Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #458

              Chalkhills Digest, Number 458

                   Monday, 24 July 1995

Today's Topics:

                     Random responses
                   Andy's previous life
                       XTC Demos #4
                   More staunch defense
                     The Laughing Man
                  Clues for the clueless
                 Lots of Sh... uh, stuff.
                      more skeletons
                        NJ & Elvis
                  The movie and stuff...
                  Barry Andrews must pay
                Re: Chalkhills Digest #457
                    Re: Is Andy Sexy?
             who started the unplugged thing
                       'The Loving'
                    re staunch defense


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Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 20:42:55 -0400
Subject: Random responses

Okay, before I totally lose it, Ray Davies of Supertramp????  Ever hear of
a little band called the Kinks?  Toto doing complicated arrangements??

 Pleeeeeze!!  They play the worst dreck on this side of the Atlantic.  But
I suppose anyone who doesn't care for one of XTC's most amazing songs,
Travels in Nihilon, would feel that way.  BTW, Drums and Wires is a great
album, from start to finish.  Complicated Game is a masterpiece.

Glad I got that off my chest.



Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 20:12:27 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Todd A. McCullough" <>
Subject: Andy's previous life

 Todd Bernhardt wrote that Andy could be some sort of reincarnation of
either Alexander Pope or John Donne. I agree that he is worthy of
recognition as a major literary figure (flame on!), but those two seem to
be either/or (serious/lighthearted), while Andy is both. My suggestion
would be Andrew Marvell. Like Andy, he introduces the most serious of
topics - sex, death, God, existence - in a clever and amusing context. The
best example of this technique is also the most famous: "To His Coy
Mistress" (it's in the Norton Anthology I).
        Also, as a long-time lurker and first-time poster (not to mention
a long-time and long-winded ex-English major/XTC freak), I would like to
express my admiration for the grown-up tone of this group. I also read, and that place is a nuthouse (though thorough-ly
entertaining) - I am always calmed when I see that "Chalkhills" signature
in my mailbox, and I am pleased to know that "my" XTC (I'm one of the ten[?]
people in Alabama who know who they are) has such a Happy Family.
 'Night, all.

PS If you're in Alabama, and feel offended that you might have been
overlooked, drop me a line.


From: Bradley Wood <>
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 1995 18:16:41 -0700
Subject: XTC Demos #4

     Since there has not been an in-depth review of the XTC Demo
bootleg series in this forum, I thought I'd try to tackle the
job, starting with XTC Demo 4, the Helium Kidz demos.

     The sound is adequate, with lots of static and even a
skipped needle on one song.  You can find tapes with better
quality sound if you search hard enough.  Another problem is the
overwelming presence of Steve Hutchins.  Hutchins is something of
a Michael Bolton type of singer, with half the talent (I know,
half of nothing is still nothing) and probably twice the ego.  He
fit into the band about as well as if Rick Wakeman joined Green

     The first five songs are from HZ's first studio recordings
made at the Decca Studios in August, 1974.  (The band recorded
the same songs in Hutchins' living room in February, 1974.)  This
features Dave Cartner on lead guitar playing a lot of Thin
Lizzy/Humple Pie style licks.  Cartner would have fit it if HZ
became the next Mott the Hoople, but I doubt if he would have
made the transition to XTC.

     "Adrenaline" sounds like very early Jethro Tull.

     "Private Eye" starts off and ends with a Thin Lizzy style
intro and has a jealous lover theme.  This was probably their
"long" song in the live shows.

     "In Love With the Hurt"  A song about failed relationships.
Can't help but think that Hutchins had not idea what the song was

     "Shark In The Pool" has a 70's commercial sound with a hint
of the XTC harmonies in the background vocals.

     "Cafe" is a slow, almost jazzy number.  A distant cousin to

     The second set of demos were from HZ's third recording
session at TW Studios in February, 1975.  Dave Cartner had
departed by this time and Andy was playing all of the guitars
(often double-tracked).  The sound quality is a little better
that the Decca recordings.  The band was obviously starting to
head in a new direction at this point.  ("Neon Shuffle" was also
recorded for these sessions.

     "Star Park"  Theme song from the earlier group of the same
name.  Slightly sci-fi lyrics with the great couplet "So bring
your old umbrella and some hair conditioner too...yeah, yeah,
yeah."  Also has a "no, really, I'll remember the next note any
second now" solo from Andy.

     "Yabber, Yabber, Yabber" has an early XTC/Oingo Boingo
sound.  Would have sounded better if Andy sang lead.

     "Saturn Boy" (See below).  "I can't explain to your
little brain that I'm only a Saturn Boy."

     "Walking Across the Ceiling" (possibly recorded at the Pye
Studios in October, 1974).  As close as XTC ever got to playing
70's boogie get-up-and-dance music.

     "Saturn Boy II" appears to be from the first XTC sessions
with Barry Andrews recorded in January, 1975.  It starts with a
synth opening right out of the Devo song book and is otherwise
vintage early XTC with Andy singing lead.

     The final set of demos are from the "drunken sessions" and
is XTC doing Hendrix and Zeppelin songs with new lyrics from
Andy.  No recording information is available, but it sounds like
it was recorded in late 1981 or early 1982.  Excuse them, they
were drunk at the time.

     "Pupil Haze"  is "Purple Haze" with lyrics about school and
teachers.  "Excuse me while I kiss the most attractive person in

     The "Community Worker Breakdown/Whole Lotta Age" medley is a
reworking of the Zeppelin classics with lyrics aimed at senior
citizens.  "Whole Lotta Age" suggests old folks should kill
themselves to make room for everbody else, with any luck all
copies of this medley will be destroyed before Andy turns 65.


Date: Sat, 22 Jul 1995 00:11:37 -0400
Subject: More staunch defense

Once again I must come to the defense to those less fortunate; in this case,
Go2.  I do not know why I like this album, but I really do.  I think it is a
lot less cacophonic than White Music, and Andy and Colin sing in normal
voices instead of in hiccups.  I have always thought "Red" really rocks.

Five really good songs: Homo Safari, Mantis on Parole, Living in a Haunted
Heart, I Remember the Sun, Officer Blue.  I hope that I have the strangest
top 5 XTC songs of anyone, but I am sincerely strange anyway even if I don't.

Nowadays, everybody is either doing a tribute album, or a covers album.
 Since we now know now about the tribute album, can anyone think of any good
songs that XTC could do for a covers album? Just a thought. My two cents
worth- The Kinks' "Shangri-La".


Date: Sat, 22 Jul 95 14:12:00 UTC
Subject: The Laughing Man

David Yazbek,

As I type this, I'm thoroughly enjoying the music of your CD, "The Laughing
Man". (I bought it from Obsessed With Music, a truly cool store in
Sacramento, California.  I buy mail order from them as I live in Wisconsin
but they have helped me locate several CDs that I have never been able to
obtain locally.  If anyone's interested, you can contact the owner at

Anyway, the music, production, writing and performances on "The Laughing
Man" are, at worst, completely enjoyable and, at best, truly exquisite.  At
this moment, I feel like I'm listening to the Beach Boys on "Surface Tension
(Bug On The Water)" and the whole CD has a similarly euphoric feel to it.  I
found the Andy produced "Mississippi Honeymoon" particularly superb but I'm
enjoying the whole album.

Will the domestic release be any different than the British import?

What a superb lineup for the XTC tribute CD!  Can't wait!

Will there be a tour itinerary posted on Chalkhills when you tour the US?  I
sure hope that you'll come to Milwaukee, Wisconsin but I'd be willing to
travel to Chicago or Madison if I have to (but only if I have to!).  I look
forward to seeing and hearing both you and Dave Gregory!

Thanks again for the fine music, Mr. Yazbek!

Dean Zemel


From: (Stuart McDow)
Subject: Clues for the clueless
Date: Sat, 22 Jul 1995 11:51:30 -0600 (CDT)

Hello, Nearly Africans ;-)

I has no time nor inclination to do my own research, so I turn to the
omniscient list for help. It seems that The Boys are very busy playing
with and producing other artists. I admit that I know almost nothing
about what AP, CM, & DG do artistically outside of XTC, and I'm
interested in giving a listen to their other work. Could some kind
soul please list their recent work? Oh, and what's all this about a
tribute album? Thanks.

Stuart McDow                                      Applied Research Laboratories                       The University of Texas at Austin


Date: Sat, 22 Jul 1995 14:27:30 -0400
Subject: Lots of Sh... uh, stuff.

One of the good things about getting Chalkhills in Digest form is that you
can see the threads developing more easily.  One of the bad things is that I
will respond to like, eight threads at the same time.  Here goes nothing...

to Mike Faulkner: Aah, I love it when people agree with me. I got into
Supertramp in college (I graduated 1994, not 1979), and I was immediately
hooked the first time I heard "Breakfast In America."  The British
songwriting tradition, should you wish to call it that, is far superior to
most American songwriters (save Billy Joel -- he's my personal deity.) And
Rick Davies and his boys (no relation to the Kinks' Ray Davies, as far as I
know) made beautiful music together.  Where are they now?  Damned if I know.
 The only album I have is their "Classics" greatest hits.  I think I should
buy "Crime of the Century" because I do not own it.

Five favorite songs? Well I'm missing Go2, White Music, and Big Express, so
I'm not sure if I'm missing anything.  Right now: Respectable Street,
Helicopter, Burning With Optimism's Flames, Grass, Across this Antheap.  No
particular order.

Dave Yazbek: If you know where you will be touring, and if it's in the NYC
area, I will seek you out.  But if you have an itinerary, please let us

TMBG's John Henry: Great album, and I notice a few similarities to O&L
besides Paul Fox.  First of all, it's TMBG's first album with a real band
backing up the two Johns, so there are bound to be a few inconsistencies.
 However, Fox likes to accentuate vocals (notice O&L has very *CLEAR* vocals,
at least in comparison with anything older than skylarking), and so we can
understand most of what John&John sing.  (But in XTC's defense, Andy kinda
doesn't have that clear a voice. I still can't make out anything he's singing
on "Senses Working Overtime")

To Mr. Algae99: The fact that *I* personally dislike most of Drums&wires has
nothing to do with the fact that the songs aren't well played or well
written, it's just that I can not get past "Ten Feet Tall!" OK, if I have it
on my cd player I can play the first 4 songs, and then I have to skip to
"Life Begins At The Hop" and then "Reel By Reel."  That's it, I really can't
listen to this album in my car because I'd cause an accident playing with the
fast forward button on my tape deck.  (Hey, at least I have Black sea on the
other side of the tape. I can listen to that over and over.)  As for Nonsuch,
gimme Omnibus 24/7.  I can listen over and over.  :)


Date: Sat, 22 Jul 1995 14:39:50 -0400
Subject: Sex-TC?

OK! I've had enough.  I might understand that a few women think Andy and
Dave are good looking, but I don't think the same goes for Colin.
(especially on older pictures) The best picture of Colin I have seen is the
one with his family in the Chalkhills and Children biography.  But I'm not
saying he would appeal to any females (other than his cute wife, of course)


Date: Sat, 22 Jul 1995 13:34:03 -0700
From: Christie Byun <cbyun@ocf.Berkeley.EDU>
Subject: more skeletons

While we're on the subject of "Poor Skeleton Steps Out", does
anyone think that in the beginning of the song, there's the
sound of a vacuum cleaner being turned on?  Am I crazy?



Date: Sat, 22 Jul 1995 20:58:51 -0400
Subject: Nonsuch

 It's Nonsuch not Nonesuch

Thank you very much



Date: Sat, 22 Jul 1995 23:30:49 -0400
Subject: NJ & Elvis

They were probably just thinking, "Cherry Hill... Philadelphia, same thing.
They're close, and Philly sounds a lot cooler, and we can do that
alliteration thing with 'fab foursome'."  I went to visit that CD (as I
often do with imports/bootlegs I can't afford) after a Chalkhillian
mentioned a store where it could be found; the guy at the store thought it
was neat-o that his store got mentioned here.

I think someone recently said something to the effect that Elvis Costello
had beaten XTC in putting out an orchestral album. When I first heard about
TJL, I was hoping it would be a whole bunch of songs like 1000 Umbrellas
(sans acoustic guitar and percussion). Now I keep wondering, "What would
The Juliet Letters be like if XTC (or more likely, just Andy) had done it?"
I tend to think that it would be better in certain ways; but I also realise
that such a collaboration might never work, for reasons anyone who has read
"Chalkhills and Children" should know.  At least there wouldn't be as much
arguing about mixing if they recorded using only two tracks as Elvis did.

-- Andrew (

Did you know there are two AOL users who claim to be Andy Partridge?


Date: Sun, 23 Jul 1995 23:47:42 +1000
From: (Eliot Fish)
Subject: The movie and stuff...

Hello Chalkhillians, XTC-addicts and all-round lovers of the three-wise men,
I was just listening to my K-Rocking In Pasadena CD (which is of the
acoustic sessions at KROQ and KISS FM) and reading my latest Chalkhills
installment, when I was inspired to send out a new rave. So here goes...

I'd love someone to email me as to where I can obtain a copy of the Dave
Letterman appearance ('twas King For A Day was it not?) and a tape of
Partridge's Hello contribution. Thanks.

As far as the XTC movie goes... I'll have to update the cast since my last
posting of Michael Palin as Dave Gregory. How about this:

Albert Brookes as Tarquin Gotch
Christopher Walken as Richard Branson

Michael Palin as Dave Gregory
Gary Sinese as Barry Andrews

...and I'll just have to leave you in suspense for the others... ;^o

oh well, off to bed.

Regards to all,
Eliot Fish

P.S. Does anyone know of the Australian groups, The Apartments & Big Heavy


From: Joanna Kerr <>
Organization:  Arts
Date:          Sun, 23 Jul 1995 16:06:53 +0000

Nonsuch better that White music?  Are You MAD?  1977 does not require
any forgiveness.  Sentimentalising crooning (Holly, etc)  might...

Joanna Kerr


Date: Sun, 23 Jul 1995 18:42:45 -0400
Subject: Barry Andrews must pay

Along with many other subscribers, I too feel that "White Music" and "Go 2"
are best left ignored--and I feel that 90% (at least) of the problem is the
wonky keyboarding of Barry Andrews. Wonky keyboards have ruined many a decent
album and band, but luckily, XTC survived long enough to oust Barry and get
to making real music.  No doubt Barry also had an influence on the frantic
arrangements and Andy's unfortunate vocal delivery at the time. While I'm at
it, I think I'll peg Barry with the troubles in the middle east, the energy
crisis and the ongoing career of Kevin Costner.



Date: Sun, 23 Jul 1995 18:01:44 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Jeffrey with 2 f's Jeffrey" <>
Subject: Re: Chalkhills Digest #457

Re the subtitle of "Battery Brides," someone wrote:

I know that the subtitle ("Andy Paints Brian") refers to Eno. But what's
he got to do with this *particular* song? Does anyone know? I can only
think that it's a reference to the slightly Enoid keyboard work.

I've always thought the "Andy" in question was Warhol rather than
Partridge, the idea being repetition, "Factory," etc. (Of course, it's
probably both Andys, actually...).

Oh. This is my first post to the list. Say "hi" and be nice.


Jeffrey Norman                                  "Solipsism is its own reward"
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Dept. of English & Comp. Lit.                                --Crow T. Robot

In my CD changer: Guided by Voices _Bee Thousand_
                  _Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section_
                  Head of David _Seed State_
                  Gram Parsons _GP/Grievous Angel_
                  McCoy Tyner _Trident_


Date: Sun, 23 Jul 1995 19:53:25 -0700
From: Christie Byun <cbyun@ocf.Berkeley.EDU>

Hi Everyone,

I posted a couple of issues ago, asking for Bay Area Chalkhillians to
stand up and be counted, and I got many nice replies.  Anyway, I was
thinking it would be fun to have an XTC party sometime.  You know, have a
bunch of people together discussing XTC and watching videos and generally
behaving like crazed fans.  Well, you don't have to behave like crazed
fans, but it might be fun.  Anyway, please email if interested, possibly
before August 1, because I think my account may be shut down after that
time.  Hope to hear from you!

Also, last plug for trading tapes, since my account may be shut down
like I said, and I may not have access to Chalkhills anymore (sob!).
I don't want to bore you all and post my entire list (it isn't THAT
long, but still), so please write if you're interested, and I will send
you my list.  To those of you who may know me from previous trades, I do
have some new stuff, including a whopper of a video compilation someone
just made me, and it includes juicy tidbits like videos from various
albums, a bunch of early TV performances, interviews, the History of XTC
puppet show (which is worth any price, it's funnier than hell), stuff
 from MTV, etc., etc.

Cheers, and thanks for putting up with my long post!



Date: Sun, 23 Jul 1995 23:05:15 -0400
From: (Wendy Cottrell)
Subject: Re: Is Andy Sexy?

Andy is extremely sexy because he possesses the most attractive quality in

Wendy Cottrell


From: M Wilson <>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 1995 17:48:00 +0100
Subject: Stuff...

Re: Andy as Poet:-
        One of my favourite XTC songs is Rook and going on this evidence
Andy could well be a reincarnation of Ted Hughes (Current poet Laureate)
who's anthology 'Crow' I have just finished reading (check it out - most
excellent).  The difficulty being that Ted is still alive.

Re Record prices:-
        I'm off on holiday this week (actually I'm going home to West
Yorkshire to recapture my mispent youth) and will have time to look around
the many second-hand record shops in my area where XTC discs are not that
rare.  Last time I looked 'Science Friction EP' was about 20 pounds
sterling but that was some time ago.  I expect prices will not be so high
here in the UK as the fab three are much bigger in the US.  I'll let you
know what I find when I return with my holiday tan (rust not sun).

Re Other Stuff:-
        Michael, I dare to dis Supertramp because between you and me there
is a large ocean, mountains, swamp and and a busy road so they suck, Ha!

- Bye till August,


From: (mark allender - king of the universe)
Subject: who started the unplugged thing
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 1995 14:39:11 -0400 (EDT)

RE: Derek Miner's quote from AP saying that he (AP) started the whole
unplugged deal...

i can't speak for MTV's Unplugged, but i'd have to say the real roots of
the unplugged phenomenon lie with the Violent Femmes.


From: 7IHd <>
Subject: 'The Loving'
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 1995 21:47:38 +0100 (BST)

Useless little tit-bit for you:

My Brother, on a recent school outing to some museum/technology type place
(I think it was Snibston, but he went to several so I'm not 100% sure)
noticed, in a display of 'modern inventions', that the CD they had chosen
to represent this new-fangled modern invention in their display was none
other than the 3" of XTC's "The Loving".

I have two schools of thought on this. One is that this may in fact be the
ultimate tribute, XTC preserved for all time as a wonder of modern science.
The other is that this CD should be in MY record collection and not stuffed-
and-mounted, lifeless, in some museum. (How you stuff a CD I have no idea).

But I suppose at least they've got some taste, so I guess I go with the
first idea.

 |_)|_ *|
 |  | )||


Date: Mon, 24 Jul 1995 15:03:34 -0700 (PDT)
From: Thomas Long <>
Subject: re staunch defense

It's great to see Nonsuch picking up more support here - I really think
the songs are brilliant and can withstand any criticisms one might have
about the production.  When I first heard it, I thought they'd
lost the plot, but repeated listenings have won me over. Having said
that, I find myself programming out Crocidile and Smartest Monkeys;
not because I dislike the songs, but because I feel that they don't
seem to fit the mood of the album as a whole (Crocidile sounds like it
belongs on Big Express, while Smartest Monkeys sounds like a cool B-Side).
Nonsuch reminds me a lot of (dare I say it) Abbey Road (there, I said it,
go ahead and shoot me down in flames)... by which I mean it has a real
maturity to it - if this were their last album, it would be a great way
to go; as it is, I think it closes out the Virgin years in style.


End of Chalkhills Digest #458

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