Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-120

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 120

                  Wednesday, 28 May 1997

Today's Topics:

                        Rock reads
                     CUT THE CRAP!!!
                     Chalkhills list
                  Having and not having
                     Jesus of Swindon
         these are a few of my favourite rock rea
                      XTC + Superman
                    XTC UK Convention
                    What a BLAST !!!!
                   The Ugly Underneath
           Sgt. Rock (Is Going To Help Me) TAB
                Trib tape orders received
           Chalkhills' Children '96 Songwriters
                      Dukes, Top Ten
    Look Look... well, only a little about the videos.
                   Hello, I'm a newbie
                      Great Bassists
                      Virgin Viewer
               a few chains of thought....
                 Convention Report (long)


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

Chalkhills is digested with Digest 3.3d (John Relph <>).

You can read it in your bible / Or on the back of this record sleeve.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 24 May 1997 13:15:50 +0000
From: dke <>
Organization: Prodigy Internet
Subject: Rykodisc!

Hi there!,
    I just got back from the Rykodisc home page, and someone named
'Jeff' is already asking them about signing XTC, and Ryko seems to be
aware of XTC's current situation, but are having little progress.
    Perhaps we could all help XTC's bargaining position by posting Ryko
with our support for/Love for XTC!

    Their message board is located at:



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 24 May 1997 13:47:21 +0000
From: dke <dke@PRODIGY.NET>
Organization: Prodigy Internet
Subject: Rock reads

Hi there!,
    As far as good books out there re: rock music, etc., if you have
even the faintest appreciation of Frank Zappa's work, you should really
check out: "The Real Frank Zappa Book", by Frank Zappa with Peter
Occhiogrosso. (Poseidon Press / Simon & Schuster) It's absolutely
hilarious and very informative.

    Just a thought...


"Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom is not
truth, truth is not beauty, beauty is not love, love is not music.
Music is the best."   Frank Zappa


Date: Sat, 24 May 1997 17:17:47 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: CUT THE CRAP!!!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 24 May 1997 19:53:01 -0400
From: Julian Cook <>
Subject: Chalkhills list

I am an on and off poster to Chalkhills. I was wondering if the lads
knew of the mailing list and what they thought of it.

Anyone know the answer to this one?

Julian Cook


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 02:46:48 -0700
Subject: Having and not having

Dewitt J. Henderson wrote:
> This whole have/have nots thing regarding the demos - I don't
> get it.

Me neither. I haven't heard one second of any of the new songs, and I
definitely belong to the haves. Until the new album(s) is/are released,
I *have* all the anticipation and excitement that you sorry losers who
know what to expect *don't* have. Har! Serves you right! :-))



Message-Id: <v01540b00afad377e5f90@[]>
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 02:01:55 +0100
From: (Peter McCulloch)
Subject: Jesus of Swindon

LaShawn M. Taylor writes:
>And as for Christian music. Most of my teenage years were spent listening to
>it. When I discovered alternative, a lot of it dropped from my stereo
>because it sounded too corny to me.  But there *are* decent bands, believe
>it or not. You just have to know where to look because they don't get played
>often, or sometimes not at all.

One great christian band I can recall who never appeared to be too preachy
were/are King's X. I don't expect many folks on this list to be into this
band, but the best way I can describe them is "Hendrix meets the Beatles
meets Black Sabbath". They kinda got lost in the shuffle of heavy
metal-mania in the late 80's, but there's a lot more substance to this
band. I'd recommend their latest, "Ear Candy", or their classic, "Gretchen
Goes to Nebraska", as good introductions.

>> Does anybody know who did the voice of Ella Guru in the song of the same
>> name?

It was Captain Beefheart after all.

David O'Connell writes:
>In that e-mail, I made reference to "Goodbye Humanosaurus" as being the
>one stand-by track that was going to be recorded in case one of the
>album's songs became ornery and started messing around with our beloved
>Swindonian lads.

>When asked about his songs for the album, Colin explained the
>proceedure of selection...."Through that process we arrived at doing five
>of my songs.  We were doing one song of mine called "Didn't Hurt A Bit": I
>wasn't too keen on it but Gus [Dudgeon, the producer] and Andy said we
>should.  We got half through, put the drums on, but I really couldn't get
>behind it and I said to the guys 'Look, I don't want to carry on with it',
>so it resulted in me having four songs on the album.  "Smartest Monkeys",
>"Bungalow", "My Bird Performs" and "War Dance."

Interesting that XTC would pick "GH" as a standby, considering it reuses a
musical section/melody that's in "Then She Appeared", which is on Nonsuch
and, to the best of my knowledge, came first. My personal choice would have
been "Goosey, Goosey", assuming the aforementioned, "It Didn't Hurt a Bit"
were already scratched. Seems like Colin's most accessible stuff (in many
ways his best material) gets left off the albums in favor of the more
obscure tracks. "It Didn't Hurt a Bit", "Where Did All the Ordinary People
Go?", and "Down a Peg", all would have made great additions (or
substitutions to THAT SONG, but let's not go down that road again).

>Dave is gay?
I slept with him and I assure you he's not. Now let's get back to the music.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 24 May 1997 11:03:01 +0000
Subject: these are a few of my favourite rock rea

I'd divide rock reads in pre and post punk, the difference being that the
latter recognises  the velvets, the various German outfits and the very
wonderful Pere Ubu, cleveland's finest.

Of the post punk reads I would unresevedly recommend Julian Cope's 'head
up', an hilarious book which covers his time upto the split of 'the teardrop
explodes'. His 'krautrock' covers an interesting topic, the various german
bands, not very well.

Pre-punk reading would include
John Otway's 'Baby that really me',  an equally hilarious of  a determined
failure who did it his way. That said, his first album is a gem and gave a
direction which folk music only followed a decade latter.

Peter Frame's 'family trees',  unashamed detail and trivia with some hoaxes
included just for fun.

Little Richard's autobiography is another good read if only for his wild
lifestyle and comments about buddy holly's privates.

Greil's 'mystery train' is a good read,  covering a very traditional range
of performers well. He is in London promoting his ramble on the basement
tapes, signing copies at 'helter skelter', denmark st, w1,  on Monday.

Has anyone tried his  'lipstick traces' which covers the links between punk,
the dadists and the situationalists ? I tried but gave up because his
writing style  was so deranged that the book seemed a dadaist act in itself,
a pity because the subject matter is very interesting. His own machine gun

Oh yes, 'paperback writer' was written by Mark Shipper

Virgin Megastore in London the 1980 XTC Radio 1 in Concert  cd for #5.

enjoy the break


The views expressed are of the individual, and do not
necessarily reflect the views of The United Bank of Kuwait PLC.


Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 07:20:56 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: XTC + Superman

Well, I've been away from the Chalkhills Digest as I've spent the last few
weeks in a mad letter writing/internet/email campaign trying to save the TV
show Lois & Clark:  The New Adventures of Superman.  My choice email
address/screen name is direct correlation to my fanaticism for both XTC and
this show.

Alas, my and many others attempts to save Superman didn't work, BUT, I did
receive this little XTC tidbit in return.  Sending out thank you email to
some of the people who worked on the show, I received this response from one
of the supervising writers:
* ----------------------------------------
Thanks for the kind words.  They are appreciated.

Oh, by the way, Andy Partridge is GOD.


* ---------------------------------------
All that time and I never knew there was an XTC/Superman connection.  I'll
probably scower old episodes now to see if any references to the band pop up
on the show.  If anyone is interested the next (and last) episode Tim wrote
for the series airs next saturday at 8 in the USA.  Scower away!

Laurie Collins

"Don't let the loveless ones sell you a world wrapped in grey"


Message-Id: <>
From: "Keith Beck" <>
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 15:48:35 +0000
Subject: XTC UK Convention

Hello Everyone,
It was a great day had by all, may I be the first to congratulate
Simon for winning the Smartest monkey competition, and a big thanks to
Martin Newell for a great gig, the man is a star.
Dave Gregory is very definitely not gay, Martin Newell told me this,
he went out with a girl when he was young, then he went out with a
bunch of guitars, then he went out with Aimie Mann, and now he goes
out with a bunch of guitars again, so hopefully that's and end to
that, he is very definitely not gay.

XTC are to sign a label deal in the UK this week, and hope to have an
album out in February, this is from the horses mouth folks.
The producer being looked at is Chris Hughes, but that's nothing
Thanks to ?, sorry didn't get your name, for the brilliant telephone
interview with all the boys.
Thanks to John for pulling the pints.
And last but not least, a BIG thanks to Mike Foster for an absolutely
fantastic day, Great T shirts Mike.

Hats off to our greatest national institution,
Let's do it again soon,  Cheers,   Keith.


Message-ID: <31510B652669CF11BA1D00805F38219E02558EB1@DUB-04-MSG>
From: Peter Fitzpatrick <>
Subject: non-meeting
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 14:07:55 -0700

we couldn't do the NetMeeting thing - basically the phone line at the
convention venue wouldn't work (something to do with a digital exchange
or something).
So we couldn't dial out and get an ISP connection.

I'm really, really sorry if you went to ridiculous effort, or even very
little effort, to try and take part.
I'm bummed too.




Message-ID: <31510B652669CF11BA1D00805F38219E02558EAF@DUB-04-MSG>
From: Peter Fitzpatrick <>
Subject: What a BLAST !!!!
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 14:07:49 -0700

Whew....I'm tired (!)

So, Dan Prendiville et moi flew to Bristol airport Saturday morning,
found our hirecar (hey it only took 45 minutes !) and drove to

Eventually found our motel (that was the tough part) and after a quick
lunch and a couple of pints of the local brew we took a taxi to the

Arriving just as Martin Newell was starting his very entertaining set
(yes folks - Martin has two new fans in Ireland) we looked around and
saw that YES ! we were not alone !!!

A quick beer during the break and some intros to faces that were
previously only names on Chalkhills, plus intros to some fans that have
yet to discover "that internet thing".
This was already looking good.
Bought a copy of Becki's CD (thanks Simon !), discussed the nuances of
"Father Ted" (sorry - "it's a priest thing, you wouldn't understand")
and realised "YES ! WE ARE NOT ALONE !"

A fun XTCQUIX ensued......myself and Dan developed a severe case of the
giggles (perhaps me more than least I was slightly more vocal).

Yes folks : Simon and Natalie scored more points than anyone else.
Considering the questions it is no mean feat ! (and when Mr. Stribos is
present you BETTER know your XTC !)
The Chalkhillians laughed when we saw the title of the small (I mean
SMALL) trophy awarded...yes, "The Smartest Monkeys".
How Ironic.......(like rain on your wedding day...)

Next a trip to the pub for some food and beer (not in that order).
That's when we got to chat and indulge ourselves.
If you haven't been to a fan convention then you are missing out big
time : the very feeling of being able to discuss and talk ad nausem
about your favourite topic with a captive audience. Sheer Bliss !

Eventually we returned to the venue and indulged ourselves in listening
to some great cover versions (sorry : I forget your name but anyone who
has the balls to do "Chalkhills & Children" in front of THAT audience
..... and do it so well deserves every praise....well done mate).

A one hour (wow...did THAT pass by quickly!) phone interview with
Andy,Colin & Dave followed.
Lotsa nice stuff. And Dave said the "F" word (!!!!!!!!!!!) - cue all the
Chalkhillians looking knowingly at each other.
I'm sure someone else will put up  a transcript of the interview.

The day was drawing to a close and a video (v.short) that I brought
along was shown. I had made a little video while in Andy's shed a few
weeks ago.
The visual quality was not great - but the demo he was playing most
certainly was. Yes folks - "We're All Light" out for it.

As everyone ran for trains & stuff I demo'd the Rifff show to anyone who
cared to watch and showed my photos from Andy's shed (and some
autographed CD covers) to anyone who cared to see.

We departed for the pub and a splendid time was had by all.

Andy had requested on the phone when I last spoke to him that "under no
circumstances was anyone to behave themselves....haha".
I think we fulfilled his wish as the bar closed.

I arrived back in Dublin this morning and it's now almost 10:00pm.
I'm tired. Damn I'm tired.

Wasn't that a blast ??



Message-ID: <31510B652669CF11BA1D00805F38219E02558EB0@DUB-04-MSG>
From: Peter Fitzpatrick <>
Subject: The Ugly Underneath
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 14:07:53 -0700

First off : let's not make a thread out of this, it's too negative.

"Cut to the chase Peter"

Someone stole my autographed "Oranges & Lemons" CD cover at the
convention last night.
At the time I was philisophical because I was determined to enjoy the
day and was not going to let it bring anyone down.

But now I'm pretty angry.

What's worse is that it might even have been one of the Chalkhillians
there. Yes, hard to believe huh ?

A word of advice - if you're going to a convention or get together,
don't bring anything to show that you haven't secured and/or can't
I'm lucky - I'll probably be able to send a replacement cover to Andy
and ask if he can sign it.
It's only paper and ink - but bloody special paper and ink though.
But what if I wasn't in that position ? What if I couldn't attempt to
replace something so unique ?

Either way - it doesn't excuse it.

If you *are* on this list - shame on you. If it meant THAT much to you,
all you had to do was ASK.
I would have tried to arrange for Andy to sign a cover for you.

Is this going to stop me sharing anything I can get my hands on ?
Right now - yes, because I'm pretty pissed off.
But I'll be ok once I've vented ;-)

Oh by the way - I know how to identify this sleeve. If it ever comes up
for sale or trade (somehow I doubt it) you'll know it  because it's got
an arrow, drawn by Andy, pointing to Andy's groin in the cartoon-like
cover with the word "oops!" written on it.

Still smiling tho'



Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 25 May 1997 16:00:17 -0700
From: (Ian Dahlberg)
Subject: Sgt. Rock (Is Going To Help Me) TAB

Sgt. Rock (Is Going To Help Me)

Quick 'n dirty Sgt. Rock chords taken directly from "11 Different Animals"
An XTC songbook made with David Gregory's supervision.

	[ The actual chord charts are available in the Chalkhills
	  archives, see above for the URL.  -- John ]


Message-Id: <>
Subject: Trib tape orders received
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 10:12:28 -0700

Here is a listing of all the people who have sent me a check for
"Chalkhills' Children '96" as of May 26.

Jose Artecona, Todd Bernhardt, Ben Brand, Jason Brown, Steve Cameron,
John Christenson, Randy Christopher, Phil Corless, Mark Cuevas, Andy
Cuthbert, Eric Day, Pune Dracker, Bob Estus, Mark Fisher, Mitch
Friedman, Jennifer Geese, David Gershman, Greg Gillette, Ben  Gott

Scott Haefner, Marion Hardin, Mitchell Harding, Jude Hayden, John
Hedges, Naoyuki Isogai, Tim Kendrick, Simon Knight, Jeffrey Langr,
Richard Leighton, Ira Lieman, Andrew Lippitt, Ed Miller, Ken Monk, Ian
Murphy, Robin Myrick, Steve Perley, Troy Peters, John Pinto, Randy

Dave Ray, Melissa Reaves, John Relph, Della & Steve Schiavo, Tim
Schreyer, Harrison Sherwood, Charles Silverman, Thomas Slack, J.D.
Smelser, Jeff Smith, Ekram Soylemez, Chris Spillios, Michael Stander,
John Wilkens, Parrish Wilkinson, Wesley Wilson, William Wisner, Thomas
Worthington, Jim Zittel

Tapes should ship June 2.  (getting damn close to a year, aren't I?)


Message-Id: <>
Subject: Chalkhills' Children '96 Songwriters
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 11:21:51 -0700

Several people have asked for a listing of who wrote what on the tribute

Song                                              Author
Xtsea                                    compilation of XTC lyrics
Battery Brides				 Andy Partridge
Making Plans For Nigel			 Colin Moulding
Day In, Day Out				 Colin Moulding
The Somnambulist			 Andy Partridge
All Of Sudden (It's Too Late)		 Andy Partridge
It's Nearly Africa			 Andy Partridge
My Love Explodes			 Andy Partridge
The Meeting Place                        Colin Moulding
1000 Umbrellas				 Andy Partridge
Dear God				 Andy Partridge
Sacrificial Bonfire			 Colin Moulding
Collideascope				 Andy Partridge
Disque Bleu				 Andy Partridge
Chalkhills And Children			 Andy Partridge
Goosey Goosey				 Andy Partridge
Living In Haunted Heart			 Andy Partridge
Books Are Burning			 Andy Partridge

Andy = 13; Colin = 4

A stern finger-wagging to all the people who did not know every bit of
this information!  (that includes me)

Cheers, Richard


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 14:58:57 -0400
From: Ralph DeMarco <>
Subject: Dukes, Top Ten

Dear One Armed Bandits and Affiliated Members:

Matt responded to my post about being exposed to the Dukes:

>I know someone else who likes/tolerates the Dukes but hates
>XTC...BTW, did your friend know they were one and the same?

Yes.  My friend did know that three of the four Dukes were XTC.  My
other friend thinks that some of the Dukes' sound alot like Badfinger  (one
of those few bands signed to Apple Records) especially ?Mole from the
Ministry? which is like ?Come and Get It? written by Sir Paul.  And of
course all the other sounds...

Now, for no reason, I present my personal rankings with comments  (as
if anyone cares).  Note: All the XTC records I own are the original vinyl
versions without the bonus tracks (except Nonsuch).

1. Mummer
(This is a magical album.  For those who don?t get it...what can I say?)
2. Skylarking
(Super, super songs and wonderful production by TR)
3. Drums and Wires
(Really gets me a hoppin?)
4. English Settlement
(Simple and ingenius...almost flawless...almost)
5. Nonsuch
(Wow, some days this is my favorite)
6. Black Sea
(The rock & roll album - crank it up dude!)
7. Oranges and Lemons
(Love the songs but - a bit sharp around the edges- help!)
8. The Big Express
(The rock & roll album part II.  First side/half is great loses me)
9. White Music
(Talk about dismantling pop!  XTC does Dylan? Scary stuff)
10. Go 2
(Getting rather smooth after being so angular.  Are you recieving me?)

Honarable Mentions:
**25 O?Clock/Psonic Psunspot - The Dukes of Stratosphear
(This one I play the most! Some of the best pop songs Andy & Colin ever
*Rag & Bone Buffet
(This one has one of my favorite Colin songs.  I used to be an angry
young man once too)

A comment on the bonus tracks: Some are quite good but...they should
have been placed at the end of the albums. Thank you and good night.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Tue, 27 May 1997 19:25:43 +0000
Subject: Look Look... well, only a little about the videos.

Hello all, yet again.... more ramblings from your resident

> From: Dave Ledbetter <>
> >Matt Keeley wrote:
> >Before I leave, one closing thought:  Anyone else think the song
> >titles are the best part of Explode Together?
> I agree.  I just couldn't get into "The Dub Experiments".
Thing that I think about Explode is that some of the songs would have
been pretty good if they hadn't been dubs....  I've read some of the
lyrics from Chalkhills (they're really hard to decipher... and that
blasted Virgin didn't include anything!  I'd love to see a picture of
the cover of Take Away/Lure of Salvage... but I digress), and I think
that some of them would work really well as real songs, esp. New
Broom and to a lesser extent, Shore Leave Orthinology (Another 1950).
But there really does need to be songs with those titles, no matter
how nearly unlistenable.  I suppose if I hear it again, I might grow
to like them, as I did with Big Express, but well.... with Big
Express, I liked some of the songs already.

> From: "kimberly lynn martin" <KMAR0971@Mercury.GC.PeachNet.EDU>
> Just thought I'd post my thoughts about COLIN.  I love Andy's songs,
> but I have always had a special affinity for the compositions of Mr.
> Moulding.
I always liked Colin's contributions, but I prefer Andy's.... songs.
(Nothing against Andy, just can't think of a synonym that begins with
"A" to keep with the alliteration.)  Andy's just seem more, well,
appealing.  Colin's early stuff (i.e. Life Begins.) (Nigel excluded,
that's genius) kinda grates on me.... not a lot, but slightly.
Anyway, I couldn't stand it if Colin were out of the band or
anything.  But, well, I can't comment on Barry's stuff (don't have Go
2 yet).

> From: Andrew Notarian <apn@UDel.Edu>
> BASSISTS -- are we rating these people on pure talent, whether we like
> their music or not?
When I rated, I did a combination of both... mainly because in songs
I like, the bass tends to be pretty good, and well, when I don't like
a song it's hard to pick out a good part as I'm pressing the skip
button/changing the channel.  Usually the latter.  But anyway....

> From: "Jeffrey Langr" <Jeffrey.Langr@MCI.Com>
> 1.  Suggestion, please go to Rykodisc's web page, as previously
>     suggested in Chalkhills, go to their message board, and post
>     a reply to the XTC message I already posted.  Or post a new
>     reply, whatever.  A few hundred messages (or even 50) from
>     Chalkhills subscribers would look nice.
To quote Principal Skinner, "Done, done, and I do mean done."

> From: "Ben Gott" <>
> To all those Chalkmonsters who regularly order from CDNow!: "Upsy Daisy"
> (The Assortment) is available, advance order, for $9.77! That's right,
> folks. Cheaper than a Mariah Carey tape!
> Order through my CDNow link, and I get money towards purchases. I still don't
> work for them, though.
No!  Order through my link, so I get money!!  Well, he did beat me to
it, so go to his site at:

(but if you buy two copies, buy one from his and buy one from me,
neh? 8)

> From: The Gottschalks <>
> I won't go way off on this, but I will say this: The Gigantes' condition of
> being with Elektra is pretty smart, because it is, let's admit it, by far a
> larger record label than Rykodisc. TMBG are probably looking to gain more
> fans, and staying with Elektra is a much safer bet for doing so.
I don't know... I think that going to Ryko would be better for
gaining new fans, because, even though Elektra is bigger, Ryko will
let them make videos.  But this is off topic.

> I can't understand most of these Scissor Man lyrics. I bought this cd for
> six dollars. Also present on the crap rack was O&L. More money saved for
> people like me, that's what I say.
Scissor Man is kinda odd... I didn't really get the lyrics, but when
I sat down to read them, I realised how, well, sick they were!  I
suppose it was mainly as a thing for kids to keep them to be good,
like a satire of one of those songs, but still, the whole thing about
waking up to "find important pieces gone"  (can we say Bobbit... heheh)
(Shut up, Matt!) is a bit on the bizzare/sick side.  Needless to say,
I love it!

BTW, I just saw the video compilation (Thanks Scott!), and is it just
me or does Andy look completely demented in the Nigel video?  I
suppose that's the point, but still.  And I love that part in Ball
and Chain that looks like Andy's about to sneak up behind Colin with
the slegde hammer... (Bang, bang, Andy's silver hammer....) (SHUT UP,
Matt!!)  Anyway, that's a really cool video.

Now that was schizophrenic....

     -=>Matt Keeley<=-
I Have Learnt  | Visit my home page
the Value of   |
Human Sacrifice| I used to be temporarily insane!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now I'm just stupid! -- Brak



Message-ID: <>
From: Catherine Sweeney <>
Subject: Hello, I'm a newbie
Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 10:59:09 +0100

I've just read the last Chalkhills volume, and I'm glad I've subscribed.
 I picked up a few things along the way, and am randomly going to
respond to some of them and bore you all senseless.

I got into XTC at the time of Black Sea, because I fell in love with
Colin and was rather taken with him leaping up and down on that bouncy
castle thing in the Generals and Majors video (I was only 14, for God's
sake).  But I've loved them all ever since.

I've never met anyone other than me who owns any XTC albums at all, let
alone the amount I own, so when I found Chalkhills I realised what it
must have felt when medieval woman encountered the Renaissance for the
first time.  OK, there's a lot going for the Medievalists, but they
don't have Michelangelo.

Why is it that all my friends say "XTC, oh yes, they're really nice.
Making Plans for Nigel, isn't it?  Haven't got any of their stuff,
though".  Why not, I say, before punching them in the record collection.

Roads Girdle the Globe is my current favourite song and I'm listening to
it right now.  But it changes regularly, and, truth is, they're all
magnificent. My boyfriend detests Roads Girdle the Globe, so I think
I'll dump him.

I've never done the housework whilst listening to Drums and Wires, but I
got through my O levels listening to Black Sea.  I failed maths 3 times,
but did marvellously well in History.  Is there any secret meaning in

Bassists - I've missed most of this, so am about to say something which
is either a)desperately uncool or b)a repeat of an earlier message.  But
what about Mick Karn?

So, hello everyone.  I'm Catherine, a repetitive and uncool London Irish
person thingummy jig.

I'm at work.  I'd better go and do some, then.....


Message-ID: <>
From: "Oehler, Alan" <>
Subject: Great Bassists
Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 07:27:21 -0700

Andrew Notarian wrote <Whenever I pay careful attention to the bass lines in
XTC, they usually don't impress me.  If someone would you like to tell me
I'm wrong, go ahead and email me, maybe I'm missing something.  I can't
think of walking bass line in any XTC song, or even a really catchy
repetitive Bruce Thomas keeping the song together in a neat little package
type bassline.>

As a old bass lover (and I don't mean bass frappes made in my
Bassomatic) from way back, I must say, Andrew, are you kidding? Just one
great example: the "really catchy repetitive," "neat little package type
bassline" in "Mayor of Simpleton" on Oranges and Lemons. That tune is
one of those that sums up XTC's strengths in a nutshell -- great pop
tunesmithing that's catchy but also quirky, great energy, great singing
from Andy, great harmonies, and incredible (dare I say perfect?) playing
(very notably the bass)...

Echoing the 5-10 top bassists stuff, I didn't notice anybody mentioning
James Jamerson, the Motown great. I was also glad to see the spate of
"what about Tony Levin" posts. One might argue that even though he's
considered a jazz player, Jaco Pastorius' influence was so pervasive
that he certainly deserves to be in such a list.

--Alan Oehler


Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 08:46:32 +0000
Subject: Virgin Viewer
From: Tom Keekley <>
Message-Id: <>

While excitedly viewing Look Look for the first time (the first time Ive
ever seen XTC *MOVE*) I noticed Richard Branson in the video for Generals
and Majors. I didnt see anything in the archives about this and thought it
was an interesting tidbit.


Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 10:46:36 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: a few chains of thought....


On the recent discussion of Colins' songs: a year or so ago while lamenting
that there was no new XTC material and none on the horizon, I decided to make
a mixed tape of just selected Colin Moulding songs ( I called it "MOULDING";
clever, huh?).
Wow, what a *fun* tape!  Go ahead, try it!    I have the utmost repect for
Colin being a fantastic musician, songwriter, and, being able play off of the
genuis that is Andy Partridge for all these years.  Many lesser men may have
left the band by now.

On the MSN rifff thing:  Just an FYI, I visited their web site and saw that
the Andy Partridge peice will be taking place on 6/6 and a "chat" session on
"6/12".  I may even subscribe for a trial month, hmmmmm.

Upon recently watching the U2 TV special:  though I haven't been an active
fan of U2 for a while, I watched this special - can you say
*EGO*???  These guys are so self consumed they can't get out of their own
way.  Anyway, a strange, yet laughable idea came my XTC parody
portraying the history of the band had they become a "popular" "mainstream"
band.  You know, "The Big Express World Tour", in which the boys enter the
stadium on a huge train, "The Royal NONSVCH Command Performance" before the
Queen, of course the "Andy is Dead" rumour fits in well here.  This may be
done in the tradition of the recently mentioned "Paperback Writer" Beatles
book - hey, I thought I was the only one who owned that!!!  I may submit a
few passages in upcoming digests, please feel free to submit your own.

-James W.

p.s. - a note of thanks to Mr. Relph needs to be included for his continued
service.  Hats Off...    ; )


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 16:29:40 +0100
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Convention Report (long)

Well, hi folks.  Here's a little rundown report (from a rundown reporter) of
the Basingstoke Convention; or at least what I can remember of it.

I didn't actually get there until around 1:30 so I missed a showing of some
video material (which included stuff I hadn't seen before by all accounts),
but I did manage to catch the last half of a live performance of some XTC
tunes by organiser Mike Foster and some friends. The songs I heard were
"Towers Of London" (segued neatly into The Beatles' "Rain" for a few
moments), "My Train Is Coming" and another I don't quite recall.  Having
never heard XTC music live before it was a real treat to hear these songs
played with that live dynamic (even with the drum machine).

After a short break, where I mingled and bought my first beer of the day,
beginning the inexorable decline, it was time for Mr Newell.  Now *this* was
entertainment.  Cannily aware that, though there were fans of his in the
audience, this was after all an XTC convention (and he is a HUGE fan of the
band himself), he freeformed some anecdotes about working with Andy and Dave
(his Dave Gregory impression caused your correspondent to almost choke on
his tongue), which were quite revealing about the dynamics within the band;
there was, for example, a point during the recording process when Colin was
supposed to be involved but tensions between him and Andy at that time
precluded it.

It was during the recording of "Greatest Living Englishmen" that both of
their wives left them (surprising that it turned out to be such an "up"
album, but they were trying to avoid the "Phil Collins syndrome") and Andy
proved very supportive.  Other tales of the reserved Mr Gregory on tour with
a rowdy bunch of beer-monsters (including a dervish-like Captain Sensible)
were equally revealing.  After the tour Dave had been wiped out phsyically
and mentally by the conditions and, after an acrimonous exchange of letters
about the experience, he and Martin fell out for a while.  They are all
friends again now, though.  Newell did some poems - some new ones, some old
ones -  and performed three songs (a little inexpertly; he said he hadn't
played them for three years).  He also threw the floor open for a Q&A
session, which was equally entertaining (favourite moment; his description
of the way he attracted  German fans with a sort of
strangest-teacher-in-the-school look about them, while in Japan he watched
from his hotel window as Dave wandered down the street and back again with a
little knot of pointing and whispering girls behind him). Newell was
particularly damning about the music industry and the music press (his
depiction of Q and NME journalists as Terry-Thomas voiced fops was
side-splitting) and echoed our own sentiments about the tragedy of a band
like XTC having to take odd-jobs just to make ends meet from time to time.
Newell metioned, without prompting, how XTC, apart from Andy's old
prescriptions, are largely a drug-free unit; Andy, he says, is one of those
people who doesn't need drugs to get his mind working at odd angles, and
Dave is simply too professional, too into the music, to let the edges be
dulled by drugs.

A nice man, happy, though EXTREMELY pushed for time, to sign our CD booklets
and even take delivery of a gratis copy of Becki's CD (she being a fan, and
the person who actually introduced me to his music).

A break and more beer followed.  Then we had a quiz, which, to MY ETERNAL
SHAME, Natalie Jacobs and I won (scaring ourselves with our prowess - we
really do need to get out more).  Actually, I only held the paper, it was
all Natalie's doing. ;)  What made matters worse was that the trophy was
inscribed to "The Smartest Monkey", something which provoked peals of
laughter from those Chalkies assembled who recalled my hatred of the song.
A certain Peter Fitzpatrick was almost moved to hook up his laptop at that
point and mail this list directly with the news.  Sadly, I left my camera in
my hotel room (for which I will always kick myself), but I have since
managed to grab a picture of the trophy in its tawdry and damning glory.
Luckily I was able to absent myself from the photograph of the trophy being
presented to Natalie.  Mike Foster hadn't really thought the quiz out
properly though, and two rounds had to be abandoned when he hit a brick-wall
of deep XTC trivia awareness from those assembled.

Someone had sent Mike a tape of "Black Sea" studio takes which sounded
really no different to ones I'd already received from Mark Strijbos as a
trade in the spirit he mentioned a few digests ago. This guy, though, was
looking for serious money.  As far as I know, nobody there took up the offer
and I hope nobody ever does.  I had tapes there myself but they were to
trade tape for tape or sell for the price of the tape and no more.  Needless
to say I managed to sell them all, along with four copies of Becki's CD.

This was followed by a meal break at a nearby (allegedly) pub.  This proved
to be a bit of a shambles, but we all sat out in the beer garden drinking
(yay) and chatting about the band.  Which was nice.

We returned to the venue for a taped conference-call phone interview (which
could have done with being edited a little, to make it a bit tighter and
less rambling) which provoked a bout of sniggering, in the light of Newell's
impression, when Dave's West Country schoolboy voice chimed in.  I recall
the interview being pretty funny and interesting, but I don't recall there
being much in the way of startling revelation.  I'm quite willing to be
corrected on this because by this time the beer was taking hold and I missed
a few sections as I journeyed from seat to toilet to bar.

After the interview we were informed, tantalisingly, that a deal is in the
offing.  No label was named (and I missed some of this, so I can't say
whether they band HAVE signed or are about to. Anyone help with this?).  It
was also pointed out that though Andy's demos are of near releasable quality
themselves, they will never be released as XTC music simply because they are
not band recordings.

Next fan Steve Clarke (fanatical transcriber of XTC songs into MIDI format)
played some songs; "Toys" and "Collideascope" were among these.  Okay, so it
wasn't the band themselves, but when you have a talented musician playing a
song like "Collideascope" and an auditorium of fans singing along to the
chorus there is a vital magic that fills the air.  Great stuff.

The evening was rounded off with the playing of Peter Fitzpatrick's video,
shot in Adny's shed of the man himself setting up his studio equipment and
playing back a demo called "We Are All Light" - a wonderful track that left
us all a bit thrilled.

And that was it.  Whether there is likely to be another one I don't know -
mumbles from Mike seemed to indicate that it had been an organisational
nightmare, but he had the goodwill of all those in attendance and it was a
real blast to meet so many people with a common interest.  It wasn't a
Barnum & Bailey extravaganza, but it was a day filled with XTC which is
precisely what we were all after.  I certainly enjoyed myself immensely, as
did most other people, I think.  I shall wear my convention T-shirt with pride.

We all relocated ourselves to various drinking establishments after that and
there was much talking and drinking.  It was indescribably good fun, I must
say, though my recollection starts to get a LITTLE hazy at this point.
Greetings to Dan P., Peter Fitz, Dave Goody and his mate Simon, Steve
Clarke, Mark Strijbos, Cheryl (sorry we didn't get to chat much, my friend,
it was good to see you), Huw, Naomi, Christina and George and all others I
chatted to and whose names I either didn't know, or which leaked away with
the beer the next morning.  A cheery wave also to Mark Fisher who I saw for
a few minutes in Edinburgh last week; a pleasure, sir.

Your correspondent is still wildly exhausted from the experience (and the
travelling) and apologises for any omissions/errors in the above account.
I'm sure some of the other folk will be able to fill in any detail or
correct any mistakes.  The first thing I forgot, after hearing that
seductive little gasp from the ring-pull on my first can, was my promise to
my wife to go steady with the beer.  Gladly, being quite the most fantastic,
patient, and wonderful human being on this earth, she left it a day or so
before taking me to task about it.  I suspect, though that this was largely
due to the fact that in my absence she had sunburned her nose into a
brilliant red beacon and realised that she couldn't berate me convincingly
while resembling a dog's squeaky toy.

During Natalie Jacobs' visit to these shores she played me a video which
contained excerpts from a few live shows.  It still amazes me, watching Andy
smiling like an angel through "Yacht Dance" on Whistle Test, or slamming
around to White Music stuff, how he ever got into stagefright.  The man is a
*born* performer.

And now, some repsonses (I've only just found the time to read the last four

From: "S.Irani-lewis" <>

>Gregsy's Gay ?
>Well....if he is...good on him!!
>if he's not....we-eell....we can't ALL be perfect ;-)
>Love Will.......xx

:D Now THIS made me smile.  Probably the best response to the topic so far
by my reckoning...

>>Can anybody else suggest any other rock books?

Not sure if it counts, really, but Iain Banks' Espedair Street, about the
life and times of a faded rock musician, is excellent.

I got some *lovely* in my bed,

(AKA Rowley Birkin, QC)

XTC? Are they still going? Follow me and find out..


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-120

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