Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #2-75

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 2, Number 75

                 Friday, 23 February 1996

Today's Topics:

                       Tribute Tape
                      Prairie Prince
                  Re: Taxes and trumpets
                    Stagefright / OMD
                    radical departures
                  An audiophile question
                    scattered thoughts
             Another interpretation of Grass
              Please Don't listen to me.....
             Shock-Headed Peter's Rare Demos
        Song Structure & Innovation are Separable
                German Scissors Cut Better
                     Re: Scissor man.
                     Q's review of TD
                     the scissor guy
                  Andy's last tour show
                        XTC stuff
                         XTC LIVE


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

And I hear the passengers scream.


Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996 11:55:20 -0800
Subject: Tribute Tape

  I'm interested in coordinating/compiling the project of a tribute tape.
  I have (or have access to) Digital Audio Cassette, 1/2" 8-track Reel to
  Reel, 1/4" 4-track Reel to Reel, 1/4" 2-track Reel to Reel, audio
  cassette and CD.  The preferred formats are DAT and 1/4" 2-track.  I also
  have noise reduction equipment and Aural Enhancers that could be used if

  If I receive more than a one tapes worth of renditions, I'm not sure I
  would want to be the one who decides who gets cut but I have noticed
  several Chalkhillians around Silicon Valley that I'm quite sure would be
  willing to help decide.

  I don't have access to a mass dubbing facility but this could be factored
  into the price of the tape and I'm sure I can work some deals.

  My reason for offering is to keep the source clean as far into the
  process as I can.  I realize that many sources will probably be recorded
  on hand-held Wheeze-n-Cough cassette recorders with the built-in
  microphone but I'll do what I can.

  The only real snag is that I'm organizing a "party" for 28 or 30,000
  people in July (The 8th Annual Small Brewers Festival of California in
  Mountain View) and I'll be rather busy until the middle of July.  After
  that, I'm available.

  Email me direct at if you might have the
  slightest notion to record something so that I can get an idea of how
  many possible submissions I might receive.  I'll post the results.

  BTW, I don't think we should limit it to the "Hello" material as I have
  never even heard the original!

  (and what about the 6.6 cents?)

  Cheers, Richard


From: "Burgess, Christopher (msx)" <>
Subject: GRRRR!!!
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996 16:33:50 -0500


Matt (R2MCH1@VM1.CC.UAKRON.EDU) wrote:

>> After all, do you prefer the 'angry young man' Costello, or the
>> mellow,middle-aged, Costello?

How about the Costello that writes good songs?  Is "Allison" mellow?
Was he middle-aged then?  And since when does early 40's mean
middle-aged?  Can he still rock?  Yes, and probably with more
conviction than 15 years ago, because it probably means that much more
to him.  But, can he also write a terrific, meaningful song now that
he has 15 or 20 years of life experience to draw on?  Yes, I think so.
And does it have to "rock" to be good?  Does he have to be "angry" to
have something to say?  What about all of the other emotions we humans
allegedly have?

What about Andy?  He's over 40.  Have you heard "Prince of Orange"
yet?  Yeah, it doesn't "rock" but, man, does it pack a punch.

Give me these over-the-hill punks rather than transparent nothings
like "Bush" or "Candlebox" anyday!

Thank you for listening.


Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996 16:35:28 -0500 (EST)
From: James Poulakos <>

Regarding the literary criticism that some 'hillians bemoan (I find it
appropriate for a forum dedicated to discussing XTC's artistry), I want to
pat Benjamin Woll on the back for agreeing with me--or because I agree
with him--about the beauty of their poetically crafted lyrics.  And you're
so right about that Osborne tune. It could have been a great idea if it
relied on artistic lyricism instead of flat, featureless lines.

One great example of a poetic XTC tune is "Dying" (it's a Moulding tune,
isn't it?). The lyrics describe a few scenes of the decline of one person
through the eyes of another person, and it's the scenes and details in
them, not the feelings described, that do the most to help US understand
the feeling. The flat, unpoetical assertion "It frightens me" doesn't
conjure up fear like the images of the dying one dropping in the shopping
line or a dewdrop hanging off his/her shriveled nose. It's one thing for
Colin to say "I feel guilty for not taking your illness seriously" and
quite another to list all those signs he had ignored, or not wanted to
face. That's art. Any fool can say, "I'm sad," but not every artist can
convey more than that bland piece of info. I admire XTC for their poetic
lyrics. God knows their music appeals to me enough that I wouldn't have
needed to understand, much less admire, the words they sing.

Benjamin Woll wrote:
"I have to say that I enjoy reading various lyric interpretations, but I
cannot stand people saying that various readings of songs like "Another
Satellite" and "Dear Madam Barnum" do not hold water.  The reason we love
these songs is because they work on many different levels - they don't
take a topic and simplify it so they can be the McDonald's of the masses -
like that dreadful Joan Osborne tune "One of Us."  Good poetry has
metaphors which work on many different levels, and the fact that Another
Satellite could be about a sexual admirer or religion
the point.  The song is beautiful because it deeply describes life as a
whole and does not divide it up into little snippits."

     Dass etwas schiefgegangen ist weiss man immer nur dann,
   wenn man gerade eine ungerade Anzahl von Fehlern gemacht hat.
    My home page is now at
                       James Poulakos


From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Prairie Prince
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 96 16:43:00 est

Here's a question: did Prairie Prince get along with Todd Rundgren? What
about Andy? I just listened to Skylarking (again, really loudly), and caught,
among other things, a great drum riff. (I also noticed, for the first time,
the cello in the background of "Dying.")

Burning up the old,

XTC SONG OF THE DAY (why not?): Big Day


Date: Thu, 22 Feb 96 13:45:36 PST
From: "Sean Robison" <>
Subject: Re: Taxes and trumpets

>On the current "Dear Madame Barnum" thread, I like the interpretation of
>the Madame being Thatcher, even though I don't think Andy had that in mind.
>Let us not forget that XTC has always leaned to the left of center, but has
>anyone else noticed that most of the political songs are oriented toward
>the U.S., and not the U.K. (i.e. "President Kill," "Living Through Another
>Cuba," "Toys")?  Any explanation?

I think the U.S. just has a better track record at political goofups than
England. As XTC has covered - we've got warmongerers, the cuban missile
crisis, various military snafus. While I stick to my Thatcher/"Madam
Barnum" interpretation (though just Andy's desire to get out of a bad
relationship is also very plausible), I don't think people in the U.K. have
many other "beefs" against their government like we do here in the
U.S. Then again, since the U.S.  gov't tends to make the world press more
than the U.K., it's more likely artists will write songs bringing our gov't
into the light.

>And while most would agree with William Bevan that Bob Dole is a cretin,
>his tax policies (unfortunately) make a lot more sense than the other
>Republicans' do.

No comment. I think we could do well without a gov't for 4 years. Give us a
chance to clean up the mess. Then maybe XTC could write a happy U.S. song :):)



From: 7IHd <>
Subject: Stagefright / OMD
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996 22:58:31 +0000 (GMT)

# Subject: Nervous Breakdown?
# I am aware of the fact that Andy Partridge passed out on stage in
# Paris, 1982 during a show (in support of English Settlement) due to
# severe stage fright, which had apparently been increasing over the
# years. Why do people say he had a "nervous breakdown"? Was he
# subsequently hospitalized for a significant lengthof time? Flipping
# out on stage and refusing to perform live again does not, from what I
# know, constitute a nervous breakdown.

I'm sure someone knows far more about this than I do, but I'm also sure
he didn't "pass out". As I understand it he came on, launched into the
intro of whatever song it was, and then when he was meant to start
singing, just freaked and ran off stage; the rest of the band found him
flat out and a quivering wreck backstage.

Or something. According to an interview with AP from a couple of years
back, it wasn't so much the fear of performing as the realisation that
they were getting so big, but the record company was raking in all the
money and they were getting no benefit from all of the constant touring.
In other words they were wasting their talents and time.

Also, he didn't _immediately_ refuse to play live ever again; they set off
on a US tour shortly afterwards but it faltered after about one gig.

Anyway lets not dwell on this too much eh?


# From: Benjamin Woll <>
# Subject: The Next LP and Lyric Interpretations
# I enjoyed reading Eric Rosen's ideas concerning some of the musical
# avenues XTC might take on the next record.  However, I disagree with his
# assertion that XTC have not been musical innovaters who have shattered
# some of the basic structures of "the pop song."  White Music and Go 2
# repeatedly use Andy and Colin's voices as instruments, and their snarling,
# gurgling, and hiccuping, along with Barry's keyboards, gave otherwise
# emotionless and boring British New Wave (Human League, OMD, Spandau
# Ballet) an infusion of genuine emotion and NRG.

This post presents me with a bit of a dilemma. Whilst I would agree with
anyone who says XTC were/are inovative, I am forced to disagree with
anyone who accuses OMD of being "emotionless and boring". Excuse me? This
is my all-time favourite band you're slagging off here...

The early works of OMD were some of the most original, inventive records
*ever* made, they were way ahead of their time. Example, I played a friend
something off "Architecture & Morality" and said 'date that'; his reply
was, I think, '1987?' Zing! 1981. He couldn't believe it.

Emotionless? Have you ever actually _listened_ to the lyrics of "Enola Gay",
which is (IMHO) the single best song ever ever written, ever? McCluskey is
a genius; not many songwriters could write a song about Hiroshima and do so
without preaching or sounding trite. The song is every bit as powerful and
emotive as "This World Over".

I would acknowledge that 'Liberator' lost the plot a bit, but the live
show was awesome, the best concert I've ever been to, and that's saying
a lot. 'Sugar Tax' was every bit as good as the stuff that the original
lineup used to churn out, if not better. The next one is eagerly awaited.

Incidently, the other 3/4 of the original OMD are now a band called The
Listening Pool, so far with one album 'Still Life'. Highly recommended
for fans of the original OMD's less electronic side ('If You Leave' etc.)

Anyway, I wouldn't say OMD and XTC compare particularly - one is very much
an electronic/experimental band, the other is straightforward guitar - but
they both deserve pride of place in any record collection.

So there. And incidently, if anyone has the UK "Sailing On The Seven Seas"
CD part 1 of 3 digipack for sale/trade, please please pretty please with
sugar on it get in touch. Same goes for sundry "So In Love" 12"s. Thanks.


PS: Sorry for spouting off, but the post that prompted it wasn't very
carefully thought out IMHO.
 |_)|_ *|
 |  | )||


Date: Fri, 23 Feb 1996 00:24:42 +0100
From: Luc Haasnoot <>
Subject: radical departures

Hi there.

I am relatively new to the Chalkhills mailing list and what I especially
like is that I have found a place where people can share their enthousiasm
about the music of XTC.

Of course, every now and then, on the mailing list people tend to
exeggerate a bit (which does not bother me that much, but I thought
I=B4d let you know). Take this fragment from the last digest:

>"It's Nearly Africa,"  "Yacht Dance," "Me and the Wind," "Beating of
>Hearts," "Shake You Donkey Up," "Train Running Low on Soul Coal," and
>"Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her" - all groundbreaking stuff.  I
>defy anyone to find any piece from which these songs are not a radical

Well, I love these thongs - and yes, they are rather original songs as
well - but still I can not consider them to be a "radical departure" from
"Que sera, sera", "The long and winding road", "Soul man" or any other
pop song from the last 40 years.

If XTC=B4s music would be a "radical departure" (or even "groundbreaking
stuff") I am sure none of us would listen to it.

Don=B4t forget that art is useless anyway (to quote a famous Dutch writer).

Best wishes,



Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996 18:28:54 -0500
From: (Chris Van Valen)
Subject: An audiophile question

Hi all

Although this question isn't really Swindonian, please indulge me. I'll be

If anyaudiophile would e-mail me regrarding wireless speaker systems, I
have a question: is there a commercially available system to make one's
pre-existing speakers wireless? I know about Recoton wireless speakers, but
I'd much prefer to keep my existing speakers and make THEM wireless. Once
again, please e-mail me privately.

One other thing: Warren Cann as XTC's next drummer


If you have an unpleasant nature and dislike people
this is no obstacle to work.
                                --J.G. Bennett
Help us save "Forever Knight"!


Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996 15:37:48 -0800 (PST)
From: Thomas Long <>
Subject: scattered thoughts

... Mummer - i'm surprised this album gets so little attention here...
there's a real warm sound that just draws you in... perhaps their last
album, barring the Dukes', to have that sound... and songs such as
Ladybird and Great Fire that are hopelessly gracefull... and then to end
it all with Funk... there's a lot of layers to this onion!
... other bands whose names have come up recently that are worth
repeating include the Pixies (esp. Doolittle), very clever in a D&W/Big
Express kind of way... the Replacements (R.I.P) - if XtC have taken up
the mantle of the Kinks for the U.K. (ie being horribly neglected by all
but your dog), the 'Mats are America's answer... Westerberg & AP are
certainly misfits in the Davies mode, capable of writing achingly
beautiful songs one minute, and rocking out the next... and how come you
never see Squeeze mentioned here? The career parallels are almost
unnerving... and there still aren't many better albums than East Side
Story are there? And speaking of stories (as in Morning Glory), I'll take
Oasis over Blur any day of the week... sure Noel's an arrogant bastard,
and wears his influences on his sleeve, but it all works... there's
nothing precious about them... you can tell alot about a band based on
it's audience... that said, anyone care to check out the juvenalia on Blur??



Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996 20:53:10 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Another interpretation of Grass

Recently someone mentioned how a Rolling Stone reviewer thought the song
"grass" was simply about marijuana.  And I agree that the reviewer was an
idiot but I don't agree that the song is simply about grass either.

One of the greatest thing about XTC is that their songs are so
multi-layered and can mean so many things (Another Sattelite or Pink Thing
for example).  So I believe "grass" can be, and is, about both marijuana
and the stuff that grows in the ground.  And a while back, when I had been
thinking about songs like Nirvana's "rape me" and Stone Temple Pilots "sex
type thing" it occurred to me "grass" could be interpretted as a rather
violent sexual encounter, bordering on rape.  Just think about such lyrics
as "The way you slapped my face just fills me with desire" or "You are
helpless now, over and over we flatten the clover."

Now I'm sure many of you are thinking this interpretation is damn stupid,
and personally I'd love to forget I ever thought of it.  However, I did
think of it and I thought other Chalkhillians might like to add their two
cents in on the interpretion also.
			Jeff Eby, working on an English Minor and a
                                  Communications Major.


Date: Thu, 22 Feb 1996 18:41:52 -0800
Subject: Please Don't listen to me.....

I've been sitting for the better part of the day making  yet another XTC file
for a friend - Nothing like going through all the material to remind you of
what you love so much and how to convert the masses! Which brings me to -

Jim S. is dead-on with his observations  re great songs ie, 'Paper & Iron'.
 The beauty of the music is that you can go back and  hear things you missed
before, or forgot about. That's why we're all here.  A lyric  you took for
granted a few albums ago takes on a new meaning as your life evolves.  A
musical structure that was at one time alien seems as comfy as an old sweater
(ragged 'round the edges but warm like a second skin).

R2MCHI  missed the boat when it comes to orchestration (was he booted off the
Elvis page?).  In this age of sample/steal where are we going to hear 'REAL'
instruments?  Should we tell all those aspiring youngsters to abandon wind,
strings, valves and reeds for a MIDI-port?  Some of the best music ever
composed was made for an ensemble of musicians to twist and adapt in their
own way.  The computer may be a great tool for the composer,  but without a
human touch it all becomes so much digitised pap:  DANCE MUSIC MUST DIE!!!!

Groove25 is offering readings from the bio - is this a 900 number?

Final thoughts -  GO-2 for Energy,  Mummer for Head,  ES for Heart

Oh,  BTW,  the new Lou is BITCHIN!! Hearty recommendations for the 'jangle'

<I  thought I knew what  I wanted to say...>


Date: Fri, 23 Feb 1996 00:08:32 -0600
From: JH3 <>
Subject: Shock-Headed Peter's Rare Demos

Ted Harms wrote:

>I remember my parents had a book of German fairy tales lying around
>which they had read themselves as kids growing up in Prussia [snip]...
>One story was about a kid who always bit his nails [snip]... one day he's
>busy chewin' and this guy jumps out from behind these bushes.  He's got
>wild hair and a crazed look in his eyes and, sure enough, he's carrying a
>pair of immense scissors.  The wild man then cuts off the kids fingers...

[snipping, snipping, snipping...]

Ah, now THERE'S a bit of trivia, and I too have occasionally wondered if
Andy got the inspiration for "Scissor Man" from this set of German fairy
tales, known collectively as _Struwwelpeter_ (or "Shock-Headed Peter",
though it loses something in the translation). There's also a story about
"foolish Harriet" who sets herself on fire...


So far there's been precious little response to my earlier plea for some
assistance in starting a rarities tape tree. I know I mentioned a whole list
of things but what I'm mainly after are the two songs from the Geffen
Holiday Promo and maybe Andy's appearance on Rock Over London in 1992.

I could go ahead with what I have, but it seems a shame to leave this
material out. Anyone who helps out will be nicely rewarded, I promise!
PLEASE e-mail me if you're willing to trade dubs of the above two items for
anything from my enormous annotated list.

-John Hedges

PS: Ian -- VERY impressive! But did you try using a capo? It's a bit easier...


Date: 22 Feb 96 22:25
Subject: Meanderings

Greetings from Minnesota -

There was a discussion not long ago regarding what the chiming sound
was on the bridge in Season Cycle.  It was described as maybe a watch,
maybe Rundgren noodling around.  Well, I'll tell you what it is, it's
either Andy or Dave strumming his guitar strings behind the bridge
(i.e. between the bridge and where the strings attach to the body of
the guitar - not every guitar has such a bridge - a lot of older ones
do) or behind the nut (i.e. between the nut and the tuning pegs).
It's an old trick, been used before, probably most widely heard on
(and here's a reference you don't hear here every day) "Running with
the Devil" by Van Halen.  Eddie VH does it at the beginning right
before the guitar riff comes in.  Enough about that!!!

Anyone else ever have dreams about XTC?  I first got turned on to them
when ES came out, and it was an experience I had never had before, and
haven't had since (I sometimes think I do with other bands, but it
always passes).  I was so anxious to hear what their next album
sounded like I had a dream about it, and it was so vivid that I wrote
about it when I woke up - I still have the notes.  I pictured a cover
with very distorted shadows of AP, DG & CM.  I also dreamed that they
had a different drummer!  When Mummer arrived and I found that Terry
had left the band, I instantly felt a very strong connection - my
dream came so close to what actually happened!

Anyone notice that Colin changed a phrase on "The Good Things" on
Testimonial Dinner???  What happened to the line "I know you pine for
things you see in magazines"?  I sing that song a lot for my 5 month
old son.

So - a couple of recommendations before I go-

Squeeze - Play
Pere Ubu - Worlds in Collision

Song o' the day - "Find the Fox"

Quote o' the day -
"What do I smell? I smell home cooking! It's only the river. It's only the
river"  - David Byrne

Take Care -

Rich Pearson


Date: Fri, 23 Feb 1996 00:10:06 -0800
Subject: Song Structure & Innovation are Separable

>I enjoyed reading Eric Rosen's ideas concerning some of the musical
>avenues XTC might take on the next record.  However, I disagree with his
>assertion that XTC have not been musical innovaters who have shattered
>some of the basic structures of "the pop song."

I never asserted that XTC were not musical innovators with regard to
song structure.  What they have never done is make an extended piece
that relies on atmosphere and casually paced development as one might
find in a classical or jazz piece.  Like most pop, XTC songs have a
chorus, a refrain and a middle eight.  Everything about those middle
8's, choruses, and refrains may be extremely innovative and often are
but when all is said and done, they have a song of familiar elements
(and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that).

>White Music and Go 2
>repeatedly use Andy and Colin's voices as instruments, and their snarling,
>gurgling, and hiccuping, along with Barry's keyboards, gave otherwise
>emotionless and boring British New Wave (Human League, OMD, Spandau
>Ballet) an infusion of genuine emotion and NRG.

I couldn't agree more but that's not an issue of structure.  It's more
of texture or their sheer ingenuity to make the most from a little.

Nevertheless, they are still occuring within a pop framework.

>  Drums and Wires and Black
>Sea might not be quite as revolutionary, but Terry's intricate drum
>patterns and the tightest playing I have ever heard reaffirmed their
>status as the masters of their craft.

Terry's playing was quite innovative but I think of D&W and BS as
revolutionary.  Is it Love at First Sight that ends with a drum fill
that has no cymbals (now that's an "offbeat" way to end a tune).
Similar kudos for No Language in Our Lungs.  Burning w/ Optimism's
Flames ends with that cool, rising guitar glissando (or is it a whammy
bar?).  It's completely unexpected yet fits perfectly.  They would
never do that live (from what I've heard of their live material).

Millions always sounds fresh to these ears.  Ditto for Reel by Real.
The whole ska inflected rock thing they were doing was the only true
hybrid of the two musical forms (without being self conscious about it
like the Police who had reggae switching to rock and vice versa w/o
integrating them).

I've often thought of This World Over as everything the early Police
aspired to. This is not to say the Police were bad or anything.  I just
think XTC, by being XTC, integrated the "off" beat (reggae, ska) into
something totally new whereas with the Police, as good as it was, was
more imitative of Bob Marley as a white rocker.

Still, it's all within a pop song structure.

>With English Settlement, Mummer,
>and The Big Express XTC continued to explore the vast musical landscape.
>"It's Nearly Africa,"  "Yacht Dance," "Me and the Wind," "Beating of
>Hearts," "Shake You Donkey Up," "Train Running Low on Soul Coal," and
>"Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her" - all groundbreaking stuff.  I
>defy anyone to find any piece from which these songs are not a radical

I completely concur and never suggested otherwise.

Still, it's all within a pop song structure.

>Though I think their ingenuity has lapsed a bit since The
>Big Express - though I do love their later LPs - songs like "Sacrificial
>Bonfire," "Hold Me My Daddy," "That Wave," and "Holly Up On Poppy" leave a
>legacy as eccentric as any band or artist in the world of pop music.  My
>least favorite work, Chips From The Chocolate Fireball, is my least
>favorite because it mimics the old (quite well) but does not reach
>desperately for something fresh, new, and vibrant...

Even the Dukes material injects XTC innovation into a genre of music
that was completely unaware of polyrhythms.  Given their ever
burgeoning studio prowess, the Dukes was a natural step for them to
take as one could hear previewed throughout Big Express and Mummer (Red
Brick Dream, Deliver Us..., etc.)

Still, it's all within a pop song structure.

So, bottom line, I'd like to see XTC, stretch out a little in terms of
song structure (how about a song that never repeats?), length (how
about some songs less than a minute or more than seven that are
spontaneous or have a jam session-like feel?), and thematic development
(something loose enough to work as well as Skylarking OR with the
coherence of late 60's Kinks or Who--it need not necessarily be a rock
opera but some kind of story or theme with a beginning, middle and

Although it's just a twist on the Dukes and doesn't address structure
nor length, the bubble gum album might have achieved thematic
continuity.  I heard Candy Mine and found it infectious, tongue in
cheek and downright funny.  A whole album of songs like that would be
far better than what I imagined when I first heard the idea.

I just don't want them to get too comfortable / complacent with
anything for fear of Nonsuch II.  One was okay but two would be the
first time they failed to break new ground and, as a diehard fan, that
would make me cringe.

In earnest for us...


From: Aaron Pastula <>
Subject: German Scissors Cut Better
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 96 0:42:52 PST

> One story was about a kid who always bit his nails.  His parents warned
> him that if he continued some kind of boogie man (sorry, I can't remember
> his name - next time I'm at my parents I'll try and dig up the book) would
> come along and do something horrible to him.  The child, being a child,
> scoffed and kept on biting his nails.  Well, sure enough, one day he's
> busy chewin' and this guy jumps out from behind these bushes.  He's got
> wild hair and a crazed look in his eyes and, sure enough, he's carrying a
> pair of immense scissors.  The wild man then cuts off the kids fingers.
> Boy, was that kid ever sorry and I bet you he never disobeyed his parents
> again.

This story is a VERY popular German fairy tale, called _Strummelpeter_ (sp?).
I have not heard that particular story, but a similar one involves a little
boy who would not stop sucking his guessed it.  The
Strummelpeter (looking exactly as described above) cuts the kid's thumbs
off.  Another one (it's probably just as well that I have forgotten the
particulars) involves two children who get boiled alive for doing
something wrong.  There are more, but I don't want anyone to get nightmares
or anything.

Sleep Tight.



Date:          Fri, 23 Feb 1996 09:57:01 GMT
Subject:       Re: Scissor man.

Ted Harms <> wrote:
> I remember my parents had a book of German fairy tales lying around
> which they had read themselves as kids growing up in Prussia.  My German
> One story was about a kid who always bit his nails.  His parents warned
> pair of immense scissors.  The wild man then cuts off the kids fingers.
> knows how Andy could've stumbled across a German fairy tale (unless it's
> been translated).  Anyways, just thought I'd share that with y'all.

I remember that very story and I heard it in Britain, so it must have
been translated.  It gave me horrible nightmares, boy was that wild
man scarey!!!

Dames TWD


From: (Giancarlo Cairella)
Subject: Q's review of TD
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 1996 13:29:46 GMT
Organization: L'Agora' S.r.l.


>On further listenings it gets better (I LIKE Spacehog!), and
>although the second half of the disk is better than the first, I'm
>not sorry I bought it.

I like Spacehog (their album "Resident Alien" is worth checking out) but
their version of "Senses working overtime" left me rather cold.

The main reason I'm happy to have bought Testimonial Dinner is that it
encouraged me to find out more about The Verve Pipe. Their version of "Wake
up" is good, but their own songs are even better.

I bought their 2nd album "Pop Smear" and in my opinion it's one of the best
records I've listened to this year. It's way better than Blur's latest and
very recommended to all XTC fans together with Spookey Ruben's "Mode of
transportation vol. 1".


Date: Fri, 23 Feb 1996 09:50:11 -0600 (CST)
From: "Todd A. McCullough" <>
Subject: the scissor guy

	OK. I have been holding off for a few days on replying to the
thread about the grim(m) scissor fellow. Acoording to a book I once had
(_The Worst of Everything_), this character's name is "Little Jack
Suck-a-thumb." I have no idea if that is/was his name in the original
(there's probably no real equivalent), but he did earn the honor of being
part of the worst fairy tale/story for children (actually, I remember
that book as being a strange mix of horror and humor, and the worst part
is that the two kept getting mixed up: Heaven is worse than Hell because
of the reflections off the golden clouds, "M" is the worst letter of the
alphabet because of all of the words that begin with the letter, etc.,
etc.). Copyright, the 1970's; author, a strange person. The book had a
lemon on the cover.
	By the way, as a matter of record, did Our Band ever play south
of Mass.? It sounds as though they have a case of Vanmorrisonitis  and
only play cities in arctic/New England Latitudes (although I think I saw
Andy on the street in Chicago when I lived there in '90 ('91?).
	Thanks for the indulgence.
		Todd, a Guy with a Master's in English Literature Who
Won't Go Back to the Academy.


Date: Fri, 23 Feb 1996 10:16:29 -0600
From: Erik Anderson <>
Subject: Andy's last tour show

Subject: Nervous Breakdown?

I am aware of the fact that Andy Partridge passed out on stage in
Paris, 1982 during a show (in support of English Settlement) due to
severe stage fright, which had apparently been increasing over the
years. Why do people say he had a "nervous breakdown"? Was he
subsequently hospitalized for a significant lengthof time? Flipping
out on stage and refusing to perform live again does not, from what I
know, constitute a nervous breakdown.


First off, Andy did not "pass out"; he simply stopped playing and staggered
off stage.  I know, I've seen the show on video!!!

Whether or not he had a "nervous breakdown" is left open to interpretation.
I tend to think of it as "Mental Exhaustion" rather that a "breakdown" in
the psychological sense. Nevertheless, his senses were really working
overtime during that period.  And, no, he was never hospitalized, although
he was prescribed medication (which he subsequently threw out!).

The reason Andy refuses to perform live these days is because he hates the
rigors of touring.  (Can anyone really blame him?)  xTc have performed live
on several occaisions since 1989; but a full bore tour has never, and
unfortunately will never, be in the cards.



Date: Fri, 23 Feb 1996 12:57:53 -0700
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: XTC stuff

Hello - I'm assuming this is reaching John Relph, the maintainer
of the Chalkhills web page (???).  It wasn't that clear to me what
your email address was.

Anyway, I just thought I'd mention - I make/sell some notecards
and bookmarks which I've done with linoleum block prints.  One of
the designs I've done is the Uffington White Horse.  I thought some
of the Chalkhills readers might be interested in these - this
design is only available as a bookmark, though, not on notecards.
I'd be willing to sell them cheap-o, especially to fellow fans.

And by the way, anyway, WHERE IS THAT NEW ALBUM?????
DeWitt Henderson
(505) 665-1434
MS P223
Los Alamos National Laboratory


Date: Fri, 23 Feb 1996 15:12:31 -0800
From: (Glenn Siegel- The Wine Spectrum, Inc.)
Subject: XTC LIVE

I just obtained an amazing CD.  This might not shock some avid XTCites but
after discovering the existence of a BBC live recording in John Relphs
stunning discography, I started to search in vain for this recording.
Finally after many dead ends, I found it and it is sensational.  To hear
how accopmplished these boys were live would seem to make sense, but to
actually hear it!

Respectable Street, Scissor Man, Towers of London, G and M, Nigel,
fabulous! My local record store was able to order it.

Anyway, it is on Windsong Records GCD-326-2.  Here is address info for the
Griffin Music
P.O. Box 87587
Carol Stream, Il. 60118-7587
fax: 708-858-7806

On another note, someone wrote recently about how beautiful the song,
"Living in a Haunted Heart" is. I couldn't agree more.  Given the heavy
hearted nature of it, I take it to be possibly a Skylarking era outtake.
You know, this bands outtakes are better than so many bands best work.

Anyone else out there in Sonoma County?  E-mail me.


End of Chalkhills Digest #2-75

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