4/26/2015

Fotheringay Box


From: Ibell, April 26, 2015

I've given the new Fotheringay collection a few listens, and here are some comments
 about contents.  But please skip this if you're not interested in these types of details.
 Overall, I love the collection, and it sounds wonderful.



Disc 1 includes the original LP, generally as remastered for the big box, although there are
some differences in volume for some tracks.  The six bonus tracks on this disc are the first 
six tracks on Disc 14 of the big box. However, there is a nice surprise with the last song
 on the disc, "Winter Winds." This is remixed in stereo whereas the box set version was mono.
 The preceding track, "Banks of the Nile," also seems to have been remixed, and the stereo 
is perhaps a bit wider than on the box.



Disc 2 contains Fotheringay 2, an exact copy of the original release.  The six bonus 
tracks are the last three tracks of Disc 5 of the big box, followed by two from Disc 14.
 The final one, "Bruton Town," is the version that appeared for download in 2013.  This 
is Sandy's solo performance from 16 March 1972, with instrumental tracks added recently
 by members of Fotheringay.  I love the original, but I like this one very much also.
 This track is unfortunately lossy like the originally released mp3.



Disc 3 pairs remixed recordings from the June 1970 Rotterdam concert with some of 
the surviving BBC recordings of Fotheringay. 

The Rotterdam recordings are still essentially mono, with a little reverb to the sides.  
The quality is a bit better overall.  Three tracks have their first release here:
 "The Way I Feel," "Too Much of Nothing," and "Ballad of Ned Kelly."
 Regarding the other tracks, some chat bits are different on this release compared
with the big box, sometimes contradictory, and it is difficult to tell which are
unaltered and which have been rearranged.  For instance, introducing "The Sea,"
on the big box Trevor says "We're going to start with a song called 'The Sea'", 
but here he says "This song is called 'The Sea'".



A few other examples of remix differences (by no means a complete list):



- On "Nothing More" the start is different from the box set version, with the
 version here adding some acoustic guitar but omitting some piano.



- "Two Weeks Last Summer" is a little longer at the start, and includes Sandy's spoken 
intro.  The strummed acoustic guitar, present on the big box mix, is missing from the 
mix here for about the first minute.



- "Banks of the Nile" is a dozen seconds shorter, by way of a couple of edits during the
last instrumental minute.



Note that the song "I'm Troubled" was titled "Trouble in Mind" on the big box, but the
title used here is correct.  "Trouble in Mind" is a slow blues, and appears on the
19 Rupert St CD.



The BBC recordings are one highlight of the set.  No off-air BBC recordings are included 
here; they all originate either from surviving tapes or from BBC Transcription LPs.
 The quality is excellent.  The first three tracks apparently survive as mono recordings,
and here have some tasteful added effects (such as reverb) to create some headroom and 
give a slight stereo effect.  The final four are true stereo.  To the best of my
knowledge, the session dates for these tracks are:


13 Apr 1970: Interview / The Sea

12 Nov 1970: Lowlands of Holland, Eppie Morrie

15 Nov 1970: John the Gun, Bold Jack Donahue, Gypsy Davey, Wild Mountain Thyme



Two other BBC tracks exist on transcription LP: "Gypsy Davey" from 12 Nov 1970, and 
"The Way I Feel" from 02 Apr 1970.  Ten or so additional songs also exist, but (as
 far as we know) only as off-air recordings.



Disc 4, the DVD containing video of the November 1970 recordings in Bremen, is the 
jewel here.  A must-have.  I never thought I would see this footage, and it's as
good as i could have hoped.



Thanks to everyone involved with this release.  It's a fine celebration of this
 wonderful but short-lived group.



From: Steve Shutt, April 26, 2015

Thanks, lbell (sorry, I do not know your name) for those technical comments.  I am terrible about stuff like this.  I enjoyed the box so much on the one day I devoted to listening to all the discs and have had some follow-up listening that gave me great joy.  I love the look of the box with the sketches on the outside and the beautifully produced booklet that comes with it.  It's just great to have so much of the surviving photos and tracks all gathered together in one place.

A friend sent me a rough scan of a MOJO trashing of the box and that was very sad to see.  For me this box is maybe my favorite Sandy release to date (though I did not get to buy the megabox, a friend did show some of it to me and played some of the tracks so I could hear them).  I have a rather different view of Sandy's Fotheringay period from that commonly put forward in critical writing.  I see it as a magical time in her creative life, highlighted by some of her most brilliant songwriting and performances.  I think this incredibly fruitful time may have helped stimulate further some of the brilliant writing over the releases of the next couple of years, North Star Grassman and the Ravens and Sandy in particular.  I also think the Fotheringay arrangements are my favorite treatments of Sandy's work, from an aesthetic point of view.  I think the reason behind all of it is precisely the harmonic coherence of vision shared by everyone in the band and the formation of a kind of "group mind" with a strong focus on Sandy's songwriting.  Trevor had his own work to share but I actually find it an interesting counterpoint to what Sandy was producing during that year.

Of course a lot of it comes down to musical taste and/or personal loyalty to specific individuals-I wasn't in the scene over there (I was 12 when the band broke up and living in suburban Maryland) so I simply react to what I hear.

Interesting that MOJO also printed an excerpt from Mick Houghton's work on the Liege and Lief period of Fairport which in some ways laid the ground for Fotheringay.  I have not been able to get hold of a copy of the mag or of the Houghton book (I think it is currently import only here in the US).

Cheers,  Steve Shutt
Boston, Mass.


From: mskobac@... , April 26, 2015

I noticed on intro for the Rotterdam live "Nothing More", where Sandy says she "never met this piano before, it’s a new friend", the punch line "or enemy" is cut out. It appears on the version on "Who Knows Where the Time Goes".

4/13/2015

Songwriting and Production


From: No'am Newman, April 10, 2015

Following are my opinions on the subject.

Songs can be classified (very crudely) as to falling into one of four structures: strophic (verse only), verse/chorus, verse/verse/bridge/verse and unstructured. The latter “structure” is fairly rare in modern music as both musicians and listeners prefer repeating structures. Almost all of the songs that Sandy Denny wrote have strophic structure, for example "Who knows Where the Time Goes", "Late November" and "Full Moon". There are a few with bridges, for example "Autopsy" and "The North Star Grassman", but these are very much the exceptions. Off hand, I can't think of one Sandy Denny song with a chorus; I would consider "One More Chance" to be classified as having a bridge.

The problem with arranging and producing Sandy's songs is not that they are slow and sad, but rather that they are strophic. This wasn't too much of a problem in the early days, especially when Sandy was accompanied by Richard Thompson, but it was the major problem in the later days.

How would a producer solve the problem of making a strophic song consistently interesting to the listener? By changing the arrangement. The 'mother of all strophic songs' might be considered to be “Matty Groves”; despite the seventeen sung verses, the arrangement changes throughout the song, and there are even a few instrumental interludes which both heighten the drama and maintain the listener's interest.

An external example of solving the “strophic problem” would be some of the songs on Leonard Cohen's first album; John Simon (later to work with The Band) surrounded the bard with accompaniments which changed almost on a per-verse basis (it should be said that I don't consider some of Simon's choices to be good, but at least he made choices).

In what might be considered to be her “prog” album, The North Star Grassman and the Ravens, each song has a different line up of musicians and instruments. Although "Late November", the opening track and a remnant of Fotheringay 2, is strophic (five sung verses as well as one instrumental), there are a few breaks and the arrangement alternately brings forward the lead guitar and the piano (especially at the beginning). "Next Time Around" is also strophic but has a very good string arrangement by Harry Robinson which varies from verse to verse.

The eponymous "Sandy" album was the first to be produced by Trevor Lucas and the cracks are beginning to show. Interest is maintained in "It Suits Me Well" by changing the sounds used (I still have yet to identify exactly which instruments are used) or else by Richard and his inventive licks. "For Nobody to Hear", an odd one out, is saved (or not, your mileage may vary) by the horn arrangement by Alain Toussaint; I always imagine this as an attempt to copy The Band (Toussaint did the arrangements for their "Rock of Ages" live album which would have been released just before the sessions for "Sandy").

Like an Old Fashioned Waltz is composed almost entirely of strophic songs, blanket strings arranged as dully as possible by Robinson and a lack of other instrumental leads. One song is partially saved by a modulation (up three semitones from D to F, then back again; a trick which Sandy was to recycle), but otherwise dull, dull, dull. Producer: Trevor Lucas.

Rising for the Moon provides a glimmer of hope; this was produced by Glyn Johns and it shows. The combined instrumental force of Sandy, Jerry and Swarb was put to extremely good use on "One More Chance" (but remember that this song is not strophic). "After Halloween" might be strophic but it has a very careful violin solo in the middle. Listen also how there are acoustic guitar strums from alternate sides of the stereo. On the other hand, the title track is yet another strophic outing from Sandy whose attraction wears off fairly quickly.

Rendezvous does show a few interesting attempts at making something new: "Gold Dust" and "All Our Days" are hardly standard fare for Sandy. But as for the others.... The classic mis-produced song for me is "Full Moon": excellent lyrics but strophic structure (four verses and one instrumental). The strings are generic and even Sandy's piano is formulaic. A good producer would have noticed how soporific this track is and would have done something to improve it. Even holding the strings off for the first verse would have made a difference.

There may well have been mitigating reasons why the records turned out the way that they did; after having read the Houghton biography, the first word that comes to mind is 'budget'. The second reason is that they (Sandy and Trevor) might well have thought that the production was sympathetic and cast Sandy in the best light possible. They came from a musical background in which “production” and “arrangement” were anathema.  John Wood was a well known “string freak” and Trevor may not have been able to stand up to the combined forces of Wood and Robinson. One also has to take into account that Richard Thompson was missing in action during the mid-70s.

Stay cool,
No'am

From: Ed Goodstein, April 10, 2015

Excellent and thought provoking analysis, and I respect your point of view. Good point about strophic structure of most Sandy Denny songs. Having said that, however, I admit that Like an Old Fashioned Waltz is my favorite Sandy solo album, and I like most of Rendezvous too-a lot, including “Full Moon”, one of my very favorite Sandy Denny songs :).  In general as years have gone by, I listen most to Sandy's solo era works/songs, more than the early stuff, or even Fotheringay. (Yes, I know I'm in the minority on this). That said though, I often find the demo versions/alt. takes around to be as or more interesting/moving (often without the 'overripe' strings, as one writer called them).  So I also agree with you in some respects.  Listening to the newly arrived Fotheringay Box Set, those few tracks Joe Boyd produced/arranged that ended up on NSG are startlingly exciting I think.  It is too bad that he didn't get a chance to produce a solo album for her. It's possible he would've made her  more readily accessible, with more interesting, varied, exciting arrangements.

Ed

From: Howard, April 10, 2015

No'am,

I am a long time fan of Sandy (saw her live in 1975) and an audiophile with
dedicated music room and equipment which can make the most of modern
re-masters.
I have had all the original pink label vinyl lps when they came out in the
70s and have 5 different cd versions of Like an Old Fashioned Waltz. 
 Like an Old Fashioned Waltz is my favourite solo LP and I love the string arrangements as do many
other people judging from reviews on Amazon. Playing this album late at
night transports me to a special place.
I can appreciate that not all people like the string arrangements or
production by Trevor but I am putting myself forward liking both and proud
of it.


Best Wishes

Howard

From: Doug Belll, April 10, 2015

Thanks for the analysis, No'am.  Although the verse-only structure of many of Sandy's traditional folk outings is very noticeable, I hadn't realized how many of her songs were that way as well.  Often I listen to a song in an emotional way rather than an analytical one, and so I miss noticing things like this.  I agree it's likely that this was a component that added to the production challenges.


All the best,

Doug

7/12/2013

Sandy's House in Byfield

From: Elizabeth Hurtt, 28 January 2013

ronscott264 wrote:
Does anyone know the address of Sandy's house in Byfield?

It was called The Twistle. It's now at 40 The Twistle (because lots of other houses have been built down along the twistle), situated at the corner of Bell Lane and The Twistle. It's had an extension put onto it too.


Levent's Note: See Philip Ward's Blog for detailed info and pics:
http://sandydenny.blogspot.com/2009/08/byfield.html

11/21/2012

The Well Hall


From: Miranda Ward, December 7, 2003

David Raddatz, December 7, 2003 wrote: 

Miranda, what is Well Hall? Sandy played there?

I am sure that there is a bootleg of a gig of Sand's there - and I am even certain that have it somewhere thanks to someone on this list..

It is not lost - but securely packed away with the whole collection that I am trying to compile, in triplicate, for G and the twins. I haven't managed to get 3 of everything yet and I do have gaps - but I am sure it exists. I never was, dare I say it (-:) !!) a folkie! I was far more into blues and then rock. Sandy and I knew when we clicked and realised that we were reading each other's minds - but we never could work out when it was and how it was that we first met. It was not until the drive from the hotel to the site when, with Bambi Balard, I gave a lift to Martin Carthy that I solved that mystery - whilst active in CND. I also went out with a guy who loved folk music, played a bit and took me to folk clubs - I had completely lost touch with him and never realised that he did make a name for himself on the folk scene but had died, Martin thought, in the 90's sometime. I know that I first went to Cousins Bunjies etc with him and thus Sandy and my paths first crossed...

As I unearth more things I am archiving stuff properly. However most of the CDs are already packed away for safety. I only keep a few of the official CDs to hand. "Gold Dust" being one and my most frequently played one - I have even packed away the casettes I have of the full concert! That is one I itch to lay my hands on now!!! Plus the bootleg "Gold Dust" tour one! I think that you are a long term listee here and will know that I am slowly collecting triplicate sets. G took a couple back when she was here in '99 but asked me very specifically to keep all the others for her until later. She need not worry about them as my brother, who knew and loved Sandy too (and got on well with David) is also a solicitor and knows my intentions plus I am now re-writing my will - but it is complicated by the fact that I have to set up a trust which will take money which, at the moment I do not have because of the settling of my mother's estate and my big move!!

It is in the pipeline and letters of intent exist which will over ride earlier wills - especially the main one formal one I re-did after hearing that both David, Neil and Edna were all dead - I was tyold that by Anthea when I bumped into her in '89! That one had to have provisos to pay for tracing Georgia and the cost of that plus she would have had to know who I was and that I was one of her God-parents! Thanks to Mojo in '98 (and Warner Brothers Records for hooking me up with Jim and saying he was a good guy so thus that article back then) that I actually 'found' G. John Penhallow gave me her number and then called her to warn her as to who I was!!! She had 'heard' my name but didn't know more and certainly did not know the story behind her mother's death - and even referred to her mother as 'Sandy' which I found upsetting.

I have tried in the past to get G's number from John PH but he couldn't help the last last time as I think he was out of touch with G and I guess the Attics are bare... I do have a number for G somewhere - but am hoping she will make contact with me - if she is still on the list or if any other listee is in touch with her!! Heaven alone knows if it is still valid - anyway I haven't got a clue where my address book is and her mobile number seems dead! This last year has been a very jam packed one for me with resolution of a lot of things.

Both Swarb and I dearly wish that G could have lived over here for a while and spend some quality time with the offspring of her mother's peers. Seeing Jerry D and Pat so proud of their daughter at Cropredy, despite their divorce and both having new partners really brought home to Bambi and me how much Georgia had missed by not having a stable extended family. Still pissed off that Sandy died with no will. Mad that Trevor did not return things of mine - let alone things of Sandy's that he didn't want and also not to mention the many books of my mother's which Sandy had borrowed!!! Including P G Wodehouse (some first editions ouch!) and Agatha Christie's - which, had he been a reader he would have kept and G would have now! My mother forgave Sandy but not Trevor! And then to top that he died with no will and then Marianne too... Okay, in our late 20'/early 30's we all thought we were immortal - but Cass' death in '74 was both my and Sandy's wake up call. I had no idea that she had never done one - or maybe only letter of intent which must have been lost. My father lectured us both about wills and life insurance policies. He nagged me to set one up - it worked and will mature soon - if I die before that it goes to my estate - it was for my debts (!) and Sandy's benefit. He also tried to get Sandy to but didn't want to play the "heavy father" role with Trevor. A shame Sandy wasn't more of a feminist - she also wanted to protect Trevor's image, which reflects her generousity of spirit, I never realised that he couldn't really write until we were on the road in the States and we all had post from parents and friends and she had drawings and notes from Trevor.

One bit in the biog that took me a back was how hurt Trevor was that David had slammed the door in his face. It was said that. I must have made David mad at Trevor! Not true. We were all upset. As the 'husband', despite leaving her, he overrode both Sand's parent's and brother's wishes (and mine). We had all agreed that somehow we would keep S on life support for as long as possible. He flew back in. Stayed at a friend's place. Visited the hospital and signed consent for machine to be switched off that night at 8.00pm. The hospital called us before he appeared on the doorstep. Neither Neil nor Edna would let me have him in my flat - nor did I want to but I did manage to persuade David to come downstairs into my parents part of the house and talk to Trevor. I left them in the drawing room and loitered in the hall. Yes, David did slam the inner fornt door up to my flat - I thought the glass would have broken. He was very upset. I had loitered in case they had ended up in a fight in Ma and Pa's part of the house. I don't really know if the readers (or even the FC crowd) were aware of how both our parents and brothers all knew each other and that Neil and Edna had come straight from Cornwall and were staying with me in the top half of the house but also having meals cooked etc with and by my parents. It was not any of the FC crowd there for support (Linda came round once - on the Wednesday and I took her up to Queen Mary's - but they had moved S after her hyperthermia and body temp plummetting and so we went on to the Atkinson Morley (?) I then drove Linda back to Phillipa's)- it was a band called the Movies who were good friends of mine and thus of Sand's - I didn't really realise until later how they had all but had a rota for shopping for essentials, fetching coal up for the fire etcetera etcetera....I am lucky. I know that if I should die suddenly and tragically that all my dear friends know who the others are - even if they are not that close themselves with each other they will def., for my sake, help keep each other's spirits up and be there for each other..thank God Sand did not live to see how a number of her crowd closed ranks and excluded me because of the way Trevor had behaved.

To be fair, none of us really knew how to cope with sudden death like that. We were all so young. They only had Martin's death (well, some of them) and I had had to cope with Cass'...Swarb's quote on that was spot on and I still love the guy dearly! He knows that - as does G! Another of that bunch did say that they did think of me but no one knew how to find me! A shame - all it would have taken was a note through the letter box addressed to me! An American friend did that on the off chance and we had lost touch since '73. It got to me! Synchronicity. The family who bought the London house were, and still are 2nd cousins of the family my parents bought their house down here from! The young family who have bought my parents house now - her father worked with close friends of my father and knew and respected my God-father who was eminent in his field. His (the new family at my parents house) father used to race (sail boat) competitively internationally and crewed with my cousin who was my brother's best man...and my uncle had a half share in the boat he sailed most often on plus he took his son's on sailing trips with his friend who owned the other half many years after my uncle had taken my brother and his youngest son on the same 'lite' sails to see if they could hack it! Not my scene! Also they have an Irish Water Spaniel I have a Belgian one! I knew when they were barely through the gates that they would be the new incumbants!

Any way a new p[hase of my life has started - and no - I am not going to go posting mad! This is far too long! I will most probably post when I've touched base with Georgia again. I know there is a way to look at a list of all those on the list. I think that there are a lot of new ones - I hope so - it shows how the interest in S's work is starting again - and long overdue! Of all the lists I have been on this one has been the most friendly and I hope still has as old timers still here! For those who celebrate Christmas - my good wishes. For those who just have a holiday - have fun! Any gifts that are bought for a person because they have their name written all over them mean far more than expensive 'designer must haves'. Especially if they endure! I still have presents S gave me - like my orange tiles and now there are 12 again! And also she once gave me a set of peel off/on stickers of a tortoise. We used to keep any stash there...she stuck stickers on school diary, mark book etc..(I hastenb to add it was a very small tortoise!) But she relished the word play of taught us..dah dah!! I found the last sheet with 3 stickers! Needless to say that would still bring a smile to my face even if she had not died...but then I would have been on the phone to her for the last hour or so!!! G will get the tortoise eventually I expect!

No More Sad Refrains (Bootleg)

From: Steve Shutt, December 2, 2003

Somewhere or other (there's been a barrage of recent posts with vague subject lines lately), somebody was discussing the "Gold Dust" re-tooling of Sandy's Nov. 1977 Royalty Theatre concert and comparing it with the bootleg issue that had a title similar to "No More Sad Refrains." Over the long holiday weekend we just had here in the US, I got out my tape of this boot and have listened to it several times with great pleasure. I prefer the track listing that follows Sand's original setlist, and prefer the raw tape to the studio-embellished version with sound filtering, overdubs, etc. For one thing, Sand's voice often seems a lot clearer, or at least, more "situated" vis-a-vis the instrumental backdrop, in the bootleg version.

I wasn't there in person but to judge from this recording, Sand was in fine voice that night.
Just thought I would chip in my two drachmae on this issue.
From: Miranda Ward, December 7, 2003

I'll throw in mine too.

I cannot remember now how much Clinton Heylin used in his biog but, Sand's voice was bad, especially by the last night that was one of the ones they recorded. I made up a concoction of freshly squeezed lemons (at least half a doz plus cos I went back to the shops for more!) honey (loads) and brandy and heated and put in vacuum flasks - I also took a note book with pencil and large roll of sellotape. And duplicate note books & pens!

I had to sellotape her mouth and she refused to respond to spoken words so I and any of the others had to resort to scribbling for her to read... Judging by the state of her voice that last afternoon I think it was a miracle that she did the gig...and, in terms of feel etc I think it is a must.

The Italian bootleg had more chat. I don't think either were actually in the original running order of the gig. I think the boot was a bit closer... have actaul running order somewhere I think. Or were there two boots? Had Jerry Donahue not re-done the guitar there would not have been that Golddust CD. He tried, in vain, to get A&M and Island to make it a double and retain all the chat and I seem to rember him saying he would have liked to have retained the integrity of the running order as it was... but age is catching up with me...

I have new ISP but still get the posts to this one. A few have my new one, but it is really only family and extended family! However if Georgia is reading this -then G, please post me! I have the same phone number BUT have finally sold the parents' house and moved to my own and am now starting my own life again. As promised G - it is big enough for you and the twins should the chance or need arrive! Have lost my phone book - it has to be here somewhere - the final and full packing and the move took well over 2 weeks!! I will be surrounded by boxes for a while I think! BUT some forgotten goodies re-surfaced - including a lovely doodle of your mother's! Signed to boot!

The only other signed thing was the "Gold Dust" album that then got changed to "Rendezvous" - look at the art work and see how it would go with stars and meteor shower - Trevor gave my signed copy away to an Atlantic Records friend who was visiting and that is long gone and S never signed the replacement she got me!!! The doodle was not with any other Sand or rock'n roll stuff!!! Also found the Don Henley post card to Sandy and me in LA; also the stage dress she loved best and packed and had with her when I went up to fetch her the day Trevor et al flew off to Oz. I also found the acvtual spice jar of cloves which she had to move to get to the Andrews and subsequently spilled over kitchen floor - my mother had not threown away but had packed awayquite seperately back when. I never packed my flat up as I was nursing two elderly great aunts in the depths of the country when that big move happened and my other God-daughter (Who G met in '99) and is also my cousin packed my stuff with her mother and other family members - hence the move just completed was so protracted - I felt the need to be hands on all the way. Those of you who have visited will realise what a mamoth task it was - quite apart from down-sizing from 4 large reception and 7 bedrooms/dressing rooms/studies and stables and outbuildings and two summer houses, green houses and sheds - the stuff of nightmares!. I have managed to keep the mahogany dining table with the cigarette burns (both mine and Sandy's!). I also found the rest of the orange tiles Sandy gave me and some of the green ones I gave her and was putting felt on the bottoms so that they didn't scratch the piano!!! I had totally forgotten that S had given them back to me to cover. I finished doing the last 3 of those last week. A poignant moment. Also on the 1st drive back in the lorry on the first move day there were builders about 4 doors down on the opposite side of the road...radio on loud. Yes. Sandy! That felt like a good omen. I meant to say that I did put rather more brandy in the throat concoction than intended - both Trevor and I had to do quality control tests!! Typo errors due to poisened finger and keying in is a bitr hard.

Meant to add - also found massess of tins of green dye that S bought for me to dye more stuff of hers...also the big boiler and wooden spoon I used to use. No I didn't chuck them! God, the hell and fun of being a hoarder. Were S still here she would be rolling on the floor with tears of laughter - and I would too - her laugh should carry a Governemnt Health Warning it's so contagious!

Back into lurk mode... Actually not even that - by the time I have "wahed out" the spam I sometimes do not get around to reading these - sorry - the habit went in the run up to the buying/selling/moving process and coping with 100 plus emails at a time gets put off and they then breed like raBBITS - but I am checking the other address.. G, if nec call reversing the charges - give me your number and I will call back!! Or you can call - your mother's stuff is much more prominent in record stores these days I gather and Eva Cassidy's cover must be helping too!! Saw James again in March - he was sick when in Oz. Also saw Jackson for the first time since '76.

Jackson & Lowell appear in the doodle as well as, mainly, Jon (who found your mother) and an oblique reference to the album they were doing or releasing at that point - has to have been in '77. Fascinating documentary obn Randy Newman recently - If only he could have been reached for a quote! I still have the photos I took of Sandy on stage and then later Randy - from the same chalk mark - with his okay! Also found my medical certificate from a Doctor he knew in LA who also treated Sandy's L.A. throat '73 -Randy's father- he never billed us. The West Coast chewed and spat Dusty out - did Trevor really think it was the way for Sandy to go? Sandy didn't want to! Sorry this is so long - will shut up for appropriate length of time now. A listee sent me a jiffy bag -I've got the CD but no address book and cannot find email about it -please contact me off list- I feel really bad about it!#

7/22/2012

Unhalfbricking Album Cover

From: Dan, June 18, 2006

Unhalfbricking is graced with an unforgettable cover. Unsullied by album title or band name, the photograph, by Eric Hayes, is of an elderly, middle-class couple -Neil and Edna Denny- posing in front of their home in Arthur Road, Wimbledon in the Autumn of 1968. Through the high fence behind them you can just make out Fairport Convention, lounging playfully on the lawn under a tall, old beech tree. The misty church spire in the distance underlines the image's assertion that this is rock music unlike any other, rock music from a different lineage.
From: Philip Ward, June 18, 2006

(The house shown on the Unhalfbricking album cover is at) 9B Arthur Road, SW19, Sandy’s parents' place at the time. I believe it was a house divided into flats, with a communal garden, which is where the band are lolling. Go at the end of the month and you can take in the tennis at the same time!

From: David Taylor, 18 June, 2006

I am quoting from the beginning of the updated liner notes in the English version of the Unhalfbricking remaster:

”The third Fairport album was given the undecipherable title, "Unhalfbricking". Actually this was made up by Sandy during an hilarious word-game in the group van, travelling to or from some forgotten gig."
 
From: Elizabeth Hurtt-Lucas, 18 June 2006

A "Game of Ghost" that Fairport was playing once. It's a word game where a word is constructed by each person adding a letter to that contributed by the person before them (in either direction). You have three lives to lose and you lose a life by adding the last letter of the word.

From: James Blatchley, June 19, 2006

From what I have read it was outside Sandy's parents house in Wimbledon. Sandy was very nervous about introducing the band of long haired musicians to her mother, but apparently they were delighted and put on a traditional English “High Tea” for them. Sandy's parents can be seen standing in the background. They were big supporters of Sandy and all her work.

Interestingly, when the album was released in America, A&M Records thought the audience wouldn't understand the photo so they replaced it with one of pink elephants similar to those in Disney's Fantasia!

Good luck visiting Sandy's places. When you are in London don't forget to visit Fairport House on Fortis Green Road in Muswell Hill. It's where Simon Nicol grew up, Ashley lived and Fairport Convention first recorded.

From: Levent Varlik, June 19, 2006

The US release of  Unhalfbricking was designed by Tom Wilkes and I like it more than the UK sleeve probably for sentimental reasons, because A&M's Unhalfbricking was the first LP I've ever bought.

On the UK release, the band is not seen clearly. However, the US release shows a sharp pic of Fairport when having tea in the garden. When Fairport Convention were in Turkey for a show back in 1993, I requested Simon to sign on the LP.

When Simon was signing, Ric approached us and asked "whose album that was"! He'd never seen the US sleeve before!

A&M released also What We Did On Our Holidays with a different sleeve design and titled the album simply as "Fairport Convention" probably because that was the first Fairport album released in the US.

7/21/2012

Nick Drake and Fairport Convention

From: James Blatchley, July 25, 2007

Nick Drake opened for Fairport Convention at the legendary Queen Elizabeth Hall, London concert in 1969 where Fairport priemered the Liege & Lief material. Joe Boyd said it was by far the greatest gig that Nick Drake ever did. However, he only did half of it before suddenly running off stage and out of the theatre!

If you listen to Chorley Folk every Sunday between 3 and 6pm GMT then you will ocasionally hear Nick Drake and Fairport Convention and Fotheringay and Sandy Denny etc etc.

I can't wait for Cropredy this year. I hope all the water has drained away before then. Oxford and Banbury were both completely underwater earlier this week.
From: No’am Newman, July 26, 2007

As for Sandy and Nick, Fotheringay did a short tour of Britain in March 1970, supported by John and Beverly Martin, along with Nick Drake. I saw them in Bristol on 22 March, but unfortunately remember nothing about the concert. I remember even if Nick played, although I recently read in one of the websites devoted to him that he did.