Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills #308

                  Chalkhills, Number 308

                Thursday, 2 December 1993
Today's Topics:
                  Mid-Life Crises of XTC
                   Re: Chalkhills #307
                     say it isn't so
                    andy's solo record
                    Re: Back Catalogue
                      Perfect Timing
                   Re: Chalkhills #307
                    unusual XTC stuff
                Dukes and the XTC fanclub
                   Re: Chalkhills #306
                   Partridge Sightings
              Aimee Mann in Baltimore 12/16
             Re: Dave Gregory with Aimee Mann

Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1993 17:53:52 -0800
From: Will Kreth <>
Subject: Mid-Life Crises of XTC

Thanks John for the report on the 3. To cut to the chase, it seems like the
band is finally having their mid-life crises. About time! They've got to
get out of the house some more. "Swindon this and Swindon that."  Bah!
Sorry I missed the show, Mr. Relph - but looked at my watch Monday night
and it was half-over. Oh, well. Glad to hear that things are in flux,
because sometimes when people's lives are shook-up - they can produce the
most wonderful music. Partridge on stage in NYC, Moulding playing bass on
an upcoming Sam Phillips album, and Gregory on _tour_ with somebody,
anybody....fer crissakes! This is great news.

Time marches on, thank God. I'm sorry, but the whole martyr-bit about the
record company continually asking them to bend-over is sad and worn. The
contract they have with Virgin couldn't have asked for a life of indentured
servitude - as they'd have us believe. Tired of driving-back driveaway
rental cars to the lot  for a few quid, eh Dave? Well....hell  YES  -
_change_ record labels, _hire_ a lawyer, and _sue_ the bastards! Don't
worry, we do it in America all the time! No one blinks an eye!

It's time for XTC to take control of their schtick or give it up.
Hopefully, the former. And it looks like they might. I'm not holding my
breath, but these are good signs.



Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1993 19:17:56 -0800
From: "Andrew H. Trott" <>
Subject: Self-introduction

Hi! I'm Drew Trott, and I'm afraid I'm not a Usenet habitue -- my main link
to cyberspace is the Well, which is where I heard about the Chalkhills
newsletter and mailing list.

I first heard about XTC when I bought my CD player at the end of 1989. I was
reading all the lists on the year's best albums, and several of them listed
Oranges and Lemons. I bought it. Was a little puzzled at first, but quickly
hooked. Now I've got everything that's readily available, and am starting to
look for things that aren't, like Dukes of Stratosphere (though I've now
found them in cyberspace, too). I'm listening to _The Big Express_ as I type
this. It's one of my favorites, but then, they all are . . .


Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1993 08:26:17 -0500 (EST)
From: Wilson Smith <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #307

On Tue, 30 Nov 1993 Jeff Preston <> wrote:
> Subject: Anyone remember "Night Tracks"?
>   I was curious to see if anyone else here got their first glimpse of
>   XTC on the WTBS "Night Tracks" program. This is where I saw videos of
>   "Making Plans for Nigel" and "Life Begins at the Hop," beginning the
>   fascination. Now that I think of it, this may have pre-dated the "Night
>   Tracks" program, but darned if I can recall the name of the program if
>   it isn't that. It was on all night on Friday and/or Saturday night.
>   Anyone?

My girlfriend says this is where she first encountered xtc as well -- she
thinks it was probably the Midnight Special, which was on Friday nights
and occasionally had videos.

Wilson Smith


Date: Wed, 1 Dec 93 10:08:40 EST
From: Jeff Rosedale <>
Subject: say it isn't so


But they can't break up, they just can't!  It's really too sad to think
about.  If I see Andy wandering around the upper west side I'll have to
deliver a sad and soppy lecture to that effect.

Thanks, John for the extensive news of the dave.....



Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1993 12:16:09 -0500 (EST)
From: brandon milner <>
Subject: andy's solo record

DEAR XTC geniuses:
        I was in a record store a few years ago in Boston and saw an andy
partridge solo record. All I remember was that it had an unflattering
picture on the cover (it was an LP) I didn't buy it because I dod not have
a brain at the time :)
        What is on this record? what does it sound like and how can I get it?



Date: Wed, 1 Dec 93 10:13:24 PST
From: "John Relph" <>
Subject: Re: Back Catalogue

Derek C Miner <> opines:

>        Just for kicks (and conversation) here's the order I recommend
>the rest of the XTC catalogue:
>        6. Rag & Bone Buffet
>        7. The Big Express
>        8. Toss up between "White Music" and "Go 2"

and then neil oliver <> writes:
> Working back through the catalogue is not
>necessarily what you want to do; the preceding albums, "Mummer" and
>"The Big Express," are not the band's best (though naturally are
>extremely good nonetheless).

I still do not understand what people do not like about _The Big
Express_.  It's by far the best XTC album ever made.  Although Dave
Gregory told me he wasn't so fond of it when I spoke to him.  Any
gate, "Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her" has to be one of the best
XTC songs ever recorded.  And of course "Wake Up" is one of the best
XTC album openers (and best album openers in general).  "All You
Pretty Girls" is dang good.  "Shake You Donkey Up" has wonderful
violin (or is that viola?) and I like the message as well.  "This
World Over" has very poignant lyrics and the perfect music to go along
with them, building to a heartfelt crescendo; Andy Partridge has said
that he had never realised the power of these lyrics until he had to
sing them.  "Reign of Blows" has great harmonica and a distorted edge
to the music, a very powerful overall message.  "You're The Wish You
Are I Had" is a great XTC love song; this song could almost be
regarded as the canonical Andy Partridge song (good guitar solo, too).
"I Remember The Sun", "The Everyday Story of Smalltown", "I Bought
Myself a Liarbird"?  All good songs, with some excellent imagery:
blinded by the light of a nuclear blast; the town speaking of its
inhabitants; XTC's ongoing record company problems and self-delusion.
And of course "Train Running Low On Soul Coal", another of XTC's hard-
hitting album closers.

Nice cover, too.

        -- John


Date:         Wed, 01 Dec 93 12:40:37 CST
From: Cyndi Robinson <>
Subject:      Perfect Timing

Y'know those little moments in life where the universe seems to be with
you?  Well, I just had one.  At the EXACT moment I began reading Chalkhills
#307, "The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead" came on the radio.  Perfect
soundtrack for reading!



Subject: Re: Chalkhills #307
Date: Wed, 01 Dec 93 15:46:44 -0500

> Andy is getting a divorce.  Bad news.  He's been spending a lot of
time in New York, with a girlfriend there (gossip pages, look out).
He actually got on stage with Aimee Mann at their New York show and
they performed The Dukes' "Collideascope".

  What!?! That's it, that's the last time I want to hear Mr. Partridge
cry "shyness" about playing in front of people. Too bad about the
divorce but maybe Andy's getting his second wind and will loosen up again.

>Dave didn't have much to say about Colin.

 Hmm..yeah, this xTc as a cottage indutry is probably over. If there
are no plans for an album at this stage, they'll either jump ship to a
new label or call it quits soon. What do think JoHn?

JoE Silva


Date: 01 Dec 93 20:24:31 EST
From: Steve Levenstein <>
Subject: unusual XTC stuff

   To Derek Miner, who wanted to know about any "unusual XTC" material;
may I suggest: "The Drunken Studio Sessions" (unreleased fooling
around by an inebriated XTC doing Hendrix & Led Zep covers),
Saeko Suzuki's "Studio Romantic" CD from 1987 which includes Andy
playing guitar & singing back-up vocals on a few tracks, and
the always hilarious "Bags of Fun with Buster" by "Johnny Japes and
his Jesticles" (really Andy & Dave with John Otway doing vocals)
which is a 45rpm single released by "VIZ" magazine (very rare!).
   I married a Japanese XTC fan, so we've combined our huge hoards
of XTC stuff. Tokyo is THE place for rare XTC vinyl and strange
3" mini-CDs.

   Kudos to John "King" Relph, who met Dave & heard some juicy info!
And "Way to go!" to Dave Gregory, who is an "item" with the lovely
Aimee Mann (is it really true?...)

..."back next week with another ridiculous tie knot"...
---> Steve


Date: Thu, 02 Dec 93 01:26:15 EST
Subject: Dukes and the XTC fanclub

Just got on this email list for XTC but have been a fan for years. Joined the
Canadian Fan club from information given on the back of the Skylarking album.
Annual meetings in England and Canada for fans aound the world. Last one was
in Illinois somewhere I think.
>I've been listening to Chips From The Chocolate Fireball for
>several years now and I've always been aware of the quite >whispering by two
girls just before The Pale And Precious.
Aftr I got a copy of The Dukes of S... I used my Mac computer sound software
to chop off the little sound effects between the songs. A speeded up backward
section reveals what the boys in the band think you should do "with your atom
bomb" (!)

I also got a tape of The Bull with the Golden Guts, a new compilation tape
(Like Jules Verne which I need desperately. Anyone want to trade me copies?).
It has demo songs that never made it on O&L or Nonesuch and is terrrific,
especially songs like "Humanosaurus" and "Everything". The last song, "This
Is The End", would have made O&L too long so they left it off. Really cool
stuff. Email is always welcome.
P.S. Buy the live XTC disc....lots of energy and you can't see them live now!
  Put it in a letter, what could be better?


From: Jules <>
Date: 2 Dec 93 12:28:17 GMT
Subject: Re: Chalkhills #306

Hi there!

Brian was asking which album to get next.  I'd suggest Mummer or
Black Sea.  If you continue backwards through the catalogue you'll
get to them, but you'll fell better for skipping Big Express and
going stright to Mummer.  It's gorgeous.

BTW are there any cd's available from their promotion of Nonsuch in
radio stations in the states (like there were from Oranges and
Lemmings)?  AND can we get them in the uk?


Soupy Twist

Stephen: And now, Mr Hugh Laurie will say the word "Vilm".
Hugh:    Vilm.


Date: 2 Dec 1993 10:28:46 U
From: "Venverloh Jeff" <>
Subject: Partridge Sightings

Thought you might enjoy the following exchange between myself and my NYC
> I heard Andy Partridge is hanging out in NYC. If he drops in on you,
> tell him I said "Hi".

He did, twice.  I also run into him on the street occasionally.  I've
neglected to say hi.  I will next time.  I overheard him commenting to his
companion how sad he thought it was that she wasn't more popular since she
doesn't tour.  Funny coming from a guy who doesn't tour himself, eh?

Heads up to all you city folk...


Date: Thu, 2 Dec 93 14:56:12 EST
From: (Patty Haley)
Subject: Aimee Mann in Baltimore 12/16

Well, normally I wouldn't have bothered going to see her, but
since she's got Dave Gregory with her, I'm going!  For anyone
who's interested in the details, they're playing at Max's on
Broadway, a fairly small place where the ticket prices are
always reasonable.  If anyone from the list would care to meet
me there, please send mail to

Naturally, I will try like hell to meet up with Dave, and will
report any information I may garner about the band.  Glad that
folks on this list mentioned he was touring with her, otherwise
I'd have missed it!

More XTC news:  don't have the article in front of me, but it was
a long version of the hysterical article featuring Andy and the
rubber shark.  It mentioned that Dave and Colin had to take day
jobs in order to keep the rent paid--not surprising, I guess, but
tragic nevertheless.  I'll post more from the article (I've ordered
the issue featuring the first half of the *looonnnnggg interview)
after I've had a chance to read it all.



Date: Thu, 2 Dec 93 12:29:26 PST
From: "John Relph" <>
Subject: Re: Dave Gregory with Aimee Mann

I remembered a few more things from our conversation with Dave:

Dave likes the original demo for "Bungalow" much better than the
recorded version.

We also told him we liked his guitar solos, by way of encouragement,
and I mentioned the guitar solos for "That Wave", which aroused
universal agreement, and the solo for "Pink Thing", which Dave said
was not one of his best: "I should have practised more".

Dave likes Eric Johnson's guitar playing.

Dave mentioned that the rubber shark had its own miniature Anvil case.

        -- John


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