::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 7                           ::
  ::                   Thursday, June 13th, 1996                  ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: cmeloche@julian.uwo.ca (Chris Meloche)
Subject: Gong BBC Sessions
Date: Fri, 7 Jun 1996 20:59:35 -0400 (EDT)

Gong: BBC Radio Sessions
(according to "In Session Tonight" by Ken Garner)

Nov. 17/71 (Peel)
Magic Brother / Clarence / Tropical Fish
Kevin Ayers (bgv), Daevid Allen (gv), Gilly Smith (v), Pip Pyle (d), Didier
Malherbe (sx), Christian Tritsch
Rec'd Nov. 9/71

June 12/73 (Peel)
Can't Kill Me / Radio Gnome Direct Broadcast - Crystal Machine / Zero the
Hero and the Orgasm Witch
Allen, Smith, Malherbe, Mike Howlett (b), Steve Hillage (g), Tim Blake (sy),
Pierre Moerlin (d)
Rec'd May 29/73

Jan. 29/74 (Peel)
Radio Gnome / Oily Way
Rob Tate (d), Di Stewart (perc, v) r. Moerlin
Rec'd Jan. 15/74

Please note that these titles and names are printed as they were listed on
the broadcast play sheets and contracts.

[So one should read "Moerlen" rather than "Moerlin", and "Tait" rather
than "Tate". Thanks very much, Chris - A.L.]



From: MARTIN WAKELING <marwak@globalnet.co.uk>
Subject: All sorts of things
Date: Sat, 8 Jun 1996 19:23:45 +0100


Well done so far on getting such a good response, I'm really enjoying the
mixture of debate and opinions that are coming through. Here's a few
comments to add....

[For those of you unaware of this fact, Martin is the editor of "Why Are
We Sleeping ?", the excellent Kevin Ayers fanzine. More info on the contacts
page of CALYX - A.L.]

>Is the tape still in the Beeb Archives. There was also a "Banana Follies"
>In Concert featuring Kevin Ayers, Dave Bedford, Mike OLdfield and Lol
>Coxhill amongst others featuring not just Kevin songs but also
>contributions from the rest which showcased some on Lol's and Dave's
>stuff. Is that tape deceased?

The tape in question was broadcast on 07/10/72 - Oldfield wasn't there but
Archie Leggett was and also a pianist I think was called John Griffiths.
The tape survives on the collectors' circuit but very poor quality.
Windsong have been reminded of its existence but they seem happy to pursue a
policy of releasing one item from an artist and then moving on.  However,
the combined Windsong/ Strange Fruit/ Old Grey Whistle Test catalogue
includes a tear-out postcard you can send to : RADIO ONE ARCHIVE INFORMATION,
(nb. not freepost outside UK)
They welcome suggestions for future releases so anyone can write.  From my
involvement with digging out Ayers stuff for release it is a sad reality
that not every session survives in the BBC vaults which made me appreciate
just how valuable the tape-swapping circuit of fans is - in some cases it's
the last remaining documented evidence of a session.

RE: What is Canterbury?

>The point I'm really making is that Canterbury is more a 'spirit', a way to
>interpret music and the role of musicians, the inclination to cross musical
>genres without much respect for labels, definitions or traditions.
>What I would identify as the 'Canterbury sound' does not extend - in my
>opinion - beyond the first 3 Softs lp's, the first 4 Caravan, the first 2
>K.Ayers, Egg, Hatfield, Rock Bottom, the 1st Gilgamesh and possibly National

Oh dear, surely we've all picked over the bones of this ancient question for
long enough to know that the 'spirit' philosophy is what we all understand,
what we all agree on and what essentially unites the nicest set of music
listeners anywhere.  The  pointless rummaging about what albums qualify and
don't qualify as Canterbury is what divides us. We have a huge spectrum of
music to explore and enjoy and the Canterbury grouping just gives us a few
convenient boundaries and baselines (basslines ?) on which to hang our
individual hats. I respect everyone's musical tastes in this column and I'm
eager to explore some of the names that have kept cropping up that I've not
got round to hearing yet. I sincerely hope that other subscribers will
perhaps want to do the same. IMHO there are two unifying threads throughout
our music - firstly the tendency towards instrumental improvisation but
secondly, the possession of a uniquely English lyrical and vocal content -
it's Ayers, Wyatt, Sinclair and Allen that define it for me, the way they
sing and the way they write. Is it any coincidence that many of us move onto
Syd Barrett or Peter Hammill for the same reason. But it is the 'spirit' at
the root of it - it convinced me back at the Gong 25th a year or so back
when the endless stream of Canterbury musos climbed up and played like
they'd never left each other!

Best wishes to all



From: "David G. Shaw" <dshaw@tiac.net>
Subject: Kramer
Date: Sat, 8 Jun 96 17:21:29 -0000

Malcom Humes wrote:

>Daevid also mentioned that Mark Kramer (of Bongwater) had got his fist gig
>playing bass in NY Gong, which I assume must have been another lineup after
>Laswell moved on or maybe pre-Zu days.

Kramer (he dropped his first name years ago) repaid the favor by making a
wonderful record with Daevid Allen called "Who's Afraid?" It's still in
print, Shimmy Disc #Shimmy-060.

Allen plays gliss and acoustic guitar, and sings; Kramer plays bass,
keys, flutes, guitar, and sings; David Licht provides percussion.

Check it out!


From: Brian Hathaway <Brian.Hathaway.0204363@bnr.ca>
Subject: "Missing Pieces"
Date : Sun, 9 Jun 1996 04:52:11 +0000


     Do you have a forecasted release date for this release and/or
a good distributor to pick it up from?  I loved COMPLETE, and think
this may turn out to be even better.


[As mentioned previously, this will be released on July 23rd on East
Side Digital. As for a mail-order source, surely Wayside will have it
as soon as it's out. As for the music, I find it much more intricate,
complex and experimental than the first official album. Half of the
pieces are by Mont Campbell, which makes "Clocks And Clouds" sound like
a VERY commercial song... - A.L.]


From: Michael Bloom <MHB@MITVMA.MIT.EDU>
Subject: Sold to the highest buddha
Date: Sun, 09 Jun 96 16:28:38 EDT

Mal asked about Gomelsky and Karakos, so here goes. Please note that
everything I know about Jean-Georges Karakos (which is how I understand
his name to be spelled) was what was told to me by Giorgio Gomelsky, and
therefore may want to be taken with several boxcars full of salt.

Apparently Gomelsky was an aspiring filmmaker in France or Italy back in
the '50s, and either he wanted to make jazz documentaries or he simply
wanted to get American jazzmen to do his soundtracks, I forget which.
Anyway, this somehow involved him with BYG, which was represented to me
as belonging to Karakos, recording lots of American avant-gardists who'd
come to Europe to work since America didn't care. Gomelsky produced quite
a few sessions for BYG. I remember one story he told me, I think it was a
Jimmy Lyons date but I'm not sure, the musicians told him not to use any
microphones, that the sheer cosmic power of the music would impress itself
upon the tape. Gomelsky said Sure guys, anything you say, and left the
room-- and then eased the door open ever so slightly to sneak a microphone
in anyway.

I don't know the details of the artists' compensation. Surely someone is
making money out of those BYG CD reissues, and possession often turns out
to be 90% of the law when it comes to master tapes, so I bet it's Karakos.

I had thought Karakos was also the force behind Charly Records, but Dave
Stewart's liner notes to The Complete National Health suggest somebody
else was the boss. I am certain that Karakos was the entrepreneur who
helped finance the 1977 Gong reunion concert, and in return Daevid gave
him the tapes to release the Gong Est Mort album. I just looked it up;
it's on a label called Tapioca, based in Paris. As I mentioned earlier,
Virgin was peeved that they didn't have the rights, so not only did they
release their own Gongsploitation double LP at the same time (the one
called Gong Live Etc.) but they forbade Tapioca to use Steve Hillage's
name or photograph on the sleeve, since he was then under contract to
Virgin as a solo artist. In the band photo, his face is whited out,
and his nom de gong is "Submarine Capt. Spillage." Of course, every
band member has a screwball name.

One of the projects Gomelsky was working on when he came to the USA was
a label called Utopia, which he was running with a gentleman named Kevin
Eggers. They got a distribution deal through RCA, and managed to release
two albums, Magma Live and an Annette Peacock studio LP (which I hated).
Then they parted company. Eggers seems to have ended up with all the
partnership's assets, including the Gomelsky-produced master tapes of
Magma's Udu Wudu, so he started the Tomato label. He did try to make it
a cultist's label-- he did two Magma albums (although it should be noted
that Attahk sucks), recordings of John Cage's prepared piano music, a
posthumous Harry Partch premiere recording, and (in a different vein)
a complete reissue of Townes Van Zandt. The main thing I remember about
Tomato was that the inner sleeves of the LPs were made of brown paper
grocery bag stock, I suppose as some kind of brand awareness marketing
scheme for the label. I thought that would scratch up the records, so
as soon as I got anything on that label I'd run out and get some decent
poly-liner sleeves to protect the discs.

It's true that there's a long standing tradition of indie labels and
producers playing fast and loose with the law. I suppose the earliest
entrepreneurs felt the rock'n'roll "fad" wasn't gonna last long enough
for their misdeeds to catch up to them. Nowadays we know better, but
crappy behavior is still the norm :-( I think highly of a book called
Hit Men by one Fredric Dannen, which traces several corrupt industry
practices up into the '80s, specifically how they do payola nowadays,
but there's a lot of historical background presented as well.

And, probably through no coincidence at all, Kramer and Daevid Allen's
second collaboration is called Hit Men. I don't think it's anywhere near
as good as their Who's Afraid project of several years back, which I
found utterly delightful, kind of a cross between Good Morning and The
Madcap Laughs.

I found my tapes from the Zu Manifestival, but I haven't dared to play
them yet :-) I don't have the Gong, Yoch'ko or Muffins material anyway.


From: "Lisa Shannon <lisanico@access.digex.net>
Subject: (none)
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 1996 18:27:33 -0400 (EDT)

> After having carefully read all of the messages posted with the first three
> issues, I really have a doubt. If it is clear (more or less) what I would
> call Canterbury music, it is not clear at all what I would not call
> Canterbury music.

Though I agree with you in taste (i.e., I like Henry Cow & the early Softs
far better than "Bundles" or Pierre Moerlen), I've always thought of
"Canterbury" as being anything that was in the Chart in "Triple Echo" (or
that could be added in a later annotation to the Chart).  Of course an
argument against this could be that it was the late Soft Machine that
published the chart....  but whatever.



From: bigbang@alpes-net.fr (A. Leroy)
Subject: John Etheridge - the beginnings...
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 1996 08:01:12 +0000

This may seem non-Canterbury-related, but I'm currently in contact with
the drummer of 70's band Gracious !, who have recently reformed for a
new album ("Echo") : Robert Lipson.
In his bio, Robert states that : "My first band was Rush Release, which
featured John Etheridge. I was at the Speakeasy where Jim Hendrix and Noel
Redding had put on Eire Apparent. They were dreadful. I walked up to Jimi
and said, "we can do better than this lot. He said "okay", and a week
later we played there".
As Lipson recorded with Gracious ! as early as 1968, this band must have
been active around 1967-68. I didn't suspect John Etheridge's career
started as early as that. From the Peter Frame Family Tree, Etheridge
was in the Global Village Trucking Company (possibly in the very early
70's) and then Darry Way's Wolf (from 1972-75, with Dek Messecar on bass
and Ian Mosley on drums).
Does anyone know more than I do ?



From: Jose.Douglas@turner.com
Subject: Daevid Allen / Planet Gong
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 1996 09:47:42 -0400

Hi all,

On WR # 6 Malcolm Humes wrote:

"Around that time Daevid was driving around selling albums to record
stores out of the trunk of his car -  plain white cover pressings of Planet
Gong with no label credited. When the Charly version was released some of
the cover art was changed (the prices, and "Steal this record if you can"
changed to "better to steal it if you can")."

After reading this I checked out my lp, it was made in France, no label is
credited and it says something like: "don't pay more than $3 (I forget how
many pounds or francs) but steal this record if you can."
It's titled "Planet Gong Live Anarchy 1977". Unfortunately I think I paid
more than $3.00 for it; didn't have the nerve or the lack of concience to
steal it.

Where was Daevid Allen selling these to record shops?  I bought my copy in
Southern California, probably in 1978, can't recall.

Also looking through my collection found two Henry Cow albums, but I don't
recall ever listening to them (must have had them for a good 20 years). I
guess I'd better give them a listen.




From: bigbang@alpes-net.fr (A. Leroy)
Subject: Info on Daevid Allen/Gilli Smyth obscurities, anyone ?
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 1996 19:27:19 +0000

Though I haven't received a lot of mail on this subject, I suppose
most of you have taken a look at the ULTIMATE CANTERBURY DISCOGRAPHY,
which is now accessible from the CALYX site. If not, please do !!!

Anyway, one of the sections that is least complete is the Daevid Allen /
Gilli Smyth one. Contributions are particularly welcome, if you have
their CD's. I guess among the many subscribers there are one or two keen
Allen/Smyth collectors. This will not be a waste of time, everyone will
eventually benefit from your knowledge !

Thank you for your help !



                             END OF ISSUE #7

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