This issue is dedicated with love and respect to the memory of Mrs Mary Shuker (1921-2013)

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?)
Issue Twenty        April 6th 2013
Social media stuff that I am really too old to understand, (my stepdaughter spent much of last Christmas trying to explain Twitter to me) but I am assuming that at least some of our readers are younger and hipper than I am.
Google Plus
Google Plus
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...
Back in the day there was a (mostly) female band called The Slits, who - despite the fact that they couldn't really play - managed to make a gloriously punky/reggae noise. Their debut album Cut was remarkable for being produced by Dennis Bovell who made a fantastic job of showcasing their musical ineptitude and making it into a glorious avant-reggae soundscape which still stands up today.

The cover of this debut record depicted the three protagonists naked except for mud and loincloths, and is one of the most confrontational cover designs of the era, being the complete antithesis of most album sleeves which depict artistes au naturel, depicting the three (far from) ordinary girls, as Amazon huntresses poised to attack. This was nudity as a political statement, not as a titillation exercise.
They reformed a few years ago, but the untimely death of Ari Up (Ariana Forster) in 2010 (she was, by the way, John Lydon's stepdaughter) caused the band to break up for the last time.

The other day I discovered that guitarist Viv Albertine had released an album late last year and that I had heard absolutely nothing about it. Checking it out on Spotify it was a revelation; it has a few echoes with the work of our own Helen McCookerybook but with a disturbing avant garde edge that is reminiscent of no-one as much as Throbbing Gristle.

So if you can imagine Doris Day singing with Genesis P Orridge et al then you might have some inkling of what this fantastic record sounds like. In fact, no you wouldn't but I can't think of any better analogy.

This is an unashamed feminist polemic, and one could suggest that some of the songs on here like Confessions of a MILF and  Hookup Girl are drawn from her own life experiences. 

Even more than male pop stars, female pop singers have traditionally been young women, and I am finding the current work by such older female artists such as Viv Albertine, Helen McCookerybook, and Judy Dyble, which is - after all - groundbreaking (if only in terms of them breaking the socio-cultural model demanded of them by the traditional music business) particularly uplifting and rewarding.
FEEDBACK:  Alan comes up and sees me
Alan Dearling has indeed been a busy little bunny this week (if you don't believe me, have a gander at this picture taken of him at Hawkeaster.

But as well as writing a spiffing review of Hawkeaster for us, and indulging in his peculiar lagomorphic tendencies, he also wrote to me as a comment on the Steve Harley piece I posted last issue..

Hi again Jon
My favourite recording by Steve Harley is his version of Dylan's Love Minus Zero/No Limits.
There's a version up on the web at:
luv n' respect
I had never heard that particular Dylan song done by SH before, but back in the day, I did hear him play Absolutely Sweet Marie especially for me and my ex-wife. 
By this stage, we had have been working for Steve Harley, for nearly three years. This was something like our eighth tour with him, and by this stage we had got it down to a fine art. Even when you're only flogging T-shirts and magazines, there's still an enormous amount of planning to go into a road trip which could last anything up to a couple of months. This particular jaunt was only going to last for a couple of weeks, but leaving aside my hidden agenda, the precarious finances of my household dictated that we would have to bring at least 300 quid home with us if we were going to survive over the next few months. We had to pack an enormous amount of stock as well as our clothes and sleeping things, and the burgeoning supply of second-hand records, which we were determined to swap for more and more books to add to my ever-growing Fortean library. Finally, that day of the tour dawned. We left the dog at the kennels, patted him on the head, and headed off in our battered and rather ancient Ford Transit van up the A30 in search of adventure.

I look back at this particular tour as being probably the peak of the time that I spent on the road with Steve Harley. His performances on this tour were transcendent - possibly the finest rock music that I have ever heard. He had a particularly fine band that spring, and the set lists effortlessly mixed old and new songs together to produce two-and-a-half-hours of peerless entertainment. At this time, Steve and I were friends. I had managed to break through the barrier which separated fan from friend, and in the long hours before sound checks, and when the technical people and the backline crew were doing their own inimitable thing, Steve and I would often talk. He told me about the early days of his career - when as a young reporter on a Colchester newspaper he dreamed of forming a rock band, which would be a glorious mixture of the Beatles, Marc Bolan, Bob Dylan and his own peculiar vision. He told me how once, tripping on acid, he had seen an old tramp in the park, and how he - when their eyes met - had been inspired to write one of my favourites of his songs  - Tumbling Down. We often talked about our own tastes in music - particularly Smokey Robinson and Bob Dylan, and on one unforgettable occasion he strummed at an acoustic guitar and we sang You Really Got a Hold on me rather badly - but in some semblance of harmony - together. He also told me how - in the days before Cockney Rebel had got their first record contract  - they had recorded some demos, mostly of their own songs but also Bob Dylan's glorious Absolutely Sweet Marie.

It was a song that could have been made for Harley's nasal, estuarine drawl, and all tour I had been badgering him to try his hand at singing it again. Harley always refused, but our long and rambling conversations would continue. He had always been my biggest influence as a musician and as a songwriter, but it was on this particular three week sojourn in the provinces, that he taught me everything that I know today about the way that the media works. He was in a unique position - he had been both a journalist, and the target of journalists. He had been the hunter and the hunted, and he had become an expert at beating the media at their own game. Although he had been my favourite pop singer since I was 14 years old, it was only on this tour that he became my mentor - joining Gerald Durrell as somebody  upon whom I had modelled my life. Looking back over the last 10 years, one can see both Harley’s and Durrell`s figurative fingerprints writ large upon the way that I have run the CFZ, and indeed my life. Neither man was a saint. In both their cases their feet of clay are sometimes spectacular, and I see know that I have inherited some of their bad points as well as some of their skills. But if it were not for these two men I would not be where I am - or who I am - today.

Read on.....
FEEDBACK: Bart does it again
Bart Lancia is adept at finding interesting snippets for me such as this article about the album that really made Bob Dylan's career take off...

Thanks dude.
FEEDBACK: A letter from Holland
This week I received this interesting missive from a Dutch reader:
Dear Jon,

I've been reading your newsletter every week with keen interest and I wanted to share a recent discovery with you. One of my fellow Dutch named Jacco Gardner recently released his first album, Cabinet of Curiosities, which is also an section/item in your letter for that matter ;-)

This album is amazing and sounds a lot like Syd and the Floyd came back from 1967 to make another album. It is creating quite a buzz in the Netherlands and rightly so I believe and it is due for a release in the US.

It is on Spotify for your listening pleasures, hope you like it. The guy is 20 something btw ;-)

Kind regards,

Age Rotshuizen
The Netherlands
This seemed too good to miss, so I checked him out on Spotify, and although I think it sounds more like Syd singing with Nirvana (the original duo not the '90s grunge merchants), it is bloody good and comes with a Gonzo seal of approval!
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: Kevin Peek (1946-2013)
Kevin at Wikipedia

Our Tribute to Kevin Peek
A History of Drinking (Part Two).

My Mum tells me I had my first drink at the age of three, at a wedding party in Malta, where my Dad was stationed, him being in the Navy at the time.
She says she couldn't find me. She was looking about all over the place. And then she saw me. I had positioned myself under the table where all the drink was laid out. I had a bottle. I had been helping myself. I was sitting there, flush-faced and merry, thoroughly enjoying myself.
I've been drinking ever since.
When we came back from Malta my Mum brought all these decorative bottles with her. They were like small, painted pots, meant to look like Roman vessels. Only they had drink in them, various kinds of liqueur. One day the drink started to disappear.
Guess who was drinking it.
I went into my first pub at the age of fifteen, when it was 1/8d a pint. I had my first job behind a bar, fell in love with my first girlfriend in there, and was promptly sacked for snogging her too wildly. We were embarrassing the customers, they said.
I have always loved pubs.
Drinking is a culture, of course. It is part of our lives. There's a ritual and a mystique. You walk into your local and greet your friends, or you walk into a new pub and greet the barman. You order your drink, then take that first, long draught, cool and with a bite, like a bitter herb. Which is what it is, of course: beer usually containing hops.
It is the hops as well as the alcohol that help you to sleep: hops having a known soporific effect.
People usually have their favourite tipple. Mine was always bitter in the past, though I've moved on to lager these days. I like the added strength of a premium lager. I like the effect. But, whatever the drink, there is a ritual quality to it. Some people prefer to drink from a jug, others prefer a glass and, whichever it is, you never feel quite comfortable without your specific preference.
Some people have their own glasses. I have a friend who drinks from a Wolverhampton Wanderers glass. I used to serve him behind the bar. One day I gave him a Notts County glass by mistake. He took a sup and then spluttered.
"What's this?" he said. "I want my own glass."
"Sorry Alan. But it doesn't really make any difference, does it?"
"It doesn't taste right," he said.
And maybe he was right. Maybe it didn't taste the same out of a Notts County glass. The ritual had been broken.
But we've always drunk, here in the West, at least. It has always been part of who we are.
The way I see it, as hunter-gatherers, we would have collected fruit. Not all of the fruit would have been eaten. And then some of it would have fermented. This must have been very early in the history of mankind. The fruit would have fermented and turned to liquid, and there you have it: man's first drink.
Indeed, scrumpy cider is still brewed in precisely this way. Some of the fruit is allowed to rot and to pick up wind-blown yeasts. It is from these yeasts that the cider is brewed. And what better way to use up your spare apples, than by brewing them into a drink that can be drunk all year, a reminder of the summer's harvest even in the depths of winter? Most cider apples are inedible in any case. What else can you use them for?
The mysterious people who built Stonehenge are known by archaeologists as the Beaker People. That's because, aside from their monument, they left thousands of decorated beakers. And what were the beakers for? To drink from, obviously. And it certainly wasn't tea. The people who built Stonehenge liked to party. That's what Stonehenge always has been. It's a place to hold a party by.
Maybe those Beaker People were all like my friend Alan. They had their own ritual vessels. They were all refusing to drink out of Notts County glasses.
And Jesus turned the water into wine. He knew what his priorities were.
One good story I know is about when the Vikings of the southern steppes of Russia were deliberating on changing their religion. They were one of the last pagan nations, but, they thought, it was about time they caught up with the rest of the world. It was about time they tried one of the new-fangled religions. So they called representatives of all the religions to meet them, to decide which to opt for. They asked the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholics and the Moslems along, to explain what their religions meant. They didn't like the Roman Catholic religion, because their priests weren't allowed to marry.
"And you know, us Vikings like to have sex."
They didn't like Islam, because you weren't allowed to drink.
"And, you know, us Vikings like to drink."
They opted for the Orthodox religion in the end, because Orthodox priests were allowed to marry and to drink.
Which is an odd picture to my mind. You always think that people come to their religion by revelation, not by such worldly considerations as these.
But, there you go. The Vikings of the Southern Steppes are now Orthodox because they like to drink and have sex.
Actually, I made most of that story up. Never trust a drinker to tell the truth, when a vast elaboration will do.
Cheers! Mine's a pint.

An extraordinary record from Paul D'Adamo
Grapevine, TX - Vocalist extraordinaire Paul D'Adamo is no stranger to the world of Phil Collins and Genesis. His debut CD 'Tell Me Something' not only showcases a mixture of original compositions and re-done, lesser known classics by Phil Collins and Genesis, but also features essentially the core of Phil Collins's touring band: Brad Cole, Leland Sklar, Daryl Stuermer, Chester Thompson, Luis Conte, Arnold McCuller, Amy Keys, Lynne Fiddmont, and renowned jazz saxophonist Gerald Albright (who also worked with the Phil Collins Big Band). Of course, many members of Phil's touring band are active session players, and there have been projects where a couple of them have played together, but 'Tell Me Something' represents the first time almost all of Phil Collins's entire ensemble of musicians have come together on a project...without Phil Collins!
“Paul D'Adamo's cover of 'Entangled' is a very beautifully put together version - magical. Paul's voice is really good.” - Steve Hackett
And just what is it about Phil Collins and Genesis that Paul D'Adamo finds so appealing? Paul explains, “As a vocalist first, then keyboardist and drummer, the music of Genesis was written with those thick 'outside the box' voicings to certainly establish their distinctive sound. I always tend to challenge myself as a musician, and their use of time signatures to fit lyrically and melodically inspired me. Phil's music was very autobiographical for me. It seemed that his melodies and lyrics provided a day to day soundtrack for my life. I enjoy that both Genesis and Phil Collins music tends to be the round peg that can also fit into the square hole. Neither the band nor solo artist were ever the type of musicians to play it safe!”
From the time he started formal lessons at the age of six, Paul has had diverse musical influences. Some of these styles include classical, jazz, pop, musical theatre and rock. His passion for singing, performing, and piano playing continued through his college years where he studied with some of the finest teachers at the Indiana University School of Music, The Juilliard School and Berklee College of Music. He also began teaching a number of students, as well as studying privately to further his art and hone his craft. In 2002, Paul opened The D'Adamo School of Performing Arts, where he still teaches private voice, piano, drums, music theory and songwriting lessons in his Grapevine studio.
'Tell Me Something' was mostly recorded in Nashville at the Colemine Studios owned by Brad Cole, who produced the album. We made a few trips to LA to track with Leland Sklar, Arnold McCuller, Amy Keys, Lynne Fiddmont, Darlene Koldenhoven and Grant Geissman. The album took two years to the day to complete and was a true labour of love for Paul, allowing him to make great music with his influences, who have since become dear friends. Fans of Genesis will enjoy hearing things on Paul's new album like Daryl Stuermer's take on “Entangled”(from the 1976 album 'A Trick Of The Tail') alongside a fairly faithful version of the song. But it must be stressed that Paul D'Adamo is not a Genesis tribute act by any stretch of the imagination. He is an accomplished songwriter in his own right, which is witnessed by his unique compositions also included on 'Tell Me Something'. Says Paul, “I wanted a collective of songs that were very personal to me. Songs that had seen me go through the highs and lows of my life both professionally and personally. So if I wanted a musical autobiography, I guess this would have been it.”
“Paul D'Adamo's reworking of 'Entangled' from 'A Trick Of The Tail' – a real gem among the embarrassment of riches that is the Genesis catalogue – is probably the most interesting and entertaining thing here, though the echo-swathed acapella rendition of 'Guide Vocal', previously a showcase for Collins on the 'Duke' album, ends proceedings on a high note.” - Dave Ling, Classic Rock Presents Prog magazine
And how did Paul's ultimate dream band come to fruition, he explains, “I had reached out to Brad Cole, keyboardist with Phil Collins since 1989, and mentioned to him about the potential of doing an album of some Genesis/Phil Collins songs as well as a few of my own. I didn't really have a band, so when he asked if I had a drummer in mind, before I could give him an answer, he was like, 'No worries, we'll just get Chester to do it' – as in Chester Thompson! Then it became, let's get Daryl, Leland, and so on and so on... No one said 'no', everyone seemed to be thrilled with the idea. So the Phil/Genesis family kept growing until I realized I had 9 musicians associated with the Genesis and Phil Collins bands.”
As far as future plans, in the afterglow of the success of Paul's latest release, he has ventured back into the recording studio to record his next album. Says Paul, “I'm currently working on a new album that will be released on the label I am signed to, Melodic Revolution Records. The new album is titled 'Rawfully Organic' and is being produced by long time Peter Gabriel drummer Jerry Marotta. I've been traveling up to Woodstock, and this album will feature some musicians off of 'Tell Me Something', as well as musicians from the Peter Gabriel Band, King Crimson, and so many other fine artists as well. I expect my second album to have more of an edgier sound to it. It will consist of a handful of Gabriel/Genesis tunes, as well as some original songs. We plan on having the release sometime in 2013, possibly with a DVD or some short film on the making of the album.”Paul is no stranger to live performances as well. His first gig promoting 'Tell Me Something' consisted of his band that included members of Phil Collins, Genesis and the Elton John band, which featured renowned drummer, Charlie Morgan, who also recorded 2 tracks on Paul's album. Paul's first show...sharing a triple bill with Ambrosia and Kansas late last year!
“I very much look forward to producing Paul D'Adamo's new recording. Paul approached me a few months ago and we started a creative/musical dialogue on how we could collaborate. In the process, Paul sent me a copy of his current recording 'Tell Me Something'. I was immediately blown away by the first track 'Tell Me Something', a song Paul wrote with his longtime friend and collaborator, Chris Remediani. You could say I was hooked from the first 20 seconds. As I listened on, I was really impressed with Paul's interpretations of a few Phil Collins songs as well as a few Genesis compositions. One of many high points is his interpretation of the song 'Entangled', an absolutely beautiful vocal arrangement. Paul has an amazing voice. He stacked the deck in his favor when he hired longtime Phil Collins collaborator Brad Cole to produce his record. Brad did an incredible job of helping Paul redesign some Collins/Genesis classics. Add to this a who's who of world class musicians like Chester Thompson, Leland Sklar, Daryl and Duane Stuermer and you've got a formula for a phenomenal recording. Keep your eyes open for this guy!” - Drum legend/Producer Jerry Marotta.
“As president of an independent label I receive hundreds of music submissions each week in various stages from demos to finished product. When 'Tell Me Something' came across my desk via a friend, I gave it a good spin and halfway through the album I realized this was no ordinary album or band. The production of this album was one of the best I have ever heard from an independent artist. The musicianship was top notch and featuring some of the best in the music business. I immediately contacted Paul and asked him if he would like to sign a deal with us, and the rest as they say is history. We have added 'Tell Me Something' to our catalog and are working very close with Paul on his upcoming album due out in early 2013.” - Nick Katona, President, Melodic Revolution Records

Tracks: Tell Me Something , Long Long Way To Go , Miss You , Doesn't Anybody Stay Together Anymore , Entangled , Woman Like You , Please Don't Ask , Like it or Not , Constant Change , Guide Vocal .


EXCLUSIVE: Hawkeaster -  You wished you were there!
Almost joined-up words from our old Gonzo author friend, Alan Dearling
‘So, who are Hawk-friends?’ someone asked during one of the two Q&A sessions with members of Hawkwind during the two day Hawkfest.‘It’s you – all of you,’ was the loud and clear answer from Dave Brock and his merry band of musical mates. And the whole weekend was akin to a private party, held this year in the somewhat unlikely venue of Seaton in Devon’s old town hall, now run as the Gateway by a bunch of local worthies under the guise of Seaton’s Voice. Throughout the weekend Dave wandered around affably beaming at all his acolytes who had made their myriad ways from as far afield as Australia to join the party. But then there was a logic in this location - Seaton is the town closest to the farm where Dave lives.

I set up my little tent at the Manor Farm camp site up on the hillside overlooking Seaton and Lyme Bay. Magnificent views. A bit of a clamber back after a long day of sonic space rock, but a friendly site and for those who could afford it, there was accommodation in Eve’s tipis, shipped over specially from the Isle of Wight. Hawkfests are eagerly looked forward to by the loyal fans, many of whom are now well into being bus pass delinquents. But there were some younger space cadets along for the cosmic adventures too. And lots of friendly local volunteers like my mate Phil, who mostly ‘stewarded’ the stage-right exit door against any would-be, axe or sword wielding warriors on the edge of time who wanted to escape! I think many of the volunteers were both bemused and a little surprised at the ‘niceness’ of the weird hippy invasion that had flooded into their usually rather staid little town. Especially true on the Sunday, when the dress code was ‘psychedelic Easter bunny’.

And so, who are Hawkwind?
Over the weekend, I quickly realised that although I have seen Hawkwind a fair few times in my life since first experiencing the mind-bending barrage of sound and strobes that was an everyday gig from them in the late ‘60s at my original uni at Kent, in Seaton I was surrounded by the hardcore, walking, talking (and probably talking in their sleep) manic faithful. Most everyone seemed just soooo knowledgeable about every song and band members, and there have been dozens in the band, with many more ex-members in the various offshoot enterprises, which Dave refers to with a sneer, as ‘the Hawkwind tribute or copy bands’. Here we have to whisper quietly, since the very mention of Space Ritual, Hawklords, and especially don’t even think of mentioning Nik Turner or Alan Davey, which causes instant apoplexy in the ‘official’ Hawkwind fraternity.
Also, I quickly realised over the two day fest, that this becomes doubly complicated by the fact that Tim Blake, theremin and keyboard maestro, also plays solo sets and most of the members are also ‘present and correct’ and back on stage as TOSH (Technicians of Spaceship Hawkwind) and Krel. There’s also overlap with the band Krankschaft who opened the proceedings with a lively and enjoyable set, which was well received by the early afternoon audience. Confused? Well, it really didn’t matter – indeed for me, the TOSH sets were a highlight, as the boys seemed to let loose and really enjoy experimenting in their playing, with lots of larking about and impish abandon.

As we had been told in advance, this Hawkfest was to be the first live performance by the current band of the entire ‘Warrior on the edge of time’ album, which is about to be re-released in a new CD version mixed from the original master tapes on Cherry Red records. After Seaton, Hawkwind are taking the set on tour around the UK (but not exactly to the more northern areas of the country).

Highs, lows and some of the bits in between
I’m definitely not even going to try and give any sort of song by song account of the proceedings. And at the end of the day - we all like what we like. It’s in the meeting up with old and new friends that makes a festival different from a gig. I was also using the occasion to pass out flyers and show folk my latest book, ‘Travelling Daze’, which has many stories and pics from the free and small festival world that Hawkwind helped to create ‘back in the day’. I’ve already mentioned how much I enjoyed Tim Blake’s excursions into stratospheres of sound – his personal New Jerusalem. Watching him bend the soundscape with his hands around the theremin is simply jaw-dropping awesome. Here and Now reminded us how mesmerising and off-the-wall psychedelic rock can be. They are quirky and to my ears a bit uneven, but good to see them again after many years for yours truly. Krel were actually only a scratch version of the band but had so much fun on stage that it was infectious.

Girlschool didn’t show. Syren were’t quite my cup of chai, though sweet enough in their sound and looks. Mugstar went down well. Theirs is a wall of instrumental, psychedelic riffing that is almost hypnotic. Intense and popular with the Hawkfest audience. I saw them selling lots of vinyl and CDs after their Sunday set. From Poland, hipiersonik are supporting Hawkwind on the current tour and their sax player joined the Hawks on stage both nights. Again, I was a bit underwhelmed – but we can’t fall in love with every band we see. Same for me with Maria Daines, who is more than competent, and has a nice voice, but seemed more like a good pub performer, than a festival act. 

The two Q&A sessions were fun, relaxed and informative. One of Hawkwind, maybe it was drummer Richard Chadwick, reported that he’d gone in search of provisions on Sunday morning only to find everything closed. ’Bloody Zombie Jesus Sunday!’, he muttered to much laughter. Then there was a humorous charity auction of Hawkwind memorabilia, and the audience judging of the fancy-dressed, Sunday Psychedelic Bunnies.

Before getting on to the two Hawkwind sets from Saturday and Sunday nights, that leaves the support band for the Sunday night: Electric Wizard. I’d never heard of them, but coming on stage, their image is one of a biker club, cranking out heavy thrash metal at the Bulldog Bash. Loud and a bit in yerr face.  And with a light show to match, featuring grainy film of naked women and bondage. A number of Seaton’s Vision denizens were not amused by the non-PC nature of Electric Wizard. The band were asked to lower the volume. They declined. I actually have to say I didn’t think they were any louder than many other acts over the two days, but then the lights went on, the power was turned off and they were booted off stage. There were some boos, but no large scale confrontation. But it happened and left a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste, and will, no doubt, occupy the future meetings and minds of the hall organisers as they consider whether to host future Hawkfests in Seaton – which was proposed by His Brockness.

I enjoyed the Saturday Hawkwind set. The entire ‘Warrior’ album was the feature, bookended by some of their other favourites. The set was nicely staged with dancers in suitably arcane mythical costumes and some evocative back projections. Not perhaps quite like the old days of cannabis filled rooms, stuffed full of completely off their head hippies, strobed and mind-numbed into a stoner oblivion, but a good show none the less. My problem was with the decision to again include the whole of the ‘Warrior’ set again on the Sunday night. It felt like the band were using the festival as a rehearsal for their tour. I have to admit that I left after three-quarters of an hour. In the foyer and outside, there was a fair amount of muttering and mumbling. I contributed, saying that I’d come down from Scotland and didn’t expect virtually the same set repeated on both nights. Others joined me in a bit of good old British moaning and a groaning. But consolation lay a few hundred yards up the road in a packed local pub, the Kings Arms, where not only was the Traditional scrumpy cider absolutely drop-dead gorgeous, but there was a packed bar with live music from Adam Sweet, and actually it was really good old school Peter Green-style blues.

All in all, a memorable Hawkfest. Well done to Dave, Kris and friends and the Seaton residents, even though they are probably still uncertain as to what happened to their ‘usual’ Easter! We’ll now leave them in peace to once more enjoy the Mikado and the tea dances at the old town hall.
Pics by Alan Dearling, except the Sunrise over the tipis, copyright Ian Barradale (you can see more of his work on Flickr: ). Alan’s website is at:
Whilst on the subject of Hawkeaster, Ian Barradale was kind enough to allow us to use his photographs of the event. And they are so good, I really could not resist doing a Sunday colour supplement thingy...
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
The biggest news from the Yes camp this week is the announcement of more dates on their World Tour. We also posted a gig review of their Louisville show  and a rather interesting interview with Alan White, who is probably my favourite drummer of all time. The saga of Queensryche and Yes alumnus Billy Sherwood trundles on. Apparently he has decided not to remix their album because of prior commitments  This is all getting stupidly complicated, but then again things in the Yes camp often are.
We also have an interview with new boy Jon Davison, and a newsletter from Rick Wakeman. Whilst on the subject of Senor W he also appeared at a Viv Stanshall memorial gig which sounds like it was a wonderful event.

Another review of one of the shows on the current tour has surfaced, and I still feel that the jury is out on the question of  whether the new line-up will convince the fanbase that they are the bona fide wearers of the Yes crown, or whether the fact that neither Rick Wakeman or Jon Anderson is involved, is just too big a blow. I don't know about you, but I am finding this all immensely fascinating, and cannot wait to see what happens next.

Watch this space!
Poets have it all wrong-Narcissus
staring @Moon reflections-
Much more fun to watch the sun!
Coronal Mass Ejections from sunspots
where solar winds produce solar flares
can be seen as art form dreams-
Aurora Borealis!This happens !
We have no choice in this!
Watch the beauty of interactive colors
as we stare at what could be our end.
Heat and warmth come from our one sun
Time to turn our tiny eyes on
towards that fiery direction!
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 which came from our old mate Graham Inglis.

It's surprising how prices can vary on BBC Transcription Disks.


I've seen a Hawkwind one sell for over £1000 on eBay before (US$1500), but Pink Floyd ones can sometimes be picked up for the cost of a round of beers in a pub.


Presumably, supply and demand plays its part here, just as in the price of any commodity from coffee beans to jumbo jets.

Read on...


What happens when two much loved ex-members of one of the world's foremost progressive rock bands collaborate as a duo? Magick. That's what. Musical magick.

Formed in 1968, and almost signed to The Beatles Apple label, Yes are undoubtedly one of the most important bands in the world of prog music. For over forty years they have followed their own idiosyncratic path, and are still producing interesting and challenging music, at the age when many men are settling into a life of pipe, slippers, and taking the dog for a walk half an hour before closing time. The in and outs of the personnel of Yes would take a whole book in itself (indeed it has, on a number of occasions) and it is far too complicated a matter to go into here. However in 2010 the contemporary lineup of the band had two famous faces who were conspicuous by their abscence.

Jon Anderson, the singer with one of the most distinctive voices in rock music, was a founder member of the band, but had left in the early 2000's because of health reasons, and Rick Wakeman, the keyboard player who had been in the band on no less than five different occasions, decided to team up for a joint venture.

Anderson says, â€œListening to the songs on this album, I realize how connected I am with Rick.  We have this natural singsong way of creating that seems to roll off the tongue.  I am so thankful for our friendship and mutual love of music, and most of all—the fun we have working together, whether on stage or making this album of songs via the Internet.  It’s as though we have excluded ‘time and space’ to make this music.”

Wakeman adds, â€œLight, love, belief and truth combine to create true friendships.  Add music and you have a bonding of souls.  That’s what has happened with ‘The Living Tree’ from the day the seed was planted.”

Just listen to what is on offer. These two records contain real magick (if you believe in such things, and I have to admit that I do). Give them a listen, and you will believe in magick as well.

Jon meets Liz Lenten


I have been a toiler in the Rock and Roll Vineyard for more years than I care to mention. I have interviewed and written features about the great, the small, the good, the bad and the plain forgettable.


Some of these people were already stars, some have achieved stardom in the intervening years since I met them in a small pub or a motorway services, but most of the eager young things I have met over the years have done what they did for a few years and then disappeared.


Occasionally I have spoken to someone who has such an aura about them that one is convinced that their career is bound to go stellar. One such lady was an elfin-looking Icelandic girl who sang with a group called The Sugarcubes whom I interviewed at Exeter University in 1989, another was a student called Thom Yorke (also at Exeter University) who confided in me that his student band Headless Chickens were never going to go anywhere, but that he had a band back in Oxford that he thought were really rather good. Bjork and Radiohead have confirmed that I do, sometimes, have the knack of picking winners.


Now, my spidey sense is tingling again, because I have just interviewed a young lady called Liz Lenten...


John Adams is a Pulitzer Prize winning American composer best known for his minimalist style. His best-known works include 'On The Transmigration Of Souls', a choral piece commemorating the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks (for which he won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2003), and 'Shaker Loops' a minimalist four-movement work for strings. His well-known operas include 'Nixon in China', which recounts Richard Nixon’s 1972 visit to China and 'Doctor Atomic', which covers Robert Oppenheimer, the Manhattan Project, and the building of the first atomic bomb. John Adams is also the subject of a film entitled 'Hail Bop' by the British director Tony Palmer.

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Editor Jon Downes has been a central figure of British paranormal and Fortean research for several decades, and is one of the best known British researchers and authors in the field. Contributors include veteran researchers such as Nick Redfern, Richard Freeman, Malcolm Robinson, Dr Andrew May and Ronan Coghlan. At last a valid UFOlogical magazine for the 21st Century

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And so, once again,  another week, and another newsletter comes to a close. This has been a very complicated week. On Monday my dear old friend Dr Karl Shuker's 92 year-old mother died, and I have spent much of the week trying to be of some support to him. 
I also spent much of the week travelling around the countryside, visiting my elder stepdaughter in Staffordshire, and then visiting Oakham in Rutland, to collect my lovely Mama-in-law who is now visiting us for a while.

So I have been "playing catch-up" as my Transatlantic friends say,  and I have basically spent all week running around in ever decreasing circles. However, things are beginning to get sorted out, and I hope that next week we shall begin to make some progress.

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

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

Until next week,

Jon Downes
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