Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-121

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 121

                  Thursday, 29 May 1997

Today's Topics:

                 Oh the things I've seen!
      PC, DC, lowXTC, RykoD, MIDI(again), & surfing
                     public grievance
                 Signature identification
                     bassic sexuality
                  Shorter message today.
                 just a general rogering
          She know all the colors that nature do
Inquisition, second look song, "haves" bashing, and music with sea legs
                 Generals & Majors Video
      A little XTC but a lot of raving and drooling
               My Evening With Dave Gregory
            A litle more about the convention
                 What about Pete Thomas?
                       Zappa's Book
       Glorious technicolor and stereophonic sound
                     The Homosexuals
                PC, XTC ConV, & KROQ-XTC?
Conv. Blues, Colin Sings, Final Word, Gold Shmold, U-who?,


"Reel by Real", the XTC recording history, has just got a facelift
(and some additional information added).  Surf today!

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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

They're never too far...


From: Cheryl <>
Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 16:32:35 GMT
Subject: Oh the things I've seen!
Message-ID: <>

Hello chalk-people!

My goodness!  I certainly had a wonderful time at the convention!  I
had the privilege of meeting Peter Fitzpatrick( my
long lost brother!), Natalie Jane Jacobs, Huw Davies, Simon
Sleightholm, Mark Strijbos and BuD.  I must say it was wonderful to
be able to meet up with you fine people!   If I left anyone out, I'm
sorry I'm suffering from amnesia currently. : )

Lets give a big O-O-O AH AH AH for the Smartest Monkeys..... Simon
and Natalie!  These two managed to stomp through the quiz and beat us
all to the title of Smartest Monkeys.  Bravo!  I bet that plaque
looks lovely on the mantel.

The whole thing was great!  Very relaxed and friendly.  I especially
enjoyed the performances.  Mike Foster and a few of his friends were
gracious enough to perform for us fans.  I must say they did a great
job!  I wish I could remember Steve's last name but again that
amnesia thing.  He enchanted us with a wonderful rendition of
'Chalkhills and Children'.

A day of XTC, good friends, and gosh darn it!  cute men to
boot!  I am a happy girl!  : )  What more could you ask for in life?!

Peter, thanks for bringing all your neato stuff and showing us the
Riff thing!  You are cool, my friend!

Thus ends the gushing for this session,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 13:05:05 -0500
From: Brian Matthews <>
Organization: Ringling Multimedia Corporation
Subject: PC, DC, lowXTC, RykoD, MIDI(again), & surfing

Chalkline Avoiders (we all hope)... from Brian T.(for 'Toast') Matthews
Well, I do have a penchant for sticking my mouth where people don't want
it sometimes, and my last(?) post was no exception...

To Becki Digregorio (I do hope no faux pas by capitalizing proper names
here... as we ALL should do - it makes reading the English language
easier, I'll thank you):
I have several gay friends/aquaintances, and I have no problem with that
(I did say I wouldn't GO OUT OF MY WAY to do what I JOKED about - not
drop napalm on them); however, these friends/aquaintances have had the
foresight or decency or whatever to keep their predispositions to
themselves, and not force it upon my person, as others of the ilk (I'll
hear it for using THAT word) have felt it OK to do so in the past. A
crotch grab in public is great, from the right person (like, one from a
different sex), but not if you don't know their name, let alone not
having ever met them before a minute ago.  I found this behavior "most
appalling and unnecessary". And it is particularly crappy when it has
happened more than once, from a different person each time. This has
been my unpleasant experience in the past, and it may be unabashedly
stereotypical position to take; but, stereotypes come from reality, and
I call it as I see it. If I offended your sensibilities, I really do
want to apologize - I'm sorry; however, you now know where mine lie.
Just had to say this.

Dave O'Connell - when and if I receive demos from someone, I may very
well make a MIDI or two, providing I'm struck by anything (which
shouldn't be a problem, being XTC and all...). Do you know where to send
the album demos?

Andrew Notarian - does any XTC song have to have a walking bass line? I
don't feel that any piece of music from a catalog needs a virtuoso on
bass guitar, unless it's appropo... the bass is a supporting aspect of
the musical whole for the most part, and if Mr. P has never seen fit to
have bass theatrics in any of his music, then Mr. P has never seen fit
to have bass theatrics in any of his music!

Jeffrey Langr - I posted on the Rykodisc message board, just to let you
know. Everybody go and do it at

I'm starting to see more responses about the MIDI issue. This is good.
Reassurances about doing MIDI's of a group that still exists will help
me in my endeavor... and if you all are looking for the "Melt The Guns"
MIDI on the Chalkhills site, I will e-mail it today to John, so let's
hope he'll post it soon.

Did anybody go look for the 'geographic landmark' I mentioned before at
the Mind Magic website (

Let me get back at it, folks. TTYL.


Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 14:48:56 -0600 (CST)
Subject: public grievance
Message-id: <>

Wow.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised, and certainly not bothered at the
ridiculous attention to detail and longwindedness on this old Chalkhills
posting board.  Typically counterproductive, and not such a bad thing, as
productivity has probably never been number one, even without a bullet,
as far as XTC is concerened.

But really, Dave's social life?  Uninteresting, and unwarranted as far as
I can tell.  Who would know? And who would want to, other than all you
pretty unrequiters out there?

Funny comment in Chalkhills #119 about gays being more creative.  Well,
I'm not gay, but I guess there's always hope, no?  Gee, how depressing.

And if we're doing fun top 5 lists, here's mine (hey, I know SOMEONE asked)
bassists, in no particular order: a)Ron Carter, b)Fred Frith, on the
Naked City releases, c)Trevor Roy Dunn, d)Jimmy Prescott, e)probably Tony
Levin.  I think Colin Moulding is a pretty good bassist; did you know he
turned down a gig to tour with Pink Floyd?

Shaking donkeys, a leg,


Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 23:50:52 +0200
Message-Id: <>
From: Maurizio Villotta <>
Subject: Signature identification

>Cutting it short for lack of time,
>(Can anyone identify my signature quote?)
>* ---------------------------------------
>Ben Gott
>Our instruments have no way of measuring this feeling.

Oh, this is too easy... It's the opening verse from "Destination", the first
track on The Church's "Starfish"



Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 19:40:17 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ted Harms <>
Subject: bassic sexuality
Message-ID: <>

Just a few missives from a terminal lurker....

Matt Keeley wrote:

> I'd say that my top bassists are:
> 1. Colin (guess what band)
> 2. Graham Maby (TMBG)

Not wanting to date myself, but Graham Maby played on numerous Joe Jackson
albums (see, I'm calling them albums, not CD's!) and left after 'Big
World', I think, and then went on and played with Marshall Crenshaw.  But
I heartily agree with his presence on the list - and he plays with a pick,
too!  (But my list would include Bruce Thomas of The Attractions...)

(And yes, I play the bass, too.  I'm sure we could form a few bands with
all the musicians on this list...)

and Sean Hennessey wrote:

> I agree with Bob Mould on his attitude, being gay is just your sexuality,
> not your whole being.  There's a hell of a lot more going on in a single
> person to define whether they are good or bad than just who they fancy.'s not that easy.

For some people, being gay (or any other trait) is an integral part of
their person and its something which they display proudly.  Others, don't
want it to be an issue and refuse to make it an obvious part of how they
carry themselves.  It is very important to understand Toni Morrison's
literature that she is an Africa-American female while Cecil Taylor being
gay is not important to appreciating his music.

What all this means is that it makes it difficult to categorize soembody
without knowing/understanding them first.  And this is the way it should

Ted Harms                                      Library, Univ. of Waterloo                           519.888.4567 x3761
                 "This is me breathing." Martin Q. Blank


Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 20:46:51 +0000
Subject: Shorter message today.

Yes.... today's shall be a shorter message.... mainly because I can't
think of anything much to ramble on about.... anyway... (anyone
notice that I say "anyway" too, too much... anyway....)
> From: dke <>
>     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!
Yep!  Just went there yesterday, and added my two cents, and I'm
considering going back with my 3 other e-mail addresses to help bulk
up the thread... I'll have to think about that a bit, though.

Anyway, if you haven't done so already, the URL for the messyboard
(swiped from the last message is:

> From:
> 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
Do you mean like the "Road to O&L" (hilarious, BTW... "I don't want
to be a bloody vegetable!  I'm a POTATO!  I wanted to be a toy!
Everyone else has good looking toys and I've got a potato!!") or
something more along the lines of the Rutles?  Either way would be
great... I'd love to see "The Road to Getting the Hell Away From that
Bastard Richard Branson"...8)

Of course my favourite scene of the "Road" movie was the bit about,
Andy: "Hey, let's go to a bar to find a keyboard player"
Colin:  "Yeah, but let's get pissed first!"

And of course, the classic:
Andy: "Hey, Barry, what's your name?"
Barry:  "Er....Hello, my name is Barry and I play keyboards."

> p.s. - a note of thanks to Mr. Relph needs to be included for his continued
> service.  Hats Off...    ; )
Amen!  A round of something that Mr. Relph likes to drink for

     -=>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



From: "McDonald, Roger" <>
Subject: just a general rogering
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 14:07:00 +1000

Dear Ladies and to a lesser extent Gentlemen,
To quote one Johnny Rotten, "you thought you all got rid of me but now
I'm back with a vengeance..." Perhaps a little histrionic but I am
I've been moved by sheer boredom to reinject myself into this list and
it's for your own good.
Having just read the latest Chalkhills I've been made aware of a Mr (or
Ms - let's not be sexist!) Volcanist and their view on the latest
greatest thread for the list. It was at this point that I felt like
clapping my hands and saying,"Honestly, people! People! People!" like an
annoyed junior school teacher.
I suppose it is the nature of the beast that mailing lists attract a
certain quota of pedantic, naval-gazing, sociological, touchy-feely,
spotty-botty, specky, twatty, flakey, lavatory bowls like yourselves -
this is a group in which I include myself! (Can't be caught out there!)
However, I can't even be arsed adding anything contraversial to what's
already been said because it's such a dead rubber! (so to speak)
I mean I agree with the initial intention of annoying Amanda but all the
rubbish (both acka and dacka!) that went on after it was, well...dull.
I mean we finally get rid of Amanda for the holidays and all you want to
do is play bloody sociologist! Well let me tell you all something - you
all deserve a ruddy good punch on the bottom for this! If you want to
start a flame war at least be a bit contraversial or original or
something..anything! Anyway...
Now I know I'm an off topic kind of guy but the actual XTC content
hasn't been anything to tenderly manipulate the next door neighbour's
cat with anyway so I'll continue..
Re: rock reads: Yeah the Frank Zappa book is great - especially the
"Boogers from Hell" chapter. I read that on the bus going to work one
morning and I was laughing so much I started to cry. I was sitting next
to this young bloke with atomic acne and I think he started to think I
was laughing at him 'cos he got all self conscious and uncomfortable
which (Lord strike me down!) made me laugh even more! You really had to
be there...
Jon, I think Julian Cope's book is actually called "Head On" (that's
exactly the sort of bald faced pedantry I was talking about!)
It's funny you should mention the John Otway book 'cos I just got the
re-release of the first two John Otway/Wild Willy Barrett albums on CD.
The second album isn't half as bad as everyone makes out!
Yes, I must agree with you about Griel Marcus' "Lipstick Traces". I too
gave up about halfway through. I can see the point in his trying to link
the situationalists and dadaists to the thread of punk but sheeeiiit..
the last thing rock'n'roll needs is a bloody academic, intellectual
dissection. Whoa! (as you Americans say!) big statement... now lets have
some constructive argument about that!!! I'm serious! In trying to
intellectualise something so visceral and immediate isn't it sort of,
well... a bit silly?
It's like that chinese proverb about the centipede resting on the side
of the road. A little boy (or girl - let's not be sexist!) asked him how
he managed to co=ordinate all those legs so that he could walk properly.
The centipede started to think about it and thought about it and thought
about it until he couldn't bloody walk at all!
All of this bloody analysis!
I've been doing literature at university for more years than I can
remember and I'm just getting a little sick of people who think that the
main protagonist watering his garden is actually a metaphor for his deep
yearning to actually shag the vicar's daughter with a watermelon! I
believe that often in analysing things (like rock'n'roll) you destroy
the mystery. Years ago I worked out the chords to Waterloo Sunset and as
soon as I had, I realised that for me I had killed the beauty and
mystery of the song. I also ruined 'Life Begins at the Hop" (XTC
content!) in the same way. I actually think that Mister Marcus is just
trying to be a Rock'n'Roll smartarse. Surely there's a middle ground
between knowing Andy's favourite colour and identifying the link between
the greatest exponent of ancient Cartesian dualism, the significance of
the modal cathartic slipweight and the lyrics of "Love on a Farmboys
Wages"! Am I right or am I right?? Crosstown Traffic by Charles Shaar
Murray is also an exercise on how to be an intellectual rock'n'roll
knob-end! And as for Dave Marsh - his book on The Who "Before I Get Old"
is great but he's the sort of rock critic that gives a messy collage of
bogies and sick a bad name - like Noel!
Phew!.....Ahem....I seem to have got a little carried away
there....perhaps I'll just go and lie down for a bit.
So there you have it trainspotters. There's contraversy and food for
thought galore there. Any takers? C'mon lets have a little sensible
discussion and not about whether Andy dresses to the left or not. And if
I don't start getting a reaction I'm going to blow this newsletter wide
open with some pretty shocking news next issue! No, I'm not actually
married to amanda - just wait and see.
Oh and so you softy liberals don't feel left out..... Everybody stop
picking on amanda!!
Then again, I suppose we've got to WANT to stop first....
Consider yourselves rogered (I know I am)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 01:18:26 -0400
From: "Jason 'Buffy' NeSmith" <>
Subject: She know all the colors that nature do

Hey, VOLCANIST, do you mind being civil?  The best way to make a dead
subject go away is to ignore it.

Peter responded to the following qweery --uh question...
>>> Does anybody know who did the voice of Ella Guru in the song of the same
>>> name?
>It was Captain Beefheart after all.

If the source of this question was asking about the version on the 'Mayor of
Simpleton' 12', I'm pretty sure it's Andy, since he recorded it all by
himself.  Shocking, I know.  In any case, the chances of Captain Beefheart
performing on Andy's version are nil.  The good Captain doesn't venture
out of his trailer in the High Mojave desert much these days, and he vowed
to quit making music in 1982.

Comparing the two versions back to back makes me really appreciate Andy's
drum machine programming skills.  ('Trout Mask' is one of my favorite all
time records.  I'll know I'm a great drummer when I can play all the drum
parts on it.)  Also, at the end of the original version you can hear the
Captain rattle his paper.  Andy takes this incidental noise and overdoes it
on his version.

Another great original-to-cover comparison is the Syd Barrett song, 'Let's
Split',as recorded my Syd himself in the early '70's and covered by the Monks
of Doom in the early '90's.

After reading about the Basingstoke meeting I'm more excited than ever about
the Atlanta meeting.  I guess we won't be able to interview the boys, but
at least a bunch of xtc fans can geek-out together!

Hey, does anyone know the lable they're thinking of signing with?

Her love stick out like stars,


Tried to point with my finger,
but the wind keeps turning me around in circles...
visit the Orange Hat Cyberhose Page, or you won't have any fun!


Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 00:26:52 -0500 (CDT)
From: James Dupuy <>
Subject: Inquisition, second look song, "haves" bashing, and music with sea legs
Message-ID: <>

Hello Chalkhill People,
	I have changed my email address for fear of the Inquisition.
A high profile company may not take kindly to having one of their
employees posting non (cool conservative conformant) stuff.(see
	There have been a couple posts on favorite cd vs. cd with largest
number of enjoyable songs. My all time favorite, probably due to it being
my first, is Drums and Wires. The album that has the most songs, all
of them, that rate high with me is Oranges & Lemons. Also, the most recent
song that was not fully appreciated at first, once referred to as Bung
Hole, but is dearly loved now, Bungalow. I know, bring on the flames, I
deserve it.
	I also wanted to reply to those who have been bashing the "haves".
Now I don't have a complete set of the new Andy demos, just what I scarfed
up off of that wonderful electronic oasis, but I have been inquiring and
have received positive responces. I have just mailed an agreed upon item
to someone with hopes of getting the demos for myself and believe that I
should at least offer the same to some other deprived soul once I have
received the tape. I can understand the anger that deprivation can bring
on especially when it is your favorite band and people are trumpeting how
awsome the new songs sound. It made my mouth water. Try checking out the
classified adds and/or subscribers homepages and ask them what will it
take to get a copy. I really can't believe that most people on this digest
are that selfish. It's just not The Loving thing to do.
	One more thing before I go. This may be obvious to most but I have
only within the last year began to notice that there seems to be more than
just an accasional reference to the sea in XTC music. I'm not just talking
about the obviuos like the title Black Sea but the music in much of their
songs have a distinct nautical flavor. I really like it, especially the
warning bouy bell at the begining of One Of The Millions. That song alone
seems to have the sway of a boat adrift in the ocean. There are many other
XTC songs that give me this nautical sensation and I was wondering if
anybody would know if this is premeditated? I think that this is a proper
question considering I have seen posts on which XTC album is a winter,
spring, summer, or fall collection or listening to a particular XTC song
while biking through the country. I particularly like listening to
Wonderland at sunrise in the Gulf of Mexico.
BTW I think Moulding's songs are great and would go as far to say that
they are the best songs on Mummer. Andy is still my fav tho.

And for a morsel of Partridge:
I thought I had the whole world in my mouth
I thought I could say what I wanted to say
For a second that thought became a sword in my hand
I could slay any problem that would stand in my way

The views expressed by this desperate subscriber are not necessarily
the views of the
"Extreme Right-Wing Intolerant Militant Guerrilla Commando Of The
Jesus Freaks Of Fundamental Hell", Inc.


Message-ID: <>
From: Gary Minns <>
Subject: Generals & Majors Video
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 10:33:39 +0100

>While excitedly viewing Look Look for the first time...
>...I noticed Richard Branson in the video for Generals
>and Majors. I didn't see anything in the archives about
>this and thought it was an interesting tidbit

Yeah, that always stood out to me right from the first time I saw the
vid (probably 10 years ago).  Just goes to show that XTC were seen
as the jewel in the Virgin crown circa 1980.  How times change!

Anyone know who the other guy was in the vid?  Another Virgin
big wig or just an actor?



Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 11:25:23 +0100
From: Andy Miller <>
Subject: A little XTC but a lot of raving and drooling
Message-ID: <>

In the last Chalkhills, Jon said -

>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

1. Mystery Train practically invented decent rock criticism (still a great
rarity, sadly). It's the Revolver of its genre.

2. Invisible Republic, Greil's Basement Tapes 'ramble', is like a missing
piece of Mystery Train. I've read it twice and I think it's a masterpiece.
Like all his writing, it uses music as a jumping off point to explore a
whole range of associated but too often ignored subject areas, economic,
social, cultural, whatever. And he writes like an angel.

3. Re: Lipstick Traces. See above - The Medium is The Mess (age).

4. Has anyone mentioned Lost In Music by Giles Smith, with its substantial
XTC CONTENT? (Fever Pitch lite, if you ask me, but anyway...)

5. Read anything you can by Lester Bangs.

6. England is Mine by Michael Bracewell - a brilliant and mad book, which
has been described as - yes! - an English Lipstick Traces. Describes The
Cure as the ultimate suburban band - their music is all crescents, closes
and cul-de-sacs. Even better than Invisible Republic, frankly.

I would have made this instrumental but the words got in the way,

PS. The following records have not been released in the UK - Jason Falkner,
Wondermints, Sugarplastic. Three of the best records I've bought this year,
all thanks to Chalkhills and all available only from Minus Zero in Blenheim
Crescent, London - THE BEST RECORD SHOP IN THE WORLD. They only open on
Fridays and Saturdays, but if you're a subscriber to this list, you really
should go - you'd love it. They specialise in psychedelia and power pop and
all the things we love. They have even heard of Yazbek, which is saying
something over here.



Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 05:17:21 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <l03020900afb2b30193e3@[]>
Subject: My Evening With Dave Gregory

        (Had to share this with some folks who would actually UNDERSTAND my
  I am in the midst of a world tour with Charlie Musselwhite (the legendary
blues harp master). Last Thursday we were set to play at House Of Blues
 in Los Angeles.
  The day before we got to L.A. I called my good friend, guitarist Lyle
Workman (Todd Rundgren,Jellyfish,Frank Black) and made plans to meet him
the next day so we could hang out before the show. Lyle said "hey, guess
who is in town! DAVE GREGORY!!".
  (Now, mind you, Dave was invited to a recent show we did in London but
could not attend...much to my disappointment). Anyway Dave was in town
doing a session with a singer whose name escapes me, although I DO remember
he is the son of noted British producer Mickie Most. So Lyle tells me he
will call Dave and invite him to the show....
   The next day, upon arriving in L.A., I get a call at my hotel from Lyle.
He says "I want you to say hello to a friend of mine" and the next thing I
know I am talking on the phone with Dave Gregory!!!! I was so nervous, I
could barely utter a coherent sentence, but somehow I did manage to invite
him to the show.
   Anyway, that night I am on stage playing and I spot Lyle in the audience
and standing next to him is Dave!!! I swear to you, I almost passed out
when I saw him at MY gig! (Having LYLE there was *ENOUGH* pressure for me
as a guitarist, but THIS was RIDICULOUS!!!). After the show, I headed for
the dressing room and there standing outside the door are Lyle and Dave,
his hand outstretched, saying how much he had enjoyed our set...
   We proceeded to hang out for about an hour and a half backstage
discussing everything from Gibson guitars to The Beach Boys and The Kinks
to, yes, Chalkhills! (He IS aware of us!!!). Ian Dahlberg came to the show,
as well, to pick up a copy of "11 Different Animals" from me. I wish I had
a picture of the look on Ian's face when I said to him "nice to meet you,
Ian.....look who's here!"!!!
   Needless to say, Dave was as nice as he could be and I REALLY enjoyed
talking with him (once I relaxed!). He is a class act!! No earth-shattering
news to report: the band STILL has no record deal... apparently Andy is
really holding out for a double album as there are over 40 SONGS written
(!). He said that "Upsy Daisy" was set for U.S. release next week.
   When the subject of playing live came up, Dave did say that Andy is keen
on the "flat-bed" idea. And he grimaced when I mentioned the "acoustic
tour" saying it was a disaster. He claims to have forgotten many of the
guitar parts to past XTC songs....(although I seriously doubt that!!). Oh
yeah, he also told me that a large part of "The Big Express" was recorded
using a 5-string guitar (apparently an un-replaced broken E string!).
   He was very interested in hearing Becki's completed CD, telling me the
gear he used on each cut. Dave also *strongly* recommended that I buy
"Something Else By The Kinks" since I told him that I am a brand-new Kinks
fanatic! (I rules!). When I asked him how he comes up with some of
his masterful guitar parts, his response was somewhere along the lines of
"well, when you are given songs THIS GOOD to play on, it's not that
hard!!". Typical modesty....
   Anyway, this is getting a little long, but I just wanted to share this
dream-come-true with my fellow Chalkhiliians and to thank Lyle AND Dave (2
of my all-time favorite musicians) for an evening I won't soon forget.
                   John Wedemeyer (
P.S. Thanks for all the kind words about my playing on Becki's CD!! (You
know who you are....)


Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 14:30:12 +0100 (BST)
From: "H.Davies" <>
Subject: A litle more about the convention
Message-ID: <>

I just thought I'd say hello to everyone I met at the Basingstoke
convention. It was a great day out. The taped interview with Andy, Dave
and Colin was definitely revealing. I don't think I've ever heard them
being interviwed before. They sounded like a really nice bunch of blokes.
I was interested to hear that all three of them counted Skylarking as a
favourite album of theirs. I was especially pleased to hear that Andy
considered "Season Cycle" to be one of his best songs.

Thanks to Peter for showing the video of Andy playing the demo of "We're
all Light" in his shed. It sounded brilliant. I've still got the song
going round my head even though I've only heard it once.

Regarding great bassists I'm going to have to add Peter Hook of New Order/
Joy Division to the list. He has a really distinctive style. Colin
Moulding is a great bass player as well of course. I especially like his
bass playing on "Runaways".

Just one more thing. What is the insect on the cover of The Big Express? :-)

Huw Davies


Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 10:07:22 -0500 (CDT)
From: Marshall Joseph Armintor <>
Subject: What about Pete Thomas?
Message-ID: <>

  Y'know, what with everyone discussing Colin's place in bass history, I'm
a little taken aback that nobody's mentioned Pete Thomas of Elvis Costello
+ the Attractions.  But I shouldn't be surprised probably because in any
given situation or social context I find I'm the only person who mentions
Pete Thomas of Elvis Costello + the Attractions.  Mentionable evidence for
Mr. Thomas's place in the bass-god pantheon: "Pump it Up" from Live at El
Mocambo, "I Stand Accused" and "5ive Gears in Reverse" from Get Happy!!
"Strict Time" from Trust, and "You Belong to Me" from This Year's Model.

Just a thought.



Message-ID: <>
From: "Sherwood, Harrison" <>
Subject: Zappa's Book
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 11:20:13 -0400

>From: dke <dke@PRODIGY.NET> 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.

Zappa's book is, as you say, hilarious and informative. The section on
music is utterly priceless and cranky and wonderful, just like Frank
himself. ("The I-II-V7 chord progression is _Bad White-People
Music_...") His comments on humor in music  should be graven on the
forehead of every grade-school music teacher who has ever held up "Till
Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks" as the apotheosis of Wocka-Wocka
Yucks-n-Giggles. ("Hear the clarinet? It's _laughing_!") Frank: "We can
do better, people."

The book starts to drag a bit when Frank leaves music and gets into
politics--page after page excoriating the Religious Right to a Zappa
audience is, let's face it, kinda preaching to the choir, don't you

One gets the unfortunate impression that Frank is settling a lot of old
scores in the book, though--a lot of people come in for some serious
calumny; and about the only person who comes out totally unscathed is
Frank himself. I guess if you're the author, you get to do that, but I
have a hard time believing that in the Zappa-Beefheart relationship (to
take a random example) Frank was so entirely on the side of the angels
while Van Vliet is the pathetic drooler that Frank makes him out to be.

Another note: If I were ever to teach a class on typography, _The Real
Frank Zappa Book_ would be the example I would hold up to the students
as "How _Not_ to Do It." I have never seen such a hodgepodge of
inappropriate bold, italic and roman type, all sludged together without
any rhyme or reason. A guy who cared as much as Frank did about clarity
and rigor of expression should have understood: using boldface for
emphasis is Bad White-People Typography.

Harrison "Type Crank" Sherwood

P.S. ObXTC: I'm with kekkone. Nobody mail me any demos at all. I Don't
Wanna Hear 'Em. Don't you people know anything about Anticipation making
the Experience Sweeter?

P.P.S. ObXTC2:

From: dke <>

>    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.

>From Keith Beck:

>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.

And from Simon Sleightholm:

>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?).

Let's nail it down, foax! Surely _somebody's_ got some verifiable info!
Somebody get on the phone!



Message-ID: <>
From: "Witter, Karl F" <>
Subject: Glorious technicolor and stereophonic sound
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 11:57:38 -0400

>[Gary Minns] I shall be listening to Jason and his Technicolour
>Dream Coat

I suppose it's too late to warn Gary: In the USA, Donny Osmond
was headlining in "Dreamcoat" for much of 1996. At least there's
one sign of justice on the stage, as "Staircase Boulevard"
(known as "Sunset Boulevard" to many) closed on Broadway at a
loss! If Jeff Lynne has "talent but no taste" (yeah, a good
description) where does that leave Andrew Lloyd Webber?

While cruising through Michael Penn's "Free-for-All" yesterday
I noticed that he used about five drummers on it. For the lead
single "Seen the Doctor", one Pat Mastellato was credited. (A
slight pause for some others here to scurry over to their
CDs and check this out. "Hey, he's right!") Wonder if he's
drumming full-time with a group or still sessioning.

>[Mark Gottschalk] We have bands like Bush and Marilyn Manson
>who are adored by thousands, and XTC have been shoved onto
>the cheap shelves.

You can take comfort, as I do, in the surfeit of
3-year-old Bush/Hootie/whomever CDs, on the "what was I
thinking?" pile at the used record shops in the near future.

Speaking of Marilyn Manson, after skimming through a print
review of their local show recently, I had a genuine XTC
nightmare: Marilyn Manson bludgeoning, thudding and
croaking his way through "Burning with Optimism's Flames".
Woke me right up, it did.

>[Matt Keeley] I didn't really get (Scissor Man) lyrics,
>but when I sat down to read them, I realised how, well,
>sick they were!

It's a character from some German children's stories, as
a Chalkie was good enough to dig up recently. (I'd never
heard of it myself.) Not surprised that Andy knows of it.
And yes, fairy tales get that sick! Remember the original
Hansel and Gretel ended up with them eating the witch.

With a free gift, a working heart inside,*

(*As Hansel exclaimed to Gretel, over the witch's corpse.)

PS Love all the tales about the get-together in Basingstoke.
I'm soooo jealous :-)!


Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 11:09:53 -0500 (CDT)
From: Marshall Joseph Armintor <>
Subject: The Homosexuals
Message-ID: <>

   This is only somewhat on the general topic, but since XTC indicates a
shared interest in 1) Anglophilia and 2) late 70s punk (more or less)
bands, I thought I might ask the list about something that's been bugging
   Sometime in the 80s, my stoner pal Toney received various underground
music catalogs like Toxic Shock, Midnight, etc. including the Robert Fripp
(and somebody else from Henry Cow...maybe Chris Cutler) produced
"Recommended Records," a rather idiosyncratic list of records (what d'you
expect from Fripp anyway) such as the Art Bears, Fred Frith, Henry Kaiser,
the Longshoremen, the Ordinaires, Brian Wilson etc. He ordered this
thing called "The Homosexuals' Record," the only recorded output by a
1979-era punk band called, appropriately enough, the Homosexuals (which I
dubbed onto one of those garish yellow memorex things).  White jacket, a
blurry photo of...somebody, no band info at all, 16 cuts on a 12 inch,
to be played a 45 rpm.   And the music, well...
    Imagine if the Beatles were stuck in their Star Club phase, with Robert
Smith (yes, of the Cure) as their frontman, playfully shrieking and mincing
his way through a series of Bowie and Buzzcocks covers, while being recorded
in somebody's garage by a butter-fingered 12 year-old boy working a "My First
Sony", and you begin to get an idea -- and that's just the first side.  On
odd days I'm utterly convinced this is the greatest album ever made -- songs
like "Neutron Girl", "Soft South Africans," and "Divorce Proceedings from
Reality" enrich my life in unspeakable ways.
    The only thing is, this is all I've got to go on.  They're listed in
the "Trouser Press Record Guide" (and nowhere else, it seems) with this
one effort, and it appears THEY had no information about this band either
(although they liked the record).  Does this group strike a chord with



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 13:03:13 -0500
From: Brian Matthews <>
Organization: Ringling Multimedia Corporation
Subject: PC, XTC ConV, & KROQ-XTC?


Greetings once again from Bradenton, Florida.

I agree with the Volcanist... cut the gay talk crap. I could be very
colorful with the language here about shutting up already, but it would
lower me back down to the level that at least one poster felt I had
slipped to earlier, and I just assume get on with the pro-XTC talk

Simon, I just wanted to thank you for your report on the Basingstroke
convention. Man, if XTC could be a good enough reason to go to England
(sigh)... you mentioned seeing a Steve Clarke ("fanatical transcriber of
XTC songs into MIDI format" in your words). He must be hording his work,
which is fine, but if he's got stuff he's willing to part with, I'd like
to know what he's got before I embark on my XTC MIDI project. And it
looks like my MIDI of "Melt The Guns" has made it on the Chalkhills
site! EXCELLENT! Feedback is appreciated, folks. Next up in the cue may
be "Burning With Optimism's Flames".

Did anybody hear where (or if?) XTC rated on the KROQ Top 106 list? I
have a contact in L.A. who hasn't yet gotten back to me about it...

Only time for a short post today. You've not heard the last of me
(sinister laugh).



Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 15:27:26 -0400
From: Ralph DeMarco <>
Subject: Conv. Blues, Colin Sings, Final Word, Gold Shmold, U-who?,

	         XTC Movie!

Dear One Armed Bandits and Affiliated Members:

I was aghast to see all the spelling errors in my last post.  I forgot to spell
check again!  Oh, well.

Re: Convention
I must say that the XTC Convention sounded like fun.  I wish I could have
crossed the pond for that one.  I will be visiting my family in England this
fall, though.  I wonder will there be anything XTC happening then?

Re: Colin's Songwriting
I too, have a special love for Colin's compositions!  His songs (and voice)
compliment Andy's perfectly.  Many of Colin's songs are as good if not
better than Andy's  (Huh? Blasphemy you say?).  And, I think Andy
would agree with me!  XTC without Colin?  It's not XTC!

Re: Is Dave Gregory gay? (the final word)
Dating the opposite sex has never been proof of heterosexuality.  Gay
men often marry women, have children and never tell anyone their
secret.  So...let the rumours fly about everyone!  Is Bill Clinton really a
gay socialist who hides under the cloak of a womanizing centrist?  And
what about Wallace preferring cheese to female companionship? Huh?
You better pull the wool from off of your eyes people!

Re: Gold CDs
David Ferguson - Subject: My take on the Gold O&L
>My first impression of the gold is that the bass overall is tighter and
>louder, and the noise floor is lower; in other words it is a quieter
>recording with more bass punch. But I still like the original better!

O.K. here's the greatest corporate con job in recent memory:  Let's say
you owned a particular vinyl album when it came out.  Sounded great
right?  Then the industry boasts the magic of CD sound.  Consider the
equation: Original Vigin/Geffen CD issue $15.00 + new Gold CD $30.00 =
$45.00 and after all that money THE ORIGINAL VINYL SOUNDS BETTER !

XTC should consider Rykodisc!  They are a great company that cares
about it's customers (unlike Virgin!).  When they release a CD they do it
right the first time!  And, they have great packaging and liner notes!

Re: Big Express World Tour
-James W. wrote:
>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.

If you've ever been able to make it through an interview with Bono (note:
beware stars with one name) you would have realized how absolutely
full of shit that guy is.  I read an interview with Bono back in 1989 and he
said something to the effect that U2 were the only true successors to
the Beatles.  I kid you not.

Press Release:
Rock superstars XTC release their first feature film since bursting on to
the music scene back in 1978.  The film,  scheduled for release next
week is described by Andy Partridge as "sort of like the Monkee's film
Head, but not as philosophical".  The working title for the movie,  King For
A Day, postulates the premise that XTC, after ten albums and ten world
tours, are still trying to make some money.  Menaced by crazed record
company executives, the boys must fight for their creative freedom while
they prepare to do battle with the evil forces of President Kill .

Imagine:  Andy Partridge collapsing on stage due to overwhelming stage
fright, cured by the same hypnotist who help Robbie Robertson only to
discover that his voice has been changed to sound like, yes you
guessed it,  Adam Ant!  Curses!  Consider Dave Gregory being outed as
a roller blade enthusiast who, after a deeply spiritual bowel movement,
convinces the band to perform a private concert of Buddhist Rock for the
Dalai Lama's birthday party.   Picture Colin Moulding who, after being
discovered by a  Hollywood producer, stars in his own T.V.  talk show
that is soon canceled after he and special guests (wink, wink !) perform
a song called XTC vs. Pope John Paul II.  - You can't?  Well you will!
These are just a tiny fraction of the fantastic plot twists you will enjoy in
the best rock-n-roll comedy since This is Spinal Tap.

Don't Miss It Kids!



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