Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #6-11

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 6, Number 11

                 Tuesday, 18 January 2000

Today's Topics:

                    Rufus & his daddy
             Unwinnable, unloseable arguments
                       100 greatest
        Andy Partridge in 'XTC are Shit' shocker!
                        Polar Aim
                       Re: 1000000s
                  Andy's opinion of guns
                        Flick Off
          Marty Willson-Piper and Jerry Maguire
             watch where you point that thing
                    Re: Self Indulgent
                    re: fuzzy warbles
                  Hal Blaine Trivia Quiz
                    Whey-Faced Muppets
                   XTC in British mags


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Me and the wind are celebrating your loss.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 22:43:31 -0800 (PST)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: Rufus & his daddy

>From Kevin Diamond:
I just bought Rufus Wainright's 1998 eponymis (spl?)
release, and it's really fantastic. Thank you, Tyler
Hewitt, for sending me that tape with the
song April Fools on it. That's why I bought it. I
recomend this album to everyone. Really great, it is,
it is.
Glad you liked the Rufus Wainwright song. It really is
a great record (Now, Kevin, go buy some Harry Partch.
I put him on your tape as well!)

And, you should all check out Rufus' father, Loudon
Wainwright III. He's a folk singer that writes funny,
self-deprecating songs that often are a little
touching as well. He's been around since the '70's and
has a lot of records out, most of which I havent
heard, but I can recommend his cd "Grown Man" from 3-4
years ago.

Sorry no XTC content. I'm waiting to hear them in some
unusual place, but it just hasn't happened yet. Did
hear a Muzak version of 'Accidents Will Happen' in a
grocery store about 10 years ago. Thought it very odd,
although some people would argue that Elvis' latest
music is not too far from Muzak (not me, though.
Painted From Memory is one of my favorite records of
the last couple of years).

ok, enough rambling.


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 23:34:38 -0800 (PST)
From: Ryan Anthony <>
Subject: Unwinnable, unloseable arguments

How's this, everyone?

I will not challenge your choice of how many abortions
and firearms to have. I agree to acknowledge, however
grudgingly, that the numbers you have selected are
right for you.

And you, however grudgingly, do the same for me.

Speaking of arguments neither winnable nor loseable,
Chalkhiller "wesLONG" recently pronounced "a load of
shite" [sic] VH1's list of the Hundred Greatest Rock
and Roll Songs.

Sorry about the bandwidth, but for research purposes,
that list follows my post.

WesLONG, could you be more specific about what you
don't like? I'm not arguing with you. I want to know
what you'd excise from and what you'd add to VH1's

That goes for everyone reading this. What's most right
and most wrong with the VH1 list?

Sure, obviously, it's grindingly commercial. But
that's not the songs' fault. They weren't written with
commercial appeal in mind, many or most of them; they
only became hot commodities because they were, and
have remained, highly popular with millions of people.

And, true, Our Boys are nowhere to be seen or heard.
But -- and this may be capital heresy in Chalkhills --
has XTC indeed created one of the Top One Hundred
Songs in the History of Rock and Roll? Albums, very
possibly; I think *Black Sea* and *English Settlement*
are serious contenders for that honor. But a song?

It's easy to argue there are not enough women and
especially not enough blacks. The numbers of both are
surprisingly low: two female or coed acts in the Top
Fifty and only five in the whole list, and one of
those women, Dame Aretha, also represents the total
negritude of the Top Ten.

Okay, there's also a pinch of Clarence Clemons and a
dash of Muddy Waters in that Top Ten, but remember,
we're not talking about the top one hundred polkas or
waltzes here; rock and roll is an art form which is,
pretty much by definition, half white and half black.

Chuck Berry is most deserving of a promotion into
single digits. On merit, not a quota.

Some will argue that it is the decade of the '90s
which is most egregiously underrepresented, with only
one song -- and it nearly ten years old. If so, what
should be added? "Under the Bridge?" Probably not, and
that's the only candidate for greatness I can name
from the past ten years. I must defer to a younger
observer, one whose eyes are still sharp and ears are
still keen, full of the snot and hot juices which once
gushed proudly out of me in all directions.

This won't pump any estrogen or much melanin into the
list, but I'd have liked to see any of these make the
cut: "Supper's Ready," "Waitin' For the Bus/Jesus Just
Left Chicago," "Court of the Crimson King," "Welcome
to the Jungle," "Solsbury Hill," "Crazy Train,"
"Paradise by the Dashboard Light," "Black Magic
Woman," "Oh Well," "Thick as a Brick," "Will the Wolf
Survive?," "Cat Scratch Fever," "You Can Call Me Al,"
and, dare I say it, "One."

Ryan Anthony, an independent Internet content provider


Message-Id: <v04220800b4a7a5263c5a@[]>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 11:50:01 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: 100 greatest

At 10:15 AM -0800 1/15/00, <> wrote:
>Fellow Chalkgeeks....
>Anybody else see this list and scratch their head til it bled?
>The 100 greatest rock 'n' roll songs, as determined by a panel of 700 voters
>assembled by the music network VH1:

   I can't argue with most of these, but what's The Carpenters and
Billy Joel doing here?(and "Stairway To Heaven," which is one classic
rock cliche that should be taken out and shot, speaking of guns) And
where's "96 Tears," "Road Runner," and "Sweet Jane?" I'd also include
a few instrumental greats like "Wipeout," "Rawhide," and "Walk Don't
Run," for a much more balanced list. XTC wouldn't make the list
simply because they're not a singles band and I'd be hard pressed to
pick just one. Of course I'd love it if they did, but I'd much rather
see a few 60's garage rock classics like "Psychotic Reaction" by The
Count Five and "Pushing Too Hard" by The Seeds make the list. Being
as such like inspired The Dukes Of Stratosphear, I've sure Andy & Co.
would understand.

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: <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 07:20:29 -0800 (PST)
From: Nick Howorth <>
Subject: Andy Partridge in 'XTC are Shit' shocker!

In the light of all the touchingly adoring (and
understandable) sentiments that XTC never went 'shit',
I seem to recall (in fact I've still got the yellowed
cutting somewhere from either Sounds or Melody Maker -
UK 'inky' music press, the former now defunct)around
the time of the 'Mummer' release, a certain Mr. A.
Partridge of Swindon saying that if his 1977 punk
persona had heard 'Mummer' he would have, and I quote:

'chucked my guitar and said:"Shit! They've turned into
the Strawbs!" '

(*NB - For those in the dark, the 60's Brit band the
Strawbs had mutated by the early 70's into a sort of
folk-rock combo whose most familiar song was '(You
don't get me I'm) Part of the Union' - a half decent
anthem of working class solidarity since appropriated
by the capitalists and now doing the rounds in the UK
as part of an ad for Insurance Company 'Norwich
Union'- 'Big money selling you stuff that you really
do not need!')

The thing is, as one contributor pointed out the other
week, (sorry-I've deleted it and mislaid the print-out
sorry!)XTC may well have turned shit if they'd become
superstars after 'Drums & Wires'. Well sorry to rain
on your parade but with 'English Settlement'(only the
second album after D&W) critically acclaimed and No.1
Album in the UK for a time and 'Senses Working
Overtime' a No.2 single and played to death by BBC
Radio One (and every pub jukebox)for what seemed like
months, XTC were superstars for a time and with Andy
going 'bonkers'and cancelling the UK 'Settlement' tour
dates then coming out with 'Mummer', lots of former
XTC'ers did think they'd 'gone shit' (I wasn't one of
them I hasten to add!) My brother rates 'English
Settlement' as one of the best albums of all time but
can't listen to much after that - I know many former
school friends who got into the band around the
'Hop/Nigel' period who also thought 'Mummer' was the
biggest pile of shit they'd ever heard in their life!
Most former devotees didn't 'understand' it, amongst
them, one T. Chambers who made similar comments to
Andy and Colin then left the band saying he 'couldn't
drum to it.'(See Chris Twomey's official band biog
'Chalkhills & Children' Omnibus Press, UK)Andy even
way back then seems to have realised that he was
alienating a lot of the band's fans by ditching the
'meaty, beaty big & bouncy' (copyright P. Townshend)
stuff (Nigel/Hop/Sgt. Rock/Generals/Ball&Chain etc.)
for 'rural psychedelia'(copyright C. Twomey) While
obviously not stating that he thought 'Mummer' was
'shit' he obviously realised then that lots of
'chart-tabulous pop-pickers' (copyright A. Freeman)
would. He even said in the same interview that if
necessary he'd go on making records and selling them
by mail order if need be - Virgin weren't too happy
with the band even back in the early Eighties and the
band's current UK label 'Cooking Vinyl' has a profile
about as prominent as a mail order outfit so his
prophecy has come true in a sense. Just to make it
clear, I DON'T think the band are shit, I think
'Skylarking' is the Sgt. Pepper of its generation, I
(and I think Andy) just understand why former fans
think they are! So for many people, I'm afraid they
did 'turn to shit' - hence the non-existent UK sales
of Skylarking (No.79 I think was its top chart
position). Even Andy has said in future the band may
concentrate on the US since the Uk doesn't seem to
care anymore which is a shame.

 From a hill, foolishly (somewhere in Lancashire) -


Message-ID: <006601bf6050$2e991de0$ba04893e@oemcomputer>
From: "Lincoln Fong" <>
Subject: Polar Aim
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 18:17:44 -0000

Happy 2000 all

I have spent very little time reading the list in a while but have at last
realised that I will probably never unsubscribe. The reason being that even
the occasional dip can supply info as enlightening as the Meltthegunsdebate.
Love it.

Can I recommend the Joe Jackson autobiography 'A Cure For Gravity' to anyone
who has spent several years in the back of a transit van but mostly to JJ
fans and those with a laymans interest in classical music or music theory. I
now realise I was wrong to protest when he went all poncified around his
fourth album. It's such a touching book that I thought I'd give it a plug

I should also warn against running out and buying anything recommended on a
mailing list. I find the Rufus Wainwright album recently mentioned quite
unlistenable, for example.

Finally I'll announce that I have an album coming out soon (Valentines day)
which features guitar on a track by the redoubtable Dave Gregory. The group
is called Polar Aim and the album Diaries Of Well Known Women distributed
through the UK Setanta label or To compensate for this
shameless self plug I'll send it free to the first 20 people who send me
their mailing address. This, for me, is a promotional campaign.



Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 11:19:29 -0800 (PST)
From: relph (John Relph)
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: 1000000s

David Oh <> most thoughtfully wrote:
>xtc had the biggest impact on these ears, then and now. i was not aware of
>xtc before this point and so i hadn't heard anything of the barry andrews
>era xtc. i bought "drums and wires" solely on the strength of the single
>"making plans for nigel", but i soon listened to the whole album
>extensively, right up until the release of "black sea".

In case you folks were wondering, messages like David Oh's review of
"Millions" are why I continue to run Chalkhills.  Many thanks to David!

Incidentally, I too have long thought that "Millions" is one of the
most interesting and continually surprising tracks that XTC have ever
produced.  It's not spectacular, nor particularly catchy (I don't find
myself singing snatches of it at odd hours), but I still like to listen
it, especially in headphones...

	-- John


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 12:26:15 -0800
From: awa <>
Subject: Andy's opinion of guns

There's no longer any need to speculate about what Andy was thinking
when he expressed the sentiment to melt the guns in the XTC track "Melt
The Guns (this is from the Song Stories book by Neville Farmer of the

"I just really abhor guns.  They are for one thing--killing.  THey're
not for shooting targets, that's just to keep you in practice to make
you more efficient at killing."


From: "Mark Strijbos" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 02:35:30 +0100
Subject: Flick Off
Message-Id: <>

Dear Chalkers,

The ever eloquent and elongated Harrison S. quipped:

> My tired, myopic eyes first formed a ligature between the "L" and
> "I" rendering them as a capital "U," and I had the somewhat
> paranoid (not to mention self-centered)
now that you mention it ... nah, too easy :)

> thought Strijbos was having some abusive
> Photochoppy fun at my expense.
Suits you, Sir... suits you

No, honestly: i didn't... Flicky Harrison is indeed _her_ name; the
journo in question is a lady.

yours in xtc,

Mark Strijbos at The Little Lighthouse


From: "Ray Aoki" <>
Subject: Marty Willson-Piper and Jerry Maguire
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 16:44:34 -0800
Message-ID: <000001bf6084$0612ace0$>

Greetings and salutations from Vancouver, BC, Canada.

I wish to pass on a bit of information and ask a question, both XTC-related.

Firstly, Marty Willson-Piper, guitarist for the Australian band, The Church,
will be releasing a solo CD, "Hanging Out In Heaven," next month.  However,
there is an MP3 available for download of one of the songs from this
forthcoming release through Heyday Records (  The song is
titled "Forget The Radio" and there is a reference to Mr. Andy Partridge in
the track.  Great song, great artist...should be a great album.

Secondly, I was watching Jerry Maguire on video last night.  Semi-recognized
some songs that were played during the movie so I watched right to the
bitter end of the video when the song credits were listed.  One of the songs
that was played in the movie was "Through The Hill" by Andy Partridge and
Harold Budd.  I really do not want to sit through 2 hours and 20 minutes of
fine film-making...I'm not being sarcastic...I do like this movie.  Does
anyone know in which scene the song was played?

Best regards,



Message-Id: <v03007803b4a83b9303c0@[]>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 17:48:51 -1000
From: Jim Smart <>
Subject: watch where you point that thing

I thought Kiven D's point about music, books, and movies was that when
awards are given for movies and books (say, oscars and golden globes,
newberry and caldecotts, or whatever), they *generally* seem to go to some
pretty good creations. However, when awards are given for music (ie. the
grammys), invariably the crappiest shit gets nominated and wins. But then
he seemed to be off on another tangent entirely, so I can't be too sure. So
I'll just make it as a point on my own then. There.

Paul wrote "they've (XTC) evolved more than any other group I can think of,
including The Beatles." This is so true! If I had a time machine and took
Abbey Road back to the early fans at the Cavern, sure they'd be impressed.
But it'd be nothing compared to going to punky 1977 London and playing
those early fans Apple venus 1. I would love to see the blank looks on
there pierced faces.

On the dwindling gun thread, I hope no one thought I was calling those who
disagree with me irrational. I never meant to. I was talking about the
argument, not the arguer. (Patricia and I have made nice in off-list e mail
and agreed to disagree) I do get rather heated when it comes to guns. I
recognize that whereas on most issues I am in the middle (on the one hand
this, but on the other handthat), when it comes to guns I am clear. Most
people probably go back and forth. The other extreme end of the spectrum
has peole who feel that the solution to school shootings is to arm the
teachers. I  do not waver in my beliefs in this area. The 2nd amendment
should be repealled and no one should be able to own or buy guns or
ammunition except for police and military. The guns that are out there
should be melted.
 I know that this is an extreme view, but it's mine, and I'm sticking to it.

Impatiently waiting for Andy's electric guitar sounds to explode all over
me when Apple Venus II is released,

"melt the guns" - XTC


Message-ID: <>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 23:13:07 EST
Subject: Re: Self Indulgent

In a message dated 1/16/00 11:36:04 AM Pacific Standard Time,
<> writes:

> From: awa <>
>  > From:
>  > I believe Andy is becoming a little
>  > self-indulgent with age. (Come to think of it, "how Easter
>  > Theatre came to be" was quite self-indulgent too)
>  AP was indulgent from a very early age and he's always had a strong
>  sense of self but I don't think those aspects are any stronger now
>  than when he sang the words to "Battery Brides".
>  AP has said that the USA buys the bulk of XTC releases and remains
>  "streets ahead" of the rest of the world, including the UK, in that
>  pretty key area.  US fans, it is assumed, like to hear about what
> >By the way, the year half the Beatles turned to shit was 1972--Lennon
> >released his awful Sometime in New York City and McCartney released Wild
> >Life. Both are horrible albums with absolutely nothing to recommend them.
> >Then again, the hard-core Beatles fan might appreciate them. I personally
> >like one track on Wild Life--McCartney answers How Do You Sleep? with the
> >song Dear Friend.
> I am convinced that at least half of the "shitty" post-1970 songs by John or
> Paul would have been regarded as good songs if released in 1969.
> (let's face the truth, "Let it be" had no more than a couple of really great
> songs, and John was already missing. But no one has ever said or written
> that "dig a pony" is shit, though it undoubtedly is.)

This bit was attributed to me in error by awa.  I was responding to someone
who didn't care for the How...Came To Be bits by Colin and Andy.  I actually
stated that I found the spoken word bits both charming and inviting (as well
as essential).

Further on awa accidently quotes me and then someone else I was responding to
as well.

The first paragraph is mine, but the second is, again, from someone else. I
was again responding to someone else's post.  Just wanted to set the record


Message-ID: <>
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 04:45:35 -0800
From: dan phipps <>
Organization: cic
Subject: re: fuzzy warbles

has anyone heard whether or not the possibility
still exists of xtc's "fuzzy warbles" home demos
boxed set being planned for released??

just wondering...

haven't had much chance to read all these chalkhills
digests coming my way, but boy it's nice to be getting
them!!  thanx, john!

...and thanks for any info on this inquiry of mine.

i'm just curious, that's all.

waiting now for av2 and warbles that are fuzzy --

//dan & ginger phipps <>

"when you're stoned on spirit, you have no
 other needs...working with the purest light
 within you."  (steve hillage)


Message-ID: <005c01bf60f3$e819fd40$6e5791d2@johnboud>
From: "John Boudreau" <>
Subject: Hal Blaine Trivia Quiz
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 19:07:53 +0900

Rob in Carson , CA was the winner of the Hal Blaine quiz . The six songs
from the VH-1 " 100 Best Rock and Roll Songs Of All Time " that Mr. Blaine
played on are :

Beach Boys- "Good Vibrations"
Beach Boys- "God Only Knows"
Beach Boys- "California Girls"
Carpenters- "We've Only Just Begun"
Mamas & the Papas- "California Dreamin'"
Simon & Garfunkel- "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

Good going Rob !



Message-ID: <>
From: Lawson Dominic <>
Subject: Whey-Faced Muppets
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 15:02:09 -0000

David Seddon wrote...

>>If they are a barometer of
public taste then it seems that it's only 12-15 year old girls who are
buying singles.  That can't be so, so what's happened to mass taste?

I'm afraid it IS so, and I'm surprised you hadn't spotted it earlier.....the
UK singles market is now aimed almost entirely at 12-15 year old girls, with
occasional exceptions like Cliff Richard (grannies, lunatics, perverts) and
various floor-fillers from the UK club scene (grannies, lunatics,
students....much the same really). No wonder XTC do so badly in the UK!

Here comes the rant (and don't panic - this is not directed at Mr Seddon,
but is one of my staple
one-too-many-and-off-he-goes-Christ-almighty-shut-up-Dom pub rants,
unencumbered with notions of conversational give and take...).

I suspect you've made the classic juvenile school boy error of assuming that
the charts are any kind of representation of "mass taste" in the first
place. They're not. The "mainstream", if we can refer to the charts in such
a way, is followed and perpetuated by a minority of people. The vast
majority of people (something like 58 million in this country) buy far fewer
than one record per month, and therefore it's silly to suggest that Westlife
are supported by the masses, when in fact they are sold to and bought by
shrieking mid-pubescents with no interest in a broader culture and even less
in anything outside the perceived cutting-edge-ness of boy bands, dance acts
and Shitney cocking Spears. These are the "people" with disposable income
and, arguably, the only target audience willing to piss money away on
singles, when anyone with half a brain saw through that particular scam
years ago. Most people don't buy Westlife records, which I personally find
rather comforting. The less said about "Candle In The Wind" the better, but
at least that can be explained away as a freak incident.

The other premise of your argument, that "we can all point to times when the
charts had better stuff in than now!" is also a lame duck. Your memory can't
be that good because although I will concede that I too share a misty-eyed
nostalgia for the days when the charts seemed, at least, to be full of The
Jam, XTC, Madness, The Specials and [INSERT YOUR PREFERRED COMBO HERE]...the
charts were still crammed to the gills with inexplicable shite even then,
and it's really just your now fully-formed critical faculties which have
conveniently edited out Sad Cafe, Matthew Wilder and Ama-bloody-Zulu.

A spineless media, toothless music papers and witless TV executives
certainly haven't helped to discourage the rampant beast of boy-bandery, and
I share your revulsion at the apparently rock-bottom expectations of most
kids these days, but frankly, fuck 'em. The majority, a much-maligned group
of people continually blamed for things for which they are in no way
responsible, listen to a vast and varied menu of different types of music
(some being bland & MOR and some being Atari Teenage Riot), buy albums in
preference to singles (because that's what adulthood does to you) and blink
with confusion at the likes of Westlife and (the admittedly splendid)
Steps....but don't worry, as one such majority-member I can state
unequivocally that it doesn't matter, because contrary to what many seem to
believe, there is a world which exists outside the coke-fuelled stupidity of
the media (it's called the Real World, although I suspect MTV has the
copyright on that particular title) and fortunately those of us who live
there don't need Jayne Middlemiss to tell us what's happening in music
today. Let's be honest, we know so much more about it than she does!

>>There really does seem to be a dearth of talent around.

With all due respect, cobblers! The music industry is not currently
interested in talent, so instead we get Adam Ricketts and countless other
pointy-nippled, bound-to-be-gay, whey-faced muppets gyrating and gurning on
the's a shitter for sure, but the off-switch beckons and no one's
forcing you to accept the Top 40 as any indication of how creatively healthy
the music scene is. Damn it, these bands have nothing to do with the music
scene as I'm sure you are aware. There is ALWAYS lots of thrilling music
around and disgracefully talented musicians and writers are not in short
supply. Unfortunately we must put the effort in and track the blighters
down.....and we all know how rewarding that can be. Just don't spend too
much time bemoaning the existence of the kiddie-pop freakshow, because it's
not aimed at you anyway and there'll be something even worse to take its
place in a minute. Personally, I can't wait.

Next you'll be telling me that the 60s was the best ever decade for pop


Dom "in my humble opinion....yeah right!" Lawson


Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 17:19:42 +0100 (MET)
From: rappard <>
Subject: XTC in British mags
Message-ID: <>

 From this month's Record Collector, in a drooling piece on ex-Take
Twat Robbie Williams:
"B-sides [from the 'Old Before I Die' single, April 1997] included
exclusive covers of David Bowie's "Kooks" and XTC's "Making Plans For
Nigel", with the lyrics of the latter changed into a venomous rant
against his former manager Nigel Martin-Smith..."

And in the latest Uncut there's a reprint of a 1980 piece on XTC's tour
of the East Coast, which has some very funny bits - watch the Little
Lighthouse, because like every XTC clipping that comes my way this one
will go straight to XTCompletist Mark Strijbos.



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