JANUARY, 2002 E.A.
...all the while, the wine flows...
MY DIARY ENTRY FOR JANUARY 14, 2002 e.a.
Went with Chris Pitman to "Seanís" place - located in the so-called "Artist" District of downtown L.A. With blocks of large brick warehouses, power transformers festooned with barbed-wire and long-defunct railroad tracks in the silvering of the moon, the area had an even more post-apocalyptic vibe than our usual Sunday night haunt just off neon-splashed Hollywood Blvd. At around 10:00 PM the streets were completely deserted (I guess even the homeless have somewhere better to be). We were on a kind of lodge field-trip, to check out Jon, Sean, and Colinís * little hellfire club, a "lodge" dedicated, no doubt, to drunkenness and debauchery.
* All three are members of the "Tool Family" - Jon having been the Director of Photography for "Prison Sex", the first video that Adam directed for the band. And I believe that Sean was the bassist for an early version of Tool (?), back in the days before Paul DíAmour. Colin, too, has been around from the beginning, creating mischief by following in the tradition of the disreputable 18th-century rakes, the Franciscan Disorder, The Blasters, Bold Bucks and later Knucklebone Club, those "Hellfire" golfers at Blackheath.
Having been there once before, Chris found the place with little difficulty - a disemboweled forklift served as a landmark. After banging on the large metal door, we were greeted by Jonís familiar voice (this without any semblance of a password). Getting back in the car, we were ushered into a spacious building which turned out to be the studio of Jonís "Rocket Films."
Haze of sweetleaf mingled with noxious charcoal lighter fluid. Seated on their "patio", drinking Coronas in the flicker of a barbecue grill. Next to me was a shopping cart filled with the ingesta of the nearest Ralphís (including a huge bag of Frito-Layís classic potato chips. Damn glad these werenít sour cream or French onion, etc., which is what I expected from this bunch). Ben showed up (with a steak no less!). Deglutition of burnt beef franks served as a prelude to what became quite a grotesque spectacle of carnivorism. Danny C. arrived late due to a basketball game that he plays on Sunday evenings. Was unusually quiet as he reached into the well-stocked tub of beer and fished out a choice import. Asked Dan who won the game, only mildly interested because I knew that his team had lost all of their games so far. After a large gulp of icy amber treasure, he replied (with a deadpan expression) that they didnít get to finish the game because the captain of his team had collapsed and died. "You saw this happen", I asked? " I was the last person he ever spoke to" said Danny - this while the two discussed a strategy from the bench When I asked what happened, Danny said it was most likely a heart attack.
(NOTE: 38-year-old filmmaker, Ted Demme died of cardiac arrest on January 14, 2002 e.a. during a celebrity basketball game at the private Crossroads School in Santa Monica. Demme was the director of "Blow" and "A Lesson before Dying." He was also the nephew of Jonathan Demme ("The Silence of the Lambs"). Exact cause of death has not been determined - pending further toxicology tests).
Asked Danny what exactly his last words were? Answer: Something to the effect of "yeah, thatís okay - weíll just let it ride (or slide) for now." After a moment of silence, Ben says something. He thinks "Oh fiddlesticks" would be great last words and wonders if anyone has ever said this just prior to realizing they were about to die. More conversation about death. I suggest as a good epitaph the final words of the 16th-century humanist, Francois Rabelais: " DRAW THE CURTAINS, THE FARCE IS PLAYED OUT." Danny laughs (for the first time since arriving). Says he might have to put this on his grave. Iím a little surprised by this. "Donít you want to be cremated" I ask. "No." Dan says he wants to turn into a skeleton - this is a transformation he definitely wants to undergo.
More Margs, Coronas, etc. Digesting our supermarket prey. Feeling luxurious with my X-Mass Opus-X burning like a champ. Awaiting the eveningís proceedings (or antics more likely) which are to commence after the stroke of midnight. Same as the "Sabbath" of our quasi-Masonic lodge, it being of a lunar nature (Monday = the day of the moon).
Chris Wyse and Angelo of OWL showed up with some girls visiting from Hawaii. Jon, Sean, and Colinís band, $hitfight started to jam. Music is unique to be sure. Nice drumming and bass, and great lyrics by Jon! Something about a baby being left in the car on a sweltering afternoon while mom shops for fishsticks, nylons, etc. in Ralphís.
Peculiar beer served. NOT subterranean, but something new under the sun. (mild hangover, but definitely not a "what god did I offend?" type.) The Unholy Three: Worshippers of Bacchus (at least on ONE night a week) and Venus (in her 21st-century guise). Guiltless pleasures. yes, but NO evidence of black turnips and scarlet wine here. Learn the following day that *** was awakened at 8:00 by several firemen who were knocking on the window of his ride. Parked in his own driveway, no less. Well, at least the front tires were! This reminds me: Did Jonathan Demme direct "Cutterís Way?" Tired. Need to rest up for Jan. 17 festivities.
JANUARY 17 FESTIVITIES
The eveningís festivities began at Jonesí restaurant in Hollywood. Besides being a celebration of the holiest day of the year, the event doubled as a birthday party for our Aussie friend, Sash (who was born on Jan.16 ). After a rather enjoyable meal (no burnt beef franks here), desert was served in the form of a specially-made BLUE APPLE PIE that we brought in ourselves for the occasion (it helps to have connections).
After eating, most of us headed over to the loft. As we went about our business, at the same time (perhaps even as we toasted with gilt-silver chalices containing the Black Wine of Owls), events of a rather nefarious nature were unfolding at the winter NAMM SHOW in the Convention Center behind the Orange Curtain.
Something we did not anticipate. Evidently someone down there had more than a casual interest in Dannyís drumset. Although the show had closed for the night hours earlier, intruders were discovered in the room where the kit was on display. This was the gold Custom Craft kit fashioned from thousands of melted-down Paiste cymbals that was designed in collaboration with Jeff Ocheltree (see the July newsletter for the full story). You know, the one which contained the Templar (?) artifact that was given to Danny on our last visit to Rennes-le-Chateau. Although the intruders were discovered by security personnel (though they managed to get away), they left behind their mark. This was an "occult" symbol spray-painted in black on the wall near the drumset.
THE MASS OF ST. SECAIRE
Like many people in the Raider Nation, I was horrified by the call made during the game with the New England Patriots. For those who donít know what Iím referring to, what was CLEARLY a (game winning) FUMBLE caused by the Raider defense was upon further review ruled an incomplete forward pass, thus allowing the Patriots to maintain possession and eventually win the game.
As upset by this travesty of justice as I was, I am NOT suggesting that one of the Silver and Black faithful engage the services of a renegade priest in order to perform the Mass of St. Secaire.
Please understand that I am in NO WAY suggesting that any frustrated Raider fan find a priest proficient in the dark Arts to perform this malicious requiem Mass for the living at midnight during a waning half-moon. So donít go looking for a deserted old abbey whose gaunt remains are bathed in the pale brilliance of the moon - one with toads breeding in the stagnant water of a lichened baptismal font Ďneath the neglected gloom of its crumbling, ivied Gothic facade ( and yes, I did graduate from Miskatonic U.). Just take a time out, rowdy drunks of the Black Hole. Donít go searching the countryside for a ruined chapel with a desecrated altar having a live toad nailed to a scarlet cross amid the noxious bluish fumes of thuribles Just because you got completely screwed by a ridiculous call doesnít make it right to go out there in the gloaming with a black-coped priest reciting prayers and litanies in an unnaturally guttural voice along with the consecration of accursed elements - a triangular host of unleavened, black bread from the mill of the sepulcher and the putrid water from a well in which an unbaptised infant has been cast (how about that, singer in $hitfight). Now letís review this one more time: He was NOT throwing the football, therefore it was a FUMBLE. Címon, donít loose your temper, Raider faithful -itís only a game (a F****** PLAYOFF GAME!!!). Still, donít concern yourself with things like a moonwane. BUT if you choose not to heed my advice and manage to procure one of those zebra shirts or even his yellow flag (the bastard), donít have the priest perform the Mass of Gascony for the referee (remember, at moonwane), but, instead for the RULES! After all, it was not so much a bad call as it was a bad rule. But as for Al Davis, Iím afraid thatís another story!
I first met Victor via e-mail. Like many of you, he dropped me a note after my mini-essay on the "Star of Bethlehem" a little over a year ago. I was immediately struck by his intelligence, but even more so by his diabolical sense of humor. Despite being initiated in certain degrees of the Caliphate OTO (and spending many years of his adult life in doing so), he now referred to the Order as the Califake OTO, even going so far as uttering blasphemous praise for Kenneth Grantís Typhonian OTO! Eventually I had a chance to meet Victor. This was backstage after a Tool show in Berkeley. A couple of months ago, he came to L.A. to visit Danny C., wanting to see firsthand the dark splendors of the P.U.P. as well as the rehearsal space where virtually every Tool song was written, arranged, etc. During his brief stay, one night, after checking out the dancers in "Crazy Girls", over beers and burritos from the infamous "Chig" Shack we began discussing Dashwoodís Hellfire Club, the benign conspiracy of Freemasonry, and their connection with our Founding Fathers. After one too many, I suggested that he write something on the subject for the newsletter. Now Iím certainly glad that he followed through. Weíll have Victor write more in the future, but for now I would like to add just one thought to his essay. That is to remind interested readers that Dr. Benjamin Franklin was the co-writer with Sir Francis Dashwood in revising the Book of Common Prayer - precisely the kind of manipulation (like the "unorthodox treatment" of the Communion Service ) that the heretical Cathars and Templars were accused of doing. Sleep tight you patriotic American Christian zealots.
If you didnít get enough of Victor, check out his website at www.neuralalchemy.com. This contains a wealth of info about that entity known as Tool.
When the tabla master returns to Southern Kali-fornia, his band SWATIís next show will be on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 9:00 PM at the TEMPLE BAR - 1026 Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica. I hope to see you there. Maybe Iíll bring a friend.
NEW TOOL MERCH AVAILABLE ON WEB STORE
LONG SLEEVE Tee-shirts with Lateralus on the sleeve. SKELETON LOGO Tee-shirts, as well as "ALBUM" Tís. New keychains, and necklaces. A new cap... AND GOOD NEWS FOR THE LADIES... FINALLY, "EYE" Tís available in M, L, XL.