Yesterday I received an email from Tony Palmer telling me that Richard Neville had died at the age of 74, in Byron Bay, New South Wales, the Australian hippy enclave where Gilli Smyth breathed her last only a few days before. Now I never met Neville. Our acquaintanceship was confined to two emails about five years ago when I was working on the new edition of Tony Palmer’s The Trials of Oz. I exchanged a few more emails with Jim Anderson, and had no contact whatsoever with Felix Dennis, so I cannot really be called an insider of the Oz scene. But Neville came out with one of my favourite quotes from the counterculture: “There is some corner of a foreign field that is forever Woodstock”, and was an undeniably major figure in that much maligned social movement.
He seemed to be someone who brought out strong reactions in people. Whilst I was working on The Trials of Oz I discovered that people were either terribly fond of the man or disliked him intensely. I never found anyone who was ambivalent towards him. Even after his death, as I sent emails around the usual suspects asking for their memories of him, most people refused to be drawn one way or the other, with those who had been friends with him at various periods of their lives being totally devastated that they had woken up this morning to a planet where Richard Neville was no longer alive.
Me? I am no better than any of the others. I have no knowledge of him personally, and whereas I found large chunks of Oz unreadable, I was impressed by his book Playpower and in the passages about him in Tony Palmer’s book he struck an undeniably heroic figure against the same sort of establishment malice which had (as alluded to above) turned me against my parents twenty years back.
So where is this taking me? I truly don’t know, but if there had not been a Richard Neville, there might well not have been a Gonzo Weekly magazine. I first read The Trials of Oz whilst on holiday with my patients back when I was a Registered Nurse for the Mentally Subnormal [RNMS] nearly thirty years ago, and it was one of the sacred texts, together with A Series of Shock Slogans and Mindless Token Tantrums by Penny Rimbaud et al, that set me on the path that I am on now. But when I finally read the Schoolkid’s Oz, I thought it was puerile bollocks, and was massively underwhelmed. But I too find it hard to adjust to the fact that I have woken up this morning to a planet where Richard Neville was no longer alive.
And by the way chaps and chappesses, a trip to the Jon Downes megastore: if you want to make me a happy fellow, you can:
buy my novel:
buy my single:
And now for the news................
Bill Elliot & The Elastic Oz Band - 'God Save Us' ...
THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: "Awaken" - Jon Anderso...
THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem
Eric Burdon in Newcastle, BBC 'Look North', August...
RICK WAKEMAN: Change of law regarding leaving dogs...
GONZO SERVER CHANGE
Gonzo Magazine #198
Alan discovers how Steve Ignorant - a motormouthed punk icon - swapped the Tourette’s rage of Crass for a life as a Punch and Judy Professor. He also has a very Weird Weekend. Jon, however, muses on Al Stewart and reads about Miss Peregrine and her Peculiar Children. John says goodbye to Gilli Smyth of Gong and Doug gets a whiff of Perfume!
Good ‘ere innit?
And there are radio shows from Strange Fruit, Mack Maloney, and Friday Night Progressive and Canterbury Sans Frontieres. We also have columns from all sorts of folk including Roy Weard, Mr Biffo, Neil Nixon and the irrepressible Corinna. There is also a thrilling and slightly disturbing episode of Xtul. There is also a collection of more news, reviews, views, interviews and pademelons outside zoos(OK, nothing to do with small marsupials who have escaped from captivity, but I got carried away with things that rhymed with OOOOS) than you can shake a stick at. And the best part is IT's ABSOLUTELY FREE!!!
This issue features:
Al Stewart, Charles Manson, Mike Love, Dennis Wilson, George Harrison, Pink Floyd, Prince, John Lennon, Mark David Chapman, Gregg Kofi Brown, Bruce Springsteen, Ozzy Osbourne, Strange Fruit, Friday Night Progressive, Canterbury sans Frontieres, Mack Maloney's Mystery Hour, Dwane "Hoot" Hester, Gene Wilder, Martin Stephenson, Jeff Wayne/Radio Luxembourg, Dee Palmer, Arthur Brown, Rick Wakeman, Pink Fairies, Captain Beefheart, Joe Cocker, Rick Wakeman and Mario Fasciano, Rick Wakeman and Brian May, Barbara Dickson, Alan Dearling, Steve Ignorant, Perfume, Gilli Smyth, Weird Weekend 2016, Mr Biffo, Roy Weard, Hawkwind, Paul Rudolph, Bob Calvert, Xtul, The Monkees, Judas Priest, The Doors, The Beatles, Neil Nixon, David Cassidy
Read the previous few issues of Gonzo Weekly:
Issue 197 (Gilli Smyth)
Issue 196 (Paul May)
Issue 195 (Dave Brock)
Issue 194 (Auburn)
Issue 193 (Genre Peak)
Issue 192 (Rick Wakeman and Brian May)
Issue 191 (Karnataka)
Issue 190 (Erik Norlander)
Issue 189 (Rick Wakeman at the O2)
Issue 187/8 (Yer holiday special)
Issue 186 (Beatles)
Issue 185 (Judge Smith)
Issue 184 (Mick Abrahams)
All issues from #70 can be downloaded at www.gonzoweekly.com if you prefer. If you have problems downloading, just email me and I will add you to the Gonzo Weekly dropbox. The first 69 issues are archived there as well. Information is power chaps, we have to share it!
You can download the magazine in pdf form HERE:
SPECIAL NOTICE: If you, too, want to unleash the power of your inner rock journalist, and want to join a rapidly growing band of likewise minded weirdos please email me at email@example.com The more the merrier really.
* The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at email@example.com. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow...
* The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link: www.gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.co.uk
* We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!
* Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is an old hippy of 57 who - together with an infantile orange cat named after a song by Frank Zappa, and two small kittens, one totally coincidentally named after one of the Manson Family, purely because she squeaks, puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his elderly mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the infantile orange cat, and the adventurous kittens?