Pulp People Newsletter 18 written by Alex Deck. Christmas 1996.
As you all know, things are pretty quiet on the Pulp front. So, to reward your patience, we hope our gift of Volume 2 of the legendary Pulp scrapbook will help make Christmas with the family just that little bit less, shall we say, stressful. The initial plan was to take it up to 1994, and His n Hers; trouble was, that resulted in 88 pages which, although graphically thrilling, would have cost about three grand to send out. So, Mark suggested we resort to plan B, which involved slicing the weighty tome in half, and just covering the period from O.U. to Intro. So, that's what you've got. Still pretty good, though, eh? Due to the large proportion of my life that compiling the scrapbook has taken up, this newsletter will be a relatively short one. I've been asked to inform you all that Volume 1 was going to be the only free one - the intention was to charge for any subsequent efforts. But no, we're far too nice to do that, so here it is, a gift from Pulp, to you. It'll cost you a tenner for Volume 3 though, ha, ha! (Just my little joke.)
I'd like to thank everyone for the cards and presents (and cakes!) they've sent in, it's really thoughtful and we don't half appreciate them here in my lonely
spare room er, Pulp office. Thanks too for all the Pulp cuttings; as is blatantly obvious, we won't get around to using them much before the next century, but please keep sending them in - it's impossible to pick up every single press cutting ever printed, unless of course your last name is Windibank.
There is a 1997 Pulp calendar out after all, it just took a long time to get together. We haven't actually got any here yet, so I can't give you any more information - I'm sure it's lovely, though.
Fire have re-released My Legendary Girlfriend(Single in a very low key fashion, no promotion or anything. It was never available on cd originally, but apart from that there doesn't seem to be any reason for it.
That's about it then - have a Happy Christmas & New Year. Love,
21st September - Steve, Jarvis, and Anthony Genn produced some music to accompany a Damien Hirst installation at the Biennale di Fiorenza; the piece is called "Miuccia Prada" and the exhibition runs until 12th January 1997
4th October - Baby Jackson was born to Nick & Sarah. More details on Competition Page
7th October - Radio 1 broadcast the Chelmsford V96 concert, or part of it at least; Jarvis didn't want Help The Aged to be broadcast (& bootlegged) before it was ready (which it now is), and Mis-Shapes, Do You Remember The First Time, and Babies, were also omitted.
28th October - F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.I.V.E. released in the UK, the warts'n'all view of Pulp on tour, culminating in the Brixton Academy concerts of last Christmas together with favourite places visited during the European tour.
8th November - Q Awards, Royal Park Hotel, Piccadilly; Pulp got Best Live Band. ("God knows why" - M. Webber, '96)
14th November - MTV Europe Music Awards, Alexandra Palace; Pulp won none of the four awards they were nominated for (best breakthrough band (!), best band, best song, and best video), and Jarvis was coerced into presenting an award to an Aids charity which, bizarrely, he had also to accept on their behalf! Crazy. Needless to say, he wasn't very happy about it and his mood is reflected in his long face...
16th November - Finished recording Help The Aged and another, as yet untitled, song. We have no more details on these so stop asking!
17th November - Sorry, but the Pulp Players pulled out of the Stars footie Match at late notice; poor Steve did his back in whilst Nick having only just become a dad, wanted to stay home; Jarvis had no excuse whatsoever - but hey! What's new?
18th November - Disco 2000 remix released in the USA
28th November - Jarvis "Brian Sewell" Cocker, art critic extroadinaire, wandered around the Turner Prize nominations being ignored and put down by the "connoisseurs" who had asked him to be there - not really worth setting your video for.
27th October - Nick's pub opening - The Washington in Sheffield opened it's doors to the Stars (and us lot) and plied them with vodka & coke courtesy of Richard Branson (thanks Pru). Got too drunk to remember much about it, but it's a very nice pub indeed.
December issue of Marie Claire features Candida(Doyle in "Women Today" type piece, there's a nice picture on page 17.
6th December - Top regional news programme "Calendar" goes to Australia to interview, of all people, Jarvis' Dad! Is nothing sacred?? Of course we forgot to watch it so can't offer you any more information than that
15th December - "Pop on the Line", the BBC World Service's global phone-in programme presented by Mark Goodier features Jarvis and Candida taking calls from you the kids. The number you should call is (was) 0171 379 0411.
19th December - Electric Sound of Joy at the Hope & Anchor, Islington.
22nd December - Baby Birkin at The Garage, supporting Elvez. Could be their last for a while, which is a damn shame.
Spring / Easter - Cocker takes his rightful place in Rock & Pop history when he's installed at Rock Circus.
As we mentioned on the recent update sheets, Candida is to be included in a book about women in rock & pop. We now have more details on the project:
As yet untitled, this is a study of female musicians, researched by Dr Mavis Bayton, an academic tutor at Ruskin College, Oxford. Honest! It covers the last 15 years of rock and pop and includes such luminaries as Debbie from Echobelly, Skin from Skunk Anansie, Mary and Letitia from Stereolab, Gail from Belly, and staggeringly, Amanda from Bis, who I'm sure will have a lot to offer after the 6 months or so she's spent in the business. A pretty grim selection I'm sure you'll agree, amongst whom our Candida will stick out like a diamond in a coal scuttle (?). Apparently, the book is to be marketed as a study text for media and cultural studies courses, as well as to the woman on the street - anyone who'll buy it, presumably. It will cover aspects of performance, image & identity, touring, and lots of other stuff, and will be published in time for the next academic year by Oxford University Press. That's all the information we have at this time, we will keep you informed.
Clive Soloman has really lost it this time; he's just informed Pulp that he will be hanging on the the rights for all their material released on Fire until - wait for it - the year 8888!!! I am not making this up, it's true. The man is crazy.
As most of you will be aware, Pulp tracks keep appearing on "Best of" type compilations without warning. So far this year we've got Something Changed on "Now...35"; Disco 2000 on "Now...33", and Common People on "Best of the 90's". Then the Childline album appeared with Whyskey in a Jar on it, and not only that, but the sleeve completely rips off the Different Class artwork - how dare they?! Apparently Jarvis was asked about it in passing, but there was no official group discussion on it, the first most of them knew about it was when it appeared in the shops, which is a pretty poor show if you ask me.
Many thanks to all of you who have been brave enough to send in passport photos. Please, if you haven't already, do, because it helps build up a picture of the fan club and we will use them for something, I promise.. However, we felt that it is only fair to do a similar thing in return; Sabine Fullman sent us a "fact file" to fill in which she put together - 20 questions on favourite things, stuff like that - which is ok by us; we thought we'd give you the opportunity to add to this by sending in questions you would like us to answer. The plan is to combine them all and answer the most popular/interesting questions, perhaps in a future newsletter, but, more likely, in the next (!) Disco Very - it would be a continuation of the
history of Pulp People. So, if there are any burning questions you've always been gagging to ask us, send them in.
For those amongst you who have only just joined, the Competition Page is a regular spot where you can win exciting Pulpy goodies from my secret stash; last time the prize on offer was a copy of the new Pulp video, F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.I.V.E. As usual, the question was ridiculously easy: guess the weight of Nick & Sarah's baby - when we set the question he had not yet been born, but as many of you now know, Sarah gave birth on October 4th to a fantastically handsome baby boy, Jackson. His weight? 7lb 8oz. It's taken weeks to sift through the 29 entries we received, and it seems fair only to award videos to people who got it exactly right, not an oz either way - which means the following lucky four people get extra presents this Christmas:
Daniel Deacon, from Leicester Neely Plumb, from Wellington
Susan Kwon, from California Sexy Caroline from Derby
Got a stand in Doctor this time, the other guy couldn't take the pressure. Let's see how he fares...
The gorgeous Margote, who hails from Rennes, wants to know what the shy Webbo's reaction was when he met the legendary Cynthia Plastercaster - what were the circumstances, what happened exactly, and are we to expect a "Webbo oeuvre d'art" by Miss Plastercaster in the near future...?
Well that's a terrifying prospect, Margote, and such a thing would certainly put Cocker's measly wax model in the shade - but let's find out what really happened. Mark: 'I didn't recognise her at first and had to ask Jarvis if it was really her; I was amazed - she looked really young and not at all how she looks in her film "W.R. - The Mistress of the Organism". Anyway, because she's done so many things with people I like & admire, we got talking. The subject of a cast did come up (so to speak) and Cynthia playfully suggested that it would be much rarer than one of Jarvis, but despite this, it's not going to happen - I'm far too shy. "An interesting fact emerged from this conversation, which was, when Cynthia P. came over to London last year to do some readings from her diaries at the Disobey Club, it was hoped that Pulp would be improvising some music on stage as she read. Sadly this was not to be as they were too busy recording Different Class. Shame.
Ceri Jones, from Alsager, has a couple of questions: Firstly, what or where are Pulp's favourite tourist attractions in Britain and Europe, and secondly, where did the girls on the front of Disco 2000 part 2 get their lovely dresses from?
Russell always enjoys a few hours in the Victoria & Albert Museum when in London; Candida likes visiting churches and remembers a particularly lovely one in St Etienne - she can't remember its name though!; Nick's favourite spot is The Cliffs of Moher, which can be found half way down the west coast of Ireland; Mark is happiest in The Anthology Film Archive on the corner of 2nd Street and 2nd Avenue, New York City. He also suggested that the dresses worn by the Disco 2000 girls were probably their own, or, if not, they might have been supplied by the Pulp stylist the legendary Miss Julie Jones, DD.
Secondly, what do Pulp reckon to Madonna's virtuoso performance in "Evita"?
Both Nick and Mark have no desire whatsoever to see the film, and therefore cannot comment. Candida hasn 't seen it either but "hopes it's good for her [Madonna's] sake". Russell has "no idea ". Perhaps I should point out to our Argentinian friend that the film doesn't open in the UK until January...
Lastly, according to Javier, some people think that music sung in Spanish will be the future of rock and pop. What do you think?
Nick "No"; Mark couldn't speak for laughing, Russell said "Dream on ", and Candida, despite loving the accent, had to say "No Way" too.
Three more questions from a far off land; Morgan Teller from California wonders what Pulp think of Gary Oldman and (going back a bit here) "The Young Ones"?
Gary Oldman first - Mark thinks he's ok but particularly bad in "Track 29", Candida's response was "Oh - he's an actor!', Russell wasn't far behind with "Is he in 2 point 4 Children?" Oh dear. When he realised who it was we were talking about he recalled his performance as Joe Orton in Prick Up Your Ears, and said that was quite good. Nick feels he's "a reasonable actor - not too bad". As for The Young Ones, well we all agree that it was funny at the time but has dated very badly indeed, helped by far too many student imitations. Mark is unable to relate to it at all due to his non - studenty - upbringing. Candida had a massive crush on Rik Mayall... Russell likes Young Ones, but "only if they're over 16" Ha ha.
Still with the cinematic theme, who was everyone's favourite character in "Trainspotting"?
Nick: Diane / Begbie; Mark: Diane / Spud; Candida: Diane; Russell hasn't seen it but went on to describe his favourite character nevertheless. 1 couldn't make head nor tail of it other than it's "an incidental character who has nothing to do [with] either drugs or crime".
The mysteriously named Sister Caz, from The Wirral, wants to know if smutty fanmail ever makes Jarvis blush? (What smutty fan mail's that, and furthermore, why should Jarvis get it rather than the others?) Caz also had a few Wants, but as she didn't give an address or a normal name, there's not a lot of point in printing them).
Don't know if any of it actually makes him blush, but he's always quite secretive when it comes to his mail and never shows anyone else. He is continually surprised by "the number of middle aged women who write" (not our words), and more than a little disturbed by some of the things the pre-teens come up with (he's not the only one).
Jennifer Konstant, all the way from the US of Stateside, is wondering who out of the group are big ABBA fans, and if they are, what is their favourite song?
Mark's not the biggest Abba fan in the world but reckons Lay All Your Love on Me is pretty good; Nick rates himself as "fair to middling" on the fanometer, and names Fernando as his favourite tune. Candida isn't a big fan either but oddly enough chose the same song as Mark - Lay All Your Love on Me. Russell likes Dancing Queen, but dismisses Abba as being nothing more than "amusing kitsch" - well I don't know about that!
Hannah McLafferty's life depends on the answers to this question, or so she tells me; Do Pulp have a favourite poem?
Candida likes the "When We Were Very Young" poems by A.A. Milne; Mark's favourite poem is "Waiting to hear from You", by Gerard Malanga - it's the only poem he's "ever sent to a girl". Nick's is by John Betjeman but he couldn't remember the title - "Something about Bendy Wendy", which sounds quite likely. Russell's favourite is "The Raven", by Edgar Allen Poe.
Katy, from Swindon, has a question for Steve: What is the book he's reading in the "Do You Remember the First Time" video? She's tried everything, including binoculars, to decipher the title.
The identity of the yellow paperback is likely to remain a mystery, because I sure can't read it and couldn't get hold of Steve to solve the mystery. If anyone knows, please tell us!
Rosemary Knight, from Maidstone, wants to ask the group how many times it took them to pass their driving tests?
Russell and Mark passed first time (typical), whilst it took Nick three goes - but he wanted to point out that he didn't have any lessons until he'd already failed twice, then his Mum agreed that it might be a good idea if he did. Candida has never even attempted to learn - 'too scared". Blimey!
A cheery querie from Catrin Morgan: What do the group regret most about their lives?
Nick hasn't had any regrets, which must be a great feeling; Candida, in a rare show of evil said that "not hiring a hit man to knock off Clive Soloman" will always be her greatest regret. Let's hope the opportunity soon presents itself! Mark's only regret so far is that he hasn't made his solo album. I'm sure you will in time, Mark. Russell's reply was very quick - "joining this group" - I'm sure he was just joshing, though.
A good one from Sonia Boundy: Who do Pulp rate as the worst group around today and why? (Good job she didn't ask us, eh readers?!!)
Candida's reply, after going through a few recent compilations, was Peter Andre. Interestingly enough both Nick and Mark immediately said Kula Shaker. Nick - "Firstly, because they're toss, and also there's just something about singer Crispian's name. Not to mention the Indian mysticism." Mark just doesn't think they've got anything going for them whatsoever. Russell came up with The Lightning Seeds (good choice), then went off into a world of his own and I was only able to catch a few mumbled words "insincere...affecting a style, shoddy merchandise...spurious, vacuous pop - who likes it anyway??". Couldn't agree more, Russell.
Claire Calvert from Gloucester, asks an unlikely question - is it Jarvis on the cover of the Something Changed Boy cd, or did he just think it'd be a laugh to get someone who resembles him to pose?
Sorry to disappoint you Claire but it certainly isn't Jarvis! The only things they have in common are their maleness and their thinness, but that's all.
David Rowlands (age 12), from Bury, asks Jarvis what were his favourite books as a youngster?
Jarvis is on holiday as the newsletter goes to press but Mark reckoned a fair bet is The Hand Reared Boy, by (we think) JG Ballard. Not appropriate reading matter for a 12 year old, anyway.
Claire Dovey asks a question to the rest of the group: Do they get annoyed when some people seem to regard Jarvis as being the only member of Pulp?
Everyone agrees - of course it's frustrating when you don't get recognised for what you do - but at the same time there are very few people who could live with the pressure and attention that Jarvis has had to cope with over the last 18 months, so for that, it's better to be in the background.
Beautiful Momtaz, from Enfield, has got me totally foxed on this one: she reckons, ages and ages ago, she heard an "absolutely brilliantly funky cover of Lipgloss" - who was the band, and how can she get hold of it?? any ideas?
We'd never heard of this at Pulp HQ but everyone else seemed familiar with it; Steve's even got the record! Both Mark & Nick remembered it as being "grunge", and were reminded of a cover of Common People by a Sheffield goth band called Libertine, who adapted the lyrics to make them more gothic - the best line being "I took her to the goblin market". Fantastic! Incidentally there has been a worrying incidence of buskers doing Pulp songs around Sheffield - mostly bloody awful!
Emma Rooney from Birmingham asks whether Pulp have shopped in Charity Shops (err, let's take a wild guess), and if so do they mind being seen in them now they're famous? She'd also like to know what Jarv's top three Beatles songs are.
All of Pulp are big charity shop fans; Nick, Russell and Candida don't mind being spotted in them at all. Mark goes so far to say that he is "proud to be seen in them", and it has even been suggested that Pulp's rise to fame has resulted in big price rises at your local Oxfam, a valid point indeed. Of course Jarvis gets free gear from top designers these days and would probably get mobbed if he set foot in one, so frankly I don't blame him for not doing so.
Three questions from Argentina now. Javier's perverse thoughts revolve around the "hand & feet size being related to the size of the male member" myth. Well, boys?
Could only bring myself to ask Nick this one, and his reply was, yes, of course - being a drummer Nick obviously has very well developed hands and, er, feet.
Finally, and this one goes out to Mark - Did you ever dress up in your mother's clothes? (Honest, Mark, I didn't say a word)
(Laughs) - "Really don't think I did". He was unsure of the origin of a blue knitted cardi with toggles that he used to favour - probably his Dad's (which is just as worrying - toggles??).
Pages 10 & 11:
Pages 12 & 13:
Once again we play cupid and try to match up those less fortunate than ourselves... first up is lovely Alexandrea from America, she sent us the following alliterative ad:
♥ "Pale panty-powered penpal-er in panicky pursuit of profound pulp people. Pause your plans! Put pen to paper and proceed to the post"
If you fancy a bit, write to Pandora, [...], USA
If you don't want to go all the way to the States, try Gareth [...] instead; he lives at [...], Maidstone, [...]
♥ "I would be grateful if you could find me a gorgeous, pouting Pulpette (actually she needn't be pouting - just gorgeous would be nice), anyway it would be nice to feel romantically involved with a kindred spirit who I could drink tea with, listen to Pulp, Herbie Hancock, John Hegley, Ian Dury & the Blockheads, Serge Gainsbourg etc with, and write poetry with. Actually I've never written any poetry before, but I think it's the sort of thing you're meant to do when you're romantically involved with a kindred spirit isn't it? [Dunno, Gareth, we tend to stick to straightforward fucking] Of course, if it isn't, then playing cricket, watching French films I don't really understand or whatever would be just as good I'm sure."
We were so bombarded with fanzines last time that this issue's offerings seem comparatively thin on the ground. But that's ok we're kinda short on space anyways.
Royal Mail were unable to deliver #17 newsletters to the following: [14 names]. As usual if anyone can offer any information as to their whereabouts, tell us, and we can update our fantastic Pulp computer. Thanks.
Sexy Zébulon is offering to swop Pulp rarities & bootlegs (and she's got a lot of 'em) for more of the same by Pulp, My Life Story, Litfiba, Divine Comedy; send tapes to [...] Boussay, France........ Jennifer Konstant, [...] USA will happily copy for anyone crazy enough to want to see it, the legendary Dolebusters' "See You Later Agitator" tape which, in case you're not sure, is a not-very-good quality documentary about Sheffield bands, or, depending on which one Jennifer has got, a concert at Sheffield Poly from 1985 - I'm sure Jennifer will correct me! Send an E40 video cassette and $1 p&p or equivalent to find out. She's after Pulp video items so send your lists......... It's Javier from Argentina again, with another pervy ad (Which I've edited): "If you are interested in listening to Argentinian pop bands, handsome Javier is eager to send you some recordings. Just send him US$5 (to cover a C60 & p+p) and he'll send you some stuff. There now follows reams of stuff far too rude for you lot but he mentions tapes by The Friends of Dean Martinez, so that's ok by us. If you like to take risks, write to Javier [...], Buenos Aires, Argentina.... Patricia [...], Sao Paulo - S.P., 01060 - 970 Brazil (phew!), is offering copies and translations of Brazilian Pulp press cuttings for anyone who's interested; send an irc to cover the postage, or play swopsies with other cuttings.
As well as these, there are a limited number of Different Class, Steve in Bedroom, Disco-Disco V Necks and Polo Tops still available, all roughly the same size - big and baggy. As usual p + p is free in the UK but everyone else has to fork out $5, £3, or 22FF - per parcel not per item, so it still works out cheaper than anywhere else.
We're fair if nothing else here at Pulp HQ (no, hang on, that's not true is it) - ok, well we're always willing to give people a chance to speak out, even if they are wrong; at least it proves people actually read the newsletters. Top Island Press Officer Nigel Coxon got very angry when he read in the last newsletter that we considered the re-release on vinyl of all the Island singles a tiny bit of a rip off, knowing that you, the kids would buy them, despite the fact that most of you own them on cd already. Alright then Nigel, what have Island got to say about it?
...Well sadly, Nigel wasn't able to get back to me in time, which is a shame because it would have been useful to have the official word on the matter; all I can tell you is that the vinyl was approved by Pulp - shame they didn't approve it when the songs first came out...maybe next time, eh?
OK, this is me signing off for 1996, leaving you with a popular image of our favourite pop group: