Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-130

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 130

                   Friday, 13 June 1997

Today's Topics:

                    More bass notes...
                Editorial control of CC96
                 Rape Issues in My Weapon
          Colin on bass. other insipid ramblings
    "Seeds In Snow" lyric clarifications by the author
                      Re: Take Away
                    XTC video wanted.
               Re: Lapse between recordings
Off-white smile, crap-not, lovin' "The Loving", rappin' rape, deep pink & Amanda speaks!
                 Re:Tafkap/Dear God post
                   Cafe Tacuba and XTC
                great tape, east coast...
     crunchy pop nuggets fortified with harmonies...
                       Pebble Mill
                  Labour Disappointment
                     Various Junk!!!
       Hey, I can remember Queen Victoria's dad...
                 Royal jelly fossil fuel


John is on vacation, so please be nice.  And patient.

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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

Who's that dragging what looks like a pink sack of spanners down the road?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 16:19:57 -0400
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: Bassists...

Oops! I hit SEND right before I realized I didn't add my 2c on the
Bassists issue. I apologize in advance for my AMANDA-ing of this digest.
No-one will be compared to a god in this post.

For my money, my favorite bassist is Graham Maby. I saw him play once
with They Might Be Giants and he was just fantastic. Almost took over
the show. He has a flair for performing, and he plays very well. I also
heard him on numerous Joe Jackson albums, and he was great then too.

The late Doug Stegmeyer was also pretty good. Never really got a chance
to shine, but on the jazzier of Billy Joel's old stuff that he played on
(52nd Street in particular), he did a great job. Unfortunately he
committed suicide in 1994.

Keith Wilkinson is great -- I would never have thought of him but he's
quite the acrobatic bassist. Squeeze sounds better since he joined after
they "broke up" in 1984. Who was bassist before? Harry Kakoulli? Where
did HE go?

What about Nick Seymour from Crowded House?

And Geddy Lee's voice makes me want to vomit. Forget his capability as a
bassist, I cannot listen to Rush at all without feeling the bile coming


"The public is laughing, I guess by now they know"


Message-ID: <>
From: "Oehler, Alan" <>
Subject: More bass notes...
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 13:27:35 -0700

Hey all...

More on the bassist thread--

In Chalkhills 3-128, Stormy Monday said <Jaco Pastorious - Oh yes!
Check out his work with Joni Mitchell on "Hejira" and "Don Juan's
Reckless Daughter".  One can never tell, but I would guess that
Colin was influenced by this psychotic genius.>

On the Joni Mitchell stuff, perhaps the coolest couple of minutes of
Jaco's playing ever recorded appear in the opening track on Joni's live
album circa 1979-80, "Shadows and Light" (not to be confused with "Miles
of Aisles," an earlier and much less interesting effort where she's
backed by the LA Express guys). It's "In France They Kiss on Main
Street," and geeesh, Jaco comes bolting out of the gate! One might
consider it showboating or overplaying but man, he just locks in with
the drummer (Tony WIlliams, was it?) and Joni seems to be thrilled to be
singing her tune over such an incredible sonic backdrop. There's a video
of this tour as well.

As to Colin's being influenced, it's not obvious, except for the fact
that he's got that rubbery fretless sound. That's actually a compliment,
because it's hard to play fretless bass these days and not sound like
you're trying to sound like Jaco...

A mention was also made of Ginger Baker, which reminded me of Jack
Bruce, another great bassist that I think was mentioned once in this
context here, but I'd like to put it out again. Besides being a very
influential player from his work with Cream, he's also a great quirky
songwriter like Andy -- listen to his stuff on "Songs for A Tailor,"
"Harmony Row," "Pieces of Time" (not sure about that title -- circa
1975, w/ Jim Gordon on drums and Steve Hunter on guitar). Plus his
unmistakeable voice (which he put to good use in the 80's in Kip
Hanrahan's ensemble -- it actually garnered him a "Best New Jazz
Vocalist" award from downbeat that year).

Since we're mentioning non-pop bassists, another is Jeff Berlin, solidly
in the Jaco school but a terrific player. He does a version of Cream's
"Crossroads" where he plays Clapton's great solo note-for-note on the
bass (there's the pop-rock connection!).

And dare I also mention John Wetton, once of King Crimson, and John
Pattitucci, and Michael Manring, and Victor Bailey, and Marcus Miller...



Message-Id: <>
Subject: Editorial control of CC96
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 13:40:38 -0700

to:  J_ARTECONA et al

re: CC96 review

>On the whole, good show lads and lasses. It is said that imitation
> is the sincerest form of flattery so ANdy should definitely be.


> I would have liked just a BIT of editorial control, I don't know what
> actually constitutes a "song", but real minimalism is quite an art
> (refer to Bone Machine by Tom Waits). Oh well.

Thanks for the compliment.


Editorial control is up to you.

Nobody was restricted from contributing, for good or for bad.  If you
know any history on the Skylacking tape, you'd know that the
heavy-handed producer made a few enemies in the process.  If he was
successful with his choices depends on his motivation for making the
tape, which, I'm sure was quite different from mine.  CC96 is for
Chalkhills and our extended family of XTC fans.  My only regulatory
control was that a quality tape was made, the label wasn't handwritten
and that I break even, monetarily.

One could easily argue that my cover of The Somnambulist was relatively
close to the original and didn't open any new doors, so why include it?
Because everything, all expressions of music of XTC are valid.  (In my
defense, I went for much more of a "night" feel of which I felt the
original fell short.  I also left a few heartbeats out because I have an
irregular heartbeat.)  I'm not trying to say "Hey, send your version of
Rocket From A Bottle performed on chainsaw trigger and Magnolia tree."
...but ...if you must ...I'll accept it (just make sure you get that
McCullogh tuned up before you record!).  I will not be the judge as to
what constitutes art in someone eyes or ears... or mouth.

The solution is to fast forward, page down, walk away or delete,
depending on the medium.

You mentioned a famous quote about flattery and Tom Waits in the same
paragraph... In my letter about CC96 to Andy, I quoted Tom Waits who
said, "Imitation is the sincerest form of larceny."  I only wish I had
thought to put it on the CC96 cover (like there was actually room!).

In regards to CC97 and your new snare drum... I'll expect a

Cheers, Richard


Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 16:17:50 -0500 (CDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Mitchell Harding <>
Subject: Rape Issues in My Weapon

>Her Down.  I don't see how you can compare this to My Weapon.  The
>intent of that song was to give people a big slap in the head to what
>the issue was.  My Weapon certainly was not trying to inform or
>enlighten people to the issue at hand.  I'm sorry it was just plain
>horrible, that song.
>Maybe I'm being TOO sensitive here but I just don't find anything
>funny about rape.

The song My Weapon is, IMO, like a lot of XTC songs that condemn an issue by
making a song about it from the perspective of the antagonist. You are
supposed to listen to My Weapon and think "Can someone really think that
way? How awful"... The fact that you dislike the song is merely a
misdirection of your negative feelings, it seems to me.



Message-ID: <>
From: Ed Miller <>
Subject: Colin on bass. other insipid ramblings
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 15:07:17 -0600

Stormy's recent discourse on music is right on the money.  I'd like to
add a few things....

Regarding Steely Dan's touring sabatical, if my memory serves me
properly, didn't Fagen and Becker get frustrated by their inability to
reproduce their studio stuff in a live setting, a la Mr. Partridge?

>For those of you who really aren't into the bass, take it from someone
>who is:  Colin Moulding is a brilliant bass player.

Agreed, seconded and amplified.  Colin's a genius with the melodic
aspect of the instrument.  The amazing thing to me is how he can take a
really quirky AP song and bring it back to reality, yet still play some
incredibly creative stuff.

> * Jaco Pastorious -

>Oh yes!  Check out his work with Joni Mitchell on "Hejira" and "Don
>Juan's Reckless Daughter".  One can never tell, but I would guess that
>Colin was influenced by this psychotic genius.

Jaco is INCREDIBLE on these albums.  His lines are essentially
improvised bass leads under Joni's obscure open tunings.  Jaco was
seriously nuts, though... a friend of mine in NY saw him several times
walking around the city.... DRAGGING his Fender Precision bass by the

Let's hope Colin's not TOO influenced by the maddest of all bassmen.

That's it for now.  Thanks for the cool insights, Stormy....



Date: Wed, 11 Jun 97 04:52:47 UT
From: "Dean Martucci" <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: "Seeds In Snow" lyric clarifications by the author

Hello folks,

Back around the holidays I mentioned here a Christmas song called "Seeds In
Snow." It seemed to have been inspired by and written about Andy Partridge.
Well, just recently I received a message from the songwriter, Rich Arithmetic
(Horton), correcting the lyrics and clarifying the message therein. He also
very graciously allowed that I could share the correspondence with you all. So
without further ado, here are his comments. At the end is contact information
is you wish a copy of this Christmas compilation disc.

Hi Dean,
After years of postponing the inevitable, I finally joined the 20th Century
and got a computer with WWW access.  One of the first things I looked
up was the chalkhills site for XTC enthusiasts.  Imagine my surprise to find
myself mentioned in your note of last December 12 regarding my song
"Seeds In Snow," which appeared on the COOL YULE compilation disc (Optional

First, thanks for your kind words about Optional Art and, second, for
telling other XTC fans about my song.  Since you proposed your
interpretation of the song's meaning, I am writing to expand a bit.  If the
following lengthy explanation bores you, feel free to discard it.  Again, I
appreciate your mention.

As you surmised, the song is indeed about Andy Partridge.  But the song also
goes on to link him to other people who have had a creative influence on me.
 For the most part, your transcription of my lyrics was accurate; the entire
transcript below will correct a few lines, however.

VERSE 1:  regards the fact that many reviewers over the years have compared
my music to XTC's.  This has never been a conscious attempt on my part, but
since Andy and I are roughly the same age, have "quirky" but melodic voices,
and work from similar source materials, I suppose it's a handy comparison
for some reviewers.  Anyway, this verse acknowledges the comparison as a
compliment, with my hoping that I'll be able to stay creative as long as
Andy has, even though commercial success has always eluded him.

	Andy Partridge in a pear tree /
            A little birdy say I tweet like he /
            He's an old bird, but still he fly high /
            His feathers molt, but still he stay dry

CHORUS:  The chorus recognizes Andy's contribution to holiday songs and
the fact that, sometimes, you have to dig in the ice for ideas.

	Seeking seeds in snow /
            plant and watch them grow

VERSE 2:  Though Andy is not a Christian (obviously), he's often mentioned
CS (Jack) Lewis' Narnia books as an inspiration.  As you may recall, the
land of Narnia is controlled by a witch who has put the land under a spell,
where it's always winter but never Christmas.  Christmas finally arrives
with the coming of Aslan (the Lion King), who then melts the ice.  Lewis
said that his Narnia tales were a metaphorical telling of his own reluctant
conversion to Christianity, in which he was "surprised by joy":

	Old Jack Lewis at his desk writes /
            surprised by joy and childhood insights /
            Until the Lion brings forth presents /
            it's always winter and never Christmas

CHORUS 2:  After repeating the first two lines of CHORUS 1, two more lines
add information about what will result in patient planting:

	Grow into Christmas trees /
            grace the ice unfreeze

VERSE 3:  retells the biblical story of elderly Simeon (Simon) and Anna
(Annie), who had waited in the Temple for the coming of the Messiah.  When
the baby Jesus' parents brought him for dedication, it was those two elderly
people who recognized the baby, and taking him in their arms, they were
moved to utter inspirational speeches of the young and idealistic.

	Simple Simon and Quiet Annie /
            for Christmas morning waiting patiently/
	Holding Presence in their arms, they /
            laugh and clap and sing and shout and pray  (repeat chorus)

Essentially, the song links Andy's disaffection with (organized?) religious
with CS Lewis' reluctant-but-surprised belief, and on to the quiet
expectation of those who always believed (Simeon and Anna).  And despite
my own thoughts on the subject of faith/belief, the song is a mere
not a sermon.

Best wishes, Rich Arithmetic (Horton)

"Seeds In Snow" (c) 1996, Hortones, BMI.  Also:  for copies of "Cool Yule" CD,

send $11 ppd to: Optional Art, PO Box 22691, Seattle, WA  98122..

+++++++++++++++++++End Attachment+++++++++++++++++++++++++
        Dean Martucci  <>  San Mateo, CA USA


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 18:18:57 -0400
From: Brent Bonet <>
Subject: Re: Take Away

Yes!  I picked that one up as an import sometime around 1982.  My record
collection has since been stolen!  It's released on CD with the ultra
rare GO+ on "The Dub Experiments".  What was that song about the girl
from egypt?!?

Brent Bonet

<> wrote:

> From: Jonathan Christensen <>
> Does anybody else have an LP called "Mr. Partridge 'Take Away'"???
> Just curious.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 19:13:31 -0400
Subject: Jalousie

Okay....after having been a subscriber to Chaulkhills for a little over
a month and have waded through scroll after scroll of "my least favorite
xtc song...the greatest bassists of all is....and the very and so is gay...blah blah blah....I am now ready to
post my first letter to you fellow XTC fans.
	I am a thirty five year old unsuccessful musician in the New York
area....My first band, CrossFire Choir was once signed (and subsequently
dropped) by Geffen Records. When asked who we wanted to produce our
first album, the choice was easy...We chose Steve Lillywhite largely
based on the incredible effect "Black Sea" had on all of us in the band.
By the way...Steve is a great producer and a cool bloke as well. I am so
arrogant that I seldom hear any other musician's work that feel jealous
of EXCEPT XTC. (okay ..the occasional Paul Westerberg song "Love
Untold") Every thing XTC releases blows me away damn it! My favorite
album as a whole is Black Sea...but my favorite XTC song is probably
"Runaway"...What's kind of strange is as big a fan I am of XTC and Andy
Partridge...some of my favorite songs of the group are Colin
Moulding's.Generals and Majors...War Dance...But Jesus! Peter
Pumpkinhead is the f*cking BEST!
Anyway...just thought I would chime in my own thoughts...
PS. my new band is called The Pounders if you look real hard you might
find our cd in stores ....You can find the Crossfire Choir records in
cut-out bins...I'm sorry to say..


Message-ID: <>
From: "Eric Adcock" <>
Subject: XTC video wanted.
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 20:45:07 -0500

I have never seen any XTC video at all, and I don't have any video to
trade.  If anyone is willing to do a two-for-one trade for one or two
tape-fulls of XTC music videos (and/or other material you think I should
see), please e-mail and I will land-mail some blank tapes.  (A midwest USA
collector might be best.)  Thanks muchly.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 20:04:59 +0100
From: Jonathan Christensen <>
Subject: Q

Found this tidbit on the Q web site . . .

"The nearly man of indie pop, Stephen Duffy, is finishing off a new album in
London.  Scheduled for autumn release, the album features XTC singer Andy
Partridge as vocalist, guitarist and mixer on three tracks, alongside Aimee
Mann who duets with the Duffster on just one ..."



Message-ID: <>
From: Robert Mobbs <>
Subject: Re: Lapse between recordings
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 19:46:39 -0700

In response to Marshall's response to someone's question about lapses
between recordings:
>  2) Walter Becker (Steely Dan's 1980 "Gaucho" to his solo 1994 "11
>Tracks of Whack") - 15 years

	A friend of mine saw Steely Dan (known affectionately as "the
Dan") at the Gorge in George, Washington (yes, it's a dorky name for a
town), and Don & Walter commented on this.  Walter's words: "Me and Don
just got together to do an album, and slapped his name on it ... so
we're gonna get together and do an album and slap my name on it."
Becker and Fagen have both been performing on each others' stuff, so
your time lapse might not be exact.
	BTW, isn't it freaky how much Becker sounds like Fagen vocally?

> 3) Donald Fagen  (1981 "The Nightfly" to 1993's "Kamakiriad") - 12

	See above.  I can't wait for either of their next albums.

>4) Peter Gabriel (1986's "So" to 1992's "Us" [unless you count the
>soundtrack Passion...not a proper "pop" album, is it?]) - 6 years

	Whoah, you're talking to a Pete fanatic here.  He also released
a greatest hits album ("Shaking the Tree"), as well as "Passion
Sources".  I count "Passion" and "Passion Sources" because he put a heck
of a lot of time into working on The Last Temptation of Christ with
Martin Scorcese ... and I think "Passion" is one of his best albums.
	Also, bear in mind he was helping his friends in WOMAD.

	Really all I had to say ... not much about XTC.  When the heck
is there gonna be a new album???
	And what's all this junk about Brian Wilson?  I can't stand his
music, or the Beach Boys ... I guess you have to be a surfer.  I think
the analogy to XTC is a bit flawed ... XTC are funny but intelligent.
Brian Wilson/Beach Boys songs are rather vacuous and bubble-gum.
	Just an opinion.

Robert Mobbs


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 22:55:38 -0400
From: gregory <>
Organization: InfiNet
Subject: Off-white smile, crap-not, lovin' "The Loving", rappin' rape, deep pink & Amanda speaks!

Chalkliners (SNAP!)

I'm starting to get more convinced to check out 'Smile' and the
'Off-White Album', the way you people are going on about it all...

Catherine... it's not crap, just something you wanted to say. Welcome!

I like "The Loving" (I like all of 'Oranges & Lemons'... hell, I like

Cheryl - there IS nothing funny about rape. However, singing about it
and doing it two ENTIRELY different things. I can think of a bunch of
disgusting things and not really mean any of it.

Re: the 'deeper meaning' thread... 'Pink Thing'? There is actually only
one 'deeper' meaning I can think of (snicker).

I thought Amanda was gone for the summer or something... are ya back?
Hi! I like what you said about stating your opinion and not lettin' the
dentures collect dust - you go, girl!

Eating future and shitting past.


From: "Darryl R. Stewart" <>
Subject: Re:Tafkap/Dear God post
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 23:41:40 -0400
Message-ID: <19970612034323.AAA6133@seaview>

>I heard a rumor (from somebody I don't completely trust) that Prince
>played "Dear God" live a couple of times at some point in the late 80s,
>around the time of "Lovesexy."  Supposedly, it was a soulful piano
>ballad version.  This I would love to hear.  Anybody got a line on this
>one?  I am sceptical.

This is my first post to chalkhills. I'm usually the "sit back and check
out what other people post" type, but I just had to respond to this one.  I
agree whole-heartedly with your assesment of The Artist's bass playing.
(And to think...I thought I was the only tafkap/XTC fan in existence!)  I
have seen him live recently, and I must say that it is a real thrill seeing
him play bass live on stage which he has been doing alot more of lately.
(For more brilliant bass lines in Prince/O)+> music, his ex-bassist Loyd
"Sonny" Thompson certainly made his mark in the history of great players.)
Anyway, onto XTC...I have been following the career of tafkap since 1980,
and I can assure you that at no point in the history of live Prince/O)+>
concerts did he ever cover 'Dear God'.  Even if I didn't have all of the
boots and documentation on the live shows to prove it, as a fan, I would
seriously doubt anyone's claims of this given The Artist's constant public
profession of faith in a higher power during many a concert tour,
interview, and song.  Anyway, onto it...



Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 23:49:43 -0400 (EDT)
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Cafe Tacuba and XTC

In response to someone's mention of the comparison between XTC and Cafe

I guess it really IS a small world! My roommate, Katie, just got home after
studying in Mexico for four months and all I ever hear is, "Cafe Tacuba this
and Cafe Tacuba that."  Since she often has musical taste as good as mine--I
gave them a listen. They are diverse, energetic, fun, and super great!!!!
So, in those aspects, one can definately compare them to XTC.  They are not
much like them otherwise--but I think most of you would enjoy them. In one
album, Cafe Tacuba incorporates traditional mexican, hardcore, tango,
industrial, and above all rock and roll!!! So, run, do not walk to Best
Buy--and get "re" by Cafe Tacuba. Or buy any of them!!!!

That's all for now....


Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 21:08:19 -0700
From: becki digregorio <>
Subject: great tape, east coast...
Message-ID: <>

greetings all!!!

first, a big thank you to my good friend eric day for sending me my very
own copy of "chalkhills' children."  i must say that *everyone* who
contributed should feel proud of their accomplishments!!  a varied
collection of tunes, and an equally varied interpretation of xtc songs.
what a treat to know that andy listened to the tape!!  well done, all.

second, thanks to everyone who has written to me privately about my cd.
it's great to know that it is being well received, and i do appreciate your
taking the time to write.  i've also made some great new friends via this
"emf," and thank mr. relph for making it all possible (and for occasionally
making the necessary executive decision -- well done).

and lastly, i'm actually heading out to the east coast next week (family
wedding in cape cod), and was wondering if any other chalkhills folks out
that way would be interested in meeting up for a beer??  or at least can
suggest some keen places to check out while i'm there (never been to the
cape before).  kindly email me privately.

any more news about a contract for our lads??

"and i saw the great blunder my teachers had made,
scientific delirium madness..."  ---the byrds

--becki, one of the seven

       . . `; -._    )-;-,_`)
     =(v =)'  _  )`-.\  ``-'
    _. -_..-_/ /  ((.'
  ((,.-'   ((,/


Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 05:03:40 -0400
From: "the minor's daughter" <>
Subject: crunchy pop nuggets fortified with harmonies...
Message-id: <l03020902afc5590a360d@[]>

(oops, sorry - wrong mailing list. :))

RE: brian wilson - for years i hated the beach boys, because all i had
heard was shite like "surfin' usa". but after being told a hundred times to
get _pet sounds_, i finally did and while i do like it purely on sonic
appeal alone, the lyrics are still stupid. my favorite song on the album is
the (on my cd, anyway) extra track "hang on to your ego", which is a much
better version of "i know there's an answer", but with lyrics that actually
make sense and are slightly contemptous to boot. i'm still going to get
_smile_, though, even if i have to buy the box set to do it, because the
music is that gorgeous. i agree with whoever said the beach boys aren't
anywhere near as good as the beatles (or the kinks, for that matter), and
for me fully half of that is the lyrics, and the rest of it the fact that
the beach boys could *only* do that saccharine heavily orchestrated style,
whereas the beatles did that (and better, IMHO) as well as eight million
other styles - look at the second half of _abbey road_ where they go
through about 49 different musical styles in 10 minutes, and do it all with
the same effortless brilliance. as someone else said about _let it be_,
side 2 of _abbey road_ was the other thing that showed what an *amazing*
live band the beatles could have been, had they been able to keep touring.
oh well, in an alternate universe they might be famous for being the best
live band ever, instead of merely being the best studio band ever. because
instead of having just the one brian wilson, they had 2 1/3 brian wilsons
and one ringo who was perfectly content as long as he got his one or two
songs per album.

<ahem.>	anyway,

RE: macs' startup chime and "miniature sun" - i never heard it before but
NOW i undoubtedly will!

RE: "my weapon" - while i have never bought the excuse for the song that
it's a satire (if it is, it's not a good enough one to be interesting), my
problem is despite my hatred of the lyrics, i actually like the music of
the song a lot. i've talked about this before (mostly whenever anyone
brings up "dear god" in that context - but i did NOT just open that can of
worms, oh no, move along folks, nothing to see here...), so i won't go
through it all again, but suffice it to say i find it hard to reconcile the

random semi-non-sequiter: those goofy canucks the barenaked ladies have a
*fabulous* song called "brian wilson" on their first album, _gordon_.

i adore steely dan.

i've been getting into _mummer_ again lately. it really does seem to be one
of those albums that i remember as being worse than it is, whereas _skylar
king_ i often think is slightly better than it is. but i think _mummer_ is
greatly helped by the extra trax (okay, with the exception of "gold" - who
really likes that song? every time i hear it i get annoyed by the lameness
of the lyrics). but "great fire" is still an absolutely brilliant song - i
love the fire-engine bell going off in the beginning and after the bridge,
which is itself the best part of the song.

i realized the other day that a lot of the time in XTC songs the bridge is
by far my favorite part of the song. a lot of songs that i don't like all
_that_ much have bridges that i love so much it makes me forget that the
rest of the song is merely all right. examples: "desert island" (the great
'don't rescue me' part), "snowman" (although i still love the rest of that
one), "no language in our lungs", and i know there are more but i can't
remember them off-hand.

	boringly trailing off,



Date: 12 Jun 97 09:37:00 GMT
From: (David McGuinness)
Subject: Pebble Mill
Message-Id: <"<11FB9F3381821573>11FB9F3381821573@GW.BBC"@-SMF->

Hello again.

Catherine Sweeney wrote about seeing the lads on Pebble Mill and wondering
if it was all a horrible dream.

I had a similar experience on holiday a few years ago in a rain-lashed
caravan in a crofter's garden on the north coast of Scotland.  The fuzzy
images that played across the monochrome TV formed themselves into
recognisable shapes from time to time, and one morning, not wanting to face
the deluge outside, I found myself transfixed by a programme of devastating
awfulness called 'Famous People', with the celebrated Alan Titchmarsh, a man
beyond satire.

Would you believe it, Partridge comes on wearing his Afghan (?) hat, they go
for a walk in a park down Swindon way, and Titchmarsh asks him 'you don't
particularly like being famous do you?'.  Two minutes later they show about
20 seconds of the 'Peter Pumpkinhead' video, and I'm left staring back out
into the rain.

Well, if it really happened, warmest regards to the brave researcher who
suggested they have him on, but it was depressing to see the great AP
reduced to appearances on such drivel.  Does anyone remember him going on
'Get Fresh' to plug 'Albert Brown' and being asked back the next week
because he was so side-splittingly funny?  He completely failed to plug the
record, and if I remember rightly, he had to present prizes to some kids for
a dressing-up competition, and greeted an eight-year-old brat with
'Congratulations! You have just been made the dictator of a South American

Happy days.



Message-ID: <>
From: Gary Minns <>
Subject: Labour Disappointment
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 12:59:43 +0100

>From Catherine Sweeney:

>In 1992, the day after another Labour election defeat...I witnessed
>XTC performing on a dreadful programme...
>They sang "The Disappointed", which just about summed up a large
>part of the British population...

I remember a newspaper advertisement for The Disappointed single
which appeared that day.  It had a picture of a downcast Neil Kinnock
(Labour leader at the time) with the heading "Disappointed...are you?".

It was about the only ingenious piece of XTC advertising Virgin ever

I cut the ad out and I've still got it somewhere.  If I can find it I'll
try and
get it scanned.



Message-Id: <01E3533A0008B00C*/c=US/admd=mci/prmd=marshmc/o=email/ou=ccARD/s=Moll/g=Christopher/@MHS>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 1997 08:58:35 -0500
From: Christopher Moll <Christopher.Moll@MARSHMC.COM>
Subject: Various Junk!!!

          Hello fellow Chaulkhillians...

          This is my first time posting but I saw something
          in the last Chalkhills issue and I felt compelled
          to add my two cents worth.

          Regarding the genius of Brian Wilson, The Beach
          Boys, and the "Smile" sessions, the actual band
          known as the Beach Boys were in fact poor
          musicians. Especially given the fact that Brian
          Wilson's developing work would require a skill
          level in playmanship that the rest of the Beach
          Boys could not provide. So as his songs became
          much more complex, layered, and dynamic, Brian
          would be forced into bringing in the help of
          outside studio musicians. On the latter day Beach
          Boys material the boys very rarely contributed
          anything on a musical level, vocals and vocal
          harmonies aside. Brian was left to do his work in
          the studio bringing to life these complex studio
          orchestrations that played out in his head.

          Now I have heard most of the "Smile" sessions and
          as a snapshot of the genius known as Brian Wilson
          in the studio it is amazing. Could it have given
          "Srgt. Pepper's" a run for it's money? Doubtful.
          The album is too hodge podge with way too many
          weak or uncompleted ideas. When it shines though
          it does shine bright. A 14 minute version of "Good
          Vibrations" recorded in various styles which would
          eventually be assembled in to the cut that we all
          know and love. It could almost be considered the
          first dance mega-mix! :) The various versions of
          "Heroes and Villains" are breathtaking. And
          "Windchimes" is downright creepy!

          But to sum this all up in my opinion the one point
          that I think everyone misses when discussing that
          period of the Beach Boys is that Brian was a great
          writer and arranger with brilliant ideas floating
          around his head but was not capable of wrapping it
          up into an acceptable "POP" package that the
          Beatles were very capable of. Although when the
          Beach Boys sing it is beautiful you really get to
          see the geniuses of Brian's work when you hear
          these stripped down songs without all the vocals
          in place. At times his full songs actually
          function better as instrumentals then when he
          edited them down to fit into a conventional "POP"

          One last note...for those of you craving an XTC
          fix especially if it has to come from an outside
          source may want to pick up a copy of The Nines
          album from the NOT LAME recording and
          distributional label. Their address is on the web.
          It is downright scary how much they sound like
          later day XTC especially around "Skylarking" and

 to you all later...

          Christopher Moll


Message-Id: <>
Subject: Hey, I can remember Queen Victoria's dad...
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 97 23:11:29 +0900
From: A&M Mackenzie <>

In Chalkhills Digest #3-128, Catherine Sweeney wrote:

>In 1992, the day after another Labour election defeat, I took the
>day off work because I was so depressed.  Tuning in to lunchtime tv, I
>witnessed XTC performing on a dreadful programme called Pebble Mill at
>One.  For those of you who don't know what this programme is, it's a
>lunchtime show which is watched by people who are so old they can
>remember Queen Victoria's DAD!.  When the presenter said "Here's XTC
>with a song off their new album", I nearly collapsed.  They sang "The
>Disappointed", which just about summed up a large part of the British
>population.  The audience of grannies looked indulgent and applauded
>politely.  You could almost see the words "what nice young boys, who the
>hell are they?" on the tips of their tongues.

>What I want to know is this.  Was I hallucinating?  Were they really on
>Pebble Mill or was I still drunk?  I saw them with my very eyes, but
>it's such a crap programme it was hard to believe what I was seeing.

No, you weren't hallucinating, Catherine. And it seemed that XTC hadn't
learned their lesson, either. Back in '83 I recall seeing them looking
extremely embarrassed and in the same Pebble Mill studio lip-synching to
"Love on a Farmboy's Wages," to what appeared to be a hip replacement
queue. And to prove that I wasn't hallucinating, I've even got video
evidence somewhere to back this up. I don't suppose anyone would be
interested in... Nah. Daft question.


Mike Mackenzie.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Jun 97 12:17:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: Royal jelly fossil fuel

A bunch o' things:

Mike Wood asked:
>Does the whole bee/royal jelly thing perhaps exist in some
>even-older form, which perhaps even XTC were borrowing from,
>or did the Dukes invent the term?

"Royal jelly" is an actual substance, created by bees in a hive for the
queen bee's's all she eats and I believe it's what gives
her whatever queenly characteristics separate her from the drones.
Apparently, though, some people find it of nutritional value to themselves,
and I think one can find it in health food stores. So basically what I'm
saying is, the connection with the "big band" you referred to is probably
coincidence, and no, XTC did not make up the term themselves.

And Troy Peters asked:
>I heard a rumor (from somebody I don't completely trust) that Prince
>played "Dear God" live a couple of times at some point in the late 80s,
>around the time of "Lovesexy."  Supposedly, it was a soulful piano
>ballad version.  This I would love to hear.  Anybody got a line on this

I can't say for sure that he DIDN'T play "Dear God," but he does have a song
called "God" that appeared on the B-side of the "Purple Rain" single, so it
is possible that this is a case of mistaken song identity.

And Jason Phelan said:
>Just wanted to say that I was assimilated into the MicroSerf Network
>last evening for the sole (soul?) purpose (Porpoise?) of playing the
>Rifff show.

 Now THERE'S an excellent name for a band: Soul Porpoise! I have no plans to
use it in the immediate future, so any other musicians out there should go
for it... :)

As for RIFFF, I agree with your commentary wholeheartedly...very COOL. And
on top of that, I won one of the 25 autographed copies of "Fossil Fuel" in
their contest...very VERY COOL.

Amanda, in one of her last gasps, asked:
>Am I the only one who wished that the Spice Girls and Hanson would
>drop off the face of the Earth?

Probably not, but you know, I have to admit, however guiltily, that every
time I hear "MmmBop," that song just won't get out of my head. I love the
old Jackson 5 hits, so I guess it just hits me in that part of my musical
gut. And for whatever it's worth, SPIN magazine just gave it an 8 out of 10
in their review of it, compared to 7 out of 10 for Ben Lee's new one (and I
thought Ben's first one, "Grandpaw Would," was one of the highlights of
1995). But as for the Spice Girls, no thank you.

Stormy commented:
>I don't believe that any Beach Boys' albums should be placed in the same
>class as any of The Beatles' albums, but that may be because Brian's
>creative genius was probably  inhibited and even discouraged by his
>overbearing father and conventional band mates.

I'll have to agree with you for the most part here...I appreciate Brian
Wilson's talent and think "Pet Sounds" comes close, but I think he was
saddled with a band that wasn't really up to converting his brilliant ideas
into the kind of final recordings they deserved. And besides, Mike Love is a

Well, that's enough for now. As always, I'm

Dave Gershman

P.S.  RIP: Jeff Buckley


End of Chalkhills Digest #3-130

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