Greetings Earthlets…

Hey, long time no see! Yes, as it turns out, rumours of my death were mildly exaggerated, though I can see how they might have got started (wishful thinking), this being the first new issue since January 2001 and all. I was just looking at the last issue actually, noticed it starts with “Well, okay… it’s January 2001, and maybe the Summer 2000 issue of the M&E News is a weeny bit late.” And here we are again, ho-hum. Bad Magic. Ooh, do I ever deserve a good spanking. I wonder if I could possibly select Jytt from Pornorphans to administer my punishment? Anyway, I guess that those of you who’ve known me for a while will be aware I sometimes have a little trouble finding my feet, huh? I don’t know why that is, it’s not as if they ever move from the end of my legs. Though maybe they will one day. Maybe I’ll wake up one morning and they’ll be hiding in the wardrobe or something. That would be a very confusing start to the day. Be really funny if it actually happened now, wouldn’t it? Sod’s Law and all that! Though if it should happen, the first place I’d look is in the wardrobe, which would kind of spoil the surprise. Not that they’d be there. Life is rarely so simple.

“So what happened, Magic?” I hear you ask. Not literally, of course, it would be impossible, some of you living as far away as Australia. Not that I’m implying I could hear you if you were only as far away as, ooh… let’s say Germany. But this goes without saying. Sadly, I’ve already said it, otherwise I could have saved some ink. An octopus will die for nothing now, I should be more thoughtful. Anyway, what kind of excuse could I possibly have for vanishing off the face of the Earth for all this time? Let’s examine them options, is it…

  • I was doing battle with the Astro-Space Zombies on the dark side of the moon?
  • I awoke one morning to find myself captive in a village in North Wales and these strangely dressed people kept asking me why I resigned and chased me with a big white weather balloon?
  • I was a bit busy or something?
  • Or maybe I should be serious for once and admit I have been further struggling with the dark forces that are depression?

No… it was the Astro-Space Zombies all along! Okay, maybe it was something to do with the depression thing after all, but it’s less fun to read about than the Astro-Space Zombies, isn’t it? Bet if I did a survey amongst you and asked, “Would you rather read about Astro-Space Zombies or Magic being all depressed?”, more than half of you would say “Zombies, Magic!”, and who could blame you? Probably no more than 25% would say “depression”, then there’d be the “don’t knows” who always decide elections at the last minute, and some smartarse who would say something completely irrelevant, like “kippers”. That’s not the end of the story anyway. First, the fat lady needs to sing. And sing, she has. In fact, we were well on the way to a stunning comeback last Summer… then disaster struck. Last September, we were hit with a particularly malicious computer virus, why do people do shit like that? Oh, man, it caused havoc, lost enormous amounts of data, particularly contact information. The great irony (that’ll have all the Americans reaching for the dictionary) here is that it happened just days after I’d bought a CD-RW drive for backing up data on! Honestly, I was gonna do it all that very weekend. Life, eh? Yes, I know now.

So, as you can imagine, I have spent the last eight months playing catch-up, not eating ketchup, as some of you have misunderstood. I’m still in the process of circulating a list of names that I haven’t yet been able to put addresses to, so fingers crossed we’ll find them all again someday. In the meantime, I figured that, in the best “don’t let the bastards grind you down” spirit, the UWU project needed to arise from

the flames like a Felix. No, hang on, that’s the cat in the TV commercial, I meant Phoenix. Anyway, if any of you know other UWU friends or supporters who thought I’d died, given up or been arrested for molesting gerbils (a vicious rumour, completely unfounded, they were hamsters), please let them know we’re still here and would love to hear from them again (though not so much if we owe them money). Ta kissy kissy.

So… where went that last two years?

On the news page of our January 2001 issue, we announced the arrival of Roberto Tommaso (though we call him Bobby Ketchup, pictured left, confirming what we've long suspected about Italian men), son of our Pete Program and his Italian mailorder bride, Paola Zanussi, the appliance of science. Pete, of course, became famous for the overdone synth FX on our White Hawk Atomic album, and only that, we wouldn’t let him do any more afterwards. Well, little Bobby is now playing midfield for Inter Milan and is married with five children and a goldfish. Okay, he’s only three really, but he does possess a couple of genuine imitation replica Inter shirts. A little sad news for us though is that they will all be moving to Italy later this year. Not Inter Milan, they are already in Italy. No, I meant Pete, Paola and Bobby. Sob. It seems Paola missed her mountain peasant girl life, selling pegs and lucky heather to unsuspecting motorists. Not that you get many motorists in Amaro, most of them ride donkeys. Or large goats. Still, if they want to leave plush Surrey Heath and go and live in a mud hut with no electricity, that’s fine with us. If they want to live where there is no Marmite, peanut butter or curries, bugger them, eh? We’re just their best friends, no reason they should worry about us. And there are scorpions and vipers there too, don’t get them in Surrey Heath, we just get grass snakes and beetles. And cars in Italy drive about 2cm behind off your rear bumper. Honest, you can see their mascara in the rear view mirror. And that’s just the men. Okay, I admit it, we’ll miss them. But we don’t think of it so much as losing a friend and former band member, more as gaining another free holiday home!

Muzika Tradizionale Bulgareski

Had excellent results from last issue’s appeal for ethnic music, many thanks to all who sent us tapes or CDs. Still interested in building up the collection more too. What we’re after is them cheap tapes or CDs you find in touristy gift shops with titles like “Muzika Tradizionale Bulgareski” etc. It’s the traditional ethnic music from your areas we are interested in, wherever they be. Well, except for Morris Dancing music. Me and Sammi got badly hurt trying that. We fell off the bonnet. Hmmph.



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