JULY 23, 2001 E.V.
Hmmm... I don't know about "bogus bios", but I can guarantee that there is one thing and ONE THING ONLY in this month's newsletter that is absolutely NOT true.
And while we're on the subject of Penthouse magazine, as I was flipping through the "Pet of the Year" photos in the June issue, I realized that most of these woman (at least nine out of twelve months) had enjoyed a night of Tantric ecstasy by the candles' flicker in the hot-tub on the deck of my Malibu Canyon house this summer. And not only that, afterwards, a few even went up to make me a tasty snack.
For those fortunate enough to have tickets, the place to be on Aug. 3rd is Red Rocks in Denver, Colorado. Not only will this be the band's first show with King Crimson (featuring legendary guitarist Robert Fripp), but it will also be the unveiling of Danny's new tools - a drum set (literally) fit for a king as those of you will see when the tarp is lifted on that propitious occasion. Designed by Jeff Ocheltree in collaboration with the folks at Paiste, the gold, Custom Craft kit was made from thousands of melted-down Paiste cymbals in a process that took a lot of experimenting to perfect. (NOTE: For a year or so now, Danny has used a snare made of "recycled" cymbals.) Although much heavier (with each bass drum weighing exactly 93 pounds - making it's a drum tech's worst nightmare - sorry Joe-Paul), the set-up itself is essentially the same as his Sonor equatorial wood kits (which he will still be using except when astrologically favorable conditions warrant the gold kit) save for an additional baritone tom. Included among the bins of cymbals that were fed to the furnace was a certain much-tortured ride-cymbal that held a special significance to Danny. It was with him for many milestones in his career, going all the way back to his Carol King session days, and, although badly cracked by now, was there with him the night when Tool was signed. And so now, after a special ceremony, said cymbal was put to the "trials of the Duat, only to rise from Amenta in a glorious rebirth - now enshrined amongst the imperishable ones. But that's not the only thing that makes the new kit unique.
There are also the solid-gold rims, including an artifact from the environs of Rennes-le-Chateau in the South of France, which MAY have been part of the legendary treasure of Jerusalem and/or the cache of the Knights Templar believed to be buried amongst the labyrinth of cave-systems in the Rennes valley.
For obvious legal reasons, I can't reveal too much about this artifact - only that the decision to melt it down as part of the drums' gold rims bespeaks of a possible sober reality connected with the Rennes affair. Those already familiar with the story surrounding Berenger Sauniere and his sudden fabulous wealth may recall the words of the priest's housekeeper and confidante, Marie Denarnaud, who used to tell some of the locals (and visitors) that "the people who live here are walking on gold without knowing it" and that "with what the Monsieur le Cure has left, one could feed all of Rennes for a hundred years and there would still be some left." (NOTE: for more information on the Rennes mystery, see my LA TOUR MAGDALA on this Website You will, however, have to "find" this on your own - which many already have.)
During our visit to the village several years ago, as we were taking careful measurements of the priest's neo-Gothic tower (La Tour Magdala), we noticed that workers had dug trenches near the local church and were, ostensibly at least, working on the water pipes. However, as luck would have it, one of those with us was a building contractor with much knowledge and experience with such things. After watching the men who were working on the pipes, he concluded that, despite giving the impression to outsiders (those without the knowledge of such things) that they were engaged in a sewer repair or similar project, they were actually involved in something a bit more clandestine - perhaps even digging for the entrance to a tunnel system. It was after confronting one of them about this, that we received (a year later) a souvenir of sorts.
This would seem to lend credence to certain ideas proposed by the authors of "WEB OF GOLD - THE SECRET POWER OF A SACRED TREASURE". In their important book, they recount the story of a medieval counterfeiting operation carried out near Rennes-le-Chateau. It was in 1339, about 25 years after the arrest and suppression of the Knights Templar, that the counterfeiters were discovered. But, the strange thing about this particular operation, and what was even more alarming than the fake coins themselves, was that those now in circulation contained a HIGHER GOLD CONTENT than the king's official currency! Did someone in the area privy to the whereabouts of the Templars treasure mint the counterfeit coins as a way of laundering the Order's treasure. And if so, how many others have discovered this unlimited wealth - pecunian infinitum - and laundered it in different ways?
Another example might be that of the famous French alchemist, Nicolas Flamel (born in 1330), whom we have dealt with in past newsletters.
Having obtained a cryptic book, "THE SACRED BOOK OF ABRAHAM THE JEW, PRINCE, LEVITE, ASTROLOGER AND PHILOSOPHER TO THAT TRIBE OF JEWS WHO BY THE WRATH OF GOD WERE DISPERSED AMONGST THE GAULS" that enabled him to transmute baser metals into gold, Flamel finally achieved success on January 17 (a date that recurs many times in the Rennes mystery), after which he became incredibly wealthy - a fact that is fully documented.
But did the book allow Flamel to discover the secrets of alchemy OR the secret location of the legendary treasure in the Rennes valley? Did he merely use alchemy as an ingenious way to explain the source of his wealth - to, so to speak, launder the money?
In his book, GENESET: TARGET EARTH, David Wood gives us an example of reverse alchemy - describing an "Alchemist's Tower" at Rennes that may have been used to take molten down gold (a melted-down golden statue or the legendary treasure of the Templars) and turn it into gold pebbles the size of grape shot by pouring it through a wire-mesh and cooling it in a tank of water. These gold pebbles were then coated with clay and baked in a special oven. Now looking like ordinary stones, they were scattered in a local stream where they were safely hidden from all until they were ready to be gathered. Students of the Rennes mystery may recall that the priest used to go on walks in the countryside, often returning with a sack of rocks to be used to decorate his garden - or so he claimed.
So when you see the new kit, think about the ancient history contained therein.
It has come to my attention that many Tool autographs being auctioned off on E-BAY are forgeries. Yes, that's right - some are bogus, especially those being sold by the same individual over and over who offers his own certificate of authenticity!!! The truth is, there aren't that many CDs, posters, etc. that have been signed by the band members, and yet, there's practically a cottage industry of signed things out there. How can this possibly be? It's fairly easy to scribble an MJK, and it is Maynard's signature is most often for sale. I (along with Danny) have even seen forgeries in which the forger has attempted to duplicate Danny's trademark pentacle. I wonder if this scam-artist has given any thought to what the occult repercussions of doing such a dangerous thing might be? If you think you've been ripped off, I would confront the seller and/or E-BAY to try and get your money back. This is not to say that all items are forgeries - a few are genuine. Remember that they did sign a limited number of "Salival" box sets. And, by the way, due to Danny's recent experiments in what Kenneth Grant calls the "Mauve Zone", as of August 3rd, he will ONLY SIGN HIS NAME IN PURPLE INK. So, if you want Danny to sign something, it would behoove you to carry a purple pen. You forgers please take note of this fact.
Before trying to answer some of your questions, please note that, while I am happy to respond to most of your e-mails, please don't ask me about getting tickets or backstage passes. I have NO control over these things and, besides, these things usually happen organically - that is to say, they are rarely planned out in advance.
Q: What books are the band members currently reading?
A: I'm not sure what MAYNARD is reading, but I know he recently acquired as a gift a first edition copy of "THE EGYPTIAN BOOK OF THE DEAD" published in 1895 by the order of the trustees of the British Museum. This spectacular edition of "The Papyrus of Ani" might be too fragile (and valuable) to take on the bus, but I'll bet Maynard's spent some time at home looking it over.
ADAM may be reading a copy of the MALLEUS MALEFICARUM (the Hammer of Witchcraft) written by Kramer and Sprenger and translated by the Reverend Montague Summers. First published in 1486 (or 1489), for three hundred years this was the professional manual used by interrogators of the Roman Catholic Inquisition and magistrates when trying so-called witches. Therefore, it has been called "without question the most sinister work on demonology ever written." Today, it serves as a fascinating study (and reminder) for psychologists and others interested in the medieval mindset - that is the tragic consequences as a result of a medieval mind confronted with forces (naturally occurring in nature) that could be best explained by witchcraft. For another interesting read on this subject, I recommend "A MAGGOT" by John Fowles. This book, written in 1985, deals with a UFO landing in the early 1700s and the inquiry undertaken by the authorities with all those who witnessed the event.
JUSTIN is reading the facsimile of the VOYNICH MANUSCRIPT that I obtained from the Beinecke Rare Book Room at Yale University (MS 408). Well, actually, he's just looking at the pictures. That's because, to date, NO ONE has been able to read what is known as "the most mysterious manuscript in the world" - this despite being the focus of intense scholarship. The medieval manuscript first came to the attention of researchers around 1920 after it was discovered in an old chest in a Jesuit collage in Italy. It was later purchased by an American dealer in rare books by the name of Wilfred Voynich and its 204 pages have been one hell of a puzzle every since. Besides having pages written in no known language, the manuscript includes a series of bizarre drawings. These are astronomical diagrams, female nudes in a bath of sorts, and drawings of colorful plants the likes of which have never been identified. In short, the illustrations are as mysterious as the enigmatic script. Some of them may be microscopic depictions of spermatozoa or drawings of the spiral galaxy of the Andromeda nebula as viewed through a telescope.
Some believe the VMS to be the work of Roger Bacon, while others claim that it was once in the library of the Elizabethan magician, Dr. John Dee. Because of the Dee connection, a few have even tried to link the VMS with the infamous Necronomicon. Indeed, to many, the work does have the appearance of a grimoire of sorts (a manual of magick, that is), and there is good reason to believe that it was once in Dee's possession. But there are as many opinions as there are questions about the manuscript. From the illustrations alone, the VMS has been called a medieval gynecological text, an alchemical herbal, and an eyewitness description of the Endura Rite of the Cathars. However, with reference to the John Dee connection, I offer this little beauty:
When I was researching how to obtain a photographic copy of the VMS, I learned that someone named Jim Gillogy "maintains a publicly accessible collection of VMS information, much of it taken from the VMS mailing lists' traffic" and that "a copy of that information as of 17, JANUARY is obtainable." JANUARY 17 - now where have I seen that date before! If you don't believe me, or think this is "bogus", then do a web search and check it out for yourself.
DANNY recently finished reading "URIEL'S MACHINE" by Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas. The authors of "The Hiram Key" have written another fascinating book in which they hypothesize that an advanced prehistoric civilization in the British Isles (who they identify as the "Grooved Ware People") - those responsible for Stonehenge and other megalithic structures, may have been the founders of civilization in various parts of the globe including Sumer. Realizing that fragments of a comet will strike the earth creating a global cataclysm, the megalithic people set out to teach others their megalithic astronomy, mathematics, standard of measurements, etc. in order to both warn of the cometary impact and preserve their science in the event of a global catastrophe. It was a member of these megalithic people, the angel Uriel who taught these sciences to Enoch, the great grandfather of Noah, as it is recorded in "The Book of Enoch" and preserved in the rites and traditions of Freemasonry. I have also read the book, and plan on reading it again to write about in a future newsletter - such is its importance.
If anyone cares, I recently read something that was even more horrifying than the Malleus Maleficarum. It's called "The Field Guide to the Spiders of Australia."
Here are some photos taken at a little 4th of July get together at the home of the band's business manager, Victoria. For the occasion, a friend of ours, chef Ryan Solien, made a hell of a meal before he left to cook for GODSMACK on their current tour. As you can see, Tool's raucous rhythm section showed up to put away food and drink. At one point, we took Justin down to meet the guy who works the gate, a fellow named Raymond Hendrix who happens to be a cousin of Jimi. We took him appetizers but spaced on the main course, a situation that we later rectified with a good bottle of cognac. When they finally ran out of liquid, we moved the party to Justin's house in one of L.A.'s UFO-infested canyons.
I get a lot of e-mails from people who want to know what's going on with friends of the band who played on Tool records or were involved with members of the band in other musical projects. Well, at Danny's surprise birthday party back in May, I had a chance to catch up on what's going on with many of these people.
Of course the tabla master, ALOKE DUTTA was there, performing his finger-magic on an empty mini-keg of Becks as Danny accompanied him with two spent Corona bottles. This impromptu performance went over so well, that they were asked to repeat it at the July 4th grill. Aloke's new percussion quartet, SWATI will be performing at the Temple Bar in Santa Monica on August 26th. The club is located at 1026 Wilshire Blvd and the show starts at 9PM. The quartet is composed of Jason Hann on djembe-cajon, Brad Dutz on frame drums, Danny Frankel on bongos and other fun things and the master, himself, on tabla. Having seen Danny's new set, I understand Aloke went out and got a pair of gold-plated tabla, snubbing thousands of years of tradition that utilized nickel-chromium plating over copper. If you are in the area, you should definitely go hear the master - Aloke never ceases to amaze. By the way, a belated happy birthday to Aloke. We surprised him with the traditional cobra popping out of a cake - just kidding, it was a girl from Jumbos.
Who remembers Lusk: The brainchild of ex-Tool bassist PAUL D'AMOUR and Zaum maestro, CHRIS PITMAN that featured the am radio hit "Blair's Spiders?" Well, Lusk's live bassist, CHRIS WYSE (recently on tour with The Cult) was also in attendance, along with keyboardist/synth-wiz, ANGELO PALAZZO. Both are now members of "OWL", a band with a very unique sound that you might find to your liking. For more information about this trio of excellent musicians, and their latest experiment, visit their Website: www.owltheband.com.
And finally, I would like to share with you one of my favorite e-mails. This came from Bob Carey, who just happens to be Danny's father. Having read about Amsterdam's Red Light District in the June newsletter, Bob sent me an e-mail in which he lamented the fact that "it sounded like fun, but that he was getting too old for that much excitement!"
Keeping in mind that he accompanied us on our trip to the South of France a few years ago in which we climbed to the top of Montsegur, I sent the following reply:
"Bob, I can assure you that partying in the Red Light was much easier than climbing up MontSegur during a blinding snowstorm."
To which he replied: "Yeah, but which was more slippery?"
Regards, father Bob
(Note that father is spelled with a small "f" - I don't want to throw the Vatican into shock).