Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-156

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 156

               Saturday, 14 September 1996

Today's Topics:

                    If you like XTC...
                      Three Wise Men
                   3 Wise Men part two
              Clown Control to Mao Tse-Tung
             A few things (Some REM content)
           Enough of this Colin dissing already
               Richard and Danny and Jason
              Yet more from Mr. Prolific...
                   One not-so-wise man
                 First kill all the WHAT?
                  Easter Theatre lyrics
   Video interpretation / Attention: bootleg dub people
                      Author Unknown
                Legends, lies and levity.
                   autographs and curry
    sugarplastic in store performance in Connecticut!
                     "review" of O&L
                 Re:Tattoo & Holly chords
               Misheard lyrics; Censorship
                The Return of Mr. Prolific


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

I saw your writing on paper landing.


From: Keith Hanlon <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: If you like XTC...
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 20:48:02 -0400 (EDT)

I have learned so much since I subscribed to this list in February. In
addition to tons of XTC information (and Andy's demos!), I have been
turned on to great artists like the Sugarplastic, the Loud Family, Eric
Matthews, and Yazbek.

Now it's my turn to turn all of you onto a great band: the Mommyheads.
Originally from New York City, they moved to San Francisco a few years
ago. They play delightful, creative pop music - think XTC, the Beatles, and
the Residents.

Go over to the Ultimate Band List and check them out - you can download
songs from their latest CD, "Bingham's Hole." Other great titles include
"Flying Suit," "Coming into Beauty," and the out-of-print debut record,

The Heads tor every fall (except this year!), and they recently opened up
for Lisa Loeb's tour.

Keep in mind that all their records are on indie labels, so they may be
tough to find. Let's hope that their talks with the major labels will
bring great music to the masses!

Keith Hanlon

Check out Norton's Orchestraville, a twisted, all-original Ohio band. Jason
Huck was kind enough to put a song in his homepage:
Contact Norton's Orchestraville at
Merchandise available.


Date: 13 SEP 96 11:05:42 AST
Subject: Three Wise Men
Message-ID: <>

Mr Prendiville asks "who is the Good Lord?"  (producer of 3 Wise Men Christmas
single).  Why, it would have to be David Lord, producer of Big Express,
wouldn't it?  Same production style.
As for the songwriting credit, I'd hazard that the A-side is Andy's
composition and the B-side Colin's (I don't know for sure).  The clever credit
of Kaspar/Melchior/Balthazar further extends the very amusing wordplay and
seasonal theme of the whole thing though.

Funny thing, when I first spied the 7" single, I thought it might be by (the
3-piece) Genesis (!), 'cos it looked like then on the cover.  But something
about the composer credit, and "The Good Lord", told me that I was holding yet
another example of Swindonian wit in my hands.

It remains a favourite of mine to this day......I often regret that our guys
didn't push ahead with that bubblegum album they were toying with at one time.

Back to temporary lurk mode (there's some cold piss in the fridge waiting to
be sucked).....

p.s.  I for one am absolutely HANGING OUT for Fossil Fuels - ripoff be damned;
I want that bit of ammonite (and remastered singles of course)


Date: 13 SEP 96 11:27:41 AST
Subject: 3 Wise Men part two
Message-ID: <>

Daniel, forgot to mention: Kaspar & pals were the three wise men who delivered
gold, frankincense & myrrh to baby Jesus in Nazareth.  They wren't musketeers,
that was Dudley Moore & pals wasn't it???   P@ul


Message-Id: <v01540b00ae5e21e20737@[]>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 21:41:01 +0100
From: (Peter McCulloch)
Subject: Clown Control to Mao Tse-Tung

From Amanda Owens:

>This book is worth checking out: SCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THIS GUY AND OTHER
>MISHEARD LYRICS by Gavin something-or-other. There is a misheard line from
>Dear God that had m,e in tears I was laughing so hard, and here it is...
>"And all the people that you made in your image still believe in that chunky
>stew." I went back and listened to the track and it really did sound like

The book you've mentioned is written by Gavin Edwards and published by
Fireside, a division of Simon and Schuster (ISBN #: 0-671-50128-3). It
retails for $8.95 US.

I only mention this because I happen to work for Simon and Schuster. This
book has been very successful for us, and a sequel will be hitting the
stores next month. I've read the manuscript for the sequel, and it's
equally as hysterical. For those of you not familiar with the book, it is a
collectino of often misheard lyrics to popular songs. I admit, I was guilty
of some of the mistakes listed in the book (i.e.: 'Til Tuesday's Voices
Carry: Hush, hush, deeper downtown, it's so scary). Not surprisingly, there
are many misheard REM quotes in the book. I thought about sending Gavin my
own personal misheard lyric: Billy Idol/Eyes Without A Face = How's About A

FYI (I'm showing my corporate backround here): We're publishing a book in
November written by Paul Blashill, designed by David Carson (Raygun Mag.),
with photography by Michael lavine (who's photographed everyone under the
sun), entitled, "Noise From the Underground" - a visual history of
alternative rock. I personally worked on this book as the production
manager, and I have to say that it is visually stunning for a rock book. No
mention of XTC anywhere, however, but lot's of other great artists to
stimulate the senses. Look for it.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Simon Knight" <>
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 11:25:35 +0000
Subject: A few things (Some REM content)

A few things from the last chalkhills:

>I know that REM were big XTC fans when they started and played XTC
>covers in concert (and opened for XTC on part of one tour), but are
>the above similarities just a coincidence?

>REM are/were XTC fans? They *opened* for XTC? I *did not know that*. Wow,
>I'll have to see if I can track down some of those covers...

These REM / XTC stories have been going around for quite a while,
probably based on a small statement in "Chalkhills and Children"
which claims XTC played Athens.

I've spent ages trying to find out if there's any truth in the
rumour.  Most official REM sources make no mention of it (they
supported the Police early in their career.  Was someone confused?)
Even the unofficial sources (like the REM "It Crawled From The
South", which goes into minute detail about REM's recording history
and contains a list of every known cover version the band has
performed, as do various fan websites) make no mention of this.

Frustrated, i posted a few times to the r.e.m. newsgroup (home of the
incredibly knowledgable bootleg collectors - even Peter says they
know more about what the band's played  than they do) and asked if
anyone had a recording of concerts with REM doing early XTC songs.
Not a sausage. I got flamed a lot too, most people claiming it was
just a "Dumb story".

Still, i'm secretly hoping that a stipe-led version of "Battery
brides" might turn up.  If anyone knows ANYTHING.....

RE: The good things
>I was really surprised when I read in the Little Express that this song was
>recorded in a very cheap studio above a motorcycle shop in Swindon. Why go
>to the expense of a top recording studio and hiring difficult producers
>charging exhorbitant fees, when you can have this? Apparently most of the
>budget was spent on hiring the drummer!

I can't believe this!  I was really impressed with the production
too!  The song has a wonderful warmth to it, and the work on Colin's
vocals give his voice a glowing timbre.  It just makes me long for a
new album.  Maybe cheaper is better.

>Know what your Top 5 Desert Island XTC songs are??

Mine change everyday.  I would never be able to choose.  I guess i
wouldn't take any and just sing the whole catalogue in my head.

Re:  books are burning picture
>the other is a book with a heart on it (no fire). Can anyone give
>me a decent explanation?

Probably more to do with Andy's love for literature.  Maybe the book
is burning with knowledge and love.

>  re: post in #151 from "XTC's manager"

>  You can smell that one through the wire!

No-one believed when Michael Stipe started posting to the REM
newsgroup either.  Don't be so quick to judge.  After all, he knew
about the "Andy Partridge Gameshow".  Someone would have to be really
anal to dredge something that obscure up just for a stir.

"Help me get through these cynical days...."

Re: River Phoneix
In a few interviews that spoke about his band (something like Aleka's
attic) the reviewers normally brought up XTC as a comparison, and
River would frequently speak of his love for the band.

RE:  Easter Theatre as "icky".

I find this a tasteful song.  I'd rather listen to Andy sing about
sex than Aerosmith.  It harks back to that whole Lady Chatterly /
Skylarking period.  English literary tradition.  The imagery is
caught in glimpses - spring as the renewal of life, passion, sex and
youth as part of the cycle.  It's a wonderful song - the jagged
brass-led verses equal the frantic naive fumblings of youth that
slide into the euphoria of sexual bliss that is the string-led
chorus.  The nervous embarrassment of youth changing into natural
instinct of desire.  Great stuff...

Anyone else out there think it's a perfect companion piece to "The
Sensual World" by Kate Bush?

"Easter theatre" also seems to tie in with "The green man"'s cycle of
celebration for renewal.  Is there a possible theme developing for
the new album?  Seasonal?  Of the songs i've heard some really seem
to fit the bracket.

"The green man" and "Easter theater" = spring
"Bumper cars", "You and the clouds will still be beautiful" = summer
"Wonder annual", "Knights in shining karma" - autumnal
"The last balloon" and "Your dictionary" really strike me as Winter
songs.  The end of the relationship is the end of natures cycle, but
rebirth is possible.  Listen to the end of "dictionary", how it
resolves itself with the bitterness of the preceeding verses fading
into the realisation of "let our marriage be undone".  He's accepted
the fact and realises that life goes on...  It's a great cycle.

Or maybe it's just the fact my tape opens with "Green man" and ends
with "Dictionary"...


Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 12:02 +0930
From: "VanAbbe, Dominic" <>
Subject: Enough of this Colin dissing already
Message-id: <>

Greetings all,

     I've been quite content to sit on the sidelines and digest what has
recently been fascinating reading, but I really have to disagree with
Karthik Swaminathan's condemnation of CM's work post-ES.

>from Mummer on the Partridge and Moulding songs seem to not fit well

     Disagree (IMO, of course). CM's songs have always been the more
accessible.  Like Karthik I was initiated into XTC via singles like
"...Nigel" and "Generals..." which were medium-sized hits here.  In fact,
during their chart peak (around 1979-1982) it was generally CM's songs that
were chosen as starting points to an LP (occasionally to AP's chagrin if
Chris Twomey's biog. is to be believed).  First-up singles are generally not
representative of an LP per se, more to act as sales catalysts for the
long-player.  Naturally the more friendly tracks are chosen, CM's generally
fitting the bill.  Two songwriters will always have contrasting styles (I
hate to use the comparison but L**non and McC**tney come to mind) but I
don't believe AP and CM's songs don't fit together.

>Colin's songs sound more and more lifeless<

     In fact, if you read the epilogue in Chris Twomey's biography, Colin
agrees that his "songwriting libido" has gone down since the band stopped
touring.  Apparently he and DG were toying with the idea of touring without
AP (not necessarily as XTC) just to get back into playing and "live
songwriting" (if you like).  Evidently it was only laziness that stopped
him.  With surely enough material I've wondered why this idea was never
followed through.
     To suggest however that Colin is not giving 100% is a mite unfair
though.  With some exceptions CM's songs have actually become less
radio-friendly.  Sure, "My Bird Performs" (one of my personal faves), "King
for a Day", "Wonderland" are truly singalongable, but try on "Deliver us
from the Elements", "I Remember the Sun", "Grass" (surely NOT an obvious
single), "Dying", "One of the millions" (killer bassline) and "Bungalow" for
examples of stretching himself.
     I agree that "Cynical days", "The Smartest Monkeys" and "WarDance" are
not among his stronger compositions, but they're NOT terrible, and anyway
surely anyone's entitled to an off-day.  These are easily offset by killers
such as "The Meeting Place", "Sacrificial Bonfire", "Wake up", "Bungalow"
and "My Bird Performs" (alongside any of his pre-Mummer stuff).  Anyway, not
all AP's stuff is equally strong IMO- read "Human Alchemy", "Melt the guns",
"That wave", "Miniature Sun", "Here comes President Kill...", "Somnabulist"

>...seems to be less experimentation, exploration and development...<

     Again, compare "One of the millions" and "Bungalow" to say "King for a
day" and I would have to say that although not necessarily always successful
Colin is stretching himself.  Recently a lot of his material has had jazzy
inflections with moody lyrics.  This has tended to shift some of his stuff
away from being radio-friendly as such.  Still IMO "Bungalow" is one of the
strongest tracks he's written.  It captures the somewhat sad, yearning mood
of retirement coastal villages beautifully- hey maybe I should be sending
this to JHB ;-)

     Personally if CM is dissatisfied with not touring, and the
self-perceved negative effect it has had on his songwritng,  I'd prefer him
to get out there with Gregsy reacquiant himself with his older material, and
get back into the swing of live musicians and jam sessions.  Maybe then
something as dynamic as "...Nigel" is not out of the question!

     And one last comment on a different note.  Ira Lieman noted in #154

> Colin, who rarely, if ever, has any lyrical changes in his songs (between
demo and recorded stage)<

     If my memory serves me correctly, didn't "My Bird Performs" have an
entire verse altered between the demo stage (as released on the flip of
"...Peter Pumpkinhead") and the "NONSVCH" version?

     Sorry about the length. Until next time, ciao DOM

P.S.Would anyone be willing to get together a copy of the demos for the
upcoming LP?  I'd be willing a part with a feasible amount of muller for
them- email me privately if you're willing... :-)


Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 22:35:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: Patricia Haley <>
Subject: Richard and Danny and Jason
Message-ID: <>

Hi y'all:

Bob (didn't catch the last name, sorry) mentions that Danny Thompson is
Richard's brother.  No, they are not related in any way, shape, or form.
However, they are both swell musicians with the same last name, and I
still count the new Richard Thompson CD as my favorite of this year.  I
am seeing the good man twice next month, and frothed up over the fact.

Martin Monkman asks about the new Jason Falkner LP.  It is swell.  I
*loved* The Grays, and I adored Jellyfish, and Jason's solo effort is
quite good. If those Jellyfish/Grays fans on this list are thinking about
buying Jason's LP, wait no longer.  I only find a couple of songs on
the solo record which are as good as what he contributed to The Grays'
_Ro Sham Bo_, but there are no clunkers.

The Sugarplastic CD, on the other hand, is the exact same song performed
twelve times, or how ever many different titles there are on the album.
(Thanks again, Joe Silva!)  I can barely tell when one song ends and one
begins, except that there are gaps of silence between titles.  I will give
this CD yet another try, but I think there is much ado about nothing here.

And am I the only person on this list who refuses to buy _Fossil Fuel_
because I am pissed off at the record company?  Not to take bread out of
the mouths of our band, but I moaned last digest about how this should
be new stuff, not old, and I mean it.  Nice to see the band getting some
publicity, to be sure, but still...



Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 22:56:45 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: Yet more from Mr. Prolific...

Hideho! I'm back with even more useless crap to flood Chalkhills and make
everyone get down on their knees and beg for mercy.

Something possessed (Stephen Varga) to write:

>However, I felt the TD version was nothing short of magnificent. Mr Yazbeck
>and the band did a terrific production job. Not only does Colin sing
>perfectly in tune, but the much higher fidelity sound along with the rich,
>textured arrangements which were varied and highly refined, even surpassed

Yeah, I've wondered why the song didn't make it to an album. The Testimonial
version is nothing short of f*cking great. The acoustic guitars merging with
the electrics, the Colin and Andy But, like you said, even
the demo is really good, although somewhat pale in comparison to the final

BTW, I've just figured out the answer to my own question (that is, Why do so
many unreleased demos sound less demo-like than ones that were released on
an album?) Of course, the officially released ones were remixed and
everything to make them sound best, and by Nonsvch *all* of the demos sound
good enough for release. But what about earlier demos from the Demos CDs? My
only answer: they're not demos, per se. I'm sure some of the out-takes are
actually studio outtakes that just got put on because they sound better than
the demo versions.

BTW, speaking of studio/demo, can someone who has both versions of Young
Cleopatra, the demo (from JVS) and the full-band (from Demos 7) share your
opinion? I really like the original demo, and the studio version seems
pretty good...except it's too fast. It loses some of it's charm when played
at such high speed.

dgershmn <>, my "evil nemesis" :) wrote:

>Coincidence...particularly since "Murmur" came out a few months prior to
>"Mummer." And really, they're not all that similar aside from title.
>Mummer's cover is indeed an obscure mix, etc., but is much brighter than the
>Murmur cover, which is a photo of kudzu, that swampy mossy stuff that's
>swallowing large parts of the South.

Note another similarity between the two: they both have a lot of acoustic
stuff, and are both really laid-back compared to the other albums by their
respective artists. (Although, I think Murmur is a *much* better album than
Mummer, flame away...)

AMANDA OWENS <> didst pen:

>PS-I am not one to put down Crash Test Dummies, as they are my favorite
>group and I worship the Winnieg soil they trod on as much as I worship the
>Swindon air that Dave Gregory breathes, but Ellen Reid cannot sing and was a
>suck choice to sing Peter Punpkinhead.

I dunno about that one, but I think on the All You Pretty Girls cover, the
mix of the female voice (on the chorus) and the regular lead singer guy on
the verses works really, really well; it's a really good cover.

From: Ted Harms <>

>I was listening to my tape of Jules Verne/Golden Guts (thanks again,
>Steve L.) and realized that I've got two songs on it that aren't listed
>on the J-card.  Could somebody (maybe Steve?) help me identify the songs...

Hmmm...what's their location on the tape (between which identified songs)? I
checked the JVS/TBWTGG lyrics files and the lyrics you quoted don't show up.

>PS - Joshua, slow down - we can't keep up!

If anybody wants to see the list I'm now keeping of every time someone
comments on my "prolificacy," you can find it from my webpage (check the .sig)

No lyrics this time. (I'm too busy listening to the *new* R.E.M. is
freakin' awesome!)

Oh, yeah...I "fixed" my .sig (although I still think the other way sounds
better, *pout*.)
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
| "And I see nations playfully hurl snowballs packed with stone and clay."|
\--------------XTC, "You And The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful"----------/


Date: 13 SEP 96 13:21:35 AST
Subject: One not-so-wise man
Message-ID: <>

This smartypants has to recant, before he gets flamed mercilessly.
In my previous message about Three Wise Men, replace "Nazareth" with
"Bethlehem".  And for our younger viewers, you may feel free to replace
"Dudley Moore" with "Kiefer Sutherland", or, at a stretch, even "Annette
Funicello" for it to make any sense at all.
I'll just crawl back under the Cone Of Silence now.....


p.s.  Cone of Silence happens to be a good Canadian band which I recommend
p.p.s.  Any fans of Pursuit of Happiness who wanna hear about their recent
Aussie tour, e-mail me at


Message-Id: <>
Subject: First kill all the WHAT?
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 96 22:52:28 -0500
From: Constantine Pappas <>

>As for the aforementioned lawyer, *that* could be practically anybody --
>those damn lawyers will always screw you!

Now, now, be careful what you say...there may be lawyers lurking about
on Chalkhills who might not be such bad people once you get to know
them.  As for screwing you, I seriously doubt you're my type.
See you in court. ;)

Constantine Pappas, Esq.

P.S. Oh yeah, this group is about XTC.  What is all this about River
Phoenix buying beer for the group as the reason for being thanked
on O&L?  My understanding was that he actually played keyboards on
a few tracks. Anyone care to help me out on this one?  I'm still
looking for lyrics to 'The Green Man' and a CD copy of Blegvad's
'King Strut & Other Stories'.  Thanks again. :)


From: Keith Hanlon <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Easter Theatre lyrics
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 23:06:38 -0400 (EDT)

Ok... I've sat down with my billionth generation copy of the latest XTC
demos to tackle the lyrics for "Easter Theatre." I didn't see anything in the
archives about this, and don't recall the lyrics being discussed on this
list. Forgive me if this has already been posted....

I'll need help from all of you on this one. THE BEST WAY TO DO THIS IS FOR


<Can't make out the first line - the word "dress" is there though>
Chocolate nipple brown
Tumble from your arms
Like the ground your <breasts/breath?> smell
Land awake from sleep
<Hares/hairs> will kick and leap
Flowers climb erect
Smiling from the moist kiss of her rainbow mouth

Stage left
Enter <can't make out the rest of this line>
Stage right
Now the <sun/son> has died the father can be born
Stand up
If we'd all breathe in, we'd blow away the smoke
New life
<something something> new life

<Huh?> mounts? the tree<?>
Pleads? for you and me
Scratching on the lamb<?>
Gambling with spring step <?>
<Birds/bugs> will laugh and burst
Racing to be first
Turning all the soil
As the <???> fingers through her spinning scream <?>


Easter... in her bonnet
Easter... in her head<?>
Easter... are there ribbons?
<????>... everywhere

I know, I know... pretty sketchy. If anybody can expand on this, let me
know. I'll report our findings back to the list.




Date: Thu, 12 Sep 1996 22:43 -0600 (MDT)
From: Miles or Gigi Coleman <>
Message-id: <0DXNMFYN300GH0@ACS2.BYU.EDU>
Subject: Blasphemy

> I encountered a posting in an XTC board from
>someone who said he felt that Christians had no right to "listen to Dear
>God. It pisses me off when some Christian tells me they like it." As a VERY
>Catholic person who likes that song a lot, I was more than a little
>offended. I just want to know what anyone thinks.

As a Mormon (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), I completely
understand and have been in those same shoes.  Not too many people can
listen to DG and hear something other than blasphemy.  My (brief) personal
interpretation is that it is a song about a subject that many people analyze
in their lives at one point or another.  Is there a god?  How can there be a
god with x, y and z happening in the world?  I personally don't share his
ideas and sentiments but that has no bearing on my appreciating the music
and thoughtfulness of the lyrics.  Many people tell me I am justifying it
because I like XTC so much, but it was actually one of the first songs I
ever heard.  IMO, it certainly is much more tasteful than Trent Reznor's God
or Christ remarks in NIN.  That sort of reference makes me very
uncomfortable.  Anyway, Amanda, you asked for our opinions.  There's mine.

Miles and Gigi Coleman          Provo, Utah     Family Home Page Guatemala City North Mission Alumni Page          Index for Alumni of LDS Missions


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 00:42:30
From: (David  O'Connell)
Subject: Video interpretation / Attention: bootleg dub people

I was going back through my old back issues of Chalkhills and for a
little while there people were sending in ideas for video
treatments of XTC songs. I got to thinking and I came up with an
idea for "Travels in Nihilon". Here it is:

("Travels in Nihilon" music starts. All images are in slow motion.)

The video opens with an overhead establishing shot of Andy's house.
Cut to interior of house: David Yazbek is in the kitchen, cooking
potatoes. All of sudden, he is devoured by a swarm of man-eating
locusts. Andy hears the commotion and runs into the kitchen. He
sees David Yazbek's disembodied leg on the floor and immediately
comprehends what has just happened. He begins shouting something
and a subtitle appears on the screen: "I will avenge your death,
brother Yazbek!" He then picks up Yazbek's leg, holds it above his
head like a weapon and charges out of the room. Across the street,
Ian Reid is trying to lock Terry Chambers in a combination
safe. Meanwhile back in the kitchen, David Yazbek's potatoes are
boiling over, symbolic of the high temperatures needed to cook
basic dinner foods. Over in the dining room, Colin and Dave are
having a Christmas party (oh, did I mention it was Christmas?).Dave
opens Colin's present. It is a slavery collar. Dave is horrified.
Colin starts to laugh evilly. The camera zooms in on Dave's
horrified expression and the image freezes. A prohibit slash
appears over Dave's face and a caption appears on the screen: XTC
SAYS NO TO SLAVERY. The rest of the video is a series of shots of
toothless farmers eating corn.


I have a different e-mail address now: <>. If
you've recieved your tapes in the mail, e-mail me, so I know not
to worry.

Dave O'Connell
York PA


From: "Michael Wilson" <>
Subject: Author Unknown
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 00:59:12 -0500
Message-Id: <>

After a few listens Jason Falkner's CD is quite brilliant, barring one
song.  Hectified to name that one (to hear the same song one need only
listen to Back Water by the Meat Puppets) other than that I love this CD.
If I have to be critical (and I do) Hectified would be the only track I
would drop.  So if you can find this CD (it was quite hard for me) buy it!

    " I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous "
                                             -Crow T. Robot


Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 12:12:30 +0100
Message-Id: <>
From: (Simon Sleightholm)
Subject: Legends, lies and levity.

Apologies in advance for the length of this post, but I am just FULL of it.

Firstly, is there anyone in the US who would be willing to dupe some XTC
videos for another US resident? If anyone is willing could they please
e-mail me privately and I'll put you in touch with the person concerned. Thanks.

We have a sales rep, George, who drops into our place each Friday, and who
is what we Brits call a gobshite - "a picaroon, a rascal, a teller of tall
tales". What ever you have done, he did it first, better and to rapturous
applause. This week he came in while "Chips From The Chocolate Fireball" was
parping out of my PC speakers.
"What's that?"
"The Dukes Of Stratosphear"
"That's good that, if I bring you a tape will you copy if for me?"
"Who are they again?"
I told him it was the Dukes, otherwise known as XTC.
"Oh, XTC?," says George, unaware of my allegiances. "I used to play pool
with one of the guys in XTC. He runs an engineering company in Edinburgh now."
I sit, mouth agape in stunned silence. Have I just been subject to a
catatonic fit and missed several lines of dialogue?
"In Edinburgh?" I ask.
"Oh yeah, this is going back a few years, just after they split up (!). I
used to work for a different company then and we used to play pool, my
company against his in Edinburgh."
"An engineering firm? Are you sure?"
"Um, well. He might have been an accountant. Are any of them accountants now?"
"I really don't think that's likely."
"What are their names?"
"Andy Partridge..."
"That's him!"
"An accountant running an engineering firm in Edinburgh? No way."
"Oh, who else is there?"
"Colin Mou.."
"It'll have been him then!"
I shake my head, "Doubtful."
"There's Dave Gregory...", I suggest, leading him on to the tiger-pit.
"Hmmmm", says George sagely, stroking him goatee and not wishing to commit
"And Terry, the drummer, he left the band in '83."
"It was him then, definitely. Looked like a drummer."
He then changed the subject and left.

So, Terry Chambers, the accountant owner of an Edinburgh engineering firm?
It must be true, George said so. Anybody have anything to add?

It brought to mind an old school friend who told me in about 1985 that Andy
Partridge had been thrown off her cousin's farm for shooting pheasants
without permission. A smidgen unlikely, I am urged to posit.

Constantine Pappas wrote:
>re: The Good Things -- Does anyone else like the demo version better
>than the TD one?  The drums and bass seem too heavy on the later
>version and Colin's voice just doesn't have the same punch, imho.

I thought the same, but I can't decide if it's just because I've grown to
love the demo that I find the upstart TD version uneasy listening. I thought
the demo was just beautiful, so plaintive, and the TD version was just a
little too polished, but I suppose that could just be "nostalgia" for the
charm of the demo. What I miss most is the sound and rhythm of the drum
machine. I have the same feelings for "Find A Fox"; that sounds just fine as
it is, any "improved" recording could never live up to the warmth of the
demo. I can understand the band's frustration at having a favourite track
condemned to exist purely in demo form (I remember reading that Andy wasn't
really happy with the demos being issued as extra tracks, because that meant
they were dead material as far as future records went), but I still prefer
the original, probably from familiarity if nothing else. I shall have to
snip Good Things from TD (something I hardly ever listen to) and drop it
into an XTC mix tape or something, see if I get used to it.

From: Steve Schiavo <>

>Then I side with the "saints".  (Although snakes would make for an
>interesting meaning, perhaps maybe).

I would have to say that I hear "snakes" too, which I read as the temptation
serpent (lust=love).

From: dgershmn <>

>Know what your Top 5 Desert Island XTC songs are??

I've tried, Dave, honest I have. But it's like trying to tie knots in hot
sand, as soon as I pin down my five favourite "if I had never heard these,
my life would be lacking" songs, another ten jostle at my shoulder and
enquire, in frank tones, why they aren't included. My top five changes
constantly, depending on my wood, the weather, etc.

From: DeWitt Henderson <>

>Simon, I read some of the excerpts from your "deservedly unfinished novel",
>and hey, keep at it, man.  I hope you take this as a compliment - parts
>were sort of Pratchett-esque, eh?

Yeah. The bastard ripped me off, man. Thanks for kind words, you make me all

>And so what happens to this man who
>has a problem with wood????  I'm interested in writing myself - maybe I'll
>send you one of my deservedly-unpublished-short-stories.

He was part of a nature-cult who maintained close links with the plant
world, and could communicate directly with the trees for direct information
or as message conduits - passing information around the world through their
roots. He has fled the cult, and in order that he cannot be pinpointed by
other cult members he has "tuned" out of the network, as it were. The trees,
however, even the dead ones, recognise his affinity and are trying to get
his attention. To stop them pestering him he need only reopen that part of
his mind which he closed when he left the cult. This will allow him full
access to the knowledge of the world (he can ask a cherry tree in his yard
to ask the rose bushes in a castle garden half a world away about what is
going on there), but this will relay his location to those he has escaped,
and anyway dead wood has very limited conversation; "You wouldn't believe
it. I was just stood there, minding my roots, and this bloke, without so
much as a 'may I?' swings this bloody great axe and wallop! Occasional
table." I know, but it seemed like a good idea at the time - I was a mere
child when I did it, and the faults in the logic didn't seem as great then
as they do now. Ummm. XTC content? There are a few oblique and not so
oblique references throughout the original text. By all means send me your
story, DeWitt, I'd love to read it.

From: Ted Harms <>

Can't help with song 1, I'm afraid.

>Song #2  First line: sounds like 'Tracy Jacks'
>	 Chorus: As the day got closer in his heart he was over. I'd love
>  	 to stay here and be normal...

That's "Tracy Jacks" by Blur. Off, I think, Parklife.

From: Natalie Jane Jacobs <>

>So I *finally* listened to my brand-spanking new copy of "Through the
>Hill," which has been lurking under the blankets at the foot of my bed in
>the hopes that someday I might actually be in the mood for it.  Contrary
>to Simon Sleightholm's recommendation, I have neither a couch, a wife, nor
>wine, but I found that an armchair, a kitten, and chocolate ice cream
>served just as well.

I'm not so sure about the kitten, but I'll trade you my wife for that
chocolate ice cream...
It is a pretty marvellous work isn't it? I tried playing it at work, but
found that I wasn't getting anything done, just mooning (as in "listless
observance", not "pants off bending") out of my office window. There
definitely seems to be a thread from TTH to tracks like River Of Orchids.

From: "Daniel Prendiville" <>

>And who was the Good Lord?

Hallooooo Dan, me old mate! The Good Lord, was I believe, David Lord who
also worked on The Big Express.

Yabber, yabber, yabber


* ---------------------------------------------------
* ---------------------------------------------------
An English Settlement...


Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 10:41:15 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: autographs and curry

This post is in response to Greg Langmead's recent trip to the Sri Lanka
Curry House in Minneapolis, MN.  I can't believe that I've lived in
Minneapolis for so long, and specifically within walking distance of the
Curry House for the past three years, and never knew that there was a Shrine
To Greatness within easy reach.  I plan on making my sacred pilgrimmage,
avec camera, tomorrow.  Wow.  I feel like a true groupie.

Young Ones quote:

        Mike:  A vampire!
        Vivian:  In a parcel!
        Rik:  In the kitchen!
        Neal:  Hate mail.

Yeah, okay, so it isn't particularly relavant to, well, anything on this
mailing list/digest/whatever we are, but I can't get it out of my brain just
the same.

Bye fellow Chalkies!

P.S. Greg, if you're ever planning on being back this way, post me - maybe
we could get together and do First Ave. or something (BTW, I'm twenty six
and married with a one year old daughter, this isn't a pickup).


Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 10:03:01 -0400
Message-ID: <>
From: (RobertD)
Subject: sugarplastic in store performance in Connecticut!

     Just thought you'd like to know...

     SugarPlastic will be performing live in store at Brass City Records in
     Waterbury, Connecticut on Sunday Sept. 22nd at 4 p.m.

     along with SugarPlastic, Loud Family is expected to play. LF is
     opening for SP on their current tour.

     If you'd like more info from Walter or Fred at Brass City:

     either e-mail --

     or phone -- 203-574-7805

     hope to see some Chalkhills subscribers there!

     If anyone has other SugarPlastic dates, please pass along

     Bob D.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 12:16:19 -0600
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: "review" of O&L

I was just listening to O&L here at work, and I remembered a few things
that I saw in Rolling Stone around the time it came out.  I think you
fellow Chalkhillers will find this funny:

First, Rolling Stone's reviewer (don't remember who that was) gave O&L
four stars, which is "excellent", and not that many cd's get that great
of a review.  So then a few weeks later this guy from somewhere in
California sent a letter to the editor which almost literally read as
follows:  "Man, you guys said that 'Oranges & Lemons' by XTC was a
great album, but I bought it, and it sucks".  Evidently this guy was
too young or too self-absorbed to realize that there are actuallly
DIFFERENT TASTES (or opinions) out there.
* -------------------------------
DeWitt Henderson
*Serious* rock quotes of the day:
"Do a poo-poo" (the Rutles)
"Many years ago, before the dawn of history..." (Spinal Tap)
"I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy"
    (actually in some country song?!?!)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 13:29:44 -0700
From: (Ian Dahlberg)
Subject: Re:Tattoo & Holly chords

A couple of replies:

For Jon Eva,

>I was reminded of the near-mythical XTC superfan Peter Kitchen, who
>apparently has an XTC tattoo, though whether this consists of a huge
>Uffington white horse on his chest or the letters X.T.C embedded on his
>knuckles, I don't know.

        There's a photo of Peter in an old "Little Express" sporting
his tattoo on his left shoulder.  It says "XTC" in the Black Sea
lettering.  I don't have access to a scanner but even so, it might not
come out that great.

For JH3,

>If you have an acoustic guitar handy, pick it up RIGHT NOW! and play these
>chords in roughly this order:

>XX0232 -> XX0350 (repeat several times)

        Try XX0232 ->  XX0330

        Same difference, better voicing, easier to play, IMHO.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark G. Cuevas" <>
Subject: Misheard lyrics; Censorship
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 16:52:14 -0700

Hello Chalkpoopers. [Ueww, gross]

From: Amanda Owens <>
> "And all the people that you made in your image still believe in that
chunky stew."

Oh, God that's funny. I'm still chunkling (er, chuckling).
Does anyone else have any misheard XTC lyrics?

From: Amanda Owens <>
> I was once on America Online when I encountered a posting in an XTC board
>from someone who said
> he felt that Christians had no right to "listen to Dear God. It pisses me
off when some Christian tells me  > they like it."

My first reaction is What a moronic, myopic point of view to think that
people have no right to listen to what they please "religion" or "no

My second reaction is perhaps best stated by St. Andrew (or is it St.
Colin): "I believe the printed word should be forgiven. No matter what it
says . . ."

My third reaction is not a reaction at all, but a reasoned argument: IMNSHO
everyone has the right to listen to whatever pleases them (this is the U.S.
after all). We also have the right to write what we please, so long as we
do not espouse violent overthrow of the government [fair enough considering
we might not have these rights absent government intervention]. In short,
we should never place limits on imagination or ideas.

But, the sword cuts both ways. Although I think this particular "Christian"
is a moron, he/she also has a right to write/think/believe that "people
have no right to listen to Dear God . . ." He/she just doesn't get to *act*
on it.

As a (recovering) Catholic myself, I couldn't love the song Dear God more.
It speaks of turmoil and a struggle to understand what seems to be gross
unfairness in this world. The paradox of writing a letter to a God which
may or may not exist is beautiful.  I don't want to start a flame war so
I'll end there.

xoxoxo from Sunny So. Cal


Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 16:29:39 -0700
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Sugarplastic

  Since Sugarplastic has come up again I'll throw in my ONLY post about

  I really like the disc.  I recommended it to a buddy who I thought would
  like.  He isn't a big XTC.  He said, "XTC is just OK."  So I killed him.

  Just kidding... I didn't kill him.  He bought the Sugarplastic CD and
  REALLY likes it.

  He said, "Sounds like a cross between King Crimson and Talking Heads."

  No accusations of "XTC ripoffs" whatsoever.

  Cheers, Richard


Date: Fri, 13 Sep 1996 20:37:56 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: The Return of Mr. Prolific


I just couldn't stand not contributing any lyrics for this Digest. :)

>"Pupil Haze"
>from the Drunken Jam Sessions

>[Sodding de Minor] has a fly up his eye

"Slide into Minor, has a fly up in his eye."
As in, Minor key, or whatever.

and, for "The Last Balloon":

(BTW, I realize how many errors and missing bits there are in this
song...that's why I'm posting it here. There's no better way to get lyrics
corrected than to post them to Chalkhills...)

(Oh, yeah, the ? in all three verses is the same syllable, and it describes
the menfolk, women, and children in turn. I can't for the life of me make it

The Last Balloon is leaving
The last balloon from fear
The last balloon is leaving
From that line I'd (? ?)

Climb aboard, climb aboard (?) menfolk
You won't need any bombs or guns
Climb aboard, climb aboard (?) menfolk
Leave 'em there, to your former lives

Drop it all

The last balloon is leaving
The last balloon, all full
The last balloon is leaving
Undress, discard, let fall

Climb aboard, climb aboard (?) women
You won't need any gems or furs
Climb aboard, climb aboard (?) women
Leave the land to the bad (of years)

Drop it all

The last balloon is leaving
The last balloon they'll fly
The last balloon is leaving
And we won't qualify

Climb aboard, climb aboard (?) children
Move aloft, while your feet (?) fast
Climb aboard, climb aboard (?) children
World right down, by our revoked pass

Drop us all, you should drop us all
drop us all, free your head
drop us all, drop us all, drop us all, so much, so much sad

/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
| "And I see nations playfully hurl snowballs packed with stone and clay."|
\--------------XTC, "You And The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful"----------/


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 14 Sep 1996 15:39:36 +0900

Hello Chalkies!!!

I'm both HAPPY and SAD to hear that CHALKHILLS' CHILDREN tribute tape
is coming soon.  Why?  You will get it when you listen to my "GOOSEY
GOOSEY."  I hope you won't fall ill from its awfulness... :-)

BTW, I have a suggestion regarding the "Lyrics to XTC Demos" file in
the Chalkhills archive.  Isn't there anyone out there who knows the
correct order of recording date?  If there is, I suggest those demo
songs be put in order of recording date.  The current song *order*
in that file is really in *disorder*.

I do know that songs for the following album and "James and the Giant
Peach" are newer, and such songs as "HOLDING A BABY" and so on are
older (at the latest, "HaB" must have been recorded much earlier than
"MELT THE GUNS").  But I don't know any more about the *middle*.  For
example, I have no idea which of "NICELY NICELY JANE" and "NOW WE ALL
DEAD" was recorded earlier.  According to the bootleg CD _DEMOS 8_,
"NNJ" was earlier because it is written to be an outtake for _THE BIG
EXPRESS_ while "NWAD" is written to be one for _MUMMER_.  However,
WE DO KNOW that "NNJ" was actually written for _25 O'CLOCK_, so we
can't trust this information by EXTATIC.

Again, isn't there anyone who knows the correct recording order???


P.S.: T.B. in Vienna, if you read this post, please email me at once.
      The new email address you gave me is incorrect and I can't email
      you at all!!!

---- NaoyuKing, the department           "Did you make disease
     of Economics in KEIO Univ.           and the diamond blue...
                                          Did you make mankind     after we made you..."


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-156

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