::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN'? -                     ::
  ::     The Weekly (or so) Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts   ::
  ::                         Issue # 167                          ::
  ::                 Saturday, October 21st, 2000                 ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: ddcross@us.ibm.com
Subject: HH interview
Date: Mon, 16 Oct 2000 13:15:15 -0400


Does Canterbury music really exist? An easily answered question.

What does Canterbury music sound like? Well, it sounds like Hugh Hopper!

Of course, you all know his songs. I would guess 2 or 3 of your personal favorites are written by who? How could the teenage Hugh Hopper had the maturity and insight to pen his classic heartbreak "Memories"?

And of course you all know his bass sound. 100 Watt searing fuzzbass. The original.

Still fuzzy after all these years, Hugh humours me with another Q&A. For the first, far more expensive interview I did with Hugh try WR#79. Hugh's pal Robert Wyatt has some nice things to say on Hugh in WR#100. Here Hugh and I touch on the following: Pink Floyd, drugs, Jimi Hendrix, current technical trends. Hugh Hopper is in top form, technology serves him well!

Q: Can you state your date of birth and point of origin.

A: Yes.
Oh, you want details? 29 April 1945, Whitstable, Kent, UK

Q: Here in my hometown, The Rochester magazine recently ran a feature of the Hendrix/Softs show here in Rochester. That show was only the second big "rock show" to ever play here. The first was the Rolling Stones 1964 show nearly resulting in Brian Jones and Mick Jagger's arrest.

A: I remember, not the show (they all passed away in a haze, and not from smoking), but after the gig we had to drive downstate to somewhere like Buffalo or Toledo, Ohio, and there was a real blizzard. The closest I got to Niagara Falls was around then, but all that Neville (Jimi's roadie) and I saw was the inside of the U-Haul truck... And Greyhounds thrashing past at seventy, completely blind in the snow and fog ...

Q: The tour itenerary seemed to be made by someone who really didn't understand how large the US actually was/is.

A: We noticed that, too. In fact, it was when Jimi was just starting to become really known - the management had a reasonable number of gigs in the book when we set off on the tour, but as the buzz about Jimi spread, so more and more gigs came in and they filled up all the previously free days, so we had to drive from Ohio across to Toronto, leave straight after the gig (minus 23 degrees) and drive through Detroit for a Chicago gig the following afternoon (a Sunday), then back to Detroit the next day. Get the picture?

I wrote a piece about the tour called The Jimi Hendrix Nightmare Tour. Melody Maker ran a shortened version on the 10th anniversary of his death in 1980 - and Chas Chandler sued me and Melody Maker for defamation of character... Maybe I'll look out the original and consign it to floppy (written years ago on a typewriter - remember those?)

Q: There were two roadies, one for Hendrix, one for the Softs... in the spirit of cooperation I would venture you must have done some work for Hendrix too?

A: Well, of course, we helped each other load and drive, although Neville usually insisted on driving much too long until he would suddenly flake out... But there really was just the two of us to drive, set up and break down. At first there wasn't much gear and it was shared by both bands, but then Sunn gave Jimi a backline that sounded great but doubled our work load, and various friendly manufacturers donated more and more PA equipment...

Q :Please give me some of your first impressions of Jimi Hendrix. Was is more like direct communication with outerspace, a 500 megaton psychedelic bomb exploding in your face or wasn't it that big of a deal?

A: I first met Jimi at the Speakeasy in London and was a typical fan, but of course after the first couple of gigs on the US tour was so totally knackered by the work and travelling that all I wanted to do after the Soft set was to sleep an hour  in the dressing room while Jimi played. Tragic waste of music, I know, but there y' go...

Q: Did you get a chance to jam with any of the Experience?

A: No, never. There was never any time on tour. I don't remember even the Softs themselves jamming - it really was gig, hotel, travel, gig, hotel, travel, for two and a half months until we got to NY at the end, and then both Jimi and Soft Machine were recording. I think in NY Robert Wyatt got into jamming, being a more social animal at that time, but Kevin Ayers, Mike Ratledge and I skulked in hotel rooms or went to uptown art movie houses...

Q: Last note you made a point that there are some memories blurred by time and not smoke. Clearly some members of Soft Machine did experiment with various organic substances, some actually put it to good use. You ever puff herbal jazz cigarettes?

A: Yes, but I never exhaled!

Yeah, of course, I tried a lot of stuff around the age of 18 or so, but I find I'm not the addictive type. I toke the very occasional if offered, but I don't like tobacco, so that cuts out European hash-smoking - it's usually rolled with tobacco here... Also I had a coronary bypass op five years ago, so I like to keep my lungs clear these days.

OK, the Syd Barrett questions...

Q: So the story is that Syd approached you guys at/after the 100 Club - at 100 Oxford St, London show in early 1969. You followed by recording a couple months later. At the time, did this seem like a special ocassion? Have you ever seen him  again?

A: Mike Ratledge and R Wyatt knew Syd from early Pink Floyd/Soft Machine gigs. I didn't know him at all. Only the two Floyd singles, EMILY and ARNOLD... And anyway, at that time we were all very elite, snooty and blasé ... We only concerned ourselves with our tight little Soft Machine universe. It was fun to record for Syd, but I don't think any of us was particularly thrilled or impressed ...

Haven't seen Syd since. Few people have. There is a Syd fanatic, David Parker, who calls me from time to time. Nice guy but totally obsessed. Even parks his car outside Syd's house in the hope of catching a glimpse...

Q: Was Syd Barrett a crazy diamond, burned out by whatever or just "faking it"?

A: As I say, I don't know Syd at all, but I don't think there's any doubt he was seriously zonked out by whatever... Maybe he was on the way already, before all the drugs and rock and roll?

Q: Nick Mason - luck or talent?

A: Nick is the first person to admit that he's not a virtuouso player. That's not what his life's been about. Someone once told me that all the Floyds came from well-off families, even before they made fortunes in music. Good for them. Nick did some good stuff with his cash, like sponsoring Gary Windo's recording ... And he has several rare Jaguars and Maseratis, which he still races... who needs music?

Q: After you left the Soft Machine after 6 where did you go?

A:First, Stomu Yamash'ta's East Wind, where I met guitarist Gary Boyle. Then joined Gary's band Isotope. Played a lot of gigs with Isotope 74-76. Then did some gigs/records with Elton Dean, Keith Tippett and Joe Gallivan, 76; Carla Bley 76-77; Soft Heap/Head 78; Gilgamesh recording... Mother Gong... couple of years not playing 79-82; got back into songwriting 83; recorded with Richard Sinclair 83; Pip Pyle's Equipe Out 84; In Cahoots 85; Anaid 86, Patrice Meyer trio/qtet 86; Hugh Hopper Bands 85-present... other odd projects all along the line, in between...

Q: Hate to say it out loud, but the quality was seemingly lacking a bit on the last couple Soft Machine releases (Noisette, Live Europe 1970).

A: Well, they were live recordings with no real time to get a high quality sound setup before the gig ... But personally I'm glad the live CDs are now coming out - the studio records of course are superior in sound quality but lack the crazy fire that develops onstage... for nearly thirty years, most fans only ever knew the studio side of Soft Machine. At the peak of touring we were also a shithot live band, not just a worthy bunch of experimentalists...

Q: Cost prohibits aside, does Columbia have anything left in the vaults?

A: Don't think so. We never recorded more than a couple of weeks for each record (including mixing), and we never had a stack of new tunes to record, so whatever came out is all there was...

Q: Is Triple Echo doomed to vinyl obscurity forever? I thought that collection to be the perfectly paced Softs overview.

A: Good question. That was EMI, which is now...who? No doubt some keen
young exec will suddenly discover they had a Soft Machine record once upon a time...

Q: Like some of that new stuff w/S.Klossner - a return to pop songs, cheers! Did she find you or did you find her?

A: We found each other, of course - she is the partner of Trevor Mainwaring, who worked for Impetus Records and now is British manager of Harmonia Mundi records. I met him through guitarist Mark Hewins who had already got her to sing a demo of a song he and I cowrote...

Q: The first CD was a bit, I don't know - early???... but I'm eagerly anticipating #2.

A: Yeah, you wait - it's got FUZZ. And TROMBONE. And my debut on Stratocaster...

Q: Can you tell me about your adventures in programming?

A: I got an Atari ST around 1990 and Dionys Breukers, the keyboardist in my Franglodutch band turned me on to Cubase, the sequencer program. I then spent five years with my head buried in the computer screen. The first piece that actually appeared on CD was UNNA, for the Cuneiform various artists CD "Unsettled Scores" (Cuneiform artists all doing other Cuneiform artists' tunes in different ways). UNNA is a tune by Nick Didkovsky's Dr Nerve. (Nick said later that he was knocked out by my mini version).

The next real outside release resulting from Cubase was the first collaboration with Caveman Shoestore in Portland, Oregon - Fred Chalenor, Elaine di Falco and Henry Franzoni. Fred wrote to me for the score of an old tune of mine to play with the Cavemen, and this developed into a project to do a record together. I sent them some of the fiendish things I had been writing with Cubase, and they astounded me by playing them. I had never considered actually playing the things... This became Caveman

Meanwhile, in parallel, I was writing things with Mark Hewins and Lisa Klossner - songs - and Lisa and I went on to record these at Delta, near Canterbury, over a period of two years until we had enough for a CD, which came out in 99 on Blueprint - DIFFERENT. We did add a few real instruments - one track had Richard Carlile on gtr, I put a bit of fuzz bass on a couple, and old Softs mate Elton Dean played sax on several ... a few other guests here and there on sax and sampled flute and trumpet... It was deliberately minimal: I used just a small Yamaha midi keyboard for most sounds, plus soundscape samples on some tracks.

I started in the 60's doing loops and stuff like that, but with real loops of recording tape. The album "1984" was the result of that approach. Now, of course, anyone can buy a sampler and do all that stuff in an afternoon. If they're any good...

I like playing around with stuff, and I also like playing bass, and playing with other musicians. There's room for both, happily...


Dave Cross

[Just a footnote to Dave's interview - although I may not be considered objective/independent in this particular case, I'd like to say that the opinion expressed by Dave in his question on the Soft Machine live CD "Noisette", to which he is of course fully entitled differs from most of the feeback I heard from fans, who certainly don't consider it a "second-rate" release from a musical point of view. I just wanted to point that out because people who haven't heard it might assume from reading this interview that this is just one of the semi-legitimate repackaging of poor quality recordings that pop up now and then - AL]


From: "David Kipling" <David_Kipling@bcit.ca>
Subject: WR
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 13:13:32 -0700

It is bleak to recall the time before WR, and bleak to imagine a future without WR!

Although I connect with only a portion of the topics, my faves are there, and I have been able to enjoy some correspondence with other fans, and to acquire CD's. Before stumbling across WR a couple of years back, I was the only person I knew (!!??) apart from the guy-behind-the-counter at a single record store, who knew or cared for Canterbury music.

I'm no expert, no mixer, no musician God knows, but WR keeps alive the warm flame of enjoyment I get from that music scene -- especially as it reassures me that IT STILL LIVES!

Thanks to Aymeric and all the contributors. The world is a bit better than I once feared.

David Kipling
Gibsons Landing
BC, Canada

[Thanks, David. It's always nice to receive e-mails like this one - AL]


From: John Lamble <john_lamble@hotmail.com>
Subject: Gilgamesh - "Arriving Twice"
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 2000 13:02:15 GMT

Hi Rattlers,

Can anyone on this list advise me on whether the new Gilgamesh CD, "Arriving Twice", is worth buying?

I tend to prefer their second studio album, but I think the first one is great too, if a bit too technical.

Are the previously unreleased compositions good? Do the sound and performance bring something extra?

I'm wondering why this CD doesn't get talked about more on this list - seems to me it's *the* Canterbury event of the moment!



From: "simon ainley" <sharkstation2000@hotmail.com>
Subject: sharkstation - 'CALLING CARDS'
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 22:26:19 GMT

Good evening Aymeric,

It's good to see that all is well with you and yours.

You and your readership may well be interested in the fact that I've released a solo CD of some 35 minutes, 10 songs of my own that have come out of my own domestic recording facilities... 5 English pounds plus 50 english pee for post and packaging.

Contact me by return, or check out

simon ainley
(I'll always be alright)


From: SPACETUNES@aol.com
Subject: Gong
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2000 10:45:38 EDT

Hell-o world,

Just recently saw GONG in Philly [Oct-1st] - was a pretty cool venue where they playe,d but a disturbing thing happened at the end of the show... Gilli got on the mike & said she had something serious to ask, & what she asked was that problems beyond their control were forcing them to "pass the hat" and ask for donations...

Does anyone know the reason behind this? The show in Philly was a smallish size crowd & maybe that was part of the problem, & I just read where they canceled some other shows. My friend & I were really upset over the fact that a band that has been around as long as GONG, a band that has given so much enjoyment to all who listen & to those of us who have visited "Planet Gong".

Is there anything we as fans can do to help this great band? Between Gong & all the offshoot bands that came from Gong, this really makes me mad that Daevid Allen has problems like this & the Back Street Boys can buy a small country.

Just had to let fans of Gong know of their "Golden Dilemma"... So all you Pothead Pixes out there lets get together & see if we can help.

"I don't wanna wreck nobody's soul, I just wanna Rock'N'Roll" --
Peace to all...
Greg the Jersey Gypsy

[Don't worry too much - the Backstreet Boys may well be in for a reversal of fortunes sooner or later... - AL]


From: "Constance Bennett" <cbenne@suffolk.lib.ny.us>
Subject: Canterbury
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2000 10:31:17 -0400


I received WR from a friend over here... Please add me to your list.

I am a Canterbury native, and remember the 'Foundry' scene very well... Could probably bore you with all sorts of stories from those times...

Friends of mine from Herne Bay were in a band called Rare Bird (had a big hit with "Sympathy"), played in a club called Bluies Playground (formerly The Beehive) in Dover Street - support band was none other than Genesis! I travelled with them on a short tour in the south of England. Genesis were the support band on all the gigs, and were full of questions about creating image, handling equipment etc. Seems so funny now.

I went to the Simon Langton school,and can remember the headmaster (CH Rieu) proudly announcing that a group from our school had made a record. He was very formal, but nonetheless played "Love Makes Sweet Music" for the whole school in assembly...

best wishes
Paul Bennett (in Center Moriches New York)


From: Sean <seanschmidt@excite.com>
Subject: Greetings from Oregon!
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 16:42:33 -0700 (PDT)

Dear Rattlers,

I have just relocated to Corvallis, Oregon from Baltimore on the East Coast. Anyone know of any good prog bands in this area I can go check out?? I can only listen to CD's for sooo long and I go thru withdrawl not seeing live good bands!!


"May your shit come to life and kiss you on your face" - FZ


From: m.laplante@videotron.ca (m.laplante)
Subject: John Greaves
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2000 04:40:01 +0200 (MET DST)

I don't remember if that has been reported here but John Greaves is guesting on one song on French band Les Pires latest cd "Cave Canem",singing in French on "Des Cernes".



From: "Wyatt Moss-Wellington" <wyattmw@hotmail.com>
Subject: Wyatt whinging about the $US with a thank you
Date: Sun, 15 Oct 2000 11:54:43 EST

Hallo Aymeric,

I've had great difficulty with those bits and pieces on your real audio page. I don't know whether this computer  -> <-  or my apauling computer literacy is to blame. I attempted to download the excerpt from Slapp Happy's Camera before I committed myself to a purchase from Wayside (a Slapp Happy opera is a very appealing idea!) - especially considering the exchange rates at the moment - with the Australian dollar at an all time low because the bloody $US keeps rising!


[I welcome any feedback on the realaudio page - accessible from the "news" section of the site if you haven't noticed yet. There are NO files on my website, the links on this page just lead to files that are available legitimately on the websites of labels such as Cuneiform, Voiceprint and others - AL]


From: "David Voci" <david_voci@tcibr.com>
Subject: Tippett/Centipede
Date: 17 Oct 00 11:51:18 -0700

Hello Canterburians,

Listening to Keith Tippett's album "Dedicated to You But You Weren't Listening", it's funny how the third track ("Green And Orange Night Park") is essentially the same song that appears on the fourth "Septober Energy" movement on the Centipede CD.

Tippett also appears on two of the five discs that are part of Harry Miller's "The Collection" set.

And the first Ovary Lodge CD is superb... Much different than I anticipated it to be... very free, experimental, almost ambiental and at times reminiscent of certain quiet AMM passages and overall, a rewarding listen. Voiceprint did a good job on this one.

A friend indicated and I found out that there is another Ovary Lodge, seemingly self titled like the first one, that came out in 1977 or so and features way different personnel and sound. Julie Tippett is one the later one and according to this person, sings on the second OL. Is this one worth the money?

Where can we look up that French article on Aymeric on the internet to see the individual responsible for this glorious newsgroup? I say somebody scans the french article, pic included and then post the URL here.



[Harry Miller replaced Roy Babbington in Ovary Lodge when the latter left to join Soft Machine in 1973; Julie Tippetts occasionally guested with the trio - AL]


From: pierre.teulade@cybertron.ca (Pierre Teulade)
Subject: Gilgamesh
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2000 01:42:31 -0600

Hi Aymeric

Congratulations for the superb Gilgamesh CD! Great packaging, incredible liner notes, superb music. I've loved Gilgamesh ever since their first album came out, and to see a full hour of unreleased material come out is a dream come true. A million thanks to Cuneiform for putting this out!



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*               FORTHCOMING CANTERBURY-RELATED CONCERTS                 *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

        [for more info : check out the 'Concerts' page of CALYX]

==> CARAVAN <===========================================================

Nov 17 - Chiddingfold Club

Nov 25 - PARIS (France), Le Bataclan

Line-up: Pye Hastings, Geoff Richardson, David Sinclair,
         Richard Coughlan, Doug Boyle, Jim Leverton, Simon Bentall

==> F.FRITH/C.CUTLER/T.DiMUZIO <=========================================

Nov 12 - LOS ANGELES (CA) / Nov 13 - SAN FRANCISCO (CA), Great American Music Hall

==> F.FRITH/I.MORI/Z.PARKINS <===========================================

Jan 12 - PARIS (France), Sons d'Hiver [solos evening] / Jan 13 - PARIS (France), Sons d'Hiver [Traffic Continues w. Ensemble Modern]

==> GONG <===============================================================

Oct 21 - RIMINI (Italy), Velvet / Oct 22 - FLORENCE (Italy), Tenax / Oct 24 - VIENNA (Austria), Szene / Oct 26 - LINZ (Austria), Posthof / Oct 27 - WINTERTHUR (Switzerland) [nr Zurich], Gaswerk

Nov 04 - ATHENS (Greece), Radon Club / Nov 05 - SALONIKA (Greece), Mylos

Nov 20 - LONDON, Hackney Empire / Nov 22 - SHREWSBURY, Music Hall / Nov 23 - WHITLEY BAY, Dome / Nov 24 - ABERDEEN, Lemon Tree / Nov 25 - GLASGOW, Renfrew Ferry / Nov 26 - EDINBURGH, Liquid Rooms / Nov 27 - BIRMINGHAM, The Foundry / Nov 28 - SHEFFIELD, Boardwalk / Nov 29 - CAMBRIDGE, Junction / Nov 30 - NORTHAMPTON, Roadmenders / Dec 01 - ALDERSHOT, West End Centre

Line-up: Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Mike Howlett, Theo Travis,
         Gwyo Zeprix, Chris Taylor + Didier Malherbe [on selected dates]

==> GONGZILLA <==========================================================

Dec 12 - PITTSBURGH (PA) / Dec 13 - BUFFALO (NY) / Dec 14 - CLEVELAND (OH) / Dec 15 - CINCINATTI (OH) / Dec 18 - DETROIT (MI)

Line-up: Bon Lozaga, Hansford Rowe, Benoit Moerlen & Vic Stevens

==> JOHN GREAVES <=======================================================

Oct 21/22 - BRESSE-SUR-GROSNE (France), A L'Ouest de la Grosne

Trio with Patrice Meyer (guitar) & Manu Denizet (drums)

==> DIDIER MALHERBE TRIO <===============================================

Nov 28 - EPINAL, Theatre Georges Brassens / Dec 18 - PARIS, New Morning

Hadouk Trio with Loy Ehrlich (hajaj & synth) & Steve Shehan (percussion)

More info: http://www.multimania.com/malherbedidier/


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*                        AND OTHER GOOD GIGS...                         *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

==> SOPHIA DOMANCICH <===================================================

Oct 24 & 25 - PARIS (France), Duc des Lombards
[Eric Barret Quartet, with Jean-Jacques Avenel (b) & Simon Goubert (d)]

==> JOHN ETHERIDGE <=====================================================

Oct 25 - London, Cafe Rouge (Soho Jazz) / Oct 28 - London, Pizza Express Jazz Club / Nov 02 - London (Stoke Newington), Vortex Jazz Bar (with New Noakes Quartet) / Nov 03 - Brentford, Waterman Arts Centre

==> FAUST <==============================================================

Oct 25 - LONDON, Royal Festival Hall [020 7960 4242] / Oct 26 - COLCHESTER, Arts Centre [01206 500900] / Oct 28 - MANCHESTER, University Main Debating Hall [0161-832 1111] / Oct 29 - NEWCASTLE, Whitley Bay Dome                [0191-454 4494] / Oct 30 - GLASGOW, Old Fruitmarket [0141-287 5511] / Oct 31 - LEEDS, Irish Centre [0113 245 5570]

==> MAGMA <==============================================================

Oct 27 - ANGERS (France), Le Chabada / Nov 03 - GENEVE (Switzerland), L'Usine / Nov 04 - VERNOUILLET (France), La Scene / Nov 10 - EVREUX (France), L'Abordage / Nov 17 - LYON (France), Le Kaos / Nov 18 - MARSEILLE (France), Espace Julien / Nov 23 - MULHOUSE (France), Le Noumatrouff / Nov 24 - NANCY (France), Salle Poirel / Dec 22 - RENNES (France), Salle de la Cite

==> SUPERSISTER <========================================================

Updates at: http://www.stips.net

==> BARBARA THOMPSON'S PARAPHERNALIA <===================================

Oct 21 - MILTON KEYNES, The Stables / Oct 27 - KENDAL, Brewery Arts Centre / Oct 28 - STOCKTON-ON-TEES, The Ark  / Oct 29 - CHESTER, Alexander's Jazz Theatre Bar / Nov 01 - BANBURY-OXON, Mill Arts Centre / Nov 02 - POOLE, Arts Centre / Nov 03 - BATH, Arts Theatre / Nov 04 - NARBETH, Queen's Theatre / Nov 05 - HAYWARD'S HEATH, Clair Hall... followed by tours in Germany, Austria & Switzerland... and... Dec 01 - NORTHAMPTON, The Roadmender

Paraphernalia will be promoting their latest CD – "Thompson's Tangos & Other Soft Dances"

Line-up: Barbara Thompson (saxes & flute), Jon Hiseman (drums),
         Peter Lemer (keyboards), Billy Thompson (violin),
         Paul Westwood (bass)


                          END OF ISSUE 167

WHAT'S RATTLIN'?     -      WHAT'S RATTLIN'?      -     WHAT'S RATTLIN'?

CALYX - The Canterbury Website


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