Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #440

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 440

                  Thursday, 25 May 1995

Today's Topics:

                      XTC & RYKODISC
             I was back, but now I'm gone...
                     Holly & Poppies
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #439
              Re:G.MARTIN. (MICHAEL RICHES)
                  Dave G. (not Kenny G.)
              Re: Producers and the Beatles
            Too Much Madness in Too Many Cooks
                      Shaddox Bowing
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #439
                Eh Bien, C'Est La Guerre!
             fab four in Philly disc for sale
                      Misquotes book
                      Barry Andrews
             Sherwood's obligatory XTC contnt
                  Re: Let's have a war!


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

I bought myself a big mistake.


Date: Tue, 23 May 1995 21:45:06 -0400

Hello Chalkers!

  Spoke to a friend at Rykodisc last week.  He was amused to hear about the
bantering here regarding the lads and the wishes of many to see their output
on Ryko.  Apparently, the sides have had contact very recently although it's
too early to know if anything will come from it.  That is all I know but I
think it sounds promising so far.  I'll keep you posted with more tidbits
 from the FM radio world.
  P.S.  I no longer work at WMMR-FM Philadelphia, I'm with WRCX-FM in
  P.P.S.  Check out the amazing reissues of Frank Zappa on Rykodisc.  Then
go out and do the Mudshark!


Date: Tue, 23 May 1995 23:06:11 -0400
Subject: I was back, but now I'm gone...

Salutations, Chalkhillians!

   Hope everyone is well. I have been away from the list a while, but have
just finished catching up on the interesing discussions I missed in the
idaho archives. You guys are the best!

   HELP topic: Lots of my friends point to "Roads Girdle the Globe" as a
masterpiece of music and lyrics, a forlorn testament to modern
transportation -- but I just don't get it. Not only 'WHAT is he SAYING,'
but also, 'WHAT is he MEANING'? Some sections are clear, like in the
middle, where he says, "Hail, another motor/Hail, piston, motor/Hail
wheel." But, at the beginning, what does Andy mean when he sings, "Am I
asleep/Or am I fat?/Forever race/You first to fast" ? I mean, huh? Seems
more like a fad diet jingle... where's the transportation?  Anyway, any
help/discussion is greatly appreciated.

   In the Sherwood Harrison posting about the "Alehouse" t-shirt; is that,
like, a NEW shirt...?  Oh! - I, too, have a Thor hat for trade if anyone is
interested. Andy probably wouldn't wear it, but it does light up!

   To the Russel Shadoxx poster: If you are in fact the person responsible
for the theft of XTC's gear back when they were touring -- what you did was
wrong and I am making a couple of phone calls to check on British statutes of
limitation. I mean, I appreciate your candor, but really! Intensely uncool,

   Be well, Chalkhills folks!

Carl Lineberry
"I am the audience,
 there's no dog, no audience..."  --Colin Moulding, GO2


Date: Tue, 23 May 1995 23:22:47 -0400 (EDT)
From: kathryn lynne burda <>
Subject: Holly & Poppies

        The first time I heard "Holly Up On Poppy" I wasn't paying much
attention to the song or the lyrics and thus figured it was about a girl
on drugs.  Anyone else have the same experience?


Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 16:12:39 +1300
From: (James)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #439

> Thanks again to those who took the time out to
>answer #20.

no, no, thank YOU, for sharing the results of this survey with us.
Hopefully a few of us (especially us 90% who are males) will take some time
to think about the answers given to Q.20.


James Dignan, Department of Psychology, University of Otago.

Ya zhivu v' 50 Norfolk St., St. Clair, Dunedin, New Zealand
pixelphone / steam megaphone NZ 03-455-7807

   * You talk to me as if from a distance
   * and I reply with impressions chosen from another time, time, time,
   * from another time                     (Brian Eno)


From: (Nicolas Deakin)
Date: 24 May 95 09:46:09 EDT

Just a note about Michael Riches opinion on George Martin getting the
production job for XTC!
I think Michael is right. George wouldn't be suitable!
As far as the comment about The Beatles CD releases. They were
re-mastered in 1987. Digital re-mastering has come along, long way since
then. Where as the Red and Blue albums were done a couple of years ago.
                 Beatles STEREO mixes were only an experiment, apart from
Abbey Road (1969) and were done days or weeks after the MONO mixes, by
George M. and his engineers! It wasn't until the early 1970s that stereo,
for pop mixes was really understood! The MONO mixes are far better, and
were general         co-produced by The Beatles. If you get the chance,
check out the BIG differences between the two mixes, track durations etc.

Nicky D.


Date: 24 May 1995 09:31:33 -0400
From: "Russell Shaddox" <>
Subject: Dave G. (not Kenny G.)

In Chalk Full O Nuts 439, "Michael Faulkner" <> wrote:

> I'll forgive you your early distaste for the band, (even though I, myself,
> owned White Music and loved it before any other album until, like you, Black
> Sea, which is still my favorite), but I will *never* forgive you the mistake
> of thinking Dave was in the band in '79, when you purport to have written the
> letter ... You must have seen Barry and his wonderful steam pianos back then.

I think if you'll check your "Drums and Wires," you'll find these wacky
Swindudes put out an entire album in '79 with Dave G. on it.

But more importantly, what do you mean, "purport" to have written the
letter?  You think I'm lying, don't you. You think I made it all up. I
can't believe it.  It's bad enough Barry ever left the band, denying future
generations of fans more songs like "My Weapon" and "Super-Tuff." (catch
Barry's alternative spelling there? Now that's *art.*) He might have spiced
things up a bit with his "steam pianos" and "coal-fueled mellotron." But
now, for me to gather the courage to face up to my shameful acts, and then
be accused of such duplicity?  Accused of "purporting"? O wrongful ruin.

Please -- don't forgive me. I need my pain. And I want to be alone for a while.
Snif. (By the way, Mr. Faulkner, I enjoyed "As I Lay Dying." Nice job on that.
Like, what was Vardaman's problem, anyway?)

Guilt-wracked and consumed by angst, I remain,
Russell Shaddox.
"Boy and girl, girl and boy, this is what you do
and never mind the pizza guy." -Colin Moulding


Date: Wed, 24 May 95 10:14:20 EDT
From: "Paul P. Krempasky" <>
Subject: Re: Producers and the Beatles

Hello gang,
        First, let me say that I am new to this list and was quite pleased
to find a list that discusses one of the finest pop bands of all time.  As
a fan of the band I find it comforting that there are indeed others out
there who share my sentiments (this is usually a very rare thing).  Sharing
a common interest is wonderful, but in finding that interest there is
rarely complete agreement among the group.  With this in mind I wopuld like
to discuss two point mentioned in the header, producers and the Beatles.  I
would like to start with the later first.

        In almost everything I see about XTC there is the inevitable
comparison with the Beatles.  In Big Earl's recent post he has the
candor to step forward and present his "Anti-Beatle" sentiments to
which I would like to say, "Hear! Hear!"  The Beatles are one of the
most overhyped bands of ALL time.  In the category of overhyped I
would also like to throw Elvis (I believe Earl mentioned "the King"),
Bruce Sprinsteen, the Dead, and a myriad of others (you know you can
come up with a bunch if given half a minute).  I do in fact like that
Earl mentions the influence of the Kinks, the Who, and the Small Faces
as influences on the work of XTC.  This is something that many people
may not look for or see.

        From this whole bit a question arises.  Just when did XTC become
"the next Beatles"?  Remember the Beatles started as a band that was
predominantly gimmick (the hair, the suits) and good pop songs that were
blatantly pushed down the throats of the public (remember, anything will
sell if it's played or pushed enough e.g., Green Day).  I will not deny as
the Beatles progressed they did become more inventive in there music, but
were they alone?  Late 60's early 70's acts such as King Crimson, Roxy
Music, BeBop Deluxe, Bowie, were also inventive.  I know the
argument then goes that the Beatles made ALL of that possible.  If this is
indeed the case then the Beatles are responsible for the creation and
eventual promotion of the Dinosaur rock that runs rampant to this day.  I
do not see XTC (or for that matter any of the bands of the mid to late
70's) as being a blantant carbon copy of the Beatles (which it seems to me
is where many people pigeon hole the band), rather XTC and other bands of
the period (Pistols, Jam, Ramones,Clash, Buzzcocks, Banshees,  took
their influences (of which the Beatles was ONE.  Let's be realistic, if you
were alive in the mid to late 60's and were into music you would have to
work to NOT be exposed to the Beatles much like you have to work to avoid
the music of Madonna or Michael Jackson today) and built upon them.  What I
am trying to get at in this long ramble is this: Not everyone who is an XTC
fan is a Beatle fan.  Caomparisons are nice and they may in fact fill some
purpose, I subscribed to this list to talk about one of my favourite pop
bands, XTC.  I did not subscribe to discuss the Beatles.

        As for possible producers for the band I would like to see
some feedback on the following people:

        1) Mitchell Froom - already mentioned by Chris Coolidge as a
                possibility and I think a damn good one.

        2) Jerry Harrison - has done some great work on his own
                material as well as that of the Violent Femmes and
                most recently General Public.

        3) Brian Eno - Has done gret work with Bowie, Talking Heads,
                Bryan Ferry, and more.

Thanks for letting me ramble,



Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 08:11:00 -0700 (PDT)
From: Eric Muller <EMuller@UWYO.EDU>
Subject: Too Much Madness in Too Many Cooks

Hail Skylarkers-
I recently picked up "Rag and Bone Buffet" (lord knows what took me so
long), and I am finding it really fun and interesting.  So far, the song
that I wanted to ask y'all about was Colin's "Too Many Cooks in the
Kitchen."  Is it my imagination, or is this entire song just a goof on
Madness?  If so, what did poor old Madness do to deserve such treatement
 from our boys?  To be sure, the Madness crew were not musical giants, but
they deserve better than this.  I simply can't listen to "Too Many Cooks"
without thinking that Colin was having a huge and somewhat juvenile laugh
at their expense.


Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 11:38:09 -0700
From: John Relph <relph>
Subject: Shaddox Bowing

"Michael Faulkner" <>, broadcasting live from Mars:
>Subject: Re: Shaddox' letter
>still my favorite), but I will *never*
>forgive you the mistake of thinking
>Dave was in the band in '79, when you
>purport to have written the letter!

Um, unless I am mistaken, Dave Gregory *WAS* in the band in 1979.  He
first appeared on the _Life Begins at the Hop_ single, released in
April 1979, and was definitely on _Drums & Wires_, released in August
of that same year.

>You must have seen Barry and his wonderful
>steam pianos back then.

Barry left during or after the American tour at the end of 1978
(possibly very early 1979), I believe.

Big Earl Sellar <> says Howdy!
>I can't stand the Beatles!

I'm sorry.  I still like them after 25 years of listening to them,
which is more than I can say about a lot of bands.

>As for George Martin: sure, let him produce. He also produced a CHEAP TRICK
>album, fercryinoutloud! By the same token, let Georgio Morodor produce
>XTC. Same difference.

Now this I can agree with.  Listen to _Rage in Eden_ by Ultravox and
then listen to the George Martin produced _Quartet_.  The latter is
stuffy and stolid in comparison.  Boring.

"Christopher R. Coolidge" <> writes:
> Gus Dudgeon is great with pretty ballads
> but the uptempo stuff needs more bite in the guitars
>and more thud in the drums.

Yeah, and less gloss overall.  I think much of this is XTC's fault as
well.  They're used to going for polish and they've forgotten the
spit.  There's no spontaneity, rough edges (except for the planned
intro to "Peter Pumpkinhead"), no mistakes, no interesting bits.
They've all been sanded smooth.

I want to see the ugly underneath!  Is that too much to ask?

>I think Mitchell Froom would have been a perfect choice for Nonesuch

Or maybe Butch Vig!  Someone who produces noise bands but can be
melodic.  Someone who doesn't try to clean off all the rough edges.
Like Brendan O'Brien, the producer of the latest Matthew Sweet rekkid.

Record most of it live and then minimal overdubs only.

"J.A.Harkness" <> writes:
>James Dignan!
>You're Moonlighting on Love-hounds!   Shocking!

Yeah?  What of it?  You gotta problem with that?

        -- John


Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 17:01:34 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #439

  Speaking of Tears For Fears, Colin's songs on Oranges And Lemons sound more
like Tears For Fears than XTC, especially "King For A Day," at least to my
ears. I don't know if anyone else noticed this. Regarding George Martin, I
still stand by my speculation that he and XTC might be a good match; I get
the feeling that America and Cheap Trick were just jobs to him. He would on-
ly work out on an album like Skylarking; at the very least, he'd be a better
choice than Todd Rundgren, who as much as I like his own recorded work, I've
never liked him much as a producer.(check the hatchet job he did on the first
New York Dolls album)I agree that the Beatles are overrated; as much as I
like them personally, I prefer John to Paul. Most of their material I'm sick
of was Paul's; they're just as fallible as any other band. If you take them
off their pedestal and listen to them as just another band, they're just
that. My favorite Beatles song is "I Am The Walrus," which you gotta admit
bears more resemblance to XTC than "Michelle." Another possible XTC pro-
ducer that I don't think anyone's thought of: Gary Usher?(Beach Boys, Byrds,
The Wackers)Though last I heard he was a minister in some New Age church in
LA, so maybe he wouldn't even be interested.


Date: 24 May 1995 18:04:05 -0500
From: "Sherwood, Harrison" <>
Subject: Eh Bien, C'Est La Guerre!

In Chalkhills #439,  Big Earl Sellar <> said
most brazenly,

>> I can't stand the Beatles!

Way back in 1977-78, when Our Heroes were coming up thru the Punk Ranks, and
Meccanik Dancing the nights away to a frenetic 5/4 beat, it was Not the Done
Thing to have the _slightest_ trace of Beatleness. Hawk! Ptooey! was the
general spiky-haired consensus on Fabitude among the safety-pin set. (Guess
they hadn't seen the grainy b/w Astrid Kircherr pix of JohnPaulGeorgeStu-n-Pete
in Hamburg '61 black leather and quiffs looking like they'd enjoy nothing
better than to shove the neck of a Gretsch Country Gentleman straight up the
Queen's Bungalow; or heard the Cavern boot I heard the other night of
Liddypool's own Lennon spewing "Some Other Guy" all over the front rows--hey,
wanna see what my LARYNX looks like? (rrrrip!).... Raw NRG, kidz, I jack you
not around.) You liked Sham 69, you did NOT like the Beatles. Dinosaurs. Death
to Nostalgia. Fuck Art, Let's Dance.

Then Our Heroes did a REAL strange thing.... Drums & Wires, Black Sea....
Melody!?! Hooks? Three-part harmony? _Whistling_?!?! This isn't vicious, this
isn't rotten, this isn't "This Is Pop".... This is POP!

This was, in the context of the times, a real brave thing for a moderately
successful, quirky, cultish bunch of intelligent if somewhat hyperactive
musicians still desperately dependent on street-cred to do. Sod this, gimme
Souxsie and the Banshees....

Basically, XTC were among the first punks to acknowledge that their music
_had_ a history, that there _were_ precedents to three chords and an
attitude, that I-IV-V could lead somewhere _else_, that life did NOT begin
and end with Joey Ramone. And they followed that through to a logical
conclusion: they _immersed_ themselves in that history. They _gloried_ in
it. They were NOT ashamed. They made it clear and vivid, why exactly it was
that the Beatles and the bands who followed them were so goddamned great in
the first place. In 1979, *we needed to be reminded*.

It used to astonish me (still does, actually), the sheer audacity of "No
Language In Our Lungs"--practically a *straight lift* of "I Want You (She's
So Heavy)." _Nobody_ was doing that in 1979. Holy Saint Lennon was still
alive, just some hippie wanker who used to say interesting things, but
who'd enslaved himself to this castrating Japanese whack job, who hadn't
made a record in five years, and who was telling everybody how much fun it
was to stay home and bake bread. Macca was producing dreck, and seemed to
be proud of it. Harrison's Hare Krishna act was way past tiresome. Ringo
was a drunk.

With Black Sea, XTC made the astonishing statement that history is _not_
bunk.  Ignorance of your own culture is _not_ cool. Conversation with the
past is _not_ the same thing as Nostalgia. This was, in 1979, a very brave
thing to say.

>> What, they were the only group who didn't play I-IV-V? And sorry, but they
>> DID way more than they didn't.

Uh, sorry back atcha, but no. Check your fakebooks. Almost _never_ straight
I-IV-V. (Fave-rave, "All My Loving": ii-V-I-vi-IV-ii-IV-VII(!!!)-V--all
_triplets_!!!. It's that dip to VII (D major)--quick trip to the subdominant
key and back again--that's the Beatle genius, and the kind of audacious
harmonic move that you never hear in lesser rock bands in any era.)

>> As for George Martin: sure, let him produce.

Poor old George...his hearing's shot. He's seventy years old. Let's let him
just sit back and count his money, OK? In his book, _All You Need is Ears,_
he sez, "I...can't hear 15KHz any more, even though I could once...." This
was in 1979. He also recently said the reason he doesn't produce any more
is that his ears have deteriorated to the point that he can't hack it.

("Mr. Martin? Hey, loved your work with the Beatles, guy! Just Fab, heh, heh!
Oh, and by the way, that Sgt. Pepper movie? With the Bee Gees and Peter
Frampton? [vicious knee in the testicles--WHAM!] There, go tell that to Barry
Gibb, OK? Bye!)

>> FINALLY! A name for my new band! Thanks!

Hey, I caught Donkey's Left Nipple at my local bistro t'other night! Tight
band, but _way_ too many Small Faces covers! Get with it, guy! This is the

Russell Shaddox <> giddily asserted:

>> Who's Roger Dean Alehouse? Wait, wasn't he in "MacGyver"?

No, no, NO! You're thinking of Harry Dean Lagerstructure, who before his
MacGyver tenure played lead theramin and cowbell for Grand Funk. Roger Dean
Alehouse was a Sixties pop artist who designed many influential album
covers, including Zager & Evans' "In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus)"
and "Joey Bishop Sings Country and Western." He died in a horrible
gardening accident in 1971, and Dave Gregory's band, great admirers of his,
named themselves after him.

>> the machine heads off of Chris Squire's bass, which I stole at a concert in
>> 1976

You BASTARD! I was AT that concert! You're giving all us Foghat fans a _bad

(Y'know, odd thing.... I don't think Chris actually _noticed_... It was enough
to make you cry, him up there, Tufnel-ing his way thru "The Fish," and _no
sound_ coming out of his 20,000-watt stack, and just a bunch of loose strings
hanging off his twin-neck Alembic....)


Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 18:48:09 -0500
From: (Daniel Carney)
Subject: fab four in Philly disc for sale

Hi Chalkhillians!
I've ended up with two copies of The Fab Foursome In Philly XTC Live '79
disc.  i'll let one go for $28 u.s. (shipping included).
Please mail me at i you're interested...
Train Runnin Low on Soul Coal...


From: "Smith, Daniel R." <DRS@DC4.HHLAW.COM>
Subject: Misquotes book
Date: Thu, 25 May 95 07:51:00 PDT

Check eet out:

Me and I were in a Towers of Records Books Videos and What-Have-You store
the other day and me and I was looking at their stylish magazine rack.  I
made my purchase and while dilly-dallying at the crash register, I poked
into a book called something like _The Most Misquoted Lyrics in Music
History_ or somesuch.  blah blah blah.

As it would have it, I opened right up to an XTC selection.  "Dear God," in
fact.  The line "Still believing that junk is true" often gets misquoted as
something like "Still believing that chunk is true."

I'm not sure if that is that exact misquote, but I do know that "junk" was
replaced with "chunk."  It'll be another few days/weeks before I can get to
Tower again.  Anyone else hath scene this?

I figured it was my lucky day, so I got the hell out of there *fast!*
without looking at any more entries, or purchasing the book (or I was too
damn cheap, you make the call).

Has anyone else seen this?  Are there more XTC entries?  If I'm not so cheap
the next time I go, I may pick it up and will check for MORE misquoted XTC
lines.  This is really great news, since there's no indication of a new
record yet, isn't it?  Isn't everyone suddenly really excited?  Don't you
now have a reason to get up tomorrow morning?

Glad I can help.

 --the helper in the rye


Date:         Thu, 25 May 95 17:39:12 EDT
From: Matt Hiner <R2MCH1@VM1.CC.UAKRON.EDU>
Subject:      Barry Andrews

As a new subscriber to "Chalkhills" (and a novice at the computer, I must
admit), I was delighted to find this service.  My question is brief.  What
happened to Barry Andrews?  I have one friend who informed me that he died,
and another who insists that he started his own band.  What's the deal?
Please drop a line if you have said info.

                                   - Matt Hiner


Date: Thu, 25 May 1995 19:47:40 -0400
Subject: Sherwood's obligatory XTC contnt

Exactly - Peter Pumpkinhead is just some sort of newer messiah figure.
 General lessons, here - not particulars.

BTW - does anyone else think that the cover of this song by the
CrashTestDummies should be stricken from history?  Such an easy song to do
well, such a LAME performance.

DIK \:)


Date: Thu, 25 May 1995 20:12:39 -0400
Subject: Re: Let's have a war!

The Beatles, in the eyes and ears of some people, were the guys who brought
melody back to pop music.  This was a big deal in an age when I-IV-V was
the rule.  I mean - people STILL think of themselves as writing original
music when they put together a blues tune!  (I'll probably get REALLY beat
for the blues put-down, but too bad) NO - they may not have been the
greatest band of all time - but they're up there.  (and XTC looks DOWN the
food chain to see them!)

And Elvis may have done some real crap, become a circus freak in his later
years, an still be walking the planet - but when he was young, he was a
GOD, or a SATAN.  Killer voice, great looks, and he scared the hell out of
parents worldwide.  If he could've done some better material, he WOULD be
truly the KING.

DIK \:)


End of Chalkhills Digest #440

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