I flew to Cleveland instead of Columbus specifically to lay down some more groovy tracks with Einstein's Secret Orchestra (ESO Radio) on WCSB in Cleveland. The music of Chas Smith, the retardation of Lonesome Cowboy Dave and my own blitheringness are a combo I NEVER pass up if I can help it, and we cranked out 90 live and unrehearsed minutes that, as always, were... (See the LOG of ESO Radio on WCSB Cleveland with Chas, Dave, Princess Wei "R." Doe and/or Hour of Slack #552 and 553)
Another thing I love about Cleveland is that I get to stay at the A.C.E. Halfway House for Mutants ("Tim Leary Slept Here"). They have a Macintosh exactly identical to mine -- I set it up for 'em -- and some of the Chameleons there are amateur computer graphics fiends like myself, so we JAMMED.
MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT
I have a new ShorDurPerBand every month or so, and for a week now I've been listening nonstop to an ENDLESS LOOP of the 1995 CD by My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, "HIT & RUN HOLIDAY." All the songs on it sound like 1966 bad acid-rock stripper torch tunes from cheesy spy movies -- WE GOTTA TOUR WITH THESE FOLKS and REV. SUSIE THE FLOOZY! I just happened to stumble upon this CD among the stuff that Jesus brought to Dallas, thought the sleeve looked FAR OUT, and threw it in my suitcase. We must've let the Thrill Kill tape loop 4 times on the way down to Columbus in the car. "Apollo 69" and "Universal Luxury" definitely qualify as X-Day anthems. These people are sleazemeisters deluxe. It's the ULTIMATE in "driving to do a Devival" music. Makes one feel BAAAD just to be LISTENING to it.
Why is it that most modern bands that I "get into" are concept or novelty bands, all of whose members use fake names and clever handles? (I.e., Gwar, Mojo Nixon, SLC, etc... Thrill Kill members include Groovie Mann, Cinderella Pussy, Kitty Kildare, Dick Fury, Buzz McCoy etc.) HUMAN CARTOONS... that's the appeal. All the SubGenii are human cartoons. That's why DEVIVALS are fun. The Yetinsyny are not JUST themselves; they seem somehow like GROSS EXAGGERATIONS of themselves, one-of-a-kind and YET ARCHETYPAL. This can backfire, certainly, in the case of people who happen to be geeky assholes, but heck, the rest are worth it. Someone else once told me that she would have left me over the Church (for its first 12 years it was a money drain, you might say), BUT FOR THE COOL PEOPLE WE MET through it. One of my main personal motivations for going to work for Dobbs 16 years ago was because I thought it might be a good LURE for the COLLABORATORS that I knew must be out there, and I was RIGHT. PRAISE DOT-FACE!!
About 5 miles short of our final exit in Columbus, in cold driving rain, the Doe-mobile DIED. Just flat-out DIED on the highway. First the windshield wipers slowed to a halt, Thrill Kill pooped out, and finally the motor konked as we rolled onto the shoulder. We got out to reconnoiter just how bad the situation was, and Princess Wei, who NOTICES details like this, pointed out that we were right next to a billboard for the Jim Hendrix Insurance Company. What would otherwise have been an obvious attack by NHGH actually turned out to be stroke of incredible good luck: we happened to break down 50 yards from an exit full of service stations. We even got a RIDE from an obvious non-serial-killer and didn't have to trudge through rain for long. Triple-A answered Wei's telepathic call for help INSTANTLY, the tow-truck driver was a hilarious and very friendly human cartoon unto himself, and he found the ONE OPEN REPAIR SHOP on a Saturday late afternoon -- which HAPPENED to be within WALKING DISTANCE of our FINAL DESTINATION!!... and they HAD THE MAZDA ALTERNATOR in stock. After only 2.5 hours we were right back to normal. Thus we know it was NHGH vs. Hendrix, and Hendrix won. If the alternator had died TWO MINUTES EARLIER or LATER we'd have been FUCKED BIG TIME.
THEA'S PEPERONI SPAGHETTI
The devivals in Columbus were basically to be blamed on Rev. Thea Haston, a free lance luck magick practitioner, and Dr. Ro-Z Mendelson of the infamous MONKEY'S RETREAT bookstore (and the band, The Mendelsonics) in Columbus. Thea was the one who got the ball rolling, and a whole bunch of us ended up crashing at the child-proofed pad of her and husband Bud and kidling Breckland. Dr. Dynasoar stayed at the EconoLodge.
LOOKS LIKE A WHOLE BUNCHA HIPPIES DON'T IT
Saturday night we "did show" in what was two weeks earlier a BANK -- complete with bank vaults and clerk windows as an unexpectedly appropriate setting for a devival! This was part of the Witches Ball street festival, so beer-drenched fest-goers of all 9 genders came and went throughout. A goth-like band called QUEU UP played first, then St. @ndrew did an intro, and Thea and Bud sang AMAZING GRACE to the tune of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND and vice versa, after which I did the usual Moment of Noise/Intro/MoneyBurning/etc. routine and Part One of the SubGenius 101 rant . Then Dr. Dynasoar and Steve Slack performed their Yetwisted versions of old acid rock tunes (as heard on the X-Day tapes and on HoS 552-3).
During a break, Pope Lou Duchez of Berea presented us with his greatest donation ever, a bottle of Winking Lizard Tavern BBQ Sauce, that condiment of which he has ranted on alt.slack -- and FOR GOOD REASON. The stuff IS superior. I've already gone through half the bottle, but then, I drink it straight.
I am told that everybody but me ended up street-preaching outside the Devival Bank building, tangling with Xians and Pinks. Somebody else will have to write up that.
QUEU UP played some more, and after that I was faced with a greatly dwindled audience of 13 or so. I long ago learned that to attempt a full-on robot chubby rant for 13 people is folly, so it devolved into a rather laid back Q&A session. This was followed by a true thrash-metal band, Urban Grind Core Guerrillas, who sure reenergized me. We got some video shots of Steve Slack in the Joe Riley Dobbs Mask and a business suit emerging happily from the bank vault.
Post-show, we all went to eat at the Mecca of Cheap Burgers, White Castle. The White Castle franchise doesn't extend south to Texas, so I consider those little burgers a special treat, subsequent stomach aches notwithstanding.
HOTTEST PARTY IN TOWN
I was rudely awakened at Thea's on Sunday morning by loud raucous SubGenius laughter. That morning's episode of the TV show Pete Vs. Pete on Nickelodeon happened to feature the quest for the DEATH of "Bob" the Bass by all the amateur fisherman characters on the show... apparently every third line was incredibly synchronistical in a Dobbsful way. If anybody happened to catch a tape of this...?
Amazing how forgiving and sane I become after about 150 mg of caffeine. Relatively. The Subs at Thea's got to see me before and after. Like many SubGenii, I can swing from TOTAL BAD-VIBE-RADIATING ASSHOLE to nice guy in seconds. Heh... but I am FAT AND HAPPY in the SURE KNOWLEDGE that when @ndrew is my age, he will UNDERSTAND EXACTLY.
I must give St. @ndrew credit for making himself useful; he has a gift for Dobbsian Sales Table gab, and I'll grudgingly admit he's a promising ranter. And cuteness on any preacher's part adds up to more bucks for me personally, and more BAD GIRLS for the Church at large.
There was a "booksigning/rant" at this famous bulldada bookstore at 4 on Sunday, attended by maybe 30 or so? Again, "ranting" was not called for so much as Q&A. I personally prefer being forced to extemporaneously answer questions out of the blue; every now and then it pisses me off so much that I actually become SINCERE for brief moments. It also helps take the curse off the clumsy tradition of "book signings" -- no SubGenius wants to feel like he's kissing some others SubGenius's ass. With a small number of people, it's possible to RELATE on an individual level, so why not do that instead of "PERFORM"? Besides, I'm insecure about being thought an asshole. I AM an asshole, make no mistake. But it's bad business to LET ON that one is an asshole, so I try to act like a for-real down-home sorta regular Joe Mutant. Besides, I actually am concerned about these SubGenius strangers. I generally assume that if somebody was interested enough in this shit to drive to a book signing, they're probably pretty cool on some level (or else utterly despicable, but those are easy to spot). One must project the right IMAGE, in the case an image of OPENNESS and TOLERANCE of eccentricities. Unless it's the MEDIA that you're talking to. Then you wanna project a FRIGHTENING ATMOSPHERE OF POTENTIAL VIOLENCE, SECRET SOCIETY OCCULTISM and SLEAZY ORGIASTIC SEX. Proper cult stuff, to get their attention. Jim Jones set the cult p.r. level up real high and matching HIS little stunt is NOT EASY.
A couple of earnest kids had driven to Columbus all the way from Ithaca College in New York to videotape this devival for a docuvid they're doing for school... I got a big kick out of doing a quicky interview with them. They had all these dead-serious questions -- some about the implied violence in SubGenius material, and the old sexism question -- and the more serious the question, the thicker the layer I'm motivated to spread over the answer. The reverse is also true.
A batch of us had dinner at a nearby restaurant. I finally got to yak with Dr. Dynasoar about real stuff like his job, my job, our families etc. At the time he was wearing a Barnum and Bailey Circus Crew jumpsuit.
CHEAP TRICKS FOR KICKS
The main Devival at Staches was an artistic success from my perspective. The band and back-up ranters were great, the audience seemed to get off, and I was energized. I dunno how financial a success it was, but I got paid. Staches is a user-friendly bar with a long record of weirdness into which we seemed to fit vibes-wise.
Ro-Z's band The Mendelsonics opened. Refreshingly, they're NOT an antimusic nor pretentious art-rock group, but a straight-down r&b/c&w gangbunch. All covers, no original songs, but the tunes they cover are IMPECCABLY SELECTED and authentically performed. They sound a little like The Ventures with a singer. From obscure soul hits to Elvis' "Kissing Cousins" to old Ernest Tubbs country songs, they ROOOLED MAN! Their medley of dark TV themes (Peter Gunn, Hawaii 5-0, The Munsters, etc.) had us up fruggin' and froggin'. A big TV on stage displayed Mexican SANTO wrestler movies continuously...
St. @ndrew (who actually KNOWS Thrill Kill Kult!!!) took the "Moment of Noise" job, and delivered an opening rant using all-new concepts and gags that occured to him mostly that week (on Hour of Slack 552). St. @ndrew still "shits too close to the house" but I predict he'll be one of the top ranters once an old-timer or two die off (shouldn't be long, if I know NHGH). I hope the video sound is better than what I copped on my beat-up little hand-held...
This evening I started with SubGenius 101 Part 3. (I did Part 2, the "Involuntary Slack Confessions" part, to END the show this time... just CUZ.) The Drs. 4 "Bob"/DK Jones instrumental background music tape was running and the Preaching Video was displayed on the big TV on stage. Earlier in the evening somebody had told me they liked the Saturday and booksigning preaching "okay, even though you were so laid back." That made me realize that I HAD been taking it easy, and I vowed to myself to make up for it by really RIPPING INTO 'EM for this devival. And I did, I mean I tried to put every ounce of sweat into it. That's a lot of sweat. You should smell my Yanni suit.
You pour energy into your rant and you expel fluid accordingly. Dr. Dynasoar and Steve Slack expelled fluids aplenty while performing their X-Day hits (the ones based on "For What It's Worth" and "Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner") with Wei back-up vocals.
Steve Slack blew the wet stage dry, spewing a really strange and heartfelt rant, not quite off the top of his head, but he had "written" it the day before during the drive to Columbus after seeing a pamphlet for Christian truckers in a truckstop. He SPAZZED OUT in the delivery. It was very personal and real, no showbiz Pinkness there. Frightening, in fact. (HoS 553 side 2)
Dr. Dynasoar read the audience his classic Dr. Seuss-based bedtime story. You alt.slack.shitz read Dyna's excellent writing CONSTANTLY and no doubt you have a "voice" in your head that goes with his posts. The REAL way that he actually SPEAKS is probably EVEN BETTER.
THE HEAD LAUNCHING
Yes, it was only a plastic replica Head, and the Time was not yet Nigh for the Arisal, but, for lack of a tee, we lodged It betwixt the thighs of a Replica Woman and Dr. Dynosoar gave it a good whack... it soared above the heads of the audience and came to rest, as usual, on a beer-stained filthy baroom floor. No wonder that Arnold asks, "Why?"
I closed the SubGenius part of the evening with SubGenius 101 Part 2, "Involuntary Slack." While ranting I kept seeing this GUY in the audience out of the corner of my eye and thinking, "Boy, it's weird how total strangers can look just like old friends when you're this HYPED"... after I finished I climbed off the stage and that staring geek walked up and IT WAS IN FACT MY OLD FRIEND BROTHER CLEVE "DONUT" DUNKAN!!! Normally of BOSTON! And accompanied by The Millionairre, of the band COMBUSTIBLE EDISON.
They were on their way to a Combustible Edison gig in Lawrence, Kansas, had stopped at a Columbus hotel for the night, and noticed the Devival in the paper.
It a GAS to be able to introduce Cleve to Princess Wei, Rev. Toth Wilder, and other Ohioan Subs, completing in some still-unknown way a great CIRCLE... Cleve himself is a veritable LOCUS of bulldada; he and The Millionaire had just returned to the states after visiting and collaborating with ESQUIVEL (!!!!!!!) and attending Mexican masked wrestler events... the coolness was so thick you could cut it still beating out of its chest with a knife, right there on the street outside Staches in Columbus. I wanted to rip Thea's clothes off her in gratitude for making this moment happen.