This is quite simply the best magazine you will ever find that is edited by a mad bloke (and his orange kitten), and produced from a tumbledown potato shed on the outskirts of a tiny village that nobody's heard of in North Devon. The fact that it is published with Gonzo Multimedia - probably the grooviest record company in the known universe - is merely an added bonus.
all the gonzo news that’s fit to print
Issue Fifty    November 2nd 2013
This issue was put together by me and Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent, ably assisted by Corinna Downes, Graham Inglis, Bart Lancia, Thom the World Poet, C.J.Stone, Kev Rowland and Peter McAdam
This is the nearest that you are ever going to get to a posh weekend colour supplement from the Gonzo Daily team. Each week we shall go through the best bits of the week before, and if there aren't any we shall make some up, or simply make our excuses and leave (you can tell the editor once did contract work at the News of the World can't ya?)
What? You don't know who Hunter Thompson is/was/might have been/will be? Without Hunter Thompson there would be no Gonzo Multimedia. It would have been completely different and that would have been an unforgivable pity. So here is:
C.J.Stone suggested that as well as explaining Gonzo to those wot don't understand, we should do a weekly quote from the great man himself. So here goes

“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.” 
                                                  ― Hunter S. Thompson
Social media stuff that I am really too old to understand, (my stepdaughter spent much of last Christmas trying to explain Twitter to me) but I am assuming that at least some of our readers are younger and hipper than I am.
Google Plus
Google Plus
It is simple; my name is Jon and I'm the editor of the Gonzo Multimedia daily online bloggything. Now there is a weekly magazine, once again edited by me and a small orange kitten from a dilapidated ex-potato shed  in rural Devonshire. You subscribed to by opting in on the website. I hope that you all stay to join in the fun, but if it is not to your liking it is easy to unsubscribe again. But what a long, strange trip it is gonna be...

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

I am also very disappointed by much of what the contemporary music press puts out, and I decided many years ago, that probably the only way I could read the things that I want to read, would be to publish them myself. So this is what I have been doing for much of my life. I am also naive enough to think that music and art can change the world, and as the world is in desperate need of change, I am gonna do my best to help.

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

If you think those three ideas are stupid then you should probably give up reading this magazine now. Otherwise... enjoy
I got an e-mail today from a regular reader of my inky fingered scribblings, in which he told me that I shouldn't be so delf-deprecating when I am writing. It would be much better if I came on more assertive. It was a very interesting e-mail and massively kindly meant, but I disagree with him, and I feel that I should explain why. The strapline "Because some of us still believe that this stuff is important" really sets out our stall. Once upon a time the music and cultural issues about which I write each day were centre stage in Western society. Now they are not. We all have smart phones but we as a society have lost sight of the social and cultural issues which some of us feel are important.

This is basically what I am writing about and campaigning for with all the things that we do; musical, cultural, scientific and Fortean. I am not a big corporate dude in a commercial office, I am just what I say I am: a disabled bloke trying to change the world from a badly converted potato shed. I would like to quote Hawkwind at this point and say that culturally speaking I am an "Urban Guerilla, I make bombs in my cellar", but in the current socio-political climate that would be a very unwise thing to do.

I posted a version of the above paragraphs on Facebook as part of my daily notifications of Gonzo blog posts. Richard Stellar, who is someone I have a lot of time for, wrote:
My friend Jonathan Downes describes himself as a "disabled bloke trying to change the world from a badly converted potato shed." He's all that and more. His daily scribes on the world of music is delightfully unique and something I look forward to every morning. I'm actually addicted. Please check him out. He's an original, which is a very rare commodity these days.
So I must be doing something right. Thank you very much for your kind words, and a big 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.

I had a quick chat on Facebook this week with Stu Nicholson from Galahad. He tells me that the band:

...just had some stupendously wonderful Euro gigs which are over now ( and will buckle down in studio to finish the recordings for several EP's that will be released in the next few months or so. We also recorded the final Polish show for a live DVD/CD release in the future. 2014 will be spent mainly writing for next studio album proper.

And as far as the new album is concerned, I asked whether there were new songs already written for the as yet untitled project. He answered:

A few, but it's early stages. Now the gigs are out of the way we should start making more progress on the new stuff.

I am fond of the music of Galahad. They are one of the few contemporary prog metal bands that I don't find either irritating, pretentious or both; they have a keen-ness to experiment, and a tendency to cross over into KLF territory with a type of metal/dance fusion which I find most engaging. I am very much looking forward to the new album, and will let you know what transpires.
STORY OF THE WEEK: The Bez and the Bees
Former Happy Mondays dancer Bez has given his support to a campaign to save the honey bee within UK cities. The 49-year-old, real name Mark Berry, has helped install two bee hives on the Printworks in Manchester city centre. The self-confessed "full-time honey monster" has been keeping bees for about a year on a commune in South Wales. A rapid decline in honey bee numbers is thought to be due to last year's prolonged winter and wet summer.

Read on...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Heaven knows he's Morrissey Now
I have just finished reading Morrissey's autobiography (entitled Autobiography) and I must say that I was very impressed. It was almost as good as he said it was. The most impressive writing is the first third of the book, which deals with his life prior to The Smiths. Some of his prose is so good, that you find yourself re-reading passages just for the sheer pleasure of immersing yourself in such exquisite language.

The section about his life within his most famous band is fairly perfunctory, and actually both the least revealing and least enjoyable writing in the book. But the last half of the book, dealing with his life after the band imploded, is much more enjoyable, though I am afraid it never quite reaches the same heights of literature as the accounts of his early days. A bloody good book, though! Oh, Morrissey; so much to answer for.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  The Pre-teen Nico
My old mate Paul Whitrow is a barking mad record producer from Bristol, and he has turned up in these pages on a number of occasions over the past year. We have known each other for over a quarter century, and have spent much of that time turning each other onto new music. But I don't think either of us have turned the other onto anything as extraordinary as this before.

Alannah Jackson is an eleven year old girl. But she is also a remarkably talented singer-songwriter, who - unlike most of her peers - seems not to be anything to do with the aspirational Simon Cowell crowd or the wannabe Hatsune Miku fangirls. 

Paul described her to me as an "11 year old genius who channels Kurt Cobain...", but the more I listen to her, and there is quite a lot of her to listen to on YouTube, the more she seems to occupy the same sort of territory as the late, great and ultimately doomed Nico. If you can imagine Nico as an eleven year old girl, that is.

Paul has promised to send over some tracks from her soon to be completed debut album, and I will be able to tell you more...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: A new video from Auburn
This week I heard from the lovely Liz Lenten, who is - as I am sure all you droves of regular readers out there in Gonzoland will be aware - both the lead singer of the fabulous Auburn and an artiste of whom I am very fond. She writes:
Hiya Jon,
Hope you are well.
above is the link for the first video…..hope you like it. 
I have a wonderful new project manager now, she is co-ordinating all the PR and social networking for the release, and she will post it on facebook later in week, but wanted you to see it first.
be sure to look out for my  â€˜extras’ - recognise my little Alanah????  She loved being in the video - and was brilliant !
speak soon,
Who is Alanah? You might well ask. She is a young teenage fan of Auburn who made a series of fan videos on YouTube. I featured her on the Gonzo Daily, and arranged for Liz to send her a signed tour programme. Who says rock and roll fairytales don't have a happy ending?
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Hendrix on BBC iPlayer
Last night I watched the BBC Imagine film on Jimi Hendrix, which will be - I believe - available up there for another 40-something days. It didn't reveal anything much that I didn't already know, but there were some really good bits of unseen performance video, and some interesting snippets of Jimi's home movies.

The thing that I found particularly interesting, however, was how shocking his image is, even now. Whereas in quite a lot of rock documentaries I have watched recently the protagonists look very staid by modern standards: in the DVD about Paul McCartney and the counterculture from Chrome Dreams that I reviewed recently, for example, McCartney looks like a trendy estate agent rather than a bastion of the permissive society. But Hendrix's image is still shocking; an anarchic but oddly dignified wildman, with an impish grin, who channelled some ancient Eleusinian ceremonial, or the celebrant of a Bacchanalian orgy. It is still shocking: In 1967 it must have been mindblowingly devastating.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: New Roger Waters Concert USA - Stand Up for Heroes

Jerry Seinfeld, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart And Roger Waters To Perform At The 7th Annual Stand Up For Heroes Event At The Theater At Madison Square Garden In New York On November 6th

NEW YORK, Sept. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) and New York Comedy Festival (NYCF) are proud to present Stand Up for Heroes, an evening of comedy and music benefiting injured service members, veterans and their families on Wednesday, November 6th at 8pm.

> Read full article with a nice photo

There are, I am afraid, no new shows for you this week apart from the various interviews featured elsewhere in this issue, but there are some other exciting things afoot with another entirely new station being added to Gonzo Web Radio, and a total revamp of the radio index.

Watch this space.
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: The Gospel according to Bart

My favourite roving reporter Bart Lancia sent me another poignant news story this week. The Who will be doing one more major tour, but this will be their last. As Bart says: “Glad to know they're touring, but hate to hear it's their last... Still, 'Never Say Never'...”. As Bart says ‘Never say Never’ especially as they released a rather lacklustre live album called Who’s Last nearly 30 years ago.

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

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

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

Although this newsletter also goes out in a plain text version for those of you who do not trust image intensive thingys in your browser, I promise that as long as it is technically feasible (which will be for the forseeable future) the text only mailout will continue. However, I strongly advise that for you to get the best out of this rapidly evolving publication, that you really should see it in all its picture-led glory.

Please tell your friends, colleagues and family about The Gonzo Weekly, and try to persuade them to subscribe. The more subscribers we get, the bigger and better and more effective the whole thing will be.
Remember, if you want more than your weekly fix of this newsletter you can check out the Gonzo Daily, which - as its name implies - does much the same as this newsletter but every day. It also features a daily poem from Thom the World Poet, and the occasional non-Gonzo rock music rambling from yours truly, plus book and gig reviews from our highly trained staff of social malcontents. And its FREE! You cannae say fairer than that!
Each week, some of you seem to recognise me. Yes, I am indeed that weird bloke off the telly who chases mythological animals. I have a day job as Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and also the editor of the CFZ Blog Network, and publisher of a plethora of books about mystery animals.
1.  Sky Architect: 'A Billion Years of Solitude'
Dutch prog rockers SKY ARCHITECT return with their brand new album "A Billion Years Of Solitude” Two years after their ambitious "A Dying Man's Hymn", SKY ARCHITECT are now back with "A Billion Years Of Solitude". Prepare for a launch into space. Prepare for wormholes. Prepare for planet eaters, supernovae, and lots of unexpected twists and turns. This time heavily inspired by the vintage science fiction classics, SKY ARCHITECT boldly venture into new territories, once again proving themselves to be pioneers within the genre.
2.  Fankhauser Cassidy Band'On The Blue Road'
Merrell Fankhauser is considered one of the main innovators of surf music and psychedelic folk rock, and is widely known as the leader of the instrumental surf group The Impacts who had the international hit “Wipeout”. His travels from Hollywood to his 15 year jungle experience on the island of Maui have been documented in numerous music books and magazines in the US and Europe. Merrell has gained legendary international status throughout the field of rock music; his credits include over 250 songs published and released. He also made this classic album with legendary drummer Ed Cassidy.
3.  Felix Pappalardi'Don’t' Worry Ma'

As a producer, Pappalardi is perhaps best known for his work with British psychedelic blues-rock power trio Cream, beginning with their second album, Disraeli Gears. Pappalardi has been referred to in various interviews with the members of Cream as "the fourth member of the band" as he generally had a role in arranging their music. He also played a session role on the songs he helped them record. He also produced The Youngbloods' first album.

4.  RevolutionSoundtrack

The soundtrack to a long forgotten psychedelic movie which 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, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Mother Earth

5.  Brand X 'Is There Anyone About?'

Brand X was another one of those bands who were beloved of other musicians, and the more discerning of critics, but which despite everything never had the commercial success that it deserved. They were a jazz fusion band active 1975–1980. Noted members included Phil Collins (drums), Percy Jones (bass), John Goodsall (guitar) and Robin Lumley (keyboards). Not long after jazz/rock fusion greats Brand X put out their 1980 album, "Do They Hurt?", the band members went their separate ways (until their comeback in 1992 which only featured Goodsall and Jones).

6.  Gary Windo 'Steam Session Tapes'

Gary is one of those people who never really achieved the recognition that was due to him. Not while he was alive, at least. A highly original musician with an instantly recognizable style, Gary Windo was part of the Canterbury scene in the Seventies. Most notable was his work with Robert Wyatt on the albums Rock Bottom (1974) and Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard (1975), and Hugh Hopper on 1984 (1973) and Hoppertunity Box (1976). He was also a member of the Carla Bley band for three years.

7.  Pierre Moerlen's Gong'Live at the Bataclan, Paris'

Well, many people believed that the idea of Gong without Daevid was like the Rolling Stones without Keith Richards, but after a stint as Paragong they regrouped as Gong with guitarist Steve Hillage at the helm. The band recorded a new album, but Hillage left before its release. Gilli Smyth and Tim Blake had left at around the same time as Daevid, so the rump of Gong now led by the only surviving founder member Didier Malherbe aka Bloomdido Bad de Grasse, found himself in need of recruiting new members. He brought in noted French percussionist. Pierre Moerlen as co-leader, and when de Grasse himself left in 1977, Moerlen was in charge. The newly instated Pierre Moerlen’s Gong sometimes also known as Expresso Gong made some excellent and innovative records, and – amongst many other things – were responsible for this excellent live album. So it all comes round in circles in the end.

8.  Mick Abrahams and the This Was Band'This Is!'

Mick Abrahams and chums toured in 1998 playing the entire Jethro Tull debut album This Was, authentically recreating the live sound of Jethro Tull, 1968 style. This superbly recorded CD is a great reminder of the tour if you caught it, or a scintillating taste of what you missed! 

9.  The Deviants'Dr Crow'

The legendary Mick Farren, for nearly forty years their singer and guiding light has stated that The Deviants were originally a community band which "did things every now and then—it was a total assault thing with a great deal of inter-relation and interdependence". Musically, Farren described their sound as "teeth-grinding, psychedelic rock" somewhere between The Stooges and The Mothers of Invention.The Deviants have been described as a transition between classic British psych and the punk/heavy metal aesthetic of the 1970s. They were the glorious sound of rebellion and a true people's band, or a bloody awful row, depending on your viewpoint. Personally I favour the first description. 

10.  Percy Jones'Cape Catastrophe'

After his years in the heyday of British fusion and art rock, Jones moved to New York City and began occasionally showing up as a performer on the so-called downtown scene, as logical a place for him to attempt a fresh start as any. He recorded Cape Catastrophe in 1988 and 1989 at a studio in East Harlem. Using an array of the era's available hardware (including, as the product-placing liners indicate, a Casio synthesizer, Roland sequencer, Yamaha drum machine, and Korg digital delay), Jones laid down tracks ranging from two-and-a-half minutes to over 23 minutes in length, and then accompanied the tracks live on his five-string (Wal V, for those interested in brands) bass as the direct-to-digital recording was made. The results were generally quite impressive, and stand the test of time well over two decades later.

And on DVD:

1.  Rick Wakeman'Live at the Maltings 1976'

This album was recorded at Farnham Maltings in 1976; a year when Rick was just about to take a break from his solo career and rejoin Yes for the triumphant album that was Going for the One. It was actually broadcast in the same evening that it was recorded, and The English Rock Ensemble featured a new guitarist John ‘Dusty’ Dunsterville, who – it has been rumoured – was a relative of the man upon whom  Kipling based the eponymous hero of Stalky & Co, whgo was also my late Godfather’s Godfather. Weird old world innit?
2. Nic Jones
    'The Enigma of Nic Jones - The Return of the Lost Folk Hero'

In 1982 Nic Jones was at the peak of his career, but driving home from a gig one night a near-fatal car crash changed his life forever. Almost every bone in his body was broken and neurological damage meant that he would never play his guitar in front of an audience again. Apart from a couple of tribute concerts, Nic Jones disappeared from the public eye for thirty years. Then in the summer of 2012, encouraged by friends and family, Nic returned to the stage to play several festival performances accompanied by his guitarist son, Joe Jones and keyboard player Belinda O’Hooley. The concerts were a resounding success and for his old and new fans, a moving comeback for their musical hero.
Most of the back issues have now been archived on a dedicated Blogger site. Please use the navigation tree on the right of the page. However, please be aware that there are still a few formatting issues, and the magazine may not look as nice in blogger as we would have liked.

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

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THOSE WE HAVE LOST:  Lou Reed (1942-2013)
Lewis Allan "Lou" Reed (March 2, 1942 – October 27, 2013) was an American musician, singer and songwriter. After serving as guitarist, vocalist, and principal songwriter of the Velvet Underground, his solo career spanned several decades. The Velvet Underground were a commercial failure in the late 1960s, but the group has gained a considerable cult following in the years since its demise and has gone on to become one of the most widely cited and influential bands of the era – hence Brian Eno's famous quote that while the Velvet Underground's debut album only sold 30,000 copies, "everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band."
After his departure from the group, Reed began a solo career in 1972. He had a hit the following year with "Walk on the Wild Side", but subsequently lacked the mainstream commercial success its chart status seemed to indicate. Reed was known for his distinctive deadpan voice, poetic lyrics and for pioneering and coining the term ostrich guitar tuning.
Listen now

Roots & Branches with Michael Des Barres is a weekly exploration of the lineage and history of modern music, discovering unexpected inspiration and connection between music past and present. From the roots of musical authenticity, archetypal themes emerge and influences twist and turn, re-born within the ever-reaching branches of modern music.

(wherever he may be..)

we grew up with you

thin punk pre-punk

poet of gutters and stars

heroin and wild sides

you took us to Nude Orc before it died

awash with junk fashion and droog dregs

you gave us head (i saw you live-

always better poet with a band behind

No wonder you were loved-Songs for Drella

When attacked by media-you replied

"My week equals your year!"

"I still do the best Lou Reed impersonations in town"

Always dark glassed and distant

with words like knives/to cut through fog

They will always be repeated

You will never die

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...

One of the music events of the year Frank Zappa's legendary 1971 work 200 Motels is performed live in concert for the first ever time in the UK.

This colossal piece, one of the most ambitious that Zappa ever wrote, is performed by the full forces of the BBC Concert Orchestra, Southbank Sinfonia, London Voices and a large cast of rock musicians, singers and actors.

Banned from live performance at the time of its composition, and a cult classic on film and on record ever since, 200 Motels can finally be heard on stage in its full glory.

Rob Ayling was there are tells us all about it. He was also friends with Zappa's manager Herb Cohen and shares some memories of this remarkable man.

Brian James (born Brian Robertson, 18 February 1955, Hammersmith, west London) is an English punk rock guitarist, who has played for several notable bands. His first band was the proto-punk outfit London SS. James moved on to The Damned, recording on their first two albums Damned, Damned, Damned and Music for Pleasure before leaving. James later formed and disbanded both Tanz Der Youth and Brian James Brain's (later known briefly as The Hellions). In 1979, Brian James played in Iggy Pop's solo touring band, but he never played on a studio recording with him. He guested on The Saints' 1982 album, Out in the Jungle.
He would co-found and later play in The Lords of the New Church with Stiv Bators. He recorded three studio albums and one EP along with several live albums with the band, playing from 1982 until their break-up in 1989.
From 1992-96, James played guitar with the Brussels-based band The Dripping Lips. In 1992 he was invited by Scottish vocalist Robbie Kelman to co-write with him the soundtrack for the film Abracadabra, directed by Harry Cleven. The subsequent soundtrack album, produced by Kelman was released in Benelux by EMI/INDISC. The band were Robbie Kelman (vocals), James (guitar), Alan Lee Shaw (bass) and Paul Zahl (drums). Kelman brought in his friend and record producer Jimmy Miller to helm their second album, Ready to Crack. Shaw had moved on to play guitar in The Damned, and Nico Mansy replaced him on bass. An extensive North American tour was arranged, only to be later cancelled due to James' refusal to take on the touring. This caused The Dripping Lips to split. They reformed[when?] with Kelman and Shaw writing a third album.
In 2001, Brian James along with Wayne Kramer (guitar), Duff McKagan (bass), Stuart Copeland and Clem Burke (drums) as The Racketeers recorded the album Mad for the Racket. Brian James and Dave Tregunna reformed The Lords of the New Church in 2002 - 2003 with vocalist Adam Becvare. The lineup recorded the ten-song unreleased CD Hang On[2] and toured Europe in spring of that year. Brian James released a self-titled solo album with his band The Brian James Gang in 2006. The Lords of the New Church fronted by Becvare continue to occasionally perform live and write new material when Becvare is not touring with The LustKillers.
In 2012, Brian James with former Lords of the New Church touring keyboard player Mark Taylor released a solo acoustic album Chateau Brian.

At Samhain 2013, he had a long and entertaining chat with Jon Downes. Listen Here.

he pictures, by the way, are by Gabriel Edvi, used with kind permission of Carlton at Easy Action.

Rick Wakeman writes:

"There have always been certain ‘careers’ that have fascinated the public, newspapers, and the media in general. Such include musicians, actors, sportsmen, police, and not surprisingly, the people who give the police their employment: The criminal.

For the man in the street, all these careers have one thing in common: they are seemingly beyond both his reach and, in many cases, understanding and as such, his only association can be through the media of newspapers or television.

The police, however, will always require the services of the grass, the squealer, the snitch, (call him what you will), in order to assist in their investigations and arrests; and amazingly, this is the area that seldom gets written about.

A very close and long standing friend of mine, a jolly Birmingham chap, by the name of Dan Wooding, who has since 1982 has lived in Southern California, ‘Collared’ the King of the Squealers and somehow got him to ‘spill the beans’......all of them !

I also met and knew ‘the King Squealer’ well, but his story remained a secret until Dan Wooding managed to persuade him to ‘talk’.

His story covers almost every emotion. Sad, serious and sometimes hysterically funny -- you cannot help but be fascinated by the extraordinary life of Maurice O’Mahoney - the King Squealer."

In November 2013, Jon talks to Dan about this extraordinary book.

We will be publishing extracts from this massively exciting book over the next few issues. This week, here is an excerpt from Chapter Eight...

I am not a keen student of the Bible, but one thing I do recall from my Roman Catholic upbringing is the story, in Genesis, of Cain and Abel. They were the eldest sons of Adam and Eve. Cain was a farmer while his younger brother Abel became a shepherd. At harvest time Cain offered God some farm produce, while Abel brought the fatty guts of meat from his best lambs, and presented them to the Lord. God accepted Abel’s offering but not Cain’s. This made Cain both dejected and very angry, and one day while the brothers were in the fields, Cain attacked Abel and killed him. He killed for envy. When the Lord said, ‘Where is Abel your brother?’ Cain uttered those famous words,’ ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’
Knowing this Old Testament story quite well, I labelled two of the most hateful men I ever knew as Cain and Abel. This modern Cain didn’t actually kill his brother, but he went as far as he could to destroy him. As for Abel, the Biblical name signifies vanity and this one was just that. Vain, conceited, yet a much more likeable person. This Cain and Abel have certainly contributed a chapter in my Bible of crime.
I first met Abel in the Scrubs, where he was serving a sentence for arson. He was a 20 stone lump of blubber, who had got fat through good living. We shared a cell for a time and I decided to cash in on his riches. I supplied him mainly with tobacco and toothpaste, and he paid handsomely for it. You will recall that I attacked a prison officer while inside. Well, this was partly through the way that screw kept picking on Abel and I decided to take action. I thought the officer was taking things too far.
You’ll remember that I got 28 days. After I returned from solitary Abel said to me, ‘Mo, I don’t know how I'll ever be able to repay you.’ I smiled and said, ‘I’m sure you’ll find a way.’
That way came soon after I left prison. Abel had supplied me with his equally fat brother’s address. ‘He’ll give you some money,’ said Abel. ‘I’ll get a message to him asking him to do all he can to help you.’ When I met Cain in the jeweller’s shop in north London he owned with his brother, I thought I was looking at Abel. They were so alike.
‘Oh yes, Mr O’Mahoney, I’ve heard all about the way you stood up for my poor brother inside,’ Cain told me in the shop, which was dripping with sparklers. ‘Here’s £25 to keep you going,’ he said, dipping his hand into the till. I took the money and told him I’d be back next week for the same. He seemed a little surprised, but when I returned seven days later he cheerfully paid up.
One pay day he asked me if I'd like to earn a little extra on top of my weekly £25. ‘It depends,’ I said. ‘What do you have in mind?’ The fat slob leaned over and outlined a plan in which he wanted to collect an outstanding debt from a man who wouldn’t pay up, and also frighten him. The victim owned a high-class hairdressing salon in central London.
Never one to turn down a contract, I went out and bought myself a dark wig, put it on and headed towards the salon. As I walked through the door a young girl receptionist asked me, ‘Have you an appointment sir?’ I replied in the affirmative and before she could say any more I walked downstairs to the office where Cain had said this man usually worked. I didn’t bother to knock, but flung open the door. His secretary, who was taking dictation, dropped her pencil when she saw me. But she quickly gathered her composure and said sternly, ‘Who are you?’ I ignored her question and told her, ‘Get out,’ As she scuttled through the door I turned my attention to the terrified salon owner. He spluttered as he asked, ‘Who are you and what do you want?’ I grabbed him and yanked him towards my face and said, ‘Five hundred pounds.’ Then I threw him across the office.
‘My heart, my heart,’ he whined. ‘You ain’t got no heart,’ I told him. I then slapped him several times across the face and told him to open his wallet. He meekly handed it over to me and there I found £200 in notes. I took them out and threw the wallet down on the floor. ‘That’ll be the first instalment of the money you owe my client,’ I told him as he lay there. ‘And if you open your mouth to the police about this you’re liable to meet with an unfortunate accident.’ He just lay on the carpet shaking with fear as I stalked out. His secretary had disappeared and no-one made any attempt to stop me.
Although I didn’t recover all of the money, Cain rubbed his lands with glee when I told him of the fright I had given the toerag. ‘That’s lovely Mo, tell me the whole story again my boy,’ he said to me. Afterwards he added, ‘What a good debt-collector you make.’
I had obviously made a big impression on Cain and I thought it time to make an even bigger mark. I saw my chance when he suggested that I ‘do’ his jeweller’s shop; he’d claim the insurance and buy back the goods that I, and my associates, had taken, at a lower price. ‘I’ll weed out the good stock Mo, and you just take the rubbish,’ he said. ‘The insurance company won't know what you’ve nicked.’

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

As you know by now Black 47 will disband in November 2014 exactly 25 years after our first gig.  


What a long, strange and amazing trip - from the bars of the Bronx to Leno, Letterman and O'Brien. From Paddy Reilly's Pub to Farm Aid with Neil Young and Johnny Cash.


But none of it would have been possible without you - our friends and fans who stuck with us through thick and thin. You know well that Black 47 has always been more than a band. We've fought to get political prisoners out of jail, keep immigrant churches open and be a voice for the voiceless - Irish and otherwise.


We could have run down the clock on this coming year of gigs and farewells, but instead we decided to record a new album, Last Call. It's celebratory, full of passion, and audiences are already singing along. It's got a whole new cast of Black 47 characters, including Salsa O'Keefe, Shotsie Murphy, Legsy Malone, Culchie Prince, Dublin Brasser, Filipino Sister, along with a ballad for Brendan Behan and a song for the lost Irish sent as slaves to Jamaica by Oliver Cromwell.


As you can imagine, this will be a meaningful album for us and we'd love for you to play a part in the making of it! We've teamed up with PledgeMusic to make this happen. You can pre-order a copy of LAST CALL and be well ahead of the general public. There are many more items and experiences that you can pledge for, including an opportunity to sing with us on Shanty Irish Baby, get a signed copy of the original lyrics, have Geoff Blythe record your phone message, make a home for Freddie' famous Black Trombone, take drums or bass lessons from Thomas Hamlin or Joseph "Bearclaw" Burcaw, or have Larry Kirwan help you with your song, play or novel.


Everyone who gets involved will have their name permanently engraved on a Last Call Comrades Page at You'll also get access to a special 'pledger only' part of the Black 47 PledgeMusic site where we'll share music, pictures and videos from the recording with you. We begin tracking on November 5th and hope to release the album in late January 2014.  Our initial goal will cover recording costs.  Anything raised after that will help with promotion and touring, with 10% going to National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. 


Whatever way you care to get involved will be deeply appreciated - just as we've valued your support down all the crazy days since 1989. Thanks so much and take care of yourselves, okay? See you at a gig over the next year. All the best.


Larry Kirwan



Julian Brazier: UK Skunkworks ‘repugnant’

It often happens that there’s a concurrence of stories which seem to illustrate the same point.

Last week (21/09/’13) there was a story about legal highs in the Daily Mail.

Karen Audino had released a picture of her son, Jimmy Guichard, 20, from Gravesend in Kent, who lay dying after suffering a heart attack and severe brain damage within hours of taking a legal substance from the controversial shop, UK Skunkworks, in Chatham, also in Kent.

This is one of a number of UK Skunkworks shops in the South of England, which sell drug paraphernalia as well as legal highs.

Earlier in the month student Matt Ford of Whitstable, 17, had suffered a near-fatal heart attack after taking another legal high called Exodus Damnation which he bought from the UK Skunkworks shop in Canterbury.

Canterbury MP Julian Brazier urged Home Secretary Theresa May to change in the law on the sale of legal highs.

He said: ‘Skunkworks’s get-out clause for the sale is that the herb is not for human consumption, but their advice is to help you relax by burning the herbs in the home. I find these twisted semantics as repugnant as I am sure you do. Skunkworks, its fellow shops and its websites must be banned.’

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..
It's been announced in the last few days that Motörhead has had to postpone its upcoming European tour until spring next year.

Lemmy, still recovering from a recent illness, has said he and his band are "not quite ready to hit the road yet," as he's working his way back to full fitness.

"Don't worry," he's said. "I'm not about to start promoting veganism and alcohol-free beverages, but it is fair to say that I personally have been reconfiguring areas of my life to make sure I can come back fitter and stronger than ever.

"It disappointed me tremendously to have to say I wasn't quite ready to hit the road yet, but not nearly as much as it would've disappointed me to go out, play some average shows and watch my health give way long before the tour was over! When people come to see a Motörhead tour, they expect a Motörhead show, and that is exactly what you will get as soon as I am fit and ready to rumble."

Meanwhile, little news has emanated from the Hawkwind camp following Dave Brock's stress-related illness, but the UK Hawkwind tour slated to commence in early November is currently still showing as being 'on'.

Best wishes to both Lemmy and Dave!
The Court Circular tells interested readers about the comings and goings of members of The Royal Family. However, readers of this periodical seem interested in the comings and goings of Yes and of various alumni of this magnificent and long-standing band. Give the people what they want, I say

It has been another ridiculously slow week for Yes news. There has been a book of bass guitar tabs for Chris Squire wannabees, Rick Wakeman has added some more dates to next year's tour, and there is a video interview with Billy Sherwood (who I shall be talking to next week) and Captain James Tiberius Kirk.

But apart from that? Not a bleeding sausage!
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! 
The Rapidly Approaching Era of
WE have your demographics
WE know where and when you shop
what your fashion preferences are
The way you drive(we have your GPS and robo drive car)
We track each decision you think is free will
until you accede to our marketing wisdom
and buy something we are selling
WE know who you are
We are your program.
BUY US NOW!(you will,eventually...
You have no choice..

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. Stu from  Galahad writes:

Blimey, just stumbled across a small flight case full of pristine, unopened Polish cassette versions of our early albums, including lyrics in Polish as I recall! How bizarre considering we've just got back from our most recent and rather stupendous Polish adventures!

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

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

Check it out now...

There are nine Henrys, purported to be the world’s first cloned cartoon character. They live in a strange lo-fi domestic surrealist world peopled by talking rock buns and elephants on wobbly stilts. They mooch around in their minimalist universe suffering from an existential crisis with some genetically modified humour thrown in. I think Peter McAdam is one of the funniest people around, and I cannot recommend his book The Nine Henrys highly enough. Check it out at Amazon.

Each issue we shall be running a series of Henrybits that are not found in his book about the nine cloned cartoon characters who inhabit a surreal world nearly as insane as mine...

Kev Rowland
CARPE NOCTEM              In Terra Profugus       (CODE 666)
This is the debut release from Carpe Noctem, an Icelandic Black Metal act who bring together a post-apocalyptic soundscape with structured chaos to create something that is bleak, intense and raw, all at the same time. This is a concept album about an ethereal journey within and without the self, exploring concepts of life, death and the nature of evil. It is about overcoming and reaching understanding through strife and hardship, about self-flagellation of the soul.

The album title calls upon Cain’s journey into the wasteland of Nod, the self- made exile from God’s creation. Imagery from nature and light references to Nordic myth permeate the text, which is both vivid and esoteric in description. 
The order of the songs count down at first, and then upwards, signifying the initial descent into the earth, into the dream or afterlife, and the subsequent transformation and resurrection.

There is a bleakness that permeates this album, a chilling frost that never goes away. It is as black as the deepest Winter’s night, and one imagines this being the soundtrack to a landscape that is oppressive and frightening in so many ways. This is not music for the fainthearted, but if you enjoy Black Metal in all it’s majesty then this is essential, as it is for real. It is strange to think that this is a debut album as there is a confidence and dark passion throughout that lifts this in so many ways. In many ways this is reminiscent of the early days of Norwegian BM, but at the same time it is very much it’s own being. Essential.   
DISCIPLINE         Chaos Out Of Order      (STRUNG OUT)
There are a few things that have to be mentioned right at the beginning of this review, and the first is that at the time of recording Matthew was underage and Jon and Woody were just 17. Yep, what we have here is the original ‘Chaos Out of Order’ which was released in 1988 as a cassette, plus an additional song from 1987, enhanced as opposed to remixed as the original tapes weren’t up to the task so there has been some very minor tweaks here and there. Personally, I have been after this for years but have never been able to find a copy, which probably has a lot to do with Matthew never being happy with it and 
after the initial production of cassettes ran out it was not re-released. It took another five years before they produced ‘Push & Profit’, and another four after that for ‘Unfolded Like Staircase’, after which there was no more. Now, I firmly believe that Discipline are one of the finest progressive bands to come out of the States in the Nineties, and I have searched out live albums and compilations, and when the band reformed for the amazing ‘To Shatter All Accord’ in 2011 I was overjoyed. But, there was still that niggle, just what did ‘Chaos Out of Order’ sound like?

Many years ago I can remember chatting with Martin Orford, asking if IQ would ever reissue ‘Seven Stories Into Eight’, and at that time there was absolutely no plans to do so, but it was an album that many fans wanted to hear, no matter what it was like. Of course they later did make it available, along with a complete re-recording, and it was warmly received. But what about this one? Matthew has provided plenty of sleeve notes, along with the lyrics etc, but it is obvious that he has some reservations about making this available again after all these years, and in some ways I can understand why.
If this album was viewed on it’s own without knowing anything about its’ history or the age of those involved then it is quite possible then it wouldn’t get the most favourable review in the world and a listener may believe that all of Discipline’s album are similar. But, if you already know their music then this is a delight in so many ways. Even at such a young age the guys are demonstrating their music dexterity and handlings of complex layers and stylings. But, there is also a naivety in what they are performing, demonstrating promise while also showing the simplicity of youth. I was surprised at just how much I kept being reminded of Todd Rundgren when I played this, as it isn’t an artist that I normally associate with these guys, which shows just how far they had to go to reach their true identity.
If you have yet to hear all of the other Discipline albums then gently walk away as this has not been made available for you. But, if like me you have never been able to get enough of their music and have for years wanted to hear this material then this is definitely for you.
EIBON LA FURIES           The Immoral Compass    (CODE 666)
Eibon La Furies was created as a one-man project by Paul D Sims (Lord Eibon Blackwood) in 2006 to combine industrialised black metal with dark ambient music inspired by Victoriana occult spirituality. After a few demo EP’s with session musicians, the band became a trio in 2008 with the addition of Jamie Batt (Battalion) on drums and Matt Cook (The Furious Host) on bass, and it was this line-up that released ‘The Blood of the Realm’ in 2010. Since then they have been developing their sound and style, and realised that they needed to increase their personnel so have brought in Neil Purdy on lead guitar. Paul has said “The Immoral Compass was conceived due to circumstance. 
Negative turned positive by taking control. When the wave hits, you have to ride it, ride ahead of it or be drowned by the cascading crush. Be your own compass, worship no one, bow to none – believe in your own convictions”.

Although this album does obviously belong within the Black Metal arena, this is much more of a fusion beast as it brings in influences and styles from many dark areas. While some songs are classic BM, others contain BM elements but are much more hard rock, while others are more symphonic with dark choruses and a feeling of being deep inside the Hammer House of Horror. But, this is not comic-book horror, but rather something that is far deeper and menacing. And very, very real. In some ways this is quite a hard album to listen to as musically it is pushing a great many buttons. The vocals range from melodic gravel to acerbic and visceral while the choirs and are placed against seven string guitar riffs. There are times when the menacing vocals are placed against acoustic classical guitar yet somehow this just makes the music even more interesting and somewhat darker.
Having played this a great deal I know that I like it, but am still not really sure how to describe it! This is something that deserves to be heard, at the very least.
IRON JAWS      Guilty of Ignorance     (PURE STEEL RECORDS)
This is the second album from these Italians, and when one realises that they wanted to recreate the music of Exciter, Abattoir and Agent Steel then it is no surprise that this is what they sound like. It is almost as if the last thirty years haven’t happened, as this is the sort music that was appearing Metal Massacre compilations long before Death and Black Metal really started to make an appearance, while nu-metal was just a twinkle in someone’s eye. It is strange to think that at one time this style of metal was cutting edge and was at the limit of what people expected. Interestingly they call it speed metal, which is a term that never really caught on, much like Raven calling their own style athletic rock. Most people would think of this as thrash, nothing more or less.
The result here is an extremely solid album that will appeal to fans of the above bands, while at the same time adds absolutely nothing new to the genre. But, they do it well and this is a solid 3 * album, that although not essential, will certainly find plenty of fans. 
Karnataka are a Welsh progressive rock band which was formed in 1997 by bassist/guitarist Ian Jones, vocalist Rachel Jones and keyboardist Jonathan Edwards. The band very quickly built up a strong and staunch following.  Over a period of twelve years Karnataka  has released a number of well-received albums including ‘Karnataka’, ‘The Storm’,’ Delicate Flame Of Desire’ and more recently, ’ The Gathering Light’.

Despite undergoing a number of key line up changes, the band is still led by Ian Jones.  The new line up features, vocalist Lisa Fury alongside guitarist Enrico Pinnas, Keyboardist Gonzalo Carerra and drummer Ian Harris.

Check them out at Gonzo UK
heck them out at Gonzo USA
Check out their official website
My assistant editor Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent and I have had rather a nice (if slightly frugal) week. We are still carless (and bible black) which means that I haven't had to pay for any petrol.
I am really beginning to enjoy not having a telephone in my office/study/sanctum. It means that for once I avoid having to talk to people trying to flog me double glazing, complain that I haven't paid the water bill or a dozen other things (including just phone for a chat). I can - for once - get on with writing deathless prose, answering e-mails, and generally trawling the few bits of social media to which I subscribe looking for people that I want to comment on something. Add to that the fact that I now have a pair of rather nifty studio monitors in my office, and I now no longer have to keep the music low enough so I can hear the telephone.

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

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

Until next week,

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

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