|are you sitting comfortably? then I'll begin...|
once upon a time, long, long ago, but not so long ago that it has faded into the quicksand of what I laughingly sometimes refer to as "my memory," there was an entity with the bright and breezy appellation, "The Hafler Trio." not for us to debate where that particular labelling arose at this time: all will become clear in the end, at some later date. their uncountable exploits and meandering attempts to free the universe of suffering will be recounted at tedious and overpowering length someday by someone better equipped to rouse the empathy required to even slightly comprehend it.
be that as it may (and it most certainly may), the various humanoids associated with the project were not limited to the three; nay, and indeed double nay. rather than less than a Trio, it was, in fact many. one of their number was a splendid, unsurpassed loony and man of loveliness rejoicing in the name Alan Cook. of this personage, a book could and should be written; it has been many moons since his whereabouts were known to Your Friend and Humble Narrator, and so that job cannot be done. but a man as large as life and twice as dangerous - a man who wished no applause or recognition for his incredible, jaw-dropping Dadaist acts and behaviour which was, apparently, impossible for him to turn off.
This writer was wont to partake of this stream of wonder in Sheffield, in person, from time to time, having been introduced by one Christopher Richard Watson, he having been an instigator of what was to become the h3o project, and so it was that one balmy day, after many adventures indoors and out, that we were whiling away the time between acts of nonsense on a grand scale and the departure of the bus back to Newcastle Upon Tyne. suitably lubricated by various methods and substances, as befits this period, ambling and yes, slightly stumbling along the Sheffield streets, lightbulb above the great man's head manifests: TO WESTERN WORKS WE JOURNEY!
and Lo, we were indeed on the edge of the area which in times past had been populated by The Little Nestors, the silversmiths of Sheffield in 'better' days, and was now home to The Western Works - the name of the studio where Cabaret Voltaire, well-known beat-combo of yesteryear of which the previously mentioned C. R. Watson had been a member of, had been established for some time [the legendary Robol was a bit further down the street]. "We'll go and see Richard and Mal!" quoth the tall, imposing, full-bearded Mr. Cook. and so we sallied forth. and would you Adam and Eve it? they were at 'home'! the ever-paranoid Richard H. Kirk and his gorgeousness Stephen Mallinder ["the best-looking man in Pop" according to Paul Morley] were indeed present, and having not seen Alan for some time, and not knowing YHN very well at all, the atmosphere was "weird."
backtrack: in the beginning of the h3o, Mr. Watson shared some items of the past with YHN. one of these was a tape of a soundtrack to a film called "Chance Versus Causality." although a small section of this was released as the B-side (how quaint that seems to type that now!) of a 7" single (ditto!) named "Silent Command" in 1979, the full, approximately 45min item had never seen the light of day. this, YHN enthused, could be done through the agency of Touch, the multimedia (for want of a better word) outfit that YHN had set up with Jon Wozencroft and Gary Mouat. CRW hummed and hawed, chastened to the extreme by his experience (unpleasant, that is) in the cesspool of The Record Industry, but YHN continued, as he always did, to badger the former about this again and again. as was CRW's style, he would put off actually speaking to his erstwhile former compares about the matter by saying he "was going to do it soon."
YHN had found the maker of the film, Babeth Mondini (now, here with the correct spelling of her second name) in Amsterdam though the mighty Z'EV, who knew her, after CRW said that CV had no idea where she was, and so permission to release would be difficult. obstacle removed, thus. Touch was dedicated at that time to excellence in audio and visual production, and so objections on that score were throttled at birth.
fast forward: YHN and The Very Reverend A. Cook stood before the other two-thirds of the equation as regards this potentially excellent release, and the former idiot opened his big fat mouth and asked if Chris had spoken to them about it. something was mumbled about them releasing it on their own label, Doublevision and exit stage right the largest two people in the room.
a week later, CRW 'resigns' the Hafler Trio operation with a letter which was previously published on the internet some years ago.
still reading? eye candy coming up. promise.
as the years drew on, YHN was approached by some that shall remain nameless to bootleg the item, after further negotiations with CV had failed - the project having never been released on Doublevision, that having collapsed under the weight of one Paul Smith, whose name should strike terror into the hearts of those with even the barest acquaintance with him. frustration ensued, and artwork and a master were prepared. and so, without further ado, and to finally get rid of this nonsense, here is the rough artwork prepared at that time (ca. 2002). don't ask for the tape. I couldn't give it to you even if I could find it. I leave it to the gentle reader to examine, should they have the inclination, and to work out the references and synchronicities involved with this apparently simple design. good day to all.