I was wondering whether the re-issues on vinyl available from Morphius are the same re-mastered recordings as the re-issues on the CDs?
I'm not sure which releases you're referring to. Let's assume Pere Ubu. We don't involve ourselves in vinyl pressings of Ubu records. As I'm sure you're aware we don't LIKE vinyl and consider it to be nothing more than a money-making scam. I respect that there are many who prefer vinyl. The fact is we don't and we're not going to pretend to feel otherwise. Cooking Vinyl has licensed vinyl pressings in various places and they have used whatever the current cd master was to make them. Beyond that I don't know. I don't have a working turntable and therefore have no way to be involved in the cut process. During our previous management regime we had a trusted fellow okay them, and he did.

Does Ubu plan to, under its own terms, release/re-release any footage (video, live performances, etc) in its possession to the public for historical/archival purposes? Such would certainly be perferable to low-quality copies being distributed without the band's authorization. I believe it's safe to say there's an interest if somebody went to the trouble to encode videos for something so near-mainstream as YouTube (videos of teenaged tomfoolery aside) in the first place.
We have long hoped to do so and for years have had various projects bubbling under, for example "Help! I'm On Tour." For the record, "Help!" foundered the last time I was engaged on the project on some dodgy audio tech issues in a couple places. I don't think they are necessarily insurmountable but when you are in an active band(s), working on a shoestring, with constant demands, and precious little time to do any creative work, it's easy for projects to get back-burnered for years. As well, though we are equipped with the tools of production for all (any) sorts of audio projects, we are not so equipped for video. We are very interested in archival projects. We are aware that without video we will be consigned to the dustbin of history in a visuals-oriented culture. And while this doesn't weigh heavy on our souls (the dustbin of history) it is a consideration and a frustration. Some six years ago we were working with a fellow on a DVD/video project and shipped everything we had off to him. Nothing came of it and we have been fruitlessly trying to retrieve our footage. We are currently assembling a live project called "Oh Pennsylvania, I do Remember Thee" which covers the PA years and grew out of an internally circulated "aide-memoire" for learning/remembering versions of songs during that period. We hope to similarly document the Fontana years tours as a follow-on project.

david-the color choice is yours, i have checked my files and found that i did do black once before (a 7" pressed initially 800 on yellow and 200 on black--thereby subverting the collector need for color vinyl since the black was rarer)...
Color vinyl doesn't sound good-- at least the last time I ever had any dealings with it some 20 years ago. But, hey, vinyl itself sounds like a beer buzz gone far too stale far too early in the morning. I like black. If you'd rather do something else for commercial reasons it's up to you without any ill feeling. Vinyl to me does not fall in the category of art. Therefore I have no interests to protect. It's for irredeemable audio suckers who deserve what they get and, therefore, falls under the category of caveat emptor. I was simply expressing a preference. Do what you & Johnny decide is good for marketing.

The sonic clarity of the remastered Pere Ubu recordings is astonishing. The Ubu Projex website has the Bug Report in which the post production flaws of previous pressings are revealed in detail. Is this anal retentive nit-picking or is technology finally able to reproduce the sounds you made twenty years ago?
The remastered versions are close to what we heard when we were recording and mixing. The studio is as good as the sound ever gets. That's why every producer I know has nothing more than a boom box at home for listening to music. Everything outside the studio is a disappointment that should lead to dangerous questions like, "What am I doing?" Vinyl always clouded what we wanted to do - which was to make use of silence and space. Digital is better because you can achieve the power of silence. It's not ideal. And it's only better in specific ways. We love sound and fear it. We note faults with the reproduction of it because civilians need to appreciate the issues involved. We do it for YOU.

I like the dead boys stuff and would like a chance to hear rocket from the tombs so here's my vote.
Who said you get a vote? It's our art and we do what we want regardless of anything anyone else thinks or wants.

Will the cd reissues have original cover art, bonus pictures, extra tracks, cd-rom, etc.-- goodies to sweeten the deal and cause diehard Pere-heads to go wobbly?
The art will be as close to the original as we can get. Much of the original art is long-gone and John has had to reconstruct it from album sleeves. He has taken the opportunity to tidy up some things and sometimes enhance his original ideas. The NPT front photo, for example, is different because the original Mellen film negative was damaged. The difference is very slight. In all cases John preserved the spirit of the original packaging.
As for extras, remember that the intention of the original packaging was to supply the minimum of personal information. We refused to print band photos or even list instrumentation. Note also that Pere Ubu has never generated out-takes or alternative mixes. In 1977 we asked Cliff Burnstein how long records were supposed to be. He said 36 minutes. We wrote and recorded songs until we got to 36 minutes and then we stopped. Then we mixed the one possible version of each song and stopped. That's the spirit of those albums and the spirit that prevails in the studio down to this day. The DIYZ box was the vehicle for bonus stuff, band photos & anecdotes. The cd individual reissues will be as close to the original intention as possible. The exception, for unique reasons, is the inclusion of both "Arabia" and "Arabian Nights" on the reissue of The Art of Walking.

Does the Terminal Tower cd reissue feature the remixes of Not Happy / Lonesome Cowboy Dave that appeared on the vinyl edition? Or are they the original 7-inch versions?
See the Bug Report.

What is the status of the "Help! I'm on tour" video?
The video was edited and completed some years ago. The material dates from 1981, a rather bizarre concert in a circus tent in Ravenna for an audience of Pakistani sailors and Italian youth filmed by Italian tv. When Rough Trade went bust the release was shelved. The tape still exists. Ubu Projex is undecided on its fate.

Will the two original live records, 390 & One Man, be re-released? If so, will they differ from the previously released forms?

The web, disc 5 of the box, and CLE magazine comprise a great resource for understanding the Cleveland music scene of the 70s. For those of us interested in pursuing this education, can you recommend any books, recordings, or other material?
No. That Cleveland is gone. It is a world forever shut away for safe keeping. Those who know aren't saying. You can see, read and hear bits & pieces. Outsiders write about it fueled by their own prejudices. Our own prejudices are hard enough to cipher thru. EREWHON -- if you lived here you'd be home now.

How involved were you in the remastering process for the reissues?
In 1994 David Thomas and Paul Hamann used Suma's custom built 20-bit Analog-to-Digital Processor to transfer the entire Ubu back catalog from the original quarter-inch mix tapes to a digital format. They processed the signal using the Sumex equalization software, making every effort to remain true to the intentions of the original mix while enhancing detail, imaging and clarity. They A/B'ed the processed signal with virgin copies of the original vinyl and once or twice actually degraded the digital signal in order to stay true to the intentions and spirit of the original. They checked their progress using the same speakers in the same acoustic space that the original material was recorded and mixed in. There was no remixing involved. It was a process of restoration.
The Rough Trade cd reissues of the late 80s, by contrast, sound inferior because they are flat transfers. When songs are mixed they reflect the bias of the speakers on which they're mixed and the technology of the time. Older material tends to suffer from a more severe bias. A flat transfer doesn't account for this bias and can, therefore, do a disservice to the music.
Judge our disappointment with the sound of the original vinyl releases by comparing what we were hearing in the studio 20 years ago (as represented on the box set) with what was surviving the vinyl process. There's alot of nonsense spoken about vinyl. It's a hideous medium. Ubu never translated well to vinyl. We avoided signal compression, we flooded the mid & low mid-ranges, and the EML was and is an untamable sonic beast throwing spikes every which way. Indifferent corporate pressings and the Ubu laissez faire attitude to detail only made the situation worse.
All vinyl issues of the Ubu catalog are disappointments to a greater or lesser degree. The Hearpen singles were some of the best vinyl pressings we had. Cleveland Recording / Suma did the cuts. The pressing plant returned the "30 Seconds Over Tokyo / Heart of Darkness" tapes saying, "There's a lot of noise all over these tapes, maybe you better send us another copy." We had to assure them that the noise was intentional.