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 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 Forty-Seven    October 12th 2013
This issue was put together by me and Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent, ably assisted by Corinna Downes, Graham Inglis, Bart Lancia, Thom the World Poet, C.J.Stone, Kev Rowland and Peter McAdam
This is the nearest that you are ever going to get to a posh weekend colour supplement from the Gonzo Daily team. Each week we shall go through the best bits of the week before, and if there aren't any we shall make some up, or simply make our excuses and leave (you can tell the editor once did contract work at the News of the World can't ya?)
Social media stuff that I am really too old to understand, (my stepdaughter spent much of last Christmas trying to explain Twitter to me) but I am assuming that at least some of our readers are younger and hipper than I am.
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. You subscribed to 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.

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
I am particularly proud of this issue of the magazine. We really are beginning to achieve the sort of things that I have wanted to achieve all along.

You know, people really are stupid. I began last week's issue with a tongue in cheek sentence beginning: 
"The biggest music news in the world this week has to be that Beyoncé paid tribute to her maternal grandparents, but the biggest item of music news that I give a damn about is that Robert Fripp has decided to turn his back upon retirement and has announced a new line-up of King Crimson for next year...blah blah blah" 
I also used it as an opening sentence to my piece of blurb which I send around Facebook to people (and groups) that I think will be interested. This week I had no less than FOUR people berating me for "daring" to write about Beyoncé in a magazine that "is supposed" to be about Progressive rock. Dear me. It is the best way to get up an editor's nose - to tell him what his magazine is supposed to be about.

So my question of the week is:


But this week I shall try and do it a bit differently. I am very proud to say that we have several really rather cool exclusives this week. We have exclusive interviews with Erik Norlander (in which he not only reveals his new tour dates, but talks about what has happened to Asia featuring John Payne), Steve Ignorant (in which he reveals that he can actually sing, and I try to persuade him to do a Joni Mitchell cover), and Gary Clail (in which he drunkenly claims to be a Roman Emperor, and reveals his absolutely smashing new single) as well as all sorts of other stuff. If that isn't eclectic enough for you I will have to write about Beyoncé after all.
Thank you once again to Rob Ayling, the Gonzo grande fromage for allowing me the chance to do something as insane as this magazine, and above all a big thank you to YOU, the readers, for having borne out my assertion that there are indeed people who listen to both Crass and Fairport Convention and like everything from Prog Metal to Folk to Punk to Avant Garde noise. Frunobulax and I are truly not alone.

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Happy Birthday to Keith Christmas
This isn't actually part of the week that's past, but this Sunday is Keith Christmas' birthday and I thought that I would mark it not just because he is a nice bloke whose music deserves to be much wider heard, but because I always think that he looks bizarrely like my late father (pictured below at the launch of his book of Bible stories in Devonshire dialect a few months before his death at the age of 81 in 2006.)
And just in case anyone is interested...
Jon's Dad's book of Devonshire Bible Stories

An environmental health officer stunned a florist by claiming her display model of Alice in Wonderland’s caterpillar was breaking anti-smoking laws.

Debbie Schofield, 32, had put the wooden model of the hookah puffing character from the 1951 Disney movie in her front window to attract customers.

But instead she got an unexpected visit from a council officer who noticed the model, which was sat on a wooden toadstool, was in possession of a real shisha pipe and looked as if it was smoking.

Read on...
And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall
Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call to
Call Alice
When she was just small

Or as Dave McMann puts it:
"The ones employed by Councils, they have no brain at all"
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Mr Averell's combo
As regular readers of my inky fingered scribblings will know, I am a fan of Mr Averell. But, who the hell is Mr Averell? One one level that is an easy question to answer; he is René van Commenée - a Dutch percussionist, composer and artist. Another way of looking at it is that Mr Averell is a band. The man himself says:

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

But on the other hand... I have no idea. I have a sneaking suspicion that Mr Averell is the avatar of an ancient race, living out eternity in a little tea shop somewhere, eating cream buns and living out his musical fantasies through the medium of a bunch of talented musician-types including Mike Garson (David Bowie), David Jackson, Hugh Banton and Judge Smith (Van der Graaf Generator), John Ellis (Peter Gabriel, Peter Hammill, The Stranglers), Lene Lovich, along with Stuart Gordon (Peter Hammill, Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack), Dyane Donck (Daisy Bell), Martijn Alsters, Willem Tanke, Ninca Leece, Tammo Heikens and Lisa Weiss..

The album - apparently their second - is a masterpiece of sonic invention. It is one of the best things that I have heard all year. It is also very silly. It ranges from avant-noise to tunes that sound like they came from the soundtrack of The Magic Roundabout. There are sensitive and chilling ballads and imposing waves of brassy soundscape. There is a story, but what the hell that story is I have no idea. The nearest reference point I can give is Tom Waits' sublime retelling of Alice in Wonderland, but in point of fact the two records sound nothing like each other. I merely suspect that they inhabit the same universe. I may be wrong. I often am.

But this week, for the first time, I heard the music of his combo The Art of Doing Nothing. René sent me this youtube video and these Soundcloud recordings, and I have to say that I am monumentally impressed. This is one bitch of a band.

The nearest reference points I can think of are vaguely to do with early Pink Floyd but their sonic soundscapes inhabit a universe of such breathtaking insanity that you really have to check them out for yourself. I will be talking to René about the band very soon...

Be warned.
Mr Averell at Gonzo (UK)
Mr Averell at Gonzo (USA)
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  A few words with Galahad
I am fond of Galahad, because unlike most contemporary heavy metal bands they press all the right buttons for me. So, once in a while I pester them on Facebook.

I had a brief chat with Stu Nicholson of Galahad during the week, and he told me that the band are: "off to Belgium/Poland in a couple of weeks (our Konin show will be recorded for a live album/DVD release) and then concentrating on finishing recordings for several EPs' releases in the coming months as well as writing the next album, so plenty going out in background which will come to fruition at some point in the not too distant future!"

Busy boys.

And to whet your appetite here is the band performing Rammstein's 'Mein hertz Brent' in Germany a few weeks ago.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  The new album from Auburn
Look what I have got (and it's not out until next year)
A new show for you this week - Strange Fruit #47. Neil Nixon writes: ""You might like this one. Broadcast Sun 6th Oct: the first of two shows devoted entirely to music released in 1973."

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.

Watch this space.
STRANGE FRUIT: Episode 47 
Date Published: 12th October 2013

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.

Listen to Part One
isten to Part Two

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

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Steve Hackett launches new video
In last week's interview with Jakko he talked about his excitement and pride at appearing on stage with one of his idols Steve Hackett, and singing one of his favourite Genesis songs with him.

By total happenstance that song was released as a video this week: Hackett recently explained: “I had to deliver the promise – and then some. The whole evening was special, but the best music to my ears is when the audience gives it their seal of approval.”

Read on...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: The Gospel according to Bart
My favourite roving reporter writes: "Mate: a slow week for music news here in the NY metro area... Sir Paul caused quite a stir,though,with his appearance in Times Square this week ... As for me,tonight(Friday) is the show I informed you and your readers about,here in New Jersey.. "Us Not Them", the well-known Pink Floyd tribute from New York, will open for "YESTERDAYS", the Yes tribute even Yes itself is aware of.

Rumor had it,yours truly will be called on stage to participate in a song or two,including 'Starship Trooper'.. If it happens,I hope to have photographic evidence to provide you with.. On another side,I will be in attendance(in a private suite,of all things)at a performance at the Prudential Center Arena(here in Jersey) for NINE INCH NAILS. Not exactly "prog" material,but it'll make my boss and editor here a little happier.... Speak to you soon,mate.. Hope all is well in the U.K."
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: 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.  Zoot Suit by Judge Smith
Judge’s 11th solo release is an album of songs, and only his third full-length collection of songs in twenty years. Featuring the spectacular arrangements and production of David Minnick, and some amazing American musicians, ‘ZOOT SUIT’ is perhaps Judge’s most accessible and downright entertaining album to date.

2. Live at the Roxy by Brand X
Recorded at the Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles, California on Sunday, 23rd September 1979 11:30 pm to 1:00 am. This recording of Brand X captured live at the peak of the bands career has never been previously issued.

3. Lo and Behold by Miss Crystal Grenade
The year is 1892, the place Victorian England. Dim gaslamps lend a cobwebbed ale house a sepia glow. The sound is dull murmurs from blunt mouths, the scent unwashed sweat and sawdust. In the back room of the bar, a strange performance is unfolding, one of horror and beauty as yet to come... Singer, pianist, freak show personality and melancholic muse, Crystal is a woman wading through existentialist dreams whilst living hand to mouth.

4. Leaving Home Blues by Mick Abrahams
Over the years he also recorded a number of solo albums, steeped in the delta blues DNA that had mystically been passed down to him by Robert Johnson. Mick is 70 now, and not in the best of health, but he still has the heart of a bluesman and the remarkable musicianship on this gem of an album pays testament to that. 

5. The Woman in the Black Vinyl Dress by Mick Farren and Andy Colquhoun
Mick was a crazy-passionate activist, anarchist, and street politician. When I met him, about a month before his death I asked him whether he was still a revolutionary. He bristled “Certainly”, he said, and went on to describe the ills of modern Britain, the iniquities of the Government, and his hope that the new technology of the 21st Century might bring about the anarcho-syndicalist utopia that he dreamed of. All the time he was talking, he quaffed Jack Daniels, and smoked my cigarettes, while taking the occasional toke on his oxygen mask. We were surrounded by friends and well-wishers, and it was obvious that here was a man that demanded great love and respect. This is his final album, recorded and written with old compadre Andy Colquhoun.

6. Dogface by Gary Windo
Gary Windo was one of those people who never achieved the full recognition due to him. At least, not while he was alive. A highly original musician with an instantly recognizable style, Windo was involved in the Seventies with various musicians of the Canterbury scene. Most notable was his work with Robert Wyatt on the albums Rock Bottom (1974) and Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard (1975), and with Hugh Hopper on 1984 (1973) and Hoppertunity Box (1976).  His first released solo album, Dogface (1982) is an unsung classic, I am very proud to be part of the team that has finally made this peerless record available again.
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...
Newsletter #36  Newsletter #35  Newsletter #34  Newsletter #33 Newsletter #32  Newsletter #31  Newsletter #30  Newsletter #29 Newsletter #28  Newsletter #27  Newsletter #26  Newsletter #25  Newsletter #24  Newsletter #23  Newsletter #22  Newsletter #21 Newsletter #20  Newsletter #19  Newsletter #18  Newsletter #17 Newsletter #16  Newsletter #15  Newsletter #14  Newsletter #13 Newsletter #12  Newsletter #11  Newsletter #10  Newsletter #9 Newsletter #8  Newsletter #7  Newsletter #6  Newsletter #5 Newsletter #4  Newsletter #3  Newsletter #2  Newsletter #1
THOSE WE HAVE LOST:  Philip Chevron (1957-2013)
Philip Ryan (17 June 1957 – 8 October 2013), professionally known as Philip Chevron, was an Irish singer, songwriter and guitarist from Dublin. He is best known as the guitarist for The Pogues. He was regarded as one of the most influential figures in Irish punk music. In June 2007, The Pogues' website announced that Chevron had been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. In early 2008, the website announced that Chevron had recovered, and to his surprise and joy, his hearing had returned to almost pre-treatment levels. He embarked on the March 2008 tour of the United States and managed to sing "Thousands Are Sailing" in each of the performances. By 2009, Chevron had fully recovered from both the cancer and the resulting chemotherapy provided by the National Health Service in the UK.
However, in May 2013, it was announced that the cancer had returned and it was "lethal". Chevron died on October 8, 2013 in Dublin, Ireland from oesophageal cancer at age 56.[1] His last public appearance was at the Olympia Theatre for a fundraiser in August of the same year
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: A conversation with Erik Norlander
I often seem to preface my interviews for the Gonzo Weekly by saying that "I am very fond of...", but it is true. Especially in this case. I am very fond of Erik Norlander. He is a kind, sweet, funny man, and a bitching prog rock keyboard player. We like many of the same books, both are fond of curry, and can chatter on for hours upon various esoteric subjects.

But if you want the dry facts, Wikipedia has them: "Erik Norlander (born 1967) is an American musician who describes himself as a 'keyboardist, composer, producer and engineer'. Norlander has produced albums for Rocket Scientists and his wife, Lana Lane. He also has a progressive rock solo project titled simply Erik Norlander. Norlander has toured and / or recorded with singers Kelly Keeling, Joe Lynn Turner, Glenn Hughes, Lana Lane, Tully Winfield, James LaBrie, Edward Reekers, Robert Soeterboek, Scott Kail, Mark Boals and Buck Dharma, bassists Tony Franklin, Don Schiff, Kristoffer Gildenlöw, Mark Matthews and Phil Soussan, guitarists Bruce Bouillet, Mitch Perry, Guthrie Govan, Freddy DeMarco, Peer Verschuren, Neil Citron, Jim Williams, Gary Wehrkamp, Carlos Cavazo, Arjen Anthony Lucassen, drummers Greg Ellis, Gregg Bissonette, Ernst van Ee, Virgil Donati, Simon Wright, Vinny Appice and Chris Quirarte, flute and sax player David Schiff, flautist Martin Orford, trumpet player John Pappenbrook, trombone player Eric Jorgensen, violinist David Ragsdale and cellists Cameron Stone and Mike Alvarez and keyboardist Keith Emerson."

He is also the keyboard player with the rather excellent Asia featuring John Payne which seems to have disappeared into the void. I wanted to ask Erik for the inside scoop on this, because there is a lot of internet speculation, but very few hard facts.

But first he has some exciting news about a new tour...

Listen to our conversation HERE

EXCLUSIVE: Steve Ignorant interview
During one of my bouts of illness back in 2010 I was in bed reading The Rest is Propaganda, the absolutely excellent autobiography by Steve Ignorant of Crass; a musical ensemble of whom I am rather fond. As I have written elsewhere, Crass were pivotal in my life, and indeed I based much of the philosophy of what would become the CFZ upon what they themselves did. I would recommend Igs's book to anyone, but one particular passage brought a lump to my throat.


Well, Steve, you got it slightly wrong. It wasn't a day centre it was Botchill, a residential hostel attached to Langdon Hospital. And how do I know this? Because the bloke in the penultimate chapter of page 196 was me. I had completely forgotten the kindness of the drummer from Dirt but Steve's writings brought it all back.
Thanks mate!
And if any of you have ever wondered why the world's largest cryptozoological research organisation is run by a gaggle of middle-aged weirdoes living in a tumbledown old house in the arse-end of nowhere? Well it's mostly HIS fault.... But I digress (but I am the editor and I am bloody well allowed to, so there).

As regular readers will know Gonzo are very proud to be bringing out a record (imminently) by the lovely Miss Crystal Grenade aka Carol Hodge, who was last seen in November 2011 on stage at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.  She was holding the hand of the one-time Crass vocalist Steve Ignorant as they closed both Ignorant’s world tour and his career of singing songs by the one-time Kings and Queens of anarchopunk, with a massively emotional version of Bloody Revolutions.  Even watching it on YouTube brings tears to my eyes, so I can only imagine what it would have been like being in the audience, or even more on stage. Carol joined Ignorant’s world tour half-way through after the previous female vocalist had dropped out for family reasons.  And she had some pretty big shoes to fill (I suppose if I was clever enough I should make some sort of reference here to Crass’s notorious song about Chinese footbinding, but I can’t think of one).  And she filled them righteously.  

As well as her own project, Carol and guitarist Pete Wilson are working together as Steve Ignorant's Slice of Life who so far have done a handful of gigs, and one YouTube video. But the whole concept is absolutely fascinating so I rang Steve for a chat about it, and - as always seems to happen - we ended up having a long, rambling conversation about all sorts of things.

Listen to our conversation HERE
Check out Steve's Dimlo Productions webshop
Michael Des Barres vs Frank Zappa
Last week Michael Des Barres told me: "I’m doing ‘200 Motels’ at the LA Philharmonic on October 23rd playing the Devil.  I don’t know if you’re familiar with that. It’s being staged with the Philarmonic’s 80-piece orchestra, 30-voice choir, and I’m playing the character  narrating the piece. "

Now some more details have emerged...
And, of course, don't forget that there are Frank Zappa thingies available at Gonzo...
HAIL TO THE CHIEF: A Conversation with Gary Clail and Libby Lawes
I have been a fan of Gary Clail for many years. Back in my mis-spent youth when I was just a humble dealer in second hand records and the occasional bootleg tape and – together with my first wife, Alison – I used to travel around the countryside every weekend that I could call in sick at work, and do my best to eke out the wages paid by the Thatcher government to folk like me who toiled in the tumbledown red brick asylums which then littered the countryside and which now have either been knocked down or turned into luxury housing, I was in Salisbury one rainy day in late spring.
I got talking to the hirsute dude on the next table, who looked at my wares with barely concealed disgust. Not, let me assure you because he was against bootlegging, but because he hated the sort of 60s and 70s music in which we dealt. “Dude you have to listen to this” he said and thrust a copy of an album called Tackhead Tape Time (featuring some dude called Gary Clail) into my sticky fingers. A few weeks later, when we met him next, he had recorded me a cassette with Box Frenzy by Pop Will Eat Itself on one side and 1987: What the Fuck is Going On? By The Justified Ancients of MuMu on the other.
This act of generosity changed my musical outlook completely. It didn’t end my love for the rock classics (as anyone who reads this magazine each week will know) but it DID open my eyes to a whole new genre of music – that grey area where indie meets dance music, and where drugs meet erudition. And my eyes have never been closed since.
Some years later I was at a terrible festival in Milton Keynes where I was working with Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel flogging their merchandise and running their fanclub. It was one of  the first modern festivals with draconian security, no atmosphere, and no opportunity for the sort of psychedelically psychotic fun which floated my boat back in those halcyon days, and from what I remember I had a terrible time. A terrible time that is except for late on the Saturday night when – monumentally wasted – we stumbled into the main tent to watch  Gary on stage with the On U Sound System and African Headcharge at a festival in Milton Keynes 20 years ago, and it was an unforgettable experience.
Soon after I bought Gary’s album Emotional Hooligan and it was one of the musical pillars of strength which got me through my horrible divorce a few years later. A couple of weeks ago my old mate Paul Whitrow grabbed me on Facebook and told me that the legendary Gary Clail has a new record imminent. Called The World's Gone Crazy it was remixed by Libby Lawes (a rising star of the activist circuit, whose DJ-ing and live appearances are finally getting the credit they deserve) aka HippyPunk and mixed by my Paul Whitrow. It has the immortal opening lines "It's emergency surgery without anaesthetic" and it apparently sounded just as excellent as one would have hoped. It is all about the current financial crisis, and economic degradation. Paul played me the record down the 'phone, and even in these less than ideal conditions, it is awesome. Fans of Tackhead from the old days will definitely not be disappointed. The bassline is to die for, and Gary's vocal and political acumen are spot on!

When he first heard Paul's whizzo mix, Gary is reported to have said "That's a bit futuristic innit?" and is massively enthusiastic about the results, which should see the light of day in October.
Paul grabbed me this evening (again on Facebook) and told me that the record is now streamed online, and asked me whether I would like to talk to Libby about it.
Of course I did, and ended up speaking to Gary as well in what was one of the most peculiar interviews that I have ever done. The thing that impressed me most about the whole thing wasn’t that Gary was massively excited (as a newt) and completely off on one. It was coming up midnight on Friday for heaven’s sake, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I try not to drink two nights in succession I would probably have been in the same state, but that both the lyrical content of the whole thing, and the zeitgeist of the interview as a whole tie in perfectly with the way that my head has been going every since I read John Higgs’ massively peculiar biography of the KLF last week. Since then I have been reading about the Discordian movement; I have read Principia Discordia by Malaclypse the Younger, and am now finally reading Illuminatus! And – as I discovered many years ago when my old friends Tony “Doc” Shiels and John Michell took me (both together and separately) on a psychometrical journey which hatchecked both reality and sanity at the door, Gary’s ranting and rapping about church, state and money have the Discordian mindset scrawled all over them. Like Mick Farren and Bill Drummond, he is as mad as a hatter, and completely and utterly spot on. It was a privelige to speak to him.
I am not even going to attempt to edit my conversation with him and Libby, but am putting it on Soundcloud so if you are brave enough you can listen to it in its entirety.
All hail Discordia.
We will be publishing extracts from this massively exciting book over the next few issues. This week, here is an excerpt from Chapter Three...

A few weeks later - Christmas Eve, 1968 - George came round to my house to have a chat. Strangely enough my home was in the same road where the spinster Jessie lived and where I was unsuspectingly started on my life of crime. George put another proposition to me - a job at a cash-and-carry off-licence in Kensington. After hearing what he had to say, I drove with him to the venue and saw more than 100 people queuing up for their Christmas spirits. We kept observation for a while in my car and, to our dismay, found the queue was getting longer and longer. But this also meant that the money was piling up. So we left to make arrangements, get more help, steal a car, and bring a shotgun out of retirement. We recruited two more men. The team for this job was myself, George, James and Phillip. After stealing the car and parking our own motors we transferred the shotgun into the stolen vehicle. We also had with us coshes and masks. We waited until past midnight, and shortly after Christmas Day began and the store closed we went to the side entrance where one of the team smashed a side panel of glass, opened the lock, and we went in. By this time most of the staff had gone home. The manager was still there, however, and hearing the noise of breaking glass, he came to investigate. He was savagely clubbed on the head with an iron bar and slung down a staircase by one of the team. By that time the shotgun went off and blew part of the ceiling out. We were covered in plaster dust. We entered the shop to search for the money, but couldn’t find the safe keys. And what with the shot going off, and the noise that it had made, we decided to make haste and scarper. We grabbed a few bottles of brandy from a shelf and then ran to the car. As you can imagine, I was getting very frustrated at having to put myself on offer for small cash rewards and bottles of   brandy - especially on Christmas Day. There was a tragic ending to that robbery: when I was arrested in 1974, I was told that the manager never really recovered from his injuries and consequently died about a year later.

Then came a big hospital job. The information for it came from a toerag (louse) whose real name isn’t worth mentioning. He stuck up the information to his brother-in-law and he passed it on to us - the team. He said that there would be £14,000 at just after one pm on a Thursday in the basement of the hospital, where the wages office was. We went in and had a look at the place, and agreed to do it. By now the team had grown to six -George, Billy, James, Pete, Phillip and myself. On the Wednesday evening, I went back with two members of the team to the hospital basement and unscrewed the grill on the wages office door. I cut the screws, and put them back as if there was nothing wrong. The idea was that when we arrived there the next day, we could just pull the grill off, smash the two centre doors and climb  through. The other two kept watch as I did the job. After the grill had been doctored, we met the next morning and stole a Minivan from  my old hunting ground, the inner circle of Regent’s Park.  We then came back in the stolen van, loaded on the shotgun, iron bars, sledgehammer, stocking and balaclava masks, and then waited for the time to attack the unsuspecting hospital staff. We had one more  major problem to contend with and that was a  police station, which was close to the hospital. But that didn’t deter us. The job was on. 

As Rick Wakeman wrote the foreword to this remarkable book,  this seems a reasonably sensible place to point out that there are a number of groovy Rick Wakeman records on sale via Gonzo

my book
my book

Big Speech

It's like that isn't it? Maybe one minute you're King of the World, Emperor of all that you survey and the next... Well the next you're not. The next minute you're nothing but an accidental scrap of matter crashing randomly around in a meaningless Universe.

I'm talking about Ego, that fragile little thing. I'm talking about that propensity we have as human beings to talk ourselves into an exaggerated state of self-importance and then - by the same mechanism - to talk ourselves down into an equally exaggerated state of dejection.

It was my first Big Speech. I mean, I'd addressed small audiences before: a few friends in some small familiar setting. But never like this. These were all strangers. And there were 200 of them. And the venue was a large conference room in a large hotel off Oxford Street in London, the capital city of the literary world.

I'd spent the morning being nervous. My stomach was a knot of anxiety, and the mere thought of food made me retch. So by the time I pushed my way through those huge glass doors and into the plush carpeted interior of that upmarket hotel, I was a nervous wreck, and gasping for a drink. It was a publishers sales conference, and I was there to sell my book to the salesmen and women whose job it was to sell my book to the retailers, whose job it would be to sell my book to the public. So I was there to sell myself initially, as said author of said book. And I wasn't all that sure that there was all that much to sell.

Ranged around the walls of the conference room there were all these blow-up pictures of all the front covers of all the books by all the famous authors that thepublishers published. Famous authors, note. Real authors. Proper writers, whose books sold by the million throughout the world and which were deemed worthy of translation into God-knows how many tongues, or academic works by famous professors, whose brilliant scholarly tones broached no quibble by the likes of me. What was I even doing there?

So my nervousness increased as I gulped down my second whiskey. I was early. So I had to sit there. I had to sit there and listen to these famous authors who'd had the good sense to send their addresses on video, and who didn't therefore have to deal with the vicissitudes of a live audience. I had to sit there while acknowledged genius' with renowned masterpieces to their credit pontificated weightily on the meaning of their work. I had to sit there...

Read on...



(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..
MOTORHEAD drummer Dee is concerned that LEMMY may not have learned any lessons from his health scare. He's quoted in "Classic Rock" as saying, "Lem, when are you going to get sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? it’s time you started to take care of yourself."

But Lemmy, unconcerned about his recent hospital stay, has said: “It was nothing; I’m over it. I don’t like people telling me what to do – even if they might be right.”

Indeed. It's certainly difficult to imagine Lemmy in slippers and dressing-gown, in a retirement fireside chair and sipping some soup.

Meanwhile, HAWKWIND's Dave Brock has a month away from touring to recover from his stress-related illness, after the band were advised to scrap their plans for touring in October. Rescheduling of the North America dates has now commenced; for instance, the New York Gramercy show, slated for tomorrow (Sunday 13 Oct), has now been postponed until Sunday 16 March, 2014.  Existing tickets are valid for the new date, or refunds are available for those who wish that option.

Back On Black, which specialises in reissuing heavy-weight 180g vinyl editions of classic rock albums, has announced they're to release eight Hawkwind titles in the next few months. The titles are all from around the RCA era in the 1980s and include "Sonic Attack," "Electric Teepee," and "Zones."  Despite the company name, several will be pressed using coloured vinyl.
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

Each week recently I have been writing something to the effect of "this has been the quitest week for news that I have ever known in the Yes camp", and each week I privately say to myself that next week it is going to have to get better. But it doesn't. This week is worse than ever. There are only three news stories and none of them feature the mother band themselves. Trevor Rabin's son's band are recording at Dad's house, Rick Wakeman pays tribute to an American pastor, and there is a review of one of Rick's intimate one-man shows in Taunton.
And that is - I am afraid - that, for this week.
I am probably getting a bit OCD about all of this, but I find the Yes soap opera of sound to be absolutely enthralling, and I for one can't wait to see what happens next! 
Gift of air,earth,water,light.Borrowed time,little life.
Room can be made around our campfire
Always room for more.Ancestors prepared space for us
We pass the torch on to our young.As they come to their space and time
they absorb and reflect our example to them.Sing,song lines!
Sing,leaf wind!Birds heard tree secrets long before this
We are chant and responding with chorus.Nothing belongs to us
Just a short time and earth will hold us -ash and bone home
Love while you are living.Nothing and no one can be owned.
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 things such as this. For the first time in some weeks, this is a Collector's Item that I am not going to sneer at. I am fond of Roger Dean's paintings, and this one is probably my favourite. However, one would have thought that when one is trying to flog something for six grand that one would get someone who can actually spell to write the advert.

Also note the massively amusing mis-spelling lexilink in the title. We didn't make this one up...honest Guv.

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...

Kev Rowland
CARPE NOCTEM    In Terra Profugus (CODE 666)
This is the debut release from Carpe Noctem, an Icelandic Black Metal act who bring together a post-apocalyptic soundscape with structured chaos to create something that is bleak, intense and raw, all at the same time.

This is a concept album about an ethereal journey within and without the self, exploring concepts of life, death and the nature of evil. It is about overcoming and reaching understanding through strife and hardship, about self-flagellation of the soul.

The album title calls upon Cain’s journey into the wasteland of Nod, the self- made exile from God’s creation. Imagery from nature and light references to Nordic myth permeate the text, which is both vivid and esoteric in description.
 The order of the songs count down at first, and then upwards, signifying the initial descent into the earth, into the dream or afterlife, and the subsequent transformation and resurrection.
There is a bleakness that permeates this album, a chilling frost that never goes away. It is as black as the deepest Winter’s night, and one imagines this being the soundtrack to a landscape that is oppressive and frightening in so many ways. This is not music for the fainthearted, but if you enjoy Black Metal in all it’s majesty then this is essential, as it is for real. It is strange to think that this is a debut album as there is a confidence and dark passion throughout that lifts this in so many ways. In many ways this is reminiscent of the early days of Norwegian BM, but at the same time it is very much it’s own being. Essential.   
DISCIPLINE Chaos out of Order (STRUNG OUT)
There are a few things that have to be mentioned right at the beginning of this review, and the first is that at the time of recording Matthew was underage and Jon and Woody were just 17.

Yep, what we have here is the original ‘Chaos Out of Order’ which was released in 1988 as a cassette, plus an additional song from 1987, enhanced as opposed to remixed as the original tapes weren’t up to the task so there has been some very minor tweaks here and there.

Personally, I have been after this for years but have never been able to find a copy, which probably has a lot to do with Matthew never being happy with it and after the initial production of cassettes ran out it was not re-released.
 It took another five years before they produced ‘Push & Profit’, and another four after that for ‘Unfolded Like Staircase’, after which there was no more. Now, I firmly believe that Discipline are one of the finest progressive bands to come out of the States in the Nineties, and I have searched out live albums and compilations, and when the band reformed for the amazing ‘To Shatter All Accord’ in 2011 I was overjoyed. But, there was still that niggle, just what did ‘Chaos Out of Order’ sound like?
Many years ago I can remember chatting with Martin Orford, asking if IQ would ever reissue ‘Seven Stories Into Eight’, and at that time there was absolutely no plans to do so, but it was an album that many fans wanted to hear, no matter what it was like. Of course they later did make it available, along with a complete re-recording, and it was warmly received. But what about this one? Matthew has provided plenty of sleeve notes, along with the lyrics etc, but it is obvious that he has some reservations about making this available again after all these years, and in some ways I can understand why.
If this album was viewed on it’s own without knowing anything about its’ history or the age of those involved then it is quite possible then it wouldn’t get the most favourable review in the world and a listener may believe that all of Discipline’s album are similar. But, if you already know their music then this is a delight in so many ways. Even at such a young age the guys are demonstrating their music dexterity and handlings of complex layers and stylings. But, there is also a naivety in what they are performing, demonstrating promise while also showing the simplicity of youth. I was surprised at just how much I kept being reminded of Todd Rundgren when I played this, as it isn’t an artist that I normally associate with these guys, which shows just how far they had to go to reach their true identity.
If you have yet to hear all of the other Discipline albums then gently walk away as this has not been made available for you. But, if like me you have never been able to get enough of their music and have for years wanted to hear this material then this is definitely for you.
EIBON LA FURIES  The Immoral Compass (CODE 666)
Eibon La Furies was created as a one-man project by Paul D Sims (Lord Eibon Blackwood) in 2006 to combine industrialised black metal with dark ambient music inspired by Victoriana occult spirituality.

After a few demo EP’s with session musicians, the band became a trio in 2008 with the addition of Jamie Batt (Battalion) on drums and Matt Cook (The Furious Host) on bass, and it was this line-up that released ‘The Blood of the Realm’ in 2010. Since then they have been developing their sound and style, and realised that they needed to increase their personnel so have brought in Neil Purdy on lead guitar.

Paul has said “The Immoral Compass was conceived due to circumstance. Negative turned positive by taking control. 
When the wave hits, you have to ride it, ride ahead of it or be drowned by the cascading crush. Be your own compass, worship no one, bow to none – believe in your own convictions”.
Although this album does obviously belong within the Black Metal arena, this is much more of a fusion beast as it brings in influences and styles from many dark areas. While some songs are classic BM, others contain BM elements but are much more hard rock, while others are more symphonic with dark choruses and a feeling of being deep inside the Hammer House of Horror. But, this is not comic-book horror, but rather something that is far deeper and menacing. And very, very real. In some ways this is quite a hard album to listen to as musically it is pushing a great many buttons. The vocals range from melodic gravel to acerbic and visceral while the choirs and are placed against seven string guitar riffs. There are times when the menacing vocals are placed against acoustic classical guitar yet somehow this just makes the music even more interesting and somewhat darker.
Having played this a great deal I know that I like it, but am still not really sure how to describe it! This is something that deserves to be heard, at the very least.
This is the second album from these Italians, and when one realises that they wanted to recreate the music of Exciter, Abattoir and Agent Steel then it is no surprise that this is what they sound like.

It is almost as if the last thirty years haven’t happened, as this is the sort music that was appearing Metal Massacre compilations long before Death and Black Metal really started to make an appearance, while nu-metal was just a twinkle in someone’s eye. It is strange to think that at one time this style of metal was cutting edge and was at the limit of what people expected. Interestingly they call it speed metal, which is a term that never really caught on, much like Raven calling their own style athletic rock. Most people would think of this as thrash, nothing more or less.
The result here is an extremely solid album that will appeal to fans of the above bands, while at the same time adds absolutely nothing new to the genre. But, they do it well and this is a solid 3 * album, that although not essential, will certainly find plenty of fans.   
Ummm, well, it's me actually
I don't make records very often, and when I do very few people buy them. Over the years I have released eleven albums, some of which are available on Spotify, iTunes and other outlets. The latest one, The Man from Dystopia which was recorded completely by me, except for a few bits of backing vocals from my niece Jessica and her then boyfriend Matthew came out this week.

Or rather, the electronic version came out this week. There will be a limited edition hard copy version out just in time for me to give them away as Christmas presents later in the year.

Like its two predecessors Twilight over England (2007) and BiPolar (2011) this is largely electronic, although there is a bit of guitar and percussion on there. I have always liked the idea of making folk music entirely on computers, and this time I even take a very dark traditional song and do it as a piece of rural electronica.

The other songs are all written by me, and the subject matter ranges from the death of my father to the DSS Compliancy Department which sucked me into a Kafkaesque nightmare a couple of years ago on the say so of an anonymous informant.

Sounds fun? It's not.

By the way, I have had a couple of people wondering who "Tony" of the song Tony, you really are a Complete Bastard is. I'm not going to tell you, but I will reassure everyone that it is NOT Tony Shiels quondam Wizard of the Western World. Firstly I am very fond of the old bugger, and secondly it is not a prudent thing to do to insult a wizard publically. As Tolkein once noted they are subtle and quick to anger.

All in all I am rather pleased with this record - I am learning more and more about studio techniques, and the fact that I was largely sober when I made this record means that it is somewhat better sound quality than some of its predecessors.

I don't expect anyone to buy it (unless they really want to) but it would be nice if a few of you went on to Spotify and listened to it. 

Love you all


My assistant editor Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent and I have had a quite a nice week, which has largely consisted of me sitting (or lying) down reading, whilst the good Captain sits on my lap and purrs louder than any other five month old kitten I have ever met. The magazine goes from strength to strength as my life gets progressively more peculiar.
Much of my cultural life over the past week or so has consisted of me following leads that I got from John Higgs' remarkable book about the KLF which C.J.Stone and I mentioned at length in the last issue. I alluded to some of this in the preamble to my extraordinary interview with Gary Clail last night, which appears earlier in this issue.

The mixture of the faux religion of Discordianism, and Alan Moore's (who certainly seems to know the score) re-imagining of the nature of ritual magick seems to highlight much of what I believe and write about in these pages. These are subjects to which I am sure that we shall be returning in the future.

John Higgs has agreed to do an interview for us, but I have decided to wait until I have finished my background reading because I want to do the subject (and him) justice.

But as far as the magazine is concerned: Remember that it doesn't cost anything to subscribe, and that in doing so you are joining an elite, and rapidly expanding group of music fans who believe that we are not being given the music or the cultural coverage that we deserve. Please pass this magazine on to as many of your friends, relations, and whoever else you can, and do your best to persuade them to subscribe. It will make an ageing fat hippy very happy.

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

Until next week,

Jon Downes
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