This is quite simply the best magazine you will ever find that is edited by a mad bloke (and his orange kitten), and produced from a tumbledown potato shed on the outskirts of a tiny village that nobody's heard of in North Devon. The fact that it is published with Gonzo Multimedia - probably the grooviest record company in the known universe - is merely an added bonus.
all the gonzo news that’s fit to print
Issue Fifty-Nine January 11th
This issue was put together by me and Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent, (who is, in case you didn't know, an insane orange kitten on the verge of adulthood) ably assisted by:

Corinna Downes, (Sub Editor, and my lovely wife)
Graham Inglis, (Columnist, Staff writer, Hawkwind nut)
Bart Lancia, (My favourite roving reporter)
Thom the World Poet, (Bard in residence)
C.J.Stone, (Columnist, commentator and all round good egg)
Kev Rowland, (Reviewer)
Lesley Madigan, Photographer par excellence
Douglas Harr, (Staff writer, columnist)
Dave McMann, (He ain't nothing but a) Newshound-dog
Orrin Hare, (Sybarite and literary bon viveur)
and Peter McAdam (McDada in residence)
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?)
What? You don't know who Hunter Thompson is/was/might have been/will be? Without Hunter Thompson there would be no Gonzo Multimedia. It would have been completely different and that would have been an unforgivable pity. So here is:
C.J.Stone suggested that as well as explaining Gonzo to those wot don't understand, we should do a weekly quote from the great man himself. So here goes:

“It never got weird enough for me.” â€  
                                 Hunter S. Thompson
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
It is simple; my name is Jon and I'm the editor of the Gonzo Multimedia daily online bloggything. Now there is a weekly magazine, once again edited by me and a small orange kitten from a dilapidated ex-potato shed  in rural Devonshire, to which you subscribed 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 easy to unsubscribe again. But what a long, strange trip it is gonna be...

I keep on thinking that I ought to have some sort of a mission statement in each issue, but it is more than a little difficult to do one. Basically, (if you don't mind me sounding more like a wishy washy old hippy than my haircut in the photograph above would imply) I think that books and music are immensely important. I look around and see that we are living in a world where the things that I think are important are valued less and less by society as a whole; a world where asinine gameshows and so-called reality TV (which is actually a complete oxymoron, but don't get me started) are of more importance to most people than anything of cultural or spiritual value.

I am also very disappointed by much of what the contemporary music press puts out, and I decided many years ago, that probably the only way I could read the things that I want to read, would be to publish them myself. So this is what I have been doing for much of my life. I am also naive enough to think that music and art can change the world, and as the world is in desperate need of change, I am gonna do my best to help.
MORE LIKE A MAGAZINE: Technofear and loathing in Wulfheard's Homestead
You may have noticed that there was no magazine last week. Well there very nearly wasn't one this week either. Our internet access all year has veered between skeletal and non existent. Whether it is something to do with the recent storms, or something to do with sunspot activity (as Matt Salusbury suggested), or because the technical support people at our ISP have been replaced by a colony of black-footed prairie dogs I am not sure, but I suspect the latter. But the fact remains that until British Telecom fix it, the only way we can get online is piggybacking on Graham's wi-fi using one of two ancient and very slow laptops.

But I felt unreasonably guilty last weekend for not having put an issue out, so this weekend there will be one by hook or by crook.

As you can see, Archie has decided to to his bit to help which is (but don't tell him this) often more disruptive than helpful. However, I shouldn't really complain. There are thousands of households in the UK who have been without electricity, or who have been seriously disrupted by flooding, and all I have to complain about is sitting in my ridiculously comfortable chair, writing about things that interest me whilst being cuddled by a slightly overenthusiastic dog.

So things aren't really that bad...

1. Art is as important as science and more important than money
2. There is life after (beyond and before) Pop Idol
3. Music can and sometimes does change the world

If you think those three ideas are stupid then you should probably give up reading this magazine now. Otherwise... enjoy
As is the rest of this magazine, this is mostly about music, and the bits of contemporary culture that I find interesting, but it also has a smattering of actual NEWS, especially if there are ethical questions that effect us all, or one of those put in authority over us does something spectacularly inane. The nearest that this section will ever come to politics is laughing at politicians.
  • Brian May vs the hunt. Over what is euphemistically described as 'The Festive Season, Brian May posted a swingeing attack on fox hunters and other animal abusers. We are so impressed by his recent green political activities that we are almost ready to forgive him for that terrible album the rump of Queen made with Paul Rogers.
  • Another "Lost" Johnny Cash album is geared up for release in the spring  featuring twelve uncovered studio recordings. Produced by Billy Sherrill and taken from two early 1980s sessions in Nashville and Los Angeles, Out Among The Stars will hit shelves on 25 March next year. And from what Cash's son says I wouldn't be at all surprised if there was more unreleased material to follow.
  • The Spotify debate continues. Billy Bragg thinks that the reason musicians are not seeing good returns from Spotify and other streaming services is because these labels are signing deals with musicians that are stuck in the past. "The recording industry is still fixed on what we call an analogue model - that's a reference to the way we used to record." Read on...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Michael King has exciting news for Hugh Hopper fans
Happy 2014 Rattlers!
Just wanted to echo the evaluation expressed here for the Hugh Hopper and Bone benefit CD, The Gift Of Purpose (Cuneiform Records). This group music is a very powerful listening experience and Hugh's playing is simply staggering throughout. A beautiful concert recording that is, IMHO, indispensable for those holding a deep appreciation for Hugh's musical gifts.
Speaking of which... for those... I've been tasked with compiling a series of CD releases celebrating the life and legacy of the late Hugh Hopper and the process has been an education in his kaleidoscopic musical world. This series, comprising nine CDs, will be released this year by Gonzomultimedia and we can thank Headmaster Rob Ayling for his unflagging support above and beyond the call of commercial duty.

From Hugh's private archive, and additional contributions from his friends (most especially Aymeric) I have selected a wide range of high quality concert and studio recordings, none of which have ever been released nor heard publicly. You're in for a treat.
Happy listening!
Michael King
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  More Clepsydra Tour Dates
Tour between April 2014 and November 2014
Confirmed tour dates:
Saturday April 5, 2014, Progdreams III, Zoetemeer, The Netherlands
Saturday April 12, 2014, Sounds from Under the Ashes 2014, Murrayfield Pub, Chiasso, Switzerland
Friday May 2, 2014, ROSfest, Gettysburg, PA, USA
Saturday May 31, 2014, Dom Kultury Oskard, Konin, Poland
Friday June 20, 2014, PPRDas Rind, Rüsselsheim, Germany
Fri/Sat. July 18th/19th, 2014, Night of the Prog, Loreley, Germany
Saturday July 26, 2014, EcosmusicaisParadise Garage, Lisbon, Portugal
Saturday November 1, 2014, Prog En Beauce Edition II, Villemeux sur Eure, France (Contact)
Australian scientists apologise to little girl for failing to ‘make her a dragon’

Scientists in Australia have apologised to a little girl for failing to make her a pet dragon – and have promised to step up research into the mythical creatures’ existence. Staff at the Australian national science agency were stunned when they received the letter from seven-year-old Sophie Lester, who lives in Queensland. In the letter addressed ‘Hello lovely scientist’, Sophie politely requested they set to work on a new pet for her. She added: ‘Would it be possible if you can make a dragon for me? I would like it if you could but if you can’t that’s fine. â€˜I would call it “Toothless” if it was a girl and if it is a boy I would name it “Stuart”.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  New Music from Galahad
There is a new EP from our favourite prog-metallers, and it is imminent. At the moment we don't know much more than that, but I have scheduled an interview with the ever interesting Stu Nicholson, and - with a fair wind, and a bit of luck - there will be a story about it in next week's magazine. In the meantime check 'em out because they are bloody good!
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Another Taster for Clearlight's Impressionist Symphony
In the last issue I posted how over Christmas Cyrille sent me this trailer for the new album , writing: "The Impressionist Symphony focusses on the celebration of the wonderful French impressionist painters...This new Clearlight album, composed 40 years after the Clearlight Symphony will be released by Gonzo Multimedia international early next year...Stay tuned ! Happy New Year 2014".

He has now posted a new and improved trailer for your delectation, and it gives me great pleasure to pass it on to you...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Happy Birthday Merrell
The picture above is Merrell onstage celebrating his birthday together with "members of "Canned Heat", "The Exiles", "Fapardokly" and "The Brymers" who have two songs in the new "Jobs" movie". He sent it to us together with cheery greetings for the New Year. I have been reading quite a lot about his stellar, but mightily peculiar, career recently, 'cos I have been working on his autobiography which is going to be released very soon by Gonzo.

It is both touching, informative - and in parts - very funny, and some of the anecdotes about Captain Beefheart, and a brief brush with girls from The Manson Family will make your hair curl!

Good Stuff
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Judy D - You Go Girl! Whooooooooo!
Look at THIS. It seems like Shindig like the divine Ms D nearly as much as we do. Judy's star really is in the ascendant at the moment.

But it's not just Shindig. Goldmine have listed her as one of the best albums of the year and MW3 have this to say:

GONZO MULTIMEDIA - Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble is a legend of the 1960's U .K music scene. Involved with Fairport Convention, behind the scenes at the start of King Crimson and her project Trader Horne, Judy is back again in 2013 with the sublime sounding Flow And Change. Released by prog mogul Rob Ayling’s label, Gonzo Multimedia, the ten track CD covers a wide swath of music styles—from prog-rock to neoclassical, folk ala Fairport. The lead off track “Black Dog Dreams”—co-written by Judy and Simon House of Hawkwind with blazing lap steel by Mike Mooney—is a sonic marvel that sounds like the kind of prog track Steve Nardelli and The SYN would release. The album features a number of musicians and the CD booklet features track by track discographical info and complete lyrics. Some tracks, with strings and things are more introspective sounding influenced by greats like Van Dyke Parks and Donovan while others, especially “Crowbaby” sound quite influenced by Judy’s early encounters with early King Crimson members. Thanks to the art of digital recording via the internet, on Flow And Change Judy Dyble quite rightly revives her career with a 21st century prog-rock masterpiece.

I was talking to her via e-mail the other day, and it seems that the girl who never gigs and who delighted her fans by doing two gigs in twelve months is reneging on all this. There are several gigs in the pipeline, including a return to the Watermargin (WMjazz) at the O2 on the 16th March and a charity gig on Valentine's Day. There is also a gig in Norwich in the pipeline. More news as we get it.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Michael Des Barres has got an stonker of a new single
Ever since I read John Higgs' biography of the KLF I have been listening to a lot of what - back in the day - was called 'Stadium House'. So, I suspect, has Michael Des Barres. Now, I am no good at discerning all the modern genres of music. I don't know my grindcore from my black metal, or my techno-ambient from my elbow, so please forgive me if I am describing Michael Des Barres' stonking new single as being 'Stadium House' when it is in fact nothing of the kind, but it is a big, strong, joyous and anthemic slice of dance music, and I sincerely hope that lots and lots of people buy it and that it becomes a colossal hit.

I grabbed Michael on Facebook, and told him how much I enjoyed the single. I then asked him what else he had in store for us in 2014. His reply - as always - was inspirational. "My own talk show on NBC. My next album in March, my continued commitment to being part of the solution not part of the Problem".

This is a man who understands that rock and roll has to be revolutionary if it is to serve any purpose at all, and uses everything he does as an excuse to spread the word.

Right on Michael!
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  The Gospel according to Bart
My favourite roving reporter sent me this review of a recent show by Neil Young at Carnegie Hall. He writes: "Sorry to have missed this show... An historic theatre, with a true rock legend". He also sent me news from Marillion guitarist Steve Rothery:

I'd like to thank everyone on behalf of my friends Matt and Rachel Elworthy for the amazing support you've shown for Matt's brain tumour treatment fund. Not only the people who bought the Carol of the Bells download but the numerous donations and messages on the just giving site (
It really means a lot to all of us.

2014 is going to be another hectic year for the band. We'll be back in the studio in January rehearsing for the Cruise to the Edge before Pete's off touring with Transatlantic in February, while I spend a few days recording the backing tracks for my solo album "The Ghosts of Pripyat" at the Racket Club. I've been totally amazed at the response to the Kickstarter campaign, which has more than doubled the target I'd set. It's now into the last two weeks of the campaign and I've just announced a special edition with a bonus DVD. Anyone who orders the special edition on Kickstarter will get their name in the booklet.

For anyone wanting to order the special edition and pay via PayPal (it's not supported by Kickstarter) please email for instructions. If you order within the next 14 days you'll still be eligible to have your name in the special edition booklet.

I'm off to play a few concerts in Italy in February where I'll be playing the final arrangements of the tracks for the first time

Friday 21 February 2014 Crossroads, Rome, Italy
TICKETS: Support: Ranestrane

Saturday 22 February 2014 Forum, Veruno, Italy
TICKETS: Support: Ranestrane

Sunday 23 February 2014 Cinema Teatro VIRTUS, Verona, Italy
TICKETS: email: Support: Ranestrane

Other Shows:

Sunday 9th March 2014
Barcelona Guitar Festival

Saturday 4th October 2014 John Dee, Oslo, Norway

In the spirit of the holiday season, I created a discount code to get the Steve Rothery Band - Live In Plovdiv download for 50p (around €0.6 or $0.71) which was originally valid until 31st December. It was pointed out to me that some people don't actually use their computer during the holiday period so I've now extended the offer until January 31st. Just go to, click buy now then enter merryxmas in the discount code box then click apply. Hope you enjoy it.

We have a new episode of Strange Fruit and there are some other exciting things afoot with another entirely new station being added to Gonzo Web Radio, and a total revamp of the radio index. 

STRANGE FRUIT: Episode 54 Part One
Date Published: 10th January 2014

Strange Fruit is a unique two-hour radio show exploring the world of underground, strange and generally neglected music. All shows are themed and all shows set out to give the most hardened of sound-hounds some new delight to sample. The show is also unique in providing homework for undergraduate students on North West Kent College’s Foundation Degree in Professional Writing (who dig up many of the odd facts featured in the links between tracks).  Strange Fruit presenter Neil Nixon is currently working on a book about rare albums for Gonzo Multimedia.  

The show is broadcast on Miskin Radio every Sunday from 10-00-midnight.

Playlist for this episode

isten here

STRANGE FRUIT: Episode 54 Part Two

Date Published: 10th January 2014

Listen Here
For more news on Strange Fruit CLICK HERE
For more news on Canterbury Sans Frontières CLICK HERE
For the Gonzo Web Radio homepage CLICK HERE
What's been did and what's been hid
I am growing up in public, as it were. The Gonzo Weekly has been going for very nearly a year 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?

Please pass this magazine around as far and wide as you can. And encourage as many people as you can to subscribe. Remember it is free, and will remain so. However, I want as many subscribers as possible to move on to the next stage of the party. There might well be cake.

Remember, I am always looking for new authors. If there is something that you feel you could add to the general melange which is the Gonzo Weekly, please email me at The more the merrier.

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.

Please tell your friends, colleagues and family about The Gonzo Weekly, and try to persuade them to subscribe. The more subscribers we get, the bigger and better and more effective the whole thing will be.
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.
1. Mick Abrahams - The Guitar With Mick Abrahams 
In 1975 ex Jethro Tull and Blodwyn Pig guitarist Mick Abrahams released this obscure but oddly entertaining record. It is a guitar tutorial, which – considering the fact that he is one of the greatest guitarists in the business – will have helped untold thousands of wannabe axemen along their chosen path.

2. Delired Chameleon Family - Delired Chameleon Family 
After the release of Clearlight Symphony, the band returned to France to record their next album in March 1975 at the Pathé Marconi studios in Boulogne, Paris under the name Delired Cameleon Family. The group includes Ivan Coaquette of Musica Elettronica Viva. The music was also used as the soundtrack to the film, Visa de Censure No. X. The group were under contract to Virgin Records, but the album was issued by EMI Recordswho owned the film soundtrack rights, and effectively used its soundtrack status to do an end-run around the group's contract with Virgin, as the album is not really presented as a soundtrack. "Musique du film Visa de Censure No. X de Pierre Clementi" appears in small font at the top of the front cover, printed light blue on dark blue to reduce its prominence, and the film title is not mentioned at all on the label. The credits (in French) state: "produit par Pathé et Virgin" (Pathé Marconi was EMI's imprint name in France).

3. Joey Molland - This Way Up (CD)
Joey Molland, originally in Badfinger, put out a string over massively under-rated solo albums including this one from 2001 which was originally independently released. CD Universe describes the album as: “…one of the best solo discs that ex-members of the Beatles never made. It bears repeating -- This Way Up contains the essence of what was great about those early solo Beatles albums, not surprising because Molland played on some of them. The surprise is that a sideman from those sessions has created a mini-masterpiece rivaling, and on some songs equaling, those classic and important recordings. As good as Molland's power trio is live, why it doesn't perform originals onstage the way they are presented on this disc is a mystery. Molland is an excellent guitarist, and in concert he can veer off from the hit material and rival Pat Travers. That isn't always what his audience wants -- what his audience wants are the pretty guitar lines and vocals in a song like "The Bust," a slice of the stuff that made everyone into Badfinger fans, still alive and well and current. This is a very, very excellent recording, make no mistake about that. 

4. Percy Jones - Tunnels (CD)
In the early 90's, Swiss born musician Marc Wagnon sought to create his own music project. He enlisted the help of bassist Percy Jones of BRAND X fame and created a Jazz Fusion dubbed TUNNELS. In 1994 they released their first album simply named "Tunnels". With Wagnon, himself a Berkley College of Music graduate, playing vibraphone and Percy Jones on fretless bass, Frank Katz, also of BRAND X, was picked up to provide percussion duties. Throughout their career, TUNNELS has worked with a variety of musicians to add diversity to their three piece format. At one time guitarists Van Manakas, Julien Feltin, and John Goodsall have either guested on TUNNELS' albums or played with them live. Percussionist Lance Carter guested on their self titled album, and took on full drumming duties on their album "The Art Of Living Dangerously".
Most of the back issues have now been archived on a dedicated Blogger site. Please use the navigation tree on the right of the page. However, please be aware that there are still a few formatting issues, and the magazine may not look as nice in blogger as we would have liked.

If, however, you are using the MailChimp archive, (below) please be warned: Magazines from #11-41  contain the cartoon at the bottom of the stressed out guy with the computer  Apparently someone has accused the public domain images site I got it from of hosting malware, and even though there was none found there by Google, the fact that I used an image from the site (perfectly legally) flagged our whole newsletter up as possibly containing malware. This should only effect people using Google Chrome, and I would strongly suggest that you click the 'proceed anyway' tab, and view the newsletter as you had originally planned...

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THOSE WE HAVE LOST:  Phil Everly (1938-2013)
On January 3, 2014, Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers died at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, just two weeks prior to his 75th birthday. The cause of his death was complications attributed to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a combination of emphysema and bronchitis), brought on by a lifetime of smoking.
"Bye,Bye Love!"-from do-wop origins
with country overtones-their harmonies won us
but not each other!Like Simon &Garfunkel
Splitsville and solo careers-until death intervenes.
Now we re-asses-which voice we loved most?
Yet like Glimmer Twins-together was an alchemy
solo could never capture- soundscapes of emotional heart tuggings
Tears of growing /only reminisce.Retro cannot repeat.
Lodged in our collective adolescences-
Don &Phil Everly-the Everly Brothers
Like Bee Gees -or Beatles-this musical magic unique
can never repeat.We need you ,Phil!
You did not have to leave...

                                       Thom the World Poet
Bye, Bye Phil Everly
Clues to his spiritual life and a humorous incident with him

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

LAKE FOREST, CA (ANS) -- Singer Phil Everly -- one half of the groundbreaking, smooth-sounding, record-setting duo, the Everly Brothers – died Friday in California from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease He was 74.


Duo: Phil, left, and Don on UK TV in 1965

According to CNN, Patricia Aidem, a spokeswoman at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, confirmed Everly's death on Friday, but could not provide additional details, citing the family's request.

During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Phil Everly and his brother, Don (now 76), ranked among the elite in the music world by virtue of their pitch-perfect harmonies and emotive lyrics.

Rolling Stone labeled the Everly Brothers “the most important vocal duo in rock,” having influenced the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel and many other acts.

Along the way, they notched 35 Top 100 songs -- more than any other vocal pair.

I had a rather humorous brief meeting with Phil Everly some years back. It came about when British Christian businessman, Charles Cordle, whose company was called Lella TV, named after his young daughter who was electrocuted when she touched an electric fire in their home, came to Los Angeles for a visit.

During out meeting at his hotel, he told me that he had put funding into a four-part television series featuring British singer, Cliff Richard, also a Christian.


Phil and Cliff Richard
on a record cover

One of programs featured a Cliff Richard rock and roll show in 1981 at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, and Phil Everly, who at the time was not working with his brother, came on stage and the two did some rather wonderful duets together. (I know because Norma and I had been invited to attend the concert).

Mr. Cordle then asked me if we could have lunch at a particular restaurant in Toluca Lake (part of LA) which he said is “used by stars”, so I drove him there and as we were waiting to be shown to our table, Phil Everly walked in. I pointed him out Mr. Cordle and all of a sudden he rushed at him a few yards away and said in a loud educated voice, “Phil, wonderful to see you.” By now Phil Everly was pinned to the wall with almost terror in his eyes. I guess the singer was wondering if this was this someone who was about to attack him.

But he soon recovered as Cordle added, “Do you remember playing the Hammersmith Odeon in London with Cliff Richard on the TV?”
With that, Phil nodded, and so Cordle said, “Well I helped to pay for it.”

All the suddenly, he relaxed that he hadn’t been attacked, shook out hands and was then off to a table across the restaurant.

Norman Stone, who directed the Cliff Richard TV series, sent me a message which said, “Sad to hear about Phil. He was a lovely chap and put on a great show.”

He then followed up with the following: “The name of the series was 'Cliff!' I both directed and produced this 4x60 minute shows. I tried to break new ground in the (at the time) rather tired ‘studio-based’ BBC Light Entertainment formats and, mainly because of this dangerous intention, was left totally alone by the in-house BBC staff and producers, who seemed to think that given enough rope I would pretty soon hang myself.


Dr. Ted Baehr and Norman Stone (right) share a humorous moment with Dan Wooding on the Red Carpet at the Movieguide® awards
(Photo: Peter Wooding)

“In the event, the whole series was an astonishing hit (I believe that the series still holds the highest audience ratings for any programme(s) shown on BBC Two. It was promptly repeated on BBC One to another appreciative audience.

“Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the series was the 'Rock n' Roll Show' I put on at the Hammersmith Odeon, with Cliff in full swing, Rockers and Teddy boys in all directions, and a special mystery guest. No-one there had any idea that it was Phil Everly.

“I'd contacted Phil when over in America, and met up with him in a strange Spanish restaurant in L.A. He was a real gentleman, and a great musician. Things had gone rather quiet for him (especially since he'd become estranged from his brother Don) and he was both gracious and interested in my proposal to fly him over to London for a 'surprise' concert with Cliff. I wanted the whole thing to be completely unexpected, and it was.

“I was filming alongside my main camera down in the orchestra pit when the announcer (I'd tracked down the same off-screen voice that was so crucial to Jack Good's original UK Rock and Roll TV hit show ‘OH BOY!’) announced the special guest from America ... ‘Mr. PHIL EVERLY!!’ - and Phil walked on stage.

“The place is huge and it was packed, they were hanging from the rafters, and for a good three or four seconds there was complete silence. I thought it had all gone really wrong and stuck my head up above the parapet ... almost to have it immediately blown off by the biggest wall of sound I've ever experienced. It was the greatest intro for what was a fantastic set singing along with Cliff on all the old Everly Brothers hits.”

Stone went on to say, “To be honest, things were so busy for me at that time, both running and producing the shows, that I didn't get time to ‘hang out’ with Phil, so I can't say much about his beliefs. But everything I saw and experienced with him and in him would be exactly consistent with someone who had a real personal faith in Christ, and knowing his family background, as well as his early gospel songs and music, it would all fit.

“What I do remember is his graciousness, effortless professionalism and his open and easy friendliness. Oh yes, and his music was pretty amazing as well.”


Phil Everly and wife Patti attend the ‘We're All For The Hall’ benefit concert for the Country Music Hall of Fame at the Sommet Center on Oct. 13, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn

I had often wondered if Phil Everly had any spiritual views, and was most interested to read at story by AP Music Writer Chris Talbott, in which he said that the infighting and hard feelings between the Everly Brothers were well-known, but surviving brother Don felt he had a special moment with his brother Phil before Phil’s passing Friday — even if the two weren't together at the time.

“I was listening to one of my favorite songs that Phil wrote and had an extreme emotional moment just before I got the news of his passing,” Don Everly wrote in a statement to The Associated Press on Saturday morning. “I took that as a special spiritual message from Phil saying goodbye. Our love was and will always be deeper than any earthly differences we might have had.”

Talbatt went on to say that the Everly Brothers were arguably the most influential vocal duo in music history. They brought their love of country music to rock 'n' roll in the 1950s and 1960s, transforming the pop charts of the day and inspiring legions of young proto rockers like the Beatles, Bob Dylan and the Byrds who would go on to change popular culture.

Phil, I am so sorry have left us, but I will always have that picture in my mind of you being pinned against that restaurant wall by an enthusiastic British businessman. You handled it well.

Now, I don't know whether this is a good idea, a bad idea, or just an idea, but - as I believe you know - this magazine is put out each week on a budget of £25, and is free. It will remain free, but I would like to be able to generate some income so I can pay our contributing writers. So, 'why not flog Gonzo Weekly T Shirts?' I thought. 'Why not', I answered...
COVER STORY: Don Falcone interview
Spirits Burning are very much a 21st Century sort of band, and have made a complete art of long distance recording. Working mostly within the broad genre of Space Rock, and co-ordinated by digital maestro Don Falcone (born November 5, 1958) - an American musician and producer.

Originally a poet-performer in Pennsylvania, he relocated to San Francisco at the beginning of the 1980s. He was a member of Thessalonians and the original Melting Euphoria, had a solo project called Spaceship Eyes, and since 1996 has led the Spirits Burning Space Rock collective.

Falcone set Spirits Burning on their continuing mission just as the internet began to open up an index of collaborative possibilities that studio recordings and logistics previously precluded: the chance for content-creators to recruit musicians on an ad hoc basis across the ether; musicians they’d have scant hope of playing with face-to-face.

I have interviewed him before, but now I am far more au fait with what he is doing personally, and with the whole 21st Century musical modus operandi. Listen to our conversation HERE.
EXCLUSIVE: Crystal Grenade on Steve Ignorant's Slice of Life
I was pootling about on Facebook doing something completely unGonzoid when Carol Hodge popped up with some interesting news:

Well Slice of Life have just gained a new member, in the form of Lucas Martin. He played double bass with us at the Islington Academy gig last month, and we liked the sound of him so much we made him a permanent fixture! He's also the bassist in Wrecks with me and Pete so we are used to playing together. Love, luck and light to you on this first day of a brand new year. Hope reigns!

This sounds really exciting, and everyone at Gonzo Mansions (especially me, Frunobulax, Archie and Lobby the Lobster) are really looking forward to hearing what this new line up sounds like. I only know Lucas from his work with Wrecks but he is a meaty, though subtle bass player, and I am sure he will have both positive and interesting influences on the band's sound.

They are also apparently:

Working on some new material for when we perform at The Grosvenor, London (8th March) and The Maze, Nottingham (10th May). We'll keep you posted on how we get on.

There has been quite a lot of Steve Ignorant news in the media recently, much of it related to this:
Thatchergate tapes: Cabinet papers from 1984 released
by thehippiesnowwearblack

Under the thirty-year rule, newly-released Cabinet Papers from 1984 reveal for the first time new details about the government's assessment of what became known as the 'Thatchergate tapes': the hoax tape collage of conversations between British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan produced by Crass.

Read on...

ut there's also:

Crass, Poison Girls – photos from Stowmarket gig, 5 September 1980
by thehippiesnowwearblack

Steve Ward of the 'Association Of St Edmundsbury Punx Late '70s early '80s' Facebook group has uploaded a cracking set of photos of a Crass, Poison Girls and Annie Anxiety gig at Stowmarket United Reform Church on 5 September 1980.

Read on...

And I don't need an excuse, because I am the editor and I can do what I damn well want, and because the album is so bloody good, but I think that, if you have not done so already, you should check our the lovely Carol Hodge, aka Ms Crystal Grenade, at Gonzo...


Semi-Skimmed Democracy

Semi-skimmed milk

I am having to re-write the opening of this story after several people informed me that I was giving out false information. In the original version I suggested that in order to create semi-skimmed milk, all you had to do was to add water to full-cream milk, and thus save yourself money. It was a debating point and an analogy as this story isn’t really about milk. It is about democracy.

So let me start by saying that you cannot make semi-skimmed milk by adding water to full-cream milk. Semi-skimmed milk has as much protein and milk sugars as full-cream milk, it just has less saturated fat.

However it doesn’t taste anywhere near as good, at least to this jaded, old-fashioned palate, and in order to get the right colour in a cup of tea, you have to add more semi-skimmed milk, thus increasing the fat content and costing you more money. Plus the milk-producers, having taken off the heavy cream from the milk, now have two products to sell, and yet they still charge the same for semi-skimmed milk as they do for full-cream milk. They have the milk fats, with which they make butter, and the milk, which they still sell to you at the same price.

This is only one of the many puzzles I find myself wrestling with on a daily basis. Here’s another one. Why does brown rice cost more than white rice? Think about it. Brown rice has gone through one less process than white rice. It is that much less refined. So how come they charge us more for it when it takes less work?

The same goes for brown bread and brown flour, though not for brown sugar, which also contains molasses, a saleable by-product in its own right.

And here’s another puzzle. Whenever you hear a discussion about organic farming on the TV or the radio, people almost invariably refer to the alternative as “traditional farming”.

So what is so traditional about the use of high concentrations of pesticides and chemical fertilizers on our land, or the ripping up of hedgerows to make larger and larger fields? They’ll be telling us that genetic engineering is "traditional medicine" next, or that rule by the wealthy few is "traditional democracy".

The world is full of conundrums. Like: why is it that, despite successive changes of government throughout the years, things seem only to get worse? Isn’t there one politician out there with the vision to change things for the better?

Read on...


"Stone writes with intelligence, wit and sensitivity."
Times Literary Supplement

"Wry, acute, and sometimes hellishly entertaining essays in squalor and rebellion."

"The best guide to the Underground since Charon ferried dead souls across the Styx."
Independent on Sunday


Housing Benefit Hill:

What happens to a people when they lose a war?  There were an awful lot of Germanese & Japanians pondering precisely this about seventy years ago.  And, of course, they did what all sensible people forced to scurry together some semblance of meaning from the rubble of previous certainties and the ashes of collapsed arrogances would do: an absolute shit-ton of drugs.

Everyone knows that a tab of acid is a perfect way to start the day, but it IS possible to do it to excess.  Luckily, Germany’s brave musical pioneers did exactly this, and thus empowered, set about putting their own distinctive spin on the psychedelic folk music that had come wafting over the North Sea in a dope- and armpit-scented miasma during England’s summer, autumn and winter of love.  Let’s call it Krautfolk, for want of a better word.

Psychedelic or acid folk emerged in Britain when musicians hooked on powerful hallucinogenic drugs and American popular music also found themselves hooking unexpectedly into the golden chain of traditional British folk music (which had survived near obliteration at the end of the previous century through the efforts of cultural archivists and had already undergone at least two national revivals before the end of the Sixties), discovering an almost eerie fit with their existing psychedelic sound and ideals. 

Out sprang Britain’s folk rock scene, with its Fairport Conventions and Pentangles, all leafy and pastoral, steeped in dreams of the benign British countryside and its almost vanished traditions, the debatable charms of childhood, and that queasy Albion quaintness that only foreigners and people with eyes sandpapered to innocence by acid can express without wincing.  By the end of the decade, however, if you dug around in the undergrowth, you would have found something a little different (might we even say, a little more interesting?), trickling a strange little current all of its own alongside the mainstream river of folk rock.  This was acid folk: a place where groups like The Incredible String Band and Comus did infinitely sophisticated and wonderful things, and were ignored.  Although not, as we shall discover, by everyone.

While Britain’s hippies were rediscovering the pleasures of their regional folk music, the situation was a little different in Europe.  In Germany, the nation’s folk tradition had been carefully tended and encouraged by the state alongside other “authentic expressions of the German people”, as part of the Third Reich’s Blut und Boden romanticism, so as the defeated and occupied country fumbled around in the post-war years for things it could safely feel German about, the folk music tradition remained in the shadow of the verboten agent behind the flourishing of these and similar Germanic cultural properties: the now more than a little embarrassing eccentricities of National Socialism.

It was only to be expected then that the post-war generation of Germans would have a problematic relationship with their nation’s traditional music, recognising that below its surface appeal lay a narcotic mix of emotions coiling around ideas of place and nation, which bitter experience had taught them not to indulge.  What German would now want to flirt with reactionary practices like the expression of a primal national German identity in the form of traditional culture?  Folk music should have been tainted for a generation of young Germans, Austrians and Bavarians.

Still, at the beginning of the ‘70s, Krautfolk happened. 

Why was it that musicians from the radical student underground of left-wing communes and involved in the birth of Kosmische music/Krautrock at the end of the ‘60s would be moonlighting in the creation of psychedelic folk music, when their compatriots were explicitly working towards the creation of new and untarnished German aesthetics and identities to help fill the cultural vacuum left after the wreckage left by the previous generation had been swept away?

The boundaries of the acid folk scene were never fully drawn and it can be difficult to fully separate the barely-there psychedelic tinge of some acid folk groups from the more psychedelic moments of the decade’s more conventional folk rock scene, but I think the reason why such a radical culture could embrace such an ostensibly reactionary – and even dangerously nationalistic – musical form, could have something to do with one of the key differences between conventional folk rock and acid folk: it’s much deeper connection to psychedelic culture, which saturated its sound and imagery. 

Crucially, and of particular importance to German musicians, acid folk’s universalist psychedelic ideals helped it transcend any pure exploration of national folk tradition and myth in favour of a multicultural, polyglot approach, with musical ideas and instrumentation sourced from many different regions and traditions.  To give one example, the importance of India in hippy culture was a crucial building block in the development of psychedelia’s sonic landscape, and this and other eastern elements help expand acid folk’s sound away from any narrow regionalism, with the continent’s trancelike repetitions and use of drone having at least as much impact as surface exoticisms like the tabla and sitar. 

I would argue that acid folk “felt” safe because it wasn’t trying to reconstruct something authentic or pure, and it didn’t attempt to connect its audience emotionally, dangerously, back to any single heritage of land and race.

Ironically, it took English underground musicians in the 1980s to self-consciously row folk music all the way back to Blut und Boden, as in a strange recapitulation of the way avant-garde Krautrock had birthed a parallel track of German folk, often using the same personnel, musicians involved in the experimental Industrial music scene, itself inspired by the pioneering work of electronic Krautrock bands, also found themselves drawn to the transgressive possibilities offered by folk music’s homeland heart-tug.

Stopping off for musical inspiration in the weirder fringes of 1960s acid folk and the relentless psycho-pastoral attack of bands like Comus, and less than a decade after the 1976 stage debut of Industrial music pioneers Throbbing Gristle, Neofolk groups like Sol Invictus and Death In June flung themselves back in time like an antagonistic custard pie, combining an introverted and deliberate esotericism with a garish manifesting of the shivery implications of race, ritual and nationalism that European folkies had spent more than forty years trying to forget. 

Here was folk music, unmuzzled, and it’s unlikely that its Krautfolk forebears would have been too surprised when these latest ambassadors of a less culturally careful movement, quickly found their whole scene tainted, as a significant number of core bands turned from calculated ambiguity and the hints of darker purpose common in underground scenes acting against popular culture (Eric Hoffer’s “When the weak want to give an impression of strength they hint menacingly at their capacity for evil”; still the only possible explanation for both teenage boys and Nazism) to a fully-hatched and brazen fascism (“It is by its promise of a sense of power that evil often attracts the weak” – thanks again, Eric!).  Disaster!

Luckily, psychedelia came to folk’s rescue once again, when the New Weird America and Freak Folk movements sailed across the Atlantic in the late ‘90s on a floating armada of Vashti Bunyan records, reviving a more optimistic, ‘60s-influenced strain of acid folk for a generation that might have lacked the political engagement of its forebears, but was at least doing its best to offset any whiffs of privileged and splashy shallowness, with a D.I.Y. bedroom aesthetic and lots of drugs.

In chronological order, here are thirteen albums released between 1971 and 1978 that include most of the major statements of the West German acid folk scene and should give some sense of the breadth of flavour it contained.
  • Siloah, “Siloah” [1970]:  Emerging from the same commune culture as Amon Düül, with which it had some connection, the short-lived Siloah produced maybe Germany’s first wholehearted acid folk album in 1970 with this self-titled debut, released a full year before the first incarnation of Amon Düül made its brief swerve in that direction with “Paradieswärts Düül” [1971].  How acid folk is Siloah?  There’s a song called “Krishna’s Golden Dope Shop”, which should answer that question.
  • Bröselmaschine, “Bröselmaschine” [1971]:  From its Emerald City cover to what sounds like Nico’s baby sister breathing German language vocals through a megaphone (on “Schmetterling”), this is a lazy summer day of terrific prog folk psychedelia.  Drone-drenched sitar, tabla and flute add psychedelic colour to the band’s baseline acoustic strum, while the monomolecular concentration for which potheads are so widely acclaimed finds expression in songs whose straighter folk moments and tricksier prog adventures alike are embarked upon determinedly only to blur apart like ecstasy eye wiggles, dissolving into Indian-inflected trancey drift.  Album opener “Gedanken” and closing song “Nossa Bova” are both authentic Krautfolk classics, providing a suitably beautiful whiskers and tail for one of the best collections of acid folk to come out of Germany. 
  • Witthüser & Westrupp, “Trips und Träume” [1971]:  Literally “Trips and Dreams” – and you can’t get much more acid folk than that! – this second album by songwriting duo Bernd Witthüser and Walter Westrupp rather belies the grotesque face-melting purple and red bad trip of its cover with a delicate line in fingerpicked acid folk, sung with real character and with a nice sense of space and air.  Low-key vocal/violin drones and other acid elements are present throughout, helping supply the “trips” of the title, but the band also summons up dream-pop ghosts with the muffled piano and scratchy violin of half-remembered childhood music lessons.  And what more can you say about the psychedelic credentials of an otherwise German language album that ends with its principal musicians both singing the words “give me the joint”, in English?
  • Emtidi, “Saat” [1972]:  “Don’t sit on the grass, it’s too cold for your ass”, warn the two-piece+percussion group Emtidi, helpfully.  Dolly Holmes’ ethereal vocals are often earthed by Maik Hirschfeldt’s lustily sung harmony to help keep everything from floating away – no mean trick with Kosmische synths being out in full force – although songs like “Träume” (again) and “Touch The Sun” remain aloft throughout, with the latter building over minutes of barely-there swelling synth tones.  Saving the strangest for last, closer “Die Reise” backs Hirschfeldt’s emphatic semi-shouted German vocal with an organ drone, a strange jazzified electric piano and an acoustic guitar happily strumming along on a single-chord for a third of its length, before dissolving unexpectedly into In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida ... with jazz flute.  Hey, I said it was acid folk.
  • Hölderlin, “Träume” [1972]:  With a band named after a 19thC German Romantic poet and high-school roommate of the philosopher Hegel, Hölderlin’s first release is one of the key albums of German acid folk, although the nine-piece group would likely have denied any connection to the drug culture.  It opens like a weird folk Portishead with the voice of singer Nanny DeRuig floating over a violin drone, before fading quickly into nervous pattering drums and a string-drenched flute and organ jam, salted with a creepy German-language recitation by violinist and second lead vocalist Christoph Noppeney.  The rest of the album alternates between intricate fingerpicked acoustic folk and the looser energies of songs like “Requiem Fur einen Wicht” and “Traum”, whose multi-part prog structures stretch things out with drums, mellotron and violin drones, and delicately scored orchestral moments.
  • Kalacakra, “Crawling To Lhasa” [1972]:  These German psychedelicists only recorded a single album, but the raga-inflected mantras and pulsing bowed cello drones of “Crawling To Lhasa” often give it the feel of a piece of crossover New York minimalism (maybe a mellow version of the following year’s “Outside the Dream Syndicate” sneezed in from a parallel universe), while the deranged vocals,, either gibbers, mutters and shrieks or sinister spoken word, bring to mind nothing less than legendary near contemporary Comus, although without that group’s taut structure and dizzying folk musicianship.  Still, this is a bizarre and highly listenable exercise in the single-chord drone, refracted through Indian raga, ultra-early sequenced drums and synths, Krautrockesque makudi and tabla workouts, and rudimentary blues.  And all without changing key once!  Is it Krautfolk?  C’mon now ... flutes!
  • Sündenfall II, “Sündenfall II” [1972]:  Following Amon Düül II’s lead with its numerical band name, this is in part relatively straightforward quavery-voiced and flutey psych-folk, almost country rock in places, complete with wailing hobo harp.  Bongos and an occasional organ drone generate acid moments, although the ugly snout of light jazz is conjured unapologetically from a hellish trinity of trumpet, sax and noodling piano in “Duftes Ding”, and it’s not unlikely that your body may respond to the dubious poetry of its English-language lyrics with winces rather than goosebumps.
  • Gila, "Bury my heart at wounded knee” [1974]:  Its personnel alone should teeter it near the top of any ladder of quintessential Krautfolk, but this piece of unimpeachable pure acid folk, bubbling from a former radical commune and stirred through with dreamy analogue synths, is even better than it sounds.  Featuring Popul Vuh’s guitarist Conny Veidt and leader Florian Fricke on short-loop trance piano, mellotron and Moog, everything is easy as breathing until closer “Little Smoke” hits a wall after three minutes and transforms from mournful synth ‘n’ strum to a sizzling halfway-to-Krautrock workout, setting the single-bar riff of Fricke’s striking raga piano against an equally striking syncopated drum loop, while an echo-drenched electric lead commentates on the proceedings.  Essential.
  • Merlin, Swara, Ilor & Friends, “Cosmic Kraut Experience” [1974]:  Opening as a very splashy tabla-driven psychedelic drone rock of real charm and Krautrockian primitiveness, the album’s groaning hippy bandstand of bassoons, harps, bouzouki, flute and distorted electric mandolin solos, plus the woozy disregard paid by the musicians to hitting the notes they were probably stabbing at, all make a good case for Krautfolk.  More?  How about the back cover of the LP celebrating the label’s status as the home of “THE NEW WAVE OF PSYCHOSIVE & PROGREDELIC MUSIC” in large red capital letters?
  • Langsyne, “Langsyne” [1976]:  In part, nice folk-rock with English-language male harmony vocals, psychedelicised with natural sound effects, thin organ and buzzy synths, although it suffers a bit from a textbook version of that classic prog Achilles heel: poetry of unconvincing deepness (“There’s a voice inside your mind!”) presented over-reverently in incredibly elaborate settings.  But the album is also capable of lifting off to explore a delicate raga-like acoustic trance, while in “Cynghanedd” you are suddenly face-to-face with the measured & stealthy dirge of a mid-‘70s Godspeed You! Black Emperor.)
  • Gurnemanz, “No Ray Of Noise” [1977]:  A more progressive follow-up to their debut, this is well-produced progressive folk from the Rhineland, with a golem of Grace Slick crooning over acoustic arrangements that meander prettily while still retaining more than a pinch of acid.  The twin fingerpicked guitars and double bass are capable of knuckling down into locked trance rhythms of impressive power and complexity, while the jazz comb-and-papers that pop up like duelling banjos in song after song must have sounded like a fantastic idea when the band’s members were navigating the kind of spotlit wriggleworld you get by licking funny stamps.
  • Carol of Harvest, “Carol of Harvest” [1978]:  Oestrogen-drenched psychedelic folk rock with a name lifted from Walt Whitman, a 16-minute opening song and a dreamy prog acid feel that invites us to “look madly into her eyes/& hear the screams of butterflies” (yuk!), this is little sweet & straightforward for my palate.  Still, “Somewhere At The End Of The Rainbow” has a real hook, although the six minutes of scat singing that ends the album is more of a punch on the nose than a pat on the head as a parting gift.
  • Emma Myldenberger, “Emma Myldenberger” [1978]:  Absolutely deranged folky Krautrock combining psychedelic rock elements with oompah-oompah Germanic pub folk and Benny Hill pennywhistle solos, while harmony vocals vary from drunken singalong in the Hofbräuhaus to Ataraxia-like stateliness.
I am as guilty as anyone of perpetuating it all, but I have to wonder how long the publishing industry based around The Beatles and The Rolling Stones is going to continue. About a year ago, after I received a copy of Philip Norman's fantastic biography of Mick Jagger, I went on a complete jag of buying and reading books about The Rolling Stones. I haven't counted but I suspect I have over 40 books on them, and probably over a hundred about The Beatles.

Why - all these years later - are they still a basis for such fascination?

As many readers already know my day job is the Director if the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and one of the things that I have written widely about during my career as ringmaster of the world's largest cryptozoological circus is something I have dubbed 'The Mythologisation Process'. This is the socio-cultural process by which myths are made. One classic example can be found in the way that the media deals with the predations of a small population of naturalised big cats which appear to live on the moorlands of southwestern England.

If there was a learned article entitled something like Feeding Patterns of a group of naturalised P.concolor on Westcountry moorlands no-one would take any notice, but when The Daily Mirror proclaims The Beast of Bodmin Strikes Again then it sells a lot of newspapers.

Over the years I have realised that this is a paradigm which one can also see in rock music. Take The Rolling Stones for example.

Let's look at one great Rolling Stones event: The 1969 free concert in Hyde Park.

The first thing I read about it was in a compendium of writings about The Rolling Stones by David Dalton. He made the gig sound so much better than it actually was. In fact, even a cursory look at the film of the event shows they were shambolic, under-rehearsed and Mick Taylor looks scared stiff. But the aspect that I want to look at here has nothing to do with the band, the tragedy/inevitability of Brian Jones' demise, or even the fact that the British Hells Angels did a pretty good job of security which opened the doors for the incredible cock up that was Altamont six months later.

No. What I want to talk about is the butterflies. ABKCO had ordered cases of live cabbage white (P. rapae and P.brassicae) butterflies from L.Hugh Newman's butterfly farm in Kent to be released during the event, and according to Newman himself the event went smoothly.

But, determined to wring some element of chaos from the story various commentators from the music industry have alleged either that Their Satanic Majesties either forgot to put air holes in the carrying cases so that they all died, or released them successfully - so successfully that the butterflies ate all the vegetables in every allotment for miles (totally ignoring the fact that adult butterflies don't eat cabbages).

All three descriptions of events cannot be true. Which one was it? Of things like this, myths are made.

PS. Look at the film about 28 minutes in. It looks like L.Hugh Newman, who is a bigger hero to me than any of the Stones was probably telling the truth. The insects look pretty healthy to me.
(The Masters of the Universe do seem to have a steady stream of interesting stories featuring them, their various friends and relations, and alumni). Each week Graham Inglis keeps us up to date with the latest news from the Hawkverse..
Much Hawkwind discussion on the internet recently has centred around the following comments from Kris Tait - band manager and Dave Brock's wife.

We have been told by promoters that if the "Nik thing" continues, then our fees will be cut, that's business I guess, like it or not...Problem is, Hawkwind shows do not make huge amounts of money as it is...when all of the bills are paid, truck, tour bus, crew, lightshow, dancers etc there is around £40 misc left when Richard breaks a drum skin and we have to taxi across a city to replace it before the show....well, there goes the "safety money"....

So If we decide to continue, who would you like to get rid of first?? The dancers?? The lightshow??? Maybe some musicians??

Yes it is a big touring party, 8 or 9 actually on stage plus full lightshow, stage set and road crew, is a big undertaking....Especially when we travel overseas...

Dave is 72, he has worked for Hawkwind all of his life, well for the last 45 years at least ..... What do we do?

From us folk who have dedicated our lives to this band and all that it stands for, please tell us it has been worth it...

As I said, we have big decisions to make in the next few weeks......

We would like you to be a part of you always have been...

Naturally enough, fan response has mostly been a mixture of hoping Brock won't retire, and accepting that he must ultimately do what's best for his own continued well-being.

And the size, endurance and enthusiasm of the fan base seems to indicate that the long and sometimes crazy journey has all been worth it.

Just read that Cat Stevens is going to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and it made me think of my first ever concert experience.  By the time I hit age 13 in 1973, my friends and I started to collect records of our chosing, rather than only listening to the radio.  That same year, my 7th grade Social Studies teacher brought into class the albumTea for the Tillerman by Cat Stevens, reading us the thoughtful lyrics and talking about the impact of music and poetry on society.  I’ve always wanted to look up that teacher and thank her profusely.  As it turned out, Cat Stevens, born Stephen Georgiou in London 1948, wrote a series of records that seemed to be the soundtrack of a long search for peace and spiritual truth in life.  I found something beautiful about his work, as did so many of the class who received a great gift at school that day – a deeper understanding of the meaningful impact music could have on their lives.  I began collecting Cat’s albums starting with Mona Bone Jakon (1970) up through Numbers (1975).

At the time Numbers came out, I had not yet been allowed to go to concerts.  However, my older sister had gone to a few shows and she arranged for us to see Cat Stevens, at the Los Angeles Forum, February 6, 1976.  This was to be my first rock concert, and it took place in a location I would frequent regularly in the following years.  The show did not disappoint, and in fact set a sort of bar for me in terms of the level of performance and showmanship I would regard as most fitting to meaningful rock music.

Cat Stevens had arranged the Numbers tour to begin with a magic show that ended with the appearance of a live tiger.  It was dubbed The Majikat tour.  After the opening bit, Cat appeared in a puff of smoke to quietly begin the show with acoustic tracks, “The Wind,” and “Moonshadow”, followed by “Where Do The Children Play.”  When he hit the lyric:

Well you’ve cracked the sky, scrapers fill the air
But will you keep on building higher
‘Till there’s no more room up there?

the rest of the band lit up and joined in the dramatic conclusion.  Then ensued the core show, that included a couple of tracks from Numbers, which played along with projections from Cat’s artwork, his best yet, that helped tell the story of  Novim on his planet of Numerologist humanoids.  The show was fabulous, and as hoped, Cat had a way of presenting himself, of moving when he sang these touching spiritual lyrics, so that the impact of his work was enhanced by the live experience.  I’ve sought this kind of heartfelt delivery from every performer in every show since that night, as being a patron of the rock arts has been my lifelong hobby.  I was so inspired by the album and concert with it’s Majikat theme, that I embroidered the logo on a jean shirt – how ’70′s was that!

Read on...

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
It is unsurprisingly quiet in the Yes world at the beginning of the New Year. However, we have a story about an evening with Jon Anderson, an interesting interview with Rick Wakeman in which he talks about punk, and why it was important, and the news that Trevor Horn is being honoured for his outstanding contribution to music.

And that, despite the fact that it has been two weeks since our last round up, is that!
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! 
I may be 200 years old.Wait  until i am 25
before you begin to harvest me(once every 9 years-easy!
First two harvests will be male oak(poor quality)
Only with elders of 40 years comes the gentle oak you need-
for the music of woodwinds and direction of baton.
For baseball /cricket balls and badminton.
For the twisted stripped beauty of all trees Iberian
You need me as heat shields on satellites&rockets
I am eco-friendly harvested ,non-toxic
Of course,60% of you only know me as cork stoppers
Releasing wine,and flavoring all with my essence
You can extract me from oak trees up to 15 times
which is why this year's harvests were started by our great  grandfathers
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.

But people send me lots of pictures of interesting, and, may I say, peculiar things. But once again this week it is over to my lovely wife...
‘Let’s de-clutter,’ I said to the Editor. After all, it is 2014 and I suggest that 2014 is the year of the cabinet.  Let’s turn out the old detritus from those dusty shelves and replace it with more sensible and innovative tidbits like the tale of the song recorded on to the bottle that I brought to the attention of Gonzo readers in the last issue.  Away with sarcasm, and in with serious items and serious discussion.’
‘Good idea,’ he replied.  ‘Do as you wish, my dear.’  Hmm, does the affectionate term of ‘my dear’ count as sexual harassment in the workplace? In this age of frailty and over-sensitivity it probably does but as I am married to the old sod I will let him get away with it. 
So I skipped off to my computer with glee etched on my smile and a song in my heart.  Then I found the following, and all ideas of interesting innovation and technological expertise flew out the draught-inducing gaps in the sash windows, along with any warm air that happened to be circulating at the time. Yes, another resolution easily made and so easily broken.
So here it is folks - my first foray into the wonderful, world-wide web for 2014.  A raid that will lead to another twelve months of cramming even more into what is now becoming a rather crowded and cluttered curio cabinet:
“The world of celebrity and musician adulation is a weird one, with extreme fans keen to get their hands on any old detritus from their favourites just to be closer to them. Ever since eBay began, people who like to plaster their walls with newspaper articles have been bidding on all kinds of weird objects and body parts discarded by the stars.”
Here is one example:
 â€œSuge Knight's underwear: This piece of unwashed clothing worn by gangster hip-hop mogul Suge Knight, went up for auction following the liquidation of Death Row records. They sold for $1, dropped from an asking price of $5.”
With no disrespect to the chap concerned, I could not prevent the following short soliloquy passing through my mind when I read this.  However, I have tempered this short piece so as not to offend anyone’s sensibilities and have removed the reference to gast … erm … a stomach bug shall we say:  
“Hey, they are mine. I wondered what had happened to them,” he thought as, during a quiet moment to himself,  the forefinger of his right hand gently caressed the scroll button of his mouse as he wandered his way through the various eBay listings.  “They were my favourite pair but I ain’t paying $5 for them.  Let’s see if I can get ‘em for 50 cents (or should that be 50 Cent?) … no? Okay then, a dollar. Score ... I won. Better pay now before I forget. Hey, say what? Michael Jackson’s have a reserve of $1,000,000? Well I guess that’s fair enough – his are probably clean”.

Just in case you are interested, here is yer beloved Editor at iTunes

Bipolar, Jon Downes Lost Weekend, Jon Downes Hard Sports - EP, Jon Downes The Man from Dystopia, Jon Downes

Check it out now...
There are nine Henrys, purported to be the world’s first cloned cartoon character. They live in a strange lo-fi domestic surrealist world peopled by talking rock buns and elephants on wobbly stilts.

They mooch around in their minimalist universe suffering from an existential crisis with some genetically modified humour thrown in. 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...

The Weird Weekend is the largest yearly gathering of mystery animal investigators in the English-speaking world. Now in its fifteenth year, the convention attracts speakers and visitors from all over the world and showcases the findings of investigators into strange phenomena.

Cryptozoologists, parapsychologists, ufologists, and folklorists are descending on Woolfardisworthy Community Centre to share their findings and insights. Unlike other events, the Weird Weekend will also include workshops giving tips to budding paranormal investigators, and even a programme of special events for children. The Weird Weekend is the only fortean conference in the world that is truly a family event, although those veterans of previous events should be reassured that it is still as anarchically silly as ever!

The event is raising money for the Centre for Fortean Zoology, the world’s only full time, professional cryptozoological organisation. The profit from food and beverages goes to a selection of village charities, mostly working with children.

the running order (so far) for the 2014 event
I hope I have come to the right email address? I hate people that pick others up for making or emitting small details, but your mag mentions that there may be a Small Faces reunion in 2015 but as Steve Mariott is no longer with us that might be somewhat difficult. Well Ronnie Wood is also playing bass to the angels so why is he never mentioned? he was as much a part of the S.F. as Steve.
PS. I enjoy reading your mag every week especially the parts pertaining to Yes.

I agree totally Phil. I am a big fan of Ronnie Lane, and especially like his criminally overlooked soundtrack for Mahoneys's Last Stand recorded with Ronnie Wood. However, when comparing the merits of a Small Faces reunion with a Faces reunion, he was the bass player in both, so its pretty much a level playing field there. However, I suspect that (not for the first time) I could have expressed myself better...


Don't worry about BT gremlins etc, Jon!
Happy to receive daily as well as weekend're doing a fantastic job covering the music that REALLY counts...
Very, very much appreciated.
We're with you...
Phil G

Thanks man - I really appreciate that!
Kev Rowland
My son in law came up to me one day and asked if I would like to borrow the latest 5FDP album, ‘The Wrong Side of Heaven and The Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1’. Having been a fan since their debut I of course thought that it would be a great idea and started playing it a great deal. Then, at work one day a colleague gave me a couple of CDs (I work for a retailer and I am the only metalhead she knows so sometimes I get some samples), one of which was the latest 5FDP album. Great, I thought, that means that I now have two versions of the same album so I returned the first back to my son in law. But it was only when I was examining the packaging that I realised that I had been given the second 
version of what was quite a special release indeed. Each of the two albums come with an additional disc, Volume 1 contains a live CD whilst Volume 2 has the second disc as a DVD of the same recording. But, in each case the first disc is different. So, onto Volume 2 later, but what about Volume 1?

5FDP have a very simple approach to music, which is produce something that is commercial, appealing, infectious, with a killer bassline and drums so that the listener has no option but to bounce around like a lunatic. It may not be clever, it may not be new, but boy is it fun! If I had to describe the music then it would be an amalgam of nu-metal, hardcore, Beastie Boys and metalcore. But who cares? It is music to jump along to, and as Ivan says on the live disc he is often accused of being angry, but that is just the hardcore animal in him. While the first disc contains some different styles and tempos, the live disc captures the band in their home environment, blasting out in front of an audience who do their level best to sing louder than the amplifiers.
Infectious, fun, this is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of any metalhead who doesn’t take himself or his music too seriously. Put it on, play it loud, end enjoy it for what it is.
THE FLOWER KINGS            Desolation Rose             (INSIDE OUT)
Back in 1994 (wow, nearly 20 years!) I received a CD in the post by A Swedish musician called Roine Stolt. At the time I hadn’t heard any Kaipa (since rectified) so I had no idea who he was, but the title track of that album was on my player repeatedly. He soon formed a band of the same name, and since then I have followed their career with interest. There was a time when in the prog world it seemed that they could do no wrong, but I got to the point where I no longer looked forward to new FK albums turning up as I felt that they had become self-indulgent and needed a lot of editing which they weren’t receiving. For me the turning point was ‘Adam and Eve’, which was easily their best album for many a year, and I was lucky enough to catch them on tour with that album (it was also the first gig I ever took my youngest to, she was 8 and still has the t-shirt).
So, would this be a continuation of the wonderful work they have been undertaking recently, or a return back to the bad old days? The first clue is in the track listing, with just one lengthy number, and that is only 13 minutes, which is just getting warmed up for The Flower Kings. The whole album is under sixty minutes in length, and the last two numbers only just get to six minutes when joined together! But for me it works, it really works. This is symphonic prog with  a purpose, gone are the meandering never ending solos and passages where the band had seemed to have lost their way, and instead we have progressive rock music that has a direction and clear intent yet has lost none of the power and impact. These guys are incredible musicians, with great vocals and harmonies, and now they have added into that mix some really powerful songs that work on all levels. I gave the last album five stars, and it has taken a lot of internal debate as to whether this is as good or should be marked slightly less. But the crunching riffs in “Dark Fascist Skies” really grabbed me, along with some great piano and lyrics. Yep, this is their second five star album in a year. Let’s hope they keep it up.  
INFERNO            Omniabsence Filled by his Greatness          (AGONIA)
So here we have the sixth album by this Czech band, and the second recorded by the trio of Adramelech (vocals), Ska-gul (guitars) and Sarapis (drums) (bass was provided by by Beldaroh (Besatt) and O. (concert member of Inferno)). This is black metal that in many ways looks backwards with loads of atmospheric emotion and plenty of deep and gloomy vocals. But, there is a lightness at time, with “The Funeral of his Existence” being a particular standout as it brings in some strong lighter toned riffs before it all takes off at breakneck speed. This is music that generally belongs in a dank and dark place, not really to be played in the brightness of a Kiwi summer’s day, and when played at night this definitely takes on more power and majesty.
Recorded, mixed and mastered at Necromorbus Studio by Tore Stjerna (Watain, Ondskapt, Valkyrja), the overall sound is definitely designed to blur the lines and create the feeling of an overpowering monster, and there is no surprise that this is being likened to Ondskapt, Aosoth and Blut Aus Nord  . It may not be as intense or indispensible as some of the BM releases out there, but it is a pretty sure fire bet that if you enjoy the genre then you will like this.
MAGENTA HARVEST          Volatile Waters                  (INVERSE)
These guys started life as a two man project in 2005, but featuring current and former members of bands like Chthonian, …and Oceans, Havoc Unit, Finntroll and Mygrain they kept moving forward and in 2009 things finally started to happen. The line-up is now stable, consisting of Timo Kontio (guitars), Janne Manninen (drums), Mathias LillmÃ¥ns (vocals), Jonas Frilund (bass) and Timo Hanhikangas (guitars), and they have now recorded this their debut album which is due to be released at the beginning of 2014. So, whatever image the band name may provide, take it from me it is wrong. Here we have tight death metal with some symphonic influences, a band that know what they want and throw enough lightness and change within the music to keep 
even the most discerning metalhead interested. This is music that certainly doesn’t display any of the immaturity that one might expect from a debut – this is seasoned metal with bite and passion.
The production is spot on, the guitars bite, and the drums and bass drive it along with the vocals are rough and raucous. Add to that the changes in attack and approach as they move through different styles and this could possible be one of the most important death metal debuts of the year.


By Corinna
Jon always does a yearly top ten album selection on his blogs, but I don’t (well that’s a conversation stopper if ever there was one). 
But to continue, this is mainly because I don’t listen to as much music as he does and when I do, my taste is a lot less eclectic than his (and some would say blinkered I suppose, but there you go).  I am still not going to list a top ten, but I am going to mention one extraordinarily fantastic band that I discovered and do urge you to have a listen to if will forgive me being so bold.  Omnia have been around for a good few years, but it was the discovery of the videos/songs below that hooked me a few months ago; the damning indictment of humankind of “I Don’t Speak Human”, and “Dance Until We Die” which are both so - oh so - true of our world these days: 
This is what is written their website: 
“The bohemian PaganFolk band "OMNIA" revolves around the many varied compositions, stories and musical abilities of Jenny and Steve Sic Evans van der Harten. Together with their band consisting of the crazy Didgeman Daphyd Crow (slideridoo, vocals and percussion), Rob van Barschot (drums and percussion) and assisted by their amazing live-crew, they tour throughout Europe and beyond.

OMNIA brings a musical message of respect for nature, personal liberty and freedom of thought and expression for all. In the words of Steve Sic (the one and only Pope of Paganism): “Nothing is sacred, only nature!”

They fill their amazing live performances to the brim with brilliant and diverse music, satirical humour, visual richness and a very singular anarchist approach to ancient European religion and musical tradition, combined with modern pagan spirituality. In this way they have captivated the hearts and minds of audiences of all ages and musical preferences and world views, giving them a very wide and varied worldwide fanbase.

OMNIA is completely self-managed by Jenny and Steve Sic as an independent and free-spirited cult-underground band which has survived and prospered below the radar of the harsh "regular" music business; writing their own material and recording, producing and printing cd's and dvd's on their independent label "Pagan Scum Records".”
As I wrote above, check out their website:

Apart from the ongoing nonsense with the internet, it has been quite a nice week here in the potato shed. A nice week for me, but less so for my deputy editor, who on the second of January when the last tastes of festive nibbles and sardines were dying away was  - together with his twin sister - whisked off to the vet, where a small but necessary surgical procedure was carried out to make sure that there would be no more unexpected generations of kittens being celebrated in the pages of The Gonzo Weekly.
I always feel mildly guilty when I have one of my animals neutered, mainly because - as I have pointed out on these pages before - whereas I am undoubtedly some sort of zoologist, (being someone who studies animals, not necessarily being someone who has a degree in the subject, which I haven't), I have a distressing tendency to anthropomorphise cats and dogs, considering them not to be semi domesticated small to medium sized members of the order Carnivora, but to be little people in fur clothes. And so when I send one of my animal to have his balls chopped off, I am terribly reminded that I wouldn't like that happening to me!

I am really rather pleased with this issue of the magazine, because despite the wings and sparrows of outrageous fortune (thank you Horace Coker) I have still managed to get it completed on time at about 10:30 on the Friday evening.

All that remains now is to punt it over to Corinna so she can deal with the more egregious examples of my bad spelling, and I can forget about it all for a couple of days before I start on the next issue on Tuesday.

I actually have an intern again at the moment; a young lady who wants to learn about animal husbandry as part of her college course, but also who is a fan of The Ramones and wants me to give her bass guitar lessons. I would not be at all surprised if the dear child pops up as an author in these hallowed pages. It is never too early to teach a nice youngster how to be a social malcontent!

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