Study influences of Red 7 throughout BB Blog, including or perhaps beginning with C.N. Blinkerton’s Red Squirt 7 project and extending of course, through Peter SoSo and his Pietmond in Sunklands (first Aotearoa then Otaki Gorge).
Little more than a year after Rael [Christ-figure of “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.” a Gabriel/Genesis epic that DID come to pass]was conceived, Gabriel invented the “mercurial stranger,” Mozo.
He was partly based on Moses, but he was a fictional character who came from nowhere, disrupting people’s lives and causing changes and then disappearing, said Gabriel.
Mozo was part of a “master plan” dreamed up during his sabbatical in 1975-6 which he alternately wanted staged or filmed. Mozo was inspired by Aurora Consurgens, a medieval alchemical treatise based on The Song of Solomon. It was brought to light by Carl Jung who thought it the work of St Thomas Aquinas. The text is full of alchemical and religious symbolism and apocalyptic imagery. Jung saw alchemy and psychology as having the common aim of self-transformation. Gabriel was captivated by Jung’s alchemical writing.
“I have always been interested in transformation of one sort of another,” said Gabriel. “When Mozo came in he upset the status quo and the story is about the struggles after his appearance.”
Mozo was a catalyst for spiritual change. This was true alchemy of which changing base metal to gold was a mere analogy. Mozo was at the core of what Gabriel tries to express in music. Perhaps he sees himself as that mercurial stranger able to transform and uplift people. Gabriel wanted to scatter songs about Mozo over several albums, though they would make a complete story when put together. The songs were “Here Comes the Flood,” an apocalyptic vision: “Down The Dolce Vita,” a ship leaving harbour on an intrepid journey; “On The Air”: Mozo and his fantasy world; “Exposure”” the struggle for salvation;Red Rain:denying one’s inner feelings; and “That Voice Again.” judgment.
“Mozo is set in this fishing village, which is very upmarket, not quite Mediterranean, but something of that ilk,” explained Gabriel in 1987. “There is this volcanic sand which gives the sea a red colour. Everything is focused on the sea, which is very rough, and the great macho fear is to cross the water, which no one had done. Mozo is discovered in a tip, in a house built out of rubbish, on the edge of the city. And initially kids and passers-by are just very curious to look inside this little shed, and they see in it what they are most afraid of. They project their fears on to him because he is different. I remember in Horsell Common near Chobham, where my parents live, there was this beaten up old caravan, with newspapers in the windows. I used to think there was a witch inside there. And I think it probably fuelled this setting for Mozo. Eventually the people who have discovered Mozo in this hut on a tip get disturbed. They are upset by what they are seeing, by what they are projecting onto him and they try and kick him out. He escapes, and he proves later on that he has crossed the sea. So he goes from being the tramp underneath society to the hero on top of it. And then having been placed above other people he is challenged by the people who put him up there. They then have him as a target to push down to the bottom again.”