Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-39

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 39

               Wednesday, 10 December 1997

Today's Topics:

         Garn, Punks--Have an XTC-Free Giggle...
                      Re: Greetings
               Finals greetings to all.....
                XTC sampled in techno song
                     Animal Droppings
               Let's Make Some Sweet Music
             The Lady may soon be no more....
              Re: Rawk 'n' Role Howl of Fame
                      Re:Second XTC
            the saddest of "useless" bands...
                   that makes two of us
              Great moments in (this is) pop
               Minaiture soldiers for Andy?
                       Re: Ladybird
                Stephanie's chat with Dave


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The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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Fog is the sweat of the never never navvies who pound.


Message-ID: <>
From: "Sherwood, Harrison" <>
Subject: Garn, Punks--Have an XTC-Free Giggle...
Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 14:03:09 -0500

Can't believe I missed this the first time around, but my truncated pals
at _Suck_ hit several extremely deserving nails on the head in a Filler
a few weeks ago. Check out
if you want a _schadenfreude_-laden laff....

It's like rain or yer wedding day or something.... Just gonna lay this
here issue of _The Baffler_ athwart the bridge of my nose...lie back,
breathe the lovely fresh-ink old-media fumes deep into my
digitally-deprived sinuses, float upstream....

Harrison "Sidney...borrrrrrrring!" Sherwood


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 08 Dec 1997 14:44:08 -0400
From: gregory <>
Organization: InfiNet
Subject: Re: Greetings


Long time, no speak!

How the heck is everybody?

Merry Christmas to all those to whom it means something, and the
appropriate greetings to all of the others!

And in the spirit of the season, ya might wanna go and check the Sounds
& MIDI page on the Chalkhills site sometime soon... I just sent a new
MIDI file off to John.

"Another Satellite"

Eating future & shitting past...


Date: Mon, 08 Dec 1997 15:09:37 -0600 (CST)
From: lady cornelius plum <>
Subject: Finals greetings to all.....
Message-id: <>

quick message here.......

First of all-David-forgot your email address, forgot what you said you'd
wanted me to tape. (YOU MUST GET IN TOCH WITH ME B4 WEDNESDAY, or else it'll
be a long time before we can converse again. (And I must get a spell

To anyone who's asked for trading stuff-I hate to make you guys wait, but
I'm way too busy with finals to worry about anything else, then vacation
starts on Thursday. So be patient, and we'll do this once I get back from
vacation. (Early January.)



Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 08 Dec 1997 18:05:02 -0500
From: Ian C Stewart <>
Organization: AUTOreverse
Subject: XTC sampled in techno song

Hey, I sampled the crapola out of some XTC stuff and made a rather
bangin' techno-ey track out of it, called "Monuments,"  which can be
heared in Real Audio at

another track, "Remember The Fuse Tomorrow" also samples the Dukes.

Any other would-be remixers out there ever screwed around with XTC in
this manner?

check out BOOTY for all your XTC video needs:

Ian C Stewart


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 03:38:39 -0500
From: "Neal H. Buck" <>
Organization: Lionarts
Subject: Animal Droppings

To the Products of Andy Capp's friend's Loins,

Just to clean up some loose ends, and to show I'm no hit and run,

Re: Worst Song List. In my last posting, I said it was an OK idea, but I
didn't give mine. Here's the problem I've come up with. Some of my
favorite songs contain parts that I can't stand. "Melt the Guns," (and
to a lesser extent "Train Running Low on Soul Coal"), for instance.
While I admire Andy's vocal athletics, after a while his acappella
histrionics get annoying. When I first heard that he passed out on
stage, I thought it must have been while doing one of these songs. I get
winded just hearing them. Other songs I liked (and still admire), when I
heard them the first few times, but they have since popped up on so many
singles and collections that I tend to skip them - "Limelight," "Chain
of Command," "Strange Tales,""Officer Blue," etc.
The rest are more the result of albums I just never got into -
"Skylarking," "Psonic Psunspot," and "Nonsuch" (tho' I did just put on
"Nonsuch," and found I liked more songs than I remembered, esp.
"Smartest Monkeys," and "Omnibus").

Re: "Wayne's World" equivalent. "Wake Up." I noticed Rick in the last
digest suggested this. Yes, the operatic voices and the swelling
drum-driven climax (is this a family-oriented site?) make it a good
match in my humble opinion.

Re: Who will be remembered? I'm not too familiar with Paula Cole, and I
think Beck is interesting, but overrated. I own "Odelay" and it's OK...
I think Third Eye Blind is underrated in these pages. They remind me of
the pop sensibilities our own champs possess. "Hard pop" if you will,
timeless - not trendy (tastes great, too!) Except for the Beatles, I've
resigned myself for being the supporter of superior, but less popular
causes: XTC, Oingo Boingo, Bill Nelson, Macintosh... maybe in heaven
justice will prevail.

Re: How I got kicked out of an XTC concert. I've already shared about my
first XTC concert ("Drums & Wires," met them backstage, made ass of
myself - sort of). After that, I was an avowed fan. I saw them the next
time around (supporting "Black Sea," of course) at the now-cremated
Painters Mill Music Fair in Baltimore. What an excellent show! I never
have been able to understand how Andy could say he hated performing and
was scared to death. From what I saw, he was having a gas, and was an
excellent performer - go figure. So as soon as I saw they were returning
to the Washington D.C. area, I got tickets. They played the Bayou, in
Georgetown. I had been to several concerts there (I even saw Barry with
the League of Gentlemen there), and at the time, getting high was a
common thing for me. The Bayou had always been a "cool" place to do
this, though recently there had been some "incidents." My friends and I
found a seat and I think we saw the opening band. At one point, a joint
was passed (not mine), and at the end of that I was passed the roach,
and then... a security guard caught me and kicked me out. Not my
friends, who (probably being stoned) didn't make a move to stick up for
me. I was left out in the cold (it was winter) to wait for the concert
to be over, since I didn't drive, while my friends stayed inside. At
least I could hear it, but in a way that made it worse. OK, I know it
was my fault, but that's what happened. Later, tickets went on sale for
the next tour at Painters Mill ("English Settlement"), which I bought.
Then Andy had his "attack" and the tour was cancelled.

That's all for now, thanks for your patience.

New Town Animal


Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 11:56:44 +0000
Subject: CTA-102

From: "Rick Mealey" <>
Subject: this, and furthermore, that

>>>Everytime I get into a plane and look out the window, the song "Roads
>>>Girdle The Globe" comes streaming into my brain.

>>Actually, the song I always think of at airports and in planes is the
>>Dukes' "You're My Drug".  It's the jumbo jet blast followed by the
>>infectious bass line.  I love it and it makes me want to MOVE!
>Yes! Yes! Yes! Flying into Heathrow, or better, Gatwick, at sunrise...
>Does anyone else hear The Byrds' Eight Miles High reverberating in that
>song anyplace?

Hmmm, the Learjet Song usually pops up in my mind on the engines are
starting up.

My main thoughts of music while flying hark back to a 2 hour delay in
Toronto (flight from Detroit to Heathrow), where a drunken passanger had to
be removed (no it wasn't me), along with his luggage.

Anyway while taking off into the sunset (literally), White Rabbit started
playing on the headphones (which resulted in me bouncing up & down in my
seat (I love takeoff & landing)).

I must admit I would like to hear a Dukes version of Eight Miles or Hey Joe
(Byrds version).

Spurious Byrds stuff

I have the original take of 8 Miles High which the band whernt allowed to
use (cos it wasn't recorded in a CBS studio), and as usual with the Byrds
any re-recording of a track (for a single or otherwise), was (on purpose) a
lack lustre affair.

Just as the last track on the early albums where all joke tracks (We'll
meet again etc), but on "Younger than Yesterday" (I think) the last track
was a proper song except it is a re-recording of one of their singles and
is definately 2nd rate compared with the original version.

Regards Rob...


Message-ID: <840C6065282CD111A6B400805FEA5AC5169140@BENEXCHG>
From: Gary Minns <>
Subject: Let's Make Some Sweet Music
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 13:40:59 -0000

>Everyone's asking questions about "What XTC song
>would be best to do ________ to?", but nobody's asked
>the provocative one I have to? ;)


Please don't try it to Science Friction or Do What You Do...leave that
for the rabbits!

Ever deviantly yours,


Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 08:59:01 -0600 (CST)
From: lady cornelius plum <>
Subject: The Lady may soon be no more....
Message-id: <>

Thanks to my brothers GETTING THE DAMN COMPUTER FIXED AT HOME our AOL should
be back, and no more Lady Cornelius Plum! I shall have to go under one of my
brother's stupid monikers, probably something having to do with Warner Bros.
cartoons or Star Wars.


I'm still convinced XTC cannot name the new one Fireanything. I quite like
the suggestion of Phoenix Up From the Flames, however. Sort of like XTC was
in a state of dormancy for years, and have burst up with a new album.

I completely forgot to respond to a query from Matt Keeley a coupla digests
ago. Those MTV top ten lists of chees videos were indeed CHEESY videos. I
mean the kind that make you cringe just by thinking about them. (Stuff like
"Micky", "Separate Ways", "Electric Youth", and so forth and so on. The
Cheesiest Video of all time was "Oh Sherry" by Steve Perry, if I hadn't
mentioned that already.  But then again, weren't all 80's videos inherently
cheesy? I've got piles of them on tape from bands like Kajagoogoo (I think
that was my niece's first word....), Men Without Hats, Scritti Politti...I
cringe when I see them.

And now I must be going.......

XTC song of the day-Wrapped In Grey
non XTC song-Safety Dance-Men Without Hats (or, as someone heard, "Let's save

Try to avoid the daylight


Message-Id: <>
From: "Don Rogalski" <>
Subject: Re: Rawk 'n' Role Howl of Fame
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 23:49:57 +0800

Dear Chalkhills people:

I unlurk for a moment in response to what Bob from
Cleveland said:

> ... of the R & R Hall of Fame, I don't feel it's too early
> to look into what can be done to give the world's most
> underrated band the ultimate honor they deserve...

No offence, but how could acceptance into the Disneyland
of "rawk 'n' role" be conceived as the "ultimate honour" for
a band that has for the last twenty years thrived on creating
subversive musical stylings that defy simplicity of both
mimicry and classification (well, save for the Dukes and
the Beatle-esque tunes from their last two albums)?  If
anything, doesn't the embrace of the elderly rawk
establishment (as differentiated from the current all-turn-ative
rawk press) herald that one's artistic fecundity has long
ago petered out -- a "muse-ical" death knell, if you will?

The rawk'n'role howl of fame is nothing more than a
battle of the bands done up with multi-million dollar
backing.  Kee-rist, battles of the bands are for high
school kids!!  Could there possibly be XTC fans out there
who, when confronted with a poster for a talent contest in
the halls of one's high school (I don't mean to exclude those
not from North America, but I don't rightly know if you
had these things), didn't sneer at the whole notion of a group
playing a song in front of a panel of judges in the hopes of
gaining their approval?  Wasn't XTC born out of a musical
movement that snubbed its nose at the tyrannical approval of
the Hit Parade?

Ah, a fondly held conceit of a pompous minority of the
generation that came of age in the early 1980's, you might
sniff -- that not only did we think we were somehow
superior because the names of the bands we listened to
remained submerged beneath the top forty names that
accompanied Madonna and Michael Jackson in their perennial
romp to the number one spot on the popularity list, but that
we assumed that "our" bands were above the infantile
desire to be loved by the masses, and that they would be loathe
to succumb to the Faustian pact for fear of the compromises
that that would entail.  That conceit, of course, is a vacuous
one, as many realized while cringeing at the news that
Echo and the Bunnymen had written a song for inclusion
on the soundtrack for a dreadful film called "Pretty in Pink".

Sure, after that I lightened up, especially as I became more
and more uncomfortable with the elitist underpinnings of
the grand conceit to which I had, until then, subscribed.
And yet, as I begin my tour of the fourth decade of life
I can't help but remember what it was that inspired the delicious
excitement of listening to the "secret music" of XTC.  It
was, truth be told, a largely reactionary impulse (top forty
radio plays nothing like this!), but still there was a sense that
the group was doing something musically rewarding.

THAT's the ultimate reward, is it not?  Oh, there are
financial rewards that come with mainstream fame,
meaning that Andy P. could buy a nice Manhattan
brownstone instead of staying in his council estate in
Swindon, but ultimately why bother if you're not
starving?  I've been fortunate enough to meet far too
many artistic and creative types who've achieved
a comfortable lower middle-class lifestyle without
giving in to the pressures of commercialism, ever to
be convinced that "going for the bucks" is worth it.

So forget about having our boys' names engraved on
some dreary plaque in Clevelands rawk'n'role howl
of fame, I say.  Let them remain....




Subject: Re:Second XTC
Message-ID: <>
From: (Steve M Ransom)
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 11:13:53 EST

Bravo Harrison Sherwood!!

Thanks for the laughs!!

Your "Second XTC" expose was brilliant.  Lets hear more.

Steve rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr


Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 12:15:20 -0700 (MST)
From: J A White <>
Subject: the saddest of "useless" bands...
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.96.971209113929.13311A-100000@yoop>

Hello all.......

Amanda--speaking of No Doubt, it is truly saddening to those of us who
have been watching talented bands with decent integrity mature and
develop, both artistically and musically, throughout the years (XTC,
The Church, Howard Jones to name a few) stroll through their respective
careers without the true public recognition they deserve...And then to see
a band which initially had that integrity (No Doubt) give it up for their
fifteen minutes of fame....Ahhh, I do believe I feel a story coming
on....gather around the campfire, all, for Uncle Jon has a tale he's gonna

I am the songwriter/guitarist/manager/publicist/person who picks up
take-out Chinese for rehearsals/arranger for a local ska band here in Salt
Lake. We play old-skool ska (i.e. Skatalites, Desmond Dekker, Laurel
Aitken, etc.. not to mention the occasional 2nd wave feel i.e the
Specials, the Selecter, the Toasters). A while back (I believe it was
spring of '94 although I really can't remember) we opened up for the
then-unheard-of No Doubt. It was an excellent show! For those of you who
don't know, prior to their rise to stardom No Doubt were actually quite a
well-accomplished S-K-A (note the emphasis) band. Anyway, it was a great
concert, and after the show we all went down to a local bar and had some
drinks (yes there are bars in SLC!!). Gwen, who at the time looked
different (long brown hair, less makeup, albeit still the baby shirts...),
bought everyone a few rounds. She was really down to earth, normal, and
she seemed(I could be wrong) as if she was pretty intelligent and
dedicated to her profession. Anyway, a great time was had by all, and the
members of No Doubt all promised us that they'd have us open for 'em the
next time they came through Utah. Well, I don't really need to say
anything else except that the next time they came through they were
sharing the bill with !!ugh!! Bush and playing to a sold-out crowd in the
20,000 seat Delta Center (where the NBA Jazz play). It's really a sad
story, I think, and I every time I see Gwen on TV now, (MTV music video
awards are a prime example) I remember what a hell of a time we had
playing real ska with 'em in the basement of a tiny little club a few
years back.

So, Amanda, No Doubt was once a pretty cool bunch of people, I know from
experience. On another note, their horn section (a great bunch of guys!)
are probably pissed off as all hell right now with the direction the band
chose to take. They are not even credited in the booklet of "Tragic
Kingdom"!!!! It's depressing to think about it...

By the way, check out their first album (cleverly titled "No Doubt") to
see for yourself the change from grass-roots ska to the 90's dirt-heap of
ska-punk or whatever the hell the media catchphrase is....

Well, enough for now....just had to share that with people who would
understand. And let's all be thankful our beloved boys never bothered to
"sell out." Speaking of which, we played with Reel Big Fish at the '96 Ska
Patrick's Day festival.....but that's another story.....

TTFN (ta ta for now)


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 15:47:19 -0500
From: Ben Gott <>
Organization: Loquacious Music
Subject: Newxtc


You know, Harrison's last post (the "Second XTC") seemed very strange to
me, but not until I got this e-mail. It's a small world, after all:


Subject: New XTC band!
   Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 13:53:39 -0500


We wanted to tell you about an awesome new band we've started: it's
called "XXX-tc." What kind of music do we play, you ask? Well - it's a
combination of ska, metal, and punk, all based on some songs written,
like, thirty years ago by this guy who's older than my grandfather.

Here are some of our lyrics: get prepared to mosh!

"Hell mother motor, hell pissin' rotor, hell, bitch!"

"But he made too many enemas/All the people who'd get us on our knees,
those fuckers!"

"Can't wait until the weekend comes/I wanna drink with all my chums!"

"Gonna take it out on her...with my WEAPON!" [wait a second...-BG]

"Drowning here in Daniel's cauldron...'Jack', that is!"

"Dear God, why don't you shut the hell up?"

"My bird a strip joint!"

Anyway, we've signed this deal with Frying Vinyl, and we'll be
performing on the quad on Friday after our Econ exam. Rock on, Bowdoin!


Harrison Sherwoody (aka "Enemy of Chinchillas")
Ira "Screamin' Demon" Lieman (aka "thunder")
John "Relllllppph!" (aka "Sound of Vomit")
Amanda Hugandkiss (aka "What are you looking at, punk?")


I can see the quad from my window, so I guess I'll be watching the
concert. I'll record it -- maybe we could send it to Andy? And I hope
that Harrison, Ira, John and Amanda will still talk to me in the

-Ben G"r"ott

Why does David Byrne always write songs about television?

XTC SONG OF THE DAY: Sacrificial Bonfire

* ----------------------------------------------- *
B e n   G o t t    ::               Bowdoin College
Telephone          ::                (207) 721-5142
Internet           ::
* ----------------------------------------------- *


Message-Id: <l03102800b0b35d4859db@[]>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 15:53:38 -0500
From: Jason Garcia <>
Subject: that makes two of us

Dave Blackburn came to my rescue:

>And boy I'd like to hear a properly remastered version of O&L,
>which as it stands, epitomizes what is wrong with late 80's digital sound.

THANK YOU!!!  See, SOMEBODY knows what I'm talking about.  I'm NOT
crazy.  O&L just sounds BAD, on CD at least.

>BTW, am I the only one (I somehow doubt it) that LOVES the song Ladybird?

No.  I always get a little misty when that song comes on.  It was my
first fave off "Mummer".

And now, back to work.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 09 Dec 1997 21:49:41 +0000
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Ponder

From: Peter Fitzpatrick <>

>Anyway. The team from MSN that worked on Rifff with Andy have contacted me
>and I'm going to help get this wrapped. Apparently the discs were signed by
>Andy but somehow never made it to the Rifff team. They're now back in the

Oh, the irony - considering nobody in the UK was actually allowed to even
_try_ and win one.

From: "Rick Mealey" <>

>Has no one else explored the comic potential in setting that scene to
>Wake Up? Imagine: the boys turn the radio on, Andy and Dave begin their
>cross-pollinated skank/clave, someone yells "Most excellent!", and all
>four begin banging their heads-- on *different beats*,

Hah! This is the _ONE_.  I love it!  Kudos and kow-tows.

Walked into Papertree at the weekend (a greetings card shop marked for its
routine employment of customer-blind assistants who loiter at the wrong end
of the store until the end of the waiting queue displaces them) and was
overjoyed to hear the piping trumpets (Can trumpets pipe? Or do they trump?)
of "Thanks For Christmas" over the instore PA.  Proof that, as a lot of us
already knew, some people just do not listen to lyrics. Oh, it's got
Christmas in the title, let's stick it on our "Now That's What I Call A
Profit Margin 103" special Christmas Edition CD.  The fact that it's a
ceaselessly cynical work seems to have eluded a lot of people.

I reckon it's time for a _real_ "Christmas" Song...

In Nicaea town did Constantine,
Bully people to agree,
That the birth of Christ on the festival,
Of Sol Invicta be.

They made it up to suit themselves,
So all their pagan games,
Could go on as they had before,
But under different names.

And so on.  Probably won't catch on, though.

I heard on the radio today that Simon Draper, the ex-Virgin guy who worked
with XTC, now runs a publishing house and just published a limited edition
World Atlas of Pheasants which comes in two volumes at five thousand pounds
for the pair.  If he has the salesmanship to sell _those_, how come he
couldn't get XTC to the top of the (inter)national market?

Can't help grin from growing w-i-d-e today,


-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-  (
An XTC resource - "Saving it all up for you..."


Message-Id: <>
From: (Mandy Taylor)
Subject: Great moments in (this is) pop
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 00:21:38 +0000 (GMT)

Hello there,

There's a couple of XTC songs I've seen mentioned amongst these pages
that I have never heard of before:

"Didn't Hurt Abit" & "I'm The Man Who Murdered Love"


Also, I totally agree with Bob about those certain moments of such
songs as Summer's Cauldron. I've got my own moments that just do me
in when I'm listening. I was wondering whether to share them or not
for risking being seen as somewhat sad, but then this mailing service
is for utter XTC saddoes with no where else to unload..yes, no?
Probably not. ANYway, skip this if you're pressed for time, or even
if you're not.

* last bit of Peter Pumpkin "aheeyaeeyah-ah"
* ending of Across This Antheap when it first goes quiet and refrain
  of "on and on" starts up
* fade out of Easter Theatre (Green Man's brilliant, but surely this
  one's the best?)
* Battery Brides live lengthy intro then Andy coming in singing..oh
* Rook chords (not just saying it cos Andy loves it either.)
* trumpet bit on My Bird Performs
* where it goes all psychedelic and quiet on "Jason.." then kicks in
  with "I have watched the manimals.."
* pounding drums and moving bass and Andy's distant echoey voice in
  intro of All Of A Sudden
* Down in the Cockpit: where Andy goes "ow! ow! ow! ow! ow! ow!
* the ringing fire engine bell in the intro of Great Fire and when
  the bell finishes it kind of gets abit faster, like a flourish..
  i dunno.. it's getting abit long this list innit? i'm feeling
  most sad. no friends. hey ho, i'll carry on.
* when Colin sings "who cares" near end of Wake Up. Perfect.
* The video of Dear God, with the foot thing at the beginning, when
  it turns out it's Andy and stuff, and then the way he sings the
  song looking straight into the camera with a kind of all knowing
* Complicated Game: "a little girl asked me should she part her hair
  upon the le e e e f f f f t t t ..."
* lyrics: "I've been just explosive since you kissed me"
* lyrics: "mister fireman bet you couldn't put me out if you tried"
  - and loads others, but Andy is just great at sweet love songs
* the way Runaways opens EnglishSettlement. Fading in, then POW with
  the drum and bass
* piano on Blame the Weather
* Take this Town: the guitar solo, then all that "it's time she
  stopped being your ornament..." and all that, and then all that
  "we're going to take this.." whispering, then Andy's voice fading
  back in. (nearly finished now. I'm EVER so sorry, but I can't
  really stop myself) (oh dear.)
* The whole Dukes thing, and how they both make even their voices
  sound different (eg Albert Brown, 25 o'clock




From: Matt_Kaden/CAM/
Message-ID: <>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 10:29:21 -0500
Subject: Interjection

Jason Phelan suggests:
>I think the line in the demo "I'd like that" is
>Say a Sunflower I became
>I'd be growing in your RAIN ( or REIGN but NOT BRAIN)
>I mean I know he is poetic, but I think
>a sunflower sprouting roots, and wrapping around someone's
>Medula Oblangata or cerebral cortex is a little freaky,
>Kinda cool, but a little freaky.


>From Harrison Sherwood:
"lantern-jawed young man"

Thanks for that mental image.

"Please don't break the spell, give it to someone else"


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 10:22:37 -0500
Subject: Minaiture soldiers for Andy?

Chalkies and Chalkettes;

Did anyone else see the newspaper article about Malcolm Forbes' estate
auctioning off his enormous collection of miniature soldiers?  It is
expected to bring a total of $250,000, but there are over 60,000 pieces.
One of the rarest lots in the sale is the set of 5 Boy Scouts holding
signal flags spelling out "Scout" in its original box.  It was made in
Britain just after WW1, and are expected to bring about $500.  I bet Andy
would flip over this!   Too bad there's no way for us to
a) get $500 together from list members, b) have somebody participate in the
auction (some done at Christie's in NY and the rest in London), and c) make
sure we outbid some well-off competitors so that we could give Andy a nice
present for all of the great music he's given us over the years.



Date: 9 Dec 97 02:09:44 +0000
Subject: Re: Ladybird
From: "David vanWert" <>
Message-Id: <B0B258F1-6BF61@>

On Tue, Dec 9, 1997 6:27 AM, Jim S wrote:
> Hey! I live in St. Louis, too! I got my Mummer at Now Hear This in
> Crestwood.  Damn, I coulda SWORN I was the lone XTC fan in the midwest.
> Glad to know I am not alone!
> BTW, am I the only one (I somehow doubt it) that LOVES the song Ladybird?

I've been an XTC fan since Black Sea (which I actually bought when English
Settlement was the current release-- a friend played me "Senses Working
Overtime" and I rushed out to buy the album but the store didn't have it so
I bought Black Sea instead) and I remember not liking Mummer when it first
came out, or at least being quite puzzled by it. But then it slowly grew on
me and to this day it's my favorite XTC album. I, too, LOVE "Ladybird," but
I love every song on that album. When I play the CD with the bonus tracks,
I tend to skip "Toys" and "Desert Island," not because I don't like them,
but because for me they interrupt the flow of the album. "Gold" doesn't
(and I sometimes repeat that one when I'm feeling especially bouncy!) nor
does "Jump" or the "Homo Safari" pieces, for whatever reason...

Also, I live in Chicago (though not native) so there's at least three of us
within a 150 mile radius.

David vanWert

"I hate quotations."  Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1849


Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Date: Tue, 9 Dec 1997 14:58:42 +0000
Subject: D


> From: "Dr. Foulger" <>
> Sorry that this went on for so long, and even though I beleive what I
> wrote my turntable (Rega Planar 2 (not even a 3!) is sitting in it's
> box as I have just moved from UK to USA and a it plays 20% faster due
> to the 60Hz mains electricity.  Anyone know how to fix this?

Hmm... On my player, there's a knob that will change the speed of the
turntable (not between 33 and 45, there's a button for that.... I'm
not _that_ stupid)... anyway, you might try fiddling with that... if
yours doesn't have one, you could try getting into the machinery if
you're that sort of person, but also, you might be able to get some
sort of adapter for it too, if all else fails... try calling around
to local electronic-type shops.

> From: "Rick Mealey" <>
> >"After Nasty's 'Bigger than God' comment, people started to burn
> >their records.  In fact, they were buying them just to burn them.
> >Record sales skyrocketed..."
> Didn't it turn out that Nasty was really talking about being bigger than
> Rod? I think we're agreed that if life were just, XTC would indeed be
> bigger than Rod Stupid, who should just hang it up. Whatever "it" is.

Yep... damn those near-deaf journalists!  Well, maybe not, they can
make sales rise... but anyway...

> From:
>      I think the line in the demo "I'd like that" is
>      Say a Sunflower I became
>      I'd be growing in your RAIN ( or REIGN but NOT BRAIN)
>      I mean I know he is poetic, but I think
>      a sunflower sprouting roots, and wrapping around someone's
>      Medula Oblangata or cerebral cortex is a little freaky,
>      Kinda cool, but a little freaky.

I haven't heard the song in a while so I can't verify if it's rain,
reign, brain or cheese, but while rain seems to work better, brain
could work... sort of like the whole thinking of a sunflower when she
sees Andy and all... of course, I do like the idea of vines
strangling someones brain... but that's just me.

Ah well that's this world over...

Living Through | (ICQ UIN: 1455267, Name: MrMe)
Another        |
Cuba -- XTC    | I used to be temporarily insane!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now I'm just stupid! -- Brak


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 1997 10:13:18 -0500
Subject: Stephanie's chat with Dave

Hello Chalkies and Chalkettes;

I am forwarding a message from Stephanie Takeshita, who is a long-time list
lurker.  She no longer has Internet access, but had a wonderful, LONG
conversation with Dave Gregory that she desperately wanted to deliver to
you all.  Since she used to temp at my company, she asked me to send this
message to the list on her behalf (usual disclaimers from me;  I'm just the
messenger).  So, she drove over here the other night and delivered the
following report on disc that I am copying and pasting onto my heading
message here.  So here goes:


To:       stakesh
 Subject:  Update from Dave!!

Hello, Chalkdom!
Permit me to introduce myself, Stephanie Takeshita, vis-a-vis XTC.  I
logged on to the 'Net this summer, at work, and started burrowing into
Chalkhills' back issues.  Please excuse me if what I have to report
replicates anything posted in the past month, because I've been largely
cut off from the 'Net since the end of October (just when I was striking
up some interesting correspondence, too, dammit!).  Don't post to this
address - I'm just borrowing it at work, in a friend's cubicle, at a
different corporatiion, no less; wait
'til I get set up at home.  And I can't promise that I'll be able to log
onto CH again for a while.  (Long story - I need to borrow a copy of
Windows 95, disc two, which was supposed to come with my computer, but
didn't, and I didn't miss it for over a year because Win 95 was
preloaded anyway, and I hadn't tried until now to hook up to the 'Net...
but the underlying reason is that I'm a complete newbie, a total basket
case with bits and bytes.)

The only reason I'm breaking the silence now is to report the latest,
straight from "Gregsy" to the Chalkhill.  Yes, Dave called me Wednesday
night, to thank me for remembering his B-day,  and we chatted for just
over a half an hour.  [I'm just glad I don't live within easy driving
(or shooting) distance from AMANDA's.]    If Dave gets word of this
missive and gets p.o.'ed that I'm posting, I'm very sorry, but I forgot
to ask if our talk was on or off the record.  Anyway, it must've been
obvious that I was taking notes.

Harrison Sherwood, you'll be gratified to know that you came up first,
when I asked him if this wasn't some awful put-on by you or your crazy
brother.  Dave laughed, heartily, and said that although he didn't care
to be mistaken for a homosexual, he has always enjoyed your posts ("very
witty, always entertaining," or some such nonsense).  B>

First, the bad news:   XTC has encountered some recent delays in the
studio [I assume that would be Chris Difford's studio], and now he
doesn't expect the new album to come out until around September.   It
turned out that the control room was "stripped, totally stripped" and
"unoperational" when they got there, so they're now "stuck in what they
call pre-production," as he wryly put it.  He wishes that they'd just
stuck with Chipping Norton in the first place, where they recorded
Nonsvch.  This topic came up early so I hadn't regained my composure to
take good notes, but  he said that they're either back at C.N. now, or
will be soon.

Dave wholly approves of Hayden Bendall, personally as well as
professionally.  Turns out that Mr. Bendall had been diagnosed with lung
cancer about ten years ago and was given six months to live, but worked
out his own miraculous cure:  quitting smoking, keeping flushed with
lots of fluids, and drinking a lot of grape juice.  Ever since he's been
a completely different person - easygoing, pleasant to be around,
living for the moment, and enjoying life.  And now he's resumed smoking!
Dave sounded as if he couldn't believe it himself, or as if he
recognized how absurd all of this must sound.  [To be honest, I was
still feeling very stand-offish, not really believing any of this,
thinking that this is either one of the cruelest practical jokes ever
played, or that Hayden could've used the opinion of a second

Unfortunately, he doesn't approve of the latest book on XTC ("I can't
give any sanction to the new book,") if only because he suspects that it
is the latest in a long series of XTC mishaps and predatory
exploitations of XTC.  He doesn't expect to ever get money from this
project, and indicated that he had hardly anything to do with the author
or with what's going into the book - beyond whatever minimal cooperation
was demanded of him by Andy & Colin "to avoid being blackballed from the
union").  [Or maybe all the farting in Andy's shed had something to do
with it! - but I didn't go into that.]

On a happier note, Dave has just contributed a chapter for a book to be
published in February (in the U.S.), "Classic Guitars of the '60's".  We
didn't discuss it further but he sounded proud of his work.

They're still in touch with Pat Mastelotto, who drummed on O&L.  I think
this was reported before in Chalkhills, that Colin had driven to see
Robert Fripp and Pat M. not too long ago, and for an hour Fripp had
shared with Colin the hard-won lessons he had learned from his own
struggles to stay independent and solvent.  Colin's attitude was, and
remains, is that it's too much to master and be responsible for all the
financial and business details; he's always tended to leave that stuff
to Andy.  I joked that for a band, the first twenty years are the
hardest.  "I think they're all hard, actually."  Happily, we moved on to
other topics...

So, what does Dave have to say about the Mo-Fidelity releases?  He's
still the only one in the band to have either, and he has them only
because a friend gave them to him.  (But at present he's lent them to
another friend, who hasn't returned them yet.)  He likes the sound of
the Mo-Fi Skylarking.  I pointed out that some Chalkies have criticized
it for its dampened high end, but Dave said it captured the sound as he
thought it would/should sound, although he's listened to the Mo-Fi
version only twice.  (I neglected to clarify whether that was through
headphones or not, sorry.)  He doesn't care for Rundgren's production of
Skylarking - soundwise, anyway - which is really a shame because "it had
great potential".

He wasn't too crazy about the (original) O&L sound, either.  [Karl
MacRae, consider yourself at least partly vindicated.]  I said that
that's the gold disc I really like, because with the improved separation
the keyboard parts in particular come through clearer.  Dave agreed
[yessss!], adding that the guitars sound better, too.

Were they thinking of King Crimson when they made "Garden of Earthly
Delights"?  Although his "no" was rather emphatic,  he didn't sound
offended.  "Garden" in particular came out "really messy," difficult for
newcomers to listen through, and because of its relative
inaccessibility, "a terrible number for the album to start out with."

What are the guys listening to these days?  Well, Dave doesn't listen to
his own music much at all...  Dave didn't go into what he's been up to,
but said that Andy's still in a '60's revival mode - James Bond
soundtracks, Burt Bacharach, that kind of thing.  Apparently Andy hasn't
fully exorcised Burt Bacharach from his system yet.  [Must.. relax..
grip on phone...]  Turns out that both Andy and I love John Barry's
score for On Her Majesty's Secret Service.  Dave remains skeptical of
the '60's revival movement, and particularly of the ever-enduring James
Bond, which he liked somewhat as a teenager [and why not] but finds
embarrassing now, "really tacky and cheesy," always with the long chase
scenes, showdowns, and the like.  And campiness be damned.  Some things
are simply unsalvageable...

Dave gave Andy The Move's 3-disc box set and Terry Riley's "In C" for
his birthday (Nov. 11).  They both admire Riley [ditto].  Andy's tastes
are as far-ranging as ever - and that eclecticism clearly stokes his
creativity ("whatever helps him stay creative").  And yes,  The Bird
[Charlie Parker] is still a favorite pick for The Partridge.

Dave has "no idea" what Colin is listening to these days.

I asked Dave about "English Roundabout" - was it cast in 5/4 as a way of
referring to the fact that Swindon's Old Town features one big
roundabout flanked by five smaller ones?  He laughed loudly at this one:
"Isn't it marvellous, the things that people come up with?  ...they
write the craziest things about us... we may be clever, but we're not
that clever," to wildly paraphrase.

Yes, I said, it must be really difficult to put up with sometimes; we
[Chalkies] should all be committed, and we'll march off happily to the
asylum, but in 5/4 time...  "It's worse for Andy," he said.  But they
all have to be careful with regard to their fans.  Even now, after years
of XTC dormancy, Dave is very wary about sharing personal address &
phone info.  I confessed that I'd tried to get address info myself, but
to no avail; "Good!" he said.  For the first ten years or so, he
sometimes wasn't sufficiently guarded, and people would bother him at
home, which put him in a bit of a bind.  "Entertaining" and answering
the questions of everyone who shows up on your doorstep is simply out
the question.  If he was callous it wouldn't have been so bad, because
he could've simply turned everyone away posthaste, but he never felt
comfortable doing that, either.

 I suggested they all rent a P.O. Box, and publicize it through
Chalkhills, so that fans could send them stuff.  "The problem with
that," he said, "is that people tend to expect... some sort of reply,"
even though they know better... and XTC couldn't reply to all their fan
mail, even if they tried.  Besides, Andy's mail carrier is very good
about getting stuff to him anyway, even when packages lack a proper,
complete address, although there's often a delay of 3-6 weeks for stuff
to get to his door.

Beware:  there is a "Dave Gregory" in Swindon who has an internet
address, but that is definitely not our Gregsy.  ["Computers are not my
thing at all," he said; he would only use it for storage - by "keeping
something else stacked on top of it, leaving the computer to gather

Suffice it to say that I've mailed them via Andy, without anything
resembling a complete address to go by, and it did eventually get
through, so maybe we're better off with that route than trusting in an
incomplete address to their manager, who is not well known to his mail
carrier.  Remember, Andy lives in the "Old Town" part of Swindon,
Wiltshire, U.K.

But for the [incomplete] record:  you can try to mail stuff to XTC's
manager, Paul Bailey, at 86 Bridge Ave., London West 7, [apparently
there's another line here, like a ZIP code or something; Dave was
quoting from memory and thought he was leaving something out], London,
UK.  Ah, but do you trust your manager?  "Well, he's broke, but
basically trustworthy...".  The theory that if a manager's struggling
he's either honest or only ineptly criminal offers only cold comfort.
For understandable reasons it remains difficult for them to fully trust
any manager.   Dave sounded uncomfortable with the subject.

And how did Dave sound, anyway?  Well and good, relaxed, and in high
spirits!  (despite the glumness of some of the topics).  But you know
how sometimes a person's voice (or face, if you know the voice already)
will turn out to be the last thing you expected?  Well, that's Dave's
speaking voice!  Somewhat raspy and hoarse, and thinner and
higher-pitched than I expected.  And he sounded like a smoker, and if I
had to guess, fifty or over.  (Well, he did just turn 45...)

"Sorry to be so direct, but as far as I know the subject hasn't come up
on Chalkhills," I said.  "Do any of you guys smoke?"

"No!  We have a strict non-smoking policy!" he said, laughing.  But
seriously, he had been a smoking fiend as a youth, addicted to
cigarettes but also smoking cigarillos.  But he quit many years ago, and
none of them smoke now.  [Whew!]

And do you remember that undeniable Swindonian patois (or something!
The flu, perhaps?) in Andy's voice as he addressed the crowd in Live at
the BBC (1980)?  Well, fuhgedaboudit.  To my ear Dave simply sounded
English, and not Swindonian per se, if Andy's yawping was the essence of
Swindonian.  Although I'm probably tone deaf when it comes to
distinguishing the finer points of British accents (the same way a
Briton might have difficulty differentiating Macon, Georgia from
Atlanta, or Texas, even).  Quick, dryly light, articulate, and flatly
even-toned, as opposed to speaking with undue emphasis, inflection, or
affectation, and blessedly free of that intonational rise that is the
bane of many touchy-feely/ air-headed/ self-esteem- challenged types on
our side of the Atlantic, including, rarely, yours truly.  Don't think
"rock guitarist," think "accountant" or "technician."  I hope this
description helps.

Right at the end he said "There's always been something about XTC's
music that gets most people extremely pissed off," but he could barely
get this out, he was laughing so hard through it.

It was oh so nice.  He was so very nice.  I asked him when they'll next
be stateside; he didn't know, although he hopes they'll do some touring
to support the album.  It can't be easy for him to cold-call crazed
fans, but this whole conversation was exquisite torture for me:  Evil
Steph wanted to egg him on indefinitely; Stupid, Decent Steph kept
thinking of his running meter, and weekday international rates, and even
the lateness of the hour (for him, five hours ahead).  "Well, there's
this thing called Using Your Credit Card to Get Half Off On
International Calls, so please don't worry about it," he said at one

I made him a standing offer to pick them up at Newark Airport [aaargh!
I should've added "..or JFK, either one, doesn't matter a bit"] and save
them cab fare.  Hell, what I wouldn't give to chauffer them around - I'd
take them as far as Miami if they'd let me!  [Ira Lieman, Angry Young
Man, be angry no more; I told him I was sure that you could handle it,
if for some reason I couldn't make it.]  Dave said he just may take me
up on it.  I told him that I felt they can do anything they want to, but
since they have friends all over the world they might as well just lean
on a few of us, to let us help them, just like Sgt. Pepper's ["I get by
with a little help..."].

He said he may call me again, early '98.  I feel [prior to posting this,
anyway!] that the odds are pretty damn good.

I hope to get re-involved with Chalkhills soon; I miss being one of the

Remember, don't bother to try to post back to me direct; I won't get it.

Note:  I've tried to be painfully honest in my reporting as such, but I
did intentionally shuffle the order of the topics a little for the sake
of narrative flow.

Anyone in the Tri-State area game for a Kaffeeklatch?  If you're not
I'll be so verklemft...

Stephanie Takeshita, Highland Park, NJ, (732) 572-6609
"Life could be, and should be, ecstasy."  -- William Burroughs


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-39

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