::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 32                          ::
  ::                 Tuesday, December 10th, 1996                 ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: Anatole Gordon <agordon@sgi.com>
Subject: various questions
Date: Tue, 03 Dec 1996 15:58:12 -0800

Hello Aymeric,

I came across your entries on the Calyx home page. I'm a big fan of Caravan, Gong, and Soft Machine. Thanks for assembling this information. Some questions
for you:

 * Any possibility of Caravan coming to the US (San Francisco in particular) for their current tour?
[re: to my knowledge, this has not been mentioned yet. The next plan would be a European tour sometime in 1997 - al]

 * Do you know if the Caravan Live 90 show that came out on CD and video is available on laser disc?
[re: I don't think it ever came out on video, did it ? the Gong show *did* come out, but not the Caravan show. so no laser disc either - al]

 * Any word on the CD reissue of "Better by Far"?
[re: I remember someone mentioning in a past WR issue that there was one in circulation, but I don't remember him giving the label details - al]

 * Do you know what Mike Ratledge is up to these days?
[re: this is the kind of question I don't dare asking Hopper or Dean when I meet them... apparently, and the info comes indirectly from Elton, Mike has decided to quit music for good last year and is now writing books. this explains why he was not present at the Adiemus performance in London last month - al]

 * Do you know if Gong will return to the US/San Francisco for another show? Their last show was outstanding.
[re: I talked with Shawn Ahearn about it in Paris. there should be another tour of the US next Spring, with concerts in different cities than those already visited. Gong is also a possibility for Progfest'97 in Los Angeles in April. if Gong can't do it, it could be a Daevid or Gilli solo project - al]

 * Do you know what's going on with Steve Hillage/777? He had plans to bring 777 to the US, but they seem to have fizzled. Do you know what's happening there? (I know 777 is not Canterbury music, but Hillage/Khan will always have a close Canterbury connection in the minds and hearts of fans like myself.)
[re: I understand Steve Hillage may be involved in Gong-related projects again, but details are a well-kept secret. in any case, he's said to be working on it right now. for more info on System 7 or 777, there is a website located at : http://www.easynet.co.uk/pages/system7/sys7.htm - al]

Thanks in advance for any info you can provide.


From: bc71445@binghamton.edu
Subject: My article on Soft Machine in Goldmine
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1996 21:16:41 -0500 (EST)

Dear Aymeric,

I've been working on my Softs article, and recently thought it would be
great to get in touch with Mitch Mitchell or Noel Redding, (among many
others).  If anyone can help in that regard, I'd be most grateful.  I've
seen Chris Cutler at large in WR.  Chris, if you'd like to give your 2
cents worth (I've read "File Under Popular") please e-mail.  Otherwise,
thanks so much to everybody out there who have been helpful, including
Vernon Fitch, Mark Bloch, Mark Hewins, John Greaves, Phil Howitt, and
several others.

Jim Powers


From: CuneiWay@aol.com
Subject: "Help & consent"
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 1996 08:53:28 -0500

[In WR#31 Aymeric Leroy wrote:]
>I'm also told "Hoppertunity Box", "Mercy Dash" and "Monster Band" have been
>released as separate CD's on another label, but I don't have more information
>right now. Please note all these are releases done without the musicians'
>help and consent, not do they get a single penny from the sales. Think
>before you buy !

That's not completely fair or true. Hugh apparently had sold the rights to
"1984" & these three a long time ago. I have been *long* inquiring with Hugh
about gaining the rights to reissue "1984" in a definitive edition as well as
some of these others, but Hugh felt that since he had sold them & had been
paid at the time, that he didn't want to take them away from the fellow that
bought them, & thus, turned down our offer.

Granted it's a little more complicated than what I've just written, &
believe me, I am NOT happy about this, as we had plans to reissue these in
the quality to which they should be reissued. But they are NOT bootlegs, &
having purchased large quantities of these for resale, I don't want people to
not buy them from us thinking they are somehow "protecting" Hugh.

I don't know what arrangements Hugh & the label [Culture Press] have made
regarding these & sales/royalties ["nor do they get a single penny from the
sales"], but again, these are NOT bootlegs.

Hope this explains some of this. Maybe you should get Hugh to more fully

    Best rgds

    Steve Feigenbaum
    Cuneiform Records/Wayside Music

[Sorry for the mistake. I was probably confused between the Mantra compilation - which is indeed a shameful release no matter what the legal situation is - and the Culture Press re-releases, which I have yet to see. Apart from whether the musicians receive any money from these reissues, I think the main problem is the amount of time spent by the labels working on making these CD's worth their price. On Mantra's compilation, there is (1) a terrible sleeve design (2) mention of Pip Pyle's participation though he doesn't play at all (3) no individual credits detailing either the album from which each track is taken, or the musicians playing on them. There is only a discography, but once again it's got a lot of mistakes in it. Why didn't these people even care to get in touch with Hugh, who is apparently ready to write appriopriate sleeve notes when he's asked to ? We are left wondering... - AL]


From: Aymeric Leroy <bigbang@alpes-net.fr>
Subject: An Interview with Pip Pyle / Paris, November 21st, 1996
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 1996 23:56:01 +0000

[This interview took place in Gong's dressing room a couple of hours before
Gong's recent concert at the Bataclan, Paris. For convenience reasons the
interview took place in French and was later retranscribed and translated to
English (or a language close to it) by yours truly - AL]

Q : Let's talk about Gong for a start. It's been almost five years since you came back into the line-up for the "Shapeshifter" sessions. Would you ever have thought you'd stay so long ?
A : Well, I don't know... Cause you know, until this year it was a very occasional thing. Only this year did we start touring a lot... maybe a bit too much, actually !

Q : You don't have time for anything else, that is ?
A : Yeah, I don't have time to care about the other bands. But it's okay, you know, cause I'm playing, and that's nice. Still, it's true that... For instance I wanted to finish my solo album, which is almost completed, and I couldn't...

Q : How much do you enjoy Gong's music ?
A : Oh, I like it. I'm having a lot of fun doing this, actually. But... I can't complain, but I'm really exhausted after all this touring in the last year. I'm really looking forward to three months without any gig, which generally I'm not... Although I have a few one-off things with Mimi Lorenzini and Emmanuel Bex, in February, but otherwise the next few months will be a quiet period for me.

Q : So you're back from a Gong tour in the States. How was it ?
A : Oh, it was great. We didn't do as well as the last tour, though, the one we did in March. I guess it was a little too early to come back, especially to play in the same towns, or almost. I mean, we did well, but I couldn't really see the point in going back there just six months afterwards. Well, the story is that they've just released "Shapeshifter" over there, so the record company wanted us to do a tour to promote it. But they didn't really, as we say, put the money where the mouth is. So we didn't make an awful lot of money out of it...

Q : Can one make a living out of touring with Gong ?
A : Oh, not really. It was never a way of making a living. I mean, it's all right, but I'm not making millions of pounds out of it. Cause you know, Gong is a band with a lot of expenses. First of all, we have to fly Daevid and Gilli from Australia to Europe, or whatever place we're touring. And there's many people on the road, lots of hotel bills, and so on... So, yeah, we're earning the bread... but no caviar ! (laughs)

Q : I've seen you with In Cahoots in London opening for Caravan, and heard the new In Cahoots album, "Parallel". I think it's IC's best album since "Cutting Both Ways". I must admit I'd been a bit disappointed by "Recent Discoveries", which was too purely jazz, and a bit under-rehearsed, to me... Did Phil want to do something different this time ?
A : Not really. I don't think he's changed the musical direction. It's just that sometimes when you do a record things fall into place, and sometimes they don't. You're right saying "Recent Discoveries" was done very quickly, I think it took three days, which is really the minimum. And for "Parallel" we had the opportunity to play the new stuff live a few times. We did a couple of tours earlier this year in England, about ten gigs in all I think. Whereas we'd never played the stuff off "Recent Discoveries" before we went into the studio. It was really a question of playing while reading the scores. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, still I think some of the stuff on that album was very good. The sound was a big problem. The drum sound was OK, but the sax and trumpet really sounded awful. When we did "Parallel", we had this engineer, Benji Lefevre, who is an old friend of mine, and an excellent sound engineer. So although it was recorded in a post-production studio, where they'd probably never recorded a drum kit, ever, the record sounds great. He's working with people like the Rolling Stones, George Michael and stuff, you know.

Q : Your solo album seems about to be completed at last. What sort of work do you have left to do on it ?
A : Well, I have a few things to record with Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin. Dave is playing three keyboard solos. And I'm also doing a cover of The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever", with a big brass arrangement which turns into 'jungle' madness towards the end. And we'll be adding George Martin samples, thanks to a friend who works at Abbey Road. So we'll be mixing that...

Q : What sort of stuff will be on the album ? I understand it's mostly song-based...
A : Yes, it's mostly songs, songs I never managed to have my bands to play. I wrote them over the last five or ten years. There are seven songs, some of which are pretty 'classic', almost pop, and some which are a bit more weird... And three instrumental pieces, sound collages...

Q : What does the completion of the album depend on now ? Time ? Money ?
A : Oh, mostly time, now. We were supposed to work on it in September, Dave and I, but he had this gig with Barbara, and as the guy's such a maniac, he didn't have time to do anything else. And now *I*'m too busy, with these two months of touring with Gong. So we'll do that early in January, I think. Then we'll have to mix it. And then it will probably be a money problem cause I need at least ten days of mixing. I'll have to find a very cheap studio, and get a friend to do the engineering... It's taken such a long time, this album. I've had all sorts of problems, with producers, loss of master tapes, etc. I think my next solo album will be very simple, just a plain jazz trio... ! (laughs)

Q : So you've been working with Dave Stewart recently. He's back into working with other people rather than just doing his programmed music, alone at home ?
A : Well, I don't know. I hope so. He does great things, he's a superb musician, a real maniac. But he's stopped playing live, although he sometimes does with Barbara Gaskin and a guitar player. He likes to have that sort of control, which he never had before, even in a band like National Health. With bad boys like me and John Greaves (smiles), it was slipping out of his hands and he didn't like that.

Q : What do you think of his career move ?
A : He's made a choice, I think. He's decided that it's better to play three chords to twenty thousand people, than play a hundred and twenty chords to an audience of thirty. So at one point he decided he'd had enough, and changed paths. I don't think it's the same sort of challenge for him, as a writer. But still, there's always some amazing things on his records. Always a song with some extraordinary things.

Q : What about you ? Do you miss the sort of music you were playing with Hatfield or National Health ?
A : Well, I'm still playing that sort of music, actually. In Cahoots and Short Wave, that's quite the same sort of stuff, don't you think ?

Q : It's more jazzy and improvised...
A : Well, there was already a lot of improvisation in Hatfield. Maybe not on the records, but on stage we improvised a lot. And it's the same with Gong, you see, there's a lot of improvisation, and fortunately so otherwise it would be just a psychedelic band. It's like being at the edge of a cliff, in a way, and that's what makes it interesting. You always run the risk of falling down the cliff... and that's nice !

(c) 1996 Calyx / What's Rattlin'


From: ALEXCARY@aol.com
Subject: Subscription
Date: Wed, 4 Dec 1996 23:18:20 -0500

I'd like to subscribe please. I've grown up on the Canterbury music for 30
years now and feel I know as much as anyone on this side of the pond. This site is a dream come true. Didn't realize there were more of me out there. kind of tough to share something like this with people not in the know. And all of these groups were hard to come by on the airwaves over here. At least since the early 70's

Thanks for all your effort. Any questions I can try to answer that you may not know? I doubt it. I'm here as a loyal supporter.


From: Simon Knight-Smith <101320.654@CompuServe.COM>
Subject: 'KING STRUT' by Peter Blegvad
Date: 05 Dec 96 05:18:17 EST

In WR31 Dan Phipps asked for info on 'KING STRUT' by Peter Blegvad. I have a
copy..its not for sale..but the info he might need is that it is on the Silvertone label and has catalog number ORE CD 511. I don't have an address for Silvertone.
Hope this helps.
Simon Knight-Smith,
Folkestone, near Canterbury.


From: Julian Christou <jchristo@eso.org>
Subject: Comments on The Canterbury Sound
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 08:48:18 +0100

Well, I've been away from contributing to the list for a while. However I've been following it. Too many travels recently.

The comment in the Gentle Giant mail about them being a Canterbury band reminds me of the comments we had when first starting the list.  

Once again the core bands were the post Wilde Flowers, i.e.

Soft Machine

and then came

Kevin Ayers (& The Whole World)
Daevid Allen & Gilly Smyth (& Gong)

and then came

Matching Mole
Just Us (Elton Dean's Band)
Hatfield & The North

and the it gets complicated ...

David Layton mentions Khan as an honorary band along with Camel and now we open up the proverbial "Can Of Worms" ...

So we have

Carol Grime & Delivery (two Millers, a Babbington, a Pyle and a Coxhill)

P. Miller to Matching Mole
S. Miller to Caravan
P. Pyle to Gong
L. Coxhill to The Whole World
R. Babbington to Nucleus (eventually)

[not eventually - although no album was recorded until Summer'72, Babbington replaced Jeff Clyne as early as Spring 1971 - AL]


Steve Hillage to Khan & Gong
Dave Stewart to Hatfield & The North
Mont Campbell to retire and reappear in National Health
Clive Brooks to The Groundhogs

The Keith Tippett Group

Keith Tippett - solo & with King Crimson
Elton Dean to Soft Machine
Marc Charig to Soft Machine
Nick Evans to Soft Machine
Jeff Clyne to Nucleus


Ian Carr - still going strong
Brian Smith - where is he now
John Marshall to Jack Bruce to Soft Machine
Karl Jenkins to Soft Machine
Jeff Clyne to Isotope
Chris Spedding to Jack Bruce to The Wombles (?) ...

As an example then are these all Canterbury bands and as we progress down the "family tree" we find that various members interchange, e.g. Hugh Hopper replaced Jeff Clyne in Isotope so are they a Canterbury band? Bruford played in KC and then with National Health and Stewart played in Bruford's band. Is that a Canterbury band?

Obviously this is a complicated question - do we follow artists or sound.
Consider Keith Tippett's Centipede - the creme-de-la-creme of British jazz
with additions from King Crimson, Patto, The Soft Machine etc ... Follow
these guys and you come across the Electric Light Orchestra ...

I don't have an answer but I think that most people (correct me if I'm wrong)  on the list follow Canterbury musicians promarilly but are also very open to similar musical styles. Maybe we should just follow the Wayside Catalogue and define it that way - Steve F.(?).

As for Camel - well Richard Sinclair did play with them on a couple of albums...



From: gary mollica <garym@earthlink.net>
Subject: Mytery Band
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 00:47:45 -0800

Wanna take a second to rave about a local band (Pasadena, CA), The Mystery Band, who have a new CD "Insert Title here" on a local label Birdcage Records. I'm not prejudiced even though I have a friend in the band, bassist Rick Snyder, who just happens to have good credentials (he was known as Midnight Hatsize when he played with Capt. Beefheart), but I do want to point out that they do a cover of Peter Blegvad's Strayed!
They have an e-mail address - cloudman@earthlink.net.

Best, GaryM


From: Julian Christou <jchristo@eso.org>
Subject: Tempest / United Jazz & Rock Ensemble
Date: Mon, 09 Dec 1996 09:03:10 +0100

In the recent issue of Facelift is a review of the re-released Patto recordings featuring Ollie Halsall. (are they a Canterbury Band?)

Anyway, for those who are not aware there is also a 2-on-1 CD by  Jon Hiseman's Tempest (not the 80's HM band) collecting their two albums together. Hiseman formed Tempest after Colosseum initially broke up. He wanted to explore more of the rock side than the Jazz/Blues. he first line-up featured

Jon Hiseman - Mark Clarke (both formerly of Colosseum)
Allan Holdsworth
Paul Williams

AH went on to the Softs and PW appears on AH's solo works.

The second line up replaced AH & PW with Ollie Halsall.

A Canterbury Album? - probably not but featuring some great work by two of the Canterbury scene's favourite guitarists. There's a sense of humour pervading the OH album "Living In Fear" which is not present in the more overblown (IMO) firts album. By the way, there are some good AH licks of course and even some violing palying from him. Hiseman is a powerhouse drummer and he and Clarke form an especially solid Rhythm section.

After Tempest broke up, Hiseman formed Colosseum II with Gary Moore & Don Airey
[...and ex-Gilgamesh bass player Neil Murray, later in National Health, before starting a successful career as session musician in heavy metal - AL]

Hiseman is now much more in the Jazz vein. He's the drummer in his wife's band Barbara Thompson's Paraphenelia and both of them are members of the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble which segues nice into ...

For those who don't know, the UJRE are a who's who of European Jazz/Rock

Hiseman & Thompson, Ian Carr. Charlie Mariano, Kenny Wheeler, etc. They always
play a number of old Nucleus tunes and are well worth seeing and hearing. Their ninth album (another live one) has just been released on Mood Records. If you like the Jazz side of the sound, check them out. They're touring Germany next month - unfortunately I'll be missing them as I'll ba back in the US. The dates I've come across are ...

The UJRE Tour 97

22.01    Bensheim
23.01    Karlsruhe
24.01    Luzerne
25.01    Pfullendorf
26.01    Ulm
28.01    Kuenzelsau
29.01    Halle
30.01    Bremen
31.01    Hamburg
01.02    Hannover
02.02    Vlotho



From: Della & Steve Schiavo <schiavo@airmail.net>
Subject: Book of possible interest
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 96 16:49:33 -0000

Hello all -

There is a new "academic" book on Progressive Rock just out.  It is
"Rocking the Classics - English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture"
by Edward Macan (Oxford University Press trade size paperback, ISBN
0-19-509888-9, $17.95 U.S.).  In the U.S., any bookstore that deals with
Ingram (wholesaler) can get it for you.

I just brought my copy home, so I can't comment on the quality of the
writing.  A quick look a the index shows that the Canterbury are covered.

Best -



From: ALEXCARY@aol.com
Subject: Canterbury Music
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 1996 23:27:19 -0500

I have what I believe to be a bootleg of some very depressing music by Robert
Wyatt. I know it's him, I just didn't realize it was a bootleg until this
website showed me it isn't listed. It's about 6 songs, mostly instrumental and by far, the most depressing thing he's ever done. I got it on tape about 1984 (March) and though I copied it onto another tape, have lost the original. If interested, I'll provide further details later (song titles, etc). Certainly nothing I've seen in any discography.

[Please give more details when you can - excerpts of lyrics, instrumentation, etc. - AL]

Also, he appears with Ben Watt on what I believe is his first solo release, a 12" EP with the most beautiful music. It's entitled "Summer into Winter" and is on Cherry Red (12 Cherry 36). You will recognize his voice on "Walter and John" and appreciate Ben Watt for it. I wish Ben had had a longer solo career.Yes, Ben's lyric at the time were also depressing. Maybe that's what they had in common.

Then there's an Ambient compilation he's on "Excursions in Ambience"-The first. This is the Ultramarine song entitled "Lights in my Brain" which I hope you will find enjoyably familiar (see the first Soft Machine LP). So, this song naturally appears on Ultramarines First CD entitled "every man and woman is a star" on Dali 61443-2 (Rough Trade). Small world. He is on another song somewhere among Ultramarines music. Anyway, should you not know about them, I got 'em. Somehow I think you do but haven't updated your discography to include them.

The newest Hatfield and the North - Live 1990 (Code 90, a division of Demon Records). I'm sure I have more but off the top of my head, that's what I don't see listed under any website within Canterbury Website.

Best wishes to all and keep up the great work. It's something I would have hoped to do one day.

On On,

Dave Cary

[Well, a bit of explanation here - I have chosen not to list *everything* Robert Wyatt has contributed to, especially when it has nothing to do with Canterbury music except the fact that Wyatt participes. This is of course a bit different with Ultramarine, who've worked with Jimmy Hastings and Kevin Ayers as well, and did a cover of Matching Mole. But albums like Ben Watt's (btw, Ben Watt is now widely known as one half of the pop duo Everything But The Girl) or Kevin Coyne's I don't think should be included. However it would perhaps be a good idea to list Wyatt's contributions to other people's records, although this has been done by Michael King in his excellent RW bio, and I wouldn't want to interfere too much with his great work - AL]


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