February 14, 2005

Produced by Jim Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327 USA, (401)351-0287
Accessible through Internet at burgess of (all E-Mail addresses are reported in this format, replace the " of " with "@"; if you bounce try sending to me from another account. Some of you have been getting bounced messages from my ISP's spam protection, if that happens to you, USE my backup E-Mail at jfburgess of!!! Don't complain that my E-Mail keeps bouncing without forwarding the bounced message to that address. Then I can forward it to the ISP help to get it dealt with.
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Happy Valentine's Day!!! Yes, is anyone surprised that my issue 300 is late??? Nah, you can't be. I hope you enjoy the mix of the new, the old, and the recycled. It seems like Issue #200 was a LONG time ago, and #100 seems like it was another lifetime. Truth in Advertising: See Keith Sherwood's complaint below, technically there haven't been 300 "Abyssinian Prince's", but on the other hand for a long time TAP and "The Boob Report" appeared in parallel, so I feel justified. If you want, you can consider this WHOLE thing as still a subszine of "North Sealth, West George", genuflecting at the feet of the Toadfather. I know I do.... all of the pictures in the enclosed picture file are courtesy of Doug Beyerlein. Thanks to him for defraying much of the cost of color copies. Some of you are getting black and white copies, but you can go download the original from the web site if you want to see it in Doug's glorious color.
One of the reasons why this is so late is that I really did get seriously depressed at how the quality and variety of the szine has slipped in the last two decades. There really is SOOO little to read as compared to previous years. I did a lot of stealing from myself (and many of you), and then tried to put in a decent amount of new material. I also have some material that didn't get in here, apologies if that happened to you. I have to have something for next issue! Many of us have been missing Mark Wightman's szine, Sprouts of Wrath, and in the last few issues of it before he went missing, he had been doing a "23 tunes" feature. I've decided to put two of them in here. One being my best recollection of the 23 tunes I provided to Mark about three years ago, I've misplaced the tape I made.... maybe it will wake Mark up and he can correct any I didn't get right. But then, I'm going to include a new 23 tunes of things most of you are guaranteed not to have heard of. And then, of course, I have to update my "Desert Islands Discs" list, last published in The Abyssinian Prince #200. And let's start with the quotes from The Abyssinian Prince.....

"Ye who listen with credulity to the whispers of fancy, and pursue with eagerness the phantoms of hope; who expect that age will perform the promises of youth, and that the deficiencies of the present day will be supplied by the morrow; attend to the history of Rasselas prince of Abyssinia." Samuel Johnson in the opening phrases of The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia and then from the closing phrases....
"The prince desired a little kingdom, in which he might administer justice in his own person, and see all the parts of government with his own eyes; but he could never fix the limits of his dominion, and was always adding to the number of his subjects.
"Imlac and the Astronomer were contented to be driven along the stream of life without directing their course to any particular port.
"Of these wishes that they had formed they well knew that none could be obtained. They deliberated a while what was to be done, and resolved, when the inundation should cease, to return to Abyssinia."

The postal sub price is still $1.50 per issue in the US and Canada, with double that for other foreign subbers(or $3.00 per issue sent airmail). Players in current games and standbys will continue to get the issues for free, and future game starts (except for Nuclear Yuppie Evil Empire Diplomacy, which is free) cost $20.00 ($15.00 for a life of the game subscription and $5 for the NMR Insurance.n play in subszines for free and just jack up the issue page count. See the revised game start announcements below!
Check out the connections in the Diplomatic Pouch with all of the information you need to play Diplomacy on the Internet at:
I also have taken over the Postal port/DipPouch/Postal
and TAP on the web is there at:
where the szine resides in html format. Presently, issues from #190 to the current issue are there, and I will be updating the back issues gradually someday. Also, check out Stephen Agar's more extensive efforts at: and
Peter Sullivan's subszine is out of stasis, and all the back issues can be accessed via :
Peter was saying that he would be unlikely to be starting any new in the Octopus until "at least the start of 2002." He had been hereby declared to be in official indeterminate stasis and that date was now a "whenever". But Peter is now clearly back and appears in most issues!!! Wish Peter well as he has been through a bit of a rough time lately. In the meantime, Rip Gooch and Dave Partridge had been picking up the choo-choo game slack in TAP. But Rip also has been missing in action lately, I don't have an update but he and Dave Partridge communicate. Contact Rip at xyropedes of or Dave at rebhuhn of for more info.
The TAP mailing list has moved! It now is even BETTER protected than it was. I even have a bit of trouble posting to it. To post to this list, send your email to: tap of But this is completely moderated, it won't go out to the list unless I approve it. In general, I intend to keep traffic down to just the szine, as we've been doing and I'll put your LOCs in here.
General information about the mailing list is at:
You can sign up from there, or send E-Mails to: Tap-request of; with the word `help' in the subject or body (don't include the quotes), and you will get back a message with instructions. You must know your password to change your options (including changing the password, itself) or to unsubscribe. Normally, Mailman will remind you of your mailing list passwords once every month, although you can disable this if you prefer. This reminder will also include instructions on how to unsubscribe or change your account options. There is also a button on your options page that will email your current password to you. A big, big thank you for Millis Miller for setting this all up!!

I'm going to have a proper search for person next time, I had meant to search for John Beshara for some time now and I feel badly because what we've discovered is that we waited too long. John is deceased, and recently. See more on that below. I also have included in the szine a special set of photographs courtesy of Doug Beyerlein. I thank Doug for assisting me with the color reproduction costs!! See the picture of John Beshara from many years ago there.

Feel free to spend the time looking for some of the backlog. Let's get Derek, Sylvain, Steve, Ed, Tom, Bill, Gregory, and ESPECIALLY Kevin found too!!! This is a regular continuing feature of the szine and I will be introducing a new "search for" every five issues. Moreover, you can win a $25 prize for finding some previous target who went unfound in the original $50 period. That means that if Steve Heinowski or Ed Henry or Tom Hurst or Bill Quinn or Gregory Stewart or Derek Nelson or Sylvain LaRose or John Smythe is "found" from now on it is worth $25.

Winners will receive credit for Dip hobby activities that I will pay out as requested by the winner. Subscribe to szines here or abroad, run your own contests, publish a szine, finance a web page, GO TO A DIPLOMACY CONVENTION or whatever. Spend it all right away or use me as a bank to cover hobby activities for years. What must you do to win? Get me a letter to the editor for TAP from the person we're searching for.
This is very important, just finding them doesn't do it. They have to write me a letter. The final judge as to the winner of any contest will be the target himself and I reserve the right to investigate the winning entry. When you find someone I'm looking for, you should ask him to send me a letter for print that includes a verification of who "found" him.

Keith Sherwood (Thu, 17 Nov 2005 23:34:35 -0800)
Dear Jim,
As you approach your milestone 300th issue, would now be a good time to remind your readership that TAP skipped issues 40-99, and went straight to issue 100 from 39 (mislabeled 38)? Oh sure, you put out a hundred issues of the Boob Report, but why then didn't you renumber to issue 140? Ah, quibbles I know, but it's just so like me to dredge up the dirty laundry just at your moment of triumph. ((See up at the top of the szine, I was actually PLANNING to discuss this. You've raised precisely the issue that I would raise, we COULD be at 340 now, if I just combined the numbers together, or we could be at 240, this approach actually has always seemed to me like a reasonable compromise. Also, as you well know, the way this went was that for the first 39 issues of The Abyssinian Prince's life, it went out TOGETHER with The Boob Report and simply was the name for this earlier part of the szine. The "report" was purely the game report. But quibble as you will, and let those who want to draw their own conclusions.))
As you might guess from the arcane reference above, I have been wandering through my dip zine archives. I am trying to get them packaged up to send to Bowling Green University where they can add to the Hoosier Archives. Of course, I just can't leave them unsorted in multiple boxes, so I'm undergoing a painful sorting process of the half of the archives donated from others that I didn't have catalogued and ordered. Anyway, touching these sacred tomes, reading these ghostly names, remembering those halcyon's all put me in a rather wistful mood. I'm sure the first Brutus Bulletin I come across will cure any nostalgic longings. (Brutus Bulletins are very similar to hand guns in that they should simply be removed from the home to protect the children.) (I'm sure John Michalski will appreciate the analogy.) By the way, did you know there was a rather nasty feud in the mid-80s? ((No, really??? I'd completely forgotten. As most of you here are aware, this szine presently goes out to most all of the participants in the various parts of the Great Feud who are still living. One notable exception is Bill Highfield, who has been quite active in the DipWorld hobby group for the last half decade or so. As you all might imagine, he shows zero interest in talking about or being reminded about the past. But he is well, for those of you who want to know. I actually consider my proudest achievement to be the WAY that this szine has survived and surpassed the Great Feud. I'm really glad that ALL of you are here.))
So I'm feeling rather maudlin tonight as I go through the zines, and decided to reach out to the last tenuous contact I have to that bygone era some twenty years ago: you. And other dinosaurs like me and you and Michalski that occasionally haunt your pages. Everyone remember "Tro" Sherwood?? If not, I would remind you that he and I shared Orphan Service duties for awhile in the 1980's, when I published my other late lamented szine, Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus. I still remember one of my visits to San Diego when I got together with Keith and he introduced me to Cal-Mex Carne Asada Burritos. The one I had with you remains a vivid memory as the best I've ever had! Do you still have the convertible sports car, or another similar hot car??))
By the way, anyone out there want my duplicates? Dip zines from the early 80s, commonly acknowledged by all right-thinking hobbyists as the Golden Age of PBM publishing.
Keith, keith of
((This rag remains a pale reflection of ANY of the Dip szines from that age. I sometimes worry about that, but I can't resurrect the past, I can only do what I can do, and that is this. Again, I'm glad all of you are here, and hope you will stay connected through here.))

Larry Peery (Feb 12, 2006 2:23 AM)
John J. Beshara is gone, but certainly not forgotten, at least not by me. Here's the official obituary as found on the NY Times website:
John J. Beshara, 1928-2005
SPRINGFIELD - John Joseph Beshara, 77, of Springfield, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 6th, at Baystate Medical Center. Born in Springfield to the late Habeeb and Lena (Aragy) Beshara, he lived in Manhattan, NY, for 40 years, before returning to Springfield 2 years ago. John was a self employed financial consultant in New York City, and was a veteran of the U.S Army during the Korean Conflict. He was also a life master bridge player. John is survived by his sister, Anna Randall of Springfield; his brother, George Antroll of South Hadley; and several nieces and nephews. Family and friends will meet on Saturday, September 10th, at St. Anthony's Maronite Church, for a Service at 9:30 a.m., followed by burial in St. Michael's Cemetery. There are no calling hours. In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to St. Anthony's Maronite Church, 419 Island Pond Rd., Springfield, MA 01118. Hafey Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements. Published in The Republican on 9/9/2005.
It doesn't begin to do John justice, of course. Obviously whoever wrote it never knew the man, let alone The Dip Icon he was. First, let me comment on the record for the record. And let's do it line by line, just as he used to in his letters. ((I'll put the repeats of the text from above in italics....))
John J. Beshara, 1928-2005, SPRINGFIELD - John Joseph Beshara, 77,
John would have died rather than admit how old he was; which was strange because he never had a problem admitting that he'd served in the Army during the Korean War. Still, he was a man of great vanity with an ego to match.
of Springfield, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 6th, at Baystate Medical Center.
No cause of death is given, but knowing John he probably died of a combination of old age, hard living, and sheer boredom! Two years in Springfield would have killed him for sure.
Born in Springfield to the late Habeeb and Lena (Aragy) Beshara,
John may have been born in Springfield, MA but his heart came from Ramallah, that town that has suffered so much in the wars between Israel and its neighbors. I remember our conversations and letters during the 1960s when Israel and its neighbors were constantly fighting over this and that piece of real estate. John's comments and insights, so different from what I was reading in the NY Times and other pro-Israeli press kept me glued to the Middle East and its problems as NOTHING in the current news does.
he lived in Manhattan, NY, for 40 years,
Eight words and they don't begin to tell the story. John lived in The Dorchester Towers, the first post-war (WWII) high-end apartment complex built in NYC. It was down the street from the then brand new Lincoln Center. To this day I can remember his address. He lived in a 400 square foot or so studio, but his postal address was always Suite 1021, and if you dared to address a letter to Apt. 1021 you were likely to get it back! He bragged about the Tiffany vase in the bath room, and shared the place with his cat Tiffany, who dined only on filet mignon. I doubt if John ever cooked a meal in his life. Even his breakfast was delivered. His normal dining spot was the 21 Club, and he had tables reserved at some of New York's best spots. In the early years he complained about the "outrageous" cost of his life style, but he never changed it. In later years he bragged about the fact that his rent was locked in and he was paying a third of what his neighbors were paying. That was John, always the show man, always counting the pennies. Hmmm, come to think of it, that's the way he played Diplomacy too!
before returning to Springfield 2 years ago.
I can only assume that health issues were the reason for that. Otherwise he'd never have left NYC. ((I think you also can assume that he moved in with his sister Anna Randall, and she probably wrote the obituary.....))
John was a self employed financial consultant in New York City,
What a line of crap! John dabbled in penny stocks, if you know what that means. Back in the 60s he'd call me, sometimes 3 or 4 times a day, to tell me to buy or sell this or that penny stock. He had one favorite, Trinton, or Triton, or something like that, that he used to buy and sell in huge share volumes, sometimes several times a day, if the price shifted as much as an 1/8th of a point. I never understood it, but he certainly made money on it. Sometimes a lot of money. And then there were the other times...
and was a veteran of the U.S Army during the Korean Conflict.
Read the next sentence before you read what follows.
Yes, John was an Army vet. He once told me a story about his career in the Army that was absolutely ridiculous. I refused to believe it. That was sometime in the 1960s. The story placed him in a given place at a given time with three other people. I thought nothing more about it until years later when I was having tea with my late father's mistress, Frances Wilburn Allen Stephenson. Frances was, in her own right, the perfect foil for John. During one of her monologues she mentioned that she had been a good Bridge player during her younger days. I'll skip over her career in Hollywood where, apparently, she played Bridge with some of the other local fanatics of that card game (e.g. Gable and Flynn being two of them). But sometime after WWII and during the Korean War Fran went off to Japan as a USO entertainer. Somewhere along the way she became the mistress of Gen. Mark Clark, the commander of US forces in Korea. Clark was also a Bridge fanatic. Almost in passing, Fran mentioned that she used to play Bridge during the Korean War with Clark and Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who was also a Bridge fanatic. During the worse moments of the War, Clark would regularly fly back to Tokyo for Friday night Bridge games with MacArthur. I asked her, casually, who the fourth in the games was. She paused, thought a bit, and said it was MacArthur's chauffeur! He was the best Bridge player in Japan according to MacArthur.
Now, what Fran didn't know and I hadn't even thought of until that moment, was that the story John had told me back in the 1960s was that he had been MacArthur's chauffeur and Bridge partner during the Korean War when he was stationed in Japan. Two people, twenty years apart, confirming something that had happened years before. But if you didn't know John or Fran, you'd never have believed it. I do. Oh, by the way, if you do a search on John J. Beshara on the NY Times web site you'll see two references.....
He was also a life master bridge player.
Both references referred to columns John had written for the paper about Bridge. John admitted, under pressure, that Charles Goren who died in 1991, was a better Bridge player, but he insisted he was, at his best, Goren's equal. John was also candid about the fact that he got his real start as a self employed financial consultant working as a Bridge instructor on some of the old trans-Atlantic liners. The line would give John a cabin and he'd play Bridge with the rich old ladies who were mesmerized by the handsome, young, and faintly exotic Mr. Beshara. By the time he went into business for himself he had a stable full of rich widow clients.
John is survived by his sister, Anna Randall of Springfield; his brother, George Antroll of South Hadley; and several nieces and nephews.
John's family was almost as interesting as he was, but out of respect for their privacy, I won't go there.
Family and friends will meet on Saturday, September 10th, at St. Anthony's Maronite Church, for a Service at 9:30 a.m., followed by burial in St. Michael's Cemetery.
John was a Maronite which might or might not mean anything to you. It certainly meant something to him. But in the give and take of the 1960s Arab-Israeli Wars there was no doubt where John stood. He was 101% pro-arab!
There are no calling hours.
Which means there was a closed casket service. John only wanted to be seen at his best, even in death. Better not to see him at all in the flesh, and just remember him as he was in his prime.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to St. Anthony's Maronite Church, 419 Island Pond Rd., Springfield, MA 01118. Hafey Funeral Home ( is entrusted with the arrangements. Published in The Republican on 9/9/2005.
So much for John's life. ((I visited the Funeral Home web site, there is one of those guestbooks there with NO signatures or comments, at least when I visited. This is a bit sad, isn't it, Larry??)) What of his Diplomacy career?
What to say? He was Napoleon and Wellington, Marshall and Hitler, Powell and Schwartzkopf all rolled into one, with a good dose of Liberace and Elton John on the side! He was a brilliant player as he told you constantly. And he was.
Even if you didn't ask him, he'd tell you how to play your games. And he was usually right. And he'd usually remind you of that later, if you hadn't done what he suggested. If you had, and it didn't work, he'd never say a word.
When he did run a postal game, it ran like clockwork.
In today's dollars his postage and phone bills on a monthly basis, would have been in the thousands of dollars. But he didn't care because it was all a business tax write off for him.
I remember during one particularly intense game year he called me about the game results of a game he was playing in. He was known for calling you ten minutes after midnight of the deadline date and wanting the results. If you hadn't done them, he'd wait, on the phone, while you did. Then you'd read him the results, he'd make sure you were correct, and then he'd analyze all the moves of all the players. Usually with complete accuracy.
One time he called me during the late afternoon to talk about a game or some hobby project. We talked for hours. We hung up. But a bit later I called him back with an update. We chatted a while longer. And again hung up. He called me a bit later and we talked for even more hours. He finally mentioned that the sun was coming up in NYC. And rang off. Sure enough, a few minutes later he was back on the phone. I finally rang off, reporting "the sun is coming up here now." I recall, it was 1967 or so, that I had a monthly phone bill of USD 137. That was equal to a semester's schooling costs for me. John offered to pay the bill, but I turned him down.
John was a great player. And he won far more often than he should have because he poured resources and energy into his games until he over-whelmed any and all who stood in his way. That's the way he was. He was a great ally until you crossed him. And then it was over.
And now comes the sensitive stuff.
As the hobby's Golden Age blossomed the desire to organize and expand grew. John sensed this and, to his credit, tried to make it happen. The only problem was, to be frank, John. Still, when it's all said and done, there was only one John J. Beshara. There will never be another one like him. And that alone is proof that the Golden Age of Diplomacy is over. Turn out the lights on Broadway. Turn out the lights in Stratford. And light a candle in Ramallah.
Arise, shine, thy Light has come. peery of
Founder of "The Diplomacy Association" in 1972, compiler of Stalemate Lines, etc.
((Thanks very much, Larry, I'm sorry the search had to end this way. You get the hundred dollar credit from me, should you even want or need it. Finally, let's close this section with a letter from the founder of the postal feast, John Boardman, whom I shall NEVER catch.))

John Boardman (10 January 2006)
Dear Jim, Congratulations on approaching the 300th issue of your 'zine.
To answer Peter Sullivan's question, my "Operation Agitation" numbers include both Graustark and my science fiction, fantasy, and comic art fanzine Dagon, as well as some 'zines which I no longer publish. The total is now well over 2,000. I have been publishing Graustark for 43 years come May.
Have there been any reports on Derek Nelson of late? I cannot help feeling that he misses slanging his beloved Sinister Monolithic International Communistic Conspiracy, and is vainly looking around for a target equally satisfying. Muslims have been offered to us as a substitute, but they don't seem to offer quite the same satisfaction. And if anyone wants to hate terrorist suicide bombers, his principal targets will prove to be Hindus. The Tamil revolutionaries in Sri Lanka have scored far more kills this way than any Muslims have.
Stay well, John, 234 East 19th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11226-5302
((You too! Nothing on Derek Nelson, not yet. I really don't have enough time to publish a szine, and so in that sense I just keep hanging on, but I can't even come close to matching anything you've done. I agree about the Tamil tigers. As a regular listener to the BBC World Service, I do have a sense for the Tamil struggle, but most Americans don't even know where Sri Lanka is, let alone have an understanding of this conflict. I don't claim to either, but the oft quoted Tamil saying: "Does the donkey know about camphor scent?" (I've seen other translations of the phrase as well) illustrates well to me the comfort level in Sri Lankan society with contradiction, complexity, and context. Partly as a result of this, the overall suicide rate in Sri Lanka generally is calculated to be the highest in the world. The fact that they also use suicide so effectively in the conduct of internal strife is not surprising. It also is not surprising that we in the West just do not understand what they are doing and why.))

The British representative is the editor of Mission From God, John Harrington. John may be contacted at 1 Churchbury Close, Enfield, Middlesex EN1 3UW, UK.
E-Mail: fiendish of, John.Harrington of
Please include the full name and address of the foreign publisher with your order, if possible, as well as the szine title. Make your check in US dollars out to me personally or in GBP to John if you're doing things from that end. I will conduct business for Canadians as well, if I can, but prefer to deal in US dollars with them if possible, or Canadian dollars cash. To subscribe to American szines, the system works in reverse.
We have closed the European continental branch, as I think most of you had figured out.
And the ISE in Australia hadn't had much real action in recent years, and Brendan Whyte has moved on to Jerusalem!!! Brendan still produces what I find to be the most readable small szine in the worldwide hobby. Did you all realize that? Write to Brendan at his new Jerusalem address and ask him about subscribing, I'm not sure what the new deal will be. Department of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, ISRAEL. His travelogues are wonderful, I particularly enjoyed the recent one describing his trip to Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius and the areas around and in-between. You all know what countries those are right? He also had a wonderful experience in a few hours on Belarussian soil stuck in a border crossing.

See for details on progress on the WORLDMASTERS04, the Round 2 games are going and nearing resolution.
I got called in as a STANDBY for Turkey in game WM04R221!!! This game is now nearly over, as Andy "Buffalo" Bartalone is going to take the board topping (and we gave it to him FAR too easily, his semi-final will be much harder, I'll wager) and Glenn Ledder will get second and also move on to the semi-finals. I will finish third, not my best game, but I did arrange a lot of what happened on the board. Current center counts are Andy with 15, Glenn with 12, me with 6, and Dan in Austria with just Greece. In another world I could have challenged Glenn and Andy more. We may end it here. I've been hearing that Dave Partridge's game is pretty interesting too, but haven't seriously looked in on any of the others.
It is helping now that I've joined the Yahoogroup WM04-Chat where this discussion is happening. You can join too! But most of the talk there has been about Yann Clouet and the French Hobby's new "World Palmares Evaluation" of FTF Diplomacy Play. Of course, Yann Clouet comes out #1, further backing up winning the John Koning award, and I am 1442nd (in a tie with Mark Nelson and Tony Dickinson, among others!). This uses lots of tournament results, more than 750 of them, and really is quite comprehensive. See those rankings at:

DIPDOM NEWS SECTION (with letters)
Obscure and not-so-obscure ramblings on the state of the hobby and its publications, custodians, events, and individuals with no guarantee of relevance from the fertile keyboard of Jim-Bob, the E-Mail Dip world, and the rest of the postal hobby. My comments are in italics and ((double quotation marks)) like this. Bold face is used to set off each individual speaker. I should also make a note that I do edit for syntax and spelling on occasion.
The game Diplomacy is a copyrighted product owned by Hasbro and all reproductions or other use of that material in this szine is intended to be personal use and not infringe on those rights in any way. All reproductions are done at a heavy financial loss to the editor and thus are without the remotest possibility of commercial intent, except to promote THE game, the Game of Diplomacy, which you all should purchase from Hasbro or other duly licensed distributors.
Stephen Agar has matched the Hasbro rule lists and more with some of the even older rulebooks. Check these out if you like:
Nice of them to make BOTH of these available. And all seven different US rulebooks for Diplomacy can now be found here courtesy of Stephen Agar (relatively new address for this):

Check out current and back issues of Diplomacy World - Yahoogroup diplomacyworld
Also, I need any Hobby Award Nominations NOW (!!!) for:
The 2005 Don Miller Award for Meritorious Service;
The 2005 Rod Walker Award for Literature;
The 2005 John Koning Award for Player Performance;
The 2005 Fred Hyatt Award for GM Performance;
A 2005 Kathy Byrne Caruso Award for Lifetime Achievement (if warranted).
The Hobby Awards Committee is Jim Burgess (Chair and Treasurer), Fred Davis, Jr., Melinda Holley, Gary Behnen, Jamie Dreier, Paul Kenny, Mark Stretch, and Robert Lesco. I was going to publish the award ballot for this year in this issue, but I realized that I really just had to get this out first and then do that....

Diplomacy World Issue Deadlines:
Deadline Spring 2006, Issue #97: March 1, 2006
Note that Andrew Neumann has taken over the lead editorship from Tim Haffey. Get us articles NOW!!!
Editorial Board for Diplomacy World:
Andrew Neumann, andrewneum of - New Lead Executive Editor!
Tim Haffey, 810 53rd Ave., Oakland, CA 94601 USA; trhaffey of - Ex-Lead Editor and Archives Editor
Jim Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, USA; burgess of - Co-Editor and Publisher
Stephen Agar, 4 Cedars Gardens, Brighton, UNITED KINGDOM BN1 6YD; stephen of - Webmaster and Non-US Postal
Rick Desper, 5440 Marinelli Road, #204, Rockville, MD 20852, USA; rick_desper of - Demo Games
Dave Partridge, 15 Woodland Drive, Brookline, NH 03033, USA; rebhuhn of - US Postal

ATTENTION: There is a new company doing a new PC Diplomacy game:
This game is out and available. You all should read the interview in the Spring 2005 movement issue of the Diplomatic Pouch (and I mean ALL!!!!!!! of you!!!!!) that I think you can find at:
Contact Susana Meza, pr of, the PR Director for more info or if you want demos or help with a Diplomacy convention! To find out more general information on DIPLOMACY please visit or contact pr of

David Hood (Fri, 28 Oct 2005 20:30:31 -0400)
Time to start making your plans to attend the 2006 North American Diplomacy Championships, held February 24-26, 2006 in conjunction with Prezcon in Charlottesville, VA. The Diplomacy tournament will be run by David Hood using the Dixiecon/Prezcon system that has been utilized in several past Dipcons. There will be four Diplomacy rounds beginning on Friday night, with no time limits except for the Sunday round.
Dipcon is always a highlight of the Diplomacy circuit for the year - get more information now at and or you can email the tournament director at davidhood of for specific information. The Prezcon folks are committed to making this a very special Dipcon, with a specific Dipcon registration fee and T-shirt, so check out their site for more information. The Dipcon committee of David Hood, Michael Lowrey and Andy Marshall has many years of Diplomacy tournament direction experience between them, so screw-ups are extremely unlikely. And Director of Fun Andy Marshall has guaranteed you WILL have fun at this Dipcon, or your money back.
David, davidhood of
((Unfortunately, I will be unable to make it. I'll be off on a business trip, strangely enough given Jim O'Kelley's note below, to Seattle. I'm doing way too quick hitting a trip, doubly unfortunately, so I won't be able to stop by and see any of you. I hate these work trips sometimes. This is happening now as you all receive this but here's a note that Jim O'Kelley sent to me, Don Williams, Mark Fassio, and Steve Emmert.))

Jim O'Kelley (Thu, 2 Feb 2006 23:09:40 -0600)
Greetings from your 2006 WAC Con Champion. Here are the results: Check out those top two boards!
I'm still not getting a whole lot of respect from the Northwesterners, as my name is doubly misspelled, but what do I care? The spoils of victory include a free trip to Dipcon, Feb. 24 to 26 in Charlottesville, Va.
I'd love to see some of you guys there. Is it too late to make that happen? Check out the flyer and mull it over:
If you can't make it, at least light a candle for me.
Chum, 2006 WAC Con Champion, Weasel, Last of the Bohicans ajokelley of

Tell me anything you like about the recent past in music. List a top two, a top ten, or a top 100, I don't care, just tell me something!! I've got my abbreviated best of 2005 below along with MANY other tidbits. Also, I have an all-time movie list from Fred Davis....

Mike Barno (Thu, 05 Jan 2006 18:57:48 -0500)
"Who stole my funk?
Who stole my soul?
Who stole my rock?
Who stole my roll?"
- Shemekia Copeland, "Who Stole My Radio", from The Soul Truth (2005)
That pretty much sums up the year in commercial recorded music for me. Innovation and musicality could hardly be found, while the recording industry sued individual filesharing users and installed rootkits and spyware on listeners' computers. So I didn't buy even one CD (or any other media) from the corporations. Fortunately, I was able to enjoy more live music than ever. So my 2005 music contribution won't be all negative.
I only heard two bands that any of you have heard of. Both shows were at the Magic City Music Hall near Binghamton, NY (four hours northwest of NYC), which could hold 1500 but stops selling tickets at 1200 to keep it from overcrowding. Grateful Dead lifer Bob Weir's band Ratdog played on May Day, and my cousin rounded me up the day of the show, absolutely making my day. Fun show, mostly classic Dead tunes, several later ones like "Touch of Grey", and a couple of recent (i.e. since Jerry Garcia left in 1995) songs. A rather low-energy show, not sounding tired or bored or Jerry-half-dead-on-heroin but just mellow-feeling, and the crowd went along with that; people were hardly ever rowdy or pushing, but most people were dancing or swaying a bit on every song. I left happy and the crowd did too. No fights in the lot after the show, no hassles with cops or security. The other show I caught there was Rusted Root, who hit it big years ago with the album When I Woke. Lots of hippie kids in their teens and twenties picked up on that music. As it happens, that's a prime socio-demographic among the seasonal labor in the Yellowstone National Park employee dorms where I lived at the time. It's great music to kick hackysack to. Their show at Magic City was higher-energy than Ratdog's but still, considering their music, the energy was calmer than it might have been. They still feature the music from that album and the one released a year or two after it, with some new songs but not all that many. Rusted Root has various ways of getting it done effectively, and while I don't much like the overblown male lead vocals, some of the female lead vocals really catch my ear. Both of these shows were fun times at a good venue. Magic City Music Hall is on hiatus having structural logs replaced, but it'll be back in action soon.
Local bands are my real taste, especially for routine week-to-week enjoyment on a budget. I heard a lot of good acts from around the area and a few regional bands. Most were at Cyber Cafe West in Binghamton, which I wrote about in my review of Marian Tewksbury and the Mercury Blues in TAP in late 2004. All kinds of different blues, jazz, folk, groove, and other sorts of music, several nights a week. I didn't get to their West Fest in 2005, 8-9 bands a day in the coffeeshop/bar's back parking lot for two days, which I really enjoyed the year I attended. Nor did I make it to Hickory Smoked Blues, the annual one-day festival with some big names in a park in Owego NY beside the Susquehanna River. (Had I written a the-year-in-music article for 2003, this event would have been highlighted for best performance: Muddy Waters' son Big Bill Morganfield was one of the headliners, and he worked harder on guitar, harmonica, and vocals than I've ever seen anyone work playing music. When he played his father's songs, they evoked a feeling of great rightness without being copies. When he played his own songs, he sweated even harder. I was glad I went way up front beside the bandshell for that set.)
But I managed to make it to one multi-band festival and one other thing called a festival: "Blues on the Bridge" in Binghamton had at least ten bands performing on a closed street bridge across the Susquehanna just before the Chenango River joins it. Maybe a thousand listeners on the bridge, hundreds more on land at the south end, and a few people below in canoes and kayaks. Great fun. The other event with outdoor music was "Burning Dude 2005", a Burning Man copy held at a golf course and campground on a small lake. A few friends built a thirty-foot wood frame with head and chest of burnable stuff, and accelerant-soaked wrappings around the posts to carry the flame up. A local band played classic rock and Southern rock for a few hours, playing right through burn time. The Dude burned beautifully, except for several rocket fireworks that were intended to shoot forward over the lake but (due to a mounting-polarity issue) instead shot backward into the campground woods. The same people had another burn with a Frankenstein appearance for Halloween, but there was no live music for that.
More than ever, I popped around to various bars to catch somebody I liked. Several bands were ones I'd heard in the previous couple of years at a festival and wanted to hear a full night of their music. Others were new, and others were friends' bands I'd heard before. The best band I heard in 2005 was the Morgan String Band. Bluegrass isn't my favorite genre, but these five acoustic string performers are really good. Banjo, mandolin, lead guitar or rhythm guitar, stand-up bass, and fiddle, in the tightest performances you'll hear. Traditional songs and originals. Their first album First Cut has been out for a while, and I think they've released a second album. I heard them at a redneck country-music bar and at Blues on the Bridge. Both shows were great.
Some of the other bands I really liked in live shows in 2005: OSHE, a partially improvisational jazz-rock fusion four-piece which toured to the Cyber a couple of times. Some of the music isn't recognizable as songs, and others have structure that exists but is hard to identify at first listen. Some of the most original stuff I've heard ... The New Rockefellers, mostly postwar R&B, jumping guitars and some of the most soulful harmonica you'll ever hear a white guy play. Just what I was in the mood for when I heard them, but they broke up at the end of the year ... Cerulean City, three guys from Ithaca, each with a guitar going through a suitcase full of electronics to produce a tremendous variety of sound. They played the best lyricless musical performance I've heard anywhere ever. Spacy yet purposeful sound, richer than you'd expect from a three-piece. Every song sounded so RIGHT that I figured many were old Howlin' Wolf or Willie Dixon tunes I'd heard years ago, and if they sang the first few words of each verse I'd be able to sing along. So when I asked about the mix of cover songs to originals in their show, I was surprised to learn that all but two songs were the band's own. As I mentioned when I asked, pretty much every song quickly sounded natural to my ears, like a Hendrix or Santana tune. That must mean that they played very well together ..
Badweather Blues was a favorite from the last couple of years. Good band, mostly rockin' blues of various sorts, with lots of Motown, and some very good originals. Instrumentally they're consistently very good and do material that I like. Vocally, there are a bunch of their stuff where lead singer Debbie kicks serious ass on hard-working songs. I can recommend their original number "When You're Sober" as one that deserves wider airplay. The catchphrase is "You say you love me when you're drinking, but I don't think you like me when you're sober." The guys can sing doo-wop or get gritty ... Sol Dog played a happy show of classic rock, Dead, and groovy originals that had a whole bunch of people dancing in a small space without messing each other up ... Remedy played an acoustic version of their show in a tiny bar. Classic rock, blues, Southern rock, the comfy old bluegrass tune "Hesitation Blues", my favorite Dire Straits song "Six Blade Knife". Two guitars and a bass guitar, with harmonica on some songs by one of the lead guitarists. Good job for what they were trying to do, in a front-of-the-house setting with thirty people talking and nobody except me listening to the band. I've liked them in a bigger restaurant/bar too, but next time I'll probably try to hear them at a fully electric show ... Marian Tewksbury and the Mercury Blues didn't progress as much as I had hoped, and are mostly just running through the same old batch of songs as a three-piece having split with the drummer, but they were still a lot of fun several times including the start of the year 2005 as a New Year's Eve coffeehouse show reached midnight.
In summation, 2005 in music for me was great for live shows, best ever; but for recorded music, I can only say: When some Sony BMG Group music CDs are played on a buyer's computer, First4Internet's XCP installs an intrusive rootkit before asking for the user's agreement, and it hides its files against uninstallation. When other Sony BMG Group music CDs are played on a buyer's computer, SunnComm's MediaMax installs over twelve megabytes of spyware before asking for consent to the end user license agreement, and leaves it there even if the user rejects the EULA, and can activate it if the same CD is used again even if the user rejects the EULA every time. Not to mention leaving a big fat vulnerability where worm and virus writers can hide their files that users' antivirus won't check. I hope the attorneys-general rip some of the management people, especially BMG's, hard, as in felony prison time. Happy 2006, the sooner the better.
Mike Barno, mpbarno of
((Yeah, I pretty much agree. When I go back and listen to other older music, all of it sounds much more interesting and inventive than much of anything I'm hearing today. The latest hype is all about the band Magic Fingers, and hey, they're pretty damn good, but they are almost a cover band in how closely they're following after stars of the punk era like Joy Division. And Anthony Phillips has a stunning new 2 CD record out, Field Day that is well worth picking up (Anthony is the founding guitarist of Genesis and one of my all time favorite guitarists), but there really isn't anything new I heard last year that really excited me. Feel free to write in and argue with me.))
((And lastly, as all of you are getting this we are approaching the magical time of "pitchers and catchers". We've not had much of a winter here in the Northeastern US (though February has been more wintry so far than January), but still that first sign of the coming of spring is upon us. We also have this World Baseball Classic event thingie plopped in the middle of Spring Training. I'm really, really not excited about this yet, but I think when it comes it will be at least a little bit intriguing. I'll be shocked if the US wins, one of the Latino teams will win, but I really don't know which one and the comments on who is playing and is NOT playing have been dizzying. I'm sure rosters are somewhere, I'll have to look. And I'm sure that there will be at least a few serious injuries that will change the outcome of pennant races. I'm not sure what they'll be yet, but they will be there, so I'm not predicting anything yet. But I do think that the Red Sox are in great shape. Coco Crisp is going to be a younger version of Johnny Damon. MAYBE, Johnny will outplay Coco this year, but Coco will surely outplay Johnny for the next three years, at considerably less money. The Red Sox are now clearly ensconced playing MoneyBall, but at a higher level than the other teams playing it. Some of the signs of this are that they've been stockpiling catchers (they now have four who COULD play in the big leagues), they're stockpiling starters (they have at least seven, and announced this week that they have stopped trying to trade David Wells), and they have lots of depth in the infield and outfield with a mix of younger and experienced players. Of course, Billy Beane would say that the Red Sox payroll is still close to twice his. So you have pitchers like Curt Schilling and players like Manny Ramirez who make way more than any of the A's. But the philosophy is there. I still think that makes the Red Sox in better shape for two to three years out than the Yankees. Both the Blue Jays and the Red Sox will clearly surpass the Yankees by the 2008 season. You heard it here first. Around the rest of the league, J.P. Riccardi also is playing MoneyBall in Toronto, he picked up Bengie Molina (who really slammed the Angels on his way out!!) and basically has a similar team to the Red Sox. While the "Shea Hey" Kid, Shea Hillenbrand is turning into the great hitter we saw here in Boston at the beginning, the Blue Jays still don't have anything like the Manny/Ortiz combo in the middle of the lineup that I still think gives the Sox the current edge. The Yankees have an amazing lineup, but it is aging.... and the starting pitching is still a setup for disaster. They can't find miracles like Chacon every year. And boy, are there two worse front offices than the O's and Devil Rays in all of baseball??? They were amazingly stupid this off season, wasting some perfectly good resources some more.))
((Some of the Dippers (including Marc Peters!) have been playing Fantasy Baseball on the Yahoo Fantasy Baseball site. If any of you would like to join me there, it is League ID#: 14959; League Name: DW Baseball; Password: dip))

23 Tunes - Two Versions
I actually had ordered these in a building order, but I'll only get parts of that right in what is next to one another (I think I came pretty damn close to reproducing it, with a lot of thinking). Also, some of the descriptions are the originals that I sent to Mark at the time, while others I worked up now. On some of the originals, I've added additional notes now. It will be very confusing, but so what? Here is the first version, close as I can recreate it, from what I sent to Mark Wightman for Sprouts of Wrath from 2002-2003ish time:
1) Joy Division: "Shadowplay". This is the seventh track on the wonderful album Unknown Pleasures. Joy Division was a pretty fucked up band in so many ways, it also appeared on an earlier first album that was released much later, after Ian Curtis offed himself. But I believe the version I recorded for Mark was from the stellar live album, recorded in Paris, Les Bains Douches, on December 18, 1979 where it is the FOURTH track, and this is the one you all should get at this point, if you're trying to recreate why Joy Division was the greatest band of the turn of the 1980's. There are two killer lines in this song that are essentials for Dippers. "I did everything, everything I wanted to; I let them use you, for their own ends." The way Ian's haunting voice rises at the end of that line screams through my heart every time I hear it.
2) The Mekons: "Hard to Be Human Again". The most stunning track from Fear and Whiskey, which was the best album of the early/mid 1980's. This song and album is when the band became a band rather than just a bunch of socialist weirdos hanging out together. And it IS hard to be human again.
3) Melissa Ferrick: "Freedom". From the album of the same name. I can't find what I originally wrote to Mark on this, but I included Melissa Ferrick since Mark is the one who originally turned me on to her, even though she spent a lot of time in New England, and I SHOULD have heard of her before Mark clued me in! Ah, just found it.... a little bit gay, a lotta kick, demand that FREEDOM, Melissa! She is a stunning live performer, get one of her live recordings or get out to see her if you can. Mark, did you ever get to see one of her gigs?
4) Lucinda Williams: "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road". From the album of the same name. This song is so great since it describes Lucinda's voice perfectly. Perfectly. As such it is her signature song. This CD came out in 1998 and was a bit of a battle to bring to fruition. And then it got a huge amount of attention and cemented Lucinda's career. If you've ever trotted around rural America you know just how much this song really just grabs you by the throat and sticks your face in what it feels like to be there.
5) The Buggles, "Video Killed the Radio Star": This remains an amazingly prophetic song, in many ways predicting both MTV and the sampling revolutions..... "They took the credit for your second symphony. Rewritten by machine and new technology, and now I understand the problems you can see." I should note that Mark Wightman reproached me with: "I love this song and you're not going to spoil it for me by claiming it to be all prophetic and meaningful. As close to the perfect pop song as you can get." Well, yes, I agree.
6) Peter Gabriel, "Solsbury Hill": Why does this song continue to fascinate?? Just a big dig at Phil Collins and the "old Genesis" crowd who already had tossed out their even greater guitarist Anthony Phillips in allegory. Perhaps it is the BURNING eyes on the inside cover of the vinyl album that the song represents. This song BURNS with passion. I can still feel it every time I hear it, I like it.
7) Cornershop, "Brimful of Asha" from When I Was Born for the 7th Time. Usually a lot of guest strings on a poppy rock song sound really sappy, but not here. This was perhaps the best pure bopping song of the 1990's. Guitarist and leader Tjinder Singh is one weird guy but he merges Indian dholki with western drums for a beat that won't quit. They're back with one of the best albums of 2002 as well.
8) Stereolab, "Transona Five" from Mars Audiac Quintet. I have to put in a song in honor for the untimely death of Mary Hansen in a cycling accident in London. Cycling free around town and then getting hit and dying reminded me instantly of this song about the dichotomies of death and freedom. "We can't avoid dying, bursting through our barriers, they are one of the same, two inevitables." RIP bursting through death's barrier, Mary! ((We're still mourning Mary Hansen big time around these here parts.))
9) Shriekback: "Nemesis". This is a totally stupid song that only makes sense when you scream the chorus along with them that goes something like (from memory): "Priests and Cannibals, Prehistoric Animals, Everybody's Dancing as the Dead Come Home; Big Black Nemesis, Parthenogenesis (best rhyme ever!), No One Move A Muscle as the Dead Come Home."
10) Modern English: "I Melt With You". I have a cool re-mix CD with a number of versions of this, that is well worth getting for fans of this song. It hands down has the best bass line ever created in rock. Nuff said.
11) The English Beat: "Save It for Later". Pulled from an EP remix version, but I believe it originally was on Kingpin? This is just such a stellar dance song. I still can see Ranking Roger running through it live.
12) The The: "Infected". Off the self titled record, I think, or was it called Infected. What a stick it in your ear dance tune, infectious once it gets in your head.
13) The Close Lobsters: "Foxheads Stalk this Land". Also from the album of the same name. They were the leaders of the Paisley pop style for a very brief period, and that happened to be 1987. This album really is truly brilliant, as is the darker followup Headache Rhetoric. Bruce Geryk makes fun of me when I say it, but these guys had the utterly infectious jangle down to a science.
14) The Boo Radleys: "Wake Up, Boo". If I didn't have a wife to annoy with it, I'd wake up to this song every single morning and never tire of it. I never understood why bands like the Radleys and the Lobsters didn't make it huge. As I understand it, when the album Wake Up debuted in England, it did go to #1, as a stupendous piece of pop, but it did NOTHING in the US, and I don't know very many Americans who've ever even heard of them. Of course, Martin Carr (songwriter) and the group were pushed to write some REALLY annoyingly brilliant songs after that. C'Mon Kids was the result. And wow, what a record. This year, one of the FEW records I've bought this year, is a retrospective Find the Way Out that wins my 2005 retrospective record of the year award.
15) Portishead: "Sour Times". From the 1994 hit debut Dummy. This album was one of the blowaway stunners of 1994. It took some of what Nirvana had been doing, and then took it much further. I like this song in particular because of some of the added organ inflections that Neil Solman adds to Beth Gibbons' incomparable vocals. Geoff Barrow is of course the mastermind behind it all. It does have some sampling built into it, I believe in "Sour Times" I hear some Lalo Schifrin Mission Impossible, among others. And Radiohead probably would not have been possible without Portishead. Portishead is a town on the West Coast of Britain, I believe, but I always wondered if Radiohead just named themselves after Barrow's creation.
16) Birdsongs of the Mesozoic: "Theme from Rocky and Bullwinkle". About here I really worried that all 23 songs wouldn't fit on a tape, so I chose a sequence of REALLY short songs. I ended up being wrong, as I even had room for two BONUS tracks. This insane song by these insane jazz-rock classicists is loads of fun. All their songs are, though this is more puerile than most. Oh, you can find it on Sonic Geology and also on Magnetic Flip, I think. Interestingly, Mark Wightman had NEVER heard the Rocky and Bullwinkle theme before, which made this Birdsongs treatment even more weird.
17) Pere Ubu: "Surfer Girl". David Thomas really has a way with Surfer Girl. If she saw him, she surely would run screaming in the other direction, even before he started singing. This is on Ray Gun Suitcase, and I wish I had one right now..... Pere Ubu is stunning on all levels, I wish they put out more stuff.
New England Set:
18) Jonathan Richman: "New England". I've already heard that I won some big points for choosing this song. I partly chose it because it was short, but I do love it, just as I love New England. This song is totally unique, and so is Jonathan. This is from his early Modern Lovers years.
19) Mark Cutler: "Skylolo". Another New England song writer much less well known than Jonathan Richman. ((See more on Mark below...)) This really is about dwarf tossing, in case you couldn't tell. It's on the album of the same name. This is from his later solo years.
Great Folk Artists go Solo Set:
20) Erin McKeown: "Queen of Quiet". She has a brand new album out right now and is on tour in the UK with some joint dates with Richard Thompson promoting Grand, but this is from her last record Distillation. ((And she has yet another new album out right now, that I need to go pick up.)) "The Lady" has the most amazing combination of jazz, folk, and rock in her voice and guitar that is just inimitable. When you sit within six feet of her while she plays (as I have on a number of occasions) the depth and heart wrenching nature of the music is practically unbearable, but in a good way.
21) Richard Thompson: "When I Get to the Border". This is from the same period of RT's career as Erin McKeown is at right now. That's why I put them next to each other. This song also shows me a lot about where RT was going in the next decade. Yessiree, he did get to that border and then cross it!
Jon Langford stuff:
22) Barbara Manning: "Big Eye". This is from Barbara Manning sings with the Original Artists and the Original Artist of "Big Eye" is Jon Langford of the Mekons. There are lots of Mekons assistance on this record and Barbara actually sings better than Sally Timms, but otherwise this sounds Mekonsy.
23) The Mekons: "Last Dance". A great ending that I had planned from the beginning. Everyone go home! But I had extra space, so I put on the last song from Fear and Whiskey that follows this ("Lost Highway") and then "This Way Through the Fire" from the latest Mekons record, Oooooh!

Now, let's throw some REAL weird and unknown and semi-unknown songs at you, beginning and ending with some songs you might have heard..... these are songs that I've been listening to just today....
1) The Mekons: "Come and Have a Go If You Think You're Hard Enough". Yes, ya gotta begin and end with the Mekons. And are you hard enough to come along on this journey? This one is on Me and it is hard.....
2) Half Japanese: "I Heard Her Call My Name". From Jad Fair's Fire in the Sky. Much of this is a stomping guitar solo by Don Fleming, heavy on the feedback. This was something that came out in the early 1990's and grabbed me. This tune popped up randomly on the player.
3) Michael Perlitch: "Bald Headed Woman from Sacramento (Transmitter)". You may not be able to find this one. If you want to try, it is self produced on Octuris records and I got it from a guy at sumrdey of Michael is a superstar love of mine. As I've written here before, his mind has been pretty shot through hard living and drugs. But his first record Keyboard Tales is a perfect collection of early 1970's anti-war sentiment and wacky fun, all encompassed in the "hit" "Pete the Bondage Freak". But "Transmitter" was done in 2001 and grabs you with its insistence even as you see the difficulties that Perlitch has actually producing the music.
4) Levellers: "Belaruse". The Levellers were a celtic/violin roots band that made some great music in the early 90's. This song was actually a single, I believe. It's a load of fun.
RI Local Inserts:
5) The Amazing Royal Crowns: "Minute With the Maker". The Crowns were a Providence based rock swing band. If I could get just a minute with the maker I'd keep bopping to this quickie two minute song for two more minutes..... there, hit the repeat button.
6) The Schemers: "High Fashion Girl". I think what I need is a high fashion girl. See down below for more.... but the way Mark Cutler uses the word "listless" is the only way I can ever think of it. This is available as a track on the Schemers' Remember CD.
7) Erin McKeown: "How to Open My Heart in 4 Easy Steps". This is off of 2000's Distillation. It is part of Erin's open and direct style that you can tell this song means just what it says.
8) Combustible Edison: "Pink Victim". These guys used to be called Christmas, but could get no attention, so they became a lounge pop act. This instrumental is tres groovy from the late 1990s. They were so cool live and in person too.
9) Kevin Fallon: "Lanham's Kitties". Kevin is someone I know a little bit here in RI, and he has a delightful little CD entitled Poorman's Songbook that he released about ten years ago or so, and "Lanham's Kitties"
10) David Thomas: "Monster Magee, King of the Seas". Totally silly fluff from Monster Walks the Winter Lake. But it's fun. And in case you couldn't tell, this is NOT one of the Rhode Island songs.
11) Human Switchboard: "(I Used to) Believe in You". From the almost totally unknown rarity, Who's Landing in My Hangar, Human Switchboard made some amazing pop music, based in the New Jersey area, but it made almost zero impact. I've never understood why and have no idea what happened to them, they're probably all accountants now.
12) Richard Barone: "Beautiful Human". From his underappreciated 1993 solo effort Clouds over Eden, this former Bongos front man did a gorgeous album, but then became a bit too stuck on himself to build on it. That's too bad, but "Beautiful Human" has always sounded to me like the song about his narcissism, and it probably is. He's searching for his own beauty.
13) Kirsty MacColl: "A New England". On What Do Pretty Girls Do there are two versions of this song, one with Billy Bragg and one solo. This is the one where she sings about how old she is, or was. Billy sings one verse on the one where they do the duet. Kirsty had a greater more unique voice than she ever knew. She didn't want to change the world, but she did.
14) Eva Cassidy: "It Doesn't Matter Anymore". This is the Paul Anka tune that Eva recorded live in 1994 is an essential tune. And it doesn't. It's too bad she isn't around to sing to us any more.
15) Intergalactic Touring Band: "Reaching Out". Annie Haslam does the plaintive vocals. Anthony Phillips contributes great guitar riffs. Mighty Young Joe Intile, B.E., stuns you with perfectly placed tympani. And Larry "Synergy" Fast does the synths for this and this record is one of those guilty pleasures. I think Bob Olsen is the only other person alive who might have owned this record at some point in time.
16) Vampyros Lesbos: "The Lions and the Cucumber". From the soundtrack to Sexadelic Dance Party, this mad creation of Manfred Hubler and Siegfried Schwab is serious late 60's electronica psychedelia. One of those records that you surely never knew you needed, but once you have can't imagine how you lived without it. This song is generally about what it sounds like it's about.
17) Klaus Schulze: "Nowhere, Now Here". Body Love would be cool for the cover, if for nothing else. Again, Bob Olsen may be one of the only other people alive who still owns this album. But the message of "Nowhere, Now Here" comes through brilliantly in the 1970's synthesized music. You float through nowhere and then are here.
18) Blur: "1992". This is on 13 and is a great dance song. I've always been a Blur person, and this record that was not popular has been very popular with me. I think Blur is more willfully non-commercial than some other bands, say Oasis? Now why would I mention Oasis.... gee, I wonder.
19) The Smiths: "What Difference Does It Make?". I listened to this from the compilation Singles, from 1995. I think many people forget just how wonderful the Smiths really were.
20) Joy Division: "Love Will Tear Us Apart". Taken from that live thingie 18 December 1979 mentioned a couple of times elsewhere. This is the Division's great dance song.
21) Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers: "Roadrunner". 1000 miles an hour, what a great song from Jonathan's Beserkley years. I got this from the Best of that Rhino Records did way back in 1986. Roadrunner is such a brilliant road song, possibly the best road song ever written.
22) Richard Lloyd: "Keep on Dancin' ". From 1985's Field of Fire. What was interesting to me about this, is that until I was preparing this issue, I hadn't listened to any of my Richard Lloyd records in at least 15 years. So that was part of the fun of preparing this issue.
23) The Mekons: "Sometimes I Feel Like Fletcher Christian". From So Good It Hurts, one of the last of the Mekons records that I only have on vinyl, so I don't play it enough. But don't we all feel like setting Captain Bligh adrift??? Given that we needed to begin and end with the Mekons, this is a great choice. If you haven't dug up this record in awhile, do so!!

Everything in this section was published in The Abyssinian Prince during 1987, I'm focusing on reprinting people's "best music" of 1986 that they commented on. Jeff Zarse and Bruce Geryk were pals in the old days, I've lost track of Jeff, perhaps Bruce knows where he is.... this is one of the last things I received from Kevin Tighe. We still want to find him! Maybe some of his musical tastes will help you all track him down...... I've not heard from Brian Dolton in many a year. I wonder if anyone knows where he is??? And I've not run into Karl Anderson for quite awhile either. And I don't hear enough from Brad Wilson any more. When you get down to the bottom, I've added a few "today" comments in (( )) to my original comments....
Jeff Zarse (28 January 1987)
Best Albums
New Order: Brotherhood
Erasure: Wonderland
R.E.M.: Life's Rich Pageant
Smiths: The Queen is Dead ((really? We all panned it here, care to tell us about it?))
O.M.D.: The Pacific Age
Best Singles
New Order: "State of the Nation"/"Bizarre Love Triangle"
Blancmange: Ï Can See It" (12")
R.E.M.: "Superman"
Best Concerts
R.E.M./The Feelies - Boston
Naked Ray Gun - Chicago
O.M.D./The Models - Montreal
Fetchin' Bones/Guadalcanal Diary - Hanover, NH
Erasure - Boston
((Thanks, some interesting selections. And you DO do a fair amount of cruising around. I thought that picture in your szine was tremendously hilarious. Let's see, we've got some more of these around somewhere...))
Kevin Tighe (undated)
Best Albums
Bob Marley: Legend
Jimi Hendrix: Hendrix plays Monterey
Paul Simon: Graceland
Old & In the Way: Old & In the Way (reissue)
Silly Wizard: Golden, Golden
Various Artists: Tribute to Steve Goodman
Best Singles
(I still don't have anything better than last year's favorites)
Robert Hitchcock: "My Wife & My Dead Wife"
Jim Carroll Band: "People Who Died"
Best Concerts
Taj Mahal
Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bonnie Raitt, and Robert Cray Band (lasted all night)
Say, Jim, I did the Music Poll last year, but didn't get a very good response (6 people) and was going to see if Scott wanted to do it again. Glad to see you doing it. This is my favorite poll in the hobby, Kevin ((Mine too. Actually, I ran it last year too and got a poor response as well.))
Brad Wilson (1/7/87)
Best Albums
Bruce Springsteen: Live 75-85. The best live LP ever. Great intensity, awesome sound quality. The song selection is especially inspired, too. Check out "It's Hard To Be a Saint In the City" and "No Surrender", especially.
Husker Du: Candy Apple Grey. Thrash boys grow up. Their acoustic songs on this LP are the most depressing I've ever heard, and for a great "Kiss Off, M-- F--" song, listen to "Don't Want to Know If You Are Lonely".
Peter Gabriel: So. I don't call many records "lovely", but that's just what this is. "Don't Give Up", "Mercy Street", and "In Your Eyes", are what ballads can be (Lionel Richie, phone home). But he can rock out, too, like in "Big Time".
Robert Cray: Strong Persuader. This is what I'm listening to now. Minor sellout here as it's first for a big label, but even so this is a great blues/rock LP. Cray's voice is really smooth yet he can still sing the blues. And his guitar playing reminds me of...
Richard Thompson: Daring Adventures. If this just had the song, "Al Bowlly's In Heaven" and 9 instrumentals, it'd still be here. "Bowlly" is a powerful pseudo-jazz ballad that catches emotion as well as any song I've heard in years. Needless to say, there's plenty of great Thompson guitar playing. He's simply the best white guitarist playing nowadays; and some of the songs on this record ("Bowlly", "Missy, How You Let Me Down", and "A Bone Through Her Nose") are as good as the guitar.
Pat Metheny and Ornette Coleman: Song X. Did you think Metheny was a bland yet talented guitarist who lacked experimentation and feeling? Think free jazz vet Coleman was washed up? Listen to this challenging, provocative LP a few times to try and understand just how creative jazz can be.
Eddie Harris and Ellis Marsalis: Homecoming. Ellis is the daddy of phenoms Branford and Wynton and a mean jazzman himself. Harris blows sweetly and Marsalis brings a certain New Orleans flavor to his piano. Wonderful traditional jazz.
Scratch Acid: Just Keep Eating. These guys say they're not hardcore, and they're not. But they aren't really labelable. Their lead vocalist, David Yow, sounds like a torture victim on speed, their guitarist plays like he's trying to wring the life out of his instrument. Their lyrics are clever and occasionally funny; this band may be outlining the future of American popular music.
The Fabulous Thunderbirds:Tuff Enuff. Austin's finest blues/rock/R&B quartet finally has their breakout LP, and it's full of fiery Texas R&B, hot Soul, and hilarious lyrics. A great party record, this is a rare example of good music hitting the big time!
Albert Collins:Cold Snap. This brand-new LP, a December release, is yet another fine piece by the master of the "Cool Sound". Albert brings along a horn section this time-a fine move. This is "traditional" electric blues by probably the finest bluesman playing in America today. His guitar playing style is absolutely unique and his lyrics always entertaining. ((I'm trying not to interrupt too much, but let me add my endorsement to Brad's. I heard a cut off the album on the radio (side by side with a Robert Cray cut) and Collins blew me away. I especially like the horn backup...))
Best Singles
Rolling Stones: "One Hit to the Body"
Gwen Guthrie: "Ain't Nothing Going On But the Rent"
The Velvet Monkees: "Spooky"
Run-DMC: "My Adidas"
Easterhouse: "Out on Your Own"
George Clinton: "Do Fries Go With That Shake"
Fabulous Thunderbirds: "Wrap It Up"
Best Concerts (in order)
1) Richard Thompson, Carolina Theatre - Durham, NC (October)
2) Albert Collins, Biddy Mulligan's - Chicago, IL (March)
3) Stevie Ray Vaughan/Fabulous Thunderbirds/Roy Buchanan, Mann Music Center - Philadelphia, PA (June)
4) Koko Taylor, Biddy Mulligan's - Chicago, IL (August)
5) The Blasters, Chestnut Cabaret - Philadelphia, PA (July)
Brian Dolton (17 February 1987)
Hi Jim, ...thought I'd drop you a line. ((I'll approach your letter "British style", leaving out the chatty personal stuff at the top. Brian, for those readers who don't know, is one of my prized British subbers. I'm always looking for more as a guilty, unabashed Anglophile. He published the late, lamented Lokasenna and has been trying to find the time to start a new szine that I look forward to very much...anyway, enough introduction, back to Brian's letter)) Mainly to talk about music, of course. I seem to have been buying very little stuff lately, but I have been getting a series of tapes from a friend which consist mainly of obscure but excellent small bands - some I've never heard of, others that get only limited national airplay.
He does have excellent taste, though. One of the obsessions we share is Shriekback, and he's furnished me with most of their output. They've just released a new LP called Big Night Music, which is good. Not brilliant, but good; the usual distinctive rhythms, but featuring a little more experimentation on vocals and with brassy, jazz-influenced stuff. Not all of the experiments are successful - there are a couple of songs where the vocals try to move too close to standard pop style, rather than the breathy huskiness or growling of their normal material - but there are some fine pieces on the LP. And as usual it gives you a good length of material for your money. Lyrics are as bizarre as ever; from Buddhist prayers to lists of elements and job descriptions (on "The Reptiles and I"). A nice addition to the other stuff; Jam Science, Oil and Gold, and The Infinite, plus a selection of odd bits and pieces that Marc somehow managed to get - 12" singles, some live tracks (which are very powerful; I hope there's a tour to go with the new LP, because I would travel a fair distance and pay a fair amount of money to see them) and so forth. ((Ditto. I blew it the last time they came to Boston (about 50 miles away) when I could have had a ride with my friend Paul. He is the big fan and has all the albums, but apparently the live show is even better. Maybe they'll come to Providence this time and if they don't, Boston here I come...))
Another shared love is The The. I don't know if you've heard much about them, though I believe Simon Billenness has been enthusing about them. ((Absolutely, so have I (haven't I?). "Uncertain Smile" is their masterpiece song; brilliant vocals and effects, but also a song that can be danced at a frenzy or listened to reflectively. Unfortunately, one can't do both at the same time, at least I can't.)) The The is actually Matt Johnson plus the assistance of various musicians (including Jools Holland of Squeeze and Jim "Foetus" Thirlwell from time to time). The The have two LPs, the new Infected and the older Soul Mining ((Where you will find the aforementioned "Uncertain Smile")); Matt also has a solo LP, Burning Blue Soul. Plus there are a couple of singles which aren't on the LPs, including "Sweet Bird of Truth" (at least I don't think that's on Infected). The musical style is hard to describe but is, like Shriekback, very distinctive; and the vocals are biting without being harsh, matching a clever turn in the lyrics which only occasionally weakens as he piles metaphor upon analogy upon simile in his attacks on the state of the nation.
Jim Thirlwell is another man whose work I've begun getting into. It needs the right mood, though. Very black and bitter, sometimes black and humourous, sometimes just sick. He's done a variety of things using the "Foetus" overlabel - Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel, Philip and his Foetus Vibrations, You've Got Foetus On Your Breath, Foetus Art Terrorism, Foetus Uber Frisco, and probably others. At least four LPs, including Hole and Nail; songs like "Sick Man", "Cold Day in Hell", "Satan Place", "Agony", "DI1 9026" (Charles Manson's phone number, I believe) and so forth give an idea of the man's obsessions. "Cold Day in Hell" includes the immortal lyric, "The inscription on my gravestone reads `Wish You Were Here'", which is a brilliant line. His voice is as throaty as Tom Waits and the instrumentation does its best to match it...
I've been watching the fusion of rap/go-go/hip-hop styles with HM; I find that lyrically it's no surprise to see them merge, since they both seem to have an inordinate obsession with machismo ((interesting connection, I see your point...)) (9 out of 10 raps seem to include lyrics along the lines of Ï'm the chief, and I got class / You other MCs gonna kiss my ass"), but musically their merger is more surprising. More surprising still is that I find myself able to enjoy work by Ciccone Youth (i.e. Sonic Youth doing Madonna songs) or The Beastie Boys, who cut pure HM guitar riffs into the distinctive percussive rhythm of rap. I hear they've been banned from some black music stations in the US because they're white... ((I'd heard about that have to realize the position of the black music stations though. This country has a very long and poor history of stealing music from blacks, playing it in an inferior manner by whites, and then only giving the white versions airplay. Great singers like Sam Cooke were ignored by white stations while people bought Rod Stewart records instead. Give me a break... Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry invented rock and roll (give or take a few other people) and neither garnered the critical or monetary return they deserved. Bo now is touring, playing with local R&B bands in small clubs to indifferent reviews. I'll get off my horse in a minute and I certainly believe that the only way to break down the barriers is closer contact between black and white performers on the radio, but this stuff continues to the present day. There has been a great deal of flack over MTV and access by black performers. In sum, I don't know that I blame the black radio stations much for not playing music by whites. Sorry for the long interruption...)) I don't like their lyrical stance much but the music is fine, and a lot better than some of the rap artists that have impinged on my consciousness. I had the misfortune to see Skule E D (or however he spells it) a couple of months back, and I was far from impressed. His songs mainly revolved around telling the audience how large his penis was, but he was so insecure he had to keep touching it every couple of bars to make sure it was still there. Nor was his DJ very impressive, until near the end of the set when he finally got his act together.
A band that you probably won't have heard of, but who deserve to reach the US, are called Age of Chance. They've taken Prince's "Kiss" and done amazing things to it. Basically, they've taken really fuzzy, choppy guitars, and a very loud drum kit, and some microphones, and they've produced an incredibly tight, superbly paced stop-start version that is brilliant dance-floor material; required for your next set of party tapes! The cuts of guitars and the vocal style is wonderfully mixed. You may have heard it, I guess; ((though I haven't yet, I'll surely try)) apparently some New York DJs were using it in mixes, so Age of Chance have retaliated by producing a 20-minute cut remix. I've heard a couple of versions as well as the original and it still stands up, though for dance floor stuff the original is still sublime...the original cover, that is. Whatever, get it, play it loud through earphones, and then use it to get a dance-floor heaving. Wonderful.
Enough enthusiasm, cos I'm running out of room. Been listening to lots of other bands I haven't room to talk about, like C-cat Trance, who are similar to Shriekback in some songs, and who dress up like Tuaregs on stage. Or Momus, a singer with acoustic guitar and a voice like Donovan but with brilliant lyrics and a cynical view of religion. Or the reformed Wire, who've produced their best song yet in "A Serious of Snakes", despite the completely incomprehensible lyrics ("I'd rather make furniture than go to midnight mass"). Ah, so much good stuff around...forget the charts and the rubbish therein...though it isn't all rubbish; one of the best songs of the 60s, "Stand By Me", has just been re-released. A true classic...and argh! No room! Hope you're well and winter isn't biting too harshly (do you get bad winters in Rhode Island?). All the best!
((Thank you. I always look forward to your letters. More things to add to my search list are always welcome. Party time looks like it's coming up for me in the next couple of weeks, so we should see some party tape listings down the road. The winters in Rhode Island are rather wimpy since it's on the coast. Winter is my favorite season if it's good and snowy. The winter in Rhode Island and the East Coast generally has been cold with a large amount of snow, especially in January, but today as I type it's in the 50's (around 10 Celsius) and very springlike. That's the Mark Berch report for today... As I type I'm listening to one of the tapes that the all-too-generous Conrad von Metzke has sent me. I was sad, but not surprised, to hear that we won't be seeing much of Costaguana in the near future. I know I speak for everyone in hoping he can put his financial affairs in order to the degree required to continue my favorite Dip szine. Anyway, this issue I will be trying to satisfy the yearnings for von Metzke writing. Here's Conrad's description of what I'm listening to now...))
Conrad von Metzke (12-31-86) Knowing your predilection for good singing is at least the equal of mine, this tape is entirely vocal.
1. Tape One, and extending onto Tape 2, Side One: Missa Solemnis in D Major. Patricia Wells (s), Maureen Forrester (c), George Shirley (t), Justino Diaz (b/b); Clarion Concerts Orch. and Choir of New York, cond. Newell Jenkins. I love this piece, overblown and overlong though it may be; see, Beethoven had a talent for taut lines (sometimes), but this is not Beethoven - it is his fierce critic and detractor, Carlo Maria Luigi Zenobia ((Salvatore (if we are to be complete let's be complete) )) Cherubini (1760-1842), in my humble opinion the most badly-neglected composer in history. His religious works, operas, string quartets, even a few of his smaller pieces cry out for attention, but I think he falls aside partly because of his reputation as a crusty old ogre and partly because he lacked the gift of pure melody that all his major contemporaries are so famous for. I mean, his tunes aren't bad, they just aren't Schubert. ((No, true enough. In my young anti-Beethoven days, I saw Cherubini as the brave persevering hero who continued the contrapuntal excellence of Bach in the face of the unfortunate progression of the Romantic era. Once I realized that attitude was bunk, I joined the hordes of Cherubini neglectors. I thank you for rekindling the interest. The Gloria is especially powerful. His contrapuntal skill comes to the fore as the parts take turns soaring up and down the scale. I love it. I hardly notice deficient tunes...)) It is perhaps in his religious works where this quality is the least significant, and I suggest that this - his largest work - proves it. If you are as enchanted as I, I would gladly offer also his 'Little' C Major Mass, the Grand Coronation Mass (for Napoleon!), and the two Requia - the C Minor was a favourite of Toscanini, and has recently been newly recorded - the first truly modern version - by the Bulgarian Radio. The D Minor, for male chorus and orch., is a tad less approachable but, after a while, significantly more substantial. It has been recorded jsut once, thirty years ago, but the disc - mono - is really splendid for its day. ((I skip some here...))
A funny aside, and then I'll mail this. George Shirley, the tenor back there in the Cherubini, once gave a seminar here that I attended. Part of the seminar involved those of us who were singers performing one selection, and then being evaluated by George. I did an aria from Haydn's Örlando Paladino" (and, unbeknownst to both of us, two years later George Shirley recorded the premiere of this opera). He listened, and commented extensively; and one of his comments was, "You have a very rich and warm voice, very even. You remind me a little of Justino Diaz. Do you know our recording of the Cherubini 'Missa Solemnis?' My accompanist immediately broke apart in laughter - it was that recording that had prompted me specifically to sign up for the seminar!
Enuff. I trust you will enjoy "Highlights from Conrad's Great Human Voice Adventures." And I trust you will thrill to the good things of 1987, may they be many and varied.
Uncle Connie
((Thank you very much. I loved the tape. The rest of it is a mixture of Schubert and Haydn vocal music and I adore it. We'll hear more from Conrad in a moment. First, one of the newcomers....))

Karl Anderson (25 February 1987)
Dear Jim, Hello and how art thou? Allow me to take this moment to congratulate you on what looks like a fine little publication. About the little Blake's 7 conversation...well, the show seemed quite good at the beginning, but after a while the actors just didn't seem to feel like acting any more. As for the Doctor, well, yes, I guess it is a bit juvenile, but everyone can stand a little juvenalization once in a while. And sure, the effects might be of the garbage bag-and-hanger type, but I seem to get caught up in the show enough not to notice.
About this entire muzak discussion - well, it began to get a little intimidating after a little while,, maybe an example of my musical tastes will explain: LAURIEANDERSONBUTTHOLE SURFERSMADNESSSEXPISTOLS007DEADMILKMENP.I.L.BAUHAUSPETERGABRIELTOYDOLLS
VIOLENTFEMMESTHEPOGUESDEADKENNEDYSTHEREPLACEMENTSTHERESIDENTS... I guess you get the picture. ((Yes, so what? Personally, I have little use for the "Dead" groups you mention and a couple of the others, but I'd love to hear some of your opinions. Tell me about the Toy Dolls for example. They are the only band on your list I'm unfamiliar with. How about some concerts? I'd definitely like some more concert reviews. Have you seen the Pogues live?))
About PBM - Warrior Knights...Good luck and God Bless! ((I take that to mean you'll play...)) How about Globbo? This is a $5.00 Steve Jackson game and seems perfect for Play by Mail, if a little slow. Any chance? ((Not by me, but I'll host anything that will help fill out the gaming subszine portion of this rag. If I ever get on schedule, I do run quick deadlines.)) Well, I guess I've wasted enough of your time.
Yoursly, Karl Anderson
((Thanks for the letter, Karl. Am I really intimidating people out there? SLUDGE will convince them otherwise. C'mon, Olsen, tell 'em what a pussycat I am. Now, I've got another slightly moldy letter from Conrad von Metzke. Conrad, of course, is welcome to have a music subszine here, or even just a place to print his delightful music articles.))

Conrad von Metzke (12-12-86)
Dear Jim, I do not think I have ever been quite so gratified by the response to a gesture of mine than I was by your joy-inspiring write-up of my tape offering in your 'zine. That you cared and enjoyed enough to take that much trouble says an awful lot for you. ((Blush...I thank you for giving the lead-in to fill space in my first issue. I was very pleased to have letters from you and Gary that I could print to give people an idea of my vision for the szine. It was much nicer than a first issue that just said ßend letters".))
But the effort has its drawbacks. Because of your intense response, I am forced to dump more on you. Enclosed please find three more tapes of music I love and wish to impart to you. A bit of commentary is also included (you needn't print it all, or for that matter any of it, but if you decide to go public, I have no stake whatsoever in completeness; this is written for you, not for posterity). ((Some appears above, but that is from yet another tape. We may get some excerpts below, but be assured that all the tapes are listened to fondly. I also skipped one paragraph here where Conrad goes beyond generous. I can only take so much praise...))
Briefly, on your public comment on my prior offering. You did not care for Erkel and Berwald, the rest you enjoyed to one degree or another. Well, you're right, of course, it would be boring indeed if we agreed on everything. But as it happens, we disagree on less than you think. I have no great love for the Erkel piece either; I tossed it in because it was handy, and unusual, and it fit in the tape. But I'm with you, it is little more than curiosity-value trash. (Though I'm surprised you don't have any use for Dvorak; at his best, I think he's unbeatable.) ((I'll grant you your opinion, but I tried to like the more popular Dvorak (like the New World) and it doesn't do anything for me. If you think those symphonic pieces are his "best", I'm afraid we will have to agree to disagree.)) Berwald is another matter; perhaps I handed you a bad sample. We shall try again. At some near-future point you will be obliged to listen to the 'Symphonie Singuliere', his finest work; then, and only then, tell me you still hate him... ((Uncle, and Rod have swayed me. I presently am eagerly awaiting the delivery of the new recording of Berwald's symphonies (complete) that I mentioned last issue. I found it on a mail order list. I shall tape it and send it to you. Now, let's go on...))
You will note that on one point in one of these tapes, I have purposely failed to identify the composer or composition. (Tape Three, Side Two, Item Two) I hereby offer you a challenge: if you can identify the composer, I will treat you and Charlotte to dinner - $50 worth at your choice of restaurants. I'm serious. Only two conditions: (1) You must certify that you do not personally know the piece, ((I so swear...)) and (2) You must further certify that you've obtained no help - friends, books, professors, etc. - in coming to your answer. ((Ditto...)) You are allowed three guesses, and you have thirty days to make them. Good luck.... ((I should throw in Conrad's description here, so you people have a better idea what Conrad's talking about...))
Wanna have some fun? This is highly unfair, but I love to do this with this particular composition. You will hear the first movement of a sonata for piano, the Opus 4 of the composer involved. Think on it as much as you've time for, and then take a guess: Who wrote it? One hint: It is utterly uncharacteristic. The only way to get it right is to figure out the period and then plug in the word 'uncharacteristic'. Second hint: It is a well-known name, one of the Great Ones, but not for piano music.
Your friend ever, Conrad
((You gave me too many clues, it's too easy. I'm only taking one guess, Schubert, and I intentionally took longer than thirty days, so I won't let you pay off. If I'm wrong, you get to laugh at me for being so arrogant. I thank you for the challenge though. I listened very carefully and came to enjoy the piece a great deal. Performer? I might like to get the record.))
Scott Hanson (14 February 1987)
Best Albums
1. Paul Simon: Graceland
2. Bruce Hornsby: The Way It Is
3. Peter Himmelman: This Father's Day
4. Peter Gabriel: So
5. (hmmmm, this spot's wide open. Could be Ben Sidran: On the Cool Side, or David & David: Boomtown, or Falco 3 for Frauke, or even Madonna: True Blue. Best leave it blank.) ((OK, I hope you don't mind me printing your musings. A few other sundry comments from Scott:)) An awful lot of dogs this year. The Pretenders, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Prince ("Kiss" is his best single ever - Parade his worst album ever), Genesis... I'm not even talking about groups I don't like. I've always hated the Talking Heads, and I always will...
Dick Martin (3/2/87)
Best Albums
Steve Winwood: Back in the High Life
Laurie Anderson: Home of the Brave
Peter Gabriel: So
Bruce Springsteen: Live 75/85
Pete Townsend: White City
Best Singles
Laurie Anderson: "Language is a Virus"
Run-DMC: "Walk This Way"
Peter Gabriel: "Sledgehammer"
Steve Winwood: "Higher Love"
Talking Heads: "Wild, Wild Life"
WORST Concerts
New Order (Terrible! High intensity lights at stage level made it impossible to see the band. That's OK though, because 90% of the show was taped/sequenced anyway)
Laurie Anderson (Not bad, just several lengthy boring stretches)
Didn't see any outstanding shows, except for Jonathan Richman, of course. ((Of course.)) Gotta remember to pick up Robert Cray sometime.
Playlist: Mingus, Joanie Mitchell (weird) ((I'll say, I remember when it came out and they were trying to play it on the radio...))

Bob Olsen (2/6/87)
Best Albums
New Order: Brotherhood
The Cure: Staring at the Sea
Big Country: The Seer
Ministry: Twitch
Ultravox: U-Vox

Jim Burgess (that's me) (5/13/87)
Best Albums
David Thomas: Monster Walks the Winter Lake (Twin Tone), remember how I was asking in #1 whether anyone knew if David Thomas had an album out? Well he did, and this is it. Brilliant storytelling, twisted music, screeching vocals, if Karl Anderson doesn't like it I'll eat my hat, but a caution to the rest of you, this one is for adventurous ears only. ((Listening to it today, it doesn't quite sound so adventurous, but it still is all those things. It was fun to dig this out and listen to it again. David Thomas, of course, is the Pere Ubu guru.))
Peter Gabriel: So. My favorite is "Big Time". I've been listening to this album a great deal and it just won't wear out its welcome. Staying power from the master. ((Brad and I both had this on our list, these days I tend to listen to other Peter records, but this is still VERY good.))
Richard Thompson: Daring Adventures (Polydor). His best solo album ever, something that is said with difficulty given the quantity and quality of his solo output, but it is a fact. It rocks better, it balladeers better, it blues better. "Al Bowlly" is so good it transcends being merely on a Singles of the Year list. If you don't have it yet, get off your tail. ((Hmm, what I was hearing was the beginning of the Richard as a better singer that actually might have been better on subsequent albums. But "Al Bowlly" is still today an underrated Ghod song.))
Throwing Muses: Throwing Muses (4AD import). By light years the best debut album of the year. This band is so good I can't stand it. I know, they're local and I'm biased, but I think I'm being as objective as I can. Two female vocalists and guitarists, ethereal voices, startling images, and a rock solid rhythm section that changes rhythms within songs better than any band I've ever heard make this band unique. Not many bands can make that last claim. ((The Muses grew, split, merged back again and created all sorts of incandescent music over the years, in many ways this is still the touchstone.))
Richard Lloyd: Fields of Fire (Moving Target/Celluloid). Incandescent rock. It don't get no hotter. Guaranteed to melt on your turntable, not on your hands. ((I'd nearly completely forgotten about this. Part of it is that I ***DID*** have it on turntable/vinyl and I don't listen to my vinyl all that much. But you know what? This is STILL incandescent rock.))
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown: Real Life (Rounder). Be assured of this. "Gatemouth''s seen it all and he sings about it as well as anyone. Some of the old blues singers have lost their spark, but not him. I think it has something to do with being on the road for the last forty years. Great in concert too. ((And we finally lost Gatemouth, just recently. He lived a long, full life on the road and never lost his touch.))
Elvis Costello and the Attractions: Blood and Chocolate (Columbia). You read it right. I really like this album, though most critics, including the cretinous SLUDGE, panned it. The album grows on me more and more with each listening. In particular, "Blue Chair" and "Crimes of Paris" are more attractive to me now than they were six months ago. ((This remains true today. I like this album better than others do. I still love "Blue Chair".))
REM: Life's Rich Pageant / The Feelies: The Good Earth (Coyote). This way? The other way around? One in, the other out? Which one? I've been struggling with this for months. I'm putting both albums on my list, they're both great. I just can't decide between them. ((And you know, I still can't. Both are just great pop albums, nothing else special.))
The Three Johns: The World By Storm (Abstract). They put out two other albums last year also, all worthy additions to any rock collection: Live in Chicago (naturally, a live album, recorded in Chicago, but the sound and feeling are amazing) and Demonocracy (good, but a bit too much ranting and raving). The World By Storm though is a near perfect record. It took my turntable by storm sometime back and refuses to relinquish its hold. Songs seethe with crushing emotions, despairing the woeful globe with brilliant, biting sarcasm. And boy, can they lay down a beat that won't quit! It may be hard to find, but it's well worth the search. ((This is related to the Mekons via Jon Langford. This record still really bites.))
Best Singles
The Replacements: "Bastards of Young" off Tim (Sire). "We are the sons of no one . . . income tax deduction / what a helluva function . . ." Angry, visceral music from Paul Westerberg's twisted vision. A brilliant pop arrangement could send this to the Top 40, it's loaded with hooks, but as Paul has said: "There are things we don't click on, and we really don't strive for. We practice every day, but we don't practice on things that bands practice on, like starting together and stopping together. We practice for fun and enthusiasm."
Green on Red: "Time Ain't Nothin' " off EP No Free Lunch (Mercury). Dan Stuart is one of my favorite songwriters, let him tell you why in his own words: "Nobody wants to hear someone mope and whine, or even say how wonderful everything is, according to their own little psyche. I think you've got to look around you, see what's happening, and use your own values to interpret it. You're the most sure about everything when you're 18; that's when you're most idealistic. Then when you start paying rent and such you realize it isn't revolving around you. In fact, it could really give a shit if you hang yourself. It's just a natural progression that writers go through, from a myopic thing into a more worldly turf." He stakes out that turf very well in this song, mixing the theme of living with some lively imagery. "Driving down a dusty road / Looking for horny toads / With the wind on my face" is one example, "Wanna get a house someday / Find a wife, raise a family / Doesn't mean I have to die" is another. Great country-influenced music that you can't keep from humming.
The Schemers: "Remember" not available anywhere . . . yet. More on this song in next issue's long awaited Local Music Spectacular. Contributions from the public are strongly encouraged. ((All three of these singles are still really great pop songs!! And "Remember" is now available as the second track on the CD released in 2004 entitled, coincidentally enough, Remember))

Best Concerts
Richard Thompson w/ David Thomas - Lupo's in November
Los Lobos w/ Trouble Funk - Brown University in April
RI Bandwagon Benefit for Hunger - The Living Room in December
Richard Lloyd - Lupo's in June (sweltering, on stage and off)
Schemers - any of a number of nights at Lupo's

That's it for now, I've got to get this off my desk. Until next time...good listening.

It's strange...rock and roll bands have a way of defining one's youth and passage to adulthood. For many people, one band focuses these feelings, most commonly a band like the Beatles or the Stones. Maybe I'm speaking more of a phenomenon of the 60's, maybe not. But for me, the essential rock band was the Schemers. The Schemers began their dream at the same time I came to Rhode Island, the fall of 1979, to begin graduate school. The band's early years were unfocused, dominated by thoughts of girls, much as I was. Mark Cutler's music grew as I did, becoming more focused, more individual, until he finally set himself free from the band. The timing of the breakup coincided exactly with the end of my graduate education. One of the things I want to emphasize in this szine is the process of development by local bands. I hope this article will give you an idea of what I'm looking for.
The party that celebrated the end was held at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel recently, and for me it summed up the Schemers era beautifully. I wish I could offer a tape so you could hear this music. Hell, I wish I had a tape so I could hear the music. Instead, except for a couple of singles, all I have are memories. The concert's mood was helped along by the fact that it followed on the heels of Providence College's OT victory over St. John's at Providence (not the recent blow out in the Big East Tournament) that vaulted Providence into the top 20. I could digress to gush over my favorite basketball team, but those of you who are interested in both music and basketball should check out Brad Wilson's szine Vertigo (Brad's address is 307 Sharpless St., West Chester, PA 19382) where college basketball and music are frequent topics. I type this on the evening the 64 team NCAA Tournament field was announced. I'll throw in my fan prediction that Providence will fight through to meet Georgetown in the Regional Final. They'll win. Anyway, much of the crowd at the Schemers concert came straight from the Civic Center two blocks away, so the general atmosphere was jubilant. What followed was the best 3 1/2 hours of live rock and roll I've ever had the privilege to witness (with all due respect to the efforts of Mr. Springsteen documented on his recent recorded tome).
The first song was an old one (whose name I never knew, unfortunately, I don't know the names of most of them) that fixes itself in my mind for the daringness that marked its introduction. The Schemers won a local band competition in 1982 and topped off the performance that won the competition by debuting this song. Gutsy. Moreover, it marked the beginning of a change in style from simple crowd pleasing anthems to a deeper, darker mood. The band always had those endearing gutsy qualities. In 1984 they continued their trek to the top by travelling to Boston to steal the WBCN Rock & Roll Rumble from the tight professional Boston bands. Til Tuesday won the Rumble in 1985 and is much more characteristic of the type of band that usually wins it. The Schemers did it with a brand new keyboard player as they went from a four piece to a five piece. Not only that, but they had just replaced the drummer. They had to rearrange all the songs on the eve of the competition.
As the concert went on (they played nearly three hours of their own material without running out of repetoire, even skipping some of my favorites) the memories flowed back....
In the early days at the late lamented One Up, every song was in hard driving 4/4 and it was easy to get the girls up dancing. The songs had names like "Danger Avenue", "Who's Right", and the brilliant anthem "High Fashion Girl". The first pickups came easy...
Then came the slow days as the Schemers tried to expand their audience. Brown University students were the slowest in Providence to pick up on the band. I distinctly remember one frustrating Friday night at Brown's bar with fewer than a dozen people. I sat down at the bar with the band during a break and lamented about the ironies of a band that was making most of their music industry income from sales of the "High Fashion Girl" single in Japan. As Mark Cutler took local flack about the song for ripping off Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" (and I do have a tape of this song if anyone wants to hear it), the Schemers expanded their focus, always changing...playing country waltzes, ironic love ballads. In "Valley of Love" one particular set of lyrics always got to me... "They're all dancing but it's not moving me/I'd like to wake up from this bad dream/It's so dark in here, I can't see too clear/Come in the light, let me see your face/Let me hear your voice in a quiet place/If I'm right, I'm gonna hold on tight." The isolation became as much a part of the feeling surrounding the band as the rock and roll fun.
Another night at the One Up, we went...pissed off because a local TV station with a history of asshole decisions blew our chance for a surprise Stones concert in a small venue by leaking the news, Mark picked us all up with his licks. The frustration was as plain on his face as it was on ours as we all screamed out our favorite Stones songs. Unfortunately for the band, Mark's stage flair as a front man was always honest, always direct. If the feeling wasn't really there, then it wasn't there on stage either. There were oh so many nights that the isolated feelings won out. I guess they didn't impress slick record producers with that attitude. I'm glad they didn't. It's somewhat unfortunate that those similarities to the style of Dylan are simply not appreciated to the extent that most major label output has at best a fleeting relationship to rock and roll.
I could go on and on, and in fact I will have some more to say about the Schemers to go along with my RI local music special issue coming your way in issue #4. I'll also have something to say about the future of the individual members of the band. You'll be hearing from Mark Cutler yet on a national level, I promise... But the farewell concert finally ended, in the fourth encore or so, with a set of favorite influential songs on Mark Cutler's writing from Rock and Roll History. Included were essentials like "Gloria" and "Satisfaction", obscurities like Dylan's "From a Buick Six" (the Schemers' best recent song "Satisfied" comes from a pretty direct lineage back to the early Dylan electric period), and the finale from the Who's repetoire, "Substitute". Thanks guys, I'll never forget you...
finally, let me finish up this landmark issue, with my latest edition of my Desert Island Discs. I think it is interesting how these remain relatively unchanged over the years. I've edited only slightly my comments on the records themselves. By the way, most of the Schemers originals you can find on the doubly aforementioned disc Remember.

I'll begin with my most difficult choice. I had to choose something from around 1980, absolutely had to. But what? Here's how I've considered it before: "I considered Look Sharp and London Calling, along with a Joy Division album (for true suicidal angst, but since I decided to try to survive the desert island...) or Rockpile's Seconds of Pleasure (to give me just that... the run of "Wrong Again," "Pet You and Hold You," "Oh What A Thrill," and "When I Write the Book" is nearly unparalled in pop for me). But none of them would quite do. This was a period of wild dancing parties, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello (Get Happy! is a sleeper here), Squeeze, Blondie, and U2. Ah, U2. What about choosing Boy! U2's first album remains my favorite with "Stories for Boys," "Out of Control," and the essential "I Will Follow." But no. It is too boyish, too inconsistent. There is only one choice. It's the only album that would get put on the stereo and danced straight through - start to finish. Yes, it has to be I Just Can't Stop It by the English Beat. Starting with THE ska song, "Mirror in the Bathroom," and then grab her with "Hands Off... She's Mine." "Two Swords" and "Twist and Crawl" leave you crawlin' and then Smokey's song buries you. "Rough Rider" picks it back up to lead perfectly into the faster and faster "Click, Click." After death, Ranking Roger takes over to bring everyone to a full stop with a "Big Shot." "Stand Down Margaret" was a must until she did and "Can't Get Used to Losing You" is beautiful, and so it goes. That's number one. I actually don't own this one, I only have it on tape. We'll get an extra copy of Look Sharp for the ship's library so Keith doesn't have to take my Beat away." BUT, now, my #1 would be to go back to the live Joy Division and:
1) Paris, France, Les Bains Douches, on December 18, 1979. Ian Curtis growls, and the live Joy Division has just so much depth that it is my new 1980ish record. (MNC Music, FACD 2.61, 2001). On this record, nine tracks were recorded that night. "Disorder", "Love Will Tear Us Apart", "Insight", "Shadowplay", and "Transmission" are probably their best five songs, plunging to the depth of Ian Curtis' soul, and these lead off the CD. Seven other live songs were recorded the next year in Holland to round out this record.
2) Next is even earlier - before there was new wave, there was space rock. In the only compilation (I have a nearly complete collection of this group, including the rare Sunday Night at London Roundhouse [only a German import] and both mixes of A Tab in the Ocean), I choose Nektar's Thru the Ears (Import Records 9001, 1978) Here I get Larry "Synergy" Fast, the number one originator of the synthesizer revolution as a guest on "It's All Over" but I don't miss "King of Twilight," "The Dream Nebula," of "Desolation Valley." Part 1 of "Remember the Future" is sufficient as a taste. We also get the rockin' raucous side of the band in "Astral Man." This is the best of all of the sides of the progressive space music of the seventies. I was and am hooked.
3) I suppose the next logical place to go is Richard Thompson. Ghod must go with me. There are many, many fine albums to choose from here. I've still gotta choose Shoot Out the Lights (Hannibal Records 1303, 1982). With the backing band of Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg, Pete Zorn, and Dave Mattacks on drums every shift in tone, rhythm, or chord is perfectly seamless. We also have Linda's incomparable (well, almost, I sincerely shall miss Emma Kirkby!) vocals and the palpable emotion tearing the record in two. I've said too much about this in these pages before. It sets up expectations that make you (the reading audience) not like it. It's essential for me.
4) Fear and Whiskey (Sin Records 001) has a well deserved number. It's the Mekons, of course, the world's greatest rock band. This one makes me laugh, it makes me dance, it makes me cry. PERIOD. "Darkness and Doubt," "Chivalry," and "Trouble Down South." are perfect songs of angst. "Last Dance" is one of the best late night party songs ever. But "Hard to be Human Again" says it all. It really is "the sort of music that drags you from your sweat soaked bed and makes you want to put your clothes on and maybe take 'em off again a bit later..." [italics in original].
5) By chance we ended up in a bit of a 50-50 split that each split again in half. I'd group Nektar and Richard Thompson for the songs and thought provoking side of pop. Joy Division and the Mekons represent the serious party side. Now we turn to more classical genres. These next two are popular and the last two are from my beloved 18th century Baroque period. To follow the Mekons, and to make the shift easier, Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd; The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (RCA RCD1-5033, 1979, is the original highlights recording I have) has to go. Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou are wonderfully gritty and I love Sondheim's black comedic sense in "A Little Priest." Heavenly! It's not as hearty as bishop, perhaps, but then not as bland as curate either. But it's the minor key changes and the sheer power of this music that makes me want to take it along.
6) Next? What about Christmas?? I must take along Simon Preston's organ, Sir David Willcocks' arrangements and conducting, with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge and On Christmas Night (London D-115019, 1962 remastered digitally in 1989). There's nothing else like Willcocks' arrangement of "O Come All Ye Faithful" for sheer dramatic power (Simon Preston on the organ really counts here) or his "See Amid the Winter's Snow" for sheer beauty. I adore this tune more and more and more every year I hear it. Of course, "Ding! Dong! Merrily on High," "Coventry Carol," and one of my special favorites, "Personent Hodie," are here in the crisp sound that only this Choir can match. They end with Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on Christmas Carols." I want a white Christmas on my desert island!! Merry Christmas to all and to all a good four week deadline!!
7) Part of the point of emphasizing choral music is as Pete says... I want to work on singing learning multiple parts. I must have Handel's Messiah also, but to learn three parts (as I also would want to be doing) I want countertenors to sing along with. I will choose my recording carefully. The one I want is John Eliot Gardiner's reading (Philips R 215049, 1983) who has the light clarity of tone that I prefer. He uses his own Monteverdi Choir and Engish Baroque Soloists on period instruments. Margaret Marshall is soprano soloist, Catherine Robbin is the alto, and Saul Quirke is the boy soprano. Then (for singing along) Charles Brett is the beautiful countertenor, Anthony Rolfe Johnson is the tenor, and Robert Hale is the perfect bass. The choir has 11 women sopranos, and seven men in each of the other three parts. I can take turns being the eighth. I think this is still my choice here, but I waver a bit, wondering whether Monteverdi or Verdi's Requiem could be a better choice. Or what about the British Victorians like Parry or Stanford?? But right now I don't have another choice, so we'll stick with the Messiah.
8) Last, but not least, I will cheat and choose two records. I must have BOTH of the bookends to the tragically cut short career of pianist Glenn Gould. Yes, two recordings of the same pieces, the Goldberg Variations of Johann Sebastian Bach, BWV 988 (CBS MS 7096, 1955; CBS IM 37779, 1982). This is the decade anniversary of his death and I can't put it any better than Edward Rothstein of the New York Times: " `Lord, give us the peace that the earth cannot give.' He didn't go to church much anymore, he added, `but I do repeat that phrase to myself very often - the one about the peace that the earth cannot give - and I find it a great comfort.' It is a phrase that for a decade I have come to associate with Gould, with the ecstasies and idiosyncracies, the subterranean sorrows and pungent energy, the sense of something mysterious and even awe-full, compressed in great music like a coiled spring. In the sounds of his playing - which I listen to in order to remind myself of music's powers and of the unexplainable mysteries of his art - I often hear Gould intone that benediction. Sometimes, I think, I can even hear the sound of its prayers being answered." I wouldn't take it along, but if you're a Mozart aficionado, you must have your ears challenged by Gould's recording of Mozart's complete Piano Sonatas. I go back and forth between annoyance and joy, laughing and raging. I won't ruin the moment. Find it. (I should note that this is an attempt to dismiss Mozart as a child, or is it? - one is NEVER sure.) Ah, but back to my point, This is a good time to investigate Gould (as I did in grabbing the Mozart) because the 10th anniversary has Sony Classical rereleasing his complete catalog. There's also putting out VCR tapes that I simply must have! He `made' his own pianos so they sound like no one else's and... I hate to even mention it, since it's such a cliche in Gould discussions, but he hums. Yes, he hums - audibly. But no one would dare use digital technology to filter it out, so when you think you hear something, you do. Though both are composer interpretists of the first order, one can draw a clear line between Furtwängler and Gould on their approach to the recording studio. Wilhelm hated the splice and much preferred performing straight through, a 19th century sort of stylist. Glenn spliced each snippet round and round until he had it just so - the supreme stylist of our century. I can't help but look at Furtwängler as a historical curiosity, but Gould is more alive to me with each hearing of his music. He feels like part of my lifetime. I must have him. I think I would be excited about symphonic music today if, instead of dying ten years ago at fifty, Glenn Gould had gone on to the conducting career he had intended. We have his intended piano output - by his own words these two recordings were his choice as first and last of his career - ah, but the battles and the wars if he had taken on the symphonic tradition! It would have been glorious!! He has not been replaced.
FINAL WORD: Seven of the eight of my Desert Island Discs remain unchanged and I've only added one because a newer live disc has come out since I last updated my list that helped Ian Curtis and Joy Division surpass Saxa and Ranking Roger in the English Beat. I think I will keep revisiting this every 100 issues. I suspect the next time around I might be ready to give up Nektar, reluctantly, but realistically. Yet, what will I replace it with??? Anyone else want to comment, or add anything to something they wrote years ago??? Anyone who wants to send an update of their Desert Island Discs or a new copy is more than welcome. The idea for those who don't know, is that you choose EIGHT discs (don't ask me why eight, it's a British idea, ask one of our Brits!) that you would take with you to the desert island. You may assume an I-Pod or a CD player or a record player, or whatever you need to play them. These literally ARE the last words I am typing before closing up this landmark issue. I really do thank ALL of you for this, even though most of you don't contribute much these days (and feel free to change that any day) obviously I wouldn't do it if I didn't get at least SOME feedback. Now, following on the next few pages are THREE of our subszines. Andy York's new one is off to a good start. This shows that people will play By Popular Demand when they won't do ANYTHING else. Tinamou gets larger and larger too. I think David is now running more games than me with a longer games section. And finally, the very last word to Peter Sullivan. Peter has been having some health problems (so drop him a line if you haven't in a while!), but he is doing much, much better. And for that we all are grateful. Thanks, Peter, and you're welcome to keep doing Octopus' Garden for as long as you like. Cheers to all.
"So I called up George and he called up Jim, I said let's make a deal.
He said he'd talk to him. Gonna start a church where you can save yourself,
You can make some noise, When you've got no choice...
You told me useful things, what people think of me, I guess I should thank you.
It's true, then I agree... I'm all alone, I've got no choice,
I'm all alone, I've got no choice."
From "Got No Choice" by the incomparable Mark Cutler, from the CD Mark Cutler and Useful Things.
If you want to submit orders, press, or letters by E-Mail, you can find me through the Internet system at "burgess of". If anyone has an interest in having an E-Mail address listed so people can negotiate with you by computer, just let me know. FAX orders to (401) 277-9904 if you let me know in advance to be sure the fax machine is set up.
I am continuing to note cut or failed support orders with a small "s" instead of a capital "S". This will make it easier on the E-Mailed version of the szine to see what happened, since the italics don't show there. The italics DO show on the web page just fine.
Standby lists:
Mike Barno, Dick Martin, Brad Wilson, Jack McHugh, Glenn Petroski, Steve Emmert, Mark Kinney, Vince Lutterbie, Eric Brosius, Paul Rauterberg, Bob Osuch, Doug Kent, Sean O'Donnell, Vern Parker, Heath Gardner, Paul Kenny, and Jeff O'Donnell stand by for regular Diplomacy.
Let me know if you want on or off these lists, especially OFF. Standbies get the szine for free and receive my personal thanks.

We've got lots of openings in the subszines, check them out!!! Especially, contact Rip Gooch for Railway Rivals, see Rip's subszine elsewhere in most issues of TAP. Come on, help me out!!! Contact Rip Gooch directly at xyropedes of Rip has been a bit missing in action lately, but I am assured that he SHALL return.
I'm ready to start a new Breaking Away game, who's interested??? Challenge David Partridge again as he is in, so are Brendan Whyte and Alexander Woo. I also am giving a free spot to Eric Martin. Anyone else?
I am willing to open another new game if there is enough interest!!! Also, is there any interest in another game of Nuclear Yuppie Evil Empire 7x7 Dip? I know it may be getting tired, but I really like it. We have Karl Schmit and Sean O'Donnell on the list, let's get seven!! It's FREE!!!
I also am starting a game of the variant I designed, Spy Diplomacy. Signups for that are now open. I'll publish the rules shortly or you can look at them at Bruce Edwards and Eric Ozog are signed up. I'll try to remember to punch in the rules in the next issue.
John Harrington is offering to guest GM a game of Office Politics. Any interest in that?? Let me or John know! Jody McCullough and Bruce Edwards are interested, anyone else?
And since Colonia is over, Harold Reynolds is looking to start something else.
Also, I am going to design some postal rules for Devil Take the Hindmost, and we have an opening here: Bruce Edwards, Mike Barno, and Eoghan Barry are signed up. Postal rules from me will be forthcoming shortly, on my never ending to-do list. I will get them in SOON! I'm more likely to get these things started if I see some interest..... I've GOT to do this now, Eoghan is getting tired of waiting....
Right now, the other thing going is the Modern Diplomacy game with Wings. Sean O'Donnell, Bob Holt, Rick Desper, Alexander Woo, Dave Partridge, and Eric Ozog are signed up for that. I will start it when I get a full complement of players, the other Modern game is now done!

I'M TRYING TO TAKE OVER Phil Reynolds' two regular Diplomacy games somewhere in TAP. One is going to Harold Reynolds' subszine, since Colonia is over and I'll take the other. I am calling for orders from everyone NOW, and whichever game looks easier to start I will give to Harold, but I'm getting no response. Should we just shut these down?? Current thinking says YES. I have Phil's last issue, #44, but that was published way back in December of 2003. I'm not sure if people have moved or whatever in that time, so a little help would be appreciated. And I hope everyone comes back, but I might need some standbys. I'm going to start nagging so I can get these restarted. Please let me know if you care playing, thanks to Karl Schmit for responding each time that he's in....
Us and Them: Winter 1901 was published and it was early on, but I think I can find all the players. Hank Alme (Austria), Karl Schmit (England), John Power (Germany), Tim Snyder (Italy), and Fred Wiedemeyer (Russia) are all here already and Paul Boymel (Turkey) and Marc Ellinger (France) are locatable. Please let me know if you plan to continue!!!
We are the Champions: This one is even earlier, ONLY Spring 1901 had been published. But again, most of the players are around here, and I've located Paul Boymel (Italy) and Marc Ellinger (Turkey). Dave Partridge (Austria) is here of course, Graham Wilson (England) is just joining us, Fred Wiedemeyer (France) and Kevin Wilson (Germany) are here. Paul Risner probably is not going to be able to continue in the game.
You can find that last issue of Phil's szine at:
Call for orders is NOW, the next season after the results above. You should already have submitted these before. Then I'll give one of the games to Harold. I'm not getting any traction or writebacks on these games, does everyone just want to abandon them??? Very last chance here, going once, going twice, gone next issue. Take note Mr. BNC Tom Howell.

SPIRALS OF PARANOIA: 2005A, Regular Diplomacy
Winter 1902
AUSTRIA (Rauterberg): bld a vie, a tri; has a VIE, a TRI, a RUM, a SER,
a BUD, f BUL(SC).
ENGLAND (Wiedemeyer): bld f lvp; has f LVP, a WAL, a SWE, f ENG, f NWY.
FRANCE (Tretick): has f MID, f NAT, a BRE, f IRI, a SPA.
GERMANY (Ozog for Tallman): has a BER, a MUN, f BAL, a BUR, a PIC, f DEN.
ITALY (O'Donnell): bld f nap; has f NAP, a TUS, a GRE, a NAF, f ION.
RUSSIA (Sundstrom): rem f gob; has a GAL, a ARM, a UKR, a STP.
TURKEY (Biehl): R a bul otb; bld f con; has f CON, f ANK, f SMY.

Addresses of the Participants
AUSTRIA: Paul Rauterberg, 3116 W. American Dr., Greenfield, WI 53221,
(414) 281-2339 (E-Mail) trauterberg of
ENGLAND: Fred Wiedemeyer, Box 92010-Meadowbrook RPO, Edmonton, ALBERTA CANADA T6T 1N1,
(780) 465-6432, wiedem of
FRANCE: Buddy Tretick, 9607 Conaty Circle Spotsylvania, VA 22553-1953
United Parcel Service ONLY: 5023 Sewell's Pointe Way, Fredericksburg, VA 22407, (540) 898-3386
cell (540) 226-5571 (E-Mail) berniebuddy32 of
GERMANY: Terry Tallman, PO Box 782, Clinton, WA 98236, (360) 331-5698 ($2)
terryt of
GERMANY: Temporary Standby is Eric Ozog, PO Box 1138, Granite Falls, WA 98252-1138,
(360) 691-4264, ElfEric of
ITALY: Jeff O'Donnell, 402 Middle Ave., Elyria, OH 44035-5728,
(440) 322-2920 or (440) 225-9203 (cell, as late as midnight Eastern)
RUSSIA: Matt Sundstrom, 1760 Robincrest Lane South, Glenview, IL 60025, (847) 729-1882,
Matt.Sundstrom of or mattandzoe of
TURKEY: John Biehl, #8 - 11530 84th Avenue, Delta, BRITISH COLUMBIA, V4C 2M1 CANADA,
(604) 591-1832(???) ($7); jrb of

Game Notes:
1) I STILL couldn't quite get it right, Matt of course LOST Bul, so he had a removal. He figured that out and sent it along.... thanks, Matt. And on we go!
2) Terry is still having some medical problems, but rather than hold up the game anymore, Eric Ozog has agreed to pay attention to the game and negotiate and submit orders for Terry. We all hope this will be a brief interlude. Eric originally brought Terry into the Diplomacy hobby all those many years ago, and so I'm glad he's agreed to do this.
3) I think Eric Ozog's number is correct above. But John Biehl's phone number, listed above, has been disconnected. John, do you have a current number to list??? I also still have a discrepancy on Buddy's cell phone number. Note above I have x5771, while in his press recently he says it is x5571. One is a typo, the other is correct. Could Buddy or someone please clarify? Thanks! Note also that the postal service is NOT delivering to Buddy's current address yet (this is an amazing thing to me, but I guess in growth areas happens), so you have to mail to him at his OLD address even though he doesn't live there any more. Confusing to me and to all of you and sorry for the confusion. E-Mail him, that's probably best. Late word, Bernie/Buddy's on E-Mail back on AOL for right now And the cell here WAS wrong, it is now corrected above.

(CAPTAIN PIKE'S LOG): Things are going well, our shipyards just introduced the Starship "W Bush". The ship is heavily armed, but is having problems with its "navigation". It can only turn right or go back in time! I have received a distress call from the Children of Tomari. They are being invaded by the Romulans and their invasion of the Ferengi has stalled. They have superior technology and intelligence but are outgunned. On top of that, their leader has taken ill. He apparently had a fall. The distress call he sent was to me personally. If I can, I am sending the "W" to investigate.
CAPTAIN PIKE'S LOG II): I have received a distress call from the President of the Children of Tomari. In spite of their superior technology and intelligence, they are being overrun by an alliance between the Ferengi and an unknown alien group. I want to help him, but I don't know if I can risk it. I'm sending a troop transport his way, but the Tomari government might be overthrown by the time I get there. Too bad, I like the Tomari president. Pike out....

FLIP FLOP: 2003G, Regular Diplomacy
Fall 1906
AUSTRIA (Wiedemeyer): a ser-bul (d r:bud,tri,otb), a bud-RUM, a NAP S a ven-rom, a ven-ROM,
a UKR S a bud-rum, a MOS-sev, a tri-ALB.
ENGLAND (Schmit): a HOL h (unordered), f ENG S f mid-bre, f POR-spa(sc), a BUR-par, f mid-BRE,
f NWY S f nth, f NTH c a bel-den (nsu), a fin-STP, a bel-den (nsu).
FRANCE (Jeff O'Donnell): f tun-WES, a PAR-bre, f SPA(SC) h, a MAR-bur, a GAS S f spa(sc).
GERMANY (Sundstrom): f HEL-kie, f bal-SWE, a DEN S f bal-swe, a war-LVN,
a MUN-kie, f SKA S f bal-swe.
TURKEY (Levinson): a BUL S a rum-ser, f aeg-ION, f TYH S f ion-tun, a GRE S a rum-ser,
f ion-TUN, f BLA S a sev, a SEV h, a rum-SER.

Supply Center Chart
AUSTRIA (Wiedemeyer): TRI,VIE,BUD,ven,rom,nap (has 6 or 7, bld 1 or 2(r:otb))
ENGLAND (Schmit): EDI,LVP,LON,nwy,stp,bel, (has 8, bld 1)
FRANCE (Jeff O'Donnell): PAR,MAR,spa (has 5, rem 2)
GERMANY (Sundstrom): KIE,BER,MUN,den,swe,war (has 6, even)
TURKEY (Levinson): ANK,SMY,CON,bul,sev, (has 8, even)
Neutral: none (Total=34)

Addresses of the Participants
AUSTRIA: Fred Wiedemeyer, Box 92010-Meadowbrook RPO, Edmonton, ALBERTA CANADA T6T 1N1,
(780) 465-6432, wiedem of
ENGLAND: Karl Schmit, 1509 O'Keefe Road, DePere, WI 54115, (920) 338-8402,
diplomacy of ($4)
FRANCE: Jeff O'Donnell, 402 Middle Ave., Elyria, OH 44035-5728,
(440) 322-2920 or (440) 225-9203 (cell, as late as midnight Eastern)
GERMANY: Matt Sundstrom, 1760 Robincrest Lane South, Glenview, IL 60025, (847) 729-1882,
Matt.Sundstrom of or mattandzoe of
ITALY: Don Williams, 27505 Artine Drive, Saugus, CA 91350, (661) 297-3947,
wllmsfmly of or dwilliams of
RUSSIA: Sean O'Donnell, 1044 Wellfleet Drive, Grafton, OH 44044, (440) 926-0230,
sean_o_donnell of
TURKEY: Alexandre Levinson, 1, allee des Marniquets, 78430 Louveciennes FRANCE, don't need phone,
levinson7 of ($5)

Game Notes:
1) I think we're all OK here, sorry for the delay, at least you have a lot to read to catch up.

(AUS - TUR): It was nice of you to initiate the reestablishment of communications between our two countries, however we did not hear back from you after our reply to you, so we have to assume you weren't happy with our reply. You had no right to take ser from me. It belongs to Austria, and I have retaken it, and will keep it. Profitable adventures await you in the south seas. Go fight the English.
(MATT-JEFF): Got your message. Sorry I couldn't help this time...needed to protect the homeland.
(AUS-FRA): I continue having problems in my corner here. Can't seem to get the Turks to help you against the English. They either have a comprehension problem or a navigational problem.
(CAPTAIN KIRK'S LOG): The Romulans have two starships near Vulcan and a troop transport near Earth. I am issuing a Federation wide distress signal. Help!!

I CAN'T FIND MY MONEY!: 2001F, Regular Diplomacy
Summer 1912
AUSTRIA (Parker): has f ION, f TYH, a GAL, a WAR, f EAS, a PIE, a BUL,
a TRI, a VEN, a SEV, a ROM, a SER, a STP, f AEG.
FRANCE (Kent): has f BRE, a PAR, a SPA, a WAL, f PIC, f TUN.
GERMANY (Wilson): has f HOL, f BEL, a MUN, f EDI, a GAS,
f ENG, a LON, a NWY, a MAR, f CLY, a RUH.
TURKEY (Miller): R f aeg-SMY; has f SMY, a ARM, a CON.

Addresses of the Participants
AUSTRIA: Vern Parker, 337 Winter Hill Place, Powell, OH 43065, (614) 402-5139
VernDip of is preferred
ENGLAND: Mark Kinney, 4830 Westport Road, Apt D, Louisville KY 40222
alberich of
FRANCE: Douglas Kent - Unit E, #30694-177, Federal Correctional Institution McKean,
PO Box 8000, Bradford, PA 16701
GERMANY: Kevin Wilson, 18623 Santa Maria Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70809, 225-751-3857,
ckevinw1 of
ITALY: Formerly was Heath Gardner, 1510 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro, NC 27403-1207
metaphorman of
ITALY: Mike Barno, 634 Dawson Hill Road, Spencer, NY 14883
mpbarno of
RUSSIA: Rick Desper, 5440 Marinelli Road, #204, Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 977-7691, rick_desper of
TURKEY: Tim Miller, 258 New Mark Esplanade, Rockville, MD 20850,
tim of
GM: Jim-Bob Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327, +1 401-351-0287
burgess of

Game Notes:
1) Long delay, now get your orders in! I only have orders on file for ONE of you.


SECRETS: 1999D, Regular Diplomacy
Pre-Fall 1920
f MID, f ENG, f HOL, f POR.
FRANCE (Sasseville): has f MAR, f SPA(SC), a RUH, a BUR.
GERMANY (Barno): has a CON.
RUSSIA (Parker): has a MOS, a STP, a BER, f DEN, a NWY, a WAR.
TURKEY (Linsey): has a ARM, a UKR, a SIL, f WES, a SEV, f GOL, a MUN, a GAL,
f NAF, f AEG, a TYO, f PIE, a BOH.

Addresses of the Participants
ENGLAND: Was Dan Gorham, PO Box 90, San Ignacio, Cayo, BELIZE, frdan of
ENGLAND: New Standby is Douglas Kent - Unit E, #30694-177, Federal Correctional Institution McKean,
PO Box 8000, Bradford, PA 16701
FRANCE: Roland Sasseville, Jr., 38 Bucklin Street, Pawtucket, RI 02861, (401) 481-4280 ($0)
roland6 of and ICQ: 40565030
GERMANY: Mike Barno, 634 Dawson Hill Road, Spencer, NY 14883, (607) 589-4906
mpbarno of
RUSSIA: Vern Parker, 337 Winter Hill Place, Powell, OH 43065, (614) 402-5139
VernDip of is preferred
TURKEY: Bruce Linsey, PO Box 234, Kinderhook, NY 12106
GonzoHQ of

Game Notes:
1) The FREGT draw is rejected, there are no new proposals. We're off the draw clock, as seems clear at this point.
2) I agonized over this one a bit (which I probably shouldn't admit), but in the end, after all this time, I didn't think it was fair to record an English NMR. Dan Gorham is removed and comes off the standby list. Doug, please, please, please take over! And just send me fall orders for the deadline to get this to the next season. I don't think it is fair to delay this game any more. And apologies for how long it has been delayed.


FINDING THE COMMUNITY: Breaking Away, Designer's Rules

Game Notes:
1) The rules are on the TAP website in the Tinamou section. Ask if you have any questions. New game start in this, who wants to play again (or for the first time)??? We have four signed up so far, see the list in the game opening section. I want to start this up soon, so sign up!!! Can I twist arms on two more of you to join???


Personal Note to You:

File translated from TEX by TTH, version 3.30.
On 24 Feb 2006, 20:16.