::                                                              ::
  ::                     - WHAT'S RATTLIN' ? -                    ::
  ::       The Weekly Digest for Canterbury Music Addicts         ::
  ::                          Issue # 82                          ::
  ::                 Wednesday, January 28th, 1998                ::
  ::                                                              ::


From: David R Ashcraft <105704.1431@compuserve.com>
Subject: Forgas CD
Date: Sat, 17 Jan 1998 10:51:21 -0500

Thanks very much for sending out the great new CD by Patrick Forgas' band!
I was thrilled to hear the swirling marimba of Mireille Bauer again (memories of Gazeuse!) and the excellent drumming of Patrick (makes me want to hear his '77 release, "Cocktail"). Overall the band is very tight, and the sax player and guitarist in particular shine on their solo opportunities. Probably the best thing about the disc is the compositional quality. Forgas clearly has some great melodies running around in his brain and the evolution and flow of the two long tracks is tremendous!
My only question is how much are you selling additional copies for? Will this be available through Wayside or Musea? It certainly deserves to be heard by a wider audience. Congrats to you and everyone involved in the project for your perseverence!

                                  Regards, David

[As said in WR#75 (sorry to advertise for myself but I think this is of interest to Canterbury music fans anyway), the CD is available direct from me at 20 dollars or 12 pounds, postage included. Eurocheques and IMOs (or cash in registered letter) made payable to : "Cosmos Music", 17 avenue de la Monta, 38120 St. Egreve (France). Thanks for your support - AL]


From: David Layton <dlayton@castles.com>
Subject: The Muffins
Date: Thu, 22 Jan 1998 12:48:40 -0800 (PST)

I was surprised to see, especially from Steve Feigenbaum, that in reviewing the career of The Muffins, no one mentioned their support work on Fred Frith's "Gravity" album (1980?).  For the sake of completeness, therefore, I mention it here.

On the subject of finding Canterbury-related material here in the States, it is indeed very hard, harder now than in the days of vinyl.  If one looks very hard, however, one may be able to find some jems at great prices.  I note the following: Blockbuster Music, Virgin Megastores, and Tower Records all have OK import selections which include some Canterbury material.  Also, in major cities like San Francisco there are some good used cds out there. Recently I was able to pick up the following Canterbury material:

Hugh Hopper "Hooligan Romantics".  Excellent true jazz fusion that puts the pop music they call fusion to shame.

Caravan "Blind Dog at St. Dunstan's".  What more needs to be said?
Caravan "Live 1990".  Good set, classic lineup.

Richard Sinclair "An Evening of Magic".  2 cds contains almost complete live set of the "Caravan of Dreams" band.  Great retrospective of Richard's work.

Steve Hillage "Rainbow Dome Music".  Ambient electronics, soothing but not namby-pamby.

Soft Machine "Jet Propelled".  Also released as "Soft...Machine" this is a collection of demo work, including the first? recording of "Memories" from the original band in 1967.  Very sixties sound, good tunes.

So keep looking, it's out there.

David Layton

[Thanks, David, for these mini-reviews. You are all welcome to send some, I think this would make WR even more interesting ! - AL]


From: Dave Cross
Subject: Robert Wyatt Free Associations
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 11:28:16 -0500

Hello Aymeric and WR,

Here's some more of my Robert Wyatt interview. It'll be published "soon" and I'll let you all know where you can find it. Until then please do not copy without my permission. I hope you all like it! Comments are all Robert's, typos are all mine.


PW: I'm going to give you the names of some people you've worked with. If you could, give me a word or two about them. There's a lot, so if you get bored tell me to stop.
RW: (Laughs)

PW: Jimi Hendrix.
RW: A gentleman.

[Editor's note - OK, so the two-word answer wasn't such a great idea. It took Robert one name before he expanded his answers to a length that would give these folks some justice. If you'd like further elaboration as to Robert's opinion of Jimi Hendrix please reference - Soft Machine early history)

PW: Mongezi Feza.
RW: This is not one word stuff you know. I feel like - and this is very presumptuous - he feels like an alterego to me. Someone I might have been. He was exactly the same age as me and he was 32 when he died. I almost feel like what I've read that twins feel when a twin dies. Not that I was that close to him but that's the feeling I had musically.

PW: Syd Barrett.
RW: Well, I thought he was an extremely good songwriter and singer and I was very happy playing on Madcap Laughs although he left the credits off because we were only practicing in the studio when he recorded it and he didn't want to embarrass us by putting our names on such a shambles but I thought it was very witty. People think - "Was he mad?", "Was he crazy?" and I didn't think that at all. A lot of people were crazy but not Syd.

PW: Dave MacRae.
RW: He's the only session musician I can think of offhand who kept his soul.

PW: Laurie Allan.
RW: Laurie Allan's a great friend. There again - Alfie knew him before I did. And he used to play with the South African musicians with Chris MacGregor quite a lot. And he was the first person I thought of when I couldn't play drums. He would play what I would have wanted to play.

PW: Kevin Ayers.
RW: Kevin Ayers wrote perfectly formed songs right from the beginning. He didn't seem to have to learn how to do it. But I think he puts himself down too much. I've heard him say "The group got too clever/jazzy/intellectual for me." He was very much one of the main minds behind the innovations and fresh ideas for new things that we were doing in the late 60's. I think one of the reasons he never became a popstar was he just had too many other ideas to obtain in the pop format.

PW: Nick Evans.
RW: Oh, Nick Evans... I think he's a math teacher now. He might even have been then. He's just a totally friendly jovial Welshman and being slightly Welsh myself - I'm quite happy about that - and a lovely trombonist. His big hero was Roswell Rudd which is fairly appropriate.

PW: Lol Coxhill.
RW: Lol Coxhill is a wonderful musician. I've heard him, I'm sure - playing tenor. I asked him about that and he says "Oh no, no I don't do that." He's a very lyrical player and there again - he's a very good friend. When people are friends it's hard to say an objective thing like a critic might want or you as a writer might want. I mean it was in his home that Alfie stayed when I was in hospital in 1973 because he lived in the same town as the hospital. He was so poor then. It's incredible - this man bringing up his two children on his own. You know that there's an old saying - "Those who have least give most" and in terms of material possessions Lol definitely qualifies for that remark.

PW: Jerry Dammers.
RW: Well Jerry Dammers is someone I really miss. He's one of the people who was actually in the rock star industry who really did it consciously and did the right thing but kept stylish, like Paul Weller. There is a way of doing that. You don't have to become a pranny. I think he put so much... he took his stuff so seriously that every penny he made went into things like Nelson Mandela's birthday party thing that he organized here - a massive concert with Harry Belefonte and so on... He really meant all that stuff and he got kind of lost it. I would like him to re-emerge and play some more because I'd hate to think kind of... He's too young to die, you know? In fact Carla Bley said to me... when I was feeling old... she says "Oh you've got to keep playing. Who do you think you are a fucking rock star?" (Laughs). I'm talking about Jerry, you know. He's too good to stop.

PW: John Cage.
RW: Oh, John Cage... the two interesting things about him that I thought... One was his interest in mushrooms, and I've since acquired a great interest in the biology of, and I'm not an expert, in mushrooms as a kind of missing link between animals and plants, in the sense that they can't live directly off the earth. That might seem irrelevant to you. The other interest, I believe, was chess. In both cases they're studies which require meticulous indexing. A sort of scientific rigor in studying them - the very same characteristics he led the way in throwing aside in music. I think it's funny that he should have still have this love of discipline and indexing but he kept it away, stripped it away from music.

PW: You have to be very disciplined with mushrooms.
RW: (Laughs) Exactly, you can't be vague with a mushroom. You have to know what you've got there. (Laughs)

PW: Gary Windo.
RW: Well Gary was just a lovely tenor player really. I think he was quite unlike the musicians who were around in England, he was much more like the Americans and I suppose, the African musicians in England. Although he was English, the fact that he had spent a long time in the States... For example - he played with Wayne Shorter's brother, a trumpet player in various jazz things and was very much part of the post Albert Ayler generation. Really, that wasn't happening in England at that time. The jazz musicians in England were more, I don't know, just not that anyway... much more academic. As a consequence of that I've really got on very good with English jazz musicians and indeed I can't think of many who would work with me anyway because I would be considered too primitive - but not by Gary and I'm grateful to him for that.

PW: Mitch Mitchell.
RW: You know I think he's in some kind of hospital thing in America right now. He's been very ill recently so I have thought about him in the last few years. He's a great drummer, very important. Hendrix benefited a great deal from having Mitch. I remember Mitch and I used to listen to a drummer who was actually a couple of years younger that both of us but we felt of as a kind of a mentor nonetheless - Tony Williams. The stuff he was doing when Miles was making the transition from the earlier forms of jazz to the later ones that he did. The fact that Mitch had that stuff in his mind and knew about it, as well as the more John Bonham heavy rock thing that the English drummers were doing around that time made him really perfect for Hendrix. That also gave me confidence to move around the kit a bit in a way that I subsequently didn't.

PW: Bill MacCormick.
RW: Well, Bill...yeah. He was a very good bass player. He didn't play like a bass player, really. He didn't seem to play the sort of things bass guitarists are likely to play. He didn't really have a normal bass guitar sound at the time. But I found his playing very bright and imaginative He was always trying to get the most out of things. He was very good company to have around at the time when we were very... well, destitute really, and things weren't working out... things never worked out with Matching Mole but he was always good fun and cheerful and that kept us going.

PW: Richard Sinclair [Editor's note : I really asked Richard, but Robert's answer is about David].
RW: He's just an extremely good organ player. It seemed very difficult at the time for players, especially people playing the Hammond, to find a way of playing that wasn't simply based on Jimmy Smith or Booker T way of playing it. I mean, I think that some of them who did play that way were wonderful and in England there were Georgie Fame and Zoot Money who did so and very well indeed. But he found another way - much more pastoral, a much more European sound and harmonic sensibility which fitted the tunes I was working on at the time perfectly. And I'm very grateful for that.

PW: Daevid Allen.
RW: Daevid. Ah, yeah. Now that's a difficult one. That's really a long way back... My father didn't approve of him, really, when he stayed at our house
when I was a teenager. I think the main thing was that he provided an escape route for me from school, of which I was a total failure. He was a lot older than us -  certainly a lot older than me. And in the early sixties, maybe even the late fifties, he got a houseboat in Paris and I went and stayed with him there and got a taste of what was then the underground sort of focused around Paris and the jazz musicians there - various pre-psychedelic people like Ron Geesin and so on. He sort of opened some doors - the official doors of schooling had been a total failure in my life so Daevid did show me there are whole other worlds out there to make. You don't have to worry about being a failure in school.

PW: Daevid is going to be sixty this year.
RW: I think he always was, wasn't he? He always seemed like he had that guru thing you know.

PW: Phil Miller.
RW: Um...Phil yeah. I think the real thing about Phil was that he really liked to work on a harmonic thing and chords and so on... on his guitar and I think that really the most appropriate things done with Phil was when he had actually wrote the pieces for which I was able to write songs. It was one of those periods when really I was torn between being a drummer and a singer in that sense... in the Mole... and I could do it both on record. Things like the tune of "God Song" which enabled me to write a song that really meant a lot to me to write and I couldn't have done it without his music suggesting the phrasing. I would have liked to have persued that side of it more, rather than the live things we were trying to do.

PW: Hugh Hopper.
RW: He was a school friend from the age of 10 or 11 I suppose. I've always enjoyed singing his tunes, he himself doesn't sing so... He has a harmonic slant on things that I've always found very compatible with the way I sing. And of course I'm still singing some of his songs. On Dondestan I sang a tune of his, I think it's "Left on Man" and there again on this LP - "Was A Friend" is a Hugh Hopper tune. That must be the longest running musical association I've ever had, as sparse as it is these days

PW: Carla Bley.
RW: Oh, Carla's great! This morning I was just listening to a record, actually by her daughter... her and Mike Mantler's daughter - Karen Mantler. I love that record. I've got an LP and a CD by Karen and one of the things is that Karen has learned so much from her mother - the throw-away irony of the lyrics, and the meticulously interesting harmonic developments - she hate a boring harmonic progression and always puts a little angle in there, with a kind of dry wit. It's a kind of family trait, I think. Carla was very, very funny to work with. She said - "You have to be tough, if you run a band in New York you've got to be tough." And indeed - she was extremely tough and you could see why. She was very, very witty and had extremely sensible ears. Her father apparently was a piano teacher. She was Swedish - her name was Carla Borg before she married Paul Bley. She just had a... for example I had to sing a John Cage song once and it was she who taught me what the notes were.

PW: Mike Ratledge.
RW: Ah, yes. Well, I can't think of very much there. Too much blood has flown under the bridge.

PW: Elvis Costello.
RW: A wonderful bloke. He kept his enthusiasm going all the time when I met him. There again, like Jerry Dammers, he didn't become a blase' supercilious rock star. I've never known anybody with such wide-ranging tastes that he actually did something about. He would work with work with the Brodsky String Quartet (sp?), he would get Chet Baker into the studio, he tried his hand at country music. He was just awestruck by the whole business of music and being allowed to participate in it. A very, very nice man.

PW: Lindsay Cooper.
RW: I spoke to her about two days ago. Of course I've sung a couple of her tunes written with Chris Cutler. I liked all of those musicians very much from the Henry Cow setup and she was always very inventive in that genre of playing and a good bassoon player. But you know she's very ill now. I don't know if you knew that.

PW: No.
RW: Yeah. She has Multiple Sclerosis and, in fact she's had it for apparently ten years. She just didn't want to face it herself. And then she decided to sort of say it because she was having such difficulty doing anything. So she's now, sort of, as it were - come out with it. And has let it be known so it's all right for me to tell you.. I'm very pissed off about that because she can't really function as she did at all.

PW: Fred Frith.
RW: There's a side of Fred that I would have really brought out more. I would have really liked to worked with Fred in a group. I think that if I had found him earlier we could have been in a late sixties group together somehow. Some sort of Henry Machine or Soft Cow or something.

PW: Soft Cow.
RW: (Laughs) Because there's something wistful about meeting someone I felt so compatible with, almost at the end of my career as a drummer or as a group musician. But still, I enjoyed singing with their band and now particularly I'm having to listen through lots of stuff of mine because it's being reissued by Ryko and some of it's lasted better than others. At the moment some of the stuff I most enjoy is just the duet with him on piano doing his tune "Muddy Mouse/Muddy Mouth" on an LP I did called Ruth is Stranger Than Richard in the mid-seventies. It's just wonderful how lyrical it is. He could easily have any kind of career apart from the, kind of, post-Derek Baily career he has chosen.

PW: Pye Hastings.
RW. Blimey, I haven't heard that name for a long time. There's the brothers - of course, him and Jimmy Hastings the saxophone player. He was a fine musician. He was never amateurish in the way he played guitar. He didn't seem to go through that period like the rest of us went through I think perhaps having an older brother who was a superbly schooled musician... Actually there's a session musician who never lost his soul - there's another one to add to the short list - his older brother. But I haven't heard from Pye or had any contact with him for decades.

PW: Brian Eno.
RW: Oh! Brian Eno...well,  yeah. Just a good friend - really helpful. What can I say? He's helped me out of some difficult things. Like a couple of years ago all microphones I'd had for twenty years, they all started to pack up and it was Brian who sent me a permanent loan of really good new ones for me to work at home on. Things like that... So he's not just knowledgeable - he's sort of generous like that. He likes to help things happen.

PW: Elton Dean.
RW: Elton. Well, the thing is... I remember hearing him with Keith Tippett's band and asked if I could borrow their front line for the group in 1968 or 1969. But it was, in fact, him that got me kicked out of the Soft Machine because he didn't like the singing, I don't think, and he didn't like the more heavy side of my drumming. He wanted that sort of free jazz thing. Well, I had been listening to free jazz in the late fifties and early sixties and I didn't want to do that again. But he got the others to out vote me and to get rid of me. So there again - it's a bit similar to the previous question about the organist.

PW: Nick Mason.
RW: Yeah...well, drummers often become friends with drummers of different groups... and there's no exception there. The Pink Floyd did a benefit concert for us, when I had my accident and sort of to return the favor - I mean, I couldn't return the favor - but, I invited Nick to sort of, produce, Rock Bottom and became good friends at that time - him and his wife, Lindy. We used to go see them and we developed some mutual friends like Carla Bley and Mike Mantler, who we also did things with later and in fact when they did a record together- called Fictious Sports - they asked me to sing the tunes and I really enjoyed doing that. It was very nice to be on their record - and to just sing something without having the responsibility for the rest of the band.

PW: Michael Mantler.
RW: Well, Mike got us to sing... I think Carla sent him a copy of Rock Bottom and said "Here's a singer we can use." I don't really know how it happened... but that gave me the opportunity to sing with the most transcendental rhythm section I could have imagined, which was Jack Dejohnette on drums, Steve Swallow on bass and Carla Bley on piano. I doubt if I'll ever work with a better group than that.

PW: Evan Parker.
RW: Well Evan Parker is one of the few European musicians who've taken an extended line of late Coltrane and turn it into a whole new thing... both on tenor and soprano saxophone. Although with his music he sticks very firmly to a very serious line of approach, he himself is a very eclectic listener. Which is why I didn't feel too nervous about asking to play on my record.

PW: Alfie Benge.
RW: What can I say? She's sitting here. (Laughs) Well, we've been together since the early seventies I think that really - we are a group. People think I've been in two groups but in fact, I've been in three. The longest lasting one, the one that's really worked - has been me and Alfie, really. In every possible way - without getting maudlin, and when I say every possible way that's exactly what I mean. So, there you are.

(c) 1998 Dave Cross

Dave Cross
90 Westland Ave
Rochester, NY 14618


From : Jasper Smit [Continental Caravan Campaign]
Subject : Caravan Live In Tivoli - double CD available Feb. 15th
Date : Wed, 28 Jan 1998 8:57:57 +0000

Dear all,

The double CD from Caravan's gig at Utrecht's Tivoli last september will be available on the 15th of February. It will contain the whole gig - 15 numbers for a total of 110 minutes. Compared to the HTD "Live At The Astoria" CD, it has five more songs : "A Sad Sad Affair", "Travelling Ways", "Behind You", "It's Not Real" and "If I Could Do It All Over Again...". Our mix somewhat contrasts with Julian Hastings', with more emphasis on the keyboard and percussion parts.

This will be a limited edition of 500 double CD's, an issue of The Continental Caravan Campaign. The price is 55 Dutch guilders (45 + 10 p&p), only available direct from CoCoCamp* by sending an IMO (address below) or a bank transfer to my Postbank account (1634294 of J.A. Smit, Postbank Amsterdam, Netherlands). Of course, fans can pay more, as every extra money will be exclusively reinvested in activities of Caravan.

Every fan who participated in the "Buy 3 Tickets for the Tivoli gig and get this free double CD" campaign will receive his/her copy in the coming month.

A concert with Caravan and Kevin Ayers in Canterbury next July has been announced by HTD. I've asked Pye Hastings if the band would agree with the idea of doing gigs in Holland and even Germany around that time, but no decision yet on this point.

Tielstraat 112
1107 RC Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Tel :
Fax :


From : Aymeric Leroy <bigbang@alpes-net.fr>
Subject : Peter Lemer interview on Calyx
Date : Wed, 28 Jan 1998 9:09:32 +0000

I recently was in touch with Peter Lemer, currently of In Cahoots and late of Gilgamesh, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia and many others. Peter was kind enough to answer many questions concerning various times and aspects of his career. I have assembled the results into a long interview which is now on the web at :


Included are mentions by Peter of his two unreleased solo albums (the first one had the all-star line-up of Allan Holdsworth, Francis Moze and Laurie Allan) and a revealing account of Richard Branson's business policy. Those without access to the WWW can contact me directly for an e-mail copy of this great interview.



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
*               FORTHCOMING CANTERBURY-RELATED CONCERTS                 *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

[for more info : check out the 'Concerts' page of CALYX - see URL below]

Jan 29 - Lausanne (Switzerland), Chorus
Jan 30 - Geneva (Switzerland), AMR
Jan 31 - Zurich (Switzerland), Moods

Feb  8 - Utrecht (Netherlands), SJU
Feb  9 - Amsterdam (Netherlands), Paradiso
Feb 10 - Bonn (Germany), Jazz Gallery
Feb 11 - Freiburg (Germany), Jazzhaus
Feb 12 - Kaiserslautern (Germany), Kammgarn Cotton Club
Feb 13 - Ludwigsburg (Germany), Scala Theatre
Feb 14 - Kircheim (Germany), Club Bastion
Feb 15 - Ingolstadt (Germany), Burgerstreff
Feb 16 - Frankfurt (Germany), Sinkkasten
Feb 17 - Tilburg (Netherlands), Noorderligt
Feb 24 - Bolzano (Italy), Auditorium Roen
Feb 25 - Ferrara (Italy), Circolo Renfe
Feb 26 - Padova (Italy), La Fornace
Feb 27 - Forli (Italy), Naima Club
Feb 28 - Ascoli Piceno (Italy), Cotton Club
Mar  1 - Todi (Perugia) (Italy), Teatro Communale
Mar  2 - Firenze (Italy), Sala Vanni
Mar  3 - Gorizia (Italy), Auditorium Regione

Feb 17 - Stuttgart (Germany), Musik des Jahrhunderts
Apr 24 - Rostock (Germany), Zabrik
Apr 25 - Amsterdam (Netherlands), Bimhaus
Apr 26 - Utrecht (Netherlands)
Apr 28 - Unterschleisheim (Germany), Burgerhaus
Apr 30 - Ulrichsberg (Germany), Jazz Atelier
May  1 - Willisau (Switzerland), Rathausbühne
May  2 - Le Mans (France), Jazz Festival
May  4 - Gent (Belgium), Vooruit

Feb 18 - Paris (France), Laboratoires (with Iva Bittovà)
Feb 19 - Paris (France), Laboratoires (with Keith Rowe)
Feb 20 - Lyon/Oullins (France) (with Louis Sclavis/J-P Drouet)
Mar 15 - Munich (D), Café Ruffini (solo)
Mar 18 - Paris (France), Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers (with Tom Cora)
Mar 19 - Paris (France), Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers (with T.Cora/C.Cutler)
Mar 25-28 - Rennes (France) (with François Verret)
Mar 29 - Karlsruhe (D), Blockflöte (solo)
Apr 18-19 - Brest (France) (with François Verret)
May 18 - St. Etienne (France) (with Louis Sclavis/J-P Drouet)
May 29 - Tullins (F), MJC (with Noél Akchoté)
May 30 - Figeac (F) (with Louis Sclavis)

Mar  6-11 - tba

Apr  2 - London, Purcell Rooms

France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden - late Spring 1998 (tba)

Jul 11 - Canterbury (tba)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

                        END OF ISSUE #82

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