Killing Joke Network Magazine Issue 4

Summer(?) 1997

Hello everyone, it is me again and this time around I am made up.  I went to Olympic Studios on a flying visit to see Jaz, who was laying down the final mixes of the Zeppelin arrangements.  It was great.  There was the added bonus of the fact that there were no people around except for Jaz, Youth, the two guys working the desk and tape machines together with Kay (my wife) and myself.  Youth has seen the magazine and given it the nod of approval (does the ego good -- mine that is) and is also going to be on board for this issue and the next.  I have heard a lot of stories about music that has been laid down with various people, and the outcome -- if it sees the light of day -- could be interesting.  On the list is Peter Hook, of New Order, playing with Jaz, Geordie and a couple of people from Can and Kraftwerk.  Also another 'project' is working with Jimmy Kaulty from KLF.  But the high point of the day was hearing the final mix of 'Stairway To Heaven'.  Absolutely fucking staggering.  You go with it.  The whole vibe is so amazing.  I also heard the old favourite 'Kashmir' which is like I've never heard before.  The man has talent beyond the ordinary.  The best thing is that he has only just started; his best work is yet to be conceived. When it is, I want to be there for the opening night. Listening to his music in the order I have, there is one thing that sticks out. Each one gets better. they are all top quality arrangements with the world's best musicians playing on them. The production is virtually faultless (on the assumption that nothing can be perfect) and the mixing is so precise that it is like being inside the song. OK, so maybe I am not a good critic. But in my humble, average opinion, I would say that this music could have been arranged by any of the world's top classical composers (past more than present).  As for the symphonies I have heard -- the guy has got to be one of those icons that will still be known one hundred years after his death -- probably longer.

I also heard a Natacha Atlas track with the Coleman stamp on it.  Well, sorry to repeat myself -- the music keeps getting better and better.

But, as I said before, I am just an average person listening to music.  I am my own best critic, so I take no prisoners when it comes to the production of crud. These Zeppelin tracks are the best I have heard to date.  Believe me.

Jaz

Hello everybody. It is a miracle that this update has happened. With a 14,000 mile gap between here and New Zealand, writing in isolation, devoid of fax, e-mail, everything, I have been working harder than anytime I can remember in the last twenty years of my bizarre life.

In August I will be at the opening of All Saints Cathedral in Auckland for which I have written a big music score. 

So what is this score?

Well, movement No. 1 is called Bosnia.  This is based on an article I read in The Independent about a Bosnian woman who forgave the killer of her husband, who was executed quite brutally. I used it and translated it into Serbian. Using Serbian with the Bosnia war situation would be the language of repentance.  Scored for the full symphony orchestra and two choirs. The complete piece is two hours long.

So are you using any other languages to translate into?

I do use different languages to translate; for example, Vietnam - strings only. But most is for a double choir.  In total 7 languages - Serbian, Vietnamese, Arabic, Ukranian, Chechnyan, Tibetan ... the score refers to the religions of the world. About looking at negative situations that happen and looking for possible enlightenment. It is a spiritual piece. But on a personal level the music has allowed me to work in some great cathedrals while doing works like these. Barcelona Opera House, Paris Opera House and then off with the LPO [London Philharmonic Orchestra].

You seem to have a lot of success with the LPO.

Yes, eighty weeks in the Top Five and forty-six weeks at Number One. This is very good as the record companies are cutting down on classical recording and putting the same ones out over and over. Any modern composers end up with an "intellectual" sound using an orchestra. You always end up with the word "interesting" before you take it off.

The classical work is a big contrast to the work we have seen from Killing Joke.

I am a romantic with my works, diametrically opposite to my music with Killing Joke. Which is more like Exorcism. Here with my classical music I try to create a more desirable reality and possibly project a more perfect world.  Also, I personalise all my experiences with my arrangements. I have a very close relationship with them and everything I write. I am very lucky to work with such outstanding musicians in such outstanding places.

I am very much looking forward to meeting up with the deadly duo because it is going to be explosive. We are all waiting for the time ... Alex from The Orb who has been a very close friend since I was a teenager -- who worked with us for 12 years before The Orb were formed.  There is the KLF who we have a close relationship with.  There is Peter Hook from New Order who is a great Killing Joke fan.  Geordie and myself have done some recordings with him and a film called Freispiel which was financed by the German government with members of DEF Can and Kraftwerk.  The recordings turned out amazing but we have not done anything with it because we have always been so busy in other parts of the world.

I have done so many recordings that are due to come out that I think about dealing with the day and there is a song for every day. I use every moment of my life to create. That is when I am happiest -- it is the best anti-depressant I know, creativity.

With every project I take on, I aim for the highest standard, if that is with Youth and Geordie or on my own with a full symphony orchestra.  We are all passionately involved with the idea of travel with music. On the Democracy tour it was great but a bit sad not to have Youth with us, which is why we stayed away from the main territories. We like to have the three of us whenever we play England. It is important to me. I am hoping that we will tour next year.

What is your approach to the recording of and remixing of your music?

 Like with all music, if it is a bad recording I cannot live with it! So it is re-recorded until it is right. After that I will let people remix it. I don't get involved with remixing, ever, not once in my 18-year career. I like to get involved with the source of it, the creative side, then do the recording. After that, if people remix - as abstract as they like - no worries on that score. But I will say again that I never, never, never get involved with remixing because I believe in the one vision - the original. I can't stand my music being messed around with. With Killing Joke it is a band decision.  Sometimes it has turned out amazing. Youth did a Pandemonium in dub single which would have been great as a dub album. We did a limited edition of it (the single) and it sold like mad. Over that summer we toured Pandemonium and used to play the single at breakfast time and it was the only thing we could listen to at that time of day. A great ambient track. That really cut it for me. I never got into that trance thing our Youth is into. I find it a bit ... some good ideas come out of it, but I find it so monotonous. I like the ambient stuff though. I have written an ambient piece for a string quartet. I re-arranged it for string orchestra and do it at the Sydney Opera House and in Auckland, which I put on with the Pink Floyd. That is what I call Ambient Sketches. To use the ambient ideas as an approach to music, but with a string quartet. Basically it was good to mess around. I had a couple of weeks off and worked with a string quartet.  I worked out how much it would cost to work with the best quartet in the country and I got the opportunity and yeah, I really enjoyed it. You have to pick your instrumentalists very carefully. They have to be master players or they make you look really inept.

On a last note, what are you planning regards touring or new projects over the next twelve months?

I am setting up four concerts. Four pieces of music with seven musicians. One to be done at the Sphinx and Kings Chamber. The next stop is South America in the Andes. Fantastic temples, 26,000 BC in remote areas -- Bolivia and Peru.  After that it is the Easter Islands by the big statues. The last one will be in New Zealand in sacred caves the size of a cathedral all lit up by glow worms. We will be filming everything and hopefully make a documentary about it.

As for this latest opus, it should be out in October.  The collaborators are Youth, the LPO, and Aboud Abdel Al (again). I will be conducting at the Paris Opera House and touring with the LPO next year. And at last all my legal problems are resolved regarding Killing Joke. The gang will assemble when you least expect it.

At this point we stopped talking and listened to Stairway To Heaven, Kashmir and Whole Lotta Love.

Youth

Hi Youth, It's Steve the Hassler here. Got anything new on the horizon?

Hi.  Yeah, the hassling is most agreeable, keep it up!  I have been very busy lately and it can be difficult to get things sorted through all the work going on.

First of all, the three of us shall reconvene by the end of the summer. This is due to various reasons including Jaz's symphonic commitments and me having a time out after three years' solid studio work!

I'm building a new studio, and learning the new technology will take a few more months.  A shame really, because Geordie has been writing in Detroit and is bursting at the seams to play. We all know that the next Joke LP will be a monster affair.

So who is joining you on this one?

We will want to be fresh with experience and inspiration. Some very special friends will collaborate with us on this project, including Alex (Orb) and Jimi Caulty (KLF).  The final version is stark, hard, metallic, electronic symphonies. Time will tell but all three of us are waiting for the time.

So what else is in the pipeline?

Zep is still in post-production and is likely to remain so for a while. There are other Floyd remixes and plans are being pondered about possible release. Maybe a new Dragonfly offshoot label "Liquid Sound Design". I've finished producing The Verve -- one of the most amazing productions I've done, methinks -- the single is out now. Other new projects are with Alex, Robert Anton Wilson, Maassai Tribe and Zodiac Youth. I've just completed a very heavy, almost ambient project called Celtic Cross which should see daylight very soon.


Album Discography Part 2

1982

"Ha" Killing Joke Live

Psyche/Sun Goes Down/The Pandys Are Coming/Take Take Take/Unspeakable/Wardance

Catalogue No. EGMDT4 10" Vinyl  EGMDC4 Cassette

This first live outing was recorded at Larry's Hideaway, Toronto on August 9th and 10th 1982. Production credit goes to Killing Joke and Konrad Plank (the same as Revelations).

In the NME, Youth gave an interview telling us that his new band was called Brilliant and he had left KJ.  He went on to say, "What Paul did was a blow to me on a personal level, because he had been a close mate and the way he did it was pretty low. But we had been arguing quite a bit about how the new group should go - he wanted a Killing Joke type group and I wanted one which would be as different as Killing Joke were then they first came out." The interviewer then asked if there was any chance of him joining the others.  "None at all. We've got a very tight working unit and we're very excited by what it can achieve. Anyway, there's a US Naval base near Iceland -- it hardly seems like the wisest place to be when the holocaust comes. Jaz even came back to England to get us to join but I said no. What we're doing is completely different from anything.  The original idea was for us to keep changing and not remain stagnant, but at the end we were becoming more and more like your standard rock group, doing pretty much the same thing for two years. . . . Killing Joke was basically concerned with getting an attitude across."

That was the early retirement speech from Youth, who went on to have an album out with his new band Brilliant.  It was a pretty good album and there were a few good singles out (Push, Wait For It, Soul Murder and Man's World). The best album track was definitely "Somebody"> The album did not arrive until 1986 and there was not a lot more from Brilliant (album-wise).

As for the Joke album, it had reviews in the press, and one written by Steve Croft went along the lines of: "This is the album most Joke addicts have been waiting for -- the traditional live platter. In fact it is a 10 inch mini-LP of six tracks recorded earlier this year ... what you get is one track from each album, two cuts only previously available on singles and one unrecorded opus. 'Psyche' kick-starts the album with a bang. It's raw, aggressive and vital stuff. 'The Pandys Are Coming' brings the first side to an impressive close. Side Two opens with the only new number, 'Take Take Take'. Frankly it's the only disappointment on the album, and possibly the weakest Joke song ever committed to vinyl. It begins at a funeral march pace and continues in the same vein for the whole five odd minutes of the song. It's an exercise in repetition that doesn't work, but it is fortunately followed by the record's high point, 'Unspeakable'.  It shows off all their strengths, both vocally and instrumentally, and displays the tight, taut unit they are, particularly since the admission to the ranks of Paul Raven."

1983

Fire Dances

The Gathering/Fun & Games/Rejuvenation/Frenzy/Harlequin/Feast Of Blaze/Song & Dance/
Dominator/Let's All Go/Lust Almighty

Killing Joke's fifth album release (including the mini 10" Ha).  It was eighteen months between Fire Dances and Revelations. There was a review in the NME by Mat Snow.  In it, he starts off with the by now standard joke of the Iceland story, how Youth was left behind and how the Joke were back: "Hence that implacable road-menders' on-beat has been ditched in favour of an (Adam) Ants-style gallop. The results are less skull-crushingly impressive but rather more listenable. This is a significant change in the sound, but that's the only joker in the pack. In every other respect, Fire Dances reveals the elements we know and love reassuringly in place."

The rest of the review was not saying much else except that "the whole LP boasts several fine riffs and stomping moments...."

A month later, Jaz was interviewed in the NME by the same Mat Snow: "Killing Joke's performance at Rock City was tremendous. 'Dominator', 'Frenzy', 'Rejuvenation', 'Wardance', 'We Have Joy', 'Empire Song', 'Here Come The Pandys' [sic], 'The Gathering' ... a litany of the most dynamic, thunderous anthems to sheer, primal darkness since the heyday of Black Sabbath. Killing Joke are everything heavy metal should be but hardly ever is."

After this build up the interview piece was started: "We love life in Killing Joke. We like the simple things. When I see our audience -- OK, there's a lot of people who leave a lot to be desired, I suppose -- I feel a very close feeling towards these people. I love simple people; intellectuals piss me off. I don't like to surround myself with intellectuals.  Funnily enough, in the band we don't have deep meaningful conversations. It's instinctive. Same with the music, same with the crowd, same with everyone around us who we work with, the roadies. It's on an equal basis. You say that some of our ideas are fascist; I wouldn't say that at all. We work together as a team. We are extremists in what we do because we are so committed to what we do, regardless of what people say...."

On the fire aspect of the album title: "You can look at fire in many ways -- purification by fire. Fire to me is symbolic of the willpower.  I think the potential of the individual is really underestimated. And we like to reach the individual; we like to kindle the will power within them."

1985

Night Time

Night Time/Darkness Before Dawn/Love Like Blood/Kings And Queens/Tabazan/Multitudes/
Europe/Eighties

Catalogue No. EGLP61 12" Vinyl  EGCD61 CD

This was the album that put Killing Joke into the charts with their single Love Like Blood. In the UK it was their best selling single to date. Other singles off the album were Eighties and Kings And Queens.

A review in the music press by Steve Sutherland went something like this: "Yes, Killing Joke are still crazy after all these years, our longest-serving angst-mongers after The Banshees. And yes, all the big words still apply (maelstrom, Wagner, awe, etc.), but Killing Joke are wriggling back from the torpor that marked their decline from the mighty 'Revelations' via the pitiful 'Ha!' to the confused 'Fire Dances'. The Joke are playing a new joke on us ... 'Night Time' will appeal to Radio 1. The singles 'Love Like Blood' and 'The Eighties' already have, and 'Kings And Queens' is destined to. Killing Joke haven't stopped sneering but they've wised up some. Doubtless some will say they've sold out, taken a long hard look over their shoulders at gloomy whippersnappers like The Cult and decided they'd better shape up or ship out. And this is probably not strictly untrue but 'Night Time' sounds like an infiltrate and double-cross to me, a means to a sticky end, a surgical method of getting under the skin of all those pop kiddies and then ... scanners!

" 'Night Time' itself dismembers Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love', 'Love Like Blood' is a sacrilegious rampage into U2 territory of all places, 'The Eighties' was easily last year's most strident tribal stomper and 'Tabazan' sounds like The Cure in a brawl with Alex Harvey ... and you don't have to agree with this new Joke to find your self hooked. Paul Raven's bass, Jaz's anthemic choruses, Paul Ferguson's muscular drumming and Chris Kimsey's crisp production all conspire to snare the listener. You could find yourself singing 'Glory Glory, how we watch - Europe. The day humanity is over ... reason dead forever  - God let it be soon', celebrating their new barbarism whether you like it or not. It's that insidious.

" 'Night Time' may not be the Joke's fiercest nor finest album but it's certainly their most focused and that for a band with a pestilent vigilante vision to foist upon us must satisfy them something rotten."

From what I can tell from that kind of write up/review, Steve Sutherland actually kind of liked the album but was not that keen on the band as people. On February 23rd there was an interview with the band. Jaz: "First and foremost, we've made an album that we all love and feel very strongly about.  You must live to extremes, as fully as you can, and then the music will always be there within you. We have perspective on the madness in our lives, that's all. There's very few people who will die for their beliefs. The relationship between the majority of artists and their subjects is very weak. This is a record I can live for. It's something I could leave as a legacy." (Why, what do you think's gonna happen?) "I'd rather look at it as ... I believe in human folly. I think it's necessary. I believe in passions, in the instability of human emotions. You must follow your heart, you must go to the madness. You must believe..."

I'll eventually try and include the whole interview but for now that's it.

The album was produced by Chris Kimsey, who also produced the Symphonic Stones CD out in 1994/95.

Other bits of news at the time were: Jaz writing a book about pantheism (a doctrine which defines individual personality and, in some forms, involves worship of all the heathen gods) as a possible new religion. On March 6th they recorded a Radio 1 concert, then went to Europe touring. The "In Concert" was broadcast on March 23rd.

1986

Brighter Than A Thousand Suns

Adorations/Sanity/Chessboards/Twilight Of The Mortals/Love Of The Masses/
A Southern Sky/Victory/Wintergardens/Rubicon/Goodbye To The Village/Exile

Catalogue No. EGLP66 12" Vinyl  EGCD66 CD

This was, and still is, one of my favourite Joke albums to date.  It showed that the band were capable of being soft with the track Southern Sky (which possibly hints at Barrier Island and New Zealand) and real stomping rock with the excellent track Rubicon. (The point of no return?)  It also had the single Adorations which had a remix called the "Supernatural Mix." That was one of the best remix singles the band had done to date (in my humble opinion).

In Sounds (music paper), it was reviewed by Richard Cook who gave it 3/5. It goes something like this: "They used to be real hard men once. Now, though, Killing Joke sound as noble and sterling as St. George. The gigantic mug shots that peer sullenly out from their sleeve suggest an ugly brawl going on inside, but there's no such thing.

"If they're still making their records in Germany, They've foresworn all the Teutonic wrath that used to be the Joke's redeeming weight. In records like 'Follow The Leaders' or 'Tension', the heavy metal atom was split into a brutal confrontation between Jaz Coleman's voice and the churning of the instruments. It was heartless music but it had a spark of pure venom that few bands ever catch sight of. Now the Joke have undergone the born-again process that has done for so many angry young men. They shine like seraphim in this prettily titled LP.

"The gospel the Joke preach is now simpler, less troubled U2 philosophy: Eden is just round the corner if we become children and give ourselves up to tears. It out-does almost any psychedelic record you can think of. No enemy is identified in the Joke's new world -- no evil bosses or working class slavery -- just a procession of heroes, skies, gardens, stars. Some of the music is perhaps accidentally beautiful: 'Adorations', 'Sanity' and the closing 'Rubicon' establish a simple and effective sense of the epic gesture, the guitars bursting out of a perfumed cloud of keyboards.

"Pontificating as loudly as ever is Jaz Coleman. But this is not the Jaz of yore: in keeping with the waving wings of this Killing Joke, he makes his voice leap into triumphal arches. There's not a trace of self-consciousness about this Jaz, who must have forgotten the era of Zeppelin and Renaissance, the two major ancestors of 'Brighter Than A Thousand Suns'. That iron belief in his music is a little humbling. Maybe Killing Joke really are strong enough to forge their own religion."

On the 22nd of August 1986 the band headlined at the Reading Festival (Jaz had told me in 1977 that he would be playing at Reading - I actually believed him as well). They also toured in the same month.

In an article in Melody Maker, Jaz was asked to name his 'heroes'. It was, in no particular order, the writer Yukio Mishima: "A gifted, brilliant writer who made his words come alive by living them with sweat and blood. I have a deep love for the man because he lived by his own ideals. He looked around at the youth of his time and called them weak and lily-livered - that strikes a chord with me. The level of commitment in artists today is intolerably weak and that is something that disgusts me. They're in it for the wrong reasons, it's just a preference to a nine-to-five job. I've never read a book and been moved to tears before I read 'Spring Snow'. I couldn't talk when I finished it. I relate to Mishima. I like the idea of dying with dignity not in the pathetic Christian manner. A remarkable man."

Albert Speer: "What I like about Speer is the grandeur in his architecture. It's so proud. It's the epitome of the European civilisation at its best. Of course he was slightly influenced here and there but there are no architects like him any more. Speer had a concept of a modern city that still echoed the dawn of civilisation. He imported marble from Scandinavia to build his great designs with. He was inspired - I like imagination in architecture and that is something that no longer exists."

Van Gogh: "Again you have to spend a lot of years studying Van Gogh to appreciate his insanity, to understand his vision of beauty. It's difficult to understand a man cutting his ear off. It's easy to be cynical about it, you have to understand the events that led up to that situation - how he just gave himself to his emotions and how they in turn affected his colour, his interpretation of the world. He made his interpretation of his world magical. I love Van Gogh. I love him because, like Mishima and Beethoven, his life was his painting. He was the painting. He lived the paintings. He suffered and his paintings show that suffering. You must read about the life of this man to understand that his life was not so very different from some of our own."

Colonel Gadaffi: "

I'm very serious when I say I admire this man. He is a great leader. He's loved by his people but misunderstood by others. It's very difficult for Westerners to understand the Bedouin Arabs. They have different ethics to us in the West. Gadaffi is a courageous man. I can't help admiring the way he stood up to America. The man believes in the Palestinian cause - I too believe in certain aspects of it. I don't think he's anything like the man the CIA try to portray him as. He's not a loony. He's passionate. I can understand why he sees England and America as decadent - I see England and America as decadent. The Europe that I love has been totally desecrated by the American consciousness and I can see why he doesn't want his own country desecrated in the same way."

Others to get a mention were Ludwig Van Beethoven, Herbert Von Karajan, Wagner, D.H. Lawrence, David Wood and, of course, Geordie.

Letters

Thank you very much for the 2 Network issues I've received. Finally I get to read some information about the band I've been listening to for about x-teen years now.

You think the English press is bad: the Dutch is even worse! In the past eight years, I've only had the info on the CD inserts to go on. I really want to find out more about the band -- especially the stuff which maybe you could call 'mental background' to their music (know what I mean?). I want to know that there are more people with this kind of thinking, sharing certain trains of thought. It could even be some kind of comfort - in bad times - it doe you good to find out there are different ways of thinking (of living even). I'll stop there before it gets too over the top (or vague).

As you might have guessed, I am eager to get my hands on stuff the band have done without musical instruments. Did you ever get round to writing out the Courtauld Talks or getting the notes together on the Hyde Park Seminar?

Anything I can do to help out let me know (I love to write and I work in the communication field). It's great to be able to write and I hope you will find the time to reply. So for now goodbye and keep the Network alive.

Karen Jeneson
Amsterdam

Cheers Karen. It does the ego a bit of good when I get letters in favour of the Network. I have not sorted the Courtauld Talks just yet but I promise I shall keep in touch and if you want to write a piece for the Network please do and send it along. I will try to include it ASAP. Till then....

Thanks for printing my full address in the Network. Maybe now I will hear from some other Killing Joke fans who may have some videos that I could record. I would like to hear from Waz to see if he could sell me or let me have a copy of the videos he sent you? I am looking forward to my next copy of the Network - I would like to help you in any way so that it does not take 4 months until the next edition.

Is it right that Jaz grew up in Cheltenham? Then you know him and some of the other band members for a long time. Tell us fans out there something about it.

Maybe you can tell us what happened around Christmas in India and if there is going to be new music this year from Killing Joke.

Katrin Fritsch
Sulingen, Germany

Firstly, thank you very much for the video of the concert in Cologne. It will go into the collection with the other three. (not a lot) Hopefully people will write as I have put your address in again. As for the other parts of your letter it goes like this. Christmas in India did not happen. Jaz is over here at the moment and has started recording the Zeppelin arrangements and if he gets together with the rest of the band, well, we shall see. Regarding Jaz growing up in Cheltenham ... yes, he did. I have known him since about 1976. The other band members I have only met either in passing (back in the 70s) or when I have been in the studio with them. What is there to say? Give me a hint!

Sorry I have not sent any tapes but I have problems with my equipment. How's the video hunting getting on? I hope you are having more luck than I am! A question: what has happened to the Alchemy remix album? I've tried several High Street shops and back street shops and I've had ony one response - "The record is deleted". I find it amazing that a record that was presumably released in late January/early February can already be deleted. Can you shed any light on it?

Waz

It's like this: Debbie Cooper (another Network member) sent me a tape with a few videos, interviews, TV footage and a couple of concerts on. Katrin in Sulingen, Germany sent me a video with another concert. I heard from someone that they had rung up Big Life and got some videos from them. He brought them round it was the promo videos for Democracy, Pandemonium and Exorcism. I tried e-mailing them and in return I got the video of Democracy together with the ten cards that were used for promotion of the album, one for each track, and a free copy of Democracy on CD.

I have tried the address on a leaflet handed out at a couple of gigs with the name "Forgotten Ones" on it and a PO Box number. I think it's a case of the less said the better. They/he is now a forgotten entity on the collector's side of things. I have, however, been given a number for someone here in Cheltenham who has apparently got several videos of Killing Joke as well as other bands from the same era. I will try ringing him when I get round to it. As for the Alchemy CD, Big Life had no idea but I tracked teh cat. no. and track listing which is further on into the mag.

If you would like to obtain a video of Jaz talking at Bangor University (2:5:97) for 2 hours(ish) and Youth doing the same (3:6:97), then drop me a line so I can sort out details and price

A quick note to Jaz: Let's have some UK dates this year! Surely the best way of taking on Britpop is to capitalise on the resurgence of interest in Killing Joke after the excellent last two albums and the innovative remixes under Youth's influence. I'm sure I speak for the huge majority of Joke fans when I say the last year was a lot duller without the beacon of light that is Killing Joke 'Gathering' live.

I will give an answer in place of Jaz. So far this year (the last twelve months), Jaz has arranged and written music for The Who and Led Zeppelin, as well as recording his symphony and performing both Pacifica and the Pink Floyd music together with his Fanfare For The Millennium in New Zealand. The organisation of getting a 130-strong orchestra to play the music to 4500 people takes a bit of planning. If time can be found from all of the band then things might happen. I do know that Jaz has been offered a six symphony deal with Point/Polygramme who are one of the biggest labels in the world of classical music. There are also a few other rumours about recording some of the symphonic music later on in the year. I will let you know.

In today's post I received a letter from Daz Brown in Aldergrove who asks the following: How is the new album coming along and what is the working title? Will the band be playing any gigs this year? Is there any artwork available yet?

In order: I do not think the band are laying down any tracks at the moment. Jaz has been busy for the last couple of years on his symphonic works. There is the Zeppelin one he is doing at the moment in the UK which has led him to Egypt to lay down a few backing tracks and possibly overdubs. He is back in the UK for a few days then over to Amsterdam for a week to get a bit of peace. As far as I know he will then be in Cheltenham visiting his folks and calling in to see me and the family. I will try to 'interrogate' upon his arrival. I will find out about any gigs at the same time. As for the artwork ... When I sent out the letter introducing the Network, Jaz virtually dictated it and mentioned the artwork. The idea was for him to get in contact with Mike Coles and get some pieces sent to me. As I just mentioned he has been very busy with the Auckland gigs and classical music in general so the opportunity to arrange meetings etc. gets a little lost. I will ask him when he lands in the vicinity.

I owe you a big thank you for the bootleg lists. I will print them over the next couple of issues. It must be the best I have seen to date.

While I am in the thanking mode I must also mention Debbie Cooper of Orpington, Kent, for the video.  It has got the Tube performances from '85 and '83 together with the '91 Finsbury Park gig, the Rapido interview with Jaz and Anne Dudley in Cairo when they were working on 'Victorious City' and just in case this was not enough there are videos of Empire Song, Love Like Blood (TOTP - as in performing on) together with videos of Adorations and Eighties.

If you want to write to Debbie then feel free as she also mentioned to me that she would like to get in contact with other Network members. Lastly the answer to Debbie is yes, I would like the other bits you have got on video.

Another thanks goes to Paul Wilkinson. He sent me a tape with loads of good stuff including the 4 Be 2s singles with Geordie on guitar. I think you should write to Debbie and compare notes with her. You have a very similar liking of the Joke. Also you could help each other with the Joke collections you both have.

Mark Vickers from Chippenham also wrote to mention a bootleg called 'The Bum's Rush'. It is of the Capitol Radio and Radio One sessions featuring:

Follow The Leaders (original lyrics)
Complications (John Peel)
Tomorrow's World (John Peel)
Change (John Peel)
The Wait
Psyche (Original Mix)
Change (Capitol Radio)
Are You Receiving (Capitol Radio)
Complications (Capitol Radio)

All of the tracks feature Youth on bass. The questions about getting hold of Jaz's classical works is, in theory, simple. Try ordering from HMV in our local branch; they keep the Symphonic Floyd in the same rack as Floyd. I have seen the Stones one but not for a while. They should be able to get them for you.

I have just looked at the bootleg list that Daz sent through. There are 279 different things on it. Put this with the seven he has handwritten and it adds up to a lot of money for the die-hard Joker. The only year to have nothing is 1993. Amazing. I would love a contact address if anyone can help. It covers John Peel Radio shows, live gigs from the US, Germany, Holland and of course the UK. I will do a page this issue and another one next time out. In fact there are videos of MTV as well as Canadian TV footage. Hmmmm, looks good to me!

 Albums Overrun

The songs from the Alchemy CD have all been published before. I asked at Big Life and they do not know a thing about it as it was only issued out of the UK.

I have, however, got the tracklisting and cat. numbers which go like this:

Alchemy was published by Butterfly/Rough Trade RTD 1593221,2 43 Barcode No. 4005902 322126

Requiem - A Floating Leaf Always Reaches The Sea Mix
4 Stations Of The Sun - Hallucinogen Mix
Pandemonium - Dragonfly Mix
Drug - Black Sun Mix
Millennium - Back To Orion Mix
Exorcism - The Bretonic Revenge Total Eclipse Mix
Pandemonium - A Thread Of Steel In The Suspension Bridge Of Time And Space Mix
Democracy - Russian Tundra Mix

12" 4 track single: Cat. No. Butterfly/Rough Trade RTD 159.3221.0 PC:16

4 Stations Of The Sun - Hallucinogen Mix
Pandemonium - Dragonfly Mix
Millennium - Back To Orion Mix
Intellect - Mandra Gora Remix
 

I have just found the cat. number Rough Trade M11865 on the Internet as the No. for Alchemy

Another 'interesting' album that I uncovered my accident (someone showed me an old cutting from Melody Maker) was 'Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest' by 'The Firemen'. It comes with a bright red cover on the outside and a vile green inside. The tracks are as follows:

Transpiritual Stomp
Trans Lunar Rising
Transcrystalline
Pure Trance
Arizona Light
Celtic Stomp
Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest
4 4 4
Sunrise Mix

The album/CD has been deleted in the UK since December and is on import only. The cat. no. is CDP 7243 8 27167 2 3 on the Capitol label.

It seems like the same track mixed nine times. When I first put it on I was cooking and as a background sound it grew on me. (A bit like blues music does - great in the background and if grows, good; if not, it gets put on the 'why did I buy it' shelf.) It is very much for a kind of laid back atmosphere or chill out. It works but does not figure in my Top 20.

The reason I mention this wonderful piece of digital plastic is because the artists who laid down the music are our mate Youth with none other than former 1960s rebel Sir Paul McCartney. Now that was an eye opener for me. The letdown was getting this month's Q magazine and seeing it in the McCartney discography. I was sure I had found out about a rare, or at least hard to track down, CD that not a lot of people knew about.

There is also a picture disc which has been around for years. It is an interview with Jaz and Raven by what sounds like a local radio DJ. It is in Wolverhampton or Birmingham and could have been recorded during the tour in 1983.

In the Billboard classical crossover chart, Us And Them: Symphonic Pink Floyd has been in the Top Five for eighty weeks and Number One forty-six weeks.  (Now then, as I was saying about talent...)

JOHN PEEL SESSION                            17.10.79

 THE UNPERVERTED PANTOMIME    00.00.79

CAPITOL RADIO SESSION                    30.01.80

LONDON U.L.U.                                        08.02.80

LONDON VENUE                                    10.02.80

LONDON LYCEUM                                  29.02.80

JOHN PEEL SESSION                           17.03.80

LONDON CLARENDON HOTEL           29.03.80

LONDON MUSIC MACHINE                   31.03.80

LONDON CLARENDON HOTEL            29.05.80

BERLIN s.o.36 CLUB                               00.06.80

HAMBURG MARKETHALLE                   16.06.80

PARIS LES BAINES DOUCHES            25.06.80

LONDON MUSIC MACHINE                    28.07.80

YOUTH INTERVIEW                                  00.00.80

LONDON ACKLAM HALL                        30.09.80

KILLING JOKE                                            00.10.80

LONDON LYCEUM                                    05.10.80

DERBY AJANTA CLUB                            18.10.80

LEEDS FAN CLUB                                    19.10.80

LONDON TRAFALGAR SQUARE           26.10.80

LONDON LYCEUM                                    30.11.80

AYLESBURY FRIARS                                06.12.80

EDINBURGH NITE CLUB                         12.12.80

THE BUMS RUSH ~e~                              00.00.80

WHAT'S THIS FOR..! (O/TAKES)            00.00.81

LOS ANGELES ROXY CLUB                  02.05.81

JOHN PEEL SESSIONS                          14.04.81

LEEDS TIFFANYS                                    26.04.81

READING TOP RANK SUITE                  27.04.81

KILBURN NATIONAL BALLROOM        28.04.81

LIVERPOOL ROYAL COURT                29.04.81

BIRMINGHAM TOWER BALLROOM    30.04.81