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Issue 23: 1st March 1999


THE GOSSIPPING HEN: Geri Halliwell; Oasis; why HMV are shite....
OBITUARIES: Agnes Bernelle; Richard Boone
FEATURE: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
NEWS: Al Jolson impersonator in trouble; Pigs like Country Music; Mariah Carey is a Twat; The Myth of the Stoned Genius
BOOKSHELF: `The Manual` by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty
TWITCHY THE TRAMP: Goes to the South American Jungle :-)
RECORD REVIEWS: Chaka Khan; Concord Jazz; Portishead; Martin Turner

EDITED AND COMPILED BY Mr Slutto, Siggsworthy Craggs and Atilla the Hen

With contributions from The Sexiest lady in Cyberspace over in the US of A


Atilla - our intrepid capon - reveals the results of a few days spent hanging around in bars, listening at windows, and blagging drinks off P.R. men...

* Baby's in Black....... so Ginge is wearing black because she is in mourning about the split with `The Spice Girls`. Yeah right.........

* Oasis are back in the studio working on demos for their new album due summer 2000 with the working title of "Rip Your knickers off - I`m evil" (We made up the last bit but there is a `millenium single` due in December). Expect the same load of old toss as usual. Why anyone gioves this band more than cursory acceptance I have no idea. Their songwriting is mediocre, their musicianship basic and they have the charisma of a three toes stoat on mandrax. No wonder our Tone has invited them to #10 on so many occasions.

* So the winner of the HMV artist of the Millenium award is likely to be Robbie Williams. This tells us a lot about the folk responsible. Will any one remember him in three years time let alone a thousand? I have a sneaking suspicion though that even a thousand years down the line someone will be remembering Mozart!

* BTW anyone who likes `Steely Dan` should check out the MCA Records box set. remastered and complete the songs are hgreat and the sound is so crisp you would think it was recorded yesterday. I even paid for my copy :-)

God there is no news this week. Roll on the summer...............


Peculiar music/art news from around the world


The Times February 23 1999 BRITAIN Jolson star left up the Swanee

A SHOW by an Al Jolson impersonator at the London Palladium threatens to be a pale imitation of the real thing because his backing choir is refusing to black up. Clive Baldwin, an English-born performer who now lives in Florida, has a worldwide following and his Mother's Day concert next month is expected to be a sell-out. However, the 80-strong Hallmark of Harmony choir from Sheffield has told promoters that the traditional minstrels' make-up is "inappropriate".

Yesterday Chris Tideman, the choir's chairman, said: "We will appear with Clive but there is no way we will wear black make-up." Andy Petch, the leader of the choir, who have been national champions on five occasions, said that the first he knew of any ideas about black make-up was when they received instructions on how apply it.

Mr Baldwin, 64, said yesterday that he would have sacked the choir but for the fact that they would demand their £750 fee anyway. He said: "I am very disappointed. The show is being filmed by an American company and it will look ridiculous if I am there looking like Al Jolson, being backed by a white-faced choir.

"I wouldn't have booked them in the first place if I had known there was going to be a problem like this. It's too late now to get another choir. There is no way that I would want to offend anyone by my performance but wearing black make-up is an integral part of my performance." He added: "The choir want to sing one of the Jolson classics, Swanee, but I have decided not to let them. I will be doing it."

Mr Baldwin's routine fell foul of the Labour-controlled council in his home city of Hull last July when it refused to let him appear in a municipally owned theatre in his make-up. This provoked booing from an audience that did not appreciate the whiter-than-white show.



** The Associated Press (c). All rights reserved. **

STUART, Fla. (AP) _ A Martin County circuit judge has lifted a ban that kept a pig farmer from playing pop music to make his swine happy. Circuit Judge Ben Bryan says Tom Rossano can crank up his outdoor loudspeakers as long as he doesn't violate the county's noise ordinance,

Rossano is in hog heaven. "I might play God Bless America all day long," said Rossano after Thursday's court victory. Rossano lives next door to Paul Thompson, a pig farmer who cranks up country western music for his 200 or so hogs. Both Rossano and Thompson are fighting the Florida Club, an upscale golf course development that has taken them to court to get their music turned down. The farmers say the music keeps their pigs calm, drowning out noises that tend to panic skittish swine.

Hogwash, say opponents. Club officials have said Thompson and Rossano want to harass them and force them to buy up their farms. The battle over Stuart's harmonious hogs is not over yet. The Rossano case is scheduled for a jury trial in May. Thompson's trial is not yet scheduled, but his pigs have made him popular, drawing international media attention. He has an Internet site (, and last week created a legal defense fund so supporters can to help pay his legal fees.


From: USA TODAY/Monday, February 8, 1999; A&E:

Mariah Carey was one of the first celebrities to comment on the death of the King of Jordan. Mariah told CNN, "I'm inconsolable at the present time. I was a very good friend of Jordan, he was probably the greatest basketball player this country has ever seen, we will never see his like again". When told by reporters that it was King Hussein of Jordan who had died and not Michael Jordan, Mariah was then led away by her security in a state of "confusion."


The Times November 2 1998 OPINION

John Sutherland questions some famous accounts of high art

The myth of the stoned genius...

Literary critics are always ready to believe in the strange power of the unconscious mind. But recent discussion of Jack Kerouac's novel On the Road has focused on the fact that - far from being written in three weeks, in a burst of Benzedrine-fuelled creativity - it was drafted and redrafted in an atmosphere of sobriety over many clear-headed months.

Given their self-destructive lifestyle, the Beats are particularly susceptible to myth-making about the part played by drugs in their literary creations. In the film version of Naked Lunch, David Cronenberg implies that William Burroughs wrote while stoned out of his head. But in Oliver Harris's The Letters of William Burroughs: 1945-1959, one finds the actual writing was done in conditions of strict abstemiousness.

The definitive account of narcotics and literary creation is Opium and the Romantic Imagination, by Alethea Hayter. She describes how, in the spring of 1819, Walter Scott was too ill to write The Bride of Lammermoor and had to dictate to his appalled amanuenses from his bed with the help of large doses of laudanum. When the novelist recovered and read the printed narrative, "he did not recollect one single incident, character or conversation it contained". Hayter offers Scott's novel as "one of the best attested examples of an opium interlude in the work of a non-addicted writer".

However, in Walter Scott: The Making Of The Novelist (1984), Jane Millgate points out that four fifths of the novel were written by Scott in his usual neat hand. There were no amanuenses to be appalled by the author's "audible suffering".

The other key text in Hayter's book is The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins. During the composition Collins was apparently in such pain from gout that only large amounts of laudanum could relieve it. "The story of the composition of The Moonstone," Hayter writes, "is one of he plainest statements by any writer of how he produced a major piece of work under the influence of opium." The Moonstone was dictated to its conclusion accompanied by Collins's screams. And, when he saw the proofs of the last part of the book, he was not only pleased and astonished "at the finale of the story, but did not recognise it as his own".

Collins's account, like Scott's, has traditionally been accepted. As with Scott, however, scholars have recently becomes less persuadable. Indeed it appears only seven pages of the manuscript are in a hand different from Collins's. It seems that the shuddering amanuenses recoiling from the shrieking novelist are an outright invention.

The most famous of the opiate-inspiration stories is that coiled around Coleridge's Kubla Khan. According to Coleridge, the poem composed itself in his mind during three hours of drugged slumber, with a volume of Purchas His Pilgrimage in his lap. On awakening, he "appeared to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and ...eagerly wrote down the lines". At that moment he was "unfortunately called out by a person on business from Porlock, and detained above an hour". When the poet returned to his pen and paper, the unwritten remainder of the poem "had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream".

But the critic Zachary Leader, in Writer's Block (1991), quotes W.J. Bate on the rank improbabilities of the "Porlock" episode - Coleridge having carried with him to "a lonely farmhouse" the book by Purchas (a volume about the size of a double bed, apparently). Coleridge's biographer Richard Holmes concedes that, as with Scott and Collins, the evidence of the manuscript and manifest revision would lead one to be sceptical about drug-induced creativity.

If, as seems likely, Collins was dramatising the account of how he wrote The Moonstone, he clearly took his cue from Scott (the overdose, the screams, the appalled amanuenses, the shock of reading what was written under the influence). If, as seems likely, Scott was embroidering his account of how he wrote The Bride of Lammermoor, it seems probable that he took his cue from Kubla Khan, which he would have read before embarking on his novel. There are strong echoes of Coleridge's 1816 preface, with the difference that the poet is his own amanuensis.

More interesting than the fabrication itself is the reason why authors of the stature of Scott and Collins should have mystified their working procedures. Perhaps they saw the opiate inspiration fable as nothing more than an authenticating device - something equivalent to the "found manuscript" in Gothic fiction. There may also have been a tincture of guilt: the drug was taken not for pleasure, nor solely as an analgesic, but in the highest service of art.

A more interesting question is why generations of critics and readers have swallowed these fictions. Probably because we love the idea of the magical creation, though common sense tells us that it must be as hard to write well under the influence of opiates as to drive well under the influence of alcohol. It leads to another question: has any worthwhile literature truly been composed under (as opposed to after) the influence of opium?

The author is Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London. A version of this article appears in the Times Literary Supplement.



Irish Times: IRELAND Wednesday, February 17, 1999

Great-hearted survivor of good times and bad

Agnes Bernelle took an adventurous road through life. It brought her from a comfortable middle class beginning in Germany before the second World War to her last years in Dublin. There were many colourful diversions.

Much loved and admired as a singer, actress and great-hearted survivor of good times and bad, she never ceased to perform, even when sickness would have deterred many a lesser person. She was born in Berlin in the 1920s, the daughter of Rudolph Bernauer, a Hungarian theatre impresario and writer of successful musicals. Life was easy. The family moved at the centre of the city's thriving artistic life, of Marlene Dietrich and the songs of Brecht and Weill. Young, talented and beautiful, she seemed destined to have a distinguished career there. But Nazism ended all that. Her father found doors closing to him and, to avoid worse, fled to London. There he supported his family by writing and directing low-budget films.

His daughter went to school there, learned English, and by the time the war started was beginning to appear in satirical revues by an anti-Nazi refugee group. During the war, too, she met Desmond Leslie, a young Irish RAF pilot, whom she was to marry and who brought her home to his ancestral home, Castle Leslie. It was, she said in her memoirs, The Fun Palace, like stepping back into the 18th century. Indeed it's hard to imagine a greater contrast than that between the cultivated Mitteleuropean life to which she'd been born and the rackety Anglo-Irish world of old retainers and her eccentric, kilted father-in-law, Sir Shane Leslie, who had been disinherited in favour of his eldest son. Children followed quickly, but theatrical success always seemed to be a tantalising step away as she struggled to establish herself as an actor. It was in the 1963 Dublin Theatre Festival, at the old Grafton Cinema, that she finally got the recognition she deserved with a one-woman show of the songs of Brecht and Weill.

In this she opened up to a new generation these wonderfully mordant works, which are among the high points of 20th-century popular music. Amazingly, she was to do precisely the same thing a second time nearly 20 years later when she was "discovered" yet again by a succession of singers as diverse as Tom Waits, Marc Almond, Elvis Costello and Marianne Faithfull. Her marriage to Desmond Leslie ended in 1969, the same year she met her long-time partner Maurice Craig, the architectural historian. Through the years she appeared in plays, wrote her memoirs, made records and was the subject of an RTÉ documentary, The Berlin of Agnes Bernelle. She worked with all sorts of people, from Orson Welles to Peter Cook, and had friendships with colourful personalities from Claus von Bulow to King Farouk of Egypt.

She performed in many other one-woman shows, most of them devoted to German cabaret songs, including some written by her father, but was wryly disparaging about the fact that it was for these she tended to be best known, even though she had done so much else. At the end of her life, however, she changed her view on this. "I never used to care at all about cabaret," she said. "The straight theatre was what I wanted. But in the last few years I've looked at this and decided it was rather silly, and I have given it a little more importance in my life." She took great pride in the new audience whom she had attracted. When she started, she said, those who came to hear her had been mainly middle class and middle-aged. "Now it has totally changed. My audiences on the whole are very, very young. Some of them are the grandchildren of my first audience." She seemed to carry round with her a large chunk of the history of the 20th century and yet was never pompous or self-important. She was indefatigable, warm and generous.

EDITOR`S NOTE: Her husband Desmond Leslie was co-author of the notorious "Flying Saucers have Landed" with George Adamski. All ISMO Readers are advised to check out Agnes Bernelles 1993 CD "Mother the Wardrobe is Full of Infantrymen" which was (we believe) produced by Marc Almond. Atilla`s ex-wife fucked off with the ISMO copy so we can`t be sure. It's worth getting though....


Trombonist, scat singer Richard Boone dead at 6810.50 a.m. ET (1551 GMT) February 9, 1999

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Richard Boone, an American-born trombonist and scat singer who played with Count Basie, Dexter Gordon and other jazz giants, has died at age 68, a Danish newspaper reported Tuesday. The cause of death was not given, the Ekstra Bladet reported.

Boone was born in Little Rock, Ark., and took up the trombone at age 12. In 1956, he moved to Los Angeles, where he played with he played with Gordon, Sonny Criss and Teddy Edwards, among others. In the late 1960s, Boone joined Basie's band. He moved to Copenhagen in 1970, at a time when many American jazzmen were settling in the Danish capital, which was noted for its relaxed atmosphere and lack of racial tension.

From 1973 through 1985, Boone played with the Danish Radio Big Band, considered one of the world's best. Last year, he issued the album "Tribute to Love,'' backed by Danish musicians.


One of our favourite contemporary bands are the mighty KULA SHAKER. A new album in imminent and weill, we hope be featured in these hallowed electronic pages over the next few weeks. In the meantime here is a round up of KULA SHAKER web sites.......

* 'The only Kula Shaker page on the web! (worth visiting)' URL:

Well, I wouldn`t agree with the hyperbole but this IS a pretty good site with an excellent guest book which acts more like a newsgroup than anything else. It gets a bit intense at times but then so do the band :-(


Name: bh.jochum
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: finland
Time: 1999-02-06 14:20:57
Comments: hare krishna! for those of you who are wondering, Govinda means the One who brings pleasure to the cows. It´s one of the names of Krishna. acintya bheda bheda tattva is the main point in the philosophy of Gaudia vaishnavas (devotees of Krishna ), established by lord Caitanya. It means inconcievably simultainiously one and different.It means something like God is in everything , but simultainiously He is different and apart, independent. it´s hard to explain it briefly. It is explained in the Srimad Bhagavatam and the Caitanya-caritamrita. . Record 481

'Over 2 million visitors in two and a half years!!!'

* URL:

The official Web site. This is way kool.....


Last week we offered fans subscribed to the Kula Shaker mailing list a pair of tickets to Friday 5th gig at 108 Club, London. Not suprisingly, the response was fantastic, and in the end, Sarah from Grays, Essex, was picked at random and got sent the tickets.

However, we have another pair to give away! This time, they're for the Wednesday 3rd gig, 108 Club, Oxford Street London.

To win them , simply send an e-mail to, including your name, address & telephone number.

The winner will be notified by phone and tickets left on the door.


If you're not able to catch any of Kula Shaker's live gigs, don't worry. The band will be making a live performance on MTV, the week commencing 8th March. Songs performed include Shower Your Love, S.O.S and the new single, Mystical Machine Gun. Check listings for details.


Release dates for the single vary in some regions. In Japan and Australia the new single, 'Mystical Machine Gun', is available from February 24th. There are no plans to release the single commercially in either the US or Canada.

Also, Japan release the album on 27th February and Australia on 22nd March. Album release dates for USA and Canada are TBC.


'Mystical Machine Gun' (cat. no. KULA22), is the much anticipated new single from Kula Shaker. It will be released in the UK on 22nd February. Tracklisting as follows;

Mystical Machine Gun, Guitar Man, Prancing Bride

Mystical Machine Gun, Avalonia, Holy River

Mystical Machine Gun, Guitar Man

The new album, 'Peasants, Pigs and Astronauts' is released on March 8th.


Kula Shaker will be performing a series of dates at the 108 club (formerly the 100 club) in London on March 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th.

" But wait for this. There`s even a KULA SHAKER WEBRING. They are neighbours of ours at URL: although half the links didn`t seem to work when we visited their site :-(




Editor`s Note: Their Record Company Biog was crap so we nicked this piece from Atlanta's On-line Ska Magazine.


The Mighty Mighty Bosstones

If you have been watching TV or listening to the radio lately, you probably have come across a very familiar sound. A sound that makes you feel like crazy. The sound of Ska. No, you are not imagining things; it is Ska. What band is this? you ask yourself. Well, most likely it is one that has been breaking ground in the music world for years now: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Originally from Boston (the name makes sense doesn't it!), the band came together ten years ago; although the arrangement of members has changed since. With five CD's and many more recordings of singles and the like, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have become one of the most successful Ska-punk bands on its class.

Com' Out Swinging had the chance of catching up with Nate Albert, guitar player of the Bosstones, here in Atlanta, when they performed at the Coca Cola Roxy as part of one of their many stops of their on-going tour. We talked with Nate for a while; about the band, themselves, and their future plans. Here's a part of the interview as we chatted with him inside their tour bus. (Nice bus, by the way..)

Q: Who do you consider were or are the biggest influences the band has had musically?

A: We grew up with Ska music in our community. Many radio stations were playing bands like Madness and The Specials, etc. You just get absorbed by the community. I think the biggest influences we've had as a group have been Fishbone, The Clash and The Specials; but we also listen to many different types of music like Jazz, Hip Hop and bands like Metallica and AC/DC for example.

Q: How was the experience of being in a movie like "Clueless"?

A: We didn't think it was going to be big at all. When we showed up we though, well… this is probably going straight to video… But it was kind of fun actually.

Q: What do you think of Ska bands being labeled as "sell-outs"?

A: Well, for one, we've been for sale for a long time. Have there been the opportunity we would have done it. Personally, I don't want to stay doing clubs forever. Here in the US is not as big of an issue as in Europe for example; they are very sensitive about commercials, politics, etc. But the ones less sensitive are the Orientals (Japan to be precise). They don't care if you are making commercials for a sport shoe or whatever. They really focus in the music, period.

Q: How do you see the evolution of the band up to this point?

A: We are dressing better!! (Laughs) I think we are getting back to the two-tone look. A long time ago we dressed up for entertaining purposes, when the "flashy" looks were in.

Q: How long is the tour going to last and what do you like the most of it?

A: This tour is going to be about a year long. Right now we are on the US leg, then we go to Europe, the Warped tour, Europe again, Japan and finally Australia. What I like the most? Seeing different people. Life on the road is OK, sometimes it is hard; but if you are ready for it, then you are most likely to enjoy it.

Many people say that the road to success is a long and hard one, and who better to tell us about it than The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. These group of guys have made their way into a place in history that many try to reach, but a few obtain. Although there are many more conquests to achieve for the Bosstones, nobody can deny that one by one, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are making it big and loud in the music world; opening the doors for many other bands that are to follow..... JDC

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are:

Nate Albert - Guitar
Joe Sirois - Drums
Dicky Barrett - Vocals
Ben Carr - Bosstone
Dennis Brockenborough - Trombone
Joe Gittleman - Bass
Tim Burton - Sax
Kevin Lenear- Sax

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones "Live from the Middle East" (Mercury 558900-2) *****

Question: What do you get when you cross `The Specials` (the English bunch not the other ones) with `The Dead Kennedys`?
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
Are they any good?
A resounding YES

I`d never heard of this band until I received this CD but within five seconds of the first track I was jumping round my front room like a lunatic. Very few bands have such an instant appeal. An interesting and clever mix of rock and ska. Stuffed with 22 live tracks this is an album I cannot recommend highly enough. The title may suggest that this concert was held beneath the pyramiods but the `Middle east` is in fact a famous venue in Boston where this band hold an annual three day extravaganza. Hopefully this is a band that will go far. - Sigsworthy Crags.



***** Fuck-off Brilliant
**** Pretty damn Good
*** Average but no Cigar, Mr President
** Could do better
* Shite

Concord Jazz: Like Minds (New Note/Concord CCd 4803 2) *****

For some reason this CD arrived without a press release - either that or we lost it - and so I have no idea whether `Concord Jazz` is the name of the artistes, the album, or even the label (an imprint of Concord Records?) However, the lack of information is completely overshadowed by the personnell which include such luminaries as Gary Burton, Chick Corea and Pat Metheny playing some music which if it were any more cool it would be very chilly indeed. An hour or so of seamless instrumentals which sound (as I suppose they should) like an updated version of the stuff `Return to Forever` were doing two decades ago. As Chick Corea was the main man in RTF this ain`t really surprising.. I am gighly impressed and want more. Atilla the Hen.

Chaka Khan: Come 2 my House (MPG Records 74321621832) ****

The class of 1980 has not only come of age but is making music which shames most of their juniors into submission. Fresh from an appearance on the latest album by the geezer we ain`t allowed to call Prince any more this is one groovy album. Mellow and experimental soul it sounds very much like the aforementioned CD by the erstwjhile purple one. Indeed it could almost be a companion piece, and it came as no surprise to find that the little feller co produced this. I am not familiar enough with Chaka Khan`s work to know how much of this album is down to `spud` or not, but it is a bloody excellent record. Go out and buy it. Atilla the Hen.

Portishead: Roseland NYC Live ****

This is a band that we at ISMO mansions are inordinately fond of. They have always produced a quirky mix of surprisingly mellow rock music and surprisingly unmellow dance music with glorious string arrangements and Beth`s beautiful voice. We first heard a rough cut of this album when an old mate of hours brought down a pre-release version last September. This album is much harder sounding than the rough verion we heard, and in some places it is only the sheer power of the ensemble playing that lets you know that it is indeed a live performance. Although it is probably something top do wityh the positioning of the microphones, we would like to hypothesise that the lack os audience noise is because they were gazing in awe at one of the premier live performances I have ever heard on record. One of Britain's best bands live with an orchestra. Does it get any better than this? Atilla the Hen

Martin Turner: Walking the Reeperbahn (Blueprint BP298CD) *

In which the bloke from Wishbone Ash gets a load of cheap sound equipment and makes a dull proggy album in his back bedroom. Yeah, its THAT dull? (The drums sound soooo 1985 dahling.....and he can`t sing either) Atilla the Hen


Thoughts on life, love and music from Twitchy the Tramp in his tawdry little ditch..

This week I`ve been on holiday abroad! "How?" you ask, "can a tramp whose USUAL holiday consists of wandering a mile acrosss town to the council dump afford such a thing?"

Herein lies a tale.

My old friend Sliteye the Tramp, was rooting through some bins outside of Nuneaton Library. Apparently some ageing travel books had been thrown out to make room for a new batch of "Baywatch" novelisations. Sliteye thought that these would make a snug bedding for his vermin infested nest.

Later that afternoon whilst I was enjoying a cup of warm mud with Sliteye, who should stroll past but my old friend Professor Ronald Hutton. ** Ron stopped for a chat and noticed one of the books. He got very excited over "City of the Ivory Serpent" by Col. Percy Fawcett. The Prof said that this was the only remaining copy of a book by the legendary explorer who disappeared in search of a lost city in The Amazon. The book contained several detailed maps of the Peruvian Amazon and explained the Colonel`s theory that the Aztecs fleeing the conquistadors who had invaded their native Mexico in the 17th Century, settled here and built a great city where they awaited the glorious return of Quetzacoatl the Serpent God.

Ron got very excited about this and rushed back to the university. The next day he was back and told us that the University was backing an expedition - led by him - to search for the lost city. The prof wanted Sliteye and myself to come along because `gentlemen of the Road` were natural survivors and hence invaluable. Accompanying us would be a beautiful young graduate student, Catriona Cunningham. Also part of the team were Juan Pedro Miguel (an interpreter) and a company of bearers from Lima.

The following morning we flew out to Peru (tramps don`t need innoculations as they actively COLLECT diseases!) Soon we and our supplies were boating up one of the more obscure tributaries of The Amazon. We travelled for several days surrounded by steaming primordial rainforest. At last we stopped and tethered the canoes. We followed our native guides for hours along the dense jungle trail. Eventually they pointed to distant spires and towers looming from out of the mist. They whined and chattered in superstitious dread of this juju place and refused to go on. So we pushed on alone.

As we drew near the vast white stone walls of the city I felt what I thought was an insect sting on my wrist. I looked down and saw a blow dart. Instantly we were surrounded by warriors with blowpipes and were peppered with darts. Before we could give these foreign devils a taste of British Spunk....

(EDITOR`S NOTE: readers of `The Boy`s Own Paper` c. 1922 will know what he means. Anyone else is urged not to assume that ISMO has suddenly become like so many other publications on the net)

.......we slipped into unconsciousness. When we awoke we were surrounded by swarthy Aztecs in a Great Hall. Before us stood a High Priest resplendant in a serpent headdress and a cloak of macaw feathers. We were bound at the wrist and held fast by burly warriors. The priest began to address us in his vile sounding language. Juan Pedro translated as best he could from his vestigial knowledge of this long forgotten and thrice accursed tongue. We Infidel unbelievers had defiled the fastness of the sacred city and must die. Catriona however had been selected to be the bride of Quetzacoatl.

We were led to a vast gold walled temple. Inside was a life sized crystal skullon a raised dais and a deep water filled pit. We were pushed towards the rim.... (EDITOR`S NOTE: oooer) ...In the oily water below a massive pallid shape was moving. To my horror it resolved itself into a giant albino anaconda. Thick about as a tree trunk and fully 80 feet long. The priest spat more foul words and our interpreter told us that the anaconda was worshipped as an avatar of Quetzacoatl. Catriona was to be fed to the serpent as its bride..

Luckily I had been a boy scout in my youth and quickly dealt with the knots around my wrist (God bless `Brown owl`). The Priest lunged at me with a cruel obsidian dagger. Shrieking like a banshee and whirling like a dervish. I ducked under the knife and dealt him a tooth loosening British piledriver that sent him crashing over the edge of the pit.

With eyes gleaming like twin rubies the ivory scaled giant seized its luckless worshipper and dragged him into his murderous coils. In the confusion I seized the dagger and cut the others free. Cheated of more prey the anaconda reared up from the pit. The Aztecs screamed in terror. Their God Was Angry. Whilst they paniced the prof grabbed the crystal scull and we fled the city. The huge snake was now toppling pillars with its coild and gobbling down members of the populace indiscriminately. We rushed along the jungle track, arrows and spears rushed around our ears. Leaping into the dugouts we started the motors and sped away. Soon we were winging our way back to Blighty.

Ron had a lovely crystal skull for the university museum and I kept the snake handled obsidian dagger as a memento. Quite an eventful week omn the whole. On Friday I found a half sucked toffee in the park......

(EDITOR`S NOTE: We have a sneaking suyspicion that either Senor Twitchy - or more likely Siggsy who transcribes his adventures has been at the meths this week :-) Cities of Ivory? Delirium Tremens we call it......)

** If Prof Hutton of Bristol University takes offence at being portrayed as a consorter of tramps (despite being very heroic) then we will apologise. We think, however he is tres cool and will be highly amused........


"The Manual - How to have a Number One the easy way" by Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty (Ellipsis Books £10.00) *****

Ten years or more ago I was a bootleg dealer. I was at a record fair with my ex-wife in the autumn of 1987 when a bloke sitting at the next table to us turned to me and said that he had just received a tape that he thought that I would like. It was by a band called "The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu" and it was an album called "1987 What the Fuck is going on?" It was the most extraordinary mixture of ripoffs, dance music, witty and stupid samples, and inept rapping in a broad Scottish accent. It had songs like "Don`t take Five, take what you want" (featuring samples of Dave Brubeck`s `Take Five`) and "Hey hey we`re not the Monkees" (featuring the obvious sample and the clasic lyric "Hey hey we`re not the Monkees/I don`t even like the Monkees/ yeah but I like Prince Charles") and most brazenly a song called "The Queen and I" which essentially was Abba`s `dancing Queen` with two Scottish blokes shouting over the top.

I was completely entranced.

The following year the two renegade anarcho rappers had been sued by Abba for unauthorised use of their samples, and had released a second album and much to everyone`s surprise (except perhaps their own) they even managed a #1 single (as `The Timelords`) with an appalingly crass medley of the Dr Who theme and Gary Glitter`s "Rock and Roll part Two". The `song` was called "Doctorin the Tardis". It was crap, but that wasn`t the point. This was a phenomenal new concept. These guys (now called the Kopyright Liberation Front - or KLF for short) were monumentally groovy.

With baited breath the world (well me and a few thousand others) sat down and waited to see what would happen.

Eventually the KLF became massive, gott bored, made a million quid, burned a million quid, made a film about it, retired, and then came back again but that is another story. What happened first is that they released a book telling everyone exactly HOW a non musician could get a hit single with minimum effort. Ten years later the book is re-released and in many ways it is a better read now than when it first came out.

I`m seriously impressed by how well this book has stood the test of time. Although it is, as Drummond admits in an essay for the new eduition, very much an artefact of its time, and with the advent of new digital technology and Internet music, and even mags such as this one, the advice given may not work now. However this book gives a glorious vignette of the times when Margeret Thatcher was in power, there were three million on the dole, and dance music was seen as a radical alternative. Ah those were the days......Atilla the Hen.

For ordering details contact


This was our book of the week last issue:

The Rising of the Moon: The Devonshire U.F.O. Triangle
by Jonathan Downes & Nigel Wright.

ISBN 09524417 7 2 £12.95

" has something for everybody: the UFO devotee, the Charles Fort fanatic, the H.P. Lovecraft disciple, the Crowley crowd and just about anyone else who has ever contemplated the mysteries of our planet." - Nick Redfern, author of "A Covert Agenda" and "The FBI Files"

Summer 1997. During an unprecedented wave of UFO reports, a dead whale is washed up on a Devon beach in the style of a classic "cattle mutilation". Meanwhile some thing is stalking a caravan site attacking domestic animals. Its description fits no animal on earth. Sightings of mystery big cats, and ghost and poltergeist events show that something very strange is afoot in East Devon.

Nigel Wright, a dedicated UFO researcher and journalist who found that his home was near the epicentre of this mysterious psychic vortex, began to investigate, and Jonathan Downes, an accomplished writer, TV presenter and fortean researcher, brought his encyclopaedic knowledge of social history and scientific and paranormal theory to bear on the problem. "The Rising of the Moon" is the result.

In this absorbing and thoroughly researched, indexed and referenced work, Jonathan and Nigel meticulously examine and analyse the evidence and seek an underlying explanation.

Interwoven with reports of the strange events of 1997 are studies of the various locations: their geology and their social history - and earlier events, some unearthed from centuries in the past, such as missing persons and unsolved murders, UFOs, alien abductions and "missing time", crop circles, mystery air ships, and ghost and poltergeist activity. Consideration of scientific and social factors such as electromagnetic phenomena, earthlights, thoughtforms and faery lore radically increase the depth and diversity of this remarkable study.

Other writers have sought an overall explanation for outbreaks of strange or fortean phenomena, but to no avail. Now, in probably the most important paranormal book of the decade, the authors authoratively lay solid foundations for the first coherent "unified theory" of forteana.

Their conclusions may cost you (and many mainstream scientists) many a nights' sleep.

"Some of us have made a few faltering steps towards a solution to the UFO phenomenon. Jonathan Downes and Nigel Wright have got there first." - Gilbert Nelson, author of "The Benhar Encounter

Now those jolly nice fellows at Domra Publications have given us at exclusive offer to ISMO readers. For the discount price of £10.99 or $20 (inclusive of p&p) U can get a copy of this wonderful tome. Just write to:

Send your cheques (payable to Domra Publications)

Gerry Connelly, Domra Publications, 65 Constable Rd., Corby, Northants, NN18 ORT, UK

.......and tell him ISMO sent ya!


Since we began in Cyberspace we have been reprinting a potted history of this project since its roots as a badly photocopied fanzine thingy a decade ago. If you still want to read this stuff you can access it thru our web-site. If you are heartily sick of it (as we are) you don`t have to.