The Crawling Chaos Magazine

Mushrooms

Crawling Chaos Magazine

This comes from an email from Jeff in which he’d scanned some old bits and reminisced about our joint frames of mind back in 1983-5….

Tue 08/04/2008 22:29

Hi Rees,
I’ve had a scurry about and found a few more tangible bits of history – the majority (the stuff with the scribbled text and lyrics) are the remnants of a Crawling Chaos A4 fanzine that we colour-photocopied and sent out as a freebie to certain selected correspondents, here presented in the order of discovery. There are also a few posters, reviews and a newspaper article. Also included is a promo photo of Thee Earnest Kakas at the height of their powers. The line up from L to R is: Holly, Vex Drongo, Gordon Douglas Smith and Yeti (my name may have changed but not the hat obviously) This was another of many parallel projects running alongside CC, this one was more focused on surreal comedy than our “normal” output. I’ve included a picture of Bebside Hall as it was about 4 years ago. I don’t think I’ve got anything else – I’ll look though.
(….)
Looking at the fanzine again after scanning, I can now see that Holly’s “Holiday” series of cartoons was intended to end with Backworth and the “Explanation” of the Contents page should be at the front. If there ever was a cover it’s not there now. I like the style though and I think the document gives an accurate reflection of our frames of mind at the time, which judging by the lyrics included must have been after the release of C and before the recording of Waqqaz.
Well I think that’s enough for now.

Cheerio, Jeff

I’ve finally got round to uploading this stuff (sp)

Heysel Revisited, 2011

This is the first of several remix versions of random tracks from The Big C & Waqqaz, both of which have not been released on CD yet.  See what you think.  We’re looking for feedback from earlier fans here as the output will be limited.

 

I’ve chosen this one first for personal reasons (SP).

E.Y.E.S.

No fuss.

      Reg Vase

E.Y.E.S.My old friend Jeff recently died on 17th March 2010.  I headed this post with “no fuss” since Jeff’s partner (Jackie) asked me for no fuss, yet I just had to do something – and this is the result.  Sadly, Jackie has now since died….

The track playing now (above) was one of the last pieces we did together.  It’s Jeff’s creation  and is one of my favourite Crawling Chaos tracks.

If the bit from 1:15 to 1:24 doesn’t make you well up, there’s something wrong with you.

This is a pre-Waqqaz version from a cassette that has travelled round France, been in various glove compartments and cupboard floors.  I’ve taken it straight from cassette and it’s encoded at the maximum bitrate for MP3 files in Reaper for your enjoyment.  I’ve just used a noise gate set at -20dB and a bit of compression to follow in this extract.   For me, the mix is better than the final vinyl one despite the 12kHz frequency cut-off.

It’s Jeff at his finest.

Purple Flower
Purple Flower

I remember him sitting cross-legged on the floor at Bebside for about a fortnight getting the various harmonies planned out.  My input was minimal and I just did a few block keyboard chords as instructed, to bulk out the end as well as the mixing on the guitars and the drums set-up.

The real work was within the complex interlocking guitar parts, of which there are many, all played by Jeff.  The only words I could think of came to me in a dream.

E.ver Y.oung, E.ver S.pecial

I ensured that they were on the penultimate bounce so that they couldn’t be removed.  I didn’t know why, at the time, I thought of them (apart from their obvious corniness) – or why I strove to ensure their longevity —  But I instantly knew despite all that, that this was Jeff’s finest work, for me, and I’ve listened to it many times since, mainly this cassette tape version.

So now I know that one’s karma transcends space and time – that one can affect one’s karma in the distant past.

I have chanted to change my karma both now, in the future, and in the past, and the benefits are immense.

So now I know — and why I know that I’ve always known even without knowing  — why I woke up with those corny words in my head 25, now springs ago.

It was so that I could write this piece about my old friend Jeff, and remember him and all the joint experiences that we had together  since we were 14, which is now years ago…

Goodbye Doomage.  Till next time.

Links to Jackie Fielding’s Death

 

Doomage Speaks!

Below is the complete text of a letter to Strangely Perfect from Doomage Khult received today, 3 April 2008.

As you will read, it’s asked that the letter be published in full or not at all. This wish has of course been accommodated.

Dear Mr Perfect

I think it’s about time I chucked in my tuppence-worth into the pot.

When I heard that The Gas Chair was about to be re-released on LTM, naturally I became curious. Some elementary detective work led me on the trail of Anth Chester, so I contacted him and he filled me in on the details – James Nice, a former employee of Factory Benelux had found half of the master tapes of said album and had asked for Anth’s permission to rip off one side of an original vinyl for a re-issue. I understand that he was given a £250 advance for this, which I stress he split with Holly 50-50 and in the process acquired the master tape of Homunculus Equinox.

So far so good I thought – after all Anth and Holly did play their parts in those recordings which nobody can deny. What I didn’t know about at that time were the “bonus” tracks, and I was a bit peeved about the inclusion of Sex Machine and Berlin of which you know neither of them had anything to do with. But by the time I found that out, it was a Done Deal in Production and I childishly decided to keep my opinionated trap shut. Be clear though, I’m not dissing Holly – after your departure strangely we didn’t forlornly shamble about in the woods waiting in vain for the return of the messiah, but continued our long and increasingly productive creative partnership.

To resume; not being bothered about getting any remuneration (I don’t need it – just as well as I haven’t received a penny), I thought it would be fun to focus on the reaction to our material some twenty years on. Like yourself I am intensely proud of all our Art and was pretty chuffed to see that it polarized the critics just as much as the first time around and thus hadn’t dated at all.

Anyway opinions are one thing and facts and assumptions are quite distinct beasts altogether. Your colourful tale of a lightning strike inducing some subtle sinister change to my personality (a storyline that surely would have been warmly welcomed by the writers of Murder She Wrote) is absolutely hilarious – in particular the increasing abuse of spirits aspect. I do seem to recall we had a very productive ale micro-brewery in place at Beside(sic) Hall which formed the bulk of our alcohol consumption in situ; but I don’t remember pouring any hard liquor down my throat either there or at any of the public hostelries. Mind you, if you mean communing with spirits – that is a different kettle of fish of which I admit to unreservedly.

It never ceases to amaze me how certain folk project shadows of their own failings onto others: I would put it to you that a more plausible cause for any perceived change of character that someone as thick-skinned as yourself may have picked up on:- was that I’d become utterly pissed off with your habitual indolence. What also rankles is your over-inflated opinion of your personal contributions to Waqqaz – being so important to the process that you are blissfully unaware of who the drummer actually was (no it wasn’t ‘Clinka’ – I’d sacked him by then, no it wasn’t ‘George (?)’ either, or anyone else that you mention for that matter)?

I rest my case m’lud.

For the record, the primary reason why I don’t want to waste my time talking to the likes of yourself (and that doesn’t equate to being a recluse), dates back to the day you paid a little flying visit to Bebside and purloined approximately two-thirds of my album collection – a heinous crime to perpetrate on a music lover, as I’m sure you’ll agree, selective or crap memory notwithstanding.

On a more positive note I am pleased that you intend to get everything out into the public domain, that’s just great – go for it. I can think of no more appropriate place than your website, and I do mean that most sincerely. I’m in possession of the entire Chaos tape archive (including videos) and would be keen to hand it all over to your most worthy cause, but the very thought of meeting up with such a dishonourable chap as yourself makes me feel slightly queasy.

Q: What’s the difference between Strangely Perfect and a bucketful of phlegm?

A: The bucket.

I thank you: Please feel free to publish this communication in its entirety on your website, or print it out and stuff it up your arse; whatever takes your fancy.

Regards, Doomsie.