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Nic Jones article in The Guardian

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Bonnie Shaljean 29 Jun 12 - 07:22 AM
greg stephens 29 Jun 12 - 07:36 AM
Arthur_itus 29 Jun 12 - 07:43 AM
Bonzo3legs 29 Jun 12 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,henryp 29 Jun 12 - 08:04 AM
GUEST, Sminky 29 Jun 12 - 09:03 AM
Ross Campbell 29 Jun 12 - 09:37 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 29 Jun 12 - 09:42 AM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 12 - 09:47 AM
matt milton 29 Jun 12 - 09:56 AM
Phil Edwards 29 Jun 12 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 29 Jun 12 - 10:18 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 29 Jun 12 - 10:30 AM
matt milton 29 Jun 12 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,punkfuckrocker 29 Jun 12 - 10:53 AM
The Sandman 29 Jun 12 - 11:19 AM
Big Al Whittle 29 Jun 12 - 11:42 AM
matt milton 29 Jun 12 - 12:14 PM
The Sandman 29 Jun 12 - 12:51 PM
matt milton 29 Jun 12 - 01:13 PM
The Sandman 29 Jun 12 - 01:39 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 Jun 12 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,henryp 29 Jun 12 - 05:46 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 12 - 07:32 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 12 - 07:34 PM
Big Al Whittle 29 Jun 12 - 11:46 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Jun 12 - 01:05 PM
The Sandman 30 Jun 12 - 01:41 PM
Joe Offer 30 Jun 12 - 01:49 PM
The Sandman 30 Jun 12 - 02:07 PM
Brian Peters 30 Jun 12 - 02:47 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Jun 12 - 03:27 PM
MGM·Lion 30 Jun 12 - 06:25 PM
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Steve Shaw 30 Jun 12 - 07:41 PM
The Sandman 30 Jun 12 - 07:46 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Jun 12 - 07:51 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 Jun 12 - 07:58 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Jun 12 - 08:01 PM
GUEST,Molly 01 Jul 12 - 09:21 AM
MGM·Lion 01 Jul 12 - 09:40 AM
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Bonnie Shaljean 01 Jul 12 - 11:48 AM
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Subject: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 07:22 AM

Can't believe no one has started a thread about this yet. I'll let the title speak for itself:

What the folk! Nic Jones is back

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jun/28/what-folk-nic-jones-back


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: greg stephens
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 07:36 AM

"The decades following Jones's accident were largely barren for British folk music"...the article says. Interesting and provocative statement. You can't actually argue with it because of the sneaky "lagely" being inserted, but it's a good discussion point. And how about the decades before, come to that?
Anway, that aside good luck to Nic and let's all hope this goes well.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 07:43 AM

Shame he won't be playing guitar.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 07:57 AM

But his son is very good.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 08:04 AM

1982! Penguin Eggs still sounds fresh today. I'm sure Nic has moved on, but that's how many of us still remember him. I hope his dates go well.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 09:03 AM

"it was always open tunings, which I think now was a bit of a fake way of playing".

No, Nic, no! I remember someone suggesting to Martin Carthy that playing in open tuning was cheating. I thought Martin was going to head-butt the guy - and I rather wish he had.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 09:37 AM

Of course it's cheating (but playing in dropped "D" tuning isn't, so I'll just keep doing that!)

Good luck to Nic for his return to the stage. Hope to hear him again.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 09:42 AM

I think a number of the old blues players used open tunings, didn't they? I remember reading where Joni Mitchell seriously got herself on the wrong side of (?) Furry Lewis by saying something about playing in the same tunings he used (it has a name, which I can't remember at the moment - Sebastapol? Vestapol?) and he got the idea she was patronising him, and became hostile and defensive about it. She says she was just passing a neutral comment and he put some kind of negative interpretation on it. But if open tuning is "cheating" - which I don't believe it is - then Nic is is some pretty stellar company.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 09:47 AM

The lamentable lack of availability of his early records is mentioned but glossed over.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: matt milton
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 09:56 AM

"The decades following Jones's accident were largely barren for British folk music"...the article says. Interesting and provocative statement. You can't actually argue with it because of the sneaky "lagely" being inserted, but it's a good discussion point. And how about the decades before, come to that?"

well, the decades since would be 1982â€"2012. three decades.

I don't know, I often wonder what the "classic" 1980s British folk albums would be. I know I don't own any. And can't say I've ever heard any.

The majority of my British folk CD/MP3 collection are 1950s & 60s recordings. Then a smattering of 1970s, a smattering of late 90s things, before the decent amount of post 2000s albums from largely younger acts.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 10:03 AM

"Largely barren"... hmm.

I wasn't, strictly speaking, around - I was here, but I'd stopped taking an interest in folk music well before 1982 and I didn't get back into it for 20-odd years. But I do get the feeling that there was a sense of having taken folk into lots of different areas - folk, fine, but folk and what else? - the whole "folk-rock" thing being part of the process. So there was folk on Top Gear, folk on stage at the National, folk in working-men's clubs, folk on TOTP, even an entire folk opera (Bellamy and Townshend, Tommy and the Transports - compare and contrast). And, just as prog rock ran out of steam in the same period, there was perhaps a bit of a sense that it had all been done - after Lark Rise, after the Transports, after "All around my hat", after "Capstick Comes Home" (1981); a sense of "what are we going to do now?". Fortunately the songs were still there, preserved for a new generation (or, in the case of my age group, a new generation of old farts) beneath the icecap of general oblivion. It's ironic that now, when folk has become fashionable again, it's very much a retro, revivalist style - and what's being revived is by and large the 1970s, the heyday of prog-folk.

I wish Nic well with all my heart, but from that article it sounds as if he's still thinking in those folk-and-what-else? terms. I dare say his own songs are all right - "Ruins on the shore" is OK - and I'm quite into Radiohead, but the old songs are something else.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 10:18 AM

"What the folk! Nic Jones is back"

What the folk!

see what the writer did there ? genius..LOL*

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

priceless pun, cracks me up in hysterical mirth every time....

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha


thank the comedy gods for lazy creatively bankrupt hack journalism.


[* first and only time I'll ever descend to using "LOL"]


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 10:30 AM

It could be the Graun which is to blame for the headline, rather than Colin Irwin... that's happened before...


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: matt milton
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 10:31 AM

I imagine you'll have a Guardian subeditor to thank for that, rather than Colin Irwin. Titles and captions are usually a sub's work.

And that sub will have probably have had to churn out about 50 in ten minutes, on subjects that he or she didn't necessarily know anything about before writing them. So I wouldn't be too hard on them for resorting to the old "folk/f**k" chestnut.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,punkfuckrocker
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 10:53 AM

bah... bloody public school day-release interns...

Ok, seeing as this pun is apparently so venerable
it is itself entering the folk tradition and thus should be honoured and respected..

for the rest of today, or until I get bored with it,

I shall be "punkfuckrocker"...


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 11:19 AM

Iam pleased to hear this news.
I take exceptionto the following comment writen by the journalist
"The decades following Jones's accident were largely barren for British folk music"
more crap from Colin Irwin, the standard of folk journalism is the only thing that was barren[and clearly still is] about the decades following nic jones accident.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 11:42 AM

yeh literature had Leavis, Tillyard, Wilson Knight. In folk music we had Karl Dallas and Colin Irwin.

Was it Eliot said, the critics job is to isolate quality? I guess we were of such quality GSS that we were isolated by those two - so that the barren wastes of English folk music could be presided over by their favourites.

It was their view of English folk music that was barren and ill informed.

I think it was me who said to Martin that open tunings were cheating. He didn't headbut me, but looked quizzically, then I said, what I really mean is that it becomes a substantially different instrument - when you move away from the EADGBE tuning. And he agreed.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: matt milton
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 12:14 PM

well, it's an opinion, and an informed one. I don't see that you can dismiss the quality of someone's writing based on disagreement wth their opinion.

I have to say I have many, many, many more folk albums that I know and love from the 50, 60s, 70s and 2000s than I have from the 80s and 90s.

The 1980s were a funny decade for music: music production gimmickry went crazy in ways that weren't good for folk.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 12:51 PM

it is not informed at all, the 1980s produced some fine songs and songwriters, it produced bands who experimented with brass / wood wind, and was actually a period that was not barren but fertile as regards musical ideas, duos such as John Kirkpatrick and Sue harris[CONCERTINA OBOE HAMMER DULCIMER], bands like pyewackett, ,brass monkey, old swan band.TRADITIONAL MUSICIANS such as oscar woods, billy Bennington font watling, were introduced in to the folk revival, through the old hat concert party.
"The 1980s were a funny decade for music: music production gimmickry went crazy in ways that weren't good for folk."
perhaps you could qualify this wild statement


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: matt milton
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 01:13 PM

Wild statement qualified: recordings sounded more sterile due to the advent of small, deadened recording studios with reverb supplied digitally rather than by being in a natural high-ceilinged acoustic space. And as the decade wore on, horrible gated drums; and by the mid to late 80s you'd get people sneaking in synthesized sounds.

Admittedly I'm talking about the RECORDINGS here, which is all I can go on, as I wasn't old enough to be at the folk clubs/gigs: I concede that the real life of folk always happens at live events, not on albums.

I happen to not like Pyewackett, the Old Swan Band or Brass Monkey. I love JOhn Kirkpatrick, and I'm sure his 80s gigs were just as enjoyable as his gigs today, but I can't honestly say his 80s albums do anything for me.

So, while I wouldn't use the word "barren", I remain unconvinced that 80s folk was as interesting as it was in the 60s.

But this is all besides the point. You disagree with someone because you like some stuff he doesn't. Happens all the time. Doesn't make that person a bad writer.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 01:39 PM

yes it does, his comment is unqualified, as is yours.
I WAS OLD ENOUGH TO BE DOING GIGS AND PLAYING FOLK CLUBS.
many of the people playing music then are still doing it now including Martin Carthy,John Kirkpatrick, Dave Burland, Bob Davenport, Tom Paley,Bonnie Shaljean, Peggy Seeger, Brian Peters,Jez Lowe,Richard Grainger,Wilson Family,Dick Gaughan,Roy Bailey, Leon Rosselson, June Tabor, Martin Simpson,Dick Miles,Louis Killen,BillCaddick, Peter Bond,Pete Coe,Chris Coe, Roy Harris, Peter Bellamy.
both you and Colin Irwin belittle all these performers with these unqualified generalised comments.
Colin Irwin does not compare eighties folk music with sixties, this is some red herring that you have brought in.AS FOR YOUR REMARKS ABOUT RECORDINGS THIS IS MORE CRAP, and i speak from experience i made
5 recordings during the 80s and did not use any of the recording techniques you said were the order of the day.
here is one, so much for being barren, cop on young man
http://www.eafa.org.uk/catalogue/5148


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 03:27 PM

The 1980's, not only barren, but uninteresting now......

It also coincides with the period when the Melody Maker's folkchickens came to roost. All those acts warmly recommended who could empty a room 'faster than a trapeze artist with diarrhoea' as Derek Brimstone delicately put it.

People in America read the rave reviews in Melody maker and got folk artists to tour whom the American audiences had zilch possibility of relating to.

Result

premature death of the folk revival


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 05:46 PM

John Kirkpatrick and Sue Harris may well play melodeon, oboe and hammer dulcimer on record, but I'd like to see them do it live!


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 07:32 PM

Er, Peter Bellamy's been dead this last 20 years, Dick ol' chap. The only way he's "still doing it now" is as a member of the Choir Invisible. By the way, Dick, are you having trouble with your caps lock as well as your space bar?


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 07:34 PM

Dick Miles was unknown then, and perhaps now.

Ah, you tempter/temptress you, oh guest!


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 29 Jun 12 - 11:46 PM

'Dick Miles was unknown then, and perhaps now..

Well he shouldn't have been. He's great. Very talented musically, and as a songwriter and interprter of trad material. Mayybe if Irwin had unclogged his bloody ears and got off his arse to review someone else, rather than ingratiate himself with great and the good - you would be better informed.

Though I doubt it. Snidey little wanker!


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 01:05 PM

sorry about that - lost my temper!


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 01:41 PM

ok,here are some facts,and corrections
Pete and chris coe Coe started in 1971, Jez lowe, Richard Grainger started performing in the eighties, however all the people I mentioned,
Martin Carthy,John Kirkpatrick, Dave Burland, Bob Davenport, Tom Paley,Bonnie Shaljean, Peggy Seeger, Dick Gaughan,Roy Bailey, Leon Rosselson, June Tabor, Louis Killen, Pete Coe,Chris Coe, Roy Harris, and Peter Bellamy, WERE MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS to the uk folk scene in the 1980s., MY POINT IS THEY WERE MAJOR PLAYERS IN THE 1980S'
I was not unknown in the 1980s,neither am I unknown now, Martin Carthy recorded guitar on one of my lps,... 1985, JEZ lOWE, played guitar on an lp in 1981
In 1985, I recorded an lp with The New Mexborough English concertina Quartet, plus   I recorded several times for Folk on 2, and was playing at Folk festivals and clubs all over the UK.
In the late eighties, I recorded and toured with Teesside songwriter Richard Grainger, these are all facts.
I have played the following festivals, Warwick,Redcar, Saltburn, Loughborough,Sidmouth Chippenham, Kendall, Lancaster, Tenterden,Towersey,Chester,Norwich, Ely, Scarborough, Whitby,and many others, which is remarkable for an unknown.
I apologise, but i feel it is necessary to correct nasty misinformation, now to get back to the subject of Nic jones, this is wonderful news, he was/is a talented performer


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 01:49 PM

I'm going to copy-paste the article, just in care the link dies sometime in the future.
source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jun/28/what-folk-nic-jones-back

    What the folk! Nic Jones is back
    Colin Irwin
    guardian.co.uk, Thursday 28 June 2012 15.00 EDT

    Thirty years after the car crash that almost killed him, folk hero Nic Jones is returning to the stage. He talks about his rebuilt body – and why he is an impostor


    'Excited? Nah, not really, but it should be good fun," says Nic Jones, with his trademark infectious giggle. "Be nice if they don't jeer me off though." He sounds as if he's contemplating karaoke in his local pub. Instead, he's talking about something he hasn't done for a very long time, something that nobody who loves folk music dared dream of seeing – Nic Jones back on stage.

    It has been 30 often difficult years since Jones's last appearances in his own right, but he maintains a carefree nonchalance about the fate that wrecked his career. He remembers nothing of the gig at Glossop in February 1982, the road between Peterborough and March in Cambridgeshire on the way back, the lorry he collided with head-on while closing in on home. He was in a coma for weeks and in hospital for six months while they tried to reassemble him. "Everything on my right side was bust," he says cheerily. "Eyes, ears, arm. Elbow smashed to bits. Wrist. Everything had to be replaced. I've got a metal arse, a false eye, false teeth, everything is false. I'm an illusion. The only thing that wasn't bust was my guitar."

    And he's really not nervous about his comeback? "I've never really suffered with nerves – the family are more nervous about it than me."

    At the time of the accident, Jones – then 35 – was at the top of his game. With his percussive arrangements, relaxed vocals, an ear for a potent song and an enlightened, freestyle approach built around progressive open-tuned guitar, he was one of the star attractions on the vibrant British folk circuit. His fifth and most recent album, Penguin Eggs, had taken the genre to a new level, with Jones channelling his inner rock psyche into the unlikely format of a solo singer playing mostly traditional songs on an acoustic guitar.

    With two young kids, no income and a body to reconstruct, the following years were traumatic for his whole family; their survival is largely down to the stoicism of Jones's wife, Julia (when Jones was presented with the Good Tradition Award by the BBC in 2007, he thanked Julia for transforming him "from sub-human to paranormal"). It was she who appealed to fans to send her bootleg recordings to play to Jones to bring him out of his coma. The response was so good that some of those tracks ended up being released on her home-produced compilations In Search of Nic Jones (1998) and Unearthed (2001), which – with his first four albums still largely unavailable – helped to introduce him to a fresh audience.

    The decades following Jones's accident were largely barren for British folk music, but when a new generation of musicians started to come through, one thing was notable – they all appeared to carry a copy of the one Nic Jones album they could easily get their hands on, Penguin Eggs. And while Jones himself contented himself swimming, playing chess, taking the dog for walks, fiddling with his guitar and trying to get his fingers to work, his reputation as a bona fide folk legend began to take off in earnest. Emerging young stars such as Kate Rusby, Seth Lakeman, Jim Moray and Jon Boden cited him as a seminal influence; Bob Dylan and Marianne Faithfull covered two of his most iconic Penguin Eggs tracks, Canadee-i-o and Flandyke Shore; John Wesley Harding recorded a whole album of Nic Jones covers; and in 2001 Penguin Eggs was named second-best folk album of all time (behind Fairport Convention's Liege & Lief) in a BBC poll.

    None of which remotely impresses the laconic Jones, always a determinedly anti-establishment figure with no patience for celebrity culture or the self-seriousness that often attaches itself to the folk revival. He once wilfully confronted the famously rigid musical policy of Nottingham Traditional Music Club by playing big-band standard Chatanooga Choo Choo. Another time he turned his back on an inattentive audience and sang to the wall; on another occasion he stopped halfway through his set to ask the promoter of a particularly unruly gig how long he was required to play. "Play as long as you like," said the promoter. "OK," said Jones, picking up his guitar and walking off.

    "I'm a fraud, an impostor," he says. "I came into folk music by accident. I wanted to be in a rock group. I was a Buddy Holly fan and I wanted to be in the Shadows … except I could never do the dance."

    He got into folk when a schoolfriend invited him to join a popular folk group called the Halliard. When they split, he reluctantly undertook his first solo bookings, moulding himself in the image of Martin Carthy. "I was useless," he says. "I couldn't speak to audiences and I hated it."

    Gradually his confidence grew and his personality came to the fore. "I just thought: 'What's the point of singing songs about Napoleon Bonaparte?' I never knew him, I didn't know what he was like. I'm from Essex!' So I tried to sing more normally and moved from being a fake traditional singer to a fake rock guitarist."

    Like other singers of the day, he scoured old books and visited London's Cecil Sharp House, home of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, to listen (and surreptitiously record) the riches of traditional material in the library there. Yet he had no qualms about messing with the tradition, rewriting tunes and lyrics wherever he saw fit – one of his most acclaimed songs, Annan Water, changed so much along the way that it virtually became a completely new song. "I got bored with singing something the same way all the time so I'd change it. I'd try out different chords to make it more interesting and so it would evolve. It's what the folk process is all about, isn't it?"

    By the time of the accident he was fully embracing contemporary song and so hooked on Bob Marley he was even contemplating folk-reggae fusions. Entertainingly self-effacing, he has little regard for his former self, even damning his classic Penguin Eggs album with faint praise. "It's all right," he says, "but people only go on about it because I wasn't around after that. I was interested in a more modern sound and I think I could have come up with a more interesting record after Penguin Eggs. Me having the smash-up made it more popular."

    He's scathing, too, about his guitar playing. "It wasn't until after the accident that I realised what an inept guitarist I was. I never played straight tunings, it was always open tunings, which I think now was a bit of a fake way of playing. Listening to jazz guitarists made me wish I could improvise like them. Diz Disley made me realise how bad I was. And Django Reinhardt – he could speak with his guitar and spin a mood, a shape, just by walking with his fingers."

    As the years passed, all hopes of seeing Jones performing again faded, but the groundswell of interest among modern revivalists helped, in 2010, to inspire Sidmouth Folk Week to hold an In Search of Nic Jones tribute concert. It was there that Pete Coe – one of Jones's compadres in Bandoggs, a short-lived folk "supergroup" of the 1970s – persuaded the great man to join his adoring acolytes on stage and sing along with the choruses.

    It was a night flooded with emotion but Jones enjoyed it enough to agree to another helping – albeit with a different line-up of performers – at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall last year. Beaming throughout ("I like hearing other people do my stuff, especially when they try to do something different with it"), he shocked everyone by getting up at the end to sing a couple of songs with his son Joe Jones on guitar and Belinda O'Hooley on piano.

    It wasn't the Jones of old, of course, but it was impressive enough to plant the idea that – accompanied by his son and O'Hooley – he was in good enough shape to play a few full sets over the summer. "But it's not a comeback," he emphasises. "I'm not going back on the road or anything."

    He says he won't be delving too far into his back catalogue either ("It's boring, so what's the point? – I like new songs"); and, despite namechecking Kate Rusby, Lau, Karine Polwart and Jim Moray as favoured representatives of the modern age, admits he doesn't listen to much folk music these days and much prefers Radiohead – pride of place in his new set will be Radiohead's Fake Plastic Trees.

    "I won't be playing guitar on stage. I know what to do but the right hand won't do what I ask. I do all these exercises before I get up and I'm getting better but I still have problems with rhythm. I still enjoy singing and playing and writing songs, though – you don't need to be up on a stage to do that, do you?"

    Nic Jones appears at Warwick Folk festival (26 July), Cambridge Folk festival (29), Wadebridge festival, Cornwall (3 Aug), Towersey Folk festival (25), Cecil Sharp House, London (22 Sept).


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 02:07 PM

John kirkpatrick and sue harris were performers together during the 1980s, the cowardly nasty anonymous guest,needs to check his facts, they recorded an album stolen ground, 1989.
I remember seeing them a number of times booked at the same festivals that I was booked at, Sue Harris played both dulcimer and oboe NOT SIMULTANEOUSLY, to accompany Kirkpatricks accordion and concertina.
   ANOTHER FACT, John Kirkpatrick performed on a concertina compilation with myself, Harry Scurfield, Tim laycock, called Boxing Clever.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Brian Peters
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 02:47 PM

"The decades following Jones's accident were largely barren for British folk music..."

Having played my first gig in 1981, I fear I must bear my small share of responsibility for those barren years. So too must Kathryn Tickell, Eliza Carthy, Nancy Kerr, Pete Morton, Janet Russell, Coope, Boyes & Simpson, Brass Monkey and many, many more artists who emerged during the deluge of mediocrity in the decade or so following Nic's accident. The established acts were also putting out desperately ordinary stuff during this period, of course. Even Richard Thompson couldn't run to anything better than Hand of Kindness and Rumor and Sigh.

A few comments on the Guardian website about this, too...

Regarding open tunings, any musician is entitled to criticise their own past output but, even though I don't doubt that a musician of Nic's talents could have constructed excellent arrangements of Canadee-I-O, Billy Don't You Weep For Me or Ten Thousand Miles in EADGBE tuning, I can't help wondering whether they'd actually have sounded quite as sweet.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 03:27 PM

I'm sure we are all glad that Nic is back performing. My first paid gig was as a support act to him . (Three quid at Tony Savage's old club in Ampersand. Must have been about 1976.)

he was a good fiddle player, singer and guitarist. He is to be congratulated on overcoming many obstacles to sing to us again.

The remark about the 1980's, by the writer of the article, was an unnecesary distraction. Bloody dispespectful to an awful lot of people, but it should not be allowed to cloud what should be good news.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 06:25 PM

"the standard of folk journalism is the only thing that was barren... about the decades following nic jones accident."...
.,,.,..,
Not entirely, I like to think, Dick!

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 06:36 PM

Yes indeed, MGM, a man with his nib raised in defence of folk music.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 06:42 PM

Interested to see that pic of what Joe looks like now. Has punk had a revival or has it never gone away?

Think the last time I saw him must have been when Nic & Julia, who lived just a few villages away from Valerie & me in N Cambridgeshire, brought the children for lunch at our house, not long after we moved here and not that long (2/3 years maybe) before the accident. Joe was, literally, a toddler, & Helen just a little girl. She has said on another thread that she recalls the occasion. Valerie & I were on both-way drop-in terms with the Joneses from about 1977 up to the time of the accident about 4 years later; but we lost touch when they moved North, & then SW.

If you read this Nic, & are around this way again [I see you may be doing the Cambridge festival] give a ring on Ely 740738 & come over. Still in same house (tho different wife. Valerie dead 5 years now: & I am 80, so don't know how much longer I'll be here!)


As ever
~M~


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 07:41 PM

Jeez. Can I come too?



I had dinner with Thora Hird once...


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 07:46 PM

steve shaw,you are illustrating only one thing.
MGM, my aplogies to you, as you know,I have cited your reviews as an example of how I think it should be done


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 07:51 PM

That I can clench my buttocks as well as the next man?


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 07:58 PM

I suppose it depends Steve, if you have a good story to tell about the occasion. Mike would probably invite you if you got shag Dame Thora and took polaroids.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Jun 12 - 08:01 PM

Oh, I have a good story all right, Al. But I'm not about to megaphone it here! Any glory I ever possess is entirely my own.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,Molly
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 09:21 AM

Come along children! Can't we remain calm and polite? This is not Facebook or Twitter you know.
Stop trying to play "I know more famous people than you".
We all should know that most journalism is rubbish designed to sell newspapers. Apart from the 'largely barren' comment, this is actually far better than most.
Nic Jones was a star in his time - who knows what he might have achieved sans accident? He might even have fallen from grace and disappeared from the scene.
There have been a lot of star performers since then - perhaps Nic and son and Belinda may be some of them. I hope so.
And, by the by, I am old enough to have seen (and booked) John Kirkpatrick and Sue Harris playing all their instruments live - always a class act.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 09:40 AM

Right. Someone said to me in an e-mail once "I don't know why you bother trading insults with Steve Shaw ... he's a notorious nutter for picking fights." I don't any more; but how typical that he can't tell a genuine friendship between neighbours, with shared interests in a field in which they have both achieved some success, from a name-drop.

As Dr Leavis used to put it ~ he places himself.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 11:17 AM

Quoting from the article: "He got into folk when a schoolfriend invited him to join a popular folk group called the Halliard". That was me.
       The gig on 22nd sept. at C#House is when Nic receives his Gold Medal from the EFDSS. The evening will include The Halliard (Nic Jones, Dave Moran & Nigel Paterson) plus some friends, performing together live for the first time since we split in 1968. Do hope some of you can make it.
                        Very Best to All,
                                                Nigel Paterson (Mandolin, The Halliard)


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 11:48 AM

Wish we could! Can't think of anyone who deserves the Gold Medal more. Michael is from that area and can remember Nic back in the day, before he became famous. We'll be there in spirit -


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 01:01 PM

Was it that band that wrote The Calico Printer's Clerk?


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 01:07 PM

Yes; Dave Moran sang that one, I think. Nic sang Going For A Soldier Jenny, iirc

~M~


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 01:10 PM

Used to perform Calico Printer's Clerk with a singer who I believe was a resident at Chatham or Rochester Folk Club in the early 1980s!


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,Folknacious
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 01:15 PM

Does it occur to any of you kneejerkers that the quote The decades following Jones's accident were largely barren for British folk music didn't refer to the quality of music being made, but to any recognition and success that traditionally-based folk was able to achieve outside its own inward-looking scene. With a few exceptions like the emergence of Kathryn Tickell in the late '80s, it wasn't until Eliza Carthy, Kate Rusby etc started gaining substantial mainstream respect in the late 90s that this altered in any substantial way.

Billy Bragg, Pogues, Boothill Foottappers etc were great to see happen in the 80s, but they were hardly flying the flag for the same area of music as Nic, Carthy, Coes, Kirkpatricks etc inhabited.It took another generation to come along before that really happened.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 01:57 PM

No , Folknacious, you are wrong, if Colin Irwin meant that he should have said it, he is a journalist his stock in trade is words, if that is what he meant he knows how to state it.
what he said was an insult to all the UK PERFORMERS OF THAT TIME, whether they started in the sixties or seventies or eighties, it gives an impression that those performers were not producing worthwhile work, then irwin says
The decades following Jones's accident were largely barren for British folk music, but when a new generation of musicians started to come through, one thing was notable – they all appeared to carry a copy of the one Nic Jones album they could easily get their hands on, Penguin Eggs.
This is an interesting comment, IT IS INACCURATE, but the wording is interesting, he talks of musicians not singers.
I dont wish to give any offence, because I have the greatest respect for Nic Jones as a musician and I am very pleased, he is performing again, but in my opinion his interpretation of traditional songs as a singer was not his strongest point, in my opinion the song that he sings best, on Unearthed, Is The Jukebox as She Turned, Which in my opinion is closer to Hank Williams than Walter Pardon.
Of the revival singer guitarists who sang traditional songs during the 1980s, Tony Rose and Martin Carthy, are two who in my opinion are closer to traditional singers than Nic Jones.
Nic says"I just thought: 'What's the point of singing songs about Napoleon Bonaparte?' I never knew him, I didn't know what he was like. I'm from Essex!' So I tried to sing more normally and moved from being a fake traditional singer to a fake rock guitarist." Nic was right to stop singing traditional songs if that was how he felt about them, because if you do not sing material you enjoy you cannot possibly interpret it properly.
I Strongly disagree with Nics' sentiments, the fact that someone comes from Essex or sussex or northumberland has no bearing whatsoever on a singers ability to get inside a song, the situation is akin to being a good actor, but Nic was dead right about not singing songs he did not enjoy.
I would not sing Lord Randall or Benjamin Bowmaneer, for the same reason, the fact that I come from Essex or Cornwall is[as far as i am concerned] irrelevant


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 02:40 PM

Nics assessment of himself as a fake rock guitarist is incorrect, in my opinion he had great stage presence, his guitar playing gave an impression of being in total command, he played with great taste, knowing exactly what to leave out, he played the spaces between notes, his guitar playing was superb,his playing complemented his songs very well.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 05:10 PM

The "rules" invented by folk and journalist bigots were quite idiotic.

Irwin writes mainly drivel in my view.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Jul 12 - 08:20 PM

Someone said to me in an e-mail once "I don't know why you bother trading insults with Steve Shaw ... he's a notorious nutter for picking fights." I don't any more; but how typical that he can't tell a genuine friendship between neighbours, with shared interests in a field in which they have both achieved some success, from a name-drop.

Why, how brave whoever-it-was that "someone" was! What a stupid thing thing to post, old chap. Dishonest too, I reckon! Get yer man to post his whinge here, why don't you. And the post I got sarky about was just about the most blatant name-drop and attempt to bathe in reflected glory I've seen for years. Just keep that stuff to yourself, even if it's true, then you won't embarrass either Nic or yourself.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 05:32 AM

Michael has known Nic for many years and is an old friend, Michael was a professional performer for many years in the earlier days of the revival, he was a good friend of Nic Jones and was also a very good friend of Peter Bellamy[ I believe Peter left him a concertina].


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 06:00 AM

Thanks for support, Dick. In main, I was for 30+ years a folk journo/critic for Times, Guardian, Folk Review &c, which main source of my acquaintanceships. Pete indeed one of my dearest friends ~~ constant visitors to one another's homes. In fact, re that concertina, I had permanently lent him a concertina as he wanted a D/A instrument, which he used on many of his records, was carried atop his coffin at his funeral, & which returned to me on his death ~ it is the white-bellowed one on my youtube channel.

Shaw is of course a famous eaten-up-by-envy-nik. I just ignore him these days, as advised by that previous correspondent I mentioned. Best thing, I find, is not even to read any posts with his name on. That way I avoid unnecessary irritation.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 06:27 AM

Best thing, I find, is not even to read any posts with his name on. That way I avoid unnecessary irritation."
that seems like good advice,Michael.
by the way I learned a song off one of your recordings, called The Tailor and the Teachest, a good song, thanks


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 06:52 AM

Can someone explain what "open tuning" is and how it differs from 'closed'(?) tuning?


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 06:59 AM

It means the strings are tuned into a pre-set chord, so that if you strum them all at once without any fingerstopping, it sounds a harmony rather than a dissonance. "Open" because they're usually based on open-5ths & 4ths, i.e. chords without 3rds in them, or else just one 3rd (usually higher rather than lower because otherwise it can muddy things). I've also heard it called "modal" tuning. I think slide-players use it a lot but am open to correction on that. It also sounds great with fingerpicking because you can set up a drone on the open (i.e. non-fingerstopped) strings.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 07:20 AM

Good luck with it Dick. It is also on my youtube channel & is a favourite of my wife Emma. I learnt it from Pete & Chris Coe, Tony Rose & Nic Jones [drift over?] old record Bandoggs. It is also in one of Roy Palmer's books.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 07:44 AM

The reason we use open tunings is that - the steel string acoustic is a weird instrument. Well guitars generally really.

John Williams once remarked that - acoustic playing is about how the note decays and dies - whilst electric playing is about how the note sustains.

So electric players, by and large - like to use blocked off notes and chords where they can control and form the sustain with their fingers.

Acoustic players - be it classical, flamenco, blues, folk - they will elect to to use an open string which resonates and creates its own space, whenever possible.

Most open tunings give you the low E string tuned down to a D. Adventurous souls like Marin Carthy, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell like to use the E string tuned down to C. That's what the traddies never get. Martin, Nick and Joni - have much more in common with each other as musicians than you would believe - they are all really divergent thinkers - ignoring music theory and finding their own path. Think of the slides and thuds that you get with the Carthy guitar style - where does all that come from - broonzy, some Irish fiddler maybe. Totally eclectic.

The EADGBE had a sort of Cromwellian straightforwardness that open tunings lack. No guitarist should deny himself the pleasures of both.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: greg stephens
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 08:02 AM

Ian Carr is an interesting guitarist in that he uses conventional Spanish tuning but somehow finds enough drones and weird voicings to avoid that "Cromwellian straight forwardness" totally. (Nice phrase Big Al)


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 08:23 AM

Shaw is of course a famous eaten-up-by-envy-nik.

Ha. I love the arrogance behind the assumption that I'm jealous because you have friends that are, er, better than my friends. I remind you again: I choose not to trumpet (i.e, brag about) my own alliances to the world on the internet. But I am proud of having had dinner with Thora. She complained about the cheese being too ripe. OK if I just use her first name like that, is it? :-)


It was in 1969 by the way, but oh, how I love to hang on to it...


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 08:46 AM

Open tunings rely upon ringing strings and sympathetic vibration etc, they are very well suited to music that does not modulate far from the home key.
on certain keys on the guitar this can be achieved to a more limited extent in standard tuning, standard tuning is a very versatile tuning, it is particularly good for ragtime music and music that involves moving through different keys.
to be able to play competently in standard and open tunings is in my opinion the musical goal I aim for with the guitar.
PIERRE BENSUSAN has taken DADGAD and shown what can be achieved by a virtuoso guitarist.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 09:11 AM

I mainly encounter Steve on TheSession, where some regulars are appallingly pompous blowhards - they may play well for all I know, but their attitude is such that I'm never going to listen to them. In that company, Steve is an unpretentious breath of fresh air.

I once held the opposite end of a banner with Julie Christie at a demo.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 09:27 AM

I once played in a session with the above-named Pierre Bensusan. (OK, so I don't actually know him...) His name had been long familiar to me but I didn't recognise him by face. It was an Irish/Scottish music session in Edinburgh and I kept thinking Who's that brilliant, innovative guitarist who seems to know every twist & turn of the melodies before the rest of us even play them?

Oh, and I chatted to one of Johnny Depp's bodyguards once. Does that count? (Don't ask...)


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 09:38 AM

2It means the strings are tuned into a pre-set chord"
not entirely correct Bonnie,there are two open tunings like this DADF#AD DGDGBD,both of which are also popular with blues players
HOWEVER nic jones used a number of other tunings including cgcgcd, Martin carthy used dadeae but now uses a different one again, dadgad is popular too, as is dadgbd[DOUBLE DROP D].
if a player plays 5 string banjo the open chord tunings are very easy, there are another two banjo tunings cgcd[double c]and [sawmill]dgcd, both of which convert easily to guitar, but are not open chord tunings.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 09:57 AM

my old mate reckons one of our younger mates got very intimate with a now well known festival bill topping folk singer
at an after gig party in the early days of said artist's career....

.., oh and I got pestered & annoyed while trying to enjoy a few relaxing pints by a squalid old bore
who claimed he used to be The Clash's drug dealer...

And back in my early 20's Jenny Agutter sat opposite me on a train jouney to Bath
an made it very clear she fancied me even though she could see I was travelling with my girlfriend
- the dirty film star temptress...
[well she was a fit older woman, definitely a spitting image,
could have been her...???]


So anyone wanna insultingly challenge my show biz connections !!!???


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 10:02 AM

> The reason we use open tunings is that - the steel string acoustic is a weird instrument. Well guitars generally really.

Well, TBH that is really rather an unhelpful non-statement. There is nothing particularly weird about guitars whether steel, nylon, or gut strung and/or tuned open or standard.

> John Williams once remarked that - acoustic playing is about how the note decays and dies - whilst electric playing is about how the note sustains.

Yes, I think I can see what he's driving at.

> So electric players, by and large - like to use blocked off notes and chords where they can control and form the sustain with their fingers.

Well, I'm not really an electric player, but as a listener I don't think that's a very good description of Buddy Holly, Hank Marvin, Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, or Andy Summers, to name a few that spring immediately to mind.

> Acoustic players - be it classical, flamenco, blues, folk - they will elect to to use an open string which resonates and creates its own space, whenever possible.

Again, this seems to me to completely wrong. By far the majority of players learn to play in standard, and rarely if ever play anything different, many not even getting as far as tuning the bass down to D. This point is discussed further below.

> Most open tunings give you the low E string tuned down to a D. Adventurous souls like Marin Carthy, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell like to use the E string tuned down to C. That's what the traddies never get. Martin, Nick and Joni - have much more in common with each other as musicians than you would believe - they are all really divergent thinkers - ignoring music theory and finding their own path. Think of the slides and thuds that you get with the Carthy guitar style - where does all that come from - broonzy, some Irish fiddler maybe. Totally eclectic.

> The EADGBE had a sort of Cromwellian straightforwardness that open tunings lack. No guitarist should deny himself the pleasures of both.

There is a very good, solid, practical reason for the standard tuning's popularity. It's the tuning that gives the easiest and most makeable chord shapes for the greatest number of keys. In a former world of gut, now replaced by nylon, strings, both of which take some time to respond fully to changes in tension, it was necessary to choose a tuning that gave the most flexibility for the least amount of time spent adjusting the tuning.

This is true not just of guitars. When I suggested to a well-established fiddle player that a tune such as the Da Foula Shaalds should really be played in hardanger tuning, she agreed in principle, but said that, having only one fiddle, it took too long for the instrument to settle down after changing the tuning for it to be practicable to retune just for one or two tunes.

But to return to guitars, structural changes to allow the use of steel strings have also made a huge change in the responsiveness of the instruments to changes in tuning, and it now becomes more achievable, though practicability is still an issue, to change tuning when playing live. Alternative tunings usually drop, or sometimes raise, a string by no more than a tone, and, provided suitably-guaged and good quality strings are being used anyway, that's usually not too bad, though I still think that many guitarists seem to spend more time tuning than actually playing, but when a string is altered by more, as in my own favourite Open C where the bass is down two whole tones, strings tend to slap when tuned down or snap when tuned up, and then having a second guitar becomes desirable.

There was an hilarious moment in a local folk club when a local performer was retuning his guitar, gingerly, and, as it turned out, wisely, backing his face away from the instrument: "The guy who showed me this tuning warned me that it breaks a log of third strings!", and just as he got the words out, twang, his third string broke!

For Open C, I used a specially set-up Aria, with a high action and the beafiest set of D'Addario strings that I could find locally, but for a while now these have only gone to 0.59 for the bass whereas really I'd've liked 0.60 or heavier, because they still slapped and buzzed, as you can hear from the very informal recording here, which is capoed up to D, making the buzzing worse (this is intended to be heard as an example of string slap, not the excellence or otherwise of my playing, or how to use an open tuning - it happens to be the only recording of the tune I have, and was made in the kitchen the evening I wrote it, simply so I wouldn't forget what I'd written next day - I lost a good many moments of inspiration like that, so I got into the habit of having a portable tape machine handy whenever I was mucking around on an instrument; consequently, at the time, I had no idea that it would be the only recording of it that I would ever make):

Sally In The Woods

So you can see that even with steel strings retuning and setting up is still an issue that deters many from experimenting with open tunings. In some ways this a pity, because they can produce a very beautiful sound, but in other ways, they can be seen as quite limiting. You can make Open C sound wonderful in C, but even capoing it up to D, you lose sustain, and I wouldn't choose to play in, say, G on it, because I don't like the D chords in the tuning. For G, I'd choose Open G, which has very similar fingering anyway.

Open tunings are particularly good for pentatonic traditional material, although they are by no means limited to such material - I used to do both Bob Dylan's "Love Minus Zero / No Limit" and Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Stones In The Road" in Open C capoed up to D.

If anyone wishes to explore the delights of Open C, there is a tutorial on my website:

Open C Tutorial

To answer some other points, any idea that open tunings are in some way 'cheating' is rubbish. It's a question of judgement and good taste as to what sounds better for the material you play.

I disagree also with Nic's self-criticism. Many of us tend to see the faults in what we do rather than the positive things, and heaven knows as a player I have many more of the former than he, but wannabee rocker or not, his playing changed everything for everyone that followed, and that is one hell of an accomplishment, the more so when one considers how much of his career was so tragically lost, and how difficult it is to obtain his recordings from the early part of his career.

Nic, if ever read this, and you'll allow an unknown but well-wishing admirer of your earlier peformances to advise, don't beat yourself up - haven't you've gone through enough already? Just allow yourself to think it's great that you are back, just the same as your countless admirers do.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 10:21 AM

"John Williams once remarked that - acoustic playing is about how the note decays and dies
- whilst electric playing is about how the note sustains."


..as an entirely self taught by trial and error electric guitarist,

I'd have to say you just can't be that prescriptive...

The available vintage & modern amp & FX technology
provides far too many options and variables..

anything is possible !!!

That's why a lot of us collect far too many cheap used electric guitars and shed loads of amps & pedals..


It then becomes easy to keep spare instruments in various dedicated open tunings
set up for all kinds of playing purposes.

I'd suggest this is a 'norm' these days;
and perhaps something some older acoustic guitarists
who've spent the best part of half a century passionately devoted to despising electronic instruments
may not fully understand...???

btw, I rarely touch my acoustic guitar.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 10:39 AM

when nic refers to open tunings in the article he is not just referring to daf#ad dgdgbd
I believe these are some of what he used
Canadee-i-o: BbFBbFBbC (CGCGCD)
Humpback Whale: AEAEAA (CGCGCC)
Drowned Lovers, Farewell To The Gold, Barrack St, Little Pot Stove: CFCFAC (DGDGBD)
Planxty Davis: BF*BF*BC* (CGCGCD)
Flandyke Shore: CGCGCD
Courting Is A Pleasure - EbFBbFBbC


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 10:51 AM

I'll add.. when you have more than enough electric guitars
there's plenty of creative fun & inspiration to be had
experimenting/mucking about with substituting wound and unwound strings & gauges in all the 'wrong' places..

Sonic Youth are worth mentioning;
a band I'm not too keen on and my mrs positively can't stand.

A band acclaimed/notorious for multiple song specific 'invented' tunings
in quest of diverse sonic textures.


"The Sonic Youth Tuning Tutorial"
http://www.sonicyouth.com/mustang/tab/tuning.html


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 11:06 AM

At risk of being boring..

Extract fronm Wiki entry:

"Sonic Youth began using a variety of tunings more radical than nearly anything in rock music history.

Azerrad writes that early in their career,

[Sonic Youth] could only afford cheap guitars, and cheap guitars sounded like cheap guitars.
But with weird tunings or something jammed under a particular fret,
those humble instruments could sound rather amazing
– bang a drum stick on a cheap Japanese Stratocaster copy in the right tuning,
crank the amplifier to within an inch of its life,
and it will sound like church bells.
—Michael Azerrad, Our Band Could Be Your Life, pg. 243

The tunings were painstakingly developed by Moore and Ranaldo during the band's rehearsals;
Moore once reported that the odd tunings were an attempt to introduce new sounds:
"When you're playing in standard tuning all the time ... things sound pretty standard."[44]
Rather than re-tune for every song, Sonic Youth generally use a particular guitar for one or two songs,
and can take dozens of instruments on tour.
This can be the source of much trouble for the band,
as some songs rely on specific guitars that have been uniquely prepared."



Obviously bit extremely impractical for local pub band gigs, but there you go...


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 11:38 AM

I seem to have unwittingly upset Charles MacFarlane. I apologise Charles for any distress I may have caused you.

But can you really not see that Hank Marvin, Andy Summers, Carlos Santana - achieve their guitar sound by manipulation rather than merely letting the open guitar strings ring? Perhaps you need to give Hendrix's version of Red House a re-listen.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 12:47 PM

> I seem to have unwittingly upset Charles MacFarlane. I apologise Charles for any distress I may have caused you.

Of course you haven't upset me, so there was no need to apologise whether for real or in jest. I just disagree with you, that's all. As I say, I'm not really an electric player, though I do have an under-the-bridge pick-up on my accoustic which I sometimes plug-in and play with.

To remind ourselves of your original quote:

> So electric players, by and large - like to use blocked off notes and chords where they can control and form the sustain with their fingers.

I don't get the impression that electric players have a aural preference or otherwise for open or stopped notes, or open or standard tunings. I think most stick to standard because that's how they learnt and it requires a conscious effort of will to learn something different. That said, some players, mostly those who also played accoustic, such as John Martyn and Stephen Stills, did experiment with such alternative tunings.

>But can you really not see that Hank Marvin, Andy Summers, Carlos Santana - achieve their guitar sound by manipulation rather than merely letting the open guitar strings ring?

You yourself quoted John Williams' point that electric guitar is all about sustain! The relevance of his point here is that without the very long sustain that is acheivable with electric, you'd have little to manipulate, it would be much like playing an accoustic guitar. The sustain has been available for longer than the, predominantly electronic, wizardry that allows the manipulation of which you speak - the latter is mostly a fairly new thing, dating from as recently as the 60s, made possible by the advent of cheap electronics - and my guess is that without that sustain, most of the wizardry would never have been invented, because there would have been little point to it.

50s groups like The Shadows based their sound around Hank Marvin's wonderfully clean playing in numbers like Wonderful Land and The Quartermaster's Stores, though there is also a good example of the 'choppy' chord style of playing in Apache. And by the way they also used accoustic guitars in their numbers. Only later by the end of the 60s and start of the 70s do you start to hear radical manipulation, for example the earliest use of a fuzzed sound that I can recall was on Think For Yourself on The Beatles' Rubber Soul album.

So I think to equate electric playing with manipulation is to miss a fundamental point. Playing any instrument is primarily all about musicality. Particularly, to be a good electric player, you first have to be a clean player, because the guitar will pick up every fumble you make, whereas with an accoustic, you can get away with the odd dead note. Then, just as with any instrument, you have to be able to phrase your playing expressively, etc, etc - in other words, to play musically. No amount of electronic gadgetry can substitute for that. I don't deny that an important part of modern electric playing is learning to use the electronics, but it's definitely of distantly secondary importance to learning to play the basic instrument in a musical fashion.

> Perhaps you need to give Hendrix's version of Red House a re-listen.

I can just about remember it, but it's not one of the Hendrix tracks I kept when throwing out my vinyls. Perhaps you need to re-listen to All Along The Watchtower? Or Samba Pa Ti? There's what you'd call manipulation in both of these, but it's of secondary importance to the basic musicality of the playing.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 01:35 PM

no charles,
many players of other musics other than traditional play in closed positions, jazz is a good example and use standard tuning, because it is overall the bestand most versatile tuning for jazz chords modulation etc.
english irish scottish traditional music is mainly in 4 modes and does not modulate very much it is therefore suited to open tunings and ringing strings, doubling and trebling of first and fifth notes of chords, often having an ambiguity about the sound.
whereas jazz has a completely different approach, viz NICS COMMENT ABOUT DIS DISLEY.
jazz guitarists in the main have acompletely different harmonic approach, to players like carthy and jones


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,grumpy
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 03:00 PM

Jazz guitarists use many different tunings, both open or closed.

Check out Joe Beck, Pat Metheny, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Peter Mazza, Deirdre Cartwright, Ralph Towner or John McLaughlin for a variety of tunings.

One of the most intriguing tunings is used by Stanley Jordan, all fourths - EADGCF.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 03:40 PM

the majority of jazz guitarists i have encountered use standard tuning, that does not mean that there are not a few who use different tunings, but they are a small minority.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: The Sandman
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 03:45 PM

quote wikipedia
Harmony

Jazz guitarists use their knowledge of harmony and jazz theory to create jazz chord "voicings," which emphasize the 3rd and 7th notes of the chord. Some more sophisticated chord voicings also include the 9th, 11th, and 13th notes of the chord. In some modern jazz styles, dominant 7th chords in a tune may contain altered 9ths (either flattened by a semitone, which is called a "flat 9th", or sharpened by a semitone, which is called a "sharp 9th"); 11ths (sharpened by a semitone, which is called a "sharp 11th"); 13ths (typically flattened by a semitone, which is called a "flat 13th").

Jazz guitarists need to learn about a range of different chords, including major 7th, major 6th, minor 7th, minor/major 7th, dominant 7th, diminished, half-diminished, and augmented chords. As well, they need to learn about chord transformations (e.g., altered chords, such as "alt dominant chords" described above), chord substitutions, and re-harmonization techniques. Some jazz guitarists use their knowledge of jazz scales and chords to provide a walking bass-style accompaniment.

Jazz guitarists learn to perform these chords over the range of different chord progressions used in jazz, such as the II-V-I progression, the jazz-style blues progression, the minor jazz-style blues form, the "rhythm changes" progression, and the variety of chord progressions used in jazz ballads, and jazz standards. Guitarists may also learn to use the chord types, strumming styles, and effects pedals (e.g., chorus effect or fuzzbox) used in 1970s-era jazz-Latin, jazz-funk, and jazz-rock fusion music.
Melody

Jazz guitarists integrate the basic building blocks of scales and arpeggio patterns into balanced rhythmic and melodic phrases that make up a cohesive solo. Jazz guitarists often try to imbue their melodic phrasing with the sense of natural breathing and legato phrasing used by horn players such as saxophone players. As well, a jazz guitarists' solo improvisations have to have a rhythmic drive and "timefeel" that creates a sense of "swing" and "groove." The most experienced jazz guitarists learn to play with different "timefeels" such as playing "ahead of the beat" or "behind the beat," to create or release tension.

Another aspect of the jazz guitar style is the use of stylistically appropriate ornaments, such as grace notes, slides, and muted notes. Each sub-genre or era of jazz has different ornaments that are part of the style of that sub-genre or era. Jazz guitarists usually learn the appropriate ornamenting styles by listening to prominent recordings from a given style or jazz era. Some jazz guitarists also borrow ornamentation techniques from other jazz instruments, such as Wes Montgomery's borrowing of playing melodies in parallel octaves, which is a jazz piano technique. Jazz guitarists also have to learn how to add in passing tones, use "guide tones" and chord tones from the chord progression to structure their improvisations.

In the 1970s and 1980s, with jazz-rock fusion guitar playing, jazz guitarists incorporated rock guitar soloing approaches, such as riff-based soloing and usage of pentatonic and blues scale patterns. Some guitarists used Jimi Hendrix-influenced distortion and wah-wah effects to get a sustained, heavy tone, or even used rapid-fire guitar shredding techniques, such as tapping and tremolo bar bending. Guitarist Al Di Meola, who started his career with Return to Forever in 1974, was one of the first guitarists to perform in a "shred" style, a technique later used in rock and heavy metal playing. Di Meola used alternate-picking to perform very rapid sequences of notes in his solos.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 03:46 PM

A study of Jeff Beck's antics on a Strat would not go amiss, he's in a class of his own!


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 02 Jul 12 - 04:06 PM

> From: Good Soldier Schweik
>
> no charles,

Well, yes, because you then go on to reinforce some of the points I've made up thread!

> many players of other musics other than traditional play in closed positions, jazz is a good example and use standard tuning, ...

Yes but ...

> ... because it is overall the bestand most versatile tuning for jazz chords modulation etc.

... not particularly because they favour the sound of closed finger positions as opposed to open strings.

> english irish scottish traditional music is mainly in 4 modes and does not modulate very much it is therefore suited to open tunings and ringing strings, doubling and trebling of first and fifth notes of chords, often having an ambiguity about the sound.

Exactly. As I pointed out above, open tunings are particularly suited to such traditional material.

> jazz guitarists in the main have acompletely different harmonic approach, to players like carthy and jones

Yes, I don't think anyone here would disagree with that - certainly not myself, at any rate.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 03:17 AM

The essential purpose of the article that begat this thread was to underscore the fact that Nic Jones will be performing some live gigs. Something that should be celebrated & recognised for the achievement that it is, is becoming increasingly lost & buried in the ensuing 'debate'. By comparison, the tunings, the styles, even, dare I say it, the article itself, pail into insignificance when one considers what Nic & Julia have had to endure since his accident. The fact that Nic is still with us is nothing short of a miracle. The Doctors quite literally had to rebuild his shattered body, but Nic's long-term recovery is due almost entirely to the love & devotion of his beloved Wife, Julia. I've known Nic for more than fifty years, friends with a shared love of Music.
            Celebrate Nic's return...celebrate his voice...celebrate his musical achievements...celebrate his Life...everything else is of little consequence,
                        Most Sincerely,
                                              Nigel Paterson.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 03:59 AM

I'll second the other Nigel's post!


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 04:28 AM

Sorry, but I'm still no wiser about open tunings. Thanks to everyone who tried to explain to a musical dunce like me. I'll just have to resign myself to never understanding musical theory.

I wonder if Quantum Physics is any easier ... ?


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 04:45 AM

Sorry Shimrod. Basically - its just the three chord trick, with a few deep notes and strage harmonies not available in normal tuning. For me that is.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 04:50 AM

"Celebrate Nic's return"

Yes indeed. Got so carried away with defending 80s / 90s folk that I neglected to mention that seeing Nic's photo staring out of the pages of the morning paper was the best thing that's happened at my breakfast table in a long time.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 04:59 AM

Yes indeed from me too, Nigel. Sorry I got carried away by that odd person whose hobby appears to be wind-up contentiousness.

Wonder what strange satisfaction he can get from that as a pastime!

But honour to dear Nic, in spades. And to dear Julia likewise!

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 06:31 AM

Charles - Hank Marvin and The Shadows played Quatermasster's Stores! It was the B-side of Apache.

Quatermass was the popular BBC science fiction series of the time.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 06:35 AM

Yes, great to see Nic Jones back and very best wishes for his new career!


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 07:25 AM

Brian Peters said: "Got so carried away with defending 80s / 90s folk that I neglected to mention that seeing Nic's photo staring out of the pages of the morning paper was the best thing that's happened at my breakfast table in a long time."

Here's another one to enjoy with your cornflakes then, Brian.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Brian Peters
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 07:40 AM

Lovely cover pic!

I prefer Co-op own brand fake Shreddies myself.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,Charles Macfarlane
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 09:31 AM

> From: GUEST,henryp
>
> Charles - Hank Marvin and The Shadows played Quatermasster's Stores! It was the B-side of Apache.
>
> Quatermass was the popular BBC science fiction series of the time.

Originally the tune was called The Quatermaster's Stores - it's a pre-existing army number which they covered. A Quartermaster is an army rank whose responsibilities are housing (I think), logistics, and stores, as in a verse of the marching song If You Want To Find The Colonel ...

"If you want to find the Quartermaster
I know where he is (repeat twice);
If you want to find the Quartermaster
I know where he is;
He's drinking all the company's rum"

... Which actually has a similar-ish tune to The Quartermas(s)ter's Stores.

Apache

"B-side: "Quatermasster's Stores" (Trad: arr Bill Shepherd)"

&

"Record producer Norrie Paramor preferred the flip side, an instrumental of the army song "The Quartermaster's Stores", now called "The Quatermasster's Stores" after the TV series Quatermass."

(My Italics)

So yes, you are right, that's what The Shadows called it as a cheap pun, but I think you can understand that many, in fact probably most, people still think of the tune with its original spelling.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 03 Jul 12 - 01:53 PM

The Shadows had a liking for cheap puns. They also released Alice in Sunderland and Stars fell on Stockton. Hank Brian Marvin was born in Newcastle upon Tyne - but his parents knew him as Brian Robson Rankin.


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Subject: RE: Nic Jones article in The Guardian
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 05 Jul 12 - 03:06 AM

I've lost sight of Nic again...if I stand on tiptoes, I can see the headstock of a Fylde guitar...he might just be on the other end of that (-:


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