Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-1

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 1
                The Third Millenium Issue

                  Sunday, 2 January 2000

Today's Topics:

                     Re: Abby Lennon
                 Andy saves his own life
                         Da Bull
                    Everything Decays
                   re red dwarf/swindon
                    A Frustrating Year
                    WXRT Listener Poll
                     George Harrison
                        Let It Be?
               Re: Schmifference Of Opinion
             Getting Your Mantras in a Twist
              We're All Doing What We Can...
                       Swindon 2000
            Best albums of '99...and onwards??
                     As expected ...
     XTC in strange places ... and mark mothersbaugh.


The third millenium of the Common Era, that is.  And don't bother me
with technicalities, it's nothing that I care about.

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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

Ring in the new.


Message-Id: <v04210100b4911319befc@[]>
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 09:18:15 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: Re: Abby Lennon

At 8:36 AM -0800 12/29/99, <> wrote:
>If you had actually taken the time to read what I wrote, I never said
>Abbie or Jerry were weirdos or "wackey".  Far from it.  They were
>natural born leaders.  They were also supreme opportunists with a keen
>sense of marketing and economics.
>"Steal This Book" came from the mind of a marketing genius.

   I nearly had the honor of meeting Abbie Hoffman back in the
mid-80's, his daughter went to my college(she's a lawyer in NYC now),
and a couple of friends who had a show on the campus TV station
interviewed him when he came to visit his daughter. I was off campus
for the weekend and didn't find out till I got back. I would have
loved to pick his brain, he was known to be obnoxioous at times(such
as Pete Townshend beaning him with his guitar at Woodstock), but to
me he was just as much of a champion of civil liberties as any9one
else who got more credit. Onee bit of street theater he and John
Lennon did was handing out copies of the bill of rights to passers by
in the Lower East Side of NYC.   And yes, Steal This book is a great
read too. One Abbie anecdote that didn't make the book: When his
mother was trying to get him to eat his vegetables(or something he
didn't like as a child), she used the usual ploy(but think of all the
starving children in India."  Little Abbie said "Name one."

>Actually, "John Sinclair" is another great Lennon political song because
>he was writing about something he knew very well:  A controversial
>person getting arrested for something as lame as pot possession.

   An example of a great songwriter writing a not so good song about a
great subject. Sounded very tossed-off to me. Some Time In New York
City is not the album I'd pull out to show skeptics what a great
songwriter Lennon was.(I'd probably go with Imagine, or for the more
adventurous and less squeamish, the first album popularly known as
Plastic Ono Band)

Christopher R. Coolidge

Homepage at

"A Great law protects me from the government. The Bill of rights has
10 GREAT laws.  A Good law protects me from you.  Laws against murder,
theft, assault and the like are good laws.  A Poor law attempts to
protect me from myself."  - Unknown


Message-Id: <s86b1cd9.014@OAG.STATE.TX.US>
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 08:50:16 -0600
From: "Steve Oleson" <>
Subject: Andy saves his own life

Hi Harrison-
Thanks for, once again, putting some thought-full content in C-hills.

His final question:
If the 1966 Beatles can turn to 1971 shit, then anything can.

So why is it that XTC *never* has?

I think that Andy saved his life, and XTC, by getting out of the tour bus,
and returning to Swindon. By doing so, he avoided much of the mind-bending,
soul-destroying, influences that suck the life out of artists: the
adulation/contempt rollercoaster of the press, the milieu of deceit and
distrust that comes when people become famous, not to mention the lack of
good food and rest that is essential to "feed the machine".

How many times have we seen artists lose their focus, and become parodies of
themselves? Thank Andy for having the wisdom to avoid the trap, and thank
his fans for having the patience and understanding to stick with him through
it all.

Have a good year!
Steve Oleson
Austin, TX


Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 11:25:30 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: John Relph <relph@cthulhu>
Subject: Da Bull

I am auctioning off an extra copy of "The Bull With The Golden Guts".
I bought it directly from The Little Express.  Now it can be yours.

Happy New Year!

	-- John


From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 00:38:36 +0100
Subject: Everything Decays
Message-Id: <>

Dear Chalkers,

Our mutual friend Kevin Diamond asked the QFTD (the Question For
The Day). Think I'll better answer it before the Y2k bug gets us all

> does anyone know why they never released any singles from Go2
Back in the old days it was considered "good value for money" for
the fans to release "non-album" singles. If you bought the album
and then-current single (AYRM?) you would not have ended up with
the same tracks in another pretty package.

Nowadays of course even the mightiest (Sting!) stoop so low as to
repackage all their old "hits" and misses together with one or two
new "exclusive" tracks; usually some rejected left-overs from their
last album. Funk pop a roll !

> I know they did "Are you receiving me",
This was _not_ included on the original UK album. The US and many
other 'foreign' versions did feature this song

> but I think Meccanik dancing or
> Battery Brides would have been good singles. How did they expect to
> sell Go2 with out releasing any singles?
Well, they did manage to sell some copies :)
Perhaps giving away a free bonus 12" with the first 15.000(?) copies
helped a bit or perhaps it was just the right record at the right time.

It wasn't for me BTW... i totally hated it at the time and it wasn't until
Black Sea came along that i really started to pay attention.

One More Thing: thank you Harrison for the excellent piece of the
intricate and delicate relationship between Swindon and Liverpool.

> The mantra goes like this: Everything Eventually Turns to Shit.
> So why is it that XTC *never* has?

Indeed... food for thought !

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 12:02:49 +1000
Subject: re red dwarf/swindon

>From: David Oh <>
>just a quick question before i break for christmas...
>what series number of the brit-com red dwarf has the episode with the
>swindon reference? does anyone know?
>showcase (a cable channel in canada) has started to re-run red dwarf from
>the beginning and i wanted to know what series number has this show so i
>can watch out for it. what, too, is that paticular episode about?

It's from series seven, after Kochanski joins. Lister has been infected
with an intelligent virus (created to combat nicotine addiction & evolved
to the point where it is prone to bad stand-up schtick). At the start of
the episode they board a ship & find a woman encased in ice.
The first few series are kind of lame IMHO. Series three is where it picks


Message-Id: <v04210101b4911eb57948@[]>
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 21:42:38 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: A Frustrating Year

   It's been an interesting but frustrating year. I refuse to call
this the end of the millenium(but please, let's not start that debate
again), but since I can't come up with enough 1999 releases I've
liked or investigated enough, here's my top twenty for the 90's, also
a tough choice(and in no particular order)
1. XTC- Apple Venus 1(duh!)
2. Nirvana- In Utero(much braver than Nevermind, and more abrasive
and difficult, thus overlooked)
3. Freedy Johnston- This Perfect World
4. Dinosaur Jr- Where You Been
5. Steve Earle- El Corazon
6. Randy Bachman- Any Road
7. John Hiatt- Stolen Moments
8. Patti Smith- Gone Again
9. Mojo Nixon- Whereabouts Unknown
10. Neil Youn g and Crazy Horse- sleeps With Angels
11. Jules Shear- The great Puzzle
12. Bob Dylan- Time Out Of Mind
13. John Cale- Walking On Locosts
15. Concrete Bloinde- Mexican Moon
16. Tori Amos- Little Earthquakes
17. Neil Finn- try Whistling this
18. Marillion- brave
19. JohAlanis Morissette- Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
20- Tiny Tim- Christmas Album(kind of the Mtal machine Music for the
90's, a sorbee to cleanse the palate)
Christopher R. Coolidge

Homepage at


Message-ID: <000901bf5340$2843af40$2197143f@unlpm>
From: "Jamie Lowe" <>
Subject: WXRT Listener Poll
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 1999 21:35:59 -0600

Happy New Year Chalkers:

I am happy to report that the good folks in Chicago who listen to WXRT have
voted Apple Venus Vol. 1 as number 19 out of 20 for their albums of the
year.  I send my congratulations to the band.  I hope that Apple Venus Vol.
2 exceeds everyone's wildest dreams and places even higher on the 2000
listener poll!

Happy New Year!  Peace, Love & XTC in 2000!

Jamie Lowe


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 00:37:18 -0500
From: "Michael Otero" <>
Subject: George Harrison

Can you believe he was stabbed yesterday (Thursday)? He's going to be OK,
they say, but damn.
Who'd have thought it...


Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 09:53:33 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <>
From: Brown <>
Subject: Let It Be?

Hey chico/chica Chalkers!

You North American compadres may be interested in what has been called a
"fictional reunion" between Paul M. and John L....a what-if
premise....hmmmmmmm...... It is titled, 'Two of Us'...It airs February 1st
on VH1....and while we are on the subject of VH1..I haven't completely
abandoned the dream of a 'Behind The Music' episode on XTC and I hope you
all are still sending an occasional request to the sods at VH1.....well are
you?  Please do...thanks**

Catching up on back digests...three cheers for Mitch F.!  Thanks for all the
AV2 information.. straight from the Uffington horse's mouth....

Finally, here is a rather tenuous XTC connection....there is a nursery/farm
just north of Frisco....they offer only the finest quality cut flowers and
plantables...their name?  Chalkhills...only the finest, indeed...

Let me close by wishing all of you good people a very kick-ass new year...

Now back to the bunker,

Debora 'older AND wiser' Brown


Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 13:32:36 -0500
From: David Oh <>
Subject: Re: Schmifference Of Opinion

>From: Lawson Dominic <>
>Subject: Schmifference Of Opinion
>Sorry David, but two things. One - buttlicker!!!! Two - shit-hole? Are you
>serious? Ah, I get it......who is right, who is wrong? It doesn't really
>matter, does it? Perfect.
>No, we've been discussing that for years. Anything else? (Seriously though,
>get a grip! The vast majority of posts have been about XTC, whether linked
>tenuously or not, and it's just misleading and silly to pretend otherwise.)
>Again, sorry David, but that has to be one of the most patronizing things I
>think I've ever read. If there are any teenagers reading this, for fuck's
>sake don't pay any attention to ANY OF US. That's your job.
>No, talking bollocks is the last resort of a poor debater. Name-calling is
>the first resort of a justifiably angry liberal.

i knew it was too good to be true...
i knew he was quiet for too long...
the bile was backing up in his throat...
he just needed another target to unleash it on...

sometimes, dom, what you write is funny, but mostly it smacks of arrogance.

welcome back, dom, we almost missed you!

david "with a brown streak on his tongue" oh


Message-ID: <000201bf53c0$06df7fc0$0b3963c3@default>
From: "David Seddon" <>
Subject: Getting Your Mantras in a Twist
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 18:49:27 -0000

Harrison said lots that  agreed with in his last major epistle, but there
were two things which I can't accept.  I was:

All this points up a facet of modern life that I think separates our
generation from the preceding ones. It's become so endemic in our
expectations that we pretty much set our watches by it; it's
practically a generational trademark. The mantra goes like this:
Everything Eventually Turns to Shit.

Really, Harrison, are you basing this on politics, in which case you're
right ad naseum?

Can't say that I've ever thought of this as a mantra for our generation.
Shit is shit as far as I can see, good is good and doesn't become brown and
smelly just because a bunch of dudes trying to be cool, followed by a bunch
of press sharks clinging desparately to the bandwagon think that they're
somehow above the accepted opinions of the intellectual establishment
(whatever you take that to be, and Im not so sure what it is exactly either,
before you ask!).  Now, please note I am not going to defend the
establishment in all it forms per se, but neither am I going to fight it
just because some bunch of dead-headed-would-be-better-than-you (with a
sneer on their faces)-callow-youths with the latest street-wise utterances
proclaim their venomous (for it is often thus) intent.

Thus it was, in my recollection in the 1970s.  I remember being into David
Bowie before he became cool and taking a lot of stick for it.  I remember
being into the Beatles after they were cool and taking even more stick for
it.  When I moved to a school in Southport in 1976, everyone there was into
Led Zepplin and Bebop Deluxe.  The fab four were "crap".  It didn't matter
that the people with these views had hardly heard a note beyond She Loves
You: they were crap, because they said so and it was a posture fo perverse
cooldom and sophistication to say so.  In those days, you had to be a
drop-out from the sixties, you had to be into something hard or cool.  Then
punk came and none of these people bothered slagging off the Beatles
anymore.  They just slagged off everything and everyone.  It wasn't critical
reappraisal, it wasn't a flash of inspiration that what was once considered
good was now unworthy.  It was pure reaction and teenage angst (it was also
hype and sold records).  Did I join in it?  Well, no, but I did like a lot
of the music.  I couldn't see the point of the posturing.  A mate of mine
(who is now very traditional in his ways) walked around everywhere with a
bathplug draped around his neck because he wanted to be noticed and annoy
his parents.  He laughs about it all now.

Years later, I met two or three of the people who had made my life miserable
in the mid 70s by constantly decrying my musical tastes.  Some of them had
become big Beatles fans and apologised for being so unpleasnat in the 70s.
I mean isn't it stupid getting at people because they're into a different
band than you, but that's the way it was.

So, Sherwood, things don't always turn to shit.  It's people views and
brains that do.  If Mozart is considered great now (and I agree), there
ain't no fad or movement of taste that's gonna convince me that he's really
been crap all of this time!!  I don't know how many people under 40 would
share your view on the mantra of today, but I certainly don't.

Thanks tho' for providing an opinion that I can get my teeth into.  The list
got very dull since around the time a certain self-professed angel of doom
arrived with us, but I think that it's gettin back to it's former glories
now.  I look forward to debating this further soon.


From: "Michael Versaci" <>
Subject: We're All Doing What We Can...
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 14:08:11 -0500
Message-ID: <000001bf53c2$6254f900$>


Harrison Sherwood has written a provocative essay which made two very good

>The Music is All.


>Everything Eventually Turns to Shit


>So why is it that XTC *never* has?

Yes, two very good points indeed.  I read this essay three times, and while
I agree with his conclusions, I find myself at odds with certain stops that
he made along the way.  I must point out here that I count Harrison as a
friend and know him to be very fond of the Beatles.  My disagreements come
down to questions of expectations, perceptions and personal experience.

You could say in a very real sense that I grew up with The Beatles.  I can't
separate my memories as a child (and the sixties) from The Beatles.  They
were intrinsic to the experience.  I stopped listening to them for awhile in
the early seventies, because the bands that I was in were having enough
trouble with "Smoke On The Water" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash" - we never even
attempted to cover Beatles' songs with their complex harmonies and intricate

When I got to college, (1975 - 1979) I went back to The Beatles and was
overwhelmed at how much better they were as musicians than I had ever
noticed.  Their vocal abilities were obvious, but I discovered that Paul was
a brilliant bass-player, their arrangements were  clever but seldom
pretentious and the guitars were deceptively more complex than I had ever

So I raised an eyebrow when I read the following:

>So it became the obvious thing, really, for iconoclasts of every
>stripe to abominate the Beatles and everything they stood for.

By 1979 I had met (and jammed with) scores of musicians, and none of them
ever harbored such notions.  I know that some punk-rockers claimed that they
hated The Beatles, but then again they hated everything!  It was obvious
that the real artists like Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson and Andy Partridge
did not.  I can't imagine Harrison with spiked hair and a sleeveless black
Patti Smith T-shirt spitting on the floor of a punk-club while
simultaneously flipping-off the DJ because he slipped  "I Saw Her Standing
There" in between "Anarchy in the U.K." and "Sunday Papers!"

I think that when Joe Strummer sang "London calling, now don't look to us /
Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust" it was more of a condemnation of the
"celebrity culture" itself rather than a direct put-down of The Beatles.
Besides, had he been paying attention, he would have noticed that John spent
a good part of his solo-career trying to tell us just that.  Which leads me
to my next point.

>All the political posturing and floundering and breastbeating
>and showboating Lennon did during the last ten years of his life came
>to nothing: after all is said and done, it is in mature, enduring
>I-and-Thou Love that salvation is to be found. Of course, we could
>have pointed out he'd already said as much in "She Loves You,"
>couldn't we, saved him the trouble....

I wholeheartedly agree with the bit that starts with "after all is said and
done..." but I have a different perspective on what came before.

I think that John's "political posturing..." did not "come to nothing."  I
see John as a troubled man who was searching for inner-peace.  He was brave
enough to share that journey with the rest of us.  Part of that journey
included his political misadventures - fueled by good intentions but
ignorant of the inevitable disappointment that goes along with that
particular route.  After some very embarrassing missteps, he dropped-out of
the scene to raise a son.  He concluded (and told us all) that the answers
were within ourselves.  Not an original thought by any stretch, but also not
part of the popular culture prior to his influence.  It was of course a
cruel and ironic twist straight out of a classic Vonnegut novel that
precisely at the point where he was finally at peace with his own message he
was senselessly murdered.  So it goes.

We now know that kids with long-hair who believe in free-love and
do-your-own-thing had no hope of ending all wars or curing the many ills of
society because we witnessed the attempt and ultimate failure.  I do believe
that the efforts of the Lennons (and countless anonymous people who had the
guts to speak out against the war) had a positive effect.  We haven't seen
another Viet Nam since, and I think that is due at least in part to the
cultural uprising that began in the early sixties and climaxed at about
1971. Putting an end to all wars may be a dream, but acting on that dream
may have at least influenced enough of us to question authority and end our
blind devotion toward a government that up to that point enjoyed no serious
opposition to any war that they could wage.

Michael Versaci


From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 20:38:09 +0100
Subject: Swindon 2000
Message-Id: <>

Dear Chalkers,

On the eve of the new year i cannot help but wonder if we shouldn't
throw a big party this summer to celebrate a quarter century of XTC

Amazing, innit? the thing we know as XTC started life in 1975!
Anyway, i think we should have a big bash, preferably in Swindon,
sometime in July or August.

We could plan all kinds of activities like a sight-seeing tour ( i know
just the perfect guide ), a costumed ball where everyone has to
dress up as a character from a song, a quiz etc etc etc. Who knows,
perhaps we could even invite a couple of Mystery Guests...

Whaddya reckon, folks? Good idea?

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 1999 17:00:39 -0800
From: dan phipps <>
Organization: cic
Subject: Best albums of '99...and onwards??

the absolute BEST releases of 1999 --

1.  XTC:  "Apple Venus, Volume 1"
2.  XTC:  "Homespun..."
3.  THE BEATLES:  "Yellow Submarine Songtrack"

that's it!!  nothing else compares...(my 2c)

now -- the absolute BEST releases of 2000? --

1.  XTC:  "Apple Venus, Volume 2"
2.  XTC:  "Fuzzy Warbles" home demos boxed set

that's it!!  nothing else compares...(my other 2c)

happy new year, all...
you may now read on to the next missive!

/Dan Phipps <>

"Imagination like a muscle will increase with exercise."
(Peter Blegvad)


Message-ID: <003d01bf53fe$99d78460$6a5791d2@johnboud>
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: As expected ...
Date: Sat, 1 Jan 2000 11:18:29 +0900

my first music listen of 2000 is ... APPLE VENUS 1 . XTC's best
so far ;  therefore THE best of 1999 and the decade in my totally biased
opinion .

Happy New Year to all of you out there in Chalkland from John The Sushiman !


Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 01 Jan 2000 01:07:50 -0800
Subject: XTC in strange places ... and mark mothersbaugh.
From: "Diamond" <>

First, TWO "XTC-Spottings" One a bit stranger than the other. First, As I
walked down the narrow stairway into the bassement that makes up the only CD
store here on Nantucker. (Musical is the name) I heard a familiar song. It
took me a moment to realize what it was... Pink Thing! The owner of Musical,
his name is Charley, is always there, and he always plays albums front to
back. Well, I was so surprised, I just stood there until Chalkhills and
Children was over. I barely looked at any CDs.

Second- I was playing a computer game called You Don't Know Jack, it's a
game bassed after TV quiz shows, and it's usually pretty funny. Well, one
catigory was something like "80s songs) or something, and the question was
"if the band who made "the Safety Dance" were combined with the band who
made "Land Down Under", what would be theresulting band's name." The answer
was Men at Work Without Hats, but that's not what interests us. One of the
possible answers was "XTC INXS" I couldn;t believe that XTC were in a
Computer game! Do they get royalties or anything from that?

Now I have a question for anyone who can answer it. Rushmore has been talked
about recently, and I believe that the music for it was done by Mark
Mothersbaugh. I was wondering if anyone knew if there was any collections
out of Mark Mothersbaugh's music for TV and Movies (i.e. Rugrats and
Rushmore, etc,) If so, let me know.

Well, It's 2000 her, and I survived. So far, no explosions, nothing fancy at
all. Hope you all survived the time warp. Let's Do The Time Warp Again. and
then let's do lunch.

Kevin Diamond
"To emphasize the afterlife is to deny life. To concentrate on heaven is to
create hell."
          -Tom Robbins


End of Chalkhills Digest #6-1

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