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 Ten       January 27th, 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...
This week has been a particularly strange one, because my co-conspirator – the orange cat – has been staying with my eldest step-daughter up in Staffordshire.  My eldest step-daughter is, as you may know, a vet and the orange cat needed dental surgery.  Thank you to everybody who sent in good wishes to him.  He seems to have weathered the surgery successfully, and I hope he will be back with us again in a week or so. 

Bart Lancia, is once again coming up trumps. There are, he tells me, whispers of a new Deep Purple album in the works. He is doing some digging around, and will get back in touch with me soon. Gerard Yorke who was so complimentary about the Spooky Tooth DVD has again been massively useful and put me in touch with Spooky keyboard player Gary Wright. Hopefully there will be more info and an interview soon...

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: Nic Potter (1951-2013)
Rob Ayling writes: 

Nic Potter, was the second artist to sign to Voiceprint way back in 1990. His album "The Blue Zone" was the third release on the Voiceprint imprint and came out at the same time as Daevid Allens first releases on Voiceprint on the 30th November 1990. It is so sad to hear of Nic's passing as I have had the pleasure of knowing Nic for over 20 years. Nic was a very sensitive and gentle soul. His music and art was his life and he will be sorely missed.
I don't usually add sales information to an obituary, because I think that it could be interpreted as being a little vulgar. However, Nic was such an important artist, not only within the annals of progressive rock but within Voiceprint and Gonzo's shared history that it somehow seemed appropriate...
Nic Potter at Gonzo UK
Nic Potter at Gonzo USA
It was nearly 40 years ago since I first discovered the music press.  It was the summer of 1974, and an older lad on the school bus gave me a copy of a brightly coloured tabloid called Disc.  I was entranced.  Before then my only access to news about the musicians who entranced and enthralled me was schoolyard word of mouth, and Top of the Pops on BBC1 for half-and-hour every Thursday, when my old-fashioned and completely anti-pop music father would deign to let me watch it. In the pages of Disc I found news, reviews, gossip and a modicum of debate, and so the next Wednesday, instead of lining up for my lunch like all the other diligent pupils of Bideford Grammar School, I pocketed my lunch money and snuck off into town to buy the next issue. To my great joy I discovered that Disc wasn’t the only one, and came back clasping my prizes; copies of Disc, Melody Maker, Sounds,and the New Musical Express.  I took them home hidden in my school bag, and read them from cover to cover, over and over again.  Thus began a weekly routine which I followed until the mid-1980s when I transferred my allegiance to the newly arrived glossy music and culture magazines like Q, Select and Mojo
I learnt a lot from the music magazines, and I think that they shaped my young mind more than I would actually like to admit.  I paid more attention to what people like Nick Kent, Mick Farren, and Charles Shaar Murray said, thought, and did than I did my parents, teachers, or peers.  For in my young mind the hip young gunslingers of the NME were my peers, and I wanted to I inhabit the same world of anti-establishment, intellectual criticism as did they. 
Nearly 40 years on and I find myself the editor of this weekly newsletter, as well as a daily blog based around those jolly nice people at Gonzo Multimedia.  Gonzo has such a diverse and rich back catalogue that I find myself like the euphemistic kid in the candy store. Rob Ayling, the Gonzo big cheese, has given me carte blanche to write what I want, as long as it is vaguely connected with the Gonzo multiverse.  So I have, and I have dragged my poor long suffering wife, and my friends Richard Freeman, Graham Inglis and Dave Curtis along for the ride. I have even co-opted Gonzo guitar star Paul May of the mighty Atkins May Project into writing gig reviews for us.  But I want more.
I have always been somewhat OCD, and I would admit that during my mis-spent youth I fetishised music to perhaps an unhealthy extent, but I loved the music pages back then.  And now I have the opportunity to build this weekly newsletter into the same sort of anarchic, crazy-passionate mish-mash of news, reviews, and debate that I used to love so much. I have already had several respond to my call for new writers, and I shall be putting them to work in the next few weeks.  But do YOU fancy trying your hand at being a rock journalist? 
The contemporary music business has changed beyond all recognition, and music may not ever be as socially and economically as important as it once was. But emotionally, sociologically and spiritually it still speaks to me, it still speaks to you, and I suspect it still speaks to a lot of people.  Gonzo is a fine example of the new breed of record companies.  Let’s make this newsletter into something really special together. 

If you can contribute something email me at


In last week’s edition I posted a query about a band that I remembered being called System 6.  It is beginning to seem that they never actually existed!
Now, I don’t know if it is because I am getting older, because I live in a small rural community with ancient water pipes, or the fact that because of my declining health my doctor has put me on an ever-increasing cocktail of medication (I’m not joking), but my memory really is failing.  There might be quite a novel new parlour game in which you (the readership) attempt to decipher what I (the journalist with an addled memory) half remember about bits of rock and roll minutiae that I learned about during my mis-spent youth.
I am indebted to two Gonzo Weekly readers.  Pete Collins who wrote:

In an effort to clear things up,Ian Gillan and Roger Glover were in a band called Episode 6 prior to joining Deep Purple in 69.

and Allan Heron who wrote:

Gillan and Glover were in Episode Six before joining Purple which is what you were thinking of

They are both, of course, right.  Episode 6 was an interesting and innovative pop rock band with twinges of psychedelia that – amongst others – featured a young Ian Gillan and Roger Glover later to join Deep Purple mark 2.  Like so many prophets they were without honour in their own land but were – apparently – quite big in Beirut, back in the days when the now troubled and war-torn city was known as the playground of the eastern Mediterranean.  I visited it several times in the mid-‘60s when I was a small boy, and it was, indeed, a beautiful and cosmopolitan city.  But I digress.
Various members of Pink Floyd were also in an early band called Sigma 6, of which very little seems to be known.  However, I am beginning to think that my mythical band System 6 never actually existed, and that my nascent Floyd and Purple  bands had got combined somehow within my adult synapses.
Thank you everyone who helped.
But the story isn’t over yet!
As anyone who has read my inky-fingered scribblings here and elsewhere will probably be aware I am very much a fan of Eric Burdon, particularly his work with The New Animals and War.  On Friday the lovely Anne-Marie from Gonzo sent me copies of two Eric Burdon DVDs that are currently on the Gonzo catalogue.  (You can check out all Gonzo’s Eric Burdon material (HERE in the UK, and HERE for the USA).  Last night I sat down with my mother-in-law, and my friend and colleague Richard Freeman, the well-known author and explorer, and we watched the two DVDs. 
Even folk who, like me, are devotees of the concept of acausal synchronicity will be surprised at this!  One of the DVDs, containing material from Eric’s appearances at the Beat Beat Beat (a German TV show in I believe 1967) also features two songs by Episode 6; Morning Dew which was the aforementioned hit in the Lebanon and I Hear Trumpets Blow.

The most peculiar thing about this is the appearance of a young and almost offensively good looking Ian Gillan, flower-powered up to the nines.  I don’t know if anyone apart from me remembers the 1981 series Quatermass written by the late Nigel Kneale and starring Sir John Mills. One of the sets of protagonists in the TV series (and subsequent much less impressive movie) are a group of what a few years later would have been described as new age travellers calling themselves ‘the planet people’ who wander across an apocalyptic British landscape, chanting and brandishing pendulums. One of the leaders of this band of fictional hippies looked the spitting image of Ian Gillan fronting Episode Six, 12 or 13 years previously.
He also looks like one of the more wholesome members of the Manson family in the 1978 made for TV show Helter Skelter and – possibly – most like the drug-addled young singer who sings Springtime for Hitler in the original version of The Producers.  In short, he looks like every TV and film director’s conception of the good-looking young flower power subversive ready to lead a generation of gullible young people into a life of debauchery. 
I am sure Ian Gillan was not, is not and never has been anything like that, but it is tempting to wonder whether the aforementioned TV and film producers had seen his appearance on Beat, Beat, Beat and based their entire conception of a generation of alternative anti-heroes upon him.
Probably not, but my mind follows these tangents on occasion. 

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
For the last few weeks there has been a whole slew of Yes and Yes-related stories that we have been able to repost here on the Gonzo Daily. This week, however, although there are several things in the pipeline from Yes alumni, which I had better not talk about just yet, there is only one piece of Yes news that we have reposted. But its a good 'un!
Last week, I posted that Chris Squire of Yes had finally admitted that there was not going to be a Yes album this year. Now this year it has all changed again.

In another feature article, Chris and new boy Jon Davison have spoken about their excitement in putting a new album together. Apparently they have started work on it, but - of course - it may still not arrive in the shops until 2014, making last week's post technically correct.


If  - on friday - you had wandered into the badly converted potato shed that we euphemistically call the Gonzo Daily office suite you would notice something badly wrong! Graham was missing! If you were then to wander into the Curtis family home in Seaham on Sea, you would see that Davey Curtis (guitar toting lunatic of this parish) was also missing! Had they been abducted by aliens? Had they taken up a new career as costumed superheroes? No, it is far worse than that.......They had gone to MANCHESTER!


Hawkwind were playing in Manchester that night in front of an audience containing not one but two heavy drinking Gonzo scribes. Expect news from Graham in a few days time, but we have exclusive story and pics from Davey Curtis...

The cold and snow did not put people off as The Ritz soon filled up with Windy fans. Early doors tonight with a 6.30 start. Tim Blake was  supporting Hawkwind so it was going to be a long night for him. Unusual but not unprecedented. Noel Redding's Fat Mattress supported Jimi Hendrix Experience and I even saw Jethro Tull support themselves once, but I digress. After a few teething problems Mr Blake sets his lap top off playing some nice ambient strings and he riffs over the top on his keytar and theremin, all very nice and chilled out.

It seems to go down well with the crowd and he keeps us entertained for 30 minutes or so. He probably only had time to dash to the bog and then he was back on stage again with the rest of his Hawkind cohorts. Because the lights dim and.... Blast Off! 

Read on...

And whilst on the subject of Hawkwind at Manchester, I heard from our old pal Alan Dearing who I covered a few months ago on the Gonzo Daily...

Hi Jon
For the record, or not, my builder mate, Jason has downed tools today in Burnmouth up here in the Scottish borderlands, to head south to Manchester for the Hawkwind gig. He's clutching a copy of the 'Travelling Daze' book I compiled with many Travellers and Musos from around the planet. He reckons Mister Brock and friends may like it. You were kind enough to review it a few months ago. As you know, it includes dozens of contributions, words and pics, from the people who actually helped put on the free festivals of the 1960s and 70s; many of whom are still out there 'doing it' and 'living the life':
Meanwhile it is selling nicely. As a for instance, Mel from Magnus Records and Films, emailed me this morning saying:
"Wow that was quick got it this morning! Only had time to flick through but really like what i have seen so far, David (Stooke's) paintings brilliant as ever and really nice anecdotal stuff, VERY  chuffed to  have a pic of us in too, much thanks and i hope you sell many, i shall certainly recommend it....all the best xxx mel"
Alan (Dearling)

Enabler Publications and Services
45 Haymon's Cove
Scotland TD14 5EG

018907 51222 
All three parts of the Spirits Burning interview
I had been trying to interview Don Falcone from Spirits Burning for weeks, but every time I tried something happened. We had technical problems, health problems, family problems and even times when I needed to be dealing with various arcane animal related issues from my day job, but eventually we got together through the magick of those jolly nice people at but for whom I really would not be able to do a lot of what I do.

If you missed it, check out:

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

I know that I posted part one of the interview on last week's Gonzo Weekly, but I have been listening to Spirits Burning (especially the records they have made with Bridget Wishart) all week, and am fully intending to plug them unmercifully. Believe me, they deserve it.
Spirits Burning at Gonzo UK
Spirits Burning at Gonzo USA
A little birdie tells me that we will soon be hearing rather a lot of Mr Derek Dick, aka Fish. So let's have a brief look at his career...

Derek William Dick, hereafter referred to as Fish, first came to the notice of music fans as the front man for neo-progressive rock band Marillion. The band enjoyed success in the rock charts with the albums ‘Script For A Jester’s Ear’ and ‘Fugazi’, before achieving massive success with the breakthrough album ‘Misplaced Childhood’.   Fish recorded one further studio album, ‘Clutching At Straws’ with the band before musical differences arose and Fish departed for a solo career in 1988, releasing his first solo album, ‘Vigil In A Wilderness Of Mirrors’, in early 1990.  Since that time Fish has continued to tour and regularly release albums  and “Official Bootlegs”, through his own label, Chocolate Frog.

You wondered why Gonzo Grossencheesemeister Rob Ayling was visiting Steve Hillage last week? Rob sent me this:

We are pleased to announce at a recent meeting between Gonzo supremo and Guitar Hero Steve Hillage, that the highly sort after Steve Hillage Band Live from England 1979 DVD package is to be re-issued. It is a full issue of the previous limited edition DVD only released on Voiceprint in 2007. But this time it will contain a CD audio of the sound track (excluding the interview).

Read on...

I recently received an email from Laurie Coker, a friend of Thom the World Poet. She has recently published an ebook of exquisitely written short stories...


Like a loosely woven tattersall warming the backside of an old horse, this collection of fictionalized characters interwoven throughout my life form a kind of a mantle I wear wherever I go. Although the stories are fiction, an elaboration of my imagination, they are inspired by people I grew up with who, like the characters in this book, had a significant impact on my life. I sometimes feel like an old house that has had many inhabitants over the years revealing their stories within my walls, our symbiotic relationship both good and bad, lingering and urging me to tell their truths as they saw them. I do not put them on a pedestal because their fallibilities are all too obvious. I do not judge them harshly for they have all earned their place in the pages of this book.

I continue to be fascinated by people and what makes them “tick,” their motivations, their passions, their strengths and weaknesses. In studying their uniqueness, I discover my own.

This book is lovingly dedicated to the memory of my grandmother,
Mary Alice Ireland Shaw and to the memory of her daughter, my mother, Dollie Mae Shaw Coker because their encouragement, insight, humor, keen observations, and most of all their spirit, are the backbone and inspiration for these stories.All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Check it out...
One of the problems of the past week has been that our broadband service has veered between non-existent and bloody awful. 

Eight or nine years ago, our then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, promised that he would bring broadband to any community that mustered a number of signatures on a petition. What he didn’t say was that he was going to update the infrastructure necessary to give it the same sort of service that it gets in the towns and cities. 

The Gonzo weekly suite of offices (the oft mentioned converted potato shed) is in a little village that nobody has heard of in rural North Devon. I like being in a little village that nobody has ever heard of, I like being the man with the longest hair in the village, and I used to like (until the landlord left) the fact that I could play Captain Beefheart in the village pub without much complaint. However, the downside of living in the sticks is that, like this week, we have been all but cut off electronically.
Because of this I am behind in quite a few things that I should have done.  I want to apologise to Merrell Frankhauser.  I should have interviewed him this week but didn’t, for example.
This next week is going to be even more confusing, because we are going to Oakham, the county town of the smallest county in England.  My darling mother-in-law lives there and we are taking her home after a protracted stay with us in the country.  It may be the county town of the smallest county in England, and apparently it has the highest rates in the UK, but its wi-fi internet coverage is less than satisfactory. 

We shall be taking laptops with us, and will hopefully be able to maintain some sort of contact. The Gonzo daily will be covered by Graham Inglis, my long-standing deputy and close friend, in our absence.  There will be a Gonzo weekly newsletter next weekend, but I am not promising how long it will be, or on which day it will be dispatched.
Hopefully, however, me,  Corinna, and orange cat will be home before long and normal service will be resumed.

All sorts of things are in the planning stage including a piece on Eric Burdon at Gonzo and a look at the latest offerings from the massively eclectic Swiss Galileo record label. All such goodies will come to those who wait.

Until next week,

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

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