Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-118

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 118

                   Friday, 5 March 1999

Today's Topics:

             Your Dictionary - just a thought
              Easter Theatre lyric question
              Notes and questions about AV1
                        AV1 Sales
                   Where are they now?
            Let us tell our favourite story...
                  Racing to be first...
                    easy listening AV1
                   One down, many to go
         I may as well wish for the moon in hand
               More Irony and More Converts
The S.F. Report (A*S*S* H*O*L*E*S spells Virgin Mega Store)
                   Questions questions
                 first week soundscan av1
                     a brief pause...
                  American Chart Success
                  RE: Andy's fetish...?
                The Great Greenman Debate
          Scan of Japanese AV1-release booklets
                         Re: $$$
TAKE AWAY- THE LURE OF MR PARTRIDGE, or: Mr Partridge meets the 95th Rifles.
                  Re: That's telling 'em


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The captain sold his marbles and the crew lost theirs at dice.


Subject: Your Dictionary - just a thought
Message-ID: <>
From: Meredith Brechtel <>
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 18:57:59 EST

Howdy 'Hillians!

I keep seeing posts from those who had heard the demos and evidently Your
Dictionary lost some of it's acid in the final form.  Seems many are
disappointed in this, particularly with the ending of the song.  Well, as
I was driving along today and listening, it struck me that this could be
a GOOD thing - maybe that means Andy has been able to achieve some
closure on a particularly painful portion of his life.  The softer ending
sounds (IMHO) like a very healthy transition from the pain of ending his
marriage to Marianne to a hopefully fulfilling relationship with Erica.
Of course, this is total speculation but it made sense to me.  As always,
I welcome your comments or criticism!


Lyric of the day: "Ah, you've got to have a hobby"


Message-ID: <697A4CA51395D111A658AA00040058069DA004@NT6>
From: "Wiencek, Dan" <>
Subject: Easter Theatre lyric question
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 18:11:42 -0600

I'm composing a review of Apple Venus for a friend's website, and wanted to
poll the membership here about a lyric.  The "official" lyric for Easter
Theatre gives the line as "we'd uphold her new life," but I've always heard
it as "we'd *applaud* her new life."  This makes more sense to me given the
theme of the song, not to mention the fact that "uphold" is a relatively
bland word in comparison.  Since there's a bit of dispute as to how official
the official lyrics really are, would anyone care to weigh in here, and
either set me straight or tell me I'm right?  Off-list replies are fine (and
probably preferable, given the volume of postings lately).

Thanking you all in advance,



Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 19:20:12 -0500 (EST)
From: Greg Langmead <>
Subject: Notes and questions about AV1
Message-ID: <>

I'm an on and off subscriber of five years, mostly lurking but chiming in
once in a while.  (I wrote long ago that I thought Andy sang "Change My
World" on the Carmen Sandiego album until Yazbek posted that he knew he
didn't 'cause he was the dang producer.)

Anyway, I wanted to share some interesting moments off AV1 that caught my
ear.  I have some questions for you musical folks too.

- What's that voice-processing effect that "atomizes" or "roughens"
vocals?  They use it extensively on this album but not in the past.  I
only say that because the effect was pointed out to me by a friend who
listened to Skylarking during a "speaker comparison party".  He
complimented XTC on *not* using it.  He found it less natural and very
overused.  So I was surprised to hear it, especially in the backup singing
on Frivolous Tonight, but at least somewhat on most of the tracks.  Do
they always use this effect?  What is it?

- In addition to "Julia", Knights in Shining Karms reminds me of "Sun

- I agree with whomever said this album could be a musical.  And in that
musical is a very eccentric character -- he sings about fruit gardens and
sitting 'round to have a chat. :)

- I love how the climax of Last Baloon ("Drop us all") has a slightly
altered melody line from the usual "Climb aboard."  The last two notes are
the same instead of the last one being a little lower.  I think that's
really beautiful and effective.

- I noted the synthesized orchestra sounds in Frivolous Tonight, which
must have been a definite choice they used the orchestra just about
everywhere else!  It sounds like weird Moody Blues sounds from "In Search
of the Lost Chord." (Especially right before Colin starts in on the "women
in slacks.")

- Is that buzzing percussion instrument in Greenman the same one as in
"Poor Skeleton Steps Out?"  Also, I heartily agree with the "Beating of
Hearts" comparison.  In fact, the middle 8 (is that the same as the
bridge?) also recalls "Deliver Us From the Elements."  The lovely fade out
music is fabulous -- it's one of those "neverending melody" things.

- Fruit Nut reminds me of "Officer Blue" somehow, and the final lines
bring "The Affiliated" to mind as well.

- My favorite moment on the album is 2:27 into I Can't Own Her when the
plucked instrument (what is that?) plays a very complicated sounding
transitional melody (though it's only a few notes) that leads into the
middle 8 / bridge.

- Harvest Festival is my favorite track.  I'm a sucker for a song that

All in all I seem to be hearing so many references to old material that at
first I was annoyed.  Then I remembered how some bands have only the one
damn song that they play over and over (Oasis) and realized that XTC
really sets the bar high even for themselves.  I always somehow expect
true originality from them, and they always come through, even given how
hard true originality really is to come by.  You might even say there is
no true originality, only reinterpretations of what you've heard (that's
what my dad thinks).  But that can't be true since I've never heard
anything like AV1 before.

Thanks for bearing with the long post.  I really love reading all of
yours, especially the ones where you dance with your children :)



From: "Bob Dunn" <>
Subject: AV1 Sales
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 19:44:23 -0500
Message-ID: <000801be650e$fb9a6620$>

I stopped in my friend's CD store on Sunday to pick up a copy of AV1 for my
brother and they were sold out. My friend told me that he couldn't believe
how well it was selling. I stopped back in after lunch today and he said his
distributor was out of them. The album has been getting a lot of good word
of mouth from people. This is a very good thing!



Message-Id: <v03007801b302378af1fd@[]>
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 18:50:45 -0600
From: John Yuelkenbeck <>
Subject: Where are they now?

I finally found a copy of the new disc here in Kansas City today, and will
be giving it a first listen tonight.

Meanwhile, reading about everyone's experiences meeting up with Andy, I
would like to ask if there is a list of cities they are passing through,
and on what dates.

I'm sure it's probably been posted already, but I've been a bit remiss on
keeping up with the digests, so any help would be appreciated.


Date: 3 Mar 99 12:15:19 AED
Subject: Let us tell our favourite story...
Message-ID: <>


One of those strange sightings you sometimes hear about on 'Hills:  this
morning, on the bus to work, I had River Of Orchids nagging in my brain (as
you do).  As we stopped at some traffic lights, I saw a big black Mercedes
Benz glide by in another lane.  Its number plate was:  AV-001.  And it was
being driven by a woman with an orchid in her hair!   [cue Twilight Zone

Great to see Mitch Friedman and Richard Pedretti-Allen getting a gong in
the Apple Venus liner notes - deserved congratulations boys!  But (it's
been said before, but worth saying again), let's hear three cheers for Mark
Strijbos, John Relph, Simon Sleightholm and Peter Fitzpatrick, who have
each selflessly and energetically devoted their time and web-space to
spread the word.  I for one appreciate having well-presented, up-to-date
information on my favourite group at my fingertips, this forum to share
views on XTC with others all around the globe, and the opportunity to form
some great and lasting friendships. IMO, the "thank-you" list in AV2 should
have these guys' names in bold typeface!

Incidentally, speaking of acknowledgements, can somebody (Mitch? Mark?)
identify these people who are also credited: Alex, John & Shirley Bennett,
Isobel Griffiths, Jaffa (?), Bill Liebowitz, Kit Sands, Barry Spice, Mark
Thomas, Richard Vernon and Eric Woolfson.  The latter name certainly rings
a bell - isn't he an orchestral arranger or something like that? Is he the
same guy who work with Alan Parsons on his earlier "Project" albums?

And finally, what has Apple Venus Volume 1 in common with The Wombles?

~p@ul (completely unable to concentrate on my work) culnane


Date: 3 Mar 99 12:17:22 AED
Subject: Racing to be first...
Message-ID: <>

Hello Lovechalks

It sure is pretty heartening and somewhat throat-lumpening to read all the
different (mainly) joyous accounts that people have been sending in about
the sweet initial thrill of getting the new album pumping through their

Thanks also for sharing those detailed descriptions of the various
encounters at the record store signing sessions in the States - great
stuff! I envy you folks!

Well, speaking of "systems" (as I sorta was): who's tried AV1 in headphones
yet?  Try it, it's absolutely, orgasmically awesome.  This album,
beautifully mixed as it has been by the under-sung Nick Davis, is *made*
for a blissed-out listening experience in the cans. For instance, check the
clever spatial panning of Andy's multi- tracked vocals in "Orchids" -

I've been OD-ing on the album solidly for about three weeks now and I'm
still too flabbergasted to offer any worthwhile critique beyond my usual
inarticulate drool.  For a while after its release in '97, Radiohead's "OK
Computer" left me unable to absorb much else musically, such was the impact
of that album's adventurousness and unconventionality.  Well... same now
with AV.  Although obviously biased, I was still not prepared for the
"sherbet-dipped sledgehammer" that was AV1's initial effect on me.  And not
much other music has really had a chance to register, y'know?

Someone here in 'Hills mentioned experiencing insomnia with the catchiness
of some of the toons, especially Colin's.  I can relate - I've had many a
sleepless night lately with all manner of AV refrains bugging me
(blissfully) all through the night.  Surely a good sign?

And cheers to Dom in Melbourne who probably deserves his "fix" as much as
any of us.  Won't be long now mate   :-)

Looking forward to hearing  Mark Strijbos' reports of his trip to Swindon.
Something tells me he'll have some very interesting news to share!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 11:43:07 +1100
From: Joseph Ierano <>
Subject: easy listening AV1

I have been playing Apple Venus in my office for a week now.
It is so good to have an XTC album that is playable in a healthcare office.
In tha past I have made tapes of all the light songs.
When I first got it, It went nearly all day, and I was cutting out
"your Dictionary" each time it came around. Cant
say that track is conducive to relaxation.
(Dont worry, I have an APRA royalty licence!)

Dare I say 7 years was worth the wait.
I also think Easter Theatre is one of the greatest songs ever written.


-- Joseph J. Ierano B.Sc, D.C.
chiropractic ierano


Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 23:08:32 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <v0300780db30219213514@[]>
From: Mitch Friedman <>
Subject: One down, many to go


I've really been enjoying reading everyone's comments about AV1 and meeting
Andy. It's what Chalkhills was designed for! Keep it up I say.

And while we're on the subject, to the best of my knowledge these are the
tracks either already started, somewhat finished, or planned for AV2 (in
no particular running order of course):

You and the Clouds Will Still Be Beautiful
Some Lovely
Church of Women
The Wheel and The Maypole
We're All Light
Wounded Horse
Stupidly Happy
Boarded Up (CM)
In Another Life (CM)
Standing In for Joe (CM)

So no Dame Fortune, Bumper Cars, Prince of Orange, Wonder Annual, Ship
Trapped in the Ice, I Don't Want to Be Here, Our New Dark Ages (no such
finished song - it probably became part of Maypole), The New Country Squires
(this is a song Colin didn't like enough to even finish a demo), etc. etc.

Andy did tell me that they need a few more good ones so maybe he'll write
some more or choose from the list above but it's more likely he'll write more
than choose.

Glad to be of service,


Date: 3 Mar 99 15:06:17 AED
Subject: I may as well wish for the moon in hand
Message-ID: <>

I noted John Relph's announcement in Chalkhills #112 that there's now over
1,400 subscribers to this list, and that there are at least 30 from
Australia. Well done, and welcome to all the other Aussies, even if we
don't get to hear from you.

Kinda begs the question:  Colin and Andy, why not visit us here for a spot
of promo appearances?  Stopping by from your Japanese jaunt would have been
ideal.  There would be a big turn-out, at least in Sydney and Melbourne.
Ah well, maybe the cost of travel might be better spent on the recording of

Meanwhile, this is *not* definite, but it's possible that Triple-J will be
featuring Apple Venus Volume 1 as its "album of the week" in the next
fortnight.  For a clue as to whether this will indeed happen, listen to
Richard Kingsmill's "1999" show from 5.00pm on Sunday. You might even get
to hear Andy introducing some selections from AV1, excerpted from the
interview I did with him late last year.



Message-ID: <000901be6562$3b649340$6d5791d2@johnboud>
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: More Irony and More Converts
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 19:39:13 +0900

Elena wrote :

>Anyone interested in
>meeting me and my friends in line at Virgin( ironic is it not),

Here's another piece of irony for ya ... " This Month's Recommended Rock
Albums " VIRGIN ad in March Mojo entitled " four play " ( four CDs - tacky
play on words , wot ? ) ,  and there is APPLE VENUS at the top with TODD
RUNDGREN'S " BEST OF " , called " GO AHEAD , IGNORE ME " next to it !!!

>From Angie on the Fairport Convention list :

>"That's a coincidence...I just bought Apple Venus 1 yesterday, on the
>recommendation of John in Japan's great and will certainly get
>played to death on my CD player (private note to John....thanks for the
>offer, but you won't have to buy it off me!!) "


>Nikki wrote >I bought the new XTC's fantastic<

Yes , I have highly recommended AV1 to quite a few folks and offered to buy
the disc

from them if they didn't like it . So far haven't had to buy a one ...

Peter Roe on FC list wrote :

>John  mentioned new XTC album. Agree - its really excellent!
>Not "folk-rock" but very "English" and "pastoral"sounding on most tracks so
>could well appeal to FC List members.

>They have an attractive and informative web-site at

>..useful as it gives lyrics for new album which are not included with the
>CD (not with my copy anyway).

>There is incidentally an FC connection  - DM played on their last studio
>album "Nonsuch"  - and enjoyed it apparently.

Another satisfied customer !!

Later ...

I am a junior high school teacher here in the mountains of northern Kyushu
in southern Japan . During lunchtime at my school the kids are allowed to
play music over the P.A. system . Yesterday , I was asked to bring something
in . You got it - I brought in some tracks from AV1 ! The three tracks I was
sure they
would dig were I'D LIKE THAT ; EASTER THEATRE ; and I CAN'T OWN HER .  I
wolfed down my curry and rice so I could take a walk around the school to
hear the tunes flowing through the corridors and classrooms ( incidentally ,
the kids eat lunch in their classrooms in Japan as there are no
unchrooms  ) . A captive audience a

ha ! Anyway , after lunch a kid by the name of Yukito ran up to me all
excited and asked me all about the tunes and the band ! I made a copy of
Japanese booklet included with AV1 and gave it to him .  He was
thrilled ! A few minutes later the music teacher stopped me in the hallway
and thanked me for bringing in " such wonderful music " . She too wanted to
know all about the band , etc.   She pleaded with me to bring in more songs
from AV1 ! .  Two more
converts , perhaps ?

Doing my bit internationally ...

John in Japan

P.S.  Found out from Pony Canyon today that Andy and Colin will be at Tower
Records in Osaka ( an hour jet ride from here but closer than Tokyo where
they will be for 2 days ) on 2/13 so now attempting to book a flight for
next Saturday . Hey - it's only money ; and you only live once , right ?


Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 22:09:27 -0800
From: "Elena F. Sirignano" <>
Subject: The S.F. Report (A*S*S* H*O*L*E*S spells Virgin Mega Store)

My Fellow Chalk Heads,
                    It's been almost 3 hours since I met Andy and I'm still
floating on air. He's everything that everyone previous to me has described
and MUCH MORE. He was very polite and receptive. It's to bad that the
Virgin Mega Store guys were assholes. He didn't like it when they started
pushing me to move on. He and I were talking about "Melt The Guns" and his
veiews on violence in America, in particular. He also voluntered the info
that he was feeling really tired with this signing tour and that he was not
sure which was more difficult, this or getting up on stage and performing.
He was not looking foward to doing 2 more weeks of this in Japan.That's my
report. I am profoundly grateful for him, the music of XTC and the
influence that they have had on all of us.
                   New York Elena


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 17:00:17 +0000
From: B Blanchard <>
Subject: Questions questions

And then there's Cliff Richard's Devil Wo - Man
and the ever popular (to me) 10cc NEANDERTHAL MAN.

Could some of you in USA who have yet to speak to the guys please
ask them - for all of us UK fans - if they are doing a signing
tour thing in UK?
Then let us know the answer.

I positively welcome the negative responses to AV1 in the listing
for it makes for a more balanced listing.  By nature we are here
because we are fans so maybe getting a negative review on the
list makes for a more healthy list.  Having said that - apart
from my twopence worth on Your D I V O R C E  - I have no
negative comments about it.  It is a stirring beautiful piece of
work.  BTW I never liked "Crow".

Finally, non XTC stuff.  Could someone email me privately and
tell me what word an American man uses to describe other men who
are beautiful?  In LA I heard American women describe beautiful /
handsome men as "drop dead gorgeous".
How do hetero or gay USA men describe other beautiful men.
Gorgeous is NOT the word apparently.
Not in a formal manner, I mean more in a conversational manner.
Thanks people!


Message-ID: <>
Subject: first week soundscan av1
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 09:38:05 -0800

de-lurking (second time in a week!!!) to share the first weeks soundscan
for av1;

13,543 units scanned
enters billboard chart at #106

not to shabby!



Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 13:42:27 -0500 (Eastern Standard Time)
From: Eric Muller <>
Subject: a brief pause...
Message-ID: <>

from all of the praise being heaped on Apple Venus.

I'd just like to say, having listened for the first time in many months,
perhaps longer, to Black Sea this morning, that "There Is No Language In
Our Lungs" is an unspeakably (get it?) staggeringly amazingly incredible
piece of writing.  Musically powerful; lyrically intense.  How Andy fits
"the impotency of speech came up and hit me that day" into that particular
spot in the song never ceases to amaze me.

Now back to our All Apple Venus, All The Time format...

Eric Muller (who has only listened to AV1 once, but can already see how
most of it will grow on him quickly)

Eric L. Muller
UNC School of Law
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380


Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 04:59:30 -0600
From: Dominic <>
Subject: American Chart Success
Message-id: <>

Hey everyone,

today, I browsed through the "Billboard Hot 100 Charts of the '80s"
book, and if my findings are correct, "The Mayor Of Simpleton" is the
one and only XTC single to have cracked the Hot 100 chart in the States
(it actually peaked at no. 72 in May 1989). Is that correct ? I find it
quite surprising if it is.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Michael Davies" <>
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 14:11:34 -0500
Subject: Men

> >Re:
> > Who do you think would win in a fight: Soundgarden's "Spoonman" or
> > XTC's "Greenman"?
> >
> >TMBG's Triangle Man, of course (he always wins).
> >
> >Robyn Hitchcock's Balloon Man could join in, but
> >Black Sabbath's Ironman would kick all their asses...
>   Then John Entwhistle's "Whiskey Man" would get them all roaring drunk.
> Chris

I think Guided by Voices' Man Called Aerodynamics would not hesitate
to get involved in this, but I don't know how he would do.

enjoy and explore the gambling museum
Michael davies


Message-Id: <>
From: "Michael Davies" <>
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 14:16:26 -0500
Subject: shower

> > "Some may say we're a bit overshot , but this could be our finest hour!"
> <
> I think that ought to be 'a bit of a shower', old son. Having said that,

what does "we're a bit of a shower" mean?

Michael davies


Message-Id: <>
From: Janis VanCourt <>
Subject: RE: Andy's fetish...?
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 14:30:36 -0500

"Adam Davies" <> wrote:

<<Ever seen the lyrics to 'Your Dictionary' from a distance?


Need I say more?


Yes, I rather think you do. Why is this significant?  I'm not trying to
be smartassed, I'm genuinely curious.

Color me thick,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 11:36:51 -0800 (PST)
From: nross <>
Subject: The Great Greenman Debate

Has anyone mentioned Siouxsie's Candyman in the great Greenman debate?

I may have missed that.

If not... thats my entry.

Scissor Man still wins, though.



Message-ID: <>
From: Johan Ekdahl <>
Subject: Scan of Japanese AV1-release booklets
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 20:48:41 +0100

In Chalkhills Digest #5-113 mondacello wrote:

>I've got a request... can anyone with a copy scan it in for the rest of
>the world to enjoy?
>Pretty please??

I am the lycky owner of the japanese AV1! The honorable John Bodreau set me
up with it (Hats off to You, John!). Yes, the packaging is GREAT!

I also have access to a decent scanner at work and could do the scans. Not
this week though. (I planted a unusually stupid bug in a program and have
to work that out first). Sometime next week I could have it all done.

Where should it go? Can it be accomodated on one of the greatest web-sites
around? Anyone round here heard of a place called Chalkhills, by a John
Relph? (Hats off to You too, John!). OK, John? How about
copyright-infringments? Any other obstacles?

BTW: The booklet is not one, but two! One in english, one in japanese. If I
scan, can anyone fluant in the language of the country of the rising sun
translate? I'm sooooo curious (wait till You see the japanese booklet, then
You know what I mean).

/Johan Ekdahl, Sweden


Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 14:47:53 -0500
From: Dorothy Spirito <>
Subject: Re: $$$
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.00.9903031441410.23212-100000@esun2028>

Brian Matthews wanted to know who's paid the LEAST for AV1.

I think advance copies obtained for FREE ought to be disqualified, else I
and others would claim that one.

However, I did get a release copy for only $4.87, shipping included, due
to Music Boulevard's first-time-buyer, $10-off promotion.  They were
offering AV1 for $11.88 plus shipping.

("Color me happy!")


Message-ID: <006a01be65ae$d096a100$d4ac2399@hp-customer>
From: "Roger Fuller" <>
Subject: TAKE AWAY- THE LURE OF MR PARTRIDGE, or: Mr Partridge meets the 95th Rifles......
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 14:48:28 -0500

Salutations, Chalkmillions!

I've been on Ye Liste for about a year, am a long-time fan of our boys,
and am exiting Lurkingland for a brief -well, not so brief- posting
my two groats' worth about
FINALLY meeting Mr Partridge, and how various worlds of his and mine
collided for a few short giddy minutes last Wed. in Boston, MA.....


TAKE AWAY-THE LURE OF MR PARTRIDGE (Roger paints Andy, Andy paints Roger's
albums) or....Mr Partridge meets the 95th Rifles....

Well, where does one start? Ah- at the beginning.

Through the Chalkhills list, I found out that Mr Partridge was going to be
at Tower Records in Boston last Wednesday at 6 PM. Now, mind you,
at my advanced age (I'll never see 21 again), I couldn't care about most
celebs, but I was quite nervous faced with the prospect of meeting someone
whose work and path I have avidly followed
for 20 years.

Before I go any further, I should mention that in his other life, AP is an
avid military historian and wargaming fan,
despite his avowed pacifism, and devours any thing
re military history. He even has a series of wargames figures designed by
him, called
the "XTSeries" made by a co. in England, the head of which is also an XTC
from way back. AP is even putting together a book about the history of
European military uniforms since the Renaissance in his spare time.....

In my other life I am one of those living history types, AKA reenactor. I
have a Napoleonic/War of 1812 British Army reenactment group here in New
England, the 3rd Battalion, 95th Regiment of Foot (Rifles).  (Fun for the
historically minded and hoplophilic!)  I had left a small green wool cap
with the # 95 on it from the uniform in the car from an event a few days
before, and as it was cold, I put it onto stay warm. And it looks cool, if I
do say so myself......

(Also, many other reenactors, I have found, are XTC fans, and I wouldn't be
surprised if some are also on Chalkhills...we are always looking for new
members, folks...)

The lines for XTC devotees stretched out all the way back
through the Tower Records store. I stood somewhere in the middle of all this
for about 2 1/2 hours (talking and meeting some very nice people, incl. Don
and Sue Parker) until I got closer to THE MAN himself.
So I got the got the nice gent behind me to snap the pic of me w/my camera
and yes, got to meet and speak with Mr Partridge himself, who couldn't have
been wittier or more gracious, despite the crush of people and his general
fatigue. (He looks in good shape to me.) So, what did we say?

"Andy, you don't know how much of an honor it is to meet you- I've been
waiting twenty years for this moment"

Shakes my hand and exclaims, without missing a beat, doing an honest double
take," THAT - IS - A - GREAT - HAT !! Where did you get that?? What is 95-
a year? A shoe size? An octane? Your IQ?" he asked, smirking. (Come on-
he's no slouch-he bloody well knows what it represented....)

"Well, I AM an XTC fan, after all...." and then I started to sing Frank
Sinatra's "It was a Very Good Year".... and then I continued, w/o singing...

"Oh, this- it's a reproduction, hand-sewn, of a British Army forage cap from
the 95th Rifle Regiment of Peninsular and War of 1812 fame."

"Ah, but who made it?"

"I did. Want one?"

"_You_ made it? Are you a wargamer?"

" Well, yes, in a sense... I do it in 1/1 scale....", I replied.

He suddenIy seemed very interested, but I realised I shouldn't go
into it too much more, (we'd never have stopped talking about it all), as
there were at least 100 people behind me waiting even longer than I had,

We then talked of the music business, etc., a bunch of stuff, most of which
seemed a blur, as we were talking while he was doodling and autographing my
albums, and my head was reeling- an out-of-body experience if there ever was

"Ah- I see you have them all- "

"No, not all with me," I said,  when he saw my ponderous stack of LPs
arrayed on the table in front of him, "many are still in storage, but I've
made cassette copies of them to listen to- these LPs are all I could grab
today, in between taking care of the 3 kids. But you should see my friend
Daxe Rexford's XTC collection-  he even has "The Colonel" single"

"Well- Colin might get a bit upset if I were to sign my name to that!"

White Music: "Oh, god, I was so much thinner then- and look at all that
hair!" he moaned.

"Hey- that's my line", I retorted, and we compared receding hairlines....

Black Sea: "Tell you what- let me sign the back- it's not often I get to
sign my own arse."

English Settlement: "Let's put REAL shoes on the horse, shall we?"

"Oh yes, I've seen the Horse of Uffington." I mentioned. (As well as the
Long Man of Wilmington, too)

"You have?"

"Yes, when my wife, who is from the UK,  and I went to visit her sister in
Winchester a few years ago ( sort of near Swindon) we saw it as we drove by
on our way to somewhere else, and stopped. Impressive far away, but up
close, inaccessible, but there was too much trash."

"Hm, yes, emblematic of England in general."

Mummer: he started singing Elton John's "Rocketman" while he drew a rocket
on his head in the picture on the cover of my album....

Love on a Farmboy's Wages 12"; "That's my wallet we used in the pic- Virgin
was too cheap to pay for a prop, so we took mine and had it embossed by some
old gent in my neighborhood."

Oranges and Lemons: AP adopts German accent:" Und now ve vill brrrrink out
ze Fuehrer, und conquer ze vurlt!" and proceed to put a Hitler face on his
picture (he does have a rep for being difficult.....)

We were running out of time, so I pretty much told him I was glad to see he
and Colin were still at it, confounding their critics, and I hoped that they
put out another XTC record really soon, and as a closer, I added,
"Hey -Andy, I used to be a prof. musician myself, and the life is insane-
do yourself a big favor, stay sane and healthy, and don't tour. It's not
worth it, and don't
let anybody persuade you otherwise."

He seemed _genuinely_ happy to hear that, sort of dropped his wisecracking
armor for a second, and said, slowly,
"Thank you".

Everybody asks him, "Are you gonna tour again?" (Yeah, sure-
when pigs start to not only fly, but do Immelmanns!) I can't remember what
said after that, because I was just in a fog at this point, so enthralled
with actually having met him....

I stuck around for a little while, watching the proceedings, and talking
with others there, and stuffing all my stuff back into my shopping bag (once
the gold paint marker had dried), but I suddenly dope-slapped my forehead
and realised that I was now way overdue to relieve the next-door
neighbor's high school age daughter who was babysitting my three small kids,
and I rushed home in a high I hadn't felt
since my 20's....

Roger Fuller

maybe I'll mail him a cap....

PS I snapped some pix of AP w/others, and will send them out to the people I
promised ASAP!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 20:52:37 +0100
From: Giancarlo Galli <>
Subject: De-lurking

It's funny and amazing to discover how many lurkers (like yours truly)
were waiting for AV to get out of the bush!
Just one thing to say... thank to XTC for having made me feel like a
teenager again.
I've had such an intense emotion listening for the first time to Sgt
The quality of the recording is astounding: just pull up the volume and
listen... pure energy!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 1999 15:06:28 -0500
From: Jim Slade <>
Subject: Re: That's telling 'em

The letter-/e-mail-writing spirit that arose over aiplay for AV1 is fine,
but let's not tar and feather a reviewer who doesn't like the CD.  It's not
the paper's responsibility to see that the reviewer already likes the band.
In that case, what critic with any credibility could be assigned to review
perennial "2-Star" musicians like Phil Collins and Journey?  Time and a
number of stylistic periods have shown that XTC is an acquired taste.
They're no longer groundbreaking, even within their own work.  More than
ever, XTC is a Beatles- and Kinks-based band.  There's no crime in that if
they use this beautiful little CD as a springboard for more CDs that carve
out their own place.  It takes a positive touch!



End of Chalkhills Digest #5-118

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