Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #4-83

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 4, Number 83

                   Friday, 15 May 1998

Today's Topics:

               Succubus? I Barely Knowibus!
                        CC99 ideas
         Announcing: CHALKHILLS ORIGINALS '98 !!
                   Re: Haydn is in XTC
                Andy Put The "X" In X-T-C
                       Video vouch
                    Andy and Christmas
     "Joke" about Colin leaving and mail to the list
                    Re: Ian C. Stewart
                New Album Title Suggestion
                    Skylarking videos
           Misc. Ramblings and Children's Songs
                   Dear Madame Virgin??
                A worthwhile collaboration
                A Thousand Cheshire Cats?
                   Re: Childish images
        And now for something completely different
               (Black) Sea You Later, Dave
              Dave G. in the studio with....
                    An obscure request
        Bike Ride To The (half) Moon (roundabout)


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The bible says it's when cats and dogs make friends.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 16:24:47 -0400
From: Harrison Sherwood <>
Subject: Succubus? I Barely Knowibus!

DonSueP <> nicely nicely spake:

> the purity and honesty (and to hell
> with 'manliness') of our Season Cycle worshipper....

I certainly don't want to come off as a cynical old poo (I'd much rather
come off as a misanthropic, contemptuous and hateful old poo), but I
wouldn't put it past that Season Cycle guy to have posted that saccharine
"sensitive male" glossolalia just to impress some sloe-eyed mall-chippie
with a pierced bellybutton. I mean, can you believe the transparency of him?

Anyway, it didn't work; the bellybutton was unimpressed. An outie, you could
say (if you were trying to make everybody sick).

I want to shout out and say a big thank-you to Troy Peters, Chas, Rob Hill,
Perfect Sound Forever, T Lewis, JStrole (Harry?), and anybody else I might
have missed who replied about the "Crocodile" song. That was an extremely
cool tangent (way better than doing the sackcloth-and-ashes thing over
Colin, anyway); let's do it again sometime! I'm awarding the prize for
Neat-o Keen URL to, which gets
you a picture of Little Egypt herself, the Succubus in all her glory.

Women and children, avert your eyes! Men, steel your gaze! For this is THE
FACE (and bellybutton) OF SIN, *REVEALED*

Can you imagine! Looking at that picture, it's *right there*! That's the
moment when it all started to unravel, the first crack in the dam, the first
chink in the armor! The wide-awake guardians of the public morals predicted
*even then* that the kootch dancer would portend the fall of Western
Civilization, open the cathouse gates for the satyriasis-crazed Rakehells of
Gomorrah, their teeth stained with Christian blood and their pricks a yard
long--and they were *right*! This was the Olden Times, when a glimpse of
stocking was seen as something quite shocking: Can you imagine the mental
turmoil of a young bumpkin, in Chicago for the first time, still brushing
the hay from his hair--the nearest thing to orgiastic hedonism he's ever
experienced a bumpy wagon-ride in an itchy woolen union suit--meandering
down the Art Deco Midway, lured into the lair of the Temptress of Cairo
(opium!  hashish! Islam! silly hats!) by the sinuous and exotic strains of
That Song played on a rebec, yea, lifting aside a brocaded curtain to join
several score of sweaty, squirming, staring men entranced--mesmerized!
enslaved!--by this Jezebel?

Well I sure can, and I'm off to download the Pamela Lee honeymoon .AVI right

The upstate returns aren't in yet, but exit polling indicates I'm out of my
mind in re. the reptilian nature of the schoolyard lyrics for "Streets of
Cairo." It couldn't be plainer that this little melody still carries with
it, albeit deeply disguised, overtones of Oriental Sin and Depravity, and
the kiddiewinks, from their vantage point close to the Great Cultural
Unconscious, intuit this melodic subtext. Chalkie Todd Bernhardt's charming
wife Jennifer, whom I was privileged to meet for the first time yesterday,
had the completest set of lyrics I've heard so far:

There's a place in France where the naked ladies dance
There's hole in the wall where the men can see it all
But the ladies don't care 'cause they're in their underwear

God! Isn't that imagery *twisted*? Not to mention totally illogical? (A fact
that bothers poor Jennifer to distraction).

>From Chas:

> P.S.   Here's a bonus question, so everybody put on your Phrygian caps:
> "Crocodile" contains a melody that was (apparently) introduced at the 1893
> World's Fair.  The lyrics to "Crocodile" mention something else that debuted
> at the very same Fair - what is it?

The 1893 World's Fair was an astonishing event, one that saw the introduction
of the Ferris Wheel, Cracker Jacks, Aunt Jemima Syrup, Cream of Wheat,
Shredded Wheat, Pabst Beer, Juicy Fruit gum, and diet carbonated soda.

Whew! Just *typing* it gives me gas. Funny: all of a sudden I feel a bit cold
and lifeless, like the...hey! Wait a minute!

Harrison "Who put Warren Burger on my plate?" Sherwood


Message-ID: <72EDB966944AD1118DC90080D820748847C052@ex-campus2>
Subject: CC99 ideas
Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 15:44:46 -0700

I have been getting a lot of requests to continue the Chalkhills'
Children tributes because so many people simply never got "in."  On?

What I was thinking was to accept contributor's requests for tape space
for a period of one month and then pick names at random to be included
on the tape.  After plenty of thought, I'm not entirely comfortable with
a lottery approach, though it is more democratic than what I have done.

The problem is that I will still have to play this "Waiting Game" until
tapes arrive and have people ask for "extensions" or tell me it was sent
five days sooner than it really was.  Having a peculiar love of the
actual recording process, I find it odd that these people would wait to
see if they got "in" (on?) to start recording.

RECORD!  Do it.  It can be very educational and, once you work out the
kinks, a lot of fun.  Then if a tribute comes up you say, "Hmmm... ya
know, I've got that tape hanging around... why don't I send it?"

What I'm thinking is as follows:
*	I could truly open it up for EVERYONE who wanted to contribute.
*	You don't reserve a song.  If you cover a song and get it to me
        first, you're "in" (on?).  The second version I receive waits until
	the next tribute tape.
*	You send your tape when you are done with it.  No deadline.  The
	schedule is now your responsibility.
*	When I have enough covers to fill a tape, I "close" that tape
	and start the production process.
*	As tapes continue to arrive, I start compiling the next tape.
*	We wouldn't have people rushing through just to meet the
	deadline and sending some lame vocal track, stiff MIDI track or the
	recording of their piano lesson with XTC melodies hummed over the
	top.  People would have time to work it out and get it right (I
	realize that some people don't care, they just want to know that XTC
	has heard them.  Yee-ha.).

What I'm figuring is this; I received around 60 requests to participate
in CC98.  If only 60% of those come through I'd have enough for two
tapes.  I'd then release single tapes at some, as yet undetermined,
interval, say 6 months.  By the way, I simply don't want to get into a
"double" release.  With the exception of Zappa's Freak Out (double AND
debut) album, name a multi-album worth owning (barring collections).
..and if anyone says, "Wings Over America", I'm telling Chalkhills.

This would give the people who really want to be a part of the tributes
a chance.  Then again (what the hell is "Then again" REALLY saying?  I
know how it's used but what is it SAYING?).  Then again, if I get 50
tapes in the span of four months and I release a tribute every six
months, some contributors won't hear their song for over a year.  They'd
feel like contributors to the Chalkhills Originals tape.

The problem is that I will forever be caught in the "next trib tape"
loop, i.e., by the time I get one tape released, if I didn't already
have too many tapes to fit, I'll have received a few more contributions
for the next one.

Furthermore would people get burned out on tributes if they have one
every six months?  Is there really going to be interest after XTC starts
releasing material again?

I had people request a spot on CC98 saying, "Hey, my band covers Melt
The Guns and we have it recorded.  Where should I send the tape?"  This
guy already has the cover in the can and come June 30, I'll be waiting
for the postman just hoping, hoping, hoping that the last few tapes are
in his bag.

Maybe the lottery scheme isn't so bad...

I'm waffling... I'm rambling...

I'd like to hear other ideas and comments.

Email me privately at: with the subject "tribs" please.

Cheers, Richard


Message-Id: <>
Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 17:57:15 -0700
From: "MARK G. CUEVAS" <>
Subject: Announcing: CHALKHILLS ORIGINALS '98 !!


For the past two months, at my invitation, a number of very talented
Chalkers, ex-Chalkers and friends thereof have been diligently creating
originals to be compiled and released on CHALKHILLS ORIGINALS '98.

You've heard many of these artists performing remakes of XTC's
greatest. Now you'll hear their own compositions.

The line-up currently includes original compositions from:

Stephen Clarke - England (Steve performed "Toys" on CC '97)

Mark Cuevas - USA (Mark performed "Snowman" on CC '97)

Jeff Castanon - USA (Jeff performed "Snowman" on CC '97)

Randy Christopher - USA (Randy performed "Down a Peg" on CC '97)

Peter Fitzpatrick - Ireland (Peter performed "Wrapped in Grey" on CC

Harrison Sherwood - USA (Harrison performed "Living in Haunted Heart"
from CC'96; and "Real by Reel" from CC '97)

Jason Garcia - USA (Jason performed "Easter Theatre" on CC '97)

John Relph - USA (John didn't perform on CC '97, but you know him -- he
performed "Another Satellite" on Skylacking)

Mike Foster - England (Organized and performed live at the Basingstoke
convention, summer '97)

Eric Day - USA (Eric performed "It's Nearly Africa" on CC '96)

Just added: **Becki DiGregorio !!**

Details will follow in the coming weeks. Watch for it!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 23:37:30 -0700
From: John McGreivey <>
Subject: Re: Haydn is in XTC

<> wrote:

>Andy has left and Hadyn Bendall is now XTC.

Hadyn Bendall has sold the name to the ghost of Keith Relf who sold it
to Annie Haslam who gave it to Roy Wood who rehired Dave Gregory and
brought in Bev Bevan to play drums and then Jeff Lynn called and Roy and
Bev got scared and went and hid in the closet which started ALL sorts of
rumors. Then Captain Beefheart came in the room and started singing
"Earn Enough for Us". Or at least that's the way I heard it.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 09:45:09 -0400
From: Stormy Monday <>
Organization: Stormy Monday Enterprises
Subject: Andy Put The "X" In X-T-C


(lay your head lay your head lay your head on the greenman)

What is it about XTC anyway?

Colin Moulding is first and foremost a brilliant bass player.  Whether
he is interpreting a part that was originally conceived by Andy, (peter
pumpkinhead [vroom vroom] came to town) or simply playing one of his
own  (but i won't [doo dee doo dee doo dee doo doo] rock the boat), we
are always inspired by his playing.  Secondly, he is a creative
songwriter.  He is passionate (and often eloquent) about the subjects of
his songs.   And finally he has a solid singing voice that can move the
listener.  Colin Moulding is indeed a very talented musician.

(no matter what the weather you and the clouds will still be beautiful,

Dave Gregory is an amazing talent.  If you have been lucky enough to
hear his "cover " album, then you know what I'm talking about.  The man
is a music machine, capable of imitating anyone from Jimi Hendrix to
Edgar Winter.  His guitar and keyboard playing on the XTC records has
always been top notch.  His versatile style complements each song
without ever stepping on any of the arrangements.  Clearly he has made
an incredible contribution to XTC over the 20 years that he has been
with the band.

(justlikeamaddogyou'rechasingyourtailinacircle mmmmm)

Andy Partridge is unique.  Yes, the XTC that we know and love is a
synthesis of these three men.  Yes, we will miss Dave Gregory's
contribution to future projects, and yes, if one day Colin decides to
part company with Andy, we will miss his bass playing, his singing and
his songs.  Until he releases another record that is.

But it was, is, and always will be Andy Partridge that defines XTC,
whether he continues to record under that banner or not.

The latest  "Andy Partridge Demos " collection contains some of the best
music that I have ever heard.  Records like "Easter Theater" and "The
Greenman" are rare.  I might compare them to "I Am The Walrus" and
"Hello Goodbye", but John and Paul had help from the other Beatles and
George Martin.  Andy did these records by himself.

Some  have blamed Andy for Dave's departure, some others have defended
him.  What's the difference?  It was time for Dave to go, so he left.

(like us men like us men they are not like us men)

I'm reminded again of John Lennon.  He has been an influence and an
inspiration to me.  I love his music, I love his lyrics, and I love him
for opening my eyes to many new ideas.  And yet Paul McCartney has
called him a "maneuvering swine".  Was the man difficult?  I'm sure that
he was.  Could he be insulting?  It has been documented.   One time
Brian Epstein said that he wanted to write his autobiography, and John
sniped "What are you going to call it, 'Queer Jew'?"   This was a
particularly evil thing to say, because Brian was a sensitive man who
cared deeply for John.  There are many fans of Ray Davies who are still
offended by John's treatment of him on the day that they met.  There is
a distinct possibility that had I known John Lennon personally, I
wouldn't have liked him.  So what?  It makes no difference.  When I say
I love him, I mean I love his work and his contribution to my life.

(there is only one coin you can spend)

When it comes to the recording of his songs, it is indicated that Andy
Partridge is a  very difficult man.  I bet he has an ego the size of
Australia.  Here's a quarter, go call someone who gives a damn.  I don't
have to work with him.  Neither does Dave.   I'm glad that he is
unwilling to compromise.  I love Andy's music and his lyrics.  I love
the way he sings, the way he plays his guitar, and the way he arranges
his songs.  I  love his records.  As long as he continues to record and
release great music, I will continue to patronize him.

Stormy Monday


Message-Id: <v04003a00b180f04e76d2@[]>
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 12:05:33 -0700
From: David Haakenson <>
Subject: Video vouch

> (Rob Loughman)
>does anyone know / want to attest to the honesty of this Ian C Stewart

I will. He's been a fan for many years, and I've exchanged with him
previously. He's quite safe.



Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 12:10:29 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <relph>
Subject: Andy and Christmas

A while ago someone asked if "Thanks for Christmas" was ironic.
Here's a little quote from Andy which appeared in the English
Settlement tour programme:

    My time of the year Has to be Christmas because I love the snow,
    wrapping presents, decorating the tree, being warm, in fact all
    these corny things and more.

As I said, I think Andy really likes Christmas!

	-- John


Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 12:20:05 -0700 (PDT)
From: Benjamin Lukoff <>
Subject: "Joke" about Colin leaving and mail to the list
Message-ID: <>

On Tuesday, May 12, 1998, "Wesley Hanks" <> wrote:

> To the fart who posted the heart-stopper about Colin leaving,
> Dickweed.

Can we keep this sort of thing to private e-mail?  Insults really don't
need to be sent to the entire list.

Benjamin Lukoff
"She is by my side, and the sky is wide -- so let the sun shine bright"
  -- Ray Davies


Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 15:14:10 -0400
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: Ian C. Stewart

Regarding Ian C. Stewart: I sent away for (and received) a copy of
SKYLACKING, an XTC tribute cassette. He did a great job, and sent the tape
on time. Honest, guv.

Regarding Andy and Colin sightings, I once saw the face of Andy in a
vegetarian burrito I bought.



From: AJ Greenie <>
Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 15:38:41 EDT
Subject: New Album Title Suggestion

How about "The Old Masters"?

Okay, back to my lurking.


From: MFa2707621 <>
Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 16:09:19 EDT
Subject: Skylarking videos


I was just wondering if there are any video collections available with any
videos from Skylarking?  I'm looking for the video for Grass.  If you know
please let me know.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 17:02:06 -0400
From: Neall Alcott <>
Organization: HACBM Architects, Engineers, Planners, Inc.
Subject: Misc. Ramblings and Children's Songs

> From: STakesh <>
> Subject: Album Title?
> So, the new album won't be coming out until January (or so) and they
> aren't sold on "Firework" for the title?  Well, you know what that
> means - it's time for a rerun of the Name That Album contest!

My vote - Permanent Orgasm

> From: Todd and Jennifer Bernhardt <>
> Subject: Various
> it
> struck me that many of XTC's songs -- for all of their lyrical
> complexity -- can be boiled down to such simple concepts, and this
> is part of their charm for me. Andy has the gift of taking a single,
> sometimes childish, image and weaving a complex lyrical (and often
> musical) conceit around it without losing the purity of the
> original image, and this helps make his songs appealing on a variety
> of levels.
> Has anyone else noticed this? Anyone care to add fuel to this
> particular fire?

This is one of the many things that I like about XTC. However it seems
to be a post-touring / English Settlement development. When were Andy's
children born?? Did this change in his life affect his writing in this
Best regards,

Neall Alcott
Audubon, NJ, USA


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 17:04:17 -0400
From: Neall Alcott <>
Organization: HACBM Architects, Engineers, Planners, Inc.
Subject: Dear Madame Virgin??

Does anyone know if "Dear Madam Barnum" has anything to do with the
band's situation with Virgin at the time? The lyrics read as though Andy
knew that Nonsuch was going to be the last XTC album on Virgin.


Best regards,

Neall Alcott
Audubon, NJ, USA


From: "David McGuinness" <>
Subject: A worthwhile collaboration
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 22:44:56 +0100
Message-ID: <01bd7f81$8951f380$LocalHost@default>

Hi there, dwellers of the hill of Chalk -

Haven't posted for a year or so, but this woke me up.

>As for XTC's two remaining members, as I also mentioned to the Richard
>Thompson list, I'd like to see them hook up with Richard Thompson on guitar
>and John French(ex Captain Beefheart)on drums.

Now that *would* be worth hearing.  Mr Thompson is screwed-up, incredibly
talented, and astonishingly versatile.  If he can't make sparks with Andy,
who can?  And if things get too weird with Drumbo, there's always Thompson's
old pal Dave Mattacks to straighten it out a little.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Cory" <>
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 17:40:36 +0000
Subject: A Thousand Cheshire Cats?

Well, it appears that most of the tissue boxes have been picked up
and everyone's ready to down a few drinks and move on...

Last time, Stephanie wrote:
> So, the new album won't be coming out until January (or so) and they aren't
> sold on "Firework" for the title?  Well, you know what that means - it's
> time for a rerun of the Name That Album contest!  If they follow their mini-
> tradition of finding a name in the lyrics on the previous LP, then the
> following could all be contenders:
> Vintage

Yes!  You were correct to place this one at the top of the list!
This would be a perfect compromise to Colin's problem w/ "History of
the Middle Ages."  "Vintage Vol 1" and "Vintage Vol 2" coming to your
stereo soon!

Meanwhile, Molly wrote:
> In the last issue, a couple of people said that Andy left.  I know that's
> just a joke.  We shouldn't joke about things like that.  The people that
> joke about that are very mean spirited.  How could anybody laugh about the
> departure of a member of XTC?  I think you should think before you put a
> posting on Chalkhills.

Just as _Airplane!_ doesn't parody air tragedies, those "jokes"
weren't aimed at Andy or Colin.  It would be our reaction to the news
about Dave that they seem to be targeting.

My name is Cory and I'm an Andyholic.


Message-Id: <>
From: "Matt Keeley" <>
Organization: The Dead Cat Revolutionary Army
Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 16:30:18 +0000
Subject: Hmm....


> From: "Wesley Hanks" <>
> To the fart who posted the heart-stopper about Colin leaving,
> Dickweed.

I dunno, I personally found the Colin-leaving thing amusing... more
so that hardly anyone seemed to catch the joke.  Ah well.

> From:
> Before them was "Really Big Fish"  ...four horns, guitar, bass, drums.
> Sarcastic jumpin' ska!  These guys made EVERYONE move.  Skankin' Pickle
> ain't got nuthin on this meat collection.  Great stuff, big fun.

Er, Reel Big Fish, you mean, and I whole-heartedly agree... They kick
ass... Skankin' Pickle's pretty cool too (love their cover of Turning
Japanese, and their Fever album was pretty good), but Reel Big Fish I
find much better... there was a bit a while ago about bitching about
how they sucked, but well, I assume that those people were only
listening to their singles, which I can see (cause, what were they,
She Has a Girlfriend Now and Sell Out? I dunno, I rarely listen to
modern radio..heh... Well, Sell Out is really good, but the Save
Ferris chick ruins SHAGFN... God, I hate her... that's why "cute" ska
bands should be killed... not necessarily shot, cause after 2 bands,
you'd run out of ammo after buying out the local Big 5, but the song
is pretty good, and the SF chick has a place in the song I suppose,
but I wish they'd chosen someone else... but the song/performance is
still good, but not something that I could hear over and over day in
day out, as I would if I listened to the radio, I assume) But yeah,
pick up their album Turn the Radio Off and their ENHANCED (tm) EP
Keep Your Receipt.... and if you can find it, their first album
Everything Sucks (on their own label).  Better yet, buy the
Everything Sucks album and send it to me.  I've already got the EP
though..heh.. which is also good.  But Concert-only, AFAIK.

> From: MFa2707621 <>
> In the last issue, a couple of people said that Andy left.  I know that's
> just a joke.  We shouldn't joke about things like that.  The people that
> joke about that are very mean spirited.  How could anybody laugh about the
> departure of a member of XTC?  I think you should think before you put a
> posting on Chalkhills.

Well, it's not so much joking about the members of XTC leaving (well,
it is, but it's more so about the thing that I'm gonna mention in the
continuation of this sentence), it's joking about the gullibility of
the members... Look at the Colin leaving joke, and all the posts
about how they couldn't bear Colin leaving after Dave and how
horrible it was... then Andy left, and now Haydn left (well, that one
is probably real from the tone of the post, but still).  Anyway, I
don't really see the mean-spiritedness of those jokes, after all,
it's just a band (yeah, I'm one of those)... like when I found out
Alan left DEVO, I wasn't tremendously heartbroken or anything...
of course, Kendrick SUCKED, but hey... Same goes with Terry and
Barry (still think that that had more of an impact than Dave
leaving will, but..).. Anyway, the jokes seem to me to be more
about the reactions, which I find hilariously funny... maybe I'm
just an elitist fuck... ah well..

> From: Rhoblidnen <>
> If this has been mentioned before, I apologise, but please check out the B
> sides on Robbie Williams' "Old Before I Die" single.  MP4N is covered.  I
> haven't heard it yet, but I will soon.

Hmm... JOOC, is that a cover of the TMBG song of similar title..
don't even know why I'm asking, I'm not even that much into TMBG
anymore... well, maybe if they loosen up a bit... and write stuff
like the old stuff, and get the drum machine back... and dump the
band... hell, just break up and do solo projects... hmm... speaking
of which...

Ah well, that's this world over.

Are we not men?| (ICQ UIN: 1455267, Name: MrMe)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 00:24:17 -0400
From: "Mike Otero" <>
Subject: Re: Childish images

	Hello, and greetings from Melbourne, Florida. I'm sad Dave is
leaving, glad Colin is not, and would ask Andy to turn out the light should
he up and leave...
	But that's not why I've de-lurked. My kids (now 6 and 10) and I have
shared plenty of XTCstatic moments, so I smiled at Todd's story about his
son and Nonsuch. When my daughter was 2 or 3, we were in the car, and
Senses Working Overtime was on the tape player. She asked "why is the man
crying?" as she listened to the verses. (listen to the vocal, a kid could
think that!...) That was the beginning of our first conversation about XTC.
And we've had SO MANY since, inspired by various songs. The Ballad Of Peter
Pumpkinhead led to lots of talks, (I often sang that one while giving her a
bath when she was little) from defining "enemies" to explaining the Vatican
reference to conversations about why a govenrment might slur someone's
name. Lots of talk about the lyrics of many songs (my son, the younger
child, LOVES The Smartest Monkeys), the insanely fine use of language; the
band's just been the starting point for many memorable conversations with
my children, as well as many sing-alongs (especially in the car). Sharing
the music I love with those I love is a high point in life. XTC's provided
many moments like that, which is one more reason for me to love the band
so. A long way from hearing Making Plans For Nigel on KLBJ in Austin in '78
or '79; who'd have thought I'd still be listening to (and gushing over)
the band 20 years later! Bring on the new album, my kids and I are
	To all of you, take care, and peace.

	Mike Otero

.....     and now, a man with three buttocks.....


From: LadyCPlum <>
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 00:27:58 EDT
Subject: And now for something completely different

Dave blah blah blah left band yadda yadda yadda really bummed blither blither
blither. That's all fine and dandy. NOW CAN WE GET ONTO SOMETHING ELSE

Thank you.

XTC song of the day-Millions
non XTC song of the day-Zoot Suit Riot-Cherry Poppin' Daddies


From: BobCrain <>
Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 02:19:26 EDT
Subject: (Black) Sea You Later, Dave


Here with some more of my typically "bordering on irresponsible" and
misinformed opinions... ;^)

Looking at the pattern of past personnel decisions of one of our favorite
bands, I really doubt they will get another permanent member for XTC.  They
went for Dave Gregory (a relatively random choice it seems, as in "who can
we get in really quick who can play keyboards?) when XTC were a touring rock
machine.  They haven't got a permanent drummer in all these years, have
they?  I can see them working with any number of creative guitarists if they
need one for future recording projects, or even for still hoped for live (TV
at least) promotional appearances for the new album(s) (not to be named
"Firework" anymore, I take it).

And my latest (final?) opinion on "Dave-gate", if anyone can bear more
blather about it.  :^) It's just really unfortunate that we all had to hear
about it the way we did, with no official information or press release.  A
consolidated story, well agreed on by the band before the official
announcement, would have saved some figurative wringing of extremities by
the folks on this mailing list, or at least me.  The benchmark in my opinion
is the way REM did it when Bill Berry (just as integral by all accounts to
REM as Dave was to XTC) left that great band.  Was this not possible for XTC
to do given the circumstances of Dave's departure?  Only the band (and their
friends) know for sure.


From: "Suzanne Cerquone" <>
Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 10:10:46 -0400
Subject: Dave G. in the studio with....

I just received word from an assistant to Marillion today that Dave Gregory
is in the studio today with Marillion in Aylesbury.  Whether he is just
paying a visit, or putting some tracks down with "H", Marillion's lead
singer, for another solo album--I don't know.  I would have to guess it's
informal as I know Marillion is knee-deep in recording their own album
right now.

But it's nice to see that he's keeping busy. :)


Message-Id: <QQepme27979.199805151407@relay7.UU.NET>
Date: 15 May 98 10:10:56 +0000
From: Jeff Partyka <>
Subject: An obscure request

Hi folks ...

I'm hoping someone can help me with this: I'm looking for a copy of the
one-page review of "Skylarking" Stereo Review magazine (U.S.) published in
1986 (the one that describes "Earn Enough For Us" as a Bruce Springsteen
song as Paul McCartney would have produced it in 1967). It ran with a nice
color "Mummer"-era photo. Does anyone have this? A photocopy would be fine,
or even just the text sent via email ... I'd like it for a couple reasons,
mostly because it's the review that made me go out and buy "Skylarking"
(thus igniting my fascination with the band), and also because I'd like to
quote it in the text of my new "Skylarking" Web page. (In return, I can send
copies of the reviews, both with photos, the same magazine later ran of
"Psonic Psunspot" and "Oranges & Lemons.")

Thanks a bunch!
Jeff Partyka


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 16:32:11 +0100
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: Bike Ride To The (half) Moon (roundabout)


At the time of writing there's just over a week to go 'til the London
Chalkhills gathering, and I'm looking forward to it immensely.  I've given
myself a nice long weekend in the city, time which was originally intended
to allow me to visit some of those places I didn't understand when I saw
them as a kid, but which will now - as one old ruin to another - make
perhaps a little more sense.  Things being as they are though, I find that
has all slid into the back pocket in favour of pre-planned carousing and the
singing of bawdy songs.  Such is life.

Some of longer-serving Chalkies may remember me droning on at (great) length
many months ago about how, for a committed music fan, my audio playback
equipment has always been universally shite.  There are several reasons for
this; my hearing is pretty much wrecked anyway, my trusty old personal
stereo has fallen off my bike even more times than I have (it now gets
progressively slower as the tape plays and gives every vocalist a touch of
the "Feargal Sharkey"'s) and my wife - wonder of wonders though she may be -
chose our main hi-fi because it was the one which would fit best in the
space she'd earmarked for it.  We also have to contend with a mad dog next
door which barks _all_the_time_ and drives my wife into (admittedly cute)
paroxysms of rage, so nice relaxed and gentle listening is not often an
option.  This hi-fi and I have developed a mutual loathing, compounded by
the misplacement of the remote which means I have to work directly with
those awful scantily-labelled control buttons on the front of it (if I'd
wanted to spend so much time on my knees, urgently invoking the name of the
alleged creator, I'd have either joined the clergy, or chosen a _far_ more
adventurous personal life - if those are not one and the same thing.)  I
blame my wife for the loss of the remote, she blames me - I'm just waiting
to find out if the radio channels will change each time the neighbour's dog
sits down.  Anyway, back to the point (there _is_ one, I promise).  Well,
perhaps not _straight_ back to the point.  I bought a new personal stereo
recently to replace my old one and was not impressed.  Whither the
equaliser?  What are these dumb _presets_?  Pop, rock, classical, jazz?!
And this new lower volume concept might be great for those new to such
devices, but when one has blasted one's hearing well into the middle of
one's head, it's almost impossible to hear anything (and that's with the
"hearing protection" switched off) - I might as well take the cassette and
rub it against my ear.  Using it on my bike, therefore, is pointless.

But now I have a personal CD player.  And it's _great_.  No more faffing
about with presets trying to get a happy medium between tape hiss, which
sounds like your head deflating, and a muffled throb with no treble.  Just
clear audio piped directly into my head.  Bliss.  The point?  Nearly there,
trust me.  I'm taking my CD player and speakers to London with me to provide
some sounds for the assemblage in the afternoon.  Tim, our gracious and
kindly patron, suggested we should each bring our favourite XTC albums to
play (if anyone wants to run a book on the proportion of "Skylarking"'s to
"White Music"'s then you can cut me in for a slice of the action) so, armed
with new CD player, my bike and some XTC CD's I've been researching my
selection.  The first thing I noticed daily bike ride is that with my old
tapes - home made, with a full XTC album on each side - each day's ride
started off where the last finished, because the tape continued from the
previous position.  But, with switching to CDs, each now starts from track
one when I leave the house.  This has had the fabulous effect of
"soundtracking" my journey; the same track always comes up at around the
same point in the journey and therefore each event which happens at that
point adds to the intensely personal mythology that each song carries for
me.  I assume this is true for us all; any one XTC song has a dozen memories
- perhaps all jumbled up into some dim notion of candyfloss, train journeys,
hot sand and kisses - balanced on top of it.  This can be a good thing _and_
a bad thing - sometimes it's hard to pick through the memories and get back
down to the _song_.  So, having been giving it some intense XTC these past
couple of weeks I now have a whole new catalogue of images to hook on to
these songs; being chased by a small dog to the sound of "Great Fire";
falling off (again) while "Jason and The Argonauts" played on; meeting up
with a couple of giggling and gleeful pony-riding tots to "Wrapped In Grey";
nipping off for a wee behind a tree to "Travels In Nihilon"; trying to make
my pudgy white body look impressive in my vest, shorts and ludicrous helmet
while overtaking a pair of lithe and glamourus lady cyclists and then
scaring the living shit out of them by instintively bawling the screamy bit
from "Snowman" as I whizzed past.  And so on.

The album which emerged as the most enjoyable while cycling was, perhaps
oddly, The Big Express - this really suited my cycle-route (I used to think
Mummer did, but that one doesn't seem to work for me now; all I can think of
is that as I've got faster, the image/sound timings changed and the rhythm
has been lost).  So that's what I'll be bringing with me.  The trouble is,
will it work as well for me now in the confines of a hotel room?  Tim, is
there any chance you can arrange for an exercise bike to be on hand?  And
would the all the others in attendance be willing to run past me with images
of the industrial north?  If one of you could push me off the bike and make
a noise like a maniac in a rusty Vauxhall Astra after about half an hour
that would be immensely helpful.

Damn.  There wasn't a point after all. Sorry.

My wife asked me what exactly we were going to be doing at the shindig and,
to be honest, I couldn't quite put my finger on it - "just sort of general,
you know, like, hanging out, talking and stuff..." - but I _know_ it was a
lot of fun after the convention last year.

Becki, I _can't_wait_ to finally meet you.  Dan and Steve, it'll be nice to
catch up again.  Tim, thanks for all the effort you've put into this.  And,
to everyone else - I don't know exactly who is and isn't going (are you
going, Mick Casey?  Should I just bring your tape down with me?) - I'm
looking forward to meeting you all, and to a significant and enjoyable
social event.


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


End of Chalkhills Digest #4-83

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