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THIS WEEK WE BRING YOU YES, JON ANDERSON, CHRIS SQUIRE, STEVE HOWE, ASIA, DAEVID ALLEN, SPIRITS BURNING, CORKY LAING, MOUNTAIN, WILKO JOHNSON, ANT-BEE, THE GREEN VIOLINIST, ATKINS/MAY
This is the nearest that you are ever going to get to a posh weekend colour supplement from the Gonzo Daily team. Each week we shall go through the best bits of the week before, and if there aren't any we shall make some up, or simply make our excuses and leave (you can tell the editor once did contract work at the News of the World can't ya?)
ALL THE GONZO NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT
Issue Eight        January 12th, 2013
So what is this all about?

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

You subscribed to it by opting in on the website. I hope that you all stay to join in the fun, but if it is not to your liking it is just as easy to unsubscribe again. But what a long, strange trip it is gonna be...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST
It has been rather a nice week on the whole, although it has been dominated by the news of the Asia split. I also managed to do an interview with Don Falcone of the immensely groovy Spirits Burning - if you haven't heard of them (and I blush to admit that I hadn't until recently) check THIS out.

As regular readers will now, I get obsessed by things quite easily. One of my Christmas presents was a copy of Philip Norman's stylishly bitchy biography of Mick Jagger, in which he unmasks the true identity of the elusive 'Acid King' David Schneidermann/Snydermann who was one of the most important (and certainly the most enigmatic) character involved in the 1967 Rolling Stones drug bust. I have since discovered that there are several books which dispute his findings, and so I am working my way through them, and have a couple of interviews in the works.  The results of my investigations will, of course, be on the Gonzo Daily before too long.

Last night I was reading one of these books, and I was taken aback by quite how important the whole affair was at the time, and also how it has reverberated on for over four decades. Pop music was pivotally important to society thirty or forty years ago, whereas now it is everywhere and mostly irrelevant. Would it be terribly paranoid of me to suggest that this is precisely why the powers that be have inundated the digital airwaves with rubbishy talent shows and things like Pop Idol? In order to neuter something that was once a very real threat to the status quo by making it pointless and banal? Just a thought.

FEEDBACK
We are slowly but surely building up a great little community here. Michael Elbaz from Montreal writes:  "Hope you feel better Jon. Thanks for the great newsletter, which has become a regular weekend read. Best wishes from snowy Montreal. Mick Elbaz ". Thank you for your kind words, Mick. I do feel better. I am bi-polar and have diabetes, and the two of them are not a very good mix. But I am up and about again now.

Bart wrote: "Have a good Corky Laing story..

Back in the middle(or is it muddle) 1990's, I had a rock club of some small renown here in NJ called 'Mother's'.. One of our 1st big shows was Mountain - with Leslie West and Corky himself.. It was an absolute success (in terms of ticket sales), but a 'roller-coaster ride' of events during the night.. I'll relay the Leslie West story some other time, but the Corky portion is .. My business was less than 3 months old, and cash was tight.  I had to cut corners where possible, especially where technical stuff was concerned.

Had to run the extra sound board and the light panels myself to actually make some money on this show. The boards were located in the 'wings' of 'stage left', and not all that far from Mr.Laing's drum kit.. I was a bit nervous(it was our 1st big 'international act' and it probably showed..

Corky had "assembled" a large 'cooler' of beer on stage behind his kit, and, upon looking my way minutes before Showtime, says "Hey mate, have one with me". I explain to him I have to stay sharp, that I've got a long night ahead of me. He stands up, comes closer to me, and whispers on my ear "Take a beer with me now,and take one with me every time I have one during our set"

Then, he laughs, hands me a cold one and says with a laugh "or I'll stop playing and you'll really have a problem". Not wanting to 'rock the boat', I gave in, drank 'beer-for-beer' with him, and Mountain rocked the place(3 encores). Corky gave me a big hug before leaving, and says "hope your night went well".

Well, he seemed fine, but I was so plastered I threw the night's paperwork in the safe 'til morning & had a barman drive my drunken butt home.. More I think about it,more I realize how cool Corky was, getting me through one of the biggest nights of my business life with little, or no, problem (and just a small hang-over)

Check out Corky Laing at Gonzo UK
Check out Corky Laing at Gonzo USA

Remember, if you want more than your weekly fix of this newsletter you can check out the Gonzo Daily, which - as its name implies - does much the same as this newsletter but every day. It also features a daily poem from Thom the World Poet, and the occasional non-Gonzo rock music rambling from yours truly, plus book and gig reviews from our highly trained staff of social malcontents. And its FREE! You cannae say fairer than that!
Each week, some of you seem to recognise me. Yes, I am indeed that weird bloke off the telly who chases mythological animals. I have a day job as Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and also the editor of the CFZ Blog Network, and publisher of a plethora of books about mystery animals.
THOSE WE HAVE LOST/THOSE WE ARE LOSING

It is strange to be writing an entry in this section for someone who isn't actually dead, but this week Wilko Johnson, the guitar star of Dr Feelgood announced that he has terminal cancer. His manager, Robert Hoy, posted a statement on Johnson’s Facebook page, which said: “I am very sad to announce that Wilko has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer of the pancreas. He has chosen not to receive any chemotherapy.

“He is currently in good spirits, is not yet suffering any physical effects and can expect to enjoy at least another few months of reasonable health and activity.”

Read on...

I
 think that he is being remarkably brave, and would like to congratulate him on his courage. The world will be a poorer place without him, but at least we have a few more months of his remarkable virtuousity

JEFFERSON STARSHIP GUITARIST NEEDS A LIVER TRANSPLANT

The Jefferson Starship's Mark "Slick" Aguilar will soon head to Florida, where he will get on a waiting list as he prepares for a liver transplant.  The 58-year-old musician, who's played guitar with the band since 1992, recently discovered that he's been suffering from hepatitis C, and without the operation his prognosis is not good. Read on...


JEFFERSON STARSHIP AT GONZO UK
JEFFERSON STARSHIP AT GONZO USA
THE YES CIRCULAR - MANY RIVERS TO CROSS
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 magnificant and long-standing band. Give the people what they want, I say
The band may be out on the road soon playing three of their classic albums in their entirety, but the big question on fan's lips at the moment (or at least on the lips of this particular fan) is whether they are going to do a new studio album. Chris Squire has intimated that they are in the early stages of assembling material whilst Steve Howe seems to be suggesting the complete opposite...

But the big news in the Yes camp this week is that Steve Howe has quit Asia, and has been replaced by a frighteningly young looking guitarist. Once again I am indebted to Bart (see above for his heartwarming Corky Laing anecdote) who sent  me this email:

"Thought you'd be interested in this... Bart, NJ".

He attached two pdfs which I have uploaded to a section of the CFZ website, and that you can download HERE is you want to. They both refer to the story I posted the day before about Steve Howe departing Asia in order to spend more time on other projects including Yes. 
This week an interview was published with Jon Anderson in which he said that he would "love to" be the singer with Yes again. The headline, which one assumes was passed by the man himself reads: 

Jon Anderson once fronted the popular rock band, Yes, and hopes to again.


I also found a particularly interesting article this week about Jon Anderson and his spiritual teacher Audrey Kitagawa who joined him on stage with Yes back in 2004. There is even a video.
Check it out
JON ANDERSON AT GONZO USA
JON ANDERSON AT GONZO UK
An interesting quote from Chris Squire this week:

"I thought that actually there could still be a Yes in 100 or 200 years from now, a bit like if you look upon it as Yes being a symphony orchestra where the members change. Ultimately of course, a part from some amazing medical miracle, I probably won't be here in 100 years time. So sure, down the line I could imagine someone else playing bass and singing and Yes carrying on into the future."

This is a concept I have been playing with in my head for a while. After all, it is a common one in classical music, or in folk music (The Copper Family for example) and I have been wondering whether some of the 'people's bands' like Hawkwind  or Jefferson Starship or even Gong (especially now Daevid and Gilli's son is in the lineup) would do this. I never thought it would be Yes, but I'm kinds glad that it is.

MORE DETAILS OF YES AT GONZO (UK)
MORE DETAILS OF YES AT GONZO (USA)
A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO DAEVID ALLEN
Daevid Allen is 75 today. Gonzo grande fromage had this to say:  

Happy 75th Birthday to Dingo Banana.

Daevid is someone I am proud to call a friend and who would of thought way back in 1987 that we would all be where we are today. To Daevid, I will always be eternally grateful to his faith in me. Which I would like to think has never being misplaced. Happy Birthday my friend and may you have many more.

Read more...

ANT-BEE: POSSIBLY THE MOST ENIGMATIC ARTIST ON GONZO
(and that's saying something) 
Ant-Bee is the brainchild of Billy James, an author, composer, percussionist, and legendary PR person who is possibly best known for his work with Frank Zappa, Todd Rundgren, and various alumni of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, and Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band.

Ant-Bee is a unique musical project in that Billy has recorded music from various well-known musicians, including the above mentioned Zappa and Beefheart alumni, and also solicited independently recorded contributions from a wide range of cover musicians with impressive musical pedigrees. He then, using the mixing desk as his own musical palette, produces some of the most interesting and confrontational music that we have ever heard. He is truly the only musician that we have encountered who produces music within an avant-garde framework that is actually pleasurable to listen to. Commercial avant-garde might seem like an oxymoron; indeed, we have never even considered such a thing to be possible, but it is, and bizarrely it seems like Billy James has invented a whole new genre.

Pure Electric Honey was Ant Bee’s first full-length record, released as long ago as 1990. He told us: “Pure Electric Honey was the result of several years of experimenting with my 4-track reel-to-reel recorder in the early '80s in Los Angeles. I have always been a huge fan of Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd as well as the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour/Sgt. Pepper material etc. So once I had recorded quite a few tracks, I decided for the heck of it to submit some of them to the Bomp/Voxx label in LA - there was a big psychedelic/'60s type resurgence in indie/underground music scene in the early '80s at the time - particularly in LA and the UK, which also gave way to the fanzine craze in the late '80s. Much to my surprise, Greg Shaw, head honcho at Bomp/Voxx Records, really dug my demos and offered me a record deal.

I recorded the album over a series of months in 1989 in LA. When the album was released in 1990, it received critical acclaim worldwide and many excellent reviews and vast airplay. As an artist, who has recently released his 4th album (close to 25 years after this first release), I view Pure Electric Honey as going to kindergarten - just learning the abc's of recording (although I had been playing drums and percussion on various albums since 1983), as opposed to my new CD Electronic Church Muzik, which is like graduating college. Many have said Pure Electric Honey is their favorite album, which is hard for me to judge in any way but it does have a special charm to it. Also included are some of the original demos that I submitted to Voxx. I must thank Greg Shaw (RIP) who did have the belief in my music to give me my first record deal and release the album way back when - I will always be grateful.” Check Ant-Bee out. We guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.    
Ant-Bee at Gonzo UK
Ant-Bee at Gonzo USA
THE GREEN VIOLINIST
CHECK IT OUT AT GONZO UK
CHECK IT OUT AT GONZO USA

 

The Atkins/May Project are perennial favourites here at the Gonzo Weekly, but this week singer Al Atkins was embroiled by controversy. His former band Judas Priest (named after my favourite Bob Dylan song, but that is irrelevant) is not giving him the credit that he believes he deserves.. Al is understandably incensed...

Read on...

And check out the latest Atkins/May album. It's a corker!


Label: Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST121CD
Price: $14.99
Available: In Stock



Label: 
Gonzo
Catalogue Number: HST121CD
Price: £9.99
Available: In Stock

 

 


THE BEST LAID PLANS...
And so we come to the end of another week, and another issue of this newsletter which is quickly evolving into something else entirely.

Bizarrely, what started off as a record company newsletter with a difference has rapidly metamorphosed into the music magazine that I have been trying to edit since I was about nineteen.

This is largely to do with the generosity and forebearance of my old friend Rob Ayling who you all know as the Gonzo Cheesemeister. 

He not only was kind enough to give me the job in the first place, but he was open-minded enough to allow me to experiment, which is something that I am still doing.

I am very pleased with this little magazine, and I sincerely hope that it blossoms into something even better in the fullness of time. Thank you to all of you readers for helping me with my magaziney experiments and for giving me feedback and encouragement.

I am sorry that this particular issue is later than normal. John Lennon once noted sagely that life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans, and this week life got in the way.

Over the next few issues I may be experimenting with different time slots, in order to see which posting secures most readers. Please bear with me, while I continue to work out how to get the best out of this new format, and produce the best magazine that I can.

Until next week,
Slainte



Jon Downes
(Editor)



 


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Jon Downes,
Editor.
Gonzo Daily/Weekly,
Myrtle Cottage,
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