God in Christ, Centennial ed. (Bakersfield, Calif.: Pneuma Life Pub.„ 1996); Paul Keith Conkin, Cane Ridge : America’s Pentecost (Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press„ 1990); David Douglas Daniels, The Cultural Renewal of Slave Religion: Charles Price Jones and the Emergence of the Holiness Movement in Mississippi, 1992; Douglas G. (Douglas Gordon) Jacobsen, Thinking in the Spirit : Theologies of the Early Pentecostal Movement (Bloomington: Indiana University Press„ 2003); Cecil M Robeck, The Azusa Street Mission and Revival : the Birth of the Global Pentecostal Movement (Nashville: Nelson Reference & Electronic„ 2006); Nimi Wariboko, The Pentecostal Principle : Ethical Methodology in New Spirit (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans„ 2012); Anthea D. Butler, Women in the Church of God in Christ : Making a Sanctified World (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press„ 2007); Cheryl Gilkes, ‘If It Wasn’t for the Women— ’ : Black Women’s Experience and Womanist Culture in Church and Community (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books); Cheryl Jeanne Sanders, Saints in Exile : the Holiness-Pentecostal Experience in African American Religion and Culture (New York: Oxford University Press„ 1996); Grant Wacker, Heaven Below: Early Pentecostals and American Culture (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press„ 2001).
 See, for example, Brady Thomas Heiner, ‘Foucault and the Black Panthers 1’, City, 11 (2007), 313–356.
 Denise Ferreira da Silva, p. 44.
 Hortense J. Spillers, ‘The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual: A Post-Date’, boundary 2, 21 (1994), 65–116 (p. 66).
Thank you to everyone from the building who mobilized last night to the 71st Precinct after the arrests and beatings of dozens of people at the Kimani Gray vigil and arrests of Cop Watch organizers from Justice Committee and MXGM. Thanks especially to folks from ALP (Chelsea, Elliott, Irma, Lorenzo, Share), SAS (Andrea) and FIERCE (Emerson) for helping to do cop watch, legal, and hold protest signs in the precinct. Sorry if I missed anyone, I left at 1am so I don’t know if more folks came too. Thanks to folks who spread the word from home (Gabriel, John, Manny, Reina etc). Please keep checking the Justice Committee’s, MXGM, ALP and FIERCE facebook pages. More updates soon.QUICK ACTION STEP: In the meantime, please can folks help by calling the Brooklyn DA’s Office regarding the people arrested at the Kimani Gray vigil last night. To quote Justice Committee: NYPD decided not to release community members and Cop Watchers arrested at the vigil for Kimani “Kiki” Gray. Please call 718-250-2001 to demand NO charges be brought against all arrested.”
SUGGESTED SCRIPT via Marjorie Dove Kent: Hello, I’m a resident of Brooklyn/New York and I’m calling about those arrested last night in Flatbush at the vigil for Kimani Gray. I’m calling to ask that ALL charges be dropped against ALL those being held. I will call back later today to find out the status of their cases.Justice Committee warns:*Everyone should expect the runaround when placing the call. DA’s office is also not going to want to listen to what you have to say. But it’s important that you call and demand they be release without charges/prosecution.
*We’re asking folks to place the call so the DA’s office feels pressure from NYers to NOT charge protesters and Cop Watchers. The decision to charge and prosecute arrestees is in the hands of the DA’s office. The decision to not release protesters now is in the hands of the NYPD.
The sound of the Hammond Organ is as good as ubiquitous with the music of the late 60’s and early 70’s. For a fleeting instant, organ players took center stage, keys replaced strings , and a decent organ player became as lucrative as a contract to privatize the public water system of Tehran in 2014 [mark my words, it’ll happen].
The origins of the Hammond Organ date back to 1897, when inventor Thaddeus Cahill [USA] created the Telharmonium by using tonewheels to generate musical sounds as electrical signals by additive synthesis, therein creating an instrument that was capable of producing any combination of notes and overtones, at any dynamic levels. Whatever the fuck that means. In 1937, Laurens Hammond [also USA] took Cahill’s technology and gave it a pipe organ sound, patented it, and the original Hammond Organ was born.
Hammond’s original intention was for the organ to be sold to middle class families and congregations in the deep south as a means by which the grandiose pipes of cathedrals in Rome could be bought to the back country bible belt in the U.S. For a while this proved to be the case, however in the 1950’s the blooming New York jazz scene took the Hammond and placed it in the unholy, hedonistic, pot filled dives of Manhattan. There the Hammond remained until Barabara Lewis popularized the sound in her 1963 hit “Hello Stranger” [above]. From that point on it became a staple in any top 10 hit, with the Beach Boys and the Small Faces [below] both using the instrument create their distinctive and upbeat mod and surf rock styles.
As the decade progresses and things got hairier, less lucid, louder and slightly more sinister, the Hammond came into its own. As people began to expand their minds bands began to expand their sounds and the Hammond was the perfect instrument to provide texture, mood, and an unhinged, orchestral sound. Bands such as The Zombies and Barrett era Pink Floyd used the Hammond to weave soundscapes never heard before as the Hammond proved itself to have a dearth of effects and broad appeal.
Sadly, the Hammond Organ became appropriated by the prog rock bands of the early to mid seventies, becoming yet another musical masturbatory aide for the self indulgent. Whereas the instrument had once provided texture, depth and mood, it now provided musical fans with the perfect moment to refill their pint glass during gigs, as it became used for long, waffling, meandering, 25 minute long solos. The visceral, raw, advent of punk provided the final nail in the Hammond Organs coffin as any instrument beyond guitars, vocals or drums was suddenly seen as superfluous. With this the Hammond Organ was relegated to no more than a museum relic.
Thankfully, the Hammond has done like Lazarus in recent years and had a Resurrection of sorts. Artists such as The Arctic Monkeys and Nick Cave have utilized the instrument to weave retro textures into new music. Its yet to regain the popularity it once had, but you need only listen the sublime Whiter Shade of Pale [below] to remind yourself of how welcome a return it could be to have this instrument as a staple again.