::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 80                          ::
  ::                   Monday, January 12th, 1998                 ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: HuskerDeux <HuskerDeux@aol.com>
Subject: Planet Earth, feat. Jenkins & Ratledge
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 15:45:43 EST

[In WR#79, Aymeric Leroy wrote:]
>I for one would like to read any opinions on the two albums he appeared
>on at the end of the 70's/beginning of the 80's - Planet Earth's "Planet
>Earth" (1978)

Ok, let's see, not sure about Rollercoaster, but Planet Earth, while consisting of input by both Jenkins and Ratledge, is a bust.  That is, it's very disco-fied, and I mean DISCO, Kevin Peek (gtr/Sky) was also along for the "hustle."
With songs like "Space Boogie," You Are My Starship" and "My Galactic Hero," you're already reluctant to  put it on.  The latter, along with the album closer, "Andromeda" are  the most tolerable tracks, the dancefloor takes a break,  but still weak in comparison to Soft Machine-Softs or "Rubber Riff" - the weakest SM  lp's.
Some tracks, mostly synth-dominated with a steady disco beat,  might be at home on an '80's era  Kitaro album, and perhaps Sky music but this is being way too kind, as the aforementioned have obvious merit way beyond the intentions of this release.  But there are more horrific moments as this lineup (an against- there- better-judgement studio gig I'm sure and not a "band"),  does the BBC TV Series theme, "Doctor Who," along with  elevator renditions of "Across The Universe" and "Telstar."

Don't put atop of your Canterbury must-haves list, but grab one cheap if you can find it, it's actually a bit of a rarity.  

Now what about this "Rollercoaster," was this '78  also?

Billy Francis


From: CuneiWay <CuneiWay@aol.com>
Subject: re: The Muffins
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 17:04:30 EST

[In WR#79, Age Rotshuizen <age@xs4all.nl> wrote:]
>Does anyone know what The Muffins did before, beside and after this band?
>Are there any solo-records, side projects, guest appearances not mentioned
>in the Canterbury Discography?

None of the band did anything of particular note before The Muffins.

After the Muffins:

Dave Newhouse played in Skeleton Crew for one European tour [& a couple of US
shows - but no records] before "retiring". He's a school teacher, & is [very
very slowly] working on a new project

Paul Sears played in Chainsaw Jazz [one CD] & continues to play in many other
Washington DC area bands/ensembles/one-offs.

Billy Swann played in a very popular DC area new-wave band called "Urban
Verbs" for about 18 months. He moved out of the area about 12 years ago &
currently plays in local bands [including country bands]

Tom Scott stopped playing totally after leaving the band. He works on
woodworking & woodwork restoration type things

I hope that this helps?

Steve F.


From: Rich Williams <punkjazz@snet.net>
Subject: The Muffins/Virgin list
Date: Thu, 08 Jan 1998 21:19:20 -0500

Hello Rattlin' friends,
[In WR#79, Age Rotshuizen <age@xs4all.nl> wrote:]
>Does anyone know what The Muffins did before, beside and after this band?
>Are there any solo-records, side projects, guest appearances not mentioned
>in the Canterbury Discography?

Dave Newhouse founded Skeleton Crew with Fred Frith and Tom Cora in 1982, but left in 83, to go back to college if I remember.

Paul Sears was in Chainsaw Jazz which released a great disc on Cuneiform some years ago.

They were such a tremendous band, I consider myself lucky to have seen them. Its a shame they didn't do more


[I interviewed Dave Newhouse of The Muffins in a past WR issue - don't remember exactly which one. He mentioned the band's 1993 reunion and his hopes of more gigs/recordings in the future - AL]


From: GHodges223 <GHodges223@aol.com>
Subject: John Greaves
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 00:58:08 EST

I read Ofir's letter in the "What's Rattlin'" electronic missive, and while I don't have too much information, I thought I would quote from a letter that I got from Fred Frith of Henry Cow in 1975 (light years ago), after I had written him a letter saying that I really liked the first Henry Cow record. He wrote this about the time Henry Cow was merging with Dagmar Krause, Peter Blegvad (Slapp Happy), and recording the "Desperate Straights" album. Admittedly it's not as much info as he wrote about the other members' history, but here it is, for what it's worth:

>From Fred Frith:
"Rather than discuss in long hand our musical backgrounds [which I had asked
about] I'll give you a quick run-down.

(later re: Greaves) "John:  more or less self-taught - played with his father's dance-band for 4 years prior to joining us."

That's it!

John Greaves' bass playing with Henry Cow is top-notch. They were/are all fantastic intuitive musicians- it's good to hear about the CD release of Greaves' work- I'll watch for it.  I heartily recommend all Henry Cow recordings (he's on them all) and the National Health ("Of Queues and Cures") recording where he sings (or "croons" as it says in the notes).

Best Regards,
Gary Hodges/SF-Oakland Bay Area/California

[Note : John Greaves is not on all Henry Cow recordings - he left in 1976 and was not on their last LP "Western Culture" (1978). Also, there is a complete Greaves biography on CALYX that has every information one may wish to know about his background and career - AL]


From: JJdarby <JJdarby@aol.com>
Subject: Re: WR#79
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 11:28:21 EST

thanks again .......fantastic work ......p.s. i was in the rock and roll hall
of fame in cleveland recently and was interested to see many soft machine
album covers in their phsycadelic era display....mmmmm??????......

jeremy darby.

have great 98


From: IChippett <IChippett@aol.com>
Subject: Best Soft
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 1998 13:19:12 EST

I recently bought "Best Soft" by Hugh Hopper which is an interesting compilation but unfortunately totally lacking in information on who plays what on what and from which albums the various tracks come. I'll probably end up buying all the lot but in the meantime, is there some kind Rattler who could give me this information?

Great interview with him. I would have liked something on Hugh's work with Short Wave (a great band) and In Cahoots (a great great band) but you can't have everything.

Thanks in advance.

[This particular subject has already been raised in a past WR issue (#38). More generally, I'm planning to add a page to Calyx which would give details of the contents of albums and CD's whose credits are unclear - such as Soft Machine's "Peel Sessions" etc. I'd also like to remind everyone that Musart has a wonderful search engine that searches through all past WR issues by keywords : the URL is http://musart.co.uk/ssearch.htm - AL]


From: David R Ashcraft <105704.1431@compuserve.com>
Subject: GONG-You remix
Date: Sat, 10 Jan 1998 15:49:12 -0500

Greetings, Aymeric and Fellow Rattlers:

Just prior to Christmas I had an interesting experience. While waiting in a rather lengthy line at an electronics store in Chicago I glanced down at the Christmas CD's to spot a misfiled copy of GONG's You-remixed CD!! Naturally I snapped it up and brought it home to listen to immediately. While I'm not normally a big fan of most of these bands this disc is great! Naturally it doesn't hurt that the source material is one of my favorite albums, and there are no less than four versions of "Master Builder" and three of "Isle of Everywhere"!

There are two full CD's of material with disc 2 (phase 2) my personal favorite. Artists include System 7, the Orb, Glo, and Astralasia among others. Check it out...
                cheers, David  


From: Jacques van den Oever <jvdoever@worldonline.nl>
Subject: Richard Sinclair
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 08:30:07 +0100

Hi Rattlers,

Our dedicated editor Aymeric informed about Richard Sinclair's whereabouts. Although he lives close to me & Harlingen is a small town we don't see much of each other. Richard is busy organising a new start here in Holland and has to work to pay the rent. His squaw Heather is happy doing pottery. Fortunately everybody wants him to do all kinds of jobs, so he's making a living. As Rich is totally unorganised it's pretty hard to get hold of him, but we leave him in peace as it is of course a major step to make such a move & it takes lots of energy. As far as music is concerned, there are many plans & song parts floating around in the man's head, which eventually will result in something, I guess. He hasn't shown up at our band's rehearsals in many many moons, so we just do our own thing, which we are better at anyway. If there is any musical news you Rattlers will be the first to know.



From: Giuseppe Rallo <rallog@tin.it>
Subject: Sotfs: one question and one answer
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 17:34:02

Hi all,

I love Soft Machine until to the Six Album (exepecially for the fabulous "Wyatt" period, so I'd appreciate your comment (whoever can spend time to help me) on these:

Live at the Proms 1970
The Peel Sessions
BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert, vol.1 & 2
Live In France
Live At Paradiso

before buying them.

[In WR#79, Jib Crafno <JibCrafno@aol.com> wrote:]
>Also, I'd just like to add that I think that the 'Chloe and the Pirates'
>track from Six is one of the best Soft Machine compositions...I'd be
>interested in hearing what other people's favourites are...

My favourites are:

Volume Two:     Hibou, Anemone And Bear; the complete B-side
Third:          Slightly All The Time;  The Moon In June
Fourth:         Teeth [Their Masterpiece !!!]




From: Age Rotshuizen <age@xs4all.nl>
Subject: WR: Tim Hodgkinson
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 23:15:36 +0100 (MET)


I found this on a jazz bulletin board:

K-Space will be on tour in Europe in May this year.
There's more info and a music sample on Ken Hyder's website (address below).

   Gendos Chamzyryn (Tuva)
   Tim Hodgkinson (England)
   Ken Hyder (Scotland)

K-Space fragment demonic pulses, ultra-bass vocals, streaks of intensely
emotional improvisation, to forge a music that is transcultural but absolutely visceral and necessary. A unique contemporary sound eating its way to the heart of a dark planet, it brings an electronic edge to a voice from beyond time.

* Gendos Chamzyryn - lead singer with the seminal Siberian band, Biosynthesis, stone-sculptor, master of kargiraa vocal technique. Also plays amplified zither and percussion.
* Tim Hodgkinson - electro-acoustic artist and sound manipulator. Sequencing,
reeds, processors and vocals.
* Ken Hyder - drums, vocals, processors. Pioneered cultural-mix with South
African, Irish, Scottish, Brazilian and Russian musicians and Tibetan and
Japanese Buddhist monks.

Ken Hyder : 69 Ravenslea Road, Balham, London SW12 8SL
tel/fax 00 44 181 673 1873
e-mail: ken@hyder.demon.co.uk & url: http://www.hyder.demon.co.uk/



From: NYLifer <NYLifer@aol.com>
Subject: Free Blegvad show & Fred Frith NY Tour Dates
Date: Sun, 11 Jan 1998 19:38:01 EST

First, Fred Frith will be playing the Knitting Factory, NYC, 1/16 and 17

http://www.knitting factory.com

Now for the bigger news . . . .

This is from the Tom Robinson mailing list.

Tom gives an annual free show for fan club members (and he does great shows by
the way, great mix of old hits and new soon to be hits).

This year Peter Blegvad is opening. I asked Tom if I could forward this info
to this list and he said 'the more the merrier", so consider yourselves

BTW, audio and video taping is allowed and encouraged, just arrange to send a
copy to Tom, and offer to trade a copy with me if it comes out nice.

Peace, Robert



17 january: WETTEREN at zaal nova, an old cinema, 9pm till late. Support
act: Peter Blegvad. 1998 free castaway party: no tickets required.
Wetteren is a small town near Gent in Flanders, and there'll be signs in
the town centre pointing to the concert. (NB UK Castaways: Wetteren is
two hours's drive from Calais or less)


From: Aymeric Leroy <bigbang@alpes-net.fr>
Subject: An Interview with John Etheridge (October 1997)
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 19:49:03

WR : You've always been  between rock and jazz. How would you define yourself as a musician ?
JE : For people like Pete King, at Ronnie Scott's, I'm a rock guy. So... It's hard to work out, really. I mean, I've always... I got jazz from my father, and rock from my childhood, and I've always wanted to put them together, in some way, that's always what I've tried to do, from 1969 onwards, really. And to get a sort of sustainable balance of the two things... I mean, they're not that dissimilar, but I think you characterize rock as being emotional, and jazz as being more cerebral, to a certain degree... And to put that together is kind of interesting, get a fusion...

WR : You started out mainly as a rock musician ?
JE : No, I've always liked playing Django Reinhardt, and I've always liked playing Buddy Guy, you know. And really, I've always liked various things, and at times they separate, and at times they come together. These are the best times.

WR : What were your beginnings on the musical scene ?
JE : I was at university, and I had groups there, at Essex University. I met people like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix in the sixties, and I played with Clapton... I was in a band, around 65-66, and he came and played with us. It was very encourageing, he was very nice to me. So it encouraged me to do it. Then I went to university, did an arts history degree, and when I came down, I sort of started to do music. I answered Melody Maker advertisements, you know, just the normal way, and joined lots of bands... And in 1972 I joined Darryl Way's Wolf, from Curved Air, joined his band. That was the first proper recording band I was in. That was, I thought, a progressive rock band.

WR : I understand you had a band with drummer Robert Lipson on drums...
JE : Yeah, Robert Lipson, that was in Rush Release. It was him who used to get people like Eric Clapton to come down, because he was quite pushy, he got to know all these people. Then he was in the band Gracious !, and then... now they've done another album.

WR : Were you at all influenced by the psychedelic sound around 1967 ?
JE : Oh yeah, very much. That was a major influence on me, although I was actually out of action, as it were, I was at university between 1967 and 1970, but the main... I mean, I was not really out of action, I was playing, but I wasn't playing professionally. But the main influences on me were Hank Marvin, Django Reinhardt, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, John McLaughlin - later on, with "Extrapolation". So, the psychedelic era actually, I was already... I mean, if you call Hendrix psychedelic, yeah, but other departments of the psychedelic era I wasn't into... early Soft Machine... I wasn't interested. Because after Hendrix, I got into early John McLaughlin stuff, and obviously into jazz, more or less. So... the Hendrix thing was very influential, but a lot of the psychedelia I found very... the West Coast bands like Jefferson Airplane... I couldn't take all that, I thought that was very poor, really. To me, there was a world of difference between Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane, I mean it's not the same... quality, music, intention, or anything. So a lot of the psychedelic thing I wasn't interested in - the Doors, never thought much of the Doors. When I went to university, I had an argument about Jim Morrison who I said was rubbish, and this bloke said no, Jim Morrison's a genius. And that really sort of divided me all my life, people who like Jim Morrison and people who don't... I'm somebody who doesn't...

WR : It was a time when the scene in London was blossoming...
JE : Yeah (very enthusiastically)... The hippy values, some of them... it's my generation, you know, I was in it. But I liked the harder-edged music, I liked the Who, I liked... the British rock guitarists - Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Peter Green... Those were the people I was interested in.

WR : So in 1970 you left university...
JE : Yeah, I came to London, and played with a number of bands. The first thing I did, I played in a nightclub around here, actually, playing six hours of sort of jazz... And I answered adverts, and joined a lot of bands which lasted three or four days, left them or they split up.

WR : Like... ?
JE : One that I remember was called Abednego and it had John Haltman, who is now a very famous film composer, Lynton Naiff who was the keyboard player from Affinity, Dennis Cowan, the bass player from the Bonzo Dog Band... So that was one of those bands, that band did a little bit, lasted about a year. And then that folded up and I did... That's when I joined Darryl Way. I think the band was still in existence when I answered that advert for the Darryl Way thing.

WR : What made you want to join that particular band ?
JE : Well, I answered the advert and I joined, because he was quite an important figure, and they were talking about big record advances, and... he was moderately interested in the direction of music I was interested in. Fairly moderately, but a little bit.

WR : That sort of classical music influence ?
JE : No, I mean he was, but... The Mahavishnu Orchestra had sort of just happened. I didn't like it, but I liked John McLaughlin, theoretically... He was sort of vaguely interested in that area of music, but there was immediate conflict, because I was very much interested in playing a sort of early McLaughlin type of style, in a way... What you'd call early jazz-rock style. I used a small amp. But he wanted me to play like Ritchie Blackmore ! ... So I carried on doing my thing. We made good albums, three albums. The last one, "Night Music", which was released posthumously, was good - I was pleased with the guitar on that. I liked it. Then that folded up, and then I didn't do anything for about five or six months... And then I played with the Global Village Trucking Company, and then joined the Soft Machine.

WR : How did you join Soft Machine ?
JE : Well, I knew Allan Holdsworth, and he gave my number. So they gave me a call, we had a play... And that's when I met John Marshall - and we're playing tonight ! [I interview John in the middle of a one week residency at the Ronnie Scott's with his new quartet - AL]

WR : Was the music different to what you expected ?
JE : No, I knew what it was as I'd seen them. They had the album "Bundles", and I started by promoting that.

WR : You did the amphitheatre tour in the summer of 1975...
JE : Yeah, Miles Copeland... They went bankrupt, in the middle of that.

WR : Did you have a good time though ?
JE : Yeah, it was great. Mahavishnu Orchestra, Soft Machine, Caravan, Climax Blues Band, Wishbone Ash, all together, on this Hercules transport aeroplane, flying at 80 miles an hour (laughs). Took about about 4 hours to flying from Stuttgart to Marseille ! Did about 500 miles... Really slow ! (laughs) But it was good fun.

WR : Did you have any opportunity to jam with some of the other musicians ?
JE : Yeah ! I played with Narada Michael Walden, jammed with him, although not with McLaughlin. But don't actually get a lot of jamming on tours like that.
Then in late 1976 I joined Stephane Grappelli's quartet. That was a big surprise, really. I think he got my number from someone, he didn't know anything I'd done. Obviously we're from very different scenes. He came round, we played a few tunes, and it turned out I knew all his old tunes, that nobody knew...

WR : Did you find it a big risk to go into that pure jazz thing ?
JE : No, that was a relief, really. The Soft Machine thing was highly pressured, while playing with Grappelli was all about enjoyment. It was very relaxed. And I knew those tunes, I'd always played them, with my father, who was a jazz pianist. And I didn't really play in the Django style, but he didn't care - I mean, I could play the tunes, and improvise... and it was wonderful.

WR : It lasted a long time...
JE : About five years. Endless tours... Yeah, great, and really good fun too, cause you see, if you tour with acoustic instruments, it's very relaxing. I mean, it was a most enjoyable period, really for me, musically, touring and playing.

WR : At the same time you still played in Soft Machine ?
JE : Yeah, I did. We made another record, we made "Softs" and then we made the live in Paris. I was sort of doing the two concurrently. And that went until about 1981.

WR : You'd formed Second Vision at that point.
JE : Yes. I formed Second Vision in 1980 [1978, actually - AL] with Ric Sanders, we made one album on Chrysalis. It's a very good record, have you got that ?

WR : No. It's impossible to find...
JE : Exactly. It's a shame. Ric Sanders has always tried to get it reissued but... It's a really good record. It sounds dated now, because it was done on the the CS-80, Yamaha. But at the time... Of all the records that I've made, it's the one that the most trouble was taken over making. I was very pleased with the guitar on it, we took a lot of time to do it. I was quite happy with that, I mean it was very dominated by the Yamaha CS-80, which had a very big sound but... it's a good record. And then I really started playing on the sort of jazz world a bit more.

WR : You kept playing with Ric Sanders a bit, forming the Sanders/Etheridge Group...
JE : Yes, we did a tour. It was going to be Second Vision, but it ended up being Ric, myself, Fred Baker, Nick Twyman on drums, and Dave Bristow on keyboards of course, playing CS-80, which was the basic sound in the band, although I don't think he took the CS-80 on the tour, he actually took a Yamaha electric grand... So we did a long tour with that. But that was sort of the end of it. It was a shame, cause Second Vision had originally been launched with five nights at Pye Studios. But what happened was that the music papers went on strike, so there was no reporting of it, no reviews or anything ! Which made it difficult, obviously... So not a lot came out of it, really.

WR : So you moved on to jazzier areas...
JE : Yeah, I mean, partly because I sort of liked it, and partly because I was sort of like, there I was, and I didn't really know what to do with myself. So I started doing sort of... I've always enjoyed playing sort of jazz-type gigs, so I started doing it... I would think that 1981 was a sort of watershed year for me... there's sort of before and after 1981. Cause then I started doing, you know... more or less playing on my own. I mean I've always been associated with people, but since 1981, apart from four years with Danny Thompson's band, and the last five years with Nigel Kennedy, a lot of the time I've been leading bands, playing alongside other people but... not in settled formations, you know.

WR : You did have a quartet with Elton Dean...
JE : Yeah, but again it was quite informal. Elton and I, we played together a bit, we occasionally did gigs as a quartet, but it was very informal.

WR : You always played gigs with a reformed Soft Machine...
JE : Yeah, in 1984 we played at Ronnie Scott's.

WR : What was the context behind that ?
JE : I don't know, actually. I was just phoned up and said, well, you know, Soft Machine are playing at Ronnie Scott's, would you do it ? I said I would. There was Karl Jenkins, John Marshall, Ray Warleigh, Dave MacRae, and Paul Carmichael on bass.

WR : What sort of material did you play ?
JE : Some of the old ones, and some new material. Jenkins-Marshall-era Softs.

WR : Was it meant to be more than these few gigs ?
JE : I think it was meant to be, yeah, but... There were a lot of internal problems, so nothing really happened. It's a shame, because it would have been... I've always thought that Soft Machine could have gone on, and done lots of things. But Karl Jenkins started a very lucrative career writing television stuff, now he's a millionaire, Adiemus... It's very good, I saw the Delta Airlines commercial yesterday on television... Anyway, he wasn't that keen... I would have been keen. There is talk, every now and again, of Soft Machine sort of reforming, calling it something like Soft-something, but it never seems to come to anything.

WR : In 1994 you did a solo album, "Ash" (on Voiceprint)...
JE : Yeah, it was the first time I did a solo album, yeah. The nucleus of it was my regular band at the time, which was Steve Franklin on keyboards, Henry Thomas on bass and Mark Fletcher on drums. There was also some duo stuff with myself and Dudley Coolidge playing, and solo stuff. It was quite a varied album.

WR : Why didn't you make a solo album before ?
JE : It's a matter of... Since 1981-82, what I've done is playing. And my big mistake... I mean I've made albums with others, but the thing is, when you make an album nowadays, you do it off your own bat... it all comes from you, *you* have to make it happen...

WR : There aren't no labels around anymore to take that sort of risk ?
JE : No, I mean there are, but they're not able to put out money, you have to pay for yourself. Well... There's no good answer, really, I should have been making albums since about 1984... I should have actually made probably four or five albums. It's just documenting what you're doing. And I've made... not many albums since. I mean, recently I made an album with Nigel Kennedy, and "Invisible Thread" with Andy Summers, "Ash", "Elemental" with Danny Thompson... all in the last seven or eight years - so that's not bad... But as for solo albums... I'm going to do another one, I should have done one two years ago. Now I've got a band which is the one that plays at Ronnie Scott's plus a saxophone player called Theo Travis and it's called Blue Spirits. When we get it together, we'll make an album. Until then we'll be doing gigs every now and again, we've been in Belgrade and Istanbul. I hope we can go in the studio before the end of the year [1997].


                        END OF ISSUE #80

WHAT'S RATTLIN' ?     -     WHAT'S RATTLIN' ?     -     WHAT'S RATTLIN' ?

CALYX - The Canterbury Website


+ search engine : http://musart.co.uk/ssearch.htm

Send all correspondence regarding 'CALYX' and 'WHAT'S RATTLIN' ?' to :