Copy
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.
THE GONZO WEEKLY
all the gonzo news that’s fit to print
Issue Forty-Six    October 5th 2013
I PROMISED THIS WOULD BECOMING A MAGAZINE AND I ALWAYS TRY TO KEEP MY PROMISES
NAMING THOSE RESPONSIBLE
This issue was put together by me and Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent, ably assisted by Corinna Downes, Graham Inglis, Dave Baldwin, Bart Lancia, Thom the World Poet, C.J.Stone, Kev Rowland, Carl Portman, and Peter McAdam
THIS WEEK WE BRING YOU KING CRIMSON, JAKKO, OLIVER WAKEMAN, KLF, JOHN HIGGS, JAMMS, ALAN MOORE, SINEAD O'CONNOR, MILEY CYRUS, THE PIXIES, ROLAND SMITH, ELIZABETH CLEM, NIC JONES, PUSSY RIOT, DAN WOODING, KING SQUEALER, MAURICE O'MAHONEY, STEVE HOWE, JON ANDERSON, BEATLES, CITIZEN CAIN,  RICK WAKEMAN,  ROB AYLING, HAWKWIND, YES,  THE NINE HENRYS, AUBURN, LIZ LENTEN, DAVID GILMOUR AND FAMILY, THE SIMPSONS, PAUL McCARTNEY, CHER, SONNY BONO, JUDGE SMITH, BRAND X, MISS CRYSTAL GRENADE, MICK ABRAHAMS, MICK FARREN AND ANDY COLQUHOUN, GARY WINDO, TOM CLANCY, DAVE BROCK, HAWKLORDS, GORDON GILTRAP, BILLY SHERWOOD, WILLIAM SHATNER, SOUL SELLER, WASARA, 8 FOOT SATIVA, COMMUNIO MUSICA, REVOLUTION, QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE, STEVE MILLER BAND, MOTHER EARTH
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.
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter
Twitter
Website
Website
Google Plus
Google Plus
Email
Email
Pinterest
Pinterest
LinkedIn
LinkedIn
SO WHAT IS ALL THIS ABOUT?
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.
MORE LIKE A MAGAZINE
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.

The biggest music news in the world this week has to be that Beyonce 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. This line-up is particularly challenging and experimental because it has three drummers.

It also has Jakko, the bloke who composed that twiddly piece of music that you hear at the beginning of each Gonzo podcast as lead singer and guitarist, and so we are particularly proud to be bringing you his take on this all later in this issue.

We also have a particularly interesting interview with the charming and multi-talented Michael Des Barres about his latest activities, and - if you haven't done so already - I do implore you to go and buy his remarkably groovy latest album. He also has a new Facebook page for his radio shows. Check it out!

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: Justified and Ancient
This week I read something truly life changing. No, don't worry, I have not become saved, and I am not going to try and turn you on to the revolutionary Jon Downes exercise regime. In fact, I quite like an Andy Warholesque Jon Downes exercise video, which would be a three hour film of me and the orange kitten fast asleep in my favourite armchair. But I digress.

This week I read a book by a geezer called John Higgs. If you are looking for a conventional biography of the KLF, don't touch 'The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds' by John Higgs with the proverbial bargepole. It is about as far from being a conventional biography as it is possible to get. However, if you are looking for some attempt at an explanation of why this most singular of all bands did what they did, what it meant, and what it was all for, then I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I knew it was going to be good, but I didn't realise HOW good. And I certainly wasn't expecting the KLF story to be quite so close to my own story, or that so many bit-part players in the saga were people I knew myself. If you are looking for a proper review of 'The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned a Million Pounds' by John Higgs from me then you will have to wait a while. I am still computing this remarkable book and trying to work out the implications upon my own view of reality, and my own work over the past 20 years. In the meantime go out and buy the damned (in a truly Fortean context) thing. You won't be disappointed.

C.J.Stone has written his viewpoint on the book elsewhere this issue, and I will be interviewing Mr Higgs himself in the next week or so, so if you think that this is the last time that you are going to read about this book in these hallowed pages then I regret that you are very much mistaken.
AN OCCASIONAL SERIES

Many years ago my friend Tony 'Doc' Shiels took me on a surrealchemical adventure that he called 'The Case'.
Much of it has remarkable echoes in the pages of John Higgs' book, and so (for no reason more than because I can) here are some contemporary links that could help you on your own trip through reality.

Alan Moore insists he’s not the Northampton Clown
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: A Poem from Carl Portman
I don't usually blow my own trumpet, but if someone does it for me...
The Bear with the Orange Cat
 
A curious man the size of a bear
With eccentric taste and facial hair
Is typing away about this and that
Whilst on his lap sits an orange cat
 
Wonderous stories now dance in his brain
And poems and songs with such sweet refrain
His taste in music is from Zeppelin Led
To his deep affection for the Grateful Dead
 
Why does he do it this complex man?
Delighting us all as only he can
The answer my dears if I must surmise
Is the feeling he gets from the sweet surprise
 
Of creating anew his Gonzo mag
And his wife Corinna does not even nag
It is 3am; at the keyboard he keeps
His council wise as everyone sleeps
 
Whatever the reason for his troubles and strife
He beats his drum to the rhythm of life
As the candle burns and the cat sleeps on
A new dawn breaks and the day had begun
 
Driven by demons and objects of fire
He still writes the mag fuelled with deep desire
He has no idea when this madness will end
But he'll always be Jon, our dearest friend
 
x
QUOTE OF THE WEEK 

"I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way 'cool' to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos".

Who and why? Read on...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Dave Baldwin goes to see The Pixies 
(Electric Brixton : 27 Sep 2013)
Image: Simon Fernandez/Wikimedia Commons
The Pixies have rocked my world. Their albums will be on any music device I carry around. I am a fan. Almost 25 years to the day that I first saw them we were back in a small venue. With a new bassist, new material for the first time in decades  and the promise of more to come, this was always going to be different.
 
In the hour before they appear, we get transported back a couple of decades with contemporary classics : Spacemen 3’s Revolution, My Bloody Valentine’s You Made Me Realise,The Stooges 1969, some Butthole Surfers and Mudhoney’s In’n’Out of Grace. It still feels fresh.
 
The smoke machine cranked up and they appeared in all their backlit glory with their cover of the Fall’s Big New Prinz. New bassist Kim Shattuck adding energy aplenty and the distance they used to project seems to be gone. She’s clearly loving the sound and the rest of band seem to have gelled around the vibe. Although Charles’ screams are as strong as ever, there’s definitely something changed here.
 
Don’t get me wrong, hearing a Pixies set live is completely unlike the experience of their albums. Speeds change, emotions fray, Planet of Sound has never sounded better or rawer than tonight. The crowd bounces as one to the familiar classics - Where Is My Mind?, Wave of Mutilation and Velouria keep them going with a beautiful Gouge Away as a pre encore highlight.
 
Onstage the band are electric - Black Francis truly leads now that Kim Deal has departed, however Joey Santiago’s guitar solo adventures are becoming more and more fun. Dave Lovering is, as ever, as mad and tight a drummer as you could hope to find, Kim just bounces with a broad grin and fits perfectly. The Brixton Electric is a perfect size to experience them close up.
 
Then it’s there - the change - there’s a warmth onstage that didn’t seem to be there before. The difference between acting and real life. It may be that the relationship between old Kim and Charles/Black Francis needed that chill but it’s gone and you’re left with a band who could go on forever. 
 
The new tracks are still growing on the crowd (growing to be hated by many it seems). But this is Pixies reloaded. They’re all on show - Bagboy still sounds out of place but so did most of Trompe Le Monde at the time. What Goes Boom from the new EP1 is pure Pixies and comes over with a live ferocity that the single only hints at. The other three tracks from EP1, including Indy Cindy, are a little mellow for tonight but fit neatly with Havalina. Maybe we’ve forgotten they’re all within a couple of years of 50 - hell there’s a lot of us tonight watching through decades gone teen eyes. However this is the Pixies and we’re not going to cut them ANY slack.
 
They waved, shook hands with the crowd and left. But it couldn’t end without Monkey and how the hell would they end it. Throughout the years, every set I’ve seen has ended with Kim Deal and Into the White : One of the Pixies finest moments and a sure fire funeral track when I go. But without Kim it’s dead. So Vamos is back. In the early days, Vamos live was a Pixies trademark a guitar/drum solo duel between splitting the track into however long they wanted to make it. Tonight, by God they enjoyed themselves and, dare I say it, were really having fun on stage.
 
This isn’t the Pixies I knew two decades ago. They’re different, they’re going in new directions, but based on tonight they’re as fresh and vibrant and raw as ever and I’m looking forward to the next twenty five years.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Roland Smith's new book
Some years ago I reviewed a rather spiffing book called Tentacles. A friend of mine, a young lady called Elizabeth Clem who lives in Indiana, first introduced me to the work of Roland Smith when she sent Corinna and me his book Cryptid Hunters as a wedding present. I enjoyed it massively. The author's website describes it:
 
After their parents are lost in an accident, thirteen-year old twins Grace and Marty are whisked away to live with their Uncle Wolfe - an uncle that they didn't even know they had! The intimidating Uncle Wolfe is an anthropologist who has dedicated his life to finding cryptids, mysterious creatures believed to be long extinct.
 
As I wrote at the time, this is a woefully inadequate description and is 'a bit like describing Anna Karenina as being about a couple of Russian chicks and some horse racing.' But now I am happy to say that the third volume of the saga is out and I have to say I think that I enjoyed it even more than I did the first two, and that is saying something!
 
I particularly enjoy these stories even though Roland himself told me, "I actually thought about you when I was developing Wolfe and Marty... There is a bit of you in both of them". There is a famous quote by Groucho Marx that he would not join any club that had him in it, and I probably wouldn't either. But I am happy to say that Roland's three books, which have a teensy weensy bit of me in their DNA, are absolutely smashing.

Read on...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  A brief message from the lovely Liz about the keenly awaited album by Auburn
The new album Nashville has gone to press - will have finished copies soon - and video underway - you will get exclusive preview - of course...soon as its finished (shooting band footage end of October, so should be complete mid Nov)  release now confirmed for January, keep ya posted , love and hugs xxxx

AUBURN AT GONZO (UK)
AUBURN AT GONZO (USA)
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Gonzo Web Radio
No new shows for you this week, apart from the interview with Jakko (see below). However, there are some 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.
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:  Gilmours in Downton Abbey
It does no good for my anarchist credibility, but I have to admit that I rather like Downton Abbey, but I never thought that I would be writing about it in these pages. Those jolly nice chaps at Neptune Pink Floyd sent me this story:

Two of David Gilmour’s children have landed parts as extras in the hit TV drama Downton Abbey. The fourth season of the period drama will have eight episodes and will be broadcast in the UK in the autumn on ITV, and early next year on PBS in the United States. There will also be a Christmas special.

Read on....

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: The Gospel according to Bart
Two nice stories from my favourite roving reporter this week. In an episode of The Simpsons Ringo Starr receives a fan letter that Marge had sent him 40 years before. Now in a peculiar example of life imitating art, the same thing has happened to Paul McCartney. And like a gent he has answered it.

And the situation for hospitalised Pussy Riot member is getting worse. As Bart writes, "This is 'never-ending'... Putin just won't give in,it seems...".
THE WEIRD WORLD

Cher believes she is being haunted by the ghost of her ex-husband Sonny Bono. The 67-year-old singer thinks that Sonny, who died in 1998, still plays pranks on her from beyond the grave. The Believe hit-maker made the admission when asked if she is afraid of spirits during an online Q&A with fans on Reddit.com on Saturday night.

Read on....
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 nine months now, and we are beginning to find our feet. I am making changes as I go along, and - no doubt - some of these changes will turn out to be mistakes. So, let me know what you think. Do they work? Do you like them? Hate them? Or don't you care either way?

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 jon@eclipse.co.uk. 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.
GONZO RELEASES FOR OCTOBER 2013
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.
BACK ISSUES OF THIS PERIODICAL
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:  Tom Clancy
Thomas Leo "Tom" Clancy, Jr. (April 12, 1947 – October 1, 2013) was an American author best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science storylines that are set during and in the aftermath of the Cold War, along with video games which bear his name for licensing and promotional purposes. Seventeen of his novels were best-sellers, with over 100 million copies in print. His name was also a brand for similar movie scripts written by ghost writers and many series of non-fiction books on military subjects and merged biographies of key leaders. He was Vice Chairman of Community Activities and Public Affairs as well as a part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles.
THERE IS NOW A GONZO WEEKLY SHOP
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... 
http://www.zazzle.co.uk/gonzoweekly
COVER STORY: A conversation with Jakko Jakszyk 
I have been aware of Jakko for years. He is one of those names that just comes up in conjunction with an enormous diversity of projects. He is also the bloke who composed and recorded the amazingly catch Gonzo ident tune which you hear at the beginning and end of each of our podcasts.

But it wasn't until I started digging that I realised quite how much stuff this extraordinary man has done. So I pinched this from his website: 


As a teenager Jaksyzk’s intentions were to become a professional soccer player, but he failed his trial with Watford Football Club. Already playing guitar in his bedroom, he also enjoyed acting, and joined the National Youth Theatre at the age of 14. His first band, Soon After, was formed a year later. In 1975 this trio came third in a Melody Maker National Rock Competition. After various dead end jobs he eventually found acting work after leaving school, moving on to the 64 Spoons troupe, whose marriage of punk rock attitude with classical musicianship and bawdy, music hall humour were a memorable sight around the lesser venues of England. Through the Spoons Jakszyk met Dave Stewart, with whom he toured England and Europe, before appearing on Stewart’s recording with Colin Blunstone and Barbara Gaskin. He signed a solo recording contract with Chiswick Records in 1981. A series of singles ensued while an album, Silesia, was released only in Germany. Jakszyk then moved over to Stiff Records for more singles and a second album. 

By 1985 Jakszyk had joined Mark Dean’s Innervision/MDM record label for album number three. In 1987 he formed an all-acoustic indo-fusion band titled Dizrhythmia, which included Danny Thompson on double bass and various Indian classical musicians. A self-titled album, for Antilles Records, found critical favour both in the UK and USA. Jakszyk then moved to New York to join avant garde band the Lodge, whose personnel included ex-Henry Cow members John Greaves and Peter Blegvad, plus Anton Fier of the Golden Palominos on drums. After contributing to and arranging material on Sam Brown’s Stop album, before joining with Tom Robinson to tour and co-write the album We Never Had It So Good. He joined Level 42 as lead guitarist in 1991, by which time his session credits included Swing Out Sister, Gary Moore and Mica Paris. In June 1994, the Resurgence label released Kingdom Of Dust, a mini-album recorded with three ex-members of Japan, Richard Barbieri, Steven Jansen and Mick Karn. It was followed by Jaksyzk’s solo album, Mustard Gas And Roses. Jakszyk has also produced several acts, appeared on television programmes including French And Saunders and Birds Of A Feather, and written about music widely in such organs as Melody Maker and Musician’s Only. His television incidental music has been heard on the Bafta-nominated Chef, Jo Brand’s Through The Cakehole and Birds Of A Feather.

But then, last week, Jakko was propelled into the publicity stratosphere when it was announced that Robert Fripp had chosen him for his latest incarnation of King Crimson. Could we let this pass? Nope, of course not, so we gave him a ring...

HAVE A LISTEN
And whilst on the subject...Corinna muses on King Crimson
I will always remember the look of shock that fell upon Jon’s face when I first mentioned having to purchase a tin of food for feline appetites.  The fact that the mention of the said scrumptious (to cats – and dogs – that is) item was accompanied by my belting out the first verse of ‘Cat Food’ by King Crimson may have had something to do with it.  It always comes to mind whenever I think of the tinned stuff and more often than not the words do spurt forth from my mouth if I am not in complete control of myself.  I just can’t help it.  It is one of those songs.  It’s much the same with Cream’s ‘Pressed Rat and Warthog’, although there is nothing that really prompts that if I am  honest – it just happens.  In fact, if you will allow me to meander along a small path leading off the main track here, I discovered a few years back - whilst driving home on my own after a trip to somewhere, the place of which escapes me – that (and I have to add also here that when I am on my own driving I am usually to be found belting out a few songs here and there.  Goodness knows what oncoming drivers think I am up to if they have ever noticed me seemingly shouting to myself or my ‘imaginary’ friend) you can sing ‘Pressed Rat and Warthog’ to the tune of ‘My Favourite Things’ from The Sound of Music. The first verse at any rate.  Try it.  Go on, I dare you.  No-one’s listening. 
 
Back to the main road methinks, but not before adding that I did try to reveal this  amazing fact to my brother backalong and he put his hands up in disbelief – and, by the look on his face, disgust methinks – and cried out along the lines of ‘Stop! I don’t even want to think about it’. It took the wind out of my sails I can tell you, what with my thinking it was an interesting little discovery. 
 
Anyway, to understate, as only us Brits can, I am rather fond of King Crimson and they are one of the bands that I am sorry that I never managed to catch playing live.  But I spent many a happy hour listening to them on vinyl in the solitude of my tiny bedroom back in the day.  And there are, of course, the box sets that Jon bought me.  Unfortunately one of the discs is ‘missing’.  Just to confuse things, it isn’t really mislaid; I know full well where it is.  It is just that I can’t get at it.  Missing in action I suppose you could say.  Jon and I were listening to it back in 2007 when we were travelling from Portsmouth to Hatfield.  For those of you who may not be aware, it was when some idiot went into the back of a car three cars behind us, which then caused a chain reaction culminating in us being tossed across the M25, car being written off and said disc being stuck in the CD player ever since.  After a bit of gentle persuasion from the charlatans who were holding the car until the insurance was sorted out, we got the player back, but it has been – so far – impossible to retrieve the disc from its bowels.  Hence – missing in action.
 
It seems I went for a perambulation along yet another side road there, so back to the plot.  Favourite track?  Impossible to pick one.  â€˜The Night Watch’ is as beautiful as the Rembrandt masterpiece it is about, 'Starless' always makes me want to cry, ‘Moonchild’ could be about me (well I am a Cancerian, hence a child of the moon),  ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ satisfies my lust for theatrical macabre,  and ‘Epitaph’ – well enough said.
 
Oh, and I have discovered something rather interesting.  According to Wikipedia (all praise to the … erm …. Knowledgeable (?) One) the song ‘Happy Family’ from the album Lizard is about the break up of the Beatles:
 
Happy Family" is about the dissolution of the Beatles. They are represented in the lyrics as 'Judas' (Paul McCartney), 'Rufus' (Ringo Starr), 'Silas' (George Harrison), and 'Jonah' (John Lennon). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lizard_(album)#.22Happy_Family.22 
 
So King Crimsonites out there, is this true? It certainly seems to have some heavy references there eg: “each to his revolving doors” and “Let their sergeant …”
 
I have to go into Bideford tomorrow to the chemist,  to pick up some remaining items missing from Jon’s repeat prescription.  The question is: do we need food for the cats? Oh dear …. it would seem that the circle is closed.
 
"Happy Family" Pete Sinfield


Happy family, one hand clap, four went by and none come back.
Brother Judas, ash and sack, swallowed aphrodisiac.
Rufus, Silas, Jonah too sang, "We'll blow our own canoes,"
Poked a finger in the zoo, punctured all the ballyhoo

Read on if you don't believe us....
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Des Barres interview
I am truly fond of Michael Des Barres, both as a person and as an artist. In a more just universe he would be a household name for his rich, thought-provoking, rock and soul stylings. Things have been rather chaotic all round for the past few months, and I realised with a start that it had been months since we last spoke, so I gave him a ring...

JON: What has been happening on Planet Michael for the last few months

MICHAEL: I have a radio show – two radio shows – that have a huge listenership on FM and on the internet.  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. I’ve got a live album, ‘Hot and Sticky’, that I did at the Viper Room coming out. Christmas I also have a ‘Best of Silverhead’ collection.  We found a song that none of us remember recording (which is spectacular!) which is on the album and live cuts from a BBC concert.  And, you know,  I’m doing various shows, more for charity organisations than actual sort of promotional shows.  

I’ve been working with two organisations; one is Little Kids Rock which raises money and awareness for inner-city kids to get instruments.  You know we live in a country where soldiers get guns and kids get nothing. And also this organisation, which is for orangutans, which are in danger of extinction because of the forests in Indonesia being destroyed for palm oil.  So I am very involved in – sort of – activism; I’m even more concentrating on being part of the solution and not the problem. I believe the cannabis law should be completely reconfigured to accommodate the pain that people suffer; the autistic children that can be helped  by cannabis, which I think is particularly potent because of my own sobriety, which is that for 33 years I haven’t had a joint or a drink. 

Read on...
MICHAEL DES BARRES AT GONZO (UK)
MICHAEL DES BARRES AT GONZO (USA)
A SNEAK PEEK AT THE NEXT BOOK BY DAN WOODING
We will be publishing extracts from this massively exciting book over the next few issues. This week, here is an excerpt from Chapter Two...

Three swarthy men held my arms over a small wall adjacent to Kensal Green swimming baths while another repeatedly crashed a pickaxe handle down on my wrists. I screamed inwardly. It was dark, and these animals seemed to carry on this bone-breaking ritual for ever. The pain I suffered was unbelievable. Satisfied at last, they shoved me into the road where they planned to run me over in their getaway car. As I lay there numbed, I saw them driving hard at me. Suddenly another car came up behind them, its headlights blazing, so they swerved past and left me there half dead. I somehow staggered to my feet like a drunk and sat on the wall where I had been punished. When I felt some strength return to my body, I began a dazed trek to a nearby hospital.
 
‘What’s happened to your wrists?’ asked a tired house doctor as put on the plaster. ‘Oh, I just slipped and fell,’ I said. He knew better. ‘Some fall . . .’ he muttered.
 
That was my first experience of the savage vengeance wrought by criminals who are double-crossed. The beating happened when a burglar called Tony, with whom I had been working, scarpered without paying off some tipsters who had supplied information about a successful job. They had turned up at a pub in Kensal Green to collect their percentage for tipping us off, but Tony wasn’t there. I guessed he’d become too greedy and didn’t see why they should get a cut. Unsuspecting, I had gone to the pub, and they took it out on me instead.
 
Tony was several years my senior and we had met in a coffee bar. He’d heard a little about me, but I knew all about him. He was a noted professional burglar who really knew his job. There was one flaw in Tony’s operation, however. He didn’t drive. So he put a proposition to me. ‘Mo, let’s form a partnership. You, drive and I’ll show you how to earn real money. Are you willing to learn?’ Was I willing to learn? Of course I was. We bought ourselves a well used Austin A55 van and were soon driving out to addresses in the stockbroker belts in the swish London suburbs. Tony wouldn’t tell me where he got his solid information, but I later discovered that it was often supplied by greedy mini-cab drivers who would take clients to a show or out to Heathrow Airport, and, because they knew their passengers’ properties were empty, would tip off Tony. Naturally they wanted a percentage of the take for their info.

Tony’s skill was remarkable. I thought I knew something about this game, but he really opened my eyes. Tony taught me how to make keys, a skill I later found invaluable. He also showed me his automatic catapult. This was no schoolboy’s toy - it would fire a piece of metal through the glass of a door so a knitting needle could then be inserted to open the lock. Tony also had a glass cutter which could take a whole pane from a French window, so we could just walk through the space where the glass once rested. My main job when I was out with this master burglar was to be his minder. That was on top of being his driver. The idea was that if anyone disturbed us, I was to clobber them. One day he allowed me to play my part in a robbery and asked me to shin up a drainpipe to get in through a window, then come downstairs and open the front door. My debut for Tony was spectacular. The pipe was rotten and it came away from the wall when I was 20 feet up in the air. I crashed backwards, hit the side of the greenhouse, and landed on the dustbins. But I got no sympathy from my teacher.
 
‘For crying out loud, Mo, what are you trying to do? Wake up the whole neighbourhood? he whispered angrily. I did. Within seconds people peered through windows, dogs barked, and I just lay there moaning. What a choice sound we made between us. Somehow, I forced myself off the floor and began to limp away, with Tony’s curses echoing in my ear. We scrambled over a five-foot wall and managed to reach the getaway van, which I had parked around the corner. We knew it wouldn’t be long before we would hear the crook’s national anthem - the police siren - and the boys in blue would be swarming around the area. It took tremendous will-power to drive the van that night. I was extremely worried as I thought I had snapped my spine in the fall. Fortunately, after a few days rest, it healed and I was relieved to find it was only bad bruising.
 
Another close shave came when Tony and I broke into a flat in a block in Willesden. We lifted £200 in cash which we stuffed into our pockets, and we were leaving through the front door when we were confronted by the occupant, a burly man in his thirties.  ‘What are you doing here?’ he yelled. ‘Spring cleaning sir,’ said Tony as he darted through his arms and left me to grapple with the man. I butted him in the face a couple of times with my head, squeezed his testicles, and made my getaway as he squealed with pain.
 
Another night we turned up for a flat burglary after our informant told us the rich lady occupant was out. But as we often did, we rang the bell just in case someone was there, and we could ‘apologise’ for disturbing them. This night the lady called through the letterbox, ‘Who is it?’ Without batting an eyelid Tony, yelled back to her, ‘Burglars you old cunt!’ I just collapsed and laughed so much that I literally wet myself. My trousers were  soaked. I almost didn’t make it back to the van, what with my bad back and my hysterical laughter.
 
The last job I did with Tony was after one of our tipsters told us of a rich lady who had an incredible collection of jewellery at her home on the outskirts of London. The tip was good and we gained entry with Tony’s skeleton keys - he had a massive collection – and proceeded to ransack the home. We found lots of money and valuables and then decamped. It wasn’t long after this that he betrayed me, and I suffered that terrible beating which resulted in two broken wrists, a cut head - and a terrible thirst for vengeance.
 
I searched high and low for the double-crossing bastard, but he seemed to have gone to ground. My hatred for him, and the way he crossed me up, was there all the time and I savoured in my mind how he would suffer when I caught him. I finally flushed him out in a Club in North London. As I walked over to him in the dimly-lit club, which was owned by a former world middleweight boxing champion, Tony pretended he didn’t know me. I was with a friend and I grabbed Tony securely by the arms, knocking his half-finished pint of bitter to the ground. We escorted him out to the alleyway and then to my car. ‘I want a few words with you Tony,’ I said.

BUY IT AT AMAZON (UK)
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
RICK WAKEMAN AT GONZO (UK)
RICK WAKEMAN AT GONZO (USA)
JUSTIFIED AND ANCIENT
I highly recommend this book.
 
John Higgs has taken the standard rock biography format, done some strange incantations over it, waved his magic wand and – Abracadabra! - turned it into a philosophical tract. This book isn’t just about the KLF. In fact it is hardly about the KLF at all. It’s about Dada and Discordianism. It’s about the Illuminati conspiracy. It’s about Dr Who and the Situationist International. It’s about the number 23. It’s about Ken Campbell, Robert Anton Wilson, Alan Moore, Carl Jung, Harpo Marx and the Three Stooges, as well as about Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty and the pop band they formed. In fact the cast of characters who stride through this book reads like a Who’s Who of some of the most influential and enigmatic people of the 20th Century.

But it is more than this too.
 
It’s like a strange, moving meditation on the meaning of existence, seen through the lens of what, by any measure of things, must be the oddest, most exasperating act by any pop group ever: the burning of a million pounds on the morning of the 23rd of August 1994, in a broken down cottage in Jura, in the North East of Scotland.
 
The question is this, repeated over and over again throughout the book: was it just the act of a pair of attention-seeking arseholes, or something else, something much more profound and disturbing? And it is in the process of trying to answer this question that we are lead through that Who’s Who of minds and motivations, that fractal web of coincidence and incidence and back story and plot, taking in everything that must have crossed their minds in the process of reaching this very peculiar moment, setting light to, and progressively burning, one million pounds in £50 notes.
 
The thing is, they never could explain it themselves. When you see them talking about it – which they rarely do – they look haunted by it. That’s a good word. It’s like the ghost of that money still hovers over them, waiting for an explanation. Or an exorcism, perhaps.
 
And that’s what this book manages. Not only an explanation, an exorcism too. It gives an irrational act form and context and helps us to understand it in terms of a host of other things, and by that process, perhaps, it allows the protagonists be free of it at last.
 
Much of the book dwells on the subject of magical thinking. If you hear Richard Dawkins talking about the subject you will hear the barely suppressed tone of derision in his voice. Magical thinking is primitive thinking and something we have to remove from our lives, he says. What John Higgs does is to redeem it. He shows us its value. He shows how integral it is to our understanding of ourselves. He gives it a purpose and a direction and he places the KLF in this context and elevates their chaotic uncertainty to the status of an art form.
 
Will you find the answers in this book?
 
Well yes and no and maybe.
 
But does it work? Is it entertaining? Is it well-written and thoughtfully alive?
 
Yes, yes, yes and yes.
SOME BOOKS BY C.J.STONE

 

 
 
 
HAWKWIND NEWS
(The Masters of the Universe do seem to have a steady stream of interesting stories featuring them, their various friends and relations, and alumni). Each week Graham Inglis keeps us up to date with the latest news from the Hawkverse..

05.10.13 - USA tour postponement, please read

As many of you will now be aware Dave was taken ill a couple of weeks ago. Doctors have confirmed that his condition is stress related, aggravated by the trademark dispute in the United States which could result in years of litigation. 

After enduring a series of tests, Dave has been advised that it could be dangerous to his health to embark on a gruelling 14,000 mile tour at this time. After much discussion about possible ways forward, the members of the band have reluctantly decided that it is necessary to reschedule the dates to March 2014, rather than put Dave's health at unnecessary risk. (New dates for each venue will be announced next week)

Whilst we understand this will come as a big disappointment to those of you who have booked tickets, as it does to ourselves, we are equally sure that you will understand health concerns must take priority.


http://hawkwind.com/

An interesting Marmite-type divide has recently emerged in the Hawkwind fan base, following the release of an album called "Dreams" by a band called "Hawklords".

Listener reviews are so far tending to be 4- or 5-star ones... or just one star.  Thus, I've seen feedback that describes it as "a dire release" rubbing shoulders with feedback that declares it to be "superb" or "excellent".  One gets the impression it's Marmite or fascism or absinthe that's being reviewed here.

The fuss is all about whether ex-members of Hawkwind - in  this instance Harvey Bainbridge, Jerry Richards, Ron Tree and Adrian Shaw - are "cashing in on the Hawkwind name," as some assert; or whether ex-Hawks who feel inclined to continue exploring the general musical genre that we call "Hawkwind music" have a right to choose a Hawkwindy-type name, to reflect their chosen area of operation.

Having heard - and enjoyed - the album, I'd agree with the latter scenario, so long as it's not being done with the aim of annoying Dave Brock or confusing the fans.  The problem is that the name "Hawklords" originally denoted a Brock/Calvert project way back in 1978, so I rather wish they'd chosen a different but still Hawkwindy name. Then, maybe, fans could enjoy this new album without all of the historical baggage that's weighing it down and polarising opinion.
 
Still, they've released a polished and well-done space-rock album and it deserves a listen.
THE YES CIRCULAR - TIME AND A WORD
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

This has been the quietest week I have ever known in the world of Yes and their various alumni. However Oliver Wakeman and Gordon Giltrap are out on tour which should very very good to see.  There is more information on the William Shatner album which features both Billy Sherwood and Rick Wakeman, and the latest installment of the Yes inspirations series has Steve Howe discussing his guitar inspirations. All good stuff, if not a terrible amount of it.
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! 
MORE DETAILS OF YES AT GONZO (UK)
MORE DETAILS OF YES AT GONZO (USA)
DROPPED ONE WHITE MOON
IN MY BROKEN CUP
DISPLACEMENT,PYTHAGORAS!
Refugees driven out of their beesnests
settle down when safe /secure.More move
only when pressured.Coal mines are not diamonds.
Slavery as Egyptian as poverty.Whipped waves return tides .
Always movement,currents underneath.Why moon?
Sun too hot,explosive,voluble /volatile
Stars too far away to matter.People treasure distance
Space fills up.Junk bonds.Metal hinges.Tiny asteroids
puncture hopes of millionaire space flights.
This is why i start with little moons
And a cup with a hole at both ends.

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 collection of things related to the original release of close to the Edge. I have to admit that I have never even heard of these items before..
INTRODUCING THE NINE HENRYS

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 WORLD OF KEV
Kev Rowland
SOUL SELLER Back to Life  [AVENUE OF ALLIES]
When I saw the name of the band I was convinced that what we had here was going to be a Black metal outfit, but I soon changed my mind when I saw that the album cover had a picture of a small girl holding a cuddly toy. I mean, what self-respecting spawn of Satan would attack a teddy bear. What we have here is another Italian melodic hard rock/AOR album with some involvement from Alessandro Del Vecchio who as usual has ensured that there are enough name guests to really make this shine. Apparently the band started as long ago as 1999, but it took until 2011 for brothers Mike and Dave Zublena to really make their dream a reality. There have been plenty of other musicians in the band over the years, and a few demo albums, but this is officially the debut. 
However, having been looking at the band site it doesn’t appear to have been updated in any way for more than a year which does make one wonder what is happening with them at present.
 
But, on the basis of this recording they should have a bright future, as it is a solid melodic album with good hooks and strong vocals. The downside is that there is nothing unique, and it will take a  great deal of plays for the songs to really stick as nothing really jumps out on the first few plays, but there is a lot of promise with this album and fans of the genre should definitely seek them out. It is possible to play some of the album from their website so if melodic rock is your thing then it may be worth checking out. www.soulseller.it
WASARA  Hehku  [INVERSE]
There are times when a press release hits the nail firmly on the head, and the following comment from Inverse Records is just that: “Gathering sounds from folk metal to death metal sung in Finnish and built together into the heavy grasp that in it’s originality is pure northern melancholy.” This was the third album from the band, released at the end of 2011, and presumably the final release to boot as I have hard that hey broke up last year. Now, that’s a real shame as this has a large number of positives, in a depressing northern folk metal sort of way. When a band has the nerve to use a piano accordion and to go straight from that into heavy riffs then I have to take my hat off to them as it’s not the sort of approach that I ever thought would happen when I started listening to metal when the dinosaurs ruled the earth (at least according to my kids).

But what makes this album really work for me is the sheer diversity that is taking place, combined with a hard approach that is far more melodic than one may first realise. This is metal first and foremost, but the folk element doesn’t sound as if it has been bolted on but rather that it is a core part of the sound that has developed organically and has a very earthy texture to it.
 
This is music which ensures that the genre needs to be taken seriously, that it is much more than gimmicks and is in fact something that has a depth and diversity that adds to the view of metal as a whole. It is something that I have enjoyed playing a great deal, and is one of the finest examples of this style of metal that I have come across. Well worth discovering for yourself. 
8 FOOT SATIVA The Shadow Masters [INDIE] 
One of the great things about living in New Zealand is that we are at the end of the world; unfortunately that is very much a bad thing if you are a Metalhead, and especially so if you are in a band as it is almost impossible to become the next big thing on the international scene.

It is only in recent years that overseas acts have even discovered that there is a thriving scene down here, and many of us were incredibly excited when it was announced last year that Fear Factory were going to play the Power Station. But, that news was then overshadowed by the discovery that a reformed 8FS were going to be the support act, with Justin 'Jackhammer' Niessen back as permanent vocalist for the first time since “Season For Assault’ in 2003.
Now, there are few Kiwi bands known outside of their own country, with the most famous probably being Split Enz (or of course Crowded House who are Kiwi and not Australian, whatever you may have been told), but there has also always been a great domestic music scene that has produced some great bands, and when it comes to metal 8FS are the kings. Now, I have long been a fan and advocate of Fear Factory, but that night in Auckland they were taken to the cleaners. The sheer aggression and power of 8FS at full power is an incredible sight, and the crowd responded to the band, who then in turn increased the ferocity. But, while my ears were trying to recover, the thought that kept running through my head was what would the album be like? Could they repeat this in the studio?
 
By the time they released their last album, ‘Poison of Ages’, in 2007 only guitarist Gary Smith was left from the original line-up. But, now in 2013 he has been rejoined by co-founder Brent Fox (bass), Jackhammer (vocals), Corey Friedlander (drums – who was in the band back in 2006 for a while) and new guitarist Nik Davies. So, in many ways this is a classic line-up, and even before putting this into the player I was impressed as the artwork is much cleaner and ‘upmarket’ than what has become before. But, it all comes down to the music so I put it in and waited to be impressed. Some 32 minutes and 10 songs later I was incredibly pleased that the only neighbours close by were the sheep in my paddock, as I had kept turning this up until it was virtually blowing the speakers.
 
The only word to really describe this is ‘Intense”. These guys have turned up, plugged in, and played as if their lives depended on it. But it is not all about aggression, as somehow they have managed to capture an incredible depth to the music, much more than one would normally expect. Some music comes across as fairly linear, but not this as it is a wave of sound that keeps hitting you time and again. I have to admit that the smile at hearing “West As” will be mimicked by all Aucklanders, although probably people outside of NZ may not get it (let’s just agree that Westies are a different breed to most, and leave it at that). There is a real groove and passion to the music that takes this to a level that maybe, possibly, this is going to take 8FS to a wider and much deserved international audience. I have seen a review that stated that this “will go down in New Zealand music history as one of the greatest metal albums to ever come from the land of the long white cloud.” (www.themetalreview.com) The only thing wrong with that statement, is that I have no doubt that this IS the greatest metal album ever from Aotearoa. You cannot afford to miss this brutal piece of work
 
8 Foot Sativa. Unless you hail from NZ you are unlikely to have ever heard of them. You owe it to your ears to correct that right now. www.8footsativa.co.nz
COMMUNIO MUSICA Special Alloy  [OLUFSEN RECORDS]
This ‘group’ was put together by Hugh Steinmetz (trumpet etc.) in 1996 initially for live performances as part of the Copenhagen Cultural Capital of Europe. A CD was released after this, and  it was suggested by Robin Taylor (drum programming, keys, bass etc) that they record another CD together.

Although some of those involved have worked with Robin on other projects, this was Hugh’s project, and recordings took place in the winter of 1997 although they were not released until three years later.
Not every musician plays on every track, and they don’t all play on any single track, but there are a lot of guys involved and the result is an avant-garde big band, where improvisation and bouncing ideas is very much the order of the day which is quite an accomplishment given how many were involved was heavily involved. The musicians involved (as well as Hugh and Robin) were as follows:- Karsten Vogel (saxophones), Steffen Poulsen (saxophone etc.), Michael Nielsen (saxophones), Christian Kyhl (saxophones), Kim Menzer (trombone, saxophone etc.), Christer Irgens-Møller (piano), Marko Martinovic (piano), Peter Friis Nielsen (bass), Ture Kindt Larsen (double bass), Peter Ole Jørgensen (drums), Rasmus Grosell (drums, percussion), Giorgio Musoni (percussion) and Anna-Lise Malmros (percussion).
 
Possibly due to the large number of musicians involved, this album doesn’t contain the spontaneity that I have come to expect from Robin’s work, either solo or as part of groups, and I found it quite a difficult album to get into it just because there are so many different styles at play. There are times when the piano is very much the lead, with some strident bass, whereas at other it is the turn of the brass. Sometimes it swings with a latin beat, whereas at others it is RIO and almost staccato in approach. Many of the songs are quite short, and “Air Certificate” is one that I wish was a lot longer as the sabar drums gives the number a life and vitality.Overall this is an interesting album, although certainly not as essential as some of the other things that Robin has been involved with. www.progressor.net/robin-taylor/disco.htm   
COMING SOON FROM GONZO
"Gasp at the mad orgies! . . . Shock at the dangerous unknown drugs that destroy them! . . . Laugh at their dirt, actions and freakish clothes!" read the ads that promoted the film. The film apparently featured a blonde starlet called Today Malone (real name Louise) dropping acid and hawking hippie newspapers, but that’s about all that anyone seems to know about the film. Certainly, no-one I know has actually seen it. Luckily it isn’t even on YouTube; I say luckily, because there is only so much bare breasted, lysergic madness that one can take in the line of duty. One online pundit notes: “Like all exploitative commerce based around the trippy era, it has an appealing tackiness. Those eager for a real revolution in the recording industry should look no further than the word "revolution" itself, which has been the title of literally dozens of albums.”

But the soundtrack is something else entirely. It mines the deep and mellifluously rich vein of blues which ran fairly close to the surface throughout the culture of psychedelic bands in the San Francisco Scene. And this soundtrack album features three of the best:
  • STEVE MILLER BAND
The Steve Miller Band is an American rock band formed in 1967 in San Francisco, California. The band is managed by Steve Miller on guitar and lead vocals, and is known for a string of (mainly) mid-1970s hit singles that are staples of the classic rock radio format. Although the Steve Miller Band had limited peak commercial success, his ongoing popularity has been notable. In 1978, Greatest Hits 1974-1978 was released, featuring the big hits from his two most popular albums, Fly Like an Eagle and Book of Dreams along with the title track from The Joker. 
  • QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE
Quicksilver Messenger Service gained wide popularity in the San Francisco "Bay Area" and through their recordings, with psychedelic rock enthusiasts around the globe, and several of their albums ranked in the Top 30 of the Billboard Pop charts. Though not as commercially successful as contemporaries Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead, Quicksilver was integral to the beginnings of their genre. 
  • MOTHER EARTH
Mother Earth was an eclectic American blues rock band formed in California, fronted by Tracy Nelson. Nelson, who hailed from Madison, Wisconsin, began her career as a solo artist, but formed the Mother Earth ensemble after moving to San Francisco. The group performed at the Fillmore West in the late 1960s alongside Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Burdon.

Paul Krassner wrote: "Next time you use the word revolution, you'd better include in your concept a beautiful blonde who went to San Francisco and illegally changed her name from Louise to Today."

Probably the actress and the film were forgotten moments after the first release; 17 years ago she was a nurse in Albuquerque, NM, and looked back upon her days as a starlet with amusement: "Back then I was making a statement to the world. I believed with all my heart we were making a difference in a world of dull conformity filled with selfish people, and I still believe that the hippies, the freaks, made a difference."
 
Personally I tend to agree with her, but although I still have no desire to see the film, the music is undeniably fantastic, and really should be enjoyed by all.
THE BEST LAID PLANS...
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.
As I believe I wrote a week or so ago, I am currently reading Conan Doyle's Complete Professor Challenger stories, which Judge Smith was sweet enough to give me at this year's Weird Weekend. It is the first time I have sat down and read the entire canon since I was at school, and I cannot say how much I am enjoying them. Last night I finished 'The Land of Mist', which is basically a semi-fictionalised look at Psychic Research in the 1920s. When I first read the book as a teenager,I perceived it as merely a well written and somewhat freaky ghost story, but now - having swum in the Fortean ocean for the last three decades - I appreciate it for an unparalleled slice of social history. Thank you Judge!

The weather here in North Devon is terrible today; it is absolutely bucketing down. Graham and I are trying to decide whether we bring the quail indoors (into the conservatory) for the winter or to build them (and the crow) a superduper shelter, possibly even heated, for the winter. If anyone has comments upon the husbandry of Japanese Quail please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

Corinna and I watched the much heralded Nic Jones documentary on BBC iPlayer. It was certainly impressive, and a heartwarming story of human endeavour (dare I say, triumph of the will, but don't read anything into that) to see the man who was pulped by a car crash involving a lorry load of bricks, get on a stage to perform again thirty years later. Dare I be iconoclastic? Personally I preferred Nic's own songs to his iconic reworkings of classic folksongs. But I am weird like that.

However, it is a remarkable documentary, and I am proud to announce that Gonzo will be putting it out on DVD in the next few months, whereupon I shall be interviewing Nic and the other people responsible.

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. 

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

Until next week,
Slainte

Jon Downes
(Editor)
Copyright © Gonzo/CFZ Press 2013  All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
The Gonzo Weekly,
The Centre for Fortean Zoology,
Myrtle Cottage,
Woolfardisworthy,
Bideford, North Devon
EX39 5QR
 
Telephone 01237 431413
Fax+44 (0)7006-074-925


unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences