Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #396

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 396

                Saturday, 3 December 1994

Today's Topics:
                     Re: Yellow Pills
                     I Was There Too
                    Chalkhills newbie
              Otway (no direct XTC content!)
                       7" singles.
  Greetings from Oxford (about 30 miles from Swindon!!)
                   Parrots and lemurs!
       Sir GreGory's Malady/CrasH TesT Nightmare..
               Gold Disc in Boston Area/St
               3-Inch CD- Who Sent E-Mail?
                     New on the hills
                    Another new guy...
                   XTC Really 2 Bands?
                       I'm new here
                    XTC 'Net Interview
                    Drums and Wireless
                 Explode Together Sources
                       XTC-KC link
             hiddy ho there, xtc neighbor...
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #395
                  JellyFish Comes Alive
                    Re: Live Confusion


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Hope you enjoyed your flight in one of our new straw aeroplanes.


From: "Jim Slade" <>
Organization:  The Current Science Group
Date:          Tue, 29 Nov 1994 16:39:16 EST5EDT
Subject:       Re: Yellow Pills

I've read the fanzine Yellow Pills, and it's not bad.  Some of it
really interested me, but beware if you're not totally dedicated to
power pop.  The issues I've seen were chock full of things related to
Dwight Twilley Band, 20/20, Emmitt Rhodes, The Raspberries,
Shoes, etc.  I can take all of those bands for their 3 great singles,
but they don't hit me like an entire album by XTC, even one of their
weaker ones.  Now if you're into that kind of thing, this is
definitely the zine for you.  The guys who put it out are in the
midwest - Missouri or somewhere out there - which makes a lot of


Date: Tue, 29 Nov 1994 15:56:25 -0600
From: (Tom Keekley)
Subject: Wireless

While it could be said (and it has) that the versions of the songs on Drums
and Wireless share many of the same characteristics to their album
counterparts, I must comment about the performance.

The energy in these versions is quite exhilarating! Someone mentioned
'Skeleton'. I love this on O&L, and it zings along here also! Andy's
sinister laugh at the beginning (where the vacuum cleaner comes in!)
is perfect.

99% of the bands doing 'unplugged' stuff should take a lesson from these
three! These acoustic instruments are played with passion, grace, AND fire.
They vary textures so well it makes me cry! Most 'unplugged' performers
treat the acoustic instruments as though they were

I know it gets lamented often, but by owning both this and the BBC Live
disc, I can't help but think the music world is missing one HELL of a live
performer every day Andy (and the rest) stay off-stage!!


Date: Tue, 29 Nov 1994 16:13:25 -0800
From: (Jim McGowan)
Subject: I Was There Too

In Chalkhills #395, Craig Vreeken writes:

> I got to see them twice, too.  The first and best time was on
> November 1, 1980 at the Stone in San Francisco.  Oingo Boingo opened and
> were good, but XTC.  Oh my god!  The best word that comes to mind is
> "fierce," especially Terry Chambers.  He sounded like a superhuman android
> or something.  Andy was extremely bright in a demented sort of way.  Colin
> was sort of in the background visually, but pulsed musically.  And Dave
> Gregory played brilliantly with a full beard.

This might have been the same show I saw, although I don't recall Dave in a
beard. I remember him in a green long-sleeve shirt, white pants and playing
a creme-colored Telecaster. Maybe I saw them the night after and he decided
to shave off the beard... Anyway, it's nice to know that someone else from
the net was there oh so many years ago.

And I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of the performance. I
described it pretty much the same way in my first post to this list 'bout
four years ago (Chalkhills #93 to be exact). I thought Terry was going to
explode. (Andy did instead.)

- Jim

| James McGowan * Ascom Timeplex Inc * Los Angeles, California |
|                               |


Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 03:08:47 +0100
From: (Robert Telford)
Subject: Chalkhills newbie

Hi, having seen the entry in "The Internet Yellow Pages" on the bookshelf
at the Mac dealer where I work, Chalkhills was one of the things that
finally swung my decision to upgrade the bulging hard drive on my Mac and
actually buy a modem! XTC online seemed too good a thing to miss and from
the couple of Chalkhills I've received so far I'm glad I did it.

Here's my little intro with the when, where and why of me & my XTC infatuation.

XTC were always been somewhere in the charts in late seventies and early
eighties Britian, but the track that really turned me on to them was
'Senses': I went out, bought the single, borrowed English Settlement from
my local library and never looked back. I guess it still has to be one of
my favourites along with Skylarking. Since then I've been out buying almost
everything by XTC I can lay my hands on.

A small geographical aside, I live about five minutes drive from the site
of Nonsuch Palace on the edge of London which gave its name to the last
studio album. These days it's a park where I often go for Sunday afternoon
walks and eat ice cream from the tea rooms in the summer.

I hope all you Americans out there don't get too offended, but what turns
me on about XTC is their sheer Englishness, something they share with
artists like Robyn Hitchcock, The Smiths and The Kinks. This is not to say
I don't like American music - I've actually got more CDs by Frank Zappa
(though that is as much to do with his prodigious output as anything else).
Blur, it seems to me, are following in this great tradition.

Thus Partridge & Co. are one of the points of reference used by the band I
play bass in when we're arguing over an arrangement or musical idea (anyone
who fancies checking us out can see us at the Mean Fiddler in London on Jan
3 - apologies for the shameless plug). In a moment of kooky abandon, we
once did a gig dressed as mummers!

I haven't got a clue about the Oingo Boingo issue as I've never knowingly
heard them.

Nice to be here.

cheerz, Rob


Date: Wed, 30 Nov 94 08:29:59 GMT
From: "Steve Moore" <>
Subject: Otway (no direct XTC content!) wrote...

> possiblities of finding music fans for any artist on the Net, has anyone
> out there ever heard of JOHN OTWAY? I just want to make sure I'm not the
> only guy in North America that's devoted.

I'm a HUGE Otway fan, and have been since about 1977. I've got all the albums,
both solo and with Wild Willy, as well as all three videos. These days Otway
is definitely best described as having 'selective appeal' - he plays pubs
mainly, drawing audiences of 50-100, but he's still releasing stuff as and when
he gets the chance.

If anybody wants to talk Otway, it's possibly best if we go to personal mail to
avoid clogging Chalkhills - although (IMHO) anybody who likes XTC will like
Otway too, theres a lot of similarities.

A final thought... Having said that this post contains no XTC content, I've
just remembered that Andy and Otway made one 7" single together - it was the
'Bags of fun with Buster' 45. Yes, I have got it if anyone wants a copy.

'Beware of the flowers, cos I'm sure they're gonna get you'



From: Dames The Wonder Dog <SPXDLF@CARDIFF.AC.UK>
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 09:49:26 GMT
Subject: 7" singles.

Hi everyone,

I was just browsing in a new local record store in my area ( Cardiff,
Wales [ ,England!] ) when I stumbled across a gold mine of XTC 7"
singles (you know that funny black vinyl stuff.)  I can't remember
exactly what was present but I do remember Sgt Rock is Going to Help
Me with (and without) a strange poster and This World Over with a set
of postcards.  Personally I am not an avid collecter of XTC stuff
(just their music) but as a service to deserving fans I am quite
willing to mail them off to you (where ever you may be).  There were
quite few other singles too, so if anyone _is_ interested email me
and I will compile a list of what is availible.  I yes, I would just
like to say that I have no connection with this shop and I am just
offering this because I am a truely nice guy!

To the bloke who sent me a tape of his music (sorry I can't even
remember your name) thanks, my girlfriend says that it has arrived at
her house. :-)

Cheers everyone!  Toodle Pip!

P.s. I think that Wrapped In Grey is a truely wonderful song too.


Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 10:00:07 +0000 (GMT)
From: William HamBevan <>
Subject: Greetings from Oxford (about 30 miles from Swindon!!)

Just found the XTC server via the Web Wide World Music Archives. Good to
see that the boys from Swindon are so popular over in the States!

Interested to learn of this covers album: there's been very little
mention of it in the press in the U.K. I wait with anticipation.

To Mr. John Relph, who is travelling to Oxford on the 5th: Sorry, old
chap - I'd be delighted to meet you, but I'm returning home to Wales on
the 3rd. Make sure you have a pint or three in the King's Arms and visit
Jesus College.

It surprises me that 'Dear God' is so popular over there: I find the song
rather twee, and a poor replacement for 'Mermaid Smiled', which is
sublime. The kiddie at the beginning is especially nauseating. Anyone
share this view?

"England's Glory - A Striking Beauty!"

Pip pip,     Will Ham-Bevan (


Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 06:20:43 -0500
Subject: Parrots and lemurs!

I'm new and this is a godsend. I'm high on smart English pop, and XTC has
been with me since the release of English Settlement -- a college find. Just
a quick note on Martin Newell: I ran across a review in VOX Jan. 94 (Paul
Weller on the cover-great article). I bought the cd and it's fantastic. The
reviewer points out his "ingenious arrangements" and "surprisingly deft
bull's eyes." They gave it a 7 out of 10, but nock it up a notch because of
Andy's work. It seems to have been engineered on the high side, like the old
MC5 albums. I found my copy at a Title Wave in the Twin Cities.


Subject: Sir GreGory's Malady/CrasH TesT Nightmare..
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 94 09:16:16 -0500

GreG O' said:

>Dave Gregory is on the cover of and is interviewed in the current issue
>of whatever magazine is issued by the American Diabetes Association (or
>whatever it's called).

   Any chance of you posting this in the future?

>"Dumb and
>Dumber" has a version of "...Peter Pumkinhead" by Crash Test Dummies on it.
>I haven't heard it yet.  I read somewhere that the leader of the Dummies is
>an XTC fanatic, so it makes sense.

   Yes, this showed up in the mail recently and if you haven't heard it,
don't waste any of your hard earned, potential $anta cash on getting it.
The song is song (in a rather sterile fashion...) by the group's female
member and fanatics or not they don't pull it off or even come close
ZeRo warmth.....



Date: 30 Nov 1994 13:09:22 U
From: "Wesley Wilson" <>
Subject: Gold Disc in Boston Area/Sting

Today at lunchtime I went to both Tower Records and Newbury Comics here in
Burlington, MA. No "Skylarking Ultradisc" available yet! Seems like the
Boston area always gets XTC stuff last.  E.g.,I think the last time Andy was
in the area was for the 1989 Oranges and Lennons Radio Tour. Correct me if
I'm wrong! Oh well, at least we had "Gregsy" in the area for a while when he
played with Aimee Mann's band.

I did have my wits about me enough during my lunchtime jaunt to pick up
Sting's new CD single, "When We Dance." Produced by *Hugh Padgham* and Sting!
In case you haven't heard "When We Dance," it's wonderful. Sting can still
reach into his bag of tricks and pull out a great romantic tune. Dave Gregory
said in a recent issue of The Little Express that "Ten Summoner's Tales" was
big on his playlist. It's encouraging to see "aging punksters" like XTC and
Sting still making great music.

Hey...did anyone else hear "Baby I Can't Please You" played rather
conspicuously recently in a bar room scene on "Melrose Place"? (Or wuz it
"90210"?) :-)

And here's an idea I've entertained recently: how about if we "reconstruct"
the White Music album so that it has the best versions available of all of
the tracks? I was thinking of a totally "live version" version of White
Music, with the best versions of the CD tracks, all recorded on one cassette
for Chalkhills subscribers? I mean, when that album came out they were mostly
known as a great, energetic live band.

What do people think of Andy not wanting a drummer on the next album? (And to
think that this is the same guy who wanted the drums "to really knock your
head off!" during the recording sessions of "Drums and Wires." :-))

I'm personally not thrilled at the prospect. What they need to do this time
around is to get a producer who knows XTC's music. oberservation: it's likely that XTC's forthcoming album will be
available on vinyl as well as CD. I may opt for the vinyl version this time



Date: 30 Nov 1994 13:37:57 U
From: "Wesley Wilson" <>
Subject: 3-Inch CD- Who Sent E-Mail?

Recently, a Chalkhills subscriber sent me e-mail about being able to get a
3-inch "Mayor of Simpleton" for me. This one has "Living in a Haunted Heart"
and "The Good Things."

Can whoever it was please e-mail me back? I am still very interested in this
CD, but I lost your e-mail!




Date: 01 Dec 1994 00:25:00 +0200
From: (thomas riha)
Subject: New on the hills

Hi music-lovers!

And here's another newbie on the net and in this mailing list. My name's
in the header and ".at" in my e-mail address means that I'm living in
Austria (Europe - not Australia - no kangas!).

The first time I came across XTC's music was in the end of the seventies
and I didn't like it at all. Well in those days I thought it was a waste
of time to listen to anything besides Pink Floyd, 10CC and Roy Harper.
But the years passed and I grew older and suddenly I began to like the
"Black Sea". And then I was hooked.

 From then on I bought every new record (I still don't like the older
ones) and I think that they grew stronger with every record. Besides
Skylarking. I still think that it's a shame that the best two songs from
this sessions are on the back of the Grass-Maxi-Single (i.e. "Extrovert"
and of course "Dear God").

I'm working as a music-programmer for the Austrian Broadcasting
Corporation so I do have a little chance to make people listen to XTC.
But it doesn't help very much. XTC is still an insider-issue in Austria.

BTW my job was the reason for finding the "chalkhills mailing list". I
made a programm about musical services on networks and someone from the
FIDO-net told me about it (hello Mike *Gervasi* - I can see that you're
still here :)).

I think the most important things have been said for the first mail. If
you do have any questions about me or my home-country feel free to email
me. And please excuse my poor english. It's been quite a long time since
I've left school and I have to get used to explain my thoughts in
english again.

## CrossPoint v3.02 ##


Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 16:42:12 -0700 (MST)
From: David Scales a/k/a Captain Oblivion <>
Subject: Another new guy...

Hi all!
        I'm brand new to the list, but have been a raving XTC fan since
ENGLISH SETTLEMENT came out (I'm only 25; whaddaya want? =-) ). I
dicovered this little group through the Internet Yellow Pages, which a
friend of mine kindly loaned to me before I chewed his legs off trying to
get to the address.
        One initial question: Does anyone know if there were any more
albums released in the JULES VERNE'S SKETCHBOOK series? I know it's
listed as volume one, which I already have, but I haven't heard a thing
about substitute volumes... hmmm...
        JAMES DIGNAN: I like the.sig file. "By This River" is a favourite
Eno piece of mine. And here I was thinking that I was the last Eno fan
        BILLY MOXIM: The reason "Girls And Boys" sounds so XTCesque is
that all the members claim to be screaming ravenous fans of
them.According to an interview on eMpTy-V, they claim to have done it as
a sendup/homage/ripoff/bow-unto-your-influence sourt of thing. I like it.
I think it works well, although maybe not as well as Toad The Wet
Sprocket (who are also XTC fans)...
        And a general introductory question to the group: is it true that
the majority of people here think THE BIG EXPRESS sucks? Just wondering
before I throw my two cents' worth in...

David Scales / Captain Oblivion
Psychology Department, University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM

"It may stop, but it never ends."   ---Matt Howarth


Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 19:05:41 -0500
Subject: XTC Really 2 Bands?

I see a "split personality" among XTC's albums.
Skylarking, Oranges & Lemons and Nonsuch mark the "maturing" of this band.
 Everything previous seems to be a bit, well, rough. In fact, I've heard a
lot of the early stuff, but don't dig it like I do the latter. Am I alone in
this feeling?
-BJ Leiderman


Date: Wed, 30 Nov 1994 20:04:35 -0500 (EST)
From: Valerie Jean Williams <>
Subject: I'm new here

        Hello, I'm Valerie and I just subscribed to Chalkhills. I
discovered XTC my 9th grade year in highschool, and I've been recruiting
people ever since! My best friend and fellow fan gave me the Chalkhills
info over email.

My question: I'm wondering if they did any other work as "Dukes of
Stratosphear" other than Psonic Psunspot and 25 o'clock...I didn't see
the Dukes on the FAQ list, so....

Please forgive me if I'm doing this newsgroup thing wrong, I'm an
internet virgin, so I don't really know how this works.

more later =)


Date: Thu, 1 Dec 94 17:51:39 GMT
From: John Nicholls <>
Subject: XTC 'Net Interview

In Digest Number 380, I said that I had something a little bit
special for the list ...

To recap my first posting to _Chalkhills_ in July 1994, I
actually live in the centre of Swindon; to recap my second
posting most of my friends in the late 70s/early 80s came from
Purton.  One of my friends was the youngest of three brothers,
and his second eldest sibling joined XTC (read the XTC biog
_Chalkhills and Children_ if you're lost already).

Consequently after some cajoling and smarming...

              The First XTC 'Net Interview

Dave Gregory has agreed to answer questions from the _Chalkhills_
mailing list.

Dave doesn't have a PC or Internet link, but I have described the
basics of internet/e-mail/Chalkhills to him and he is happy to
answer questions and for me to transcribe his answers.

So - if you have any question(s) you would like to ask Dave
Gregory, mail them to me directly at the address at the bottom of
this message (not to _Chalkhills_).  I will collect them up, take
them round to Dave and hopefully get them all answered.  A
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to solve that XTC/Dukes mystery
that's been bothering you since, oh, 25 O'Clock.


I'm off to South Africa from 7 December 1994 until 7 January
1995, so you have the whole of the festive season to think about
it, and I will conduct the interview mid-January.  Questions can
be sent to the address below while I'm away.

Although other bands/mailing lists have done 'Net interviews,
this might be an Internet first - mailing list subscribers
effectively interviewing a band member!

A little background on myself: I am 32 and have lived in Swindon
since 1976 (with breaks for sojourns in Liverpool and London).
My main interest is music, particularly live, and at present I
listen to a lot of the current 60s-influenced stuff (Blur, Dodgy,
Stone Roses, Oasis) which has inspired me to dig out older stuff
with similar sounds (XTC/Dukes, Beatles, Donovan, Small Faces,
early Led Zeppelin, Cream).  Of course, next week it could be
Fats Domino and Cab Calloway.  I also listen to Julian Cope, the
Fall, and a lot of trance/techno/dub.  My friends tend to be
polarised into two musical camps!

I work in the telecommunications industry, designing
software/hardware for frame relay switching products, with
responsibility for voiceband transport over frame relay.

Now get those Stratosphearic Thinking Caps on - what does Dave
know that you don't...

JP Nicholls

####################################### Tel: (UK daytime) 0793-546383


From: "Pat Keane" <>
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 1994 11:20:26 -0800
Subject: hi


my name is Pat Keane, and Im new to the group here. I live in Chicago
and work for a supercomputer company. Im a pretty big XTC fan, and I
used to listen to them all the time in college. I just wanted to
introduce myself and say 'hi'

go BEARS tonights the night
pj keane


Date: Thu, 1 Dec 94 14:42:00 EST
Subject: Drums and Wireless

     (...He emerges briefly from the shadows to say) Hey, did anyone
     notice that the song list on Drums and Wireless seems to
     studiously avoid the "hits"? No Thugs and Ten Feet Tall are the
     only songs of the 16 that were even A-side singles, and they were
     hardly the band's best-known singles! On listening to it, I'm
     also struck that the earlier recordings show the band far more
     willing to stray from the studio versions. I remember in some
     interview that Andy attributed part of his unwillingness to tour
     to his frustration at trying to duplicate the studio sound on
     stage. Although that's always seemed a rationalization, the later
     songs on Drums and Wireless do sound pretty close to the studio
     tracks (except for the previously noted "sucks his paper, burns
     his pipe" in No Thugs (seems like a vintage Andy goof (off, not
     up))). (Back to the shadows again...) -- Steve


Date: Thu, 1 Dec 1994 22:16:01 -0500
Subject: Explode Together Sources wanted to know what the sources for the tunes on "Take
Away/Lure of the Salvage" were.  I have a photcopy of an article from a
magazine called "Aware" that addresses that very issue.  The "Take Away" song
title is listed first, and then what was transmogrified to make it.

1. Signal Ad - Refrigeration Blues (an outake from "White Music")
2. The Day They Pulled The North Pole Down - Heatwave
3. The Forgotten Language of Light - Millions
4. Steam Fist Futurist - Real By Reel
5. Shore Leave Ornithology - Pulsing Pulsing
6. Cairo - Homo Safari
7. The Rotary - Helicopter
8. Madhatten - That Is The Way
9. I Sit In The Snow - Roads Girdle The Globe
10. Work Away Tokyo Day - Day In Day Out (plus sax from "Red")
11. New Broom - Making PLans For Nigel

Also "We Kill The Beast" from "Go+" is derived from "The Rhythm"

I hope this answers GiLamont's question.  If anyone disagrees with this, it's
not my fault - I'm just copying what I'm reading.


Date:         Thu, 01 Dec 94 22:59:57 EST
Subject:      XTC-KC link

What with all the King Crimson talk on here lately (to which I've been
guilty of contributing), I wanted to point out that there _is_ a
legitimate connection b/n the two.

Barry Andrews of early XTC keyboard fame went on to join Robert
Fripp's League of Gentlemen.  And if you want to _hear_ the
connection, listen to the keyboard solo in the middle of "Science
Friction" and then to something from the League's CD _God Save the
King_.  You'll see.  That style of seemingly random notes is peppered
throughout different songs and carried by different instruments, but
is unmistakable when you hear it.

What do you call that noise that you put on??

'Sall for now



From: (asta rebecca e)
Date:         2 Dec 94 10:26:11
Subject:      hiddy ho there, xtc neighbor...

Okay, the subscription message says to write in and introduce myself
and how I heard about xtc.  I'm Rebecca Asta and I'm a freshman at the
College of William and Mary and I have listened to xtc since my
freshman year in high school, when we were first figuring out what
"Pink Thing" was all about.  My best friends brother (a reggae
musician from the Caribbean) got Oranges and Lemons plus a mix
of earlier xtc songs from a girlfriend of his.  He shared it with his
little sister, who shared it with me.  We were instantly fascinated
by any band that had the balls to sing about penises without blantant
misogynistic overtones, so we proceeded to purchase, between my three
best friends and I, everything the xtc has released that is easily
available.  We live on finding new and different singles and
recordings, such as Go plus, and we almost died when we found
chalkhills on the internet.  There you go,  -Becca


From: "Orion" <>
Organization:  Franklin Pierce College
Date:          Fri, 2 Dec 1994 14:07:03 EST
Subject:       Re: Chalkhills Digest #395

I'm a rookie-

Ahhh! Don't shoot me because of it either. I just started slappin'
round a keyboard three days ago.So please forgive me if I sound like
an idiot.The first XTC album I bought was"Oranges and Lemons"  I
enjoyed it but at the time I was swimming in a sea of Morrissey and
Marr,I was and still am A SMITHS FAN! I'll understand if none of you
want to talk to me ever again, I've handeled rejecton before.Well
enough about The Smiths-

>"Dear God" I'd have to say that as far as lyrics are concerned it's
definatly one of the best songs ever writen.

I realy don't know that much abot XTC but that doesn't mean I don't
want to learn.




Date: Fri, 02 Dec 94 18:09:16 PST
From: Tom Pellicer <>
Subject: JellyFish Comes Alive

>To Terry, who paid $1 for the Jellyfish Comes Alive CD.  Consider
>yourself fortunate, I paid $25 for the same thing!  :(  Yes, it was way
>too much, but I didn't want to risk not seeing it again.
>Unfortunately, Jellyfish has since disbanded.  Andy Sturmer, however, is
>reported to make a drum/vocal appearance on the new Black Crows (?) LP
>coming out next month.  (CD... whatever... :)
>Dave in KCMO

   Wow.  I was just catching up on two months of chalkhills and saw this.
   I'm a big fan of this group - does anyone know where I can get a copy of
   this live CD?  If you do, I'd appreciate it if you could email me.

   Tom Pellicer


Date: 03 Dec 94 20:51:30 EST
From: John.J.Pinto@Dartmouth.EDU (John J. Pinto)
Subject: Re: Live Confusion

Can anyone clarify the differences between the following listings:

BBC 1 Live In Concert       European Import?
BBC Radio One Live           Griffin?
Radio 1 Session                 European Import?
XTC Live                                                   Windsong

I know what the Windsong issue is and I know there is "Drums and Wireless"
BBC available but what are the others?




End of Chalkhills Digest #396

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