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 60/61 January 18th
This issue was put together by me and Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent, (who is, in case you didn't know, an insane orange kitten on the verge of adulthood) ably assisted by:

Corinna Downes, (Sub Editor, and my lovely wife)
Graham Inglis, (Columnist, Staff writer, Hawkwind nut)
Bart Lancia, (My favourite roving reporter)
Thom the World Poet, (Bard in residence)
C.J.Stone, (Columnist, commentator and all round good egg)
Kev Rowland, (Reviewer)
Lesley Madigan, Photographer par excellence
Douglas Harr, (Staff writer, columnist)
Dave McMann, (He ain't nothing but a) Newshound-dog
Orrin Hare, (Sybarite and literary bon viveur)
and Peter McAdam (McDada in residence)
This is the nearest that you are ever going to get to a posh weekend colour supplement from the Gonzo Daily team. Each week we shall go through the best bits of the week before, and if there aren't any we shall make some up, or simply make our excuses and leave (you can tell the editor once did contract work at the News of the World can't ya?)
What? You don't know who Hunter Thompson is/was/might have been/will be? Without Hunter Thompson there would be no Gonzo Multimedia. It would have been completely different and that would have been an unforgivable pity. So here is:
C.J.Stone suggested that as well as explaining Gonzo to those wot don't understand, we should do a weekly quote from the great man himself. So here goes:

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

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

I am also very disappointed by much of what the contemporary music press puts out, and I decided many years ago, that probably the only way I could read the things that I want to read, would be to publish them myself. So this is what I have been doing for much of my life. I am also naive enough to think that music and art can change the world, and as the world is in desperate need of change, I am gonna do my best to help.
MORE LIKE A MAGAZINE: Technofear and Loathing in Wulfheard's Homestead 2 - Lust for Glory
Last week I told you all about our extraordinary trials and tribulations regarding our broadband. Well it finally died on me for good last Friday night just as I was putting the final  touches to the last issue of this esteemed journal. Much profanity took place. The ongoing dialogue with the call centre in Uttar Pradesh resumed, and we were completely broadbandless until Wednesday when - a day before we expected them - the engineer turned up at the wrong address. But we headed him off at the pass and dragged him kicking and screaming into the office where at gunpoint we threatened his entire family with slow and painful annihilation if he didn't fix it.

OK I am exaggerating slightly. I stayed in bed whilst all this was going on, partly because I couldn't be bothered to get up, so I didn't cock it all up with unprecedented acts of aggression towards the hapless engineer, and mostly because I could keep the two dogs upstairs so they wouldn't cause havoc. Prudence always treats every new visitor like a long-lost relative, and bumbles about them affectionately farting happily, whilst Archie gets wildly excited and rushes around barking (although we have been warned that he is not very good with postmen).

Happily the guy turned out to know exactly what he was doing, and now - for the first time ever - we have really quite strong broadband here. But that is not the main crux of what I want to write about. 

Being broadbandless for some days was far greater a tribulation than I had ever thought it would be (not that I had thought very much about it), but like the song says, "you don't know what you've got until you lose it tum te tum", and as far as broadband is concerned never a truer word has been spoken. I could just about access my emails via a battered old laptop of Corinna's, but I couldn't do anything about them. It was massively deleterious to my mental health to have a whole pile of queries that needed to be dealt with stacking up before my eyes, and even worse not to be able to access any of my bank accounts, order groceries, or do any one of the million and one tasks which I do every week online. It is frightening to see quite how dependent we all have become on something which we only got for the first time twelve years ago. It has completely taken over our lives.

And I don't like that.

But who is Wulfheard? I hear you ask. Is he some ancient Celtic warrior whose bloodlust you channel every time you think of a call centre in Uttar Pradesh? No. It's more interesting than that.

We live in a village called Woolfardisworthy West. It means "Wulfheard's Homestead" and was founded some 1500 years ago when a Saxon abbot called Wulfheard was given permission (by his boss, the Bishop of Crediton) to build two manor houses. This he did - one up here in North Devon, and one near Crediton, and two villages with almost identical names grew up. Every year the Bishop's generosity still causes me confusion when various of my friends and colleagues type the name of the village (they both actually have TWO names, being known by the colloquial truncation "Woolsery" which confuses things even further) into their satnav systems and end up in a tiny hamlet outside Crediton rather than in the magnificent metropolis (800 people live in this village - over three times the population of East Woolfardisworthy, forty miles away) where we live.

So now you know!

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

If you think those three ideas are stupid then you should probably give up reading this magazine now. Otherwise... enjoy
As is the rest of this magazine, this is mostly about music, and the bits of contemporary culture that I find interesting, but it also has a smattering of actual NEWS, especially if there are ethical questions that effect us all, or one of those put in authority over us does something spectacularly inane. The nearest that this section will ever come to politics is laughing at politicians.
  • Can I rob you please? I want to be cured!!! Psychedelic drugs could help to keep ex-offenders out of prison, new research suggests.U.S. scientists have found that drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms could be used to help reform criminals under community correction supervision.It has previously been thought that LSD could be used to treat alcohol addiction, but the new research is the first in 40 years to suggest it could be used to stop criminals from re-offending. Read on.. (Via Dave McMann)
  • When I'm cleaning the bathroom windows she came in through We hold this truth to be self-evident—if every citizen spent a little bit of time playing the ukulele, the world would be a nicer place. Such is the declaration of the The Beatles Complete on Ukulele, an online project that pretty much does what it says: compiles ukulele covers of every Beatles song—individually or in album form—from a surprising variety of amateur and obscure artists. (Via David Waldron)
  • Paul Weller is set to play five forest shows this summer. The Modfather will perform as part of the Forestry Commission's Forest Live concert series, which takes place at woodland locations across the country. "It's a favourite summer jaunt for me so I look forward to performing in a few of the forests that I haven't played in a good while," said the 55-year-old musician. Paul will be joined by some special guests as he kicks off the gigs at Sherwood Pines forest on June 14, before he heads to Bedgebury Pinetum forest, Dalby forest, Cannock Chase forest and Delamere forest. Read on...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  The new video from XNA
At the end of last week we got this email from those jolly nice chaps at XNA:
Hey, All,

Happy 2014!  Hope all's gone well through the holidays and you've come out on this side with a smile and an open heart.

We wanted to share with you that we spent some time over the holidays working to complete our first-ever music video.  It was great fun to perform, and it's great fun to watch. 

Special thanks to Billy Sherwood (directing, editing) and Greg Nelson (special make-up effects).

So, without further ado, have fun watching us perform with "THE FLYING DUTCHMAN":

Let us know what you think, what questions you have, and how you're doing.
Best from us to you for a great year,

Just like everything else about this remarkable band, this debut video is sooooooo cool! It appeals to me both as a Fortean and as a music buff. With the former hat on, some years I actually wrote an article about 'The Flying Dutchman'; the legendary ghost ship of the southern oceans which never lands in port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever.

There have been many reported sightings in the 19th and 20th Centuries. One was by Prince George of Wales, the future King George V. During his late adolescence, in 1880, with his elder brother Prince Albert Victor of Wales, he was on a three-year voyage with their tutor Dalton, temporarily shipped into HMS Inconstant after the damaged rudder in their original ship, the 4,000-tonne corvette Bacchante was repaired. Off the coast of Australia, between Melbourne and Sydney, Dalton records:

At 4 a.m. the Flying Dutchman crossed our bows. A strange red light as of a phantom ship all aglow, in the midst of which light the masts, spars and sails of a brig 200 yards distant stood out in strong relief as she came up on the port bow, where also the officer of the watch from the bridge clearly saw her, as did the quarterdeck midshipman, who was sent forward at once to the forecastle; but on arriving there was no vestige nor any sign whatever of any material ship was to be seen either near or right away to the horizon, the night being clear and the sea calm. Thirteen persons altogether saw her ... At 10.45 a.m. the ordinary seaman who had this morning reported the Flying Dutchman fell from the foretopmast crosstrees on to the topgallant forecastle and was smashed to atoms.

I really cannot recommend this band highly enough. They are literate, intelligent sophisticated souls who produce music which is intelligent, yet still visceral and exciting. I have seldom heard a band that have excited and impressed me more. Well done chaps. I really cannot wait to find out what you are going to do next.

And especially for their singer David (and to apologise for having nicked stills from your video without permission) here is a picture of Archie dressed up as Sherlock Holmes.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Introducing Stargrace
We are always on the lookout for new talent here at Gonzo Weekly. But it is unusual to find someone as massively talented as this young lady. Her music inhabits that odd hinterland where electronica, avant garde, dance and prog meet. She has the voice of the sort of chick that you expect to be warbling over the closing credits of one of the Hobbit movies, but the way she uses it, and the music that she makes with it is always innovative and interesting and sometimes downright scary.

She writes:

I can’t imagine a life without music, I feel incredibly lucky to have a voice and to be able to express myself through my music and singing. I hope to continue learning more and carry on creating, composing and sharing my music with others in the future. I'm always up for collabs, give me a message if you want to work on something 

I am sure that she is someone that you are going to be reading a lot more of in the future. But in the meantime check out some of this free music of hers at Soundcloud. I guarantee that you will be impressed.

A British woman has attempted to sue her former lawyers for professional negligence claiming they failed to properly explain to her that getting a divorce would end her marriage. Jane Mulcahy claimed that, alongside a number of other allegations, her solicitors failed to advise her that finalising divorce proceedings would officially end her marriage. The Roman Catholic argued that the lawyers should have clearly explained that a divorce would terminate her marriage.

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Happy Birthday 2 Stu
As I have explained elsewhere in this issue, this week has been somewhat of a comedy of errors, and so it is not overall surprising that I managed to cock up my scheduled interview with Stu Nicholson of the mighty Galahad. The day that I was supposed to telephone him I got so bogged down in computer issues and arguments with the call centre that I actually retired upstairs with a migraine, fell asleep and totally forgot all about it.

I woke up in a rush, and emailed my apologies to Stu who was very nice about it. He told me to contact him later in the week, which I did. However with my usual poor timing I did it on the eve of his fiftieth birthday party when he was all bogged down in preparations. So I wished him a happy birthday on behalf of all of us and beat a hasty retreat. I will try again next week, which perhaps will be the one when my particular stars are more in alignment.

However, whilst we are on the subject of my favourite prog metal band (I think that's the right appellation, but as I have written elsewhere, I find all the modern categories of music somewhat confusing and don't know my trance from my grindcore), there is some exciting news for their Scandinavian fans...

Galahad are proud and very pleased to announce that they will play a show for GARF (Gothenburg Artrock Society) on Saturday 1 March at the Musikens Hus, Djurgardsatan 13, Gothenburg. This will be their first ever Swedish show and, as you can imagine, the band are looking forward to visiting Sweden. Other bands involved will be A.C.T who will be playing live their first live show in four years and Wonderland plus a local support. It should be a great evening of prog/rock. ;-)
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Auburn prepare for their tour with Jefferson Starship...
I am very excited about this forthcoming tour. I was at the Southampton show on the last tour, and this time I shall be at the Wolverhampton show with various members of my family (the human ones that is; you won't be seeing Captain Frunobulax, Archie and Lobby the Lobster in the mosh pit) but you may well see me, Corinna, mother and my stepdaughter and son-in-law doing our funky thing.

We shall be filming Auburn and may well be filming the legendary headliners as well, although the jury is still out on that one. The fabbo new Auburn album is released imminently, and I am confident that it will bring them the success they so richly deserve.

Here, as a nice bonus are two unpublished photos from the recent video shoot showing the delectable Ms L doing her inimitable thing...
The top picture makes Liz look like Wonderwoman. I have always thought that she probably is a superhero in disguise, and I wonder what her special powers are.

Answers on a postcard to the editorial address. The best (or worst) suggestion might even get a prize. I am sure that Liz and I can rustle up something!
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Allman Brothers DVD
Now before we go on any further, I need to massively apologise to Rob Johnstone who was kind enough to send me a review copy of the Chrome Dreams DVD Duane Allman - Song Of The South: Duane Allman And The Rise Of The Allman Brothers. It arrived at the same time as the same company's DVD of Paul McCartney and the English underground, which featured one of the final interviews with Mick Farren. I watched that immediately, and put the Allman Brothers DVD on one side to watch the next night. Then something happened! What that something was I have no idea, but sufficient to say not only did I not watch the DVD the next night, but my lovely housekeeper tidied it up and I forgot all about it.

Here I should say that I do not have a functioning tidiness gene, and if I didn't have Helen my housekeeper, I would soon be overwhelmed by the piles of general flotsam and jetsam that seems to follow me wherever I go. However, enough of that. To cut to the chase, early last week I was looking through a pile of copies of The Entomological Bulletin which were on one of the shelves of my library, and guess what I found? Yup. You've guessed it: a DVD with the following blurb:

Duane Allman, the lead guitarist and driving force behind Southern Rock pioneers The Allman Brothers Band, lived a tragically short life, but during his brief career he changed music forever. With contributions from an illustrious and highly knowledgeable cast of friends, insiders and experts, plus rare footage and exclusive interviews, this film looks at Duane's life, work and musical output.

So feeling massively guilty, I sat down with mother and a bottle of my Christmas bourbon, and was soon captivated in this remarkable film.

I think one of the things that impressed me most was the sheer amount of research that must have gone into it. Schoolfriends and old bandmates were rustled up out of the woodwork and each had their own singular insights to give into what made Duane Allman click. Duane Allman was a remarkable man and a peerless musician, and this film only served to underline what I have always thought; that it is all very well pasting him into history as the father of 'Southern Rock', but he was so much more than that.

His session work before The Allman Brothers band actually happened was inspirational. I have always been particularly fond of his work on This Girl's in love with You by Aretha Franklin, and I think it is fair to say that he was just as responsible for what became known as the Muscle Shoals sound, fusing swamp boogie, blues, country and soul (a vein which our own Liz Lenten mines so successfully on the new Auburn album) as he is for what later became 'Southern Rock'.

Something else that surprised me on this film were the excerpts from the two albums that were produced by The Hour Glass - the pre Allman Brothers band which included both Greg and Duane. I had always been led to believe that they were pretty dismal, but not so. Even though the eponymous first album was very much overshadowed by the vision of Dallas Smith the producer, it was a damn sight better than I had ever expected, and I am very tempted to go check it out.

This film lifts the lid on the legend, and reveals a massively talented man who was never satisfied with what he had achieved, and always wanted to travel beyond that next bend in the road. Thank you Rob for a magnificent film, which I cannot recommend highly enough.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  Judy Dyble's anthology
Regular readers will probably have guessed by now that I am rather fond of Judy Dyble both as a person and as an artist, and so, when she mentions two little snippets of news (three actually) in conversation, I feel that as a self appoiunted minister of the church of St Jude, that I need to bring them to your attention.
  •  ...the artwork and masters have been sent off to Plane Groovy for the release of the vinyl Flow and Change, hopefully to be released on Record Store Day in April..
  • And the Anthology of 50 years of My Stuff (I really think that is a beautifully self deprecatory title and hope that she decides to go with it as the official title) is being sorted and mastered as I type, for release this year to celebrate it...Will probably be a 3 CD set..
  • and just confirmed.. next gig at the Watermargin WMJazz Club at the O2.16th march. probably at 3pm :-)
That is the end of the public service announcement. More when I get it.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Michael Des Barres has got an insane workload this year. 
Last week we told you about Michael Des Barres' fantastic new single 2014. Find out more about it here.

But this isn't the only thing that he has got going on at the moment. He has a workload which would make a much younger man shudder, yet he just carries it off with his usual insouciance. Look at this:
  • I'm covering SXSW with my crew.
  • I'm interviewing Marianne Williamson the motivational author running for congress.
  • We are covering Coachella.
  • I'm shoooting an episode of CSI- LA with Steve Tyler next week.
  • I'm releasing a musical I wrote about the Marquis de Sade.
I asked him when the Solutionism EP, for which 2014 is a taster track, is coming out? Because 2014 is a stonker!!

"May 1st", he replied. It is a "radical departure from the cock rock of last year..More of a dance groove with a conscience".

"I never know the semantics of modern music, but I think it is classed as Stadium House" I told him, and continued: "are you still gigging with the band? Or is the dance music your new direction?"

He laughed. "My House is a Stadium!" then continued, "No I'm not gigging.I narrate concertos with orchestras.But I'll get back to the hip swivel soon".

A little birdie also tells me that Classic Rock mag is doing a huge piece on him, so - bearing in mind what has happened in the first fortnight - it looks like this is going to be Michael Des Barres' year.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  The Gospel according to Bart
My favourite roving reporter has totally surpassed himself this week with no less than four interesting snippets for us. First of all the will they?/won't they? Faces reunion with Rod Stewart is beginning to look more likely as drummer Kenney Jones expresses that he is in favour of the plan. Why Ian McLagan was so negative about it the other week, professing that he had "bigger fish to fry" with a Small Faces reunion, is unsure. The fact that he and Jones are the only Small Faces left alive would also seem to be a problem, whereas although Ronnie Lane is no longer with us, his replacement Tetsu is still with us, although - at least in 2011 - he seemed unlikely to join any reunion.

I can't wait to see what happens next.

He also sent me an interesting article about nominees for this year's Brit Awards who include David Bowie, Ellie Goulding, and Disclosure, and news that Christine McVie has confounded all expectations and rejoined Fleetwood Mac, whereas her ex John McVie has undergone cancer treatment. Fleetwood Mac now have the classic mid-seventies lineup once again. And finally David Bowie is re-releasing Rebel Rebel to mark the 40th anniversary. Cooool!

But that wasn't all. He also sent this letter from the Marillion camp:
15 January 2014 Two Cruises And A Concert Tour

Hi there, Pete here with an update about what I'm up to over the next few weeks..but first I'd like to wish you all a Happy New Year! A little belatedly maybe but a good opportunity to do so none the less.

So to begin with Marillion are back from our Festive holiday period. We've changed back out of those slightly ludicrous costumes and have been seen round the studio plugging new gear in and even breaking into spontaneous jamming. All recorded to go into the pot, as it were. The mood around the studio is particularly positive at the moment with everyone well rested and raring to go.

Next week we start rehearsing for the upcoming cruise and the South American shows. This all might seem a little previous, but with me going away for the next few weeks we thought we should start early. These rehearsals also give us a good opportunity to do more jamming and maybe review any ideas we have so far.

On the subject of me going away, you have probably seen the Transatlantic dates on the Website ( so you have a pretty good idea of what I'm up to from late January to mid March. The tour is to coincide with the release of the fourth studio album from Transatlantic called Kaleidoscope.


This will be a full on three and a half hour Transatlantic experience. If you like your progressive music fast and furious with a hint of classic old school then these concerts are definitely for you. The Progressive Nation Cruise splits North and South America from the Europe concerts and I am very much looking forward to the whole tour. Playing with the rest of the guys in Transatlantic is pretty cool.

Next up for me is back to The Racket Club for the last few days of rehearsing and organising the up coming Marillion shows on the Cruise To The Edge.
I am really looking forward to these shows although it may be a little strange doing two cruises in close proximity. Having never been on such large ships before, I am both apprehensive and excited. Plus, it'll be nice to be back in the fold after such a lengthy stretch away.


Breaking news from Edison's Children

Our latest release and second studio album The Final Breath Before November is finally available through Racket Records both as a physical release or download (

We are both very pleased and proud of our new release. This album has had a lot of very good feedback and is being talked about positively both over here and in America. More goodies related to this album including T-Shirts, picks, playing cards etc are available from

Finally, I have recently done an interview for Friars Aylesbury which will be included as part of their exhibition covering the evolution of the rock club from 1969 to the present day. This will be shown at Buckinghamshire County Museum from this spring. More information on that is available at

So as you can see my New Years resolution of taking my foot of the gas a bit has already gone out the window! Hope to see you at one of the shows some time soon.

Have a good 2014

We have a new episode of Canterbury Sans Frontières and there are some other exciting things afoot with another entirely new station being added to Gonzo Web Radio, and a total revamp of the radio index. 
Date Published: 18th January 2014

We at Gonzo Web Radio are very proud to bring you Canterbury Sans Frontières - a podcast dedicated to the music of the 'Canterbury Scene' and more. Creator Matthew Watkins writes: 

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 features a mix from Neil Sullivan from Lapis Lazuli).

And for those of you who wonder what Matthew was referring to when he writes about Canterbury Soundwaves we have brought you all the back catalogue of that as well. Those wacky guys at Gonzo, eh?

EPISODE ELEVEN: This episode is dedicated to the memory of Richard Coughlan, Caravan's drummer since 1968, who passed away in December shortly before the last episode went out. The centrepiece is an hour of the finest live Caravan recordings I could find from '68-'75, and although Richard hardly ever played with anyone else, there are a couple of other relevant pieces included in this episode. Also this lunation: Soft Machine at  the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in 1970, Yusef Lateef in a club in 1964 Philadelphia, Terry Riley and Don Cherry in 1975 Köln, National Health in the South of France in 1979, a mystery ensemble playing a Kevin Ayers tune at an uknown location in space and time, new stuff from Bristol's Spiro and Canterbury's Koloto, Snarky Puppy, Spirogyra (the good one) and some quintessentially English musick from the 17th century

Playlist for this episode

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

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

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

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

Please tell your friends, colleagues and family about The Gonzo Weekly, and try to persuade them to subscribe. The more subscribers we get, the bigger and better and more effective the whole thing will be.
Remember, if you want more than your weekly fix of this newsletter you can check out the Gonzo Daily, which - as its name implies - does much the same as this newsletter but every day. It also features a daily poem from Thom the World Poet, and the occasional non-Gonzo rock music rambling from yours truly, plus book and gig reviews from our highly trained staff of social malcontents. And its FREE! You cannae say fairer than that!
Each week, some of you seem to recognise me. Yes, I am indeed that weird bloke off the telly who chases mythological animals. I have a day job as Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and also the editor of the CFZ Blog Network, and publisher of a plethora of books about mystery animals.
1. Mick Abrahams - The Guitar With Mick Abrahams 
In 1975 ex Jethro Tull and Blodwyn Pig guitarist Mick Abrahams released this obscure but oddly entertaining record. It is a guitar tutorial, which – considering the fact that he is one of the greatest guitarists in the business – will have helped untold thousands of wannabe axemen along their chosen path.

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

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

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

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

Newsletter #36  Newsletter #35  Newsletter #34  Newsletter #33 Newsletter #32  Newsletter #31  Newsletter #30  Newsletter #29 Newsletter #28  Newsletter #27  Newsletter #26  Newsletter #25  Newsletter #24  Newsletter #23  Newsletter #22  Newsletter #21 Newsletter #20  Newsletter #19  Newsletter #18  Newsletter #17 Newsletter #16  Newsletter #15  Newsletter #14  Newsletter #13 Newsletter #12  Newsletter #11  Newsletter #10  Newsletter #9 Newsletter #8  Newsletter #7  Newsletter #6  Newsletter #5 Newsletter #4  Newsletter #3  Newsletter #2  Newsletter #1
THOSE WE HAVE LOST:  Sir Run Run Shaw (1907-2014)
Sir Run Run Shaw, GBM, Kt, CBE (23 November 1907 – 7 January 2014) was a Hong Kong entertainment mogul and philanthropist. He was one of the most influential figures in the Asian entertainment industry. He founded the Shaw Brothers Studio, one of the largest film production companies in Hong Kong, and Television Broadcasts Limited, the dominant television company in Hong Kong.

A well-known philanthropist, Shaw donated billions of Hong Kong dollars to educational institutions in Hong Kong and mainland China. More than 5,000 buildings on Chinese college campuses bear his name, as does Shaw College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He also established the Shaw Prize, often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Asia.
(2899Runrun shaw)

LOVERS OF BLADE RUNNER?(He produced that work of modern art
SHAW PRIZE?Due to his philanthrophy!-like Hospitals,Colleges,Schools,Universities
he gave away billions that he made from producing films and TV shows
from Shanghai,Malaya,Hong Kong and overseas
He is largely known to us as the one who introduced Kung Fu movies to Western eyes.
Prior to that,he and his brothers(Shaw Studios)began the Golden Age of Malay Cinema
before the Japanese invasion destroyed both theaters and equipment
How did he live to 106?Ginseng,qigong,eating little and going to bed early.
His producing/directing efforts promoted Chow Yun-Fat and Maggie Cheung
When he moved from movie production to TV entertainment
his success meant he was producing 80% of all Hong Kong TV content
and thus gaining 78% of all advertising revenue!His honors and awards are legion.
What matters most to us is his sharing of Chinese Martial Arts traditions
1967's "The One-Armed Swordsman"still re-screens regularly.
Quality and quantity made Shaw Brothers Studio the role model for movie production in Asia
May his movies enjoy the long life and quality that his own quiet ,effective lifestyle achieved
Thank you,Sir Run Run Shaw-for lasting until January 7,2014!
                                                                                           Thom the World Poet
Now, I don't know whether this is a good idea, a bad idea, or just an idea, but - as I believe you know - this magazine is put out each week on a budget of £25, and is free. It will remain free, but I would like to be able to generate some income so I can pay our contributing writers. So, 'why not flog Gonzo Weekly T Shirts?' I thought. 'Why not', I answered...
COVER STORY: Merrell Fankhauser remembers Captain Beefheart and more
The other week I was interviewing the ever fascinating Merrell Fankhauser about his forthcoming archive project, when our conversation wandered off onto more arcane subjects...

Yeah, the thing is, you know, the Captain, Don [van] Vliet, he’s passed away now, and the bass player from MU that was also in the Exiles - Larry Willey - he’s passed away so a lot of these guys aren’t even around anymore and I know they would just get the biggest kick out of hearing this stuff that we all just forgot about. I’d write three or four songs a week back then in the early sixties so we were recording them just one after another, you know, so I totally forgot about them. If I didn’t recognise my voice, you know, I wouldn’t even know that I’d written the song!

Jon: Do you have any of them that actually have got the Captain on? 

Merrell: No. He and I jammed a lot together and we jammed in his house and jammed in Woodland Hills. See, the Exiles was formed before he formed Captain Beefheart. Frank Zappa and he went to high school together in Lancaster and then Frank moved down south, down to – ooh gosh, I can’t remember the name – it was southern California. And they still, you know, communicated and he helped him produce that Trout Mask Replica album and that was the last time I saw Frank, when we were all living in Woodland Hills and they recorded some of that in his house. Don Vliet would drive over and sit in his Jaguar outside of my garage and listen to the different musicians I had playing in the band as we were rehearsing and he’d have these guys go over and say “Who’s playing that guitar?” “Is Merrell singing on this?”

[Jon laughs]

Merrell: So he would go try to recruit my musicians and he got John French first and then much later on he got Jeff Cotton. And then I don’t know if you read the story that Nigel Cross wrote – it was in Bucketfull of Brains and some other UK fanzine thing – about how when we formed MU and we were living one canyon over in Woodland Hills and Jeff left the band and they were all very angry about it and they kidnapped him one day and held him in the Beefheart house, and I had to go over there and have like a four-and-a-half-hour battle of the brains with Don to get Jeff back and take him back home with me.

[Jon laughs]

Merrell: And it was really a strange scene, Jon. This has all been written about. I think it’s in the book too, you know. You’d go over there and Don and I were friends and we’d jam and stuff together. And some of it got recorded, to answer your question, on little tape recorders and stuff but who knows where any of that went? But I’d go over there once in a while to visit them – and this was before Jeff joined me – and John French would have a splint on his finger – a broken finger. And then the bass player, Mark Boston, would walk out and he had a bloody lip. [laughs] So the Captain would decide who’s fucking up the band and he’d have the rest of the members go beat that guy up!

[Jon laughs]

Merrell: Yeah.

Jon: Jesus!

Merrell: Yeah, and he painted the whole living room red because he said “That’s the only way I can keep these guys awake and alert, Merrell.” And so you never knew who was gonna be the bad guy. And what happened at one point, Jeff Cotton turned out to be the bad guy – this was when he left the band – and they beat him up so bad they broke a couple of ribs, and he had to go to the hospital so his parents got him and took him back up to Lancaster, and he was up there for a while recuperating. And Jeff wanted to join me and his parents were afraid to let him go back down there because they were afraid the Beefheart guys would get him. And so everything was fine, you know, for about five or six months and then they found him down at a music store. He had walked down the street from my house, and it was Bill Harkleroad and Mark Boston and John French, and they kidnapped him – literally grabbed him off the street and took him up to Beefheart’s house. And I found out where he went from the music store owner so I went up there to retrieve him, and the poor guy was slumped in this bathroom, in the bath tub, whimpering and crying. Don would have a way of psychoanalysing people, you know, and really make them feel worthless and at one point Jeff was saying “Don’s right, Merrell: I gotta re-join his band.” And it took me a while to talk this out. I was in very good shape back then, Jon, and I’d been used to fighting [laughs] Mexicans in high school and those guys knew they couldn’t mess with me, you know, so I just grabbed Jeff and took him out of there. It reminded me of a book, The Devil and Daniel Webster, and several of the guys in the band, if you’ve read any of those books, they still harbour ill feelings against Don Vliet, you know. And a lot of them believed he was the devil. [Laughs] And Jeff Cotton still believes that Don was the devil.

Jon: Good God.

Merrell: And the girlfriend – I know I’m rambling on – the girlfriend –

Jon: Carry on rambling; I’m enjoying this immensely.

Merrell: The girlfriend, Lori – she would dose them with LSD in their hamburgers at night and so they would start coming onto this drug and not known that they’d been dosed, and they thought it was Don’s power; that he had some power, that he was doing this to them. And then he had Zappa put all of this portable recording equipment in the house and he had his cousin Victor, who ran it, and when these guys would get all high he would go “OK, tonight we’re going to play a strawberry,” and so you were supposed to imagine whatever a strawberry would sound like. [Laughs] And they’d all start playing and he’d say “it goes like this,” and he’d play these abstract notes on the piano. I’d been there when he was doing that. And he’d try to get the guitar players to play this melody that he was making up. That’s how some of that stuff was recorded: they were high on acid and they didn’t even know it.

Jon: Good Lord!

Merrell: [Laughs] It was sick. A lot of people said it reminded them of the Charles Manson deal but at least nobody was getting killed! [Laughs] People were getting beat up and severely psychologically damaged. And I think it still damaged Jeff because he won’t play music anymore. After MU moved to Maui he met this beautiful Hawaiian/Chinese girl who was a Christian, he then all of a sudden believed that the music, and the music business in particular, was the devil’s work.

Jon: Good God!

Merrell: Yeah. It’s a shame because he’s a talented guy and you know, he was my guitar student at age fourteen when I met him.

Jon: It’s interesting you said that people – ‘cause I thought that what you were saying about the way that Don did this sort of psychic mind control of his –

Merrell: Yeah.

Jon: I was thinking that sounded very Charles Manson.

Merrell: Yeah. Very much so.

Jon: And of course they were both in the desert at roughly the same sort of time, weren’t they?

Merrell: Well, let’s see. No, Manson went up in the desert later. The odd thing about that, if you read my book, when we formed MU Randy had a house on the outskirts of Los Angeles that went into this like deserty area, where there was this Spahn movie ranch, where the Mason gang was living and you can see this ranch, Jon. It’s in old late-1940s and early-fifties movies. A cowboy’ll ride by this rock with some Indians chasing him and that’s right on the outskirts of L.A. Well, Randy ran into two of the Mason girls once when he was hiking in this stream, and that’s in my book. Manson then fled out to the desert when he did those murders so that was later that Manson lived in the desert but yeah, they did both end up out in the desert. Don Vliet later moved way up to northern California and bought an old boy-scout camp, and that’s where he tried to keep the band going and then he ended up getting M.S. and died. He was a creative guy but he was just, I would say, the ultimate control freak. He could definitely captivate an audience just by talking and he had this scary air about him that reminded me of Lon Chaney Jr that played the wolf man in the werewolf movie.

Jon: Oh, yeah, I know him.

Merrell: In a way. People were – they were afraid of him. I could see how they would be afraid of him. When I had this battle of the brains with him, with Jeff Cotton stuck in the bath tub, he had a screen cage and he would catch these various spiders in the house, and sometimes a black widow and he would put them in this cage and watch them fight. And one time he said to me, Jon, when we were talking and he goes “Isnt’ that heavy? What would you think if I could make one of those spiders smoke a cigarette?” I said, “Well, that’d be a good trick, Don.” But, yeah, he was really something. He could’ve been a great actor, I think. He really had that way of commanding an audience.

Jon: I so wish that the tape recordings of you two jamming hadn’t got lost.

Merrell: Yeah. You know there was just so much bizarre stuff going on and bizarre behaviour. I am playing bottleneck slide on ‘China Pig’,– if it’s the same take ?– I think they gave the credit to Doug Moon on that because they didn’t know who had played that. But I listened to all of those recordings to see if I was on anything and several people thought it was me playing slide on this song called ‘China pig.’

Jon: Oh, that’s fantastic.

Merrell: Yeah. I’m on a few Spirit songs too that Mick Skidmore had something to do with putting out and they didn’t give me credit for playing on that either. I played slide and bass and acoustic twelve-string on a couple of songs that were on that. I think Evangeline label; California Blues; one of the last  Spirit albums that came out.

Jon: Good Lord.

Merrell: Yeah.

Jon: I’ll tell you one thing that surprised me as well, when you were just talking about Manson, I didn’t realise that Spahn ranch was right on the outskirts of Los Angeles; I’d always assumed it was right back, deep in the desert somewhere.
Merrell: No, it wasn’t, Jon. It was out, actually just past Woodland Hills in Chatsworth. Woodland Hills is where I lived and I’d moved there with HMS Bounty, and Beefheart had moved down from the desert and he lived just one canyon over. And we bumped into each other at the music store, and he’d say “Oh, come on up and jam,” and he’d come over to my house and jam once in a while. Chatsworth was going just sort of towards the desert foothills and it was just out of the San Fernando Valley, actually. They used those areas a lot for cowboy movies and stuff because it looked very rugged. There was a lot of interesting rock formations, things like that.

Jon: Oh, that changes my whole sort of mental picture.

Merrell: Yeah.

Jon: Because I’d assumed it was miles away.

Merrell: No, he ran off to the desert after he had murdered all those people and he was afraid that they were gonna find him there. Dennis Wilson, the drummer of the Beach Boys, met him, and went up there and hung out with him, and was even trying to help record some of Charles Manson’s songs. They weren’t very good but somehow he got interested in them.

Jon: I’m glad you’Jon
I corrected a few wrong words and repeats in a few sections, it flows nicely now. If you copy and paste it as Ive corrected it then you can use it. 
Let me know when its online? Please let me know you've been getting all the photos Ive been sending for the book ? There are more coming.
Best Always,
Merrell say that because I’ve heard them and I didn’t think they were any good either.

Merrell: Yeah.

Jon: But you know, I don’t know what it was about them that people – ‘cause Neil Young thought he was a very good song writer but I always thought they were terrible.

Merrell: Yeah, yeah. Most of the people I knew too didn’t think they were very good. I mean, I think Dennis Wilson is probably lucky he didn’t get murdered because Charles Manson got mad and upset because he couldn’t get a record deal.

Jon: Golly!

Merrell: Yeah!

Jon: Was he a sort of fixture on the outskirts of the music scene, then?

Merrell: Well, I guess he was trying to break in any way he could and Terry Melcher, I know, had met him and he was trying to get Terry Melcher to get him a deal, and when he couldn’t do that, and Terry Melcher and lived in that house where he had –

Jon: Cielo drive

Merrell: Yeah, and so I think he thought he was getting back at Terry Melcher when he killed all of those people and Sharon Tate.

Jon: Wow.

Merrell: Yeah. Yeah, that was a very strange time and the odd thing was we were watching TV, Randy Weimer the drummer from MU, and I, and they announced this thing: that they’d zeroed in on these people from Spahn Ranch, that they thought had something to do with the murders, and they mentioned Charles Manson because he was on probation or something, and Randy went “Oh, my God! Those two girls I met up the creek when I was hiking were two of Charles Manson’s girls!” And he just realised that and figured it out when we got this news over the television. 
by Richard Stellar


It is a Thursday night in Glendale, California, a scant three days before the world premiere of a concerto celebrating the heroics of a Holocaust survivor and hero, written by an ascending star in the world of film scoring and concert music. 

The Glendale Philharmonic Orchestra has assembled in a truncated version of 16 musicians, led by famed Maestro Frank Fetta and master cellist Ruslan Biryukov - who looks down impatiently from the stage at the composer while she feverishly reviews her score before addressing the orchestra.

Sharon Farber (pronounced Sha-rone) is an Israeli born musical prodigy who defies atypical profiling and physicality in the classic sense.  Looking as if she would be more comfortable in front of the camera than behind it, Farber is a winner of the 2013 Society of Composers and Lyricists Award in Recognition of Outstanding Work in the Art of Music for Film. 

Farber has been maneuvering a successful and much celebrated path in a male dominated industry.  Like a flower in a field of concrete, Farber is a stand out.  And now she faces the testosterone laden cellist as they are about to rehearse for the first time with an orchestra, her ode to the Holocaust hero Curt Lowens.  Biryukov’s eyes are like lasers as he directs his focus from Maestro Fetta, to the front row pew where Farber sits. 

Farber shifts her attention from the score to the orchestra, and then hoists herself up to stand on the pew to address the musicians, balancing her 95 lb. body on high heeled boots. 

“I want to thank you for being here” she says determinably, the musicians stopping their tuning in order to hear her.  “This concerto was inspired by a man who escaped Nazi persecution and fled with his family to Holland.  His name is Curt Lowens and he will be here when we perform.  He has saved countless lives and…”

Biryukov taps the bow of his cello frantically on the stage to get Farber’s attention.  “Sharon, please – we are here to practice, can we begin our rehearsal please…”

Farber does not miss a beat, and like a tractor that chooses to drive over an obstacle rather than divert around it, she continues, ignoring the cello masters remonstrations.

“The man who we are celebrating with this concerto was a hero of the Dutch Resistance who saved American Pilots and reunited Jewish Children.  This is a dramatic and emotional piece that requires passion in order to convey the story…”.
“Sharon, please!”

She nods, her message conveyed, and takes her seat again in front of the orchestra.  Narrator Michael Des Barres, watches over the interplay between composer and the man who is known as ‘the Jimi Hendrix of the cello’.  Biryukov nods and finally smiles, his attention returning to the score that depicts his role in what looks like an abstract collage of notes that would cause a meltdown in lesser cellists.  However complicated the score appears, the result is a contemporary and communicative concerto that will find a place amongst the great works of our time.

To Des Barres, this is very much like rock and roll.  “Working with any group of musicians, whatever the genre is the same:  a tribe of emotionality that clashes like cymbals at the climax of a crescendo.  I’ve been in a number of bands with world class egos, wild tempers, 3 chord entitlement and ‘insecurity’ tattooed on their foreheads.”

Farber composed Bestemming: Cello Concerto No. 1, with the other-worldly talents of Biryukov and Des Barres in mind.  Very few cellists are equipped to handle the intricacies, and even fewer have the balls to interpret the desperation and fervor of this concerto.  Des Barre’s colorful background as writer of the world hit ‘Obsession’ and lead singer in bands such as Power Station, Detective and Silverhead has uniquely prepared him in dealing with the challenges of performing the unusual role of narrator in a concerto.

Cut to the night of the performance.  Unexpectedly the church fills to the rafters as friends and families of musicians mix with entertainment executives and aficionados of classical music. 

Once again, Sharon Farber stands.  This time not to address the musicians, but the audience.  She introduces the 89 year old Curt Lowens, and he is received with enthusiastic applause.  She takes the same seat in the pew and looks up at Des Barres.  Her role tonight is to conduct the narrator much like Maestro Fetta conducts the orchestra. 

Des Barres’ powerful narration cuts immediately to the core of everyone’s emotions.  A man seated in front of me is bent over, sobbing as he holds each of his twin boys tightly to him.  The cello passages at the deft hands of Biryukov are both fluid and percussive.  His sweat drips onto the frayed edges of his bow as it moves furiously back and forth along the strings of his cello.  The cello weeps, screams, and then takes on the guise of military planes – swooping and dive bombing as a counterpoint to Des Barres’ powerful narration.  Still the man in front of me sobs.  I clutch the shoulder of an old friend who sits in front of me.  I look around, others have been caught up in the emotion that the trio of Farber, Biryukov and Des Barres conjures up in time to Fetta’s frantic conducting 

The music stops, and there is silence. 

Then it begins. Applause that begins deep in one’s core, and gets louder.  People are standing now.  Shouts of ‘Bravo!’ punctuate the explosive clapping, while the petite composer acknowledges the crowd.  I look again at that man with the twins.  He is also standing, each young boy on either side of him clutching their father.  I’m sure he was reminded that there was a time when those two children could have been torn from his embrace, and then it dawns on me – this is what Farber’s concerto is all about. 

Des Barres’ interpretation in a Facebook meme that grew viral acknowledged the ‘oppression of the holocaust and the parallel acts of oppression today’.

Farber probably best summed up the true meaning of Bestemming.  “Holocaust survivors are dying, and as an artist, I feel that I have an obligation to remember and carry on their stories, so that we Never Forget.  This concerto has a universal voice that I hope raises the consciousness of those who experience it.  Maybe they will take a stand against human crimes.  There are many Curt Lowens’ in the world.  Each has a unique story.  Curt’s story and this concerto relates to every human being.”

Satyagraha: Engaged Spirituality
Gandhi leading Salt Satyagraha, a notable example of Satyagraha: from Wikipedia

Truth Force

Mahatma Gandhi called it Satyagraha, which means Truth Force.

Martin Luther King called it Soul Force.

It is mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita, where it is referred to as Karma Yoga, a Sanskrit term which we can translate loosely as Action Yoga, discipline in action.

Or we could call it Engaged Spirituality.

It is the means by which a person with spiritual beliefs may become involved in the political world.

You’ve probably seen the films from the days of the British Raj. An Indian peasant walks up to a line of British Soldiers, who refuse to let him pass. He attempts to pass anyway. One of the soldiers knocks him down with the butt of his gun. The peasant stands up and again attempts to pass. The soldier knocks him down again. More peasants walk to the line. More and more of them are knocked down. All of them continue to get up and walk back, standing up to the power and the might of the British Empire, putting their fragile bodies on the line, suffering for a political cause.

John Salter, Joan Trumpauer, and Anne Moody at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Jackson, Mississippi, May 28, 1963: Soul Force
John Salter, Joan Trumpauer, and Anne Moody at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in Jackson, Mississippi, May 28, 1963: Soul Force

You will also have heard of the Freedom Riders, the mixed race groups who rode on Interstate buses into the segregated South in the crucial years of the Civil Rights movement in the United States, challenging local laws permitting racial segregation on buses, and in parks and restaurants. Often they were beaten up for their troubles, or thrown into Jail.

You will have seen the marches, in Montgomery and Birmingham in the state of Alabama: the civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, linking arms as they approach the state troopers. You may have seen the images of the Greenboro sit-ins of the early 60s, when black people sat at segregated food-counters in Woolworths and other stores demanding to be served. Can you imagine the intensity of that? Not only were they breaking the law, they were defying the accepted behaviour of their day and facing the hatred of the crowd. Anyone who has ever been in a similar position, feeling waves of hatred bearing down upon them, will know what courage that took, what spirit, what inner strength.

This is Satyagraha in action.

More recently, in the UK, you will have seen the peace camps at Greenham Common and Molesworth. You will have seen Druids and other road protesters building tree houses and fortifications along the route of the bypass at Newbury. You will have heard Brian Haw giving his alternative Christmas speech from his camp in Parliament Square, or have seen interviews with members of the Occupy Movement from the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London.

What all of these movements share is a common tactic and a common source. The tactic is non-violent resistance, or non-violent direct action, defined by Dr King in his most famous speech in the following terms:

  • We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

As for the source, this could perhaps be best summarised in these words from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, written by William Blake in a time of great political and spiritual turmoil, between the American and the French Revolutions:

  • I saw no God, nor heard any, in a finite organical perception; but my senses discover'd the infinite in every thing, and as I was then perswaded, & remain confirm'd; that the voice of honest indignation is the voice of God, I cared not for consequences but wrote.

That’s it, in a nutshell. The voice of honest indignation.

Whenever a human being is roused to action by an abuse, whenever he or she feels compelled to make a stand, unable to bear the indignity of an injustice, wherever there is love and solidarity between human beings oppressed by wrongful laws, by inequality or discrimination, there you will find God.

Read on...


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

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

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


Housing Benefit Hill:


Paperback: 272 pages

Publisher: Omnibus Press (16 July 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1780385455

ISBN-13: 978-1780385457


As regular readers of my inky fingered scribblings on the Gonzo Daily will know, most of what I write about here is either directly or indirectly linked to the output of Gonzo Multimedia. However, once in a while, I write about other things that interest me – usually book reviews (often courtesy of those jolly nice people at Omnibus Press) and it is those jolly nice people at Omnibus Press who sent me a biography of a band that, I have to admit, pretty well passed me by the frst time round.


At the end of the 1980s, and the very beginning of the 1990s, I was in a peculiar position, I was a music journalist that had cordially disliked most of the music that came out of the 1980s and was firmly entrenched into being a fan of stuff from the late ‘60s and ‘70s. Whereas I admit that these days I still very rarely listen to anything mainstream from the 1980s – the over-glossy productions, heavily processed linn drums that went doing, doing, doing, and the sparkly synthesisers which sounded so fresh and new 30 years ago just sound tired and vulgar to these jaded ears. I started listening to contemporary music again with the ears of a fan in 1987 when albums by Pop will Eat Itself, the Shamen and The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu reminded me the three chords, a bit of subversion and a good dollop of attitude was still an exciting recipe. I quite liked the Happy Mondays circa. Hills, Thrills and Bellyaches but their first couple of albums left me cold and for some reason, I never got into the Stone Roses at all.


I say for some reason, because – as a soundtrack to my reading this slightly dull but very worthy biography of the band, I was enthused enough to try listening to them, and – 20+ years after I should have done, I finally got them. I still don’t think that they are quite the saviours of popular music that they were touted as back in the day, but I do think their mixture of classic pop harmonies and baggy beats have a lot to recommend them. Bizarrely I started listening to their much vilified second album last Christmas, and got slightly sozzled with one of my adopted nephews and played it far too loud.


It would be very interesting to see what their much touted reunion brings forth. As with the biography of The Smiths which I read some weeks ago, I didn’t end up liking any of the main protagonists very much, although I did end up admiring them their musicianly and songwriting skills. The most sympathetic character is their manager who was generally buggered about and treated quite badly by the band, who basically came over as fairly unlikeable and impossible to manage.


All in all an interesting book and one which I think repays further investigation.

Rick here, I do the website for Jefferson Starship (not Starship-no, no). I also keep in touch with several old Bands. Always enjoy the Hawkwind updates and sometimes try to get Kantner and Brock together when the band is in England. Came close once...
 That site is
 Thought some of your readers might enjoy this classic show:
 I have a site too:
Got some music:
and for a very rare CD by Paul Kantner and an all star lineup (This is the shameless capitalist part of the e-mail.):
 featuring the Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra - first time on CD (from the RCA Archives).
I don't really know how I get the Gonzo e-mail, but thanks just the same.
Rick McNamara
Troy, NY
(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..
Hawkwind fans have been surprised and pleased to hear that an eve-of-performance "Space Ritual" rehearsal gig could be open to holders of 'Hawkwind Passports'. The actual gig, a one-off for charity, is in Shepherd's Bush on Feb 22nd at the O2 Empire, and tickets rapidly sold out when they went on sale in December.

And now, Hawkwind have said: "We are thinking about doing a full day dress / production rehearsal for our Space Ritual show, which takes place at the Rock 4 Rescue event at The Shepherds Bush Empire on Feb 22nd."

The rehearsal is expected to take place in Seaton, East Devon presumably at The Gateway. It was later explained on the Hawkwind forum that the band "thought people may like to come during the day and witness a bit of how these things come together."

Hawkwind said: "If we are not happy with anything, we will stop and start etc until we get it right and see what works best... This may be boring for some folk who, if they prefer, could turn up later for the run through and give the 'trying things out' process a miss." The London show starts somewhat early - doors 6:30pm - and as it's not just a regular concert, but a whole evening scheduled, the final run-through / rehearsal the day before may be in the late afternoon or early evening.

Hawkwind fans who don't yet possess a 'Hawkwind Passport' can apply for one via the website
Is it Real? It is The Musical Box
With The Musical Box saying they've played "The Lamb Lies Down in Broadway" tour for the last time, let's check in on a perspective on that show.  While Steve sated me nicely on early Genesis last year, we will still be attending The Musical Box doing the Selling England By The Pound and Foxtrot tours

It is Real

It is Rael

So ends the double album epic by the band Genesis, titled “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.” This 1974 release was the last record Genesis created with lead vocalist Peter Gabriel who wrote the story and most of the lyrics to tell the tale of Rael, a street punk who is mysteriously plucked from the streets of New York city to unwillingly inhabit and then transcend an underworld filled with personal challenges, freaks, creatures, and his own alter-ego, brother John. The Lamb was a true concept album, and the tour to support it was conceived as “rock theater” complete with bits of narration, a three screen slide show with over 1,000 images, costumes, props, and lighting effects. It was staged only 102 times, seen by few of the bands eventual followers, and was utterly unique in the world of rock ‘n roll.

Several “classic rock” artists between 1967-1979 wrote concept albums, meant to be taken as “rock opera” or at least as something approaching theater. The Beatles â€œSgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” was taken as a concept album, and though in reality a loose collection of individual tracks, set the tone for the form as it would be attempted within the rock framework. The Who‘s famous double album epic “Tommy” established the potential of rock theater even though it was not staged as such at the time. Seek out the Isle of Wight show by the Who from that era and while you will find their lead singer’s delivery forceful, there are no literal theatrical elements. At the time many rock bands, from the Who to QueenYes, and others, incorporated some elements of storytelling and some physical or projected imagery into their shows, but generally did not have sets and a cohesive presentation approaching Broadway theater. The lead vocalists from these bands were revered for emotive presentation of the individual songs, and were lauded for as expressive a presentation as possible.  Theatrical yes, theater no.

Enter Genesis, with Gabriel as lead vocalist, who had been donning costumes and acting out bit parts during their concerts since 1971. The Lamb was the logical extension of this approach, painstakingly assembled by Gabriel while secluded from the band, who wrote the music and worked to patch everything together with added lyrics and transitions. The end result is an oblique tale of Rael’s experiences in a “parallel universe”, which might be akin to “purgatory” or a waiting room between this life and the next. In order to escape from or transcend this realm, Rael survives a series of vignettes echoing the human experiences of imprisonment, helplessness, sexuality, disease, betrayal and despair. However one interprets the story and lyrics in the first two acts, the last is slightly more clear – Rael sacrifices his own interests to save his brother John, who then morphs into and merges with Rael himself. The union then frees Rael to become part of “it” which is here, now, and everywhere, ending the story on a spiritual plane. Did Rael die and finally make his way out of “hell?” Did he become a supreme being himself? Or, was the tale just Rael’s dream depicting the battle of good vs. evil raging in his own soul. This became the grist for many debates among fans of early Genesis, most of whom consider it to be the band’s masterwork, despite it’s acknowledged flaws.

The production was staged in as grand a way as possible at the time, yet within the confines of a rock quintet presenting the material on stage. A slide show unfolds across three screens, allowing for over a thousand images to tumble by – some with artists renderings but most via photographs, presented as a running storyboard for the play. Gabriel was the only member of the band to “act out” the story, spending much of his time dressed as Rael, and hitting a high water mark after climbing into a bulbous rubber suit to depict the diseased “Slipperman” character. The show was presented 102 times, and besides a few short 8mm clips, it was never filmed. The specter of Gabriel being considered to be “the band” itself and probably the realization that this Lamb was as far as their brand of rock theater could go, led to Gabriel’s subsequent departure.

Read on...

The Court Circular tells interested readers about the comings and goings of members of The Royal Family. However, readers of this periodical seem interested in the comings and goings of Yes and of various alumni of this magnificent and long-standing band. Give the people what they want, I say
Things are livening up after a quiet week last week. The most important and certainly the most exciting news for a while is that Yes are working on a new studio album, and that Jon Davison is a full writing partner. Whilst on the subject of Jon Davison, he is also apparently still working with his own band Glass Hammer. Ex-singer Jon Anderson who is still often billed as 'The Voice of Yes' is reissuing his 1976 debut solo album Olias of Sunhillow, possibly as a prelude to the long awaited sequel. Rick Wakeman, however, is off to Israel. Only four stories, but four bloody good ones.
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! 
NEVER SEEN(fire @the core of all-how can this be?
Ice cities Arctic/Antarctic/Alaska/Iceland/Greenland
We pit Vulcan icebreakers to snap the cold spell
Polar vortex reaches down to us/freezes homeless
We melt icecaps/mine /explore/dig deeper
Exploit/export/make ports/send ships to cruise
Ice retreats-we heat via presence.Soon earth appears
We then dig the dirt beneath our feet.Make new sea passages.
When they ask if AVATAR is another planet,James Cameron smiles-
"All that you see is here and disappearing-oceans,forests,ice
Emotions,response,Greenpeace,activism-all lost"
Even ice gives up-melts tears ,increases water levels
We drown in our own boiling frog frying pan
In Victorian times every well-bred Gentleman had a 'Cabinet of Curiosities'; a collection of peculiar odds and sods, usually housed in a finely made cabinet with a glass door. These could include anything from Natural History specimens to historical artefacts. There has always been something of the Victorian amateur naturalist about me, and I have a houseful of arcane objects; some completely worthless, others decidedly not, but all precious to me for the memories they hold.

But people send me lots of pictures of interesting, and, may I say, peculiar things. But once again this week it is over to my lovely wife...
Gather round children.  Today we look through the round window and what a trio of amazing, thought-provoking, titillating, and perhaps questionable, items I have found for you today.  Let us sit Big Ted, Little Ted and Jemima  down beside us, and gaze through the slightly dusty pane with longing, and perhaps even the odd tinge of envy:
Backalong, in December last year a first-pressing copy of King Crimson’s 1969 debut album sold for nearly $900 on eBay.  Also in the same month at an auction ( The Rolling Stones’ snooker table sold for $12,800 (well I am assuming it was theirs, it doesn’t actually define that; after all it could just have a picture of them on it somewhere for all I know).  What a load of balls I say (well, I couldn’t resist that cue could I? Predictable perhaps but come on….) But yes, it does surprise me that a first-pressing copy of a debut album by such a magnificent band as King Crimson, who brought us such classic musical compositions as 'Epitaph', 'The Court of the Crimson King', 'Cirkus' and so on and so forth sold for less than a snooker table used by such a commercial, predictable band as The Rolling Stones (yes, you got it, I am not what can be considered in any way, shape or form a fan).  Humans are certainly fickle. 
Read More: King Crimson's Debut Album Sells for Almost $900 |
And a little further back in 2013, in October to be precise, someone paid nearly $250,000 for – wait for it – a piece of gum.  Not just an ordinary piece of gum I must add, but one that had been chewed – yes, chewed – by Gene Simmons. No not the delightful Jean Simmons, the actress – the chap from Kiss.  Ok it was up for sale on eBay to raise funds for a charity, but urgh … no thank you.
Read More: Gene Simmons’ Used Gum Sells for Almost $250,000 |
I really should check out eBay more often.  In July there was apparently a rare copy of Genesis’ first single up for grabs.  It actually sold for $3,850 after more than 20 bids.  ‘The Silent Sun’ was produced by Jonathan King and released by Parrot Records in 1968 â€“ wow I was 12 then!    Now, I have made no secret in the past that the Peter Gabriel-era Genesis were, and will always be – to me - the ultimate group of all time, and if I had had the money I may well have been tempted to bid for such a desirous item,  so that does probably make me just as much of a sucker for memorabilia as the next person. However, I do not have - and probably never will have - anything like that kind of disposable income floating around so I think I shall just stick (quite contentedly when all is said and done) with my autographed programme and free floppy 45 rpm that I still have that came with a magazine years ago.  Oh, and the delicious memory, of course, of being spoken to by my hero, Mr. Gabriel, when he enquired of me as to what my name was, and how to spell it, before he put pen to parchment.  Ah, those were the days.  I have my own little collection of memorabilia to fawn over in my darkest hours of longing for my lost youth, but at least my collection is a tad more wholesome than some.  Yes, I am happy  with my little assortment of bits and bobs, and crazy memories of those singular occasions such as my once long, thick, flowing locks getting caught in Phil Collins’ bomber jacket zip, and the resultant surreal conversation between me and the wearer of said jacket, and the jelly-legged  moment of being spoken to by my music hero with regard to the above-mentioned autograph (at the same event - what a night that was!)  Star-struck?  Me?  Never.  Well, un peu perhaps where Mr. G is concerned – he is ace. 
Read More: Genesis’ Debut Single Sells for $3,850 |

PS: I see that Marillion are mentioned above.  I have a personally signed album from one of the band members back when he was in a different band too.  Nah nah nah nah nah. I flick my fingers at you, eBay.....

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

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

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

They mooch around in their minimalist universe suffering from an existential crisis with some genetically modified humour thrown in. I think Peter McAdam is one of the funniest people around, and I cannot recommend his book The Nine Henrys highly enough. Check it out at Amazon.
Each issue we shall be running a series of Henrybits that are not found in his book about the nine cloned cartoon characters who inhabit a surreal world nearly as insane as mine...

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

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

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

the running order (so far) for the 2014 event
Kev Rowland
EPHEL DUATH        Hemmed By Light, Shaped By Darkness      (AGONIA)
It has been four years since the last Ephel Duath album, so when I saw that this was available I really excited as this experimental avant-garde Black metal band have always intrigued me and I have enjoyed what I have heard of their previous albums. The line-up this time was founder, guitarist and songwriter Davide Tiso, Marco Minnemann (Kreator, Necrophagist, Joe Satriani) on drums, Bryan Beller (Dethklok, Joe Satriani) on bass and Karyn Crisis (Crisis, Karyn Crisis Band and more importantly Tiso’s wife) on lead `Eternal), who also appears on two of the songs. Musically this is brutal stuff, which is also bringing in lots of different styles from death metal through to jazz, and touching on loads of stuff inbetween, but for me it just doesn’t really gell.
There is a fine line between being experimental and creating a new style of music, and being experimental and creating something that in some ways in unlistenable, and there are times on this album where they straddle that line and times when they go crashing right on through. There is little in the way of continuity and I found myself getting musically confused as to what they were trying to do, as while there are plenty of BM elements it all seemed too disjointed and angular, almost as if they were trying to be too clever for their own good. The one thing that I couldn’t fathom at the end is where the fault is with the music or with my personal understanding of it. I listen to a great many forms of music, and have been known to enjoy Art Zoyd and Can, as well as plenty of free form jazz, but I just don’t get this at all. It is difficult to listen to, both in terms of timbre and style, and possibly if I made more effort then I would get more out of it, but it just seems too much like hard work.  

FATES WARNING         Darkness In A Different Light             (INSIDE OUT)
Sometimes it is hard to remember just how long this band has been around, but they were formed in 1982 with their first album out in ’84. Some 20 years on from that they decided to take a break, although they all stayed active in different groups (and sometimes working together). Now, some nine years after ‘FWX’, they are back. This is the first FW release by this line-up, but there has only been one change with Bobby Jarzombek (drums) taking over from Mark Zonder,  but the rest of the gang are here, with the line-up completed by Ray Alder (vocals), Jim Matheos and Frank Aresti (guitars) and Joey Vera (bass). Yes that’s right, no keyboards or samplers, these guys have gone back to their roots and have created a complex metal album that is full of riffs and interplay.
One of the things that has always marked these guys out as being a little different to many in their field is that they have always concentrated on the songs and refused to let their own musical prowess take them away from that. The result in this case is an album packed full of songs, with only one being long, with plenty of room for everyone to shine as long as it doesn’t detract from the overall feel of the piece. Ray has been fronting this band for some 25 years now but he doesn’t show any sign at all of slowing down, and still hits the notes with ease and displays great breath control. It is an infectious album that is full of punch and vigour, and something that can be enjoyed from the very first time it hits the player. For fans of the band, and for fans of all types of infectious metal with a commercial prog element to the approach. 
MASSACRA          Day Of The Massacra             (CENTURY MEDIA)
Founded in Paris in 1986, these guys released a series of demo recordings before putting out their debut album in 1990, and this is the first collection featuring the remastered “Nearer From Death” (1989), “Final Holocaust” (1988) and “Legion Of Torture” (1987). Here was a band that really did epitomise the DIY ethic of the time and even managed to arrange their own European and North American tours without label support. They were raw, unpolished, in your face, and full of passion, and all of that is easy to hear on this collection. It is aggressive and in your face and the only thing that lets down is the quality of the production, but those who are going to be purchasing this are going to be glad that these tapes have now been made available, no matter how raw they now seem so many years after being recorded.  
Century Media have worked with the band’s former guitarist Jean-Marc Tristani and the CD version features a large booklet with tons of rare photos, picture comments and detailed interview by guitarist Jean-Marc It also includes French version of the interview for the band's national fans! Fittingly this has also been released on vinyl, and if you are interested in one of these then visit Get past the 20+ year old independent production, and you will find here something that is brutal that will definitely be of interest to fans of early Sepultura and Kreator.
MAYFAIR          Schlage Mein Herz, Schlage...       (PURE PROG)
The album title translates to “Suggest my Heart, Suggest”, and is the first new album in 15 years for this German outfit. Some of the songs are in English, and some in German, hence the German title. It has been really interesting to read some of the reviews of this album, as there are plenty of people out there who are calling this one of the finest albums of the year, and extremely happy that Mayfair are back on the scene again. But, there is a huge part of me who wonders if that emotional attachment has clouded their judgement as while this is an okay album it is never really anything more than that. There is a lot going on in terms of influences, with Rammstein, early Floyd, Radiohead and Porcupine Tree being just some of the more obvious. There 
are times when the music is direct, but for the most part it is dreamy and drifting, which is one of the issues I have with this as there just isn’t enough impact here. It is something that I have both listened to intently and have played in the background while doing other things, and take it from me in the latter it just disappears with no real impact.

At times it is extremely atmospheric, and is often dark, and there are even some riffs here and there, but for some reason this doesn’t come together and gell as it should.
Quintessential QNTAL
by Corinna
I think Jon may be treading on dangerous ground here in letting me write a few words about bands I discover whilst on my travels around Spotify, YouTube etc. This could be a minefield to be trodden only by the brave.  Does he really want me to introduce Viking metal or folk metal to these pages?  Does he really want me to write about battles and the journey to Valhalla?  Probably not, so I shall try and be good and not include Turisas, Ensiferum, Finntroll et al here.   I shall try and keep it to the more gentle neo-folk/medieval genre. 
But why do I listen to such things?  And why do I enjoy them so much?  In a nutshell, I dabble with writing and have found that it is this kind of music that helps me best.  I am forever on the search for that which will unleash my muse for she needs release from the everyday comings and goings that continuously open and slam doors shut in my head. They rush around in my skull and don’t give a chance to those unwritten scenes that occasionally attempt peak their heads surreptitiously around a half-open portal that slammed itself shut and open again after the shopping list rushed through.  

She can only be released by music, and only that music that blasts the normality of life away; the gloriously named sackbuts, hurdy-gurdy, crumhorn, bladder pipe and so on and so forth that can transport you back to a life gone by, but that more importantly can take me away from the 21st Century even if for only a few hours here and there.  I guess that is why I prefer King Crimson to The Rolling Stones as mentioned dans le cabinet.  

Some people need peace and quiet, some need to look out upon the ocean, but me – I need music to let my own less-omnipotent adaptation of Calliope and her sisters dance barefoot and free.  Is that cheating to use as inspiration the skill of those that make music?  Perhaps it is, but then do not some use world events, poetry and the like to inspire them to write music?  Perhaps it all goes hand in hand.   
I had better get on with what I am actually supposed to be writing about here.  There is a sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley entitled Ozymandias, which was another name for Ramesses II.  A beautiful sonnet it is, and there is a band from Germany that, in my opinion,  has borrowed from it perfectly.  Listen to their short two-part offering and tell me you are not transported back to the enigmatic Egypt of yesteryear. 

Qntal-Ozymandias I
Ozymandias II

Who are they?  â€œElectro-medieval” band Qntal were formed in 1991 and, as Wikipedia explains:  â€œThe band's lyrics are primarily drawn from historical sources. Throughout their first three albums, lyrics were primarily in Latin, medieval German, Galician-Portuguese and a few other European tongues.” – just up my street then, I am a sucker for sung Latin prose. 
And here is the sonnet of inspiration:

Shelley's Ozymandias

”I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away”
I am always worried when I write this column because I am afraid that sometimes it comes over that I am whingeing, when I truly am not doing anything of the sort. But the modern world is confusing to us all (or at least I assume that it is), and when you live as singular life as I do, then things tend to get even more confusing, and  I have come to enjoy letting off steam at the end of the week.

Last night I sat down and watched documentaries on The Doors and Jimi Hendrix on BBC i Player. I hadn't realised that Elvis's bass player was on LA Woman, and it was nice to see the archive film of the band in action, but it was the Hendrix documentary that was the real eye opener. I had never seen the full Woodstock set before, and was always under the impression that he had baffled the crowd with a plethora of unreleased material. Not so. He played a shoddy greatest hits set rather badly, with an under-rehearsed and rather messy band. Even the much touted 'Star Spangled Banner' was nowhere near as impressive when heard as a coda to a very lacklustre version of 'Voodoo Chile'. OK I was somewhat in my cups, but I was rather underwhelmed by the whole thing.

The more eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that this issue is denoted as #60/1. It is not a double issue, in fact there is nothing extraordinary about it at all (except for the fact that it was put together on a wing and a prayer because I had no broadband access for most of the week).

Nope, it is purely to bring the numbering back into correlation with the date after we missed an issue a few weeks back.
On the whole, apart from the broadband shenanigans (and although the spellchecker seems to say that word is spelt correctly, I am not so sure) it has once again been rather a nice week here in the potato shed.

The only real alarms and excursions took place on Friday when Lilith broke free. No, I am not talking about Adam's semi-mythical first wife. Nor of the character in a popular US sitcom a few years back, but of Captain Frunobulax's little sister. 

I have always been a great believer in giving animals names that suit their character, and there was something ever so slightly elfin about the little black kitten that we adopted early last summer. So Corinna named her Lilith Tinkerbell, which seemed ever-so appropriate.

Friday evening was full of drama! Lilith had only took her first faltering steps outside last week, and is only allowed outside under strict supervision, escaped. Sometime in the mid-afternoon she got out, and we couldn't find her anywhere.

As anyone who has ever visited my house will know, there is stuff everywhere - tanks of exotic fish and other creatures, guitars, books, CDs, zoological specimens, and general tat that we have picked up on our travels - so there are plenty of places for a little pussy cat to hide. So we weren't that first.

But as the evening progressed we got more and more worried, and by the time we went to bed, Corinna and I were verging on distraught. Then, just after we had switched the bedroom light out, we heard a plaintive squeaking noise from outside, and Corinna rushed downstairs only to return a few minutes later with a little black kitten who was looking rather pleased with herself, and none the worse for her adventure.

Maybe naming the kitten after a lamia and an oversexed fairy was not such a good idea after all..
Copyright © Gonzo/CFZ Press 2013  All rights reserved.

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

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences