This is quite simply the best magazine you will ever find that is edited by a mad bloke (and his orange kitten), and produced from a tumbledown potato shed on the outskirts of a tiny village that nobody's heard of in North Devon. The fact that it is published with Gonzo Multimedia - probably the grooviest record company in the known universe - is merely an added bonus.
all the gonzo news that’s fit to print
Issue Fifty-Five December 7th
This issue was put together by me and Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent, (who is, in case you didn't know, an insane orange kitten on the verge of adulthood) ably assisted by:

Corinna Downes, (Sub Editor, and my lovely wife)
Graham Inglis, (Columnist, Staff writer, Hawkwind nut)
Bart Lancia, (My favourite roving reporter)
Thom the World Poet, (Bard in residence)
C.J.Stone, (Columnist, commentator and all round good egg)
Kev Rowland, (Reviewer)
Lesley Madigan, Photographer par excellence
Douglas Harr, (Staff writer, columnist)
Dave McMann, (He ain't nothing but a) Newshound-dog
and Peter McAdam (McDada in residence)
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?)
What? You don't know who Hunter Thompson is/was/might have been/will be? Without Hunter Thompson there would be no Gonzo Multimedia. It would have been completely different and that would have been an unforgivable pity. So here is: C.J.Stone suggested that as well as explaining Gonzo to those wot don't understand, we should do a weekly quote from the great man himself. So here goes:

“THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.” 
                                 Hunter S. Thompson
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.
Google Plus
Google Plus
It is simple; my name is Jon and I'm the editor of the Gonzo Multimedia daily online bloggything. Now there is a weekly magazine, once again edited by me and a small orange kitten from a dilapidated ex-potato shed  in rural Devonshire, to which you subscribed 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 easy to unsubscribe again. But what a long, strange trip it is gonna be...

I keep on thinking that I ought to have some sort of a mission statement in each issue, but it is more than a little difficult to do one. Basically, (if you don't mind me sounding more like a wishy washy old hippy than my haircut in the photograph above would imply) I think that books and music are immensely important. I look around and see that we are living in a world where the things that I think are important are valued less and less by society as a whole; a world where asinine gameshows and so-called reality TV (which is actually a complete oxymoron, but don't get me started) are of more importance to most people than anything of cultural or spiritual value.

I am also very disappointed by much of what the contemporary music press puts out, and I decided many years ago, that probably the only way I could read the things that I want to read, would be to publish them myself. So this is what I have been doing for much of my life. I am also naive enough to think that music and art can change the world, and as the world is in desperate need of change, I am gonna do my best to help.
MORE LIKE A MAGAZINE: A separate reality
We are living in very strange times, and I have a sneaking suspicion that they are going to get very much stranger. As regular readers of my inky-fingered scribblings here and elsewhere will be aware, I have been on a peculiar literary journey recently. It started off with reading John Higgs's (we interviewed him last week) remarkable book about the KLF, went on through various books on or about chaos (magick and theory) before ending up with an absolute orgy of Alan Moore which has left my credit card fairly depleted.

I have just finished reading Promethea which is - depending on which way you look at it - a peculiar superhero comicbook, or a learned treatise on the nature of reality. Or possibly both. Or neither. Take your pick.

I am only bringing it up, because not only is it a cracking tale, but it is the best exposition I have read yet of what Alan Moore describes as 'Ideaspace'. In his own words:

"the best model that I can come up with for consciousness is consciousness as a form of space…Most of us never come out of our living room. We’ve got our individual little private space in our head–just like we’ve got a house as a private physical space. But most of us never go outdoors. We stay within our own identity. However: people who are creative, or people who are questing spirits of some sort or other, have to go deeper. I mean, most people don’t really need new ideas as part of their daily round, depending upon what their job is or what kind of people they are. The same ideas that they had yesterday will probably do just as well today. If you’re a creator, or scientist, or any sort of creator, then you have to look deeper. You have to travel further, to find ideas that no one’s come across before. Rarer ideas."

Which brings me back to the main crux of what has been troubling me ever since I finished reading the books. We are, as I said, living in strange and it seems that all the certainties in our lives are being quickly eroded away, and that soon there will be very little left. Already it seems that the consensus reality enjoyed by the vast majority of people doesn't seem to have much to do with what I, and - I suspect - the vast majority of people reading this magazine, experience in their daily lives.

And that is what this magazine, the Gonzo Daily blog, and everything else that I do, both with Gonzo and with the CFZ is really about. It is about holding onto and sharing things which we believe to be important in the face of opposition from a society that largely thinks the opposite.

If, as I suspect, Moore's concept of reality (and - personally - I have always thought that 'reality' was a very flakey concept) is true, then it would appear that just by the act of listening to, watching, and reading about things that we believe to be important, we are influencing events in ideaspace, which - in turn - influence other people (some of whom we may not ever have met) in a positive direction, which is a very exciting concept indeed.

Changing the world has never been easier.

Forgive the metaphysical stuff, but it is winter time and as we approach the winter equinox I always get like this. Those weeks between Samhain and Yule bring out the ur-philosopher in me, which may or may not be a good thing...

love 'n' stuff


1. Art is as important as science and more important than money
2. There is life after (beyond and before) Pop Idol
3. Music can and sometimes does change the world

If you think those three ideas are stupid then you should probably give up reading this magazine now. Otherwise... enjoy
As is the rest of this magazine, this is mostly about music, and the bits of contemporary culture that I find interesting, but it also has a smattering of actual NEWS, especially if there are ethical questions that effect us all, or one of those put in authority over us does something spectacularly inane. The nearest that this section will ever come to politics is laughing at politicians.
When Corinna and I were at the Peter Gabriel show in Manchester last month, we were both touched by the guest appearance by the Warrington British Sign Language Signing Choir. Back 30 years when I was a nurse for what were then known as Mentally Handicapped people, I learned the rudiments of Makaton, and used to sign songs and stories to my patients, but it never occurred to me that this could be used on a large scale such as an arena rock concert. So this first news story was interesting to me..

Laura Schwengber, 23, is a sign language interpreter who sees it as her mission to bring music alive for people with hearing impairments. She regularly appears on stage at gigs in her native Germany, signing her interpretation of the lyrics, tone and mood of the music. BBC News went along to meet her at a recent concert of the German band Selig and the Deutsches Filmorchester Babelsberg at the Nikolaisaal in Potsdam.
Read on...

Bob Dylan has stirred up a deep-set racial conflict with comments he made earlier this year in the French edition of Rolling Stone. The 72-year-old folk-rock icon, who was awarded the French Legion of Honor earlier this month, was discussing America's history with slavery when he made a comment that has reportedly riled up a Croatian community
Read on...

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Atkins-May go on holiday
The whole mechanics of being a music journalist have changed beyond all recognition. Whereas - once upon a time - when I wanted to interview someone, I would telephone their record company, and from them get the name of their agent, and then write them a letter (yes, boys and girls, back in the days before e-mails we used paper and huge cylindrical post boxes which my dog always pee'd against with gusto). Nowadays I just go onto Facebook and see who is around.

I was chatting to Paul May of the mighty Atkins-May Project earlier this week, and he told me that both he and Al had (separately) been on holiday (Al to Jamaica, and him to Lanzarote). This was a problem; I could think of a lot of different jokes that one could make about rocksingers going to Jamaica, but - for the life of me - I couldn't think of a single smart-ass one liner that I could make about Lanzarote. This basically put the kybosh on the news story that I had intended to write, so I instead asked Paul about the new album.

Progress, apparently, is slower than they had expected, but they are exceedingly pleased with the results, and Paul has promised me some photos and more news from the sessions soon. However he did send me this picture of him with the legendary Rodney Matthews, more of which next time.

When Lynda Whitehead introduced her new puppy Patch to her family, she didn’t realise quite how much of a führer he would cause. For while the cute seven-week-old is quiet and cuddly, her daughter spotted his uncanny resemblance to Adolf Hitler. Now he inspires her grandsons to do the goose-step and even responds to being called Adolf or Hitler. Read on...

owever, the really peculiar thing isn't that such vague simulacra make the news. They always have - just think back to the days of That's Life and vegetables shaped like genitalia. It is the fact that The Guardian then attempts to intellectualise the story with a scholarly article full of cod-psychology.

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: A sneak peek at the new Clearlight sessions
Back in the day, when I still tried to pretend to people that I was a rock singer, rather than an ageing writer who sings occasionally I wrote a song (mostly about the difficulties of buying hashish when on tour) which included the stanza:

"I was sat in a Parisian whorehouse painting pictures of half naked tarts
It's amazing what you can get away with if you do it in the name of art
my man 'phoned up to tell me I was really going to be in luck
well I may not be Toulouse Lautrec but I'm not too loose to truck"

What has this got to do with Clearlight? You may well ask. Surely Cyrille Verdeaux hasn't decided to do an album of Jon Downes covers? No, of course not. But he has finished a series of recordings of pieces of music about French Impressionist artists (including Toulouse Lautrec) and he has been kind enough to send me a set of MP3s from the session. And bloody hell they are good!

I had originally planned to try and give a brief thumbnail portrait of each of the eight pieces of music but found the task beyond me. The music is gloriously lush spanning neo-classical extravaganzas, jazz, little bits of rock and roll, and a surprising amount of bluesey feel.

Highlights to me are the multi-tracked Mike Oldfieldy guitar which keens like bagpipes during the middle section of Pissaro and the glorious oceanic fantasia which is in the tune dedicated to Paul Gaguin, one of my favourite painters who - like Jacques Brel - lived out the final years of his life on the tiny island of Hiva Oa in the French Marquesas islands in the South Pacific. This gloriously sexy but liquid elegy does the man who may have been a syphilitic libertine with a taste for the fruit of the poppy, but was one hell of a painter, proud.

The rockiest track is that dedicated to Renoir, and despite the lush orchestration and manic fiddle rocks like a bitch! I had no idea that Clearlight could get so raunchy...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Alan Davey on a very strange trip

This letter from ex-Hawkwind bass ace Alan Davey came through this week...


Here's news about my new album out in mid Dec 2013. It’ll be the 2nd Vol. of my “Al Chemicals Lysergic Orchestra” series.

These albums are my more experimental side, synths and modern technology can be fun. 

So this series of albums aren't totally rocky which is mostly what I'm known for but I love tinkering and toying in the studio and the ACLO albums allow me to indulge in that. 

The tracks on this album are based on ‘Death Valley’. While there old stories and the places I went to triggered off so many ideas I had to do an album about the place.! 

It can be deathly silent in some out the way places like Titus Canyon and while there sounds and riff ideas come to me out of nowhere so I hurriedly jot them down and when I'm back in England I start working on them!

Never has a place affected me like DV, the silence there opens the mind to another level and musical ideas flood in. Strange maybe but works for me.
  • 49 ers,
  • Bad Water,
  • Dantes View,
  • Zabriskie Point,
  • Goodbye Death Valley,
  • Hells Gate,
  • Mustard Canyon,
  • Old Dinah,
  • The Race Track,
  • Titus Canyon.
I have a special guest on this volume 2, my long time artist and friend Kevin M Sommers who was with me in Death Valley in 2011. He sings on 2 tracks, Bad Water and Old Dinah. He also plays trumpet on Bad Water and wrote the lyrics for Goodbye Death Valley(the famous 49ers story from which the name Death Valley was coined).

For this release only a 12 page colour booklet can do it justice. Photos mostly by Kevin and a couple by myself show how spectacular DV is, making the booklet very colourful and worth having.

The album will be a limited edition of 500 and available exclusively from........

Regards, Alan Davey
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Why does Charles Manson still make the headlines?
It has been 44 years this week since the LAPD announced warrants for the arrest of Charles 'Tex' Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian for the murder of Sharon Tate and others. They were all members of what later became known as 'The Manson Family', and the resultant trial made Charles Manson, hippy mass murderer and cult leader into a household name. But 44 years is a long time. Why does he still make headlines?

A couple of weeks ago Corinna sent me a news story from the  Huffington Post  which claims that Manson is planning to get married to a woman called 'Star' who has been a long-time devotee of his. The story is tosh apparently. Even Manson says so. But the disturbing though ghoulishly interesting question is, why, after the best part of half a century should we care?

It is not as if Manson was the most prolific serial killer, or even that he was the only cult leader who turned killer. In fact if you are ghoulish enough to wish to find out (and I really regret having looked at the relevant pages on Wikipedia which will, I am sure, give me foul dreams tonight) he is nowhere to be seen on the league tables of serial killers. But the world is still fascinated by him, and I would love to understand why. 

In fact, on the other hand, perhaps I wouldn't..
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  A miscellany of Ms Crystal Grenade
I have had several things pertaining to the lovely Ms Crystal Grenade.
  • The first was this photograph of her from the end of September which I found rather moving. Her Facebook page read: "Visited Sylvia yesterday. She died 50 years ago and was the same age as I am now. I wonder if her dead body really wore a smile of accomplishment? Or did she regret it instantly?"
  • The second is this. No sooner is the Crystal Grenade album out than our Carol posts this on FB: Brand new Crystal Grenade track here
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: King Crimson alumni tour dates 
The Crimson ProjeKCt, featuring King Crimson alumni Adrian Belew, Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto, will tour Europe throughout March and early April.

The tour opens in Tel Aviv on March 3 and runs through April 2 in Firenze, Italy. 
  • 03/05 - Tel Aviv, ISR - Heichal Tarbut
  • 03/06 - Kiev, UA - Bingo Club
  • 03/07 - Nyon, CH - Usine a Gaz
  • 03/08 - Copenhagen, DK - Amager Bio
  • 03/09 - Oslo, NO - Cosmopolitan
  • 03/11 - Compiegne, FR - Ziquodrome
  • 03/12 - London, UK - o2 Sheperd’s Bush Empire
  • 03/13 - Paris, FR - Trabendo
  • 03/14 - Zoetermeer, NL - Borderij
  • 03/16 - Moscow, RU - Arena Club
  • 03/17 - St. Petersburg, RU - Palace of Culture Lensoveta
  • 03/19 - Warsaw, PL - Palladium Club
  • 03/20 - Krakow, PL - Klub Studio
  • 03/21 - Reichenbach, DE - Neuberin Halle
  • 03/22 - Karlsrhue, DE - Konzerthaus
  • 03/23 - Mainz, DE - Frankfurter Hof
  • 03/25 - Essen, DE - Grugahalle
  • 03/26 - Pratteln, CH - Z7
  • 03/27 - Prague, CZ - Archa Theatre
  • 03/29 - Chieti, IT - Auditorium Supercinema
  • 03/30 - Bologna, IT - Auditorium Manzoni
  • 03/31 - Milano, IT - Auditorium Verdi
  • 04/01 - Roma, IT - Auditorium Parco della Musica
  • 04/02 - Firenze, IT - Viper Theater
Read on...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Remembering Frank Zappa
This week, of course, sees the 20th anniversary of the death of Frank Zappa, an artist who left us far too soon. Seldom has there been an artist as contentious as Zappa - it has often been opined that he was a bit like Marmite (no, not yeasty and dark brown) - you either loved him or loathed him.

Whilst doing my daily trawl through the English-speaking-world's news courtesy of those jolly nice people at Google News Alerts on Friday, I found this rather nifty article. It is a guide to Frank Zappa records which are recommended for those people who think that they don't (or won't) like Frank Zappa. Me? I don't agree. I think that everyone should like Frank Zappa or be carted away to a re-education facility somewhere in outer Siberia...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  The Gospel according to Bart
Once again my favourite roving reporter has come up trumps. There are whispers of a Genesis reunion - from Phil Collins, no less. Can such a thing be? And he reminds us that TONIGHT is the last show in Oliver Wakeman and Gordon Giltrap's 'Ravens and Lullabies' tour.
Gordon Giltrap, Oliver Wakeman & Paul Manzi 
This unique gig will feature Gordon and Oliver such a hit last year as a duo with singer Paul Manzi, playing songs from the Ravens and Lullabies album and also songs from both their careers. This should be another great night and very much a one off!

Date: Saturday 7th December 2013 - Doors: 7pm
Venue: The Wesley Centre, Maltby, Rotherham, UK

Order tickets direct from the CRS website here
We now have a whole series of Strange Fruit shows coming to you courtesy of the resourceful Neil Nixon, and there are some other exciting things afoot with another entirely new station being added to Gonzo Web Radio, and a total revamp of the radio index.

Watch this space.
STRANGE FRUIT: Episode 48 Part One
Date Published: 7th December 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 Neil Nixon 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 here

STRANGE FRUIT: Episode 48 Part Two
Date Published: 7th December 2013

Listen here

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

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 very nearly a year 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.
1. Gong: Live in Sheffield
Many people believed that the idea of Gong without Daevid was like the Rolling Stones without Keith Richards. However, they had already played a stint as Paragong in 1973 while Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth took a 6 week break so they regrouped as Gong with guitarist Steve Hillage at the helm. The band recorded a new album, but Hillage left before its release. Gilli Smyth and Tim Blake had left at around the same time as Daevid, so the rump of Gong now featuring Didier Malherbe aka Bloomdido Bad de Grasse, Mike Howlett on bass and noted French percussionist Piere Moerlen.

2. Quicksilver Messenger Service: Live in Hawaii
By 1970. the band were working and recording largely in Hawaii. The next two albums, Just for Love and What About Me?, are sometimes called the Hawaiian albums because they were recorded mostly in a studio in that state, and both have a similar Hawaiian motif to their cover designs. This excellent live album captures a changing band at the peak of their game. A real treat for psychedelic music fans.

3. Joey Molland: Return to Memphis

Joey Molland, who had written the vast majority of Badfinger's later output, remains an immensely under-rated and very talented songwriter, whose career has been blighted by the appalling catalogue of disasters which had overtaken his band, But now he is back with a fantastic new album: “ I did the record in Memphis and so it’s called Return to Memphis. I started out loving Memphis music …Elvis and all that. A lot of great rockers came from there. So I opted to go down there and make a record and it was a great experience.”
4. The best of Clearlight

In 1975 Virgin Records released the first album of Cyrille Verdeaux compositions titled CLEARLIGHT SYMPHONY. Clearlight became the first French progressive rock band signed to a major British record label. Gathering accolades for its unique compositions and keyboard stylings, the music spanned from classical romanticism to lush experimentation. Primarily psychedelic, but also serving as a forerunner of new age music, the album's musical style manages to blend seemingly contrary elements: the symphonic rock concept is flexible enough to permit extensive jamming in both rock and jazz fusion styles.
Most of the back issues have now been archived on a dedicated Blogger site. Please use the navigation tree on the right of the page. However, please be aware that there are still a few formatting issues, and the magazine may not look as nice in blogger as we would have liked.

If, however, you are using the MailChimp archive, (below) please be warned: Magazines from #11-41  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...

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
THOSE WE HAVE LOST:  Nelson Mandela (1919-2013)
My parents were peculiar people. When I was a boy there were certain people whose names were never to be spoken in the house. The Duke of Windsor was one. Gandhi was another. "You know he was terribly anti British", my Mother would say in hushed tones. And another was Nelson Mandela. They were more vehement about him than they were about Gerry Adams (probably because he was black). My relationship with my parents was so bad that this fact alone would have probably made me a Mandela fan overnight. But by most people's standards he was a great man, and even by my parents' standards he was an important one. Now the Grand Old Man of African politics is dead after nearly a century of struggle. Rest in Peace, Sir.



One human like that lone man in Tiananmen Square

Julia Butterfly living in a tree/Bradley Manning

And many of our heroes get punished-

whistleblowers jailed/journalists shot

Nelson Mandela?He suffered a lot

in order to bring equality and humanity

into a split and broken nation

Like Ghandi,there is no saying

how long and how effective his changes

yet to stand up to tyranny and power

with dignity and respect

to never let violence dictate response

He gave his time and Light

for all the people in his life

His Light is Universal

Thank You Nelson

Our Wise Elder

                                                     Thom the World Poet

THOSE WE HAVE LOST:  Martin Sharp (1942-2013)
Martin Ritchie Sharp was an Australian artist, underground cartoonist, songwriter and film-maker.
Sharp made contributions to Australian and international culture from the early 1960s, and was called Australia's foremost pop artist. His psychedelic posters of Bob Dylan, Donovan and others, rank as classics of the genre, and his covers, cartoons and illustrations were a central feature of Oz magazine, both in Australia and in London. Martin co-wrote one of Cream's best known songs, "Tales of Brave Ulysses", created the cover art for Cream's Disraeli Gears and Wheels of Fire albums, and in the 1970s became a champion of singer Tiny Tim, and of Sydney's embattled Luna Park.
CREAM posters (Wheels On Fire!
Tiny Tim(cartoon caricatures
Images of clowns,circuses,popstars
illumined our 60s Oz
Time took him/images remain
Part and parcel of our visual adolescence
Music art play color posters LP covers postcards screenprints
Diverse and brightly optimistic/non-material yet deeply relevant
We saw our world through his brushworks
Facets of his play remain.The Sydney/London Push has gone
Martin Sharp has left his artskin -moved on..

                                                Thom the World Poet
I always wanted one of Martin Sharp's posters of Jimi Hendrix with his guitar on fire...........but could never afford one JD
THOSE WE HAVE LOST:  Junior Murvin (1946-2013)
Junior Murvin (born Murvin Junior Smith) was a Jamaican reggae musician. He is best known for the single "Police and Thieves", produced by Lee "Scratch" Perry in 1976.

Police and Thieves
THOSE WE HAVE LOST:  Colin Wilson (1931-2013)
Colin Henry Wilson (26 June 1931 – 5 December 2013) was a prolific English writer who first came to prominence as a philosopher and novelist. Wilson also wrote widely on true crime, mysticism, the paranormal, and other topics. He preferred calling his philosophy new existentialism or phenomenological existentialism. It is always strange writing an obituary for a man that I knew. I didn't know him well, but our paths crossed two or three times in the course of my chequered career.

I first met him at the Exeter University Science Fiction Club conference in 1989, when he gave a fascinating talk on the subject of Peak Experiences, and afterwards he and I spoke for several hours about the philosophy of Abraham Maslow, who - it turned out had been a friend and colleague of his.

I met him again, many years later, at one of the Fortean Times Unconventions when we stayed at the same hotel and talked existentialist politics late into the night. Together with Mick Farren and John Michell he was one of the few truly great men that I have met, and tonight my heart is heavy with the knowledge that I will not be meeting him again.

Begin to read with THE OUTSIDER(written @age 24
while Colin was sleeping on Hampstead Heath to save rent
Add ANGRY YOUNG"Declaration"writers(Tynan,Sillitoe,Amis,Anderson,Osborne)
even though Colin was never "Angry"and outgrew that status to research "Faculty X"
His "New Existentialism"based more on Sartre and Camus than American Beat Writers
He wrote at length and at large  on eclectic and eccentric themes-from "The God Of The Labyrinth"
to Witches ,"Space Vampires",Poltergeists,Science Fiction to Forensic Detecting..
His interests in others  ranged from Borges to Tolkein!Prolific,professional,popular-
he engaged his public with Atlantean evidence to Shakespeare's sexual disease.
His works were made for paperback,Penguin,populism.
I read what i found in libraries and second-hand shelves-always his writing intriguing
curiosity,philosophy,questioning and psychology a pot-pourri of possibilities.
His salvation came in moving in 1957 to Cornwall,where he continued writing until his stroke last year.
He may have lost his power of speech.His written works still beg the questions-
are there myths,mysteries,"rogue messiahs"needing our devoted attention?
If so-read more of Colin Wilson!Books,that is-stories,sci-fi,essential texts for young existential seekers..

                                                                         Thom the World Poet
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...
FRONT COVER STORY: Jaki Windmill interview
I first met Jaki in the late spring when my nephew Dave B-P and I drove to Brighton to film (what turned out to be) one of Mick Farren's final gigs with The Deviants. I met her again last month at the Mick Farren Memorial show in Ladbroke Grove where Graham filmed this interview, which will also end up in the film I am making of the occasion which - at the moment - is called "The Night the Sixties Died".

From the first time I met her and saw her on stage I realised what a remarkable person she is. And her vocals, but above all her invocatory, shamanic percussion, both with The Deviants, with Paradise 9 and on her own material are something very special indeed.

Watch our conversation HERE

She appears on Mick's final album, recorded together with Andy Colquhoun. Check it out below...
EXCLUSIVE: XNA interview
Last week I told you about hearing an extremely impressive track produced by Billy Sherwood. It was by a band called XNA of whom, I will freely admit, that I hadn't heard before. It turns out that the reason that I hadn't heard of them was that this is their first record. 

So by dint of the ever helpful Billy James, I got hold of a copy of the record, fully expecting it to be a disappointment after the extraordinary first track. So many albums have a single strand out track, and then fail to do anything that good again.

But you know what? The whole album is bloody fantastic! So there was only one thing to do. Again using the good offices of Billy James I got the telephone number of their singer David Hussey and gave him a ring. Listen to our conversation here.
Review: From ACT UP to the WTO Edited by Benjamin Shepard and Ronald Hayduk.

Matt Ford says he nearly died after taking a legal high

A few weeks ago our MP made a number of statements regarding the controversial retailers UK Skunkworks after a young man, Matt Ford of Whitstable, almost died from the effects of smoking one of their products.

I responded by saying that while these legal highs are untested and potentially dangerous, some of our illegal drugs are relatively safe. I sent Mr Brazier a copy of the story.

Here is an extract from his reply: “I am told by sources I respect that cannabis is both a much more potent drug than its namesake of the 60s and 70s and that it is now one of the major causes of schizophrenia – as you know we have a worrying rise in mental illness among young people.”

This brings up a number of questions. Where is the evidence? If it’s true that there is a rise in mental illness among the young, can it be shown that this is caused by cannabis?

Isn’t it just as likely, given that young people have had their futures stolen from them, – that they are the first generation in more than a century destined to be poorer than their parents – that the rise in mental illness might have other, more immediate, causes?

Read on...


"Stone writes with intelligence, wit and sensitivity."
Times Literary Supplement

"Wry, acute, and sometimes hellishly entertaining essays in squalor and rebellion."

"The best guide to the Underground since Charon ferried dead souls across the Styx."
Independent on Sunday


Housing Benefit Hill:

(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..
Graham has got a perfect excuse for not being here to write this week's Hawkwind News! He is currently in Southampton.................seeing Hawkwind!

So next week we confidently expect a bumper crop of psychedelic news items from the undoubted kings of space rock! In the meantime here and here are a couple of recent news snippets about the forthcoming Space Ritual charity gig...
Warm Blips and Clicks

During the time I was learning to play piano (badly) in my youth, I was witness to the rise of modern electronic music.  In 1968 we purchased Switched on Bach by Wendy Carlos and my love affair with the Moog analog synthesizer and the artists who mastered it began.  That same year, my older brother bought me The Beatles White Album for Christmas, and I also heard Dick Hymen’s first electronic album which included the single “”Topless Dancers of Corfu” – a fun bit of pop that showcased many of the sounds possible from analog synthesizers.  This early combination of adventurous rock, classical, and electronic sounds became the basis for much of progressive rock music, from expert practitioners in bands such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Genesis and Yes. The sonic depth of this music, and that of their contemporaries was trans-formative – the sound fused to the analog past, and electronic future where all things might be possible.  The sounds made by those early synths still seems fresh today, and is still incorporated in all kinds of music.

In the mid 70s the all-electronic music of Kraftwerk came to my attention via their first several albums, most notably The Man Machine from 1978. As we entered the 80′s I was primed for a new wave of bands that employed synths to drive pop and goth music of the period.  Of the groups from the era, several, like Kraftwerk, used only synth and vocals in their work.  None were more prolific and successful than the musical genius Vince Clark.  Vince was a founding member of Depeche Mode,Yazoo (Yaz), and Erasure â€“ the latter still writing and recording today.  Of these, Yazoo holds a special place as being a perfect blend of pop, soul, and cold clear electronic music.  Singer Alison Moyet provided the vocal warmth with her powerful, soulful delivery on tracks spanning their two releases Upstairs at Eric’s (1982) and You and Me Both (1983).

Read on...

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 is back to being very quiet in the world of Yes and their various alumni. We have news of Rick Wakeman's appearance at a regional awards ceremony, and a vintage show by the caped crusader on BBCi player. Apart from that there is only more news about Geoff Downes's new side project, which I have to admit sounds rather intriguing, and that is it for this week.

Sad but true.
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! 
Prefer the warmth of Derek Walcott
more than chill reminders of winter ills
when coughs and colds goosepimple skin
and we must bundle blankets to keep warm
prefer indoors to wild winds which strip skin to thin
Giver me hot teas and chats by fires
no snow nor ice nor roads of mush slush
Freeze is not us-peace ,prosperity,warmth
beam us into tropical sunshine dimensions
These may be wintry seasons-still/from chill
we will be warmed in green of Spring
Soon,white moon is calling
All will grow cycles..warming...
Come,sun!Your time for life is here and now!
Grow bright and brilliant in your heated light!
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, and, may I say, peculiar things....
But it was Corinna who found this 1971 Original Zappa and Mothers Poster, which for Â£300 (and as she says, it is actually quite a nice poster) is - we think - somewhat of a bargain...

Just in case you are interested, here is yer beloved Editor at iTunes

Bipolar, Jon Downes Lost Weekend, Jon Downes Hard Sports - EP, Jon Downes The Man from Dystopia, Jon Downes

Check it out now...
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...

The Weird Weekend is the largest yearly gathering of mystery animal investigators in the English-speaking world. Now in its fifteenth 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.

the running order (so far) for the 2014 event
Kev Rowland
There are a few bands with this name, and confusingly more than one from Germany. These guys formed in Bielefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia, and released two albums ‘In Your Back’ (1985) and ‘Molten Metal’ (1987) and then nothing was heard from them until 2005 when Karthago released the two albums on CD as a single set called ‘Molten Metal in Your Back’.  I don’t know if the band had already reformed at this point, or if it was due to the album coming out that they thought they should give it another try, but singer Ralf Scholz and guitarist Thomas Müller (who now provides all guitars and bass, as well as some vocals) from the original quintet have got together with drummer Frank Booth and recorded a new album.
Mind you, when I say ‘new’, it is as if the last 25 years haven’t happened and these guys have just kept on going as they were back in the Eighties. If this was played to someone who didn’t know about the band, they would surmise that this is probably from the late Eighties, but remastered as the production is cleaner than one would expect from a straight album from that period. Metal Church are an obvious influence, as are Accept, and the result is something that is passable while not really setting the world alight. It is a solid album, which does just what it says on the tin. This is pure unadulterated traditional heavy metal, with vocals that are okay without being wonderful, much like many of the NOWBHM bands, and riffs that again are solid without being spectacular. 
WARRION          Awakening the Hydra    (PURE STEEL RECORDS)
Ron Ravi Warrion (guitar) has put together a band to recreate the solid US Metal days of the Eighties, along with the NWOBHM sound of groups like Iron Maiden, and then has thrown plenty of Helloween and even Judas Priest into the mix. The singer is Mike Viscera (Obsession, Loudness), Tim Thomas (Abattoir, Agent Steel, Steel Prophet) is on second guitar, the bassist is Keith Knight (Aska) and the drummer is Rob Brug (Halloween). George Call (Aska, Omen) even provides some additional vocals on a few songs, so it’s not surprising that with pedigree the guys have created a solid album right off the bat. This is metal that is easy to listen to while never being easy listening, and there is some serious shredding going on while the vocals are also a class above most.
It is melodic metal, with a grounding in the traditional, while also bringing in some thrash elements and plenty of solid tunes. Some of these are surprisingly catchy, and even though I enjoyed this the first time I played it, this is definitely one of those that grows on the listener. If you enjoy your music loud and heavy, but with a tuneful bent, then these guys are definitely worth seeking out. 
UNTIL RAIN          Pandemic (EP)             (STEEL GALLERY RECORDS)
I was so impressed with ‘Anthem to Creation’ that I contacted the band directly, and keyboard player Lefteris Germenlis sent me copies of both their debut album and this their EP, which was released in 2011. I know that this may be seen to be ‘padded’ in that it contains a radio edit of the title cut so that it is here more than once, but only two of these songs appear (in different forms) on their debut, none appear on their second, yet this still clocks in at more than 41 minutes. Guys, this would have been an album if it had been released back in the days of vinyl, not an EP! When I reviewed ‘Anthem’ I described their music as “bringing together elements of prog metal, melodic and experimental 
metal, art rock, electronic music with some AOR sensibilities, so that they come across as Threshold mixed with Dream Theater, Dragonforce and Symphony X, with bits of King Crimson thrown in for good measure” and here is yet more of the same, although there are also some lovely touches of piano to boot.

This is an incredibly polished band, who exude experience and class from every pore, and I find myself wondering how a band can release material of this quality yet still be quite an unknown quantity to many. “Pictures of the Past” commences with just vocals and piano, until it is time for the guitar break where there is a small duet, while the bass adds a warmth and delicacy to the whole piece. Here is a band that really understand the use of space as an additional instrument, as although there are moments when the sound is all encompassing, there are others where they just let each instrument speak for itself and gives it the room to do so. Strong arrangements, great songs, wonderful performances, this band is definitely one of my finds of the year, and the one good thing about coming across them for the first time is that I get to hear lots of great music all in one go!
“H1N1” is particularly poignant, as they use clips from people talking about the flu virus, with just Lefteris providing a synth background. In many ways this is very simple, but is also very powerful. For fans of progressive and melodic metal everywhere,  
UNTIL RAIN         The Reign of Dreams      (STEEL GALLERY RECORDS)
And so I have now worked back to the debut, which was released in 2009. The shredding here is really intense, and the impression is not so much of a progressive metal band, but more of a melodic metal outfit trying to work out how to make room for the keyboards, yet definitely using interesting time signatures and arrangements. Parts of this remind me of Threshold’s debut ‘Wounded Land’, although Damianos-Cosmas Roussos’s voice is more like LaBrie than Wilson. He is a fine singer, but did seem to have some problems with holding some of the high notes. But, this was the only album he made with the band, as he left to be replaced by current singer Yannis Papadopoulos in 2010. Overall, this is an intense album, with crunching riffs, as the band are out to make an impact, which they certainly do.
Incredibly, the band was formed 2004, in Thessaloniki Greece, by Orestis Fikos (bass), Lefteris Germenlis (keyboards) and Alex Hughes (drums) when the guys were just 14 years old, and certainly this album doesn’t sound like the debut of some young unknowns. But, compared with their later works this is an unpolished gem with loads of promise, but yet to be fully developed. A strong album to be sure, but it pales against their later works, and it is with these that the intrigued need to start with, but then come back and find out how it all started.
PERCY JONES: Cape Catastrophe
Brand X was another one of those bands who were beloved of other musicians, and the more discerning of critics, but which despite everything never had the commercial success that it deserved. They were a jazz fusion band active 1975–1980. Noted members included Phil Collins (drums), Percy Jones (bass), John Goodsall (guitar) and Robin Lumley (keyboards). Not long after jazz/rock fusion greats Brand X put out their 1980 album, "Do They Hurt?", the band members went their separate ways (until their comeback in 1992 which only featured Goodsall and Jones).

Dave Lynch writes: “Fusion bassists, including the utterly unique and underpraised Percy Jones, have always laboured in the shadow of Weather Report's Jaco Pastorius. Of all the musicians who strapped on fretless electric basses during the '70s through to today, Jones certainly deserves attention beyond the seemingly inevitable Pastorius comparisons”.

Jones’ utterly idiosyncratic bass playing defined the sound of Brand X as much as Phil Collins’ drumming, and the band would not have been anywhere near as interesting without him. He also appeared on classic Brian Eno LPs as Another Green World and Before and After Science.

Dave Lynch continues: “After his years in the heyday of British fusion and art rock, Jones moved to New York City and began occasionally showing up as a performer on the so-called downtown scene, as logical a place for him to attempt a fresh start as any. He recorded Cape Catastrophe in 1988 and 1989 at a studio in East Harlem. Using an array of the era's available hardware (including, as the product-placing liners indicate, a Casio synthesizer, Roland sequencer, Yamaha drum machine, and Korg digital delay), Jones laid down tracks ranging from two-and-a-half minutes to over 23 minutes in length, and then accompanied the tracks live on his five-string (Wal V, for those interested in brands) bass as the direct-to-digital recording was made. The results were generally quite impressive, and stand the test of time well over a decade later.

There is certainly a lot here for electric bass-aholics to enjoy; Jones' burbles, pops, and plonks are all here, and his tone on the sustained notes is rich with harmonic overtones as expected. But the music through which the bass slips and slides is often more like twisted instrumental techno-funk than fusion, along with ominous electronic textures that sometimes sound like an ethereal choir or gruff, agitated shouts distorted beyond recognition. Sometimes the rhythms are steady enough that dancing wouldn't be out of the question (on "Hex," for example), but most of the time, Jones' drum machine is used to syncopate even the conventional four- or eight-beat measures in jarring and unexpected ways, which would probably send today's dance-oriented audiences into conniption fits. “

Jones composed everything on the album himself, except for the closing number which – of all things – turns out to be an arrangement of Thomas Arne's Symphony in F major, tinged with a bit of the feeling of  Krautrock experimentation.

The album is a peculiar, though satisfying mix of jazz fusion and electronica, and is another one of those classic albums that slipped through the cracks at the time, which is just unfair. Great tunes, great compositions, great musicianship. What’s not to like? 

Percy at Gonzo UK
ercy at Gonzo USA
My assistant editor Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent and I have had another rather a nice week. Mother is still staying with us, and we have persuaded her to stay until after what is euphemistically known as 'The Festive Season', (once the celebration of the birth of Our Lord, and now in actuality the biggest celebration of unbridled  Capitalism and Materialistic greed in the known omniverse).
But it will be lovely to have her here for the rest of the month.

It is a cliche that men are supposed to loathe their mother-in-laws, but I totally adore mine. I think she is an absolute darling, and I very much enjoy her company, and - bizarrely - she is quite happy to put up with some of my more peculiar attributes like drinking too much and listening to Comus.

In January Jefferson Starship will be on tour again with Auburn as their support, and I am plotting to go along and film some of the shows, because I made a pretty much complete hash of the show I filmed back in October 2012. 

However, Corinna and I will have mother with us, which will be an entertaining addition to the mix. But, she is already a rock and roll veteran, having been to see Adam Ant with us earlier in the year (the sight of her clutching her handbag and bobbing up and down to 'Whip in my Valise' as five hundred ageing ex-punks sang "who taught you to torture (who taught ya?)" has been amongst the highlights of a very interesting year.

And, after all, she is only about a decade (or less) older than at least two of the current lineup of Jefferson Starship, and I sincerely doubt whether she will be the oldest person there, so - if at all possible - I will take my 84 year old Mama-in-law along with us. I bet everyone will make a fuss of her and she will have a smashing time.

And I have a sneaking suspicion that next year is really going to be Auburn's year. The new album which was recorded in Nashville earlier in the year is absolutely astounding, and I cannot wait to be able to share it with you all properly. At the moment, I am one of the few people who has heard the thing all the way through, and although that is an incredibly privileged position for me to be in, it is also extremely frustrating, because although as I get older I get more reclusive, and I do have a tendency to shut myself away in my tumbledown cottage with my animals, my music, my books and my family, one of the main reasons I became a writer was so I could share stuff that I get into, and I have gotten into the Auburn album in a bloody big way.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I will be talking to the lovely Liz Lenten in these pages again before too much longer has passed.

I am also trying to persuade my old friend Orrin Hare to start writing for the magazine. His tastes veer towards the avant garde and amusingly insane, so if I can persuade him I think he will add an interesting frisson to the Gonzo Weekly family. I have also been reliably informed that Nick Redfern, a well known author about objects wot are unidentified and flying, and who is a notorious devotee of the sound of 1976 is also likely to be joining these pages in the new year.

So the ambition that I have had since about 1982 of editing an anarchic but literate journal of music, words, books, and taking the occasional swipe at those set in authority over us seems to be taking off... 

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