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?)
Issue Two         December 1st, 2012
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...
Last week's inagural issue seemed to be very popular. Bart wrote "Keep up the good work... A reader in America", whereas Gerard from Tahalassee wrote: "Always great to hear from Gonzo!!! Please ask Rob Ayling what about a set of Yes Official Bootlegs!?! I mean, the King Crimson Collectors Club is up to #47 or so, so I'll wager it would work for Yes too!". Mario from Italy wrote: "thank you for the first newsletter, a very good and useful reading." So I guess we are doing something right.

Danny from Newcastle wrote to ask whether I am that "strange bloke on the History Channel, who talks about weird animals". Yes, Guilty as charged. 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.

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!


I have been a rock and roll journalist for more years than I can remember, and it is always a treat to discover artists of whom I have never heard. It is even more of a treat to have access to them and allow them to explain the creative process behind their work. 

The Atkins May Project is a synthesis of two remarkable talents; Christian guitarist Paul May and former Judas Priest and Holy Rage singer Al Atkins. In this multi-part series we go through the twenty songs which have appeared on their two albums so far, and let Al and Paul tell us the secrets behind the sounds.

The liner notes of the first album, Serpents Kiss are by Neil Daniels who described the music as “solid, honest working-class heavy metal” and goes on to praise the “fine axework and killer choruses”. It is hard not to agree.

So here we go – hold on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

CHECK IT OUT:  Part One  Part Two

Check 'em out at Gonzo
I was aware of Barbara Dickson. Of course I was. No-one who has even the slightest involvement in pop music over the past four decades could fail to be. But until yesterday, I had never really listened to her. And it was a real eye opener. The lovely Anne-Marie from Gonzo asked me to write sales notes for her forthcoming album, and because I don't like relying on Wikipedia, and I knew next to nothing about her, I decided to set up an interview. And I also typed her name into my ever faithful Spotify, and listened to her for the first time. She has an amazing voice, but one which even when she is singing the glossiest showbiz ballad still has the resonance of the open moorlands and cold ocean winds of her native Scotland.

And to talk to? She is an absolute delight. Eloquent, intelligent and insightful, she is an interviewer's dream. So herewith an interview. I hope that it will be the first of many..

Part One   Part Two
Check out Barbara at Gonzo
I have been trying to interview Tony Hawks for months, and each time something got in the way. However, in the meantime, I saw both of his films, and was struck by the difference in them.

The first -
 Round Ireland with a Fridge - is a straightforward comedy film about a bloke hitch-hiking around Ireland with a fridge in order to win a drunken bet. The second is far less straightforward...

Read all about it...
Take a look at Tony's page at Gonzo
Australian poet and musician Daevid Allen, born in 1938, moved to Europe in 1960, inspired by the writings of the ‘Beat Generation’. After a year or so in Paris, he arrived in the UK in 1961. After meeting William Burroughs, and discovering the peculiar music and philosophy of free-jazz maverick Sun Ra, he formed The Daevid Allen trio with his landlady’s son Robert Wyatt.

]Some years later they teamed up with Mike Ratledge and Kevin Ayers to form Soft Machine (William Burroughs’ name for the human body). After a European Tour in 1967, Allen was refused entry to the UK because of a visa irregularity, and moved back to France, where he became involved in the famous student insurrection of 1968. He then moved to Deya, Majorca where he, and partner Gilly Smyth began to assemble a loose-knit collection of musicians who began recording under the name Gong. One of these musicians was Didier Malherbe (latter dubbed Bloomdido Bad-De Grass by Daevid), a tremendously gifted saxophonist and flautist, who Daevid claimed to have found living in a cave on the estate of poet Robert Graves.

In 1971, in Daevid’s own words..."It was now three years since my deportation from the mum country so I was now able to legally re-enter England for the first time since 1967.” 

As well as being vocalist, Daevid Allen plays acoustic guitars, glissando guitar, and - together with Graham Clark on violin and guitar, whom Daevid met in 1988 in London at the last concert of Invisible Opera Co., UK,, and Mark Robson on vocals and keyboards, didgeridoo, flute and Irish whistle – who spent much time in Australia with the Invisible Opera Co. and his own band Kangaroo Moon - they make up Magick Brothers (named after Gong’s 1969 album).

Magick Brothers’ acoustic format  provides what is perhaps the most organic setting for Daevid Allen’s surrealalchemical soundscapes.  This early live recording is a delightful insight into the  modus operandi of this lovely little ensemble.  The accompanying video footage makes this already desirable package unmissable!
The DVD comes out in January next year. Watch this space...

Well, I started this week with such good intentions. I had hoped to be able to do a whole string of interviews, but - sadly  - all my plans came to naught when it transpired that the company that I use to record my telephone calls was doing a service upgrade, and I was unable to find a substitute that actually worked.

So many apologies to Michael Des Barres, Judy Dyble, and everyone else who I was supposed to talk to this week. I hope to catch up with you all very soon, and that my scheduled programme of interviews will be back on course very soon.

In the meantime, I did a couple of my off-topic essays about things that interested me (which in this case was mostly The Rolling Stones  and we also had some exclusive photographs that Rob Ayling, the Grande Fromage of Gonzo Multimedia (or as some call him the Obercheesenfuhrer) took backstage at the recent Gong gig at the Shepherd's Bush Empire.

What else have we got in the pipeline for you guys?

Well, Corky Laing the legendary drummer with Mountain and West, Bruce and Laing has got a fascinating new project, and I am going to be posting a few tasters, and speaking to the man himself very soon. Also the intriguing Spirits Burning project has been sitting on my back burner for a couple of weeks and we are all  very much looking forward to talking to Don Falcone.

There is a new Genre Peak album in the offing. We had an intriguing email from Martin Birke about it earlier in the week, and look forward to ringing him for a chat about it.

We still have the unedited footage of Auburn and Jefferson Starship from The Grove in Southampton a few weeks back. I will be editing some more tracks very soon, I promise. One setback has been that one of my computer drives died this week, and it was the one containing all the supplementary footage (taken on smaller cameras) from the gig. I have every hope that it will be recoverable, and even if it isn't we still have the footage taken on our big PD150 to play with.

So there is a heck of a lot to anticipate here at Gonzoland, and the next few weeks look set to be exciting and informative ones. If there is anything that we are not covering, that you would like to see us cover, please drop me a line at the e-mail address below.

So, that's about it for this week. Gonzo Daily will be back tomorrow, and in another six days or so, this weekly newsletter will again be winging its way into your inbox.

So, until then,

Jon Downes
Copyright © 2012, Gonzo Multimedia, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Jon Downes,
Gonzo Daily/Weekly,
Myrtle Cottage,
9 Back Street,
North Devon
EX39 5QR

Telephone 01237 431413

Fax+44 (0)7006-074-925
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