Robyn Hitchcock Appreciation Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Mark Kaufman, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Mark Kaufman

    Mark Kaufman Active Member Thread Starter

    This bloke never disappoints me. I've seen several live shows and own many an album with his name on it. Pondered many a bizarre painting.

    And yet he seems to be more of an aficionado's favorite...I'll mention his name and usually get a blank stare. But when someone has heard him, it's usually "oh YEAH, I like that guy...!"

    Maybe he has the best of both worlds...enough fame to make a comfortable living with plenty of loyal fans, the ability to tour America and Europe...and yet enough obscurity that he can also go to pubs and shop in groceries without being hounded by paparazzi.

    Anyway, here's to the brave sir Robyn. :cheers:
  2. dave-gtr

    dave-gtr Forum Resident

    One of my faves. Was playing OBLITERATION PIE while driving to/from church yesterday. The label he is on, YepRoc, is but a 15 minute drive from me here in the lovely state of NC. And because of that he stops by here every tour to play a tiny club. I "discovered" Hitchcock in '85 and have had the pleasure of seeing him and chatting with him over the past 25 years. Quite a nice guy...
  3. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    He keeps getting better and better. I hope YepRoc reissues some of his A&M material too.
  4. Jon Busey-Hunt

    Jon Busey-Hunt Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    Oh YEAH, I love that guy!!

    The last couple records with the Venus 3 were quite magnificent. And yes, I too hope YepRoc releases the A&M records, especially "Globe Of Frogs" and "Queen Elvis."

    My band just covered "I Wanna Destroy You" a couple weeks ago at a show, so he's been on my mind.
    Lance LaSalle and nbakid2000 like this.
  5. Guy E

    Guy E Forum Resident

    Antalya, Turkey
    I'm a big fan and am looking forward to his forthcoming album, Propellor Time.

    Bragging Rights Dept: I saw Robyn in his first-ever performance in America at Maxwell's in Hoboken, performing with the Soft Boys. They played two nights, a Thursday and Friday in early-September, 1980.
    Gardo, mooseman, Walt and 2 others like this.
  6. Jon Busey-Hunt

    Jon Busey-Hunt Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    Yeah, you totally get bragging rights for that. I saw him first time at a Minneapolis acoustic in-store before "Globe Of Frogs" and was, in 11th grade, completely blown away. I've been a loyal fan since -- and I honestly think he's having a nice little renaissance now, but of course there's no "college rock" to play him. :(

    Yeah, I just made a "frowny face" smiley. It seemed right.
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  7. Mark Kaufman

    Mark Kaufman Active Member Thread Starter

    Let It Be Records?
  8. dlemaudit

    dlemaudit Forum Resident

    France, Paris area
    His peak was really with the Egyptians ( Fegmania is such an underrated gem ) ,
    His A&M albums from the 90s were quite good too but since then i ve been really disappointed
    I saw him once in the 90s in London , an acoustic show , not my cup of tea ,
    LucaB likes this.
  9. Toby Latimer

    Toby Latimer Forum Resident

    Mansfield. UK
  10. jimac51

    jimac51 A mythical beast.

    FYI,Big Lots has Jonathan Demme's "Storefront Hitchcock" DVD for $3. There's not a lot of them and I think the MGM truckload arrived a while ago,but music videos usually hang around a lot longer than the horror flicks in the bin,so you may luck out.
  11. DeeThomaz

    DeeThomaz Senior Member

    In The Felony Room
    Almost certainly. My understanding is that he was friends with the owner. I remember that Let It Be from time to time would stock exclusive Robyn Hitchcock titles.

    Miss that place!
  12. forthlin

    forthlin Forum Resident

    Not a huge fan, but somehow I stumbled on to Respect and it remains a favorite. I can sure see why people love him.
    bzfgt likes this.
  13. ronton99

    ronton99 Forum Resident

    I was in San Fransico and saw him at the Warfield - this was after Respect and they played semi-acoustic. I was slightly disappointed because I was crazy about Gotta Let This Hen Out! and Perspex Island, both of which were quite a bit rockier. Was also surprised when he played the gig in jeans and a simple shirt - I'd always heard that he dressed more "rock star".

    But I heard that the next day he was doing an in-store at Rough Trade records on Haight so I crammed myself in there with several hundred other people with good taste. He showed up in a multi-colored satin suit - very put together in purple and orange if memory serves - and he and the guys played a fantastic and even-more-acoustic set that completely knocked me out. The highlight was Perspex Island with the greatest sounding harmonies doing those "row, row, row your boat" rounds at the end. It was brilliant. I've seem him a bunch of times since, but that performance is my all time highlight.

    And I named Element Of Light in "the most beautiful songs ever" thread as one of my top faves. Great song/great record.
    JimD likes this.
  14. Walt

    Walt Forum Resident

    Takoma Park, MD
    My first flight ever was to Georgia so I could see Robyn & The Venus 3 at the 40 Watt Club (had seen 'em before in Pittsburgh and I had to see RH in R.E.M.'s hometown).

    I saw that line-up twice last year. I got a neat thrill out of being on the guest list for the Annapolis, MD show. It was a 2pm show - the previous night they opened for The Decemberists in Phillie.

    I have a signed Goodnight Oslo tour poster framed and hanging in my bedroom/ office.

    I'm looking forward to his new album with The V3 that's coming out in a few weeks. "Sicky Boy" is a good tune (previously available on a Yep Roc slit seven inch) - i'm glad to see it'll be released on this album.

    "I Used To Say I Love You" is one of my favorite songs by him. Been listening to it a lot lately.
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  15. Guy E

    Guy E Forum Resident

    Antalya, Turkey
    I think Hitchcock is taken for granted to some degree. His work hasn't gone through any major stylistic twists and turns - he does what he does and he continues to do it well.

    I know some former fans who have lost interest in his later work claiming that he's repeating himself, but I don't really hear it. I think he's done a marvelous job of remaining true to himself while mixing it up with acoustic & electric sessions, varying the size and make-up of his ensembles and bringing different production touches to the table with each album. Sometimes they're fresh and sometimes they evoke the past; I thought the background vocal arrangements on Ole! Tarantula were the best since The Soft Boys' Anglepoise Lamp.

    He's a treasure, really.
    bzfgt and JimD like this.
  16. Mark Kaufman

    Mark Kaufman Active Member Thread Starter

    Respect was produced by John Leckie, who has worked with just about everyone from the Beatles onward. I had the opportunity a few months ago to ask him an online question about his memories of working with Robyn on that album, and this is what he answered:

    Man, that would be a blast, recording him at his house, and then having him cook afterward. The oddball conversation alone would be worth the price of admission. :laugh:
  17. zobalob

    zobalob Forum Resident

    Glasgow, Scotland.
    I love this mans music and have just about everything (albums on CD) I have never caught a live gig, always missed for one reason or another...I hope he comes to Glasgow again.
  18. Dinsdale

    Dinsdale Dixie Fried

    South Carolina
    I went to see Robyn because I'd finally get to see Peter Buck play in something smaller than a stadium. Ended up a Robyn fan.

    A lot of guys here should like him, because Peter joked at one point that Robyn didn't listen to music made past 1972.

    I really enjoy Ole' Tarantula and Goodnight Oslo; he's on my radar now.
    ibis likes this.
  19. John54

    John54 Forum Resident

    I have Fegmania and the one with Balloon Man, whomever it was credited to ...

    His lyrics are often annoying but musically he's pretty good.
  20. mark kirk

    mark kirk Forum Resident

    I've been a rabid Robyn collector since I came across The Soft Boys 'Underwater Moonlight' album back in '81 (the Canadian release which included my first exposure to 'Vegetable Man' - this helped to cement my dedication being a fan of Syd's Pink Floyd at the time). I've not missed an album since and had the opportunity to have them all signed at a gig here a couple of years ago... a very kind, courteous and generous man.

  21. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Forum Resident

    I have the 5 CD box set I Wanna Go Backwards on Yep Rock. It is well worth the cost and a first class release all around sound, packaging, and content.
  22. Jon Busey-Hunt

    Jon Busey-Hunt Forum Resident

    Minneapolis, MN
    Quoted for absolute, unswervable truth. I agree wholeheartedly with all of that.
  23. protay5

    protay5 Member

    Washington, DC
    I'm a longtime fan, but I think Ole Tarantula is among his best stuff. Great songs, great band -- "Underground Sun" just keeps going thru my mind. I was afraid the wackyness of "Belltown Ramble" would eventually annoy me, but it has stayed a fave. "A Man's Gotta Know His Limitations, Briggs" sounds more like mainstream pop/rock than lots of Robyn, but he totally pulls it off.

    I had to adjust a bit to "Oslo" but I've grown to love it. The lyrics are kinda sketchy but the sound is gorgeous. I also like the online "extras" particularly "I Never Cry." I'm stoked for the new album.

    I think Jewels for Sophia was the start of a long good run for him. I still love both Soft Boys reunion disks, and I keep going back to my live/radio recordings of that tour -- much of the live stuff was better than the studio, particularly "Mr. Kennedy" and "If You Know Time."
    Lance LaSalle likes this.
  24. joelee

    joelee Senior Member

    Anyone that wants an introduction to his Egyptians era pick up "Element of Light".
  25. mshare

    mshare Forum Resident

    Airscape - I'll second that nomination! Robyn has so many beautiful songs - Autumn Is Your Last Chance is another personal favorite (the gorgeous instrumental coda used to be my ring tone)
    Gardo and Guadalahonky like this.

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