Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #279

                  Chalkhills, Number 279

                  Thursday, 27 May 1993
Today's Topics:
                   Down in the Cockpit
                        Black SEa
                   Skylarking outtakes?
                        Take Away
                   Down in the cockpit
                     WeaKer SeX.....
                   Re: Chalkhills #278
                        Window Box

Subject: Down in the Cockpit
Date: Thu, 20 May 93 12:16:38 +0200
From: Christopher Lishka <>

Regarding Mike Murphy's comments about "Down in the Cockpit":

I think the line "Women had the brains to act just like the weaker
sex" is a comment on something that goes on a lot, especially today.
Many times, the people in control are *NOT* the people who appear to
be.  A lot of the more intelligent folks intentionally do not go
around proving that they are smarter; rather, they sit in the
background and control the show without really appearing to do so.  I
feel that is what Andy Partridge had in mind with the line above: that
women may appear to be "the weaker sex", but really they are indeed
the smarter sex that is running the show.

A real life modern example: I spent part of my childhood years growing
up in Japan with my family.  Japan was then (and probably still is) a
male-dominated society.  Men generally run the big businesses and
political structures, while women generally stay home, raise the kids,
keep the home in order, and generally support the family and
especially the man.

Or so it would seem.  Something I have heard a lot (and that my Mother
likes to tell) is that it is generally felt that women have a *lot* of
control, as they tend to steer the men in ways they want them to go.
For a wife to be successful, she must (a) marry a man who has the
drive to go places; and (b) she must steer him in the direction *she*
wants him to go.  The wife must be more clever than the man, as her
power is more indirect, but it is there never-the-less.  Plus, the
wife has more control over determining how the kids will grow up, as
the husband is not around the home much at all.

Another idea that is very interesting to consider is the following:
for a long time in many cultures women had very little choice as to a
successful and *respectable* career which they could choose.  In
Japan, before the great "opening up" (in the late 1800's), women
basically had two "career" choices that were respected in the eyes of
others: (a) they could be wives; or (b) they could be geisha.  (Geisha
were entertainers of men, but were NOT prostitutes.  Some geisha did
have intimate relationships with a selected patron, but it was *not*
common for geisha to bed every man they entertained.  Prostitution in
Japan was one of the least respected jobs.)  My Mother (who is very
vocal and well-read concerning womens' issues) recently took a college
course about women in western religions.  Apparently, through much of
European history, European women also had two choices for
"respectable" careers: (a) they could be wives; or (b) they could
enter the convent and be nuns.  Becoming a nun was possibly the only
way that most lower and possibly middle class women could get an

Historically, women have had little choice as to what they could do
and still remain successful in society.  With such a limited choice,
they probably had to become rather wise in the ways of interpersonal
politics so they (and their children) could get where they wanted to
be.  Hence, one might consider women to be wiser than men, because
women have had to do as much as men with more limited choices.

Personally, I feel that the song "Down in the Cockpit" is a tribute to
women.  Throughout a lot of European, American, and Japanese history,
women have been "kept in their place" far too often, which I
personally feel is horrible.  Women are as intelligent and capable as
men and should be offered the same choices.  I am all for full
equality between men and women *today*.  Unfortunately, this still has
not been achieved completely (although it is slowly happening).

So I feel the line "Women had the brains to act just like the weaker
sex" is a comment on how wise and intelligent women have had to be: in
order to share the same "success" as men, they have had to be a lot
more cunning, steering the course of events behind the scenes.  They
may have appeared to be the weaker sex, but as "Down in the Cockpit"
shows, they probably were the stronger.

Just my long rambling two cents worth....
                                                .oO Chris Oo.

    I pity the rhino                                       Chris Lishka
    Down there he's becoming extinct                    PPE Division, CERN
    Killed for a love potion                 
                    -- Crowded House                      VXALUW::LISHKA


From: (Ken Strayhorn Jr.)
Subject: Black SEa
Date: Thu, 20 May 1993 09:29:22 -0400 (EDT)

Hey XTC fans
        Was interesting to see the talk about "Black Sea" and
it's possibilities if released today. Nah, it would do the
same now as it did then - a handfull of music fans would latch
on to it and it would spread by word of mouth among musicians,
music students, etc., people who care about music instead of hype
and haircuts.
        I heard "Generals and Majors" on a college station a
few times when it was released, bought the album to see what else
was to be discovered. I was entranced, to say the least. The tonic
changes and key shift during the guitar break on "Rocket from a Bottle"
still knocks me out, not to mention the *barely* contrapontal passage
that follows. These guys are walking on a real tightrope, I remember
        At the time I was working in the music scene as both an
arranger and PR person for several bands. I took the album to the
studio and made people listen to it. To a person, they all loved it,
even those who weren't particulary into pop-rock. The musicians
loved the writing, the studio techs were wowed by the sound. I remember
one recording engineer listening to "Language in our Lungs" over and
over, saying: "How did they get the drums so far forward without
overpowering everything?"
        It's a great album. I've often written "Ten Best" lists for
various publications, I always put "Black Sea" on lists that include all
the usual suspects: Sgt. Pepper, Dark Side of the Moon, etc. People always
write back, saying: "Who? XTC? Who's that?"
        I figure if I can turn one more person on, it's a good day.

Ken Strayhorn
Chapel Hill NC


Subject: Skylarking outtakes?
From: (Kevin Scott)
Date: Thu, 20 May 93 11:46:39 CST
Organization: System 6626 BBS, Winnipeg Manitoba Canada

I recall reading in a 1987 Melody Maker that there were several songs
that were not included with "Skylarking" because they were deemed
inappropriate by Todd Rundgren (when you think about it, 49 and half
minutes IS pretty short for an XTC album, even with the inclusion of
"Dear God"...they usually clock in at over an hour).  Anyway, in this
same article they mentioned that these songs were going to get released.
I'm not sure that they ever did.  They mentioned the titles, and I can't
remember what they were.  I know they're not the same ones that were
released as B-sides on the "Dear God" CD single (The Homo Safari Series).
Does anyone know if these songs ever saw the light of day and if they are



Date: Thu, 20 May 93 19:13:00 CDT
From: (Tom Arvetis)
Subject: Take Away

Hey, folks.  I went to a record show recently and picked up a copy of Andy
Partridge's "Take Away/The Lure of Salvage" LP.  It's a British import
original 1980 pressing.  Has anyone heard it?  I'd like to know what you
think.  I'm not quite sure myself.  I do like it but I'm not sure how much.

Thanks a lot.

Tom Arvetis


Date: Tue, 25 May 93 15:49:40 CDT
From: Andrew Russell Mutchler <>
Subject: Down in the cockpit

Mike Murphy ( wrote about "Down in the Cockpit",
claiming to enjoy the song but being puzzled by the line "Girl have the
brains to act just like the weaker sex".  I've wondered about that line
myself.  Maybe it means that when men treat women like children, the women
sometimes take advantage of this to get the men to do things for them, like
help them move furniture and so on.  Or maybe it's just sort of satirical.
On a similar note, is "Sgt. Rock (Is Going to Help Me)" meant as satire?
I certainly hope so!

P.S.: Count "Down in the Cockpit" as one of my favorite XTC songs.  I didn't
think much of the Dance Mixture on Rag & Bone Buffet, which I heard before
I ever bought English Settlement.  But when I heard the original, I was
hooked!  It's a fun song.

P.P.S.: My CD of English Settlement has no lyric sheet!  What gives?  (I
found the lyrics in a file at the ftp site, so I'm happy now.  But I still
feel sort of miffed.)

 -Andrew   & Now let's all sing the Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen's Anthem!
  Mutchler &    (to the tune of god Save The queen)


Subject: HeLLo...
Date: Thu, 27 May 93 12:36:22 -0400

Nonsuchers -

   I'm neW to the list and I'd like to get an idea who out there might
want to do some tape swapping or who's got a good line on the band's
hard-to-finds (CD, whatever....)

   I have a taped interview (almost and hour...maybe longer) that I did
with Andy last year right after the release of the album. It was a
fairly decent chat covering a lot of topics. I'd be willing to trade
copies for copies of:

Jules Verne's Sketchbook
Any decent demos

Drop us a line...JoE
"Even I never know where I go, when my eyes are cLoSeD..."

p.s. - When I spoke to Andy he said he was preparing a followup to the
JV Sketchbook clled "The Bull With the Golden Guts" or something like
that. Does anyone know if anything new has been released?


Subject: WeaKer SeX.....
Date: Thu, 27 May 93 16:01:50 -0400

I guess it was Michelle who said:

But why is acting like the weaker sex smart?

 I think what Andy might have meant is that women know when to act
inferior as a tool for manipulating men in general....opening car
doors for them, carrying the heavier grocery bags. It can be a great
deal at times....

great song in any case..



Subject: Re: Chalkhills #278
Date: Thu, 27 May 93 16:03:46 -0400

Andrew Stephens said:

Are there any compilations of their videos?

  Yeah, I know of one that happens to be for rent in my local music
store, but I haven't had time, $$ to get it.  I'll let you know if
it's any good.



Subject: Window Box
Date: Thu, 27 May 93 16:55:15 -0400

Wes said:

By the way, "Window Box" came out in a limited edition, so you
can no longer get it from The Little Express.
You could post a note in Chalkhills and see if someone will
be kind enough to tape it for you.

  SInce I've let me subscription to TLE slip, if anyone has this and is
willing to tape it/trade, Let me know...



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