Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-123

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 123

                   Monday, 8 March 1999

Today's Topics:

             I'd Like That in heavy rotation
                  San Francisco in-store
  Andy didn't want you to have the lyrics for a reason.
                       Re: AV1 MP3
                        AV Lyrics
             Why no lyrics/Colin's Ballooning
                    #3 with a feather
                  Re: Lyrical Amusement
                  Re: lyrics/tank, etc.
                     RE: I'll Play!!
          Captured photos from the Studio-i Chat
                   AV1 + Nonsvch = xTc
                 Becoming more balanced.
          "I'd Like That" vs. "Your Dictionary"
                       Mix Magazine
                 Knights in SHINING KARMA
           The Hardest Working Man in Showbiz!
                       No S-H-I-T !
epiphany / philosophy / NYC / Apple V / and no fifth rhyme
                         SF Andy
                       The backlash
    Blimey, how did XTC get so good - a new fan writes
                      Long way home
                   Random ramblings...
Newbie greetings, comments on AV1 and a visit with AP in SF
                   Re: buzzing/signing


    To UNSUBSCRIBE from the Chalkhills mailing list, send a message to
    <> with the following command:


    For all other administrative issues, send a message to:


    Please remember to send your Chalkhills postings to:


    World Wide Web: <>

    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

    Chalkhills is compiled with Digest 3.7 (John Relph <>).

What a waste of breath it is.


Message-ID: <900822C71730D2118D8C00805F65765C403041@EINSTEIN>
From: Jill Oleson <>
Subject: I'd Like That in heavy rotation
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 14:30:33 -0600

Christopher Moll recently stated:

> XTC is NEVER going to have mass domination. NEVER.
> Get used to it. Deal with it.  Move on.

Christopher, you may be right.  Only time will tell. But I can
tell you that here in Austin, Texas "I'd Like That" is in heavy
rotation on the radio.  On those days when I forget to bring my
copy of "Apple Venus, Volume 1" with me to the office, I can get
my XTC fix once an hour on the crappy little jam box I've got sitting
next to my computer.  The occasional airing of "Greenman"
may also indicate unprecedented popularity for this unique band.
(What?  Two mega-hits off the same album? Ha!)

I hope they play the *singles* so much on the radio that I get
sick of the damn album.  It will make the eventual release of
"Apple Venus, Volume 2" seem all the sweeter.  And, hey,
I'd like that!

Jill Oleson
Austin, Texas


Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 14:06:14 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <>
Subject: San Francisco in-store

Hey!  (to the tune of "River of Orchids")

I thought I would write a blow-by-blow of yesterday's Andy Partridge
in-store at Virgin Megastore in San Francisco, but I won't.  Instead,
I'm just going to mention a few highlights.

Those of you who I spoke to in line and in the store, it was a great
pleasure to meet y'all.  That was indeed a highlight of the evening.
And please let me apologise for not remembering all of your names.

I will mention a few: Wayne Klein, at the head of the line.  Just
behind him: fellow Sugarplastic fans Brian, Jeff and Starr (of the
Grackles).  Jason Brownell of The Dukes of Dolores Street (I live just
off Dolores Street.  It's a beautiful boulevard with a grassy centre
sward and palm trees down its length, a highlight of San Francisco.)
Elena, you should have spoken up!  But I did see you in line.  Robert
Hall (and Mr. T. Pope :-).  Heidi, who gave Andy a copy of her album
(Irish-styled original fiddle tunes).  Randy Posynick, we should get
together some time.  Jill Oleson changed her vacation plans so that
she could come to the signing (from Austin, Texas).  Paul Myers, sorry
we didn't have more time to talk.  John Wedemeyer, you're just too
busy!  Josh and Jackie, thanks for the lift.  And greetings to
everybody else!

High point of the evening?  After meeting with Andy (of course my
brain went totally dead when I stepped up onto the dais with Andy, I
didn't even remember to tell him that I played on the bluegrass cover
of "Crocodile" on CC98!) I was cruising the line, talking to Josh
Sierles, my carpool partner since the recent San Francisco Bay Area
XTC Gathering, and I noticed a face behind him in line.  I couldn't
help myself, so I said, "Excuse me, are you Prairie Prince?"  Sure
enough, he was!  He signed my AV1, too!  He said he hadn't heard any
of the album since the recording sessions, so what was playing
in-store was his first introduction to the finished product.  TVT
hadn't got him a copy yet.  Also, he said there were reasons why he
couldn't be credited with drums on "Skylarking" so instead the liner
notes read "The part of the Time Bomb was played by Prairie Prince",
and ever since then people have thought he just did the tick tock
intro to "The Meeting Place"!  Anyway, to cut to the chase, Prairie
finally reached the head of the line, and when he stepped up to the
table the look on Andy's face was priceless!  Definitely worth the
price of admission.

I also spoke briefly to a local artist who puts together little
colouring books about various musical artists.  He gave me a copy of
his XTC colouring book, called "Earn Enough For Us - XTC supplementing
their income 1993-1998".  And it is hilarious!  If you're interested
in a copy, send him email at <>.

Jill, thanks for dinner!  Richard, we need to talk.

	-- John


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 12:33:14 -0800 (PST)
From: Jon Rosenberger <>
Subject: Andy didn't want you to have the lyrics for a reason.

Dan W. wrote

"Like everyone else, I wondered why Apple Venus was the first XTC CD
since English Settlement to be packaged without lyrics ... then I
happened to be browsing the lyrics posted at Little Lighthouse, and a
thought occurred to me."

Here is the official word from AP in an Interview with David Veitch
recently. John Relph posted these to the Chalkhills site. Occasionally
it helps if you check the web site. John has been doing a good job of
keeping things very current latly and there is a ton of brand new
juicy info about the band out there. GO CHECK IT OUT!!

Beginning of excerpt:
SUN: The liner notes to Transistor Blast and Apple Venus are pretty
slim. Is this a case of spending money on essentials -- the music --
and not on the luxuries, like
the packaging?

ANDY: I didn't want to put lyrics in Apple Venus Vol. 1 because I want
people to work and come toward us. I don't want to give them
everything on a plate. And I
realize there are people on the Internet who are putting this stuff up
anyway. Why bother? I wanted people to come toward us a little, I
wanted their ears to be put
into the music more, which is why we decided no lyrics. Not for any
other reason. Not to save paper or anything. Just we want people to
come toward us a little
more. And I thought the liner notes in Transistor Blast were fairly
good. It was the first time Colin and I really got into writing,
commenting on the past.

End of excerpt:

So now you know the rest of the story.

Jon Rosenberger
Everyone needs a little Mole.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 05 Mar 1999 17:20:35 -0500
From: Sean Carolan <>
Subject: Re: AV1 MP3

Steve wrote:
>Rick Hap wrote
>> Apple Venus Volume One has been posted to alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.1990s
>> Enjoy.
>Let me get this straight - you're talking about the net wide
>distribution of an MP3 sound file of *the whole album* - the fruits of
>Colin & Andy's hard work without, presumably, any renumeration for XTC
>or TVT/Cooking Vinyl????

Personal experience: I'd heard about the album's release after a web search
spurred by a "gee whatever happened to XTC" conversation with a friend.
When I saw AV1 posted, I downloaded "Your Dictionary", which convinced me
it'd be money well spent - I then went out and bought it, and have gotten
at least two other that were on the fence to do the same.  Failing the
appearance of any proof that "thousands that will download it for free",
I'd call that pretty powerful word of mouth.  IMHO, those that don't pay
for it weren't going to anyway.  Also: it's the only worldwide broadcast
medium that's got them on its playlist.

(And what do I think of the album?  Worth buying and convincing my friends
to buy, too.  And worth listening to over and over and over and...)

-Sean Carolan (delurking.)


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 21:52:36 +0000
Subject: AV Lyrics

Dear Chalkers,

> . That said , the lyrics printed in the Japanese booklet are
> completely accurate , so I think it is safe to assume they were
> provided someone in the XTC camp .
Perhaps, but they are NOT completely accurate!

Refer to I Can't Own Her, the Japanese booklet says: "... and its
wind's sliding down" but it should be "... and it's winos slidng

I asked The Man himself on the Webchat last night and he spelled it
out for me so "winos" it is!

And there are a couple of other places where the Japanese booklet
version does not compute. In  the same song  "bobs and knives" should
of course read "bombs and knives".

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 17:00:59 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <v03007802b305bdd30026@[]>
From: Mitch Friedman <>
Subject: Why no lyrics/Colin's Ballooning

Hello Again,

Two answers for now:

When I asked Andy why there were no lyrics on the cd he said "We wanted
people to have to work a little harder to hear them." Short and sweet.

And you'll all be interested to know that on "The Last Balloon" Colin plays
no less than 3 different bass parts (with three different basses). He does
not however play a stand up double bass though it sure sounds like it. What
he did was play his fretless Epiphone with a piece of velvet laying across
the strings to partially mute it even more.



Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 16:15:00 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <v03007803b305b2965c34@[]>
From: Mitch Friedman <>
Subject: #3 with a feather


I just came back from Tower Records here in lovely NYC and would like to
report that AV1 is #3 on their top 25 best selling cds at the moment. I'm
sure this has something to do with a few hundred copies being sold at the
signing last week but whatever fluffs your feather I say.

When I last spoke with Dave Gregsy-ery, he and I had a short discussion
about which XTC albums sound the most like their cover art looks. We
determined that Drums and Wires, English Settlement, 25 O'Clock and
AV1 top the list. Any thoughts on the matter?



Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 17:55:54 -0500
From: Dorothy Spirito <>
Subject: Re: Lyrical Amusement
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.00.9903051738100.24545-100000@esun2028>

Neil Oliver asked what lyric from AV1 would make a good title for AV2,
were it not going to *be* called AV2...

My candidates based on the planned electric sound of AV2:

Packet of Seeds; Dandelions Roar; Motorway; Cycle Down;
Really High Thing; Wire Toasting Fork; Gold Sun; Stage Left (or Right);
New Life; Chew the Fat; Dance Round; Guidebook; New Clothes;
Moon in Hand; Odd Request; Coming True; Climb Aboard

Hmmm... Which one do I favor?  Probably "Climb Aboard".

("Color me happy!")


Message-Id: <l03110708b30604318933@[]>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 14:57:09 -0800
From: Eb <>
Subject: Re: lyrics/tank, etc.

>From: "Wiencek, Dan" <>
>Subject: No Lyrics: A Possible Explanation
>"Eff-You-See-Kay" doesn't really sound bad.  When you print it, even with
>capital letters and hyphens, it suddenly looks a lot worse: "F-U-C-K," etc.
>Look at the lyrics for YD and the song's meaning suddenly hits you, in a way
>that merely listening to it does not.  Given Andy's sensitivity about this
>song and the fact that he didn't really want to record it in the first
>place, could this be why lyrics were omitted?  And that he didn't want his
>kids leafing through Daddy's new CD and finding all these bad words?

How about this related speculation? Maybe Andy thought that if the lyrics
were printed, the PMRC would be more likely to notice the profanity and
force TVT to plaster a big "Parental Advisory" warning on the cover, thus
ruining the artwork? Just a passing thought.

>From: Christopher Moll <>
>So...Cooking Vinyl and TVT will release these supposed singles,
>they'll tank, the album will tank, the label will get pissed because
>they have an act that doesn't want to tour to support the floundering
>product and will drop them and XTC will be right back to square

I think you overestimate how much Cooking Vinyl and TVT depend on
commercial radio play. I can't speak in much detail about Cooking Vinyl,
but I suspect that AV1 will become one of TVT's all-time best-sellers, even
*without* a radio hit. The stakes just aren't that high. Except for NIN and
Gravity Kills, I can't think of any TVT material that has ever been in
commercial radio rotation. It's an independent label, with corresponding
realistic expectations for market penetration. I mean, the label was
launched with compilations of *TV theme songs*, fer chrissake.

As for your William Shatner/"get a life" comparison...well, I'm just going
to giggle, and be glad that you said it instead of me. ;)

A few quick general comments: "River of Orchids" has grown on me a little,
I must admit. I still think it's more "impressive" or "interesting" than
"great," but it's undoubtedly an accomplished piece of work, if a bit cold
and systematic. However, I'm still not quite thrilled by this album, mostly
due to "I'd Like That," "Knights in Shining Karma" and the Colin songs.
They're all just sorta fey 'n' fluffy ditties, and really don't move me at
all. Sorry, but that's the simple truth. I'm looking for a little more
sophistication, tension and edginess in XTC's work. Another problem is that
"Your Dictionary" sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb, and really
damages the cohesion of the record, in my opinion. Still, AV1 will be among
the top three or four records I hear this year, I'm sure. It's just not up
there with the all-time classics. Which is OK.

Second comment: Just because I know folks like to talk about "little
production touches" in XTC recordings, the two things that stand out for me
on this album are the adorable out-of-tune recorders in "Harvest Festival"
and, uh, that little rubberbandish twangy percussion device buried in the
rhythm track of "Greenman." Know what I'm talking about? OK, good.

Leaving for the LA album signing shortly and hoping it won't take too long,


Message-ID: <>
From: Neil Oliver <>
Subject: RE: I'll Play!!
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 13:27:30 -0800

I'd agree actually, after I asked the question I couldn't really find
too many either! Actually, "Easter Theatre" and "Harvest Festival" would
make good album titles (but for Vol. I). How about "Peckham Rose"? Or
maybe "F-U-C-K" (oh yeah, Van Halen did that). Actually, I think the
best choice for Vol. 2 would be "Sunflower."

	-----Original Message-----
	From:	Stephanie []

	Not too many lyrical phrases that struck me as good for an album
	title.  what are your thoughts on the matter??


Message-Id: <>
From: Janis VanCourt <>
Subject: Captured photos from the Studio-i Chat
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 16:36:53 -0500

Calciferous folk -

I've uploaded a few of the video capture images from Thursday's web chat
with Colin and Andy.  You can see them at

The chat was enjoyable but disappointingly brief (half an hour instead
of the scheduled 45 minutes).  None of my questions were chosen, alas;
but Molly and my dearest DinsdaleP both managed to get theirs in... way
to go!  Andy was hilarious, as always, and Colin said quite a bit, too.

My favorite Andy quote of the evening was his response to the question:
"How should the Apple Venus cover art be viewed?".  His answer was:
"From the other side of the counter, near the till as they're ringing up
your sale".

Logs of this chat are available somewhere, no doubt.  If you can't find
where, e-mail me, as I kept a log as well.

Fun chat.

"It's a song about soup..." - AP


Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 16:26:02 -0700
Subject: AV1 + Nonsvch = xTc

Hey Chalkfolk,

In effort to lengthen AV1 to both increase it's enjoyment and not
burn out on it too fast, I've taken to slipping Nonsuch into the
carousel with it and putting the machine in SHUFFLE mode.

#1.) It worked, they seem to go together and it makes AV1 last

#2.) It has given me /another/ perspective on Nonsuch.

Try it.  It's worth a listen.  Here's a tip. Don't place the discs in two
slots next to each other.  Try #1 and #3 or #4.

Hope this helps,



Message-ID: <01BE6749.51E41C10@robert>
From: Robert Wood <>
Subject: Becoming more balanced.
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 20:46:54 -0000

IMHO, 5-116 had quite a few postings that hit the nail on the head as far as
AV1 is concerned.

It's a good album in context of most of the stuff that's been released in
the last few years, but I don't think it holds a candle to most of their
earlier stuff. Jason's comment of good listening, but not great is spot on I
feel. I reckon that about half the songs are really good and half do nothing
for me, I find the last three songs particularly just wash over me. Easter
Theatre and I'd like that I think are superb and I really like Colin's
songs.  My Dictionary and Greemman are good, but River of Orchids I just
can't get to grips with. I think one of the biggest reasons is the sounds.
Matt said...

>> And it's funny, cause the strings seem sampled in... which
is kinda how they were done, from what I gathered, just have the
orchestra play the bits that were needed in one sitting and just drop
them in wherever.  Sometimes it works, sometimes
*coughcougheastertheatrecoughcough* it doesn't work so well <<

That's it, that's exactly how I hear much of the stuff (though not Easter
Theatre oddly enough). On ROO it's the brass, it sounds to me like a cheap
Yamahaha synth. Sometimes the strings do sound lush (like on Greenman) but
often they do sound like someone's played the strings on a keyboard.

On the whole I find the fuss on Chalkhills over the quality of the album
quite odd and OTT, but then I *love* Nonsuch, I think it's one of their
finest albums; so maybe I'm just out of step with most people on the list.
Also I'm not at all keen on Skylarking which seems to be one of the faves
too. I do wonder whether it's more the Americans who are really into it
[AV1] and the Brits who are a bit cooler towards it.

So there you go, flame me! But as Homer would say "Whattayagonnado?"


Message-ID: <>
From: Steve Sims <>
Subject: "I'd Like That" vs. "Your Dictionary"
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 15:29:14 -0800

I have a theory.  Dinosaurs were thin at one end, big in the middle,...
Oops, that theory has already been taken.  Actually, I have some thoughts
on "Your Dictionary" and "I'd Like That" that I'd like to toss around.  I
see both songs describing emotional extremes.  The emotions are obvious in
YD.  In fact, I believe they are so extreme that maybe they should not have
been exposed to the public.  I can think of numerous times when I've
received e-mail from a co-worker that makes me want to wring their neck.
What I usually do is compose a scathing response, gloat over it a while,
and then delete it.  Andy sent his.  But that's OK.  And for me, the reason
it's acceptable is because of the way it plays off of ILT.  ILT also deals
with emotional extremes.  I feel it describes the giddiness (someone help
me with a better word here) of new love.  When Andy says "A really high
thing", he's telling me he is lost for words.  "Like a sunflower."
Perfect...  It's so sappy and silly that it works.  Whenever this song hits
the player, my 8-yr old daughter is up dancing and spinning like a top.

BTW, this is the first music I have analyzed since being forced to listen
to Grofe's "Grand Canyon Suite" every day for a month in 5th grade.  The
evils of American public education...



Message-Id: <>
From: "Jeff Smelser" <>
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 17:06:55 -0700
Subject: Mix Magazine

Hello Again Chalkfellows:

Mix Magazine has an article in the Recording Notes section on
page 160 about the recording of AV1.  Unfortunately, the Mix
Online website doesn't have it.  But, beware, the first word is the
one that starts with Q.

Just thought you'd like to know,



Message-ID: <B9B4268C8F87D11195DC0000F840FABE08387712@DUB-MSG-02>
From: Peter Fitzpatrick <>
Subject: Knights in SHINING KARMA
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 23:20:49 -0000

There is zero XTC content in this post, but I think what I'm going to tell
you will give you all a lift.

Our son Ben was born last monday as you probably know. He had a difficult
arrival into our crazy world.  Since then he has been in intensive care
(all 8lbs 14ozs of him...big eh ?).

I asked my friends on some mailing lists to think of him and pray (if
that's what they do).

Since monday what has happened has been both a nightmare (as any parent
with a sick child will tell you) and a joy to watch.

Our main concern was that Ben was oxygen deprived during delivery.  On
wednesday he had EEG and CatScans done.  Wednesday night we got the all
clear from the neurologist (he went out of his way late at night to come
see Ben and examine him).

On Thursday Ben was feeding regularly and moved closer to the door of the
Intensive Care Unit.

A few hours ago my wife got a pleasant suprise when a nurse knocked on the
door of her hospital room to bring Ben into her. In a matter of days he had
gone from being a very sick baby indeed to being well enough to leave ICU.
We expect that Val and Ben can come home on Sunday. That is more than we
dared dream earlier this week.

I firmly believe that the prayers and thoughts of all those people who
heard about him did this.

A lot of good karma has been done this week and you all undid a few knots
in that karma-rope.

I've spent the week driving to and from the hospital listening to AV1 and
immersed myself in it. WOW ! What an album.

Soon as I can stop smiling I'll get some photos of the little lad and post
them to

Thanks Everyone !

Peter, Val, Ben (& his sisters Alison & Heather)


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 05 Mar 1999 21:03:12 +0000
From: "Neal H. Buck" <>
Subject: The Hardest Working Man in Showbiz!

Hello All,

Greetings from the Digest-ive tracts.

Yessir, the Hardest Working Man - John Relph!

I wonder if he realized, since (from what I remember) the Digest was
started after "Nonsuch" in the void, that he'd have so much traffic now
that a new album has finally come out. He's either a saint, or he's
cursing like a sailor right about now. How about it John, should we try
to keep a bit of a lid on it for awhile, give your busy fingers a rest?
Or are you a glutton for punishment?

Sigh - Andy was right in the end, after all. All these "Men" (Green,
Spoon, et al) still fighting it out "down in the cockpit." The Queens
just sit back and laugh!

An XTC moment: Back around "release day" (already bought my copies), in
our Mall to see if Goody "got it", hear "Life Begins at the Hop"
blasting from Abercombie & Fitch across the hall.

Please don't tell me that we'll see Andy posing with Jimmy Page, Ozzy &
Dio at some Wican gathering. Maybe since the "new wave" thing's not
working out anymore, he's going after the "heavy metal" kidz. Maybe he
longs for some "big hair"!

It all comes out the same,


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 03:19:42 +0000
Subject: No S-H-I-T !

Dear Chalkers,

Dan said:

> Given Andy's sensitivity about this song (Your Dictionary -MS) and
> the fact that he didn't really want to record it in the first
> place, could this be why lyrics were omitted?  And that he didn't
> want his kids leafing through Daddy's new CD and finding all these
> bad words?

I think this is probably the main reason for the omission of the
lyrics, yes. Colin recently said in an interview that Andy was indeed
very nervous about his kids possibly hearing this song about their
mother and that he would probably never play the album if they were

And seeing those harsh words in print does add an extra weight to
them. The whole subject matter is very personal of course, perhaps
too close for comfort ?

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 21:11:01 -0500
From: Dave Rutherford <>
Subject: epiphany / philosophy / NYC / Apple V / and no fifth rhyme
Message-ID: <Pine.SOL.4.00.9903052029190.632-100000@esun1006>

Xclusive To Chalkhills:

Janis VanCourt had a "weird epiphany" in New Hampshire. Behold...

> Just as we rounded a corner, and as Andy sang "if we all breathe in and
> blow away the smoke", John exclaimed "Oh, my god!  Look at that license
> plate!"
> And there, embossed above the legend "Live Free Or Die" was the legend:
> 				NEW LIF

Odd indeed. For I happened to be in New Hampshire February 19th,
Apple Venus happily in the autoreverse deck, when an SUV pulled
ahead of me with New Hampshire plates reading "LEIGH". And what
part of what song happened to be playing?

The part that sounds very much like "Leigh ahead, Leigh ahead, ..."

Perhaps the Green Man has been visiting the White Mountains?


Meanwhile, Christopher Moll writes about the lack of public
acceptance of the sublime music of XTC:

> Am I upset about this? Hell yes!!!
> Is it reality? Hell Yes!!!

I wonder in passing how healthy it is to be accepting of a reality
which upsets you. Perhaps working to CHANGE things would be some
comfort. And who knows? - after all, all progress depends upon
the unreasonable man (though I forget who I'm quoting there.)


Great to meet some of you in NYC (Stephanie, Karl, remeets Tim,
of course Tom (thanks!) if you're onlist, others.) I now know ONE
good reason to stand outside in subfreezing temperatures for four
hours. Sounds like something else I've heard about... Dorothy, if you
can get Andy to sit on top of a mountain, I'll gladly go skiing. :-)

Anyone planning to see the Nigels in April, drop me a note; let's
try to meet up...

-- has an "Apple Venus" email list. It has not
been inspiring so far but I wanted to mention it.


And a puzzle. Complete the set (I'll collect entries by email):

   "Oranges and Lemons" => "Apples and Pears"
   "Skylarking"         => "Gamboling"

(Of course, I'm comparing "Apples" and "Oranges" here...)

Best regards,


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 05 Mar 1999 17:35:08 -0600
From: "Kurt M." <>
Subject: SF Andy

Howdy all,

Well, since several people here have said they like reading about Andy
encounters, I thought I'd share a bit of my meeting with the genius...

I attended the signing at the Virgin store in SF.  Chatted with some
nice folks in line -- memorable moments were meeting John Relph, and
hearing a guy behind me say he planned on asking Andy if his ex wife was
dating again (fortunately this did come up during a discussion of 'most
offensive questions possible').

Once inside (after ~2 hours wait), things started getting pretty
exciting.  I'd brought my camera, but wasn't sure if I would use it or
not.  After observing that about half the people in front of me were
having their picture taken with Andy, I decided it would be appropriate,
and asked a fellow signee if she'd be so kind.  Thanks, fellow signee!

What I'd like to focus on is Mr. Partridge himself, as he twice showed
himself to be just a super guy.  By the time I got to the signing table,
the Virgin employee overseeing the event had announced that only one
item per person would be signed, as the line was huge and moving too
slowly.  I didn't really plan on listening to him, and I'd only brought
three things anyway.  But for some bizarre reason, after Andy had signed
my Skylarking cover I started gathering up my stuff and moving off.
Andy wouldn't let me, however.  He said something about how he hated
that Virgin was trying to hurry people, and that he wasn't going to
hurry.  So he took my other two items and gave them the full AP
treatment (this means entertaining doodles, 'case you're unaware).  I
don't know if he got his way in this through the entire event, but I'd
wager he probably did.

So, since Andy wasn't giving in to Virgin, I asked him for a picture.  I
was a bit nervous, and really rushed into the pose and the picture.  At
this point, he actually grabbed me by the arm, said "slow down" to both
myself and the camera person, and arranged for a nicely posed second
picture!  He was very clearly trying to both make me more comfortable
and take however much time he felt he should.

And of course, he was charming and witty throughout.  What a guy.

OK, that's all for now.

Ola to Alizarine.
Howdy to Jomama, at my alma mater.


Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 22:47:42 -0500
From: Lincoln Fong <>
Subject: The backlash
Message-ID: <>

Andy Partridge once said in an interview around the time of Drums and
Wires; 'most groups think they have to take this mud pie they've made into
a studio and come out with a birthday cake'. Now whilst I wouldnt dream of
holding a man to what he said almost twenty years ago  I am dissapointed by
the indulgence of AV1. Yesterday my radio awoke me to the strains of 'Sgt.
Rock' (no it wasn't the oldies channel!) and reminded me why I loved the
group so much. Their ability to do so much within the traditional format
was mindblowing. If you have a great tune it can be played simply. They've
moved on since then and the simple sundial has been replaced by a shiny
clock where you can see the workings all to clearly.
Hate to be so negative on my first posting but I miss that sundial.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 06 Mar 1999 02:36:15 +0000
Organization: Antidote Sound System
Subject: Blimey, how did XTC get so good - a new fan writes

Right, I'm a pretty inexperienced fan so skip this if you want to
discuss the shape of Colin Mouldings pancreas, but I have to inject a
little innocent delight in here. XTC were just the band who I remember
little glimpses of and thinking, hmm, interesting...... I remember
Sergeant Rock on TOTP when I was a kid, Love on a Farmboys Wages on
Radio 1 on a hot afternoon once in the early 80s, The Meeting Place on
The Tube special dedicated to The Prisoner, with XTC looking and
sounding the part on location at Port Merion...and perhaps most
bizarrely Gaz Top on some crap kids TV show somehow levering in a video
of the Dukes and saying 'If you like 60s music and the Beatles you might
like this....' but I never really got into them properly (I'm a techno
man really!). Being a big Beach Boys fan I picked up on a review of
Apple Venus that cited a big Brian Wilson influence...picked up the
album and now I'm hooked. Last week I got Oranges & Lemons, the Dukes
anthology and dug out that old Skylarking tape and BeesWax tape I'd
never bothered to listen to. They're pretty good really aren't they!


From: "Rafael" <>
Subject: Long way home
Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 17:45:17 -0300
Message-ID: <>

Hi people!
Meanwhile all of you are already listening to the latest gem of our beloved
Even though Amazon wrote to me last February 24 that my AV1 was on its way
to my home,
Yes, I know my country is deep bottom of the map but as I supposed we were
living in such a globalized world, I stupidly assumed I'd receive my copy
after just a couple of days.
What a fool I am, huh? So, enjoy it! I can't describe how much I envy you!!

By the way, I really enjoy reading all the XTC meetings chronics that some
of you, inhabitants of the First World, wrote in the latest digests.

And Brad, you were right. I don't need any other dictionary but XTC's
lyrics!!! :-D You can't imagine how hard is for me to understand some of
their lines! You know, I'm still learning English at a private institute,
but now I think I'll never know it all because of them!! Oh well...

Still waiting...

Buenos Aires



Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 00:23:02 EST
Subject: Random ramblings...

1. Apple Venus Vol. 1 would make a great musical, if only a good storyline
could be agreed upon.  Any takers?  (Or should we wait for Vol. 2 and use
all the songs?)

2.  Is it just me, or are Colin's songs great "comic relief" after some of
Andy's more serious ventures?  I mean this in the best possible way.

3.  The best title that would follow the "previous -album- lyric" formula,
and yet still make sense would be, "Apple Venus Vol. 2: The Swirling Sky",

4. Christopher Moll makes an excellent point. XTC will never be
mainstream. As long as we have great music from the swindon lads, and they
are justly compensated financially for their efforts, who gives a damn if
they make it into the Rock hall of fame. (I mean, they just inducted Billy
Joel, fer chrissakes!)

5. Any thoughts on what AV2's cover art should look like, and why?

Chris W

XTC song of the day -- "The Last Balloon"
nonXTC SOTD -- "AEIOU Sometimes Y" by EBN-OZN


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 06 Mar 1999 00:41:41 -0800
From: Ken Sanders <>
Organization: Pacific Bell Internet Services
Subject: Newbie greetings, comments on AV1 and a visit with AP in SF

    Howdy y'all,
I had the pleasure of meeting AP at his appearance in the Virgin
Megastore in SF 3/2/99 (the irony of THAT situation leaves me shaking
my head, but , AP  doesn't set the appearance schedule, I know).

Even though Andy was 1/2 hour late, it was worth it for me..especially
since I realized that, almost 10 years to the day(!), I had the chance
to talk to Messrs.. Partridge, Moulding and Gregory, since they were
promoting "Oranges and Lemons" with an appearance at The Gavin
convention, held at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in SF (I happened to be
sitting in the lobby, waiting for some fellow college radio friends from
SJSU, when the trio walked in the lobby..Andy was wearing a purple
medieval type fop/cap), and i didn't take advantage of that opportunity
at the time.

    Anyhoo, I couldn't find my poster of "Oranges and Lemons" to bring
with me, and I didn't think to purchase "AV1" BEFORE I got in
line..needless to say, I was VERY embarrassed at that last, I
got a business card I had in my wallet, and had Andy sign that (I've
stuck it under the CD retaining portion of the jewel pack).  Considering
I made a hundred mile journey that day (leaving for the signing straight
after  work, and returning home to San Jose afterwards), I felt I did
the right thing.

Uh, ok..I did have a comment on it...and here's something to
mentally gnaw on..could "The Last Balloon" be referring to innocence?
In the tune, children are the last mentioned for boarding the
balloon.........just a though.



Message-Id: <l03110701b3069bc8dd77@[]>
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 01:22:36 -0800
From: Eb <>
Subject: Re: buzzing/signing

>From: Greg Langmead <>
>- Is that buzzing percussion instrument in Greenman the same one as in
>"Poor Skeleton Steps Out?"

I don't know about the "Poor Skeleton" connection, but I actually asked AP
about the instrument at the signing today. He said it's a wooden African
percussion instrument, but he couldn't remember its proper name.

There's not too much for me to say about the signing -- I find the gushy,
exhausting detail in which others describe their experience rather
bewildering. Less people were there than I expected -- I thought throngs of
people would be lined up hours ahead of time, but I got there at 4:45 (the
signing was scheduled for 6), and was only about the 15th person in line.
Looked like Andy and Colin were wearing the same clothes they wore the day
before for the webchat. Hrm...I guess they should've packed more clothes?
Colin told me they had an offer to appear on Letterman again, but they
didn't do it because it's too hard to present even "I'd Like That" in a
live context. Andy confirmed that the cover is indeed intended to be
"yonic," and also pointed out that the center of the feather looks somewhat
like an apple. Colin asked me "You aren't a bass player too, are you?"
because apparently there were about five bassists in a row ahead of me who
were pumping Colin for bass talk. That's about it, really. I shook their
hands, got a few things signed, and left. Proceeded on to a great
Sleater-Kinney gig at the Roxy. Whew, whatta performance. I couldn't
understand a damn thing they were singing (heh heh), but it was one of the
most cathartic, kick-ass rock 'n' roll shows I've seen.



End of Chalkhills Digest #5-123

Go back to the previous page.