Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-145

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 145

                 Thursday, 8 August 1996

Today's Topics:

                       Fossil Fuel
                     Re: XTC meetings
          Calling all Texas Aggie Chalkhillians!
                     Box of delights
                        Q fanfare
               "Suck More Piss", indeed...
                     Nonsuch sleeves
                    Leggo my bootleggo
                     Wrapped in Gray
                         XTC live
                      Re Settlement?
              Re: The Stories We Could Tell
                  Chalkhills' Deadbeats
                       slippery eel
            Fossil Fuels - Bad news/good news
                      Various things
                    No slag intended!
                   Producer thread etc
               Actually liking Big Express
  I forgot more about Sam Phillips than you'll ever know
                  RE: Demographic survey
                       Fossil Fuel
                         XTC, ja!
                      NEWELL, MARTY
                       Re: The Runt


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From: Darren A Peace <>
Subject: Fossil Fuel
Date: Mon, 05 Aug 1996 23:18:47 GMT
Organization: Grey Velvet Consulting
Message-ID: <>

First post and all that - apologies for any breaches of etiquette.

I've seen some speculation on the list about the various permutations
of "Fossil Fuel", the imminent XTC compilation, and as those nice
people at the Badlands record shop in Cheltenham (who've asked me to
point out that the price of 2.00 for the double CD shown in their
advert in this month's UK "Q" magazine is, er, a misprint!) have
passed a copy of the Virgin press release on to me (as they know I've
been a fan for years), I thought I'd share the details.  I'd warn you,
though, that Virgin's cavalier attitude to the band is ably
demonstrated by the fact that they even get the name of some tracks
wrong (no, I've not mis-keyed them!).

FOSSIL FUEL - The XTC Singles 1977-1992

Release Date : 9.9.96

Double CD Cat # CDVD 2811
Double Cassette Cat # TCVD 2811
Special Edition CD Cat # CDVDX 2811

"In the wake of Brit-Pop's rise, the essentially English pop of XTC
seems more influential thank ever; Fossil Fuel is a bumper
TV-advertsised (sic) collection which brings together all the band's
singles ...


Science Friction - Statue Of Liberty - This Is Pop? - Are You
Receiving Me? - Life Begins At The Hop - Making Plans For Nigel - Ten
Feet Tall - Wait Till Your Boat Goes Dawn (sic!) - Generals And Majors
- Towers Of London - Sgt Rock (Is Going To Help Me) - Love At First
Sight - Respectable Street - Senses Working Overtime - Ball And Chain
- No Thugs In Our House - Great Fire - Wonderland - Love On A
Farmboy's Wages - All You Pretty Girls - This World Is Over (sic) -
Wake Up - Grass - The Meeting Place - Dear God - The Mayor Of
Simpleton (sic) - King For A Day - The Loving - The Disappointed - The
Ballad Of Peter Pumpkin Head (sic) - Wrapped In Grey


"For XTC's die-hard fans, and in keeping with XTC's tradition of
extraordinary packaging, as a strictly limited edition, this double CD
will be available in a black brilliant box, embossed with the shape of
an ammonite."

(press release ends)

I can scan this press release and put it up on a Web page if anyone
would like a look at it (there's a dubious "shape of an ammonite" on
it) - please e-mail me ( if you'd like me to
do this; 5 votes and it's done.

Now, Badlands have agreed to send any format to anywhere in the world
if anyone's interested - they're confirming their order for the
limited edition at the end of next week (Friday 16th August), so if
you're interested (the postage seems reasonable, at 1 UKP for the UK,
2 UKP for Europe and 3 UKP for the rest of the world - the limited
edition will cost around 16 UKP, and the normal double CD will be
about 13 UKP), mail me and I'll put you in touch with them.

Incidentally, does anyone know if "Wrapped In Grey" got a proper
release anywhere?  I know some UK CD singles were pressed up (because
I've got a couple - I think there were 100 made, but most of them got
destroyed when the release was cancelled in the UK), but I don't think
they ever made it to the shops.  And why did they include "Ten Feet
Tall" and "Love At First Sight", but none of the other tracks released
as singles outside the UK ("Earn Enough For Us" springs to mind)?  And
why aren't there more previously unavailable tracks on the set -
although I hope they'll include the single versions of "No Thugs In
Our House", "This Is Pop" and the others?

Oh well.  It'll be nice to have (most of!) the singles in one place!

BTW, I'm not affiliated with Badlands!



Message-Id: <v01540b02ae2c2ec5b94a@[]>
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 1996 17:06:52 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: XTC meetings

>By the way, does anybody else have their own experiences of seeing the band
>perform, or meeting any of the guys, that they may like to share with us?  I
>remember Robert Triptow's story (a couple of months back) about meeting Andy
>at a record signing - I found that quite amusing.
>'Til next time, Paul

In February 1989, I was hanging out at the Gavin Report Convention in San
Francisco. (The Gavin Report is an important record-industry trade, if you
don't know.) On one of the days, there was a "Songwriter's Panel." If I
remember correctly, there were 4 or 5 participants. One was Andy Partridge
(Oranges & Lemons was hitting the stores almost simultaneously). I'm pretty
sure that Paul Buchanan of the Blue Nile and Ice-T were there too. So,
let's see...Ice-T, Buchanan and Partridge. Can you GUESS who dominated the
conversation?  :)  I don't remember much about what Partridge said,
probably because he didn't say all that much in the first place.

Anyway, unfortunately, I wasn't a huge XTC fan yet. I think I only owned
four XTC albums at the time (including the Dukes Of S.), and I mainly just
liked their "Beatleness." I hadn't quite started to enjoy their "XTCness"
yet. And I didn't have a copy of Oranges & Lemons yet, either. Well, to
continue: That night I was up in the Geffen hospitality suite drinking and
chatting, and suddenly out of nowhere Andy Partridge pops into my face and
asks ME in a very sardonic tone, "Have you seen the el-u-sive Mark Kates?"
(Kates is an A&R/radio guy at Geffen, perhaps best known for signing Beck.)
I just stammered out, "No," and that was the end of it. He pretty much
disappeared again. If I was as big a fan as I am now, I would've been dying
to talk further with him, but back then, it wasn't really a big deal. Sigh.
Then again, I don't really know what I'd say to him now either, except for
perhaps "Thanks for entertaining me." I know this isn't that great a story,
but heck, Paul, you asked. I guess the funniest thing to me about it is
that he approached me, instead of the other way around.  :)



Date: Mon, 5 Aug 1996 21:53:01 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <960805215301.216d9226@ACS.TAMU.EDU>
Subject: Calling all Texas Aggie Chalkhillians!

Thanks in large part to one of Phil Corless' fine Chalkhills t-shirts, I
met and conversed with Sarah, a fellow Chalkillian today.  As we were
chatting we discussed the idea that Texas A&M being as large as it is, the
odds that we are the only Chalkhillians here are rather slim.

So, I'm writing to propose that anyone from the Bryan/College Station area
who might be interested in meeting fellow XTC fans drop me an e-mail at  If there is sufficient interest we could get together at
a local restaurant sometime soon, chat and get to know some kindred
spirits.  (God knows we need some here in BCS!)

Let me know if you're interested!  I'm just dying to form a group that we
can name... (drumroll please)...  XTamC.

The aggies in the audience got the joke.

   Lore Guilmartin          Data's evil twin
     This sig for decorative use only.  Not for phonetic purposes.


Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 10:46:10 +0100
Message-Id: <v01510100ae2cc8b78303@[]>
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: Box of delights

Simon Sleightholm asked:
>Now, a question for UK collectors. A couple of years back I saw in a record
>shop a small boxed set which contained three XTC albums bundled
>together.....  Does anyone know about this item? I only saw it in one
>store - the name of which walked out on me ages ago - but it wasn't HMV,
>Our Price or Virgin.

It was a box set of Go2, Drums and Wires and Black Sea with the added
novelty of the CDs being picture discs (basically copies of the album
covers, except the D&W colours are way off). At the time, I didn't have any
of those albums on CD so it seemed worth the 24.99 pounds stirling that HMV
were charging for it. It was labeled as a limited edition - I don't know
how limited except to say it wasn't in the shops for very long.

Mark Fisher (,uk)


Message-Id: <>
From: "Daniel Prendiville" <>
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 1996 16:00:14 +0000
Subject: Q fanfare

The eminent magazine, Q, has given a 4-star review to FOSSIL FUEL in its
September issue. Well worth a read, with a great photograph of the group
from '77.

Q seems to be a spiritual sanatorium for XTC. Before I became aware of
Chalkhills, I used to go down to the local newsagents and read the
magazine, looking for the smallest, most insignificant reference to the
group, just to see if they were still extant. Now that I've got
Chalkhills, I'm still searching for the samllest, most insignificant

Seriously though, one benefit of the new release is the fact that the UK
mail order catalogues are carrying listings for XTC albums, something I
haven't seen for yonks.

Still, I think I'll hang on to my hard-earned for the alleged video

Me and the widow, salivating Joe Loss, indeed



Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 09:22:47 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: "Suck More Piss", indeed...

>Star-spangled Mr Bernhardt <> queried:
>>>Terry Chambers [...] replied with words to this effect: "fuck that for a
>>>lark, mate, suck more piss!" I readily complied to his invitation...
>>Great story, Paul! Care to translate Terry's line for the Yanks in the
>>audience? (At first reading, I don't know if I would have "readily
>>complied to his invitation"! :^)
>for the Strine-impaired out there, what Terry was trying to say was "That
>doesn't sound like a very worthwhile occupation, my friend, I suggest you
>imbibe a further quantity of this fine alcoholic beverage!" Or words to
>that effect.

Or, in the American Vernacular: "Screw that, have a beer." :)

Another wrote:

>But Steve also claimed this about "All Of A Sudden":
>>the song and video is so boring it's not surprising I forgot to add it!
>If you really think this song is boring, you should listen to more
>exciting music like the Cranberries :)
>Are you serious? Really???

Well, it's got great lyrics (check my .sig) and the music is okay. But it's
definitely not a "cornerstone" of the album.

Has anybody noticed the remarkable similarity between the intro to "Strange
Tales, Strange Tails" (the bit before Andy's clipped singing comes in) and a
certain part of the backing to "This World Over"? It freaked me out when I
heard it.

BTW: The only reason I don't submit a track to the tribute tape is the fact
that I can neither play an instrument nor sing. Sorry. :) Hmmm, which song
would I do if I could? Yacht Dance if I could figure out that guitar part.
(Maybe an electric version!) Or Travels In Nihilon. Or maybe even Jason And
The Argonauts (that'd be interesting....) Maybe I'll get together some of my
friends who can play instruments and sing and see what we come up with. :)

/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
| "Life is like a jigsaw. You get the straight bits, but there's something|
\-----missing in the middle."--XTC, "All Of A Sudden (It's Too Late)"-----/


Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 09:53:40 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Nonsuch sleeves

Simon Sleightholm <> wrote:

>but there was a serious core to it. The sleeve art work of XTC
>releases has always fascinated me, at least until Nonsuch which,
>though undeniably an attractive packaging concept, really did
>strip all individuality from the singles.

I agree with Simon about the Nonsuch UK single sleeves. They were pretty
boring. The three singles from Nonsuch (Ballad Of Peter Pumpkinhead, The
Disappointed, Wrapped In Grey) just copied the appropriate picture from the
back of Nonsuch. Even Japan's Demo Tracks CD is just a variation of the
Nonsuch cover. I have always expected more from XTC's sleeves than this.
Hopefully they will be more creative in the future.


Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 10:27:56 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Leggo my bootleggo

Should we feel guilty about owning bootlegs? Since the dawn of time,
mankind has pondered this important question. My answer is no. We shouldn't
feel guilty, we shouldn't feel criminal, we shouldn't hang our heads in
shame whenever we walk down the street alongside the non-bootleg owning
majority. Bootleggers get their money regardless of whether or not the
bootleg sells. Their job is finished once they sell their product to the
individual record stores. Due to the unscrupulous nature of the bootlegging
industry, I seriously doubt that any bootleggers have return
policies. Bootlegs don't sell that many copies, due to their low
circulation, which means that the demand for bootlegs is not measured on
sales of an artist's previous bootlegs but on the rabidness of that
artist's fan base. Mariah Carey is infinitely more popular than XTC (for
reasons that completely elude me) yet the number of XTC bootlegs dwarfs
that of Mariah's.

My suggestion to combat the bootlegging would be to either a) release a
widely available compilation of the demos featured on the bootlegs as well
as other demos that might be lying around (in order to prevent future demo
bootleg releases) or b) do what Frank Zappa did with his "Beat the Boots"
box set (buy up a bunch of bootlegs, put them in a box set and release them
through a record company with major label distribution).  The bootlegs
would cost more in the latter format, but at least us XTC fans would know
that the money would be going into the right hands.

York, PA

P.S. to Phil: Thanks for the compliment! My cardboard post
also applies to the recent Chalkhills criticism levelled at Mitchell
Froom's production of the American Music Club album "Mercury".


Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 08:12:44 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: (andy cuthbert)
Subject: Wrapped in Gray


I read your postings all of the time and have had private mail with you but
this is my first posting.  I can confirm the rumor you heard.  There is a
Wrapped In Gray 7".  I saw an ad for it in a Goldmine about a month ago.
When I called it was gone.  I haven't seen the CD version listed recently in
Goldmine, but then there are only about 50 of them that survived.

If this works I may do it again, but only when I have something worthy
enough to post.

Later,  Andy


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 06 Aug 1996 08:34:56 -0600
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: XTC live

"Paul from Australia's" mentioning again of his XTC concert
experience reminded me of my own (albeit lesser) experience
in the same area.  Did any of you Chalkhillers get to hear
the boys when they did a "radio station tour", probably sort
of soon after when O&L came out?  I was living in Austin, TX,
at the time, and I was pleasantly shocked & surprised listening
to the radio one day when the DJ announced that XTC was in the
studio and would do some songs in a little while.  I frantically
searched for a blank tape, jammed it in the recorder, and a few
minutes later was treated to about 20-30 minutes of a sort of
"XTC unplugged", with some humorous & interesting conversation
between the songs.  Unfortunately, I think a few years later
myself.  Anyway, it was a great treat at the time, and I was
just wondering if any others heard our faves on this "tour".
I don't know how many cities they visited.
DeWitt Henderson
"Don't they realize this is Respectable Street?"


Message-Id: <v02110104ae2d0e6ac219@[]>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 16:33:11 +0100
From: (Stephen Varga)
Subject: Re Settlement?

In Chalkhills 144 Mark Strijbos wrote:
>But Steve also claimed this about "All Of A Sudden":
>>the song and video is so boring it's not surprising I forgot to add it!
>If you really think this song is boring, you should listen to more
>exciting music like the Cranberries :)

No need. Martin Newel's Off White album is fruity enough and probably a
great deal more exciting too!

>Are you serious? Really???


>This song is absolutely top-class, both musically and lyrically.
>Seminal XTC and one of the euh... pivotal songs on the album IMO.
>One of the few songs that are really personal statements.
>A bit "difficult" perhaps compared to happy tunes like Pretty Girls
>or This Is Pop but certainly not boring.
>What's your favorite tune then Steve? Frost Circus?  :)))

No way, Jose! Even less so is New Broom along with the rest of Explode
Together. What an utterly crappy album if there ever was one!

All of a Sudden is not that bad I suppose and certainly far better than
most outside the domain of XTC. I was referring more to the naff video if
anything which in my opinion did nothing to enhance the quality of the

Believe it or not, Mark, my support for XTC is huge. They've been my number
1 band for the last 14 years (I've had a casual interest in the band since
Not that anyone want's to know that.

However if all of us Chalkies were really honest with ourselves, (ie truly
objective and not biased just cos the song's by XTC) we must all have
tracks we really detest such as the Frost Circus one you mentioned.

I have too may favourites to single out any and the vast majority of XTC
material is truly top class. I'm convinced they are a band that get better
and better - Rather like a vintage wine!

Every Chalkie including you and I, has a valid opinion. Even Chris Twomey,
author of the Chalkhills and Children biography doesn't give an outstanding
appraisal of Mummer and the Big Express - not to mention Take Away/Lure of
the Savage.

Do you not think, Mark,that some of the slower tracks on English Settlement
are a little too long - hence the boring reference for All of a Sudden?


Date: 7 Aug 96 02:10:39 +1000
Subject: Re: The Stories We Could Tell
From: "Rob Clark" <>
Message-Id: <AE2DABA7-1510C7@>

G'day Chalkhillians.
The following are ravings from a virgin (no pun intended) contributor and
new subscriber so I expect ettiquette transgretions to be forgiven just
this once.
Pauls query of XTC close encounters (#2-144) brings back early 80's
flashbacks of youthful excesses and thoughts of what could have been. In
1980 I had moved into a share house in a semi inner city suburb of
Melbourne where XTC vinyl (D&W and an imported copy of Go2) was played on
hourly rotation. When the band toured in the same year there was great
excitement in this dingey household. A pre concert party started in the
early afternoon where much "sucking of piss" was performed and other
substances were consumed. I ended up too "out of it" to make it to the gig
at (I think) Festival Hall, capable only of crashing on the flea bitten old
couch in a chemically induced haze with my girlfriend of the time listening
to an XTC album. When she chided me for not being capable of going I said
that they would be back again as they would be together for ages and be the
biggest band of the eighties. We'd catch them later. I got it partly right.
We never saw them again of course. My housemates didn't make it either,
they got as far as the first pub. I count my non appearance at that gig as
one of my big stuff ups in life. I just should have said NO!

Perth, Australia (home of the olympic bike riding kangaroos)


Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 17:51:07 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Chalkhills' Deadbeats

Re: Chalkhills' Children tribute tape

Look, you idiots, don't piss the man off. If there was any remote
possibility that you might not have enough time to complete your song, then
why the hell did you bother e-mailing him in the first place? If you're not
going to send in your tape, e-mail me and I'll do your damn song.

York, PA


Message-Id: <v01510107ae2d86356845@[]>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 20:03:40 -0400
From: (Matt Naranjo)
Subject: packaging

To inform Simon Sleightholm of the status of the American CD
"Longbox"--It's pushing up the daisies!   About 3 years ago,under a
tremendous amount of pressure from both outside and within the record
industry, the American record companies, more or less, collectively decided
to do away with the 12" high longboxes.  They were originally used for two
reasons: 1) to "prevent" shoplifting, but, more likely,2) to forstall the
reshelving retailers would need to make to convert stock/display shelves,
which were long used for lp's, to a new format size. The longboxes fit in
the same spaces vertically as the lp's they just replaced.  Over time, much
complaint was made about the wasteful packaging. Environmentalists,
consumers and such all agreed that the throwaway stuff was a waste.  In a
flash of "Genius", the record companies rushed to cash in on this by racing
to convert packaging to do away with the longbox.  The first to do so would
be viewed as "environmentally friendly". At the same time, retailers wised
up and noticed that by converting shelving for cd's, they could stock many
times more product in plain view to buyers. So... the longbox has not been
seen in the US for over 2 years.


Date: Wed, 7 Aug 96 07:47:23 +0200
Message-Id: <>
From: (Andre de Koning)
Subject: Rockpallast

I won't be te first one asking this, I'm sure, but did anyone
succesfully tape the WDR Rockpallast thinghy? I missed it :-( I've got
WDR on the cable here, but missed the announcement in the TV guide and
the news here in Chalks came to late. Email me if you want to set up a

Andre (promise I will spell the TV guide from A-Z from now on) de Koning


Message-Id: <>
From: "Daniel Prendiville" <>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 1996 13:35:49 +0000
Subject: slippery eel

I'm not going to let Simon Sleightholm off the hook that easily...

In response to a request for his views on valid topics for discussion in
the Digest, Mr. Slippery Eel said:-

>Anything is *valid*...Doesn't mean that it's important, interesting or
>vital, however.

OK, Mr. Smarty Pants, put us poor skeletons out of our misery. What
topics, in *your* view are *important, interesting or vital*, then?

When the point was put to him that FF-ing items in the Digest can lead one
to question whether reading the Digest is worthwhile, the Slithery One

>Certainly, but that implies that we should expect *other people* to
>always provide the meat of Chalkhills.

My dear boy, unless there are one or two people out there who submit all
the postings to the Digest under pseudonyms (an *interesting* thread there,
perhaps? Spot the Schizo...), then other people *do* provide the meat.
I'll continue to submit my postings, and I'll try not to disagree with you
in future. It would help if I knew what we could *agree* on...

Re. cover art, I knew you'd be annoyed if people were to agree with you on
this. The biter bit, as it were...

And finally, the urge to bash Mr. Sleightholm having been satisfied for
the present, it's time to present a bouquet to Mr. Tim Kendrick for his
proposed survey on Chalkhills subscribers. Should help to settle a few
arguments there, I'd say. Just to conclude, Tim might consider expanding
his categories in sexual preference to cover further possibilites (e.g.
straight, bi, gay, celibate, "sell a bit"...)

Toodle pip

Daniel Prendiville


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 07 Aug 1996 15:29:01 -0700
From: lee beddow <>
Subject: Fossil Fuels - Bad news/good news

From: The Lee Beddow Detective Agency For XTC Folk
Hi again
First of all, a little bad news. The release date for Fossil Fuels has been
pushed back to September 9th, so you're just gonna have to wait a little
However, as someone mentioned an issue or 2 ago, there will be a limited
edition of the album in, quote, " A black brilliant box, embossed with an
Ammonite". I guess that's some kind of fossil, isn't it ? (pardon my
geological ignorance). By the way, this news comes from the ever helpful
Kelly Pike at the Virgin press office, who also tells me that when see gets
a copy of the cd, she'll send one thru for me to review for all you good
chalkhill folk.
I'll keep plugging away at getting more information on the video soon.
Thanks again to eveyone for your e-mails - keep 'em coming!
Cheers, 'til next time,
Lee B.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 06 Aug 1996 21:19:20 -0400
From: jes <>
Subject: Various things

I know that much of what is in this message has either been answered or
attacked, but I can't help but put my several pence into the pile.

Something that calls itself myke <> asked, with regards
to Sam Phillips:  "Am I mistaken, or didn't she have some quasi-religious
material before her "first" album for Virgin?"  And the answer is yes.  Sam
(nee Leslie) Phillips is married to T-Bone Burnett, and they are both
professed and practicing Christians.  However, this doesn't stop them from
creating some of the more interesting music you'll ever hear.

I know that we Chalkies veer off into Agnostic-Land with regularity, thanks
to Dear Andy's direction.  But, the implication that a Christian would have
difficulty molding XTC's material just blows my mind.  If T-Bone can turn
Elvis into the KING OF AMERICA, then maybe he can turn XTC into the Court

Aaron Pastula <> opined correctly about Rykodisc.  I
can think, however, that there are those who will say that Ryko can't churn
out a hitmaker.

Anyone ever hear of Sugar and/or Bob Mould?

I vote for Ryko.

Then there is this guy Lee Moskow <> who wants the lyrics to
Explode Together.  Can't understand them?  You think your hearing is bad, or
the words are slurred?  Can't say much about your hearing, but I don't get
the slurred part.  Granted, dub is dub and never shall the twain meet, but I
had NO difficulty discerning lyrics on my LP or CD copies.

Firesign indicates luminous monography.  High Pitched Noise.  Signal Ad.
Commerciality.  (That's all I know from memory, and I'm at work where dub is
frowned upon (but not typing out messages to Chalkhills, go figure).)

From <> (E.B.) comes the opinion that the only reason
Warner Bros signed Hitchcock was to kiss up to the Robyn-worshipping REM,
whose Warners contract is about to expire. A valid notion, he suggests.
Bunk.  As an Athens Georgia resident, I can tell you that while Stipe, Buck,
Mills, Berry Incorporated hails the mighty icon of Hitchcock (there is a
joke in town that goes "how many members of REM does it take to change a
lightbulb?  Two.  Stipe changes the bulb while Mills puts on the Hitchcock
record") the things that gets their attention in signing a record deal are
(a) money, (b) artistic autonomy, (c) tree-hugging, booger-eating,
bedwetting, commie-fag-pinko liberal dogma, and (d) more money (which is
ironic when you consider that they're supposed to be so anti-capitalist, but
you oughta see Stipe's house).  That Robyn Hitchcock is on the same label
has never mattered before, why should it matter now?

Now XTC might get a woody being on the same label, but REM couldn't care less.

Now it is time for that fool who calls himself <> to have
a few words:

On a somewhat unrelated note, but one worth mentioning, I would like to
suggest that XTC return to the roots, so to speak, and enlist the production
skills of Mr. Steve Lillywhite (whether or not he's won a contest).  I was
driving back from Charleston SC with my children after a rather odd time at
the beach, and my son insisted on playing BOTH Dave Matthew's CD's (the ones
on RCA) throughout the trip.  At first, I resisted, but after the second
go-around, I became convinced that (a) Lillywhite would shape something new
>from the Lads, and (2) DMB's drummer and violinist (please, someone, shoot
that sax player) would add something refreshing to their sound and (&) RCA
oughta be looking at those guys as potential hitmakers a la DMB.

All I can say is that Lillywhite making money off of "Crash" and not "Drums
& Wires" is equivalent to Paul Newman winning the Oscar for "The Verdict" to
make up for the neglect he endured for "Cool Hand Luke."  Decent
performances all, but not the masterpiece kinda stuff.

That's my twopence.

"You can trust me because I never lie and I'm always right."


Date: Wed, 07 Aug 96 16:08:42 CDT
From: "Bernhardt, Todd" <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: No slag intended!


Just a quick one...

From: "John Christensen" <>
>BTW, Why the Terry Chambers slagging?  He was quite clever and original, IMO.
>"Black Sea" is the most enjoyable album I have ever drummed along to.  Try it
>sometime -- it is a fun workout from start to finish!

I fear you are talking to me on this one, since I just posted something
about Terry having "heavy hands," but, believe me, I love his stuff and
wouldn't have the forearms I have today if I hadn't spent most of the '80s
playing along with my 90-minute tape of "White Music" on one side and
"Black Sea" on the other.  (Talk about a workout -- try keeping up with
"Neon Shuffle" after 90 minutes of keeping up with the rest of it!) And,
whenever I think I've got TC down, I put on "Cut It Out," the live jam on
the "Scissor Man" progression contained on the back side of the "Love on a
Farmboy's Wages" 12-inch, and struggle to keep up with that!

Terry was the perfect drummer for XTC while he was with the band. I think
now, however, that their music is a little more subtle and delicate, and
wouldn't fit his muscular style as well as it did.

Excuse me now, while I go suck more piss!  :^)



Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 07 Aug 1996 15:14:08 -0700
From: John M Rader <>
Subject: Producer thread etc

Well, despite the fact that some good recommendations and discussions
have ensued, and maybe some speculators would wager on who its really
going to be ($.25 on John Leckie), the producer thread has relevance only
because it defines the readers of this list.  If you don't care what
people want for XTC sound and production, don't read it.  The validity is
to see how diverse elements in the fan base for the band still enjoy the
band.  And to have a little fun too!

How about "King for a Day" Honey Mead ale for a nice start to fall?



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 07 Aug 1996 18:12:34 +0000
From: Peter Dresslar <>
Subject: Actually liking Big Express

Just wanted to say that I now enjoy listening to The Big Express. I've
owned the CD for 4 years, and really disliked it until last week.

Perhaps I'll warm to Go2 in 2001.
-Peter Dresslar
Holland (it's a city), Michigan, USA


Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1996 04:28:47 -0500
Message-Id: <v01530500ae2f1a9a96e9@[]>
From: (John Yuelkenbeck)
Subject: I forgot more about Sam Phillips than you'll ever know

Yes, my "Godless" comment about Sam Phillips was meant to be flippant--more
of a commentary on the record industry's penchant for categorizing and
pigeonholing artists. Regarding "Christian" artists, I agree with what
Sam's born-again husband, T Bone, once said--something to the effect that
he would rather sing about the things Jesus said and did, rather than
singing ABOUT Jesus. Amen.

I have been a big fan of Leslie/Sam for quite a while. My only criticism of
her is her writing style: on almost EVERY song, she has a verse or two and
then repeats the title of the song over and (this world) over. Repetition
can be effective (it works really well with her song "Lying"), but as
Emerson said, "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

OK, OK, I know this is the XTC newgroup. But I've had to suffer through the
thread on Sugargrass or Superplastic or whatever band it was.

Martinis and Bikinis for my fellow Chalktalkers (is that a new


Message-Id: <s209b332.088@DICTAPHONE.COM>
Date: Thu, 08 Aug 1996 09:17:08 -0400
From: Tim Kendrick <TKEN@DICTAPHONE.COM>
Subject: RE: Demographic survey

 WOW !

 The response so far to my little survey
 has been FANTASTIC (!).  I guess I chose
 something everyone is interested in.


 If you haven't already responded to the survey,
 please take a couple of minutes to do so.

 Again, everything is kept confidential.
 I will only be posting overall percentages
 and averages - NO individual data.
 Due to the large volume I've been getting, it's
 been very easy for me not to know who said what
 - and ALL the email is being deleted immediately
 after it's data is put into my little database.

 Again, try to use the subject line
 "XTC DEMOGRAPHICS" and email to me personally,
 not the list.

    Thanks and keep the responses coming !!!

             Tim Kendrick


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 07 Aug 1996 15:01:04 -0700
From: John M Rader <>
Subject: Fossil Fuel

A mail order place called Siren Disc at 213-935-0578 is taking pre-orders
for Fossil Fuel, including the limited edition box.  Visit their groovy
website or call for more info.


From: "James Isaacs" <>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1996 18:47:12 CET-1CST
Subject: XTC, ja!
Message-ID: <>

My fellow Chalkhillians,
I have returned to the list after 6 months and 6000 miles, and I
have found myself in the midst of Germans; strangely enough, it is
Not only is the keyboard harder to use here, but I have yet to find a
 record store here in Heidelberg (Ah, Heidelberg) nor Mannheim (Uh,
Mannheim) that have anything by the last sons of Swindon.  While this
does not bother me at the moment, as I have everything but "The
Kitchen Sink", I can forsee problems down the road, such as future
releases and converting the pagans.  Are there any German folks out
there?  Am I the lone voice n the wilderness?  Any clues of good
shops in the area I have overlooked?
On the brighter side, if all goes well I am heading to London at the
end of this month, and I have every intention of heading out to
Swindon, just to see what all the fuss is about.
And finally, maybe I am just out of focus these days, but there seems
to be a lot of sniping going on.  But I do love German beer...


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 08 Aug 1996 15:22:28 EDT
From: "Jeffrey Stoffel" <>

          Greetings all.

          I finally found a source for the Off-White Album in the U.S.
          It's a mail-order house called Siren Discs, phone (213) 935-
          0578.  They also stock the Cleaners From Venus CD's.  They
          ship express against your credit card.

          Now, who sings on "Bikeride To The Moon"?  Is it Partridge?



Date: Thu, 8 Aug 1996 17:27:14 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: The Runt
Message-ID: <>

  Regarding Todd Rundgren, I have more respect for him as a songwriter
and recording artist in his own right than as a producer. Todd is a
classic example of someone who is brilliant at one thing(gorgeous three
minute pop songs)and would love the world to remember him for something
else he's not so good at(electronic music/multimedia innovations. While
he's had mixed success with some interesting video experiments and
concept albums, for his prowess with electronic music, look no further
than the mostly unlistenable A Wizard/A True Star.). Even when Todd has
me scratching my head incredulously, he's never boring, however.
  As a producer I find him very hit and miss. IMHO as far as Skylarking's
concerned he gets points for providing a concept and direction and a good
drummer, but soundwise the production was middling at best. As for his
other jobs, remember he's the bozo responsible for Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of
Hell. Also adequate: his work with the Psychedelic Furs, Cheap Trick,
Jill Sobule, Bourgeois Tagg, and The Tubes. Wrong production for the
wrong band/acid flashback category: The New York Dolls, Hall and Oates,
early Utopia(until Ra).
  Speaking of Todd, anyone else think The Nazz's "Open My Eyes" is one of the
greatest rock and roll songs ever recorded? That intro puts me into rock
and roll heaven every time.


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-145

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