The Jazz Butcher

Ed Carter - I'm afraid your "virtual clippings" collection is indeed incomplete and inaccurate.

You're spot on about the Robin Gibson thing. In fact he has now carried the JBC crusade right home to bed, having recently had affairs with two of my recent ex-lovers. Hmmm. Sometime I ask him how the book is going, but he's always pissed so he just mumbles and looks worried. His verdict on Western Family, which I think might amuse you "Well, there's nothing wrong with the songs or the sound a bit...TINNY, man."

The 1990 "Live review of something else" was, actually, a 1988 live review of the Doing For The Kids concert in London. Barbara Ellen quite rightly hated The House Of Love and that boring old pervert Momus, slept through My Bloody Valentine, ignored Felt (who were good that day) and was personally abusive to just about everyone else in the building, ranting nobly - but in this case a little misguidedly - about students, sad indie scum and the like. The only band of the day that got a good review from her was the JBC. She concluded by asking - "NME cover stars in my lifetime? It's not impossible." The JBC, like Diana Ross, are Still Waiting. Dame!

The NME review of Cult Of The Basement was a bit more than 5 lines. It called me a "master fetishist" (how do he KNOW?) and gave the record eight out of ten, a score that would have won a more fashionable act a great deal of space, I suspect. They did print a small photo, though.

The MM also gave a positive review, and their Chris Roberts wrote a half-page feature, with photo, talking about things like "maverick genius". Select magazine also printed a lengthy review with a photo. Condition Blue did not get reviewed in the weeklies, as far as I know, though I did see a quota from the NME's Simon Williams from the summer of 1991 that called me "one of the country's most talented and personable story tellers" (aaaaaah) which suggest that there might have been a review there. I was in L.A. all summer so i can't say.

The l.p. certainly attracted good reviews in Select (Dave Kavanagh, who later told me "Condition Blue is the first JBLP that I really LOVE") and Vox (Keith Cameron, winning my Writer Of The Year Award for "his trademark spooked misappropriation of classic guitar rock"), who also printed a photo. All I'm really saying is that you shouldn't appoint yourself some kind of international press monitor simply on the strength of things that your pals might have chanced upon in the weeklies. I feel that the monthly press in Britain is aimed at the older audience, so it doesn't surprise me if that's where our stuff gets the attention. The weeklies, surely, are for students, and, being 35, I don't really have much to say to British students except "Get a fucking haircut!" By the way, both Select and Q Magazine have published positive reviews of Western Family too.

I'll tell you what, though, Ed. If you send me some wedge to cover the photocopying, I'll send you a wad of US and European press that will keep you occupied for a long, long time. We don't have a press agent (apart from some harassed youth at Creation Records, who is probably kept busy all day sending out photos of Ride), so the lack of UK press is hardly suprising. But then, hey, we don't even have a manager...

Your remark about headlining at the Dingwalls thing doesn't have much substance. In 1988 we played 37 shows in the UK and Ireland (including one at The Venue, Edinburgh), which, I suspect, were more the result of efforts made by our agent than the desire of one crazed news editor from Paisely. Train-spotters will need to know that we also played 30 dates in Continental Europe, 14 in the USA and 15 in Canada. In fact, those who need to know could conceivably get a list of every live JBC manifestation ever from this very writer... if they really want it.

I enjoyed your remarks about the K.D. Land (fuck it, start again; kd lang) photo.

I *know* this photograph! The best lookalike story I know concern the The Blue Aeroplanes when they supported REM on the Green tour of the UK in 1989. At the Birmingham NEC Peter Buck joined the Blue Aeroplanes guitar-army on the closing version of Tom Verlaine's Breaking In My Heart. Two punters were overheard in conversation: "Who's that other geezer on the guitar?" "Oh, that'll be the Jazz Butcher". I told Peter this story later, and it appealed to his sense of having a drink.

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