Seeing how there's not much going on with the band this month - other than a continuation of the writing/arranging sessions at the Loft (with things progressing nicely, I should add) - I've decided to respond to some recent email. The most asked about question came from those who listened to Danny and I recently having some fun on the "Children Of Saturn" radio program, with e-mailers wanting to know how the new Tool record was coming along? In responding to one listener, Danny said that the band was nearly finished in arranging a rather lengthy song. Now, I could be wrong, but I think that he was referring to a second long piece of music, and not the other "epic" song, which I believe has already been arranged. I also know that they have several other songs in various states of near completion (the instrumental parts, at least), but there is still quite a way to go before the actual studio recording process begins. I will try to get a better update next week, and, if so, will post it in the news section.
"This is Chris F, the person who bought the "Cursed" Drumhead from the Halloween Newsletter. I just saw the shout out you gave me on the site a few weeks ago, thanks for that. To be honest I was half surprised when the drumhead actually showed up in the mail. Considering it was only 99 cents with no shipping costs, part of me was expecting to get an email of a picture of the drumhead or some other "trick" since its was Halloween. Anyway, while the drumhead may very well had been "cursed" when it left the Tool 'Museum', the USPS must have done something to it (other than badly damaging the box it came in), because shortly after it arrived at my house, my wife and I found out she was pregnant with our first child. So the "cursed" drumhead has quickly become my good luck charm. Thought you might get a kick out of this, if all goes well maybe I'll send you a picture of the baby with the drumhead a little less then 9 months from now."
Great to hear this, other than the USPS part. Actually, we never believed for a second that the drumhead was cursed. Even Spartley, himself, didn't really believe it. In fact I recently spoke with the "Bug Man" and he told me that things were great in his world, and that - as it turned out - there were very simple explanations for what first appeared to be a series of misfortunes. First of all, it turned out that his 1964 Oldsmobile Jetfire car wasn't stolen. It was simply moved down the street by these Irish "Traveler" fellows who, while making repairs to his neighbor's roof, noticed that Spartley's driveway needed to be re-surfaced.
This they are currently in the process of fixing, along with Spartley's own roof, which upon close inspection it was determined by the contractors that it immediately needed to have the shingles sealed. The best part about the traveling handymen - being from North Carolina, though they spoke a strange language when showing Spartley photos of their pretty young wives - is that they were going to do all the work for a rock-bottom price. This included pruning the tress, painting the garage, and even offering him a fantastic deal on some automotive parts that they just happened to have in their flashy work vans. So, some very good luck there, wouldn't you say!
As for accidentally biting the head off his freakish sugar "Jesus-Peep", from the photo that I was shown, the bunny Peep's head actually looked more like "John The Baptist", so no harm there. Even the apparent loss of Spartley's prized collection of Lord Howe Island stick-insect "Tree-Lobsters" turned out to have positive consequences! Evidently, the nocturnal critters had merely awaked from some 80 years of natural hibernation and managed to break open the wooden and glass display case that they were displayed in, later crawling outside the house where they mated with fireflies, thus creating a hybrid species of large bioluminescent flightless sticks that have practical applications, such as being used as flashing beacons for airports and emergency warning lights in construction zones. Just to name a few of their commercially viable uses. If I understood Spartley correctly, a breeding program to create more of the energy free bio-luminous things has now been started, with the world-renowned entomologist set to make a lot of money. Now, if only the axed reality show "All My Mamas' Babies" would be renewed for cable television!
"Mr. Blair, Hey, from Australia! I'm writing because I believe I may have solved the mystery as to the whereabouts of TOOL's ultimate hidden track, Problem 8 (if it does indeed exist). First of all, I'm no author, so please excuse my grammar. I'm quite excited to hear this song whenever that may be. If ever at all!
I've been enjoying following your posts for a couple years now and have just recently begun attempting to pick up and piece together the Problem 8 clues and
hints you drop so regularly. I'm sure you've received emails from other Tool
listeners/readers of your newsletters whom have thrown wild guesses around before they've connected the clues as I have. But, the reason I'm confident in my findings is that since scrounging the web for information regarding the hidden track I have not come across one comment that suggests the theory I'm about to put forward. Too many People seem to be looking for mathematical equations... haha. This must be quite amusing from an insider's perspective such as your own.
You obviously have been linking many subtle and some not-so-subtle clues to certain signed drumheads for some time now. The reasons for why I believe it's now solved are as follows:
A couple of days ago when I re-read the Halloween newsletter, I noticed in particular the part speaking of this Rance Q Spartley's traumatic experiences after receiving the 'cursed drumhead' and how he blamed all his "PROBLEMs on the cursed drumhead". The entire paragraph to follow contains the hints - 'errant sigil constructed without linear exactitude', in regards to the hand drawn sigil on the signed drumhead. 'Something being disturbed from its frozen slumber', refers to the long forgotten and un-played song. You mention "removing the drumhead from the 'museum's' dusty, cobweb-festooned upper floor", and suggest that this "really was the case" (that contains the drumhead).
Other major clues are connected to the signed drumheads via the man himself, Mr
Danny Carey. The relation between Bethlehem Abortion Clinic's catalog number and Danny's old home phone number seemed to be where most people are stuck on this. lot of people are aware of this connection but as far as I can tell, they seem to be searching for a real mathematical formula among the catalog numbers, Which brings me to my personal favorite - the so called mathematical formula encoded in the Aenima spoof import catalog which I believe refers to the album cover 'Nurse Ketimella's Kit* Chen' as we know there is certainly a mathematical formula used in manufacturing the drug Ketamine. This brings our attention to the subtitle 'Kit*' taken from drum kit which also clearly makes a connection to the drumhead.
Then there's the picture uploaded of the man, standing in the 'museum' with Problem 8 on the shelf behind. I read somewhere that it's Danny's cat photo-shopped in there. On the man's head he wears the same occult symbol found on Danny's website and on your IJYNX book cover.
Note that I have not heard the song so I cannot be entirely certain the I am correct
but my research tells me that if I was to purchase a certain signed drumhead from
"Merch" next time they are available (as you've said to keep a look out for them), I
would be able to find the track physically hidden behind it, in the drumhead's case,
either on cd, vinyl or cassette. Or the drumhead itself doubles as a record... Now
that's a bit imaginative I think. Of course if there are no more to go on sale at any time then there's the matter of tracking one down which will certainly be no simple task.
Ultimately the purpose of spending hours reading into these clues is to hopefully
obtain a copy of Problem 8 'The Riemann Hypothesis'. Like a lot of other people out there, I just want to hear the damned song!
Sure I can still happily listen to Tool songs from any old album any time of day, but the thought of hearing this hidden track for the first time is rather inconceivable, if it really is a full-blown 6 minute-ish Tool song like you've suggested in the past. You've said it yourself, it's the Holy Grail of Tool merch. Some don't believe it's even exists. However, I, do. If you would please post a response on whether or not my theory is accurate, I would greatly appreciate it."
Although I appreciate the mental gymnastics, there's really NO need for any "ROOM 237" Stanley Kubrick-The Shining quest for hidden clues and perceived meanings. I have already suggested the location of a hidden track as perhaps the ultimate item of Tool memorabilia, and will stand by this despite any attempts to demonstrate otherwise.
For the time being, perhaps its best to think of "PROBLEM 8: THE RIEMANN HYPOTHESIS" (being the 'most important unresolved problem in pure mathematics, and being concerned with locations of certain non-trivial zeros) as being a TERMA of sorts - a hidden treasure waiting for a future discovery... at the approved time... when the conditions are right... in the TERTON'S mindstream.
Hey Blair, Just wondering, if Problem 8 is released on the next TooL album, which I suspect is not an unreal suspicion, will you ever reveal the original location?
The ORIGINAL location?.. as in a recording device?..
"I was wondering if the rumor of you (and Dan perhaps) were to be guests on Coast to Coast ever were true and if so, why not be guests now? The show has seemed to taken a step backward since Art and now George Noory for the most part are not hosting it. I would love to hear you and Dan share your stories of trips to Dreamland. I also recently read an older post of the newsletter that you had a negative comment about Sean David Morton..I was curious as to why?"
It is true that Art Bell sent me an invitation to come on his show with "perhaps another" to talk about our adventures at Area 51 in the min-1990s. Shortly after, before setting anything up, Art had some serious family issues to deal with, and we never got back in touch.
As for your other question, you might want to check the NOVEMBER 2001 E.A. TOOL NEWSLETTER, in which I wrote about Sean's wrong prediction concerning some kind of terrorist attack during Game 3 of the World Series between the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks. This was to occur during a full moon on Halloween, with a plane or helicopter spraying the crowd with bio-chemical agents. Well, as it turned out, Game 3 wasn't even played on Halloween - but, instead, on the day before - which one could have predicted by merely consulting nothing more mysterious than the T.V. Guide! Whether you call them psychics, or intuitives or remote viewers, it seems to that they are almost always wrong with their predictions, especially when its comes to the really big news happenings! Not that I question the possible ability for one to be psychic - I just don't see a lot of evidence for it happening... yet. As Sean replied to me - "It's not yet an exact science!" I would have to agree with this assessment, or his team of intuitive consultants might have scored the (then) $25 million dollar bounty on Bin Laden, or at least cashed in on the World Series in Vegas. As I wrote in the newsletter all those years ago, it seems like you have better odds of getting your order correct at the Jack-In-The-Box drive thru, than predicting the swarming flies of misfortune!
"I am writing this with the intent to find out who you are. I have been a TooL fan
for quite some time and like to check the website often. Recently I have been curious as too who keeps up the website and writes these news updates. I would also like to know the average view count of the toolband website, I'm interested to know how many people visit it. Thank you!"
I think what this person really wants to know is how it came to be that I was asked to write for the Tool websites. As I have explained several times before, I was just minding my own business as one of thousands (millions?) of wanna-be screenwriters in Los Angeles - about to finish my perfect Hollywood script - one that I could write the synopsis of on the back of a pack of matches, and then toss out of my car onto any busy freeway at night, whereupon it would be found by a producer and quickly made into a top grossing film - when Adam asked me if I would be interested in writing for the band's website? Although it was kind of him to ask, for many months I declined the offer, telling him that I didn't think that I was the right person for the job. To this he responded that I should just do it, adding that I could write about anything that I wanted... that, in fact, THE BAND DIDN'T WANT the newsletters and posts to be about them, but to be different from what other bands were doing. To this I reluctantly agreed, saying that I would try it for a few months, and buy him (ADAM) dinner at the pub if worked out. Well, here I am 15 years later, still wondering if I should have finished that screenplay? Probably not...
"You've really outdone yourself in your most recent installment (ah hem... joke of a
newsletter) of self indulgent drivel that truly no one other than the great ass clown that is yourself could ever give a shit about. Please stop. The people who come to this site are nothing more than impatient fans looking for news about the ongoing process that is the making of the new Tool album. You are not helping. You're simply making it more annoying. Such an easy concept to grasp... write about Tool, not your insanely egotistical ramblings. Why is that so difficult to do? Here's some advice... go start a fucking blog. This is a band's website for God's sake."
But then again...
Seeing how there's not much going on with the band this month - other than a continuation of the writing/arranging sessions at the Loft (with things progressing nicely, I should add) - I've decided to respond to some recent email. The most asked about question came from those who listened to Danny and I recently having some fun on the "Children Of Saturn" radio program, with e-mailers wanting to know how the new Tool record was coming along? In responding to one listener, Danny said that the band was nearly finished in arranging a rather lengthy song. Now, I could be wrong, but I think that he was referring to a second long piece of music, and not the other "epic" song, which I believe has already been arranged.
I also know that they have several other songs in various states of near completion (the instrumental parts, at least), but there is still quite a way to go before the actual studio recording process begins. From what I've heard, Maynard has been both listening to the new music at the Loft and receiving tracks to work on at his home. As to how much of this he has added vocals and lyrics to, I honestly don't know... I will, however, try to get a better update next week, and, if so, will post it on my blog... er... I mean in the news section.
"Dear Blair, I am one of those happily waiting for the next fruit to fall from the Tool loom. In he mean time, could you please relay the following question to Rance Q. Spartley: Dear RQS, I have recently thought of expanding my Saturday grill sides of traditionally-prepared Nomadacris Septemfasciata, wrapped in pages from the Zohar printed on, for the lack of something better, rice paper. What are your thoughts on the consumption of Schistocerca Gregaria as a more readily available addition/alternative? And, if your advice doesn't lean towards discouragement, would the same preparation technique apply?"
Ah, criquet nomade. Knowing Spartley, I'm sure he would recommend placing the red locusts on skewers to be grilled with a Moroccan spiced tomato sauce.
"I'm sorry, if I fucked up the toolarmy site back in November of 2009, I wasn't trying to cause damage I genuinely was just playing with some setting that let me change my name and was having fun, don't even know exactly what code I posted that made the message board freeze up like it did. I love Tool, Blair they're my favorite band and I've really missed the site. I've been banned for 5 years now. But I still follow the news posts and you said that you never deleted any of the trouble makers accounts, I can only guess I was grouped in that category if so could I please be a member again? Can I get at least get one word response from you or Merch? Yes or No? Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving to you and the band. If I don't hear from you, I'll have my answer. Take care."
Though it is certainly true that I have never banned or deleted anyone's account, I will have to check to see about these problems that you speak of concerning a message board "freezing up" back in 2009, and then get back to you. In the meantime, Happy Holidays to you as well!
"Is it true that if I purchase the new "Crowley Collection" high-quality tee-shirt "LUST" ($20.00) from now through DECEMBER 1, 2014, I will receive for FREE a copy of the esoteric verses-homage to Crowley entitled "IDEALITY WITH A BEAST'S TEACUP" individually SIGNED by the author?"
But, hurry, the clock is ticking...
And while you're at The Merch Collective store, check out the new CAREY "RHYTHM" 93 JERSEY!