Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #8-66

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 8, Number 66

                Tuesday, 10 December 2002


          The Groin, Yarbles, warbles and boots
                    MFSL vs Remastered
                     Band Name Taken
                      I drew a lemon
                     Frizzy Wartbles
                      She Was A Boy
   Warbles, and more of Bert's bogus bootlegging banter
                        fuzzy math
                     Re: Modest John
                   Settle an arguement
               fuzzy, expensive warbles???
    Concert review ... er ... very little XTC content
                First time for everything
                    Recos, prices etc.
             XTC on UK NATIONAL radio shocker
                     Oh, the irony..
           Country Warbles Help (Q's for Andy)
                      Marzipan Spawn
      Announcing the offical XTC premiere in India!


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    The views expressed herein are those of the individual authors.

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

Stay at home, watch a video / Chocolate Fingers, stir the tea


Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 13:00:15 -0800 (PST)
From: Jeff Eby <>
Subject: The Groin, Yarbles, warbles and boots
Message-ID: <>

 Don Parker:
>>>"Aches to See" has to be the best XTC tribute band name, right?
It's awkward, perfect poetry.<<<

I have to agree, that's a great name.  But how about the names from
Andy's John Peel introduction?  Frank & The Sandalmen; The Ear, The
Nose, The throat; Inevitible Groin.  Or you could be 2003's answer to
XTC, the Baron Knights (barren nights).


>>>I found something interesting a white ago in one of my fav books, 1984.
Although, this fact may already be widely known. There's a poem in the book
that goes, " Oranges and Lemons go the bells of St. Clemens, you owe me three
farthings say the bells of St. Martins..." (or something, the book is not in
my physical presence, so I'm wingin' it here). Oranges and Lemons ... that's
an XTC album! Now, I don't know if its named after the poem or the poem in
the book. However, I found this just as nice as the "Things Fall to Bits" and
"The Second Coming" connection. I like that XTC reads... (Or Andy Partridge
specifically.) Hurrah for books!<<<

I've heard the O & L rhyme is pretty common in England and Australia,
but I wouldn't be surprised if Andy has read 1984 considering the
Clockwork Orange/ Fuzzy Warbles connection.  Speaking of which I
decided to look up the direct FW quote from the book and found a
couple other interesting things.

The line itself : "What you got back home, little sisters, to play
your fuzzy warbles on?" is from the part where Alex picks up the two
girls in the music shop.  Interesting to note is that, Melodia, the
shop where he picks up the girls, is tended by a real horrorshow type
of veck by the name of Andy.

In another converstion I had about Warbles, someone got it confused
with "Yarbles."  Coincidentely yarbles are mentioned on the next page
of the book where he insults a pop-music duo, calling them "two
horrible yarbleless like eunuchs whose names I forgot."

I wonder how much of this is underlined in Andy's copy of the book.


In response to the CD's being overpriced.  As a fellow yank I think
they're fairly priced for imports, especially as many of these are AAA
grade recordings, and even the ones that suffer from being originally
recorded badly have been reworked and apparently improved.
Personally, I was so desparate to get them I spent even more $$$ to
get express shipping.


finally, I've traded for boots (never bought and would never sell),
hell, I've even been so 'evil' as to take songs off of Napster and its
bastard offspring.  Basically I don't see what I should be guilty for.
Didn't I just tell you I'm buying Warbles anyways?

If only I could stop using self-deprecating humor I know that I could
be a much better person.


Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 16:17:17 EST
Subject: MFSL vs Remastered
Message-ID: <>

If this is an old topic, forgive me for bringing it up again.

I have the MFSL CD's of "Skylarking" and "Oranges and Lemons."  Is there any
sound quality difference between the MFSL versions and the recent remastered
versions of those two albums?

J. D.


Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 13:30:50 -0800 (PST)
From: Andrew Boyle <>
Subject: Band Name Taken
Message-ID: <>

Hello, All.

Long time, no post. Long story. But just in time for
Christmas I can drop a little 411 wrapped in ribbon.

Richard spoke:

> As far as XTC cover band names...
> Brainiac's Daughter!

Too late. Been a band here in Central Florida for
ages. They are pretty fun.

Everyone have a great Holiday Season, K?

Orlando, FL


Date: Fri, 06 Dec 2002 21:33:13 +0000
From: Mark Fisher <>
Subject: I drew a lemon
Message-ID: <>

> I found something interesting a white ago in one of my fav books, 1984.
> Although, this fact may already be widely known. There's a poem in the book
> that goes, " Oranges and Lemons go the bells of St. Clemens, you owe me three
> farthings say the bells of St. Martins..."

This is a very well known nursery rhyme in the UK. Any child could sing it
to you.

I wonder, though, if Reel by Real owes a debt (indirect or otherwise) to
Orwell's book . ..


Date: Fri, 06 Dec 2002 16:39:38 -0500
From: Ben Gott <>
Subject: Frizzy Wartbles
Message-ID: <>


My pal Darryl wrote the following about the availability of "Fuzzy Warbles":

> But to pick up on Ted's point the discs are only aimed at completists -
> they're never going to be seen by casual listeners as they will only be
> available through the official Idea site, and surely most of the people that
> regularly log on are pretty much dyed in the wool fans aren't they?

I bought my copies for #9.99 each on  They shipped two days
ago and should be arriving soon.  (I'm buying copies as presents as well,
and will probably get those from the Idea Records site -- I wanted them
cheap and now, though, which is why I went to Amazon.)

Last weekend, I bought a 100 CD changer.  It's the best damn thing I've ever
bought.  Where else can you go from Marley to Guided by Voices to Shawn
Colvin to R.E.M. to Michael Franti & Spearhead in one fell swoop?

Lovin' it,


Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 14:44:51 -0800
From: "Kerry Chicoine" <>
Subject: She Was A Boy
Message-ID: <000901c29d79$16633800$>

Ralph Simpson DeMarco <> wrote:

> First I must tip my uffington horse cap
> to Kerry Chicoine for her fine defense
> of Mummer and her interesting comparison
> to Skylarking and O&L.

Although I find the concept of feminity beguiling, and your kind words of
agreement are most welcomed, I am, genitally-speaking, a man. Sorry if I led
you to believe otherwise.

What is a Manwich, anyway? [A bad idea? - ed]

kErrY kOMpOsT


Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 14:36:24 -0800 (PST)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: Warbles, and more of Bert's bogus bootlegging banter
Message-ID: <>


In 8-64 Ted Harms worried about the cost and quality of the Warbles, and in
8-65 several people reassured him about both. The only thing I can add is
that Andy has worked very hard -- to the point of starting his own label,
since Colin was unwilling to invest the time or money to do this right -- to
make sure that the quality of these disks is very high indeed. He's even
gotten writer's cramp autographing 2,000 of the disks over the course of
several days, so I'd say they're a good value for the dedicated fan (their
intended audience). I'm expecting *my* copies under the Ozzmas tree, along
with the InstruThingies.

Remember -- the Warbles don't just comprise a bunch of "Andy in the Shed"
demos (though there'd be nothing wrong with that, IMO). Many of these songs
feature the full band and have not made their way onto the "trading
circuit," so in many ways, the Warbles are as close as we'll come for a
while to a new XTC album.

Speaking of trading (see, Ade, two can play the segue game) ...

Bert Millichip (or juan_the_man2002, depending on which pseudonym he chooses
to write behind), responded to Wes Long with the following:

> Obviously, Andy's opinion is the only one that counts
> regarding *his* music - though bootleggers are likely
> to feel a tad confused given that Andy has made
> comments in the past which seem to give a green light
> to their activities. But Todd and I were talking in
> more general terms.

Andy has never spoken ambiguously about bootlegging, nor did Wes's comments
infer that. I'll type slowly, Bert, so you can understand: Andy thinks
trading is okay, and bootlegging is not. Trading is a way for people to
share music. If people like the new music they hear, they may decide to
support the artist and buy it. Alternatively, trading may be a way for
people to hear music that's not available commercially. Similarly, if they
like this music, they may buy other commercially available music by the
artist. Trading -- like listening to the radio, or a friend's stereo, or to
MP3s downloaded from the Internet -- is a way for a prospective customer to
"kick the tires" before deciding whether or not to buy.

People who sell an artist's music without that artist's permission are, in
Andy's opinion (and mine), stealing from the artist. When I talk about
bootleggers, I'm not talking about someone simply recouping the costs of
materials and mailing; I'm talking about people like Chuck Bisson, who ask
for a "small fee" to cover their time. This transforms the exchange from
sharing into commerce, in which the seller profits from someone else's work
without their permission. That's theft. That's unethical.

> You chalkhillians are an odd bunch - you rant and rail
> against a distribution model which you feel gives
> insufficient rewards to artists, while at the same
> time supporting an alternative model which gives *no*
> rewards to artists!!!

If the "alternative model" you're referring to is trading, then the claim
that it gives no rewards to artists is bogus. Remember our file-sharing
discussion?  Janis Ian and others freely share their music on the Web
because they know it'll lead to more sales. I share XTC tunes with people to
encourage them to fall in love with the band, as I did, and snap up their
back catalog, as I did.  When music I've acquired through a trade because it
was commercially unavailable becomes commercially available via the band's
Web site or label, I buy it, and encourage others to do so.

I can already see you jumping up and down in your seat, thinking of all the
exceptions to these situations. Yes, of course they exist. There are selfish
people out there who use trading to assemble artists' entire catalogs and
never drop a dime on legitimate releases, just as there are probably
bootleggers with hearts of gold who use the money they make for altruistic
purposes, or who sell only products that will never be legitimately
released. But these exceptions do not erase the ethical distinction between
trading and bootlegging, nor do they negate the legitimate objections that
artists -- including Andy -- have to bootlegging.

And what's with the second-person reference to "you chalkhillians"? Maybe if
you considered *yourself* a Chalkhillian rather than playing the part of
pedantic outsider, and starting *contributing* to the digest rather than
picking fights and acting like such a fucking troll, you wouldn't consider
us such "an odd bunch." I rather like this forum, and resent the way you've
conducted yourself during your short and ignominious tenure here.

Finally, re: his list of fine recent albums, Mike Otero said:
> 3- The Pretenders "Loose Screw." I'm working on
> this one... several notches below, say, Last Of The Independents, but
> I've got a big soft spot for Ms. Hynde.

Really? When it comes to Ms. Hynde, I've got a big hard ...


Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 18:31:58 EST
Subject: fuzzy math
Message-ID: <>


> Anybody else surprised by the cost of the Fuzzy discs?

 ...says Ted.

 I am

...says Ed.

 Because , somewhere,early on, when we first heard about the possibility of
'fuzzy',maybe in one of those "I just got off the phone with Andy" posts,Andy
himselph,I do believe, stated they would be at a low price,them being
demoes,and all.

 I do not remember any specific price mentioned... but when i checked the
Idear site,I was surprised at the cost.

 I always had ,in the back of my mind a feeling,(based on my first paragraph)
of mebbe a $10 or $12 price,once they were for sale...if ever...

 so,yes I was surprised.

Lots of good posts,folks,defending the pricing... but I think Ted is right to
be surprised.

             eddie st.martin


Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 18:44:50 EST
Subject: Re: Modest John
Message-ID: <>

In a message dated 12/6/02 3:24:26 PM, <> writes:

<< "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "She Said She Said" apart,
John's contributions to Revolver were pretty modest. >>

I'd sure like to live in a musical universe where "I'm Only Sleeping" and
"And Your Bird Can Sing" are considered "pretty modest"! Great songs would
flow like water in such a universe.

- John


Date: Sat, 7 Dec 2002 00:35:52 -0000
From: "dappleford" <>
Subject: Settle an arguement
Message-ID: <000001c29d88$992495e0$5e30c050@z6m5t9>

Can any one definitively settle a debate I have had with my brother for
some time now?
It regards one of my favourite XTC tracks from the wonderful Apple Venus
album, River of orchids.
Does any one know if the pizzicato strings and horns are sampled loops
or actually played live?
I would love to believe that they were played live by the London session
orchestra, but I have to admit after a very loud listen on headphones
recently I think my brother may be right and they are looped samples of
the same part repeated, shame if it is so, but it makes sense from a
producer's point of view.
Anyone know for sure?

Dave (yes I am in to the technicalities as I am a recording engineer
{among other things}) Appleford.

Lets reveal our child like nature....lets go to pot!


Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 17:19:44 -0800 (PST)
From: Tyler Hewitt <>
Subject: fuzzy, expensive warbles???
Message-ID: <>

All these posts bout the high cost of Fuzzy warbles
makes me want to throw in my opinion,slight as it may

I too was a little shocked at the price of the discs
(according to the universal currency converter they were coming in at about
$20.00 each), but that didn't stop me from ordering! I
think the shock comes from early reports saying thet
the discs were going to be budget priced. In the US,
that is usually around $12.00 each.
I think we can blame generally high prices for cds in
the UK, and a bad (and possibly wildly fluctuating)
exchange rate for what we in the US see as a high
I recently ordered a Peter Blegvad cd from a British
site, and my credit card was charged about $18.00 for
the disc and shipping. I ws expecting to pay about
$23.00, so I guess the exchange rate was in my favor
that day. Hopefully the same will happen with Fuzzy
I'm really excited about the Fuzzy Warbles discs, and
can't wait for them to arrive. And I'll keep ordering,
even if they are kind of pricey.

By the way, does anyone know if Peter Blegvad's The
Naked Shakespeare  is still in print, and if so, where
I can get a copy?


Date: Sat, 7 Dec 2002 03:27:25 -0800 (PST)
From: Ira Lieman <>
Subject: Concert review ... er ... very little XTC content
Message-ID: <>

G'morning Chalkfolk...

Last night my wife and I headed into the rockin' island of
Manhattan for some food and to hear the fantabulous Aimee
Mann in concert at the Beacon Theatre (a great concert
venue for those not of the New York persuasion).

I could go on for hours (well actually for three hours)
dissecting Aimee and her band's performance, which was
marked by too much caffeine and way too many references to
Freebird, but I digress.

Throughout the show people would be yelling out songs for
her to presumably play. (The suggestion of "Voices Carry"
was responded to by "You have a better chance asking me to
play Freebird, sir.") So anyway this was almost out of
control the last half-hour and during her second encore she
actually ASKED if anyone would like to make a request, they
should do so by paper and pen and drop it off in front of
the stage as they played something else.

I was crushed that my inability to procure seats on the
floor rendered me unable to suggest "Collideascope." I
would have done it! Oh well. Aimee rocked big time anyway.
And we just got home like 5 hours ago. <yawn> Buy her album
"Lost in Space." It's quite good. :)

-ira, mid-yawn


Date: Sun, 8 Dec 2002 00:51:06 +1100 (EST)
From: bree cunningham <>
Subject: First time for everything
Message-ID: <>

Well hidiho partners in crime.

This is my very first posting so be gentle on me. I don't have that
much to say that hasn't been said already but I would like to point
out that I love Bert's incomprehensible rantings. You keep 'em coming
boy. They're highly entertaining and they give my tube rides to work
in the morning some sense of humour.

Secondly don't ever, ever, and I mean EVER! Compare Silverchair to the
greatest band of all time! Although they are growing up and their
sound is evolving (like all other bands in the history of the
universe, except for Coldplay and the sad saps of RHCP if you are
forced to listento their lastest), they still SUCK!!!

Next all I have to say about people who believe there is no good music
around these days must listen to George from Brisbane. THEY ROCK!!! I
suggest you sit back relax close your eyes put the disc on and you
will remember those feelings of love for an album.

Lastly, and I can already here the crys of, "Thank God", I am after
some info. I have arrived in the UK and would love to do an XTC
tour. Of where they recorded, played, etc etc. Just like you can get
tour for the Beatles, I'd love one for the band. Oh and if there is
any good local music playing in Swindow, London, Newcastle, or
Manchester that anyone knows about, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for turning a blind eye

Queen Bree

PS Tribute band name Ex-Tc. Just a thought.


Date: Sat, 7 Dec 2002 19:14:32 +0530
From: "Sughosh Varadarajan" <>
Subject: Recos, prices etc.
Message-ID: <000f01c29df9$6e1ff1c0$712b41db@SughoshVaradarajan>

Halloa all!

Since all you Chalkers seem to be in the mood for recommendations, here's a
few of my finds for the year...some of them may be kinda old-hat, since I
live in the exotic east(heh) and good music isn't easy to come by..but my
recent experiences with Mr. Gott have taught me that pretty much everyone
has something to learn from everyone, so here goes:

The Auteurs - Now I'm a cowboy
Albion Band - Battle of the field
Badly Drawn Boy - About a boy OST
Belle and Sebastian - Tigermilk (Yes, I know this isn't their best, but I
love it anyway..should be getting "Arab strap" early next year...yippee!)
David Bowie - Heathen
Tim Buckley - Tim Buckley
Cocteau Twins - Treasure
Edwyn Collins - I'm not following you
Roy Harper - HQ
Kristin Hersh - Hips and makers
The Incredible String Band - 5000 Spirits, or the layers of the onion
The Jam - At the BBC (wonderfully energetic set...was lucky enough to get
the version with the bonus disc!)
Love - Four sail (Not a patch on Forever Changes, but still very very very
Kirsty MacColl - Kite (ahhh why did she have to die?)
The Pernice Brothers - The world won't end
Sam Phillips - Martinis and bikinis (Where the devil did she disappear too?
This is wonderful stuff! She practically defines the term 'Beatlesque'!)
Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians - Fegmania!
Silly Sisters - No more to the dance
The Soft Boys - Underwater moonlight
Spirit - Spirit / The family that plays together / Clear (all classics!)
Bruce Springsteen - The rising
Steeleye Span - Ten man mop, or Mr. Reservoir Butler rides again / Comoner's
Thermal and a quarter - Jupiter cafe (no one will know of them here, but
they're one of India's best rock outfits and this album really deserves a's brilliant!)
The White Stripes - White blood cells

Phew! I just realised I've had a pretty good year!

Don said:

> another recommendation: Richard
> Thompson "Shoot out the Lights" which I loved until sudddenly his wife,
> *Linda McCartney*, started singing!

WHAT!! You actually have issues with Linda Thompson's voice? I find her
mesmerising, though perhaps not as much as Sandy Denny, Maddy Prior, Jacqui
McShee or June Tabor, but definitely right up there!

Richard said:

> I have plenty of music in my mind and collection that many
> might scoff but this music has to do with a placement in time.  Just as an
> example, for good or for bad (and I don't seek your opinion), The Allman
> Brothers' "Brothers And Sisters" recording takes me back to some wonderful
> early high school memories.

Hmmm...I wasn't aware that Brothers and Sisters isn't supposed to be a good
album...well, a bit too country-tinged perhaps, but any album with "Jessica"
on it gets my vote! Just listening to "Mountain jam" from the Allmans live
at Ludlow Garage tho, and I realise B&S isn't quite in the same class...!

Oh, and as for the Fuzzy Warbles pricing controversy, well I guess if
everyone out here is used to paying upto 15 quid for a disc, it isn't so
much of an issue, but to someone like me (and I think I said this before)
who's used to picking up CDs for 5-7.5 quid, it's a lotta cash. Not that I'm
suggesting Andy isn't worth it, but there's so much music and so little
money! Unfortunately, there ARE a few of us 'hillers (or is it just me?) for
whom online purchasing at international rates is still a rather distant
dream....when your monthly earnings amount to about 100 GBP, you can't
really be spending 10.21 (plus shipping blablabla) on a single disc, even if
it does contain some more examples of the musical genius of Mr.
Partridge...sorry Andy...maybe someday when I'm a millionaire ...

Cheers all


Date: Sat, 7 Dec 2002 16:13:03 -0000
From: "David Smith" <>
Subject: XTC on UK NATIONAL radio shocker
Message-ID: <!~!AAAAAMx/>

Yes folks, it's finally happened.

We all know the score - every other digest, someone here pops up with the
story of how they happened to come across an XTC track being played where
you wouldn't expect it (ie, in the public domain).

Now normally it's on a soundtrack (The Gilmore Girls seems to be the current
fave) or the recent reported "This is Pop" on the outro of Channel 4's "100
Best Selling British Singles" - in other words, it's very rare that an
erstwhile radio DJ just sticks on an XTC track for the sake of it.

So imagine my surprise when, driving along this morning, I ws listening to
Jonathan Ross (or "Woss" as we Brits would know him as) on BBC Radio 2 -
offically the most listened to radio station in the country. And what should
he play, why only "I'm The Man Who Murderd Love". Right there - in living

He then proceeded to spend a good three minutes talking about what a great
album it came off - I quote: "Wasp Star - great name. It came out with
another one, Apple Venus - they're both fantastic records".

Alright, so they didn't come out together, but hey, here's a national DJ and
TV celebrity who, depsite his best efforts to come across as a preening
popinjay, actually proves what good taste he has.

Nice one Wossy!



Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 20:53:39 -0000
From: "Darryl W. Bullock" <>
Subject: Oh, the irony..
Message-ID: <000701c29fc5$13937600$19a2fea9@Bullock>

Am I being petty?

Or am I justified in feeling a little pissed off with Idea/Weatherbox at the

Like a good fan I preorderd the (quite magnificent) Fuzzy Warbles discs and
waited with my breath well and truly bated for them to arrive - only to find
the self same discs for sale in every local record shop for up to #3 per
disc less that I paid.

Okay, so mine are autographed. That's nice, and I would always opt for that
given the choice - but none of us were given any choice! It was autographed
or nothing at over #13.75 each (after postage). True, maybe by purchasing
them direct I am helping put money diectly into Andy's pocket rather than
EMI/Virgin's and that's no bad thing, but I'd wager that I've less in my
bank account than Mr Partridge and that extra #6 or so that I've shelled out
would have fed the cat for almost a month!

I've gone on Chalkhills and berated other fans for quibbling about the
price, so I realise the irony here. What I want to know is, will future
volumes also be available from my local MVC for #10.71? If so, I may well
have to consider where I buy further instalments.

And by the way, what the hell is happening with the UK release of the
instrumental albums, or should I get the Japanese versions instead?



Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 17:00:50 -0800 (PST)
From: Wes Long <>
Subject: Country Warbles Help (Q's for Andy)
Message-ID: <>

Kidz -

In order of the "Subject"

I accidentally/luckily caught the tail-end of a video
on the country music video chanel CMT tonight. It was
by a band called Nickel Creek - and I'll be damned if
the song wasn't nifty... you can check out a snippet
of it here: the
song is called "This Side" and it's quite XTC-ish.
Clever pop with some nifty pickin'... haven't heard
the entire song yet, but I'm going to look into it and
the band. Interestingly - I usually hurl over country
music, and this song was ranked #4 in the CMT top 20
video countdown. (yeah, I already know too much about
this station) But it's odd to find that the country
music fans are into something that *I'm* into... I
must be at the nexus of the universe.

Warbles - are very, very good. We were without power
due to the winter blast... got my CD's Friday, didn't
get to listen in full until this afternoon... Monday.
Very nice stuff here - if you've not heard the James &
The Giant Peach demos... or the demos for the last two
albums, then you are in for double the treat. Still -
if you've heard it all... well, there are a few things
here you couldn't have heard before, it's still worth
the price. Grab it up!

Lastly -

The next addition to
will be in the Recording portion of the site... and
I'd like some help here. I want to put together a list
of - let's say 20 or less - questions to ask Andy
about the recording of each XTC album. I've not gotten
anything together yet.. but things like the following
pop into me head:

On a scale 1 - 10, how difficult was the birth of this

Which song did you spend the most time on?

Which song went the quickest?


I know there are a lot of folks on the list who've
spent time in a studio... so I'm looking for some
interesting specific questions from you folks.

Many thanks - stay well my friends,



Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2002 23:53:36 -0500
From: DMiner <>
Subject: Marzipan Spawn
Message-ID: <a05100301ba1b1187fc82@[]>

Okay, I had to wade around in some conversation about my two pet
musical histories, the Beatles' and the Monkees'

In Digest 8-65, Christopher R. Coolidge sayeth:

>... Unfortunately The Monkees got some of their credibility as
>musicians and creative control, but sales suffered after that, and they were
>under the more direct control and creative whim of the show's producer,
>which basically killed them as a band.(Exhibit B- Head- a fascinating
>psychedelic mess with no commercial potential)

This quote was in reference to the Monkees and Don Kirshner as a
producer/salesman of their music. I just wanted to point out that the
Monkees downfall was a bit more complicated than this. The departure
of Don Kirshner did not kill the Monkees' record sales. In fact, in
the year of 1967, during which the band released two non-Kirshner
albums, they outsold the Beatles. The Monkees musical freedom was not
earned on talent, however. But I think they had enough idealism and
energy to make two spectacular albums before deciding that working as
a unit - as a "band" - was not satisfying enough. At the end of 1967,
the four individuals set about choosing and producing their own
material independently. This, IMHO, is what killed The Monkees.
Whereas the Beatles in the same model could still maintain a strong
level of creativity, the Monkees devolved, pandering to their basic
instincts (Davy seemed to keep recording the same weak show-tune
style numbers, Peter overdid everything and most of his tapes are
missing, Mike stuck almost exclusively to the country rock, and Micky
was all over the dadaist map).

And Bert Millichip contributed on the Beatles side:

>John was snoozing rather than cruising. Paul "took
>over" the band circa Pepper largely by default. John
>was incapable of doing much work since his brain was
>so frazzled by LSD at the time. Paul had no choice but
>to take on more of a leading role artistically - the
>only alternative was for the group to wither and die
>by '67/'68, and it's largely Paul we have to thank for
>that not happening. John became embittered over Paul's
>new prominence, but he was physically and mentally
>unable to compete with him at the time.

I certainly agree that McCartney came into control of the Beatles
circa Pepper. I also agree that Lennon began losing control to drugs
around this time. However, I do have to say that I don't equate these
aspects of Lennon's life to his creative output. I will confess to
prefer Lennon's more flowery and psychedelic songs to his more
introspective material. I consider "I'm Only Sleeping," "And Your
Bird Can Sing" and "She Said, She Said" to be among the best pop
songs ever. Perhaps Lennon was not as productive throughout 1967, but
I can't find much fault with even "I Am The Walrus," the most bizarre
of his songs at the time (unless you count something like "You Know
My Name (Look up the Number)" which was cast aside at the time as a
goof). While Lennon had moments of brilliance throughout the rest of
the Beatles existence, I find his tendencies to either go too far
("Happiness Is A Warm Gun," "What's the New Mary Jane") or rely too
much on pastiche ("Yer Blues") to be a bit annoying. And let's not
forget that McCartney fell prey to some of the same instincts, as
well (pastiches such as "Honey Pie" and unexplained oddities like
"Wild Honey Pie" or "Maxwell's Silver Hammer").

Fellow Beatles fans should feel free to address the flames to :)

On other assorted topics:

>As far as XTC cover band names... Brainiac's Daughter!

Already taken by a non-cover band from here in Florida:

But I dare say Mr. Sherwood has unwittingly suggested what I think
could be a smashingly good band name:

>cardboard Mephistopheles

= Derek =


Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 23:44:20 +0530
From: "Sughosh Varadarajan" <>
Subject: Announcing the offical XTC premiere in India!
Message-ID: <008401c2a084$3cc70b80$702b41db@SughoshVaradarajan>

Yes, folks! It's finally happened! Tonight, for the first time in the
history of commercial Indian radio (which is only about 8-10 years old, but
what the heck), we had XTC playing, courtesy moi! I practically thrust my
copy of "Wasp Star" on a local DJ...didn't have to go as far as the student
who wanted "Dear God" playing in college, fortunately ...she loved the album
and played two tracks off it, "Stupidly happy" and "I'm the man who murdered
love", as well as the Crash Test Dummies version of Peter
Pumpkinhead...spoke a lot about the band too, and methinks this just might
be the start of a fan following for our merry Swindoners in this land of

Too excited to say anymore now...maybe I'm being silly, but it really feels
great, even more so to know that I was part of it in some way...

Well, I'll pop off now,
Cheers all!


End of Chalkhills Digest #8-66

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