What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Friday, 19 September 2014

TRACK OF THE DAY: Sex Pistols - Anarchy In The UK (Official Video)


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)

Third Thursday is Thirsty Thursday /a gathering of friends
wherein and whereby we listen to each other speak and sing
Tonight was to be a launch of a CD
until the remnants of a hurricane dropped in quite stormily!
Jack and I were there for Nancy -and we almost made it through
Torrential rains that slopped up when trucks came barreling through
It was when we came to dirt roads that had turned into brown torrents
that the wisest said "Just turn around1Impossible1Foreget about it!"
You see,we made it through the first watercourse
and almost through the second/but a slope ahead would have tried the patience of Job
so we thought the better of it.FLASH FLOOD WARNING was as true as true could be
and we saw Pastor Carmen whose Prius was mudstuck eternally
Rain was still persistent so we stopped for Mc Free Coffee
then returned homewards content with liquid poetry.
Of course the rain continues,as it will for days
Police cars stopped us going through crossings flooded away
And we have this storied adventure which verifies that we

did everything we could to get to Dripping Springs poetry!

Brand X: UK press


Gonzo Multimedia have been doing superb work of late, re-releasing a number of rock and progressive classics from musical eras gone by. The latest in this programme is a trio ofBrand X albums. Best known perhaps for including drum maestro and Genesis skins-basher Phil Collins, the band in fact featured a massive roster of jazz rock talent, including John Giblin (bass), Preston Heyman (percussion) and John Goodsall (guitars). ‘Is There Anything About?’ features the final proper line-up of the band, and will certainly appeal to lovers of Steps Ahead, Jean-Luc Ponty et al. Although technically a ‘rarities’ (iecontractual obligation) album, the musicianship is uniformly excellent and the sounds really nice, albeit with a bit of an 'eighties glaze. 'A Longer April' (sax ahoy!) and the bass-heavy and mightily groovy title track are the standout cuts. ‘{Missing Period}’ is something special for Brand X freaks, as it amounts to a never before released first album, thought lost, recorded in 1975 and '76, but recently rediscovered in the family vaults of John Goodsall. 

The sound is pretty good overall. 'Dead Pretty' is a high-intensity opener with shed-loads of solos and a sliding, growling bass, while the eleven minute 'Kugelblitz' features some Ponty-esque synths and the kind of guitar solos Alan Holdsworth was doing at the time; also hints of the Mahavishnu Orchestra in the top/tail chord structures. Still loads of original stuff though. 'Why Won't You Lend Me Yours?' brings in a little more variety - there's a terrific strings/breakdown section in the middle powered in large part by Percy Jones' bass - while concluding cut 'Tito's Leg' is just manic. Sixty-odd minutes of the band at their live peak is what's offered on ‘Live At The Roxy LA,’ which dates from 1979 and features Robin Lumley on keyboards. This is a previously unreleased soundboard recording. The tracks are all quite long - typically twelve minutes - and allow the band to breathe a little; witness the synth/drum opening, with the full band coming in section by section. The audience is enthusiastic and the improvised sections are great, with bassist Percy Jones on particularly fine form. The album highlight for me is 'Malaga Virgin' which features all those wibbly synth solos and fuzzed guitar scorches that you expect from jazz rock. Much US-style whooping from the audience here! Finally, something a little different is Percy Jones' solo album ‘Cape Catastrophe,’ which dates from the late 'eighties and was recorded in New York. Comprising eight tracks, the music is founded in a drum machine and various synths, with Jones' bass added live during a digital mixdown. The mood is distinctly cooler than the classic Brand X material, with hints of techno (sampled rhythms and weirdness) and electronica, all overlaid with bass parts that sometimes you might count as solos, elsewhere as accompaniment.

The lengthier tracks are the standouts: 'Cape Catastrophe' (found sounds and digital rhythms that hint at the ethnic dance music that was to follow a few years later) and the twenty three minute 'Barrio,' which is a weird amalgam of ethnic sounds, rhythmic glitches and sliding bass. In places gothic, elsewhere a kind of trippy minimalism.


The X Files - A 20 Year Retrospective
2CD - £11.99

Is There Anything About?
CD - £9.99

Live at the Roxy, LA 1979
CD - £9.99

Missing Period
CD - £9.99

Thursday, 18 September 2014

PLAYLIST: Strange Fruit #88

07-09-14 – SHOW 88

Choir of Aspatria Townswomen’s Guild:           John Peel
The Misunderstood:      I Can Take You to the Sun
Russell Morris:  The Real Thing
Free:    Walk in my Shadow
Pink Floyd:       Astronomy Domine
Principal Edwards Magic Theatre:         The Asmoto Running Band
Mike Hart:        Please Bring Back the Birch for the Milkman
Lol Coxhill:       Little Triple One Shot
The Damned:    New Rose
Rico:    Africa
Medicine Head:            His Guiding Hand
Quintessence:   Sea of Immortality
Tangerine Dream:         Dolphin Dance
Gentle Giant:     Pantagruel’s Nativity
Girls at our Best:           Getting Nowhere Fast
And the Native Hipsters:           There Goes Concorde Again
Grab Grab the Haddock:          I’m Used Now
Mighty Mighty:             Is There Anyone Out There
The Cure:         A Forest
Altered Images:            Song Sung Blue
The Frank Chickens:     Blue Canary
The Orb:          Back Side of the Moon
Maxman:          Fascist Boom
Bolt Thrower:   Prophet of Hatred
Peanuts Wilson:            Cast Iron Arm
Winifred Atwell:            The Charleston
Ballboy:            All the Records on the Radio are Shite
CLSM: John Peel is Not Enough

Tribal Hybrid Concept: US review

Title - 'Tribal Hybrid Concept' (Gonzo Multimedia)
Artist - Cyrille Verdeaux & Pascal Menetry

In 1975 Virgin Records released the first album of Cyrille Verdeaux compositions entitled, Clearwater Symphony. It was the first in a series of albums by a project led by pianist Verdeaux with the participation of other musicians; including in this case three members of Gong on one side, and two other French musicians, Gilbert Artman (of Lard Free and later Urban Sax) and Christian Boulé (formerly with Verdeaux in the band Babylone, and a later Steve Hillage sideman) on the other. 

Primarily psychedelic, but also serving as a forerunner of new-age music, Clearlight became the first French progressive rock band signed to a major British record label.

Their secret? Well, Clearlight certainly went the other direction of many of their prog contemporaries of the late 70's. While a band like Eloy started relying much more heavily on synthesizers than ever before (with albums like Dawn and Ocean), Clearlight cut back on the synthesizers, mostly just the occasional synth effects from Tim Blake or some minor use of ARP Odyssey. 

Ergo, with most albums dominated by Verdeaux's piano, Clearwater were head and shoulders above the other prog bands then, and upcoming also. And having made remarkable music ever since, give or take a few years in between albums, the band once as managed by the great Jacques Reland (now a lecturer at the London Metropolitan University and Head of European Research at the Global Policy Institute) can honestly say they still have their finger on the musical pulse of world music. 

And so to this new album, Tribal Hybrid Concept where the music is always powerful and selected to illustrate the yang side of the first chakra; the one in charge of life and death energies; designed to energize the body and to celebrate life. Samples of Inuits, Papoos, Tuvas, Ethiopian and Kurdish singers as well as samples of various wild animals facing extinction collected one per one by Pascal Menetrey between 1992 and 1999 are musically shaped by Verdeaux to boogie for the pleasure of the ears. 

Indeed, Verdeaux himself has said, "It hosts the one and only song ever recorded by the Amazonian Chief Raoni, former protégé of Sting in the 80's and the old chief is still struggling and still in trouble to keep his tribe alive in spite of the efforts of the Brazilian Govenment to make them disappear once and for all in the name of "ordem e progresso". So the more CDs will be sold, the more royalties Raoni will get to help him to resist to his fatal fate." 

Talking of "fatal fate," the chants of various tribes facing extinction represent the death aspect of this chakra. And since most of the beings heard on this album are probably already dead, well, this album is made particularly all that more poignant because, sadly, Pascal Menetrey passed away in 2006 - and so this Tribal Hybrid Concept album is dedicated to his memory. 


CAMERON CROWE Vs YES (It’s time for prog fans to forgive Rolling Stone magazine)

Once upon a time when progressive rock was starting to bloom, Rolling Stone magazine looked favorably upon the genre, and particularly the one prog band that epitomized it: Yes.Early Yes albums generally received favorable reviews, and all was right in the Yes, er, world. Then came the monolith that crushed all of the Rolling Stone good will that had come before it: Tales From Topographic Oceans, the most divisive Yes album up to that time.

When it was released, this was the album that separated the true believer from the casual listener. The latter might have had The Yes Album, Fragile and Close to the Edge in their collection alongside releases by, say, the Eagles, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, and Joni Mitchell but, for them, Tales From Topographic Oceans was the end of the line. And, in a sense,RS followed suit. After positive reviews for the Yes albums that preceded it, the largely negative review for TFTO — memorably titled “Psychedelic Doodles” — signaled the end of the magazine’s focusing on progressive rock in general.

Cameron Crowe’s interaction with Yes might be seen as an indicator of what happened to this song we once knew so well. Crowe’s first big article in Rolling Stone was about Yes’ tour right after Alan White replaced Bill Bruford. (Crowe has his articles archived on his own site, and this first about Yes can be found here.) Crowe’s experiences with Yes were later used in Almost Famous, his fictional account of his first flights into rock journalism. His inclusion of Yes songs in that movie was his way of paying tribute to the band that helped launch his own career.

Union (Standard DVD)
DVD - £9.99

Union (2CD)
2CD - £7.99

Rock Of The 70's
DVD - £12.99

Rock of the 70s
DVD - £9.99


Members of the Stampede Drum Line march on the field during the preseason game at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park on Aug. 28. (James P. McCoy/ Buffalo News)
Something will be missing from the Bills home opener on Sunday.
But there also will be something new.
The Jills are gone.
Welcome the Stampede Drum Line, 20 percussionists who are about to become part of game days this season at The Ralph.
The 35-woman cheerleading squad was suspended earlier this year, after five former Jills pressed suit in April against two management companies and the Bills organization for back wages.
Unlike the Jills, who had been on the sidelines since Daryle Lamonica was traded to the Oakland Raiders in 1967, the Stampede drummers will be stationed in the grandstand, where seven rows of seats that have been removed to accommodate them and their instruments.
“Everybody loves rhythm, and that’s what we are,” said Jack Gaylord Jr., the Stampede manager. “Our members are professional drummers with snare drums, bass drums, tenor drums.”
And if you think beating the drum is an easy task, not so. Gaylord is the longtime promoter of Drums Along the Waterfront, an annual showcase for top-rated drum corps from around the country.
“They will be wearing microphones, performing on cue from game-day operations high above the stadium,” Gaylord said. “Everything must be coordinated with the scoreboard, the music and commercials.”
Tailgating fans will experience the beat of the Stampede in stadium parking lots as half the drum line – 10 percussionists – visits lots on the stadium side of Abbott Road.
The other half will appear in the redesigned concourse behind the Bills Store between Gates 4 and 5 to welcome fans into the stadium.
The Stampede also will welcome the players on the field, lining the tunnel much as the Jills previously had done.
The drummers’ uniforms consist of Bills game jerseys that carry the name “Stampede” and the numbers of Wall of Fame players, worn with knee-length shorts. As the season progresses, the drummers will turn to sweatpants.
The decision to hire the Stampede was made after the drum line performed to rave reviews during the last game of the 2013 season, said Marc Honan, chief marketing officer for the Bills.
“The reviews from the performance were even beyond our expectations,” Honan said. “Right now, we’ve contracted them for game days in the 2014 season.”
The Stampede members will be paid for their performances, Gaylord said.
When asked if Stampede would be compensated by the Bills, Honan declined to comment.
The Bills are not the only National Football League team to offer drum line entertainment.
The 27-member PurrCussion drum line for the Carolina Panthers shares the field with the Topcats cheerleaders.
The New York Jets drum line, the Aviators, wear khaki jumpsuits when they perform at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder was established in 2004 and invites guest rock drummers to join performances. This season’s guest drummer lineup includes Scott Rockenfield of Queensryche, Alan White of YES and Matt Cameron from Soundgarden.
Union (Standard DVD)
DVD - £9.99

Union (2CD)
2CD - £7.99

Rock Of The 70's
DVD - £12.99

Rock of the 70s
DVD - £9.99



CD - £7.99


Rob Ayling writes: 

"Thom the World poet is an old mate of mine from way back in my history. Even pre-dating Voiceprint, when I was running "Otter Songs" and Tom's poetry tapes and guest appearances with Daevid Allen, Gilli Smyth Mother Gong are well known and highly regarded. It just felt right to include a daily poem from Thom on our Gonzo blog and when I approached him to do so, he replied with in seconds!!! Thom is a great talent and just wants to spread poetry, light and positive energy across the globe. If we at Gonzo can help him do that - why not? why not indeed!!" (The wondrous poetpic is by Jack McCabe, who I hope forgives me for scribbling all over it with Photoshop)

"IF "2014
(i would drink you in!Moonlight?Ditto!
Call me shadow!IEye hang round where Light gathers
just to absorb the glow.Sometimes,when i am full(i radiate!
There is a little bit of happiness in every rainbow(bent and refractive!
Straight lines are sad!I am glad they Meetup@Infinity!
I prefer curved parabolas/The way orbits chase teh sun
like a tag team in deep space(Moon watches,eating cheese..)
Stars applaud.Light On.Lights OFF!

When we ran out of water/we made a water app
Same for sun and moon light
Now our apps have run out.Hollow moon.Empty sun.


And a sparkle of sunlight to see by?(when eye read my newspaper...

Backbeat: Fairport Convention founder Iain Matthews hits Bordentown City

crop matthews.jpg

His fascination with American songwriting drove his European success.
Iain Matthews started off close to his roots, founding the British folk rock group Fairport Convention back in ’67. Two years later, he started a new endeavor with Matthews Southern Comfort and gained international fame with the Joni Mitchell hit, “Woodstock.”
Yet the itch still twitched – he wanted more.

A few years after his European success had dwindled, Matthews turned to the United States and found it to be home, and Friday night, he makes The Record Collector his living room.
Now an American resident, Matthews has recorded 15 solo albums as well as a handful of others with Plainsong as well as David Surkamp, former founder of Pavlov’s Dog.

Live In Maidstone 1970
CD - £7.99

Live At Maidstone Castle 1970
DVD - £9.99

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Captain Beefheart box set news

Sun Zoom Spark 1970 to 1972, a new four-CD Captain Beefheart box set will be released next month.
The collection brings together Lick My Decals Off, Baby from 1970 and The Spotlight Kid and Clear Spot from 1972Everything has been newly remastered for the first time.

Don Van Vliet (born Don Glen Vliet; January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist and poet known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work..

Don Van Vliet (born Don Glen Vliet; January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American musician, singer-songwriter, artist and poet known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work..



For years, the so-called ‘Blue Tapes’ have been among the most sought-after items for King Crimson fans, coveted as much for the musical clarity on display during these 1973-74 concerts as for their scarcity.

Not anymore. Robert Fripp’s DGM Live label is set to officially release the complete ‘Blue Tapes’ on Oct. 13 as part of a massive 24-disc behemoth titled ‘Starless.’ Mastered from quarter-inch, two-track direct-to-stereo soundboard reel-to-reel recordings of King Crimson’s 1974 European tour, the ‘Blue Tapes’ highlight the 20-CD/two-DVD-A/two-Blu-ray box — which expands to focus on live and studio work from October 1973 to April 1974 featuring Fripp, Bill Bruford, David Cross and John Wetton.

Wetton, told Somehing Else! in May that he still marvels over the band’s amazing collaborative relationship. “Well, nobody knew where the improvisations started and where they stopped — including us, by the way,” he said. “There were formal pieces, and then improvisation took over again. Between 40 and 60 percent of the stuff that we played on stage with Crimson was improvisational. We had it down to fine art, as to how each piece dovetailed into the next one. And it was always different. Every night would be different.”

This edition of King Crimson, however, would prove to be sadly short-lived. Wetton joined Fripp’s ever-shifting amalgam before 1973′s ‘Lark’s Tongue in Aspic,’ and would contribute to both ‘Starless and Bible Black‘ and ‘Red’ in 1974. But by the time Crimson’s live recording ‘USA’ arrived the following year, the group had gone on hiatus.


Bill Bruford took up music and drumming at the age of 12. By age 27 his musical character had already been forged in the fiery furnace of four of the biggest progressive rock groups of the day: Y..

'Skin and Wire: PianoCircus featuring Bill Bruford play the music of Colin Riley', in which a composer supervises a jazz drummer who used to be a rock drummer playing with a group of classical pianist..

Inside the beating heart of some of one of the world’s greatest orchestras, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, lies a percussion section with a very individual and separate identity. The Ne..

British percussionist Bill Bruford and Dutch keyboard master Michiel Borstlap are two of the leading lights in contemporary improvised music. Since their first meeting at the Nijme..

Pete Lockett is one of the world’s leading multi-percussionists. An authority on Indian percussion and an expert on tablas, kanjira and bongos, he has played and recorded with countless artists ..

Unmissable jazz collaboration sees Bill Bruford teaming up with ECM-label regular Ralph Towner on 12-string guitar and piano, and bassist Eddie Gomez, a veteran of the Bill Evans Trio, to record eleve..

Bill Bruford’s Earthworks was for 22 years one of the longest-running and most successful of the UK-based jazz groups. Having already spent twenty years on the cutting edge of modern rock p..

GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Merrell Fankhauser & H.M.S. Bounty - Things (Goin' Round In My Mind) -1968 ( CA. U.S.A. )

Rainbow Bridge Revisited/Tiki Lounge Vol 2
2DVD - £12.99

Rainbow Bridge Revisited
DVD/CD - £9.99

Area 51 Suite
2CD - £9.99

Tiki Lounge Vol 1
DVD/CD - £12.99

The Best Of
2CD - £11.99

The Return To Mu
CD - £9.99

Tiki Lounge Vol 2
DVD/CD - £12.99

Yes' Alan White on the Early Days: "People Thought We Were Crazy"

Maxink via Wikipedia
If there exists one genre of popular music with the most cantankerous and anal fans and critics, progressive rock would take the prize. Some of rock's most talented musicians work in the genre. They often bring experience from classical music and a working knowledge of music theory. Some of the bravest musical experiments were pioneered within the genre, yet rule-breaking is received with much doubt. One long-suffering band of this aspect of prog rock is the U.K. act Yes, which made its recorded debut in 1969.

As much of a devoted following as Yes has, it has often been haunted by criticisms of its ever-shifting lineup. Then there's the arty ponderousness and its sellout for new-wave pop appeal in the early '80s. When Alan White first joined the band in 1972, replacing Bill Bruford, the first album he participated in wasTales From Topographic Oceans, a double LP of four songs that averaged 20 minutes. "A huge, long project," he recalls of the album, speaking over the phone during a tour stop in Aspen, Colorado. "It was about six to eight months until we finished the album, so we spent a long time doing that."

To top it off, White says, the band would perform the album in its entirety during a subsequent tour. "In fact, we were one of the first bands that did that concept of doing one whole album onstage," he says. "People thought we were crazy, but a lot of people came to those concerts."

Read on...

Union (Standard DVD)
DVD - £9.99

Union (2CD)
2CD - £7.99

Rock Of The 70's
DVD - £12.99

Rock of the 70s
DVD - £9.99

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