::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 33                          ::
  ::                  Monday, December 16th, 1996                 ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: neato@pipeline.com
Subject: silvertone/redding/wyatt
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 03:30:54 GMT

[In WR#32 Simon Knight-Smith wrote:]
>'KING STRUT' by Peter Blegvad is on the Silvertone label and has catalog
>number ORE CD 511. I don't have an address for Silvertone.

neato says:
- Fairly certain Silvertone is no more... Funnily enough however it was Andrew Lauder's label...the same Andrew Lauder who signed bands like Hawkwind and Man to ua in the early 70's...

[In WR#32 Jim Powers wrote:]
>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,

neato says:
- Last I heard Noel Redding was living in NYC and had recently worked with Leslie West and Corky Laing of Mountain

[In WR#32 Alex Cary wrote:]
>I have what I believe to be a bootleg of some very depressing music by
>Robert Wyatt. .... It's about 6 songs, mostly instrumental

neato says:
This sounds like it could be the 6 song CD put out by Voiceprint (blue-green cover) a couple years back (sorry, can't remember the name)

[In think you're referring to "A Short Break" from 1992 but (1) Alex mentioned having had the tape since 1984 (2) Just a minor detail, but "ASB" has 5 tracks - AL]


                             all my mistakes were once acts of genius
                                               neato@pipeline com


From: Julian Christou <jchristo@eso.org>
Subject: Keith Tippett Group CD's
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 09:57:58 +0100

Anybody out there know where I can pick up the Keith Tippett Group's first two
albums on CD :

"You Are Here ..."
"Dedicated To You ..." ?

Wayside (Steve?) had the first one in stock for a short while which I believe
was a vinyl transcription and I believe that Line have rereleased the second.



From: Michael Bloom <MHB@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Subject: Ancient Peter Blegvad gigs
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 96 14:24:09 EST

I sent a post about the times I saw Peter Blegvad live in the '70s, but
it seems to have gotten eaten in Aymeric's hard disc failure, so I'll try
and recreate it here.

In New York City in November 1978, there was this all day concert called
the Zu Manifestival. (You all probably know something about this already--
Daevid and Gilli did the Trilogy with New York Gong and Chris Cutler,
Yoch'ko Seffer brought his Neffesh Music band, Fred Frith did guitars-
on-the-table, etc.)

Peter Blegvad did three songs, accompanied by Frith (playing my guitar),
Cutler, and bass player Billy Swann of the Muffins (who also performed).
They did "Strayed," a mildly surreal ballad with the chorus "The principal
cause of my fall / Was overindulgence in alcohol," and an early version of
"Actual Frenzy." I do have a cassette of these performances, along with
Fred's solo set.

Giorgio Gomelsky, the impresario who'd promoted the Zu Manifestival and
the subsequent New York Gong tour of America, had this house on 23rd St
(I think) which he'd hoped to make home base for a wave of American prog.
Gomelsky lived on the third floor. The second floor was crashing space
for all and sundry-- especially these two dogs he'd acquired, who added
their canine miasma to the whole house in very short order. The basement
was a rehearsal room, where New York Gong had originally convened, and
where they began to metamorphose into Material.

But the first floor was a performance space, and a number of interesting
things happened there. Blegvad and Greaves, along with Lisa Herman and
one other singer (whose name I forget), did a gig in 1979. They played
most of Kew. Rhone. and a bunch of newer material in a similar vein-- I
remember being so tickled with "Mostly Twins and Trios" that I pestered
Greaves into writing out the opening piano ostinado for me. (It appeared
eventually on Greaves' second solo album Parrot Fashions.) And they did
the odd older song-- I remember "Riding Tigers." As far as I know, this
was the only performance of Kew. Rhone. material.

One thing I remember was that when they did "22 Proverbs," the four of
them kinda plodded through the verses, singer/songwriter fashion, until
the break-- and which point a drummer suddenly appeared, and kicked the
tempo up considerably, and Eugene Chadbourne took one of his spectacular
solos. After the composed material, Frith and Chadbourne improvised for
a while.

I have a vague recollection of seeing Blegvad there with his New York
band, but I don't remember whether it was this occasion or a later one.
I remember definitely that I saw them in Washington DC, a concert that
Random Radar (the Muffins and friends) put together. I can't remember
who all was in his band, except for Michael Zentner, a former Muffin on
guitar and violin. There was also a drummer doubling vibes, the latter
incorporated into the newer "exotica" version of "Actual Frenzy." The
only other piece I remember was an instrumental version of the tune that
later became "Crumb de la Crumb" on Downtime.

Zentner made a solo album, with appearances by Daevid, Percy Jones,
Carla Bley, and a bunch of other famous names. I don't think he used
these people in a very interesting way, so I wouldn't advise Rattlin'
readers to go out and pay collectors' prices for a fairly tepid record.

The Silvertone edition of King Strut is long out of print. When he came
over to promote Just Woke Up (three gigs in NYC and one in Boston) there
didn't seem to be any interest in their part in printing any more. Pity,
it's a wonderful record.

I think I can get cheap copies of Just Woke Up if there's any interest,
and maybe even Downtime.


From: bigbang@alpes-net.fr
Subject: An interview with Dave Newhouse of the Muffins
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 22:16:29

- I've recently done a mail interview with Dave Newhouse of the famous American band The Muffins, sometimes referred to as the American answer to Hatfield and the North and Henry Cow. Below are a few excerpts. This interview will appear in French in my magazine Big Bang, but I thought it might be interesting for you WRers... -

Q : What strikes me when looking at the evolution of your musical style between the "Chronometers" period (1975-76) and (the recently reissued) "185" which was your final album in 1981, is your move from a Canterbury-influenced sound, with your keyboards well to the fore, to a much 'freer' style which emphasised the woodwind playing. What was the reason behind this change ?

A : Actually, when The Muffins started, we hadn't heard of Hatfield or Henry Cow or anything like a 'Canterbury' sound. That first batch of Virgin records hadn't hit us in the States yet (or at least in Maryland/Virginia). We were listening to Soft Machine, Zappa, Gentle Giant, Yes, King Crimson, and some basic classic jazz (Miles, Coltrane) and avant jazz (Ornette, Braxton). As the Canterbury sound made its way over here, we embraced it. It made perfect sense to us. It seemed like the kind of music that we were longing to hear, that we were trying to play anyway. It really hit us at a gut level. We tried to grow alongside our English counterparts always maintaining a distinctive American sound (or at least that's what we tried to do). We seemed to develop a 2-sided sound as we went - a constructivist/organized side and a deconstructivist/free jazz side. Each balanced the other. They were such polar opposites, they 'relieved' one another. I think Henry Cow felt the same way with their unique approach to improvisation, although the Muffins always adopted a more jazz-centered feel to our improvs. We kept up with the latest in that side of the jazz world - Braxton, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Sun Ra, etc. I guess it sounds like we became a 'freer ensemble', but I think the essence of that balance was already in the works right from the beginning. It just manifested itself to the point where by "185" we were pretty happy with the balance between improvisation and composed musics.

Q : What bands would you quote as having had a strong influence on the members of the Muffins at the time ?

A : Well, as I stated before, we had a wide variety of influences. I know that Tom liked a lot of the symphonic prog rock as well as jazz. At one point Billy was heavy into Bob Marley. I was listening to Weather Report. Paul was trying to get us into anything with an intense edge - he liked a lot of guitarists and especially liked to listen to and play things loud. We all like Sun Ra. He was the spirit of improvisation. As we moved along I think we made an unconscious effort to keep our free jazz American side intact. It was the 'funky', off-putting side of us that helped identify the band. Otherwise we would have just become another Canterbury copy, and we didn't want that. It's one thing to relate to your influences and another to take those influences and strike out toward something new. We were always after our own sound, not consciously, but quite unconsciously, I believe. I got the feeling many times that there was an unspoken understanding that we'd let the sound happen. It was a kind of zen growth musically. Music from all over the world was going into our heads and we were allowing something else to come out.

Q : The Muffins reformed in 1993 to record a track (alas a very short one) for the "Unsettled Scores" compilation on Cuneiform Records. Was this a one-off thing or could this lead to new projects - gigs or recordings ?

A : It was great fun to get the Muffins back together. The feel was perfect, intact. It frightened us almost. We've got 2 tapes worth of swell stuff from that particular session that I may put out on my own Hand Systems cassettes. And yes, we almost got back together for a concert this past summer, but things got in the way. Everybody was up for it. Maybe next year? We'd love to do it. I think we all miss the electricity that went along with performing live. I know I do. We even had a playlist together of a few old tunes and some new material, too. What a kick it would be to just get up in front of people and improvise again with me mates. It's like tightrope walking - very scary and very exciting. Quite a rush !

(c) 1996 Big Bang Magazine

[PS : The Muffins' albums ("Manna-Mirage" and "185") have been reissued on CD by Cuneiform, who have also put out two compilations of unreleased material ("Chronometers" and "Open City"). For more information contact Cuneiform at CuneiWay@aol.com].


From: Vernon Fitch <Vernon_Fitch@notes.cch.com>
Subject: Flotsam-Jetsam
Date: 12 Dec 96 10:43:45

Can anyone tell me if the Robert Wyatt CD, Flotsam-Jetsam, has been issued in
an alternate version? It seems to me I've read somewhere (Facelift?) that it
was to be issued in the U.S. in a different form (with a couple of different
songs, perhaps?). Did this ever come about?


From: Aymeric Leroy <bigbang@alpes-net.fr>
Subject: "Why Are We Sleeping ?" - Kevin Ayers Fanzine
Date: 13 Dec 96 13:54:04

Today I received the brand new issue (#9) of Martin Wakeling's excellent Kevin Ayers fanzine, "Why Are We Sleeping ?". This one is of particular interest to "mainstream" (i.e. not Ayers-exclusive) Canterbury fans as it focusses on Kevin's little-documented stint with Gong (Sept 71-Jan 72), with several archive documents as well as part 6 of the KA biography. It also has a comprehensive overview of the late Ollie Halsall's recording career. There are also shorter features on Ultramarine and the Wizards Of Twiddly (who, as it seems, are largely inactive but not split up).

There is a paragraph devoted to "Kevin Ayers On The Net" which mentions Calyx and What's Rattlin' ? [thanks, Martin], and also the long-hoped-for soon-to-be Kevin Ayers site which is being constructed by Kevin's manager Joe Gielen. The URL is :

It has a discography, a biography aimed at the uninitiated but curious. Later on a picture gallery and various links should be added. There is also a news page with planned gigs to check out. Of course, links from Calyx will soon appear.

                  "Why Are We Sleeping" is available from

                  Martin Wakeling (marwak@globalnet.co.uk)
                            112, Parkville Road
                             Manchester M20 4TZ

A 3 issue subscription is 3 pounds (UK), 3.60 pounds (Europe) and 4.50 pounds (elsewhere). Single issues can be bought for 1, 1.20 and 1.50 respectively.


From: Ingo.Brode@t-online.de (Ingo Brode)
Subject: Soft Machine on CD
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 96 18:06 +0100

Hi fans,

Found your Canterbury Discography over a Website from Vernon Fitch.
Interesting for me, because Soft Machine was my favourite group before Pink Floyd. Now I'm collecting Floyd and found some relation between Soft Machine and Floyd.

Long time I had all the regular LPs but when the CD started I tried to find
everything on CD and sold all the vinyl-stuff. It took a long time until everything was released on CD. But not  everything. I am still waiting for LAND OF COCKAYNE.

[it's now out on CD on One Way Records in America - AL]

I'm waiting for a Japanese release called "SONG OF AEOLUS" should be from
January 1975 and BBC 1975.

I found also a new CD in your discography:
             LIVE IN FRANCE, 1996 One Way

Can you help me to find a copy?

I also have a mispressing of "BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert" (Windsong WINCD 056), same cover, same text on  cover and CD only the music is not from Soft Machine:

16 tracks
76:03 min

I can't say the group's name

Track--2: Satellite
Track--3: I'm Gonna Stand For This No More
Track--8: How Long Must this Been Going On
Track--9: Ain't That Peculiar
Track-16: You're All That I Need

Can you help ...?

Hope to hear from you sometime

Ingo Brode
D-67065 Ludwigshafen


From: bc71445@binghamton.edu
Subject: whatever became of... ?
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 1996 14:41:30 -0500 (EST)

Dear Aymeric,

I was recently assigned to write about Gong for "Discoveries".  Do you have an address and/or contact for the Giacomo label, which released Continental Circus, and Legend, which released Bananamoon Band's "Je N'Fume Pas de Bananes"?  Also, do you have contacts with the following: Pierre Moerlen, Tim Blake, Burton Green, Christian Tritsch, Gerry Fields, Archie Legget, Laurie Allan, Francis Moze, Venux de Luxe, or Rachid Houari?

Shawn Ahearn is getting me in touch with the current members.


Jim Powers

[Anyone who can help... BTW, Archie Legget died a couple of years ago, and Venux De Luxe is a/k/a Francis Linon. I can help Jim get in touch with Pierre Moerlen and probably Tim Blake and Francis Moze, but don't know whatever became of the others... - AL]


From: sid smith <106050.2211@compuserve.com>
Subject:  Canterbury via Crimson
Date: Sun, 15 Dec 1996 12:26:50 -0500

Hello Aymeric and other Canterbury fans,
My name is Sid Smith and I live in a small town outside Newcastle-upon-Tyne on the North-East coast of England called Whitely Bay.  I chanced upon your name after it was mentioned on Elephant Talk (the page for King Crimson fans).  

After Crimson, bands and artists such as Robert Wyatt, Soft Machine, Richard Sinclair, Hatfield and The North, In Cahoots, National Health and several others besides form a major part of my record collection.  

Finding your page is good news for me indeed as its always nice to find other people with similar tastes and passions. Where else could I have read the interview with Pip Pyle ?

I've been listening to these kinds of bands since the early 70's and I guess it started with Soft Machineís Third.  I have many happy memories of seeing Hugh Hopper with Isotope, playing bass in a two day Musician's Union workshop led by the Bundles line up of Softs, seeing Hatfields on their first major UK tour (did it cost 49p ?  Can others remember this tour ? Apart from the film of Tubular bells who else played ? Was it Gong ?) and several other Close Encounters of The Canterbury Kind.  I shall no doubt bore WR readers with these reminiscences at a later stage. [please do ! - AL]

I enjoyed reading Julian Christou's post.  I reckon that the Bruford band
would count given the prominence of Dave Stewart's distinctive playing and
compositional style.  If you're putting bands like Nucleus in the frame,
surely Henry Cow should be in there given the John Greaves connection. ?

Finally, putting together these pages must be a lot of hard work.  Not
being a computer boffin and knowing nothing about HTML or JAVA or whatever,
I'm not really able to help out - or at least I donít think I can help.
Let me know if you need anything doing that requires nothing in the way of
programming knowledge.


                        END OF ISSUE #33

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