::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                           Issue # 4                          ::
  ::                    Thurdsay, May 23rd, 1996                  ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: Tony Brower <tonyb@interport.net>
Subject: Hatfield CD
Date: Sat, 18 May 1996 10:37:29 -0400 (EDT)

to the guy who was looking for a Hatfield CD.......
point your web browser to:


cos they're all there.

I was looking for apretty obscure album, All of Us, by Nirvana (the original
one) and I found and bought it from cdconnection.  Took about 4 days (to
East Coast USA) and about $18.  I was very happy.  It wouldn't suprise me if
they had most of the Canturbury sound albums.

Good luck

Tony Brower (ex of Zingale http://prog.ari.net/prog/GEPR/z.html#ZINGALE)

[Another reader of WR, Robert Smith, recommends you try "Pastel Blue".
Check them out at http://www.demon.co.uk/pastel/index.html - A.L.]

Ars Longa Vita Shorta


From: potts@stats.ox.ac.uk (Henry Potts)
Subject: The many Dave Stewarts
Date: Sat, 18 May 96 15:46:55 BST

In issue #3:

>Does anyone know who plays the brilliant keyboard solo on Earth Rise off
>Steve Hillage`s `Open' album? Apparently, he had both Dave Stewarts' guesting
>on the album which is pretty bizarre. For all I know, the two Daves took
>it turns to play each solo bit. Just to add to the confusion, Steve
>Hillage >is also credited in dabbling with the ivories!

To clarify the potential confusion over Dave Stewart, Dave Stewart and Dave
Stewart: the main DS on _Open_ is a guitarist; I don't know whether DS the
keyboard player of Hatfield etc. appears on _Open_, but he has, of course,
worked extensively with Hillage in the past (Khan, Arzachel etc.); neither
is the DS of the Eurythmics; nor is either the DS who drums for Fish. Fish
(ex-Marillion) should also not be confused with Chris 'the fish' Squire of
Yes, who released a solo album _Fish Out of Water_, itself not to be
confused with Lucky Scars' _Fish Out of Water_ album (with Wyatt as guest
vocalist) or Hillage's _Fish Rising_. Nor should Steve Hillage be confused
with Steve Hackett (although both have worked with Tony Banks) or Steve
Howe (who replaced Peter Banks in Yes). Simple really :)

As to who did the keyboard solo, could it have been Miquette Giraudy?

[Actually, OUR Dave Stewart was indeed guesting on the album. I don't think
either Hillage or Giraudy were good enough keyboardists to play solos. I
seem to remember a review of a 1979 gig where Jean-Philippe Rykiel and Dave
Stewart both appeared onstage with Hillage - A.L.]



From: neato@pipeline.com
Subject: Gong 1978
Date: Sat, 18 May 1996 11:35:35 -0400

>[It seems sure this didn't involved any members of the 'classic' lineup
>of Gong apart from Daevid and Gilli. Can anyone give the exact line-up ?
>Was it New York Gong under the name of Gong, or a special line-up such
>as the one with Yochk'o Seffer and Chris Cutler mentioned earlier in this
>issue ? - A.L.]

As per my earlier post, when Daevid Allen relocated to NY, he had already
been long gone from the "classic" Gong UK line-up (with the exception of the
77 hippodrome show)...when in NYC he hooked up with the fledging band-
MATERIAL (Cliff Cultreri; Michael Beinhorn; Bill Laswell; Fred Maher).

- This was the band that backed up Allen on his US dates...at the time they
were billed as Gong, but when the recordings started being released it was
changed to NY Gong...the Zu manifestivals, being day long affairs with lots
of other musicians performing, led to people like Cutler and Seffer
sitting in...in addition there own groups were featured

-Basically the whole thing was a Giorgio Gomelsky shot...from his days
with the Yardbirds through Byg-period Gong, he was always a sharp operator...
no doubt impressing Material (who were import record freaks, centered around
an import shop known as Pantasia) with his credentials and at the same time
supplying Allen with a band .

[Note : Gomelsky was of course very involved with early Magma, as well as
the Yardbirds and Gong - A.L.]

- Gilli took part in the first few show but then split...i'm pretty sure
personally as well as musically hope this clears it up a bit !



[BTW, "neato", what's your real name ?]


From: neato@pipeline.com
Subject: Compendium
Date: Sat, 18 May 1996 11:44:01 -0400

Steve Feigenbaum wrote :
>... Hopper Tunity Box will be released in the next year or so on a
>new label he's setting up. We'll see.

"Hopper Tunity Box" was originally released on vinyl by a small Norwegian
label known as Compendium...I corresponded with them at the time (1977),
and they were a dedicated bunch who were interested in the music and the
development of the artist (including royalties)...they released the Henry
Cow concerts as their first lp, as well as (the recently released by One
Way cd) Hopper/Dean/Tippett/Gallivan..
In addition, Intercontinental Express (featuring Elton Dean) and Mirage
(featuring guitarist Brian Godding) -all in all a nice little label




From: CuneiWay@aol.com
Subject: Zu Festival tapes - 1978
Date: Sun, 19 May 1996 14:29:32 -0400

Lisa Shannon (hello Lisa!) writes:

> Speaking of Gong, as many people did in #2, has anyone ever mentioned
> anything being released from the recordings that were made at the NYC Zu
> festival in 1978?  (Perhaps Steve F. might know-- I think I remember him
> being there, though that was so long ago....  I know the Muffins were
> there).  It was Gong only with Yochko Seffer on sax, Chris Cutler on
> drums... turned into a predawn jam that the police pulled the plug on,
> but then they continued to play on whatever they could without electricity,
> with photographers' lamps illuminating the stage.
> Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Yeah, I was there as part of The Muffins entourage.
The "fake" Hillage at the show btw was Cliff Coultari (sp), of Material.

Chris Cutler was indeed the drummer for part of the show (as Mr. Brian

Supposedly, the entire show was taped (although not very well I was later
told). In typical Georgio Gomelsky fashion it was to be the 1st release on
his new "Zu"! label - an "amazing" 3 lp set.

Later it was announced as a double lp set.

A couple years later as a single lp of truly "the best of the best".

The running joke with my pals was that it would eventually see light of day
as a one sided flexi-disc single....!

Michael Bloom, also a member of this list, may have more insight into what
happened to the tapes, etc etc etc., but my memory is that (1) as I said, it
was not very well recorded & (2) the actual performances by Daevid & company,
despite the big fun of actually seeing them perform, were not really very

Steve F.


From: bigbang@alpes-net.fr
Subject: Corrections
Date: Mon, 20 May 1996 20:15:14 +0400

In WR#3 I quote parts of a message sent to me by Mark Hewins (of Soft
Heap/Going Going/Hopper-Hewins/Mashu fame). Mark asked me to rectify a
few points :

1) I spoke of Mark as "the man behind the Musart website". This is not
strictly correct :  "If anything it's my wife (Von) who's responsible as
she donates the webspace to all the Musicians free. And Matt who does the
coding. I just answer and forward the mail...".

2) I wrote Musart was the first Canterbury website ever on the Net. Well,
after saying Calyx was the first one (how pretentious I am, sometimes),
here's another mistake of mine. Mark rectifies this : "Malcolm Humes (and
others) had pages up before US, not I. I am very careful when it comes to
sharing credit with other people who deserve it; this is MOST important to
me". [I of course agree and advise you to check out CALYX's extensive
"Contacts & Links" page - A.L.]

3) How stupid I am (again !) - Soft Heap rehearsed not in London, but in
Paris of course (but recently indeed). As most of you will know, Pip Pyle
and John Greaves both live in France, Elton Dean part-time, only Mark
actually has to travel from London to rehearse.

Conclusion : I still have a lot to learn. Please forgive me for being
stupid sometimes.

A. Leroy


From: neato@pipeline.com
Subject: kevin ayers
Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 17:58:02 -0400

New from Ultramarine (the band who used Robert Wyatt so well on their
"United Kingdoms" recording) have returned with a six song CD called
"Hymn - Remixes"... The hymn in question being the great Kevin Ayers song
remixed six times...the final version featuring Kevin himself singing...
with a nice little solo by Lol Coxhill... Jimmy Hastings is on clarinet as
well... Ayers' vocal is doubletracked much like his classic recordings...
the liner notes are just the lyrics of the song...a nice homage to a
deserving artist



From: DrOrb@aol.com
Subject: (none)
Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 01:32:32 -0400

Hello to all!

This newsletter is long overdue! I have been a Canterbury fan for longer than
I care to remember .... Started when I bought the first Hatfield disc on a
recommendation from Michael Bloom (writing in the Boston Phoenix) in 197?.
Highlight was seeing National Health play in Boston with Allen Gowen and
having Richard Sinclair stay at my house on one of his solo tours (great guy
etc etc).

My 2 cents: Camel is definitely Cbury (at the very least their early stuff,
and when Richard was with them, though he has made it clear that he was
basically a "gun for hire").

[It even seems he didn't really feel inspired by the context of this band.
He was apparently at odds with the spirit of Camel, especially from a
lyrical point of view. I think both parties went their own ways for the
best (eventually) - Camel's "Dust And Dreams" and Richard's "R.S.V.P." - A.L.]

I do have the BBC sessions book. If desired, I can summarize the Cbury
related entries. The most drool-invoking entries for me are the Gilgamesh

26/9/74: One End More, Arriving Twice, Lady and Friend, Notwithstanding.
3/11/75: Jamo, Island of Rhodes.

Personnel for both sessions: Gowen, Phil Lee, Jeff Clyne, Michael Travis.

[A bit surprising : According to the information I have, Steve Cook was
Gilgamesh's bass player in 1974, and Neil Murray returned in early 1975.
The A. Gowen bio on National Health's "D.S. Al Coda" even states that
Peter Lemer was second keyboard player in Gilgamesh in 1974... Jeff Clyne
only guested, as did Amanda Parsons, for the album sessions. Could there be
a mistake in the session sheets ? - A.L.]

I am told that Alan Gowen's widow has the tapes of these sessions. It would
be fantastic if we could get these to see the light of day... I am told that
she is married to Rick Biddulph. Anyone have any ideas?

[I think it depends more on the BBC than on Celia - if anyone is in contact
with her, additional info would be 'welcomme'. This said, the fact that
Gilgamesh once broadcast on the BBC doesn't mean that the tapes have been
kept safely in their vaults since then. I've read stories of many tapes of
more historical significance being lost forever... - A.L.]

Looking forward to hearing from fellow Cbury addicts....

[Please send the other info you have from the BBC book ! Thanks - A.L.]

Rob Bennett
Rochester, NY


X-POP3-Rcpt: bigbang@alpes
From: Jeffrey Melton <Jeffrey_Melton@hysoft.com>
Subject: National Health bios circa 03/78.
Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 11:04:42 -0400

As was requested, I thought I'd post a copy of the BIOGRAPHY I received
with my  promotional copy of the first National Health album. This is from
the defunct  label VISA Records in NJ, a subsidiary for Passport Records.

Some ancient history and reputedly interesting background information.

PIP PYLE (born 4/4/50 in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire)

Pip is the drummer of the group. Like all drummers, he has a blonde wife and
three children, but despite this still has to contend with the attentions of
legions of foreign lovelies (many of whom seem quite prepared to travel
thousands of kilomoters to the hut or wooden shack where Pip's latest group
happen to be playing). What these young things perhaps do not realize is that
Pip is a deeply dedicated musician. Do not be misled by the smashed
crockery on stage, the waving of arms around the head heralding the
imminent end of a

Pip has been playing drums and biscuit tins since he was five. Largely
self-taught, though he took a few lessons from jazz drummer, Buzz Greene, his
first group was Delivery with Phil Miller. (Phil and Pip actually went to
kindergarten together, though readers may find this a little difficult to
credit). Later he joined Gong and lived in France for a while; on returning
to England, Pip joined a short-lived group with Roy Babbington and Gary Boyle
backing singer Paul Jones, then another group he doesn't want you to know
about. In 1973 he helped to form the almost legendary Hatfield and the North
with Richard Sinclair and Phil Miller. On Hatfield's demise, he started
Weightwatchers with Elton Dean and Keith Tippett, a band which occasionaly
plays concerts. Finally in 1977 he was asked to join National Health.

[The band Pip "doesn't want you to know about" is probably Chicken Shack,
but that was actually between Delivery and Gong. Pip was in the Paul Jones
group during the first half of 1972, before the reformation of Delivery
that led to Hatfield and the North - A.L.]

PHIL MILLER (Guitarist, born 22.1.49, Isle of Wight)

When asked to supply interesting autobiographical details, Phil produces lists
of other musicians he has played with over the years, a sure sign of a loyal
group member. It's possibly for this reason also that journalists have always
tended to describe his playing in terms of restraint, lack of ego,
tastefulness, etc. This hardly does it justice. The other chaps is National
Health remain convinced Phil's ambition is to hypnotise the audience into a
state of utter submission by means of a system of complex and often terrifying
facial grimaces that he has perfected.

Phil's musical career began with Delivery, with his brother, Steve (piano),
Pip (drums), Roy Babbington (bass), and Lox Coxhill (saxes). In 1970,
Delivery  split, and after a lull Phil was invited to join Matching Mole by
ex-Soft Machine drummer Robert Wyatt. Included were (initially) Dave Sinclair
(organ) and later, Dave McRae (piano), two excellent keyboard players. This
band stayed  together until 1972 when Robert became tired of being on the
road. Next, Phil began a strong musical relationship with bassist/vocalist
Richard Sinclair which led to the formation of Hatfield and the North;
finally he joined National Health in 1976 and is now writing music for the
band to play.


Neil is the tallest fellow in the group. If this itself is insufficient
evidence of his moral and intellectual superiority over the others, Neil
would like to modestly point out that he is also a fully qualified graphic
designer. An imposing figure as he stalks across the stage, enragedly
swinging his bass guitar at anything unfortunate enough to get in his way,
Murray is also capable of great delicacy in his playing. Undeterred by this,
however, he is the proud holder of the Land Bass Volume record, awarded him
by a panel of judges at Sierck-les-Bains festival in France this year for
his fuzz bass solo in Dave Stewart's number 'The Collapso'.

Neil originally played drums in a group at school with Peter Blegvad and
Anthony Moore, later of Slapp Happy, switching to bass at the age of 17,
he joined Alan Gowen's group, Gilgamesh. At this time, Gilgamesh played
several concerts with Hatfield and the North, bringing together Alan Gowen
and Dave Stewart in a friendship that led to the formation of National
Health, but soon afterwards left to record and tour in the USA with the rock
group, Hanson. Returning to London in 1974, he toured with Cozy Powell's
Hammer and then joined Colosseum II for a year; finally he replaced Mont
Campbell in National Health in 1976.

DAVE STEWART (Organ, born 30.12.50 in Waterloo, London)

Dave would like to take this opportunity of pointing out his lack of
involvement in the alleged "Canterbury Scene". It is with some vehemence
that he draws the readers attention to his birthplace, the grimy center of a
bustling metropolis a million miles removed from the leafy greenery of
distant Kent. He is unable to deny, however, his participation in Hatfield
and the North with hard-core Canterbury veteran Richard Sinclair.

Dave's name has become synonymous with rather odd music (viz 'Lumps' from
"The Rotter's Club") and he would like to point out to his trillions of
fans that it is the world that is odd, not him. It is Dave you will see at
the National Health concerts cheerfully chatting to an audience between
numbers (often in languages he has little or no basic grasp). Though nowhere
near as advanced as Phil Miller in the manipulation of the facial muscles,
Dave has his own peculiar stage act which has endeared him to audiences in
many lands. Assuming an expression of slack-jawed vacuity he will punctuate
his haphazardly emphatic playing with an occasional benign grin and
imperceptable shoulder movements. This sight, often accompanied by the
spotlights flashing off his spectacles, has plunged many a National Health
fan into a strange unaccountable reverie and may well explain in some small
measure the group's popularity.


From: bigbang@alpes-net.fr (Aymeric Leroy)
Subject: Canterbury Discography
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 09:33:22 +0200

You can now check out the initial version of CALYX's Canterbury Disco-
graphy, at : http://www.alpes-net.fr/~bigbang/cantdisco.html

Thanks to all the subscribers who contributed information, notably H.W.
Neff and Julian Christou. Corrections, additions, etc. are welcome.

I will be absent between May 25th and June 3rd.
Keep sending your contributions, though !!!
Expect issue #5 around June 4th.



From: Eric Rutten <Eric.Rutten@irisa.fr>
Subject: Kevin Ayers, Ultramarine and Robert Wyatt
Date: Thu, 23 May 1996 11:57:51 +0200

First of all, this mailing list is really impressive: so much information,
so well informed, it's nearly too much for somebody who got used to a quite
scarce input flow of information concerning those subjects ... Thanks a lot
for starting this! In the following I try to bring a little piece of info
to the debate ...

About Kevin Ayers, I recently acquired a CD single by Ultramarine featuring a
cover version of the song "Hymn" (dating back from the early 70's, what
album was it on?). The music of Ultramarine is a kind of boppy half-acoustic
technoid thing (a bit hard to describe; if you hate techno don't go away too
fast, because it is just as much techno as the Penguin Orchestra is
alternative rock, but well, still, ... ah). My only problem is the vocalist:
he sings too high, and with a bit too much pathos, but I got us to it, and
now I quite like it ...

And then, another CD "single" has come out with the remixes of Hymn (5 or 6
of them), all of them more or less technoid, but the last one is actually
a re-recording with Kevin Ayers singing, Lol Coxhill playing sax, and a few
other old musicians.

Also worthy to know about Ultramarine is that on their previous CDs
(especially "United Kingdoms"), Wyatt sings on some songs, or is sampled
from Soft Machine time (on "Every Man and Woman is a Star").

Thought you'd like to know ...


Eric Rutten                   |                    e-mail: rutten@irisa.fr
IRISA / INRIA, projet EP-ATR  | phone:+33 99 84 72 33, fax:+33 99 84 71 71
Campus de Beaulieu            |                     telex:UNIRISA 950 473F
F-35042 RENNES cedex - FRANCE |  http://www.irisa.fr/EXTERNE/projet/ep-atr

From: Michael Bloom <MHB@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Subject: New York Gong memoirs
Date: Thu, 23 May 96 15:35:14 EDT

In the summer of 1978 I got a phone call from Giorgio Gomelsky, the legendary
producer. He'd read something I wrote in an alternative weekly paper called
the Boston Phoenix, and liked my attitude toward progressive rock. He'd just been paid a fair chunk of royalty money for some Yardbirds recordings, and he
was moving to New York City to check out the innovations of the No Wave scene.
He also had an idea for bringing the European musicians he'd produced to the
attention of the American record buying public. He invited me to come visit
him in New York and talk about his ideas.

He was living at first in a pretty swank apartment, somewhere in the west 20s
if memory serves. It was on the ground floor, and the living room had these
delightful French windows overlooking a tiny garden, which I remember because
my first encounter with Daevid Allen was watching him enter this apartment by
climbing in them. He wore a long green robe, and his white hair was still
pixie-length. (He cut it for New York Gong.) I don't remember everything we
talked about, but I'm pretty sure I asked about gliss guitar, and Daevid said
only three people in the world could do it properly: himself, Hillage, and
Christian Boule. I think the subject of the Gong reunion concert came up (the
one documented as Gong Est Mort, Vive Gong) and how pissed Virgin was that they didn't have the rights to it. This pleased Gomelsky, who was sort of an anarchist, especially toward the corporate world-- he proudly characterized
his convincing A&M to release Magma as ripping them off.

Gomelsky was planning this extravaganza that would put prog rock on the map
in America, the Zu Manifestival. The big names were to be bands he'd
produced - Gong and Magma. There were other people mentioned, I don't even
remember who, although I do remember Gomelsky was the guy who turned me on to Univers Zero and Etron Fou Leloublan. In return, I turned him on to the Muffins, who ended up performing at the Manifestival.

I think his ultimate goal was that some American major label would agree to
finance and distribute a vanity label for him, which would start with a big splash-- a three record live set from the festival-- and then let him produce the rest of Magma's projected nine volumes of Theusz Hamtaahk and whatever Daevid wanted to do, plus some New York stuff. He was also really excited about this book, "Bruits," by Jacques Attali (French minister of culture at the time),the premise of which was that big changes in the sound environment of a society portended changes in how it functioned. Gomelsky believed that, if we could make progressive rock a favorite music of America, we would help usher in a utopia. I guess if you hang out with Daevid enough, you learn to dream extravagant dreams-- although I suppose I believed it too. So he really wanted to get this book translated, published, and distributed. (Subsequently it was, not by him. I think the English title is "Noise.")

He moved out of the apartment and rented a building he dubbed Zu House; I think it was on 23rd Street. (Neighborhoods in Manhattan can change quite precipitously. This building was maybe six blocks from the other apartment, but where the old neighborhood was classy residential, the new area was light industrial, suitable for artsy bohemian enterprises-- there was a Nuyorican dance and theatre company next door, if I remember right.)

People started coming around to Zu House, especially musicians. I introduced
Michael Beinhorn, at the time a 15 year old kid desperate to get his hands on
a synthesizer (he soon bought a Micromoog from Joe Gallivan), and he in turn
brought his friend Fred Maher, an aspiring drummer. Gomelsky found this bass
player who'd been doing some work with an ethnic dance troupe, and who claimed
to have been playing with Ornette Coleman; this was Bill Laswell. They started
rehearsing in the Zu basement, trying to learn Art Bears tunes and evolving
their concept of urban funk with mutant excrescences. When Daevid came back to
start rehearsing, they became his New York Gong band, accompanying him not only at the Manifestival but on his 1979 American tour. Somewhere along the line, they started recording as Material, but they were New York Gong first. (For a while they were calling themselves Zu Band. They went through several guitar players; the guy who did most of the Gong activity was one Cliff Cultreri, subsequently an exec with Relativity Records, working with guitar "heroes" from Joe Satriani to Adrian Legg.)

The last time I saw Beinhorn, I was hanging out at Zu House, pontificating about Philip Glass's new album Einstein on the Beach. I said it was the end product of minimalism, because it was so encyclopedic, it included somewhere within itself every technique that could be compositionally valuable in that medium, so nobody would ever have anything more to say. He endured my diatribe looking more and more aghast, and when I finally ran out of steam, he cried, "But there's so much left to restrict!" Nowadays he produces bands like Soundgarden and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Fred Frith appeared at one point, bringing the news that Henry Cow decided to
break up. They were still planning to spend the rest of the year playing live,
and were trying to come perform in Cuba. Fred seemed to distrust Gomelsky, but
he agreed to play at the Manifestival. Chris Cutler eventually showed up too,
but at first had this paranoid fear that he'd get in some sort of trouble with
Immigration if he played; fortunately he got over it. He's fascinating to watch; he appears to keep time with the flailing of his arms, which only occasionally bring the sticks in contact with the drums. He could have replaced Keith Moon.

If I remember right, the festival took place in November of 1978. Musicians
were camped out on the various floors of Zu House, which was already smelling
foul from the excreta of the two dogs Gomelsky had acquired and installed on
the second floor, who nobody seemed to walk. I was assigned the task of going
to some address further downtown and picking up the stage sets, vague abstract
cityscapes, despite that I had neither a driver's licence, nor much skill at
driving a standard shift, which the available van was.

The festival itself was a big sprawling mess, but fascinating. There were a whole slew of no wave type bands-- I remember one band who included the singer and pyrotechnic guitarist from the CBGB band Manster, very impressive, and an avant garde composer named John Rehberger whose piece used two notes, played on different instruments in different octaves (so much left to restrict, indeed!). I also remember a band called Blinding Headache, totally self-taught but trying to grapple with Beefhearty sprung rhythms, whose bass player, Tina Curran, also appeared on stage with New York Gong in costume as part of an ad hoc pixie auxiliary, several adults and children traipsing about in green outfits. She later married Fred Frith, who moved to New York in about 1980, played and recorded with Material, the Golden Palominos, Curlew, Eugene Chadbourne, and a whole slew of other downtown improvisers, formed Massacre with Bill Laswell and Fred Maher, made the Cheap at Half the Price album on a four-track Teac in his kitchen, etc. etc. etc.

Fred's set consisted of some of his improvisational activity that came to be
called "guitars on the table," and then a set of Peter Blegvad's songs, with
Blegvad, Cutler, and Muffins bassist Billy Swan. They did "Strayed" from the
Desperate Straights album (which Fred had played on originally), a version of
"Actual Frenzy," a cute song about drunken hallucinations, and something else
I've forgotten.

Gomelsky wanted the Manifestival to be as much an educational event (or should
I say propaganda forum?) as a musical one. He decreed a panel discussion that
would allow the musicians-- Daevid and the very articulate and opinionated
Chris Cutler-- to exchange views with representatives of the rock press, and
he convinced Robert Christgau to sit still for this. Christgau knows Frith's
brother Simon, an English rock critic and sociologist. As you probably already
know, he doesn't generally go for anything in the progressive realm, but he
ended up quite impressed with his colleague's little brother's set, and agreed
that maybe he was the best guitarist in the world. But the audience thought of
him as the enemy, and tried to shout him down. (Well, he did open with vaguely
inflammatory remarks.) I got pissed off (I was also on the panel) and tried to
suggest that, since he was basically there to articulate the position of the
prog-impaired great unwashed, maybe we should listen to him and figure out
what it was about the stuff that he didn't like, to make it more appealing
to more people, to no avail. Cutler started to rant, and Daevid started doing calisthenics on stage as a sign of the overwhelming futility of this exercise. The exchange of views did happen later, over dinner, nothing very momentous. (Gilli Smyth and Georgia Christgau discussed shopping.)

The Muffins were for my money the stars of the show. I don't think they played
too much of the Manna/Mirage material, I think they were already moving into the more RIO-ish modes of what was to be the 185 album (rehearsal versions of these tunes appear on the CD of Open City): "Horsebones" was played, probably "Under Dali's Wing," "Boxed and Crossed," maybe "Queenside." And I'm sure they did some improvising.

The sole representative of Magma was Yoch'ko Seffer, who brought his new Zeuhl
group. It didn't make a big impression on me. Muffins drummer Paul Sears was
(and still is) one of the all time great Magma partisans, and I think he was
bitterly disappointed that Christian Vander didn't show up.

New York Gong played a long set comprising most of the Radio Gnome Invisible
trilogy, introduced by the relevant Camembert Electrique material. I think the
band was Allen, Smyth, Cutler, Laswell, Cultreri, and a saxophonist named
George Bishop; maybe Beinhorn made some Moonweed noises too, and there
might have been another drum kit for Maher. They were almost done when, at about 2 o'clock in the morning, the police showed up and insisted that it was time to shut up. ("Cops at the door," indeed!) The cops pulled the plug, and Gomelsky urged all the drummers to come out on stage for a climactic percussion jam on the rhythm of "The Isle of Everywhere."

There was a tape recorder running for all of this, my Teac four track in fact,
but what was fed into it was the stage monitor mix, which sounded like death.
Somewhere I have cassette dubs of some of the music, which I haven't listened
to in years. I don't know who has the masters, but I doubt they're useful. The
foregoing memoir is just about everything I remember offhand, without playing
these tapes or rummaging through my archives.

Oh yeah, I also remember Beinhorn telling me how much fun he had wandering
around the neighborhood with Daevid to spray bright green Gong graffiti.

Afterwards, Daevid made the N'Existe Pas! album with Cutler (performing under
the name Brian Damage) and Bishop, then came back in 1979 to tour America with
New York Gong, by then composed of Laswell, Beinhorn, Maher and Cultreri. Part
of his idea then was that the spirit of Gong should manifest in a multiplicity
of bands all at once: New York Gong, Here and Now Gong, Pierre Moerlen's Gong,
whatever Hillage wanted to do, the meditation circle in Mallorca, and anything
that might be going on around him in Australia. Other than the Zu performance,
however, this was the first appearance of Gong in America-- and the last
with a band, until the Magick Brothers toured in 1993, or whenever it was.

Zu House remained active for a while-- I saw Peter Blegvad and John Greaves play a set of Kew.Rhone. and related tunes there once, with friends like Lisa Herman and Eugene Chadbourne on hyperactive guitar. Gomelsky was later involved with a venue called Plugg. I don't think he had any connection with Squat Theater.

[I can't really comment on Michael's contribution - except to say that it's exactly the kind of things I dreamed of reading when I launched this list, so I hope you'll find it as exciting as I did - A.L.]


                             END OF ISSUE #4

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