Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #3-2

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 3, Number 2

                Tuesday, 24 September 1996

Today's Topics:

            Respectable Street on Fossil Fuels
The Wonderful World of Demos, Royalties and Misheard Lyrics
                      Re: Lobotomies
    Mr. Trendy-Ass responds and retires for the Winter
                     scouse explained
                    FF & Swindon EMI?!
                       Fossil Fuels
                  Shake 'n' bake loudly
          Slightly belated Happy Birthday Dave!
                       FF in Sweden
              Fossil Fuel - Yet Another .02
                   "Fossil Fuel" Review
                   messages and tunings
                  An Open Letter to JHB
                Demos and all the rest...
                  the last word on demos
           re: Crash Test Rumour / Ron Sexsmith
                      the Bot theory
                an offer you might refuse
              XTC Does Backup Vox for Comet?
          Vinyl/CD XTC Collection (Up Fur Grabs)
                    No One Accountable
                  George Orwell and XTC
                   XTC/Gabriel & Virgin
                        XTC vinyl
                  Re: Andy Up On Poppy


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To the rescue of humanity!


Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 00:29:24 -0400 (EDT)
From: Claudia S Cauchon <>
Subject: Respectable Street on Fossil Fuels
Message-Id: <>

	I have to admit it has been awhile since I have listened to the
single edited version of "Respectable Street" on Rag & Bone Buffet lp that
came out a few years ago so when I heard it on Fossil Fuels I just started
cracking up at the replace lyrics.  Not only do the replaced lyrics not
make much sense to what is being said in the song, but sometimes it is
really obvious that something is not quite right in the song by how awkward
some of the words sound in the edited song. The best part is the replaced
lyrics are reproduce on the lyric sheets in the booklet.  I was half
expecting for Virgin to put in the real lyrics from the Black Sea album
since this is the kind of little detail that can be missed.  All I can see
in my mind is Virgin asking/telling the band the next single is going to be
"Respectable Street" and they have to change certain words they think are
too radical for the general public to hear such as abortions and
contraception.  It makes me think of the time the Ed Sullivan Show made the
Rolling Stones change "Let's Spend the Night Together" to "Let's Spend Some
Time Together" or how on the "I Love Lucy" show CBS wouldn't allow them to
to use the word pregnant to describe Lucy's condition on the show.  Boy, we
really were innocent in the early '80's.

	I have to agree with the people that the booklet is something to
be desire, but it didn't really surprise me since it appears this was
quickly put together so there really wasn't that much time to put any
thought into it.  Though you would think one picture of the band could
have been included in the CD booklet.  I guess we'll have to wait for
someone to get the idea of putting out a box set of their material with a
nice 60 page booklet with everything we wanted to know about the band and
their music.  Hey, I'm still waiting for them to release "English
Settlement" in CD format with a lyrics sheet and pictures from the album
inner sleeve.

Here's a little bike story:

	A few months ago I was riding my bike and I decided to stop and
take a break under this bridge.  As I'm sitting on my bike drinking some
water I look around and written on the otherside of the bridge was the
faded word XTC.  At first I couldn't believe what I was seeing and started
thinking to myself it couldn't be in reference to the band, but then I
looked at it closer and see it appears to be written in the style from the
"English Settlement" album.  By the time I got home I had totally
forgotten seeing this until I went to play "English Settlement" and saw
that what I saw did refer to the band.  Also, I want everybody to know
that this was the only written graffiti on the wall though it appears it
has been there for a few years.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 02:11:48
From: (David  O'Connell)
Subject: The Wonderful World of Demos, Royalties and Misheard Lyrics

Hi! Hard to believe, but four consecutive issues of Chalkhills
have come and gone without a post from me in them. Unluckily for
John Relph, Amanda Owens seems to have taken over the position
of resident Chalkhills postaholic in my absence. I must be slipping
or something.

Anyway, I'm here. Here for you. And this is my post:

1) Re: Fossil Fuels royalties

Joshua Hall-Bachner (or as I like to address him: Josh, you
transcribing freak) raised an interesting question in the
second to most recent issue of Chalkhills. He said:

>IIRC, didn't XTC have to give up *all* rights to their back
>catalog as a condition of the split? Of course, it's not as if
>they were actually making that much money off of the royalties
>anyway, but there's still a huge difference between $.20/album and

Here's a quote from Andy in The Little Express issue 39. Interpret
this as you wish:

"In England we don't have a record label, apart from tying up a
few loose ends with Virgin. We don't have a publishing company,
'cause i've made myself such a nuisance with EMI publishing. They
said, 'O.K., you can go, but we keep your entire back- catalogue.'
Everything to date at this rather awful rate, which is something I
can't do anything about, because it was signed away in the naive
days of 1977."

I think they will recieve royalty payments for Fossil Fuel, not
because I believe the people in charge at Virgin are scrupulous
and honest, but because XTC has been recieving royalty payments
the last nineteen years without owning their own material. Perhaps
one of the stipulations of the settlement was that Virgin would
waive any future royalties to the band, I don't know. However, Andy
made no mention of it in the article and I'm sure if Virgin had
tried to pull a stunt like that, then that would've been one of the
first things out of his mouth to whomever interviewed him for that

By the way, has anyone recieved issue 41 yet? I recieved issue 40
in March, so I imagine a new issue should be out before Christmas.
Everyone on this list should subscribe to The Little Express. It's
well written, very informative and it's inexpensive (four issues=
fourteen dollars). The address is: P.O. Box 1072 Barrie, Ontario
L4M 5EI.

2) The war is on, issue 159 was our Fort Sumter, may the best side

Slowly but surely, Chalkhills has splintered into two opposing
camps: those with copies of the new album demos and those without.
People write in, politely requesting copies of the demos and then
you have Mark Cuevas, who wrote:

>I'm getting just a bit tired of these selfish little "so-called"
>Chalkhillians who drone on about demos they damn well know most of
>us have never heard. Despite repeated requests (read pleas) for
>sharing they continue to mock by posting guesses to lyrics ad
>nauseum.  Are you listening JHB?  Don't be a weenie.
>I say put up or shut up.  Either spread the wealth by offering to
>dub the demos or email your guesses privately.  We've waited long
>enough for more ear candy from The Great Ones.  We don't need to
>have salt poured on the wounds. [Yes, I'm mixing metaphors.]

Well, seeing as I transcribed "The Man Who Murdered Love" and
"Where Did The Ordinary People Go?" for this list, I would have
to assume that I'm one of the "weenies" you so kindly refer to.
If you look at Chalkhills 2-143, you will find a post by me
offering to dub for anyone (even those without anything to trade)
all of the rarities in my possesion (three bootlegs and a host of
singles.) You seemed to have conveniently overlooked this. One very
generous person on this list offered to dub me a copy of the new
demos and I added half of those onto the end of some of the tapes I
sent out. Joshua beat you to the punch with his e-mail and offered
to dub the new album demos, too, and I don't see how copping an
attitude would help your chances any. Me, I have enough
tapes to dub as it is.

Speaking of demos, there was a transcription of "Where Did The
Ordinary People Go?" in issue 2-159 of Chalkhills. As it turns
out. Colin had transcribed the lyrics to the song in an old issue
of The Little Express, so no arguments on the following
corrections! Thanks to Natalie Jacobs who set me straight on this
when I unsuccessfully attempted to transcribe this song:

>The walls and fences never have no hole
>If I could only be your Peeping Tom
>You could complain about my bonfire-burning stove

The walls and fences never have no holes...
You could complain about my bonfire burning strong

[I don't get this lyric either, by the way]

>Money changes everyone
>There was ?]
>There's no community spirit anywhere
>[You may say in my green? ... my dream?]

Money changes everyone
Or so it seems...
You may say that I'm green

And finally...

>If I could see you, I'd complain about the noise
>I can dance across the fence, we might both enjoy

Arguments across the fence we both might enjoy

Again, thanks to Natalie Jacobs for this piece of information. That
"bonfire burning strong" lyric drove me nuts. I'm not transcribing
another song again unless Colin and Andy spell out each of the
words as they sing them, like Snoop Doggy Dogg. Go ahead and
transcribe Bumper Cars at your own risk, Josh. Damn if I can figure
it out...

My guesses for that "bonfire" lyric were:

"You could complain about my bum for burning strong"
"You could complain about my bomb for burning Rome"
"You could complain about my bum for Bernie Strohm"

By the way, the "Troy-ward wooden horse" lyric guess is correct as
opposed to "Troy with wooden horse" because the rest of the line is
"...I take to peaceful waters but can't make 'em drown" and any
given person would have a better chance of drowning a wooden horse
than they would attempting to take the city of Troy down to
peaceful waters and offing it there.

And while we're on the topic of misheard lyrics, I can think of two
misheard lyrics off the top of my head from Jellyfish songs.

"New Mistake": "The ending turned tragic when many years later the
baby had grown up and married a pop singer" mutated into "...the
baby had grown up and married Bob Seger, guess it was her turn to
make her first mistake" (apparently I'm not the only one afflicted
with the Bob Seger strain of the misheard lyrics virus.)

"The Man I Used To Be": "Manners don't mean shit when a family is
lost at sea" became "Mentos don't mean shit when a family is lost
at sea". [I may have misheard the lyric, but it's true. Mentos
candies don't mean a whole lot in the general scheme of things.]

I had listened to the Jason Falkner album a couple of weeks ago and
was wondering when Chalkhills would pick up on it. As it turns out,
it's only a matter of time until all these Jellyfish-related
projects start generating Chalkhills traffic. It's a great album,
much better than that mediocre Imperial Drag record. After hearing
it, I can see why Andy Sturmer wouldn't let Falkner contribute more
songs to the band. Falkner would've given Sturmer a run for his

3) It's The End of R.E.M.'s Popularity Among Chalkhills Subscribers
As We Know It (And I Don't Like It One Bit)

Lots of people have been slamming R.E.M in Chalkhills lately and I
don't agree with it. Specifically, the criticisms that R.E.M. has
sold out and are mired in a stylistic rut. I disagree. You may not
like the albums, but the jump from the folksy Automatic For The
People to the harder-edged Monster is certainly more of a stylistic
leap than the jangly Byrds-revisited college rock of the I.R.S.
releases. I like Murmur a lot, but if you stuck half of its' songs
on Fables of the Reconstruction and vice versa, neither batch would
sound all that out of place. As for the Beatles comment, hey, not
everyone listened to the Beatles in the 60's. I like Nirvana and
all, but I hope twenty years down the line journalists won't ask
every new rock musician that comes along, 'Who influenced you more:
Nirvana or Pearl Jam?', as if the 90's music scene revolved
exclusively around those two bands.

Dave O'Connell
York PA
relatively new e-mail address: <>


Message-Id: <v01540b03ae6be7fb68b5@[]>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 00:15:02 -0700
From: (E.B.)
Subject: Re: Lobotomies

>From: Christie <>
>Just a quick note--I'd Rather Have a Bottle in Front of Me than a Frontal
>Lobotomy appeared in Dr. Demento's list of top groovy song titles (or
>something equivalent).

When I hear that pun, I always think of ANOTHER Dr. Demento song, the
infamous "Existential Blues." It sticks that phrase kind of non-sequitur
into the middle of the song. Well, actually that whole SONG is kind of a
non sequitur...heh heh. I think the artist is named T-Bone?? (No, not THAT



From: Damian Foulger <>
Organization: UWCC
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 10:24:36 GMT
Subject: Scouse
Message-ID: <>

> My dictionary lists "scouse," short for "lobscouse," as a baked dish
> or stew made ususally with meat and hardtack.  So, obviously, I am
> missing the appropriate connotation.  Care to enlighten?

A 'Scouser' is someone from the north of England.  Scouse is an
adjective denoting 'from the North of England'.

So what is hardtack?

Dames tWd


Message-Id: <>
From: "Daniel Prendiville" <>
Date: Sun, 22 Sep 1996 17:00:05 +0000
Subject: Mr. Trendy-Ass responds and retires for the Winter

There I was, half-thinking of giving Chalkhills a rest for a while and
getting on with my life in the real world, when up pops
Mr. Double-Barrel-Name with this commento:-

> I'd say it was, but then whoever-it-was would post his trendy-ass "I'm cool
> because I hate every band that's sold more than 100,000 records"
> REM-are-lame-and-all-their-songs-sound-the-same tripe again.

A terrible assumption has been made about my derriere, sight unseen I
might add. :-)

 I hope we're not going into the area of equating artisitic merit with
units shifted.  There was quite a traumatic debate in Ireland about U2,
around the time of RATTLE & HUM, as to whether U2 were any good anymore.
On one side of the debate were those sensible souls who'd weigh up each
album on it's own merits and decide on that basis whether the group was
progressing or regressing. On the other side, were those who thought the
sun shone of Bono's sit-upon and who thought that everything U2 released
should automatically top the charts and garner unquestioning critical
acclaim. U2 have suffered for having a sycophantic following, believing
that everything they created in their ivory tower would be lapped up by an
adoring public. In reality, however, U2 were playing at being rich
pop-stars and their cover was blown. ACHTUNG BABY emerged from a crisis
situation within the group, where they could continue to flit around the
world recording tracks of dubious merit with worthy people or get back to
the basics of their art and create something stunning. Which is what they
did, fair play to 'em. The momentum was kept up to some extent with
ZOOROPA, but it looks like they're running out of steam again. They've
wheeled in a flavour-of-the-month sidekick (Howie B) to give them HRT.
Could it be that "relevance" for U2 in the late-90's might be some sampled
drum-loop of FUNKY DRUMMER? Shudder.

But getting back to REM, this being an XTC forum after all, here we have
another group so fabulously wealthy that they really don't need to work
anymore. It is surely a matter of concern for die-hard REM fans that the
group's position in the world might divorce them from the stimuli that lead
them to become creative in the first place. If their main concern is to
outsell Michael Jackson in Venezuela, f'rinstance, then REM's fans may have
cause for worry.

And no, lack of commercial success is not a determining factor on the type
of music I like.  The world's record stores are filled with the flot sam
and jetsam of failed record deals, available at giveaway prices. Many of
these records failed to sell because they were crap by both artistic *and*
commercial standards.

Actually, I prefer music by dead people. At least they don't attempt to
continue flagging  careers by releasing rubbish...

This next bit doesn't affect me in the slightest...

>  I'm getting just a bit tired of these selfish little "so-called"
> Chalkhillians who drone on about demos they damn well know most of us
> have never heard.  Despite repeated requests (read pleas) for sharing
> they continue to mock by posting guesses to lyrics ad nauseum.  Are you
> listening JHB?  Don't be a weenie.

Give the guy his tapes...

> Money doesn't seem to be the issue.  Most of us would gladly give our
> benefactors a few bucks for their time and effort.  Moreover, it would
> elevate their stature in the eyes of their peers (e.g., fellow and
> fellowess Chalkhillians).
> I say put up or shut up.  Either spread the wealth by offering to dub the
> demos or email your guesses privately.  We've waited long enough for more
> ear candy from The Great Ones.  We don't need to have salt poured on the
> wounds. [Yes, I'm mixing metaphors.]

I just thought I'd repeat it for what it's worth. I'm one of the few who
don't have the demoes and don't *want* to hear them. A new album will do me
nicely, tan Q

> At least have the b. . . er . . . courtesy to respond to our requests.

Be careful, that man, you might be accused of being rude and obnoxious...
My use of the f-word seems to have offended. But what is "freakin'" only a
namby-pamby, bourgeois euphemism for the dreaded word that rhymes with
luck. Anyone hear of a group called BINGO HANDJOB, BTW...?

As I said at the outset, I'm taking a little sabbatical from Chalkhills
for the winter;  there are pressing matters that need attending, and I
don't mean the creases on my strides...

Yez know where yez can get me.

CU in '97



Date: Mon, 23 Sep 96 13:18:17 BST
Message-Id: <>
From: Toby Howard <>
Subject: scouse explained

>>  There I was watching Brookside (Scouse soap to our overseas friends)
>>	(intervening stuff cut)
>>  voiceover by famous Radio 1 Scouse DJ, John Peel.
> My dictionary lists "scouse," short for "lobscouse," as a baked dish or
> stew made ususally with meat and hardtack.  So, obviously, I am missing the
> appropriate connotation.  Care to enlighten?

It is indeed short for lobscouse, also known as a biscuity stew dish eaten
at sea by sailors. In UK parlance, "scouse" is to Liverpool as "cockney" is
to London. A born-and-bred "scouser" is a Liverpudlian, probably from
immigrant Irish stock originally.

I was born on the other side of the Mersey from Liverpool, in Wallasey (as
was Elvis Costello!) so that makes me only an "honorary scouser", if there
is such a thing.


* --------------------------------------------------------------
Toby Howard, Lecturer         Co-editor *The Skeptic* magazine
Tel: +44(0)161-275-6274                Fax: +44(0)161-275-6236
Advanced  Interfaces  Group, Department  of  Computer  Science
University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK
* --------------------------------------------------------------


Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 09:09:43 -0400
Message-Id: <>
From: (Don)
Subject: FF & Swindon EMI?!

I adore FF.  The sound is almost perfect, and there are a few remixes, I'm
pretty sure, which strike me as interesting.  As an already-completest like
the most of us, I actually like having the single versions all together.
It's great to put on when you want a bunch of favorite XTC tunes from all
points of their career.  I don't care too much about the packaging, though
I thought I might...

Did you notice that the inner ring of the discs reads, "EMI SWINDON"?!

Now here's a stretch: how many of you remember, or have even heard of,
Stackridge?  I'd be curious to know how much, if any, of this early 70's
band Andy or Colin ever heard....



From: Damian Foulger <>
Organization: UWCC
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 14:45:28 GMT
Subject: Fossil Fuels
Message-ID: <>

Good news for XTC (or Virgin, dependingon who is picking up the
royalties).  FF is number 12 in the album charts in MVC.   MVC is
a relatively cheap music shop in Britain.  I asked if they had
there own charts but the shop assistant wasn't sure.  So, number 12
in MVC, possibly the WORLD!!!  Well, Britain anyway.  :-)

Dames tWd


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 96 10:10:00 -0500
From: dgershmn <>
Organization: AMS
Subject: Shake 'n' bake loudly

Well, first off, young Joshua H.-B. pointed out:
>Well, to some degree, when the lyrics sheet says "bake" and Andy *very
>clearly* enunciates the "b" sound in "bake", it's sort of silly to post
>something like "Well, that *can't* be the lyric!" The actual lyric of the
>song is "bake", there is no room for interpretation or disagreement there.
>That *is* how the song goes. You can interpret it however you want. But
>except for cases where the published lyrics are *obviously* wrong, they're
>usually the best way to go.

Well, to be honest, I rarely read lyric sheets anymore except to clarify
something that is hard to decipher, and in this case, I don't think Andy
"very clearly" says "bake," or there wouldn't have been my confusion to
begin with. But I do concede my mistake, and apologize for contesting
something that turned out to be a non-issue. However, I do not apologize to
Mark Cuevas..."jerky" was unnecessary, particularly for an honest mistake.

 Given that it's "bake," at this point, I would be inclined to agree with
Ian Dahlberg:
>I believe it's bake in the sense that, in the world where she
>escaped, they make beautiful girls by putting ingredients (sugar, spice,
>everything nice) in a pan and baking it.  Making via baking; that's how I
>interpreted it, anyway.  It seems too innocent a song to introduce violent
>oven induced torture!

And Thomas Slack's suggestion certainly makes a heap of sense:
>Subject: Where Do They Bake Beautiful Girls?
>In the womb, of course. Keep the oven warm for 9 months, and Lo and Behold..

Speaking of the oh-so-tactful Mr. Cuevas, he spouted off:
>I'm getting just a bit tired of these selfish little "so-called"
>Chalkhillians who drone on about demos they damn well know most of us have
>never heard.  Despite repeated requests (read pleas) for sharing they
>continue to mock by posting guesses to lyrics ad nauseum.  Are you
>listening JHB?  Don't be a weenie.
>I say put up or shut up.  Either spread the wealth by offering to dub the
>demos or email your guesses privately.  We've waited long enough for more
>ear candy from The Great Ones.  We don't need to have salt poured on the
>wounds. [Yes, I'm mixing metaphors.]

>At least have the b. . . er . . . courtesy to respond to our requests.

You certainly ain't gonna get 'em that way, pal. You might want to consider
knowing what you're talking about before you speak. Several people were very
cooperative and generous in taping demos for me, and I have in turn done a
lot of taping for other people who have e-mailed me and who have BEEN
FRIENDLY AND POLITE. Really, that's all it takes. People aren't going to
e-mail you saying, "Hey, Mark, I really want to tape some demos for
you...may I?" Think about it. Even as we speak, I'm working out details with
someone who e-mailed me a nice note wondering if I could help out with
demos. I am certain there are many others who have been generous with their
time and taping equipment, not to mention the ubiquitous JHB, who has
offered to tape for anyone who wants it.

On to other things...

>From E.B.:
>>[The Loud Family's Scott Miller] was having a great time on
>>stage and was in fine voice and humor throughout the show.

>The "miserably whining" SCOTT MILLER in fine voice??? Hold
>everything...stop the presses!!!  ;)

>I think the Loud Family is *OK*, but I don't like them as well as Game
>Theory, and neither band is anywhere near in the same league as XTC. I like
>the Sugarplastic a lot better than the LF too. <Shrug>

>Miller will never top The Big Shot Chronicles

Well, "fine voice" for Scott Miller, is what I meant. No, we're not talking
Ella Fitzgerald here... :)

IMHO, Loud Family is FAR superior to the Sugarplastic. The Sugarplastic is
fine and all, but ultimately, their creativity is limited by their close
resemblance to other bands. Scott Miller, in either Game Theory or LF, is
much more melodically interesting and lyrically can run laps around the
Sugarplastic. As for his own best work, "The Big Shot Chronicles" is a
masterwork indeed, but I think he's approached if not equalled it at times
with the Loud Family.

--Dave Gershman


From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Voicemail
Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 10:02:12 -0400 (EDT)

>By the way, does anyone actually use Andy's answerphone message from
>"The Bull With The Golden Guts" on their answerphone? What sort of
>comments has it brought? I really wanted to use it on my Voicemail at
>work, but I don't think the company would be too impressed.

Of course. I had to take it off; it confused my mom when
she called (as if my school's voicemail system isn't
confusing enough...) I'll put it back, though.

My Christmas message is the one that really irks people:

"He sees you when you're sleeping,
He knows when you're awake,
He know's if you've been bad or good,
He knows too much,
We'll have to kill him."

But it's too early for that...

XTC SONG OF THE DAY: "Travels in Nihilon"
Ben Gott


Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 09:09:36 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Slightly belated Happy Birthday Dave!
Message-id: <>

Not many people hit 44 and still look that good.



Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 16:51 +0200
Message-id: <>
From: =?iso-8859-1?q?P=C4R?= NILSSON <PVKU.PARN@MEMO.VOLVO.SE>
Subject: FF in Sweden

Well, I was wrong - FOSSIL FUEL is available in Sweden,
apparentlyin droves. It was displayed prominently in my preferred
record store when I visited this weekend - Skivhugget in
Goteborg, for all you Swedish types out there - with a comment
along the lines of "after the successes of britpop, XTC are of as
much current interest as ever... brilliant!".




Date: Mon, 23 Sep 96 08:11:24 PST
From: "Sean Robison" <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Fossil Fuel - Yet Another .02

I'm listing to the collection right now as I type. Of course, by the time
you read this, will I still be listening to it? Eh.... yep.

The packaging is kinda slight - the booklet's just lyrics with the
centerfold picture spread of singles. The embossed ammonite cover is kinda
plain - though it's a cool tactile experience. My girlfriend spent the
entire drive home from the record store running her finger over it.

However, the remastered sound is great, 'specially on the early songs (as
everyone here has noted) and it's a great collection of songs. Like there's
really any truly bad XTC songs (I'll hold off here - lest I pick at the
"there are no bad songs" scab).

FYI - for any other Los Angeles Chalk(-hillers, -hillians, -sters, etc...)
- I found it at the Virgin Megastore in Burbank - they had several copies
of the embossed cover at $29 and several of the regular at $25. Not a bad
price at all considering a double CD import.

And, since I've found another penny in my pocket and can up my contribution
to .03, my simple take on the picture of the match - isn't that just a
visual representation of 'fuel'? I think beyond that, we'd be giving Virgin
records a bit too much credit for creativity - if they were that smart a
record company, the band would still want to be with them....

Well, now I'm broke :)

Sean Robison


Subject: "Fossil Fuel" Review
From: (Wesley H. Wilson)
Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 96 11:25:44 -0400


As a long-time XTC fan, I view FF as typical of Virgin Record's (EMI, or
whatever's) poor treatment of the band. Yeah, that's right. *Poor
treatment.* Every (Johnny?) rotten thing these guys (XTC) have said about
Virgin plays out in this cheap and insulting exploitation of the band's
past glory. Read on...

First, although the tracks have been remastered and sound good, Virgin
placed no new material in this compilation. It's like "The Compact XTC,"
only it's been updated to include stuff past 1985, up through and including
'Nonsuch.'  Which makes hardcore XTC fans buy redundant material.

Second, the packaging is *poor*. The jewel case is simply too flimsy to
support the heavy fossil on the front (which, if made of gold, would have a
better home hanging from a Las Vegas boxing promoter's neck!). Luckily, two
copies were sent to me by mistake. One of the copies had a broken jewel
case.  (Guess which copy I'm returning?) The problem is, it's too damn
easy, and too damn confusing, especially for the novice to fumble with this
method of packaging two CDs. For God's sake, I know I'm going to end up
breaking the jewel case on my copy, too, someday. It pisses me off. I have
only one other '2CD' jewel case like this one (The Fall's '27 Points'). And
the fossil IS boring. To top in off, some jerk stuck a 'Made in England'
sticker right on the fossil of my good copy. Good thinkin', mate.

All that black, plus the word 'fossil,'...what a great parting shot to
these guys, n'est-ce pas? The legal battles musta been hell.

If I weren't a completist, I would bypass this entirely. This is, bar none,
the WORST 'best of' packaging and selection of songs I have ever seen from
a record company. Very disappointing (not 'difappointing' smiley faces
this time 'round, sorry).


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 11:53:20 EDT
From: "Todd Bernhardt" <>
Subject: messages and tunings

Greetings, XTCphiles:

A couple of quick ones -- David Goody was wondering if anyone used Andy's
answering-machine message from  "The Bull ... " on their own machine, and my
answer is sure I did! ... Until my wife made me take it off, that is.

Most people who heard it wondered why they had ended up calling a
Rastafarian's pad instead of my comfy little abode, but hey -- it was fun
while it lasted. Then again, I *like* weird answering-machine messages: I
once had a message made up completely of bits from songs that went like this:
"Hi there" -- from Peter Gabriel's "Big Time"
"This is" -- from (you guessed it) "This is Pop"
"398-3807" -- splicing together the phone number was the hardest bit ... I
got the 3's from the album Exposure by Robt. Fripp, 9 from Revolution #9 by
the B*****s, the 8's from a Firesign Theatre album ("I'm not talking about
hate ... I'm talking about ate ... Dinner at 8 ... Let's eat!"), the 0 from
"Less than Zero" by Elvis C., and I forget where I got the 7 (hey, it was a
while ago)
I finished with a long bit by Laurie Anderson (forget which album), which
basically said "I can't come to the phone right now, please leave a
message," etc.

I won't even go into the "Naughty Nurses" message I came up with once I got
a hi-fi VCR, hooked it up to my stereo and rented an, um, "art" film. I had
just met my wife when I did that one, so needless to say, it didn't last
long either (despite the fact that it was a stroke of genius...  ;^)

Anyway, Doug Downy wondered about tunings, and I remember reading an
interview w/Andy in which he said that all of Mummer is pretty much in
open-E tuning.

Hope that helps. ByeBye!


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark G. Cuevas" <>
Subject: An Open Letter to JHB
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 11:23:27 -0700

An Open Letter to JHB:

Please except my apologies for the outburst in Chalkhills Vol. 2, No. 159.
First of all, I did not realize you were only a freshman in high school.
If I had known that, I would certainly not have written as I did.  Your age
notwithstanding, my diatribe was inappropriate, and I apologize.  You are
after all, a fellow Chalkhillian.

Secondly, your offer to dub was missed by me and for that I am dining on
Rook tonight.  (Please pass the worcester, this poultry is decidedly

Thirdly, I think <> said it best in Chalkhills Vol. 3,
No. 1 when he said "It's coming to a head, isn't it?  Frustration has
finally wriggled to the surface . . ."   Or better yet,
<>: "The butler won't bring you your slippers if you kick
him in the face."  All these are true.

Let's face it.  We *all* want more material from Our Boys.  Although I'll
accept rehashed material (e.g., the limited edition FF which I received
last week from Siren Disc (213) 935-0578), it's not nearly enough.

On the issue of unpublished lyrics:  I think our esteemed Chalkmaster has
the right idea. The unpublished lyrics should be on the Chalkhills page.

Lastly, it's scary to think that I've been an XTC fan longer than JHB has
been alive.  Perhaps that's why I've got a shorter fuse when new material
is just out of reach.

Right.  Enough of this.  Back to it.


Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 15:19:10 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: Joshua Hall-Bachner <>
Subject: Demos and all the rest...

I'm too lazy to actually attrib all these people I'm responding to. Sorry.
*You* know who you are.

>Where are little girls baked?
>In the womb, of course. Keep the oven warm for 9 months, and Lo and Behold..

What's the phrase? "Got a loaf in the oven"?

>Anyway, FF is nice to have, especially as I didn't have any of the
>previous compilations. What are these comments about having WTYBGD
>on CD? Wasn't it on 'The Compact XTC' or 'Waxworks' or even both? Or
>was there another version? I just bought the 7", it was cheaper...

A previously unavailable "remix" of WTYBGD was on both of the previous
compilations. This is the first time the original single mix has been
available on CD.

>'Leave' is the best track R.E.M. have ever done; worth buying the
>new album for that alone. (Actually, I'm probably the only person
>that likes it, but hey.)

Check the REM newsgroup, *everybody* loves that song. It just kicks so much
ass...the siren is neat-o, too. :)

>Joshua Hall-Baker (
Now *there's* one I haven't heard before.

Re: Easter Theatre

>4. It sounds like "she's dressed in your yolk" in the chorus, but to be
>completely honest with you, I don't know what that means!

Not "yolk", the yellow thing you shouldn't eat if you have a heart problem.
*Yoke*. Like, the thing that farmers use. It's yet another reference to
Andy's Girlfriend = The coming of spring after winter.

>On a related topic:  I know a lot of people are wanting copies of these
>demos. We have been told by a fellow listmember and friend of Andy's
>(Mitch?) that Andy is not comfortable with these songs circulating.

IIRC, in respect to the "new demos" *only*, Andy was originally quite
annoyed that they got out, but he realized that it'd happened, so he decided
that he wanted our opinion on them, as long as they were circulating anyway.
So those, if nothing else, you can feel okay with. As for the older ones, I

>Hiya Chalkhillians, I'm going to be brave and suggest a couple corrections to
>the "I Can't Own Her" lyrics. :)

Thanks, your corrections look right. However, Mr. John Relph has asked us
all *not* to post lyrics to the list anymore. The proper procedure now is:

1) Person transcribes lyrics, sends them to John. He puts them on page.
2) E-mail Chalkhills saying that the lyrics are on the page.
3) Those who want to correct them, e-mail the person who transcribed them.
4) The group hashes 'em out until they've agreed on a final version, then
e-mails that to John.
5) E-mail Chalkhills again saying that the "corrected" lyrics are up.

>What opinions do YOU have as to the
>existence of demos in the publics' stereos?

It's definitely a gray area. I can see how the artists might not want some
of their demos getting out to the public (esp. since some of them are,
well, bad) but if they're already floating around, what to do? I think
artists should realize that if they have any sort of fan following at all,
their demos *are* going to be out there for the listening, so they
shouldn't get too upset about it. Now, I have a bunch of XTC demos, but
they're all dubs for two reasons: (1) people who bootleg for profit are,
IMHO, freeloaders on someone else's talent and don't deserve a cent, and
(2) bootlegs are too damn expensive anyway. So, I don't see anything
ethically wrong with dubs of the demos, really, but I think that's a
decision you have to make for yourself.

Josh, make you kiss in time.
/---------------------------Joshua Hall-Bachner---------------------------\
|   |
| "And I see nations playfully hurl snowballs packed with stone and clay."|
\--------------XTC, "You And The Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful"----------/


Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 13:41:13 -0600
From: DeWitt Henderson <>
Subject: the last word on demos

OK, NO MORE ON DEMOS - after this post, that is - JH-B, sorry, I never
saw your offer to dup tapes for us, probably due to the fact that (this
is sacriledge) I don't have time to read every single word of every
chalkhills!!!  Thanks for the repeat of the offer, but the estimable
Mr. Steve Shiavo is going to send me a demo tape (thanks, Steve!!!).

And as to whoever it was that brought up the whole issue of demos and
royalties, let me just flip the lid on my mind, and *ah*, there it is,
my position on this:  I think it falls under the same category as the
big hoopla a few years back over taping of albums/CD's - remember when
the record companies were all freaked out about that?  That's why they
tried to block DAT recorders, and I think they even tried to tax or
block analog cassette recorders.  BUT - a study revealed that the
people who bought the most blank tapes ALSO BOUGHT THE MOST PRE-RECORDED
MUSIC!  Which jived perfectly with people I knew - they didn't buy lots
of blank tapes to get their friends to copy stuff for 'em (although of
course a LITTLE of that went on); they mostly bought them to make
copies of their OWN stuff, make 'greatest hits' tapes of their own, etc.
So - with this group, and XTC demos, I think the same is absolutely true -
who among us who has a demo tape won't rush out, cash in hand, to buy
the boys' next release?!?!

(Thank you for listening, folx).

* -------------------------------
DeWitt Henderson
"You'd better do as you are told,
 you'd better listen to the radio" (E.C.)
* -------------------------------


From: (Paul Myers)
Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 18:28:30 -0400
Subject: re: Crash Test Rumour / Ron Sexsmith
Message-ID: <>
Organization: TotalNet Inc. / Magic Online

First I want to say a bit about the Crash Test Dummies, Ellen Reid.
Ellen is in fact preparing a little something.  She's been writing for
a while now, and since the Crash Test Dummies has been Brad's outlet
she will indeed need to put out her own album for these songs to be
heard.  I had the pleasure, last year, of co-writing a song and a half
with Ms Reid.  I don't know if any of our stuff will be on the record,
or whether she's even had time to make it.  But yes Mr Partridge's name
was  bantied about as a possible co-writer.  Sorry, I can't confirm
whether it happened or not.  I do know that the CTD's have a new album
out and they are touring the world, so I think Ellen will have to wait
for quite a while.   I think people will be surprised at her style, not
very Dummie like, more like Joe Jackson to be honest.
I had the pleasure also, of being one of the first people to write
ABOUT  Ron Sexsmith (for Canada's National Newspaper "The Globe And
Mail") back in May 1995.   I can attest that Ron's first album, and so
far the only full album available, is one of the finest collections of
intimate original songs in some time.  Don't take my word for it, the
fan list includes Elvis Costello "Best album of '95",   Richard
Thompson (Sexsmith opened Thompson's Royal Albert Hall gigs) Paul
McCartney and John Hiatt.  He covered  Nilsson's "Good Old Desk" on the
For The Love Of Harry tribute disc.
I got the Cathy Dennis cd, and while it's kinda slick and I'm not sure
what to make of it, I did recognize the song "Am I The Kind Of Girl?"
to have a certain "Merely A Man" kind of guitar riff.  David Gregory
himself plays that riff so you can't be far wrong with it.
Canadian group Slowburn have their version of "Complicated Game" on
their new record.  They play it basically note-for-note only louder and
more Post Cobainlike.  I was wondering about this Icehouse version
folks seem to be talking about, I've never heard it or of it.
Anyway. There you have it.

Paul Myers.


Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 18:55:18 -0400 (EDT)
From: Karthik  Swaminathan <>
Subject: the Bot theory
Message-Id: <>

I have a theory that Josh Hall-Bachner is actually a cleverly designed
*bot*, a computer program that simulates human behaviour by recognizing
vocabulary in sentences that have been posted and generating answers to
these questions. Either that or he is a staff of writers sacking in a
basement somewhere in Brooklyn...

I havn't heard any of the demos but just reading the lyrics gets me
excited in looking forward to the next real XTC album.  BTW I never dissed
Colin, far from it. I consider him a great singer and an exellent bassist
and listening back to the post-ES albums the songs are not bad.  I just
think he could do better.  I still think Bungalow is phat, his best song
since Wake Up.



Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 20:50:34 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: an offer you might refuse

Hi Chalkmongers!

I know we're not supposed to do this, BUT...  I hear "Easter and she's
dressed in YELLOW yolk."  (Ahem.  Sorry.)

I went down to one of the few decent music stores here in the gorgeously
liberal metropolis of Cincinnati (whatever), and just on a whim looked in the
XTC section and low and behold... the limited edition of Fossil Fuels, for
the (almost) low, low price of $29.99!  I figure that's not too bad for the
Ltd. Ed...  is it?  Pretty bland packaging, yes, but still..  you gotta have
it, am I right?  (Of course I'm right, dagnabbit!)

Anyway, what I really wanted to point out is that they still have a copy of
XTC Explode Together for $18.99 (they had two copies when I bought mine in
'90-  this is probably still the other one).  I'd be more than happy to
purchase and send it for no extra charge than sales tax (6%) and shipping
(roughly $1.50?).  I think I remember someone saying they couldn't find it,
so there you go.  Personally, I really enjoy listening to it (granted, it is
infrequent listening, at best).  They also had Through the Hill for $13.99,
but I KNOW I can find that cheaper.  Any takers, please e-mail me privately.

Enjoy this spoke on the season cycle!

Jude (When do I get my Nobel Prize for Parenthetics?) Hayden


Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 23:56:20 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: XTC Does Backup Vox for Comet?

Hello again,

Please help.  My wife has heard a song twice by a group called Comet.  Each
time it was on, the DJ announced that some form of XTC were on backing vocals
for the song being played.

Is this true or just fanciful rumor??

A record dealer friend has seen promo copies of an LP by Comet, but does not
have any on hand.

Can any one within cybershot help here?

--Chris, in ABQ USA


Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 23:56:17 -0400
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Vinyl/CD XTC Collection (Up Fur Grabs)

Attention, Chalky Ones,

I, like many of you, have been in hot pursuit of the
fossil-what-sticks-up-out-of-the-special-cover edition of our boys' latest
(compilation) CD.  I found one when a record dealer ^contacted me^.  And this
store still has a few left (as of 9:30 PM MST, 9/23/96).

The person and store with which I am so pleased are named Kimber and
Stinkweeds, respectively.  Kimber wrote to tell me that a 7"/12"/LP/CD single
collection from an (overstocked or former) XTC-o-phile had come into her
store, and that she is giving first choice in sales to true XTC collectors.
 She went through the entire list with me, and I'm sure there are some items
that most Chalky residents would mortgage _____ for.  She has a "Buster" 7"
just waiting for one of you.

So, I recommend that anyone with some plastic/coinage/bills to burn call
Stinkweeds Record Exchange in Mesa, Arizona, at (602)968-9490.  (I lived in
Arizona many years ago and was fortunate to meet this music dealer with
fantastic prices and a golden conscience.)  ChrisBob says, "Give her a call
and see what's she's still got."

--Chris, Albuquerque, NM, USA, not associated with Stinkweeds except that I
have been a happy customer for about 11 years


Date: Mon, 23 Sep 1996 21:59:26 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <v01510100ae6cb35d2089@[]>
From: (Mitch Friedman)
Subject: No One Accountable

In 1989, shortly after receiving tapes of 3 hours of demos from Andy in the
mail on a cold wintery NY day after walking ten blocks to the post office,
swerving from a bout of the flu, I quickly placed 'No One Available' on my
answering machine. Most people found it amusing. Then about 3 months later,
Andy himself called me and heard his own reggaefied voice thru the
receiver. I don't remem- ber what he said on the message he left, but I do
know that it contained lots of amusing expletives and some heavy metal
volume guffaws.

Now onto the familiar and troubling subject of demos. I'm not gonna try to
speak for Andy or even guess what he would say about the subject these
days, but I can tell you my opinions based on the last time I spoke with
him.  At the moment XTC does not have a new recording contract and so I
believe he would prefer to be the one who reveals their new material to
potential record companies. He has always been curious to hear what people
have thought about his new songs and I'm sure now is no different. But I
think he'd feel more comfortable if he had a little more say in who hears
them and when. He knows that at this point, whomever wants to get a copy of
the new songs probably can and there isn't much he can do about it. One
thing he does have going in his favor is the fact that the tape that is
circulating around has some 15 songs on it, but there are apparently at
least 17 other songs that no one has. I'm sure this is some source of
relief to him.

As always, there is the lack of money going to XTC issue, the chance of
some bootlegger getting ahold of them and pressing 'em up into a CD, the
knowledge that Paul Bailey is watching our discussions, and the blurry
legality/ illegality of copying demos to begin with. I can fully understand
how painful it is for those of us who haven't heard them and how much of a
tease it must be. So again, if some of you are willing to dub these demos
for your fellow Chalkhillians, then at least be a bit more discreet about
it instead of making an ALL-CAPS offer to provide copies to everyone. So it
goes without saying that I think a tape tree is a really disrespectful
thing to do to XTC. And remember, it's been a good ten years since Andy
grabbed a hammer in both fists and smacked away at some bark; don't provoke



Date: Tue, 24 Sep 1996 00:20:39 -0500 (CDT)
From: Sara Lloyd <>
Subject: George Orwell and XTC
Message-ID: <>

My dearest friends,

Here is something to think about for those of you who sleep too well at
night:  upon rereading _1984_ for a class I am taking, I stumbled across
(and even stubbed my poor toe upon) this old English nursery rhyme:

"Oranges and lemons, say the bells of St. Clement's
You owe me three farthings, say the bells of St. Martin's
When will you pay me? say the bells of Old Bailey
When I grow rich, say the bells of Shoreditch.
Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head!"

Given the Big Brother-esque paranoia of songs such as "Real by Reel" and
"Mole From the Ministry," what do you think of the possibilty that the
title for "Oranges and Lemons" came from _1984_?

Speaking of Oranges and Lemons, I just noticed the political line-up at
the beginning of that album: first "Mayor of Simpleton," then "King for a
Day," then "Here Comes President Kill Again."  Curiouser and curiouser...

I could draw more connections between _1984_ and Oranges and Lemons, but
I'd like to see what anyone else has to say about it first.  Besides, I
wouldn't want you to think these were the ravings of an overanalytical
English major or anything.

Fueled by fossils,

P.S. Hey, Dave, I'm not lurking anymore!


Date: Tue, 24 Sep 96 08:59:11 CDT
From: Paul Gelpi <PGELPI3@UA1VM.UA.EDU>
Organization: The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
Subject: XTC/Gabriel & Virgin
Message-Id: <>

Greetings all,

Someone posted (sorry but I deleted the file without saving the poster's
address) about Peter Gabriel being dropped from Virgin before the release of
_So_ in 1986. Sorry but Virgin did not drop Gabriel :-)  In 1980 Atlantic
records refused to release his 3rd album in the US and it was eventually
released on Mercury in the states. Meanwhile Charisma remained his UK and
European label. The switch to Geffen in the US occurred after PG III but
before PG IV/Security and reissues of the 3rd album are usually on Geffen
(mine is). About this time Charisma ceased to exist in the UK and was fully
absorbed into Virgin (I may have the date off by a year or so), the result
was that PG product was released on Virgin/Geffen from that point on. (If
anyone has more exact info on the his UK label situation please e-mail me
privately as I'd be interested.)

On an XTC note...about those demos I'd be interested in swapping for some.
My XTC collection is limited but I've got other stuff...

Sorry about the relative lack of XTC content :-)

Happy listening.



Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 1996 08:58:01 +0000
From: Jeff Langr <>
Subject: XTC vinyl

OK, sorry to post a blatant ad, but I still have over 60 vinyl XTC items
for sale or trade (I'm looking for many CDs to backfill my collection).
Ever since my nephew snapped my high $ needle on my turntable, I've
lost more and more interest in vinyl.  Besides, without the needle,
everything starts to sound like Flipper (or Godflesh).

And in the interest of moving the lot I've dropped prices once again.
There's still quite a few interesting items including things like Go+,
Hope & Anchor Front Row Festival, Looking for Footprints, Live & More,
5 Senses.  Send an e-mail to me if you're interested.

Jeff L.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Organization: Access Tucson
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 1996 09:34:32 -0700
Subject: Re: Andy Up On Poppy

> > As far as what it all means, sounds to me like Andy is Beavis in
> > disguise (Fire! Fire!)...
Huh huh, huh, that was cool.

> I think that's excellent.  What about this:  Holly rides Poppy in the way
> Andy rides Pop.  Both are lost in their worlds.
And the double entendre' heroine reference, Holly up on Poppy.

> I didn't realise 'This Is Pop' was so radically different to the
> album version.
Yes, we aquired the single when it came out and were also shocked and
Delighted!  We think they re-recorded the song between the Drums and
Wires sessions and Black Sea.

> Now, I'm sure I've heard
> of Mr. Elfman, and it was probably on this list, so if anyone who can
> tell me anything at all about him
Danny Elfman:  Former leader of Oingo Boingo from California
Now makes all his money doing theme songs for TV and Movies.

> Does anyone out there know of any alternative guitar tunings used by
> XTC for particular songs?
I'd also be interested in learning this.
Jeff Smelser
Video Engineer
Access Tucson


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