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ALL THE GONZO NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT
Issue Twenty-Five        May 11th 2013
AS I PROMISED, THIS IS SLOWLY BECOMING A MAGAZINE
THIS WEEK WE BRING YOU  MR AVERELL, HAWKWIND, YES,  C.J.STONE, THOM THE WORLD POET, ROB AYLING, DAEVID ALLEN, THE MAGICK BROTHERS, CAMEL, DAVID BOWIE, GORDON GILTRAP, OLIVER WAKEMAN, THE DOORS, PETER McADAM, THE NINE HENRYS,  ZENIT, RAY HARRYHAUSEN, PAOLO SCANDELLA, ELIZA CARTHY, THE CREATION, ERIC BURDON, PIERRE MOERLEN'S GONG, CHRIS SQUIRE, JON ANDERSON, THE ELVES OF SILBURY HILL
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.
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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...
MORE LIKE A MAGAZINE
Welcome to another edition of this weekly magazine/newsletter, or whatever it is. I am rather proud of the way that it is developing; on a budget of twenty five quid a week, we are producing something that - we, at least, think - is really rather good. As I have told you over the past few weeks I'm also working on a completely new project - a regular chat show podcast featuring Gonzo Multimedia artists, which would be some sort of an adjunct to the daily blog and weekly magazine.  We have now got a proper broadcasting license, and so shall be able to start broadcasting podcasts featuring our own, and other, material.

The possibilities are, however, endless, and I like the idea that I will be able to include music and video clips as well as interviews that can be accessed by readers of the magazine.  So, as I said, let me know what you think.

I am growing up in public, as it were. The Gonzo Weekly has been going for nearly six 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?

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.


THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Rob goes to see The Magick Brothers
The Gonzo Obergrossencheesemeister writes:

How much fun to see the Magick Brothers last night ? So great to hear all those classic songs from "Good Morning", "Now is the Happiest Time of Your Life", "Magick Brother - Mystic Syster" etc. Thanks guys for an amazing set and a great trip into my old album collection  â€” at The Backroom, Greystones Pub

Herewith exclusive piccies...

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: The Gospel according to Bart
Once again Bart Lancia has sent through a whole slew of interesting stories that I would otherwise have missed. First of all he sent me the news of Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman's appearance at the Summer's End festival later this year.

He also told me that The Catholic League have  attacked David Bowie, describing him as a "switch-hitting, bisexual senior citizen from London" whose new video for The Next Day  "is strewn with characteristic excess."

Their point is?

Also from Bart's snooping about the internet, is John Densmore describing the feud within The Doors which has caused a massive rift between the band members.

And finally, as he intimated some weeks ago, it does seem that there is a new Camel album in the works. Their official website says:

So where is the next Camel album?  Somewhere in the making.  When all was said and done, and the crisis receded, it was time to return to 'normal' life.  We started making plans.  But it turned out to not be there any more, that 'normal' life.  It was, quite simply, totally different.  Of course, the sun rises and sets, the earth revolves on its axis, etc., except life was anything but the way it once was.  When you spend two full years trying to anticipate -- and outwit -- the worst scenario possible, it takes a rather insidious toll.  When the storm passes, it's an involuntary reflex to get right back to business.  We wanted to get Camel back on the road for the Retirement Sucks Tour, write a new album, record a new DVD, just get on with it in general.  But we hadn't grasped one very important aspect of having gone through a life-changing experience:  We are Survivors.  And that, in itself, is life-changing.  What we needed to do was quite the opposite of our grand plans, and was something that just happened without our really knowing.  Survivors need to exhale deeply and learn to inhale without the imposition of dread.  Unexpectedly, we needed time to recover from the battle itself.  Finally, we're ready for the challenges ahead.

Thanks Bart, I don't know what I would do without you.
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: Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013)
The greatest stop-motion animator of all time, and furthermore someone who I was lucky enough to meet in early 2005, has died.

Ray Harryhausen at Wikipedia
Our tribute to him
ANDY THOMMEN OF ZENIT: Remembering Paolo "Scandy" Scandella
Paolo "Scandy" Scandella died in his home in southern Switzerland on December 7th, 2012 of heart disease. Scandy was mainly known for being the mastermind and bass player of the Swiss prog project Shakary. With this band he published 'Alya' (2CD), in 2000; a concept album based on lyrics by Sandor Kwiatkowski, a Swiss multimedia artist known for his cover art works for Clepsydra. Among the musicians that played on that album, we have to name Lele Hofmann on guitars and Aluisio Maggini on vocals, both former Clepsydra members. The drums seat was assigned to Walter Calloni (Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM).

In 2002 Scandy released the second album 'The Last Summer'. This album features almost the same musicians, with the exception of the vocals; the credits for those go to a certain Michael Branzino.  This, however, was just an alias for Scandy as he didn't want people to know that he did the vocal tracks by himself.

Read on...
NEW VIDEO FROM MR AVERELL
Check it out...


Eclectic Second Release by Netherland's Mr Averell features Lene Lovich, Mike Garson, John, Ellis, members of Van der Graaf Generator and Others

 

Featuring Mike Garson (David Bowie), David Jackson, Hugh Banton and Judge Smith (Van der Graaf Generator), John Ellis (Peter Gabriel, Peter Hammill, The Stranglers), Lene Lovich

 

The Netherlands – Avant Garde music aficionados across the globe are excited about the forthcoming second album by Dutch visual sound artist René van Commenée under the guise Mr Averell titled 'Gridlock'. Van Commenée is known in The Netherlands for his music (sound) art objects, theatrical performances and soundtracks for theatre, fireworks spectacles and film. Over the years he has worked with many acknowledged musicians around the world and became well-known by fans of Van der Graaf Generator through his percussion performances with VDGG member David Jackson. About ten years after their first duo-performances they released the well-received critically acclaimed album 'Batteries Included', a collection of their live recordings. In the same scene, René performed on albums by VDGG's Judge Smith as percussionist, drummer and vocalist.

 

“Mr Averell is a one-off and hard to classify. Is he a sensitive singer-songwriter, a rock music wildman, and avant garde performance artist or a musical clown? Maybe he's a little of each, and his music is always surprising and full of interest.” - Judge Smith

 

The name Mr Averell has been employed by René in order to record and release song-based recordings. He explains, “As a musician I work mainly as a percussionist, electronic music performer and sound designer. I am a member of the trio The Art of Doing Nothing with Pipe Organ master Willem Tanke and MIDI-wind-controller/flutist Martijn Alsters. With Alsters I formed a duo for live-surround concerts and installations also. Separate from this I create visual sound art installations. I always like to use my voice though – I was a singer in several Dutch rock bands in the seventies and eighties, and like to write, record and perform more song-based music as I call it. But if you do so many diverse things I think you have to make clear to your audience what it is they can expect when buying your work or attending your concerts/performances. Therefore I chose to give my song-based projects a separate name, Mr Averell; a band in which I am the main writer and performer.”

 

'Gridlock' is the second Mr Averell album and features guest performances by Mike Garson (David Bowie), David Jackson, Hugh Banton and Judge Smith (Van der Graaf Generator), John Ellis (Peter Gabriel, Peter Hammill, The Stranglers), Lene Lovich, along with Stuart Gordon (Peter Hammill, Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack), Dyane Donck (Daisy Bell), Martijn Alsters, Willem Tanke, Ninca Leece, Tammo Heikens and Lisa Weiss.

 

“René is a wonderfully creative artist who is always pushing the boundaries of music!” - Mike Garson

 

The album is an adventurous journey through very different kind of songs and instrumentals, but all with the typical, quite theatrical Van Commenée signature. 'Gridlock' should be listened from beginning to end and isn't just a collection of songs. Literally 'Gridlock' stands for the famous Dutch traffic jams, but also tells about the 'Gridlocks' in our lives and heads. The wonderfully produced album may take a bit of time to sink in but once it does, it becomes timeless and unique.

 

And how did René amass such an impressive list of famous guest artists? He explains, “Luckily, this was not too difficult – they're friends! In my past musical career I met many fantastic, well-known musicians with whom I've worked in several projects. With David Jackson I performed a couple duo-concerts which were recorded and released as the live CD 'Batteries Included'. We've always stayed in contact and both performed on the song-stories of Judge Smith (Curly's Airships and and Orfeas). We've always enjoyed working together, but since we're both very busy with other projects there's seldom a moment we can, and this was a nice opportunity for the both of us. Jackson quest-performed even in the Mr Averell band at a festival a couple of years ago. Via Judge, who himself does some harmonic voices and even plays euphonium on the album. I came in contact with John Ellis thanks to the fact that he asked us both to perform on 'The Full English', which we also performed as a band in London. Besides a fabulous musician John is a very nice person as well. The fabulous violinist Stuart Gordon, who I met many years ago via Peter Hammill, also performed on my previous Mr Averell album. While he performed and arranged a whole acoustic string section then, on my new album he performs violin work with astonishing electronic effects. The listener might think it's electric guitar at first, but if you listen carefully you will notice that the effect is totally different because the violin is a bowed instrument – I'm very happy with it. People are probably very much interested in the incredible Mike Garson who is the pianist with David Bowie since 'Aladdin Sane' (1973). During the 'Outside' tour I asked Bowie to give a lecture at the Utrecht School of the Arts (I was Music Technology and Music Production teacher at several art schools at that period). Bowie, who was interested, didn't see a chance because of his very busy and demanding tour schedule. Coincidentally though, Garson happened to be a friend of a visiting professor from the States who was asked to do a project at the same school later on. This triggered us both, Mike Garson and I, for a meeting at the hotel the band stayed in and we kept in touch ever since. I was able to get him over for several (school) projects and while I was working on 'Gridlock' we finally found time to work together in the studio, resulting in a few songs of which we composed my personal favorite 'Sightseeings' together (with an amazing sax solo by Jackson). And then there is of course the extraordinary Lene Lovich with whom I sing two songs on the album.”

 

“It's always a pleasure to be involved in sonic adventures with Mr Averell / René van Commenée. Often a challenge but always a joy.” - John Ellis

 

In support of the release of 'Gridlock' plans for Mr Averell to perform in Europe are currently in the works. In closing René has this to impart to his listeners, “It is important to know that 'Gridlock' is intended as an album and not just a collection of songs. I would suggest really playing the album from start to finish and taking the time to listen and let it sink in. Everything's made for this purpose in the first place, the order of songs and even the pauses in between them are composed. This makes it very hard in these download-times, this album should probably be downloaded as one track.”

 

Available on GONZO MultiMedia, UK – May 6, 2013

Available in the US and Canada - May 14, 2013

 

To purchase Mr Averell – Gridlock CD: http://www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/product_details/15550

 

For more information: www.commenee.nl

 

Press inquires: Glass Onyon PR, PH:  828-350-8158glassonyonpr@gmail.com


MR AVERELL AT GONZO (UK)
MR AVERELL AT GONZO (USA)
A HISTORY OF DONUTS... 
 

(OR SHOULD THAT BE: DOUGHNUTS?) 
 
Hmmmm.
 
My spell-check recognises both spellings, so I assume both are correct. Donuts, doughnuts, it’s all the same.
 
Well I love them, of course, however you spell it. A donut has always made a fine breakfast, especially when you’re not in a position to make your own. Even when you are, in fact, if you’re just feeling too lazy, or particularly self-indulgent, and you have a bakery nearby: a donut with a cup of coffee, (or a doughnut with a cup of tea) is a perfect way to start the day.
 
What is it about them? They’re solid carbohydrate for long-term energy requirements, and covered with sugar for the short-term energy burst, and they must still contain the nutrients from the wheat flour, I guess, so they can‘t be all that bad for you. With apple or cherry syrup, with jam or just in rounds with sugar, fresh out of the fryer, it’s a simple and delicious meal. What more can I say about doughnuts that hasn’t already been said?
 
Actually there is one puzzle. I mean, who first thought of deep-frying dough so that it sucks up the fat and then swells up in this way, going a nice shade of golden brown into the bargain?
 
Probably the same person who considered deep-frying Mars Bars I imagine, and for the same reason.
 
If it’s edible in even the most nominal way, then it’s available to be fried.
 
You can fry anything, let’s face it.
 
I deep-fried a Benson and Hedges once, to see if it would improve the flavour. It was all right to eat (when dunked in sugar and spread on a piece of toast) but it didn’t light up that well.
 
That’s the exception that proves the rule.
 
The myth of the Mars Bar fryer lies deep in our urban consciousness. Some say it was a boy in West Bromwich who first suggested it of his local chippy, but that it took several goes to make it right. Others that it was a similar boy in Glasgow. That boy got around a lot. And, knowing the impenetrability of the two accents, if the boy in the Glasgow chippy was from the Black Country, no one would have understood what he was going on about, and vice versa. “You wha’?” So let’s just say it was a Black Country boy in the Black Country, and a Glaswegian boy in Glasgow. It had to be a boy in either case, because girls are too sensible: although girls in both towns are said to enjoy the delicacy, and to wolf them down with equal relish these days.
 
Men are always the innovators. It was Men who invented the Internal Combustion Engine, the Bicycle Spoke, the nasal hair remover and the deep-fried Mars Bar.
 
And - deep in history, I feel sure - the donut too.
 
So that’s the story. They’re sitting round the fire in pre-historic times, while Mum is making chips - deep-fried parsnip chips, of course, because the potato hadn’t been invented yet - and Mum hands little Jimmy (a Scottish Cavechild, as West Bromwich hadn’t been invented yet) a blob of dough to keep him quiet. They hadn’t invented bread yet either: that’s how they ate it, flour soaked in water, just to fill the belly. And bored with this tasteless, sticky, claggy, tongue-cleaving goo, Jimmy throws it in the chip-pan. And - low and behold! - it puffs up all golden and scrumptious, soaking up the fat in a most delightful way. And there you have it: the world’s first doughnut.
  
 
You realise this is a trial for me... I’m trying to reach a thousand words with all this nonsense, just to see if I can do it.
 
Hercules had his ten labours, imposed upon him by the Divine Intervention of Apollo: to slay the Nemean Lion, to kill the Lernaean Hydra, to catch and retain the Arcadian stag, to destroy the Erymanthian boar, to cleanse the Augean stables, to destroy the Stymphalian birds, to take captive the Cretan bull, to catch the horses of the Thracian Diomedes, to get possession of the girdle of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons, to capture the oxen of the monster Geryon, to obtain the apples of the Hesperides, and, finally, to bring Cerberus from the infernal regions.
 
And me: I have to write a thousand words on donuts.
 
I think Hercules drew the short straw on that one. But I guess that’s what made him a hero, and me a time-waster and a dosser and an all-round do-not.
 
The Second Labour of CJ Stone.
 
After unravelling the skein of donut lore from the knot of afternoon laziness, CJ Stone was then quested to watch the telly all night, neither missing out Coronation Street nor Eastenders, before ending with Jeremy Paxman in the Dreadful Caves of Newsnight.
 
The whole of the Ten Labours of Hercules, as quoted above, by the way, was taken word-for-word from Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, and it’s the first time I’ve used the book since I bought it two years ago.
 
Everything comes into its own in the end.
 
But back to the donuts.
 
Actually, I think the fat is good for you.
 
I know we’ve been told that fat is bad for us, but I think that’s another of those dull lies that pass for scientific knowledge these days. You know: some scientist in a Laboratory paid for by some multi-national company, force feeds rats with two hundred tons of burnt fat, who then - surprisingly - develop cancer. Which becomes a paper in a learned scientific journal before it’s leaked to the press (probably by the scientist’s own agents) and then it’s a headline in the Sun: Fat Kills, or some such thing.
 
I never believed a word of it myself, having a great liking for fried food, especially doughnuts.
 
They can’t be bad. If ever you’ve smelt them being fried, from one of those vending stalls at fair grounds or seaside resorts, and eaten them fresh and hot, you know that your senses wouldn’t appreciate them that way if it wasn’t meant to be eaten.
 
Or is this a version of, “if I was meant to fly, God would have given me wings”?
 
I’ve got wings of deep-fried dough.
 
That’s one thousand and fifty six words, excluding these. How did I do?


SOME BOOKS BY C.J.STONE
THE LOUTH CONCERT FOR THE BEES
COMING SOON: Eliza Carthy My Music
If there is such a thing as English folk music royalty, then the Carthy/Waterson dynasty are certainly part of it.
 
Eliza Carthy is daughter of legendary folk musicians Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson. Her father was awarded an MBE for services to folk music in 1998, which actually seems quite a niggardly gesture when one considers how important a figure he actually is. He was inspirational to such musicians as Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, and to later musicians such as Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and the Albion Country Band  (the last two bands which included him as a member for a time).
 
Her mother is also deserving of that much overused expression – ‘Living Legend’. She was a founder member of The Watersons, one of Britain’s premier traditional folk singing outfits, together with her brother Mike and her sister Lal. She has been singing ever since, and whilst I prefer to eschew Americanisms when discussing something so quintessentially British, if there was a “First Lady” of British folk music, she would undoubtedly be it.
 
Unsurprisingly Eliza (who was born in 1975) spent her younger years playing music and recording with various members of her über-talented family. As she got older she began instigating more and more projects herself, and over the years has become one of the most important British artists of modern times.
 
Early on her music began to transcend the rigid confines of British traditional music, and as she grew and developed as an artist, she began to assimilate more and more seemingly incongruent influences into her music, until her art became a multicultural synergy of sources that really defies categorisation. It seems that Eliza has given up trying to categorise herself, and just describes herself simply as a ‘Modern British Musician’, which says it all really.
 
Personally I would rather steal an idea from the person who compiled my school hymn book back when I was a boy. I would describe her as an “Ancient and Modern British Musician”, but that’s just me.
 
So what’s on this DVD. This is what the original write up on UK Channel; 5 said:
 
Documentary series exploring the musical influences of four of the most successful artists in contemporary English folk music. This film focuses on Eliza Carthy, a singer-songwriter who is bringing traditional music to a new audience. Part of a legendary musical dynasty, Carthy regularly mixes musical genres as disparate as music hall, tango and even drum and bass. Her willingness to experiment with various styles has allowed her music to reach a new generation of fans
 
And that’s about it. I can’t add much to that, nor am I going to try. JON DOWNES
HAWKWIND NEWS
(The masters of the Universe, do seem to have a steady stream of interesting stories featuring them, their various friends and relations, and alumni)

Graham Inglis reviews The Elves of Silbury Hill, playing a one-off fund-raiser event at Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms, 3 May 2013.

 

When five members of Hawkwind (all members except Tim Blake) and one member of Technicians of Spaceship Hawkwind (Steve Bemand) get together for an eco-warrior fund-raiser event, it's not surprising if they sound a lot like Hawkwind.

 

However, they sounded more like '70s Hawkwind than they have since, well, the '70s. And that surprised some of us, but pleased many - if not all - of us!

 

They turned the space rock blanga control up towards 10 at this one-off fund-raiser event in Portsmouth. Right from the grungy chugging riffs of "You Shouldn't Do That" they were in the groove and entertaining the crowd at this Sea Shepherd eco-warriors bash.

 

Sea Shepherd is an offshoot protest group from the rather more pacifist Greenpeace, who generally frown on the sometimes-violent tactics used by Sea Shepherd against people like whale-hunters. Govenments too have criticised Sea Shepherd's rather stern brand of Direct Action, going so far as to label them "eco-terrorists".

..

Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms was the venue and there was lots of stuff on sale as I wandered around this particular terrorist hotbed. I browsed the T-shirts and alternative-lifestyle type stuff, the Lush cosmetics company stall (pictured left), and even organic "cup-cakes with a conscience" as the stall leaflet described them!

 

I bought a nice Sea Shepherd long-sleeve (which I'll wear with pride when out shopping in the future) and I'm sorry to say I didn't buy a cup-cake. Instead, I made tracks for the bar, and tried a pint of the weirdly-named, but very nice Doom Bar ale.

.

Anyway, let's skip the shopping; what about the gig?

 

Pappa Jones' Moonshine Band probably won't be insulted if I compare them to Lonnie Donegan, if any of you remember that '50's outfit.  Lonnie Donegan had a hit with a song called "My Old Man's A Dustman," which I did like when I was a kid, I remember. That was long before I became a Hawkwind fan, though...

 

I seldom take much heed of Hawkwind support acts, usually, but I did watch that lass slapping her double bass, and comparing the sounds to those of Mr Dibs' electric 'cello.

 

Anyway, back to the Hawkwind gig - or the Elves of Silbury Hill, as they were called tonight.

 

 

..It was only a couple of weeks ago that "#HawkwindHQ" announced on Twitter that Dave Brock would be joining in, and on the night he took to the stage for the centre part of the set only.

 

Thus, Brock wasn't present for quite a few Brock tracks, such as "PXR-5", "Brainbox Pollution", and the wonderfully historic "It's so Easy," and also "Web Weaver" - those latter two from the "Hall of the Mountain Grill" album era.  They proceeded just fine in his absence, but naturally there's a stir of interest in the audience when The Captain finally walks on stage.

 

This being Hawkwind, though, there's no follow-spots to highlight the entrance, and no particular fanfare.

 

He appeared after "Valium 10" was finished, holding an acoustic guitar. So, what's the next track going to be? "Hurry on Sundown"?  "We took the Wrong Step"? No, "Uncle Sam's on Mars"!  Now, that's a surprise.

 

He stuck around for the next few, including "Psi Power," which of course works well in strummity-strum mode.

 

Mid-set we also had "Green Finned Demon," which was done as a fund-raising download for Sea Shepherd a couple of years back, and "Mirror of Illusion" - a song dating back to the very dawn of Hawkwind but now enjoying a rather bouncy arrangement in its newer "Electric Tepee" format.

 

Mr Dibs confidently handled the wolf-howls that preluded "Steppenwolf," and his vocal performance throughout the gig showed he's stepping up to the plate - as that rather odd cliché has it - and is perfectly capable of putting his detractors to flight. And a few years ago there were quite a few, after he replaced long-standing Hawkwind member and respected "bass monster" Alan Davey on bass guitar and vocals.

 

Staying with vocals, Richard Chadwick, being the invisible drummer, sometimes finds his microphone's not switched on - but tonight we could hear his gruff, somewhat barking counterpoints to Mr Dibs.  He likes singing "Silver Machine," but tonight they didn't do that one.

 

Steve Bemand was the surprise presence for me. He's done Hawkwind duties before - Jon Downes and I first saw him with them at the Treworgey Tree Fayre way back in 1989. He's not a widely-known Hawkwind crew member, though. I gather from Mr Dibs' stage comments that he did some synth work but Dead Fred (deadus fredicus?) was also doing some, inbetween his violin duties. He's another of these sometimes-present Hawkwind people; he first played with them in 1983, I believe.

 

 

Niall Hone is the lead guitarist for Hawkwind these days, and sometimes he'll cut loose on the wah-wah pedal effects - like during "You Shouldn't Do That" - but he doesn't do that often enough, and some gigs hardly at all.  Grrr.

 

He'll sometimes swap bass duties with Mr Dibs but I don't think he did that this time. I opted for the overview this time, and stood at the back instead of the front. You miss the nuances when at the back, but get the overall flavour, so to speak, and also the light-show - but it can leave one a bit vague on who was doing what at any given moment.

 

Anyway, Niall used to be in a band called Tribe of Cro, which I've enjoyed seeing before, and they were on the bill for this gig, according to some posters. However, I can never enjoy seeing or hearing any other bands after hearing Hawkwind, as they interfere with the Hawkwind afterglow, as it were - and a stage announcement said (warned?) a DJ was on next, so I buggered off pretty damn sharpish, I can tell you, and I don't know whether or not the Cro's played subsequently.

 

On the visual side, the unusual absence of backdrop projections was well made up for by the strobe effects. I've always enjoyed strobes. They hadn't brought their stage dancers along, this time and Hawkwind fans are mostly so bloody old and knackered that they just stand and watch - and a stage remark on the absence of their dancers, Steff and Laura, was accompanied by the hint: "Tonight, it's you!"

 

Whereupon some did move around a bit to "Ejection"....

 

The finale was "Brainstorm" - with strobes - and I saw a few wiggly dancing activities during that one!  But Mr Dibs didn't crowd-surf the audience, though!  And when they started clearing the stage and an announcement said the DJs were on next, I went out for a cigarette and then decided to head back to my hotel.

 

This was my 48th Hawkwind gig and I'd say the best I've heard for literally decades. I didn't do any slam-dancing, though. I must be getting old!

 

The only other Hawkwind related story we posted this week was about the controversy surrounding the forthcoming gig where Hawkwind is supporting The Australian Pink Floyd. What do you think? Is this a perfectly valid thing to do, especially as APF have received as near as damnmit an endorsement from Dave Gilmour himself? Or is it vulgar and beneath them to play support to a tribute act?

What do you think?
THE YES CIRCULAR - FEELING FRAGILE
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
Once again the Yes camp has been very quiet this week. There has been very little news, but we posted an interview with none other than Captain James T Kirk himself about the new album he has made with Billy Sherwood. As mentioned elsewhere, Gordon Giltrap and Oliver Wakeman have a prestigious festival show coming up, and we also posted an impressive interview with Jon Anderson on Hawaii Public Radio. And finally an interesting interview with Chris Squire and Steve Howe about their musical equipment.
And that, boys and girls, was just about that for this week.

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!
MORE DETAILS OF YES AT GONZO (UK)
MORE DETAILS OF YES AT GONZO (USA)
MIST MORNINGS, FOG/STORM DAYS
Temporary as twilight.Even stars fade.This earth has seen Empires
built on graves.Pilgrims meditate upon change."Once,buffalo ranged..
Even Temples fall.All we see is not all.Hadrian's Wall(failed)
Great Wall of China now a virtual digital firewall
Greeks now austerity -renting out Acropolis(photo opportunities)
Romans now Italian bankruptcy/Two Pope Vatican City.
Spain's bullfight now a bear economy.England cuts /itself from EC
Budget cuts dictate wars overseas withdrawal just like Romans
History burps."Stone upon a stone..Blue Plaque upon your wall
"Once,nothing happened here..It will not happen again
Quick!before the repossession of Estates..makes another PBS TV special
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.

It could well be argued that this week's newsletter is somewhat Mr Averell centric. But his new album is excellent, and he has got presentation bars of promotional chocolate such as this one modelled by the lovely Jessica Taylor. And it doesn't get any better than that.
By the way, this picture of my adventitious-niece was taken this afternoon. She was only nine years old in 2007, and the chocolate had not been made then. Either she and René van Commenée have between them discovered time travel, or I have managed to screw up the settings on the camera (which is much more likely)
COMING SOON: The most influential band in the world?
Some things in life just aren't FAIR.  In fact, it could well be argued that the concept of fairness is a an altruistic human one, and one which has no relevance to the reality of the universe.  No matter how cosmic we like to pretend to be, one has to admit in the end that the music business is really nothing less than a microcosm of the universe; because the music business just isn't fair!

The Creation was one of those bands who really should have been massive.  They were one of those bands for which the adjective 'seminal' at least was used and misused by rock journalists was really invented.

People who saw them live at the time describe them as being as vital an act as The Who or Led Zeppelin. In fact it was their guitarist Eddie Phillips who first carried out one of Jimmy Page's signature moves; playing an electric guitar with a violin bow. He was also a stunningly good songwriter, although - in the sort of irony which soon becomes familiar whenever one takes even the slightest look at The Creation's career - his best known song Painter Man is known to most people because of a particularly cruddy cover version by Bony M.  Just as they had done to the Biblical King David, they took Phillips' best known song, and made it into a third rate nursery rhyme.

The Creation was one of the first of the 'Mod' bands to take that peculiar sideways step into psychedelia.  But one suspects that because they still looked relatively `normal`, the regulars at the UFO Club, who really should have been taking them to their bosom, rejected them as a pop band.  And the real irony was that they were no such thing.  The word 'pop' implies that they were popular, and despite promising sales in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, their British sales were fairly dismal. They described their music as being "red with purple flashes" which is as good a way as any to describe this most psychotropic of musical ensembles.  Their nearest reference point is The Who, but Pete Townsend always eschewed psychedelia after playing a few tentative games with it on The Who Sell Out.  If you can imagine what would have happened to The Who if, instead of writing Tommy, Pete had continued taking a lot of pills and tripping about swinging London.

This implies that The Creation where about the drugs.  The truth is, I have no idea whether they took drugs or not.  In fact, I don't care.  What I do know is that they left behind a stunning body of work; and that it is no coincidence that bands such as Oasis and Primal Scream's music is full of the sonic echoes of what The Creation did decades before.  Like I said, they should have been massive, and life just isn't fair! JON DOWNES
INTRODUCING THE NINE HENRYS
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...
PIERRE MOERLEN'S GONG

To say that Gong were a peculiar band would really be an understatement. They were originally founded in the late 1960s by ex Soft Machine guitarist Daevid Allen, who for various administrative reasons cited as ‘Visa irregularities’ but which I have always suspected were more to do with Daevid’s Situationist antics during the Paris Student protests of May 1968 which very nearly brought a successful revolution to Western Europe, he was not allowed back into the Mother Country to rejoin his Canterbury chums.
 
So Daevid went down to Deya in 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. The rest is history.
 
Daevid, both with and without various versions of Gong, has produced a peerless body of work encompassing folk, jazz, rock and prog (often all of these things and more at once), and his musicianship and compositional skills are legendary.
 
Put like that it all seems simple, but it was anything but. After releasing You (the third part of the Radio Gnome Invisible saga, and the least silly of the albums to date) Daevid left the band. Whether it was because of personal difficulties, musical differences, or – as he claimed to me many years ago – because one night an enormous psychic force field prevented him going on stage, neither I or anyone else who wasn’t there at the time will ever know.
 
Daevid went solo, and also teamed up with Here and Now as Planet Gong, and later with the band that would later become Material as New York Gong. Eventually he would reform Gong, but that would be many decades in the future. A few years later Gilli Smyth formed Mother Gong. According to an unsourced quote in Wikipedia “Allen delighted in this proliferation of groups and considered his role at this time to be that of an instigator, travelling around the world leaving active Gong-related bands in his wake.” There may not be a citation there, but that certainly sounds like the Daevid I used to know.
 
What of the rest of the band? Well, many people believed that the idea of Gong without Daevid was like the Rolling Stones without Keith Richards, but after a stint as Paragong they regrouped as Gong with guitarist Steve Hillage at the helm. The band recorded a new album, but Hillage left before its release. Gilli Smyth and Tim Blake had left at around the same time as Daevid, so the rump of Gong now led by the only surviving founder member Didier Malherbe aka Bloomdido Bad de Grasse, found himself in need of recruiting new members. He brought in noted French percussionist Piere Moerlen as co-leader, and when de Grasse himself left in 1977, Moerlen was in charge.
 
The newly instated Pierre Moerlen’s Gong sometimes also known as Expresso Gong made some excellent and innovative records, and – amongst many other things – were responsible for this album. So it all comes round in circles in the end. This album was first released in 1986, and was an attempot at a more commercial sound. It is probably one of the more controversial albums from the Gong family; pundits are polarised completely in a way that no other one of their records seems to do. But it could be argued that great art has this effect on people. Is it great art? Don't ask me, I'm just a journalist JON DOWNES.
 

PIERRE MOERLEN'S GONG AT GONZO UK
PIERRE MOERLEN'S GONG AT GONZO USA
AND FINALLY
More new music from Eric Burdon
I have always been a fan of Eric Burdon. Back in the autumn of 1977 I was unemployed and eighteen years old. The BBC showed Tony Palmer's All My Loving which is now available on Gonzo Multimedia, and as I mentioned some weeks ago it changed my life. Amongst the amazing artists that I heard for the first time that night was a bloke called Eric Burdon. Well, no, actually I didn't hear him for the first time that night. I had been aware of his magnificent rendition of 'House of the Rising Sun' whilst the lead singer of Newcastle R&B merchants The Animals and as a wannabe guitar hero I had ploddingly learned the chords myself. But it wasn't until seeing Tony Palmer's film that I first heard Eric Burdon the bonkers solo artist. And I fell head over heels in love.

It depends who you believe. Some folk have written that Burdon discovered the dreaded heaven and hell drug, and became imbued with the San Fransisco peace and love ethos. Others say he had a breakdown, others an epiphany, but whatever the cause, in the mid-1960s this Geordie bruiser changed and started producing some of the most gloriuously insane music I have ever heard.

Now he has re-recorded one of his most famous songs Don't let me be misunderstood as a duet with ex-Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis, and boy is it good! I have always liked Lewis' sultry vocals and it is a perfect counterpoint to Burdon's senescent growl. Add to that a percussion-heavy accompaniment that sounds not unlike one of the less bonkers bits of Test Department and you really do have something rather special.

Check it out
ERIC BURDON AT GONZO USA
ERIC BURDON AT GONZO UK
THE BEST LAID PLANS...
And yes, once again, things completely fail to go according to plan. I had all sorts of plans for this week, and most of them hinged on me getting hold of a specific piece of software. My hooky copy of Adobe Acrobat which I bought off eBay years ago has finally given up the ghost, so three weeks ago I bit the bullet and bought a legitimate copy of Acrobat 9 from an eBay vendor in Hampshire. Three weeks later it hadn't arrived, so I wrote to the vendor who ignored me, and so I opened a grievance thingy with eBay themselves. I then received a plaintive email from the vendor, hoping that I wouldn't "give him negative feedback". 

I have finally got both a refund and another completely legitimate copy of Acrobat v9 which arrived this morning, so things have finally all worked out for the best. However, as I said at the beginning of this column, this did throw an immense spanner in the works of my intended plans.

Let's hope next week works out a little better.

The radio license has opened up a load of new and exciting vistas for us to explore; there are some very interesting things in the pipeline, and I hope that at least some of them will have come to fruition by this time next week. I also hope to continue my multimedia experiments with this publication, and hope there will be some more exclusive interviews for you to listen to in the very near future.

Back in February the opticians at Tesco picked up an anomaly in my eyes, and referred me to the local hospital for tests to see whether I had glaucoma in one or both eyes. I have been very scared about this, as you can imagine, and I would like to thank Judge Smith, who was the only person outside my family that I confided in. He was very sweet and supportive and made me feel much better. He really is a very nice man.

And by the way, I haven't got glaucoma yet, but there are signs that I shall probably develop it eventually.
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,
Slainte

Jon Downes
(Editor)
Copyright © 2013, Gonzo Multimedia, All rights reserved.

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