Counter Action: ‘Confessions Of An Aeroplane Farter’ Top-Notch Diy Post-Punk Shenanigans From Ted Milton


Each week our resident ‘man of mystery’ (alright he works in a record shop) chooses to shine his vinyl shaped spotlight on a dimly lit corner of that wonderful world of ‘7”s, 12”s, LPs etc. that we call, err, records. The records chosen needn’t cost an arm and a leg, be especially rare, or even be so obscure that you out there in ‘normal land’ are like never-ever-ever going to find one – in fact, they don’t have to be good at all (although that does help). No, our record shop employee has a far more noble aim – namely to celebrate the seldom-celebrated, to tell the story of a record with a story to tell – no genre shall go unturned, after all, a tune, is a tune, is a tune…

This edition's vinyl shaped missive is this wonderfully unhinged slice of oddball DIY post punk…

Ted who?

Born in the UK but raised overseas, Ted had been hovering on the fringes of popular culture (or rather not-so-popular) in one form or another since the early ‘60s – dipping his cultural toe into the world of performance poetry, music and even a little bit of puppetry on the side. In the ‘80s he released a string of toe-curlingly, avant-but-really-quite-good-mutant-jazz-records (with help from a variety of fellow sonic-travellers that is) under the name Blurt, rewind to 1979 however, and Ted was taking on the world on his own,…..wi ’nowt but an acoustic guitar to his name…

What’s it all about?

Self-released in 1979 in a tiny run of just 200 copies this wonderfully unhinged slice of acoustic, (err let’s call it) post-punk stream of consciousness is a curio indeed. Credited to Ted Milton and Mr Pugh’s Puppet Theatre (more of which later) it’s a 2-track 7” single packed in a 12” sleeve with free sick bag for good measure. Was this a comment on the psychological turbulence caused by a quick listen to the title track ‘Aeroplane’ or was it a wry comment on the possible need for said bag once the record had ended? Who knows, but if your interest isn’t piqued by a record called ‘Confessions Of An Aeroplane Farter / I Don’t Want To Go To Poo-Poo!’ then, well let’s just say you’ve been mentally crossed off my Christmas card list…..over to you Ted…

Unhinged ain’t the word…..over the course of six-or-so minutes Milton ‘free-styles/word-associates’ astride a two-chord chug-a-thon, contained within are moments of sheer Arthur Janov inspired ego-shredding, “I HATE HITCHIKERS” rubbing shoulders with some more common or garden existential angst, “when I fart the sky bleeds” not forgetting the positively conspiratorial, “implant transistors in the brains of the masses”!

Unbelievably Ted would take this ‘show’ on the road (that’s the Mr Pugh’s Puppet Theatre bit) and perform to unsuspecting primary schools and women’s institutes (we can only surmise what flower posy Ted would have been presented with come the evening’s end?), needless to say said schools and W.I’s got a little hot under the collar once they realised they’d been duped – the reverse of the sleeve shows a decidedly angry letter written by a school principal after Ted put on one of his shows, “I am ashamed that such a performance would have taken place in the college in which I am principal”

What’s on the flip?

You may think you’ve been short-changed once you realise that ‘I Don’t Want To Go Poo-Poo’ extemporises a different lyric over what is essentially the same two chord rant but ye of little faith, over its six minute duration Ted asks, “why is the world tiled?” before proffering the following sage advice, “what a revolting four-letter word is L-O-V-E”

Our mystery record shop man would like to point out that, whilst it may well be a record that you don’t want to play often, in fact it may well be a record you never want to hear again, but Ted’s 1979 7” guttural missive with free sick bag was the sweetcorn in the turd in a week of dreary indie also rans, stereotypical rockist manoeuvres and shite-lite pop – we could do with some more of this in 2017 – so…..for those about to Ted we salute you!

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