Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #446

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 446

                  Tuesday, 13 June 1995

Today's Topics:

                        LOOK LOOK
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #445
             Re: #1(2) Chalkhills Digest #445
            XTC's Habit & Various Conspiracies
             Holly, Phrygian cap, odd lyrics.
                     Beatles, drugs.
                  Additional XTC 3" CDs
                         Re: God
drugs, beatles, and (shudder) the Grateful you know who's
              Phrygian cap as birth control
                    Paul's Pink Thing
                      Favorite video
                   Beatle Revelation #9
                  Prescient Album Titles
                     first purchases
                 Obsessed With Influences
                Tale of Woe (A true story)
                        PP (again)
                      Goofy's Lament
                     Beat the Meatles
                     intro -- kind of


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Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 01:15:49 -0400
Subject: LOOK LOOK

Hello!!  Where can i find the "Look Look" video??  Is there a magazine out
there of XTC merchandise?? HELP! I want it BAD!


Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 01:17:23 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #445

I just rejoined the group. When is the next album or collaboration?
"Cherry in your tree" was a great song. Pop for the sake of it. Some groups
would kill for the skill to write a song like that on a whim.

What is Andy's status? Is the "new" album even in the works? Will it
have any percussion? Will it sound like the insidious "Through the Hill"?


Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 01:25:22 -0400
Subject: Re: #1(2) Chalkhills Digest #445

In reply to Arlea, about "Dear God" being an affirmation of belief,
I always considered Mr. Partridge to be talking about the "image" of God when
he says "i don't believe in you" because i read an article somewhere on the
subject and Andy said something to the effect that we created this "god" to
keep society from freaking out about death and life for that matter.. kinda
like an insurance policy that may or may not come through to be the truth.

Um.. do any other females on this here list think Andy Partridge is sexy??
 I've always had quite a crush on him, myself. =)


  Holly Ann Cecilia Shea


Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 03:50:52 -0700
Subject: XTC's Habit & Various Conspiracies

Hello XTSeers:

About this XTC on drugs thread I can offer the following tidbit of
information.  In 1989, I attended the first XTC Music & Friends
Convention in Manchester, England.  Producer John Leckie attended.
When the event concluded and people were leaving on Sunday morning, I
was lucky enough to share a train ride back to London with him.

I got to ask all sorts of questions about how various songs were
produced and inevitably, I had to ask if drugs played a role in any of
their work (especially the first Dukes-- which he produced).  He said
that they were completely sober throughout and that this was their

Regarding Eric Muller's discussion of "conspiracies" in the last issue,
I respond without malice:

I simply asked if anyone was familiar with the book (the Fenton(?)
Bresler(?) book on J. Lennon).  I made clear that I *heard* it didn't
PROVE its case beyond the shadow of a doubt (i.e. "not achieving
complete closure").  I hope you're not implying that *I* found it
cogent.  Afterall, how can *I* find it cogent if I haven't read it?  If
I had read it, I would not have included question marks after the first
and last names of the author (it's far easier to give complete and
accurate citations when one is already familiar with the publication in
question however, I am not and that's why I asked about it).  That
there may have been a conspiracy to kill Lennon is not so ridiculous
when one recalls how he endured several years of FBI surveillance
(courtesy of J. Edgar Hoover) and how Hoover actively sought his
deportation.  Sorry, Chalkhillers, no more politics but maybe more
Beatles ;)


Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 11:03:21 -0400
Subject: Bungalow

Why does everyone hate this song so much?  When I first heard Nonsuch I
though Bungalow was one of the better songs, certainly better than something
like The Disappointed which is pure sugar coated, gooey, bad Beach Boys (even
Kokomo is a better song than this, he said, bracing for major flames).
 Anyway, it struck me as very Kinkish, sort of Preservation era.  But my
opinion of Nonsuch isn't too great anyway, not enough edge to it, just the
pretty parts.  The Ugly Underneath is almost a good song but gets to carried
away with sappy background vocals and Books are Burning is too dreadful to
even discuss.  I fear that XTC is moving into Paul McCartney post Beatles
territory here.  They need to really strip the sound down a bit or else we
may be hearing their version of Ebony and Ivory.  Okay, I'm ready for it.



Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 17:09:39 +0100 (BST)
From: A Backhouse <>
Subject: Holly, Phrygian cap, odd lyrics.

Judging from the lyrics to 'Then She Appeared', the
Phrygian Cap reference is specifically to it's use as
the headgear for the figure of 'Liberty' in paintings of
the French revolution.

As to the Holly Up On Poppy debate, I think the most
straightforward interpretation of the song applies.
It's about some young man fantasizing about a pretty
girl on a horse.  I can't speak for other 'chalkies' (or
Mr. Partridge) but growing up in semi-rural Yorkshire I
can vouch for the fact that this is a fairly common
pastime in this part of the world.

I have to agree with Patricia McFadden about 'Dear
God' it is "believe that junk is true" although, unlike her
I have heard of 'Chunky Soup' and have even tasted it
(believe me Patricia, ignorance is bliss in this case).
Judging by this and other lyrical errors I can only
conclude that:-

a) I'm the only XTC fan with a decent Hi-Fi system.

b) XTC fans have decent Hi-Fis but play them too loud
   and are going deaf.

c) You've all been eating mouldy rye bread.

Sounds good to me!

- Martin

Is that my name on the bell?


Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 17:51:09 +0100 (BST)
From: A Backhouse <>
Subject: Beatles, drugs.

The Beatles were pretty good until the utterly
unlistenable 'White' album (good bands make LPs, sad old
hippies make 'albums').  Yes, yes, yes, they were
clearly an influence on XTC (though fortunately not on
the rest of Western civilization) but this is Chalkhills
not so lets get back to the point
before someone suggests that 'Dear God' is really about
John Lennon.  Come to think of it, the fab three were
influenced by many other things too (Kinks, steam
engines, Wiltshire Downs and seaside towns).

One thing I'm fairly certain they wern't influenced by
was drugs.  Andy and Colin's songs are far too
imaginative for that.  I usually find that people who
are eager for their favourite bands to be influenced by
drugs are just looking for some justification to do it
themselves.  If you want to do drugs then take
resposibility for it yourself, but be warned, none of the
people I know who do have any creativity whatsoever and
are terminally DULL!

A pint of Whitby Nut Brown ale now; that's a different

- Martin
 the semaphore of the washing-lines.


Date: 10 Jun 95 14:16:09 EDT
From: Tim Pacheco <>
Subject: Additional XTC 3" CDs

In Chalkhills #442, Jim Nichols wanted to know what other XTC
3" CD singles were available, besides the ones he had already.
Here's what he listed, followed by what additional ones I have:

Senses Working Overtime
The Loving
The Mayor of Simpleton
King for a Day (crown shaped)
Oranges & Lemons (3 disc set)

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen (Colin's single, Japan)
Thanks for Christmas (The Three Wisemen, Japan)
The Disappointed (Japan)
Sgt. Rock (UK, Virgin Value #9 (w/ 3 other songs by different bands)

Note: The Mayor of Simpleton came in a 3"single from the US, UK and Japan.
      King for a Day also came in a regular square cover, but is very rare.

Hope the info helps!

Best wishes to all... Tim Pacheco


From: (mark allender - king of the universe)
Subject: Re: God
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 16:10:33 -0400 (EDT)

just a little note to say that i also am one whose belief in God is
affirmed by the lyrics to "Dear God."


Subject: drugs, beatles, and (shudder) the Grateful you know who's
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 16:22:09 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Michael Faulkner" <>

>It's been my observation (since the sixties) that people who are not
>themselves very creative frequently ascribe creativity in others to the use
>of drugs. I think some people who don't understand creativity and the
>creative process feel better about themselves if they can say, "it's not
>that he's creative, it's the drugs"
{Some stuff deleted}
>If Andy's a brilliant songwriter, it's because he's brilliant. Why rely on
>drugs to explain it?

Actually, Lawrence, my friend who came up with this theory is
a brilliantly creative classical guitarist with his degree in
music.  That aside, I merely thought it was a fun theory to
entertain.  I certainly have had marvelous experiences listening
to certain XTC albums while under the influence of various
hallucinogens, but those years are far behind me now.  In any case,
I don't think Andy's brilliance came into question...did it?
And if it did, I wasn't trying to "explain" it...merely toy with
an amusing hypothesis, and see if anyone else was similarly willing,
much like the Pink Thing = baby or penis thread that took so long
to complete (thank god it appears to be over!)  However, I do think
your point is valid, I just don't appreciate the generalisation you
make.  Certainly the power of drugs to destroy creativity can be
seen in the Syd Barrett story...or Aerosmith.  But some people can
handle them and still turn out brilliant the band which
has been mentioned all too often in recent Chalhills editions:

On the subject of the beatles, because I can't keep quiet any
longer...I love both bands, and am only pissed off by the comparison
when it is being made by someone who has no XTC listening experience,
such as, "XTC?  Don't they sound like the beatles?" or, "Everything
I've heard by them sounds like the beatles."  Otherwise, yes,
many can hear the resemblance on a few songs, and I'm not bothered
by it.  My favorite album remains Black Sea, which I find to be
not very beatlesque.  I played the classic  WM version of
"All along the Watchtower" for my friend who was prejudiced
against XTC because he thought they were trying to "imitate" the
beatles, and he was blown away.  He now owns everything up to
English Settlement.

I gotta say, if I was on a deserted island, the one piece of
music I would have by me would have to be ABBEY ROAD.  Above
all else.  Andy and the Boys would play second fiddle.

I was also pissed off by a friend that made this comparison:
"XTC does to studio music what the Grateful Dead do to live music"
because I can't stand the Dead.  I see what he was trying to
get at, but the comparison made me shiver.  Are there any Dead
Heads on this list?  Just curious....  =)



From: (Patty Haley)
Subject: Phrygian cap as birth control
Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 19:21:37 -0400 (EDT)

> From: "Bob Sherwood" <>
>      I believe a Phrygian Cap is a birth control device, but I was
> unfortunately unable to find anything in the current literature that would
> bear this out.  It doesn't provide the same level of protection as the
> Mixolydian sponge, but if you don't know your modes you shouldn't be
> doing the nasty anyway.

Well, Bob, the phrygian cap becomes much more effective if you remember
to use that Fox Talbot's Gel along with it...



Date: Sat, 10 Jun 1995 21:32:23 -0700
From: alanzman@server1.DELTANET.COM (Alan Zeleznikar)
Subject: Paul's Pink Thing

"Pink Thing" is about Paul McCartney's penis...


Date: Sun, 11 Jun 1995 10:06:35 -0400
Subject: Favorite video

I think my favorite XTC video clip is Andy doing an acoustic solo version of
Happy Families live on the French TV program Slam in 1985. I think it would
be interesting to hear what is everyone's favorite video or television clip.

I am still looking for the following shows from XTC's acoustic radio tour in
1989. I would like to trade with anyone who has them on audio tape: WROO
Charolette 5/18/89, WYNF Tampa 5/19/89, KZEW Dallas 5/25/89, Y95 Dallas
5/25/89, and any of their Houston performances on 5/26/89. Thanks for your

Please e-mail me!


From: Tim Szeliga <>
Subject: Beatle Revelation #9
Date: Sun, 11 Jun 95 15:51:19 CDT

(With all the Beatle XTC talk on the list lately, it got me to thinking.

It occured to me yesterday, that all the Beatle research toward
the hypothesis "Is Paul Dead?" was misguided:  what they should
have been looking for was clues to "Is John Dead?".

Consider, among the scattered "28IF", barefoot gravedigger,
hand over the head, and such, McCartney's lyric to Rocky Raccoon.
The song dealt with a shooting, and begins with the line
  "Somewhere up in the Black Mountain hills of Dakota...".

In that line he pinpointed the exact location his partner would die,
eleven years later, just outside the Dakota apartment building in NYC.
While it may be difficult to establish a one-to-one correspondence
between McGill/Lil/Nancy and Yoko, Dan/Mark David Chapman and the
lurking presence of JD Salinger,
clearly further research is indicated.

Tim Szeliga
Adjunct Professor
Charles Manson School of Lyric Interpretation


Date: Sun, 11 Jun 1995 17:30:49 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Ethan C. Banks" <>
Subject: Prescient Album Titles

Just a little something I noticed...

On "Skylarking", "Ballet for a Rainy Day" starts out "Orange and lemon..."
The next album was titled "Oranges & Lemons".

On "Oranges & Lemons", our namesake song includes the word "nonsuch".
The next album (of new material, at least) was called "Nonsuch".

I'm sensing a trend here.  Has anyone else noticed this on other albums?
If not, could "Nonsuch" contain the title for the long-awaited Next XTC
Album embedded in the lyric sheets somewhere?  Or is this all just a
neat-o coincidence...?

Nah.  Couldn't be.

Ethan C. Banks
Los Angeles, California

A vision's fervency and its market success are not related.


Date: Mon, 12 Jun 1995 11:29:22 +1200
From: (James)
Subject: first purchases

>PS To try to put thing more in perspective, it might help you all to know
>that the first album I ever bought was Bowie's "Aladin Sane." What about
>the rest of you folks, where did you start you collection?

Putting my embarrassment in total focus, I'd have to admit to Supertramp's
"Crisis? What Crisis?" The first song I remember really taking hold of my
brain though was the soaring guitar and sumptuous sound of the Hollies "All
I Need is the Air That I Breathe". And the first song I can remember on the
charts (real embarrassment time) was as a seven year old.... "Ernie, the
fastest milkman in the west". Only later did I fond out it hit number one
in Britain between Bridge over Troubled Water and Let it Be. As a seven
year old, I had no taste :)
Hey folks, I know I'm as much to blame as anyone, but it's clear we're not
going to get an agreement on this Beatles think. Let's quit before we
forget this is an XTC list, hey?



Date: Mon, 12 Jun 95 02:05:00 UTC
Subject: Obsessed With Influences

To Steve "Obsessed With Music" Reule:

You invited a reply (a flame? never!) so....

I think we're beating a dead horse talking about the Beatles so much here,
but having said that, let me add one more perspective to the discussion.
I'm a wise old guy like Steve.  (In fact if older is wiser, I'm even a tad
wiser than Steve!)  Anyway, if you weren't listening to pop/rock music when
the Beatles broke, I respecfully submit that you can't fully appreciate the
significance of their contributions.  If you are only looking at the Beatles
in hindsight, sure, there has since been produced a lot of stuff that is as
good and better than a lot of Beatles' stuff.  However, during a time when
we were listening to Paul and Paula singing "Hey Paula", Bobby Vinton
singing "There I've Said It Again", Jimmy Gilmer singing "Sugar Shack", Bill
Haley singing "Rock Around The Clock", the Beatles just brought it to a
whole new level.  There was a lot of great rock around then, but the Beatles
put a sheen on it that was new, bright, slick and even more energetic than
the great rock that was already out there.  The medium suddenly was filled
with imitators.  I remember after the Beatles put out Sgt. Pepper's, all of
the groups put out what was billed as "their" Sgt. Pepper's (e.g., the
Stones' Satanic Majesties Request and The Airplane's After Bathing At
Baxter's).  Back then, the Beatles were always one step ahead of the rest of
the pack.  Before the Beatles, LPs consisted of one hit song and 11 songs of
filler that didn't amount to much quality.  With the Beatles, LPs began
being comprised of many songs of quality.  Again, if you look at the era
only with hindsight, it's easy to believe the Beatles were "only" a good
rock band, but if you grew up with them and in that era, you know that they
were a band that is deserving of every bit of its legendary status.

The Kinks were innovative also.  Ray Davies' lyrics were, arguably, the most
intelligent satire going on in music those days.  ("Ducks On The Wall"
remains a song that can make me chuckle every time and the entire Arthur
album is still a cherished classic to me.)

I do disagree with Steve on the merits of the Beach Boys, though.  Bubble
gum?  With the exception of their output during the Pet Sounds and Surf's Up
days, perhaps.  Disposable?  Never!  If they were just insignificant fluff,
are you saying that the XTC songs obviously influenced by them are the
band's weakest.  I doubt it.

However, you still have the coolest store around and I appreciate your mail
order service!



From: "Smith, Daniel R." <DRS@DC4.HHLAW.COM>
Subject: Tale of Woe (A true story)
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 95 07:30:00 PDT

Check dis out:

In search of AP/Budd's _Through_the_Hill_ for my dude Johnny John Pescador,
I went carousing through the Best Buy CD rack by Pentagram City (Called such
because of its proximity to the US Dept. of Defense's Pentagram).  This hear
Best Buy is pretty much like the ones at home in MinnesOta.  They try.
 Anyway, searching for this hear thang, _Through_the_Hill_ was fruitless in
da XTC section and da Budd section.

So I go2 da PARTRIDGE section.  No Andy "Partridge" section, BUTT, there is
a "Partridge Fambily" section.

Makes scents, doesn't it?  Well well well lookey what we have hear, I says
to myself.  So just for a good laugh, I went thumbing through there in case
someone mistakenly put a Partidge/Budd collaboration in there.

Shore enough, the very last one was the record I were looking for.  $11.99
for you and me.  Nice for our dude to be relegated to the back of a stylin'
hippie-trippy Peace Bus, eh?  That's prolly where all da grass is, no?


Date:         Mon, 12 Jun 95 10:33:07 EDT
From: Matt Hiner <R2MCH1@VM1.CC.UAKRON.EDU>
Subject:      PP (again)

Last May or June (1994), Cleveland's pop-alt radio station, WENZ, interviewed
Andy.  A friend of mine taped most of the dialoge.  I can not remember the
quote verbatim (I can check), but when asked about Peter, Andy replied
that the song was about JFK, Christ, and victims of the system (or something
to that effect).

P.S. - Just to add to the raging debate, Nonsvch is XTC's best album since
       English Settlement.


From: "Thomas G. Slack" <TSLACK@PGH.LEGENT.COM>
Subject: Goofy's Lament
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 95 12:01:00 PDT

Sez "Big Earl"

>>Howdy Chalkhillbillies!

>>OK, I started it, I'll admit it, it's getting out of hand and I do
>>apologize. But still, you have to admit it's fun! :)

Beg yer pardon, Big Earl, but it was my first and only post
to this forum that introduced this absurdity, so the apologies
are on me. It was a joke, a mild prod at those who waste
energy caring about things like a collective name. I guess
in the age of Dumb and Dumber, nothing is safe.



Date:   Mon, 12 Jun 1995 17:37:46 -0400
From: (Gerald Wheeler)
Subject: Beat the Meatles


When I was in high school (c.1977-1981) there was not a bigger Beatles or
(sadly) Wings fan than myself.  I had a Hoffner viol bass, Lennon-styled granny
specs and knew the famous "clues" better than a Scotland Yard sleuth.  A room
in McCartney's Mull of Kintyre estate must be attributable solely to profits
made from me.

Now, I find the group absolutely unlistenable (including Let It Be, the White
Album and  Abbey Road), impressing me as being simplistic and juvenile.  This
is probably a function of the fact that (1) rock was still in a nascent and
underdeveloped stage when The Beatles came around and (2) frankly, over
listening.  As we grow older, it seems we become bored with the things we once
loved (how many of us are going to laugh at ourselves 5 years from now when we
re-read the paeans, platitudes and raging tirades on Chalkhills that once
seemed such good sport).

I'm not even sure the Beatles were as such an innovation as people now claim
they were.  Certainly, they were superior to all their imitators (Herman's
Hermits, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Dave Clark Five, Donovan, etc.)--except
the Rolling Stones.  But their predecessors and contemporaries were no slouches
(MOTOWN, Bob Dylan and Elvis).

However the point of this all is that The Beatles provided a soundtrack to a
happy time in each of our lives.  Here's the example I'm leading up to. Two
weeks ago, I went to my college re-union.  A bunch of us went to a poular bar
near campus and began reminiscing about the old days.  To make a long story
short, we ended up singing--in harmony--virtually the entire early Beatles
catalogue.  We turned a drab college pub into a fun-filled Karaoke club.  The
results were sensational.  Everyone in the place (especially me) loved it.  We
did the same thing once on a business trip to Poland a few years ago.  At a
university pub in a Warsaw campus we broke up the routine by loudly singing
Beatles tunes with our hosts.  Everyone in the place sang every word in
exceptionally pronounced English.  Even the migrant Russian jazz band that was
that evening's entertainment succumbed and provided an accompaniment.

After the re-union, a friend urged my to get the Beatles BBC album.  I went to
HMV the next day, picked it up---but could not get it.  The thought of wasting
another $30.00 on the drivel nauseated me.  I bought POULENC's SABAT MATER

The Beatles were great music for adolescents--no doubt.  When we feel
nostalgic, there is nothing better than Rubber Soul and Yesterday (and Today);
but only when we feel nostalgic.  It's the fond resurrection and recollection
of our youth that causes the Beatles popularity to endure, not the quality or
significance of their music. I suspect the same may be true of all rock bands
as we mature and our curiosity leads us to more sophisticated and lasting
artistic accomplishments like opera and liturgical music.  So let's love the
Beatles for what they gave us when we were young (Obla-di Obla-da) and for the
temporary elixir they provide us when we are older


Jerry Wheeler


Date: Tue, 13 Jun 1995 01:56:50 -0500 (CDT)
From: "my world is spinning..." <LEACH@AC.GRIN.EDU> (Arlo B Leach)
Subject: intro -- kind of

hey all-

well, i've been away for a while, but now i'm back.  since i unsubscribed a
couple of months ago i've gotten my diploma, gotten settled into my new home,
and hopefully now i'll have more time to absorb all this great XTC info...

wow, since i've been gone i've also finally acquired all of the albums, and i
can really understand the "early" vs. "late" XTC discussion that was going on
for a while.  i still love nonesuch and O&L, but my current favorite is black
sea, and that's only because my obsession with drums and wires finally faded!

hmm, my favorite beatles albums are the middle ones, rubber soul and revolver,
which (in my mind) offer the best balance of energy (early) and maturity,
shall we say, of songwriting and studio techniques (late).  so by that
criteria, english settlement hits the mark pretty well.  although it's hard
to think of XTC -maturing-, since their stuff has been so sophisticated from
the start!

anyway, i hope the spring was good for you all, and best wishes as we head
into summer's cauldron...



End of Chalkhills Digest #446

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