Hello to everyone and welcome back to the new issue of Killing Joke: Network. I have had a lot of mail from you, both via the PO box and e-mail. The first thing I must tell you all, if you did not already know, is that the UK tour is off. As Jaz said in his Diary Update last issue, his opinion was that " . . . no other public performance should take place until the climate is conducive to our aspirations." He has, however, had the first public performance of his symphony in New Zealand. Unfortunately this was in New Zealand so I missed it (together with a lot of other people). The good news and bad news is that Jaz was going to send over some info but has been "tied up" with his latest classical interpretations of a huge band -- Led Zeppelin! (A real Goliath of a band in their time). Needless to say it will be 'different'. The unfortunate news is that I have not been able to contact any of the band for a diary update. I have tried hard but to no avail. That is the main reason that I am a bit late sending this issue out (sorry).
In the last issue, we did not have a lot of pictures included with the writing. This time I have got some more, mainly to go with the discography of album releases but it looks a lot better with some pics. I saw Jaz the weekend after I mailed Issue 1 and he liked the end result (a pat on the back Steve). We were chatting away, as you do, and he said that work on the next album starts at Christmas in India. All three of the guys will fly in from different directions and work begins. Nothing had been written in advance and it will be a very spontaneous session. I now hear from Jaz that he is no longer going but Youth and Geordie might still be going. However, Jaz will be back early next year for the recording of the Zeppelin scores. I will be seeing him in the studio so I will get a piece from him then to put, hopefully, in the next issue.
As regards the next KJ album, I hope we will get a lot of remixes like we did from Pandemonium. One of the things I would like to see is a re-mix album of tracks released as a double pack with all the CDs. Even on the older CDs it would be great to see a re-issue with a remix of the original tracks. Someone should suggest it to the record company.
Last issue I missed out two singles from the discography. They were My Love Of This Land and Jana. I listed them further on in with the cat. number etc. It is always a bit of a bummer when things like that happen. First issue as well. Still, I hope this one is better without any big errors or huge mistakes.
Bye Bye .... Steve.
Album Discography: 1980-1996
Requiem/Wardance/Tomorrow's World/Bloodsport/The Wait/Complications/S.O. 36/Primitive
Catalogue No. EGMD5.45 12" Vinyl EGCD 57 CD
This was the first album release to hit the shops way back in October 1980. The music press seemed a bit lost with comments such as "At worst, they fall between stools, one for the punks (they're loud, angry and relentless), one for the art-school cliques (they have synthesisers and German radio voicings). At best this is an impatient, impetuous noise that throws all of its devices into a beautifully unified maelstrom of sound - as on the opening Requiem or the closing Primitive" ... "Killing Joke are misunderstood martyrs, or false prophets, or shock-tactic rebels..." Of course there was another viewpoint: "Okay headbangers, time to clip in a new brain. Did you really think all that stick-your-crotch-out posturing, diddly diddly guitar heroics and operatic yodeling constituted heavy metal music? Don't you get tired of living in a 1973 time-warp, wallowing in rock's most insipid hour? " Excellent start to a write-up me thinks Yoric. It continues: "I can understand you wanting something that kicks you in the gut, but why you want to constantly dig up the decaying corpse of Deep Purple is beyond me. Especially when there's Killing Joke around." As the final sentence in this review says, "So throw your intellect to the wind, turn up the volume to ten and soak up the noise." That was their viewpoint (well, two of them anyway).
Other things that happened during the year were things like touring. The band appeared with various other bands of the day such as Joy Division, A Certain Ratio and Discharge. he one event that sticks out for me was in April when Jaz was "picked up" by the local Terrorist Branch from Scotland Yard when living in a squat in Notting Hill. The story goes roughly like this ... One sunny afternoon Jaz was sitting around with nothing better to do than play with his air pistol. He went outside and had some target practice using old tin cans and the odd roof tile. Getting bored, he went to the kitchen and put the kettle on to boil. As Jaz is sat waiting, there is an almighty crash at the front door and "about thirty police arrive in five squad cars and two helicopters. Most of the police were wearing bullet-proof vests and some were waving guns with Alsatians at hand."
At this point, our innocent friend was bundled into a squad car and taken to Ladbroke Grove station house. Jaz said, "A bearded officer" pulled out a gun, waved it at his head, and told him, "If we'd seen you with a gun in the garden we would have shot you." After 4 1/2 hours he was released with no charge and told, "Let that be a warning." Scotland Yard confirms the tale.
Before the album was released in September, the band were interviewed. Jaz: "We recorded the album as live as you can get in a studio. We wrote half of Bloodsport on the night. It just happened. Literally the track you get on the album happened as we were playing it."
Paul: "The mixing is where the difference is."
Youth: "Most bands have a producer, but we didn't have anything to do with that."
Jaz: "The album's going to be fucking great."
Well what can I say? The fact that there are still a lot of fans around after 17 years says it all really. Also a lot of the press was very anti back then in 1980. One journalist says in an interview: "As I leave, a member of Killing Joke asks me to write something nice about them for a change. I lie and say I will. These days expediency comes cheaper than integrity." Cheers Paul Ramali. I wonder what he is doing these days? Even more interesting, why did the music press in general become very anti-Killing Joke? There are quite a few journalists who like the band but for some reason - in England - the general feeling is that there was a problem and the good reviews seemed to get few and far between.
What's THIS For....!
The Fall Of Because/Tension/Unspeakable/Butcher/Follow The
Who Told You How?/Exit
Catalogue No. EGMD5.50 12" Vinyl EGCD 58 CD
The second outing for the Joke and once again produced by the band ... Sounds (one of the UK music tabloids) gave this album five stars in its write-up but then, in brackets, one star morally. This was recorded after Youth's wanderings down Kings Road with vast quantities of hallucinogenic substances in his system. The recording was made in Wales and some papers labelled it as the 'New Brutalism' forecast to be the next 'big thing'. As John Gill, a critic at the time, put it: "On an immoral level, 'What's This For' is the greatest rock music I've heard since the Pistols. The eight songs here have the mark of classics....". I would say one advantage Killing Joke have over the Pistols is that they are not (fifteen years later) reforming and going through the 'I'm an old man pretending to still be relevant, young and fit' routine. At least the Joke are still with us and producing good music in all areas.
Some news and interviews at the time went something like this:
A tour kicked into gear on April 24th 1981 to preview the album. There was also the single Follow The Leaders out in April. It was on February 21 1981 that Youth had, unknowingly, been given a new type of acid. It was a bad trip. The reports told of 'behavioural problems among its recipients' and Youth fell into this bracket. According to reports, "He went into his bank to secure an overdraft wearing a Ronald Reagan t-shirt. The overdraft granted, he then proceeded to burn the money in front of astonished bank staff. He then went to a friend's house and explained he was 'going on holiday'. He emerged wearing only a pair of blue swimming trunks and proceeded to take a stroll down Kings Road. His perambulations were interrupted by a woman police officer who arrested him 'for his own protection' and took him to Chelsea police station. From there he was taken to a special hospital unit where he's been kept under observation since. He was due to be released early this week, but doctors have advised him to rest for some time. There have been several cases of severe side-effects caused by this particularly vicious drug recently."
In the NME on May 9th there was an interview with KJ and Youth was talking about the acid trip: "Somebody slipped me acid. I wouldn't have taken it myself if I'd have known what would happen -- but the mental home was great. I went crazy, sure, but then I began to see the funny side of life. I made a lot of friends in there, though it was really weird because I was in the ward for all the flashers. It was quite amusing."
Big Paul: "We're going through a lot of problems with Youth at the minute. He's become really hard to work with and it's affected everybody around the group and a lot of humour has gone out of the band as a unit."
The last word from Jaz (last year): "I think that is my favourite. It brings back a lot of memories for me. It was excellent fun at the studio in Wales -- great food -- just good fun and some excellent songs."
In September '81 KJ were on the same bill as The Police, The Specials, The GoGos, Nash The Slash, Otway & Barratt and The Payolas at The Grove, Oakville, Ontario. In the following January, the band returned to England from Germany to prepare for a tour starting in February at Leicester University. They had been working on a new album and previewed some of the new songs. By the following March, things were to take on a new slant as things changed in the KJ camp quite dramatically ....
The Hum/Empire Song/We Have Joy/Chop-Chop/The Pandys Are
Have A Nice Day/Land Of Milk And Honey/Good Samaritan/Dregs
Catalogue No. EGMD 3 12" Vinyl EGCD 59 CD
This album was recorded in Germany with Conny Plank sharing the production credit. The album was preceded with Empire Song as the single release. A review of that track read "If Killing Joke weren't a band they'd probably be ____ dead! Or in _____ jail!! Or _____ scrawling things on walls!! Or _____ answering back to their Dads." (ouch) This was not (!!!) a very good review. It was becoming a habit of the press around this time to have a dig at most things said or done by any of Killing Joke. (Although it was Jaz who took the most stick by being the voice of the band.)
In the same week as the music press did the 'write up' of the single they also carried a story with the headline No Joke For Jaz. It read: "Word filters through from the Killing Joke camp that founder-member, singer(?), keyboard wizard and all-round poison dwarf Jaz has gone AWOL presumed disturbed.
"According to the band's spokesman Brian Taylor, Jaz informed him early last year that he would leave the group in '82 but Taylor put it down, as usual, to Jaz's 'over active imagination'.
"Lately, however, Taylor reports far more sinister signs with Jaz, always an occult freak, getting heavily into Aleister Crowley and ritual magic.
"His fascination took him to Iceland six months ago, where a presumed 'visitation' sent him on to Iona. Ever since, says Taylor, he started 'acting quite oddly, talked to no-one and took little interest in the group'."
The story went on to say that Jaz stormed off stage in Brighton and the following Friday left for Iceland. Brian Taylor said, "I don't know where he is or if he's coming back." It was also said that the Friday he left was also "Aleister Crowley's birthday. And Jaz's ..."
Things were getting stranger as the following week the papers reported that Jaz had not turned up for an appearance on BBC's Riverside programme and a dummy was used in his place. This story went on to mention that "His disappearance came right before March 10th, a date believed by Jaz and thousands of occultists round the world to be of cosmic significance because it marked a unique conjunction of planets. (In India especially, the date was widely held to be the end of the world). Stranger and stranger ....
Next issue the discography continues with Ha! which was the first one not to feature Youth, the first 'live' outing on disc and the first Killing Joke LP (mini) to showcase Raven as the new bass player.
Back to the letters page. I have included some from the e-mail members and some from the PO box. If you have anything to write about either send it to: PO Box 269, Cheltenham, GL53 8DS, England, or e-mail me on email@example.com
I have sent for you two rare tapes (copies), one of which contains four never released songs and a cover of a Sex Pistols song. The other tape contains a recording of KJ's appearance at the Phoenix Festival. At the end of the tape you will also find an interview of Jaz and Raven from 1994 [sic], all of which I think you will find appealing.
I would just like to say 'Congratulations' on a brilliantly put together fanzine. For me, after 13 years of loyalty to the Joke, this has been a breath of fresh air.
I would also like to thank KJ. for I think of them, not so much as a cult band, but as an institution, with their well-balanced, philosophically-enriched lyrics and mind-blowing instrumental talents. (Geordie will most certainly, in the far distant future, become, in myth, the Guitar God and therefore assume his rightful place in the astrological plan of the heavens.)
I am very interested in Jaz's work in the field of Gematria. It was great to see the plan of the New Jerusalem incorporated into the Democracy single cover.
Lastly I would like to suggest a venue or site for one of Jaz's seminars: how about Glastonbury or Stonehenge?
PS My fiancee Jo and our 19 month old daughter Kayleigh-Jana would like to say Hi! to everyone.
Cheers for the tapes Waz. Good sound quality and at a rough guess hey were recorded (the Phoenix one at least) straight from the mixing desk. The early one is similar to a bootleg I have got from an early gig in London but the quality of yours gets a higher mark than the noise I have (it is on vinyl though). The interview seems to stop short but I get the gist of the interview. I think it is on a picture disc that was around a few years ago?
I will have to ask Jaz to write a piece about Gemetria for the Network. He has talked about it to me and we went out with dowsing rods around an old burial mound and it was a good afternoon out (especially when the rods moved).
I think that Stonehenge or Glastonbury might be a bit too big for a seminar. We like it to be more personal and close so that everyone can interact and, basically, be closer to each other. Thanks for the idea though. I will mention it to JC and see what he says.
PS A big hi to Jo and Kayleigh-Jana from all of us.
Firstly let me congratulate you on the August newsletter which I found interesting and informative. It's good to know that the feeling for Killing Joke, the music, the ideal and outlook on life is a mutually shared experience, which goes beyond the common Band-Fan thing.
As one Irish critic commented, on reviewing a particular album, "Killing Joke people always seem to have a certain smugness about them that suggests 'We know something you don't know'." Well, to me, that is the truest compliment that could be paid - hence the total indifference to critics or reviews. I've always found their music has stood the test of time, in its freshness and bright outlook to its unbeatable closeness to the abyss. It has seen me through good times, angry times, but always an inspiration.
On the subject of Bootlegs, I am almost positive I have seen The Unperverted Pantomime on disc many moons ago; it was in a yellowish sleeve, which was a copy of the Turn To Red e.p. (skyscrapers with kids looking upward). Having said that, I had a cassette copy but it was robbed and I wonder if anyone could make me a good copy, which I would be extremely thankful for. I would pay the costs. I think there were three songs on it which weren't recorded. 1) Nuclear Boy 2) Take What's Mine 3) The Pistols' 'Bodies'
Left out of the singles discography was a 10" ep (EGOT 43) which has the songs My Love Of This Land/Darkness Before Dawn/Follow The Leaders (dub)/Sun Goes Down. It was a limited edition, my number 2362.
There is also a video which I bought in Camden Market a while back which has TV appearances on it from the "Riverside" to a German gig and promo videos but I reckon this video is widely known.
Finally, I would be very interested in travelling to a gathering or lectures or out of country gigs and I hope you can keep me fully informed of the above. I would also be thankful if you could tell me if Dublin is on the Autumn tour dates as three gigs from 1981-87 were cancelled, leaving 1994 the only live gig here.
Once again keep the good work going.
Dublin, Republic Of Ireland
I agree with you about critics; personally I could not care less what anybody thinks about anything that I like, their opinions are theirs, they are welcome to it, it's not up to me to tell them they are wrong -- in my opinion of course. On the subject of bootlegs, you are the only person who has seen a copy of The Unperverted Pantomime on vinyl - I have a cassette of this but do not have a tape to tape recorder. If I can sort something I will. I have never come across any Killing Joke videos but unfortunately, the one thing I do have is a video to video recorder (any chance of borrowing your video)!
My copy (Japanese) of Us & Them has that 10:40 mix of Time you mention, as well as a bonus CD with The Great Gig In The Sky (The Wind Blows Through The Leaves Mix 8:58) and Money (The Jade Chamber Mix 7:32), both good, but I'd like more info about these and any other mixes ... was there a planned (aborted?) single release? Also, in a collector's mag I once saw someone who had "The Termite Mound (Chainsaw Mix) promo" on his wants list. Does this exist? Extremities is one of my favourite LPs and it's a shame more mixes, ep's etc. didn't accompany its release.
Well, I'll let you go for now - keep up the good work, and I particularly am looking forward to the offers of unreleased artwork, etc. mentioned in the original Network recruitment mail-out.
Now this might sound strange but I first got a copy of Us And Them last December and the track was not on the disc. I gave it away as a present and got another copy earlier on this year with the track on it! Maybe it has been released in both formats? As for the bonus CD you got, I am surprised that it never saw the light of day here. I know Youth has remixed or sanctioned remixes of the album but I was not sure if they had been released. There is a chance that the whole thing will come out but it depends on a lot of things, such as if Floyd will allow it or if there is enough scope for it on the English market. As for the Wardance mix, there were a few which were put out for DJ only use. I haven't got details of everything but will ask EG for a complete list (again). The artwork is still on the priority list. Jaz will be on the case next time I see him as he was the brains behind the idea. I will be seeing him soon after Christmas in London. If you happen to find another copy of the bonus CD then any chance of sending a copy over here? After all I am not high enough on the "guest list" to qualify for anything that is available (as in free) and as each new CD is released I have to track it down and pay for it like everyone else. Still I should not grumble. It is just one of those things I guess. I do the newsletter for fun not for gain (unless the offer is put in front of me).
I've heard that the London date is now cancelled, do you have any idea why? All the guy at the Astoria said was "they're messing people about". I for one am pretty pissed off.
Johnathan Layfield via internet
Could you please share with me some information of gigs between 27.10-2.11?
Where exactly is that place again? Do they need blonde fair-skinned models? Have a great rainy day luv!
The London date is cancelled due to 'commitments'. A bit like the rest of the tour. In fact, there are no gigs between 27.10 and 2.11. I am sorry on behalf of the band but there's not a lot I can say really.
Oh and by the way, if Heather is about 30 something and likes the countryside, then maybe she should try coming this way. I don't know about the needing of blonde fair-skinned models but nothing ventured nothing gained as I was always told (he says, cowering from his wife). I'll keep the wellies warm!
An e-mail message arrived a while ago which was on screen when Jaz was at the house (before the first issue). We read it and Jaz sent the reply. What do you reckon?
-your PRODUCT is the music - we don't need the hard sell.
Mrstig via internet
The idea is to provide interested parties with first-hand information on what is happening with the various projects of Killing Joke members. This service will allow those passionate about the music of Killing Joke to obliterate the "middlemen" and correspond directly with the members of the band. Next week Youth and myself are heading off to North Africa to commence work on a new LP. We would like to see a time where individuals can communicate with us wherever we are working on the planet so that intensive interaction, debate, etc. can take place.
In reply to your statement, 18 years of Killing Joke is way beyond notions of "hard sell", we see it as both a lifetime commitment and lifestyle. This is the official mouthpiece for Order Occident Jocus, the invisible work behind our movement.
RESPOND IF YOU DARE.
Yours sincerely Jaz Coleman (The Black Jester)
If Jaz happens to be around when I am working on the Network I will ask him for a reply to other letters as well. For the meanwhile I will carry on myself. I will print as many as I can in the space allowed and please keep the mail coming if there is anything you can suggest or help with.
I have a few questions and suggestions for the newsletter which I hope you like:
Firstly a comprehensive discography of not just Killing Joke but all releases involving Joke members. A list of Youth's productions and remixes would be great as well. I realise this may take some time and maybe impossible as nearly every dance record I have has a connection with Youth. Also I have a number of bootleg Joke stuff (tapes and videos) but I know of a lot of other releases, a list of concert tapes/videos available would be good. Is there a list out there of known bootlegs (especially on vinyl)? Another thing was there ever an available release from Jaz's band G7? I'm sure songs were played to us at the Holland Park lecture in 1992 but I've never heard anything since.
Good luck with the Network
Well, I started the discography last issue which was pretty much up to date apart from two glaring omissions, My Love Of This Land and Jana (OOPS). See this issue for the start of an album list which I have put together with stories from the respective years. the idea of listing the other releases like, for example, the Brilliant album is great. I will strive to find out as much as I can. As regards the G7 music I will ask Jaz next time he is around (unless someone reading this has an answer). If anyone has a list of any bootlegs please let me have it.
I have not heard anything since the seminar at Hyde Park and found that to be one of the most absorbing that I have experienced during my life. I was disappointed the UK tour has been cancelled. I hope bigger things will happen because of this. Democracy is a remarkable piece of work and I look forward to Youth's remix should this happen. Incidentally, I could help put together a web page for you.
Could you indicate to me if Jaz, Youth or Geordie would be interested in a demo tape of my home recordings; they are relatively well put together and certainly influenced greatly by the band. I would hope that they at least respect it.
By all means I would like a hand with setting up a web site because the one I am with (CompuServe) costs a bit too much for me to say anything pleasant about it. E-mail me and we can 'talk' about it. If you do send a tape through then I can send it on to the band but don't raise your hopes too highly as they are sent quite a few either through me or direct to Butterfly studio. You may not get an answer, as like with most things, if all letters, enquiries, etc. were answered then it would not leave a lot of time to get on with living. If you do send one to me I will hand it to Jaz next time I see him.
Would it be possible to merchandise live videos or videos of the singles as seen on the music channels? Also would it be possible to print the lectures Jaz has done at places like The Cortauld Institute? Would it be possible to print some of the lyrics to songs on the "Killing Joke" LP and the songs Psyche, Turn To Red, Mass and son on because the text is not on any record and as I am non-English it is not always easy to understand. One other thing, what do you mean when you say "the bottom line is much the same as ODIC"?
I would love to market videos but it would take time to get hold of anybody to proposition them. I will see what I can do. I could print the Courtauld Talks if people want me to and I will try to dig up the notes from the Hyde Park seminar to include as well. As for ODIC they were the last incarnation of a Killing Joke fanbase but it went wrong. So I am here now to carry on. I hope it works!
Just a line about some bootleg info + some items missed in the discography:
1) Democracy CD single promo BFLD A 33 - This has the same track listing as the single but came with a set of KJ Tarot cards, some flyers for the single + a black t-shirt.
2) Democracy CD single - US import Zoo/BMG 72445-14262-2 contains 8 remixes including House Of Commons Mix/Conspiracy Theory Averted Mix/Bi-Partisan Mix/United Nations Mix/Right Wing Militia Mix/Campaign Collection Mix/Russian Tundra Mix/Hallucinogen Mix
3) Democracy 12" single promo BFLP 33
Album Mix/Rooster Mix/United Nations Mix B&W cover
Cheers for that and the rest of the info in the letter. I will get it together and start a list of bootlegs soon. You have an amazing collection of 'rarities' and unusual recordings. The answer is yes I would love copies if possible. Send me the bill. Also any review of them by you would be great. I will include it in the mag.
Anyone else who wants to do the same thing please send in your reviews/opinions and I will include them in the future.
Just a quick line to Waz: I am sorry for the delay but it was out of my hands. Thank you very much for the two tapes they are excellent. Drop me a line if you are looking for the classical Stones CD.
If anyone wants a brand new CD of Democracy with Jaz's signature on it let me know. I've got two of them in exchange for a cash incentive.
Has anyone seen the video of the Symphonic Rolling Stones in the making? I hear that it has interviews with Chris Kimsey, Marianne Faithfull, Michael Hutchence and, of course, the main character, Jaz. From what I have heard it starts in New Zealand with Jaz and ends up at Air Lyndhurst Studio in London with the recording taking place. If anyone has seen it please let me know.
As I have said before, if you want something included send it in. If you have any surplus bootlegs or copies of them I will pay you as long as it is not some extortionate price. If you want to ask for anything in the magazine send it in and I will print it. Likewise, if you want to sell anything, I will print that as well.
One extremely rare bootleg, if one exists, would be of Youth's work with a world famous Liverpudlian (a fellow vegetarian). Less said the better in case I get into deep shit for mentioning it. Needless to say it most likely will not see the light of day due to 'professional differences'.
The news is that Jaz has now premiered his first symphony in New Zealand and the music is being released over there on CD. The man has told me he will send a couple of copies over. If he does I will let you know.
The big recording news is Jaz's latest outing with a major classical orchestra when he lays down his versions of Led Zeppelin tracks. This should be interesting (especially if we get a Youth remix like the Floyd tracks). I reckon Immigrant Song would be a great choice (only because it was one of my favourite Zeppelin tracks).
I have also noticed three new CDs on Dragonfly. They are remixes of Order Odonata and Trance; Project II. If I get a freebie I will give more details. I more than likely will not as I am not on the record company "guest list".
Geordie is, 'according to rumour', recording with Murder Inc. for a future release. (For reference to 'rumour' see COLEMAN;JAZ.)
I will be seeing Jaz in March/April to get an update on anything new, hopefully a track listing for the Zeppelin album and something on the Symphony debut.
Till next time .......
Take Care, Steve