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Issue Thirty-Seven    August 3rd 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.
Google Plus
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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...
This has been a particularly strange week, mostly because of the sad, sudden, but not altogether unexpected death of Mick Farren. I make no apologies for the fact that there is a lot about Mick Farren in this issue; to me - personally - he was an inspiration, and he was always very supportive about what I do in this magazine.

So, Mick, wherever you are. This issue is dedicated - with much love - to you.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: School for Clowns
For the last thirty years I have been trying to get hold of a copy of Ken Campbell's 'School For Clowns'. It was originally shown on an ITV children's programme, repeated once and then forgotten about. Even Ken didn't have a copy. I know, because I asked him repeatedly. Now it has been released as an extra on the DVD box of Dramarama and it is still as anarchically wonderful as ever. I laughed all the way through. It has to be said, however, that Corinna sat looking stony faced with her "my husband is an idiot, and furthermore a puerile one" expression on her lovely visage.

So I played it for Richard Freeman; someone who is usually as juvenile as I am...

Richard Freeman joined the select band of a dozen or so people who have watched Ken Campbell's 'School for Clowns' with me over the past 31 years. And like every single other person, he hated it! I have always thought that it is surreally and completely stupidly wonderful, and even Ken himself looked blankly at me when I said that. It is that rare thing - cerebral avant garde aimed at children, and I think that - like my memories of the man himself - it is very, very precious. It may be too much to hope that I find another fan, but I live in hope that one day I will find a kindred spirit who doesn't completely hate it!
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Revisiting the Winter Tour 1974
Those of us of a certain age will remember that in early 1975 the shops were flooded with a Pink Floyd album called 'Winter Tour 1974'. The packaging was such high quality that many people assumed that it was official. However, the sound quality was not what one would have hoped for, and it was - of course - a bootleg. Now it is available officially, as an extra on the superduper all mod cons version of 'Wish you were Here'. It is absolutely awesome to be able to hear these awesome recordings which comprise early live versions of songs from WYWT and 'Animals', in proper quality for the first time. I was always more fond of the early versions of 'Raving and Drooling' and 'You Gotta be Crazy', even the officially released songs, and 'Animals' is my favourite Pink Floyd album. What a nice way to start the day.

However, no sooner had I posted that comment on the blog than my old mate Matthew North wrote:

Not Quite, British Winter 74 is the first half othe Trentham Gardens Stoke on Trent 19th Nov 74, the Tracks on the Wish You Were Here Immersion edition are from a few days earlier and a mix of the 15th and 16th November at Wembly Arena (then called 'Empire Pool') Andy Jackson has done a great job in restoring the recordings, the Dark Side of the Moon set is on the Immersion box set of DSOTM, Leaving only Echoes not being released. Always been a fan of the Nov 74 tour and the Mixing Desk recording that has been doing the rounds for years of 'DSOTM + Echoes' Aka the BBC mix is very poor compared to what we have now.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Only Anarchists are Pretty
The other day our very own Carol Hodge (aka Miss Crystal Grenade, who has a Gonzo album out in the autumn) posted this enigmatic picture which seems to confirm that the long awaited DVD of Steve Ignorant's final 'Last Supper' show is imminent. The whole show is - I discovered the other day - available on YouTube, or at least the whole show sans the last two or three songs, which makes somewhat of a nonsense of the whole thing. I sincerely hope that the officially released artifact is the whole show.

However, watching the pirate version still brought a lump to my throat, and I very much wished I had been there. My nearest and dearest find it hard to see why I get so emotional about Crass, but they were an important part of my young adulthood, and they still mean more than perhaps they should to me as I lurch into late middle age.

One mystery that I really would like solved is that of the whole Crass copyright and Colin Jerwood affair. Steve, indeed, made a public apology to him for the chapter in his autobiography which accused him of having fraudulently registered Crass songs to his own copyright. But what actually happened? If Jerwood is indeed innocent, why did the whole furore blow up in the first place?

I am only being nosey, but I would love to know the ins and outs of the whole affair.

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: The Gospel according to Bart
Yay! Bart is Back. My favourite roving reporter sent me a couple of news items this week. One was the sad news about J.J.Cale, which you can read below. But the other is this:
He describes it as "something I'm working on..", and I for one cannot wait to see more. Thanks Bart.
There are four new shows for you this week, jam-packed with all sorts of groovy stuff.. There are also some exciting things afoot with another entirely new station being added to Gonzo Web Radio, and a total revamp of the radio index.

Watch this space.

Date Published: 3rd August 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?

EPISODE FIVE: Featuring an hour mix from participants on the psychedelic music panel at Breaking Convention 2013, the second UK interdisciplinary research conference on psychedelic consciousness ( including Nik Turner (Hawkwind), Miquette Giraudy (Gong, Steve Hillage Band, System 7) and Twink (Tomorrow, Pink Fairies, Pretty Things). Also Hugh Hopper with the Delta Saxophone Quartet in Italy, a difficult-listening Robert Wyatt film soundtrack, Matching Mole live, Kevin Ayers going all glam-prog, Geoffrey Richardson at either end of a forty-year period, and rather more progressive rock than usual...

Playlist for this episode

Canterbury Soundwaves #19
Date Published: 3rd August 2013

Before Canterbury Sans Frontières was Canterbury Soundwaves a show which creator Matthew Watkins described as "exploring the so-called `Canterbury Sound`, its many roots, branches, twigs and accompanying mycelia in 28 episodes (November 2010 - January 2013). We, the little fellows hiding behind the scenes at Gonzo Web Radio are proud to announce that as well as Canterbury Sans Frontières episodes as they happen, all 28 of the back catalogue will also be hosted.

EPISODE NINETEEN: Some of Dave Sinclair's finest work playing live with Caravan, Matching Mole and The Polite Force, plus Egg on the BBC, an early Gong lineup on French TV, Robert Wyatt and the Soft Machine horns playing with the Keith Tippett Group, MC Quasimoto rhyming over an unlikely Gong loop, Lol Coxhill jamming with a bagpiper and a string of Canterbury-influenced sounds from Japan, Italy, Finland and Canada. New sounds from the area too, including Syd Arthur, Zoo For You and Robert Stillman. 

Playlist for this episode

EPISODE TWENTY: A tribute to Elton Dean (1945-2006), from his earliest recordings with Bluesology and the Keith Tippett Group through his classic work with Soft Machine and beyond, including Ninesense, Newsense, Soft Heap, Pip Pyle's Equip'Out and National Health, to his very last composition and recording. Also, Caravan playing Gershwin (1970), Daevid Allen playing dubious guitar with Princess Flower and the Moonrays (1968), the Gong Family Glissando Orchestra playing a single note for a very long time in Amsterdam (2006)...and the fool who appropriated Mr. Dean's name making an incongruous cameo on a Kevin Ayers song.

Playlist for this episode

EPISODE TWENTY-ONE: King Crimson connections: various members of King Crimson in collaboration with Canterbury-linked musicians, including David Cross jamming exuberantly with Hugh Hopper in Athens, Bill Bruford drumming reluctantly (but skillfully) with Gong in Oslo, the Keith Tippett Band horns simultaneously moonlighting with both Soft Machine and Crimson in 1970, and Robert Fripp producing Matching Mole and Centipede. Also, Dave Sinclair's primary mid-70's synth influence revealed, a 25 minute live improvisation from his cousin Richard and friends in December '74 and half of current local psych-prog innovators Syd Arthur playing acoustic in the woods near Canterbury just the other day...

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

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

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

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

Please tell your friends, colleagues and family about The Gonzo Weekly, and try to persuade them to subscribe. The more subscribers we get, the bigger and better and more effective the whole thing will be.
Remember, if you want more than your weekly fix of this newsletter you can check out the Gonzo Daily, which - as its name implies - does much the same as this newsletter but every day. It also features a daily poem from Thom the World Poet, and the occasional non-Gonzo rock music rambling from yours truly, plus book and gig reviews from our highly trained staff of social malcontents. And its FREE! You cannae say fairer than that!
Each week, some of you seem to recognise me. Yes, I am indeed that weird bloke off the telly who chases mythological animals. I have a day job as Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and also the editor of the CFZ Blog Network, and publisher of a plethora of books about mystery animals.
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THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Mick Farren (1943-2013)

People always say that they they know where they were when they heard the news that Elvis had died, or when they heard of John Lennon's assassination. I will always remember where I was when I heard that Mick Farren had died - I was in Brighton, on my way to see him. I had telephoned both his home and mobile numbers, and when I got no reply I telephoned Graham, my oppo back in North Devon, to see if there was an email from Mick changing our appointment. He told me that he had received two or three unconfirmed reports that Mick had collapsed on stage last night. I asked him to try and find out some more details for me to see if there was anything I could do.

Half an hour later he telephoned me saying that Helga Colquhoun had emailed me confirming that Mick had died without regaining consciousness. It goes without saying that we are all completely devastated.

Because Gonzo recently became The Deviants record label, we received a considerable number of inquiries asking for news. As some of the initial reports implied that Mick was alive in hospital, I asked Graham to find out as much information as possible for me, which he did tactfully and kindly. I would like to thank him publically for all he did in regard to this difficult situation in my absence.


Bob Dylan once said about Johnny Cash "You could set your compass by [him], no matter where you were, he was always heading in the same direction, steady and true..." I would like to say the same thing about Mick Farren


I am not going to claim that Mick Farren and I were friends. I only met him once, and had about three enjoyable telephone conversations as well, but I like to think that he and I would soon have become friends. Because Mick was everything that I aspire to be. A massively principled man with the heart of a revolutionary, a childlike and wicked sense of humour, an immense talent and a social conscience second to none. His version of that much maligned term anarchism, and mine, were and are almost identical. Above all he was a kind, ethical and gentle man, whom - one would suspect much to his amusement - my late father would have described as very much a gentleman. I had great love and respect for him, and I hope that in the weeks, months and years to come, as part of Gonzo Multimedia we shall help bring his invaluable work, and inspirational legacy to new generations.

Rest in Peace Mick.


When I Am Dead, My Dearest

When I am dead, my dearest,

Sing no sad songs for me;

Plant thou no roses at my head,

Nor shady cypress tree:

Be the green grass above me

With showers and dewdrops wet;

And if thou wilt, remember,

And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,

I shall not feel the rain;

I shall not hear the nightingale

Sing on, as if in pain:

And dreaming through the twilight

That doth not rise nor set,

Haply I may remember,

And haply may forget.

                                           ~Christina Rossetti


Thom the World Poet had this to say


I met Mick in print when i bought International Times.
I knew him from a distance with THE DEVIANTS and his journalism for New Music Express
Poet,author,songwriter,journalist,Phun City Festival organizer,musician-one man punk Renaissance
So many books-such diversity! From THE CIA FILES to BLACK LEATHER JACKET- he sowed the seeds of insight into new music collaborations with Kramer and many others-so
VAMPIRES STOLE MY LUNCH MONEY!./THE TITANIC SAILS@DAWN. WHO's WATCHING YOU?One singular man,who actually died on stage @The Roundhouse-and may not be revived again-apart from those who play his Muse read his 29 books,trusted his journalism and joined him in SAVING THE WORLD!

(One Record @a Time!..NEVER Rest In Peace!,Mick Farren.-SHINE!

Very sorry to hear of the death of Mick Farren, a truly unique person. I have memories of him escorting me home from the utter sophistication that was the Speakeasy to the utter suburbia of Wood Green with his Afro hair in huge abundance and his theatrical cloak swirling as he then returned to the London nightlife. RIP Mick..
Jack Lancaster had this to say:
I have had many calls and condolences.  Memories that were buried are flooding back. I'm devastated. I can hear his voice in my head saying "Waddaya mean wrong note, it's wrong notes that keep life interesting"
Love you Mick
THOSE WE HAVE LOST: J.J. Cale (1938-2013)
Our tribute to J J Cale
Thom the World Poet had this to say:
4 JJ
Bernie Taupin must feel the same-
fame less important than checks rolling in
Songwriting more important than performing
and when the party starts-here comes Eric Clapton-
Every body sing-"Cocaine!"
Here comes Santana.Here comes Tom Petty
Here comes another party anthem-
"After Midnight"-and we do not care
that Elvis never wrote any of his songs
nor that the Beatles wrote songs for the Rolling Stones
what maters most is creating-O!
and when those royalty checks start rolling in!
For those songs alone-
we will remember him..
Life with Captain Beefheart...slight return
Last week we posted an exclusive excerpt from Billy James' remarkable book, written with the one and only Zoot Horn Rollo of Captain Beefheart's Magic Band. It was so popular that this week we are posting another excerpt...
And now an exclusive extract from Chapter Nine of the book..
During my time in the band, Lick My Decals Off Baby was my favorite Magic Band album. In hindsight I may have a different opinion - but I liked it because it was an extension of the  creativity that Trout Mask Replica had, only the writing process had become more refined. As a result I felt a lot more connected to the music because I knew a whole lot more about it. Rather than it just being four people starting at the same time, ending at the same time, memorizing their parts, but just not connecting with each other, I felt like I knew who I was playing with.
As John French was no longer in the band, I had taken over his role as transcriber of the music. In other words I was given the rather daunting task of deciphering the parts that Don had put onto tape. As I started to take these tapes home to try to convert them into something playable, my role developed into that of arranger. Most of the time I would try to be as true to what was on the tape as possible, but I got the distinct feeling that I could have done anything to these parts and no-one would have noticed as long as it had a similar feel or rhythm to  what was on the original tape.
In that I was now responsible for arranging the music, I had so much more control on Decals album. I knew every note and it gave me time to concentrate on the phrasing. I didn’t feel like I had to wait and think about what somebody else was doing.
The other main difference from Trout Mask Replica, as far as I was concerned at least, was that Jeff Cotton had left the band. Jeff had always been a slightly more hyper individual than the rest of us, and I think the pressure from Don quite simply affected him more. I would like to be able to say that he left for all the usual reasons like, “Oh I don’t agree with the musical direction” or, “You guys smell bad” or whatever. But that was not the case. With Don there always was a “culprit”, there always had to be a person for him to vent his “beef” of the moment onto. Don was always picking on whoever he deemed to be the “bad person” of that particular moment. This always rotated, all of us were in that position at one time or another, but Jeff had real trouble handling it.
As a result of this picking on people, it was not uncommon for us to literally go around beating the shit out of each other! On this one particular occasion Jeff got the shit beat out of him - I am glad to say that I wasn’t to blame, although at various times Mark, John French and myself had laid into each other. The result was that Jeff ended up with two broken ribs! It was pretty devastating and it’s very horrible to remember that experience.
Anyway, this was too much for him, so he left, and ended up living a few blocks away. I think we went around a couple of times to see him, but I haven’t seen him in many, many years.
At first, Ian Underwood was going to play the second guitar – a strange choice considering he’d only played saxophone and keyboards with The Mothers. He knew a C chord in open position and that was about it. As far as I was concerned, it was tough enough having to learn all the second guitar parts from Trout Mask, without having to try and teach new ones to someone else! To his credit, Ian did really well learning the guitar parts. But it was hardly surprising that he got these migraine headaches and had to go downstairs and lay down for a while. He was a nice guy, but I don’t know what the hell he was thinking.
So, for Lick My Decals Off Baby I ended up being the only guitar player on the record. This is probably another reason why I preferred it. Nothing against Jeff Cotton, I mean his playing was inspiring, and he was a good friend, but it was just easier to handle all of the shit being the only guitar player.
As I remember it, the record was recorded over a 2-week period at the Record Plant in LA with Phil Scheer as the engineer - who I think had worked previously with the Velvet Underground. I don’t remember there being a whole lot of sessions, but definitely more than there had been for Trout Mask - there could hardly have been less!
Just before we started recording, it was decided that we needed John French’s drumming, so Mark and I drove up to Lancaster, woke John up and told him he had to be in the band again. Somehow we convinced him to do it. So, we now had two drummers - Artie and John -   which accounts for the propulsion! You can tell the dual drum parts - Artie on the right with his seamless playing and snare roll parts, John on the left with his tumbling explosive style. When they both played drums together it was always a powerful sound. In the end, John played all the main drum parts except for “Japan In A Dishpan”, while Artie added extra percussive elements and also played all the marimba parts. Artie proved to be a real pillar of strength and his influence was considerable because of his musical background. He certainly helped me rhythmically and I got a big positive hit from him as an individual.
By this time Mark and I were living in different homes and we were thankfully not all crammed into the Trout Mask house. However, financially the situation hadn’t improved and we were still not making any money! I’m sure Don’s mother was still getting lots of ‘phone calls to support us, as was my mother. My mother spent quite a few thousand!
It was a strange weekend. Everything that could go wrong, pretty much did go wrong, but apart from the demise of poor Mick Farren, I am looking back on it with fond memories, mostly because of 15-year-old Jessica, one of my gaggle of adopted nieflings. It was the first time that we had taken her along with us on a road trip, and she was a delight from start to finish. At the SoL festy she trotted about amiably, helping where needed, acting as a surprisingly competent second unit cameraperson. She enjoyed herself massively, and you will be seeing the results of her camerawork in the next week or so.

It was also lovely to meet Judy Dyble in the flesh for the first time. She is one of those people with whom I have exchanged so many telephone calls, that I felt that I was beginning to know her quite well. She is - I am glad to announce - exactly the same when she is leaning into your car window as she is down the other end of a telephone line; an utterly delightful and very talented lady, whom it is an honour to be working with.

Other highlights of the weekend included a blistering set from Tir na nOg - a prog folk band from Ireland whom I have vaguely heard about any time this past forty years, but who blew the socks off me. There will be more on them soon I hope.

Over the next few weeks we shall be releasing video material from the weekend, and more pictures, but in the meantime...
Corinna writes:
Journey to the Centre of the Garden of England (and the Sussexes)
So, with our Gonzo Multimedia hats on, we (Jon, young Jessica and I) were off to Kent to film Judy Dyble and others at the SOL festival, visit CJ Stone in Whitstable and then visit Mick Farren of The Deviants in Brighton on our way home.  What started out as an adventure turned into a freaky episode of peculiarities, culminating in a very sad return journey.
There were so many odd occurrences that they cannot go by without a mention. Jess certainly had a baptism of oddities during this, her first, trip away with 'uncle and aunt'.  She seemed to enjoy herself and we hope that any future trip she may accompany us on will be a little less full of such strangeness. She is great company, as are all of her family, and we hope she would like come with us again some time.  Thanks Jess, you were a star.

Frustrating hitch number one: Jon wanted to try to get a replacement watch – but the shop in Bideford no longer sold them. Well it did, but for some odd reason it only sold ladies’ watches. Go figure.

Frustrating hitches numbers two, three, four…..ten:  Then came some of those odd, unexplained stop-start traffic incidents – caused, presumably, purely by the sheer volume of traffic, with the M25 doing a perfect impersonation of a car park at Christmas time. 

Frustrating hitch number eleven (although it was probably actually somewhere between four and eight):  Well not really a frustrating hitch.  Just one of those Jonathan moments – a bit like one of those old Fry’s Turkish Delight moments but with no Turkish Delight, seductive music, or desert scene.  In fact, nothing like one of those moments, and I have no idea at all why Fry’s Turkish Delight popped into my head. 
But whilst on the subject, and for those who don’t remember, or have never seen, that iconic advert of the ‘80s here it is.

Anyway, we were stop/starting over Salisbury Plain and asked Jess whether she had seen Stonehenge â€˜in the flesh’ before.  She hadn’t.  So Jon explained that we would be passing by said monument very soon and that she should have her camera-phone at the ready.  ‘Just after this hut’, he said confidently.  Hmmm nope.  ‘Sorry, I always get confused when it will actually appear,’ he explained.  ‘Okay’, said Jess.  ‘Actually I don’t think we will be passing it at all to be honest,’ continues Jon later.  ‘Sorry’.  ‘That’s  a shame, never mind,’ says Jess, putting away her mobile.  Stop/start.  (I am so glad our car is automatic at times like this).  ‘You know, I think we will pass it,’ announced Jon confidently.   This will we/won’t we scenario continued along the A303; Jess remaining outstandingly unfazed by Jon’s long-drawn-out senior moment.  However, you will all be pleased – and relieved – to know that we DID pass Stonehenge and Jess DID get her picture after all. Phew. 

Frustrating hitch number twelve:  Arriving at the festival, we discovered that the other act we were supposed to film had kindly gone on a couple of hours earlier, because those who had supposed to have gone on a couple of hours earlier had ‘phoned in to say that their transport had broken down.  So, basically, we missed who we had supposed to be filming because when we arrived the people who had supposed to be on two hours earlier were actually on then, having managed to get their transport working again.

Frustrating hitch number thirteen:  We mustn’t forget the ambiguous travel directions to our hostelry which caused our cranky sat nav to take us around the back-streets of Bexhill-on-Sea and to keep telling us that we had reached our destination, although eventually we found our actual destination about half-a-mile away.  Then there was the missing key to our room facilitating the need for the inn-keeper having to be asked to lock the door for us after we had left each day.  I am not sure how it would have worked if we had not returned before closing time on the Saturday, for although we had a key to the hotel back entrance, we would quite possible have had to bunk down in the corridor. 

Frustrating hitch number fourteen:  We had booked the hotel rooms online just like we always do.  When we eventually got there we found that although they had taken the card details, these were just required to secure the booking.  So instead of what we had thought was a good idea, thus avoiding the need of claiming back the expenses with Gonzo having paid for the booking, we ended up having to pay them anyway.

Frustrating hitch number fifteen: Then came the beer and oyster festival at Whitstable (plus road-closing carnival) followed by thunder, lightning and heavy rain drenching hundreds of festival-goers (plus us non-festival goers) and pubs being so full they looked like enormous cans of sardines.  Then there was Jon trying to hold a ‘business meeting’ amongst the loud ‘chatter’ of revellers.

However, this frustrating hitch did give me the best seat in town to be able to watch the antics of one particular drunken attendee who was outside in the pouring rain as he stood in the road, stopped traffic and mooned splendidly at all and sundry, before intermittently gesticulating and then throwing himself on a bollard.  Wow they make bollards of bendy plastic now – that’s brilliant.  I know this because when he stood to pull up his trousers over his lightning-lit posterior cheeks, it bounced back up again.  Amazing.  They should get some of those in children’s playgrounds.  It would give them practice for any future exploits they may undertake in those odd years of youth that would probably have - once upon a time - involved the beating of chests, body painting with woad or some other ancient ceremony that cannot be performed these days due to health and safety, or just simply because we have evolved a bit since then and are supposedly civilised. However, the painting of woad does still appeal to me on  occasions.  I am quite often impelled to daub myself, fling my quiver over my shoulder and take up my long bow, and a sword, and cause havoc in Barnstaple High Street or on one of those trains that are transporting that other group of ceremonialists – the football supporters.

I understand that new grandpa (or whatever he is to be called; granddad, grampy, grumps or even just plain Your Royal Highness, granddad sir) Prince Charles, is supposed to be visiting Whitstable Oyster Festival today (Monday).  I hope Mr. Moonie is either still suffering from one-helluva hangover and is hibernating in his bed, or that he at least keeps his trousers on for such an auspicious occasion. 

Frustrating hitch number sixteen: During the festival Jess and I somehow started discussing milk shakes and both then yearned for a McDonald’s milkshake (because they do make exceedingly good shakes).  This was sometime during the afternoon of Saturday.  So for the rest of our stay at the festival and the journey to Whitstable and back, it was at the forefront of our minds.  Could we find a McDonald’s on the way back to Bexhill-on-Sea?  You bet your posterior cheeks we couldn’t.  So it seemed that the yearning on the 80-odd mile round trip was going to prove insatiable.  Until, that is, we stopped at a garage shop not far from the hotel to buy some sandwiches etc., and a quick enquiry revealed that there was a McDonalds on our way back to the hotel.  We found it.  We were excited.  It had a drive-through. And it was OPEN. Huzzah!  Somehow, not one of us had noticed this establishment on the other two occasions we had passed it.  But to be fair I think we were all side-tracked by the sight of the Big Top that had been erected in a ‘field’ opposite.  Well I wasn’t that side-tracked of course, because I was the driver and had my eyes firmly fixed on the road, and after driving for so long I was firmly glued to my seat,  with hands firmly wrapped around the steering wheel (basically set in that position) and staring out of the windscreen. 

‘To McDonalds and milkshake,’ we cried.  We didn’t really cry that at all,  but that rousing untruth does add a little je ne sais quoi to the situation.   After tackling the mini roundabout that had been placed so you couldn’t actually drive all the way around it in one go, facilitating a dodgy three-point  turn, I then promptly drove right past the ordering station – you know, the metal thing that speaks to you.  As I crawled along I heard the muffled, ‘Can I have your order please?’ as the sound trailed off behind me. Realising my mistake, and reversing back, I said something along the lines of: “Oh, I am sorry. I drove right past you then” – admittedly in a rather Joyce Grenfell, and ever-so-slightly vacant, way - at which point Jon started laughing.  Anyone who knows the sound of Jon’s laughter will know it is not a stifled giggle, or a gentlemanly guffaw, but more of a raucous cacophony of belly laughs that echo around the area like ricocheting rubber bullets.  At this point young Jessica started laughing and I was left to implore them both to shush whilst I started to give our meagre order.  This shushing task I singularly failed to fulfil and had to shout down the thing, ‘One banana and one strawberry milkshake please!’  Fine… I had gotten the order out.  But then came the reply ‘I’m afraid we have no milkshakes,’ at which point we all started laughing.  The guy on the other end apologised profusely, and after saying, ‘Okay, never mind. Thanks’, I drove off.  I didn’t notice, but apparently the guy gave us a really odd look as we crawled passed the window.  Slightly confused, I then asked why Jon had laughed, and he replied that when I had explained (albeit unnecessarily I have to admit, but I put it down to a manic state of mind on actually finding a McDonalds after all that time) down the speaker that I had driven passed, it had sounded as if I was stoned.

Frustrating hitch number whatever it was:  We thought we would take Jess on a shortish trip to Beachy Head, but the road was closed due to yet another annual event. However, we did manage to see a very large white horse and a giant....etched into hillsides I must add before you begin to wonder whether I was actually stoned after all.  

There were other irritations too, for example: a) whilst there were coffee and tea facilities in the room, there were none of those handy little milk cartons/tubes, b)  there were no instructions on how to work the shower nor was there any mention of having to flick a switch on, located high up on the outside of the bathroom in order to get aforementioned gadget to work, c) we realised at 9.55 am that we had to be out of the room by 10.00 am avoiding the necessity to pay for an extra day.  This information, of course, causing a mild panic as Jon was still IN bed and I was still faffing around in my undergarments. 

None of these peculiar and frustrating occurrences mean diddly-squat though.   They were purely that – peculiar and frustrating, and part of the rich-tapestry of life; little things that just happened to occur all on the same weekend rather than being spread out. 

When Jon attempted to contact Mick Farren to confirm that our visit to see him at home in Brighton was still okay, the news that unfolded of his collapse on stage the previous night, and his resulting passing deeply shocked and saddened us all.  Both Jess and I had been looking forward to meeting him for the first time, after hearing from Jon what a great guy he was. 

Bon voyage, Mick, and rest in peace. 

On Sunday 4 August 2013, music and theatre lovers alike will be heading to Gloucester Cathedral for a musically motivated, off-beat take on the topics of aging, dementia and growing old gracefully, when The Bargee’s Wife opera makes its world premiere at the Three Choirs Festival.


Starring internationally renowned singer Barbara Dickson, supported by a cast of 160 amateur singers and featuring music performed by members of The Philharmonia Orchestra, The Bargee’s Wife is certainly something to sing about.

Using the words and memories of those suffering from dementia, it portrays the way in which time alters with the syndrome, as well as the way their grasp of the present fades whilst the past remains.

Taking almost two years to complete, this one-act opera promises to take the audience on an honest and open journey through the mindset of dementia, comprising contributions from Gloucester-based care home residents combined with a gentle blend of opera, choral and folk music.


Read on...

I was very touched by this. Alzheimer's is very close to me because my Mother had it, and other old people of whom I have been very fond have also suffered from it. So I decided to find out a little more about the project. So I telephoned Barbara, and you can listen to our conversation HERE

Last  Saturday Rob the Gonzo supremo was in Florida and hanging out with keyboard legend, Patrick Moraz. 
Rob and his son Hunter had a splendid time with the former Yes and Moody Blues keyboardist and his delightful wife Phyllis. They chatted about old times, old friends. But importantly, they talked about several new projects Patrick is working on, the first of which is hoped to see the light of day before Christmas. Another project features several guest artists whom we can't name at this time for contractual reasons but listening to the early mixes / demos, Rob commented, "This album has got the possibility to be a future classic". 
Both Rob and Hunter would like to thank the Moraz's for the hospitality and generosity. 
Keep reading the Gonzo blog for details of Patrick's new projects. 

Is there anything about?

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).
However, they still owed their record label one more album. The solution? Release a rarities album! The problem, though, was that Brand X hardly had any unreleased material in the vaults at all---about three or four tracks at the most. But with a little doctoring & remixing of tapes, keyboardist Robin Lumley extended that number to six tracks (still scant, but better than four), and released Brand X's appropriately-titled collection, "Is There Anything About?", in 1982.
Writing on Amazon, Alan Caylow describes the tracks:
  • “Ipanemia": written by guitarist John Goodsall, this piece is an excellent jazz/rock popper. Very cool and breezy.
  • "A Longer April": this track is exactly what it says it is---a longer version of "April," from 1979's "Product." Either this is how Brand X originally recorded the tune before having to edit it down for the "Product" album, or Robin Lumley extended the track by doing some re-mixing on it. Either way it's a very dreamy, pleasant piece, and I like it. I also like the spacey little bridge section that's been added to it.
  • "TMIU-ATGA": as the liner notes say, the title stands for "They're Making It Up As They Go Along." Lumley, fellow keyboardist Peter Robinson and bassist John Giblin improvised this short piece in one take, and Lumley stuck it onto the album. Filler? Perhaps. Instrumental noodling? Perhaps. But it's interesting.
  • "Swan Song": a fun, poppy, keyboard-heavy instrumental, with a big "Ohh-ohh" chorus at the finale. Some fans reacted to this track with, "Oh my God, they've gone pop!" Chill out, you guys. I think there's always been an oh-so-subtle pop influence to a *little bit* of Brand X's music (just a little bit, mind you), so I don't mind if the band go whole hog and do a rare, full-on pop-music piece. And "Swan Song" IS a very good pop-music piece.
  • "Is There Anything About?": Now here is a Brand X instrumental no one should have any complaints about. I can't tell when the band actually recorded it, but it is a smokin' hot, jammin' piece, just as great & funky as anything Brand X have recorded in the past. Brilliant."Modern, Noisy, And Effective":
  • Brand X go pop again (gasp!) with a re-mixed, pop-flavored instrumental rendering of the song "Soho," originally from "Product." Extra keyboards and handclaps are tossed into the mix. Again, I don't have a problem with it. It's a fun piece with a good groove.And, to top off the album, the band's performances are juuuust fine, thank you very much, with Lumley, Giblin, Goodsall and ace drummer Phil Collins all getting in some tasty licks (as well as bassist Percy Jones on the outstanding title track).
It is the last album to feature Phil Collins on drums and includes some absolutely gorgeous slices of Brand X at their very best. This is a peculiar album; at the time many critics panned it, often because it didn't sound anything like the anodyne pop music that Phil Collins was making elsewhere in his career. However, in my opinion and that of thousands of fans worldwide it acts as a satisfying coda to a body of work which has very few paralells in the world of Jazz fusion.
The Cheering Rain


During the launch of her poetry collection at the Labour Club last year, Kate Adams read the title poem, The Cheering Rain.

Before she did she introduced the poem, saying that she was waiting for a publisher to confirm if it had been accepted for an upcoming anthology. She said that the publisher had asked her which country it was set in.

“Birmingham,” came the reply, to a ripple of laughter.

It’s easy to see why the publisher was confused. The writer does indeed make Birmingham seem like a foreign country. There is an intensity about the poem, with its flashes of colour, with its sounds and its characters, with its running boys and its stall holders, which gives it the feel of a North Africansouk, rather than an ordinary street in the heart of industrial Britain.

Many of the poems have that feel. It’s like you are looking at Britain with new eyes, in exactly the way you would look if it was your first time seeing the country, as a visitor might see it: as an exotic land, as a place of mystery and wonder, confusing and obscure at times, frightening, but still vivid in its presence, with the presumption stripped away, so that all you are left with is the urgency of your immediate sense impressions.

This is the genius of these poems (if that’s not too big a word) that they offer us a new perspective, a new way of looking at things. All of a sudden we are seeing the world through the eyes of the migrant, through the eyes of the asylum seeker; we are hearing the thoughts of people for whom English is unfamiliar, people struggling to put into words their sense of dislocation, their sense of loss.

This is not surprising as the poems come directly out of Kate’s work as a volunteer with Kent Refugee Help. In this capacity she has worked with asylum seekers, both those held in Immigration Detention, awaiting deportation, and those who have been returned to the community under strict bail conditions, unable to work or to claim benefit, which is itself a form of detention, a way of separating the asylum seeker from the rest of the community.



(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..
While things are still pretty quiet on the Hawkwind front, concerns for ex-Hawk Lemmy continue. The majority of Motorhead's gigs for the summer were cancelled for health reasons but he and his band made a return to live performing on Friday 2nd at Wacken Festival in Germany. However, the band's set had to be curtailed after 30 minutes, when Lemmy had to leave the stage.

Loudwire reports that Lemmy "looked pale and sluggish during the show, taking a long time in between songs."

A festival organizer then announced to the crowd that Motorhead’s set was over and that he did not know what to say "in a serious situation like this". reported that it's believed Lemmy collapsed behind the speakers after the sixth Motorhead song. They later updated their report to add that Doro Pesch, another performer at the event, announced from the Wacken stage during her set that "Lemmy is doing fine."

However, given Lemmy's well-known cavalier attitude to bodily health, anxiety among Motorhead and Hawkwind fans is still running high.
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

I don't think we have ever had a week so jam packed with Yes-related stories as this one. In no particular order, we shall start with a story about how Chris Squire nearly produced an album by Canadian proggers Rush. Next up a review of their Huntsville concert followed by interviews with Chris Squire and Jon Davison. Next we have a story about how various Yes alumni are playing on a tribute album for Steve Miller. There will be more on this project soon, by the way.
Next up there are two   Jon Anderson stories; one from what was once his local paper in Accrington about his forthcoming Manchester show, and one about his forthcoming guest spot in John Payne's Raiding the Rock Vault in Las Vegas.

Next there is an interview with Annie Haslam about Yestival, and an interview with Alan White, and another with Steve Howe. But there's still more. We also found room for a preview of the three album tour.

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! 
Start with a Japanese dot-add more-Zen stone gardens.Meditate within
Bipolar AB relationships-straight lines(broken)Meditate upon brokenness
Eternal triangles(always someone has an angle).Equilateral?Isoceles?Meditate upon Pythagoras.
Square dance.Barns,boxes,cages,bars,rooms,cells.4 equal 90 degree angles.Why?
Pentagon.Appropriated for conspiracy theories
Hexagon.Chemical configurations.Now-come to curl of wave or leaf
Bend of human form or almost .Elliptical orbits.Spiral staircases/seashell architectures.Gaudi.
Every drop in a pool joins All.Galaxies/constellations spin in space and time
Now walk the labyrinth in relationship/alone /singular/one @a time
This is your almost perfect life!

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 rather nifty Pink Fairies autographed poster from the collection of Alan Dearling, who sent it to me after the demise of Mick Farren, whose fingerprints are writ large across this issue...

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.
Lee Walker: Dead of Night
Andrew Sanderson: Russia Expedition report
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
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
James Newton (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...
Share the energy...
... of free cultures from Ruigoord and beyond.

by Alan Dearling.
I have returned. Back home in Scotland. Twelve hours sleep after eight days away (and only eighteen hours sleep in total). My mind and body has been awakened, transported, immersed, alive n’ kicking in the Magick and Alternative Power of Dreams that exist in Ruigoord – hippy central of the Netherlands. It’s been celebrating its fortieth birthday.  And what a party! My mind is mashed, but in a totally delightful sort of way. (

Originally an island, with an ancient past, Ruigoord (which means ‘Rough Place’) lies in the industrial heartland of Amsterdam’s West Port. Surrounded by container ships and the bustle of machinery, storage containers and large, looming wind turbines. It was originally squatted by the Amsterdam Balloon Company krakers; its church, St Geertruida turned into an art centre and its buildings into the workshops of artists, poets, musos, sha-men and women. Their slogan is ‘Fortuna Favet Fatuis – Fortune Favours Fools’. And it is one of the free-est places on Earth. An autonomous cultural zone, where they say, nature can create herself.’ Dreamers and diggers, all. Whaaaa-hooo!
Ruigoord, Landjuweel....I have been entirely offline; off my head; falling in love; dancing; madness; space cake; making speeches; wine supping; doing media; making friends; politicking; mayhem; more madness; music; firepits....

I was invited to attend and speak at the three day 3rd Futurological Symposium on Free Cultural Spaces. The underlying aim is to try and strengthen the network of free cultural spaces around the world. Making new links, and reaffirming old ones between places like Ruigoord, with Christiania in Copenhagen, the Boom Festival in Portugal, Doel in Belgium, ThyLejren in Jutland, spaces such as Pereira in Colombia and the Umbrella House in New York and many, many more. And these in turn need linking up with  the thousands of squats, intentional communities, festivals, Travellers, permaculture farms - and all the diggers and dreamers around the globe.

I had a truly memorable time. First contributing to the symposium debates, then taking part in the Landjuweel Festival, which the symposium morphed into.

It is always hard to convey what is more a feeling than an activity. Ruigoord feeds the imagination.
But here are a few snapshots.  Poet and activist, Hans Plomp, who I have known for many years, was one of the Ruigordoors to welcome the delegates. Hans said, â€˜the Symposium has brought together free range human beings from 33 places round the world.’ Britta Lillesoe from Christiania told us, â€˜We are no longer a social experimentWe need to link together all of the tribes. Christiana has up to 20,00 visitors a day in Copenhagen.’ Nils West also from Christiania later told me that the biggest challenge is get cannabis legalised in Copenhagen, then that will take the pressure off Christiania and its Pusher Street, where the street drug trade is estimated at £200 million Euros a year (but none comes to the Christiania collective). ( and
Felix Rottenberg acted as an incisive facilitator for the Symposium. At times there were almost too many presentations by committed communards. We heard from many spaces around the world where activists and artists have created spaces for creativity. The Boom Festival, held every two years in Portugal is one of the biggest counter-cultural events. Chiara Ballini, representing Boom told us: â€˜Boom is born from Ruigoord. It started as a tranceparty and has become a transformational event...with healing areas, electronic music, the acoustic rainbus people and a psychedelic welfare area. We create islands, with bridges we keep open in both directions.’  (
I was struck by the naive but wonderful Iwanjka Geerdink, with his concept of ‘Flowtowns’. His background in business and information technology, and his notion of â€˜hippies with plans’  marks him out as somebody different. He told us that his dream is to create â€˜connectivity’, what he called ‘a personal transhumance line’ of places where we can build free spaces and live. His personal line stretches from the Netherlands through France, and Spain to Morocco. He suggested that we need a floweconomy, based on barter and exchange of labour, and how he and friends have already started a BookCo-op as part on the connectivity of creators and their public.  ( and )

There were many extraordinary moments. A German lady, whose name I didn’t catch, presented a very polished PR presentation about her dance and arts company and then metamorphasised into a different being in the throes of massive seizure. She toppled from the stage, writhed and wretched. No-one was sure if this was reality or theatre. But as her wig fell off and many of her clothes, we realised that it was indeed an arts demonstration of Japanese ‘Butoh’ dance. Quite extraordinary. And so was Kent Minault’s one-man theatre performance. Kent had been one of the original Diggers of Haight in San Francisco. He held us spell-bound for over two hours as he re-enacted confrontations between Emmett Grogan, Peter Coyote, himself and other Diggers with police and authorities. On stage he played all the parts. He was there with Timothy Leary at the Be-Ins, scrounging food from the markets, then giving out the free food each day in the park; he was a friend of Hell’s Angels, the hippies, the dispossessed, he negotiated with Black Panthers and shared food and joints with bands such as the Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead and Country Joe and the Fish.  Kent is another shaman
I could go on and on. I’m missing so much out. I’m just so knocked out at being for days in the centre of this University of the Imagination. In the Symposium there were a number of  political anarchists such as Rutger van Ree. We were told that it was the ‘cultural and arts anarchists whose internal community-building (‘paradise for the tribe’) was preventing real, radical free spaces for economically excluded and the homeless. He was not alone in advocating a world where there is no personal ownership and that the political agenda is to confront, fight and change society. I disagree with some of Rutger’s ideas, but he is thoroughly nice, engaging bloke. During the week, he was distributing ‘de Black Out’, produced by XXX, Blcklst, it is a revolutionary travel companion for Amsterdam. It proclaims: 

‘Support illegalised people, free the animals, free your mind. Hang out with friends, swim, read a book. Bake apple pie. Dig hole under the surveillance machine...Keep on confusing them. Fuck the Fucking Fuckers.’

Our final day was spent with more presentations from individual free spaces, squats and more. The afternoon was set aside for agreeing a set of specific words for a ‘Declaration on the Universal Right to Free Spaces’. A tall order and maybe more of an imperative for Felix Rottenberg and American Autonomedia publisher, Jordan Zinovich. (

We discussed some proposals. This was political ‘hot potato’. The political anarchists wanted no possibility of ownership or neo-capitalism. Others like myself, talked of creating a ‘hub’ of our contacts and ideas on the web, and then proactively nurturing this to link with other hubs around the alternative tribes of eco-villages, festies, Travellers, organic farms and squats. I remain worried that issuing a rushed, hasty Declaration that is not ‘owned’ by many others around the world could actually divide us, and be counter-productive in the long run.  But those of us at the Symposium kept on talking long after the official end of the Symposium and the Landjuweel Festival kicked in. 
Judging from the emails I’m receiving from other participants, we haven’t stopped. Nor should we. The other agreed plan is to start moving the Symposium around to other places – maybe Boom next year and then Christiania in 2015. The festivals and cultural spaces will all benefit if the networks for communication between us all are vastly improived and expanded.

I spent hours talking with, and listening to, Aja Waalwijk. He is so many things: extraordinary artist, remarkable thinker and communicator – but most of all a hugely generous and caring human-being. He told me how, if people look too rough or are hurt, he will often take them into his space and help them recover. I am so pleased to have him now as a friend. His workshop house was my base for meeting other presenters and those helping organise the infrastructure of the Symposium and the Festival. Paul van Goudoever played guitar and sang in Aja’s outdoor space. Paul is the official Ruigoord photographer and his gentleness helped to calm us when there were small crises. Hans Kup is the official documentary film-maker for the 40 year event. He and his beautiful partner, Rita, became my unofficial spirit guides during much of last few days. We shared music, food and drinks and talked of music, creating spaces.  A remark from a long-term Ruigoord resident has stuck in my brain. She told me: â€˜At this moment our prominent men have strong feminine characteristics, and some women here have taken on strong male roles.’ Thinking about it, it fits for Aja and probably Hans and maybe Michael Kamp too.

I realise I am hardly telling you about the Landjuweel Festival. Shame on me. All those magical world-people in the dance tents, many more dancing and listening around the various stages, in the arts spaces and playgrounds, and glowing in the late-night-into-the-morning communal fires. There’s been so much to do and enjoy. I made so many new friends, talked about any subject in the universe. I was uplifted by the Beeldenroute procession of flaming torches around the whole site, which was encrusted with lights, art installations, music and performances, and finally a stupendous firework display in the surreal setting of the port surrounded by huge tanker vessels and warehouses.. There was also the making of the Eye of Ruigoord. The organisation of this was a bit shambolic, but the idea is neat - to send a visual image of an eye-blinking out into space. I spent some wonderful times with people I know by name like Alan W. Moore (art squats/historian, Madrid and more), Britt-Marie Lindgren (visual artist), Nils West (Christiania), Marjo Palm (visual artist and much more to me), Stevphen Shukaitis (author/academic: imaginal machines:, John (quarter Scot muso), Rock n’ Roll Nico, Fantuzzi (a muso from Puerto Rico who popped up everywhere), Dan the barman from Oz – a long, glorious list of young braves, in-the-middle tribes-men and women and elders. We listened to so much music together, talked the talk, danced the dance, supped the spiritual waters and herbs that kept us awake, active and creative.
I can still feel the hugs from so many people, the smell of the firepits glowing and smoking through the night and into the sunrise. Truly life affirming.

Many Tribes, One People!

Aja Waalwijk writes about the emerging network of cultural free spaces:

‘It’s natural that our Cultural Free Havens should change over time. In Christiania in 1972 the average age of a Christianite was 25; in 2011 it’s 45. In Ruigoord and Doel one sees the same situation, particularly when it comes to the average age of those who actively initiate artistic actions. By way of contrast, the average age of the initiators in southern Europe, at Boom festival, for instance, is about 30. In 2012, more than 50 per cent of Amsterdam’s youthful population originated from Turkish, Moroccan, or Surinam backgrounds. These youngsters have never heard of Provo, Jasper Grootveld, Magic Center Amsterdam of the Lowland Weed Company, and they are unlikely to ever squat or live in a commune. But reclaiming public space continues here (as happened in Occupy Amsterdam), as it does in cities like Istanbul and Ankara and other centres throughout the world. 

New Cultural Free Spaces remain out there to be claimed and developed. And we remain open to welcoming them into our emerging, ever-expanding network of kindred spirits.’
Alan Dearling still hopes to create some sort of book, e-book or on-line blog, celebrating and documenting the movers, shakers, creators and dreamers who have contributed to the Alternative Netherlands over the last forty plus years. Check it and his publications out and contact Alan. and

Deep Water by Gary Windo
Gary is one of those people who never really achieved the recognition that was due to him. Not while he was alive, at least. A highly original musician with an instantly recognizable style, Gary Windo was part of the Canterbury scene in the Seventies. Most notable was his work with Robert Wyatt on the albums Rock Bottom (1974) and Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard (1975), and Hugh Hopper on 1984 (1973) and Hoppertunity Box (1976). He was also a member of the Carla Bley band for three years.
Windo was born in 1944 into a musical family in England, and began playing music at a very early age. He took up drums and accordion at six, then guitar at 12 and finally saxophone at 17. He settled in the USA in 1960, studying tenor sax and music theory with Wayne Marsh and Lennie Tristano. A long period of apprenticeship, both on- and off-stage, followed during the Sixties, until he finally decided to move back to England in 1969.
After jamming in London jazz clubs with musicians like Johnny Griffin, Chick Corea and Jimmy Ruffin, Windo rapidly became a fixture of the scene. In March 1970, he took part in an all-star jam session with Jack Bruce, Mitch Mitchell, Brian Auger and Graham Bond. And later that year he joined several jazz ensembles : Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, Keith Tippett's 50-piece orchestra Centipede, and Symbiosis, a jamming band featuring Mongezi Feza, Roy Babbington and Robert Wyatt.
Having played pub gigs with guitarist Ray Russell's heavy-rock trio The Running Man, Windo recruited Russell for his own Gary Windo Quartet, which also featured Mongezi Feza on trumpet and Alan Rushton on drums. In the Summer of 1972, he played on Hugh Hopper's first solo album, 1984, and the following year formed the jazz quartet WMWM with Robert Wyatt, pianist Dave MacRae and bassist Ron Matthewson. He almost became a member of the new line-up of Wyatt's Matching Mole, before Wyatt had his accident and the project was shelved. However, Windo appeared on his subsequent albums Rock Bottom and Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard.
Meanwhile, Windo kept touring with Brotherhood of Breath and Centipede, and formed Gary Windo & Friends, with his wife Pam Windo on piano, guitarist Richard Brunton and the rhythm section of Bill MacCormick and Nick Mason. This line-up played its sole gig at Maidstone College of Arts in November 1975, but was the precursor to Windo's Steam Radio Tapes project, recorded between 1976 and 1978 but never completed. Among the participants were, along with the aforementioned, Julie Tippetts, Robert Wyatt, Steve Hillage and Hugh Hopper.
In May 1976, Windo played on Hopper's album Hoppertunity Box, and followed him into Carla Bley's band, in time for the European Tour 1977 album. But while Hopper left to return to England, Windo followed Bley in America, playing on Musique Mécanique as well as various related projects - Michael Mantler's More Movies, Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports... While in New York he also recorded the album Loaded Vinyl, with Pam Windo and CBB members Steve Swallow and D. Sharpe, but again it remained unreleased; and he appeared on Daevid Allen's New York Gong album, About Time.
Windo spent subsequent years in America, doing copious session work as well as incidental music for TV shows such as "Saturday Night Live", touring as special guest with NRBQ and the Psychedelic Furs. He also played with Pam Windo & The Shades, and recorded his first released solo album, Dogface (1982). Between 1984-88 he led his own rock quartet, the Gary Windo Band, with Knox Chandler (guitar), Jack Robinson (bass) and Steve Moses (drums). This album Deep Water (1987), originally released on Island records was the result. An unsung classic, I am very proud to be part of the team that has finally made this peerless record available again.
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. 
However, this is the busiest time of the year for us back in CFZ Towers, and for the next two weeks I shall be rushing around like a headless chicken trying to organise the annual Weird Weekend that is held each year in the village where we live.

I have been running it for fourteen years, and am very tempted to make this year our last. Basically it is all getting a bit much for me, and I would prefer a tad more peace and quiet in my life.

But then, like so many times in this issue of Gonzo Weekly I think of Mick Farren. His physical health was considerably worse than mine and he never let up his schedule for a moment. OK, it could be argued that this work level might have contributed to his untimely death, but I have a sneaking suspicion that this is what he would have wanted. He died on stage, doing what he did best; mixing rock and roll with agit prop, and rabble rousing to the last.

I suspect that I will probably end up doing much the same in my life, and so I really cannot tell you whether this year's Weird Weekend will be the last. The prudent and sensible part of my personality (yes, there is one, believe it or not) thinks that being a 53 year old invalid, that I should take it easy. But a considerable amount of the time I can hear dear old Mick bawling in my ear, to not be a pussy, and to carry on regardless, preferably helping myself to a tot of jack in the black on the way.

The future is unwritten. Watch this space.

My rationale behind the Weird Weekend is much the same as my rationale behind this magazine, the CFZ, and pretty much everything I do. There are things that are valuable and important that are largely ignored by our trite and increasingly facile society. It is our responsibility to promulgate them. Each person on the Earth has a responsibility to try and make the world a better place. If you don't at least try you are traitors to our species and to the planet on which we live. And one of the ways that I try to do this is by publicising music, books, films, research and ideas that are in danger of being forgotten.

I am very pleased with this issue; each time we get closer to my ideal of an anarchic journal of sounds and letters and ideas that I have been trying to put together for at least thirty years. Once again many thanks to Rob Ayling for giving me the opportunity to do this.

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. We are living in disturbing and strange times, but ultimately they are very interesting ones, and continuing to chronicle the Gonzoverse is an immensely rewarding thing to do. Thank you for reading.

Until next week,

Jon Downes
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