Saturday, February 07, 2004


“So when’s the cavalry going to come to the rescue?”
“You are the cavalry.”
“Oh fuck.”


Elizabeth, after informing us that we could have looked it up on google, sends the following on those Nigerian bank scams...

A Five Billion US$ (as of 1996, much more now) worldwide Scam which has run since the early 1980's under Successive Governments of Nigeria. It is also referred to as "Advance Fee Fraud", "419 Fraud" (Four-One-Nine) after the relevant section of the Criminal Code of Nigeria, and "The
Nigerian Connection" (mostly in Europe). However, it is usually called plain old "419" even by the Nigerians themselves. The Scam operates as follows: the target receives an unsolicited fax, email, or letter often concerning Nigeria or another African nation containing either a money laundering or other illegal proposal OR you may receive a Legal and Legitimate business proposal by normal means. Common variations on the Scam include "overinvoiced" or "double invoiced" oil or other supply and service contracts where your Bad Guys want to get the overage out of Nigeria; crude oil and other commodity deals; a "bequest" left you in a will; "money cleaning" where your Bad Guy has a lot of currency that needs to be "chemically cleaned" before it can be used and he needs the cost of the chemicals; "spoof banks" where there is supposedly money in your name already on deposit; "paying" for a purchase with a check larger than the amount required and asking for change to be advanced; fake lottery 419; and ordering items and commodities off "trading" sites on the web and then cheating the seller. The variations of Advance Fee Fraud (419) are very creative and virtually endless. At some point, the victim is asked to pay up front an Advance Fee of some sort, be it an "Advance Fee", "Transfer Tax", "Performance Bond", or to extend credit, grant COD privileges, send back "change" on an overage cashier's check or money order, whatever. If the victim pays the Fee, there are often many "Complications" which require still more advance payments until the victim either quits, runs out of money, or both. If the victim extends credit on a given transaction etc. he may also pay such fees ("nerfund" etc.), and also stiffed for the Goods or Service with NO Effective Recourse. The Nigerian Scam is, according to published reports, the Third to Fifth largest industry in Nigeria. It is the 419 Coalition view that, in effect, the elites from which successive Governments of Nigeria have been drawn ARE the Scammers - therefore, victims have little recourse in this matter.

And HC Beck sends a link for those who want to know more


I’m beginning to wonder if the comments board is going to go into overload and implode, thus proving Some Girl, and all the others who said we should do it the conventional way with a comment button after each post, absolutely right as usual. It’s starting to feel like one of those submarine movies in which the crippled sub sinks deeper and deeper while the crew sweats and the officers watch the depth gauge go into the red, and everyone wonders when it’s going to be flattened like a tin can. Like the submarine crew, we can only wait to see what happens.


From today’s NY Times...

Now let's turn to the administration's other big embarrassment, the budget deficit.
The fiscal 2005 budget report admits that this year's expected $521 billion deficit belies the rosy forecasts of 2001. But the report offers an explanation: stuff happens. "Today's budget deficits are the unavoidable result of the revenue erosion from the stock market collapse that began in early 2000, an economy recovering from recession and a nation confronting serious security threats." Sure, the administration was wrong — but so was everyone.
The trouble is that accepting that excuse requires forgetting a lot of recent history. By February 2002, when the administration released its fiscal 2003 budget, all of the bad news — the bursting of the bubble, the recession, and, yes, 9/11 — had already happened. Yet that budget projected only a $14 billion deficit this year, and a return to surpluses next year. Why did that forecast turn out so wrong? Because administration officials fudged the facts, as usual.


A strange one from Blanche...

Rosie Reid, a first year student at the University of Bristol, placed an advert on eBay offering her virginity to the highest bidder and received offers of up to £10,000 before eBay Inc. removed the auction from its website. Reid said that she came up with the idea after hearing that lots of students sell things on eBay to help keep debts under control: “I needed to raise cash and I was thinking about what I could sell. It seemed that my virginity was something really valuable, yet at the same time something I could do without. The way things are going, I’ll leave university £15,000 pounds in debt. That’s why I’m taking drastic action. With £10,000 in the bank I could work less. I could live comfortably till the end of my course and concentrate on my studies. Unless I do this I’m going to be in financial trouble.” She also reasoned that “people have sex all the time and they do it free of charge. And I don’t know many people who actually stay with the person they ever sleep with.” Her advert, which was placed earlier this month read: “Eighteen-year-old university student looking to sell virginity. Never lost it due to lesbianism. Will bung in free massage if you are any good. Picture on request.”

And HCB, who we suspect has never met a rack he didn’t like, is still fascinated with Janet Jackson making a clean breast it. I wrote “I will not go any further with JJ’s right tit.” Henry responds...

Supposing of course that she would let you. Why, I wonder, is the word pastie no longer in the world lexicon? I've only seen one photo of the malevolent mammary, but is she not wearing a star-shaped pastie? Correct me here, but isn't the lovely tittie made more respectable by the application of a nipple hubcap? I hate to keep quoting Lenny Bruce but when he was responding to the idea that tits are dirty, he said, "Not to me, Jim. I like to hug 'em and kiss 'em."

And on Buddy Holly...

ok--the first r&roll death by tragic accident, if you don't count James Dean - I'll buy that. Followed in short order by Eddie Cochrane and Patsy Cline. But the first real crash and burn R&R self-inflicted demise was to my mind, arguably, Hank. After Hank, most of them did it that-a-way.


More true courtroom absurdities from Disorder in the American Courts, courtesy of Jessica. (See yesterday’s post)

Q: Are you sexually active?
A: No, I just lie there.

CRYPTIQUEViddy well, my droogs.

Friday, February 06, 2004


You’re all probably very familiar with this kind of email...

I am Mrs Mariam Sani Abacha (Widow), the wife of Late General Sani Abacha Former Military Head of State of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who died while in office in 1998. After my husband's death and, upon the enthronement of, the present democratic elected government of OLUSEGUN OBASANJO in 1999 thus, started the probe of my husband's tenure as Military head of state over the years, during the tenure of my husband, he acquired and accumulated a lot of money while in office, stashed this funds in various banks in America, Canada, Europe and Africa but unfortunately, my husband died. However, the present Government succeeded in discovering and frozening* most of these accounts and have so far recalled some of these money back to the country, with exception of the above stated(USD$45.5 MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) deposited with a Bank in Switzerland, blah, blah, blah, etc.

(* gotta love the word frozening)

...but now the bloody things have started showing up daily, I’ve commenced to wonder what the con really is. I’m aware that it probably involves giving out your bank details to some gutterjumping cutpurse, but I would really like to know some of the details. Like, is it a straight cyberscam where a computer siphons off all your worldly, or is it one of those greed-driven progressive psychological elaborations like the old found briefcase game? I’m fascinated by the mechanics of fraud, and if someone out there can fill me in on the nuts and bolts, it would save my overtaxed brain trying to figure it out. I promise that all answers will be posted with credit and gratitude, and also be treated as a public service rendered – and if Doc40 ever finds itself in a position to be giving out free t-shirts, you’ll be the first to get one.


The anti-Bush propaganda is coming in by the ton. The sheer volume is a great comfort, demonstrating as it does there are so many of you out there who loathe the bastard as much as I do, but it’s starting to prove a tad daunting. Thus Doc40 has decided to coral it in a special section using the above title, I hope, with sufficient style to, as I said yesterday, “put boots and a duster coat back into politics.” Again I wish that Doc40 had the resources to hand out t-shirts and secret decoder rings. Maybe one day. I also just realized that LEB could also stand for Let’s Evict Bush.

So let’s start the ball rolling with a one-two from the dangerous kaymo...


Interesting to see that lots of prom Dems did military service, but not a single one of this bunch of GOP fuckwits with their raving mad itch to blow up the world ever put on army boots.


W.H.T. Bush, Dubya's Uncle, joined the board of directors of Engineered Support Systems of St. Louis, Missouri, in March 2000. W.H.T. Bush-- "Bucky" Bush, was one
of the Bush Pioneers who raised more than $100,000 for Dubya's Pres bid. ESS is a highly profitable contractor for the Defense Dept, garnering between $300 and $500 million in contracts most years. Most comes from the Army. In March 2003 ESS announced an order for 52 Chemical Biological Protected Shelter systems worth $19 Million, to bring the Army inventory up to 204 of these units. CBPS units are self-contained contamination free work areas to serve as mobile medical aid stations, field command posts etc. May 1 2003 ESS acquired TAMSCO (Technical and Management Services) a Maryland based outfit that specialises in radar systems, computer
networks and things like TDMAs (Time Division Multiple Access satellite terminals). Needless to say plenty of all these things have been bought this past year by the Pentagon for the Iraqi ops. Bucky Bush sits on the ESS audit committee and owns a considerable number of shares in the company. Bucky is also a trustee for the investment firm Lord Abbott, one of the top ten shareholders in Halliburton Corp.


Now I’ve started this, I have become quite fascinated with the Doc40 site tracking system. Today I noted the Doc got two hits from the United Arab Emirates. Welcome pal, whoever you are. Join the crew. But I guess that will get me on yet another fucking list.



Jessica has sent a bunch of courtroom absurdities from a book called Disorder in the American Courts. Here’s the first guaranteed, absolutely true-life recorded exchange. More to follow.

Q: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?
A: No.
Q: Did you check for breathing?
A: No.
Q: So then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?
A: No.
Q: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
A: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
Q: But could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
A: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law somewhere.


I have begun to worry that Doc40 is getting damned earnest and highly unsexy. I mean, two headed babies, exploding whales, and a ludicrous president are all very well, but are they enough? I will not go any further with JJ’s right tit, because this is now a media assault on our intelligence, and I suspect a weapon of neo-totalitarian dumbdown, but I have been wondering if I should post a couple of the more lurid sections of the still unsold ROCKNOVEL, and also be looking more closely at what calls itself the sexblog community. Without sex, the risk seems high of the Doc simply turning into an Ann Coulter of the left. What does everyone think? (Maybe that I should get a life?)

CRYPTIQUEHello, Danny.

Thursday, February 05, 2004


In a transparent attempt to get his lying ass off the hook over the failure to turn up any Iraqi WMDs and starting a war under false pretences, GWB has instituted an inquiry into the failure of the intelligence community to tell him what he already knew. That the inquiry is a shameless attempt to shift the blame from the White House to the Central Intelligence Agency is being swiftly confirmed by conservative pundits who, in a truly bizarre role reversal, are now damning the agency as the heart of darkness where once it was the great bastion of freedom. One of the first into the ring with this rightist newthink was NY Times resident lamebrain and lockstep Bush propagandist David Brooks, who yesterday in a confusing and unattractively written column condemned the CIA for its betrayal of the president. Here’s a snippet...

For decades, the U.S. intelligence community has propagated the myth that it possesses analytical methods that must be insulated pristinely from the hurly-burly world of politics. The C.I.A. has portrayed itself as, and been treated as, a sort of National Weather Service of global affairs. It has relied on this aura of scientific objectivity for its prestige, and to justify its large budgets, despite a record studded with error

For those of us who are old enough to remember the murders of Che Guevara, Salvador Allende or Malcolm X, or Operation Chaos that sought to link the Anti-Vietnam war movement with the Red Menace, and who maybe still have files in the Langley vaults, these developments can only produce a bitter smile.

And by a weird piece of synchronicity, a book of mine from the late 1990s, CIA – Secrets of the Company has just been republished in the UK by Chrysalis Books, with new updated chapters. The book was intended as a young persons guide to basic paranoia, but now Barnes & Noble have taken quite a substantial order for the US, and I’m wondering if the eventual readership may turn out to be right-of-Attila, GOP hard-ons. An odd prospect, although the royalties may still keep me in Jack Daniels and reefer. Lord knows something has to.

One word of warning, though, George, old boy. The last president who threatened the CIA was Jack Kennedy after he decided Allen Dulles had railroaded him into the Bay of Pigs, and we all know what happened to Jack. Maybe it would be a good idea to stay out of Dallas, know what I mean?

For a quick resume of old-time CIA–JFK conspiracy (courtesy of fidcen) try...


I have yet to completely gather my thoughts about what the Kerry surge in the Dem primaries really means. A USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll that shows Bush trailing Kerry by 53 percent to 46 percent, but, after the savage destabilization of Dean, I do see the image of a turtle. (Not unlike Homer Simpson after he ate the Guatemalan Insanity pepper.) When the head pokes out – in the form of a clear Dem frontrunner – it will be immediately hammered to a bloody pulp by the Bush media and money machine. I hope to hell I’m wrong, but time will quickly tell. I also see a potential divide between those who want a particular Dem contender elected, and those who simply and desperately want to see Bush evicted from 1600 Pennsylvania. Again, my mental ducks are not quite in a row, but we have to find away to make this a positive, and not four more years of the disaster named George.


Kaymo comes up with another horror story...


Been reading "The Sorrows of Empire" by Chalmers Johnson (author of "Blowback"). He's a Japanese oriented wonk with lots of experience. Essentially his case is that the US Military has slipped the leash and is now steadily taking control of the State. It's budget is no longer controllable by any civilian authority and we may have already reached the point where the Military decides what it's going to do and then tells the Administration. There are more than 750 US military bases around the world now, and CINCs for every continent. Some interesting questions occur. The Pentagon is said to be thinking of taking control of orbital space and forbidding other countries to put anything in orbit without American permission. Clearly this puts the US and China on collision course. Russia is fast losing the power to even fire its missiles let alone keep them in good working order. The enfeeblement of the Russian economy shows no signs of ending anytime soon. But look further down the road. Consider: US Military is the global hyperpower, cop etc. etc. But the US itself is heading into massive, systemic debt. At some point down that road the needs of the Baby Boom generation for their Social Security Checks and the demands of the Military for ever more spending are going to come in conflict. The Boomers are too big and vocal a group to be denied, unless the US suffers a military coup and becomes a full fledged fascist state. The other possibility is that the US Military would begin to charge other countries for the costs of protecting them. It might begin with "contributions" in oil and Euros, and thus progress bit by bit to the good ol' annual tribute. Once that kind of thing is established can anything hold the US back from becoming a kind of hyper-Rome, a vast parasitical military, and state, foot firmly planted on the necks of the rest of the world, imposing taxes on everyone else to fund an ever expanding Military Industrial complex?

There was a whole mess of other fine email, but I’m too tired tonight to clean up the codes. But, as Scarlett O’Hara told us, tomorrow is another day. So come on back, and I might even reveal the secret plans of The League of Extraordinary Bushwhackers and the plan to put boots and a duster coat back into politics.


This was circulating in the topless tower of CityBeat World HQ. I’m not even going to tell you what it is, except it’s fucking gross – and Dominican.


My novel Jim Morrison’s Adventures in the Afterlife was, although brilliant, hardly a runaway best seller, but now some folks who do that kind of thing have turned it into an online role-playing game called Afterlife. If you so fancy, take a look at...

CRYPTIQUEI can’t do that, Dave.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004


The word went round Worthing High School for Boys that Buddy Holly was dead. Not to diminish them, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper had also been killed in the same crash. Sad, but they didn’t signify in the same way. Holly was the gangly geek-nerd straight out of Texas, with the first Stratocaster we’d ever seen in the hands of a white boy, and it would be a couple more years before the cheap Burns and Framus copies showed up in the windows of the oh-so square music shops and piano stores, and we could handle a knocked-off surrogate for ourselves. Holly was the one that gave us hope. If he could make it with his thick glasses and buck teeth then maybe so could we. We were too young and untutored in the ways of the rama-lama at the time to be fully aware that he was touched by near-genius, or that Peggy Sue and Rave On would be rock songs of the century, and Holly would provide the Rolling Stones with their first real hit. We simply saw him as, by proxy, one of us. He wasn’t as stunningly handsome or blessed with the vocal shaman-magic of Elvis, he couldn’t hit those notes like Roy Orbison, and he didn’t have the dark frustration-rage of Gene Vincent. He was the one who brought us the word that, in rock & roll, all things were infinitely possible.

But, back on that grey, English February day, he also brought the first death in our rock & roll experience and attached a shocking sense of mortality to the music. If Buddy Holly could make it, so could we. If Buddy Holly could die, so would we. The shock resonated deep, and, for the rest of the day, we English schoolboys went through the motions of education, surly and recalcitrant, with a potential prison-riot vibe hanging in the classroom air. A secondary rumor told of a kid in Manchester who had hung himself because he could take a world in which That’ll Be The Day was all Buddy wrote. I never did find out if the rumor was true. The teachers didn’t get it, but they knew enough not to push a potentially incendiary situation. One beery math-teaching oaf was overheard to mutter something about how he was unable to fathom why we should be making such a fuss over “some bloody crooner”, and suggested, by way of explanation, that form 2B had been infected some horrible and virulent form of communicable homosexuality. Little did the oaf know that, in just seven racing years, other “bloody crooners” would be pointing us to the barricades, and the culture would be in violent upheaval.


From Larry Kirwan of the excellent band Black 47 (via HCB)

Happy James Joyce's birthday. He would have been 122 yesterday. My, how the years have flown. And on a more poignant note, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper died 45 years ago today. I was just thinking of the three of them on Sunday night during the hilarious Superbowl Half-time Show Is it just me or was there something intrinsically, mind-blowingly funny about that spectacle? Was it meant to be funny? I was in a noisy pub and couldn't hear the sound that well, so couldn't tell if the whole thing was camp or serious? I'm hoping it was the former. Then again, I'm not sure, maybe it was a bit of both - one is lost for words when trying to categorize it - perhaps, post-orange alert irony? At any rate, it's an interesting thread - sociological, if not musical - between Buddy's Stratocaster and Janet's nipple. Maybe, it's because it's five in the morning and "Macbeth had murdered sleep," but I'm also reminded of a framed picture of Che Guevara that I see from time to time. Of course, one is jaded by his commercial T-shirt likeness flaunted by everyone from Dick Cheney to my Aunt Fanny's third cousin's granddaughter. But in the wonderful picture I speak of, the man is captured in all his stormy idealistic handsomeness. I sometimes stop to look at him and wonder how he would have dealt with polls, opinion groups, town hall meetings, etc.? Would these modern artifices have given him pause, or caused him to change course? And if so would he still be alive today, an elder statesman baring opinions and revelations to Barbara Walters? Or is he better off glaring out from that lonely picture in all his moody magnificence? Oh dear, the thoughts that torment at five in the morning.

And a horror tale from Kaymo...

From this month's Scientific American we have news of – Littoral Airborne Sensor Hyperspectral – US Navy is experimenting with this system on board blimps Next time you see a blimp hovering over your zone, check it out carefully. It may be keeping you and yours under surveillance. LASH is a computerized color detection and matching system. Blimp borne cams scan the ground below seeking anomalies which are fed into the Dbase and crunched. Anything that seems out of place can then be zeroed and examined in greater detail. In Oct 2002 the feds planned to use LASH to search for muzzle flashes in the hunt for the DC sniper, but the case was solved before LASH could get into the air. While it may first be deployed to check for terrorists landing on US shores in small boats, further uses aren't difficult to imagine as the USA slides towards a police state future.


Now I suppose you could stretch a point and make the jump from LASH to erotica. Well, okay, I could. And, for those with a taste for the explicitly well written, today’s Belle de Jour is a gem.

CRYPTIQUEThose who would follow you into hell all too frequently bring their own hell with them. Just to make sure there’s enough hell to go around.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004


As you probably gathered from recent posts, I’ve been spending far too much time in the blogosphere attempting to grok the fullness of it, and today the report from the ether is categorically political. The following snippet is from the right, quoted by a solid Bush supporter who wants not only to outlaw a woman’s right to choose, and take us back (all except the rich) to the backstreet horror of pre-Roe v Wade, but also make abortion the conservative litmus test yet again. The interview with Wes Clarke is by Joseph McQuaid of the Manchester Union-Leader,

Clark: I don't think you should get the law involved in abortion.
McQuaid: At all?
Clark: Nope.
McQuaid: Late-term abortion? No limits?
Clark: Nope.
McQuaid: Anything up to delivery?
Clark: Nope, nope.
McQuaid: Anything up to the head coming out of the womb?
Clark: I say that it's up to the woman and her doctor, her conscience...You don't put the law in there.

And after that the commentary departs into a fantasy of waiting until the fetus is at it’s junior prom and killing it on the dancefloor. Meanwhile, a liberal/progressive blog offers a clip from the New York Times...

Consultants for Mr. Bush have tried in vain to get him to control his smirk. Still, the smirk slips out from time to time, as it did during the president's State of the Union address when Democrats clapped at Mr. Bush's warning that the Patriot Act, an antiterrorism law, would soon
expire. “Bush is vulnerable when that smirk rears its ugly head,” said a Republican strategist, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “It comes across as not only cocky, but arrogant, and nobody likes an arrogant politician.”

And since I so totally agree with this, let’s work the smirk, in hope the whole country sees him revealed by it as a sneering, lying, oaf-of-a-richboy with neither wit, brains, or conscience. In other words, let them see him the way I do.


Roger reminds us that this is the 45th aniversary of the death of Buddy Holly. (See comments board.) No wonder it was such a rotten and bloody day. Maybe more on the subject tomorrow.

FROM THE EMAIL (And there’s a ton of it – which is good because it saves me ranting at the end of a wet and wretched Monday.)

Doug Lunn, master bassplayer and once and future Deviant passes along the following shaggy president joke...

A lobbyist, on his way home from work in Washington, D.C., came to a dead halt in traffic and thought to himself, "Wow, this seems worse than usual."He noticed a police officer walking between the lines of stopped cars, so he rolled down his window and asked, "Officer, what's the hold-up?" The officer replied, "The President is depressed, so he stopped his motorcade and is threatening to douse himself in gasoline and set himself on fire. He says no one believes his stories about why we went to war in Iraq, or the connection between Saddam and 9-11, or that his tax cuts will help anyone except his wealthy friends; the press called him on the lie about Iraq trying to buy uranium from Niger, he and Powell are caught in their lie that the weapons inspectors were thrown out of Iraq under Clinton, and now Campbell Brown is threatening to sue him for a sexual innuendo he made at a recent press conference. So we're taking up a collection for him."
The lobbyist asks, "How much have you got so far?"
The officer replies, "About 14 gallons, but a lot of folks are still siphoning."

And our old pal Henry Cabot Beck comments, first on last weekend’s terror alert...

Well, the prognosis was that we'd get hit on Jan 7th (I got this from an inside-the-news source). and that came and went, and then we were worried about the Superbowl. and I was told last week of Jan, first week of Feb, and that doesn't seem to be happening. We're like kids waiting for dad to come home, either to punish us or bring us a present--I guess it's where anticipation meets anxiety. And cynical me keeps saying keep your gloomy forecasts to yourself--it may well fucking happen, just like death, but worrying is just tossing your energy down a suckhole, and I haven't got all that much to spare. What's more, it's the worst kind of self important self indulgence. But then you know that. Them fucking terrists. All buildup and no punchline. We've been living a shaggy dog joke for 2 1/2 years. I'm just glad I'm not Catholic--they're prefab doom clocks--original sin sundials, the whole lot.

And on the German cannibal conviction (see Saturday Jan 31st), to which HCB alerted us to in the first place...

Still doesn't explain the ten wiener/eight bun conundrum. Funny, though, that cannibalism isn't illegal in Germany. It's like that old Lenny Bruce routine about drafting legislation to deal with animal sexual abuse--there had to be a crime for the legislature to draft a law “The sheep aren't safe! What are they doing in Sacramento?”

Finally from Mike Stax, editor of Ugly Things, the great garage band ‘zine, or, as he bills it, “wild sounds from past dimensions.”

Re: the upcoming elections. Now that the media has marginalized Dean completely it seems Kerry is our only hope of salvation from Dubya. While I'm not exactly knocked out with Kerry, he does have at least three things going for him:
1) He played bass in a garage band in the 60s -- OK an East Coast prep school band, but it's oddly comforting to know that he has more than a passing acquaintance with R&R. (They were called the Electras; there's a pretty great photo of them on the Internet somewhere.)
2) He protested against the Vietnam War -- after fighting in it.
3) He could, just possibly, beat Bush.


Our homegirl hipspinster has a great blog on David Bowie live in LA at

CRYPTIQUEDon’t vex me, MacGregor!

Monday, February 02, 2004


Since George Bush has done nothing apocalyptically deranged over the weekend, the Democrat demolition derby won’t resume until tomorrow, and I’m absolutely determined not to discuss the Scott Peterson or Kobe Bryant trials, lets talk rock & roll. In fact, let’s talk rock & roll history. A very small and slightly demented part of me still feels that rock & roll shouldn’t have a history, but that’s the same reactionary part that also thinks that rock songs should be 2.45 minutes long, and come on seven-inch, black-vinyl platters that explode after exactly three weeks. The primary and more rational mind, knows damn well that all things are collected, and sold on eBay, and that everything has a history. Modern rock may be more a consumer product than a force for insurrection, Lust For Life may be a cruise line commercial, and the survivors of the MC5 may have sold out to Levis in Japan, but this is not to deny that, back in the day, the changes in the mode of the music soundly shook the walls of the city, and maybe the stories from the day should be recorded for posterity.

The problem that I’m experiencing is that I’ve spent two thirds of a lifetime in and out of the history of rock & roll, and close to more than my fair share of significant events and the damage done, and now I seem to be needed to tell the tale. In the current issue of Mojo, the brit retro-rock mag, I find myself – along with Paul McCartney, Pete Townshend, Joe Boyd, Robert Wyatt, Roger Waters, Arthur Bown and a bunch of others – all over an “oral history” of UFO, the formative London psychedelic club. (I can’t offer a link, Emap, the parent corp doesn’t run a free, online version of the mag.) The issue is billed as an “Acid Special” with stories about the Doors, Hendrix, Spirit etc., but much of it seems to have been written by guys who no only weren’t born at the time, but seem to have never taken acid in their lives, and one even has the audacity to claim that this D21C band – the abominable fake Doors with Ray Manzarek and Ian Astbury – might be better than the original, although how he can know, never having seen the fucking Doors with Jim escapes me.

On the whole, though, the Mojo experience was okay. The story of UFO is probably better told in Give The Anarchist A Cigarette, but what the hell? The writer Johnny Black called me. I had just smoked a joint, and I waxed eloquent. I figure the traditional place for the old gunfighter is in the back of the bar copping free drinks while he tells his tall tales. Johnny was phoning from England, so he couldn’t spring for the Jack and a beer back, but plenty have. Unfortunately, a whole new factor has recently come into play with the spread of email. The market used to be flooded with cheap cut’n’paste rock books that recycled other books and magazine interviews ripped off pretty much verbatim. When lawsuits finally caught up with that game, the oral history became the thing. Legs McNeil was the master of that trade, but he always at least bought dinner, and even paid Angie Bowie when she demanded money. And he knew how edit his tapes. Now we have the internet, everything has changed. At least three or four times a month, I receive questionnaires from someone who is writing a book about some facet of the sixties and seventies. At first, I dutifully responded, figuring I was consolidating myself as a (so far) living legend, but, lately, not only are the questionnaires getting longer, but I suddenly twigged that what was really going on. These writers were simply pasting together the ad hoc prose of myself and other old lags. They weren’t even transcribing tape, and certainly not springing from the booze. In fact, we were writing their fucking books for them, one email at a time. One young women, with over twenty detailed questions that needed one or two paragraph answers, grew quite miffed when I told her everything she wanted to know was in my own book, and even had the temerity to simper that she would so much rather have my fresh thoughts on the subject. Right dear, I bet you would. No copyright.

Okay, so I’m damned happy to be a living legend, but the work load is getting absurd, and all these rock histories are pure business and not part of any revolution I’m fighting. I’m not quite sure what to do about it. I know John Hopkins, another grizzled psychedelic veteran, is now charging fifty bucks an hour to reminisce. That seems tacky, but there’s got to be some solution. Maybe I’d settle for a bottle of absinthe in the mail before I start spinning the glory yarns. Doc40 is my labor of love, and, with it, I figure I gave at the office. Comments?

Oh yeah, I’m toying with my own book on the real-deal history of psychedelic music and audio mind-expansion, so publishers take note.


If any of you in the US are wondering how to buy a copy of Give The Anarchist A Cigarette or any of my other books, Borderland Books in San Francisco provides an friendly alternative to the mighty Amazon. Try their website (now updated and much improved) at and search the site, or call toll-free 888 893-4008 to order books.



As I write this, there’s a deranged guy called Dante driving round LA with his dead wife in the car, having just murdered her and burned down the family home. Simultaneously the media is in an uproar about Janet Jackson's right tit being exposed on the Superbowl halftime show. I defy anyone to maintain a perspective as the world abandons logic and probably hope. (But what was that you said? Turn off the TV?)

And Dante and Janet almost causes me to forget that today is Groundhog Day. Go Punxsutawney Phil!

CRYPTIQUEThe plugs may have been rewired.

Sunday, February 01, 2004


I’d hate to turn this into some kind of Doc40 tradition, because this site is really not at all about traditions, but since I started it last week, I figure I’ll do it again. I’m not 100% certain if this is a poem or a song lyric. Andy Colquhoun, who lately I have, through force of rotten circumstances, been neglecting abominably, composed the music for it, and we tried it out with me doing a kind of David Bowie Wild Is The Wind vocal, but my pitch over some of the changes was so fucking dubious and unlovely that we kinda put to one side, and haven’t really looked at it since. Here it is in print, and it rhymes, it’s a light piece, hardly Howl, but you decide. It’s called...

Naked Radio

Silence is the quality in this apartment
The only sound in this room is from below
An open window lower down the airshaft
A woman listening to the naked radio

Listening to the naked radio
Chained and listening to the naked radio

An announcer tells her Lucifer is falling
Is it truth or just part of the show?
Believe it at your sweet peril, darling
What they say on the naked radio

Listening to the naked radio
Are you believing the naked radio?

Did you hear about the Martian invasion?
They were here but then they had to go
Far too many people got the warning
That was broadcast on the naked radio

Listening to the naked radio
To the Martians on the naked radio

Silence is the quality in this apartment
The only sound in this room is from below
An open window lower on the airshaft
A woman listening to the naked radio

Listening to the naked radio
Chained and listening to the naked radio


Along with much personal, stuff Michael Moorcock writes that after all these years a deal has been signed for an Elric movie...

Since a piece appeared last week in USA Today, it probably isn't very secret about the movie! :) The Weitz brothers are young, hip and very literate and I finally gave in and sold Elric because I trust them to do a good job. LOTR of course has helped studios see the potential in such things.

For more on Moorcock try...


And since it’s Sunday, how about another nice quiz when tired of the Sunday papers? With all this talk of cults and cannibals on the comments board, what better than...

How Would You Murder?


And if you still don’t have anything better to do, go over to Funtopia and check out the online serial Slide On The Run. (Just hit the homepage and follow the flashing links.)

CRYPTIQUEIt’s just a hungry feeling.