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 Post subject: Re: PREACHING TO THE UNCONVERTED...
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:05 pm 
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I can't speak to why other people lost touch with your work. I do remember following you from age 14(ish) right up until Getting the holy ghost across and then nothing. It seemed like I couldn’t find any new material in any of the shops. This would be around 86 or 87ish if I remember correctly.
This would be before internet etc, least for me.
It wasn’t right up until a few months before Alchemical Adventures that I reconnected purely by accident and found the website.
I honestly thought you had just stopped releasing records. Mind you I was happy when I discovered you hadn’t, it’s possible something similar may have happened to other people too?

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 Post subject: Re: PREACHING TO THE UNCONVERTED...
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:45 pm 
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alec wrote:
Bill, I remember you told us about that time you saw a Sunburst Deluxe gig and then afterwards you spoke to them saying something to effect of, "Since you've been able to duplicate my songs so well, why not write your own material" ?

Was there a reply to that question ?

It's a great question .


I didn't actually see them perform live, alec, but I had been given a video of one of their performances which I tried to watch. I thought it reduced what Be Bop had done to a kind of easy listening, nostalgic cabaret.

It came across, to me, as a pastiche, rather like a stage impersonator performing clever impressions of famous politicians with exaggerations of all the ticks and mannerisms, etc. It annoyed me no end and I had to switch it off. I found it excruciating.

The original spirit of my band, the whole ethic I'd tried to get across, the spirit of being forward looking, individual, fresh and pushing the boundaries, had been lost and all that was left was a two dimensional, pale photocopy. I thought it did no favours to the band's legacy, (which I firmly believe should be left alone and not cheapened.) But there are people out there who think it's fine and enjoy revelling in a fake Be Bop Deluxe, (which, sadly, seems to indicate that some people never really understood it in the first place.) Well, each to their own, I guess...

Anyway, to answer your question: I happened to accidentally meet, in the street, the guitarist from the tribute band and asked him why they didn't do their own songs, something original and created from their own unique imagination. His answer was simple but shocking to me: He said they'd tried that, but they got more gigs and made more money from copying my material. If anything was going to set me firmly against tribute bands, that statement was, especially as I couldn't raise the finance to put a band of my own together at that time. What an irony...a copy of the real thing seemed to mean more to people than the real thing! :shock:

I'm sure some old rockers think that having a tribute band is flattering. But, as far as I'm concerned, I think it's embarrassing and cheap. Of course the old excuse is that they're 'keeping the name alive.' Well, I'd rather be forgotten if that's the price I have to pay.

Sorry to fans of tribute bands, but that's my position and that's what it always will be.

I'm quite content if bands want to perform one or two covers of my songs in their set, that's fine, but ripping of the entire catalogue and presenting yourself as a faux Be Bop Deluxe, with the excuse of it being a 'tribute', complete with a name adapted from an album title and even using graphics based on the drawings I made to advertise the original band back in the day, is just a step too far. Perhaps they're sincere, perhaps they think they're doing me a favour, or they've found a way to gain some kind of recognition by taking someone else's ideas and exploiting them for personal glory. Whatever the reason, I'd respectfully ask anyone not to do that...if they really love and understand my life's work, they'd put in the effort and creativity to come up with their own music. That would really be a fitting tribute. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: PREACHING TO THE UNCONVERTED...
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:15 pm 
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I have told this story before, but here is an interasante version.

I won the US release of Sunburst Finish along with tickets to the tour date in Spokane. It was in the neighborhood bar with a guest radio DJ who had brought items that were sent to the station. I tracked down the previous releases as import albums. Those got no radio play at all. I have followed Bill's career ever since, even when I could not understand a combination of BBD & Ted Nugent. I think another concert had Tower of Power on the playbill. I remember seeing YMO with maybe the Tubes. It was a weird time for concerts, especially in my little corner of the country, basically where US tours end.

Fast forward. I got a job in the Seattle region and had access to these wonderful objects called CD's! I bought a machine and went to an independent "record" store and started buying everything I had on vinyl on this new amazing technology. Lo and behold, that was when Bill had a distribution deal with Enigma (who died a hair-metal death). I'd have to look but I think I got everything on that label. It took me years as Enigma folded, the inventory was caught up in litigation, and I did not know the story of Mark Rye, etc. But Squirm came out of it.

Then the revival came with the US based Bill Nelson dot com website run by Mark Rushton in Iowa. A real bibliography! Actual news! Handed over to Chuck Bird and along came fan based projects. Mark even did one. Some competition with Bill Nelson dot UK. They started Nelsonica and Bill contributed songs for EP's. Apparently that relationship did not end well. Chuck Bird to the rescue! He transfers the BN website to BN! Dreamsville is born. I ended up curating several Dreamsville Projects in the footsteps of Chuck and Mark.

In there somewhere was finding a copy of Luminous on Imaginary Records. The Saga of Noise Candy. A new digital studio. An old tape machine. A Robot. A guitar. Several books.

But wait! There is more! A digital download access! A Cinema! A live streaming concert! UK events and actual media coverage - unheard of since Red Noise. Factory direct purchases of cd's on such exotic labels as: Almost Opaque, Disc of Ancient Odeon, and Sonoluxe. And to add to the flavor, there is a brewery in Seattle called Populuxe. https://www.populuxebrewing.com/


So yes, I lost track of the guitar guy from Be Bop Deluxe who had one Top Forty hit in Ships in the Night, but I am so glad that I was able to pick up the trail blazed post rock star. :D If I can do it on the NW Coast of North America, then any one can do it.

:arrow:

This was created as a reply to Next Move, but it took too long to compose and Bill jumped ahead of me on the board. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: PREACHING TO THE UNCONVERTED...
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:36 pm 
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Bill Nelson wrote:
Anyway, to answer your question: I happened to accidentally meet, in the street, the guitarist from the tribute band and asked him why they didn't do their own songs, something original and created from their own unique imagination. His answer was simple but shocking to me: He said they'd tried that, but they got more gigs and made more money from copying my material. If anything was going to set me firmly against tribute bands, that statement was, especially as I couldn't raise the finance to put a band of my own together at that time. What an irony...a copy of the real thing seemed to mean more to people than the real thing! :shock:


Perfectly understandable.

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 Post subject: Re: PREACHING TO THE UNCONVERTED...
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:38 pm 
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next move wrote:
I honestly thought you had just stopped releasing records. Mind you I was happy when I discovered you hadn’t, it’s possible something similar may have happened to other people too?


Exactly the same thing happened to me.

I was following everything up to the folding of Enigma. Then I could find nothing in the stores. At least nothing new.

By accident, ran across Blue Moons & Laughing Guitars. True excitement that Bill actually had a record deal again & would be putting out more music. Little did I know.

Nothing again, until I heard something regarding Noise Candy. Ordered… and waited… and waited…

And it finally came. Bliss!

Then I tripped across the old website, which lead me to Dreamsville.

Then I found out how much music Bill had actually released in all those years. :shock: :shock:

.

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 Post subject: Re: PREACHING TO THE UNCONVERTED...
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:46 pm 
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Bill Nelson wrote:
alec wrote:
Bill, I remember you told us about that time you saw a Sunburst Deluxe gig and then afterwards you spoke to them saying something to effect of, "Since you've been able to duplicate my songs so well, why not write your own material" ?

Was there a reply to that question ?

It's a great question .


I didn't actually see them perform live, alec, but I had been given a video of one of their performances which I tried to watch. I thought it reduced what Be Bop had done to a kind of easy listening, nostalgic cabaret.

It came across, to me, as a pastiche, rather like a stage impersonator performing clever impressions of famous politicians with exaggerations of all the ticks and mannerisms, etc. It annoyed me no end and I had to switch it off. I found it excruciating.

The original spirit of my band, the whole ethic I'd tried to get across, the spirit of being forward looking, individual, fresh and pushing the boundaries, had been lost and all that was left was a two dimensional, pale photocopy. I thought it did no favours to the band's legacy, (which I firmly believe should be left alone and not cheapened.) But there are people out there who think it's fine and enjoy revelling in a fake Be Bop Deluxe, (which, sadly, seems to indicate that some people never really understood it in the first place.) Well, each to their own, I guess...

Anyway, to answer your question: I happened to accidentally meet, in the street, the guitarist from the tribute band and asked him why they didn't do their own songs, something original and created from their own unique imagination. His answer was simple but shocking to me: He said they'd tried that, but they got more gigs and made more money from copying my material. If anything was going to set me firmly against tribute bands, that statement was, especially as I couldn't raise the finance to put a band of my own together at that time. What an irony...a copy of the real thing seemed to mean more to people than the real thing! :shock:

I'm sure some old rockers think that having a tribute band is flattering. But, as far as I'm concerned, I think it's embarrassing and cheap. Of course the old excuse is that they're 'keeping the name alive.' Well, I'd rather be forgotten if that's the price I have to pay.

Sorry to fans of tribute bands, but that's my position and that's what it always will be.

I'm quite content if bands want to perform one or two covers of my songs in their set, that's fine, but ripping of the entire catalogue and presenting yourself as a faux Be Bop Deluxe, with the excuse of it being a 'tribute', complete with a name adapted from an album title and even using graphics based on the drawings I made to advertise the original band back in the day, is just a step too far. Perhaps they're sincere, perhaps they think they're doing me a favour, or they've found a way to gain some kind of recognition by taking someone else's ideas and exploiting them for personal glory. Whatever the reason, I'd respectfully ask anyone not to do that...if they really love and understand my life's work, they'd put in the effort and creativity to come up with their own music. That would really be a fitting tribute. :wink:



'Perhaps they're sincere' I think this is the reality of the matter? I'm pretty damn sure they don't make any money from this venture and only charge a small admission fee, for god's sake they only play a couple of times a year :roll: . I saw them a few years ago at the New Roscoe in Leeds and admission was free then. I was so impressed by their musicianship that I donated £20 to the 'band fund', well they did play 'Heavenly Homes' 8) , which is more than Bebop ever did (live :shock: ) I think it's asking a bit too much that all Bebop fans should be into the 'artists' vision and progression when it's the quality of the music that enchants them? So I don't see going to watch Sunburst Deluxe as reliving ones youth, more like enjoying a band of quality musicians playing a catalogue of songs from a long gone 70's group that unfortunately does not get played enough today.

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 Post subject: Re: PREACHING TO THE UNCONVERTED...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:15 am 
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bradford mick wrote:
I don't see going to watch Sunburst Deluxe as reliving ones youth, more like enjoying a band of quality musicians playing a catalogue of songs from a long gone 70's group that unfortunately does not get played enough today.


I'm tempted to say 'gets played far too much' in my opinion.'Ships In The Night' being the prime example. :wink: And going to watch tribute bands definitely is a nostalgia thing, of course it is! That's obvious to everyone. :lol:

Seriously though, I know where some fans entered the equation and I'm pretty sure that they have nostalgic memories of that time when they first tuned in and what it meant to them, Other fans tuned in to Red Noise, others even later, some more recent. Make of that what you will.

Fans old and new...it's a broad church as they say. But damned if I'm going to be trapped, hemmed in or stereotyped by music I made donkey's years ago and have grown out of, (or even music I made last week for that matter.)

Should I care about what anyone thinks about my need to leave the past behind? Of course not, It's a take it or leave it situation. We've all got that choice. But I'm stubborn enough to not care one way or the other. Music/Art is more powerful than being liked or disliked, more powerful than fame or obscurity. Those things are not the measure of greatness, only fickle popularity and desperation, and I'm far from desperate yet! :wink: .

So yes, you're free to listen to whatever period of my music you like, but leave me free to say what I want about its merits or otherwise. After all, I wrote and played the damn stuff! I refuse to be restrained or limited by anyone else's likes or dislikes, presumptions and past expectations. The music I make is not a fossil, not dead, not dried and desiccated, not frozen in aspic, it's alive and kicking and here and now, kicking out the past. :wink: :D


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 Post subject: Re: PREACHING TO THE UNCONVERTED...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:59 am 
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As an artist and designer, it’s my job to tempt failure every day. It’s not that I’m looking to stumble or am seeking financial ruination, but not tempting failure would lead to me finding a gimmick, a trick that people like—then rolling that trick out again and again and again. Society tells us this is good—the goal even. But “people pleasing” leads to losing your own way and, ultimately, boredom. It’s my job to make myself happy, to make work I love and, if I do a good job, others will love it as well. Or they won’t—hence, tempting failure every day, but I’d rather risk it all on love every day because love always pays off.
With love,
James Victore

David duChemin
A Beautiful Anarchy: When the Life Creative Becomes the Life Created

Not that you need reminding Bill ....but just keep doing what your doing...
kindest regards
Steve

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 Post subject: Re: PREACHING TO THE UNCONVERTED...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:10 pm 
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steve lyles wrote:
As an artist and designer, it’s my job to tempt failure every day. It’s not that I’m looking to stumble or am seeking financial ruination, but not tempting failure would lead to me finding a gimmick, a trick that people like—then rolling that trick out again and again and again. Society tells us this is good—the goal even. But “people pleasing” leads to losing your own way and, ultimately, boredom. It’s my job to make myself happy, to make work I love and, if I do a good job, others will love it as well. Or they won’t—hence, tempting failure every day, but I’d rather risk it all on love every day because love always pays off.
With love,
James Victore

David duChemin
A Beautiful Anarchy: When the Life Creative Becomes the Life Created

Not that you need reminding Bill ....but just keep doing what your doing...
kindest regards
Steve


Spot on, Steve! I particularly like the quote from James Victore, especially that last part: "I’d rather risk it all on love every day because love always pays off"


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 Post subject: Re: PREACHING TO THE UNCONVERTED...
PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:46 pm 
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Apologies to all concerned if the quote is wrong but I think it was Andy Partridge who said something along the lines of "if I painted a masterpiece would you expect me to go out on the road every night to repaint it?" in response to a question about not going out on tour to promote new material.


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