This is quite simply the best magazine edited by a manic depressive (and his orange kitten), and produced from a tumbledown potato shed in North Devon. The fact that it is published in conjunction with Gonzo Multimedia - probably the grooviest record company in the known universe - is merely an added bonus.
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Issue Forty-Three    September 13th 2013
This is the nearest that you are ever going to get to a posh weekend colour supplement from the Gonzo Daily team. Each week we shall go through the best bits of the week before, and if there aren't any we shall make some up, or simply make our excuses and leave (you can tell the editor once did contract work at the News of the World can't ya?)
Social media stuff that I am really too old to understand, (my stepdaughter spent much of last Christmas trying to explain Twitter to me) but I am assuming that at least some of our readers are younger and hipper than I am.
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So what is this all about?

It is simple; my name is Jon and I am the editor of the Gonzo Multimedia daily online magazine. Now there is a weekly newsletter, once again edited by me and my trusty orange cat from a dilapidated ex-potato shed  in rural Devonshire. 

You subscribed to it by opting in on the website. I hope that you all stay to join in the fun, but if it is not to your liking it is just as easy to unsubscribe again. But what a long, strange trip it is gonna be...

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Alan Dearling recommends Roy Harper
Alan Dearling wrote to me the other day: Just been listening to this Roy Harper track on the Uncut sampler.
It really is rather good. Reminds me of Nick Drake in fact. Good to hear these relative oldies making some sublime music.
 Alan (Dearling)
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Illegal downloads, Greg Lake, and me
The other day I posted what appeared to be an open letter from Greg Lake which appeared on a foreign blog. As I always do, I included a link to where I got it from. However, hidden in the original post there was a link where people could download illegal copies of Greg's new album. I had no idea about this, and as soon as it was brought to my attention I removed the post. But it only goes to show how careful you have to be, and I would like to apologise to everyone who I inadvertently wronged.
As many of you are aware, my favourite singer for the past twenty years or so, has been Scott Walker. Now, I want to make a confession, and I suspect that many other Scott Walker fans would grudgingly admit that they agree with me. Whilst I am always excited and impressed by each new slice of the avant garde that Scott takes us to with his increasingly experimental and peculiar albums, a big part of me yearns for an album that sounds like Scott IV back in 1969.

Mr Engel is highly unlikely to revisit those halcyon days, but the other day a new album turned up in my playlist, which sounds remarkably reminiscent of the aforementioned Scott IV

I have always been somewhat of a fan of Goldfrapp, ever since having some mildly disturbing fantasies after seeing the divine Ms G wearing a horses tail at  one or another of the televised festivals one summer about a decade ago.

Goldfrapp have taken some intriguing twists and turns in their career, even venturing surprisingly close to the sort of acid-folk that I like so much, and which I champion when produced by people like our very own Judy Dyble. But I wasn't expecting this.

The new album somehow channels the idiosyncratically deft orchestrations of the late Wally Stott/Angela Morley, and the ten songs which make up the latest Goldfrapp album are remiscient of nothing more than late 1960s Scott Walker. Even Alison Goldfrapp's vocal delivery has entered the breathy, confessional, and neurotically sexy territory that Scott Walker did when subverting easy listening to make some of the most terrifying and exhilarating music that I have ever heard. This, boys and girls, is something that you have to check out for yourselves!

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: The walrus was....
The Beatles split up over 43 years ago, but the industry surrounding them is more vibrant and busy than ever. Literally thousands of books have been written about the band, and their associates. Even I am responsible for a Beatles book, although I wrote it over 20 years ago, it is not very good, woefully out of date, and I am glad that it is unlikely ever to be republished.

This week I received another one. And, whilst I was preparing myself to write another "blah blah blah, this was half a century ago, let it lie, blah blah blah" review, the truth is that it is excellent, and shines a light on a surprisingly murky chapter of Beatles history - what Paul did immediately after the band split up.

Paul McCartney has been unfairly vilified by history. He is still vilified for having been responsible for some truly crappy songs (guilty, but it is the truly great ones that he wrote which throw these into sharp relief) and for having broken up The Beatles (totally not guilty - he was the only band member who hadn't left before 1970).

On the latter charge, this excellent and very sensitively written new book implies that not only was Paul the only one who hadn't stormed out in a huff like Ringo did in 1968, and John and George did in 1969, but that he was horrified at the effect that his rather crassly written press release accompanying his first solo album actually had. 

What one doesn't realise, is quite what a weird and unsettling time Paul McCartney had during the 1970s. He had - in many ways - been the artiest and most exploratory and innovative Beatle and he tried to continue this spirit of childish adventure throughout the decade that followed, and it was a very different time and he was surrounded by very different people.

As always, he was surrounded by some extreme and quite peculiar compadres. Denny Laine seems to have had a chip on his shoulder the size of a small asteroid, and his then girlfriend and wife JoJo seems to have been a traincrash of a person, and a complete nightmare. McCartney has been vilified in certain quarters for not allowing band wives and girlfriends along on the protracted exotic recording sessions, but it wouldn't surprise me if that was just a pure defence mechanism to keep JoJo out of the picture. Doyle describes her as 'feral', but that could well be described as him being generous towards her.

The book also sheds light on other things that have not been made clear until now. Denny Siewell left for financial reasons, not musical/personal ones, and a later drummer Geoff Britton left for exactly the opposite reason.

The description of how Wings finally fizzled out in the early 1980s is particularly interesting. Like many people I had believed the currently accepted myth that everyone had stormed out after McCartney's particularly absurd drug bust caused the 1980 Japanese Tour to be cancelled. But it wasn't that way at all. The band pootled along for several months until it fizzled out during the sessions for what was to become Tug of War when Paul McCartney finally came to the conclusion that being in a band was too much of a pain in the arse all round, and that he would rather be a solo artist.

This book gives an insightful, honest, and above all kind portrait of an immensely talented, but also immensely troubled man doing his best to follow his muse during some very difficult times. I have no problem in recommending this book to all and sundry, and I hope to be catching up with Tom Doyle for a chat soon.

Watch this space.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: A new album from The Polyphonic Spree
I have always been rather fond of The Polyphonic Spree, but like the reviewer in the latest issue of Mojo I do see why they have sometimes been taken as a novelty band, and why this affects their credibility amongst mainstream audiences. However, I am far from being a mainstream audience, and I like this band's tuneful choral call to arms whether or not the 28 piece combo are pretending to be some weird cult religion.

The new album is well worth investigating; less hard edged than the previous outing a few years ago, it exhudes good vibes and heavily orchestrated madness of the best possible kind. If they were a religious cult I would probably have joined by now!

There is a new two part show for you this week; we herald the return of Strange Fruit. There are also some exciting things afoot with another entirely new station being added to Gonzo Web Radio, and a total revamp of the radio index.

STRANGE FRUIT: Episode 45 Part One
Date Published: 14th September 2013

Strange Fruit is a unique two-hour radio show exploring the world of underground, strange and generally neglected music. All shows are themed and all shows set out to give the most hardened of sound-hounds some new delight to sample. The show is also unique in providing homework for undergraduate students on North West Kent College’s Foundation Degree in Professional Writing (who dig up many of the odd facts featured in the links between tracks).  Strange Fruit presenter is currently working on a book about rare albums for Gonzo Multimedia.  

The show is broadcast on Miskin Radio every Sunday from 10-00-midnight.

Playlist for this episode

isten to this episode

STRANGE FRUIT: Episode 45 Part Two
Date Published: 14th September 2013

For more news on Strange Fruit CLICK HERE
For more news on Canterbury Sans Frontières CLICK HERE
For the Gonzo Web Radio homepage CLICK HERE

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Mike Davis back in the studio this very weekend
The reaction that I am getting from the music I have been recording with my old mate Mike Davis over the past few weeks is very gratifying. He arrives here tomorrow for three days of recording and a day of filming, so expect some new music from him very soon. I will even bow to 21st Century peer pressure and open a Facebook page for him, so watch this space.

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: The Gospel according to Bart
Several good things this week from my favourite roving reporter. He wrote: "Here's some good news about one of your big 'faves'" and attached an article about the shortlist for this year's Mercury Music Prize. My money is on David Bowie, although a lot of people are raving about the Arctic Monkeys. I have to admit that I have never got that band. Maybe I'm too old. I am listening to their much acclaimed new album as I type, but it is leaving me completely cold.

We have been chatting about the William Shatner album (more of which can be found later in this issue), and he sent me an interview with the good Captain.

Finally, with a terse "really mate?" he sent me the news that Sgt Pepper has only just gone Platinum in Britain. Over to Rolling Stone:

The BeatlesSgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band â€” along with 12 other Fab Four albums, plus records by a slew of artists from Bob Dylan to Marvin Gaye â€” will finally be certified platinum in the United Kingdom following a change in the way the British Phonographic Industry allots such distinctions, The Guardian reports.

In the past, the BPI would only give out silver, gold and platinum sales awards to record labels that specifically requested them, but now they'll be doled out automatically once an album passes the right sales threshold in the U.K. (60,000, 100,000 and 300,000 copies, respectively).

Read on...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: What's been did and what's been hid
I am growing up in public, as it were. The Gonzo Weekly has been going for nine months now, and we are beginning to find our feet. I am making changes as I go along, and - no doubt - some of these changes will turn out to be mistakes. So, let me know what you think. Do they work? Do you like them? Hate them? Or don't you care either way?

Please pass this magazine around as far and wide as you can. And encourage as many people as you can to subscribe. Remember it is free, and will remain so. However, I want as many subscribers as possible to move on to the next stage of the party. There might well be cake.

Remember, I am always looking for new authors. If there is something that you feel you could add to the general melange which is the Gonzo Weekly, please email me at The more the merrier.

Although this newsletter also goes out in a plain text version for those of you who do not trust image intensive thingys in your browser, I promise that as long as it is technically feasible (which will be for the forseeable future) the text only mailout will continue. However, I strongly advise that for you to get the best out of this rapidly evolving publication, that you really should see it in all its picture-led glory.

Please tell your friends, colleagues and family about The Gonzo Weekly, and try to persuade them to subscribe. The more subscribers we get, the bigger and better and more effective the whole thing will be.
Remember, if you want more than your weekly fix of this newsletter you can check out the Gonzo Daily, which - as its name implies - does much the same as this newsletter but every day. It also features a daily poem from Thom the World Poet, and the occasional non-Gonzo rock music rambling from yours truly, plus book and gig reviews from our highly trained staff of social malcontents. And its FREE! You cannae say fairer than that!
Each week, some of you seem to recognise me. Yes, I am indeed that weird bloke off the telly who chases mythological animals. I have a day job as Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and also the editor of the CFZ Blog Network, and publisher of a plethora of books about mystery animals.
Corky Laing and the Perfect Child - Playing God
2 Jack Lancaster - Wild Connections
3 Paul Kantner - A Martian Christmas
Brand X - Missing Period
Blodwyn Pig - Lies
Gary Windo - Deep Water
And on DVD Vangelis - Journey to Ithaka (DVD)
Newsletter #36  Newsletter #35  Newsletter #34  Newsletter #33 Newsletter #32  Newsletter #31  Newsletter #30  Newsletter #29 Newsletter #28  Newsletter #27  Newsletter #26  Newsletter #25  Newsletter #24  Newsletter #23  Newsletter #22  Newsletter #21 Newsletter #20  Newsletter #19  Newsletter #18  Newsletter #17 Newsletter #16  Newsletter #15  Newsletter #14  Newsletter #13 Newsletter #12  Newsletter #11  Newsletter #10  Newsletter #9 Newsletter #8  Newsletter #7  Newsletter #6  Newsletter #5 Newsletter #4  Newsletter #3  Newsletter #2  Newsletter #1
Please be warned: Magazines from #11 on  contain the cartoon at the bottom of the stressed out guy with the computer  Apparently someone has accused the public domain images site I got it from of hosting malware, and even though there was none found there by Google, the fact that I used an image from the site (perfectly legally) flagged our whole newsletter up as possibly containing malware. This should only effect people using Google Chrome, and I would strongly suggest that you click the 'proceed anyway' tab, and view the newsletter as you had originally planned...
THOSE WE HAVE LOST:  Ray Dolby (1933-2013)
Ray Milton Dolby, OBE (January 18, 1933 – September 12, 2013) was an American engineer and inventor of the noise reduction system known as Dolby NR. He was also a co-inventor of video tape recording while at Ampex. 
Now, I don't know whether this is a good idea, a bad idea, or just an idea, but - as I believe you know - this magazine is put out each week on a budget of £25, and is free. It will remain free, but I would like to be able to generate some income so I can pay our contributing writers. So, 'why not flog Gonzo Weekly T Shirts?' I thought. 'Why not', I answered...
COVER STORY: A conversation with Judge Smith
I think regular readers of this august periodical will know by now that I am really rather fond of Judge Smith. The other day I interviewed him, supposedly about his really rather spiffing new album Zoot Suit but, as always seems to be the case, we got sidetracked. My head was a bit weird that day so we had a long ranging conversation about all sorts of things, and yes, we did - sort of - discuss his new album.

You can listen to our conversation HERE.

One of Rick Wakeman's most interesting current projects is the music he is making with Italian opera singer, the lovely Valentina Blanca. We caught up with her this week for a brief chat...

I asked how the recording process works:

"First of all thank you so much for your interview Jon!   

Actually me and Rick we have in mind the realization of my first album. Cause the long distance between us, we first speak about the songs by email then we go to record our own tracks in different studios, then we mix the tracks.

At moment we recorded some songs but cause lack of budget and cause too many Rick's works the project goes slowly and just two of them "La bambola di pezza" and "Volano le farfalle" are ready and you can find them in Itunes (and many other shops) or in Youtube as videoclip the first one and I hope the second too soon."

I asked how the collaboration started:

"Well it was simply so: I sent an email to Rick showing some links to some my live exhibitions and a first raw version of "La bambola di pezza" in mp3.  He was so kind to answer me telling he really likes me voice and "YES" we can work together.  Of course it was so magic for me to read it!

Of course I would love to complete all the songs with Rick and, as in a dream, to have a live concert with him. In the while I'm working for other different projects with different musicians.

In these days we are preparing a really great show that has two different musical entities together: one is me with my songs and my voice, and the other is the italian band "Fiaba" (cit: "The greatest medieval rock band in the world"), a group of dear friends whose leader (Bruno Rubino) is the one who wrote the songs of my album with Rick.

The show includes a first part with me that I do my repertoire of original songs and classic covers, accompanied, in acoustic, by a Fiaba's guitar player. Followed by a second part with the arrival on the scene of Fiaba that will play with me famous cover songs (as we did here as example: ) and some Fiaba's songs too. Finally, the classic  Fiaba's own concert will follow to close the show at the end."

And if checking out Valentina's sublime music has whetted your taste for Wakemanstuff, check out these links:

Regular readers will remember that back in July, Corinna, my niece Jessica, and I went to the Summer of Love party, a mini festival run by Grateful Dead fans. We were there to film Judy Dyble, but while we were there we caught up with another old favourite - legendary guitarist and folksinger Martin Carthy about a recent Gonzo release, The Gift Band,Featuring Eliza Carthy, Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy...


An Unvarnished View of the Beatles – 
Told by Their Secretary, Good Ol’ Freda

By Richard Stellar

Guest blog: You will never see another documentary like this — the tale of a woman thrust into the Fab Four maelstrom

I was invited to a screening of “Good Ol’ Freda.” My friend Michael Des Barres, himself no stranger to the vagaries of the rock lifestyle, was hosting a screening of what is without a doubt the best documentary ever on the Beatles.

As someone who has seen, or thought he has seen everything on the Fab Four and made four pilgrimages to the holy land called Liverpool, I found myself sitting in a puddle of tears as I witnessed a totally different take through the eyes of a young Irish girl who was their secretary.

You will never see another documentary like this. Those who were there and speak on the record will not be with us for much longer. “Good Ol’ Freda” — directed by Ryan White and written by Jessica Lawson and Ryan White and available beginning Friday on ITunes, on-demand and in select theaters – is your last chance to step into that world.


Before the term “executive assistant” and “personal assistant” — there was “the secretary.” This was a time that pre-dated political correctness, and secretaries assumed the roles of mother, sister, confessor, minder, waitress, archivist. They often made executive decisions while earning entry wages. The secretary was the gatekeeper. You had to pass through her to get to your goal.

Freda Kelly lived a life that was challenged: motherless, living under the thumb of an authoritarian father in post-war Liverpool. She worked in a typing pool that guaranteed not only anonymity but a life of drudgery that was syncopated to the staccato beat of keys hitting carbon paper. Her only respites were lunches at the fabled Cavern Club, which she described as smelling of “backed-up toilets, cheese and rotten fruit.”

But the odor and sweat that literally dripped from the walls was forgotten once the music began. Freda was placed during a time of social upheaval, and she was positioned to not only witness it from a ringside seat, she was thrust into the maelstrom.

“Good Ol’ Freda” can’t be ruined by spoilers. We all know the story. We all know how it ended. However, it’s the telling of the story that is so different that makes this movie a standout.

Freda Kelly didn’t jump on the bandwagon and cash in on the intimacy that she had with John, Paul, George, Ringo and Brian — indeed, Epstein is a major character in this, and to the film’s credit, he is finally given his due. Freda waited until she was invited to tell her story. She waited through her own life — a life that included a divorce and the death of her son, who at one point pleaded with his mother to tell her story. And as revealed by the filmmakers, even her own daughter said that she knew maybe 5 percent of the totality that Freda unveiled.

I had been to the row house on Admiral’s Grove that Ringo grew up in. The two-up, two-down attached home had a “V” above the doorway. In the twilight of morning I breathlessly walked up the cobblestone street with a huge VHS video recorder balanced on my shoulder. I got no closer than the closed door and spoke in hushed whispers as if I had found Jesus’ last resting place.

Freda had been inside. Freda had been taken into the confidence of Ringo’s mother. Freda returned to this house and reminisced about the families that hovered and protected each Beatle.

Family plays a huge part in the legacy of the Beatles, and Freda was embraced and taken into the family’s confidences. George Harrison’s father taught her to dance, Ringo’s mother pleaded with Epstein to give Freda a raise, John’s formidable aunt Mimi avoided anyone piercing the veil of her protective custody of Lennon, and Paul’s father took her into his heart.

But there’s more: There are people who will say that Freda was “passed around.” Her eyes lit up when asked if her relationship with the Beatles went further than that of employer/employee. With an impish grin and a laugh, Freda dismissed the question and made it clear that it was nobody’s business. “That’s a yes,” I silently mouthed, and for once I was appreciative of the class that this demur but forthright woman displayed. I got a feeling of her power, much like John Lennon did when he “sacked” her for hanging around the dressing room of the Moody Blues instead of the Beatles.

Freda looked at the other three and said, “Well, am I sacked by you, too?” Other times they would defer to the power that Lennon had over the band, but not this time. “No,” they answered softly in unison.

“Right then, I’ll do your fan mail, but not his.”

Lennon made a quick reversal and asked her to stay.

“Get on both knees and beg me,” she demanded.

“Can I get on just one knee Freda?”

And he did in a decision that would impact the future of society – for Freda had much to do with the Beatles success in the coming years.

I’m so glad Freda relented and told her story. Every box in her attic that she opened, most having not seen the light for over 40 years, held something priceless. It was more treasure than time capsule. We were able to look over her shoulder as she leafed through the pages of history. Some brought laughter, and some brought tears.

At the end of “Good Ol’ Freda,”Ringo makes an appearance and professes his love for this woman. I love her, too. I should have wrapped my iPhone in Kleenex. I wiped my eyes with an empty bag of popcorn at the end of the movie. Don’t miss this.

Many thanks to Richard for permission to repost this article which originally appeared HERE
A Modern Jubilee: How to End The Recession According to Economist Steve Keen


2012 was the year of the Queen’s Jubilee. How can anyone have failed to notice?

Have you ever wondered where the word "Jubilee" comes from? Obviously it denotes a celebration, a time of jubilation. But the question is, what is it we are supposed to be celebrating exactly?

Originally the word represented the ancient practice of debt forgiveness. In the Bible this took place at the end of seven times seven years, that is in the fiftieth year, when debt was cancelled, debt slavery was ended, and property returned to its original owners.

As it says in Leviticus 25:10: “Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan.”

The practice was also undertaken by Bronze Age kings and the Roman State. Whenever the debt burden became too great, the kings would declare an end to debt, thus ensuring the loyalty of the people. The debt ledgers would be burned and a clean slate declared.

Often this was done on the King’s anniversary. This was something seriously worth celebrating. Hence the association between royal birthdays and the idea of the jubilee. It's a pity we don't understand the meaning of the word anymore, or that the Queen can't declare debt forgiveness on her birthday..

This, of course, is precisely our problem now. The world is so deeply in debt that it would take several lifetimes to pay it back. Meanwhile, the people we owe it to – the bankers – are so wealthy that it would take them several lifetimes to spend it.

The debt is greater now than at the onset of the Great Depression.

We have seen a massive redistribution of wealth, from the less well off to the wealthiest. The people who created the banking crisis have been rewarded, while the rest of us are suffering.

And, meanwhile, nothing is being added to the world’s wealth. Bankers are not engaged in manufacture, in innovation, or in research and development. Really they are little more than administrators who happen to have the keys to the safe.

They are administering our money, and then gambling with it for their own profit. Or as the title of a famous book by William K Black has it: “The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One.”


Live-in Vehicle

There was a story in the Daily Mail recently about self-employed auto-electrician Daniel Bond who converted a double-decker bus into a home.

This is not new, of course. It’s exactly what New Age travellers were doing over thirty years ago: turning buses, lorries, horse boxes, vans, trailers, army trucks and other vehicles into mobile homes. It was one of the reasons the travellers got so comprehensively trashed back then.

It’s exactly what gypsies and Irish travellers are still doing, only their preferred type of live-in vehicle is a highly polished trailer with glittering cut-glass windows and hundreds of knick-knacks all over the place.

Irish travellers and gypsies are also still being comprehensively trashed to this day.

Daniel Bond’s double-decker home cost £11,000 to convert and has all the mod-cons, including a fitted kitchen and a fully-functioning bathroom. He did it because of the ridiculous house prices, he said.

Read on



(The Masters of the Universe do seem to have a steady stream of interesting stories featuring them, their various friends and relations, and alumni). Each week Graham Inglis keeps us up to date with the latest news from the Hawkverse..
Hawkwind and Captain Kirk?

A forthcoming Hawkwind compilation of old and new material is set for release in October. Called "Spacehawks," it's on Amazon as a pre-order. Strangely, the two versions of the CD are priced at £8.90 and £8.82, but there's no indication of what one gets when splashing out the extra 8p.

Equally strangely, there's no track listings shown on the Amazon pages, although CD Services  does have the relevant information, and includes this:

"Back once more to delight and astound us mere mortals with their timeless blend of Hard-Rock and Psychedelia, blown into orbit on the back of a rocket ship; HAWKWIND once again prove they are the Masters of the Universe!"

And they show the rather interesting-looking  track listing as:

01. Seasons [Remix from ‘Onward’ album]
02. Assault & Battery [New studio recording]
03. Sonic Attack [New version with William ‘Captain Kirk’ Shatner]
04. Demented Man [New studio recording]
05. We Two Are One * New Track *
06. We Took The Wrong Step [from Dave Brock’s ‘Looking For Love’ album]
07. Masters Of The Universe [New studio recording with Huw Lloyd-Langton]
08. Sacrosanct * New Track *
09. Oh Dear * New Track *
10. Sentinel [Remix from ‘Blood Of The Earth’ album]
11. Its All Lies [from ‘Stellar Variations’ album]
12. Touch * New Track *
13. The Chumps Are Jumping * New Track *
14. Lonely Moon * New Track *
15. Sunship [Remix from ‘Blood Of The Earth’ album]

"Sunship" was a bonus track on the vinyl version of "Blood of the Earth" only, so a considerable number of fans probably won't have heard it before. Titles 02 and 04 first appeared on the "Warrior" album nearly 40 years ago.

The Court Circular tells interested readers about the comings and goings of members of The Royal Family. However, readers of this periodical seem interested in the comings and goings of Yes and of various alumni of this magnificent and long-standing band. Give the people what they want, I say

This is - I think - the quietest week in the Yes camp that I can remember. Even the various Yes alumni have been fairly quiet. The biggest Yes story of the week was Chris Squire claiming that Yes had 'invented' prog rock. Personally I think that The Beatles did with Sgt Pepper, but that is a moot point. There is a fan's eye view of a Jon Anderson soundcheck from his Manchester show last month, and no less than three pieces apertaining to the new album by Captain Kirk (it's prog, gentlemen, but not as we know it) and this isn't including the Q&A that Bart found which can be seen earlier in this issue. The three William Shatner stories can be found HERE, HERE and HERE, and the Yes link is of course, that not only do some Yes alumni play on the record, but it was produced by Billy Sherwood. There is such a buzz about this record at the moment that I am looking forward to hearing it.
And that is - I am afraid - that, for this week.
I am probably getting a bit OCD about all of this, but I find the Yes soap opera of sound to be absolutely enthralling, and I for one can't wait to see what happens next! 
in anyone or anything.Without you
there will still be traffic jams,wars,chaos,complaints
letters to the editor,umbrage,fits of pique,
adventures,seashells,abandoned beaches,towers,tirades
tidal waves,Tsunamis and snails in someone's garden.
Whether you wake or sleep,maybe a moon
definitely one sun,some stars and planets ,
meteors,sun spots,solar storms,spy satellites
Maybe poles will reverse.Our little lives know less
than the fact that without us,the bus will still leave
The trains will never run on time-just tracks.
Like us,some of them-are coming back
In Victorian times every well-bred Gentleman had a 'Cabinet of Curiosities'; a collection of peculiar odds and sods, usually housed in a finely made cabinet with a glass door. These could include anything from Natural History specimens to historical artefacts. There has always been something of the Victorian amateur naturalist about me, and I have a houseful of arcane objects; some completely worthless, others decidedly not, but all precious to me for the memories they hold.

But people send me lots of pictures of interesting things such as this insanely expensive Led Zeppelin signed poster. As Geordie Dave wrote to me:

"That price tag has left me dazed and confused. But it is a little bit of Rock and Roll history and it is in great condition and does not look like it's been trampled underfoot. "

Read on...


There are nine Henrys, purported to be the world’s first cloned cartoon character. They live in a strange lo-fi domestic surrealist world peopled by talking rock buns and elephants on wobbly stilts. They mooch around in their minimalist universe suffering from an existential crisis with some genetically modified humour thrown in. I think Peter McAdam is one of the funniest people around, and I cannot recommend his book The Nine Henrys highly enough. Check it out at Amazon.

Each issue we shall be running a series of Henrybits that are not found in his book about the nine cloned cartoon characters who inhabit a surreal world nearly as insane as mine...

Kev Rowland
Now, I hadn’t come across this band before, but had an interesting line-up, including Mike and Billy Sherwood on vocals & keyboards, and vocals & bass respectively, and Jimmy Haun on guitars & vocals. They were around for ten years, from 1977-1987, but this 1985 album is their only release. It was produced with David Paich, Tom Knox and Steve Porcaro, so perhaps it is not surprising given all involved, that this is an AOR album with some prog influences. The other thing that is apparent straightaway is that this was recorded in the mid-Eighties, and brings together influences that in many ways are somewhat dated, but fun at the same time. Imagine ‘90125’ era Yes getting involved with Go West and the Thompson Twins and you may get somewhere close to this. 
It is an album that brings a smile to the face, as it just needs to be accepted on face value and just don’t expect any depth to this at all.
It is an appetiser as opposed to a main meal, something light that will keep you going until lunch, and at the end the feeling is that you have listened to something and it was okay, but you can’t remember much about it apart from the fact that it is an 80’s AOR/Pop/Prog album that is okay, but nothing more. After Lodgic broke up, Billy of course formed World Trade and found fame and fortune, but if you are interested in his early career then this is pleasant without being essential.
Mestiah were formed in 2008 in Kokkola, Finland, and this 2011 album was the follow-up to their debut ‘The Purpose of Existence’. This is brutal metal, which brings together elements of Crowbar, Pantera, Meshuggah and even Lamb of God in a way that may not be creating anything dramatically new in the scene but boy is it good. When I first started playing this I was instantly taken into their dark and hard world, one where light rarely makes an entrance, and was incredibly impressed with the tightness of the band as a whole. The guitars are bang on, often quite staccato in approach, and it is just the tightness of these that really lifts the band. Some people may ask what these guys are doing when music has moved on in so many ways, but if it ain’t broke why fix it? 
This is all about getting out there and creating a moshpit that has some groove and plenty of aggression.
Meshuggah fans in particular need to sit up and take notice of this, as although they haven’t taken the syncopation to the extreme it is definitely there and the result is something that contains a lightness and finesse that one rarely experiences with music that it is this heavy. The louder you play it, the better it gets, and yet again Inverse have uncovered a Finnish act that need to be heard outside of their own country. Superb.
For some strange reason, Brazil keeps pumping out some great bands and if this debut is anything to go by, here is yet another to add to the list. These guys are fronted by experienced singer Carsten “Lizard” Schulz (Evidence One, Midnite Club, ex-Domain), while the rest of the band,  guitarists De Grigo and Marcos Peres, bassist Rick A. and drummer Allan Juliano are all veterans of the local Brazilian cover band scene. These guys have set themselves the task of mixing and melding classic hard rock with AOR and have managed to achieve something that will be appreciated by fans of both genres. There is a depth and quality to the songs and arrangements that is often missing from AOR, yet plenty of great vocals and hooks that will definitely appeal to fans of that genre while never losing the guitar edge that fits in more with hard rock.
In many ways it is almost as if they have taken Seventies hard rock a la Bad Company, and then mixed it with the Eighties AOR sound a la Toto to create something that is timeless. Some of the numbers contain piano which definitely adds another facet to the sound, and they even have Doogie White guest on one. The guitar solos are to the point, with a real shred fluidity, and the result is something that sounds as if it is from a really experienced outfit with loads of albums behind them instead of this being the debut. If you enjoy good strong melodic hard rock songs, then this may well be for you.
Originally released in 2009, this Greek trio then signed to Aural Music who reissued it in 2011 with some additional material and new artwork.

These guys have an interesting concept in that they state that they are “not quite metal, not quite rock, but the best of both.” Okay, I guess I can go with that as a description, as what they are clearly adept at is taking bits and pieces from both genres and then mixing them together within the same song. Let’s get one thing clear at the outset though, when these guys are heavy, they are right up there with the real heavyweights as all three of them combine to produce power chords and solid slabs of music that can bring down walls if played loud enough (and I live in New Zealand, so I know all about earthquakes).
But, this is not just about music that is powerful enough to walk on, but instead they have many strings to their collective bow. Singer Anastasios “Tas” Ioannidis (who is also the bassist) is an incredible asset, with a voice that has a breadth and depth as well as range. Although not quite a deep as Danny Joe Brown (RIP), he has a similar style in that when he sings it is almost as if he is singing chords instead of single notes, such is the richness and tonal qualities. Also, an added asset to Western ears is that there is no accent whatsoever.This is album that is meat and potatoes, something that is filling and satisfying, which makes one want to go back for seconds. Some of the runs and fills within “Eye to Eye” for example are just stunning. Alexandros “Alex” Alexiou obviously uses treetrunks instead of drumsticks, while John “Chief” Stergiou is happy to play gentle notes in the background, or provide powerchords that Iommi would be proud of, or blistering runs and solos when the need requires.
This is easily one of the finest albums, whatever genre, that I have ever come across from Greece and I can only hope that it isn’t the last we hear from these guys who appear to be currently unsigned, but are still gigging. This is a superb release.

John Shuttleworth - Brian Appleton - My Turn To Be Poorly (CD)

Brian is a rock musicologist and (suspended) part time lecturer in Media Studies at a college of further education in the Newcastle under Lyme area. Originally from the Selly Oak area of Birmingham, he is in a destructive relationship with Wendy, an aroma-therapist.

Brian claims to have been no less than pivotal in the development of popular music for more than thirty years, influencing artists as diverse as Rod Stewart, The Byrds, Steve Harley and Morrissey, his only reward being dumped upon from a great height. On his CD you will find audio snippets from his first lecture tour, 'Lets Look at Sound'.

Has Brian been the unsung guiding force behind countless musical movements in British and American pop, having as his only reward failure, oblivion and despair?
Have a steady stream of artists stolen their trademark ideas, riffs and stage presence from this embittered Brummie?
Have they then conspired to keep him in obscurity whilst claiming his intellectual property as their own?
You decide!

My assistant editor Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent and I have had a peculiar week, mostly due to the fact that I have still been mad for much of the time, which doesn't really help my day-to-day life, although The Captain likes it, because I go to bed quite a lot and he can sit on me.
The weather has been more than slightly peculiar; some days - like today - are showing the last bits of the summer sun, but on other days it has been bucketing down, so Graham has been building more shelters for the various aviaries. I have to make the decision soon whether to bring the quails and the partial albino crow into the conservatory for the winter rather than having them brave the elements outside. I think that I probably will.

Mike returns in a couple of hours for our second day's recording. The sessions are going well, and I will have news and more music for you next week, with a bit of luck and a fair wind. 

Remember that it doesn't cost anything to subscribe, and that in doing so you are joining an elite, and rapidly expanding group of music fans who believe that we are not being given the music or the cultural coverage that we deserve. We are living in disturbing and strange times, but ultimately they are very interesting ones, and continuing to chronicle the Gonzoverse is an immensely rewarding thing to do. Thank you for reading.

Until next week,

Jon Downes
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