Fifteen years ago tonight Luna played their last London show and today’s artefacts are mine and Hazel’s aftershow passes. Mine’s the better condition one as Hazel’s lived stuck inside her jacket for months - not for any close-to-her-heart-fan stuff but because it just was.
It was a perfect farewell: met up with a bunch of other fans; hung out (briefly) in the aftershow squash court; got interviewed for Tell Me Do You Miss Me (that thankfully ended up on the cutting room floor); and the show ended with Indian Summer which I’d seen the band play when they first came through London in 1992.
Off course most farewells aren’t farewells any more and Luna were back in London just over ten years later.
You can download the full show, and see pictures (including fat me ligging with the band), over here.
I thought I’d just go through some of the stuff I’ve acquired over the years and post about it here… how interesting the posts (and artefacts) are will undoubtedly vary!
Earlier this week the lovely and brilliant Neil Innes passed away. Now, I understand that his relevance to A Head Full of Wishes may be rather slight but nevertheless I felt that even that warranted celebrating.
In case you were unaware Neil wrote all the perfect Beatles pastiches recorded by The Rutles including Cheese and Onions that Galaxie 500 covered on the Shimmy Disc tribute album Rutles Highway Revisited. Neil did a lot more than just that - read the many obits to see just how prolific he was - and don’t imagine that because The Rutles (and The Bonzos) might have been considered comedy acts that what he wrote was comedy songs. Neil wrote great songs that happened to often be funny too.
Neil Innes was a musical genius (and by all the many accounts a nice guy too) and will be sorely missed.
Back in 1974/5 my dad upgraded to a swanky new “Music Centre” - a large record/tape/radio amalgam that was briefly popular back then. To celebrate our entry into high-fidelity he brought a few new LPs - one was The History of The Bonzos, a recently released compilation. From that moment on and through Rutland Weekend Television, The Rutles, and The Innes Book of Records my love of Neil just grew.
When Galaxie 500’s cover of Cheese and Onions appeared it was like a divine collision of things I loved.
I’m not sure that Galaxie 500 ever played the track live but Dean has taken a couple of pops at it, usually in response to shouts from the audience - here in Australia in 2011:
and here in Japan:
I only saw Neil play once, with Yo La Tengo back in 2000 - I always meant to see him more but for various reasons it never happened - and now I can’t and for that I’m rather sad. RIP Neil, you’ll be missed.
The results of the 2019 A Head Full of Wishes survey are in - thanks to the 72 folk who responded from 17 different countries. I have been in touch with the two whose names were pulled out of the hat - if you haven’t heard from me… better luck next time!
You can see the summary results.
Unsurprisingly I guess in the wake of its 30th anniversary On Fire topped the album poll more emphatically than ever. In the votes for favourite track Fourth of July just edged out Tugboat and Strange consolidated its recent strength in third place. Interesting that neither of the top two tracks are from the album that wins so resoundingly - I guess that shows the strength in depth Galaxie 500’s catalogue has!
Because that album just speaks volumes to my soul. Today was the first one I listened to but On Fire just clicked with me.
Because every single piece of this record is imperfect (voices, guitars, mixing, all) but magically putting all together it sounds perfect
Luna’s first three albums take the vast majority of the votes again with Penthouse, as ever, winning out. 23 Minutes in Brussels is top track, as it pretty much always has been in recent years!
Has most of my favorite Luna songs. I really like the fluid rhythm on the tracks with lush, languid guitars.
it has the best songs! it’s where the band seemed to gel.
Damon & Naomi
More Sad Hits topped the album poll as always - this year leaving the rest of the pack quite far behind. This Car Climbed Mt. Washington topped the track poll, as it always does - with E.T.A. pushing up behind.
It was like a gift after Galaxie 500 split. For that it’s special for me.
It’s exactly what it says on the tin ;-)
For Dean & Britta and Dean solo check the full results here - when I get round to cleaning up the data I’ll publish the full spreadsheets if anyone cares!
Thanks again to everyone for contributing - and thanks for so many nice things that were said in the comments box - I don’t do it to fish for compliments but it is lovely to get them all the same!
The third issue of Sonic Cathedral’s lovely poster ‘zine Crypt is a 1989 special and features Dean Wareham talking with Sonic Boom about their albums of 1989 - Galaxie 500’s On Fire and Spacemen 3’s Playing With Fire.
That should be enough to make it worth buying but if you needed more encouragement there’s also an inrterview with Pale Saints’ Ian Masters, Lush’s Emma Anderson and Phil King of the Jesus and Mary Chain.
Plus the whole thing opens out into a massive poster with some fantastic pictures fron 1989 (including Galaxie 500).
Galaxie 500’s debut album Today is the final studio album to get an exclusive Newbury Comics coloured vinyl release after This Is Our Music and On Fire earlier in the year.
The album will be in maroon vinyl (with a black swirl) and is available to pre-order now and should start shipping later this week.
The release will be limited to 400 copies and is available exclusively through Newbury Comics.
Sonic Cathedral will be selling off the remaining copies of their Singles Club releases during the day tomorrow, including the last copies of Luna’s contribution.
The 7” single of Something In The Air was released in June as the fifth release of the excellent series, and there are just 283 copies anywhere in the world and 200 of those are already in the hands of subscribers so there ae very few left.
On Tuesday 10th December each hour from 1pm until 10pm (GMT) one release will be put on sale at the Sonic Cathedral shop - Luna’s single will be available from 5pm.
You can only order one copy and anyone trying to order more will end up with none.
So, set your alarms and head off to the Sonic Cathedral shop to grab this gem!
It’s that time of year again - the AHFoW survey has been running annually since 1995 - back then you only had to decide which of three Luna albums was your fave, and your Damon & Naomi choice was between just two! Things are a bit more complicated now ~ so get your thinking caps on!
There’ll be a couple of entries drawn from the e-hat that’ll get a little bit of something - one from the US and one from somewhere else in the world.
If the form is a problem feel free to send in your vote in an email answering as many or as few of the following questions as takes your fancy:
- Age (feel free to ignore or be as vague as you like!)
- Fave Galaxie 500 album
- 3 fave Galaxie 500 songs
- Fave Luna album
- 3 fave Luna songs
- Fave Damon & Naomi album
- 3 fave Damon & Naomi songs
- Fave Dean & Britta album
- 3 fave Dean & Britta songs songs
- Fave Dean album
- 3 fave Dean songs
Also let me know if you want your name to be in the hat for a prize.
On Fire | 30 ~ a tribute to Galaxie 500
On Fire | 30 is a tribute album and book celebrating the 30th anniversary of Galaxie 500’s masterpiece On Fire and is now available to buy as either:
- A deluxe package including a 28 page book, a CD, plus postcards and badges - limited to 250 copies - less than 80 left now!
- A standard CD in a beautiful card package (plus a postcard while stocks last!)
- Digital download
You can order now over at Bandcamp - physical orders will be posted out within a day or two and come with instant access to a download (and unlimited streaming on Bandcamp).
The latest edition of the gorgeous letterpress music magazine Terrascopaedia is now available to order and includes an interview with the members of Galaxie 500 (by A Head Full of Wishes).
Terrascopaedia is descended from the Ptolemaic Terrascope which during its run from 1988 until its closure in the early 2000s was a great supporter of the band. Terracopaedia however is a much different beast - a beautiful and lovingly crafted hand-printed and hand-constructed - magazine.
Published November 2019, the 13th issue features interviews with Garcia Peoples, The Rose City Band and Galaxie 500 plus reviews of new and upcoming releases of a Terrascopic nature.
125 copies produced. Each copy is entirely hand made from cover to cover, typeset in 12pt Caslon Old Face type, letter by letter and word by word. It’s lovingly printed in full colour on unbleached, hand cut 7” square paper on a fully restored 1926 vintage, 10cwt Arab Foolscap Folio treadle press.
As the run is so small, and sells out fast, I’d suggest not hanging around if you want a copy - you can order one from the Ptolemaic Press website for £9 incl postage to the UK, £10 to the EU, or £12 anywhere else.