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Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-135


         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 135

                  Sunday, 14 March 1999

Today's Topics:

                   AD IT UPSY SUNFLOWER
                      A Few Details
                        New member
              Andy in Chicago--lots of pics
                         What fun
                     Your Dictionary
              Apple Venus on Comedy Central
               In defence of the dinosaurs
                    Re: Crazy Breakup
          Please Mr Postman, Put It In A Letter
               Spit In His Face, Pink Thing
                   Last Call For Shirts
                         Nonsuch
                        Nasty Andy
           What's wrong with their later stuff?
                   the names the thing
                  Good Golly Miss Molly!
                Re: buy the new Beth Orton
               Re: Trashing of Dave Gregory
           Shock: Andy Is Only Human After All
     The Not So Everyday Story Of Smalltown Volume 2
                      To The Fairest
              Out of the mouths of babes ...

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Disque Bleu is all that I hear.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Xtckinks@aol.com
Message-ID: <f859c4d6.36eb37d8@aol.com>
Date: Sat, 13 Mar 1999 23:15:20 EST
Subject: AD IT UPSY SUNFLOWER

In Chalkhills #132 Ben <gott@tmbg.org> said:

<<Now, I don't mean that I want to see XTC on American TV advertising Fords,
<<because that would suck.

Hi C'hillers,

What doesn't suck, and what I'm sure Ben and a lot more of us would like to
have seen, was the TV ad for AV1 that WABC TV Ch.7 ran last night after
Politically Incorrect. I was lying down and talking as PI ended, when
suddenly I realized what I was hearing I'd Like That. I looked at the TV
and noticed colors and more colors. I immediately jumped up in XTC as the
phone rang simultaneously. It was a friend watching the same thing calling
to tell me. In my ex(t)citement I just answered the phone singing and
saying, "I know, I know!!!" and hung up, continuing to freak out!

Paul (just-when-I've-descended-to-being-10-Feet-Tall-again-I'm
back-up-in-the-clouds) LoPiccolo

------------------------------

Message-ID: <36EB455F.AEF3206B@pobox.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 00:13:03 -0500
From: Jefferson Ogata <ogata@pobox.com>
Subject: A Few Details

At 1:24 of I Can't Own Her, Colin drops in with a small electric
bass riff that is one note different from the riff he drops into
the second half of Mermaid Smiled with (though in a different key
as well).

River Of Orchids: now page down if you don't want to read
something that might make the song sound peculiar to you from now
on:

The weird thing about this song to me is the inconsistent effects
used on the orchestral instruments. The pizzicato strings sound
like they're in an altogether different room from the horns. Also
the stereo image doesn't segregate the horns from the strings.
The result sounds very jumbled to me and detracts from the
effectiveness of the song, though I still do like the song quite
a lot. Mainly I like Andy's vocals; I just wish he'd taken the
time to score the whole thing and have the orchestra play it in
one shot -- I think it would hold together much better.

As for the Steve Reich/Philip Glass issue, to me it sounds much
more like American composer Aaron Copland, particularly in the
strings.

Okay, you can start reading again now...

Lastly, regarding Ben Gott's commercial endorsements concept, allow
me to suggest the following American sitcom (showing my age here):
Apple Venus Vol. 2:  "Fly little bird! Be free!"

--
Jefferson Ogata.  smtp: <ogata@pobox.com>  http://www.pobox.com/~ogata/
finger: ogata@pobox.com  ICQ: 19569681  whois: jo317@whois.internic.net

------------------------------

Message-ID: <36EB5227.CCF14921@myself.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 01:07:35 -0500
From: Chick Wells <moi@myself.com>
Subject: New member

I just joined and am amazed at the mini-dissertations that
seem to be a common form of discourse. Not complaining, its
just funny. Having just joined, this may already been
mentioned, but yesterday someone asked about Green Man, and
I found this, which is pretty informative
http://www.homeusers.prestel.co.uk/sculpture/greenhist.htm

Re the success of AV1, I wish that the band could receive
the fortune they deserve, but after listening to AV1 for the
first time, I thought that one should have to apply to
qualify to listen to something this good. Of course the
approval committee would be folks on this list;-)
No one should fall upon this recording, "They should
EARN(pronounced uuuuuurn) it"

C Wells
Dissertate forth!

------------------------------

From: jkaelin@luc.edu
Message-ID: <PV.921368026@mystic>
Subject: Andy in Chicago--lots of pics
Date: 13 Mar 1999 23:33:46 GMT

Greetings!  If you want to see a couple rolls of Andy and a number of
other Chicago Chalkhillians, go to
http://mystic.photonet.com and put in my email address
(jkaelin@luc.edu) and password "andy"

Enjoy!

------------------------------

Message-ID: <36EBBB81.DDED8FE6@erols.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 08:37:06 -0500
From: Todd and Jennifer Bernhardt <toddjenn@erols.com>
Subject: What fun

Hi:

Mitch and Ken told us:

> I was just casually watching Politically Incorrect when lo and behold a tv
> commercial for Apple Venus (with flying graphics and images of Andy and
> Colin and the cover art) comes on. "I'd Like That" was the soundtrack,
> ending up with "sunflower".  The commercial had quotes from very positive
> reviews. Looks like TVT has already surpassed Geffen and Virgin for trying
> anyway.

Wow. WOW. This _could_ be the start of something big. Add to the marketing
push the fact that this is one of XTC's most accessible albums (as
evidenced by my and others' experience making converts with it) and this
might be the turning point in the band's career (in terms of their
financial success, anyway).

Don P. said:

> This led me to thinking about that most famous story about a snake, the
> tree of knowledge, and the *apple* as the symbol of knowledge.  The
> forbidden fruit.  I have always seen this as both carnal knowledge, and
> as, that other 'fact of life' again, knowledge of our own mortality -
> the cycle of life and death.  So equating love and knowledge in 'Wonder
> Annual' leads to something similar to what Harrison was saying except
> with the apple as a symbol of knowledge rather than of nature, i.e. love
> = knowledge --> venus = apple.  And of course siding with the snake
> means NOT regretting this most fateful decision of mankind.

And -- of course, our brilliant genius Andy is doing it again with multiple
levels of meaning -- you could look at the juxtaposition of the two words
as representation of his recent experience with women: Being betrayed by
one (Apple ... hey, it's the biblical interpretation, don't get on me for
being misogynistic!) and attracted/accepted by another (Venus). You know,
the whole rejection/redemption thang.

and:

> And, in response to Dom, Todd Bernhardt quipped, "39 is NOT middle
> aged!"  Oh yeah?  And just how long past 78 do you expect to be
> living?!  Of course I'll be doing just fine at fine at 74, so I'm
> certainly not middle-aged.

At 78? Man, I'll probably be traveling the world, enjoying my grandkids,
exercising, reading, learning to do new things ... I'm planning on making
it to 100, easy!  :^)

and:

> While Todd's idea is very interesting (and paranoid - which is a plus),
> Hobbes reaction leans closer to my own.  In this song Andy is talking
> about *disillusionment*, and not necessarily only in the negative
> sense.  He's become disillusioned about love, which he's comparing to
> the other fairy tales that he and many of us have became disillusioned
> with - Santa, Jesus and the Virgin birth, and the Tooth Fairy.

Paranoid?? Who told you about me being paranoid? THEM, right?

I also thought of Hobbes' point of view on this, and almost included that
"Joey" could be Andy referring to itself, but that doesn't explain the
"bucktoothed fairy" part. And, you know, in any good conspiracy theory, all
the pieces have to fit.

Giancarlo said:

> The word "row" has a definitive maritime sound and the image of her
> laying on one arm on a boat while her companion rows reminds of some
> victorian paintings (and of Groucho Marx singing on a canoe ;-D), Lady
> Emma Hamilton was the lover of Admiral Horace Nelson (the sea
> again). I don't see any sexual meaning in this phrase.

One word: "laid." Yet another example of Andy packing lyrics full of
meaning/multiple interpretations/puns.

> Funnier (for us non english speaking guys) is the use of the verb
> hector a few lines further.
> <snip>
> Now could someone explain me this thing? This is not a famous couple
> of the past after all..  If the joke is about ancient history, using a
> verb that barely fits in, hats off to mr. Andy!

I thought about this the first time I heard the song. Hector and Helen are
the only non-couple, and I think he just made a mistake going for the use
of the verb "hector." Perhaps in his limited knowledge of Homer, he thought
the two were a couple. Hector certainly fought for her, anyway. (Hard as it
is to believe, sometimes, he does make these mistakes -- "Living Through
Another Cuba" gets the date of the Cuban missile crisis wrong, for
example.)

More famous couples:
I'd be your Clinton if you'd be my Monica, haha...
I'd be your Kennedy if you'd be Marilyn, we'd sin...
(Repeat with various politicians until tired of the whole exercise...)

--Todd

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199903141544.HAA14677@sparrow.prod.itd.earthlink.net>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 07:43:38 -0800
Subject: Your Dictionary
From: "Russ Reynolds" <rcreation@earthlink.net>

Roel Wrote:

>As to the spelling-out of words in Your Dictionary: I think it's rather a
>clever find - at least it has never been done like this before (as far as I
>know).
>Spelling out in lyrics is not always, as has been suggested, a cheap trick
>anyway: the Rutles' C-H-E-E-S-E-A-N-D-O-N-I-O-N-S proves that it can be very
>funny, for example. I think even D-I-S-C-O is not so stupid really (from the
>songwriter's point of view) as it provides the sweating crowd on the
>dancefloor with exactly the easy mantra-singalong stomp they want and
>deserve.

I've always been in the "dislike spelling in songs" camp myself [it's a
great camp...they have a lake with fishing and everything] because most of
the time it's just a clever way to fill a few beats.  But Roel's right--in
the context of "Your Dictionary" it makes perfect sense.  The two primary
uses of a dictionary are to look up the meaning of words and the spelling
of words.  This song deals with the meaning of words and places them in a
dictionary.  So I'm not bothered at all by the spelling in this song and
neither are any of the counselors at Camp Dislike Spelling In Songs...in
fact now we all sing "Your Dictionary" around the campfire when we're
making s'mores.

By the way, I just finished reading the Mojo article.  If you haven't
checked it out yet do it soon.  Good reading, that.  And as it turns out,
much more entertaining than watching your team choke in the NCAA tournament.

Has the original cover design for Skylarking ever surfaced in a book or as
a bootleg cover or anything?  I'm intrigued by this.

-russ

------------------------------

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <5ca54626.36ebdd01@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 11:00:01 EST
Subject: Apple Venus on Comedy Central

  Apple Venus report: saw a commercial for Apple Venus on Comedy Central
this morning. I was quite surprised, to say the least. Seems TVT is going
all out in promoting the album; I don't think I ever saw Virgin put an XTC
commercial anywhere, TV, Radio, semophore signals, baloons, whatever(a
reference to both Andy AND Richard Branson!). It was quite well done, lots
of peacock feather and fruit imagery(the later a tip of the hat to Colin, I
suppose)and stills of Andy and Colin with clips of "I'd Like That" and "I
Can't Own Her." Hope it sells a few albums for them.

  More mentions of Apple Venus on the Richard Thompson list; seems there's
quite a few RT fans who are raving about the album. The buzz is definitely
happening.

  Speaking of people who write good tunes, I must be getting old because
The Bees are performing on the local PBS station and I'm actually enjoying
it! I was in high school when Saturday Night Fever was all the rage and you
couldn't get away from The Bee Gees on the radio(and I was right up there
making fun of their over-use of falsetto and calling them the Disco
Chipmunks), but looking back even their disco material had a lot more
substance than most of their competition at the time and holds up a lot
better through time. I wouldn't buy any of their albums(well, maybe Main
Course, which I used to own when I was about thirteen; I prefer the R&B
influenced rock of most of that album to what followed)still, but all those
songs I thought I was tired of in the 80's sound surprisingly fresh
live. And their new material is their best since Main Course, back to R&B
rather than disco and the brotherly harmonies that siblings do best. I
know, I must be getting old; I still find their old quavery ballads like
"Words" and "Massachusetts" a bit wet, though.

  What the hell, one of my guilty pleasures...

Chris

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 16:30:17 -0000
From: "John Scrivener" <scrivener@england.com>
Message-ID: <EMPFFLGIJNAHAAAA@shared2-mail.whowhere.com>
Subject: In defence of the dinosaurs
Organization: England E-mail  (http://www.splendiferous.com:80)

>From: Jim Slade <castells@bellatlantic.net>
>Subject: Re: Beauty & XTC

> Just because it had less chords and triplets that
> bombastic art rock like Genesis

Genesis actually had a pretty refined pop sensibility.
Ignore the words and the silliness - there's some great
tunes on those early albums. Honest!

Every musical genre of any reasonable size contains
good and bad material.

> but I first heard the band as "beefed up" rock 'n
> roll, following the tradition of the Beatles from
> Revolver on.

Here, There, And Everywhere - "beefed up"?

> Hey, they never promised me that they wouldn't fall
> prey to prog rock excesses, but one too many "The
> Last Baloon" numbers and they'll become Genesis
> without the amazing light show.

It's a jazz thing, isn't it...

P.S. Rick Wakeman was just having a laugh.

------------------------------

From: CCooli9575@aol.com
Message-ID: <a1949ba9.36ebdd07@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 11:00:07 EST
Subject: Re: Crazy Breakup

>On another note altogether: I played "Your Dictionary" last night at the
>popular and very well attended Residential Life-sponsored coffeehouse.  The
>audience responded well...they laughed when the song got so mean it sounded
>silly (at least in my performance!), and were deferentially quiet during
>the "Now your laughter..." bit.  Since my topic of performance was "crazy
>break-up songs," I also played "Coming Back Soon (The Bereft Man's Song)"
>by Crash Test Dummies, "Red Shoes" by E.C., and "Girlfriend in a Coma" by
>the Smiths.
>
>That's it for now...
>
>-Ben

  The craziest breakup song I ever heard is "More Than I Can Do" by
Steve Earle, in which the protagonist sings "You say you're gonna call
the cops but I ain't gonna run/'Cause you're the only one/And we both
know I'm crazy 'bout ya/Just because you won't unlock your door/That
don't mean you don't love me anymore..."all set to a bouncy Beatlesque
beat. Speaking of The Beatles, their "Run For Your Life" is pretty
scary too, as is Mick Farren(the late Trouser Press contributer and
frontman of The Deviants)'s "Let Me In, Damn You." The last isn't
necessarily a breakup song, but it could be interpreted that way.

------------------------------

From: Xtckinks@aol.com
Message-ID: <95818ffd.36ebf5c3@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 12:45:39 EST
Subject: Please Mr Postman, Put It In A Letter

> From: everlasting.arm@mcmail.com
> Subject: I surrender
>
> This is the most miserable, anal, elitist bunch of shit ever ( I should
> know, I am on the Beach boys list)
> I would rather just listen my XTC CDs
> stop my subscription NOW. Moderated lists are soooo boooring.
> Bye Bye.

Hmmmmmmmmmm....this sounds like a few disgruntled Postal-worker buddies of
mine!

------------------------------

From: Xtckinks@aol.com
Message-ID: <c53b8f92.36ebfea7@aol.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 13:23:35 EST
Subject: Spit In His Face, Pink Thing

C'hillers,

Can we please stop mentioning Shitsteen? I felt so relieved to be distanced
from him and his ilk, when I joined Chalkhills. It's been Bruceless til now.
Please, let's leave him out of this.

When I read him I have difficulty,
Paul

------------------------------

Message-Id: <3.0.5.32.19990314114323.00c0ad00@pophost.micron.net>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 11:43:23 -0700
From: Phil Corless <philco@micron.net>
Subject: Last Call For Shirts

Last call for the special edition Chalkhills "Apple Venus" shirt!

View the design at:
http://netnow.micron.net/~philco/av.htm

This is a one-time printing.  Get it now or never.  Thanks!

------------------------------

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 13:46:06 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199903141846.NAA13284@freenet3.carleton.ca>
From: dd867@freenet.carleton.ca (David Collins)
Subject: Nonsuch

I program Nonsuch to skip The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead, The
Disappointed, and Bungalow, myself. I think it's by far their best album.

------------------------------

Message-ID: <000f01be6e4d$a23d0e00$618542d8@compaq>
From: "Ozium" <ozium@direct.ca>
Subject: Nasty Andy
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 11:05:31 -0800

Okay, folks...

I've noticed people debating the level of Andy's "nastiness" in the last
few Chalks. I've believed from the very early songs that Andy has a
decidedly bitter streak. In those songs, which were of a more brash style,
his sarcasm was less ironic. In the newer, more refined material, I believe
his vitriol to be more noticeable and ultimately more effective. Irony is
very powerful.  Think of Kubrick's (sigh...) use of Singing in the Rain as
a soundtrack to a violent rape in Clockwork Orange. The juxtoposition is
what makes it effective.

Do what you will but harm none.

m

------------------------------

From: mollyfa@juno.com
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 15:09:26 -0500
Subject: What's wrong with their later stuff?
Message-ID: <19990314.151514.2822.3.MollyFa@juno.com>

I disagree with what Joel said in the last Chalkhills about Nonsuch.  I
love that album.  I don't know why, but I just do.  Why do some people
not like their later such (O&L, Nonsuch)?  I know some of you will
probably say that O&L was a sell out because it got too popular, but why
do some of you hate Nonsuch?

Molly

------------------------------

From: "Wesley Hanks" <whanks@earthlink.net>
Subject: the names the thing
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 12:30:43 -0800
Message-ID: <000001be6e59$88af7f20$ac1c1d26@wes>

Well, I wouldn't be me if I didn't Spooner a few folks names. Sorry Jill &
Dom.
Wes

------------------------------

Subject: Good Golly Miss Molly!
Message-ID: <19990314.181019.5047.1.mbrechtel@juno.com>
From: Meredith Brechtel <mbrechtel@juno.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 17:16:56 EST

Meredith wrote:
>>I just wanted to thank Dom, Molly, davidoh (and occasionally Duncs) for
helping me kick my TV habit.  Now I eagerly await the arrival of my next
digest (or 3 - how DO you keep up, John???) so I can follow the flames
and  **offbeat commentary**. <<

Molly wrote:
>>I will never hold another IRC chat again for a while.<<

Ah, yes.  It's the little things like these that keep me amused...

Meredith
squirlgirl_99

------------------------------

Message-Id: <l03110708b311d891aff2@[206.173.208.65]>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 13:51:01 -0800
From: Eb <gondola@deltanet.com>
Subject: Re: buy the new Beth Orton

Someone:
> are there
> songs 'left over' which in your opinions would make a strong single ?

I haven't heard all the unreleased demos, but I think "Church of Women"
would make a better radio single than anything on AV1.

Someone else:
>At around 2:15, Andy and Colin come striding
>quickly down an aisle at the side nearest to me. I was one aisle over, and
>shouted a "hello", whereupon they turned their heads slightly, and
>proceeded to shake a few hands. [clip]
>I tried to shout in a semi-loud voice, "Andy, Colin, AV1 is spot-on
>magnificent, a great piece of art!" but I think my voice was drowned out by
>the LOUD stereo system.

Ewww. <gritting my teeth and cringing>

Paging William Shatner,
Eb

------------------------------

Message-ID: <19990314231224.23085.qmail@hotmail.com>
From: "Amanda Owens" <daveizgod@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: Trashing of Dave Gregory
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 17:12:23 CST

No cheerfulness today, let's cut right to the nitty gritty.

Mario Beaulac did sayeth:

>Amidst all the warranted praise and the sometimes overstated hoopla that
>the release of the loooonng-awaited album has generated, however, one
>aspect of songmeister Partridge's promotion of his and Moulding's latest
>gem that grates me in the worst possible way is the wholesale thrashing of
>former compadre Dave Gregory.

And it'll keep going on for a nice, l-o-n-g time I'l betcha.

>	"Dave is such a complex person," Partridge says. "He's a famous
>   diabetic and, when you mix extreme chemical mood swings with being a
>   grumpy bastard in any case

(See Amanda's face go crimson.)

 >   He became jealous of me as a songwriter and musician.

(See Amanda burst out laughing at such an incredible absurdity.)

>And I resented
>   carrying him.

(See Amanda go "boo-hoo-hoo for you, Andy.")

>
>   "After we stopped touring, he didn't have too much to do in the band.

Well like Terry, I think Dave lived for touring.

>   He came up with little solos - after I bullied him.

I don't believe that for a second.

> He sees me as
>   evil.

And he's not the only one.....

> But I took him from being a van driver and stuck him in a famous
>   group."

Alright, that's it. I have lost all respect I ever had for Andy as a
person. When he decides to remove his foot from his mouth an get his
head out of his ass, maybe I'll feel a bit different. For now, Andy is
dead in my eyes. You can flame away all you want, this is my opinion,
this is how I feel, so nyah. Dave gave twenty years of his life to that
band, and this is what his "friend" does to him.

PS-Not a word out of you, Mr. Friedman!

>this belittling of his former
>bandmate's "little solos" reeks of the worst possible egomania and lack of
>basic courtesy, not to mention self-restraint.

I'm glad to see at least ONE person on the list agrees with me on that.

C-U-N-T that's how I spell "Andy" in MY dictionary.

Tis all for now,
Amanda C. Owens
XTC song of the day-My Bird Performs
non-XTC song-I Hate Everything About You-Ugly Kid Joe

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199903142319.AAA06577@mail.knoware.nl>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <mmello@knoware.nl>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 00:30:17 +0000
Subject: Shock: Andy Is Only Human After All

Dear Chalkers,

re: I'd Like That

Nelson is also famed for his one-armedness of course. This
not only ties in rather neatly with the "with you laid on one arm"
line but (IMHO at least) has a very strong sexual connotation.

i don't want to spoil the party but i'm having a wee bit of
trouble with the Hector and Helen of Troy line... now i'm no expert
on Greek mythology but it was Paris, son of king Priam who took
Helen and thus started the Trojan war, and _not_ Hector

Paris felt he had every right to take Helen, as she was promised to
him by Aphrodite a.k.a. Venus as a bribe. Paris took the bait and
handed Venus the golden Apple Of Discord, thus declaring her the
fairest of all goddesses.

Seems to me Andy not only made a small mistake but also missed a
great opportunity to subtly "link" to the album title here.

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse
 http://www.knoware.nl/users/mmello/
     or http://come.to/xtc

------------------------------

Message-Id: <199903142318.AAA06572@mail.knoware.nl>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <mmello@knoware.nl>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 00:30:17 +0000
Subject: The Not So Everyday Story Of Smalltown Volume 2

The Not So Everyday Story Of Smalltown
or my travels in Swindon - Part 2: The Warren Report

(due to a heavy dose of flu, i've been out for days and not able to
 conclude my Swindon travelogue, but now, at last, here it is as
 promised...)

Of course wining and dining with the Gregory brothers was
_the_ highpoint of my visit to Swindon - heck, it was the highpoint
of my life! - so "the morning after" i was in a bit of a strange mood
Sad that it was over, still unbelieving it had all really happened
but almost glowing with happy memories.

After a hearty breakfast at the Goddard Arms - not "full English"
thank you very much; i'd rather die of natural causes - i went my way
to search for some postcards and other local souvenirs down the hill
in "new town". Had to search everywhere but eventually managed to
find a great GWR "North Star" tea mug and a nice enamel pin with the
Swindon coat of arms but the (typical?) weather was quite awful so
after a quick bite i soon headed back to my hotel.

But soon after i settled down in my room i was pleasantly disturbed
by fellow Chalkie and Swindonian Paul Mabberly who came around to
pick me up. After a short ride in his car we arrived at the home of
the (in)famous Steve FULL BLAST Warren. Yes, the legendary XTC sound
engineer, roadie, gopher and life-long chum...

Steve is, in every sense of the word, a great guy. He's big and
rugged, real Wiltshire stock and probably strong as an ox.
But he's also a great character, very friendly and hospitable and
still enormously enthusiastic about XTC. And he's got a few stories
to tell of course...

Anyway, we soon settled down to business: his archive.
After we exchanged some introductions he proceeded to play me tape
after tape... live shows, outtakes, demos. Some of the stuff he's got
is just so amazing that i'll share a few highlights: the complete
Rainbow show (the live album that never was), some very early Helium
Kidz concerts  and sessions, a "karaoke version" of Black Sea.

But he also showed me heaps and heaps of photos, slides and
contact sheets. Steve has always been a keen amateur photographer
and took thousands of snaps during his years with XTC.
Standing out were a couple of very early shots of Andy with his mum
(Steve used to live next door to the P.'s ), a large number of
pictures taken during a trip to Japan and some shots with the Police
and Talking Heads.

Steve also showed me some great paraphernalia: a Superman radio
owned by Andy as a boy, a custom sleeve for a Beatles 45 Andy
glued together when he was a kid, a couple of original lyrics, some
setlists, a Vox AC30 backplate and the hilarious letter in which Ian
Reid fired him.

He then proceeded to show me some very interesting video footage, but
he quickly replaced the tape and showed me a taping of Dave G. and a
couple of local musicians, somewhere on a Swindon stage circa
1989(?), playing the blues. The others obviously were not pro but
good enough to allow our Dave to show his magic. Wow, those licks
really rocked and wailed and cried and churned - i can see why he was
so desperate for XTC to get back on the road again, in whatever form.
The guy is really a born performer, and a live gig brings out the
best in him.

After hours and hours of fun and frolics it was time to leave and we
said our goodbyes, but not before we vowed to exchange a tape or two
to ensure that his unique recordings would not be lost to XTC fandom.
Of course i will keep you all posted through this medium if & when
interesting material becomes available

The next morning i had to leave Swindon. Took the GWR back to
London, on my way to a meeting with fellow Chalkie David Fatscher who
treated me to a pub lunch and surprised me with a lovely gift. David
had to get back to work, so i was left to my own devices that
afternoon and just roamed the streets of rainy London a bit, checking
every record store for Apple Venus.

After a very short night at a horrible but cheapish hotel i managed
to ruin my travel bag but eventually made my way to Luton
Airport, where i took a bumpy but otherwise uneventful flight back
to Amsterdam.

Of course it's always great to be back home, but this trip has also
been "quite good actually" as those crazy Brits would say and i will
never forget the good people that i've met over there: David, Paul,
Steve, Pete, Dave, Ian and most of all Debie contributed to this
fantastic "ecstatic" holiday and i'm forever in their debt.

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse
 http://www.knoware.nl/users/mmello/
     or http://come.to/xtc

------------------------------

Message-ID: <36EC454A.6AC7B2B7@pobox.com>
Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 18:24:58 -0500
From: Jefferson Ogata <ogata@pobox.com>
Subject: To The Fairest

Giancarlo Galli <giagal@tin.it> remarks:
> Good ol' Merriam-Webster says: to intimidate by bluster or personal
> pressure, but the phrase goes on with Helen of Troy. Now if the joke's
> on Hector, the greek hero I cannot understand it...  Helen was Paris's
> mistress and wife of Menelaus... Hector had nothing to deal with
> Helen. In fact he was Hector son of Priam, king of Troy; prince of
> Troy; husband of Andromache and father of Astynax; killed by Achilles.

Hector, the Trojan here, is Paris's brother. As far as I know he is
not connected directly with Helen.

On another note, however, it should be noted that some accounts blame
the entire Trojan war on the so-called judgement of Paris. To quote
from my copy of Morford & Lenardon's _Classical Mythology_ (second
edition):

"The Olympian gods were once guests at the wedding feast of Peleus
and Thetis, and during the feast Eris, goddess of Discord (who was
not a guest), threw onto the table an apple inscribed with the words
"For the most beautiful." Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite [Venus, for
the mythologically challenged] each claimed it, and Zeus decided that
the argument should be settled by referring it to Paris. Now Paris had
been exposed as an infant because of a dream that his mother, Hecuba,
had had before his birth. She dreamed that she had given birth to a
firebrand that consumed the whole of Troy [each flame would make me
grow up really high?], and the interpretation given by her stepson,
the soothsayer Aesacus, was that her baby would be the destruction
of the city. The infant was miraculously saved from death; exposed
on Mt. Ida, he was suckled by a bear, found by a shepherd, and brought
up among the shepherds. It was to him that Hermes led the three
goddesses, who appeared before him in their full glory, and each
offered the best gift she could in return for Paris's favorable
decision. Hera promised him royal power; Athena promised to make him
victorious in war; Aphrodite promised to give him Helen as his wife.
He chose Aphrodite, and so the train of events that led to the Trojan
War was set in motion, and Hera and Athena were unrelentingly hostile
to the Trojans."

I think Andy really means Paris, but he gets a good pun out of Hector.
By the way, Paris himself ditched the lovely nymph Oenone to run off
with Helen, so there was infidelity on both sides of that relationship.

It should also be noted that this story shows that bribery in the
Olympic committee has a long and distinguished history. Ouch.

--
Jefferson Ogata.  smtp: <ogata@pobox.com>  http://www.pobox.com/~ogata/
finger: ogata@pobox.com  ICQ: 19569681  whois: jo317@whois.internic.net

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 12:49:06 +1000
From: Duncan Kimball <duncan.kimball@tafensw.edu.au>
Subject: Out of the mouths of babes ...
Message-Id: <36EC7521.6B3720FD@tafensw.edu.au>

Re:  BRIAN THOMAS MATTHEWS
>Subject: Re: AV1 (again!)

>I caught my 12-year old son whistling "Easter Theatre" the other day!

I put AV1 on last weekend and my wife called me into the kitchen - my
2-year-old, Amy, was standing at the 'fridge' singing along merrily to
"I'd Like That". She LOVES this album. As soon as she hears "Fruit Nut"
she starts bouncing around the room.

But it doesn't really surprise me too much; my 4-year-old, Lucas, has
been a total music fanatic since he was little. (I don't know where he
gets it from?). Trying to regain some sanity when he was about 2, we
experimented with letting him listen to his kids' records through the
headphones. Success. Then I tried him on Ben Folds Five's first album
and he would just sit there motionless, rapt, through the whole album.
He now knows every song on BOTH albums by heart, and we even took him to
the concert last year (with earplugs, and he loved it).

This kid could spell D-E-V-O even before he learned to spell his own
name (really).We have an all- night music show here in Australia called
"Rage" and when Devo were here in 1997 they hosted it, and played a
retrospective of their old videos, which I taped. Lucas LOVED it and
would demand to watch it almost every day. I figured, well, hey it's
gotta be better than Teletubbies ... but we used to get some strange
looks when we went out - Lucas would march along singing "Are we not
men? - we are Devo!" at the top of his voice.

He has an amazing memory - I recently bought the soundtrack to "Toy
Story", because
a) it's Randy Newman and  b) I though it would an easy way to get him to
listen to some orchestral music. I needn't have worried. As he listens
to it, he asks for specific tracks, based on what his memory of what
happens in that part of the film - he knows *excatly* where in the film
each musical cue occurs, and can recites all the dialogue from the
relevant parts. Scary.

Strange child ... his favourite thing at the moment is re-enacting
sketches from The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer

"Hello, Greg Mitchell here - yes, the gorgeous sandy-coloured labrador
..."

Yours
Dr Dunkenstein
(creating little monsters)

------------------------------

End of Chalkhills Digest #5-135
*******************************

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