Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-11

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 11

                 Monday, 21 October 1996

Today's Topics:

             Re: Beatles Slams, Producer Fees
             You say potato, I say Chalkhills
       Jason Garcia:  The Introduction (Part 1???)
       Small tidbit about Thanks For Christmas.....
     Reviews: Smell the Ammonite & Skylarking Gold CD
          Politics of the Lads and Chalkhillians
                   Chalkhills' Children
                       smoke screen
                           GO 2
                 Bootleg/demo suggestion.
                 yet to be released music
                       XTC on Tour?
                  Media and Fossil Fuel
                 that oh-so-naughty word
                        XTC Lives!
                    the biz is bizzare
               Stuff with some XTC mention
        New movie coming out called Dear God......
              "Hurrah's" (NY) Show from 1980
              Train Running Low on Bowl Coal
                  Maintain Radio Silence
                 Sydney - 'On The Street'
                 An obscure XTC release?
            OT - What do you call that noise?
                        Surf's up
                  familiar quotation...
                     "Big Fire" Lyric
                   Swedish FOSSIL FUEL
             And what is Agony Andy, you ask?


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Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 96 11:35:31 EDT
From: (Don Lindbergh)
Subject: Re: Beatles Slams, Producer Fees

>Subject: Skylarking on transparent vinyl
>Same thing happened to the Beatles IMHO.  That Let It Be thing on
>the roof was a complete botch.  If it was just any other band
>people would have worn earplugs.

Hmm, you must not have watched and listened to the same footage I did,
this stuff is GREAT.  Of course, so are the Beatles, live or
otherwise, however I know all to well this is a boring old topic here
and everybody has an opinion etc.

>From: myke <>
>	Well, according to popular legend, the Beatles were an
>	awful live band ANYWAY, but you couldn't tell for all the
>	screeching.

Again, I believe the Anthology footage refutes this quite succinctly.
I respect your right to disagree (after you watch the footage).

>Mitchell Froom would be an
>excellent producer for XTC's new project, even though he's way too

Well, they had Todd, who was at one time the most expensive producer
in the business.  At the time (late 1980's), that phrase meant
$100,000+ for delivery of the final product.  Of course, that included
use of Todd's personal studio and whatever it took to complete the
project etc.  Also of course, Todd really wore two hats (engineer
also).  Possibly Froom gets something like that these days, but
frankly I'd be surprised.  Anyway, I believe the group would need good
record company support to even think along these lines these days.  I
wonder what Dudgeon got.  I'd guess he was fairly cheap, but I
certainly have no idea.

>	This saddens me somewhat. I was going to attempt to hire
>	Mitchell for a project-- but does anyone know exactly HOW
>	many millions of dollars I'd need first? My impression was
>	that, since he produced the minimally-selling Ron Sexsmith
>	album and was hired for the second one as well, that he
>	was willing to take on smaller projects.  If not, then Ron
>	is on shakier ground than I previously suspected...

I don't know anymore what the numbers are typically.  I used to work
at EMI and saw many a producer and engineer contract.  At the time
(early 1990's), I remember seeing the contract for Nile Rogers doing
Bowie's "Let's Dance".  For his efforts, Rogers got $45,000.  I guess
this record was done quite a few years before however, I can't even
remember.  A 'known' engineer like Jimbo Barton would typically get
$25,000 for a 'known' act/record at the time (early 1990's) and a
producer like the guy who did Robbie Nevill's stuff (again, name
eludes me, Peter something) got $50,000.  Today, I don't know, but I
would guess $50,000-$75,000 for a 'known' but not incredibly
successful producer.  Firstly, I believe these figures are HIGHLY
NEGOTIABLE on a PER ACT basis and 'you're only as good as you're last
record etc. Often, for instance, rules change when the producer
actually has a personal interest in the artist/project etc.  I believe
Todd has done records for (a precious few) acts who had NOWHERE NEAR
100k, but he simply liked them.  I can fairly confidently say that
although Todd was in fact a fan of XTC, they ok'd at least 100k if not
more for Todd's production of _Sylarking_.  And it was damn well worth
it too IMNSHO......




Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 11:16:37 -0500
Message-Id: <v01540b03ae8ac7f43eee@[]>
From: (World's Greatest Lover)
Subject: You say potato, I say Chalkhills

Oh, by the by...

        I think the idea of a Chalkhills musicians' compilation tape sounds
great!  (and it's
not just 'cause I have stuff to contribute)  I wanna hear original music!
Let's do it!



Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 11:03:13 -0500
Message-Id: <v01540b00ae8abd0daefc@[]>
From: (Spiritual Generation World-Wide Foundation)
Subject: Jason Garcia:  The Introduction (Part 1???)


        Since my first post was a rant, I figured I'd make up for it in my
second by indulging myself in a comprehensive introduction.  I'm Jason
Garcia, I'm 21 years old and live in Austin, Texas.  I've been reading this
list for, oh, about seven months now, so....gee, I feel like I know all of
you already!  Anyway, enough sentimentality.

        My love affair with XTC (the music, not the band themselves) began,
quite funnily enough, with the release of Nonsuch.  Of course at the time
MTV was playing the "Peter Pumpkinhead" video rather frequently (but I've
only seen it once, dammit!!!) and I thought to myself, "You know, these XTC
guys aren't half-bad, in fact, I kinda like 'em!"  So I went out and bought
Nonsuch.  While at the store, I saw several other albums which I wondered
if I should get.  Then, while listening to Nonsuch at my friend's house, I
was informed that a certain album called "English Settlement" had a certain
song on it called "Senses Working Overtime" that my friend had heard was
quite good, and that there was some other album with a song called "Mayor
of Simpleton" which my friend had heard and thought, "Why isn't anyone else
doing this stuff?!?  This is great!!"

        Thus, I began college in 1992 armed with three XTC records:
Nonsuch, English Settlement, and Skylarking, the latter which I acquired my
first day in Austin, on a whim.  I found Skylarking pleasant enough, and
Nonsuch equally so, but I COULD NOT GET INTO E.S.  In fact it was months
later before I had even listened to all the songs!!!  In the meantime,
however, I decided to make it my quest to obtain XTC's entire catalogue.
Black Sea came next, followed quickly by Go 2 and White Music.  And to make
a long story short (too late), by around the fall of 1993 I had all of
their albums, with Rag and Bone Buffet being my last purchase (I think).


        Of course, the daunting English Settlement is now one of my
favorite albums ever, and I have a great appreciation for what might be
considered weird or unlistenable by non-XTC fans.  I think all of it is
great and, like all of you, am eagerly awaiting a new release from the
boys.  Geez, I feel like I'm writing an essay-- here I am trying to think
of the perfect sentence to end this thing.  Hmm...well, suffice it to say
that, well, I'm glad I'm here, finally, at last...and ....I love you man!
*sniff sniff* *hooooot*

Did I say enough sentimentality?


"I was in a land where men force women to hide their facial features
And here in the West it's just the same but they're using make-up veils"

P.S. - oh, re "Fuck" in "Great Fire"-- that's "smoke...curling 'round the
door."  It's separated from what follows so he can take a breath, I
imagine.  And now, the rest of the digest...


Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 10:14:57 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Small tidbit about Thanks For Christmas.....
Message-id: <>

Okay, last year in December I'm in Bath and Body Works in the mall in
Lafayette Louisiana, and they're playing Christmas music. The standard
fair, stuff like "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" and "Last
Christmas I Gave You My Heart", then I hear these very familiar drumbeats,
then the horns some in, and I'm almost shrieking, because I can't believe
what I'm hearing.  So I take my little year-old goddaughter out of her
stroller and proceed to dance with her around the crowded store as Thanks
for Christmas blares out for all shoppers to hear.

"Everything works if you woggle it"-Agony Andy


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 09:14:47 -0600
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: misc

Hey, incredibly-enlightened fans of XTC - just some random comments
inspired by the latest Chalkhills:
- Stephen Varga, re: "What's wrong with the record-buying public?"
  I think a friend of mine recently answered this question when she
  said "well, people suck".  Actually, they don't all suck, but I
  think many people's tastes, beliefs, values, etc. are formed by
  TV ads, a whatever's-the-most-popular mentality about entertainment,
  and so on.  I learned quite a while back that there is little
  relationship between talent/quality and sales, whether you're talking
  about books, CD's, movies...
- Turning on friends to XTC - someone said a friend said Black Sea
  "wasn't any good"??!?!  Gaaaaahhhh!  Actually, I had a similar experience.
  I loaned "Nonsuch" to a friend, and he really liked it, but O&L and
  Skylarking were just a little too weird to him.
- MITCH - Please tell Andy that the new demos are great, and that they
  must ALL appear on the next album(s), or as one of our German corres-
  pondents said recently, "I shall become cross".
- RE: Amanda Owens saying "whoever didn't like what I said about Clinton,
  well, I don't like him & I'm going to say it", blah blah.  WOAH!  OK,
  I was the one that said it, and I shouldn't have, but it was only a
  side reference to the f-word thing.  Never mind.  The main point is,
  YES, of course, I whole-heartedly endorse your right to say WHATEVER
  you think on this list (and everyone else, of course).  It's like whoever
  just said that we're not necessarily all liberal on the list.  I have
  very different ideas & opinions on all kinds of things compared to the
  "average American", but I didn't mean to try to imply that anyone else
  should censor themselves.
- One last thing, before I get into a JHB-length posting (just kidding,
  Joshua) - ya'll (all Chalksters) are great.  I've seen quite a few
  postings since I've been on the list from people who essentially say
  "Wow, this is cool, because I didn't know anyone else who was a fan
  of these guys".  And I feel the same way.  So regardless of the f***
  issue, liberal/conservative, or whatever other perceived conflict has
  reared its ugly head, I think we've got a pretty cool little email
  list here.
* -------------------------------
DeWitt Henderson
"And every night when I put the cat out, I
 stir the sky so it'll spin all night"
(A.P.)   (OK, so this may not be an EXACT quote)
* -------------------------------


Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 11:06:54 -0400
Message-Id: <v01510100ae8a649dc142@[]>
From: (Chris Van Valen)
Subject: Reviews: Smell the Ammonite & Skylarking Gold CD

Hello Fellow Chalksticks

Here's my two cents on both discs.

First, Fossil Fuels. The packaging of the limited edition is interesting in
the box cover only. But it really does have a "Smell the Glove" kiss-off
feel to it. There are many glaring typos and omissions in the text which
shows an utter disregard for the material being offered on Virgin's part.
And as far as the superior sound quality, I didn't notice any improvement
on the tracks following "Wait Till Your Boat Goes Down". Another odd point
was the use of the LP version of "No Thugs in Our House" rather than the
single version. Those who have the single will remember that the single
ended with the chord fade out on the word "Dear", and didn't have the
raunchy reprise that appeared on English Settlement.
I was also disappointed by the truncated fade out on "Wake Up". I love the
long fade out from the 12" version(identical to the version on The Big
Express) which when I hear it I literally get the shivers up and down my
spine. I'd give it a "Robert Christgau's Consumer Guide" C-. Only for those
who are only just recently getting into the Swindon 3.

Secondly, The Moblie Fidelity 24 Katat Gold CD of "Skylarking"

I got this at a bargain price(I thought--I've seen it previously for up to
$32) of twenty bucks flat. I was thrilled with the packaging--it includes
the picture of Andy with his knickers down(!) which was left out of my
other CD booklets. As I had posted many moons ago, I already have two other
versions of Skylarking--The UK Virgin import(which has "Mermaid Smiled"
instead of "Dear God") and the US Geffen release with "Dear God". The
overall sound quality exceeds the Geffen version but is not noticably
different from the Virgin import(I think the Geffen was probably mastered
as AAD while the Virgin is specified as ADD). I like the locking jewel box
it came in as a nifty gimick(when I got mine, there was a long gouge in the
outer surface and I e-mailed them to ask if I could buy a replacement box.
They offered to send me a new box for free, which was real cool of them).
BTW, they sell them at 5 for $5.99.
        So, buy it if you have the Geffen US version, but not if you have
the UK release.
        As an aside, when I got my Fossil Fuels in the mail(Siren Disc in
Hollyweird), I opened it up and the pins that hold the disc tray in place
were snapped off. I had to return it for replacement, which I hope will
arrive shortly.
        Someone posted in issue 3-10 asking what the non-limited edition
Fossil Fuels looked like. It has a clear jewel box with the booklet cover
facing out. The price difference is only $5.00 ($29.99 versus $34.99).

That's this world over, over, over and out.


If you have an unpleasant nature and dislike people
this is no obstacle to work.
                                --J.G. Bennett

Catch "Forever Knight" on the Sci-Fi Channel every Monday at 8PM and
midnight, EDT.
                                --Lucien LaCroix


Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 09:17:55 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Politics of the Lads and Chalkhillians
Message-id: <>

How do we really know Colin and Dave's views.....Andy does all the talking!

Anyways, concerning the views of most of us.....I talked to Jes about this
yesterday, because he had a few valid questions for me. I am a very
conservative, very Catholic person. I don't agree with plenty of Andy's
views, but I respect them because he is entitled to them. Besides which he
doesn't rant and rave and scream them on a daily basis, and when he does
put them into his music, he at least makes the melodies and chords sound
good, which is a lot more than I can say for other political minded bands
like Pearl Jam and REM, who tend to preach, IMHO, and whose music doesn't
quite cut it. (Man was that a long sentence.)

As far as Dear God goes, another question asked by him, I like the song b/c
the lyrics make me think. I spend roughly 3/4 of my free time pondering
things, the other quarter sleeping, so when I do ponder, I usually listen
to a song and think, "What does this mean to me?" A lot of Andy's songs
(and Colin's) have really touched me.

Well, I think I've just about covered it.

"Everything works if you woggle it"-Agony Andy


From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Chalkhills' Children
Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 09:46:01 -0400 (EDT)

	Be sure to order a copy of "Chalkhills' Children"
when Richard puts it out. I'm getting a feeling that it's
going to be incredible!

	Any XTC fans in Connecticut/New England? Send me
an e-mail! What about in Philadelphia (where I'm -
hopefully - going to go to college!)

	It's good to see the mood of posts improving. I
think we had our moderator scared for a moment...

Ben Gott
The Hotchkiss School
"Success is being a quote."  -Andy Partridge


Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 12:53:00 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <v01510103ae8a6c5c411f@[]>
From: (Mark Fisher)
Subject: smoke screen

Much as I'm happy to support anyone expressing themselves in whatever way
they see fit, surely the lines EliSabeth Noron is hearing are not:

"I've been in love before
But it's never been as hot as this... fuck"


"I've been in love before
But it's never been as hot as this... smoke
Curling round the door"

- Mark Fisher


Message-Id: <>
Subject: GO 2
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 1996 01:08:11 +0900

Hello There!!!

Sorry if someone has posted about this...

> From: Tobin Munsat <>
> You're probably thinking of the classic game "go" or "go moku".
> Unfortunately I don't know what the Japanese word for 2 is.

As far as I know, "go" is totally different from "go-moku."  We use
the same insturuments (i.e.: a 19x19 grid and black and white round
stones) when we play either of them, but I guess "go-moku" is much
easier than "go," which is sometimes called "i-go."  The accurate name
of "go-moku" is "go-moku-narabe," and it requires two players.  They
put a stone alternately, and who has put five ("go" of "gomoku" means
"five" in Japanese) stones in a line wins.  The rule is really simple,
but you need a lot of techniques if you want to win.  To the contrary,
I don't know the rule of "i-go" ("go" of "i-go" doesn't mean "five"),
but I'm sure that it is really difficult to win at "i-go."

As far as the album title _GO 2_ goes, I heard it referred to "i-go."

BTW, is there anyone out there who is willing to trade me the AUDIENCE
RECORDING of "Live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands (03/08/82)" for parts
of my collection?  If so, please email me privately...


---- NaoyuKing, the department           "This is your life and
     of Economics in KEIO Univ.           you do what you want to do,
                                          just don't hurt nobody..."
  E-mail :


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 11:41:13 -0400
From: Tobin Munsat <>
Subject: Bootleg/demo suggestion.

I've got an idea on how we might resolve this torturous internal conflict
that each of us is grappling with; i.e. "I sure would like a copy of those
demos, but I also don't want to cheat my favorite band out of their due
royalties or support those treacherous bootleg profiteers."

Why don't the people with the demos dub them for the rest of us, and
*charge* money, and then voluntarily send some royalty to the band?  I'd
gladly pay money for a copy of the demos, and it sounds like the people with
the demos also want to share them, but they don't want to cross our heroes.
I would think that even a couple of dollars per tape would be more than the
band would ordinarily get for a CD sold in a record shop.  Their record
contract can't stop people from *giving* them money, and it's not like the
distribution of these demos is going to make any difference in the record
sales anyway (anyone fanatical enough to buy the un-slick demos will surely
buy a copy of the shiny disk).

So the cost might look something like this (please note that I *don't* have
them myself):
$2.50    (cost of tape)
$2.50    (labor/shipping charge)
$3.00    (to be sent to XTC)
-->$8.00 for a copy of the demos and the warm fuzzy feeling of cash flowing
into the proper pockets.

(I haven't thought of any major problems with this scheme, although I admit
that it sounds a little sneaky.  At worst, it sounds to me like it may be
illegal, but not immoral.)

One last note:  I'd like to publicly thank Phil Corless for a great job on
the "Chalkhills" shirts.  I got mine last night and it's superfantastic.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 10:52:49 -0400
From: Steven Hoskins <>
Organization: Terry Swack Design Associates, Inc.
Subject: yet to be released music

Forgive me if this has already come up, but I'm new. Has anyone heard
tracks from the unreleased upcoming XTC release? I met a friend who
knows a friend and..I got most of them. Be curious to hear opinions from
other who've heard this...they're quite a departure from previous
albums, and, being a 13-year fan, I believe much better than the
previous three 8) SH.


Message-Id: <v01510102ae8bec41c1dc@[]>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 08:35:31 -0600
From: (Catherine Dreiss)
Subject: XTC on Tour?

Hello, I am a new subscriber to this list but I am a long-time XTC fan.
Drums and Wires was my first encounter, when I was a  college radio dj my
sophomore year.  I dug Go 2 and White Music out of the cutout bins and
renamed my radio show "This is Pop" soon after.

I saw XTC perform twice.  The first time was at the Ritz in New York when
they were promoting Black Sea.  Need I say that they were great?  Andy was
pumped up and crazy on the stage, whirling like a dervish and spinning out
of control.  During Helicopter he almost fell over his monitor and by the
end of the set he was hoarse from yelling.  This was a show where the man
gave more than he had to give.  No, they were not disappointing live.  They
were and are amazing musicians, though neither Colin, Dave nor Terry could
exude half as much stage presence as Andy.

The second time I saw XTC was at the Palace in Paris, where I was spending
my Junior year.  As far as I know, this is the last or second to the last
time they ever attempted a live performance.  I was right up front and to
the side of the crowd.  The band came out late and began the set with
Respectable Street.  The year between the two performances had completely
changed Andy.  He was bloated, sweaty and red-faced from the moment they
came out on stage.  As he sang, it was as if he wanted to hide behind his
guitar.  Andy was suffering and it was obvious.  In the middle of the song,
he lay down his guitar and walked off the stage, and from where I was
standing, I could see him collapse to the floor of the wings.  Colin
finished singing the song and the band left the stage.  Eventually, the
band minus Andy came out to say that the show was cancelled.

I have read Andy say that the tremendous energy that he gave the band's
early performances were his mask to hide his stage fright.  The pressure of
touring and pretending to feel fine about it and putting on a false face
led to a breakdown.  I don't think that a man older than his mid-twenties
could give as much energy as he did that first performance so he would have
a lot of difficulty keeping up the facade of having a good time on stage.

So the moral of my story is this:  we are all great fans of XTC and of Andy
Partridge, right?  As fans, lets all hope that they never, ever tour.  Why
should anyone subject him or herself to a arduous tour that could possibly
lead to another breakdown?  We'd be selfish to expect XTC to do this!

I am enjoying the list and the virtual comradeship of fellow XTC fans.

Caye Dreiss


From: "Knut S. Helstad" <>
Message-Id: <9610171315.ZM7023@mailhost>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 13:14:58 +0100
Subject: Media and Fossil Fuel

Norway 17.10.96
Fossil Fuel  was presented on Safari, one of the more popular radioshows in
Radio DJ:- Andy Partridge, vocalist in XTC, was said to pee in his pants
playing live, now you can listen to some of XTC's best work in this new
compilation, Fossil Fuel.
-If you're into intelligent pop-music, innovative melodies and humour, you
should bring yourself up to date with this album.

... The DJ also talked about the past and present XTC, played songs from
the album.  This is the same program witch features your everyday

So I keep my hopes up for the millions.

...By the way, some time (2 years) ago I promised a couple of you a copy of
the eleven-different-animals, XTC-songbook, could I get your addresses once
more, because I forgot all about it moving to another country.

http-tip: (If you're into games, check out


Knut S.Helstad
Sydnesgaten 10
5010 Bergen


Message-Id: <v01540b07ae8c7958887a@[]>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 16:02:50 -0800
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: that oh-so-naughty word

EliSabeth <> wrote:

>Speaking (or not) of the now-so-popular f-word, am I the only one who
>hears it in Great Fire?

>I've been in love before
>But it's never been as hot as this... fuck

erm... that's *smoke* curling round the door.
I don't really see how the fuck fuck could curl round a door :)


James Dignan, Department of Psychology, University of Otago.

Ya zhivu v' 50 Norfolk St., St. Clair, Dunedin, New Zealand
pixelphone / steam megaphone NZ 03-455-7807

   * You talk to me as if from a distance
   * and I reply with impressions chosen from another time, time, time,
   * from another time                     (Brian Eno)


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 17:27:56 -0700
Subject: XTC Lives!

> More seriously, I don't know what it would be like to see XTC play.

The greatest thing about XTC live is that you sit there thrilled that
they're playing these songs you know by heart then suddenly there's
something different about it.  They throw in a little jam,(Battery
Brides), or sing the bridge totally different,(Burning w/Opt/Flames),
or Andy just cops an attitude,(Are You Receiving Me?) and so on.

The fact that they perform this way is just totally charming and will
endear you to them forever.  Did me.  Check out the Live XTC Cd,
BBC recording to verify.

> In fact, forget the tour idea, why don't we just all have a bash at
> somebody's house? We'll invite the band. They can bring instruments, if
> they want.

Now this is a top notch idea!  The fans of Pop Will Eat Itself are
doing the same thing this year.  They're bored of not having a new
album from the group so there gonna have this big party, play the
records they do have and meet each other.  PWEI also threatened to
disband this year so there's added angst involved there as well.

Until next time,

Your Chalkdusted Friend,  Jeff
Jeff Smelser
Video Engineer
Access Tucson


Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 11:32:05 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <v01510102ae89e82d2453@[]>
From: (Paul Brantley)
Subject: the biz is bizzare

Steven Varga writes: "What is wrong with the record buying public?"

The record buying public is to the democratic voting community what the
radio stations are to a completely corrupt electoral college. And record
labels are the wiseguys with the bent noses who beat up on the members of
the electoral college. TRANSLATION: The radio station/record label
confederacy can make and break anyone they are interested in.

PREDICTION: within five or so years -- just about the time our guys reach a
"legendary aging rocker status" -- when the labels presume they won't be
making records for much longer, Virgin records will probably invest a
tremendous amount of time and money on cashing in on their "legendary"
accomplishments -- their extensive back catalogue. Box sets, MTV life-time
achievement awards, Rolling Stone Cover, "best kept secret of the pop
world", blah blah blah.

And hopefully Andy will do to that MTV stage what he apparently did to Todd
Rundgren's waste paper basket. Funk pop a roll.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 1996 16:25:05 -0600
From: Jeff Langr <>
Organization: MCI
Subject: Stuff with some XTC mention

Many fans who appreciate XTC's outlook on British life would do well to
listen to the Kink's latest release, To The Bone, a semi-live,
semi-unplugged double CD set which (along with a few of the obligatory
noisy Kinks songs) has some great small audience session takes on a few
choice, classic Kinks nuggets.  Highly recommended!  Ray is also on Good
Morning America tomorrow AM...

Language controversy take: perhaps if those upset at the prospect of
"censoring one's self" could look at the issue in terms of showing a
bit of f**king manners (big grin), maybe we could get this out of the
way.  Hard to go anywhere nowadays without having to listen to foul
language.  (I have very bad manners unfortunately but at least I try.)
Personally the four-letter words don't bother me, but if they bother
other people I'd rather try to be accomodating than piss them off. :-)
Then again, if they can't take it, well, this is a subscribed digest
and it's rather easy to unsubscribe...  And Amanda -- great quote,
thanks -- post more if you have 'em.

Oh, and To The Bone has a great take of Apeman where we do find out
after all that Ray was indeed singing "F**king up my eyes", not
"fogging."  Which brings me to a question -- other than the supposed
line in Great Fire, are there any XTC obscenities?  I can't recall
any off the top of my head...

Flame away,
Jeff L.


Date: Fri, 18 Oct 1996 09:09:21 -0600 (CST)
Subject: New movie coming out called Dear God......
Message-id: <>

I have to wonder if the song will be in the soundtrack....the movie's about
a mailman who people think is God, so they send him letters all the
time....or something like that, I only caught a little bit of the preview.


"Everything works if you woggle it"-Agony Andy


Subject: "Hurrah's" (NY) Show from 1980
From: (Wesley H. Wilson)
Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 18 Oct 96 11:19:08 -0400

First of all, a big thanks to Phil Corless for the Chalkhills shirt; just
received mine yesterday and it looks and fits great!

Two items from Chalkhills #3-10:

1. XTC isn't saying "f**k" in "Great Fire," rather "smoke."

It's "Smoke," then Andy finishes the line with "...curling 'round the door.
Memories of old loves crack and blister/Mister Fireman, bet you couldn't
put me out if you tried!" (Always really liked that "blister/Mister" rhyme
and the thoughts enclosed in those lines.)

2. Someone else listens to the Magnetic Fields? I thought I was the only
one who bought and liked their stuff. I'd recommend "The Wayward Bus" as a
fine addition to anyone's collection. Weirdly produced and wonderful.

Here's a tale for you:

A fellow who lives next door to me knows I'm an XTC fan, so one day last
week I came home to find two rather old-looking cassette tapes in a plastic
bag on my door: one of them was labeled "XTC: Hurrah's, 1/6/80. WPIX"
(ACtually, it could be "1/16/80", I don't have the tape with me now.) The
other tape was a live Records show from 1979.

Now, I have heard some songs from the "Hurrah's" show before, but I
couldn't believe how good (i.e., clean) this version sounds! At one point
Andy says to the crowd (paraphrasing here), "Don't be fooled, we have two
other albums out: White Music and Go 2. Spend your pennies wisely!"

Anyway, this fellow is going back to Denmark (his native country) SOON, and
will be taking the tapes with him. So, with my new dual-head cassette deck,
this weekend I am going to find the best possible tape and dub this sucker!
I haven't had a chance to ask him, but I think he taped this himself back
in 1980, so it's a first-source version and it sounds really good! I can't
say it's the best show I've heard - some of the guitar solos and Andy's
singing are laughably bad! But other parts are quite tight and good (e.g.,
"Crowded Room"). The show gets better as it rolls along.

'Nuff said!



Date: Fri, 18 Oct 1996 12:18:34 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <v01510100ae8d244b5db0@[]>
From: (Mitch Friedman)
Subject: Train Running Low on Bowl Coal

Nope, no word from Andy about the Bootleg album but I was just reading
through the FAQ section over at the Chalkhills website and was reminded of
a bit of info that I've never shared about the train sounds at the
beginning of TRLOSC.

Kurt and Roland of Tears for Fears did nothing but lend their synths to XTC
since they lived in Bath at the time so they weren't responsible for making
those breath sounds, that was Andy.

But here's the BIG bit of news: the raspy sound that you hear as part of
the train impersonation is nothing other than a wire toilet brush being
dragged quickly across the metal rim of a closely miked snare drum.


Date: Fri, 18 Oct 1996 19:33:02 -0400
From: WES HANKS <>
Subject: Maintain Radio Silence
Message-ID: <>

Hello Friends,
The recent post (3-10) regarding the CBC reminded me of the NPR station in
Detroit I used to listen to when I lived there in the 80s. Anyway, this
station wasn't solely classical, free-form jazz and "All things
considered". As part of their fundraising they would do special programming
(much like PBS) that was produced by their local music/program
director(s). An annual program was their Jimi Hendrix special...about two
days worth of obscure Hendrix material broadcast for the tape fiends. Well,
as part of this fund-raise-o-rama they would broadcast an XTC tribute (the
music director loved them). I remember it was about 12 hours worth of
programming devoted to XTC. That was a day I got disaproving looks at work
for wearing(?) a Walkman.
Time marches on!

"It adds to the mystery when you don't know whats going on."
Crow T. Robot...  "The Beast of Yucca Flats"


Date: Fri, 18 Oct 1996 17:31:15 -0700
Message-Id: <>
From: studio seventeen productions <>

received my copy of SKYLACKING a day or so ago.  as expected, there is a
truly wide range of musical styles contained therein....but overall it's a
fascinating listen.  there are several standout tracks, and it alternately
had me laughing uproariously or green with envy at the shrewd musical
interpretive abilities of some of the contributors.

the best track, IMHO, is our very own John Relph's "Another Aerostar" which
must be heard to be believed.  this man can PLAY the mandolin!
and the versions of "1000 Umbrellas", "Summer's Cauldron", "The Man Who
Sailed Around His Soul"...any of these alone would be worth the price of

there's only gonna be 50, and I'm getting 2.  at $5.00 each ya can't lose.

so: thanks to IAN STEWART and all who contributed.......well worth waiting for!


dave at studio seventeen

*               *  *  *  *  *	 You can't teach ducks to dance...
*	           *
*                          *         (Mr. Blint, Consequences/Godley & Creme)
*                        *
*                      *

seventeen: the ambient music page



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 00:01:05 +0000
From: Colin Wright / Helen Murray <>
Subject: Sydney - 'On The Street'

This from Sydney music paper On The Street' - 16th October 1996

Four Years on Strike and Locked in a Cupboard - by Mike Gee


Andy Partridge, funny bloke and principal songwriter with Brit
quasi-psychedelic rustic pop essentials, XTC, is having one of those

I'm nailed here at Virgin Records in London in a salubrious storeroom
filing cabinet cum room, he moans.  Truth is , I'm squatting here with
damaged gold discs and boxes.

This is what comes of being not famous, you realise. They lock you away
with the other stuff they don't want to think about. Now, let's see, if
we can just move a little here - there's enough gold discs here, one
must be ours.  I'm sure we're owed a few.

Over here, what's this? Peter Gabriel. And over there it's let's see
Whitney Houston, no sorry, Michael Jackson, no, actually it's Diana Ross
- before the transplants.  ho else is here, you can see I'm in good
company. Who's this? Oasis...oops, sorry, it's The Beatles.

Why am I in this cupboard?  Well, actually, that is a good question,
considering I've just realised I could have done these interviews from
home.  Why I didn't is also a good question.

That Partridge finds himself in a tricky situation is an
understatement.  A man of few past words when it comes to chatting with
the press, he's agreed to do just 13 interviews worldwide to promote the
release of Fossil Fuel : The XTC Collection, a best of' from the last
twenty years.

Flashback to Swindon, Wiltshire sometime in the mid 1970s.  The local
outfit is called The Helium Kidz, a Midlands imitation of the by-now
legendary New York Dolls.  They don't last but from their rapidly
forgotten remains rises XTC who will not only survive two decades but
will also survive new wave, old wave, retro and being on strike for four

That's right, XTC have been on strike for the past four years.  It ended
just six weeks ago.  A label thing with Virgin from whom they have now
finally parted company with this collection of their singles (and a
couple of bonus tracks),

Actually it's kind of ironic.  I'm very glad they picked up Wrapped in
Grey' for a single (it was their last). That was the final straw with
Virgin because they withdrew it from the shelves  immediately after they
released it, which made us go on strike.  It's a kind of symbolic
thing.  It ends the album and the relationship.

That relationship began in 1977 when Virgin where the new kids on the
independent block, locked into Brit punk and the new wave movement and
headed by the also awfully clever Richard Branson.

Their debut  White Music  meshed dissonance and unresolved melodic lines
with a blatant attack on rock conventions while their second Go 2  was a
helter skelter of menace and jerky rhythms.  By Drums and Wires, they'd
got the buzzsaw out of their system and proceeded to dish out such
timeless wonders as Life Begins at the Hop, Making Plans for Nigel and
Ten Feet Tall.

As the 80s progressed so did XTC - always around the core of Partridge
and Moulding - with two classics,  Black Sea - a rich and diverse
landscape of undanceable rhythms, intricate interplay and gloriously
smart lyricism that included the marvellous Generals and Majors, Towers
of London and Sgt. Rock, and the poetic, songcycle Skylarking..

I can't listen to the early stuff anymore, says Partridge shuffling
for a better resting place.  Its like a photo of yourself as a teenager
with acne and a haircut like a member of Slade (Cum on Feel the Noise')
- the gaucheness of youth.

Our early records are mines, full of the naive gaucheness of youth.  I
can't take it anymore.  It's like anybody pulling out their worst
clothes and showing everybody.  We didn't know what we were  doing.  We
were just naively, noisily energetic and thankful to be making records.
Our songs were about the stubbly, pimply, yelling stuff that youth is
about.  The songwriting is halfway decent now but it took a lot of
time.  Our songwriting back then was semen stained - you know, crispy
and slightly pearly and you don't want it on the sheets in the guest

We had to do our learning in public; most bands do if they hold
together - and most don't, they fold after two albums.  But if  they do
hold together and grow, the songwriter hits a curve where it starts
getting better and better.  When Neil Young started out he was bloody
awful but he got better.  Elvis Costello too.  At first he didn't half
prattle on about a load of nonsense.  We all do.

A lot of people when we started out thought we were a comedy band.  We
weren't, we were just a band that wasn't afraid to smile.  I can still
see the terrible poise of most young bands - petrified to be seen as
anything but serious.  One of our strengths was we weren't afraid to let
in the humour vein.

I think it's essential if you are going to have a balanced output.
Some of the most sinister people you hear about - Charlie Chaplin, Adolf
Hitler - liked a laugh.  You need  contrast.  There is nothing worse
than putting an album on and it's monotone.  Black is black only if
white is next to it.

Andy Partridge is a man who steps out of the great tradition of British
pop - the old tradition, that is; the new leaves him cold and despairing
for real passion.  Punk revivalism, techno and technology are all
symptoms of a malaise that Partridge sees strickening an art form.

Green Day are only a fancy dress version of the real thing.  That
lasted just a short time.  Anything else is an imitation. But that's
okay, you know.  Britain has this disease - it takes things far too

Rancid and co. are probably raiding their mum's dress box.  They're
probably clean living lads having a bit of a lark.

Brit pop he explains away as a reaction to the tyranny of the groove.

The mechanical oppression of music in the late 80s, he moans, is the
worst thing that has happened to British music, any music.  It
dehumanises music.  It's like having a row of adding machines talking to
each other.

I'm very old fashioned.  I like songs.  So it's good to see kids have
discovered songs again.  It's sort of a return to... remember the 60s
big thing for 20s and 30s music.  Kids skipped a couple of generations
then and discovered the 20s through bands like the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah.
(Who remembers the legendary Viv Stanshall?) and those old and dirty

Most mechanical music is very oppressive.  It depresses one's brain to
try and grasp it.  People make mistakes, have dynamics and embarrass
you.  Machines don't.

There's not a lot, if any, musicality in machine music because it's
made by people who have no grasp of chords, melodies, how to make
someone tearful with a certain chord.  They just get the family cat to
walk across a keyboard, then the computer samples the sound and selects
a tractor and a rocket launcher to go with it.  The mechanics are
simple.  I've got a computer at home and getting a mechanical guitar is
easy.  It's also horrible.

What the world desperately needs, then, is a dose of XTC.  Fossil Fuel
will fire up the interest and Partridge is positively brimming with
songs after the four year enforced lay off.

Some of the best things we've come up with I have to say, immodestly.
Now all we need is a record contract.


Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 13:40:41 -0500
Message-Id: <v02110100ae8e856b3da4@[]>
From: (John M. Hackney)
Subject: An obscure XTC release?


        About 3 weeks ago I was in the Virgin Megastore in Picadilly,
London.  I of course checked out the CD section for releases by XTC and
found that they had a pretty big variety of titles.  Within the band's
section, however, was a divider with the title "The Negro In Me".  There
were no CDs after this divider, so I couldn't determine the release to
which they were referring.  I've never heard of this title before!  Can
anyone tell me what this might be?  Perhaps it was a mistake, but I don't
know for certain.

        After leaving the store, I went to eat dinner at the "Wong Kei"
restaurant in Soho, which is known for its cheap prices, good food, and
rude waiters.  It's got something of a Bohemian atmosphere, I suppose.
Anyway, after being seated in the basement, I looked up and just two tables
away was Noel Gallagher (of Oasis).  At first I didn't know for sure if it
was really him and not just some guy trying to look like him.  He was all
hunched over, slugging back glass after glass of wine with his meal.  But,
all around me people were starting to point and get excited, and by the
time he got up to leave, there was no doubt that he was the genuine
article.  It seemed a little unreal to stumble upon that situation, but
maybe it's not that big of a deal to see people like him in that part of

        Finally, does anyone have the current e-mail address of Dave
O'Connell, from York, PA?  I've tried sending several messages, but
apparently his address has changed recently.  He contributed to our digest
just a few weeks ago-----   Dave, if you read this, send me your new
address, I've got an offer you can't refuse.


John M. Hackney
Department of Botany
University of Wisconsin-Madison
430 Lincoln Drive
Madison, WI  53706

(608) 273-4361 Home
(608) 262-0657 Lab
(608) 262-7509 FAX


Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 20:13:52 -0500
Message-Id: <v01530500ae8ee3c0ab03@[]>
From: (John Yuelkenbeck)
Subject: OT - What do you call that noise?

Sound, a fanzine I published for several years, is attempting a
reincarnation on the Web, to be introduced first by a traditional,
use-up-what's-left-of-the-pulp-in-America paper edition. Sound
traditionally has a "Sound of the Street" column in which we publish disc
reviews submitted by our readers. Anyone wishing to submit, please feel
encouraged. I probably won't print Fossil Fuel reviews, since it is a
re-release and not available stateside anyway. But anything else that's on
your latest and greatest playlist is eligible.

We also have a letters column, "Sound Off," which rips off as its graphic
the ink-pen-through-the-hand "Dear God" artwork. If anyone wishes to send
us an e-mail message, there is a good chance of it being published.



Date: Sat, 19 Oct 1996 20:38:50 -0500
Message-Id: <v01530501ae8ee8e5e08a@[]>
From: (John Yuelkenbeck)
Subject: Surf's up

Thanks for heckling me, Adam. I didn't realize "surfing" was the sign of an
internet dilettante. What word is appropriate? "Scouring"? "Rummaging"?
"Foraging"? "Ransacking"?

Perhaps I need to be grittier, earthier, part of the proletariat. How about
"fucking"? Last night, while I was fucking around on the internet . . .


Message-Id: <v01540b05ae9095b41b37@[]>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 13:53:23 +1100
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: familiar quotation...

Hi folks - I belong to a mail9ing list called, which simply
sends out one peculiar or unusual word per day to all subscribers. At the
end of each day's message is a pithy or funny quotation. Todays rang a
bell. See if it sounds familiar to any of you...

>Whenever books are burned men also in the end are burned.
>-Heinrich Heine Almansor




Message-Id: <v01530500ae8f5fee5381@DialupEudora>
Date: Sun, 20 Oct 1996 22:04:32 -0400
From: (Joel A Altre-Kerber)
Subject: "Big Fire" Lyric

In Chalkhills Digest #3-10, Elisabeth Norton wrote:

>Speaking (or not) of the now-so-popular f-word, am I the only one who hears
>it in Great Fire?
>I've been in love before
>But it's never been as hot as this... fuck
>It's pretty subtle, but even on my crappy speakers I can hear it when the
>volume is up high.  I searched about and I can't find anyone mentioning
>this before.

This one has been around for years. Not sure why we always think the boys
are putting nasty words in their songs!

The actually line (which makes sense when read more than heard) is -

"I've been in love before
 But it's never been as hot as this
 Curling 'round the door..."

Hope THAT one is to bed!

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."  -Theodore Roosevelt


Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 10:58 +0200
Message-id: <>
From: =?iso-8859-1?q?P=C4R?= NILSSON <PVKU.PARN@MEMO.VOLVO.SE>
Subject: Swedish FOSSIL FUEL

Someone whose address I've lost - sorry! - asked me if the FOSSIL FUEL
discs on sale in Sweden were also made in Sweden. The answer is no;
they are made in Holland, and as far as I can determine identical to
the ones described by a Dutch fan (Mark Mello?) in an earlier digest.

Incidentally, my preferred store in Goteborg (also Sweden's biggest
store) has shifted a whopping 17 copies of FF. Extrapolating this to
the rest of Sweden, some 800 FF copies may have been sold. Thus it is
hardly surprising that FF has failed to make any impression whatsoever
on the album charts. Shame!




Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 10:29:39 -0600 (CST)
Subject: And what is Agony Andy, you ask?
Message-id: <>

I've gotten a few em's from people not knowing what Agony Andy is. Well,
I'm not British so I can't give a full fledged paragraphe, but apparently,
Andy was once knwn as an Agony Uncle. Agaony Aunts were these women who
answered some really cheesy mailed in problems on Radio One, and Andy was
the sole Uncle.For those who haven't yet heard this, here's a sample of
what a response from Agony Andy might be to a problem........

(There was a problem sent in from a boy whose parents were running his
life...  couldn't pick his own clothes, couldn't watch telly after 9:00,
mother called the headmaster at his mixed school and told him she didn't
want him taught sex ed....actually, Janice, the Agony Aunt, faked this
question and many others on Andy's first time on the job.) His response to
this was.....

"Well I'm posting you a gun and a handful of bullets and you can either off
yourself or them."

And here's a snippet of the raport between hosts....

Andy: "Well, there's been a flood of a letter-"
Janice: "Wait, before you start, congratulations. You'r going to be a daddy."
Andy: "That's right."
Janice: "Well done."
Andy: "I've learned how to do it, how to become a daddy."
Janice: "Well they say everything works if you woggle it."

And there you go.


"Everything works if you woggle it"-Agony Andy


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-11

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