Issue Thirty-Two     June 29th 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...
I am beginning to get the hang of this editorial lark. I suppose I really should have done by now, because I edited my first magazine back in Hong Kong at the age of eleven, and that was weekly as well. But, although I have edited all sorts of periodicals in the meantime, on subjects from the paranormal to tropical fish, and from exotic pets to rock and errrr  whatever it is called, this is the first time since the Peak School ' Class Six weekly', back in the balmy summer of 1970 that I have ever attempted to do it weekly.

And I am quite proud of our progress.

Each week this publication does get more like a bona fide magazine, and each week we get closer to the anarchic but sophisticated journal of letters, sounds and ideas that I have been wanting to publish for the past thirty something years. 

I am growing up in public, as it were. The Gonzo Weekly has been going for six 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.

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: A rant and a mystery ape
Last night I had a long chat with one of our authors who also works for the DSS. He told me about the obscenely draconian legislation for benefits claimants which is being proposed for 2015 and after. I really cannot believe that any government could be so harsh, and I would love to say that I think that the British people are not going to just like down passively and take this latest affront towards our individual freedoms. But I am sure that we will all just roll over like good little puppies and take it. What the hell happened to the spirit of protest and dissent? Like John Lennon said: "Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV, And you think you're so clever and classless and free", and we all know what he said next.
Wise up people. Before it is too late.
I heard from Richard who telephoned me briefly from Gatwick. By now, he, Christophe and Adele should be in Sumatra. Let's all keep our collective fingers crossed that the expedition in search of orang pendek - the undiscovered upright walking ape of Sumatra - is a success.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: In which I get my dates wrong and no stone gets unrolled
I need to apologise to Max. Every year when he goes to the Glastonbury Festival he telephones me afterwards and tells me all about it. Because last weekend was the Solstice Festival in Wales, I assumed it was also Glastonbury. I have been sulking all week because I hadn't heard from him.

Yesterday I looked for YouTube footage of The Rolling Stones at Glastonbury, and not finding any I jumped to the conclusion that the all powerful Rolling Stones organisation had quashed such things, a bit like the Led Zeppelin organisation did after the 02 gig six years ago. I had even got half way through an article about Corporate Big Brother in the music business. I was waxing lyrical on my themes.

Then, last night my dear nieflings Dave B-P and Jess H came round. In passing Dave said that he was planning to spend this evening (Saturday) watching The Rolling Stones and Primal Scream on the BBC coverage of Glastonbury Festival. I had got may dates wrong and my proverbial knickers in a twist over nothing. Glastonbury Festival is, of course, this weekend, and I am an idiot. But then again, everyone else knows both of those things anyway. I am now gonna sit and lick my wounds and listen to Marianne Faithfull.
Daevid Allen writes:
Greetings dear members of the tribe!
I am delighted to announce the birth of Finn and Ned Allen to my eldest son Taliesin Allen and his partner Noey yesterday morning 26th June in Melbourne weighing in at 6lbs1oz and 5lbs7ozs respectively!
These are my eighth and ninth grandchildren or if you include my stepson Ananda and stepdaughter Tasmin which naturally I do, my thirteenth and fourteenth!!!
Going up and rising fast!!
Love & futurismo!!!
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: The People's Music
This week I read Stuart Maconie's 'The People's Songs', which is a book I have looked forward to for a long time. I have to say that the book is a big disappointment. It is just so lightweight. It reads like a series of columns in a popular magazine.
Although there are some excellent snippets of pub quiz trivia (for example, the two most played songs on the radio in the UK both contain the word 'fandango', and the first British record to use the words 'Rock and Roll' was by 'The Goons') there are more mistakes than I would have liked (Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull did not play the first Glastonbury. It was Ian A Anderson, an acoustic singer songwriter and a completely different dude, Adem is a bloke not a band), Other statements remain unsubstantiated. For example it is fairly well accepted that John Lennon went off in a huff after George Harrison refused to let Yoko appear at the Concert for Bangladesh. However, Maconie says that his non-appearance was because of his unwillingness to cut short a holiday. If this is true, it is actually quite a major thing for Lennon scholars. But where did he get it from?

I was hoping for a level of cultural analysis like that found in Jonothon Green's books 'Days in the Life' and 'All Dressed Up' it just isn't there. What cultural analysis there is - to my mind, at least - is trite and shallow. The book is enjoyable enough but ultimately pointless. 

I really wanted this book to be good. But it isn't. Maconie is a fine writer, and I suspect that an editor somewhere took a hatchet to his prose and dumbed it down outrageously. That, dear readers, is a sign of the times.

Date Published: 28th June 2013

We at Gonzo Web Radio are very proud to bring you Canterbury Sans Frontières a podcast dedicated to the music of the 'Canterbury Scene' and more. Creator Matthew Watkins writes: 

As with Canterbury Soundwaves, a new three-hour episode will be released with each full moon.I decided to wind down Canterbury Soundwaves so that I didn't end up (i) repeating myself, (ii) scraping the bottom of the Canterbury barrel, or (iii) becoming increasingly tangential. This new podcast broadens the musical remit, so it'll be about one-third 'Canterbury sound', together with progressive/psychedelic/experimental music from the Canterbury of today, the remainder being a mix of music from various times and places which I feel to be in a similar spirit of creative adventurousness. I'll be doing a lot less talking, and the programme will be less expository – so no interviews, barely-listenable bootlegs, etc.

I also plan to include guest one-hour mixes from various musicians from the current music scene in Canterbury (Episode 2 will feature a mix from Neil Sullivan from Lapis Lazuli). This episode, however, is dedicated to Kevin Ayers who passed away less than two weeks after the final episode of Canterbury Soundwaves went out, so there's an hour of his finest work embedded in the middle of the programme.

And for those of you who wonder what Matthew was referring to when he writes about Canterbury Soundwaves we will be bringing you all the back catalogue of that as well. Those wacky guys at Gonzo, eh?

Playlist for this episode

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: The Gospel according to Bart
Once again, Bart Lancia has been my favourite roving reporter. Pandora Internet Radio (also known as Pandora Radio or simply Pandora) is an automated music recommendation service and "custodian" of the Music Genome Project. The service, operated by Pandora Media, Inc., is fully available in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. The service plays musical selections of a certain genre based on the user's artist selection. The user then provides positive or negative feedback for songs chosen by the service, which are taken into account when Pandora selects future songs.

As far as I am aware it is not available in the UK, so I have not tried it, nor do I know anyone who has, so please don't take this brief news item as any sort of endorsement (or whatever the opposite of an endorsement is). However, Pandora has been the object of a war of words with those jolly nice fellows in Pink Floyd this week, and Bart Lancia has very kindly sourced stories covering both sides of the argument for our delectation here at Gonzo Weekly.

Pink Floyd: Pandora Is Trying to Trick Artists

Pandora: Pink Floyd Wrong About Royalty Cut

Me? What do I think? I think two things. Firstly that you would all be better off listening to Gonzo Web Radio because we are not trying to trick anyone. And secondly, that I think it would be far harder to run this madhouse of a magazine without Bart Lancia. Thanks dude...
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: Bobby 'Blue' Bland (1948-2013)
Robert Calvin "Bobby" Bland (January 27, 1930 – June 23, 2013), née Brooks, usually known professionally as Bobby "Blue" Bland, was an American singer of blues and soul. Along with such artists as Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Junior Parker, Bland developed a sound that mixed gospel with the blues and R&B. He was described as "among the great storytellers of blues and soul music... [who] created tempestuous arias of love, betrayal and resignation, set against roiling, dramatic orchestrations, and left the listener drained but awed." He was sometimes referred to as the "Lion of the Blues" and as the "Sinatra of the Blues"; his music was also influenced by Nat King Cole.

How we remembered him
Bobby 'Blue' Bland at Wikipedia

"Further On Up The Road"
"You've got to hurt before you heal"
":That's the way love is"
"I'll take care of you"
"Ain't no love in the heart of the city"
"The only thing missing is you"
:"As soon as the weather breaks"
We will be"going down slow"
"Ain't no sunshine when (s)he's gone"
"I should have stayed gone(when i left before"
'They call it Stormy Monday(but Tuesday's just as bad"
"i pity the fool!""Turn on your love light!"
BIG!(with BB King)Voice/style/heart/huge-Bobby"Blue"Bland
Illiterate all his Beale Street blues chitlin circuit life
from 1930 's 78rpm to 2013 sitting on a bar stool center stage
big band blasting blues riffs with his specific healing gospel honey sweet mellowness
"The thrill is gone...(that's the way love is(reprise..
Bye Bye Bobby Blue Bland.Van Morrison loved you did generations of soul R&B fans
Meet you down @St James Infirmary..Sing it  ONE MORE TIME.."The thrill is gone...
THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Gary Pickford-Hopkins (1948-2013)
Rick Wakeman pays tribute to his old friend

I first read about English as She Is Spoke many years ago in Stephen Pile's Book of Heroic Failures. Wikipedia has this to say about it:


English as She Is Spoke is the common name of a 19th century book written by Pedro Carolino and falsely additionally credited to José da Fonseca, which was intended as a Portuguese-English conversational guide or phrase book, but is regarded as a classic source of unintentional humour, as the given English translations are generally completely incoherent. Carolino added Fonseca's name to the book without the latter knowing about it. Fonseca had written a successful Portuguese-French phrase book, which Carolino adapted.

Now, I couldn't resist printing this translated version of a Judy Dyble review she sent me today. The translation software has made such a marvellously peculiar job of the translation from Japanese that it has its own literary beauty.

I am sure that I would agree that the "magnificent wind is fragrant to Yu Yu illusion", if it wasn't for the fact that I have absolutely no idea what it means. According to Judy another translation programme translated Pat Mastelotto (the drummer) translates as 'Pat and mass terrorism'.

You really couldn't make this stuff up! By the way, oh ye of the politically correct brigade. Let me stress that we are not laughing at foreigners who can't speak English. We are laughing at the inadequacies of Google Translate. Johnny Foreigner is indeed a rum cove, but 2013 translation software can be woefully inadequate.

Judy's delightful new album is out next week. If you can't wait that long, a few weeks ago I interviewed her exclusively for this magazine. You can here the interview (which includes snippets of each song) by clicking HERE
an exclusive chat with Harold Houldershaw
One of the most successful of the first generation of European rock festivals was the Kralingen Music Festival, which was held less than a year after Woodstock and spread over three days in June 1970 (26th, 27th & 28th). The line-up, a stellar mix of the upper echelons of both British and American rock royalty included Tyrannosaurus Rex, The Byrds, Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Soft Machine, Family, Canned Heat, Al Stewart, Country Joe, Dr John, headliners Pink Floyd and many more. The festival was filmed for a movie and some, but certainly not all, of the footage originally surfaced on the Stamping Ground video. However Gonzo, who have something of a reputation for unearthing this sort of stuff, have uncovered plenty that didn't ever feature and they have bundled it all together on 'The Dutch Woodstock' (2xCD+DVD) boxset.

I was familiar with the original Stamping Ground movie which was released decades ago, but was not prepared for this swish new version. Being a little bit of a wannabe techie, I decided to contact Harold Houldershaw who cleaned up and formatted this extraordinary new version, and ask him how the flipping blinketty flip he did it.

JON: You’ve been getting some really good reviews for what you’ve done on the Dutch Woodstock.     I find the whole thing fascinating, I’m really impressed with what you’ve done.
HAROLD: Did you see the original?
JON:  I’ve seen the original, because my ex-wife had a copy 20 years ago, and it was terrible. It had some great music on, but was terrible visually.  I’ve seen a review on one of the Pink Floyd fan sites, where it has a still from your version and a still from the original version, and your version looks like a  proper rock movie, where the original version looks like a murky fish tank with a few fish you can see swimming in the middle distance.
HAROLD: I had three source copies; three source versions. And they were bad. And what happened was Rob just brought it to me to author and I said – I looked at it and thought I can get this a lot better and so I did a three minute sample and I said to Rob, look at these two versions, and he said ‘wow’ and I said can I tidy it up, it’s begging to be tidied up?  So I did, and it took me about a month to do it; a month it time anyway.
JON: Is that all?  I thought it would have taken a lot longer.

HAROLD: A lot of it is rendering time, so I don’t spend a month of my own time but the  computer is very busy, because it’s wide screen and some of the deep noise filters I applied to it.
JON: It must be quite a technical challenge doing some of this stuff.

HAROLD: Well it was a technical challenge.  Yes, because the problem is you’ve got pre-set filters you can pull a filter up and you can decide what you want to do with it, but the danger is, if you overcook it and think that’s done the job and you watch it over again and then you think aargh it has destroyed a certain part of the image or caused a funny effect. So actually there’s some global filtration on it for a start but then the more into it got the more customised way I approached each section segment so you are eventually down to frame level was more the case of eventually working on frame level to remove certain artefacts and things.
JON:  The masters you had.  What were they?  Were they the original masters?
HAROLD:I had three digital tape masters, or three digital masters, and two of them had been on analogue video tape and the colours had gone and everything. The other one was good but the film source it had come from was very degraded. Lots of dirt scratches and a general sort of aura of the film surface degrading itself and going like crinkly, so you had a sort of like a crazy cracked effect all the way through it. So I managed to filter that out. Also there were various versions of it, some with foreign languages and some with sub-titles and things, so from the media I had got I wanted to create a pure US/UK or English version as it were, of the original media so there’s quite a bit of editing, and mixing and matching going on as well.
JON:  Was there any material that wasn’t in the original film?
HAROLD:There appears to have been three versions of the original film.  As it happens, there is a modicum more in the version we put out than in either of the combinations previously.  There are two shorter one-hour versions – going from memory I think one was about one-hour forty and the another at about one-hour twenty-five.  The main difference on that was Soft Machine   which wasn’t in the shorter version, but that’s in our version.

JON:  That’s brilliant.  I wonder what happened to the original film…
HAROLD:Don‘t know.
JON:  Doesn’t it make you itch for a time machine? 
HAROLD: It does, and as you are probably aware, Rob’s done a lot of work with Tony Palmer and it would be nice to find his original footage<laugh> You just think to yourself, ‘wow’ or another thing is in dream world you wish you could have gone back there with a modern camera.  Or two or three of them.
JON:  That would be wonderful.
HAROLD: I mean they did really well.  I presume they showed it on 16 ml but they did really well to actually get out there and film, and they must have had hours of footage and they didn’t have the luxury of anything we have, so the original cut would have been done by hand. So you have to admire the fact that they got out there and filmed it, and that’s something that we can make something of.
JON:  One still hopes that somewhere in a Dutch basement there is a box of the original out-takes floating around.
HAROLD: Yes, well hope so, but whether we will find them or not I don‘t know. Things keep coming out don’t they; things keep appearing in general.  TV companies find stuff and there’s plenty of stuff keeps surfacing, which is great for us who like to watch it.  I did find some Super8 footage from the Dutch Woodstock which I tried to get hold of, but I couldn’t source it, so we might have put an extra on there.  But it doesn’t actually show anything that we haven’t got in the main film, and the technical quality is not so good so it would be an extra. But unfortunately I tried to get hold of the people who had it, and didn’t get any joy there. But having said that, there’s nothing particularly in that footage that I saw that isn’t in the main film.
JON:  Because the big missing thing that all the Pink Floyd fans are hoping for is – I think it was ‘Set your Controls’ is supposed to be ….  There’s a bootleg audio recording of it and it is twelve minutes long and I think it’s three-and-a-half minutes in the film.

HAROLD: Yes the footage is not their whole audio recording is it?
JON:  And apparently it’s a pretty ropey audio recording. 
HAROLD: It’s a pity.  I don’t know, obviously, whether it will be in the can somewhere but I believe the original thing was for a TV broadcast – I think it was made for TV, the original show as  a programme. I could be wrong, but that was the idea.
When Rob brought it to me and said ‘what do you think of this?’ and I looked at the names on it, and – you know - it was just so exciting because being born in 1960 this would have been at the start of my teenage awareness, you know what I mean?  So I’d be buying, not quite T.Rex that early – in another couple of years I’d be buying T. Rex singles – so to me it is very exciting to find so much quality stuff and then to be able to work on it.  I said to Rob, ‘we can do a lot more with this.  I hope you’ve got the media for. I can actually improve this no end. I could have spent about three years on it, mind. <laugh> It came to the point where we said ‘I am going to have to let it go or you’ll never get it out.’ It just justified it, and also for the styles and the fashions and the … I must complement the camera crew that went and got these cut away bits of the swimming and this matey with the two Coke cans around his head (*) and was saying ‘what’s going on ‘ere’, you know. It’s all great stuff and great for the atmosphere.
* If you want to know what Harold is talking about you will have to watch the film...

Check out the trailer HERE
Cristiano Roversi is an Italian musician, composer and producer. Keyboard and organ player, virtuoso bass and Chapman Grand Stick player and, in 1994, founder member of the new progressive band Moongarden, very much a vital entity to this day. Over the years he has explored other musical environments in collaborative projects such as SUBMARINE SILENCE and CAVALLI COCCHI, LANZETTI & ROVERSI as well as numerous solo projects, soundtracks and session/production/teaching work. Currently writing and playing keyboards for Mangala Vallis and producing Catafalchi Del Cyber, Cristiano has, in recent years, collaborated with many well known and respected names such as Bernardo Lanzetti, Aldo Tagliapietra, John Wetton, David Jackson, Massimo Zamboni, Flaco Biondini, Steve Hackett, Tryptic, Zef Noise & Mike Ill (ex Sweet Lizard Illtet) Silvia Orlandi, Angela Baraldi, Leonora, Roberto Tiranti and many others..... About AntiQua: “I had wanted to dedicate myself completely to a solo album for some time now, totally free to go where I might, independent of market or stylistic pressures. A proverbial flight of fancy as it were. An album in which I could let my influences shine through without having to prove anything to anyone and one in which I didn’t have to crank up the volume. AntiQua is a strange land where time flows at a more natural pace, I don’t really know if it’s on our planet, or even if it exists in the past, present or future, near or far…AntiQua manifests when we need it, every time we give in to dreams and forget about the daily grind. It is a goblet of wine in a candlelit tavern. It certainly did me a world of good, a brief trip to land governed by antique ideals of beauty and harmony. I hope it may accompany the quietest and sweetest moments of your existence as it has mine.”
JON:  Why did you decide to make a solo album?

CRIS: Two reasons basically; the first being that I have always wanted to release something without any conditioning from an existing market, concentrating solely on the type of atmosphere which fascinates me. Not wanting to sound insular but the need to produce something with no outside obligations and the desire to homage my friend Anthony Phillips and his series of 'Private Parts and Pieces' made me want to follow that path.

The second reason is a more practical one as half of my partnership in my Distilleria label suddenly found himself busy with a big name Italian pop star and I didn’t want to spend all summer hanging around waiting for him to return.
JON:  How long did the album take to write and record?
CRIS: I wrote the entire album in 15 days, maybe less....I was very inspired and had a very good idea of what I wanted to communicate.....

Recording all the guests took a lot longer of course, so everything had to be recorded around their schedules in my studio
 JON:  Do you write your material in the studio? Or before you start the recording process
CRIS: All of the writing is done in my home studio which is fully equipped and allows me to lay down rhythms, guitar, bass and keys in a basically definitive way.
 JON: The album has a very whimsical nature. Are you influenced by your country's folk tales and mythology?
CRIS: I’m fascinated by nature and by my country’s wonderful landscape. Nature and contemplation of the same calms me even in difficult times. My dream has always been to build a recording studio overlooking Garda lake or Porto Venere here in Italy.

I believe that sustained contact with nature in its purest form can change us deeply, keeping many of the modern demons which plague us at bay giving our lives a more natural pace.

I’m also fascinated by northern European atmospheres and the middle ages, antique taverns, madrigals and the simple notes of a lute at night.
JON:  Where and how was the album recorded?
CRIS: All of the tracks were written and recorded in my home town of MANTUA, a jewel, a medieval town surrounded by three lakes, first in my home studio and then in the studio I share with a youth organisation known as ARCI.
JON: . What are you planning to do next?
I think the time has come to put the finishing touches to a project I’ve been working on for years, a revisit of Anthony Phillips’s '1984'. I’d like to release it under my own name and I’m hoping that Voiceprint picks it up…fingers crossed!

Thanks for the interest in my work. A big hug from me!


A couple of weeks ago, the legendary Mick Farren, the revolutionary man of letters that I have often aspired to be when I have not been aspiring to be something completely different, sent me a copy of his new novel - Road Movie. It is as good as one would have hoped, if not better, and this week thanks to those jolly nice people at Penny Ante editions, I am in the glorious position of being able to publish a chunk of it, exclusively for you.

Ain't life grand? 

I went to see the Rupert Hayes retrospective at the Horsebridge.

Many people in Whitstable will remember Rupert. He was like a cross between a New Age Traveller and a garden gnome. He was sort of dangerous, elemental and loveable all at the same time.

He lived in a ramshackle shed down an alley just off the High Street. Stepping into the alley was like entering a secret pathway to another world. Rupert World, where nothing would ever be normal again.

The shed was full up of all the things he collected – lumps of wood, bits of metal, discarded chunks of old scrap – which he would turn into various works of art. He would grind the surface with an angle grinder, glue various things to it, and then paint the object in hallucinogenic colours, like some mad-cap fantasy from a demented child’s overheated brain.

It was like he was trying to redeem the world with his imagination, reclaiming all the objects that the rest of us no longer value, giving meaning and thought to the forgotten detritus of our throwaway culture.

You can see some of the results of his industry at the exhibition. The work is playful, generous, energetic, bold and distinctive. You can tell a Rupert Hayes’ piece from a mile away.

There are scraps of Rupert’s work dotted about all over Whitstable. It was like he was trying to make his mark while he was here, making sure that he wouldn’t be forgotten. He was relentless and prolific, creating thousands of works of art in a short space of time.

You may know that he had a stroke about three years ago, and is now confined to a wheelchair. Perhaps that’s why he was so intense with his work, that he knew he wouldn’t have long to finish it.

He has lost none of his sense of humour, however. I asked him what drove him to create.

“I was like a dog lifting its leg on all the lampposts to mark its territory,” he said. And he cast me this sidelong glance, and a wry, twinkling smile.



by Corinna Downes
I was going to blog about this, but my lovely wife Corinna beat me to it..

Being under the impression that Jon and I were going to settle down to watch a couple of episodes of House M.D I wandered into the sitting room the other night, plonked myself down in the chair and proceeded to get to work on one of the Christmas (bah humbug) presents that I am making. I am one of those folks who just cannot sit and watch TV; I have to be doing something at the same time so as not to waste any valuable opportunity to stitch something.

However, Hugh Laurie was not to be (gosh, he is adorable) because Jon was in the throes of watching Prog Britannia – a programme about um… prog rock in Britain.

I decided on a quick snack (being on a diet such things are not indulgent these days. No chocolate, popcorn or crisps for me – yoghurts all the way). Settling back down, with the awesome flavour of a Müller (yay advertising!) vanilla yoghurt bursting on my tastebuds, my ears began to pick up on what was being said on the programme.

Then it happened.

I nearly choked (yes this is possible whilst eating yoghurt, and it is extremely messy, especially when it splutters forth and splatters on the wall) when Phil Collins and Rick Wakeman were explaining that going to gigs was not really a ‘girl’ thing. Something along the lines of ‘the girls would stand looking bemused’. Eh? Now look you two….I know of at least two girls who used to stand (or sit) at gigs back along…..and I can assure you that we did not have looks of bemusement upon our faces. Jon laughed when he looked over and saw my indignant expression at such an outlandish generalisation.
Read the rest here...
(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..
Things are fairly quiet on the Hawkwind news front, perhaps because there's only two gigs scheduled for July.  Davey C, who's written for Gonzo before, is going to the Holmfirth gig on the 5th and several members of the 'Hawkwind Forum' are going to the Jodrell Bank gig the day after.

The latter's an odd one, as Hawkwind are doing that rarest of things: playing support. And, what might be totally unprecedented is that the main act is a tribute band!  OK, the band - Australian Pink Floyd - are a bit of a cut above ordinary trib bands. I gather David Gilmour had them play at his 50th birthday party, and that's quite some endorsement. Nonetheless, some Hawkwind fans have expressed unease, on general principle.

However, one fan commented that "now I know there's a giant dish in a field to shine some lights on, I've changed my mind."  That's all very well, but Hawkwind are going to kick off at 8:30pm (or maybe 8:15) so presumably it'll still be daylight for most of the show.  Interestingly, Hawkwind have announced that they were originally slated to play a one-hour slot but now that's been extended to 75 minutes, hence the 15-minute doubt as to their start time.

There's no doubt that some Hawkwind fans would like to see the billing reversed, so that Hawkwind play top slot for a full show and then maybe do a 40-minute encore. And maybe that'll actually happen next Saturday... in a parallel universe somewhere.
now reissued by Gonzo (and typeset by me)
Seeing that I still had eight more stops
to go, and had already read
the maps and advertisements from end to end,
and studied my own double-
eyed, four-eye-browed freak
of a reflected face for far too long; I took
to noticing another.  Through a kind
of snooker-shot of glances
aimed against the glass, I could see her
staring;  but could not be sure
if it was at me.  I smiled,
and saw her turn to speak
to someone next to her.  I also turned:
and unexpectedly our eyes engaged
for just the instant that it takes for looks
to rocket through the tunnels
of an unguarded gaze, and arrive
at the real self.  Badly shaken
with embarrassment, we both looked back
at our images: safely imprisoned
in the hurtling stillness of the glass.

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

It has been another interesting week both amongst the Yes camp, and amongst the various alumni who have been in, or involved with, the band over the years. Now the first news story we posted, provoked several cross emails from people who thought that I had made it up. Would I do such a thing? The story read "‘They just get fed up with me’: Long-time leader Chris Squire explains Yes’ ever-shifting lineup" You couldn't make things like that up. In the article Squire claims "“I don’t think anyone really has ever been fired from Yes, they just get fed up with me. They can’t stand me anymore, and they have to go.” Hmmmmm.
After that bombshell even the dates for the band's 2014 UK Tour, or Keith Emerson's claim that Brian Lane asked him to join the band after Patrick Moraz left, fades into insignificance. However, there are quite a few Yes related stories for you over the past week. Rick Wakeman has announced a World Tour for next year, there are bits and bobs about the Days Between Stations album, and news of another Billy Sherwood project featuring Peter Banks in one of his last studio visits. I think, by the way, that this is a far more elegant way of putting it than "more final music from Peter Banks", which is somewhat oxymoronic. And finally we have an interesting viso in which Rick Wakeman tells the story of the mellotron.
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! 
you say it is difficult to herd jazz cats
who scratch and itch to be more than one
who come when the moon or east austin call them
who gather desultory in a backyard/loose and casual
i say-can't you see?by the stage and your screen?
how proudly we sing-drums,bass,saxophone!
Guitars are a given-it is the love of unknown
binds us to freedom.Each night alone
we trespass upon collective shared truth
Witnessing/participating for more than FACEBOOK ipads
there is a sound track for all these images
It is the mirror of your best musical meandering
when we walk together in harmonies
no one art can (as yet)encompass
we become us.
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..

I used to be a collector of rock and roll memorabilia, but most of my collection went into my solicitor's pocket during my divorce from my first wife, and I never had the stomach to build the collection up again. However, people send me pictures of interesting things such as this.
If you are a prog rock fan with a cool £2.25 million to spare. Keith Emerson's house is for sale. And if you are a Peter Pan fan to boot, you will be doubly blessed 'cos J.M.Barrie lived there as well (but not at the same time)

Check it out...

On the third weekend of August every year for the past fourteen years we have had the weirdest weekend you can imagine. The Weird Weekend is the largest yearly gathering of mystery animal investigators in the English-speaking world. Now in its fourteenth year, the convention attracts speakers and visitors from all over the world and showcases the findings of investigators into strange phenomena.
Cryptozoologists, parapsychologists, ufologists, and folklorists are descending on Woolfardisworthy Community Centre to share their findings and insights. Unlike other events, the Weird Weekend will also include workshops giving tips to budding paranormal investigators, and even a programme of special events for children. The Weird Weekend is the only fortean conference in the world that is truly a family event, although those veterans of previous events should be reassured that it is still as anarchically silly as ever!
The event is raising money for the Centre for Fortean Zoology, the world’s only full time, professional cryptozoological organisation. The profit from food and beverages goes to a selection of village charities, mostly working with children.
How do you fancy spending three days of high strangeness, good food and great beer, together with the cream of British Fortean researchers in the middle of the glorious Devon countryside? By the way, I am sorry to have to say this, but as this is a fundraising event, tickets are non-refundable, although you are free to resell them should you be unable to attend.
Lars Thomas: The Natural History of Trolls
Judge Smith: Life after Death
Jon Downes/Richard Freeman: Intro to Cryptozoology
Nick Wadham: You will believe in fairies; you will, you will!
Tony Whitehead (RSPB): Starslime
Hayley Stevens: Scepticism
Glen Vaudrey : Mystery animals of Staffordshire
Darren Naish: Adventures from the world of tetrapod zoology
Richard Freeman: Expedition repoort Sumatra 2013
Sarah Boit: Orbs from a photographer's perspective
London Cryptozoology club: Bigfoot
Shaun Histead-Todd: Pre Columbian civilisations in america
Ronan Coghlan: Amphibians from Outer Space
Jon Downes: Keynote Speech
Speaker's Dinner at the Community Centre
Tickets are only £20 in advance
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...
Regular readers will remember that some months ago we ran a three part feature on an exciting new project from the Legendary Corky Laing, drum daemon with Mountain. You can read it:


Now I have a real treat for you. With the kind permission of the lovely Tuija Takala, here is an exclusive slice of the album; a track called College Girls. And I hope you understand why I compared it to Jan and Dean jamming with Dr Dre.

One of the best bits about doing what I do is that I get free stuff sent to me almost unsolicited. Sometimes that free stuff confirms the laws of TANSTAAFL in that it is unlistenable and/or unreadable, and if it was edible it wouldn't be (if you know what I mean). But sometimes it is bloody magnificent.
When Dave B-P and I went to film The Deviants the other day, the ever-lovely Jaki Windmill introduced us to a dude called Greg McKella. Last week he got in touch with me through Facebook. Would I like a copy of the new CD by his band? 

Yes please, I said and then promptly forgot about it. Ever since they put me on Venlafaxine my short term memory is completely bolloxed, and so when it arrived it was a lovely surprise.

It was an even bigger surprise when I listened to it. 'Cos it is magnificent.

Spacy, explorative, invocatory and experimental. This is a bloody super album of magickal sounds. Whooshing noises and psychedelic clarinet. Even a guest appearance by Nik Turner.

Jaki Windmill is a member of this band which does not surprise me. There is something peculiarly shamanic about her. I noticed it on stage with The Deviants when she gave them a mystickal edge that I really was not expecting. That neo-mysticicism permeates this album like the heavy scent of patchouli oil on a well-used sleeping bag.

There is a new and exciting wind blowing, and  Paradise 9 are part of it. There has always been an experimental undertow within British psychedelic/prog music but in previous generations, social and technological constraints have kept it as just that - an undertow.

Now the world is changing faster than it has for about two hundred years, and the new cultural mores and the new technology allows us all to do things that we wouldn't have dreamed of even a decade ago. Paradise 9 are riding this new wind towards a mystickal future that we can only dream of. Hold on boys and girls, its gonna be a bumpy ride.
It has actually been rather a nice week here in the badly converted potato shed where my new assistant editor Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent and I labour on all the different projects that I do. 
Highspots of the last week included emails from Roger McGuinn and Linda from It's a Beautiful Day so keep your fingers crossed, and I hope that we shall have a slew of new interviews very soon.

Things are actually going rather well at the moment, and the next wave of Gonzo grooviness is imminent. As you know, I already do various podcasts for Gonzo Web Radio and I am toying with the idea of expanding this to something special, and doing a series of podcasts featuring music unavailable elsewhere, especially for subscribers to this magazine.

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.

What do YOU think?

At the moment this project is just a twinkle in my third eye, but I sincerely hope that it does eventually come together.

There is still likely to be a monthly magazine in both digital and hard copy formats at some point, as soon as I have managed to attract around me more like-minded souls who want to contribute. 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
Copyright © 2013, Gonzo Multimedia, All rights reserved.

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Jon Downes,
Gonzo Daily/Weekly,
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North Devon
EX39 5QR

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