Precedence: bulk
Subject: Chalkhills Digest #8-70

          Chalkhills Digest, Volume 8, Number 70

                Tuesday, 24 December 2002


                     Thanx 4 XtcMAS!
   Re: Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar, and who else, now?
               Everything *will* be alright
    Update me on the Fuzzy front - I've been FAR AWAY
                    Quit Your Warbling
        Alex Partridge (or Malcolm in the Middle)
                       King George
      the soft purring of cute little fluffy kittens
                        R.I.P Bert
            Re: Just for the sake of argument
             ... and a double Hi-Keeba to you
                         RIP Bert
           Dr. Pilpy and the humbuggery helpers
                 Say It Ain't So, Joe!!!
                   Re: Fuzzy Clockwork


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Countdown to Christmas / 1 day!


Date: Tue, 17 Dec 2002 20:01:02 -0600
From: "vee tube" <>
Subject: Thanx 4 XtcMAS!
Message-ID: <>

              Just in time for Christmas. has added K-Rockin! To the site!
        K-Rockin' is of course the unplugged Oranges
        and Lemons promotional tour as recorded on KROQ
        in L.A. circa 1989.



Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 01:55:36 EST
Subject: Suggestions??
Message-ID: <>

Hello Chalkies;

    I don't post often, and I am terribly lax in responses (would the
gentleman interested in cassettes please re-contact me) so I hope you will
indulge me for a moment.

    A local club that I play frequently has a periodic series of "alter-ego"
shows. My band has been discussing possibilities, and one of course is XTC.

   Given the range of songs to play, I thought it would be fun for all of you
to suggest some ideas (so to speak). Here are your limits:

1) We would only play 45 minutes (approximately 10 songs)

2) We are a two guitar, bass and drums band with three singers (possible
rudimentary keyboards)

3) We would need to have at least four recognizable U.S. radio "hits" ( term
is used loosely)

   I will notify you all when and if we do the show, and what we have in our
set ...

Warren in Sacramento, Ca.


Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 08:09:47 -0500
From: "Brian" <>
Subject: Re: Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar, and who else, now?
Message-ID: <001701c2a696$be621780$15dcd73f@brian>


Or: your friend is wrong because it's all a bunch of B.S.
Don't forget THAT simplest of explanations.

-Brian Matthews

>Speaking of 3 Kings, a born-again friend of mine at work tells me there
>were NOT 3 kings.  The Bible says --wise men came from the east--.  No
>mention of how many there were.


Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 08:15:35 -0800 (PST)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: Everything *will* be alright
Message-ID: <>


Though I thoroughly enjoyed most of eriC draveS' FW review in 8-69, I do
feel compelled to pick this bone with him:

> Next comes "Everything'll Be Alright", which sickens me. Ever see the
> episode of Saturday Night Live where George Wendt plays a children's
> singer-songwriter who releases an more adult-themed album? "I want to have
> sex with you/ Just like the birds and the bees do..." This is what this
> song reminds me of. If there weren't references to the bugs it might be a
> straight pop song worthy of the Rembrandts or They Might Be Giants.

The references to the bugs are quite appropriate, given that this is the
last of the four "James and the Giant Peach" demos! Listen to which insects
he talks about -- they're all from the book. I personally love this song, as
do my kids, and every once in a while I'll belly up to the ol' piano to bang
this one out, while they sing along.

Victor R., a good deed indeed! Awesome story.

Harrison, please come and get your car. And, in the future, please find
somebody else's driveway to abandon it in.



Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 19:59:53 +0000
From: "G.M. Quinn" <>
Subject: Update me on the Fuzzy front - I've been FAR AWAY
Message-ID: <>


I have been dormant on the list for a year or so, and *bang* I reappear in
the midst of more Fuzzy Warbling than my wildest dreams could ever have
depicted!  I've got the idea of the recording so far, and a lot has been
written about retail/'net prices - are there any Australian XTC peeps who
have advice on obtaining the CD?  I'm not a fan of internet splurging, but
if that's the only Antipodean option, where am I looking again?

Forgive me, I've REALLY been on another planet this year, and what with
Elvis Costello AND Mozz visiting Melbourne, with a recent whack of Bob
Mould, I guess I got a bit distracted...

Still impressed with the love in the room, with Oranges & Lemons on rotation
at the mo',



Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 14:53:53 -0800 (PST)
From: Aaron Pastula <>
Subject: Quit Your Warbling
Message-ID: <>

Ah, the heady debates of today's world.  Iraq, Enron,
Trent Lott, Fuzzy Warbles...

People.  Take a breath.  Relax.  So maybe you paid a
little more than you would have liked for Andy's
outtakes -- big deal.  With the exception of a few
people who had to pay funky customs taxes (which I
doubt Andy can control), what was it -- a few bucks
either way?  This can not have been a cheap project
for him to undertake, not only in terms of the time to
compile and master everything, but also in terms of
design (how f**king cool are the stamp covers?!),
packaging and distribution, all of which comprise the
first major undertaking of a new indie label.  Your
few extra bucks went to a good cause; consider it a
charitable contribution and write it off on your taxes
if it's bugging you that much.

Next time, you can buy them from Amazon, Borders,
Amoeba, etc.  Unless you like buying them directly
from Idea and spending a few more bucks to get Andy's
gold ink and maybe even a whiff of Britain when you
open the envelope, in which case you can do that too.
If you want.  Or not.  Whatever.  Free country.

>especially as we had been led to believe that the
>discs would only
>be available via Idea.

Were we really?  I don't ever remember seeing anything
to this effect anywhere.  Seems to me anyone who
really had a problem with the price could've explored
the possibility of other outlets, maybe even put up a
post about it.  Nowhere do I remember seeing, "Only
available through Idea Records, folks!"  Am I wrong?

>I was irritated to be charged money for
>barely listenable things like "Complicated Game"
>and"All of a Sudden." I
>feel a bit like Andy is taking advantage of my fandom
>when he releases this
>kind of stuff.

Seeing as how he put the track listing online weeks
before they were available, I don't see how you could
feel rooked.  It's been pretty widely discussed from
the beginning that these (along with Coat) were made
for completists...don't say you didn't know what you
were getting.  Andy's just meeting what he sees to be
an obvious demand for every squeak he puts on tape.

>Not to mention the economies of scale...

I won't copy the whole argument, but what Gary said in
his post makes all the sense in the world.

>Just be thankful that they exist at all.

Amen!  Now get back to work!



Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 22:45:19 -0500 (EST)
From: (Marston Moor)
Subject: Alex Partridge (or Malcolm in the Middle)
Message-ID: <>

Hey Droogs!

Meanwhile, here's another superb image: I just now created a cool video
capture of the exact moment of the record shop scene in "A Clockwork
Orange" that Alex utters the actual Fuzzy Warbles dialogue! Ha!

(script snipped:)

Alex: Excuse me brother, I ordered this two weeks ago; can you see if
arrived yet. please.

Clerk: Just a Minute.

Alex: Pardon me ladies. Enjoying that, are you my darling? A bit cold
and pointless, isn't it my lovely. What's happened to yours, my little

Devotchka: Who you getting bratty? Goggly Googol? Johnny Shivago? The
Heaven 17?

Alex: What you got back home little sister to play your fuzzy warbles
on? I bet you've got little say pitiful portable picnic players. Come
with Uncle and hear all proper. Hear angel trumpets and devil trombones.
You are invited.


Two of Santa's elves:

Happy Xmas (War is NOT over).

Love to all,


Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 23:00:09 -0500
From: "Christopher R. Coolidge" <>
Subject: King George
Message-ID: <>

on 12/16/02 2:31 PM, someone wrote:

> I
> wonder if King George the Bush ever listened to XTC? I see him as more of a
> Journey/REO/Styx kind of guy...

  He probably thinks XTC is an illicit drug. I would guess George W is more
of a Toby Keith/Alan Jackson kind of guy, commercial C&W all the way. If he
wants you to think he's real hip he might go as far as Bryan Adams(gee
thanks Canada, uh... you shouldn't have. Really. don't want him
back? Damn.).


Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002 09:11:25 -0000
From: Adrian Ransome <>
Subject: the soft purring of cute little fluffy kittens
Message-ID: <>

Just who the fuck does Andy Partridge think he is?

First off, he releases two CDs simultaneously; we wait fucking AGES for some
new material and then we get two discs of them at the same time.

Then he tries to fob us off with fucking cassette recordings from nineteen
eighty fucking two of him in his fucking LOFT strumming on a fucking
acoustic guitar playing the first ever recorded version of a song I've
already fucking GOT. AND he's fucking *mumbling* some of the fucking

And when it's not the lowest of the low-fi cheap fucking recordings, it's
fucking INSTRUMENTALS, for fuck's sake!

Then he tries to fucking pull the wool over our eyes by recording some
so-called "new" songs - as if *that* is going to make us fucking happy - on
some fucking cheap equipment in his fucking garden shed. Young Marrieds - my
fucking arse! Even if he offered a fucking full 128 track digital recording
with the reunited Chambers/Gregory/Moulding/Partridge line up and the London
Fucking Symphony Orchestra in the background I wouldn't be fucking happy -
because these are OLD FUCKING SONGS!! He can't even be fucking bothered to

You'd think he'd be happy taking the piss out of his fans with all that
shit. But no! He fucking well goes one fucking step further and offers them
at a fucking price that *I* don't consider to be anything fucking *near*
reasonable. He fucking ignores the fucking exchange rates, the cost of
fucking overseas fucking shipping and the fucking rip-off fucking bank
charging me for the fucking currency conversion and I fucking end up having
to fucking sell a fucking kidney in order to get these fucking discs that
he's fucking forcing me to fucking buy! Then he has the fucking cheek to
write his fucking name all over the fuckers!!!

He should concentrate on spending the next two years writing the next
fucking xtc album instead of releasing fucking CDs of fucking music. What
the *fuck* is he thinking??

Fuzzy Warbles?? Fucking Wanker more like!!

Fucking A!-drian


Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002 09:41:50 +0000 (GMT)
From: Fred Titmus <>
Subject: R.I.P Bert
Message-ID: <>

An early Christmas present for Harrison and Todd from the grim reaper...


Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002 09:41:57 +0000
From: "Ted Swift" <>
Subject: Re: Just for the sake of argument
Message-ID: <>

Subject: Just for the Sake of Argument

Harrison dribbled on a couple of digests ago at inordinate length (with
great gobbets removed for concision):

>[gee, and here's me thinking the emphasis was Carmen Miranda's]:

Ha ha - fantastic!  Soooooooooo funny.  O my poor sides.

>Why yes, just fancy that! A person capable of containing contradictory
>ideas in his head without exploding gooey puerile self-righteousness all
>over the landscape, giving everybody a dull, pounding headache and
>producing a general desire to throttle him! Fancy, as you say, that!

You, of course, are not yourself in the very act of "exploding gooey puerile
self-righteousness all over the landscape".  No.  Sorry; actually, you are.

>(And why is that word "new" in quote marks up there? Is that some
>super-subtle form of orthographical sarcasm I'm missing?)

Possibly because it was the first time he had seen a message from this
poster?  So he was "new" in the sense of a poster "new" to Bert's
consciousness (as he was to mine), rather than "new" in the sense of ...
well, I expect your highly developed sense of orthography can supply the

>Astonishing feat, here: hilarious pomposity so huge it generates its own
>gravity field, mixed with comical bellicosity and a truly stunning lack of
>judgment. Did you attend a school to learn how to do this, or was it
>self-taught, in front of one of those funny mirrors that make you look
>bigger than you are? You know, strutting around like Benito Mussolini, chin
>jutting, nodding approval at all the imagined applause from your admiring

My mother used to enjoin me when I was yet in my romper suit: "Sit down,
we've all heard you."  Sit down Sherwood, we've all heard you; we all know
how really really clever you are, and of course so amazingly witty.  Not
pompous yourself at all, o no.  Moreover, like most people with monumental
self-belief, absolutely no questioning YOUR own judgment.  Mind you, the
picture of you (rather than Bert) strutting in front of imaginary acolytes
is very striking, and much more credible than Bert, who has as much bombast
in his entire body as you have in your little finger.

>At any rate, I guarantee you: you would never have said that to Dr. Pilpy's
>face. But in the unlikely event I'm wrong, and you actually do possess the
>stones to say that in meatspace, no jury in the world would convict Dr.
>Pilpy for smashing your fucking face in for you.

Ah, violence.  So useful when you can't think of some more clever words,
though "stones" and "meatspace" ... ah, so cool, so ... modern.  You really
don't like Bert, do you?  I wonder why.

>So what exactly is the point, Bert?

Do tell, Harrison.  I for one am longing to know.

>Do you get off on the _frisson_ of
>fancying yourself a "rebel"? Does it tickle your pussy to think you've
>managed to create such a deeply repellent online persona?

Are you aware of how ironic this is, given that it applies so aptly to you?

>Do you, you
>cardboard Mephistopheles,

Whose soul has he bought, pray?

>sleep better at night knowing you've managed to sew

I assume you mean "sow"

>just a little more discord today, tortured a little more logic, crapped out
>a little more specious nonsense, made life just a little bit less pleasant?

Well, of course, the smell is SOOOO much better now that you have got that
turd out.

>>Chalkhills legend Harrison Sherwood once said that
>>artists are 100% repsonsible for the contracts that
>>they sign, and I totally agree with him.

>(Hint for aspiring writers: When employing sarcasm, try to make sure you
>don't switch to sincerity halfway through the sentence. It confuses the
>hell out of your audience.)

Actually, if it comes down to a writing match (as opposed to a slanging
match) I give it to Bert by two falls and a submission.  I certainly don't
get why you are a legend and Bert is a pariah, except that pretty well
everyone on Chalkhills bar Bert seems to have their tongues up your ass.
Could it be because you have a more intimate connection with XTC than Bert,
and therefore (obviously, natch) are more brilliant, versatile, credible,
authoritative?  I rather think it is.  What a bunch of sheep.  I'm out of

>I ask again, Bert: What's the point?

And yours is?  I realise that Bert can answer for himself, and maybe he will
eventually condescend to do so, though fuck knows why he should bother,
since it is clear from your post that your aluminium hat has slipped.  And
as for that twee load of shite in the latest digest about raking the leaves
and humming a happy tune, well, don't call us.



Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002 05:50:21 -0800
From: "Wes Hanks" <>
Subject: ... and a double Hi-Keeba to you
Message-ID: <000a01c2a765$93111160$9e63fea9@vaio>

a 5:00 am pram,

Great pink house now bought
Cash fallen as maple leaves
Gift for me? Warbles!

Wes "I floated along as a crab..." Hanks


Date: Thu, 19 Dec 2002 11:24:39 -0800 (PST)
From: Todd Bernhardt <>
Subject: RIP Bert
Message-ID: <>,3604,862449,00.html


Date: Fri, 20 Dec 2002 15:51:38 EST
Subject: Dr. Pilpy and the humbuggery helpers
Message-ID: <>

Interesting reply, Bert, as always.

>An even greater piece of humbuggery was perpetrated by
>our "new" friend Dr Pilpy. A person who, I know for a
>fact, happens to work for one of the largest (not to
>mention dodgiest, if recent reports are to be
>believed) music/media mega-conglomerates on the

Sorry Bert.  The astrological charts which you apparently consult  for most
of your *facts* have failed you once again.

>Reluctant though I am to debate business ethics with a
>hypocrite who is a willing whore for corporate pimps,
>I'll quickly demolish your main points:

You know, I must have missed the lecture in debate class where they explained
how hurling insults at your opponent somehow furthers your point.

>Chalkhills legend Harrison Sherwood once said that
>artists are 100% responsible for the contracts that
>they sign, and I totally agree with him.

So do I.  But we're really talking about our opinions of how people operate,
not who is philosophically responsible for what.  You could say that the
Indians living on Manhattan Island were 100% responsible for signing land
usage rights over to the settlers in return for a few trinkets, resulting in
their ultimate domination and demise, and you'd be right.  You could say that
a 16 year old and her unwitting guardians are 100% responsible for signing a
30 page legal document "crafted to shaft" by a seasoned, 54 year old record
exec, and you'd be right.  You could say "buyer beware" to all kinds of
snake-oil tactics and I wouldn't say you were wrong.  But to those who go out
of their way to defend these types of pracitices, I would say that we can
draw inferences about your character.

You asked for specifics on people who've sold big and wound up poor.  The
information is out there.  I could go dig a few up for you, and you could
just as easily dig up info on a few who've done well, and what a fine
anecdotal pissing contest we'd have.  But the argument boils down to our
respective opinions on the behavior and reputation of the music industry.
The standings so far seem to be: I attacked it.  You defended it.

I think deep down you know the media industry exhibits an unhealthy share of
shark tactics and shoddy business practices.  You've never actually refuted
the practices I described, you only attempted to defend them, and you tipped
that hand even further when you tried to associate me with "corporate pimps"
in a "dodgy media conglomerate".  Those are your words, right?  But when
folks suggest that the industry needs to change, you dissent.

So Bert, you've given your opinion and I've given mine.  Neither of us is
right or wrong.  The side you choose to defend speaks to your character.
Just as your penchant for hurling insults at those who respectfully disagree
with you speaks to your character.  Exactly what these things tell us about
your character is left as an exercise for the reader.

Dr. Pilpy


Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 11:32:09 -0500
Subject: Say It Ain't So, Joe!!!
Message-ID: <>


Oh no!  One of the fuzziest and wildest warbles of them all, Joe Strummer,
passed away sometime this weekend.  I didn't get all the details, but I
heard the tail end of the announcement on mainstream radio news shortly
before I left for work this morning.  I felt it worthwhile to announce this
as I'm sure more will be said of his passing even in these entries since
part of the bigger sound happening at the time we all first heard Andy
Partridge and Colin Moulding and XTC taking the stages (and they were
taking the stage back then) belonged to the music of the Clash and, like
Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, Joe Strummer (who was perhaps one
half-year older than I since I will hit 50 in September, 2003) embraced all
kinds of music as he aged, and that is a good thing, no matter how you
interpret it.  All I know is that Strummer went out with great fanfare!
His last two albums with the Mescaleros were among the finest recordings
the man had made in his entire career!  Upon hearing the news, I froze,
then cussed, thinking of how much I would have thoroughly enjoyed seeing
Joe and the Mescaleros take the stage and do their usual set which,
sometimes, hardly supports the record they just made.  Joe would sometimes
cover older musicians like Neil Young or whoever comes to his mind while
the music continues on through the night, and those are the wonderful
unplannd moments that rival only Bob Dylan when *HE* takes the stage!  It
is a sad fact that this time of year takes away some of what makes us happy
as well as leaving other things that, hopefully, make up for that loss, but
this loss took me by surprise!

All I can say, otherwise is that I, too, just ordered my signed WARBLES and
will probably elaborate on same when they arrive at my door.  Hearing about
the good and fair things that others have liked about the disks, I know I
had to own these, and that I am hoping that Andy does make a good profit
from these disks...and looking at the state of things in music, I also hope
that Andy and Colin patch up whatever differences they may have and
continue making music as XTC.  In this global a-go-go world of ours, I
don't see why XTC couldn't still exist as a studio entity, as I've said in
the past, although I do have to agree with the CHALKHILLS entry that
suggested that they play a live show like "SESSIONS AT WEST 54TH", you
know, a situation where they can be laid back and almost perform an entire
session of fuzzy warblings without feeling that the set has to be so
pre-planned and predictable, promoting this or that bit of creation.  Make
it fun, and it could turn out to be more memorable than even Andy could
have otherwise hoped for.

I do wish that Andy had Joe Strummer's enthusiasm for playing the stage,
but that's what makes pop and rock so unique above most other music and
that is why I ranted and raved in my younger years as to why the rock will
never die--it is diverse and embraces all before it glowingly, accepting
that each generation had its rebels and small voices and large orators and
posers and overgrown children.  As favorites of those voices remain larger
than life, we forget how quickly they can fall, and we sometimes forget
that they are around since record companies have no faith in the entire
tapestry, opting for that which can make 'em the most money at the current
time.  Joe Strummer's music still sounds clean and new to me, and I'm
always amazed at where it shows up!  Hey, he was part of the "SOUTH PARK"
TV soundtrack...and a good song it is, too!  He probably saw the cartoon as
a kind of modern-day R. Crumb creation that sparks controversy while
cackling at almost all around it, and this is also why he embraced the
poetry of Jack Kerouac and maybe a little of that phony Beatlemania.  Look
at it this way, a part of the real fab, gear deal also died recently, and
Joe, therefore, might be on up to "meet his maker" in one sense...and he
isn't going to dismiss *THAT* moment for all the rest of what his life
would have been!!!

So, come out of your cupboards, ye boys 'n' girls, the music still
continues to be alive, and Joe's spirit is probably larger than my small
bit of Clash reissue and Mescalero present!  I just got the news, today, oh
boy!  And just wait 'til that news takes hold!  He is not forgotten, just
like his character in the Jim Jarmusch film, "MYSTERY TRAIN" would not
forget the other King, that same King that Warren Zevon wanted to dig up
and may eventually meet himself some sad day!

The rebels are leaving us, one by one, and while we may want to see our
world take a Holiday from anarchy in this age of "JACKASS" and whatever
other trash TV and radio is out there being filtered down to rot, those
iconoclastic voices meant something and that is why we continue to listen,
even though we will sometimes be seen as voices without a sense of humor!
We do laugh, wildly and always with relief that there is still fun in the
world!  I hope Andy Partridge continues to realize that and let's keep that
freak flag flyin' for a long, long time.

Have a wonderful Holiday, all down the CHALKHILLS highway of petals, and
we'll walk on our hands, someday, through a better future!



Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 00:04:14 +0530
From: "Sughosh Varadarajan" <>
Subject: Rags'n'bones....
Message-ID: <002c01c2aab2$8aff8f60$622a41db@SughoshVaradarajan>

Just got my copy of Rag'n'bone buffet off for a pretty neat price
of $6 or so all-inclusive....gave it a spin this morning, but I must say I
have mixed feelings about it...maybe it needs some time, but on first listen
the one song that really appealed to me was "Thanks for Christmas"....some
of the others were pretty decent, but nothing really spectacular...ah maybe
I expected too much out of a B-sides collection...or maybe it's just that
I'm not quite so much in love with all things Andy...but who knows? I had
similar feelings the first time I heard the Big Express, and although it is
still nowhere near my fave XTC album, some portions of it have grown on me
quite well....

Speaking of B-sides, a query...was Beeswax ever put out on CD? Or does
Rag'n'bone cover everything from Beeswax? Plus, I notice this disc is a 1990
release, so it missed out on the Nonsuch sessions...would there be anything
available by way of outtakes/b-sides from the Nonsuch days? Or are those
gonna make it onto Fuzzy Warbles?

Cheers all
Sughosh (who's really quite pleased these days at the amount of airplay XTC
is getting...."Boarded up" is the latest one on the playlist!)


Date: Tue, 24 Dec 2002 12:17:49 -0500 (EST)
From: John Relph <>
Subject: Re: Fuzzy Clockwork
Message-ID: <>

On Sun, 15 Dec 2002 11:25:23 -0800 strwbrry <> wrote:
>  ...not being an expert on sixties lingo of the
>british street perhaps it's a bit inaccurate to allow A Clockwork
>Orange to harbor "fuzzy warbles" as the sole source reference?

It is my belief that "A Clockwork Orange" was a big influence on Andy
Partridge, and he has referred to it more than once in his lyrics.
For example, in "This Is Pop" Andy writes:

    In a milk bar and feeling lost

I have never heard of a "milk bar" except in "A Clockwork Orange".
(Unless one is speaking of milk chocolate, I suppose.)

Then again, that's the only reference I can think of except for "Fuzzy

	-- John

NP: "A Lump Of Coal" 1999-2002


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