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.