John Foxx ‘The Quiet Man’ book (2020) / Ultravox ‘Past, Present and Future’ fanzine (1980)

Newly published, the long journey of John Foxx and his story of ‘The Quiet Man’ has eventually surfaced in book form, with this hardback edition. ‘The Quiet Man – Short Stories by John Foxx’. Along the way, there have been many side paths and distant echoes of the quiet man’s footsteps heard, most notably the ‘Quiet Man’ CD release from 2009 and of couse, ’London Overgrown’, alongside the new book, I thought I would focus on the first time I recall one of those excerpts, published way back in 1980 as part of the ‘In The City’ fanzine’s Ultravox special, ‘Past Present and Future’ (and with reference to ‘Church’ and ‘Cathedral Oceans’ along the way too, which have also featured excerpts of the story that find their way into the new book).

John Foxx and Ultravox book covers

^ John Foxx and Ultravox book covers


‘Ultravox: Past, Present and Future’

What an absolute treasure trove of information this provided at the time. Like many, my path to Ultravox came via my already discovered fandom of Gary Numan. He kept on mentioning them either in interviews or lists of favourites, that slow drip roused curiosity enough to lead me to the local gem of a record store, 1-Up, and delve through the second-hand bins and come across a nice, gatefold sleeve edition of their debut album, ‘Ultravox!’. This enthusiastic purchase led to some degree of puzzlement – it was loud, noisy, filled with wailing guitars, I’d even call it laid-back rock in some places – where were all the synthesisers?! Not until the closing ‘My Sex’ would they take the centre stage, to some degree anyway. Shortly thereafter though, from nowhere came the ‘Sleepwalk’ single release. Now then… this made more sense – now there were synthesisers! All was right in the world once more.

By mid-July, ‘Smash Hits’ magazine sensed the temperature change in the fortunes of Ultravox enough to devote a two page spread to the band, penned by Pete Gilbert and Frank Drake of ‘In The City’ fanzine. You can view that article here. An excellent piece on its own, it pointed the way to the fanzine’s dedicated special that we celebrate here.

Packed full of lyrics, articles and interviews spanning the original line-up AND the newly formed version with Midge Ure on board, this is a wonderful little gem of a publication. Equal voice to John Foxx too, evidenced by a short excerpt from ‘The Quiet Man’ – my first encounter with the story that has materialised in hardback book form some forty plus years on. (The story predates this fanzine excerpt by some time, of course, the book makes mention of it all being started in 1977.) Interesting to note that the artwork excerpt here doesn’t make it into the book – though it was included in the ‘Science Fiction Stories’ limited edition image collection postcard set that was featured in a previous post on VersionCrazy back in 2012.

Ultravox 'Past, Present and Future' fanzine front cover

^ Ultravox ‘Past, Present and Future’ fanzine front cover

Ultravox 'Past, Present and Future' fanzine spread 1

^ Ultravox ‘Past, Present and Future’ fanzine spread 1

Ultravox 'Past, Present and Future' fanzine spread 2 - John Foxx : Solo

^ Ultravox ‘Past, Present and Future’ fanzine spread 2 – John Foxx : Solo

Ultravox 'Past, Present and Future' fanzine spread 3 - 'The Quiet Man' artwork

^ Ultravox ‘Past, Present and Future’ fanzine spread 3 – ‘The Quiet Man’ artwork

Ultravox 'Past, Present and Future' fanzine spread 3 - 'The Quiet Man' story excerpt

^ Ultravox ‘Past, Present and Future’ fanzine spread 3 – ‘The Quiet Man’ story excerpt

Ultravox 'Past, Present and Future' fanzine spread 3 - 'The Quiet Man' story excerpt

^ Ultravox ‘Past, Present and Future’ fanzine spread 3 – ‘The Quiet Man’ story excerpt

Excerpts from the story have appeared in various places and forms over the years, amongst them being…


‘Cathedral Oceans’

John Foxx 'Cathedral Oceans' front cover

^ John Foxx ‘Cathedral Oceans’ front cover

John Foxx 'Cathedral Oceans' excerpt 1

^ John Foxx ‘Cathedral Oceans’ excerpt 1


‘Church’

John Foxx 'Church' front cover

^ John Foxx ‘Church’ front cover

John Foxx 'Church' excerpt 1

^ John Foxx ‘Church’ excerpt 1


‘The Quiet Man’

John Foxx 'The Quiet Man' book cover

^ John Foxx ‘The Quiet Man’ book cover

John Foxx 'The Quiet Man' contents page

^ John Foxx ‘The Quiet Man’ contents page

John Foxx 'The Quiet Man' - spread

^ John Foxx ‘The Quiet Man’ – spread

John Foxx 'The Quiet Man' - 'Church' spread

^ John Foxx ‘The Quiet Man’ – ‘Church’ spread

4 Responses to “John Foxx ‘The Quiet Man’ book (2020) / Ultravox ‘Past, Present and Future’ fanzine (1980)”

  1. KeithC says:

    Nice post; I have the Past, Present and Future fanzine but with blue graphics in lieu of the shocking pink. Great read and the timing of its purchase coincided with my first ever Ultravox purchase (Rage in Eden cassette). If I recall, Compuserve was 5-6 years away for me so this was a fantastic purchase as new wave was just making inroads in Western Canada but was primarily video based.

  2. admin says:

    It was a real gem of a publication, learned so much from it, written with such enthusiasm – they don’t seem to come up often, equals times the blue or pink covers it seems.

  3. Interesting. I have each of those publications save for the In The City special. Things like that did not grown on trees over in Amurika. But I did manage to buy the issue of In The City that came bundled with the Helden single in my favorite record store of the time! When and where is the Ultravox coffee table book of our dreams? Am I going to have to produce it myself? The sun doesn’t rise and set on Midge are’s autobiography for the Ultravox story!

  4. admin says:

    Good point a long overdue Ultravox book… Midge did make noises a couple of years back about publishing a photo book, but despite signing up for the email updates nothing has surfaced as yet. ‘In The City’ was a good ‘zine, wish I had had the money to buy it more often.

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