Words In Motion
Spellbound - Vol II Iss II
© May 1995

From Helen A., Northland, New Zealand -
I've got a suggestion for Icehouse. With Iva being a new dad, and most of the band members being family people, maybe they might like to make an album of Christmas songs for this year.
Iva's answer -
I've been approached a few times over the years regarding Christmas albums but I'm afraid I still can't talk myself into it… not really my kind of thing!

From Wayne R., Churwell, England -
A couple of questions. First, how come after 15 years, there hasn't been a live Icehouse album? Second, has Iva ever fancied doing any early Roxy Music cover versions or even a cover versions album with covers of T-Rex, Bowie, Eno, Iggy, Lou Reed, Roxy, etc.?
Spellbound -
We combined your question about a live Icehouse album with out of our own. Skimming through old magazine articles, we found a reference to a live EP that was to be called Palais. It was recorded at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne but the articles say it was shelved due to "packaging disputes" with the record company. We asked Iva to confirm or deny these articles as well as adding on your question as to why there hasn't been a live Icehouse album.
Iva's answer -
In regard to the Palais live EP, yes, some mixes were done and a release was planned. I cannot recall why it never materialized although a "Packaging Dispute" doesn't ring any bells! I do have these and many other "live" tapes in storage and, as I have mentioned before, hope that someday a very comprehensive "live" package can be released. In reference to a covers album, Flowers' claim to fame was its ability to reproduce those early songs (T-Rex, etc.) almost identically… so there seems little point in re-recording the originals. However, the Berlin Tapes should be a way of achieving this kind of LP but with a different approach than that which the original artists had… if that makes sense.

From Sandra W., Somerville, VIC, Australia -
Why is it that bands only come on stage at 11:30 or later?
Iva's answer -
I've often argued for the band to go on earlier in the evening... this appears to be a problem with publicans and seems to be related to their idea of how much they can sell at the bar while people are waiting and what overflow of crowd they may get when other local venues have closed for the night!... I'm afraid I've only ever rarely been in a position to change the venue policies in regard to this… I sympathise!

From Neil Y., Allesley Park, Coventry, England -
I was interested in the photo on the cover of the last issue, of Iva and Paul G. with their guitars. As a very bad fellow string-plucker myself I was wondering if Iva could give us a list of his favourite guitars that he uses. I just wish I could play the tracks like the guys do!
Iva's answer -
I've never been a collector of guitars. I've always had a very minimal set-up. In the early days, I was completely dedicated to Les Pauls, a Gibson Les Paul custom, until the famous black Les Paul with the bit missing got stolen. Then I went through a series of about six until eventually I kinda gave up. At that point, I had bought a Fender Stratocaster, which I always hated. It was quite old and I was told at the time it was a good investment. I thought "oh, yeah, really" and it spent a long time under a bed. Eventually, when I gave up on Les Pauls, I resurrected this guitar and had some work done on it which actually made it playable. I've used that ever since and that's the white one. It's a vintage guitar of the Hendrix era and worth quite a lot of money now, worth roughly ten times as much as what I paid for it.

From Cathy T., Albion Park, NSW -
What does Iva say at the end of "Anything Is Possible"? Why does he say "is that right" at the end of "Nothing Too Serious"?
Iva's answer -
Can't remember saying anything at the end of "Anything Is Possible"… I'll have to have another listen. "Is that right?" was a catch phrase of the band's which persisted for some years. One day Bob went into a famous pie shop in Glebe while I waited in the car (we were in the middle of writing at the time). He came back with an amusing, if not slightly sad, tale. An old man came into the crowded shop and had obviously been sent to buy some "Croissants" for his yuppie sons or daughters (or something?). In front of the whole crowd he nervously blurted, "I'll have six clersents…," then feebly, "Is that right?"… Oh well, good on him for his attempt! Hence forward any slightly dubious statement from a band member was always tagged with… "Is that right?"

From Brent F., Palmerston North, New Zealand -
How about suggesting to Iva that Icehouse should release a nice box set of all of the original Aus/NZ singles in their original form on CD single? It would be great to get the B-sides and remixes on CD one day.
Spellbound -
In posing your question to Iva, we also added in what others had asked for, namely the Afghan singles! Iva commented on this, and on the music he made in the earlier days with Lucy Fields.
Iva's answer -
I have hours of tapes of the pre-electric "Afghan" in the archives. Logging and restoring is a job for the future. These were just myself and Danny (two acoustic guitars) in the bedroom at Lindfield (the Icehouse). There were some recordings of the expanded band (drums, and Ross McClaren on electric guitar). There may be some of those as well. There was a Double J (pre-JJJ) Live concert of Afghan. I have attempted to recover these which may have been destroyed or may still be in the ABC Archives. Arnold Follows of JJJ has told me that they are still in the process of logging those archives and they may turn up yet. The "Lucy Fields" 18-track LP is missing. I think Danny or Lindsay Campbell (the other guys) may have ended up with them… I would like to hear that one myself! I also have a wealth of demos of varying quality and have also promised myself that one day I will restore, compile, and release some of the better demos… some day!

From Brian D., La Jolla, CA, USA -
Who is the "heartbreak kid" - is it Iva? Who's the barmaid? Why was Jericho Bay chosen for the location in the song?
Iva's answer -
The "heartbreak kid" is a fictitious invention… sorry, no great tales therein lie… I just liked the idea of spanning one hundred years in one song… Part One "The Wild West - 1800"… Part Two "New York City - Today." "Jericho Bay" was inspired by a story which came to me through my family (I'll leave it there!) but the newspaper articles which were behind the songs from Code Blue gave me the vehicle to write a song about the courage of the abused country wife who finally finds the strength to leave and head for the city and a new life.

From Sue A., Kamo, Whangarei, New Zealand -
I recently came across a listing for "DAVIES, Iva" in a book called Who's Who of Australian Rock. The list included three items which I hadn't heard of before: "Culture Shock" TV series soundtrack, production on a Tactics LP in 1979, and production for an Annalise Morrow single in 1984. Can you give me some more information about these projects?
Iva's answer -
I did, in fact, write and record the "theme" for an SBS Music programme called "Culture Shock." This was around "Razorback" time. I don't think the show lasted too long! Its claim to fame was that the local Sydney girl (a beautiful model of Chinese lineage) who played "China Girl" in the Bowie clip for that song, was the hostess of the programme. She was a bit of a famous media identity for a while after that clip but seems to have disappeared. It is also true that very early on… maybe even before the first Flowers LP I produced a song for a band called "Working Day Song" (I think). The band may have been called Tactics although I had in my mind that "Tactics" was another Sydney underground band. My involvement in this doesn't seem to have made a house hold name of that band anyway! I did some work with Annalise on some songs which she and her brother Chris (The "Numbers") wrote. I don't believe that they were ever completed and certainly were never released.