Issue Twenty-Seven        May 25th 2013
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
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So what is this all about?

It is simple; my name is Jon and I am the editor of the Gonzo Multimedia daily online magazine. Now there is a weekly newsletter, once again edited by me and my trusty orange cat from a dilapidated ex-potato shed  in rural Devonshire. 

You subscribed to it by opting in on the website. I hope that you all stay to join in the fun, but if it is not to your liking it is just as easy to unsubscribe again. But what a long, strange trip it is gonna be...
I have spent a lot of this week reading, which is a nice treat for me, so don't be surprised that a lot of this week's issue of Gonzo Weekly is actually somewhat literary in tone. 

I finished Mick Farren's 'Give the Anarchist a Cigarette' and was struck by Farren's integrity, and compared him very favourably with other underground memoirs I have read in recent years.I was pleasantly surprised by the reaction  of the readership of the various blogs to my mention of Mick Farren the other day. A whole slew of Forteans of a certain age came out of the woodwork with reminiscences of Farren's editorship of International Times back in the day. Even Dave B-P who is only just 21 remembers me playing him 'Let's Loot the Supermarket' when he was a schoolboy. You will all be pleased to find out therefore, that Dave B-P and I are driving down to Brighton on Sunday to film the Deviants gig, and interview Senor Farren and the other revolutionary luminaries who may or may not be there. I am very much looking forward to it.

I also read Dan Brown's latest, which is - once again - entertaining tosh. It is the most entertaining since the first in the series, and head and shoulders above the last one (although that really wouldn't be difficult). But it was cheap at Asda, and I am a sucker for lightweight thrillers. It is  massively entertaining if implausible, and nowhere near as irritating as its predecessor. However, as I said..implausible. I know various scientific types who bemoan the fact that we are approaching a Malthusian crisis, and - theoretically at least - talk about eugenics. Whether or not they would actually pull the trigger if they were given the opportunity I actually doubt, and I am certain that even if they did, they would not wrap the whole thing up in a bunch of pseudo-mystic, art-historian claptrap. However, it was eight quid well spent at Asda on Saturday evening, and now Mother is reading it...

As regular readers will be aware, the Gonzo Grande Fromage Rob Ayling recently married his charming American fiancée (which is a word I always have to cut and paste from elsewhere because I usually end up spelling it wrong, or putting the wrong accent in.

Their belated wedding reception is on Monday, and both my wife and I would have attended. However, we have both car trouble (I'm sorry, boys and girls, but as you know I am an Adam Ant buff, and I couldn't resist it) and family stuff happening, so Corinna can't make it. I have managed to persuade my long-suffering nephew to drive me to Brighton to see Mick Farren et al, but then driving oop t'north on top of that would be pushing family ties too much.

So, my dears: Many congratulations and much love from us both. We hope that you have a lovely time, and a truly memorable day. We will see you both soon, I hope very much.
Last week I told you all about the recently revitalised Gonzo Web radio, and promised you that we would soon be bringing you a whole slew of new content. Well, after some initial teething troubles, it is beginning to happen.

If you go to the Gonzo Web Radio page then you will see that not only is there a brief radio interview that I did with Judy Dyble about the Incredible String Band, but the first episodes of Canterbury Sans Frontières, a podcast dedicated to the music of the 'Canterbury Scene' and more. Again I told you about this last week, but I think that it bears repeating. Main man Matthew Watkins writes:
Today sees the launch of my new podcast, Canterbury Sans Frontières. As with Canterbury Soundwaves, a new three-hour episode will be released with each full moon.

I decided to wind down Canterbury Soundwaves so that I didn't end up (i) repeating myself, (ii) scraping the bottom of the Canterbury barrel, or (iii) becoming increasingly tangential.

This new podcast broadens the musical remit, so it'll be about one-third 'Canterbury sound', together with progressive/psychedelic/experimental music from the Canterbury of today, the remainder being a mix of music from various times and places which I feel to be in a similar spirit of creative adventurousness. I'll be doing a lot less talking, and the programme will be less expository – so no interviews, barely-listenable bootlegs, etc.

I also plan to include guest one-hour mixes from various musicians from the current music scene in Canterbury (Episode 2 will feature a mix from Neil Sullivan from Lapis Lazuli). This episode, however, is dedicated to Kevin Ayers who passed away less than two weeks after the final episode of Canterbury Soundwaves went out, so there's an hour of his finest work embedded in the middle of the programme:

Canterbury Sans Frontières: Episode 1

I am very excited about this new venture. We shall also be hosting all the episodes of his previous Canterbury Soundwaves podcast. I don't know how long it will take to get them all up and in place, but we shall get there in the end.

I am growing up in public, as it were. The Gonzo Weekly has been going for nearly six months now, and we are beginning to find our feet. I am making changes as I go along, and - no doubt - some of these changes will turn out to be mistakes. So, let me know what you think. Do they work? Do you like them? Hate them? Or don't you care either way?

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.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: a new album from The House of Love
I first heard The House of Love back in 1990 when those jolly nice folk at Fontana Records sent me a copy of their second eponymous album, and I fell in love. I have been a fan of the band ever since.

The notoriously rocky relationship between the two main men, Guy Chadwick and Terry Bickers, came to a head in 1989, during the recording of the aforementioned album, and Bickers left before it was released. Guy Chadwick would later comment "we really needed guidance at that crucial point. Most groups just go nuts. It's like this huge trolley full of booze being placed in front of you. With a whiff of success, people change towards you. We were taking too many drugs, I was drinking ridiculously and that's the worst combination when things are going wrong."

The band split several albums and a couple of years later, and Chadwick went on to a solo career during which he released a beautiful solo album that I loved, but one that I have never found anyone else who has ever heard of.

Much to everyone's surprise (including, one suspects, the band) Bickers and Chadwick kissed and made up in the early years of the 21st Century and reformed the band. Their second album She Paints Words in Red has only just come out, and Matt Ingham at Cherry Red was kind enough to send me a copy...

Read on...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Separated at birth - In the Court of the Crimson Nick
Regular readers will probably have heard of one of my adopted nephews, Max Blake. He is a prog head of massive proportions who is currently working towards his PhD in insect genetics at Aberystwyth University. He is a regular reader of this magazine and his pithy comments have graced these pages before. I feel that his aforementioned pithy comments should be taken seriously because anyone who - at the age of 17 - used Tarkus by ELP as make-out music in his car has got to be treated with a certain level of respect.

But I digress.

You may also have heard of another friend of mine, the renowned UFO author Nick Redfern, once of the West Midlands and now of Texas. He is a very well known author, and I am very fond of him, but he has absolutely no taste in music. If it has more than three chords to it, doesn't start with someone shouting "wun-too-free-forrrr!", and even slightly deviates from very fast, strict 4:4 timing, he is monumentally scathing about it. I played him Van Der Graaf Generator once, and he nearly had a seizure.

However, Max Blake has uncovered his dastardly secret. Take a look at these pictures:
Max wrote to me today:  "By fluke these pictures appeared on my news feed together. Notice how Nick looks like a combination of every '80 KC member..."

I would like to take this opportunity to wish Frank Redfern a happy Birthday. He is a lovely man, and I am very fond of him, even though his son has execrable taste.... 
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: The Gospel according to Bart
Once again, Bart Lancia has been on the ball this week. He not only was the first person to send me the Ray Manzarek and Trevor Bolder obituaries, but he sent me news that actor Christopher Lee plans to celebrate his 91st birthday in unusual fashion: by releasing a new heavy metal album based on the life of the French ruler Charlemagne. Recorded with Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner, Charlemagne: The Omens of Death is the follow-up to Lee's 2010 release Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross.

Read on...

I think I missed a trick here. This piece should probably have been called The Ballad of Chrissie Lee and Judas Priest
Remember, if you want more than your weekly fix of this newsletter you can check out the Gonzo Daily, which - as its name implies - does much the same as this newsletter but every day. It also features a daily poem from Thom the World Poet, and the occasional non-Gonzo rock music rambling from yours truly, plus book and gig reviews from our highly trained staff of social malcontents. And its FREE! You cannae say fairer than that!
Each week, some of you seem to recognise me. Yes, I am indeed that weird bloke off the telly who chases mythological animals. I have a day job as Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and also the editor of the CFZ Blog Network, and publisher of a plethora of books about mystery animals.
THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Ray Manzarek (1939-2013)
The keyboard player in The Doors has gone to join the singer.

Ray Manzarek at Wikipedia
Our Tribute to Ray (featuring a poem by Thom and a note from Michael Des Barres)
THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Trevor Bolder (1950-2013)
The bass playing Spider from Mars has left the building 

Trevor Bolder at Wikipedia
ur tribute to Trevor
THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Leopold Von Buttons (2012-3)
I am far more anthropomorphic than even self-styled zoologists are supposed to be. I always consider cats and dogs as little people in fur coats. I probably shouldn't do, because it opens me up to a great deal of heartache. Like this week when my eleven month old orange kitten was knocked down and killed by a car. He was a dear little fellow, and we only had him for a few months, but he is very much missed by us all, and I make no apologies whatsoever for including him in this week's obituaries alongside Ray Manzarek and Trevor Bolder.

Bless you little buddy. Good Hunting!
EXCLUSIVE: This probably should have gone in the 'THE WEEK THAT'S PAST' section but it's The Residents innit

The Residents at The Barbican 18th of May 'Wonder of Weird'.
WORDS: Dave McMann PICTURE: Nik Nimbus

Taking my seat in the front row of the theatre and looking at the scenery on stage, a christmas theme, which at first glance, looked nice enough, a snowman, Santa's grotto, giant sticks of rock etc, a slight sense of unease came over me, afterall, this is the month of May, how strange, but what I was about to see was far from normal...

House lights were dimmed and the huge screen lit up showing a 20 minute plus film covering the 40 years of The Residents.
I assume that this was meant for the few uninitiated who may have been there, but as the clips went on I found it rather dull having watched them countless of times before, but as drinks were allowed in, most people around me were chatting away.
Eventually the time came for what we had been waiting for, the stripped down trio of The Residents and on they came. No eyeball heads this time, but still in disguise nevertheless. Larry, the singer, was dressed in what can only be described as an evil clown mask and Santa suit. They start with a couple of songs which I can't remember, but the band, albeit without a drummer, is sounding good. Then Larry starts to get a little confused and walks offstage, the band look a little concerned but he is soon back and explains about his sex addiction, his eleven marriages and that his life partner now is his cat Maurice, but the guy looking after Maurice called right before the show saying that Maurice had been hit by a car and is being treated and he is waiting further news. Total silence from the audience, the person I was with said to me 'if this is a joke, see you at the bar later'. But the band plays on as Larry wanders around and starts wrestling with a swivel seat and seemingly getting even more insane. However this gave the other two some of the spotlight wiith swirly synth meeting Zappaesque guitar. This brings a sense of relief in the audience. Larry then lightens up and talks about the first single and how they sent it to Frank Zappa and Richard Nixon and only one replied. That lightened the mood, in fact up until then I thought the narrative was better than the music, he could be a great stand-up comedian (if he isn't already!!). However the music was getting rather incidental and time was getting on...
As I was thinking the above, everything changed direction. Larry gets a call about his cat, Maurice is going to make it, Larry is now happy and we are glad! So he tells us about his fake penis and how he was asked to do a porno. He goes to meet the actress and she is wearing black hotpants and all he can see is black. (Think of the artist in the Fast Show). But he snaps out of that by talking about how we are all marching to death and this is where it all really starts to all us freaks in the audience as they launch into 'marching to the sea' and a couple of others. Next up was pure freak-out acid induced intensity which went on for ages, pure bliss for the sadly demised Snakefinger. An encore which ended with 'Auld lang Syne' complete with an inflating giant snowman with an eyeball for a head.
A very strange show which I wished they would have started and played all through how they ended, but packing 40 years into two hours is not an easy thing to do. I loved it.
Also, a nice band afterwards on the bar stage, Clinic. They rocked.

In Memory of my Mum, Mary Stone

This is the text of the eulogy I gave for our Mum on the day of her funeral, May 13th 2013.

Mary Stone 1930-2013

Mary Stone 1930-2013

This could be the hardest thing I have ever done, to stand here before you now saying my goodbyes to our Mum.

I say “our” Mum, rather than “my Mum”, not only because she belongs to all of us, to all the brothers and sisters here today, to our children and grandchildren, and to our Dad, but also because that is how we always spoke of her, as “our Mum.”

It’s a Birmingham expression. We never talk in the singular in Brum, but always in the plural. So it’s “our Mum” and “our Dad” and “our house” and “our family”. It’s a generous way of talking and it includes all of you here today, even those who are not related and for whom Mum was a more recent friend.

Shall I tell you what it was about our Mum? She never grew old. I remember her saying, only a year or two ago, that she was always surprised when she looked in the mirror, to see that old lady looking back at her, because she didn’t feel like an old lady at all. She said she felt just the same as she always felt, when she was a little girl growing up in Birmingham, under the ever watchful eye of her beloved father, Arthur.

This last year has been very hard for our family. We’ve watched our Mum go from the peak of health to someone who was, finally, bed bound and helpless, incapable of doing anything for herself.

For this reason I say that, while we can’t help but grieve, we should not be sad.

Mum is glad not to be on this Earth any more. She is glad to have escaped the pain. She hated what had become of her body. She hated the humiliation of it. In the end she only wanted to be free. In the end, it is the best gift that we can give her that we let her go.

The last few days with her were a privilege, however. She was at home, which is where she wanted to be. She was pretty well unconscious most of the time, but she did wake up occasionally, and I know that she knew where she was, and it was this fact that gave her the strength to move on.

The day before she died there was a sudden storm as I was driving round to see her. It was really dramatic. The rain burst from the heavens in a veritable deluge, while, at the same time, the sun came out, and, turning the corner into Downs avenue there wasn’t just one rainbow, but two, one above the other right over our Mum’s house. It was the first time I’d ever seen a double rainbow. And then, later that day, there was the most beautiful sunset over the Isle of Sheppey, like someone had set the sky on fire.

Mum always used to say that that was her view. Whenever we got to the top of the hill and looked out on the estuary below, she would say, “how do you like my view?”

So I’m going to say, and no one is going to tell me otherwise, that Mum had arranged that for me, that sunset and that rainbow. It is how I will always remember her. She chose her moment, in a glory of light and colour, like the light that she gave to all of us, which will live now forever in our hearts.




Sunday 26th May, 20134pm

Playgoers Riverhead Studio Theatre

After reading about the premiere of my new opera The Silence of the Bees: A Science Opera, Biff Vernon, coordinator of The Louth Festival of the Bees,  contacted me about the possibility of producing the opera at Louth’s Bee Festival.  Taken with the idea of the festival, I immediately agreed. Practicalities and my fondness for recycling my works resulted in a new work.  Hybrid Pollination is a musical exploration of bee decline in the form of a cantata. ‘Hybrid pollination’ in biology is a type of controlled pollination in which the pollen comes from a different strain or species to improve or increase biological function.  Hybrid Pollination continues my interest in musical hybridity and refers to pollination as a metaphor for communicating ideas.  I hope that the work helps to contribute to the enormous amount of work that Biff, Transition Town Louth and others are doing to communicate and raise public awareness of important issues.
Kelvin Thomson Composer
Extracts from Melissographia
by John Burnside (poet) and Amy Shelton (artist)
Reader: Biff Vernon
Songs of Bees and Flowers (ca. 30:00)
Singer: Kate Witney
Introduction to Hybrid Pollination
by Kelvin Thomson
Composed by Kelvin Thomson
Original text by Benet Catty and drawn from original sources
Narrator: Kelvin Thomson
Soprano: Danae Eleni
Mezzo-soprano: Sophie Yelland
Tenor: Patrick Ashcroft
Baritone: Andre Refig
Music Direction and Piano: Wyn Hyland
Additional piano: Kelvin Thomson
Oboe, Cor Anglais: Rachel Broadbent
A short requiem for bees and a requiem for mankind’s ability to make good decisions.  A chant of extinct and endangered species of bumblebees and a nursery rhyme.
Tolstoy’s words remind us of the range of opinions life affords us, particularly in relation to bees.
The Scientist gives an introductory lecture about bees.  Three other characters introduce contrasting perspectives.  They are different aspects of her personality.
Short true-life stories of individual encounters with bees continue the big theme of perspectives.
A setting of Jo Shapcott’s poem ‘The Threshold’.
The Scientist’s alter-egos become more dominant, explaining some of the causes of the bee crisis.
The Scientist’s conflicted perspective on the issues becomes a conflicted sense of herself, for instance regarding her experiments in which she has to harm bees in order to help them. Her story becomes a symbol of the debate over bees.
A comparison is made between the plight of bees and the global warming story; that Man goes through the stages of denial, deceit, delay and disaster. The bees’ crisis is shown to be
representative of a wider story of human ‘progress’.
Settings of Marcus Aurelius and Francis Bacon.
PART THREE SI – Swarm Intelligence
The Truth (As I See It)
The Scientist creates a bee crisis debate in which representatives of Science, Politics, Farming and Art state their cases in a familiar operetta style. Unity seems far off.
Science Fact / Science Fiction
Tensions rise in the debate. Lack of unity turns to seeing communication as a potential basis for progress. Answers lie in unity.
A setting of Liz Bahs’ poem ‘Nest’.
The epilogue reprises the bumblebee chant and themes of progress are restated.
Kelvin Thomson:
Music director, vocal coach, session musician (piano/keyboards), composer and arranger.
Recent compositions have been performed in London, Athens and Glasgow by Marilyn Wyers, Danae Eleni and Enrico Bertelli; CHROMA; Duologue; and the London Contemporary Chamber Orchestra. LCCO recorded Prelude and Interlude from Cha tig Mor in Dec 2010 and nominated the piece for a British Composer Award 2011 in the Making Music category. Incidental music composed for Theatre Counteract’s production of An Arrangement of Shoes, Indian premiere Bangalore, November 2011.
As Music Director, toured with Celtic Woman, USA (2006) and Riverdance,Europe (2004-5). Assistant Conductor: Southwark Playhouse’s production of John Adams’ Ceiling/Sky at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (1999) and Opera Omaha’s (USA) world premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem Variations (1996). West End Associate Conductor, Zorro (2008-9) and Priscilla Queen of the Desert (2009-2011).
Recordings as pianist/keyboardist include: Movie Legends – The Music of John Williams â€“ RPO, (2007);Songs My Mother Taught Me - Lorna Luft (2007); The Isles of Greece a song cycle by Donald Swann (Classic FM’s record of the month 2000); Awakening (1997) and The Music of Life, Joseph Curiale, RPO (2001).
Rachel Broadbent
Rachel studied at Birmingham Conservatoire and studied with Jonathan Kelly (principal oboe Berlin Philharmonic) and George Caird. Whilst at the Conservatoire Rachel was awarded the Rollason prize for performance and won the Birmingham and Midland Institute Woodwind Competition. She gained a 1st class B.Mus(hons) degree and then moved to Guildhall School of Music and Drama to study for a Post Graduate in Orchestral Training.

Rachel is now a busy freelance oboist working with many orchestras around the country, amongst which are the Brandenburg Sinfonia, , Southern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra, British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Alongside her orchestral work Rachel performs as a soloist performing Concertos with various orchestras and working regularly giving recitals with her accompanist Kevin Vockerodt. Recently Rachel and Kevin gave the debut performance of a new work called â€˜Songs Eternity’ by composer Kelvin Thomson.
Rachel is actively involved in teaching and encouraging people to learn the oboe. She has recently been employed to teach oboe at Guildhall School of Music Junior Department and also teaches at The Hall School in Hampstead, Haileybury College in Hertford and BeechoodPark School in Markyate, Hertfordshire. She is also a published arranger and an arrangement of hers for 2 Oboes and Cor Anglais is available from Spartan Press. It is an arrangement of Brahms - Variations on a Theme of Haydn and includes the theme and a selection of the variations. In 2012 Emerson Edition will be publishing a further arrangement, also of the music by Brahms. This arrangement is of 3 Brahms Songs and is arranged for Oboe and Piano, Clarinet and Piano or Cor Anglais and Piano.

This is a really fantastic idea and I wish that I had thought of it
Every morning, I sit down with my cup of tea, and - depending how psychotic I feel - a cigarette (smoking being a habit that I am supposed to have given up five years ago) and settle down to do the daily blogs for Gonzo Multimedia and the CFZ. The first thing I do is to check Google News Alerts into the search engine of which I have entered the names of a whole slew of Gonzo and Gonzo-related artistes, and every day I check to see what new news there is.

The other day I found this article about a new book. And I was so intrigued that I emailed the publishers and asked them to send me a copy.

I then promptly forgot about the whole thing, and therefore had a nice surprise a few days ago when a fat parcel (that had obviously been opened by H.M Customs, who seem to have a habit of opening my post these days) arrived on my door mat.

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..
Pleasing news for Hawkwind fans this week is the announcement of a British mini-tour this November.  So far, the dates that Hawkwind have announced on their forum are:

Sun 3rd Nov - Bristol Academy
Weds 6th Nov - Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
Thurs 7th Nov - Glasgow ABC
Fri 8th Nov - Sheffield Academy
Sat 9th Nov - Liverpool Academy

These dates are in addition to the ones previously announced for August, in Falmouth, Bournemouth and Shepherd's Bush.  And all are part of the general "Warrior On The Edge Of Time 2013" tour, which so far has involved the mid-set performance of that 1975 album.

Rumours of a 2014 USA tour remain, at this stage, merely that: rumours.
Get along to this unmissable gig in the UK:

The Psychedelic Warlords perform Hawkwind's classic live album "Space

May 30th - Liverpool, Lomax.
May 31st - Edinburgh, Bannermans.

June 1st - Glasgow, o2 ABC.
June 2nd - Newcastle U Lyme, The Rigger.
June 20th - London, Camden, Underworld.
June 21st & 22nd - Sonic Rock Solstice, BuithWells, Wales.

A celebration of space, time and psychedelic luminosity with Alan Davey,
Vince Cory, Meurig Griffiths, Radio Ray, Rich Om, Julian Hoaxwind, Nigel
Ward and Demolitia the Dancer, this will be something truly special.
Also Hawkwind related this week was this story about the 40th anniversary of Space Ritual, a link to this introduction to the band, and this extremely rare performance by the late Huw Lloyd-Langton....
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 busiest week in the Yes camp for some weeks, and we have several posts for you, either relating to the band themselves, or to their various alumni.

Starting off with some footage of them on their recent South American tour, we also brought you something called Wikimetal, which this week featured none other than Chris Squire. Whilst on the subject of Chris Squire, there was also an interview with Steve Hackett about their recent Squackett project. 
But there's more. Such as an interview with Jon Davison and another with Trevor Rabin. There is also an incisive video interview with Rick Wakeman about the forthcoming Gloucester gigs. Whilst on the subject of Rick, I would like to thank him for his kind words when Buttons my kitten was run over this week.

And that, boys and girls, was just about that for this week.

I am probably getting a bit OCD about all of this, but I find the Yes soap opera of sound to be absolutely enthralling, and I for one can't wait to see what happens next! 
he began as a poet
merged /morphed into public peaceful activism-
HOG FARM,excellent art,"breakfast in bed for 400,000"
he was sick of getting beaten up at peace demonstrations'
so he became and remains a clown
nobody fears a clown
my role model=he gives via benefits to aid clear vision in third world countries
he has many musician friends who "get"him and support his work/play
his poetry has become actions and lifestyle
He came to Austin for the launch of his film
and was at our Million Musicians March for peace
I will never forget his mantra
(what do you expect next from a smiling dervish?-
Wavy Gravy at Wikipedia
In Victorian times every well-bred Gentleman had a 'Cabinet of Curiosities'; a collection of peculiar odds and sods, usually housed in a finely made cabinet with a glass door. These could include anything from Natural History specimens to historical artefacts. There has always been something of the Victorian amateur naturalist about me, and I have a houseful of arcane objects; some completely worthless, others decidedly not, but all precious to me for the memories they hold..

I used to be a collector of rock and roll memorabilia, but most of my collection went into my solicitor's pocket during my divorce from my first wife, and I never had the stomach to build the collection up again. However, people send me pictures of interesting things such as this.

I have always liked Captain Beefheart, as does my brother-in-law, so if I had a spare £1000 (which I haven't) I have found the perfect birthday present for him.

Read on...
At Christmas my presents included a copy of the Philip Norman biography of Mick Jagger. I have always liked Philip Norman, ever since reading his biographies of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones thirty odd years ago.

In his biography of the latter band he discussed the infamous 1967 drug busts at some length. Undoubtedly the most enigmatic character involved in this unfortunate series of events was a Canadian known as "Acid King" David Schneidermann/Snyderman/Sniderman (take your pick) who disappeared soon after the bust never to be heard of again. Bizarrely Norman insinuated that he was basically a phantasm of the times, a tulpa-like character who sprung into existence for the duration of the Redlands drug busts and then disappeared again.

Despite my Fortean leanings, I always thought that this was somewhat unlikely, especially as in Albert Goldman's scurrilous The Lives of John Lennon published a few years later, Schneidermann turned up as a bit player in Goldman's description of the 1969 Toronto Rock and Roll Festival.

Imagine my surprise, when - on Boxing Day, after Olivia had gone home, and Corinna, Mother and I had settled down to our various activities - I discovered that not only had Schneidermann lived for several decades in Los Angeles under the nom de guerre of 'David Jove', but that both Jagger and Marianne Faithfull were aware of the fact. Norman also stated that Schneidermann/Snyderman/Sniderman/Jove was an employee of the security services intent on discrediting The Rolling Stones.

Bloody Hell I thought and had a pootle about on line. I not only discovered that this was now fairly common knowledge, but that other books had been written claiming that he was no spy, but an employee of The News of the World. I began to get rather obsessed, and fair hammered my paypal account buying a whole slew of Rolling Stones books on eBay, until I discovered this:
This is a biography of the man by the bloke who was probably his best friend. What's more it turned out that Schneidermann/ Snyderman/ Sniderman/Jove was also a singer songwriter, and a quick go on YouTube showed me that he was a rather good one.

Intrigued, and with a head full of questions I wrote to Ed Ochs, the author...

Read on....
Oll Lewis:
The Murder of the Elephant Man
Lars Thomas: The Natural History of Trolls
Judge Smith: Life after Death
Jon Downes/Richard Freeman: Intro to Cryptozoology
Nick Wadham: You will believe in fairies; you will, you will!
Tony Whitehead (RSPB): Starslime
Hayley Stevens: Scepticism
Glen Vaudrey : Mystery animals of Staffordshire
Darren Naish: Adventures from the world of tetrapod zoology
Richard Freeman: Expedition repoort Sumatra 2013
Sarah Boit: Orbs from a photographer's perspective
London Cryptozoology club: Bigfoot
Shaun Histead-Todd: Pre Columbian civilisations in america
Ronan Coghlan: Amphibians from Outer Space
Jon Downes: Keynote Speech
Speaker's Dinner at the Community Centre
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...
EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Michael Des Barres

I heard through the grapevine that Michael Des Barres had a new radio show, and I wanted to do a story about it. So I had two choices; either I could research the whole topic for a few days, or I could 'phone up the man himself...
MICHAEL: The radio show is just a blessing.  I did that movie for David Lynch – Mulholland Drive.  Initially it was a pilot for ABC and they passed on it.  And a couple of years later it came out as a movie and was critically lauded and was very successful and I played the bad guy.  But the point being is that I formed a relationship with this crazy, brilliant, philosopher artist, Lynch, and he’s got this network Transcendental Music which is benefiting and advancing the GM movement all over the world, especially in countries that are riddled with stress, which is just about every country of course, so he asked me to put a show together and I came up with this Roots and Branches thing which I think you would very much enjoy, in that I play two songs back to back and then joke about them. For instance… I’ll play Son House and then I’ll play Jack White and you can see the connections between  them.  Sonny Boy Williamson and I’ll play Zeppelin, and you again see those influences. Really the show is about what I am always talking about which is authentic rock and roll played in a room or a club;  five guys, five girls, three girls,  two guys sitting together, standing together looking into each other’s eyes and playing music, you know. Stevie Van Zandt champions or a lot of others champion, because it is in danger of extinction – authentic rock and roll; blues based music – and so it’s both important for the history of it all and incredibly enjoyable to play and share other people’s music other than my own.

Read on...

Richard Stellar writes
Dear Friends -

As many of you know, my efforts on behalf of the elderly has introduced me to some wonderful artists.  I was fortunate enough to see a play directed by Kevin Dobson called "Not Dead Yet".  It was a vignette in a collection of one act plays.

It inspired me.  I recalled my own mother's transformation from entertainment industry gadfly to a non-functioning shell of what she used to be.  However, the journey that Alzheimer's takes you on is punctuated by moments of clarity and spirituality that is extraordinary.

I wrote a blog on this, and on Kevin's play here:

Please be so kind as to read it and leave your thoughts in the comments section.  I have been honored by the Los Angeles Press Club once again as a finalist in three categories.  One for my blog, another for our facebook page AGE: Activists for Geriatric Equality, and again for the much coveted Cause / Advocacy Journalism award.

Friends like you have supported and promoted the efforts of all of us working to improve the lot of the elderly.  This has been a group effort that has seen miraculous and life saving results.  We are not stopping with our success at keeping the doors to motion picture and television long term care open.  With your help and support, and with theatre like "Not Dead Yet", we continue.

If you're in the area of North Hollywood, Kevin's play is showing Tuesday and Wednesday evening:

The Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theatre on May 28 and 29, 2013
10900 Burbank Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA
(818) 763-5990


Richard Stellar
This has mostly been a pretty terrible week. Buttons the kitten was killed, Prudence my dog has injured one of her back legs and will probably need very expensive surgery and my car has pretty well packed up. And that's just in my life.

In the wider world there have been atrocities, hate crimes and all sorts of other horrible things which have dominated the world's media all week.

And then you have groovy little online communities like this one. In the wider scheme of things it could well be argued that a free weekly newsletter about what is - even I will admit - niche appeal music, and which is only read by a couple of thousand people isn't very important. But actually, I think that it is.

Music is insanely important. As I said in another review this week: Music is important. It has been important to every culture on earth since before we had a culture, and it continues to be important. And the fact that there is music being made that truly does have a soul to it, and is not just made to sell TV advertising for a vacuous set of TV shows, is important, and the fact that there is a whole community of people who - each week - read and write about it, is even more spiritually important.

Do I sound like an unreconstructed old hippy? Good.
There is still likely to be a monthly magazine in both digital and hard copy formats at some point, as soon as I have managed to attract around me more like-minded souls who want to contribute.

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

Until next week,

Jon Downes
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