Newsletter June 2002

It’s June 2002 already and, like the trees and the population here in New York, we’re waking up and recognizing the sun (helped by old documentary photographs). Our two-month newsletter silence has been due to studio obsessions dedicated to getting three albums close to the finish line: the recording of Johnny Reinhard’s new performing version of Ives’ Universe Symphony, Thorne’s new CD, and a carefully-wrought collection of dance remixes of Stereo Society tracks (we offer some as free mp3 downloads already).

We’re trading on both past as well as future glories. With Queen Elizabeth II’s golden jubilee set for June, the Sex Pistols were obviously required to issue the definitive boxed set (coming to coincide, naturally called God Save The Sex Pistols after their second single God Save The Queen went down so well at Buckingham Palace). Mike Thorne’s site memoir of working with the band up to the release of Anarchy In The UK is expanded and revised. The set, due from Virgin Records, also includes some demos they recorded together in EMI’s eight-track studios in the basement in Manchester Square, London. These are released for the first time ever. You can hear streaming audio of one of them on our site. For copyright reasons, we can’t offer download mp3s since we don’t own the rights (even though the master sat undisturbed on Mike Thorne’s shelf for 26 years). When the CDs are available, we’ll link you to Amazon from the site.

The Pistols collided with the unyielding London Establishment 25 years ago, culminating in a minor police riot after a raucous party on a boat cruising the River Thames. Heads were cracked. Around that time the punk revolution they had led was getting up to full speed with the release of the live album from the Roxy Club. So we revise that note on the album production also, complete with today’s photos of Neal Street (the original location), encouraged by the release of a whole series of CDs from the club recordings. The high-end restaurants and clothes shops are a long way from the grubby street that saw a pitched gang bottle fight during the recordings. From inside the club, the crashing missiles sounded like a steady hailstorm (the milk delivery crew had conveniently left piles of crates ready for morning pickup). The club owners called the police, from the single phone in the closet, but they never showed up……..

At the site, we continue to break attendance records, and thank you again for your support. In April, we had 15,330 visitors (155,973 hits). Average daily session time per visitor varied between seven minutes and over half an hour, meaning that on some days we entertained for over twelve person.days. OK, sorry, so much for statistics. Some of you even bought CDs (please don’t get shy now).

We’ll be back on the interview trail shortly, once we've climbed out of the studio and our music obsessions, with coming contributions (among others):
-from Don Conreaux (aka Don the Gong, one of a tiny band of people dedicated to that refined instrument family), who played as part of Johnny Reinhard’s ensemble on his Raven CD.
- from Arthur Brown the definitive God Of Hellfire, whose classic song Fire is on Thorne’s forthcoming CD and features new lyrics and a poignant rap from the boss himself.
-from Nigerian master drummer Johnny Folarin, soon to celebrate his sixtieth birthday after a lengthy career whose English phase started with playing in the house band at the Flamingo (one of the classic R&B London clubs of the early sixties), then being a part in the UK/African musical explosion of the seventies (including playing with the legendary Fela Kuti).

That’s enough for now. If you’ve any comments or ideas about how we might do things better, please direct them to us through our Contact page. We always appreciate that effort, thanks.

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