Once when he and Jan — his first wife — were visiting a local pet store, Fahey became appalled at the conditions in which the turtles were kept.
He decided to buy all 13 turtles they had in the store, despite having no idea what to do with them. Once they rescued the creatures from their cages, Fahey had to keep them all in his bathtub. Whenever he or Jan wanted to take a shower they had to remove the turtles and then scrub the tub clean from turtle dung. They kept it up for a few weeks, but then even Fahey had to concede that they had to go. The package reads like a museum exhibit whose narration spirals into the absurd.
He had written songs featuring the real women in his life, and they had also become recurring characters in his liner notes — but now his audience could see them vividly for the first time. None of the women were asked permission — or even informed that their pictures would adorn his records. It was a first for a record of any kind, and a communication to the audience that was personal but also obscure, as the public had little idea who these people were.
Yet to those who knew him, it was a diary. I had no idea that he was using a snapshot of me [for the insert of The Voice of the Turtle ] until he handed me a finished copy. In addition to his lovers, he included images of his friends and relatives, and even Takoma Park. Characters like Chester C. The back cover showed a photo of Fahey as a yearold, exhibiting a public distance and an intense stare, his hair slicked back in classic s greaser pompadour. The overall effect was of an elaborately narrated photo album.
Everyone became a part of his universe, like constellations, laid out in a virtual confessional art exhibit. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Articles Features Interviews Lists.
Streams Videos All Posts. My Profile. Advanced Search. Genre Folk. Styles Progressive Folk. Eerie Ethereal Melancholy. Track Listing. Bottleneck Blues. It was reissued on vinyl on the Four Men With Beards label in Both reissues use the second track listing.
The original LP release was a gatefold with the cover designed by Tom Weller. The original liner notes are extensive the first sentence alone is words long   and were included in a page booklet, including photos in an old-time scrapbook format. Later pressings did not include the gatefold and booklet. Voice of the Turtle has three quasi-subtitles on the cover. Mayne Smith, Mark Levine. The photograph labeled Blind Joe Death is actually a retouched old Vocalion Records advertisement of Blind Joe Taggart who recorded in the late 20s and 30s under several different names.
The back cover quotes a " Song of Solomon " verse " The original release is the only version that has the correct match of the songs on the label, the actual songs on the vinyl, and on the back cover.
Q stated in its December review: "Half of this album But it's the three lengthy improvisational pieces that dominate, pointing forward to his later, more elliptical work In his AllMusic review, music critic Richie Unterberger called the album "One of his more obscure early efforts, Voice of the Turtle is both listenable and wildly eclectic, going from scratchy emulations of early blues 78s and country fiddle tunes to haunting guitar-flute combinations and eerie ragas.
The credits given on the original album cover are shown in italics below. Two versions of the track listing were released. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. John Fahey. Retrieved March 15, Takoma Records. Retrieved January 5, Best Music Writing Unknown Bards.