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THIS WEEK WE BRING YOU RICK WAKEMAN, YES, MICHAEL DES BARRES,  CHRIS SQUIRE, JON ANDERSON, CRASS, CAROL HODGE. CRYSTAL GRENADE, MAGGIE REILLY, JUDY DYBLE, KING CRIMSON, FAIRPORT CONVENTION, BOB CALVERT, HAWKWIND, SHADOW MORTON, THE SHANGRI LAS, MERRELL FANKHAUSER, JIMI HENDRIX, NAPOLEON MURPHY BROCK, FRANK ZAPPA, NEONFIRE, AUBURN, LIZ LENTEN
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?)
ALL THE GONZO NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT
Issue Thirteen        February 17th, 2013
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
Last weekend I wrote: "It seems that every week that goes by I write that it has been a stranger week than normal. This is probably a mark of the strangeness factor of my life rather than anything else, because this week has certainly been a weird one". And guess what? This has been an even weirder week. I still have massive computer problems and an internet connection which wheezes along like an arthritic sloth on major tranquilisers. But, somehow, we still manage to meet most of our deadlines, and do most of the things that we have had to do, and life trundles on.

Graham has spent most of the week correlating unlabelled tracks from Bob Calvert's archive with songs that were actually released in order to find out what the demos are actually called, and I have spent much of this week listening to the music of a lady called Miss Crystal Grenade; an existentialist Victorian artist, singer, and freak show performer with a peculiarly deformed hand. Accompanying herself on piano, and with some songs featuring multi-tracked vocals (presumably by her) this music fills the same sort of cultural territory as did the recent BBC detective series Ripperstreet; a gloriously aesthetic re-creation of the latter days of Victorian London. In Miss Crystal Grenade this slice of ur-historical synthesis now has the perfect soundtrack.

Except of course, she is very much a 21st Century creation, being the alter-ego of Carol Hodge who was last seen in November 2011 on stage at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.  She was holding the hand of the one-time Crass vocalist Steve Ignorant as they closed both Ignorant’s world tour and his career of singing songs by the one-time Kings and Queens of anarchopunk, with a massively emotional version of Bloody Revolutions.

She is a remarkable performer and I suggest you read all about her HERE. I give you all fair and due warning that I am likely to be banging on about her quite a lot in the future.

Whilst on the subject of Crass check out this new print from Gee Vaucher. It is a gloriously witty subversion of the wildlife paintings of the late Sir Peter Scott, and I think it is brilliant.

And, going back a few paragraphs, check out what we have written about Robert Calvert:

Robert Calvert's First Book of Poetry Re Published...
BOB CALVERT: Poet's Corner
ROBERT CALVERT: Starfarer's praise
BOB CALVERT/HAWKWIND: The Genesis of 'Spirit of the age...
ROBERT CALVERT: New CD

and of course:

ROBERT CALVERT AT GONZO UK
ROBERT CALVERT AT GONZO USA

FEEDBACK
We had a very interesting and thought-provoking letter this week from Paul Aitkenhead:
Jon,

[...] it seems to me that there should be a serious/ish music programme on BBC2 which gives young, older, original and contemporary music a proper airing to give the audience a choice; Old Grey Whistle Test II, if you like. I think the BBC is not being even handed and it is not really good enough to rely on the Jools Holland show which has rarely played progressive music. The number of British contemporary bands which acually make Jools Holland's show is absolutely pitiful;  I can remember Polar Bear performing once. For me, John Mayall should definately have been invited onto the Jools Holland prograame when he turned seventy; after all he is the father of British Blues!The result is that the standard of originality in this country is poor; when in the seventies we led the world in contemporary music; we now lag behind badly. There are however rays of hope and a few excellent emerging groups from the UK (not as many as Norway as a proportion of the population); Future Kings of England, Sanguine Hum, Diagonal (although in my view their latest album is not as good as their debut) and an excellent band by the name of Autumn Chorus, who hail from Brighton as Diagonal do. Autumn Chorus's debut is superb and released on Altrock, the Italian RIO label.

I am sure that if a concerted effort was made to make the case for a successor to the Old Grey Whistle Test the BBC might listen. I am sure this case would have the support of companies such as Kscope, Gonzo and Esoteric for the BBC to broadcast such a music programme. There are also many influential fans of the genre, Greg Hands, the Hedge Fund Manager and in turn owner of EMI is a fan of the the Enid and agreed with Robert John Godfrey to re-release the first two albums. Steve Davis is a well known supporter of Magma is particular and fan of Sanguine Hum.

Finally, I think that alot of the incidental music on TV is predictable; Cold play in particular have a disproportionate amount of airing.

During the Olympics, at the concert at Buckingham Palace and I found the whole thing boring simply because it was made up of the same old performers such as Sir Paul!

I dream of a concert that celebrates European Music which would involve maybe, Magma (or Art Zoyd) for France, Univers Zero for Belgium, Focus for Netherlands, PFM (or Area) for Italy, Kraftwerk for Germany (or Agitation Free) and then there is the terrific music from Poland and the of course the emerging European countries such as Estonia,  and so it goes on.

In truth there is lots of excellent music out there but please do not rely on BBC to bother to give the the listener a proper choice.

Best wishes



Paul Aitkenhead
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.
THOSE WE HAVE LOST: George Francis 'Shadow' Morton (1940-2013)
"Oh no. Oh no, Oh no no no no no"
George Francis "Shadow" Morton was an American record producer and songwriter best known for his influential work in the 1960s. In particular, he was noted for writing and producing "Remember (Walking in the Sand)", "Leader of the Pack", and other hits for girl group The Shangri-Las.

http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2013/02/those-we-have-lost-shadow-morton.html
Now I don't usually do this, believing that an obituary should be sacrosanct, but there is something that has been bugging me for years about Shadow Morton, and now seems the perfect time to try and find out the answer. When I was about 16 I bought a Buddha Records sampler album the title of which I forget. It came from a long vanished bric-a-brac stall in Bideford market, and I bought it mostly because it had a Captain Beefheart song (Yellow Brick Road) on it. It contained a peculiar version of the Shangri-La's (Remember) Walking in the sand with a long spoken intro which went "once there was a land where the flowers always grew, even in September. Do you remember?" and my memory tells me that there was a much lusher orchestra on it than on the familiar version.

I lost the album decades ago, and - try as I can - I have not been able to work out where it came from, or why. Please help.
THE ONE AND ONLY JUDY DYBLE
Born in 1949, when rationing was still part of daily life and Britain was recovering from the greyness and worry of the war years, Judy was the third of four children whose early years were spent in a prefabricated bungalow surrounded by gardens in North London.
 
Moving into a maisonette in Wood Green when Judy was 10, she and her sisters and brother were edging into the teenage years in the heady mix of rock and roll teddy boys, beatniks and jazz, the stories of folk and the pure joy of pop.

All three girls had started piano lessons, but only Judy continued, to the fury of her sisters when the piano lesson coincided with the start of Ready! Steady! Go! (or was it Popeye?) and the TV was turned off so Judy could learn another bit of music.

Her teacher was very into dance music, so the music ranged from quicksteps to foxtrots and that kind of stuff.  Judy asked for, and was given, the sheet music for ‘Let There Be Love’ and was miffed that it didn’t include instructions on how to play like George Shearing
However, onward to the years of youth clubs, then folk, blues, jazz and soul clubs, often all housed in the back rooms of the same pub but on different nights, and the first of the bands at the age of 16 - Judy and the Folkmen - who practised a lot and performed very little, but whose debut (and only) gig at the Hornsey Conservative Club’s Candlelight Soiree was a triumphant success, until you saw the newspaper photo of some rather terrified Soiree-ers being serenaded while they ate their supper.
 
But with a newly acquired autoharp in hand (easier to carry than a piano) Judy formed a loose connection with other musicians in the Muswell Hill area, and became the longhaired girl singer when an acoustic set was required with the musicians who later became Fairport Convention.
 
Oh that was a time of eclectic listening to music from anywhere and everywhere and it was soaked up by the young band like sponges. Songs were given the unique Fairport treatment and arrangements became something wonderfully different from their origins.
 
Judy was working as a library assistant with the intention of becoming a proper Librarian, but the lure of the drafty van with a hole in the floor was too strong and off the band set in search of their future.
 
One album later and the band had left Judy and gone off in a different direction, but she met the young Ian McDonald and they joined with the wondrous Giles Brothers and Robert Fripp. In the flat in Brondesbury Park Road in Kilburn, Peter Giles recorded the tentative musical collaborations of Judy and the four young men. Romantic connections between Judy and Ian faded, and Judy left the four musicians who later became the fantastic King Crimson, but they retained several of the songs in their repertoire that had arrived with Judy and Ian at the very beginning of the meetings.
 
Let loose in the world of music once more, a new connection was made via Martin Quittenton who shared a flat with his girlfriend and Judy. Martin, from the band Steamhammer, was a session musician for Rod Stewart and co-wrote ‘Maggie May’ and ‘You Wear It Well’ with Rod.
 
Another of the session musicians was Pete Sears, who - together with Jackie McAuley and Judy - formed a band. Jackie had been part of Them and the Belfast Gypsies but had thought to try his hand at something quieter and more delicate. Pete Sears heeded the call to head off to America to join with Leigh Stephens in Blue Cheer and thence onto Jefferson Starship and Hot Tuna and all those great American rock bands, while Judy and Jackie continued as the duo Trader Horne. Barry Murray recorded them for the psychedelic Pye label, Dawn;  ‘Morning Way’ was released along with two singles, and a whizzing around the country began. Judy found the continual travelling difficult and became pretty exhausted, and having met her future husband left the band.
 
A few recordings were made with various people but Judy left London with Simon and returned to library work in Northamptonshire. Eventually a small cassette manufacturing business began to take up their time and they moved back to Oxfordshire.
 
Judy had to all intents and purposes given up music and closed her ears to concentrate on bringing up their two children and running the cassette duplication business.
 
For the next 30 years that was her life, until the death of Simon and the leaving home of her children, and the invitation of Fairport to play at their annual festival gradually moved her back into the world of creating music.
 
Starting with Marc Swordfish of Astralasia, three albums were created and then by the tentacles of the internet ‘Talking With Strangers’ was created with Alistair Murphy and Tim Bowness.
 
With the wonderful assistance of many fine musicians, including Robert Fripp, Ian McDonald, Pat Mastelotto, Simon Nicol, Julianne Regan, Jacquie McShee and Celia Humphris, this album was to be one that everyone connected with its creation was proud of.
 
The19 minute Harpsong was adapted from an autobiographical poem of Judy’s life and brought together musicians from her past, present and future ending in a joyous assertion that ‘Nothing could go wrong.’
 
Now working with Alistair on a new album, ‘Flow and Change’ which will be different again to the previous work, yet will still have connections to her history, Judy continues to investigate new and occasionally slightly weird byways and collaborate with interesting musicians like the Norwegian band Sleepyard and whatever comes her way in the future. It’s keeping her very amused.
 
‘Talking With Strangers’ was originally released in the UK but is now properly and completely released in the US and Canada with two additional bonus tracks for your delight.
 https://www.gonzomultimedia.com/product_details/15535/Judy_Dyble-Talking_With_Strangers.html
 
 
 More information here at www.judydyble.com where there are pictures and tunes and all sorts of information
 
And find me here on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Judy-Dybles-Newborn-Strangers/126882790740456
 
Contact me via info@judydyble.com

JUDY DYBLE AT GONZO UK
JUDY DYBLE AT GONZO USA

THE MAGNIFICENT MAGGIE REILLY


Maggie Reilly has had a varied career which stretches back over thirty years. She first came to prominence fronting the Scottish band Cado Belle, releasing a well respected album and EP.  From here Maggie found herself in demand as a session singer working with artists such as Morrissey Mullen, Hamish Stuart and Kokomo.

Her next career move was perhaps to be the one many people remember her for. Having heard her sing, Mike Oldfield invited Maggie to join his band for his 1980 tour.  After this tour Maggie sang on the album ‘QE2’.  She then joined the band full time, singing on the albums ‘Five Miles Out’ and ‘Crises’ as well as the hit singles ‘Moonlight Shadow’ and ‘To France’ from the album, ‘Discovery’.

Following a short break in order to concentrate on her family, Maggie continued to work as a solo artist.  She also worked on varied projects with a number of others including legends like Jack Bruce, Dave Gilmour, Mike Batt, George Harrison, Andrew Eldridge's Sisters Of Mercy and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd fame.

Maggie Reilly’s solo albums have included , ‘Starcrossed’, ‘Echoes’, ‘Midnight Sun’, ‘Elena’, ‘Save It For A Rainy Day’ and the best of compilation, ‘There And Back Again’.

MAGGIE REILLY AT GONZO UK
MAGGIE REILLY AT GONZO USA
THE YES CIRCULAR - TALES FROM TOPOGRAPHIC OCEANS
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
Just as last week, Chris Squire has, once again, been the most visible member of Yes doing several interviews of interest. Most of them have been talking about the immediate future of the band, but in the most notable of these interviews he expounded on his idea that there could be a Yes in several generations time, continuing the band's concept down through the years. As I have written before, I rather like this idea. If one were to treat the band in the same way that one would treat an orchestra (the London Symphony Orchestra, for example, has been going since 1904) rather than a pop group with a finite lifespan one comes up with rather an interesting concept.
Tomorrow's Gonzo Daily includes a rather interesting interview from about six months ago with Jon Anderson. We also note that he has launched a new website about his forthcoming Zamran project (a sequel to his first solo album from the mid 1970s). He claims that writing this album is driving him "crazy", so we wish him (and his mental health) well. We very much look forward to hearing more details.

We also posted a rather touching (and certainly technically adept) tribute to Rick Wakeman, this week, as well as the first part of Rick's latest newsletter.

But the most interesting Yes-related news of the week is that Steve Howe is going to be hosting a residential guitar playing workshop. The event includes guitar instruction workshops for players of all levels, plus the chance to jam with Howe and fellow presenters Ray Matuza and Flavio Sala. “This year I’m getting back to doing some solo dates,” Howe reports. “The retreat is an extension of that. I’ll be enjoying the different things the event will demand of me, as opposed to just doing shows. “It indulges me in my singular fascination: the guitar. Hopefully my team and the audience can do a little mingling and learn more about each other.”

And guess where these workshops will be held? Just outside Woodstock (where else?)

MORE DETAILS OF YES AT GONZO (UK)
MORE DETAILS OF YES AT GONZO (USA)
LIZ LENTEN WANTS YOUR HELP
As regular readers will know, we are very much fans of a group called Auburn who has released their latest album through Gonzo. Their lead singer and songwriter Liz Lenten has become a friend of us all, and we have interviewed her on a number of occasions, most recently back in October when her band supported Jefferson Starship at The Brook in Southampton. Now she needs our help.

She writes: 

AUBURN is currently no 1 in the REVERB NATION - UK SINGER/SONGWRITER  chart, with over 22,000 song plays.
 
This is fab!! 
 
But, we now need to get as many people as possible to play the songs, to get it up the GLOBAL charts, which will get the music out to so many more people worldwide.
 
Please can you click on the link below - and play a song (or play all - if you like it and have time!!!) .
 
http://www.reverbnation.com/weareauburn

Of course we will Liz!

EXCLUSIVE: Merrell Fankhauser talks about his Rainbow Bridge project
JON: Can you tell me about the Rainbow Bridge video?
 
MERRELL: As you know I lived on Maui for 14 years and I moved there in ‘73 just a year after the Jimi Hendrix Rainbow Bridge came out. And when I moved there I met a lot of people that were in the movies, and a lot of them were hippies, surfers and cosmic people that were seeing UFOs and everything, and they said Jimi was really into the whole UFO thing, and that there were even some hovering about when they were shooting over there.

So we contacted the ones that we still knew where they were over there and we went over and interviewed them and it was really interesting what some of them had to say about hanging out with Hendrix and everything and then we went down to Southern California, because some of them lived down there, and we interviewed a few of those so we’ve got some really interesting interviews with, I think, an insight into some of the things that were going on with that movie with Hendrix hasn’t come out. In the original Rainbow Bridge if you saw it, it follows Pat Hartley the actress from the Sunset Strip over to O’ahu and then to Maui where she meets all these characters, and ultimately Jimi.  And the message because of all of her travels and the way it was put together kind of got lost a little bit in the different scenes and things and I talked to one of the guys from Warner Brothers who was in on the editing and he said that when they brought the film over it was in all of these bags and there was sand in it and they were almost afraid to put it on their machine, and had to clean it all and they kept going through this stuff and it was just a lot of hippies talking about cosmic stuff and getting high on drugs, and everybody kept saying “Where’s Jimi, where’s Jimi?  Where’s the concert?” You know they were afraid they weren’t going to have enough to make the movie really good, but finally they got to the movie part. 

So what we did, we kind of condensed these interviews down and we would segue into some really great surfing on big waves over there, because a lot of the people that were interviewed were surfers and we have old footage of them surfing, and then we cut to surfing footage from now, and I have about ten of my newer instrumental surf songs in there with the surfing, and then it would go to a couple of band performances – there were two Maui bands that we have over there: Omar and the Wavestop Spies and The Space Patrol, who actually – the lead singer – Les Potts was in the original Rainbow Bridge movie and he’s the guy that’s shown cutting up this surf board that they smuggled some hashish I think it was to the island, and he takes a big toke and coughs his lungs out, and that’s in the movie.
 
JON: I have to admit, when I saw the movie it was many, many years ago – back when I still far too much smoked dope and the only bits I remember were a few UFO talks and the guy coughing his lungs up.
 
MERRELL: Yeah well that was Les and you’ll see him then and now what he looks like and that was the interesting thing, Jon, some of these guys looked like full-on wild cosmic hippies and very young back then, and now when we photograph them, they’re all – of course – grey-haired old guys – some of them now have short hair and they look like they could be insurance salesmen or whatever… <laugh>  So.. it’s interesting and Rob liked it and we’ve had a few other people who have seen it now that really think it’s good, but it won’t come out till June 4th.
MERRELL FANKHAUSER AT GONZO USA
MERRELL FANKHAUSER AT GONZO UK
MICHAEL DES BARRES RE-RELEASES HIS DEBUT ALBUM

Not that I believe in coincidences, but it is no coincidence that Lord Michael Philip des Barres was once in a band called Chequered Past.  Because he has had such a strange and picturesque life that you really couldn’t make it up.  Turning his back on what was expected of him as a member of the aristocracy he went to the Corona Academy Stage School in London in the mid-‘60s, and like so many men of his generation he was soon seduced by the allure of rock and roll.  And he’s been a rock and roller (and an actor) ever since. 
 
As one of Michael’s most striking recent songs proclaims, “I was 19 in 1967, on the streets of London I was in heaven”. In the year that saw the first Summer of Love and significant numbers of  young people across the Western World turning on, tuning in, and dropping out, Michael formed his first band called The Orange Illusion, which also included none other but the now famous artist Kit Williams.  A few years later he formed a critically acclaimed band called Silverhead which recorded two albums, and toured extensively across the United States, Europe and Japan before disbanding in 1974.  Thirty-seven years later they reformed briefly for another series of Japanese shows which proved to the world (as if any proof were needed) quite how devoted Michael des Barres’ fans truly are.
 
After Silverhead disbanded he moved to Los Angeles and formed a band called Detective who recorded two albums under the aegis of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, who signed the band to Led Zeppelin’s very own Swan Song Records.  The band split up in 1978, and Michael embarked on his long and convoluted solo career. 
 
His first solo album on which he was backed by a group called Zoo Drive – featuring John Goodsall (guitars), Paul Delph (keyboards), Doug Lunn (bass) and Ric Parnell (drums). However, Nigel Harrison, who had been the bass player in Silverhead and was now with Blondie played bass on the record and on certain more high profile live appearances.
 
When we asked Michael about his first solo album, he told us: “I was so influenced by ‘80s music.  The essence of those ‘80s songs really fascinated me, because it was like some kind of robotic pop ……” This was, the complete antithesis of everything that Michael had done before. He was, and is, a very energetic and organic live performer and admits that, “My whole trip has been something about the body, and sexuality, and hedonism was what I was so used to.”  Michael decided to reinvent himself with the new decade, and - as he always had done - he looked about him, and took the best of what he saw synergising it into a new, exciting, and totally irresistable whole. Bart Bealnear on allmusic.com notes how he “fully embraces an electronic sound” yet avoided so many of the pitfalls that had been the experience of artists such as Gary Numan.  Bealnear notes how Michael’s eclecticism embraced Berlin-era Bowie and The Ramones, as well as “reggae-pop and disco rhythms”.
 
It’s interesting to see how his fellow travellers were also enthusiastically embracing the cultural mores of the brave new decade that they were all just entering.  As Michael told us, John Goodsall had been in Brand X with Phil Collins and had also been in ace progressive rock band Atomic Rooster.  But he obviously felt that this, like the glam rock of Silverhead, belonged firmly in the past and that Michael’s intelligent eclecticism would forge something great in the white heat of the 1980s. 
 
Michael, however, was not in the best of states:  “I was pretty strung out on drugs at the time, because that world was so dark and Babylonian that I had succumbed vigorously and rigorously to drugs”, he admitted to us wryly down the ‘phone.
 
“So I came out of it”, he continued, “and I was still kind of stoned but I wanted to do something fresh and new so I put this band together.  But what happened was, I played the Whisky-A-Go-Go and every single label was there and they all wanted me, and Peter Grant wouldn’t let me go from Swan Song.”
 
What happened next is not just amusing, but testament to the incredible loyalty which Michael inspires amongst the people who work with him.  Producer Mike Chapman was best known for a string of highly commercial hit records in the early to mid-1970s, a lot of them produced and written in colaboration with partner, Nicky Chinn.  Nicky had been around the British music business for many years, and was one of the few people that legendary hard man Peter Grant was prepared to listen to.
 
“Mike Chapman wanted me so bad and he got to Nicky Chinn to call Peter and say `let des Barres out of the gig. Let him do this`.  And they said, you know like I was a bit of meat, which is like it is in showbiz.  But he let me go and I did that album.  And we recorded it in Sausalito near San Francisco,  over a period of like 2 weeks. Very quickly.  And I love it.”
 
He continued: “I think it chronicles the time.  You know I wrote about the tabloids, I wrote a song on it called Scandal Papers which preceded the obsession with papparazi, the obsession with celebrity that we see today, by 20-30 years I was on that.  And I’m proud of it, I think it is an interesting album”.
 
This is a fantastic record, and unlike too many of its contemporaries, it hasn’t dated one bit.  Michael’s sheer animal energy and artistic vigour forced the sounds of the 1980 machines which have consigned so many of the other musicians of the time to the cut-out racks of history into submission.  So many of the artists of that era claimed to be presenting a true partnership between man and machine.  Michael is one of the few who actually achieved it! 

I also wrote about this album's imminent release on the Gonzo Daily..
Michael Des Barres at Gonzo UK
Michael Des Barres at Gonzo USA
LIFE AFTER ZAPPA
Napoleon Murphy Brock is a Grammy Award winning singer, saxophonist and flautist, possibly best known for his work with Frank Zappa.  Napoleon was discovered by Frank  in 1973, and he subsequently appeared on many Zappa albums including, ‘Apostrophe’, ‘Roxy and Elsewhere’,’ One Size Fits All’, ‘Bongo Fury’, ‘Zoot Allures’, ‘Sheik Yerbouti’,  ‘Thing Fish’ and ‘Them Or Us’.   Recording with Frank in 1983, Napoleon also performed some live shows in 1984, before leaving music for over a decade.  Since 1999, he has performed Frank Zappa's music with Bogus Pomp, Project Object and many others including The Grandmothers.  Napoleon was also the featured vocalist on the 2006 ‘Zappa Plays Zappa’ (ZpZ) tour.

Napoleon Murphy Brock won a Grammy award in early 2009 for his performance of ‘Peaches en Regalia’, which he had sung with ‘Zappa Plays Zappa’.  ‘Peaches en Regalia’, was also a track on the Frank Zappa album ‘Hot Rats’.
CHECK HIM OUT AT GONZO UK
CHECK HIM OUT AT GONZO USA
INTRODUCING NEONFIRE

Neonfire are a studio project/band put together by Greg Russo.  The one album produced so far by Neonfire, features Greg Russo's original songs, along with a cover of a lesser-known Dylan tune ‘If You Gotta Go, Go Now’.  Performed by musicians connected to the music of Frank Zappa, the result is an album full of stellar performances and highly melodic songs.

Guests include Frank’s sister, Candy Zappa and Nolan Porter who recorded with members of The Mothers of Invention just after their breakup.   In addition there is the acclaimed mid-70s Zappa vocalist Napoleon Murphy Brock,  ‘60s surf instrumentalists The Tornadoes,  Andre Cholmondeley on lead rhythm and guitars and drummer Glenn Leonard from the noted FZ tribute band Project/Object.  Drummer Jon Braun from the Pennsylvanian band The Insidious Rays, violinist extraordinaire Joe Deninzon and trumpeter Dave Ballou all contribute to this great album.

With Greg Russo on keyboards and his brother Jeff on bass and the above musicians on the rest of the album, Neonfire has created a unique sound influenced by music from the 60s to the present.

NEONFIRE AT GONZO USA
N
EONFIRE AT GONZO UK


THE BEST LAID PLANS...
Once again I seem to be in the position where I do nothing but bellyache about computers, but it is frightening how - in a few short years - one's life begins to fall apart without them. I know that they portray a far more frightening scenario than merely one's ISP providing a lousy service but there are various songs in the prog rock canon, most notably Karn Evil 9 by Emerson, Lake and Palmer whose tales about a final frightening battle between mankind and machine, kept on going through my head this week, but even such visionaries as ELP never foresaw the even greater threat to civilised mankind - the call centre in Uttar Pradesh. Once you get shunted to there then one begins to lose the will to live. Someone ought to write a prog-rock suite about them!

But leaving my bellyaching behind, there are a lot of exciting things in the pipeline. I am very excited by the forthcoming release of material from a Dutch festival over 40 years ago featuring all sorts of people including Pink Floyd and Al Stewart. Some of this material was available in a movie called Stamping Ground which I used to own, but which went the way of all second hand VHS tapes years ago.

Returning to the subject of computers for a second, I must apologise to those of you who are still awaiting e-mails from me. I hope that you forgive me, but life gets fraught when one can only have three or four minutes at a time online.

Hopefully things will sort themselves out in the week to come, and we shall be back again in seven days time with another week's worth of songs, films, and the stories behind them for you.


Until next week,
Slainte

Jon Downes
(Editor)

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jon@eclipse.co.uk
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