::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 35                          ::
  ::                   Friday, January 3rd, 1997                  ::
  ::                                                              ::


                 LET'S MAKE 1997 *THE* CANTERBURY YEAR !


From: Rolf.Sauter@t-online.de (Rolf Sauter)
Subject: cant'discography - addition gong/soft machine
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 1996 16:51:32 +0000

You might find the following double-lp issued by BYG/France interesting to add to your discography:

Soft Machine / Gong (BYG 529 201)

It includes tracks probably recorded 67 in London (soft machine) and 69 in Paris (gong). The soft machine tracks have been published later on "Jet Propelled Photograph"; the gong tracks are probably taken from the first two gong releases (see enclosure). Interesting joke: cover and record label differ in song titles (cover beeing correct).

Interesting fact: cover states recording date (sept/oct 1969) and place
(Paris) and producer (Jean Georgakarakos and Jean Luc Young, exec. prod.
Pierre Lattes); probably applicable for the first gong release.

Best regards,

Rolf Sauter


From: Datboy <whatthat@vnet.net>
Subject: Hello there ....
Date: Sun, 29 Dec 1996 00:25:03 -0500

Soft Machine did in fact release further singles other than Feelin Reelin Squeelin / Love Makes Sweet Music.

They were:

Joy of A Toy / Why Are We Sleeping
Save Yourself / Lullabye Letter
As Long As He Lies Perfectly Still / Dedicated To You But You Weren't Listening
Hibou Anemone & Bear / Esther's Nose Job
Out-Bloody-Rageous / Slightly All The Time

"Hibou" is a four minute cut, one time through quick, then the vocal bit, but cuts at the cymbal solo.

"Esther's" is the "Pig" and "Orange Skin Food" sections.

"Out-Bloody-Rageous" is the second section in 15.  It cuts where they go into "Eamonn Andrews" on Third.

"Slightly All The Time" is the bit where they're really playing "Mousetrap."  It is the only one of these excerpted singles that does not have clean beginnings and endings.  It starts with a clean statement of the "Mousetrap" riff, and plays through the solos.  They don't actually play the tune -- just the riff.

There is supposed to be yet another single from the first album "Hope For Happiness" and "A Certain Kind" but I have never seen it.  All the others I have seen at least DJ copies of, and I own stock copies of the 2nd album singles and "Joy Of A Toy."  I also have numerous 7" samplers and 12" samplers that feature material from the first four.

Thought you might want to know


From: Henry Potts <henry@bondegezou.demon.co.uk>
Subject: For What's Rattlin'
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 1996 23:21:32 +0000

Rattlers may be interested to know that Jakko Jakszyk does the instrumental music for the BBC1 (UK) comedy series "Chef", starring Lenny Henry.


From: Aymeric Leroy <bigbang@alpes-net.fr>
Subject: The History Of Gong, Part 1
Date: Wed, 01 Jan 1997 17:29:40 +0000

My current work for CALYX is mainly to search through tons of papers, photocopies and stuff, for biographical and factual information on the various bands and individuals of the Canterbury scene. Among other things, I have finally attempted to compile a detailed history of Gong. I'm currently writing it, and thought previewing it in WR may provide you with a nice reading, especially for those of you who have no WWW access and won't be able to read the CALYX complete version. Publication through WR is also a good way for me to get feedback and corrections on obscure/litigious details.

Most of the basic facts of the story I took from a good "Record Collector" article from 1994. The article is excellent in its detailed account on the obscure beginnings of Gong, but gets less referential when it comes to post-"You" Gong. It completely overlooks the Pierre Moerlen period, sticking to the nasty rumours of his (in fact very short and much regretted since) involvement with the Scientology and not caring about his music at all.

Additional sources of information include articles from the French press of that period, the liner notes to the Charly reissues, those of "Je N'Fume Pas Des Bananes" and "The History And Mystery Of The Planet Gong". Not forgetting, of course, various issues of "Facelift" and "Why Are We Sleeping ?", which gave a few more details. So, let's start...


The beginnings of Gong date back to September 1967, when Daevid Allen, returning from a month of performances with Soft Machine on the French Riviera (the famous 'Desire Caught By The Tail' event), was refused re-entry into the UK because his visa had expired. This resulted in Soft Machine performing as a trio at the Edinburgh Festival while Allen was spending a short spell in jail and sent back to France. After a brief stay in Deya, one of the Majorcan islands which would later become his home base, Allen returned to Paris, only to discover that his visa application had been turned down. His rejoining Soft Machine was thus definitively impossible.

Now living in rue Beaubourg with his girlfriend Gilli Smyth, he started working at the ORTF Centre, collaborating with electronics composer Francois Bayle, and performing his songs solo, at 'La Vieille Grille', a cafe-theatre on the Rive Gauche (left bank). Soon he joined forces with a Turkish echo-chamber specialist, Tanner Celensu, under the collective banner of 'Electric Cafe-Theatre Carabet'. By the year's end, with the addition of Gilli Smyth on space whisper and a few others (Loren Standlee, Natch Claire and Gilli's 'soul sister' Ziska Baum, and one Daniel Laloux), they started using the name Gong, making their debut at La Vieille Grille sharing the bill with Ornette Coleman and Yoko Ono. A series of regular gigs resulted, until the following Spring. The last gig by this early incarnation of Gong took place at the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm, with Don Cherry (trumpet player in Ornette Coleman's quartet) guesting.

In the meantime, Allen had been introduced to aspiring Parisian musicians Marc Blanc (drums) and Patrick Fontaine (bass) by experimental film director Jerome Laperrousaz. The trio jammed together and the results were considered successful enough to form a band. It first went under the name Expression, then Bananamoon. Their debut gig, early in 1968, consisted of lengthy 'freak-outs' based on two Kevin Ayers songs from the first Soft Machine album, "Why Are We Sleeping ?" and "We Did It Again". During this period, Bananamoon appeared in several of Laperrousaz's films, including "The Nightmares Of Mr. Respectable", filmed in April 1968.

Allen and co missed the early stages of the May '68 riots, having traveled to Rome to attend a concert by The Byrds (!). Back in Paris, they took part in yet another film by Laperrousaz. This included a part featuring the band on the Boulevard Saint-Michel, handing teddy-bears to CRS troopers and reading the poem "Je N'Fume Pas Des Bananes". The shooting was stopped by the police and a warrant was issued for the arrest of the band members, forcing them to flee from Paris.

During the summer, the band relocated in the South of France, at the time of the Avignon Theatre Festival. Bananamoon opened for jazz vibraphone player Gunter Hampel's group, featuring then-unknown guitarist John MacLaughlin, and player a few gigs in Aix-en-Provence and Avignon. While there, they also met Bob Benamou, who later became Gong's manager, and spent a pariod at an ashram run by Dr. Mishra (a.k.a. the original Banana Ananda). In the autumn, Daevid, Gilli, Patrick and Marc moved to Spain, staying and rehearsing at a house in Deya, and attending several parties thrown by Spanish artists. While in Deya, Allen met Didier Malherbe for the first time. Malherbe was allegedly living in a cave at the bottom of Robert Graves' garden, having previously spent periods of time in hippie communities in India and Tunisia.

The following winter (1968/69) was spent in Monteaulieu, near Nyons (Drome). Daevid and Gilli had bought a ruined millhouse previously owned by Benamou. To pay for it, the band worked in a nearby forest, planting pine seeds... Daevid arranged to plant them in the shape of a banana ! During the early months of 1969, Bananamoon (at the time managed by Laperrousaz) managed to record four demo tapes, which later resurfaced as the "Bananamoon Band/Je Ne Fum' Pas Des Bananes" CD, and perform at Jose Artur's famous radio programme (still in existence almost thirty years later !) 'Pop Club'. Yet, Blanc and Fontaine were beginning to think of forming their own band, which they eventually did. With the birth of Ame-Son in mid-1969, Allen was left on his own and attempted to create a new version of Gong.

This was done thanks to the meeting of one Jean Karakos (a.k.a. Kastro Kornflakes, "the Fidel Castro of the recording industry", as Daevid later nicknamed him), who was introduced to Allen by Laperrousaz. Karakos was on the verge of founding the Byg label and gave Daevid a thousand sterling pounds advance to record an album, without actually signing a contract (although Allen promised to eventually deliver three solo albums). Thus "Magick Brother, Mystick Syster" was recorded in Paris in September and October of 1969, by Daevid and Gilli (who, strangely enough, was credited with writing all the songs) with a cast of mainly jazz musicians : Didier Malherbe (sax and flute), Rachid Houari (drums, tablas), Dieter Gewissler (double bass), Carl Freeman (double bass, ex-Albert Ayler), Barre Phillips (double bass), Burton Green (piano) and Gilli's daughter Tasmin on additional vocals. The album's poor sound quality owes to the fact that it was recorded on the sound bit of a movie camera...

This was followed by the band's appearance at the legendary Amougies Festival, an event set up in Belgium by Karakos with the support of the left-wing/hippie magazine Actuel. Originally, the festival was scheduled to take place in Paris, but it was prevented by a court order and hastily reconvened just over the Belgian border. Gong performed on October 27th, at 5 o'clock in the morning, before an audience of a thousand people. Although the program mentioned the Daevid Allen Quartet (Daevid, Gilli, Didier and Rachid) rather than Gong, their performance was enhanced by the stage theatrics of new recruit Daniel Laloux, performing on a variety of percussion and noises (hunting horn, bells, stones, tubes, hose, etc.), and the line-up also included violin player Gerry Fields (an acquaintance of Didier Malherbe) and bassist/guitarist Christian Tritsch, who had player with Rachid Houari in the backing band of variety singer Claude Francois.

Although Gong enjoyed an enthusiastic response from the crowd at Amougies, the following months were very hard for the band. The "Magick Brother" album eventually came out on Byg/Actuel, as did a single by the new line-up ("Est-Ce Que Je Suis ?" c/w "Hyp Hypnotise You"), but distribution was not efficient and Gong didn't manage to capitalize on their early fame. The band found shelter in a friend's castle in Normandy. Some tapes were recorded there, which later saw the light of day as "Camembert Eclectique". A few gigs were performed at universities or Maisons des Jeunes, but eventually they were forced to move back to Paris, staying in a squat in a freezing basement at Les Halles. At that point, the Gong story seemed over...

(to be continued...)

[If anyone can provide additional information, and can correct some errors, this will be most welcome. It's not quite clear, for instance, what the line-up of the Amougies'69 concert was. Maybe the liner notes of "Camembert Eclectique", if there are any, can be of help. In any case, you can send me photocopies of any interesting articles, at the following address : A. Leroy, 13 rue du Rif-Tronchard, 38120 St. Egreve, France. Thanks - AL]


From: Eric Rutten <Eric.Rutten@irisa.fr>
Subject: Robert Wyatt short record from the 80's
Date: Thu, 02 Jan 1997 18:23:24 +0100

in WR#33 I read:
>[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]

I would think this is the EP that came out in 1981/82 (approx?) on Rough Trade, called "The Animals' Film" if I remember well, with instrumental music and wordless singing, quite depressed indeed, but quite beautiful also (of course).

but then in WR#34 I read:
>I correct the above. This is completely instrumental, no Wyatt vocals here.

which doesn't correspond to my proposed answer to the question; and I don't remember the titles right now, so I can't tell about those given ...



From: Aymeric Leroy <bigbang@alpes-net.fr>
Subject: Gong 1977
Date: Thu, 02 Jan 1997 14:19:02 +0000

Yet another obscure event about which little detailed information seems available : the Gong Family Reunion in Paris, May 28th 1977, organized by Jean Karakos (again !). This took place at the Hippodrome de Pantin and was when the famous "Gong Est Mort, Vive Gong" double album was recorded.

According to Peter Frame, "10 different line-ups of Gong" performed. I don't know what this is supposed to mean. I think in fact he meant "Gong-related line-ups".

My guess is :

- "Classic" trilogy Gong : Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth, Didier Malherbe, Steve Hillage, Tim Blake, Mike Howlett and Pierre Moerlen.

- Gong (a.k.a. Gong-Expresso) : Pierre Moerlen, Mireille Bauer, Benoit Moerlen, Hansford Rowe... an Jorge Pinchevsky (?).

- Strontium 90 : Mike Howlett, Andy Summers, Sting, Stewart Copeland

- Didier Malherbe & Friends (improvised jazz)

- Tim Blake's Crystal Machine

- Planet Gong ??? Daevid, Gilli and the guys from Here & Now ?

- Steve Hillage and his band : Steve, Miquette Giraudy, Christian Boule, Basil Book, Phil Hodge, Colin Bass, Clive Bunker

So we have 7 bands. 3 are missing. Who else was performing ? The "Camembert" line-up ? The "Shamal" line-up ? The "Gazeuse" line-up ?

I would welcome the recollections of anyone who was present at that event.



From: Adam Levin <alevin@ari.net>
Subject: Baltimore Prog Rock Showcase Jan 18, 1997
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 1997 15:57:00 -0500 (EST)

Dear Aymeric,

This is a notice about a show that I'm co-organizing in Baltimore, Maryland here in the US later this month. While none of the acts are "authentic" Canterbury acts, both Volare and French TV truly capture the spirit of the Canterbury style. This show will be one of few chances for Canterbury music fans on this side of the Atlantic to hear the type of music they love in a live setting. Please post this to "What's Rattlin'" if you feel it's appropriate. [I do, both are excellent bands, and Volare in particular has a very Canterbury-like sound - Mastermind is also a great band, but in a more progressive/heavy style - AL]

                    Baltimore Progressive Rock Showcase Series
                             at Orion Sound Studios
                              2903 Whittington Ave

                       Saturday Jan 18th, 1997 - 7:30PM

*****> Rumour has it that there will be some big surprises at
*****> this show. You're going to have to show up to find out!

        V O L A R E : One of the highlights of this past summer's "Eclectic
                      Electric" Fest. These folks from Athens, GA play a
                      unique blend of instrumental progressive rock/jazz
                      which they call "Garage Fusion" drawing influence from
                      Canterbury style groups like National Health as well
                      as other jazz/rock/fusion artists such as King Crimson,
                      Weather Report, Return to Forever, Yes, and Pat Metheny.
                      Word has it that they are in the process of putting the
                      finishing touches on a record deal with one of the
                      labels that we all know and love (but I'm not
                      supposed to say who yet).

  F R E N C H   T V - FTV has been likened to Frank Zappa, Gentle Giant, old
                      Genesis, and "happy dwarf music". When FRENCH TV kicks
                      in, the plastic Rave dolls toddle out of the room,
                      trembling for their blessedly familiar 4/4 time
                      signature, because with FRENCH TV, THE MUSIC CHANGES
M A S T E R M I N D : Say "bon voyage" to Mastermind, New Jersey's
                      Progressive Rock heavyweights at their
                      warm-up gig before they head off for their
                      Japanese tour. The Japanese survived Godzilla,
                      but will they survive the head-on assault of the
                      MasterBlasters?  "Progressions" magazine called them
                      "A true heavyweight of progressive rock ... complex
                      and intricate, positively dripping with grandeur,
                      passion, and soul."

ADMISSION:   $15.00 at the door. All ages welcome!

OTHER INFO:  Call the studio at 410.646.7334 after 2pm EST, email
             mpotter@stsci.edu or alevin@ari.net, or point your favorite
             web browser to http://prog.ari.net/prog/shows/showcase/

    Orion Studios is a rehearsal and recording studio located in
beautiful southwest Baltimore, Maryland.  Orion has 21 rehearsal studios
which are rented on a monthly basis, plus a 24 track digital recording
studio attached to a showcase room.  The show will take place in the
Showcase Room. We have no liquor license, so its a BYOB affair. Sodas will
be available, as well as a place where you can check your cooler. There will
be a retail area where the bands and other vendors will be selling
CDs, tapes, and T-shirts, so bring plenty of cash!

Vendors interested in attending should call Orion or email mpotter@stsci.edu
about table rentals.

-Take I-95 to exit 50, Caton Ave. (Just inside the south west side of the
 695 beltway)
-Take Caton Ave south to the third traffic light and turn left onto Washington
-Go 1/4 mile up the hill to the U-Haul sign and turn right onto Inverness.
-At the end of Inverness, turn left onto Whittington Ave.
-Go to the end of Whittington and turn right into the parking lot
 at 2903 Whittington, in the Whittington Business Center.
-Orion is on the right.



From: Julian Christou <jchristo@eso.org>
Subject: Hugh Hopper EP?
Date: Fri, 03 Jan 1997 10:31:28 +0100

I was just browsing through the CDNOW online catalogue and came across the
following listing ...

Ridiculous Day (EP) + 2 Tracks


What is this? It's listed with the Hugh Hopper releases but I don't believe
it's one of Hugh's?



                        END OF ISSUE #35

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