I am older than I look and have been around for much longer than anyone else here. In fact, I was that fish that decided to crawl onto land and become the first tetrapod. After that things were dull for a while until I got into XTC around Black Sea, and again listening to Take Away/The Lure Of Salvage, which I still think is a work of unfettered genius. Sometimes I forget how good XTC are but then I listen to one of their records [*records, youngsters*] and it all comes back in a nostalgic and melancholic wave. It's good to have so much beauty but one wonders where the next lot is going to come from. Always unexpected places, in my experience. Thank you.
My name is Chris (you may not be surprised to learn), aged 34 until September 2015. I'm continuing with this name as it's the one I had in the Idea forum, which I joined in (I think) 2005. I'm quite a recent convert to XTC, having first heard the band in 2001 thanks to a cassette tape sent to me by a mechanic friend of my mother. It had on it the tracks from English Settlement and two from Nonsuch. I didn't get XTC immediately, but slowly warmed to them and have been gradually collecting their back catalogue ever since (still not got White Music or Go 2!). I'm a self-employed garden maintenance worker who does occasional farm work and plant driving when I can. Born in Devon and came up to Gloucestershire in 1988, where I'm still living. Love Kate Bush equally but so frustrated I won't be seeing either of them perform live!
I came to XTC in 1983. I was listening to the radio, waiting intently for a new song from a forthcoming Todd Rundgren/Utopia album, when I heard Love On A Farmboy's Wages and Wonderland. When I was told they were both by the same band, I picked up the album.
I signed up at the Idea forum, but didn't do much posting. When that closed, I went to the old Backporch, posted more frequently and got to know many good people. I didn't do much posting at APE, and Facebook wasn't my thing, even though I do maintain an account there. But it's nice to be back here.
I used to be Miles Aweigh, now I am Miles. I got involved with the Idea Forum in 2001 or 2002. I went back to the Ape Forum after a long absence and posted a couple times. Soon after Andy pulled the plug. I realized I do miss this assortment of people, a rare and interesting group. Nice to see you.
I sit and think of everything, then I wonder where I've been.
I’ve bored you with this stuff on two former forums. Hopefully you’ve forgotten it. I am forcing my fingers to type about myself. They don't like to do that.
I discovered XTC in 1979, shortly after the release of Drums & Wires. I read a review in Rolling Stone, and the review said that Dave Gregory had played on Peter Gabriel’s third solo album (affectionately known as “Melt”). So I bought the album. I believed at that time that all of my money was disposable, and I disposed a lot of it on albums.
I was quite intrigued with Drums & Wires. This was something different. So I bought the earlier albums, and even though they seemed primitive in comparison, certain things stood out for me.
Then the band released Black Sea, and it changed my world. It was literate and muscular. I was blown away by “Towers of London.” Grenadier guardsmen walking pretty ladies around, to the beat of Terry Chambers and discordant guitar interplay? What the fuck was this?
Finally, I thought to myself, a band to rival the Beatles!
I preached the XTC sermon, far and wide. I played it for my friends, including the infamous Jeff Truzzi, a fellow high school journalist, songwriter, Yes/Genesis/Bowie/Who fan, and owner of a two-track reel-to-reel tape recorder! He was probably the only one who really “got” it. But XTC’s relative obscurity only made me a bigger fan. I felt the music was special and personal.
Each album that followed made me an even bigger fan. The songwriting and arranging got more and more sophisticated. By the time Nonsuch was released, I was convinced that I was the biggest XTC fan on the planet, and I wondered how many others there might be.
Then the internet was born, and I eventually discovered the Idea forum. I was no longer alone in the universe! Christ, there were even bigger fans out there than I was! <cough, Pelle, cough> These strange people even knew all the XTC trivia! And they were funny motherfuckers! And they were nice and clever and talented and had great taste in a wide variety of music. And all the women were intelligent and beautiful! I was home at last.
And then a bunch of other stuff happened. Which leads us to here. Hello!
I was introduced to XTC via the vid for "Senses Working Overtime" in 1982. I thought, "This is going to be the next thing." I had seen the album cover for Go2 years earlier, almost bought it, but did not (not sure what I bought instead, probably Blondie or The Police). First album bought was the Waxworks/Beeswax comp - it didn't completely click with me at first, except the thing that wouldn't let go of me was the way they had little, quick hooks within the songs, like, the hooks weren't necessarily part of the chorus, they almost seemed disposable, thrown off the cuff, and I liked that. Next bought was Mummer when it came out - still, trying to "get" them, wrap my head around what they were (back then, I was still somewhat in "what box does this fit in" mode). My "A-HA!" moment was "Funk Pop A Roll", while driving my step-mom's Datsun 280Z, on cassette. It all clicked, for whatever reason. I thought, "This is what it must have been like when people first heard Sgt. Pepper's." I played that cassette so much it eventually rubbed off all the printing on both sides - it was just a white cassette. Eventually, the whole thing actually fell apart in my hands - it came apart and the tape unraveled onto the ground. When the Internet came about, I discovered I could find other fans and share my obsession - joined England's Glory and posted a few times, then IDEA came along, and that was fantastic. As Simpleton01 said, funny fuckers, and whip-smart. The way the name Chrestus came about - I wanted something that referenced my name (Christian) without actually being my name. At first, I was going to use Christos, but I thought that may come across with too many accidental religious implications, so I settled on Chrestus, a historical mistranslation of Christos, which I figured mostly no one would get, anyway. Chrestus started out as me - the normal person - but, it quickly turned into my id. I was drinking heavily back then. One night, I was posting something, a serious post, I think, a normal post, when something came to me that was completely inappropriate and not right. I can't remember what it was, but it made me laugh my ass off. Then, I thought, "What would it look like if I typed this out?" so I typed whatever it was into this "normal" post, and that made me laugh a lot again. And, because I was drunk, my next thought was, "Hey, why don't I hit "submit" on this like it is and see where that road leads?" Now, the ego, id and superego just come all out as one, it's just much easier that way.
I'm Andy and I live near the McLaren place where sticks worked. I joined Idea in 2003 (I think) and was a very irregular contributor to old back porch and APE. I got into XTC when an old girlfriend (well she was young at the time) gave me a copy of English Settlement and the Sgt Rock single because she didn't like them (she wasn't my girlfriend for long).
I've met many Forummers at events in Swindon and London and they seem mostly harmless.
I'm a bad keyboard player and a worse guitarist but I do record stuff. It used to be my own songs but mostly covers these days (currently Longfellow Serenade by Neil Diamond. No I don't know why either). And I once sold a multi-tracker to trentbasin but it blew up.
Did Trentbasin say what he was actually trying to do to the multitracker at the time? Plus, I do hope I was considered one of the mostly harmless. I really regret the incident with Stickymoan in Soho, and giving your name to the policeman. No hard feelings, eh!
Keltik was a silly name I used to use in a British chatroom, when we bought our first computer in the early 1990's ( I was a late adopter, preferring to steal time on the fancy machines at the businesses I worked at). When I joined the Idea Forum, I couldn't be bothered thinking of anything fancy, so I stuck with that. But it's the amazing ramifications of the simple act of joining an internet group about a pop band you particularly like that fascinates me. The first major step was actually meeting people in Melbourne that were forum members. The first meeting was with Youie, who was in Melbourne on business. I gave him a big hug; I discovered later he was uncomfortable with close bodily contact, which was a great start. But he was a fascinating fund of info about XTC and Andy in particular. Then there was Mel. She was originally known as Gingerwitch, a vivacious and extremely bright lady with a sense of humour that might turn you to a laughing jelly at the drop of a hat: one of my favourites, although we haven't seen each other in an age. Then came Brian Last, or Blasty as he was known, the rock god of Sydney who masqueraded as a mild-mannered tax consultant during the day. The next major contact was the famous 2005 Meeting in Swindon. Some very important friendships were made there for me: Stickymoan, the closest I think I have ever come to a living saint, Mr.Tein, the closest I have ever come to a living Saints fan, ( and who kindly hosted me for a weekend, despite his wife's misgivings about my history of axe-murder), and the generous and multitalented Usagi, who lives in Bamberg, Germany, and who I imposed my presence on for a wonderful weekend. Other Forummers who remain immovably lodged in my memory from that year are The Lost Jockey, Dansaltdog,, the Friedlands, the especiallyspecial Trentbasin, Kevin Denley, Margaret Freeman ( who kindly ignored the kebab I left behind his sofa after the Dublin Castle eXstaTiC gig)...and of course the members of eXstaTiC. But it doesn't end there, although I have have been very quiet forum-wise for a few years. Behind the scenes, I kept up a great friendship with Jeff Truzzi via email, and during a drunken night at the computer formulated the plan for a US holiday last month and road trip that turned into the best damn holiday I ever had, meeting Jeff himself, who is an absolutely amazing individual; Sunisa Petchpoo, at her Warner Bros. workplace in LA ( she co-ordinates work on some of your favourite animation series, people), the lovely Mare Lavelle in LA, who actually knows more about Holden cars (an Aussie GM brand) than I do, to my shame; and last but most definitely immemorably not least, in Montana, the enigmatic Simpleton01, who was not only everything I expected him to be, but a very generous host, a great singer, a big laugh, a man regarded by dogs and children as a godlike figure, and a drinker of very good red wine. He will be very disturbed to learn that I intend to come back. I love the XTC crowd. They're all very very nice. You couldn't meet better people in Tesco.
* ok cut....yeah kelts that's a wrap....you want a burger.....what? No The Oxford doesn't do fish tacos. Fuck youuuuu.*