Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #5-9

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 5, Number 9

                 Monday, 19 October 1998

Today's Topics:

   Andy Partridge's Signature and Other Question Marks
          Newspeak, Song Stories, and (None)such
                    insulting accents
                      Pandora's Box
                     Re: Paul Bailey
              Re: Ordering Transistor Blast
            Demos and the non listening of...
                      Ribald indeed!
                 oh, for goodness' sakes
                 I'm not a daft American
                       Julian Cope
                       Album name.
                       Re:Just Tom
                    Cardboard dinners
    Listening to Tom Waits with a Beefheart on my knee
                  How I Came To Love XTC
                     Channel 5 Senses
                      Easter Theatre
                      The Management
                THIS WEEK'S DG REAL AUDIO!
                        XTC in ICE
                   Song Stories musings
         NEWS: Exclusive Terry Chambers Interview


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From: Shawn Brooks (
Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 19:23:23 EDT
Subject: Andy Partridge's Signature and Other Question Marks

A Lurker will now introduce himself.

   My first XTC memory is a vague recollection of the chorus to "Are You
Receiving Me?".  Then I went through a phase when all I listened to was
SKYLARKING (after seeing the video to "Dear God" on THE 700 CLUB, complete
with blood dripping, sub-titled lyrics).  I also recall videos from NONSUCH
being played on 120 MINUTES.  Eight years later, now that enflaming Christians
isn't the sport it once was, now that I'm too old (mature?) to instantly love,
then discard, anything labeled "college" or "alternative", I find that XTC
satisfies my need for fine artistry as well as (dare I say it) striking a
chord with my emotional being.

   Enough of that, now on with the questions!  Because of this rediscovery of
XTC I recently began frequenting my favorite place for good quality used
music, DJANGO'S (all you Oregonians in Portland know what I mean).  So far I
have been lucky enough to find, what I believe to be, some rarities.

   Recently I acquired the "Mr. Partridge/Take Away/The Lure of Salvage" album
but frankly I'm confused by the Chalkhills discography as well as the album's
cover.  Could someone please give me some insight into this album?

   Now comes the harder request.  I also have been lucky enough to be able to
purchase a CD copy of GO2 used for 4.50 USD.  Upon getting it home I
discovered, across MOULDING'S STREET PLAN OF SWINDON, what seems to be Andy
Partridge's signature (The signature starts just above Rodbourne Recreation
Ground and runs up and to the right through Rodbourne Cheney, Pinehurst, and
Upper Stratton.  Below the signature, starting at Gorse Hill and running
parallel to the signature is a word in large letter that I cannot decipher.
This word has an arrow running from the underside  towards the end all the way
back to Rodbourne Rec. with a large "x" directly over the "o" in Rodbourne.).
Well as you can imagine this discovery knocked me on my ass (or is it arse?
I'm so confused).  I can think of no way to authenticate this signature and
would dearly love to.  If anyone out there can help I would appreciate it.

That's all. Thanks.

P.S. Sorry this is so long winded.  I generally don't interact with anyone on
the internet and so when I do . . .


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 20:05:30 -0400
From: Alan West <>
Subject: Newspeak, Song Stories, and (None)such

Hello chalksters and pop persons.  I'm new here but this forum certainly
looks lively.  Re: Ameri-English and Song Stories....I live in Canada so I
haven't found the book yet.  However, as a transplanted Brit living about
an hour's drive from the U.S. border (and a mile from Quebec, Huw) I'm
quite well-placed to comment on the language issue.  I teach at a
university here, and have to accept both British and American spellings.
The culture here--despite multiculturalism-- is a bit of an
American/English hybrid.  The language leans more and more towards
American, though some of my  friends in the Ottawa Valley still favour
`arse' over `ass' if they really want to make a point.  Anyway, what I've
deduced, basically, is that the American media is the most powerful driving
force behind modifications to the English language, especially stretching
nouns into verbs, as in `medalling' etc.  You better believe it-- the
language is under a Big Mac attack and England itself will not go
unscathed.  It starts with McDonalds and Burger King (why can't Britain
come up with its own crap fast food chain other than wimpy Wimpy or greasy
Harry Ramsden's), and the top movies in Britain always being Hollywood not
Pinewood.  Then the cancer spreads into the roots of language itself.
Hey--why was XTC's song Peter Pumpkinhead and not Terry Turnipbonce?
See--it's already started and closer than you think!!
Yours askew,


Date: 16 Oct 98 15:49:00 AES
Subject: Bottom
Message-ID: <>

I can definitely confirm that Andy says "arse", not "ass", because I heard
him say the word last week. As for the circumstances of me hearing him, all
will be revealed in due course - I can't wait to share the news I have with
you all.  Suffice it to say, the news I have to share will put the recent
GLR interview well into the shade! Watch this space....


Message-Id: <>
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 22:03:15 +0100
From: The Larsons <>
Subject: insulting accents

>On 10/13/98 17:34:45 you wrote:
>>I appreciated Ceri's comments about the Americanization of
>>the new XTC book "Song Stories."  I had wondered too if Andy
>>really says "ass" instead of "arse," and so on.
>I *severely* doubt it......"Arse" is a word that sounds great in a Wiltshire
>accent, by the way. :)

But not as good as it sounds with a Scottish accent (it's usually
referring to the English, mind you)...

>This is the international phonology mailing list isn't it?


* ------------------------------
Larson Family Web Page:
* ------------------------------


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 02:58:43 -0600
From: Jason Garcia <>
Subject: Pandora's Box

> I appreciate the music that XTC have brought to us out of these apparently
> unpleasant experiences. But I tell you, a part of me wishes that I hadn't
> learned about them.

Yeah, I can see what you mean.  Kind of reminds me of when I was happily
reading Paul McCartney's bio "Many Years From Now" and got to the bit
about "Got To Get You Into My Life" (one of my faves from my fave album
of all time, "Revolver"), only to have him say "it's an ode to pot."  I
felt like Mike Myers- "I really...wish you hadn't told me that."

But yeah, they're only human (still no excuse).



Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 04:03:28 -0400
From: Cooking Vinyl <>
Subject: Re: Paul Bailey
Message-ID: <>

>Hi Crayonneurs adores,
Don't know if you know this but ...
It seems that Paul Bailey is .... fired.
Someone could tell us if it's a rumour or not ?
Mitch ? Simon ?
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps ...

His contract was not renewed


Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 04:03:31 -0400
From: Cooking Vinyl <>
Subject: Re: Ordering Transistor Blast
Message-ID: <>

>So far, I've found one site from which you can pre-order (or order)
"Transistor Blast" for about $42.00 (not including post/handling). It's a
very reputable firm from which I've ordered before:<

also try cooking vinyl mailorder


Message-ID: <>
Date: 16 Oct 1998 11:20:00 0100
From: "Robert  Wood" <>
Organization: Mutech
Subject: Demos and the non listening of...

>> The album version of Easter Theatre received its 'World Premiere'. I have
to say it is remarkably close to the version on the demos, save a slightly
more fluid guitar solo, some bass, some more guitar underneath the last
verse and some beach-boyesque harmonies on the outro.  It sounded fabulous,
though the second time it goes into the 'Stage Left' hook, it seems to lack
something which the demo has, but I look forward to getting it on CD. <<

And this is exactly the reason I didn't ever want to hear the demos, 'cos
every time you hear that now you're going to be aware of how it's just not
quite the same as the demo and it's going to eat away at your enjoyment of
it! Only three months to go now! :-) I'm glad I've waited! <Gloat mode off!>


Message-ID: <>
Date: 16 Oct 1998 13:22:00 0100
From: "Robert  Wood" <>
Organization: Mutech
Subject: Ribald indeed!

>> Am I mistaken in believing that "fanny" means something more ribald than
"buttocks" or "posterior" in British slang? <<

Yep, it's what you might call a woman's front bottom! IFSWIM!

There's this scene in Friends, where Phoebe's friend at the massage parlour
has her bottom pinched and she says, "he touched my fanny". It raised a few
gasps over here when we watched it!


Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 12:40:17 +0000
Message-id: <>

I was kinda under the impression that it WAS a usenet for our Mr. Partridge.
Granted, it doesn't get very many messages, but the majority of the ones it
does get are about our Andy.

Tis all for now,
XTC song of the day-Omnibus
non XTC song-Are You That Somebody?-Aaliyah


Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 14:22:56 +0100 (BST)
From: Mandy Taylor <>
Subject: oh, for goodness' sakes
Message-ID: <>

Right, I've been in hiding for a *while*, I owe some Chalkhillers some
videos and shit..I'm crap basically. Molly, I was teetering on the edge
of getting kicked out of university, so I haven't had access to my
e-mails or to you. I publically apologise for being the English
'ass' hole that I am.
Alright Matt?!
So anyhow, I'm bored of the US/UK argument. An American was good enough
to write a faithfully (give or take the odd arse) reconstructed and
mammoth interview. Which was even entertaining for those of us who knew
a good deal of it all already.
I'm British and I say ARSE. Frequently. I respect Americans for saying
ass. And I respect Americans for following Xtc, and making great
web-sites about them, and writing ace books and all that.
I'm British, I say arse, and that's probably all I have in common with
Xtc, is my point. I don't think saying being British is justification
enough to be closer to Xtc than an American, and therefore say the book
was 'pandering' to an American market.
The more fans who understand Xtc the merrier. I think, anyway.

Arse to you all,
love from Mandy xxxxxxxxxxx


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 11:32:13 EDT
Subject: I'm not a daft American


I was just reading some of the comments and I have to say that the book
publishers must be such idiots.  I understand these British terms like arse.
I'm admit I'm an Anglophile and I've been one for years.  I think the book
publishers think that we Americans don't know anything.  I admit I haven't
had much chance reading XTC: Song Stories yet because of school, and I
haven't finished Chalkhills and Children yet.  Man this weekend I'm going to
be busy catching up on my reading.

I know the Andy and Colin are still busy getting the record done, but is
there any chance that they're going to be coming to America to promote their
book?  I wish there was a way to get them or Neville Farmer to come to
Buffalo if they did come to America.  Even when the guys promote the new
album I wish there was a way to get them to come to Buffalo.  Hey, since I'm
a DJ at my college's radio station I could interview them, hehehehe.

One non-XTC thing, has anybody here heard of the group, O'Rang?  They're the
band formed by Paul Webb and Lee Harris (of Talk Talk).  They have a techno
sound, and I think they're pretty awesome.  My sister picked up the album,
Fields and Waves when she and my brother-in-law went to London.  If you're a
fan of Talk Talk you won't be disappointed.  Now I have to get my hands on
the Mark Hollis album, and my Talk Talk and Talk Talk related collection
will be complete.



Message-Id: <>
From: "Grimm, Chris" <>
Subject: Julian Cope
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 09:39:00 -0400

	Pardon the non-XTC content, but I think that it would
particularly interest fellow Chalkhillians that Julian Cope's new book,
"The Modern Antiquarian:  A Prehistoric Guide Through Megalithic
Britain" is landing in English stores next Monday (hopefully the
stateside Virgin megastores won't be far behind.  The book is the Arch
Drude's definitive guidebook of prehistoric Britain, fully illustrated
with maps, drawings, and photographs, and it includes a Gazetteer to
more than 300 sites.  Having seen manuscript pages, I can vouch that the
Uffington Horse is included (call that my obligatory XTC content!).

	While many postings (and I have, for the most part, been a
lurker) have pointed out similar artists to XTC, like The Kinks, The
Beatles, etc., I'd like to point out a few that appeal to me that, while
they may be different musically, seem to touch a similar chord
	Robyn Hitchcock (who quite possibly out-Beatles XTC -- Jonathan
Demme's Hitchcock concern film, it may be called "Storefront Hitchcock,"
opens this month.  Remember that Demme also filmed the Talking Heads
"Stop Making Sense")
	Canadian folk-rocker Bruce Cockburn (a more thoughtful and
consistently productive artist over the past thirty years you will not
find) and an artist whose music restores my sense of humanity when I
need it the most.  If there's one word I'd use to describe his and his
work, it would be 'Integrity.'
	And of course Julian Cope -- what a long strange trip his has
been, as he's matured and realized that he has things to stay.  I'd call
his "Peggy Suicide" CD the best of the 90's (it simply offers me, in one
disc, everything that I want in the music I listen to -- smart & human
lyrics, honesty, melody, harmony, and beats that just won't stop!), and
I thought that "Saint Julian" was only surpassed by  "Skylarking" in the

	Thanks for the latitude to ramble...

	Chris G


From: "Damian Foulger" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 09:06:13 -0500
Subject: Album name.
Message-Id: <>

All this talk of Song Stories being in American format rather than
British format got me to wondering...

Will the new album be named 'Appel Venus' rather than 'Apple
Venus' as the American market for it is likely to be bigger than the
British market?  ;-)

Dames tWd

* ------------------------------------------------
'People will always wipe their feet on anything
with welcome written on it.' - AP


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 16:55:44 +0100
From: Dominic Lawson <>
Subject: Re:Just Tom

Bob says:
>>I'd like to affirm Tom's genius and give praise to God as the ultimate
originator of this blissful noise.

Well, a reasonable point, but I think it's a little unfair to give Ozzy all
the credit...

>>The best place to start with Tom is "Rain Dogs"...

Possibly. I would have said "Swordfishtrombones" but then what do I know?

Keith says:
>>I've become convinced by his consistent tone (surely not his content) that
Dom works in a promotions department for a major label.

Oh yes, ha ha. I should be so vapid and worthless. Actually, maybe I
am.....No, I remember now, I'm a humble office clerk working for
not-very-much-money in a place of great importance (in theory anyway). Back
in the "real" world, I am the co-owner of a rather splendid website, The
Laminated Cat, which you can find at - Go forth and
behold my magnificence! Major label, my arse (or should that be
ass?). Cheeky bastard.

Harrison says:

Anything that pops into his head, apparently. Quick, someone steal his

Until next time, pop twats. Let's rawk!



Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 19:08:10 +0100
Subject: Cardboard dinners

Hmmm, I'm happy to see that I seem to share an addiction with AP, Coco Pops

Now they have renamed them to Choco Pops <bastards>.

>Subject: Agreeing with Jill: "Song Stories" regrets

>Chiming in on the "Song Stories" discussion...

>I was interested to read the background information behind XTC's songs.
>Lines and words that had previously escaped my notice now make sense.  But
>I was disturbed to know how miserable Andy and the rest of XTC apparently
>were during the recording of almost all of their albums.

That's how work gets you when you are involved in long projects, it's great
at the start, but around halfway through it starts to become a chore, and
at the end you are just glad it's over.

It's nice for us to glamourize music, particularly recording & touring, but
it's work for those involved, and not just a case of turning up and whiling
away 8 hours either.

>But now "Skylarking" makes me think
>of Andy and Colin suffering strange pizza-related nutritional deficiencies
>while living in a miserable shack in upstate New York.

Hehehe, to me that's one of the best funiest bits in the book, the thought
of Dave sitting there in a wooden shack perfectly happy with his dinner,
and AP & CM living on cardboard, it's like something out of Chaplins "The
Gold Rush", (with the Dave morphing into a giant roast chicken before their

Silly buggers, why didn't they simply try cooking (even I learnt to cook).

I appreciate the music that XTC have brought to us out of these apparently
unpleasant experiences. But I tell you, a part of me wishes that I hadn't
learned about them.

>Lore Guilmartin


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 14:19:34 +0100
From: Jeffrey Fentum <>
Subject: Listening to Tom Waits with a Beefheart on my knee

I just thought I'd throw in my two cents on the Tom Waits string of
comments floating about the last few postings.
What has this got to do with XTC?!  Musically, aside from sharing a
experimental/semi-commercial flip-flop approach, the two seem to be
worlds apart. The obvious bridge between the two, IMHO, would be Captain
Beefheart, especially the latter stuff like "Shiny Beast" and "Doc
Visits the Radar Station". The vocals and guitar are akin to Tom's "Rain
Dogs/Swordfish Trombones" period; the humorous lyrics chockfull of
double entendres (She done me like an ashtray heart / Crushed me when I
was burnin' out) and helium-filled arrangements definitely influenced
Mr. Partridge, especially the early stuff. Besides, XTC covered the
Captain Beefheart's "Ella Guru". If you don't own the two Beefheart
albums mentioned, and you like both XTC and Mr. Waits, it would be well
worth your effort to find them.

One final comment. Mr. Waits once explained that he enjoyed the effect
of listening to music bleeding through the wall of the room next door,
and he aimed to capture that ambiance in his recordings. I'd say he's
succeeded in his more recent work.

Jeff F


Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 14:43:28 -0600 (MDT)
From: Sarah Eve Kelly <>
Subject: How I Came To Love XTC
Message-ID: <>

	I've been a ghost on this list for about a year now, and I've a
number of questions of my own. First, though, since I've had to read all the
inaugural posts of everyone else, I too will tell the story of how I came to
love XTC.
	The first song of theirs that I ever heard was "Living Through
Another Cuba" when I was sixteen. I didn't think much of it until I broke up
with my boyfriend, at age eighteen, and he made me a tape to remember him
by. "The Disappointed" was on it, and I so enjoyed that that I started
picking up some of the albums. However, being Canadian, there isn't much
selection -- especially in *Western* Canada. I've got to get off of this
continent. I've managed to pick up the Fossil Fuel collection (that was the
first purchase, to see if I really liked them or not), both releases of
_Skylarking_ and _English Settlement_. That's all I can find out here, which
leads me to my first question: is there anywhere I can mail out to get some
of the rest of the collection?
	Also, have they ever done videos of any kind -- singles, interviews,
and all the other crud that bands are supposed to in order to stay in touch
with the Western Canadian student-at-large (that's me)? If so, how could I
get some of that?
	The last question is pertaining to a lot of garble I've heard
recently about this book (I think it's a book) (Oh! I have _Rag & Bone
Buffet_ as well.) -- _Song Stories_? It sounds lovely. I've been in love
with Andy Partridge since I first heard him wailing in the background of
"Ten Feet Tall" and even wrote Simon Sleightholm some time ago asking if he
was single (Andy, I mean). I trust that Edmonton wouldn't carry such a book,
and I'm wondering where I could access it. If someone could answer my
questions, I'd be eternally grateful. Thanks.


Sarah Eve Kelly

"You will be sorry when I'm big,
yes you will, yes you will."



Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 22:58:48 +0100
From: The Larsons <>
Subject: Channel 5 Senses

Right.  I'm spending another Friday night knackered in front
of the telly.  The news brief on Channel 5 ends when what
should I hear but "1 2 3 4 5 - Senses" ... well, you know the
rest.  Channel 5's decided to use it as the backdrop to
a football promo.  It lasted about 30 seconds so quite
a lot of Andy's voice got air time.  A few more quid
for the lads hopefully?
* ------------------------------
Larson Family Web Page:
* ------------------------------


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 17:59:41 -0400
From: Keith Hanlon <>
Subject: Easter Theatre

To anyone who has a tape of "Easter Theatre" on GLR:

If you can make an MP3 or Real Audio file of this tune (or the entire
interview!) I have an FTP directory just waiting for it. Let me know!



Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 10:09:46 +0100
From: Simon Sleightholm <>
Subject: The Management

From: Patrick Bourcier <>

>Don't know if you know this but ...
>it seems that Paul Bailey is .... fired.

Hi Patrick, my friend.

Yes, it appears Paul Bailey was let go some time ago.  Neville informed me,
in despairing tones, that Andy seems to have a weak spot when it comes to
management and tends to appoint pals or, basically, anyone who offers.  Paul
Bailey was just such an appointment and it seems he couldn't quite cut it.
I think the management duties have reverted to Andy.

From: Harrison Sherwood <>

>> From: Simon Sleightholm <>

>That's spelled "erazure" and "morned," you big chuff.

That tearing sound you hear is either my sides splitting or yet more hair
coming out, you decide.


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


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 15:35:30 -0400
From: xychq <>


luv, nephew xychq


Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 13:03:52 -0700 (PDT)
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <relph>
Subject: XTC in ICE


XTC got the cover story in the October 1998 issue of _ICE_ (The CD
News Authority TM).  Here are the first two paragraphs:

    XTC Resurface with a _Transistor Blast_ This Fall

    Celebrated English popsters XTC reemerge from their
    self-imposed exile in grand fashion on November 17 with a
    four-CD box set of previously unreleased performances titled
    _Transistor Blast_.  The TVT Records release was culled from
    the BBC Radio archives, and features both radio sessions and
    live performances from the late '70s through the late '80s.

    XTC leader Andy Partridge, who assembled the set himself,
    tells _ICE_, "We would trundle down to the BBC Studios in
    London with our little amplifiers and, in a day, recreate
    more-or-less-live versions of four songs.  You would play
    the track, get maybe one overdub and then sing it, so they
    were basically shoot-from-the-hip versions.  We picked from
    11 different sessions that stretched from 1977 to '89".

The article goes on to list the session tracks and includes information
about the two live discs as well.  Here's the listing:

    Disc One:
	Opening Speech
	Life Begins at the Hop
	Scarecrow People
	Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her, Kiss Her
	Ten Feet Tall
	Garden of Earthly Delights
	When You're Near Me I Have Difficulty
	I'm Bugged
	Another Satellite
	You're the Wish (You Are) I Had
	Cross Wires
	Roads Girdle the Globe
    Disc Two:
	No Thugs In Our House
	One of the Millions
	Real By Reel
	The Meeting Place
	Meccanic Dancing (Oh We Go!)
	Poor Skeleton Steps Out
	Into the Atom Age
	The Rhythm
	This World Over
	Dance Band
	Making Plans for Nigel
	Jason and the Argonauts
    Disc Three (Hammersmith Palais 1980):
	Life Begins At The Hop
	Burning With Optimism's Flame
	Love At First Sight
	Respectable Street
	No Language In Our Lungs
	This Is Pop?
	Scissor Man
	Towers Of London
	Battery Brides
	Living Through Another Cuba
	Generals and Majors
	Making Plans For Nigel
	Are You Receiving Me?
    Disc Four (London Hippodrome 1978):
	Radios In Motion
	Cross Wires
	Statue Of Liberty
	The Rhythm
	I'll Set Myself On Fire
	New Town Animal in a Furnished Cage
	All Along The Watchtower
	This Is Pop?
	Dance Band
	Neon Shuffle

So that's one full CD of new live material, and at least eight new
sessions tracks (I'm guessing that "Another Satellite" is the version
from the _Dear God_ single, also released on _Rag & Bone Buffet_).

Looks good.

The full article can be found in the Chalkhills Archives.

	-- John


Message-Id: <l03130300b24f09fa5dc4@[]>
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 21:34:18 -0700
From: Dave Blackburn <>
Subject: Song Stories musings

Evening all,
	Well, I just finished the final page of "Song Stories" and enjoyed
a lot of the band lore and historical details that fill in the chronology.
I know Swindon, somewhat, having grown up in Abingdon, 20 miles or so away,
and to some degree, understand the significance of the place for XTC; their
music could not have been spawned from, say, Oxford or London, not to
mention New York or L.A. Their provincialism contains both the essence of
their unique musical voice and, conversely, seems to have guaranteed their
lack of a broader worldwide audience. Andy compares their 1980 recognition
to The Police who were "all flashbulbs at airports."
	Although I left the south of England in the late seventies, I do
keenly remember the ugliness of the "new" town planning, the government's
flagrant disregard for quality of life in its zeal to "modernize", and the
utter sense of hopelessness that especially working class folks felt at
their prospects. Andy and Colin gave voice to a very specific segment of
society at a certain time and place, just as Lennon and McCartney had done
for early '60s Liverpool. And they (A & C) mostly managed to maintain the
honesty of their writing in spite of the pressures to cop the prevailing
hit styles. Look how often one or other of them felt disappointed with
songs they had written because they didn't quite capture their subject
perfectly ("Dear God" for example.) That is not what you would expect from
a  bunch of naifs trying to become successful rock stars. The book traces
well the agonizing progress from the spitting punk years to making refined
orchestral music and all the individual growth and maturity in between.
	However, I find myself agreeing with what Lore Guilmartin and Jill
Oleson have been posting. Essentially, some mystique has been lost for me
in reading this book. I'm not sure I feel much sympathy for grown men who
can't even bake a potato to feed themselves, or don't notice the beauty of
nature in upstate New York, or can't find something to do in Los Angeles
but watch old Brit films and be homesick. As adult men they seem to have
been rather helpless and unwilling to open themselves to the world and
savour new experiences, as if the old provincialism never quite lets them
blossom into a wider appreciation of the world outside their town. We learn
a certain bathos to the making of the records too. Much of what I had
believed to be carefully wrought arranging turns out to have been random
tossing onto tape any old instrument laying around the studio. Songs are
cobbled together out of scraps and numerous ostensibly powerful lyrics are
apparently not about anything much at all . That production approach of
course is perfectly valid, and the records remain exactly what gems they
are, but I wish I didn't now know so much about the puke and snot that went
into them, so to speak; (shades of recent Lewinsky-ism creeping into my
thoughts here.)
	Clearly, I am wanting a little more reverb on my reality, but it
bothers me that the band pretty much hated the making of almost all their
albums, hated touring, hated not touring, hated most of their producers and
hated some of their own songs.

	Lest I be misunderstood, I remain a big fan; but "Song Stories"
shows a side, of Andy at least, that is a bit whiny and shallow, and that
somewhat tarnishes his shining karma for me. But that, of course, is my
problem, not his.

					write soon,

Dave Blackburn
Fallbrook, California


Message-Id: <>
From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 1998 16:30:45 +0000
Subject: NEWS: Exclusive Terry Chambers Interview

Terry Chambers Speaks!

For the first and final time in 16 years, XTC's erstwhile and
sorely missed drummer The Mr. Amazing Terry Chambers,
has granted an interview "to put the final nail in the coffin"

Our mutual friend and XTC's ambassador to Australia Paul Culnane
managed to unearth him and talked to him at length about life,
XTC, his days with Dragon, Andy Partridge ("somewhere between a
genius and an arsehole" ), the music industry and more...

A full transcript of this conversation is now online exclusively at
the Little Lighthouse. IMHO it's a 'must-read' for every XTC fan.

Check it out at

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


End of Chalkhills Digest #5-9

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