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Web Digest, week 1 (01.09.97, MV1 - 39) begins    | index | prev | next |
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Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 17:22:49 +0100
From: S J Birkill <email address>
Subject: MV1: Welcome Message -- again ...

Hello everyone,

Welcome to "Midnight Voices", the Pete Atkin mailing list.

I'm sending a second welcome message because of an apparent teething
problem with my system of sending out messages. One subscriber, a
CompuServe member, reports that he's getting just headers and no text. I
don't pretend to understand why -- my knowledge of e-mail mechanics is
slight, and a test message by the same route to my own CompuServe account
came through OK, as did those to my normal addresses at RWT and Pipex.

Anyway, I've now switched to "forwarding" the group messages from MV. This
means that the header you receive will reflect the MV address and not mine
or that of the original poster. It should still be confidential insofar as
each recipient should see only his own address in the "to" box (please
advise a.s.a.p. if this isn't the case with you). But it also means that
the original posts will be delivered in "quotes", i.e. each line will be
prefixed by a ">". And I'm repeating the welcome to existing members in
case any others missed it!

It's now some 48 hours since I announced the list, and already we have 40
members signed up. Your posts to the group should be addressed to:

<email address>

and not to myself or to the person being replied to (unless you're making a
private reply of course).

The list is manually maintained and moderated, rather than handled by a
"listserv" type program, so it should remain confidential to the group.
Indeed, your membership will only be known to the other members if (when)
you post a message. Also there is no Web-based (or otherwise) "digest", so
your messages are not accessible to search engines or spambots.

Topic is anything at all to do with Pete or his music, or his associates at
Cambridge or subsequently on TV, radio, record or on tour.

Your messages will be forwarded to all mailing list members, normally within
24 hours unless advised otherwise by announcement from myself.

Please keep messages to a reasonable length -- I don't want to set any hard
and fast rules, or to inhibit creativity, but be aware that if for instance
you attach a 1MB file, it will probably not be forwarded.

If you prefer your message not to be quoted on our Web site, just append
"noquote" to your subject line.

If at any stage you should wish to be removed from the list, just post a
message with  "remove" in the subject line.

Rob "Elphinking" has already (bravely) posted his personal introduction and
wish list to the group. I'm distributing his message again, in case anyone
missed it by the old system. I hope more will join him to reach critical
mass for discussion. I don't want to be the only "talker" here!

Over to you!

Steve

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From: Rob King <email address>
Date: Mon, 1 Sep 1997 08:31:48 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: MV2: Re: Welcome to the Pete Atkin Mailing List

Dear Steve,
OK...My name's Rob, I am a journalist (which I realise in the current
hysterical state of the nation makes me a public enemy number one) but in my
defence I write solely about soccer at a national level.
I am 43, divorced, two daughters of 13 and 12 and have begun to suffer from
that senile dementia which leads to intense nostalgia and sentimentality.
Thus those voices who illuminated the dark nights of teenage and adolescent
courtship have slipped back into my life and, via the Net and Record
Collector, I have begun repairing the holes in my collection, or transferring
valued recordings to CD.
Pete was one of them, on a par with Leonard Cohen, Dylan, Gerry Rafferty, Roy
Harper, Nicky Hopkin, Harry Nilsson, Tir Na Nog, James Taylor and others.
Group wise my heroes remain Family, Van der Graaf Generator, the Strawbs,
Stackridge and Colloseum, as well as the more predictable giants like Yes,
Genesis, Stones etc.
Nowadays my tastes have moved more towards jazz - Stan Getz and Cannonball
Adderley in partic.
I would like to know how close Clive James remains to Pete and why their
collaboration ever ended?
More importantly, I simply want to know where I can lay my hands on the
complete collected works of the master????????
Cheers
Rob

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Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 14:01:56 -0400
From: Frances Kemmish <email address>
Subject: MV3: Introduction

Hi,

My name is Fran. I am 48 years old (when did that happen???) and I am an
historical archaeologist specialising  in documentary research on
nineteenth century industrial sites in New England. I was introduced to
Pete Atkin's music in 1974, at a party in Birmingham, with friends from
University. I think "Hypertension Kid" was the first song I ever heard.
I collected all the albums in the 70s, but now most of them are not in
very good condition, so I am hoping that eventually I will be able to
buy them on CD.

In the early 1980s I lived in London, and Clive James was one of my
neighbours. We often saw him shopping at Safeway, or sitting in the lawn
park of our apartment development. He used to jog in the early mornings
around the pedestrian walkways of the complex. 

I have lived in Connecticut since 1985. No-one here seems to have heard
of Pete Atkin, although many have seen Clive James on TV. I was
disappointed that I wasn't able to get home for the Monyash festival,
especially since my parents live in Derbyshire, and so I would have been
staying nearby.

I am looking forward to hearing from all the other members of the new
list. Is anyone else in the USA?

Fran

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Date: Tue, 02 Sep 1997 22:16:49 +0200
From: "Tim's account" <email address>
Subject: MV4: Introduction

A short introduction seems to be necessary.

My name is Tim Binsted and I live and have lived in the Netherlands for
about 16 years. I am married and have a son of 12 years. I am 43 years
old.

I came into contact with Pete Atkin and Clive James basically on the
student circuit and got to know him a bit. I even have his (non cheque)
signature on several of my old black LP's.

It is very curious that the same sort of people seem to belong to these
groups, because I also knew and liked Stackridge as yet another member
of this group does!. The world is extremely small.

What do I do?
Well I design and build computer networks. Not Internets, but I have
worked for many years with Internet like things and I was one of the
first to work on coupling computers together using the protocol that is
now Internet. My current systems are nearly all to do with money (banks,
insurance companies) and harbours and satellites etc.

I live in Dordrecht which is a smallish town near Rotterdam (everyone
has heard of R'dam) and I live virtually in the middle of this town in
an old house that costs me most of my time in maintenance. Dordrecht is
one of these very quaint towns, all old harbours and canals etc.
I work everywhere, but a lot of the time in Amsterdam so I spend quite a
bit of time travelling (or working at home by means of computer).

That is a short introduction concerning me.

I still find the music of Petet Atkin very enjoyable and have (I think)
most of his music on black LP's. They are all in good condition!!!!! I
suppose it's time to get CD's of them all, but I still enjoy the 12"
stuff.

Anyway that;s is who I am.

Cheers

Tim Binsted

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Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 09:02:56 +0100
From: David <email address>
Subject: MV5: Another introduction

Hello all, 

I'm David aged 45 and its nice to be around people of my own age on the
Internet :) I am a computer odd job man. I write manuals, manage
projects, do analysis and any other jobs no one else wants to do. I have
my own company and an office very close to Hampton Court. At the moment
I am writing Internet client server applications.

I remember Pete Atkin from the tv revue program (the names gone - old
age) when he did the closing song. And I've seen him at folk clubs way
back with a guitar that always looked too small for him. Unfortunately,
at the time I didn't collect any of his records and the recollection had
just about faded until one of his tunes was featured on Radio 4
Kaleidoscope program a few weeks ago.

Now I can't get the tune out of my head and am in search of a recording.
Why doesn't a publisher put out a collection?
-- 
David Sinfield (Surrey, UK)
Who didn't think he would ever belong to a fan club

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Subject: MV6: The Rain Has Dumped A Mirror In The Street ...
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 10:25:33 +0100 (BST)
From: Edmund Chattoe <email address>

Dear All,

Hi! I'm thirtymumble and work at the University of Surrey. Have been a
tremendous fan of Pete Atkin and indirectly of Clive James since I
managed to buy almost the complete works at a boot fair in Brighton.
Too young to have any real recollections of live performances and
would love to hear tapes if they exist. I like any music with well constructed
lyrics so end up covering a lot of ground musically, everywhere from
Johnny Cash to Flanders and Swann.

Latest discovery is Philip Jeays (so good, I built the website):

http://www.soc.surrey.ac.uk/~scs1ec/jeays.html

For my sins I spend a lot of time in record shops, so will keep an eye
out for PA albums if anyone on the list has any gaps to fill.

Looking forward to meeting the sort of people who like this stuff ...

ATB,

Edmund

PS Does anybody have The Beautiful Changes in any format at all?

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Date: Wed, 03 Sep 1997 15:05:55 +0100
From: S J Birkill <email address>
Subject: MV7: PA gigs coming up

Hi all! (45 of you now, already)

In addition to the Charlbury and Islington events listed on "Smash Flops",
Pete tells me he's agreed to play at Winchester Folk Club on October 29th.
Further details when I have them, or call the organiser, Colin Boag on
<phone number>.

Also some new PA product coming up on BBC R4:

Mon-Fri 0843-0858, starting Sept 15th, a new series of Speak After the
Beep. Martin Jarvis performs another collection of short pieces by Michael
Frayn.

Mon-Fri 0843-0858, starting Sept 22nd, Jamie Glover reads A Boy At The
Hogarth Press by Richard Kennedy (a diary RK kept in his teens when he
worked for Leonard and Virginia Woolf in the 1930s - originally published
privately).

Steve

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From: Mark Roberts <email address>
Subject: MV8: Introduction
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 15:47:03 +0100

Hi,

My name is Mark and I am currently working in London for Mondex 
International as a Technical Development Manager.

The first Pete Atkin song I heard was Sunlight Gate on the radio when 
I was 13 or 14 years old and I was immediately hooked.  I never 
managed to see Pete play at the time he was releasing his albums due 
to lack of finances as a teenager but I did manage to catch him 
several years later at the Norwich Folk Festival.

While at school I remember phoning the local music shop every day to 
see if my copy
of the Pete Atkin\Clive James songbook had arrived. Pete told me that 
most copies of this were pulped.

I have all the commercial albums including original pressings of 
Beautiful Stranger and Mythical America. I also have a sampler album 
called 'Heads Together First Round' (I think), which has Pete dressed 
as a footballer posing for the team photograph.

Generally, I don't like folk music and could never understand why 
Pete's music got classified as such.

And yes I think Stackridge where one of the all time great bands.

Cheers,

Mark Roberts.

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From: Adrian Stovold <email address>
Subject: MV9: Staying Slid
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 16:15:10 +0000

Hello from Brighton.

Born in 1971, I might never have heard of Pete Atkin if I hadn't spent a
year abroad, studying in a very dull town.  A fellow sufferer lent me the
Beautiful Stranger album, which became a source of great cheer (well,
consolation, anyway) and helped keep me sane.

Since then, I've managed to rescue copies of Secret Drinker, Live Libel, and
King At Nightfall from various "£1.50" racks around the country.  Some of my
friends consider this a sign of madness, but a couple of others have been
glad to be introduced to the music.

Other musical likes include...
Colorblind James, The Fall, The Divine Comedy, Robert Calvert.

I'd like to see...
All James/Atkin albums re-released on CD (wouldn't we all?).

Best wishes to you all,
Adrian

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From: Benjamin Peterson <email address>
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 97 18:07:12 +0100
Subject: MV10: Times were never tougher for an errant knight
     
     Hello Folks,
        
        Native of Brighton, England, aged 25, professional computer geek, 
     introduced to CJ&PA by Adrian (of this list :)) many years ago, I have 
     been a devoted fan for much of my life.
     
        Regrettably, I have just now moved to Chicago for the foreseeable 
     future, I have no Pete Atkin recordings with me, and everybody else in 
     this strange, alien city seems to listen mostly to Iron Maiden.  Funny 
     how these things happen to you.
     
     
        Other musical likes:  They Might Be Giants, Patti Smith, Blue 
     Oyster Cult, Bob Calvert
     
        Wish list:  To find a pub here where I can sit around swapping 
     'hypertension kid' quotes over a pint of warm bitter.
     
        Benjamin
     
     P.S. Hi Fran ^_^
     
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Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 14:26:27 -0400 (EDT)
From: Rob King <email address>
Subject: MV11: Re: Introduction

Dear Tim,
Well, here's a coincidence and a cheek! First Stackridge, then Jake
Thackeray, now Pete Atkin...no chance of you repeating your taping feat is
there? Unless there are imminent plans for a CD re-issue.
I believe all my PA discs were purloined by the great love of my life when we
broke up in 1980!
Next time I am in Holland at Annet's in Utrecht we must meet for a drink..I
will be in Rotterdam for manchester United Champions League game against
Feyenoord.
Cheers Robxxx

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Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 14:27:44 -0400 (EDT)
From: Rob King <email address>
Subject: MV12: Re: PA gigs coming up

Would it be possible for the group to feature reminders of concerts about two
or three days ahead of them for those of us with such busy lives that halfway
between reaching for pen and diary the phone rings and the thought goes out
of our heads. Or is it just me who suffers from that Senile-Mad Cow decline
into absent-mindedness at 43?
Cheers
Rob

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Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 16:45:45 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ian Chippett <email address>
Subject: MV13: Fanmail

As everyone else seems to be doing so, I thought I might as well add my
profile to the list. I'm 47, married with 3 kids and living in Paris where I
scrape a living teaching the locals the language of Shakespeare. I came over
here in 1978 from Bristol, my home town, and have been here ever since. (If
any other fans happen to live in my area, I'll be only to pleased to get
together for a drink and a chat).

I first heard of Pete in a rave review of "DTMA" in "Melody Maker" by Richard
Williams. I'd already read Clive James's stuff and must have realised that he
and the lyricist were one and the same. Then I heard PA sing "Thirty Year
Man" a bit later on Radio 1 and that was that. I saw him twice in Bristol,
once on tour with CJ and once in a pub gig where I saw him him having a swift
half just before the gig. I could have touched him but maybe it's as well I
didn't! 

I have all his records but am too afraid to play them any more in case I
scratch them since they are now unobtainable. My devotion reached its peak
when I drove all the way to London to buy the "First Folio" which for
musician fans shows just how elegant and thoughtful the music is.(How about a
second folio, Pete?)

Since every other record ever made by anybody else is now available in C.D.
can we expect to see a re-release of the complete works with some of the
songs never released? I think especially of the one about the Apollo mission,
one called "Search and Destroy" and one about architects which Pete sang on
"Up Sunday".

Anyway, I'll be in touch again soon. Keep up the good work.

                                                   Ian Chippett

P.S. Am I the other person Tim Binsted was talking about when he said that
there was another Stackridge fan in contact with Midnight Voices? I suspect
there may even be 3 of us and soon 4! 

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Date: Wed, 03 Sep 1997 23:14:57 +0100
From: S J Birkill <email address>
Subject: MV14: Re: PA gigs coming up

Rob <email address> wrote:
>>
>>Would it be possible for the group to feature reminders of concerts about two
>>or three days ahead of them for those of us with such busy lives that halfway
>>between reaching for pen and diary the phone rings and the thought goes out
>>of our heads. Or is it just me who suffers from that Senile-Mad Cow decline
>>into absent-mindedness at 43?
>>Cheers
>>Rob
>>
So how do we 51-year-olds remember to remind you?
I'm sure Pete remembers when he's playing -- perhaps we should get him to
post a reminder. Or do we just make a point of rechecking the Web site
every few days ...
The 1997 world tour continues
-- Steve

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From: Stephen Payne <email address>
Date:          Thu, 4 Sep 1997 11:32:07 +0000
Subject:       MV15:Allow me to present myself

My ladies and gentleman,

Hiding my embarrassment behind my anorak: I'm a psychology professor at 
University of Cardiff, and like many of you I guess this is my first and 
only fan club.

I first saw PA and CJ on their "Live Libel" tour at Bristol University 
c. 1975.  I remember earlier reading a review of Road of Silk by Derek 
Jewel (?) in the Sunday Times which described them as the best 
song-writers in the UK since Lennon & McCartney.  The concert was a mix 
of PA's songs, and CJ reading his comic verse (the long doggerel about 
Prince Charles), and I have amazingly vivid memories of it (oh oh, my 
professional life showing through...)

The records were still available at that time, but foolishly I didn't 
buy any until a few years later after I borrowed Master of the Revels 
from Loughbourough public library.    I then rushed round finding 
by-then-deleted copies and falling in love with them......and to them.  
I think my girlfriends couldn't help falling for the one who introduced 
them to such wonderful yet obscure songs.  (Thinks, wistfully: what must 
it have been like to be the ones who wrote them?)  

So as a twenty-year fan, what a thrill I had finding the www site.  My 
favourite things are the guitar chords - if anyone knows any more, I'd 
love to see them.

For those of you that didn't make it to the (wonderful) Moneyash 
concert, PA announced that he'd just signed a deal to release the first 
two albums on one CD, and if sales went well the others would follow.  
(He thanked Steve B and the web site for making this happen, and I'm 
sure we'd all echo those thanks.  I'm hoping that Steve will post the 
details sometime?)

I have some questions:

What is a "three-sided knife"?

Can anyone explain the lyrics to "Laughing Boy"?  

Stephen Payne

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Date: Thu, 4 Sep 1997 07:10:42 -0400
From: John Ramsey <email address>
Subject: MV16: Intro/CDs

Hi,
My name is John, like most of us, it seems, I'm in my forties. I'm deputy
manager of a children's home by profession, and when I come home I'm a
foster carer, currently with three foster children in addition to our own
two. Yes, life is a bit of a busman's holiday!
 Back in the seventies, I listened to Yes, Lidisfarne, Curved Air and
suchlike - but not Pete Atkin. He totally passed me by. He even played on
campus, but I didn't go! It wasn't till I bought "Driving Through Mythical
America" in about 1982 that I was hooked, and since then I've been
gradually building up my collection from second hand shops. My favourite
song is still "The faded mansion on the hill" -I don't know why, its a
sadder song than most of my favourites. "The graveyard of tall ships is
really here/ Where the grass breaks up the driveway  more each year". It
sends a shiver down my spine even if I've never worked out what it means.

I am interested in the idea of getting the "full works" on CD. I wonder if
there is any way of transferring vinyl records on a one-off basis? I know
that equipment for recording CDs is much less expensive than it was, and
I've always thought that it would be a handy service to be able to
trransfer those old stacks of vinyl. Copyright is an obvious problem -but
would it be unlawful to make a single copy of an album for personal use? 
 Anyone out there with any knowledge of these matters?

John Ramsey.
 
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Date: Thu, 04 Sep 1997 13:53:18 -0700
From: Graeme Aldous <email address>
Subject: MV17: INTRODUCTION

FROM:	Graeme Aldous, Teeafit Sound & Vision

Oh well, if we're all baring our souls.....

This is a small audio production studio on the edge of the North York
Moors, squeezed between the heather and the North Sea.  It looks as
though (at 54 in a fortnight) I'm a veritable PA wrinkly!

Like many, it was Kenny Everett who introduced me to PA, with 'Master of
the Revels'.  I have a very small claim to fame insofar as (for a few
weeks in the late 60s) I provided some funny material from BBC Belfast
which Ken used.  From that came, pretty directly, my route into BBC
Local Radio.

It was therefore only appropriate that when in 1985 I became the first
person to be made (voluntarily) redundant by the Beeb, it was 'Master of
the Revels' that I played as my farewell disc on my last programme as a
staff man.

Now when I try to stomach what BBC Local Radio serves up, I hear
resonant echoes of 'Thirty Year Man' -- it's some kid they all tune in
to hear!

Yes please, let's clamour for CD re-issues -- my bootleg reel-to-reel
dubs never were up to much!

-- 
GRAEME ALDOUS.

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Date: Thu, 04 Sep 1997 17:44:10 +0100
From: S J Birkill <email address>
Subject: MV18: CDs

John Ramsey wrote:
>
>I am interested in the idea of getting the "full works" on CD. I wonder if
>there is any way of transferring vinyl records on a one-off basis? I know
>that equipment for recording CDs is much less expensive than it was, and
>I've always thought that it would be a handy service to be able to
>trransfer those old stacks of vinyl. Copyright is an obvious problem -but
>would it be unlawful to make a single copy of an album for personal use? 
> Anyone out there with any knowledge of these matters?
>
John,

It's now quite inexpensive to write your own CDs from a PC. Internal CD-R
drives can be had for under 300 pounds (I paid 1800 for mine 2 years ago)
and blanks, which for a long time hovered around 6 pounds, are now about
1.50 if you buy 25 or more. They write CD-audio as well as CD-ROM discs.
You will also need a digital input card (another 300 or less) so you can
take digital audio in from external sources with good ADCs, DAT recorders
etc., and software, though that's usually bundled with the recorder.

So yes, the technology is there. And I guess the legality is such that, if
you make copies for your own use in the privacy of your own home, it's no
worse than copying to cassette.

For some years I've only listened to my PA albums via tape copies -- the
precious originals were already damaged by overplaying (no, just by
playing, I mean), despite careful handling, and I didn't want to degrade
them further. Over the past 2 years I've quested for mint (or close) vinyl,
to make the definitive CD copies, and have recently succeeded with most of
the PA catalogue, which I've now transferred to DAT. 

The process then involves writing the DAT files (44.1 kHz 16-bit stereo) to
.WAV files on hard disk, cleaning them up and adjusting equalisation where
necessary (listen to the difference between the first 2 albums on Philips
and on RCA), at which point they're ready to burn to CD.

I have made a start, though I'm limited by hard drive space to doing one or
two albums at a time -- one day soon I'll invest in an 8GB-plus SCSI AV
drive -- as well as by lack of spare time. But now with the promise of
official CD re-issues I may be overtaken by events. Unless SFM can't locate
the master tapes, in which case I'll donate my diligent work :-)

The other issue clamouring for disk space and processing time is the
Monyash Festival, which exists on a bunch of DATs and VHSs at present, and
I know there are many out there who'd like to have Pete's set on a VHS or
highlights on a double CD ...

Another option was suggested by a Smash Flops visitor, Benjamin Peterson
(oops, he's on board -- hi Ben!): Using RealAudio (in its high quality
dual-ISDN stereo mode) or some other compression technology like MPEG Layer
3, it should be possible to put all Pete's audio archives (the 6 albums,
the 7th album demos, the outtakes, the 2 private albums, the BBC radio
sessions, the surviving WAYDATS snippets, the Dale House session, the
Monyash Festival and perhaps Julie's album too) onto a single CD-ROM!

50 members on board now. My best to you all ...

Steve

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Date: Thu, 04 Sep 1997 17:51:07 +0100
From: Roger Barnett <email address>
Subject: MV19: Master Of not-much
Lines:  20

Yet another 40-something here, methinks I detect a pattern emerging  :)

I've been listening to, and failing to interest others (mainly women) in, Petes' 
songs since 1972. My collection comprises just the mainstream vinyl LPs,
i.e. not the original BotBS and none of the later collections. The LPs
themselves rarely get played nowadays as they are all "backed up" onto
cassette for safety sake (isn't is amazing how scratches always appear on
the quietest bits).

Incidentally, we could probably count the author Iain Banks (also writes
as Iain M. Banks) as an honorary member since he chose the BotBS
track as one of his selections for Desert Island Discs on Radio 4 last
week. [ and yes, hes 40-something too ! ]

Roger Barnett
York

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Thu, 04 Sep 1997 20:57:14 +0200
From: "Tim's account" <email address>
Subject: MV20: Re: Introduction

Midnight Voices wrote:
> >
> >Dear Tim,
> >Well, here's a coincidence and a cheek! First Stackridge, then Jake
> >Thackeray, now Pete Atkin...no chance of you repeating your taping feat is
> >there? Unless there are imminent plans for a CD re-issue.
> >I believe all my PA discs were purloined by the great love of my life when we
> >broke up in 1980!
> >Next time I am in Holland at Annet's in Utrecht we must meet for a drink..I
> >will be in Rotterdam for manchester United Champions League game against
> >Feyenoord.
> >Cheers Robxxx
I should have no problem recording all of the records I have. I believe
I have them all or at least all of them except one. It'll be a quite a
few tapes. So I do'll it for a tape exchange. There will three or four
tapes. (I have six records, is that them all??). As I say if you replace
the tapes 9don't bother to send then from UK, but from nederland or
something. 

I don't know when I shall get around to it. It won't be this weekend so
probably the next one I shall start. (Actually it will be nice to hear
all of the music again).

You'll have to send me your address again as I throw my mail away quite
often.

Cheers

Tim

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Date: Fri, 5 Sep 1997 07:14:23 -0400 (EDT)
From: Rob King <email address>
Subject: MV21: Re: Introductions

Hi group,
I was going to ask if there is a mathematician/statistician out there who
might start analysing the replies and introductions coming into this group.
But then it does not seem to take much doing does it?
So far 'Pete Atkin fan' apears to be male, around mid-forties, intelligent,
professional, successful (in his own terms), a romantic and a dreamer,
sentimental....or am I being too cynical.
For all that women used to love PA's songs, we appear a little light on the
ground in the that department!
Just musing
Rob 

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 05 Sep 1997 21:10:01 +0100
From: Leslie Moss <email address>
Subject: MV22: Twenty-Seven Year Man

I'm a 44-year old management consultant (Human Resources), married with
three kids. I first encountered PA in 1970 when a friend persuaded me to
hear this singer in a folk club - this was even before Beware of the BS had
been released. I must have heard Pete live a dozen times over the next few
years, mainly folk clubs/pubs but also at the Fairfield Hall with Clive
James on the Together at Last tour. I had a tape of Pete's Kenny Everett
performances but it disappeared into the mists of time. Got all the studio
albums, and also Julie Covington's which shows how good the songs are when
sung by a really talented singer. (How can we persuade others to cover the
songs?!). I was amazed at Monyash how good Pete's voice still was, although
I'll confess to sometimes finding his singing style slightly flat (that's
flat as in even not flat as in low).

My wife Gill is also a fan, though not as much. This is fortunate, since at
our wedding in 1980 she and our guests had to put up with my best man Steve
and I performing a rendition of Honky Tonk Night Train Blues, one of several
PA songs we used to perform together!

My tastes in popular music are wide though I have a predeliction for female
vocalists like Sheryl Crow, Alanis Morissette, Joni Mitchell, Sandy Denny,
Rickie Lee Jones and Alison Moyet, bands like Fairport Convention, Steely
Dan/Donald Fagen (the only other artists that I have a complete collection
of!), Beatles, Stones, Yes, Alan Parsons Project, CSN&Y, Doors, Steve
Miller, Doobies, Deacon Blue, REM and Oasis, and artists like Richard
Thompson, James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot and Chris Rea. Occasionally I
indulge in an orgy of Cream/Free/Zeppelin/Hendrix/Clapton and other blues.

I'm off this week to get myself a decent tape deck at long last. First task
will be to record my precious PA/JC albums! I'll be happy to make copies for
people if you've got gaps in your collection and can reimburse me the cost
of the tape.

Like many of you I never dreamed I'd join a fan club, let alone in my forties!

Steve, you've done a great thing by starting the web site and this mailing
list. Can't wait for the JC home page. Especially can't wait for the CDs!

Leslie

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 05 Sep 1997 22:26:25
From: Richard Ross <email address>
Subject: MV23: These earrings are hell.....

Hello from yet another mid forties male... :-)

I was introduced to Pete's music by a schoolfriend who had bought "Beware
of the Beautiful Stranger", and he converted me with as I recall very
little effort.  I bought that album and the following three as soon as they
were released, though I confess as a then impecunious student to only
having tapes of Secret Drinker and Live Libel.  The cassettes have, of
course, just about worn out now so I'm all for the CD re-issues....   I
just hope that when (not "if", of course) the albums are re-released on CD
that they are re-mastered.  Although the original Fontana and Philips
issues of the first two albums are okay, my copies of King at Nightfall and
Road of Silk sound very poor.  Like the musicians are performing behind
some very thick velvet curtains.

I was one of the lucky ones who was at the Monyash Festival, and it really
was great to hear those wonderful songs again.  Having converted years ago
to CD, I must confess to not getting the old wax cylinders out very much in
latter years, but I have lately been listening to Pete a lot more and it's
like rediscovering an old friend :-)  I can remember seeing Pete twice at
least; once at Leeds University where he was supporting Al Stewart; there
were some PA problems which meant that Pete had to do most of his set
acoustically (literally), and once at Jasper Carrott's Boggery Folk Club in
Solihull.  My, those were the days!

Thanks very much to Steve for getting this list going, and for the web site
(and indeed for Monyash) and I look forward to some lively discussions :-)

Richard

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Richard Ross                  
Hemel Hempstead,        Internet: <email address>
England

RH Designs - Innovative Electronics for the Darkroom
 *  http://www.nildram.co.uk/rhdesign  *
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 05 Sep 1997 23:02:28 +0100
From: Mary <email address>
Subject: MV24: Re: Introductions

Hi everyone

> >So far 'Pete Atkin fan' apears to be male, around mid-forties,
> intelligent,
> >professional, successful (in his own terms), a romantic and a
> dreamer,
> >sentimental....or am I being too cynical.

It seems I am destined to be the odd one out. Not only am I female and
too old for starters, but I only heard of Pete Atkin less than a year
ago, when introduced to his music by a male in his mid-forties, etc
etc....

The first album I heard was 'Beautiful Stranger', which, while
appreciating the music and quality of the lyrics, I thought at the time
to be the most depressing and miserable thing I had heard for a long
time, with its recurring theme of nothing is real or forever. I've just
listened to it again and it still reduces me to tears -pathetic, isn't
it! I suspect the answer is to only listen to it when feeling strong,
for then I really enjoy it.

> >For all that women used to love PA's songs, we appear a little light
> on the
> >ground in the that department!

Doing my best! I suspect I was busy rearing babies while PA was making
his mark, and Clive James I only knew from his television appearances,
where I loved what he said, but wished he wouldn't take every
conceivable opportunity to lose his dignity.

So, for a quick potted intro, I am now nisi-divorced, living in Bristol,
have three children in their twenties, one off to backpack round the
world, one off to Jerusalem to do a PostDoc, and one desperately
searching six months too late for a Biochemistry job wherever she can
find one. I tutor children here at home, and as I have a science degree,
an infant teacher training, and EFL experience I get a good variety of
things to do so I don't get stale.

If this is a Fan Club it must be my first too, although after Moneyash I
could join one for Brent Mason. Luckily he did survive us driving him on
to Pontardawe.... just.....

Time to go and listen to my other PA recording - Driving thorough
mythical America

Mary

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sat, 06 Sep 1997 00:07:51 +0100
From: Mary <email address>
Subject: MV25: timing

Why does no-one post at midnight?!

mary

------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 1997 19:08:04 -0400
From: John Ramsey <email address>
Subject: MV26: Female fans.

>So far 'Pete Atkin fan' apears to be male, around mid-forties, intelligent,
>professional, successful (in his own terms), a romantic and a dreamer,
>sentimental....or am I being too cynical.
>For all that women used to love PA's songs, we appear a little light on the
>ground in the that department!

Perhaps the sample is skewed by the fact that this is an internet group,
still a predominantly "male" medium?

John.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 05 Sep 1997 23:31:21 +0100
From: gerald smith <email address>
Subject: MV27: Another intro..!

Hello All               

        Another loyal fan here, keeping the flag flying down in sunny
Peckham in SE London.  I rather feel that I'm about to upset the
sociological profile of the 'PA Fan Club' here, by saying that I'm only 34
and currently unemployed, but I don't think I'm quite the toddler of the
group - I believe there's a 25 year old in the ranks (start 'em young !).  

I never got the chance to see Pete live, but I've manager to accumulate all
of the generally released material, most of which is on ageing vinyl and
some on tape.  My brother has on reel to reel some recordings from Pete's TV
show 'The Party's Moving On from 69/70ish which highlighted the likes of
Julie Covington and Russell Davis and, I think, Kenny Everet and PA on Radio
1.  My brother, Chas,by the way, admirably fits with the club's profile, ie
40's, professional, etc as does my other brother, both of whom are
responsible for introducing me to the works of the great man!

As a musician I agree wholeheartedly with a comment from Ian, the English
Teacher in France who said that an examination of the score of Pete's only
published work' A First Folio', showed just how elegant an thoughtful the
writing was.  Absolutely.  Also, someone earlier was asking about guitar
chords for any songs not in the folio.  I've transcribed quite a few over
the years which (off the top of my head) include 'Faded Mansion on the
Hill', 'Lady of A Day', 'Practical Man', 'The Prince of Aquitaine', Flowers
And The Wine', Beware of the Beautiful Stranger', and 'The Secret Agent'.
If anyone wants a chord sheet, let me know. (email address).
Pete, should you come to read this, let's have a second folio, and where can
I get hold of another copy of the first one, as mine has fallen to bits ?

Advance notice of PA gigs on this listing along with CD releases are
definitely called for.

Anyway, that's me save to ask if any of the professional/successful types
out there in the club , of whom  there would seem to be so many, fancies
giving a job to a guy with a law degree, fluent spanish, a musician
(sax/clarinet, gigs, deps sessions), and PR agency experience ! That would
be nice.

All the best

Gerald Smith

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sat, 06 Sep 1997 09:57:22 +0100
From: S J Birkill <email address>
Subject: MV28: Re: Another intro..!

At 09:33 06.09.97 +0100, Midnight Voices wrote:
>>From: gerald smith <email address>
>>Subject: Another intro..!
>>My brother has on reel to reel some recordings from Pete's TV
>>show 'The Party's Moving On from 69/70ish which highlighted the likes of
>>Julie Covington and Russell Davis and, I think, Kenny Everet and PA on Radio
>>1.  My brother, Chas,by the way, admirably fits with the club's profile, ie
>>40's, professional, etc as does my other brother, both of whom are
>>responsible for introducing me to the works of the great man!

Gerald,

How can we persuade brother Chas to part for a moment with his
reel-to-reels of the TPMO TV show? I don't know how much or how little he
has, but so far I'm only aware of a surviving recording from one episode of
the series. In line with my policy of putting archives on CD, I would
gladly swap temporary access to the tape (just long enough to transfer it
to DAT in the best possible minimum-generation quality) for a CD of the
content, plus my own (sadly incomplete) clips from What Are You Doing After
The Show?, the second series. Or a tape of the latter, if he prefers.

If anyone has, or knows of, other tapes from the period, especially TPMO or
WAYDATS (or even Footlights?), we DO have the technology to rescue them and
make them available to a wider audience! And the originals would be treated
with absolute care.

Adrian Jenkins tells me there's also a certain Evan Thomas somewhere out
there who has a tape of Pete And Clive in concert in Swansea, on the Live
Libel tour. Come in Evan -- And Chas!

Cheers -- Steve Birkill

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 05:26:39 -0400 (EDT)
From: Rob King <email address>
Subject: MV29: Re: Another intro..!

Dear group
I think one of the great functions of a group like this is the way just a
couple of words, or a  name, can jog one's atrophying brain onto some
long-disused, cobwebbed tramtrack down Memory Lane.
Like Gerald's  'Julie Covington'. Now I know she's not an unknown, but I
suddenly got to thinking of the TV series she was in about an all-girl group
in the Seventies and for the hell of it the name will not come from the
shadows of my grasping mind!
And then I realised I had the soundtrack, except that after half an hour
scrambling around under the stairs and through boxes of plastic, I can't find
it!
Getting old can be very frustrating
Rob

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sat, 06 Sep 1997 12:39:35 +0100
From: S J Birkill <email address>
Subject: MV30: Some attempts at answers ...

To Rob: Pete and Clive remain on friendly terms, keeping in touch regularly
by telephone. My understanding of the end of the songwriting partnership is
simply in line with the comments Clive made in his sleeve note
(http://www.rwt.co.uk/words.htm) to "Touch Has A Memory": they realised
that their work was not heading for commercial success, and there were
other things to be done. The complete works (as recorded) are collectors'
pieces on vinyl. See For Miles will shortly release a CD of the first 2
commercial albums (BOTBS and DTMA), though they will probably drop "Be
Careful" to get both into the CD playing time limit. The remainder of the
catalogue will follow if sales warrant it. (If they don't, Midnight Voices
will just have to bootleg them!).

To David Sinfield: The TV revue programme was "What Are You Doing After The
Show". Before that a series of shorter progs "The Party's Moving On" were
broadcast. Both by LWT, 1970-ish.

To Leslie Moss (a comment more than an answer): I agree re artists covering
the songs. It's criminal that the best cover PA/CJ ever had was by Val
Doonican! Any ideas, anyone, on bringing the songs to the attention of
current recording artists?

To Richard Ross: I thought "Road of Silk" pressings showed 2 different
equalisation characteristics, but the theory was exploded when I saw the
same matrix number on both ...

To Gerald Smith, re chords: If you care to send me your chord
interpretations I'll be delighted to add them to the Web site for all to
see. Re First Folio, agreed, a work of beauty, calligraphically as well as
in the music and words. There's a rumour that CJ might like to publish his
lyrics in book form. Re employment: you don't do RF design as well, do you?

To Rob: Rock Follies.

Regards -- S

-------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 08:45:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: Rob King <email address>
Subject: MV31: Re: Another intro..!

The answer came in a flash: Rock Follies. Sorry to have bothered the group.
Won't do it again! Though I must find the record, I seem to remember it was
greatly underrated.
Rob

--------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sat, 06 Sep 1997 13:50:18 +0100
From: Leslie Moss <email address>
Subject: MV32: Odds and sods

For those of you watching the BBC's coverage of The Funeral today, did you
notice Clive James in the Abbey? I couldn't help looking around for Pete.

BTW Does anyone know the details of Julie Covington's other albums after The
Beautiful Changes?

Leslie

------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 09:22:52 +0000
Subject: MV33: Re: Introductions
From: Cary <email address>

> > So far 'Pete Atkin fan' apears to be male, around
> >mid-forties, intelligent, professional, successful 
> 
Give me a chance guys - I've only just got back from a holiday!!
Introduction - Female, mid-thirties (ish), I'll plead guilty to the 
next two (I'm a Chartered Physio) and place a question mark next to 
the last. I discovered Pete through my love of Julie Covington's work 
but unfortunately only ever managed to get two of his LP's (Master of 
the Revels & Live Libel) Since discovering the PA web site (you're a 
genius Steve) I've discovered that there was so much more available 
..... at least, available 20yrs before. Through the wonders of real 
audio, the generosity of someone who gave me a copy of 'The Beautiful 
Changes' and the Monyash festival I've had the chance to hear some 
more. Can't wait for the re-released, my LP of Master of the Revels 
jumps in places that make for some very strange lyrics.

This mail list looks like being a resounding success. Coming back from 
holidays already greets me with loads of messages on the Joan Baez 
and Suzanne Vega lists.I once fried my brain reading over 300 
messages - hope it doesn't show! Clues to my other musical tastes 
there .... other favourites include,Capercaille, Elvis Costello, 
Supertramp, The Jam, Lene Lovich,Hazel O'Connor, Stiff Little 
Fingers and oh, so many more I won't bore you all.
I look forward to seeing some lively discussions,

Regards 
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~        
                _/\     /\_
    Cary       a    a
 Like Mary    @ 
    With  a     'C'    for cat
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 09:22:52 +0000
Subject: MV34: Re: Another intro..!
From: Cary <email address>

> >Like Gerald's  'Julie Covington'. Now I know she's not an
> >unknown, but I suddenly got to thinking of the TV series she was
> >in about an all-girl group in the Seventies and for the hell of
> >it the name will not come from the shadows of my grasping mind!
> >And then I realised I had the soundtrack, except that after half
> >an hour scrambling around under the stairs and through boxes of
> >plastic, I can't find it! 

Rock Follies and Rock Follies of 77. Lucky enough to see them again 
recently ... still brilliant but very different music from Pete's.

Regards
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~        
                _/\     /\_
    Cary       a    a
 Like Mary    @ 
    With  a     'C'    for cat
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 13:25:58 -0400 (EDT)
From: Rob King <email address>
Subject: MV35: Re: Introductions

Dear Cary,
I do believe you should bore us a lot more with your musical tastes. For
example, I have just discovered Marianne Faithful, in a musical sense I mean
- Mick Jagger having ploughed the physical furrow I am not sure I would want
to follow. LOL
Rob

-------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sat, 06 Sep 1997 23:22:46 +0100
From: S J Birkill <email address>
Subject: MV36: Stimulated Responses

Hi all, me again.

Some ideas passed down from from The Man Himself (and some from little moi):

David Sinfield: Perhaps the small guitar was the nylon-strung classical
Pete used on BOTBS, before he bought the Gibson. The Kaleidoscope prog of
May 17th, "The Remembrance Of Things Fast" by Sean Street, included a clip
from the song "Touch Has A Memory".

Many would like to see Julie's "The Beautiful Changes" reissued on CD. Then
why not write to EMI, or See For Miles? Do they realise how rare and how
coveted it is? Suitable "bonus tracks" would be JC's single cuts of Tonight
Your Love Is Over, With Me It Goes Deeper, or Duet, which she recorded with
Pete and which EMI may well still have a tape of. I wonder if any Smash
Flops regulars wrote to SFM about PA reissues as I suggested earlier in the
year ... 

Re First Folio, songbooks etc.: a new songbook would probably be
conditional on success of the reissues. But again there's no harm in
writing to the current owners of the old Essex catalogue (first 3 albums)
-- Onward Music, 11 Uxbridge Street, London W8 7TQ -- to ask whether any
books or song copies are available. Enough requests and they might look up.

Ian Chippett recalls The Architect Of The Towers, played on Up Sunday. I
remember Clive's monologue each week, and my thinking something like "how
can that smart-ass cynical bastard be the author of those wonderful
lyrics?" Anyone else remember the show?

Re: three-sided knife -- Pete wonders if we have an aerodynamics or
ballistics expert in the group. Beats me.

Re: Laughing Boy -- the same person as the Hypertension Kid?

Leslie's cover versions: Pete suggests Senior Citizens by the Spice Girls,
or The Shadow And The Widower by Julio Iglesias.

Enough -- it's nearly midnight.

Steve

---------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sat, 06 Sep 1997 23:51:39
From: Cliff Smith <email address>
Subject: MV37: Intro

Dear All,

Having been alerted to this group by my brother Gerald (who was also clever
enough to find the website using Alta Vista), can I perhaps say a quick hello.

I first saw TPMO as a callow youth. What a lovely program it was, if you
could stay awake long enough to see it. Later I managed to see PA live at
Ealing Technical College a couple of times, and for ages I had Master of
the Revels and Driving Through Mythical America copied on to reel-to-reel
and used to listen to them while writing essays on Emily Bronte or Hebbs
Curve, so now I pretty well know all the words by heart. I've tried to
strum some of the songs but desperately need some more chord
transcriptions! Apart from that, have you ever seen PA play? It makes me
want to give up.

Anyway, I seem to fit the personality profile very well - mid-40's,
freelance computer programmer (with EFL experience - Hi Mary), romantic,
sentimental, love poetry, oh - here's a new one - aspirations to priesthood.

I have no idea what a three-sided knife is, except that it's straight, but
as I see it, Laughing Boy (one of my favourites) expresses how CJ finds
life, in all its richness, with all its sorrows and ironies, to be a source
of joy. [Get your literary criticisms here! 5 each or 20 for five!! :) ]

(Steve - please would you add me to your group?)

Regards,

Cliff Smith
-----------
------------------------------------------------
Date: Sun, 7 Sep 1997 03:50:03 -0400
From: Colin Little <email address>
Subject: MV38: Sittin' in a booth alone

Greetings all

I am another stereotypical Pete saddo.  My name is Colin Little - I am
manager of an Educational ITsupport centre; before that I was a teacher and
I heard Pete first on those crazy Kenny Everett shows although I didn't
know it was him.  The connection was made at Teacher Training College in
the early seventies when a girlfriend (departure from the norm here!)
continually played A King At NightFall.  We went to see Pete at various
folk clubs (Gillingham I remember), bought the albums from the case he
lugged around and I spread the word.  I must have some success cos someone
nicked my copy of Beware of the beautiful Stranger and I've never found
another.

I used to use his songs in class sometimes - I don't suppose the national
Curriculum would allow that now, but they always got a good response - the
poetry always worked.  Stuff like Sessionman's Blues gave a different
perspective to kids listening to T. Rex (yes it was that long ago).

Saw them on the Together At Last tour at the Shaw Theatre (I think) where
Pete played the wonderful 'Canoe' .  If you haven't heard the demo,
download it from Smash Flops with the audio player - the years will be
peeled away.....

Colin

----------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Sun, 07 Sep 1997 09:53:41 +0200
From: David Griffin <email address>
Subject: MV39: Re: Welcome to the Pete Atkin Mailing List

Well, blow me down!
And I thought that I was the only person in the world who liked Pete
Atkin AND Van Der Graaf Generator!!
My name is David and I live in exile in Sweden. Strangely enough I am
also 43, though I work with computers rather than as a journalist. I
also liked most of the artistes that Rob mentioned (just replace
Stackridge and Colosseum with The Hollies). My Pete Atkin albums are
still played regularly and I know the words to "Beware of the Beautiful
Stranger" and "Girl on the Train" by heart (Don't ask me to sing them
though, I don't have a singing voice!)

Midnight Voices wrote:

> >OK...My name's Rob
> >
> >I have begun repairing the holes in my collection, or transferring 
> >valued recordings to CD.
> >Pete was one of them, on a par with Leonard Cohen, Dylan, Gerry Rafferty, Roy
> >Harper, Nicky Hopkin, Harry Nilsson, Tir Na Nog, James Taylor and others.
> >Group wise my heroes remain Family, Van der Graaf Generator, the Strawbs,
> >Stackridge and Colloseum, as well as the more predictable giants like Yes,
> >Genesis, Stones etc.
> >Nowadays my tastes have moved more towards jazz - Stan Getz and Cannonball
> >Adderley in partic.
> >I would like to know how close Clive James remains to Pete and why their
> >collaboration ever ended?
> >More importantly, I simply want to know where I can lay my hands on the
> >complete collected works of the master????????
> >Cheers
> >Rob
> >

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
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