Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-197

         Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 197

                    Friday, 7 May 1999

Today's Topics:

           guilty pleasures and "Cass't Stones"
                      Greenman video
                Some language in our lungs
 Was it a millionaire who said: "Imagine no posessions"?
                 Musicians of the Century
But if you want it folks you got it, it's all right here in my Box Set
           Top Fuel Records.....Kompost (again)
                  Can you CD difference?
             more trainspotting; Nixon's Head
            No, can't possibly...
                     Re: Shannonizer
                         Re: Slag
                     RE: John Lennon


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We're all so ridiculous tonight.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 18:25:30 -0700
From: Yoshiko Yeto <>
Subject: guilty pleasures and "Cass't Stones"

"Music, when soft voices die,
Vibrates in the memory"
---Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Awaken you dreamers
Asleep at your desks
Parrots and lemurs
Populate your unconscious grotesques
Please let some out
Do it today"
---Mssr. Partridge

Chalkhillian JoMAMA:

Admittedly, there is not a direct correlation between Journey and XTC.
Thus, the only parallel is my fondness for the two.  I solely wished to
contribute to the dialogue concerning admissions of guilty pleasures made
by fellow Chalkhillians (i.e. appreciating Barry Manilow's "Mandy") in my
own oblique manner, which tends to embroil me in silly predicaments.

My rebuttal is not on the behalf of Journey nor do I intend to make
Chalkhills my forum to proselytize.  My intent is to champion guilty
pleasures and to encourage truthful dialogue amongst ourselves.  I find it
nearly impossible to preclude so-called music of poor taste from one's
palate.  The multi-faceted nature of the appreciation of music, which is
not relegated exclusively to the intellect, should take into account the
visceral and instinctual aspects of this medium.

Regarding my adherence to the aforementioned MOR band, I currently do not
intend to disregard something which was so integral to my adolescence.
During my so ubiquitously troubled youth, the band veritably acted as
musical Prozac.  Hence, whenever I listen to them presently, I am
immediately transported to the lamented, lost innocence of my former
juvenile self, completely unsullied by the preoccupations of adult life.
This metamorphic quality for me remains the most important aspect of their
music for me because it magically captures the zeitgeist of my formative
years.  I am sure that XTC fulfills the same nostalgic yearnings for some
of you.  I sincerely wish that Duran Duran still had the same effect on me!
Perhaps if you gave Grand Funk Railroad another chance, you might find
yourself compulsively dancing with glee, not unlike Andy Partridge's
initial reaction to his "River of Orchids"!

The pyrotechnical feats of the previously named singer are in the eye of
the beholder, namely perhaps my astigmatically challenged vision.  I do
believe that my visual checkup is overdue... Regarding the cookie cutter
quality of the band, I superficially agree with you.  Although their lyrics
are far from profound, they do have a distinct hint of a bi-polar disorder
coupled with the interesting homo-erotic subtext.  I enjoy finding cracks
in the facade of seemingly ordinary things along with finding uniqueness in
the "mundane".

Thank you for sitting through this once again lengthy and possibly annoying
posting, whose didactic nature I was trying to avoid.  At least we can both
rejoice in our love for XTC!

Sentiment(ally) yours,

Malady Nelson

p.s. Chauncy, I do hope that my reply to you was not too obnoxious...I
apologize, if it was. :(


Date: 6 May 99 11:22:27 AES
Subject: Greenman video
Message-ID: <>

A short while back, Mitch informed us that Colin & Andy would be filming a
video (or videoing a film?) for "Greenman".  This would seem to indicate
that this song might be the third single from AV1.

Here's an idea: why not include the video on the single itself?  I think
these things are called enhanced CDs - there's quite a few proliferating
now and they look and sound great on the computer.  F'rinstance, the CD
single for Blur's "Tender" contained the full video clip for "Song 2" in
addition to the usual b-sides - excellent value.

So, the Greenman CD single could offer the finished song, the demo, the
"making of" *and* the video - it would make for a highly collectable item
for the fans.

What do the folks at Cooking Vinyl think of such an idea?



Message-Id: <v01540b00b356aac3838a@[]>
Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 14:14:27 +1200
From: (James Dignan)
Subject: Some language in our lungs

Belinda wrote:
> The book is: THE STORY OF ENGLISH by
>ROBERT McCRUM published by Faber & Faber and the BBC way back in
>1986 (and I'm reading through it for the second time.
>ISBN  0 571 13828 4
>I also recommend Made in America by America's own Anglophile Bill

combine the two and go for Bryson's "Mother Tongue" (hmmm.. I think that's
the title...)



Message-ID: <>
From: "Duncan Kimball" <>
Subject: Was it a millionaire who said: "Imagine no posessions"?
Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 20:06:29 PDT


Steve Pitts illustrates the salient point very nicely:

>I guess it depends on how you define 'abuse' and where you draw the >line
>as to what is unacceptable. Blackadder abuses Baldrick, Basil >Fawlty
>abuses Manuel, Lister and Rimmer (Red Dwarf) abuse each other, >Rik gets
>abuse from Viv in The Young Ones, and so on. Some of it is >verbal, some is
>physical, but all of the aforementioned I find funny, >often uproariously

Physical/verbal "abuse" is an ancient comedic tradition. In the performing
arts it has been enacted for centuries in things like Punch & Judy. On
screen, that conflict, either actualised in the exaggerated form of
slapstick, or sublimated as verbal 'duelling' is as essential component of
all the great comedy acts: Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel & Hardy, the Marx Bros,
Abbott & Costello, The Three Stooges, Lewis & Martin, The Goons, The
Pythons, Morcambe & Wise.... and almost every cartoon ever made. Every time
Reeves & Mortimer hit each other with saucepans, they are re-enacting a
tradition that goes back hundreds, perhaps thousands of years. And the
amazing thing is that it's always funny.

(And even in music, that symbolic conflict lies at the core of things like
the "cutting contests" of the 40s/50s jazz scene in New York, a tradition
which has carried on into the braggadoccio and exaggerated verbal challenges
in rap - another example of a highly inflated rhetorical/symbolic form which
people, typically, take at face value and consider a threat.)

And are you not familiar with the term "catharsis", Tyler? One of the chief
functions of comedy and satire, as in all forms of drama, is that they
provide a means by which we can safely explore unsettling, dangerous and
threatening social concepts, character arcehtypes and situations. Comedy
provides a means of deflating danger by allowing us to laugh at characters
and actions exaggerated to the point of being ridiculous.

It's as old as humanity - ever since the first pratfall, the first
"slapstick", it's been a central part of culture. People find that kind of
humour almost instinctively funny. Watch young children - kids of 2 or even
younger will automatically laugh their heads off at such comedy - it's the
first form of humour they learn and can understand, and it's one of the main
foundations of comedy.

And let's face it - IT'S NOT REAL! We are talking about COMEDY here, kids.
Fictional depictions; not documentary, not a public service announcement
promoting wife-bashing or child-abuse. Again and again I am amazed at the
absolute literality with which people approach these programs. Do we, for
example, actually see Jackie Gleason hit anyone -  ever? You obviously miss
the joke entirely - which is that is that although he appears and sounds
threatening, it's all bluster, and he is really not the one in control. The
whole show is a satire on the power relationships in marriage. Obviously
it's dated, obviously it has elements that our current PC culture finds
unpalatable - but we are all grownups aren't we? Surely we can put these
features into context?

I don't direct this at your personally, Tyler, but I have long been of the
opinion that many people who object to such depictions in comedy and satire
are betraying, at the least, a deep-rooted puritanism, a mindset that fears
and wants to supress any attempt to ridicule or question conservative,
accepted (and often wholly abstract) social values like "The Family". Why
is this so? I don't know, but I suspect it has something to do with
childhood development, and perhaps some kind of dysfunction which occurs at
during the stage at which we learn to fully distinguish reality from
fantasy.  (Likewise, I am equally puzzled by adults who are frightened by
horror films to the point where they can't watch them. Errrr... It's a
bunch of actors on a set - what's the problem?)

They are also, in my experience, often wildly hypocritical - I have friends
and relatives who rail about not allowing their children to watch
"subversive" programs like South Park or The Simpsons because of their
supposed "negative" portayals of the family. (Excuse me? HELLO!? It's a
CARTOON!) Yet I know for a fact that these same parents think nothing of
allowing their children to watch hours of mindless, de-contextualised
ultra-violience in programs like Masters Of The Universe and Mighty Morphin
Power Rangers.

I not only allow my children to watch the Simspons - I encourage it adn I
watch it with them. If it's a choice between satire and sadism - well, what
choice is there?

* * * * * *

Three points re: John Lennon and "people of the century":

1. I have long been a fan of the Beatles, and Lennon, whom I admire as a
hugely talented artist. He contributed a great deal to our musical culture.
But let's get this in perspective: he was a musician; he was an entertainer;
he was enormously rich. He earned - and his estate continues to earn -
millions. He used his public profile to advocate non-violence and an end to
the Vietnam War, which is laudable. He was not some kind of saint or holy
man. To compare him to Ghandi is, frankly, offensive. He did a lot of silly
things. He walked out on his first wife and son. In spite of claims to the
contrary, I believe his most important work was well behind him when he was
killed; had he not died, "Double Fantasy" would have.

2. The entire concept of a "Person Of The Century" is so patently stupid,
and so egregiously belittles people who have quietly achieved something of
real concrete value in our world, that it can only have come from the
Time-Warner marketing department. It's about as sensible as those "100
Greatest ... " lists in Q and Mojo and Rolling Stone, and just as foolish.
They are concocted merely to provide a talking point for the brain-dead
Oprah generation, and act chiefly as a selling point for that execrable rag
called "Time". (The Balkans go up in flames, but what was last week's cover
story? Star Wars. I rest my case.)

3. You want a person of the century? I award it jointly to Alexander Fleming
and Howard Florey. Their discovery and development of penicillin has saved
and improved *literally* millions of lives, and has arguably had more
beneficial effect than any other single factor in human history. Now THAT'S
an achievement.

I'll go and take my tablet now



Message-ID: <>
Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 21:55:31 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: Musicians of the Century

This is going to piss somene off. I can feel it in the air...

>Here's just a few musicians who I'd say have got all over Lennon for
that coveted title:

Duke Ellington -he had a great band for 50 years!
George Gershwin -perhaps the greatest song writer ever
Igor Stravinsky -wrote "The Rite of Spring", the single most
influential piece of orchestral music of the 20th century
Charlie Parker - came up with a new way of playing that turned jazz on
its ear

But without a doubt, to me the greatest and most influential musician
of the 20th century:

Louie Armstrong

I pretty much agree with that list, although I personally wouldent rank
Armstrong higher than Ellington. I would also add a couple of names:

Woody Guthrie
Bob Dylan
Miles Davis
Charles Ives

>Lennon changed the world (with the Beatles, but he was the main reason
they existed).  The others only changed music.

I think Stravinsky and Woody Guthrie both changed the world, as well.  the
Rites of Spring triggered the first major art riot of this century, and has
influenced culture more than you or I can fully realize.  Guthrie's work
for human rights and freedom was vastly more earth-changing than lying in
bed for a week with your new wife.

>Rock music will go down as the dominant music of the century.

Thats probably true, but its a shame. 98% of the rock produced in last
20 years or so has been a vapid waste of time. Rock has long ceased
being a force for anything but commerce, and for the most part means
absolutely nothing. It is the dominant music of the century only
because its been sold to us in huge quantities. Rock bores me to tears.

> The greatest classical musicians may have been better than the Beatles,
but not in this century they weren't.  You can't compare Stravinsky to
Mozart or Chopin or Handel, for instance.

Yes, you can. Stavinsky holds up very well to all the above mentioned
composers, and as far as that's concerned, so do Bartok, Schoenberg,
Britten, and Ives. Besides, the issue isn't comparing 20th centuey
composers to older ones. There was no rock before this century,
therefore the issue is comparing the Beatles to classical composers of
this century (which seems to be what you are saying anyways). I'm not
saying the Beatles were not significant songwriters (they were), but
they weren' better than Stavinsky. period.

 >Rock music defines the post war era.

Here comes the part that REALLY will piss some of you off:
What rock music really defines, IMO, is the lives of the baby-boomers,
without a doubt the most whiny and self-absorbed generation of the
century (the 'lost generation'of the 30's that Hemingway wrote about
runs a close second in self-absorption).
Yes, the gen-xer's are annoying as hell, but I don't think of them as a
generation embracing shared values . I think the whole gen-x concept
was dreampt up by advertising execs to sell us more shit we non't need.
And they ate it up! That makes Gen -x ers more gullible than the
boomers, I suppose. But the boomers are WAY more annoying.

>Imagine a world without the guys you mention.  Some things wouldn't have
happened I know and it would be much less richer musically as a result.
Imagine it without the Beatles and there is a gaping hole the size of a

>I don't know. Don't get me wrong, I love the Beatles, but I think I'd
be fine right now had I never heard Abbey Road.

>I can't help but feel that The Beatles will be amongst the 10 things that
people remember about the 20th Century in 1000 years time.  The other guys?

That's more an issue of pop culture's influence over people than any
musical merit.  People will remember Bill Clinton's sex life more than FDR
in 1000 years-does that make him better?

>Charlie Parker was a brilliant musician and wrote some good standard jazz
pieces, but I wouldn't call him a great writer of tunes that people will
hum in the streets.

Does music have to be hummable to be good? If that's your only (or
main) criteria, you must have lots of Barry Manilow and Phil Collins in
your collection.

Ok, some of that was harsh, I know, but it's been a long day, I'm tired
and crabby, and this has been FUN!


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 06 May 1999 09:45:22 +0200
From: dieling <>
Subject: But if you want it folks you got it, it's all right here in my Box Set

Kreidefelsner !

Enjoying the Non(e)su(v)ch debate, my two pence:

I'm not going to say: that song is a bummer, that song is marvellous,
there are both of them on there. (okay:Disappointed : bummer, Rook :
But in general, I think that's what makes XTC so special:
If I want perfect Pop for sunny days, I put on Skylarking or Nonsuch.
If I'm adrenalin-pitched and want to kick and dance, there's always
Black Sea and White Music.
If I'm influenced by substances and want to get away in my earphones,
there's the Dub Experiments and of course Through The Hill.
So, they have done music for any situations I've had in life, and that's
why I love them.
Now you go : What about Apple Venus ? He can't post without referring to
Apple Venus !
It's a beauty.

Are there any Barenaked Ladies fans out there ?
Got a best-of-tape from a friend, and Box Set just kicks it !

And I thought the greatest and most influential musician of the 20th
century was me. Damn.


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 06 May 1999 10:03:30 +0100
From: Adam Parsons <>
Subject: Top Fuel Records.....Kompost (again)


The other day I sent an email about a song called 'Andy Partridge's Shit',
by Kompost. Well, I've just got a very nice email from the group,
explaining that I've got the wrong end of the stick.

I hadn't correctly heard the words 'I'm not fit to eat...' in the song,
which puts a somewhat different angle on it. While I feel the choice of the
song title could have been better, I now realise that this song is not
simply abuse for Mr Partridge.

I apologise to Kerry for this misunderstanding.



Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 06 May 1999 06:49:16 -0400
From: Todd and Jennifer Bernhardt <>
Subject: Can you CD difference?


Jean Phillippe raised an interesting point in #194 (welcome to the list, JP!):

> It's a big problem in those CD ages : today, you look lazy
> or stingy if you only give 40-45 minutes of music (which was what we had on
> most of the vinyls).


> It's the same with the awful CD editions of most of the XTC albums. See
> Mummer: 6 tracks in the middle of the "real" album. This is a lack of
> respect for the band who had built the album with 11 tracks and two sides,
> and the better way to disgust those who listen Mummer for the fisrt time. I
> discovered it on CD and I didn't appreciate it at all : too much songs, too
> much cream, no cohesion... When I bought the vynil edition, I changed my
> mind.

I've often wondered about the attitude toward Mummer on this list -- people
generally seem to not care for it too much, but I'm crazy about the
album. Though I think this has to do with it being the first "new" release
I bought after discovering the band (that's right, after they stopped
touring ... stoopid!), I also think it has a lot to do with the fact that
my experience of it for years and years was via vinyl.

We could, as we have in the past, bitch about Virgin's practice of ramming
"bone us" tracks in the middle of perfectly good running orders, but I
think the more interesting question might be this: Do individual
preferences (pro vs. con) about Mummer correlate with whether the
individual heard the album pre- or post-CD?  Could this be true of The Big
Express as well, or anything before the two? (The Skylarking CD is little
changed from the Dear God-release vinyl, and CDs were really out and about
by the time O&L came out).

KT was talking about AbFab when this came out:

> I think it's really funny. but it might
> be like asking you Americans to 'get' the 'Hi, I'm Ed Winchester!' jokes
> from 'the fast show' (I'm guessing they edited them out, they are just
> taking the piss out of US news presenters, if you haven't seen it)

Hey, now -- I think AbFab is absolutely, um, fabulous, for the very reasons
you mentioned. I don't think nationality is the determining factor
there. And, of course, that wasn't the point that Tyler was making.

Melissa "That's Really Super, Supergirl" Reaves said:

> I recently went through a terrible crush on
> Colin. I love Andy's description of him as a cross between Chrissy Hynde
> and Rudolph Nureyev!!

I think he described him as the _bastard_ child of the two. Which means
Belinda would be really hot for him, I suppose...


> Speaking of whom, nobody answered Mr. Ed Saints3Den in his question about
> whether Erica was possibly black. What'samatter? Too politically incorrect
> for ya?  I have had the same thought myself, though I don't remember what
> triggered it. Coulda been the "chocolate nipple brown" thang.

I think that relates to the Earth -- "Like the ground your breasts swell"
and all that.

Pink, eh?


Why do I get the feeling that Will J. has just opened a BIG can 'o' worms?


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 08:04:24 EDT
Subject: more trainspotting; Nixon's Head

Chalkies --

Here in 'Jersey there's a very good chain of music stores,
Compact Disc World, with ten outlets.  They're big enough
to have their own free music monthly paper, "Liner Notes".
According to their own sales charts, Apple Venus Vol. 1
came in at #19 in the Top 50 for March.  I don't know if this
chain reports to the national rankings, though.

Also spotted in the April issue:  a feature where people list
their all-time favorite 5 albums.  Brad Roberts (of Crash Test
Dummies) lists at #5:  "Any XTC record."

In other stuff, Chalkie Jim Slade (of Nixon's Head) sent me
a copy of his band's latest.  I owe him much belated thanks.
In a nutshell:  yes, it is strongly suggestive in places of the
early-mid Beatles, but I would add to that a very strong
resemblance to Sloan's "One Chord to Another" (except for
the latter's "Everything You've Done Wrong," which mimics
Chicago, down to the trumpets).

On the downside, I'm not crazy about the contributing female
vocalist, and I haven't paid much attention to the lyrics so far
(I'm a music-first fascist).  And only the members of the band
would know whether they always captured the sound they
wanted, or whether budgetary constraints defined their product-
ion values.  (There were only a couple of songs that raised
that question for me.)

But this album is definitely a "grower," in that I liked it better
with repeated listens.  For me, the base playing is the hands-
down musical standout, esp. on the poppier, quick-tempo
tracks like "The Man Who Never Was".  But I love the often-
retro sounding lead guitar, too.

"Gourmet" is avail. on Groove Disques, which may or may
not be distributed in your area.  Fortunately, there's



Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 06 May 1999 08:46:30 -0400
From: David Gershman <>
Subject: No, can't possibly...

John Hedges claims:
>Despite what certain polls might indicate, several of us Chalkies consider
>Go 2 to be XTC's best album; we just don't make a lot of noise about it. I,
>for one, consider it to be the greatest album of all time, by anyone,
>anywhere, ever. Better than Sgt. Pepper, Pet Sounds, Beethoven's 5th, Apple
>Venus Vol. I, you name it.

???? Seriously???? I mean, okay, *maybe* I can see someone thinking it's
XTC's best, but "greatest album of all time"? Wow.

I don't mean to tell you that I think your opinion is wrong, but I have to
admit that I'm just stunned by this concept! I like the album well enough
and all, but geez...I guess I just can't imagine anyone seeing it as being
THAT good. I'd rank it more like the 924th best album of all time, give or
take a couple of positions.

But I agree, Beethoven's 5th album is highly overrated. I've always felt
that he reached his creative peak on his third, "Roll Over, Mozart."

Dave Gershman


Message-Id: <s73149e6.032@OAG.STATE.TX.US>
Date: Thu, 06 May 1999 07:50:48 -0600
From: "Steve Oleson" <Steve.Oleson@OAG.STATE.TX.US>
Subject: Austin

A couple of days ago I saw someone in a red car with XTC (also in red)
emblazoned on his windshield (windscreen for the Yank impaired). Is that a
Chalkhiller, or an advert for something erogenous?
-Steve Oleson


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 14:56:24 +0100
Subject: Re: Shannonizer

(Yes there is XTC content, so bear with me . . .)

>>Ken Sanders <> said:
>>RE: Sherwood's posting of "Shannonized" interviews;
>>An ABSOLUTE scream!  Bravo, Herr Harrison!

Hmmm . . . you like it? I tried out The Shannonizer after the same Sherwood
tip and thought it was pretty useless.

All it does is insert into your text words and phrases commonly used by the
specified writer (you get a choice of Raymond Chandler/Edgar Allen
Poe/God/Dr Seuss and others).

The result is just random rubbish with the original syntax and grammar more
or less destroyed.

It's at if you want to try it for

Now then . . . if you REALLY want to waste a lot of on-line time you should
go to:

This site will take any piece of text you give it and translate it from one
language to another.English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and
Portuguese are supported.

If you're a sensible person it works pretty well at telling you very
roughly what a foreign piece of writing is about. But if you're a
particularly silly person (like me) the best way to (mis)use it is to let
it translate your English text into another language -- then translate it
back again. The results are usually hilarious.

So at the risk of resurrecting that tedious thread about the lyrics of No
Thugs In Our House . . . here is the first part of the song after
translation into French, then back into English . . .

"The insect-directed workman-wife will stop her waspies on the line; the
husband burns his paper, sucks his pipe while studying their cushion-floor;
its viscous breath of poly-paste comes out, their wallpaper world is broken
by its cry, a boy in blue is occupied striking out of a headache the gate
of kitchen. Is all the Graham moment slept in function, dreaming of a world
where it could make the just so that it wanted. No gangsters in our house,
is there expensive? We made that clearly we did few Graham to promise to us
that he would be a good boy. No gangsters in our house, is there expensive?
We returned that clearly, we did few Graham to promise to us that he would
be a good boy. The young police officer which just can not increase a
moustache its book, and their breakfast with some state of Asian which have
be so much badly give a kick, open abyss be it the small pocket of this
your son that I have here? He must have slackened . . ."

Word of advice . . . for maximum hilarity try giving it the lyrics of Back
In The USSR by The Beatles. Word of warning . . . this can become

Regards to all from Brian Hancill


Date: Wed, 5 May 1999 18:16:51 -0400
Subject: Re: Slag
Message-ID: <>
From: Elizabeth I Spencer <>

Hey John H--

You quoted me in your post, so I thought I'd respond. I wasn't slagging
Go2, but noticed that someone else (can't remember who it was,) had
relegated it to the same bin as Nonsvch, and I didn't think the two
compared. Andy himself has admitted it was hastily recorded, and was not
exactly them at their best, (though Red completely ROCKS!) You're
certainly welcome to your opinion if you think Go2 is the best of their
work, I just thought it was like comparing the work of an exuberant
teenager to that of a mature man, or better yet, an apple to a phillips
head screwdriver--rarely mentioned in the same breath, yet they both have
their use.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 6 May 1999 10:59:03 -0400
Subject: RE: John Lennon

<< To me, Lennon towers over any political figure, and stands above all
other artists (not too high over some, mind you, but still above). He
successfully communicated a unifying spiritual worldview in both political
and entertainment context, and showed through example that creativity,
kindness and love are the most powerful, most persuasive forces at our
grasp, and he (alone and with the beatles) encouraged us to experience that
for ourselves.  In my mind, a no-brainer. John Lennon, musician and person
of the century.

OK, OK ... I admire John Lennon's music as much as anyone (The Beatles were
my first -- and, often these days, still -- favorite group), so I might be
persuaded on some days to agree with the "musician of the century" tag. But
there's no way on earth anyone could ever convince me he was "person of the

What we have here is a classic case of raising the deceased up on a
pedestal. Like all of us, Lennon at the end of the day was a human being
who had faults. How he managed to live and sleep with some of them is
beyond me. For just one example, take the case of his "fatherhood" of his
first son Julian. John was absolutely rotten to Julian from the day he was
born. As Julian is unafraid to admit now, John was an unrepentantly bad
father who, once he left England for good in 1971, never ONCE went back to
visit his adolescent son. It's true that John could not leave the U.S.
between '71 and '76 for fear of not being allowed back in, but what about
after he got his green card? I just don't see how someone with as much time
and money -- and self-righteous attitude -- as John Lennon could justify
not going back to the U.K. one time in four years to visit his first-born

It's sickening that John Lennon went around preaching peace and love to the
world when he couldn't even find it within himself to be a caring and
decent father to someone who SHOULD have been one of the two or three most
important people in his life. It's true that maybe he didn't know HOW to be
a good dad, since as we all know so well he never had one himself. But the
evidence suggests he made very little effort to even try. This alone
hampers any tendency for me to feel any kind of PERSONAL respect for the
man. (Although, I must reiterate, he remains one of my favorite all-time
songwriters and musicians. I read an interview with Elvis Costello about 10
years ago in which he was discussing how disgusted he had been by the
blatant mythologizing of the "Imagine: John Lennon" film hoopla. With
wonderfully appropriate understatement, he concluded his thoughts with: "He
just made some good records." End of story. That's exactly how I feel.)

That's all ... just had to give my 2 cents on this. For some XTC content, I
just got my copy of the "Easter Theatre" single, and Andy's monologue on
Track 3 is wonderful. He's completely on the top of my list for the person
I'd most like to spend an evening hanging out with ... no one else even
comes close. I'm looking forward eagerly to the "I'd Like That" release.

Apple Venus rules!!! (And I happen to like Nonsvch AND Skylarking quite a
lot -- O&L is the one that doesn't completely do it for me -- so go

Jeff P.


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-197

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