Clone Club News Flash Winter 1986

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Limelight: The Film, The Album, The Tour

Unbiased Staff Correspondent

HOLLYWOOD--Steve Taylor's newest triumph premiered here last week amidst a flurry of publicity and speculation as to what his entry into the film world might signal. "Limelight" is a sixty minute concert film shot at Greenbelt in Castle Ashby, England before an audience of twenty thousand, and is at once a breath of fresh air in the usually predictable world of "rockumentaries". Not only do Taylor and Some Band give a brilliantly energetic performance for an audience that seems to know the words to Taylor's songs as well as he does, but we get a glimpse of Taylor off the stage. In some very candid interviews interspersed throughout the film, Taylor shares his thoughts on everything from pride to the pro-life movement. Also included is the bitingly satiric "Lifeboat" where Taylor (looking a bit like Norman Bates' mother in "Psycho") incites a hilarious classroom revolt.

"Limelight" is everything concert films usually aren't; fast-paced, good- humoured, revealing and intelligent. And the big surprise here is how it looks. Using five cameramen (most of them reportedly fresh from shooting the latest James Bond "A View To A Kill") and a newly developed Kodak film stock, this movie looks better than just about any concert film in recent memory. It's enough to make one wonder if they planned it this way, or of it just went grossly over-budget.

Scheduled for release at the same time as the film is Taylor's latest LP, an eight track live album from the Greenbelt concert, also entitled "Limelight". The recording does an excellent job of capturing the energy of Taylor and Some Band live. What's more--it sounds like a live rock concert (versus the current trend on "live records" of saving the crowd noise and re-recording everything else in the studio). Highlights here include "Meltdown", "This Disco", "I Want To Be A Clone", a spirited "Not Gonna Fall Away" with Scotland rocker Sheila Walsh, and twenty thousand British accents doing a call-and-response on "Colour Code".

Also announced last week were the cities scheduled for the first leg of the Limelight World Tour, which reportedly will take Taylor and Some Band across the U.S. and Canada, back to the U.K., and over the Pacific to Australia.


Even Less-biased Staff Proofreader

VAN NUYS--I find Mr. Hoggsworth's article on Steve Taylor's "Limelight" to be reasonably accurate (in spite of the somewhat excessive adulation) with the exception of two errors. First, the film actually premiered in Van Nuys, California--a suburb of Los Angeles that is located a full twenty minutes away from Hollywood. Also, the comma after the word "concert" in paragraph three should be omitted.

Beyond that, may I say that I did find the film to be excellent, and while I appreciated the live album, I still prefer "Frank Sinatra at Carnegie Hall".


Songwriter and Staff Custodian

DENVER--I did a movie and a record and I hope you like them. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, we're gonna go on tour.


WEST ORANGE, N.J. (API)--Mrs. Eva Aryan, the former elementary school teacher who was fired last year for defacing school sidewalks, has escaped from the Happy Wanderer Mental Hospital here in West Orange. The dramatic escape occurred yesterday when Mrs. Aryan, brandishing a red pointer, forced five Cub Scouts on a campout near the hospital grounds to surrender their canoe and a one pound bag of Trail Mix. Aryan was last seen paddling westward.

Details are sketchy at this time, but a hospital spokesperson confirmed that the patient suffers from "Zadora's Syndrome", a little-known mental disorder that triggers a desire in non-singers to front rock bands. The spokesperson also confirmed that on the same day a poster and tour schedule were stolen from the community events bulletin board promoting the upcoming "Steve Taylor and Some Band" rock concert. Authorities are attempting to contact the little-known band as a precautionary measure, but expressed doubts that the two incidents are related.

Meanwhile, police have issued a statewide alert for Mrs. Aryan, who is described as 6'2", caucasian, and extremely ugly.

Designer Jacket Contest Winners

The three big winners for 1985 are:

Karen Sheerin
Canoga Park, California

Rick Law
Salinas, California

Tim Hodgson
Kirkland, Washington

Each winner received the Limited Edition, Custom-made "On The Fritz" Tour Jacket and a new box of crayons. Four more winners are still to be chosen through 1986, so don't be surprised someday if you pick up the phone and the operator says, "Collect phone call from Steve Taylor--will you pay?"

Record Reviews

By Glen C. Holmen
Newsflash Music Critic and Some Band Bassist

Liberace Talks--The Lost Weekend At Woodstock

(Grecian Formula Records 1001) Lots of dialogue about peace and the quest of the soul and jewelry and ringsizes and stuff. Not for the squeamish.

Murray Ziffo Sings Those Songs You Recognize

(Thrashing Croatian 17245) Murray Ziffo is an artist whose time has come. And with this, his latest release, he gives us more than just a record. He gives us an album.

Murray kicks it off with the always popular "Hey, That's My Gum", followed by a moody version of "Fussy and Mousey and Short". Ziffo has enlisted T.V. personality Oley Fufkin to play clarinet and produce, and Fufkin is featured on trombone in a nice ballad called "Why So Tense?" The rest of the band shines--Big Bob Shrimpton on accordian, Frankie Ziffo on drums, Luggi Wadino on bass, and Arnie Freneticci tinkling on the ivories. Whether it's on the dirge-like "No More Clam Dip" or the show-stopping "Newark, Newark", the band plays with a real fire; very often they're right together, especially on endings.

I'm always encouraged to see artists perform their own songs, and Murray sure brings across his flip side opener, a blues polka called "Out of Colas And Over Budget". It starts off with just accordian and then Murray singing, "It's Saturday night and our liver spots are fading..." It's really very soulish and lonely. Keep it up, boys.

I get a good feeling that radio play will run strong on either "Don't Make Fun, It's Genetic" or "Tears In My Perrier". Just to convince of their roots, the guys really waltz one down on the old Italian standard "Phlemna Verdi". And gospel lovers will enjoy the memorable "Prayer Cruiser" and Murray's hard-hitting version of "The Devil Is A Tramp". Other cuts include "Pete's An Apostle Now" and the classic "I Was Roman Around Until The Lord Pasta By".

This album gets me right in the gut. As a lyricist Murray compares favorably with a Steve Taylor or a Lionel Richie, and his soulful crooning causes the emotions to dribble right out. I just hope they have 8-tracks available.

Nasty Letters

Dear Steve,

I'm a patient person, but there is a limit. In every issue of the last three Newsflashes I've seen "Nasty Letters--coming Next Issue". So where are they? And don't try to tell me you don't get any, because for everyone one of us that likes you, there's two parents that don't.

Name Witheld

(Ed. note: Due to lack of space, a response will be forthcoming in the next issue.)


Sparrow Home Video has announced the January release of "Steve Taylor's Videoworks", a video collection that features the classic "Meltdown (at Madame Tussaud's)", the uncut version of "Lifeboat", and concert versions of "On The Fritz" and "I Want To Be A Clone" recorded live at Castle Ashby, England. Also included is exclusive live interview footage and a preview of "Limelight--The Film".

The collection is available in VHS or Beta Hi-Fi, and will retail for $19.95 (considerably less than "Gone With The Wind"). For a limited time, retail customers can purchase "Videoworks" for $16.95 (even less than many Julio Iglesias collections) using the $3.00-off coupon contained in the albums and cassettes of Taylor's new live album "Limelight".


As many of you know, Steve attempts to answer your letters himself. However, he's reportedly gotten a little behind due to the volume of mail. When pressed for an explanation recently, Steve was quoted as saying, "My pen ran out of ink... I mean the dog ate it... and uh, there's not a mailbox in our town I don't think... I'll try and catch up on tour..."

"A number of you have told me after concerts and in letters that you're praying for us. Please know that this means more to me than you can realize. I have no doubt that the opportunities we're given, the effectiveness of what we do, and the safety we've been blessed with in touring is a direct result of your prayers. Thank you."



The following (by popular demand) are some thoughts from Steve Taylor on the songs that make up his album "On the Fritz".

This Disco (Used To Be A Cute Cathedral)

In the heart of Manhattan stands an old Presbyterian church that's been converted into one of New York's hottest nightspots. My on-the-scene investigation began with the required ritual of waiting with the anxious crowd outside the entrance until a neo-Nazi doorman decided my shoes wouldn't scuff up the dance floor. He then escorted my two stout-hearted friends and me through the vestibule, past rows of authentic looking sarcophagi (I had to look that word up, too) to the cashier ringing up fifteen dollar admissions underneath a large cross.

We followed the beat to the sanctuary, just in time to catch a giant video screen being lowered over the pipe organ to show the latest Madonna sleaze for the two thousand boogie pilgrims on the dance floor. As I watched in horrified fascination, I began imagining that it was Sunday evening, and the church elders had devised all this as a way to attract new members.

Sunday needs a pick-me-up?
Here's your chance
do you get tired of the same old square dance?
allemande right now
all join hands
do-si-do to the promised boogieland
got no need for altar calls
sold the altar for the mirror balls

It seemed an appropriate metaphor to illustrate "country club Christianity".

My home state of California seems to lead the pack in establishing "places of worship" where the beautiful people congregate to sprinkle a little Christianity on top of their beautiful lifestyles. Most of us (myself included) are guilty of wishing that Christianity were more fashionable. (That's why we tend to flaunt "born-again celebrities" as if they somehow made Jesus more credible.)

The balance is being lost. The Apostle Paul's example of becoming "all things to all men" (in order to reach across cultural barriers) is being twisted into a mandate to dilute the Gospel into a more palatable form, and hopefully draw a trendier, more affluent flock.

Jesus said, "I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." "This Disco" is just another reminder that when the Church loses that mission, it loses its reason for existing.

On The Fritz

--is about consequences; the story of a person whose private life is at odds with his public stance, and the compromise that comes about as a result of his pride.

You've Been Bought

In the words of U2's Bono Hewson, "You could actually write a rulebook on how to behave as a rock'n'roll rebel." This song is for all those who followed the rules.

To Forgive

It's true. I've broken with tradition. I've written a positive song.

It all began with a simple magazine cover. I don't recall ever being so moved by a photo as when I saw the image on the cover of Time Magazine of the Pope in a prison cell forgiving the man who tried to assassinate him. That single photo ended up being the inspiration for "To Forgive".

A very nice lyric, right? So imagine my surprise when I started pulling out of my letterbox some of the most heated reactions I'd ever received, all concerning this innocuous song...

Dear Mr. Sunshine,

As a card-carrying Clone Club charter member, you've got a lot to answer for. You may think that one positive song is no big deal--that we'll all just overlook this brief lapse into niceness. But one leads to two, and two leads to four, and next thing you know you're writing songs for Marie Osmond.

Am I over-reacting? I don't think so. Enclosed is a petition signed by one hundred formerly loyal fans demanding a public apology by July 1, or we will eat our membership cards.

Love in Jesus,
Lisa Plum

To The Guy Who Reads Steve Taylor's Mail:

I played "To Forgive" for my pastor and he liked it. I want my money back.

Roger Browning

What can I say? Letters like these require a long, hard, painful re-examination of goals and motivations. And that's exactly what I plan to do upon completion of my new autobiography "Everything's Coming Up Roses" and its companion booklet "The Power of Positive Being".

You Don't Owe Me Nothing

In the book of I Timothy, the Apostle Paul gives a stern warning: "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap... Some people eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." Yet today we're bombarded with formulas for health, wealth, and worldly success coming from within the Christian church! This song was written as a warning and a challenge to the Church to return to the belief that "godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it."

It's A Personal Thing

--takes as its inspiration the large number of public figures who separate their personal beliefs from their politics, and are thus able to display a virtuosity at talking out of both sides of the mouth that can usually be accomplished only by glueing the middle part of one's lips together.

I Manipulate

I came across a quote by author Florence Bulle that echoes my sentiments exactly: "How thankful I am for the many spiritual teachers and Christian friends who have counseled, rebuked, encouraged, exhorted, and deepened my understanding of God and his kingdom. But my gratitude is the greater because they dared to trust the Holy Spirit in me. They haven't tried to usurp control by subtle manipulation or by illicit claims of authority. Rather, they let me learn and grow by making my own decisions--right or wrong. Best of all, they love and accept me even when my choices are faulty."


When I was a kid in elementary school, I remembered the teacher having us play a game called "Lifeboat". In it, we were informed that a big ship had just gone down, and that there were five people left onboard a lifeboat built for two. After hearing a description of the five, it was our job to decide which three would be tossed overboard.

The game is still being played in various forms in public schools today in order to teach a concept called "values clarification". It occurred to me how absurd it is to teach children that it is their responsibility to decide who is going to live and die, and how at odds that is with the Christian ideal that all human life is created in God's image and therefore sacred. The song "Lifeboat" is the result.

Drive, He Said

Since I've gotten more letters on "Drive, He Said" containing more questions and possible explanations than perhaps any other song I've written, I've chosen to take the coward's way out and leave all possible interpretations to the listener's imagination. But as a concession, particularly to those who wrote from overseas, I'm including a brief "glossary of terms" used in the song:

Reptile Gardens Curio Shop--a composite of the forty six different "gas-souvenirs-clean restrooms-live alligators" roadside pitstops where I've refuelled at one time or another in my travels through the American Southwest.

Scratch--The Devil

widow's peak--a V-shaped point of hair over the forehead.

Eddie Munster--son of Fred Munster. ("Munster" refers here to the surname of a goulish television sitcom family, and not the cheese of the same name.)

pink slip--title of ownership for automobile, preferably vintage Chevrolet.

I Just Wanna Know

--is a simple prayer asking God to keep me from compromise and to enable what I'm doing in music to make a difference.

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)

(Portions of this article first appeared in the 1985 June and July editions of Britain's Buzz magazine.)

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Limelight World Tour

Spring Schedule

2/21 * San Diego, CA
2/22 Sacramento, CA
2/24 * Hollywood, CA
2/28 * Houston, TX
3/1 * Dallas, TX
3/3 * Shreveport, LA
3/5 * Upland, IN
3/6 * South Bend, IN
3/7 * Grand Rapids, MI
3/8 * Aurora, IL
3/10 * Toronto, ON
3/11 * Jamestown, NY
3/12 * Poughkeepsie, NY
3/13 * Wilmington, DL
3/14 * Silver Springs, MD (DC)
3/15 * Trenton, NJ
3/17 * Cleveland, OH
3/18 * Charleston, WV
3/19 * Johnstown, PA
3/20 * Grantham, PA
3/21 * Montclair, NJ
3/22 * Elizabethtown, PA
4/16 ** Spring Arbor, MI
4/17 ** Dayton, OH
4/18 ** Grove City, PA
4/19 ** Harrisonburg, VA
4/21 ** Carbondale, IL
4/22 ** Nashville, TN
4/24 ** Winston-Salem, NC
4/25 ** Charlotte, NC
4/26 ** Wilmore, KY
5/2 *** Los Angeles, CA
5/16 Santa Clara, CA
5/17 Chicago, IL
6/28 Boston, MA
7/5 Denver, CO

Dates Subject To Change

* With Youth Choir
** With Bryan Duncan
*** With Amy Grant