XTC: This Is Pop (2017) - full transcript

A brand new film on one of Britain's best-loved and most influential bands of modern times, XTC. Emerging from the late 1970s punk and new wave explosion, XTC amassed a devoted following ...

Oh, rock
documentaries, rockumentaries,

I really dislike them.

They get these old farts
waffling on,

"The amount of drugs
we took on the road,

the amount of women we shagged.
It was great, weren't it?"

It's just a long procession
of talking heads,

"Oh, I used to be
their roadie."

"Oh, I used to live next door
to the bass player's cousin."

They always have that
lugubrious keyboard player

from that prog rock group.

Oh, yeah, XTC, I remember XTC.

Don't you dare
have him in this documentary!

It's always the same faces,
it's always the same tales.

It never has a good ending.

They always fall out
with each other.

They're always suing
each other.

One of them dies, or two
of them dies, or they all die

and they all can't stand the
sight of each other anymore,


"Making Plans For Nigel"

The only thing that's worthy

of making a documentary
about XTC

is it's not about
the rock and roll bollocks

that constitute
99% of other bands.

We weren't into any of
that rock and roll stuff.

We're not rock and roll people.

We made gently,
exploratory pop music,

and I actually think
we started pretty damn good

and then got a lot better.

And there's not too many bands
can say that's their arc.

♪ We're only making plans
for Nigel ♪

The journey that they went on
is extraordinary

in terms of, you know,
musical evolution.

You have to look at a band
like The Beatles

to find anyone
that's even comparable

in the sense of reinventing
themselves over and over again.

"Senses Working Overtime"

♪ And all the world
is football-shaped ♪

I thought these guys
ascended to...

You know, from great punk roots
to a whole other level.

The leap forward they'd made
to just gorgeous songwriting

and gorgeous record-making.

♪ Senses working overtime ♪

He's probably one of
the most unique songwriters

this country's ever produced.

He's got this thing

of just taking these melodies
that soar, you know.

It was kind of mind-blowing.

"Wrapped In Grey"

♪ Awaken, you dreamers ♪

♪ Adrift in your bed ♪

Each song
is different to the next,

let alone each album.

It's hard to make one album
different to the next,

and they do it
from song to song.

And I think
that's one of the reasons

why they should be relevant,

because they have never done
anything that's expected,

and that's really rare.

"Easter Theatre"

♪ Enter Easter and
she's dressed in yellow yolk ♪

One of the things I love about
them is that you can sort of...

You can just sort of sit back
and enjoy the musicianship

and the beautiful sounds
and these melodies.

It's songwriting
at its highest level.

♪ Enter Easter and
she's dressed in yellow yolk ♪

♪ Now the son has died,
the father can be born ♪

♪ If we'd all breathe in and
blow away the smoke... ♪

"This Is Pop"

♪ Yeah, yeah, this is pop ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah, this is ♪

♪ Pop! ♪

Well, I never thought
I was any good at anything

until I got more and more
into drawing and painting.

Comics were a big influence.
I loved them,

and I thought,
"Do you know, I can draw.

Maybe when I grow up
I can be a cartoon artist."

I was a kid that always made
my own entertainment.

For me,
it went with the territory

of being an only child.

It went with a very, very
controlling, OCD mother

who wouldn't allow other kids
to come into the house to play.

I could go round
other kids' houses,

but for some reason
they couldn't come in mine.

This was her, "Oh, I don't want
any filth on the floor."

You could go
in everyone else's house

and you'd know
there were kids living there,

there'd be toys around.

You'd go in our house -

"No, there's no child
lives here," you know.

And she would constantly
throw my toys away.

It was like the OCD
control thing, you know.

It was a constant hurt
to have your...

You know, you had
no brothers and sisters,

you weren't close
to your parents.

The only things you kind of
felt any connection with

was your toys, and they
were always got rid of.

So I fought this
de-childification of the house.

Maybe it's why I love toys
so much now.

I'm trying to say,

"You ain't gonna throw them
out now," you know.

I was a real Jonny No Mates.

I had to make up games,
I would design stuff,

I would always be drawing.

I was always
a self-entertainer.

And then I was the right age

that psychedelia kicked in,
'66, '67.

Pop music starts getting
very colorful,

and right about that time

music starts to loom
really heavily in my life.

And suddenly I was just opening
up the age of, you know,

your balls start dropping,

the opposite sex
stop being embarrassing

and start becoming
intensely interesting.

It was all hand-in-hand with...
I was just the right age.

Girls are getting bigger,
music's getting bigger, kapow.

And it's that thing of,

If I'm gonna get off
this council estate,

I don't think I'm gonna do
it by being a graphic artist.

I don't wanna
have to join the Navy

to see the world like my dad.

What way is it
that I can get out of here?

It's gotta be music!

It can't be hard writing songs.

The girls love them all.
This is great.

How do you learn to do it?
I'm gonna teach myself.

I was struggling.

I was copying
as many records as I could,

pulling that stylus back:
"How does that bit go?

Oh, no, what's that chord?

I don't know what that
chord is, I can't find it."

But I very, very quickly,
for all the wrong reasons,

quickly got into writing
my own songs.

And it's for the wrong reasons

because I wasn't good enough
to learn other people's songs.

So, "Okay,
You need to write your own."

And that's how it grew.

It grew, because I couldn't
work out other people's stuff.

Andy and I grew up on

the Penhill council estate.

He was the next school year
up from me,

but we went to the same school.

He was the guy
that used to draw caricatures

of the teachers
in the playground,

so he always had
a crowd around him.

He was
a good draftsman even then.

And then I didn't see him
for a couple of years.

I think I met him
in a music shop, Kempster's.

And he was the guy

that used to take the
expensive guitars off the wall,

much to
the proprietor's dismay.

You know, we'd go in and
kind of turn on an amplifier

and get a cable that somebody
had left from trying a guitar,

and when nobody was looking,

take a guitar off the wall
and plug it in, you know.

Then the pair of us
would be showing each other

licks and riffs and things.

Hey, you're Andy Partridge.

You write good songs
and play the guitar well.

That's right. Who are you,
mystery bass man?

I'm Colin Moulding,
and this is Terry Chambers.

You must be Terry,
the drum player.

Yes, I am. I play the drums.

Hey, let's go to the pub

and talk about
being in a group, then.

Let's get pissed first.

By the time we met,
when we were about 17,

we still hadn't mastered
our instruments.

So, we basically
sort of learnt along together,

but I think Andy was a little
bit more advanced musically

than what we were.


Well, he was a bolshy bugger
even then, you know.

Very confident,
obviously very talented,

so we were happy to go along
with his ideas, really.

The stuff I wrote
for The Helium Kidz

I thought had its own sound,
because I was taking my love

of American comics
and science fiction,

and I thought,
"I'll write songs

about those kind of subjects."

The songs they were playing

were all about two,
two and a half minutes long

and no-one locally
was doing that.

We were all kind of
underground blues bands.

That's really what was
going on in the mid-70s,

But this was some kind of...

It was almost like
cartoon pop music,

but there was something
about it that I hadn't seen

in any other local band.

I didn't seriously imagine they
were gonna get anywhere,

because who's gonna take
a band from Swindon seriously?

It just wasn't gonna happen.

Swindon has this reputation
for being a comedy place,

a backward place,

that anything that comes from
it is considered to be a joke.

It's designated
"the comedy town"

and everything
associated with Swindon

must be stupid
and comical and worthless.

Which is terrible
when you're trying to...

instigate a band from Swindon.

"They must be terrible
and comical and worthless."

"Neon Shuffle"

Locally, he was viewed

as being a bit out there
for local tastes, you know.

But we thought he was great,

because he was
a larger-than-life character

and he was very funny.

And he was making music
that was unusual,

so we were
kinda drawn to that.

So the three of us, that was
the nucleus of the band,

me, Andy and Terry.

And the fourth member
always seemed to be changing.

By the time
The Helium Kidz became XTC,

we found a keyboard player
by the name of Barry Andrews

and we went out drinking
one night and got awfully sick.

So it was like,
"Okay, he's one of the gang.

He can hold his beer better
than I can, you know,

so he's in."

I had no idea
what he played like.

And the first rehearsal
we had with him

I thought, "Oh, my God,
we've said he's in the band

and I can't stand his playing.

It's like Deep Purple
or something," you know.

And I took him to one side
halfway through this rehearsal

and I said, "Do you really
wanna play like that?

Feel free to play any way
you really want to play."

And the second half
of the rehearsal

it was, "My God!"

It was like
the sound of somebody

a flying saucer engine.

It was just so odd

and it was so many
beautiful wrong notes.

"He is so in this group."

When you do it,
it ain't no disgrace ♪

We heard that there was a buzz
about XTC. "You gotta see XTC."

So we went down there,
and sure enough

they were one of the
few bands of that era

that dared to break
the very strict rules of punk.

XTC actually had complex
chords, complex rhythms,

lyrics that were outside
that very narrow frame

and it was actually
very heartening for us

to see a band just
throwing of that strait jacket.

Hello, my name is John Peel.

On tonight's program I'll be
playing tracks by The Sloots,

The Slots, The Groan,
Exploding Truss,

The Blues Bastards

one from The Geckos,
Hubert And His Pile Tones,

The Ear, The Nose, The Throat,

The Cassowaries from Hell
are here, and Inevitable Groin

I think Andy
sent a tape off to John Peel

and got us on the show.

That was about four months
before we were signed to Virgin

and that was our first
appearance on the radio.

on to tonight's first guests,

and they're XTC.
See what you think.

At the time, the music industry
was a bit of a closed shop.

There wasn't really any way in.
But when punk came along,

it kind of swept
everything aside.

And we got in
on the punk ticket, I think.

But I think we were more akin
to the New York Dolls,

we weren't really punk as such.

We weren't political
in any way.

♪ I have a feeling ♪

♪ Something's
looking in-in-in-in-in ♪

Why don't we go to London
and be famous, kids?

Punk rock is just starting up
and they'll swallow anything.

♪ Science friction
burns my fingers ♪

The floodgates were opened

after the whole so-called
punk new wave scene.

And, you know, as time went on,
the labels kind of dropped away

for a band like Blondie or for
a band like XTC, you know.

You just really... They were
just like a great band.

I mean, their music
was innovative,

lyrically interesting and
a bit eccentric, I suppose.

And I think as time went on,

they kinda proved
that to be true.

By the time
XTC got signed up in '77 -

and who didn't get signed up
in '77, it was like a disease.

Record companies were
so scared of missing the boat,

"Ah, there's this thing
called punk, new wave,

whatever it is,
we don't know what it's called.

Quick, sign everything!"

They just signed everything.

So they looked at XTC
and, "Right, you're signed."

That first record
is the one that, to this day,

I love it so much.

And I love the way
it's like post-punky

and I really love
his guitar playing.

It's like that fast,
erratic playing,

and his singing,
it's so cool.

♪ Science friction
burns my fingers ♪

So the first XTC album

was some of the dregs
of the comic stuff,

like Neon Shuffle,
Science Friction.

But there were
other things as well

that were happening to me
at the time, like This Is Pop.

Where people
are trying to work out

what this new music is called.

Is it punk

And to me,
it was just pop music.

It was short, sharp,
slightly futuristic pop music.

I thought,
"Come on, you idiots,

don't bother with putting it
into yet another sub ghetto.

It's just pop music."

♪ What do you call that noise ♪

♪ That you put on? ♪

♪ This is pop ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

♪ This is pop ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

♪ This is pop ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

♪ This is ♪

His singing voice, of course,
on the first record,

it was kinda yelping, really.

He was always trying to,

trying to get above the row
of the instruments, you know.

It was probably the style
of the music and the time,

where people thought
to sing was to shout.

♪ This is ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

♪ This is pop ♪

I very quickly realized that
I can't find another singer

who's delivering my songs
how I want them delivered.

So I'm reluctantly
gonna have to sing them,

and I'm not a good singer.

At best, in the early years,

I managed an entertaining
seal bark of a noise,

"Arrrhh, arrrhh," you know.

It was like a wounded
Lassie or something.

And if Colin writes some songs
then he's gonna sing them.

I'm not gonna do his songs.

So it was that kind of
unwritten agreement

that you write it, you sing it.

♪ Are you receiving me? ♪

♪ You are deceiving me,
I know ♪

I had no
ambition to write.

I think it was one of the
roadies that said, you know,

"Colin, you ought to write,

because otherwise
you'll miss out," you know.

So I made a contribution
to the first album.

And then on the second album

Barry said it would be
better all-round

if we all made a contribution,

and he started to write songs,
as well.

By the time we got to
doing the second record, Go 2,

there was Barry's songs
that had to be done, you know.

Give him a chance
kind of thing.

And, of course,
they stuck out, you know.

They weren't really band songs,
XTC songs.

Barry and I were
sniping at each other terribly

during the recording of that,

'cause I was seeing that
he was kind of in danger

of stealing my band away,

or was trying to do that
from under my nose.

From suddenly
not writing any songs,

he had suddenly written
seven songs.

But he was very upset

that he didn't get them
all on the album.

But then you can't
waltz into a band

and say,
"Okay, Mr. Songwriter,

we're not having
any of your songs.

Half of the album
is gonna be my songs,

which I've just started writing
and you have to use them all."

So I thought,
"No, let's give it a few albums

and then we can start to
introduce your songs."

But no, Barry, being the
lone wolf, had to leave.

♪ Are you receiving me? ♪

♪ You are deceiving me ♪

I thought, "Ah,
we can't stop our career now.

It's just taking off.

Who do I know
that we can get in the band?

I know, maybe the person

we should have had
in the first place:

local guitarist Dave Gregory."

A friend of mine
and a fantastic guitarist.

And, yeah, I think
he liked the opportunity

to come and be in a band
that was on its way up.

♪ I have learned there's
a magical spot at the hop ♪

♪ Ooh-whoo! ♪

I think he just
wanted to find someone

who he could relate to
on a personal level,

who'd do what he asked
without squabbling too much.

But he certainly broadened
my mind as to, you know,

how I should approach...

For example, if he heard

even the slightest hint
of a blues cliché

in anything I was doing,
he'd just say, "Don't do that!"

So he got me thinking
in a completely different way.

On my audition, we were just
jamming on something

and I think
at one point I went...

..and he went,
"Stop! Stop Ernieing"

And I said "What?"

"Stop Ernieing! Don't Ernie.
Don't do that."

♪ Ernie, Ernie, Ernie ♪

He hated that,
so I had to sort of...

Straight away,
that was the last time

I ever played a phrase
like that in an XTC song.

♪ Life begins at the hop ♪

♪ Boys and girls ♪

When Barry left, it seemed
to trigger something, you know.

The dynamic of the band

and I was writing
more for myself, you know.

Colin brought this guitar to
the rehearsal room and said,

"I've written this song,
fellas, and it goes like this."

And he played
the three or four chords

that constitute
Making Plans For Nigel.

And we liked the melody,

thought the melody
was really nice.

♪ Da-da-da-da-da-duh,
da-duh-da-duh ♪

You know, it's a very
old-fashioned melody.

It could be Gilbert O'Sullivan,

could be, you know,
a show tune or something.

♪ We're only
making plans for Nigel ♪

♪ We only want
what's best for him ♪

But he's strumming it to us
on a classic guitar,

and it was, "Oh, my God.
We can't do it like that.

He's like Julie Felix or
Joan Baez or something.

You know, nobody's...

We're not gonna take that,
let alone our audience.

And so we just pulled it
totally apart.

I got Terry to play in
an upside-down drum rhythm,

where he moved
at quite a conventional rhythm

around to other drums.

And if you're a drummer,

try playing that rhythm
on Making Plans For Nigel.

It takes some
upside-down thinking.

I'm just doing these
sort of stabbing chords.

Over the top of that,
Andy's got this little...

Colin is copying what is
being played on the tom-tom,

which is this tribal thing,

'cause we wanna get
into that tribal area

with drums, you know.

So the whole song is this big
tribal-sounding behemoth.

And, damn it, it was a hit.

♪ We're only making plans
for Nigel ♪

♪ Nigel just needs
that helping hand ♪

♪ And if young Nigel says
he's happy ♪

♪ He must be happy ♪

♪ He must be happy ♪

♪ He must be happy
in his work ♪

I knew by that album,

the album that became
Drums And Wires,

that I wanted to take the band
in a more drum-heavy direction

And so we found a producer,
an engineer,

that I felt would be good
for this new sound,

which was Hugh Padgham

and Steve Lillywhite
being the producer.

And it was a case of,

"Well, let's get you
in a live-sounding studio,

where there's plenty of stone
and brick and wood and glass

to reflect the sound."

So we went to the brand-new
Virgin Town House,

which had just been built.

The great thing with this room
at The Town House

was that it was all sort of
stone and bricks,

so when you stand next to
somebody playing the drums,

it's loud.

And there had become
a phenomenon in the '70s,

where records tended to have
a very sort of dead sound

on, well,
particularly the drums,

and they often
didn't sound very big.

Now, recording them
in this big room,

and the technique
that I sort of discovered,

made the drums sound loud,
even when they were quiet.

That was the drum...

The drum sound of the 1980s.

That everybody now knows
was made famous by Phil Collins

and the big drum break in
In The Air Tonight.

It was a new sound.
It was a new thing.

And people were saying to us,
you know,

like we're touring with
The Police and,

"Partsy, man, how are you
getting that sound

like, with the big drums?

Who's doing
your engineering, man?"

"Well, it's a young fella
called Hugh Padgham."

have you got his number?

We'll have a bit of that
on The Police."

Hugh Padgham came to us

because of his
unbelievable credentials.

He had recorded the albums

that everybody held up as the
sound that every band wants.

The combination of the size
and clarity,

everybody wanted that sound.

♪ We're only making plans
for Nigel ♪

Drums And Wires
just changed the game for us.

Reinvented the band.

Easy to tour.
Easy to play on stage.

Just put us another notch
up the ladder, I guess.

It was
a double-edged sword for me,

because certainly in Britain

we'd had no chart success
with this odd music.

You know,
these strange Herberts

from a council estate
in Swindon.

"It's too odd for me.
That's punky, ain't it?

That's, well, you know..."

So by the time that Colin came
up with Making Plans For Nigel

Virgin Records said, "Hey,
that good-looking bass player,

he's come up with one
and it's in the charts,

so, okay,
he's the one to look at,

and we thought
it was Andy's group."

From then on,
for quite a few years,

certainly in the eyes
of Virgin Records,

it became Colin's group.

I think he was a little
bit pissed off, to be honest,

as you can imagine,
because, you know,

he had been the song writer,
you know, the sole song writer.

He was the face of the band,

so it all felt
a little bit odd.

Essentially, I was
the bass player,

but, all of a sudden,
I was thrust forward.

♪ Generals and Majors, ah-ha ♪

♪ They're never too far ♪

♪ From battlefields
so glorious ♪

To be fair, he's the one

who looked most like
a pop star.

You know, all his songs
were melodic and simple.

They're very easy, easy on the
ear, listener-friendly songs.

So the record company
would always look to Colin

for the singles first.

So you can understand

why Andy might have
had his nose

put out of joint a little bit
because of that.

But, you know,
he got on with it okay.

He still had the lion's share
of the writing,

and he was still in charge.

♪ Generals ♪

♪ And Majors ♪

It was kind of
good for him as well,

because it kind of spurred
both of us on, you know.

Virgin rule was
after the next hit.

So in a way,
it was healthy after a while.

I had that thing
where I thought it was my band.

You know. And...

But I realized it was our

The fact that Colin was writing
good songs,

I was writing good songs,

Dave was playing great
instrumentation orchestration,

Terry was whacking seven bells
out of that kit beautifully,

it all made it stronger.

♪ Towers of London ♪

♪ When they had built you ♪

♪ Did you watch over
the men who fell? ♪

Andy was getting
a reputation by this time

as being,
you know, a songwriter,

as opposed to being, you know,
a punk guitar player.

Both guys were writing
much better songs.

I think the two of them
complimented each other really.

They never actually ever
wrote together.

They were never a Lennon and
McCartney type of partnership.

They never
wrote songs together.

There was his songs,
and his songs, and that was it.

♪ Need assisting ♪

Colin had less

of the kind of bite
and perversity of Andy.

Andy has this kind
of strange world

that he kinda retreats into,

that's kind of a mixture of
nostalgia and sexual tension,

and the fact that it's
quintessentially English.

♪ If I could only be tough
like him ♪

♪ Then I could win my own
small battle of the sexes ♪

For me,
more and more of the influences

was the British pop group stuff
came out more and more,

i.e. The Beatles,
Rolling Stones,

The Small Faces, The Kinks.

The way that Ray Davies
wrote these little mini plays

about life in England.
You know, I loved that.

And I sort of
gravitated naturally

towards wanting
to do that myself.

You're not stealing,
it's just you can't help it.

It's in your DNA.

You live in
a little English town.

Just the very fact that you're
reporting what's going on

in that little English town,

it's gonna be a bit like
anybody else

who wrote about small things
in small towns.

♪ Heard the neighbor
slam his car door ♪

♪ Don't you realize,
this is Respectable Street? ♪

With Respectable Street,

it's this really mundane,
supposedly uninteresting story

of this suburban, boring life,

but they paint this
really vivid picture of it.

And you can completely see Andy
just poking out the curtains,

watching it all go on.

He's such a character, and
that comes out in the lyrics,

that comes out in the songs.

♪ Avon lady fills the creases ♪

♪ When she manages to
squeeze in past the caravans ♪

♪ That never move
from their front gardens ♪

So long as
the four of us were together,

we were in this little
Swindon bubble,

we were protected,
we were among friends.

Some of the weird people
we met on the road, you know,

you just think, "Well, at least
we can laugh about it."

Because the rock and roll
lifestyle is pretty absurd.

Particularly on the road.

But, you know, Andy,
he never stopped.

He was always joking
and larking around,

keeping us happy.

It was just his personality.

It wasn't something
he felt he had to do,

he's just a natural,
comical person.

Humor is an important part
of every band's life,

and we got on great with XTC.

Andy was much more comfortable

the further he was
away from the show.

After the show, Andy is a hoot.

We actually shared
a tour bus with them,

which is two bands on a bus,

which is pretty darn

But we got along really well.

You know, XTC and The Police

were two similar bands
of the same age,

and we just, you know,
we were in the pocket.

♪ Bang the wall
for me to turn, turn, turn ♪

I think we were
generally pretty good live.

Being tight as a band
was important.

But I kinda quickly found out

that I didn't enjoy
the business of live so much.

For the travel,
the sound checks,

all the assholes
you have to deal with

in agencies and managers.

So I hated all that side of it

I mean, actually being on stage
was the nicest bit of the day.

♪ ..he realize, this is
Respectable Street? ♪

After we'd finished
touring Black Sea,

which was most of 19...

the second half of 1980,

we were all ready
to do something new.

It was time to sort of expand

the two guitars,
bass and drums line-up.

Maybe add some piano
here and there

and just think about, maybe,
different guitar textures.

So we went in
and rehearsed songs

for the album that would
become English Settlement.

Virgin are telling us,
"Yeah, nice material, lads,

you don't have a single."

And so I sat down
and tried to write a single.

"Let me see. What's good?

What do people want?
Like, nursery rhymes.

Yeah, it's gotta be
a kind of simple melody.

Counting's always good."


♪ Five, four, three, two, one ♪

♪ Da-da-da, da-da-da ♪

♪ Five, four, three, two, one ♪

"Yeah that was a big hit.
Yeah, I can do counting.

Well, flip it the other way.
One, two, three, four, five.

What's about that?
What have we got five of?

Five legs?
No, we don't have five legs.

Five arms

No, it's four fingers
and a thumb.

Five senses. Okay.

So it's gonna be about
your senses. Right.

We got where...
So it's a counting song.

I'm counting,
"One, two, three, four, five."

And it's gonna be stamp, stamp.
You're gonna get this."

♪ One, two, three, four, five ♪

"Great, that's all working.
I don't have a verse."

And so I was thinking,
"Okay, maybe the verse...

Maybe the verse
should be an E as well."

And I threw my hands
on the guitar,

but instead of throwing them...

That's a nice E.

..I threw them on
kind of an E-flat place

And I didn't throw
all my fingers on.

I just threw two of them on.
I wasn't thinking.

And I ended up with that.

And I thought,
"Ah, what's that?

That's an interesting chord,

I thought, "Wow.
I wonder what that's like

if I move my fingers
and go the other way as well?"

"Ooh, that's very nice.
This sounds medieval.

This is like somebody
in a field, tilling.

This is a little fella and his
ox and he's tilling a field."

You know.

And so I started to sing

with the nursery rhyme
thing in mind.

I thought,

"Well, what would this
person tilling the fields be...

He'd be singing,

♪ Hey, hey,
the clouds are whey ♪

Yeah, I like that.

I'm liking that he's looking up
at the clouds, you know."

And so the whole verse

was made out of this
kind of medieval...

Bloody evil!

..this medieval thing,
which I then jammed on.

"I'm gonna make this work."

I then jammed
on to the other bits.

♪ Hey, hey,
the clouds are whey ♪

♪ The straw for the donkeys ♪

♪ And the innocents
can all sleep safely ♪

♪ All sleep safely ♪

♪ My, my, sun is pie ♪

♪ There's fodder
for the cannons ♪

♪ And the guilty ones
can all sleep safely ♪

♪ All sleep safely ♪

♪ And all the world
is football-shaped ♪

♪ It's just for me
to kick in space ♪

♪ And I can see, hear, smell,
touch, taste ♪

♪ And I've got
one, two, three, four, five ♪

♪ Senses working overtime ♪

♪ Trying to take this all in ♪

♪ I've got
one, two, three, four, five ♪

♪ Senses working overtime ♪

♪ Trying to taste
the difference ♪

♪ 'Tween a lemon
and a lime ♪

♪ Pain and pleasure ♪

♪ And the church bells
softly chime ♪

Halfway through
an American tour,

the woman
I was married to at the time

looked at a big tub
of Valium I had.

And when I finished
a gig one night

and went out drinking with
some people in Los Angeles,

she thought to herself, "What's
he taking this shit for?

He doesn't need it.
It doesn't do anything for him

I'm gonna get rid of him.

Ooh, Freudian slip!
"I'm gonna get rid of it."

She tipped all these Valium
down the toilet.

I came home drunk

to this grotty hotel room
in Los Angeles.

So I'm going in,
I'm gonna to need my Valium.

"Where's my Valium?"

She said,
"I've tipped it all away,

I don't want you taking
this crap anymore.

You've gotta stop this stuff."

I freaked out. I thought,
"Ah, that's my crutch!

What are you doing? I take
that every day of my life.

I've taken that every day
since I was 12, 13,"

which I had done.

I was on it in the first place

because my mother had
a lot of mental problems,

and the fallout from that was
really fucking me up as a kid.

Big time.

And it was the '60s.

And the new wonder drug,

"Yeah. Oh, his mother's crazy.

We're putting her in
a loony bin for a while.

Poor kid's upset.
He's only 12.

Tell you what,
stick him on Valium."

I was on Valium, addicted
to this stuff since then,

and here I am 13 years later,
not registering I'm addicted

and thinking I can just stop.

I had no idea
how Valium addiction gets you,

and I had no concept
of getting off of it.

No concept of cold turkey.

No concept of,

"This is gonna destroy you
if you do it like this."

So, like two naive idiots,
she tipped it all away,

and I said, "Okay.

It doesn't do anything
for me in any case.

Doesn't give me a high,
doesn't do anything.

What does it do? Nothing.

Great. I'm fine.
I'm now off of Valium."

Oh, what a fool.
What a pair of fools, you know.

Over the following year,
I went into slow brain melt.

I developed panic attacks.
I had no idea what they were.

Memory loss.
My limbs were seizing up.

This was...
My whole world was going wrong

because of
this Valium addiction,

coming off of Valium,
stopping dead.

I didn't think
to go to talk to specialists

and say, "How do you do this?"

Since, people have said,

"Hey, you come off of
13 years of Valium addiction,

it's worse than heroin,

and you try doing cold turkey
on heroin."

I knew he was having
these night terrors.

I knew that he was
very, very nervous.

Before every show in the
dressing room, you know,

he would be so tense,
and you'd just think,

"Well, if that's what it takes
to get him on stage,

then that's what he has to do."

But you never imagine that it's
anything seriously amiss,

other than just the natural,
you know,

tension of stage nerves.

We would get to
just before the gig

and he'd have feelings of being
sick and all the rest of it,

you know, "No, I can't go on.
I feel sick."

But it was just...
It was just nerves, you know,

which manifested itself
in a physical, you know,

psychosomatic way.

Just things came unwound.

I was getting agoraphobia,
I couldn't go out.

I was getting panic attacks.

No concept
of what panic attack was.

And I'm on stage
and I'm getting a panic attack.

"Ah! Ah! Why?

Why am I afraid of everything
in the known universe?"

You know?

No concept of what was
happening to me.

And I found myself going
on tour, touring around Europe

and then it was
a tour of The States,

then it would have been
Japan, Australia,

blah-blah-blah, wherever.

Doing this with my brain
dribbling out of my skull.

All these things going wrong
in my mind and in my life,

and me not knowing
what they are.

And I found myself
onstage in Paris

having the mother
of all panic attacks

and thinking,
"That's it. I'm going mad.

I've got to stop the world.
I wanna get off." You know.

I'm getting all emotional
saying this.



"It's Nearly Africa"

We knew he was unhappy
on that particular tour,

and when he walked off,
immediately we just thought,

"Well, this is Andy
being petulant

and just doing this
to make a point."

Even when that happened,

and I regret this, you know,
looking back at it now,

we should have paid
more attention

to what he was...
how he was feeling.

We just figured,
"Well, let's get him home.

Rest for a month.

And then we'll go back out
when he's all better."

We'd had this tour
set up in America,

and we had to
get out of town fast,

because once the promoters knew

that we weren't going to play,
you know,

they were saying, "We want
a doctor to come round."

And I remember Andy and I
were just packed on a plane,

and we shot back to England.

But financially, we lost
hand over fist, you know,

because we weren't sued

but we had to pay
a good deal of money over

in order to pacify
the promoters, you know.

I probably reacted a bit
unsympathetically towards him,

I suppose.
I was the youngest fella there,

and, jeez, you know,
to pull out of an American tour

is pretty...pretty big stuff.

And, yeah, I wasn't aware of...

..like it was like an illness.

Like, you know,
I wasn't aware of that.

I just thought, you know,

"He's just going through
a bit of a bad patch

and he'll get over it."

My brother Ian was our agent
and their agent,

and the first I learned
of the stage fright issue

was my brother Ian
freaking out,

saying, "I can't believe it.

We have the best tour.
They're starting their tour."

I think it...

Madison Square Garden
or something.

It was just the

"Boys, you've worked hard.

This is your payoff.
You've landed."

And then a phone call
from England

is that Andy just can't.


The sad bit is

I think that he went from
not being able to do it

to not wanting...

Well, that was his story,
that he said he didn't want to.

I mean, Andy being one
for not allowing anything

to kind of say he can't do,

I think he turned it
round a bit,

to say,
"Well, I don't want to do."

But maybe if he'd
have got counselling for it,

it may have changed things,
you know.

♪ I put on a fake smile ♪

♪ And start the evening show ♪

♪ The public is laughing ♪

♪ I guess by now they know ♪

I was just at the end
of my tether with everything.

I was at the end of my tether

with being a performing monkey
for management.

I was sick of not seeing
any money for all of this.

In all those years of touring,
the band never saw a penny.

I know who the villain
in all this.

I'm not gonna get into
all that,

'cause it's too rockumentary.

But I know
who the villains are.

But we never saw any money,
and I was sick of that.

We never saw any time off to
be normal, I was sick of that.

Sick of hotels.
The whole thing.

I was trapped, and I
wanted off that treadmill.

♪ Dear Madam Barnum ♪

♪ I resign as clown ♪

♪ Dear Madam Barnum ♪

♪ I resign as clown ♪

♪ Dear Madam Barnum ♪

I just wanted a normal life.

I thought, "No, I need to get
away from this touring crap.

If my music's gonna get better,
and therefore XTC's music,

we need better-quality songs

and I need more time to write
more and better-quality songs."

Virgin took it so badly.

So badly.

Everybody did.

You know, the manager.
I think the band did, as well.

They thought, "Oh, that's
the end of us," you know.

It got very frustrating
for me and for Terry,

because we...

Well, Terry just loves the
road, he loves performing.

He loves playing his drums.

And me, too.

I don't really understand why a
musician wouldn't want to work.

You know, wouldn't want to go
out and tour and play.

He never really wanted
to pursue the live thing again,

you know, which
really went against

I sort of stood for, really.

I mean,
if you're a musician, to me,

playing is what it's all about.

Besides that,
my sort of circumstances

had changed, as well.

And my wife was Australian,
and we had a small child.

So that, on top of the

non-touring situation,
I thought,

"Well, jeez, you know, maybe
it's time for me to move out."

I totally
and utterly felt freed up

from stopping live.

It was like
"Hey, let's get in the studio

and use it for what it is,
this creative tool.

Let's use every tool
in the studio box.

We want some brass,
we hire a brass player.

We want this organ,
we just get this organ in.

We want Mellotron,
let's get a Mellotron.

We wanna overdub this, change
the speed of that, let's...

We can do anything
we want, for God's sake.

Why were we restricting

to two colors on the palette
just so we could do it live?

That's insane, fellas.
That's not how you grow."

The arrangements of the
songs became more complex.

We were able to use
strings and stuff

without fear of trying
to reproduce it on stage.

We didn't have that problem.

We could go to town, really,
you know, and we did.

For me, it was wonderful.

It was like
the blinkers came off.

That's live.


"Wow! There are all those other
colors! I wanna use them."

♪ Awaken, you dreamers ♪

♪ Adrift in your beds ♪

♪ Balloons and streamers ♪

♪ Decorate the ♪

♪ Inside of your heads ♪

♪ Please let some out ♪

♪ Do it today ♪

♪ But don't let the
loveless ones ♪

♪ Sell you a world
wrapped in gray ♪

♪ Da, da ♪

♪ Da, da, hm ♪

How I wrote a lot of
the songs is I'll find a chord

or a chord change on a guitar,
or on a keyboard,

and I'm playing those,
but I'm not hearing music.

I'm seeing pictures.
That's how I write songs.

It comes, usually, from
the synesthesic level.

Synesthesia is where
you get stuff mixed up.

Someone will say a number
and you'll hear a noise.

Or someone
will show you a color

and you'll think of a number.

Or you'll hear
a piece of music or a chord,

and, to me, it makes a picture.

I'm gonna just see if I can do
the exercise live, as it were.

Let me find a chord that
I've never played in my life.

Let me see.

No, that's a bit rotten.


You see, that, to me,
suggests a pool of...

Like a puddle.
Like a pool of muddy water.

[continues to play
guitar chords]

So if was working from
the synesthesia point,

the song would have to be
involving this muddy water

in some way.

I've never done this before
in my life.

Okay, so it's...

Not this song,

or what I'm about to sing
or anything, or say,

or the words or anything,

♪ There is the muddiest
of water ♪

♪ There is the deepest
of pools ♪

So, to me, it suggests...

That's a lovely chord,

I'm not gonna forget that.
But that's...

I have no idea
what that chord is called,

I've never played it before,
but it suggests muddy water.

That's how I write songs.

It comes usually from
the synesthesic thing.

"Love On A Farmboy's Wages"

I wrote this song,
Love On A Farmboy's Wages,

sort of about the romance
of my grandfather,

and, to some extent,
my father working on farms.

I mean, they had terrible lives
on these farms.

I was just messing around
with a note of E and...

"Oh, yeah. That's nice.
That's like the countryside.

You know, we're on the farm."

♪ Tonight,
when my work is done ♪

It's so important

that you paint
the musical scenery, to me.

Then you can find the right
lines for the actors to say.

But if you don't get
the correct scenery,

you can't stage this.

But it's a very personal song
for me, because it,

certainly to me, it references
my grandfather and my father.

♪ Shilling for the fellow
who brings the sheep in ♪

♪ Shilling for the fellow
who milks the herd ♪

♪ Shilling for the fellow
with a wife for keeping ♪

♪ How can we feed love
on a farmboy's wages? ♪

Somebody said,
"You've gotta hear this song,

Love On A Farmboy's Wages."

And I just thought, as good as
XTC had been up till then,

it was like a revelation of the
leap forward they had made,

you know, out of their punk
roots into, you know,

just gorgeous songwriting
and gorgeous record making.

And from then on,
I was just a total fan.

♪ Shilling for the fellow
with a wife for keeping ♪

♪ How can we feed love
on a farmboy's ♪

♪ Love on a farmboy's ♪

♪ Love on a farmboy's wages? ♪

By that time,
the hits had dried up,

and I think we did
a couple of albums

that weren't
particularly successful.

And the scene was changing,
so we were...

It was kind of the wilderness
years for us, you know,

just for two or three years.

There's a long tradition
of whatever media you're in,

writers do it all the time,
but musicians do it, as well,

where you wanna not be you.

To go to like a costume ball
as some other character,

a masked ball.

Wouldn't that be great fun?

So in our case, "Let's make
an album by a different band."

♪ I'm the mole
from the ministry ♪

♪ And you'll all
bow down to me ♪

♪ I'm the mole
in your potting shed ♪

♪ I'm the bad thoughts
inside your head ♪

So in two weeks
we wrote, recorded and mixed

the Dukes Of Stratosphear's
first record.

It was so much fun,
I'll tell you.

So much fun
not having to be yourself.

♪ 25 o'clock ♪

We had more fun
in those two weeks, I think,

than I'd ever had
in a studio with anybody.

We just put ourselves
in the mind-set

of bands from the mid-'60s,

and just find as much
vintage gear as we can,

so we can get it sounding
as authentic as possible.

It was very relaxing
for the band,

because there was no pressure
on them to be here.

There was no pressure
to do a hit single.

And it was all their fantasies
in making music,

to be psychedelic.

♪ ..thirty-four ♪

It was very good fun,
and it did surprisingly well.

The Dukes probably sold
more than The Big Express

which was the XTC album
of around that time.

Of course, it was all
meant to be hush, hush,

"Don't tell anyone it's XTC."

Everyone loved it. And people
still do today, you know.

When I met The Stone Roses

and they asked me to do their
record, they kind of said,

"You are the John Leckie

that did the Dukes Of
Stratosphear, aren't you?"

And I went, "Yeah, yeah."

And they said, "Oh,
'cause that's why we asked you.

We loved that record."

Dukes of Stratosphear

was probably a direct
predecessor to Britpop.

Creating that
sort of psychedelic

'60s-influenced music

was, yeah,
very unusual for the time.

I think that album came out
in the early-'80s or something,

so that record was, yeah,

definitely a precursor
to Britpop, for sure.

It opened us up
to a new audience.

It was a lot of kids that were
sort of starting to get into...

Well, they were calling it,
like, a Paisley Underground,

or, you know, whatever.

It was
this new feeling of, "Hey,

maybe '60s music is okay."

And I think
it gave us the feeling

that we could tap into
what we liked as schoolkids.

I think we all felt more
comfortable in ourselves,

and we felt more comfortable

in being this bridge
from the '60s to the '80s.

And hey, that's fine, you know.
This is why...

We were then at that point
where it was like,

"We're not gonna deny
any of our influences anymore,

we're just gonna
let them all free."

♪ Season cycle
moving round and round ♪

♪ Pushing life up
from a cold, dead ground ♪

♪ It's growing green ♪

♪ It's growing green ♪

♪ Well, darling,
don't you ever stop to wonder ♪

♪ About the clouds,
about the hail and thunder? ♪

♪ About the baby
and its umbilical? ♪

♪ Who's pushing the pedals
on the season cycle? ♪

By the time we had got
to making the Skylarking album

which I think personally
is the next Dukes record,

Virgin really wanted us
to break big in The States

and did actually say,

"If you don't let an American
produce your next album-to-be,

you're off the label,

because you are not selling
enough records in America."

And they said, "You're gonna
need a US producer,

somebody who knows
what Americans like

and can find that
in your music."

'Cause I thought our music
was pretty British.

"Okay, good luck."

And they sent me a list
of all these producers.

You know,
Arnie Dinkelberger IX,

and Ronnie Dangleheimer
XIV, and all that.

I didn't know
who all these people were.

I'd never heard of them.

So right near the bottom
of this list was Todd Rundgren.

I thought, "Ah!
I know who he is.

I had an album of his
one time.

He's American.
Yeah. Right, oh, okay.

So he produces, does he?

Alright, well,
that might be fun.

He's a musician. He knows
what musicians are about."

And I said to Dave, "You know
Todd Rundgren, right?"

"Todd? Yeah, I'm a big fan.
Of course I am."

"Well, how would you think
if he produced an album?"

"Yeah, let's go for it."

I was in my element.
I couldn't believe it.

Just being flown from Swindon

over to the wilds
of New York State.

Up in the Catskill Mountains
there, surrounded by nature,

working with a legend.

That's the dream, you know.

How much better
do you want it to get?

♪ That's really super,
Supergirl ♪

♪ How you saved yourself
in seconds flat ♪

♪ And your friends,
they're gonna say ♪

He was a fantastic
arranger. Fantastic.

His arranging skills
are really top notch.

Which we needed, I think.

But he and I
just butted heads terribly.

♪ Don't mean to be rude ♪

♪ But I don't feel super ♪

I think on this album
he really met his nemesis,

because here was someone
who was as sarcastic as he was,

probably even more so.

And Andy likes
his pound of flesh

when you're recording with him.

If you haven't done
six or seven takes,

and he's wrung everything
out of you,

then he's not had a good time,
you know.

Whereas Todd likes
first or second take,

otherwise forget it, you know.

It was just two different
philosophies had met.

I have a problem
with authority.

"And this is my band and you're
not telling us what to do."

But all the time
this ghost voice saying,

"If you don't be produced
by an American,

you're off the label."

So I just had to bear it
as much as possible.

I would have liked
Andy and Todd

to have seen eye-to-eye
and got along as friends,

but, you know, you've got
the irresistible force

and the immovable object.

That's really what
the problem was.

But Todd did the job
he was given, you know:

he produced a record.

It was a hit record.
It saved our career.

No question about it.

♪ Laying on the grass ♪

♪ My heart,
it flares like fire ♪

♪ The way you slap my face ♪

♪ Just fills me with desire ♪

In The States,
they put the single out, Grass,

which is a Colin song,

then on the B-side
they stuck Dear God.

DJs around American radio
stations, they'd play Grass,

"Yeah, okay,"
and then they'd flip over.

"Oh, Dear God,
what's this about?"

And some DJs started playing,
in preference to Grass,

they started playing Dear God.

♪ Dear God,
hope you got the letter ♪

♪ And I pray you can
make it better down here ♪

♪ I don't mean a big reduction
in the price of beer ♪

♪ But all the people
that you made in your image ♪

♪ See them starving
on their feet ♪

♪ 'Cause they don't
get enough to eat ♪

♪ From God ♪

♪ Can't believe in you ♪

♪ Dear God,
sorry to disturb you ♪

♪ But I feel that I
should be loud and clear ♪

♪ We all need a big reduction
in the amount of tears ♪

♪ And all the people that
you made in your image ♪

♪ See them fighting
in the street ♪

♪ 'Cause they can't make
opinions meet about God ♪

♪ I can't believe in you ♪

It was the old corny,

"Our radio station's lit up
like a Christmas tree!"

You know, "The calls in
have just been phenomenal!"

People would ring in,

with either they felt exactly
like that about religion,

"This is all bullshit,"

or, you know,
"You're gonna burn in hell.

Take this trash out of here,

this English homo and his
anti-God music," you know.

Some stations
were threatened with bombing

and stopped playing it.

Some kid in an American school
was so affected by it,

he took his teacher hostage
with a knife

and insisted
this record be played

over the school PA system to
all the classrooms continuously

until this
hostage situation ended.

Because this record said...

It spoke for
what he wanted to say.

And I got a hell of a lot
of hate mail for that.

I was gonna burn in hell,

And I was just
a god-dang limey faggot.

Well, it's ironic that
that song broke them through.

Any record company
worth its salt,

which none of them are,
by the way, would have said,

"Well, you know,
that's great for England,

but don't try that
in The States.

We're a God-fearing country.

So it was remarkable.

It got banned some places.

Which I guess helped them!
As it always does.

But, yeah, there didn't seem
to be anything

he wouldn't write about.

I won't be in believe in
heaven in hell ♪

♪ No saints, no sinners,
no devil as well ♪

Their Englishness
probably made them

a bit exotic
to the American market

and to American audiences.

And there's plenty of

in the United States,

so maybe their Englishness
worked in their favor.

It became
a student hit, I think,

on the campuses and stuff,

and radio stations, you know,
across America.

So, yeah,
it saved our career, basically.

So, suddenly our career
in America really took off,

but it was all accidental.

It was because the B-side
pissed people off royally.

♪ It's you-u-u-u-u-u ♪

♪ Dear God ♪

By the time we get
to doing Oranges And Lemons,

they're all saying, "Wow,
where's the next XTC thing?

"This is really exciting.

That record, Dear God,
was really...

"We really want
the next thing," you know.

And Geffen, our label in the
States, are now reluctantly,

"Ooh, they're selling records.
They might be good after all."

So we had a big budget
shoved our way.

And it was
a very LA kind of...

Not an LA album musically,
so much,

but an LA album in kind of
sunshine and citrus fruits.

And it plugged me straight into
the sort of pop art vibe.

We were working in Hollywood.

It's a big Hollywood

And it sounds that way.

It's got bells,
it's got whistles.

And we had plenty of time,
you know.

Again, you see,
five months in a studio,

there's an awful lot
you can do.

We probably did
a little too much

on one or two of the songs,
but again, it's a great album.

A really great
collection of songs.

And I can say that
as a non-song-writer,

I can say that in all modesty,

'cause I had nothing to do with
the actual writing process.

Quite a lot to do with the
arrangements and the overdubs.

But to come up with
that many good songs,

how many bands can you think of
that had that ability?

♪ Well, the way
that we're living ♪

♪ Is all take and no give ♪

♪ There's nothing
to believe in ♪

♪ The loudest mouth
will hail the new-found way ♪

♪ To be king for a day ♪

I just think we learnt
how to make records.

We didn't know
all about that when we started.

And because we didn't tour,

we found out more about
what the studio could do.

And how to arrange.

And it was just learning,

It's bound to change, you know

♪ That wave ♪

♪ Pulled me right overboard ♪

♪ Into permanent orgasm ♪

♪ Emotional action... ♪

That was one of
our favorite songs.

It's so complex, completely
overflowing with ideas.

It's wave-like.
It pushes and pulls you in.

And I think we thought

that would be a challenge
for us to cover it.

The lyrics are beautiful.

The way
the vocal rises and falls,

and we felt we had
a deeper take on a cover

than most people
usually give a cover.

♪ I was in heaven ♪

♪ Address, Cloud 11 ♪

We wanted to pay our
respects to, one, that album,

but also that song,

because that song
was buried in, I mean,

among other really great songs.

Hang on, The Cure's version.

♪ That wave ♪

♪ Pulled me into your hair ♪

♪ I'm so unhappy, I think
I'm going to kill myself ♪

He likes to play the jokester,
and does it very, very well.

His grasp of accents
is pretty damn good.

The Smiths' version.

♪ That wa-a-ave ♪

♪ That wa-a-ave ♪

♪ That wave pulled me
into your h-h-hair

♪ H-h-h-hair ♪

That's his two notes.

♪ That wave ♪

♪ Pulled me out of your hair ♪

♪ Where I bathed
in the promises ♪

♪ Busy with plants cascading ♪

That was always
going on in the studio.

That was part of studio banter.

Again, you can't shut him up,
Andy, once he's on a roll,

just being idiotic and silly

and, you know,
he never stops, Andy.

He never stops entertaining.

Right, then, I'm gonna try
and look like Bryan Adams.

As much as possible.

Try and look like Robin Hood.

- Gomez Addams!


One, two, a'one, two, three...

♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪

Well, it's no doubt who's in
charge. Andy's editor-in-chief.

But, I mean,
what the other guys...

What Colin, obviously,
with his songs,

and what Dave...

Dave's musicianship
is ridiculous, it's stellar.

♪ The disappointed ♪

But it's the songs,

that was why I was there.

Combination of
the quality of the songs,

and they were obviously
cool people.

♪ The ones who broke
their he-a-a-arts ♪

♪ The disappointed ♪

I would say that Nonsuch

is my favorite XTC album.

That album is just lousy
with masterpieces.

"The Ballad Of
Peter Pumpkinhead"

But then every time I heard
a new album, I was just like,

Where is this coming from?"

♪ Let's begin ♪

Their catalog's
really small, actually.

There's not that many albums,

and the journey they go through

with that small number...
is amazing.

♪ Peter Pumpkinhead
came to town ♪

It's hard to push yourself

and put yourself
out of a comfort zone,

but he does that
on a regular basis.

And I think that's why
he's produced

such a catalog
of fantastic work.

♪ But he made
too many enemies ♪

He can create great
imagery and a great story.

He's such
an amazing songwriter

that you can't really
touch him, to be honest.

♪ Hooray for Peter Pumpkin ♪

♪ Hooray for
Peter Pumpkinhead ♪

For me personally,

Apple Venus, I think,
is our best effort.

It's just a real shame

that Dave Gregory didn't stick
around for the end of that.

He left during the making
of that, and it's...

It is bad when you
have a limb detach itself.

You know, when Barry left,
it's like,

"Ah, there goes a leg,"
and then you get another leg

and it works
ruddy damn good, yeah!

It works really good!

"This is even better
than the first leg, thanks!"

And then, you know,
Terry leaves "Ah!"

So we use session drummers,

but some of those
session drummers

were certainly different
than Terry,

so that was
an added bonus to that.

Then Dave left,

and I don't know
if we ever recovered from that.

But, you know, for a band,
we had a hell of a long life,

and most bands get
five years if they're lucky.

We had 30-odd years.

The legacy of the band

is the great music
that they made.

You know, they evolved as
musicians and as composers,

and sure, from their beginnings

to how they wound up
at the end,

there was a strong evolution
of a great band.

I love the fact

that they were kind of
willfully unpredictable,

but commercially,

that's something
that actually is suicidal.

You know, how can
you market a band

where it's very hard

to get handle on what
kind of band they are?

And I think that's always been

one of the problems
they've had.

But to me, it just made me
love them even more.

They have got a reputation

as not being well-known

or credited
as much as they should.

But I think that XTC fans
would be annoyed

if they were more well-known,

because it's our little secret,
I think, with that band,

and I kinda like that.

♪ Please to bend down for
the one called the Greenman

To me, people who know
what they're talking about

already do regard them
as up there with the greats.

I mean, look,
we're living in a time

when there's a certain
percentage of the population

that thinks Kanye West
is a genius.

I can't control for that.

But I think the combination
of the songwriting, playing

and the record-making
is well-nigh perfect.

♪ I'm stupidly happy ♪

Andy used to get his
hair off something terrible

when we weren't appreciated

more than what we
should've been in his head,

but I think it's coming.

I think, you know, it's partly
why we're doing this,

because, you know,
the word is out, I think.

You know, it's taken
a bloody long time,

but I think people
are catching up,

and they're appreciating
what we did, you know.

But it took
an awful bloody long time.

♪ I'm stupidly happy ♪

♪ Like the words to that song ♪

Most bands, "Great!"
Might get a little bit better,

and then they go off the boil.

Or, "Great,"
and then they go off the boil.

Occasionally, once in a while,

once in a very rare while,

you get a band
that starts pretty good,

gets better and better
and better and better and...

And that's rare, and I think,
and I have to say,

I have to be immodest,

we are the other band
that did that.


♪ Rook, rook,
read from your book ♪

♪ Who murders who? ♪

♪ "And where is the treasure?"
he'd crow ♪

When I'm dreaming,

I'm usually flying over
the Marlborough Downs.

I've got this this funny thing
when, if I dream I'm flying,

I usually have people there and
they say "You can't, can you?"

And I say, "Yeah, watch!"

And I sort of strain a bit,

and up I go and off I go
over the Marlborough Downs.

I'm immensely proud of XTC,

and the other band members...

People still say to me,

''What do you think to Colin of
Dave and Terry or whatever'?"

And part of me loves them
like the brothers I never had,

the family I never had.

And then a part of me
really hates them

like the family I did have!

So it's a real weird mixture!

"Mayor Of Simpleton"

There is nothing, or
there was nothing like XTC.

It's a totally individual
thing, it's not one person,

it's the collective tension
of all those people,

and so the fact
that we found each other

and made this magical
joy-bringing vehicle,

that's not supposed
to happen, is it?

And we did -

we made this phenomenal
joy-bringing carriage

for all the world
to ride around in.

"Hey, have some fun, get in!"

♪ And I may be
the Mayor of Simpleton ♪

♪ But I know one thing ♪

♪ And that's I love you ♪

♪ When their logic grows cold ♪

♪ And all thinking gets done ♪

♪ You'll be warm in the arms
of the Mayor of Simpleton ♪

Well, this is the bit I really
hate about rockumentaries,

where they have
the two minutes at the end

where they say...

It's usually a write-up,
and they say,

''And poor Derek, he's still
working in the industry

and he's self-financed an album
he's put out from home

of songs
he never did finish in 1966."

And it's like,
"Oh, God," you know,

"the misery of all this."

♪ Well, I don't know how
to write a big hit song ♪

The whole rockumentary thing

bores the very buttocks
off of me,

so that's the end of that,

♪ But I know one thing ♪

♪ And that's I love you ♪

♪ I love you ♪

♪ When their logic grows cold ♪

♪ And all thinking gets done ♪

♪ You'll be warm in the arms ♪

♪ Of the Mayor of Simpleton ♪

♪ You'll be warm in the arms ♪

♪ Of the Mayor... ♪

♪ Climb aboard ♪

♪ Climb aboard, you children ♪

♪ Move aloft ♪

♪ While you're fleet and fast ♪

♪ Drop us all ♪

♪ You should drop us all ♪

♪ Drop us all ♪

♪ Like so much ♪

♪ Sa-a-a-a-a-nd ♪