Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #436

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 436

                  Wednesday, 10 May 1995

Today's Topics:

                      JFK and Mummer
           XtC Fakebook? Criticism? Jung and AP
                  The Great Pumpkinhead
                 Colin's French music...
                 Craig's 'The Ecstatics'
                      Tired spouting
                 Just Another Pumpkinhead
                     1994 XTC picnic
                Last on PP/JFK--I promise
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #435
              Religious Experience (or 1000)
                         Re: Bob
                     Scorpions, etc.
                      'Nother name?
                     Check out Denzil
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #435
             Re: #2(2) Chalkhills Digest #435
                    Video Tree update
                     Rykodisk thing.


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Oh, officer, we can't believe our little angel is the one you've picked!


Date: Mon, 8 May 95 11:38:57 EDT
From: (Patty Haley)
Subject: JFK and Mummer

Hi all:

 From Gene Yoon:

> Anyone who's seen the video to Peter Pumpkinhead can easily see that XTC
> had Kennedy in mind with this song.  A repeating image is a black 1960's
> limousine with a elegantly-clad couple sitting in the back, who look around
> presidentially smiling and waving.  If I remember correctly, the woman is
> wearing that trademark Jackie K.O. flat cylindrical hat (I know it has a
> particular name, but I'm bad with clothing accessory terminology) like the
> one she wore in Dallas.

Mmmm, I've seen all the JFK/Pumpkinhead stuff on the list and remembered
that when Andy was on the _120 Minutes_ on eMpTyVee that Dave Kendall asked
him about this, if he'd written the song with JFK in mind, and Andy said no.
Not that I don't think the video is fitting, but I have a feeling Andy was
concentrating more on the rotting pumpkin aspect than the political one.
(By the way, it's a pillbox hat she was wearing, Gene.)  A cool video, though.

> >Patty Haley of the Good and Bad Org:
> >
> >And hey, I've been listening for the past few days to those hard rock
> >albums, _Nonsuch_ and _Mummer_.
> You're being sarcastic, right?

Yessir, absolutely.

> I was reminded of your survey,
> Patty, and how I wished I took the time to vote, because Colin Moulding
> would have garnered an additional vote for songwriter for "In Loving Memory
> of a Name".  There's something so oddly appealing about frolicking in a
> graveyard, telling some anonymous dead person how you danced around his
> daisies, or how you sat on her body as you figure out how old she was when
> she died.

I like this song more when I think about it than when I listen to it.  It's
one of those songs that I don't pay much attention to when it's on, not that
I don't like it, but it really doesn't have a lot of hooks.  But then, think
of the subject matter--it has to do with memory.  And the memory of hearing
this song means more to me than actually hearing it.  When I've thought about
this song, and I have been for the past few days thinking about the V-Day
Anniversary over in England and the celebrations, there were those who died:
"England can never repay you/You gave your life to be buried alongside/The
place you loved."  It's so timely for right now--"heroes and rogues together
surrounded by nature."  The dead of both sides are being remembered, and in
May spring has fully sprung, although the dead aren't around to appreciate
it.  It's a beautiful song, and of course it's pure Colin As The Ultimate
Nature Boy.  Geez, I wish I could be enjoying the festivities on the other
side of the pond right now.  Anyway, it's another fine, underrated work by
our man Moulding.

> BTW, when I wrote last time about great songs left off the original LP
> releases, I meant to say every song on Mummer *except* Procession Towards
> Learning Land.  Procession is not a great song, or even a song, as I seem
> to have suggested.  An unfortunate result of improper cutting and pasting
> on my part.

I *cannot stand* the songs they stuck in the middle of the _Mummer_ CD.
They don't fit in!  _Mummer_ to me is medieval, hot, sweaty, and sticky.
Hearing "Toys" and the other songs in the middle ruins the feel of the
album for me--I always skip over them.  I think the extra songs on _The
Big Express_ are swell--"Red Brick Dream" and "Blue Overall" are welcome
additions, but I wish "Toys" and its companions had been released as a
separate EP instead of being plunked in the middle of someplace they don't
belong.  I'm glad to see that someone likes them, at least.



Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 11:09:13 GMT-6
Subject: XtC Fakebook? Criticism? Jung and AP

Fellow Climbers, chalkheads, chalkhillians, children, disappointed,
scarecrow people, chalking heads, ecstaticians, XTCers, eXTCetera,

Obviously, a lot of musicians are reading and contributing to the
digest. I assume that many of you, like me, have figured out many of
XtC's great songs on your guitars and pianos. (I cite 1000 umbrellas
in the last edition as an example). If we pool our resources, I'll bet
we could come up with an excellent collection of XtC charts. Of
course, this would not be something to be sold, but to be shared
among ourselves (I'm not trying to rip off AP or Colin). Anyone out
there want to contribute a song or two? Contact me and I'll try to set
something up over the summer. Also, any lawyers out there let me
know if this is illegal before I get too involved.

Second, if I've studied my word origen correctly, criticize comes
 from a Greek word meaning, "to see clearly." I endorse our criticism
of XTC songs. I find criticism enlightening and the songs become even
more satisfying.

Third, I always associated the mask references in Vgly Vnderneath
with Jungian "persona." The spoon can be used as a digging tool,
trying to get through the nice (false) exterior to the ugly (real)
underneath. The fork/wheel thing? No clue.

Just MHO,
merely amanion


Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 11:25:51 GMT-6
Subject: The Great Pumpkinhead

Dear Overtimers (o.k., it's a stretch, how about chain gang? thugs?),

Two more cents to be tossed into the pumpkinhead debate. Yes, this
is a fable, there is no one Peter Pumpkinhead but think of this next
time you listen to it. Peter Pumpkinhead is John Lennon. "Emptied
churches ..." Lennon said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus
Christ, wrote "Imagine there's no religion, too". He was
clearly outside of the establishment. He as much as said any kind of
love is all alright (this one is much closer to Lennon than to JFK). The
allegory isn't perfect but it's pretty close. Actually, a number of
famous people (mostly dead) would fit. I guess that's what makes a
song universal.

Bye bye,
merely amanion


Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 21:41:35 +0200
From: (Emmanuel MARIN)
Subject: Colin's French music...

>>Colin Moulding, about his work on the last album of the fine French pop band
>>'L'Affaire Louis Trio'.
>Um, what's the name of the album?  On how many songs does Colin play?
>        -- John

The name of the album is "L'Homme aux milles vies", released two
weeks ago by Barclay here in France.
Colin plays bass on the title track, on "Le vieux sage", on
"Ma vie etait si simple", and on "Le cimetiere des elegants".
[I didn't put the French accents.. Always a problem with the ASCII
Colin is on one of the photo in the booklet, and is on the two photos
with the French guys that was published in a French magazine called
"Les Inrockuptibles". The French composer, Cleet Boris, said they expected
Colin Moulding to present them with ideas to brighten some of their
'dull' tracks, and that Colin succeeded -- in particular he proposed
a new bass line and a new rythm for "Ma vie etait si simple" after one
day spent alone in his room, Boris reports.

And before to end, another quote from CM from this paper :
"At the time of _Big Express_, we had the same problem [The drummer
first hired by the French band was 'too good, too technical' according
to CM. So he told the French to 'fire' him, and asked one of the French
guy -- who hadn't play drums for years -- to record the drums himself so that
the 'rough sound' fit better with the songs]. The guy who should have
arranged the strings, David Lord, had a purely classic music background.
He had conducted before the London Philamornic Orchestra. He couldn't
understand what we wanted, his culture was too different from ours."

Emmanuel Marin


Date: Mon, 08 May 1995 18:02:27 -0500 (CDT)
From: Crazy Side-Arm Cachola <ST55J@Jetson.UH.EDU>
Subject: Craig's 'The Ecstatics'


You should have used XTCstatics.  :)



Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 18:58:51 -0600 (MDT)
From: Big Earl Sellar <>
Subject: Tired spouting


Just finished a 10 km hike, my mind is barely operating, but a couple of

re: Bob Sherwood. RIGHT F*CKING ON! I hope they had locking whammy bars
too. Delvin Neugebauer: have you ever tried to discuss music with a head?
It's pretty damn tough, and the popier the metal ("Heavy tinsel") the
harder it is. And I am NOT biased: I've got Black Sabbath cranked right
now. (Don't laugh: it's been that kind of day. Rollins is next up...)

re: Thomas Slack: add another vote for CHALKHILLBILLIES. I like it!!!!

EEEEEEEE                                        | "Who wants to hear a happy
EE              Big Earl Sellar                 |  song? Happy is just not
EEEEE      |  very interesting."
EE              |               Lyle Lovett
EEEEEEEE                                        |


Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 21:20:49 -0400
Subject: Just Another Pumpkinhead

Hi all!

I haven't had the chance to read all the latest postings... but in
response to that Pumpkinhead song:

 From what Andy says, "Peter Pumpkinhead" is merely a name
he gave his jack-o-lantern at Halloween.  He kept it on a post
on the way to his composing shed... and everyday as he passed
it, it would deteriorate (sp?) more.  He felt so sorry for it he
decided to write a song for it... giving it high acclaim.

As far as "Dear Madam Barnum"... I always thought that was
about the separation/divorce with his wife.

Who knows... who knows...

Regards, John Neil


Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 20:46:21 -0700
Subject: 1994 XTC picnic

Hello chalks.,
      I live in Seattle and last year (July) my friends and I went to
Lincoln Park on West Seattle.  I saw signs all over with XTC and arrows
pointing. I looked for a party but couldn't find one. I would really like to
know if this was a meeting of a local fan group, which is what I assumed,
and how do I get on touch with these people? Hope someone out there knows!


Date: Mon, 08 May 1995 21:10:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: Eric Muller <EMuller@UWYO.EDU>
Subject: Last on PP/JFK--I promise

This time I really really totally promise that I will not say anything more
about Peter Pumpkinhead and the Kennedy Administration.
Randy made the point in the last digest that PP can best (only?) be
understood as an mix:  one part JFK, one part Jesus Christ.
As I've said in several earlier postings on the topic, I hear the song as
far less connected to specific people/deity-types than that.  I hear it as a
fantasy about an almost medeival folk-hero sort.  But enough about that.
I just want to say one more thing about the Kennedy administration and the
view that people keep voicing about JFK being a political outsider and a
champion of the somewhat countercultural youth movement.  Randy voiced this
most recently in his last posting.
This view is, in a word, fantasy.  In 1960, even in November of 1963, there
was nothing particularly "countercultural" about youth--Kennedy's, or just
about anyone else's.  Sure, there was a vibrancy to Kennedy because of his
youth and the youth of the men he surrounded himself with.  But this was
totally a "within-the-system" energy.
Moreover, when Kennedy said in his inaugural address that "the torch has
been passed to a new generation of leaders," this was not a rallying cry for
the young of America to smoke weed, go to Woodstock, and dance naked in mud
pools.  Think of the man Kennedy replaced--Eisenhower, a
"caretaker-grandfather" figure, a Ronald Reagan precursor if you will.
 Kennedy's election represented the passing of a torch to a new generation
of leaders in precisely the same way that Clinton's did--Bush was
(hopefully) the last of the generation that had its views formed by the
experience of World War II, the first of the baby-boomers.  Clinton could
easily have said (and, indeed, almost did say) in his own inaugural address
that the torch had been passed, etc. etc. etc.  Would *anyone* be foolish
enough to describe dear old Bill as an outsider, harbinger of change,
counterculture figure, etc., because he represents a new generation of
If Andy wrote PP directly about JFK, then maybe he too has fallen victim to
the Oliver Stone-esque revision of the Kennedy years and what they
represented.  But we Chalkhillians don't have to buy into it.  Fortunately,
we can just like the song!


Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 01:19:21 -0400 (EDT)
From: musnick <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #435


Direct, straightforward soapboxing from a fan and musician:

For those who love a VARIETY of music pouring out of one group
of people, there has been no better group than XTC since the Beatles.  If
you take the erratic, zany brilliance of the White Album and magnify it
to the size of an entire careerful of great songwriting, varied
production, as many genres of music that can be packed into a 15 year
span, you realize that the group really has had an amazing string of
great songs and projects. And this does not include the music in their
sheds and bedrooms we haven't been allowed to hear yet.

I've spent my life playing different instruments in bands and totally
absorbing myself into the different musics of the world.  My favorite time
period has always been from around '67 to around '74.  To me, music like
The Zombies (Oddessy and Oracle), Kinks (Village Green, Arthur, late 60's),
progressive rock (Crimson, Yes, Floyd, Gentle Giant) Frank Zappa, the
Beatles (of course) and other tunefully fun psychedelia is much more
interesting than most popular music today.  (I'm not an old hippy--I'm a 28
year old recording engineering instructor) Most artists throughout pop
history find a niche or style and go with it, veering from side to side
occasionally.  Only the Beatles, Frank Zappa and XTC have managed to cover
the incredibly wide range from eastern, country, punk, psychedelia, jazz,
lush ballads, blues, avant garde, you NAME IT.

I go to the studio everyday hoping that myself and the people that come
through that place can achieve even a FRACTIONAL DIVISION of what those 3
entities have accomplished.

I hope XTC can continue to write freely and distribute everything they
ever conceive for a lone time, because the world needs musical groups
that continually churn out an encyclopedia of musical knowledge.

Hail George Martin!  Hail Andy! Hail Frank! Hail John and Paul! Hail
Colin and Dave!

I now step down off my soapbox, pick it up, and quietly stroll away.

Btw, email me at if you want some free music from some of
the projects at the studio and school.  There's lots of variety. Sorry for
the length and arrogance of this message.


Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 01:44:35 -0400
Subject: Religious Experience (or 1000)

Christopher Thompson wrote:

>Anyone else ever have a religious experience listening to XTC?

Yes!  I was in Boston waiting for the T (subway) train to come
at a station right around the Boston Garden (above ground).  I
had "Skylarking" in my walkman, and had enough time to hear
the entire album from beginning to end (the trains tend to be
slow).  I don't know why... but this is the most memorable
experience of hearing this album... which I must have heard
1000 times before this.  _Every_ element was right on... I was
in the right state of mind, my walkman was working its best,
and it must have been the perfect listening time (as far as how
many times I've listened to it up till then).  It all just hit me
perfectly right then.  It was definately a religious experience!
It was a very bright and sunny day to boot.  That was a good
day.  Lord I love that album.......

I don't care about the controversy of the album production (btw
I _love_ Todd too).  It is just a great album.  I could probably
fill an entire Chalkhills Digest just talking about the places
I've heard this, the endless images it brings to mind, and the
endless places these images exist (many of them are in me
cranium) (and many more are in Boston... where I was a bicycle
messenger and would play the album all the time in my mind
while at the same time getting constant visual overload [!!]).
Aah... Skylarking....

Like a bug in brandy,
John Neil


From: "Knut S. Helstad" <>
Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 11:41:05 +0100
Subject: Skylarking...

        My copy of the "Skylarking" CD contains both "Mermaid Smiled" and
        "Dear God"(15 songs).
        Is this a US, Canadian or European release?

        * I've also got the XTC song & notebook, "Eleventh Different Animals".
        So if enybody is interested in a copy you can drop me a line on this
        address(I WILL reply.):

        or with SAE to

        Knut S.Helstad
        Gjoennesvn. 27
        1340 Bekkestua
        Norway,* [It is a land in Europe; we kill the whales(if we had
	dolphins, we'd kill them too...)]

        Note:{a humble wish is that you drop this JFK discussion once and
        ..., or is it really that interesting?(Here comes president kill
	See you...


From: "Louis Barfe's IbMePdErRoIoAmL" <>
Subject: Re: Bob
Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 12:23:37 +0100 (BST)

I thought he was joking. You know, inventing a humorous story for our
enjoyment. If it was true it was a bit extreme, though.

        Does anyone know if Partridge still uses his Session
'Sessionette 75' amp for home demos? Cos, I've got one and I love it.


From: "Knut S. Helstad" <>
Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 12:31:20 +0100

        *                                                               *
        You can check out 'some' XTC related stuff on this address
        The text is in norwegian(you can get it in english, too).
        the text means " 5 selected recordings,... ".

        Have you got info on any other XTC related home pages?
        *                                                               *


Subject: Noteworthy
Date: Tue, 09 May 95 09:54:59 +28716
From: Gregory Silvus <>

I just got the new Noteworthy catalog, and noticed that the 1980
BBC Live disc has gone from about $19 to about $12. Thought you
might be interested.

On another vein, the reason I got the new catalog was that I
ordered some stuff recommended on the list. I got

    Matthew Sweet - Inside
    Sam Phillips - Martinis and Bikinis
    Blur - Parklife
    Trip Shakespeare - Across the Universe

I also filled out my TMBG album collection. I still don't have
any of the CDingles -- Noteworthy has a smaller selection in
their most recent catalog as compared to the Holiday 1994 catalog.
I've liked what I've heard so far,
tanx 4 d recommendations,


Subject: Scorpions, etc.
Date: Tue, 09 May 95 10:19:33 +28716
From: Gregory Silvus <>

Gee, I just assumed that Bob Sherwood was trying to outdo the
great satire of Alehouse. I thought it dripped a little of
sarcasm. Well, Bob, fess up: humour or humiliation.

Wow, two posts in one day (or two posts in three months),


Date: Tue, 09 May 1995 09:05:07 -0700 (PDT)
From: Noel Paterson <>
Subject: 'Nother name?

I have enjoyed getting filled in on one of my favorite bands.  Seems up
here in Northern California I am the ONLY XTC fan.  (I have yet to meet
someone other than my wife who has even heard of them.)  I have been a
fan since (believe it or not) I was listening to a local 'Modern Rock'
radio show in my home town in Utah, and they played 'That's really Super
Supergirl' and 'Earn enough for us'.  I ran down to the Music shop and
bought the Skylarking cassette.  It was actually the (as I know it now) UK
version with Mermaid Smiled w/out Dear God.  Needless to say, I fell in
love with it and have been building my meager collection ever since.
(I profoundly apologize for this ego-babble)
I think 'the ecstatics' would be a great name.  How about 'Human
Alchemists'?  ('Alchemists' for short)?  Again I apologize for my obvious
naivete, and any future posts will be of a more relevant nature. ;^)
Noel Paterson  |  Humboldt State University  |  Arcata, CA 95521


Date: Tue, 09 May 1995 11:40:37 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Check out Denzil
Organization: Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Hey folks,

        Been pleasantly lurking for some time now but thought
I'd share a recommendation for other popster fans of XTC
on the lookout for bands of similar style/ideology.
        If you enjoy well done accoustic based pop, find a copy
of Denzil's album, "Pub."  The album is a sublime and smart
collection of songs in that English pastoral, semi-cynical,
closely observed, sweetly humorous, bittersweet style so
well characterized by Andy and Co.  If you liked Martin
Newell's collaboration with Andy then this is most definitely
up your alley.  I find myself even favoring it to Mr. Newell's
album (and I don't mean to slight that fine work!).
        I do not beleive I can be accused of overstatement
by claiming Denzil _Pub_ as one of the best releases of 1994.
The album is available through Play Records, a subdivision of
Giant Records, a subdivision of Warner Bros. Records, a
subdivision of Big Brother, brother.
        I'm curious to hear if any others out there have heard
this album and if opinions concur.  Would also love to hear
 from the adventurous who take my advice.

        Take it easy, but take it.

        -Edward Whitelock (Mr. Ed)


From: Tim Szeliga <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #435
Date: Tue, 9 May 95 13:18:51 CDT

I picked up MOJO, a British Rock magazine for a long plane ride
and was not difappointed.  Emphasis on 60's and 70's, had articles
on Jack Bruce and Viv Stanshall, with prominent mention of Ronnie Lane,
three of my fave raves.  XTC was dissed in a letter to Ed, "XTC (catonic)"
and mentioned in a very good crossword puzzle as "The Partridge Family's
Swindon Cousin" (Andy).    Also had a clue "Messrs. Kath and Reid" (Terry),
hitting on my other unknown fave from the sixties, Terry Reid.
It kept me busy for a good 90 minutes.  God I'm getting like my father-in-law,
who could (at length) tell you who played second trumpet in Artie Shaw's
band and other such trivia.

Tim Szeliga
PS  "Skylarkers" is a good collective name.


Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 20:00:07 -0400
Subject: Re: #2(2) Chalkhills Digest #435

I have just picked up The Laughing Man by David Yazbek.What a great cd.Andy
Partridge plays guitars and vocals on some tracts. The writing is very
similar to andys and the production too.Any xtc fan would be foolish not to
pick this up .Its that great xtc soundddddd.I have it on pipeline records but
I have read that pipeline went bankwrucpt so good luck. Great digest,by the


Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 19:14:57 -0600
From: Erik Anderson <>
Subject: Video Tree update

Here's some good stuff that just came in:

"King for a day" -- from Mitch McGlothlin
Andy hosting Post Modern (MTV) -- Jon Simmons
"the man who sailed around his soul" -- Rob Watson
Mummer Videos / misc tv -- various
"Wonderland" -- Marshall Gooch

Thanks to these fine gents for contributing!  If anyone else has ANYTHING
pertaining to xTc, Please send it along soon.

All for now,

Erik Anderson


Date: Tue, 9 May 1995 22:55:19 -0400
Subject: Rykodisk thing.

It's funny that several Chalks have been mentioning Rykodisk as a possible
new label for XTC.  I've had this thought in the back of my brain for quite
sometime.  You can't tell me that Virgin is the only label in the whole world
that will take these guys.  It almost sounds, from what little we hear, that
XTC thinks that being abused by Virgin is the only option they have as well.
 A smaller more specialized label such as Ryko always seemed like a good
possible home for XTC and really, there is very little trash that Rykodisk
has signed.  Heck, XTC music would even sound better in those cool green
tinted CD jewel boxes.  Maybe a huge round of Chalker e-mails to this company
might give them an idea if they don't already have it.



End of Chalkhills Digest #436

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