|Dear Sir(s) and/or Madam(s) or Whomever it May Concern, Including But Not Limited To
Morphius Records and/or Paul Flum:
Congratulations on the progress of your sojourn. It is always nice to see a fellow citizen of the newly formed city-state of Baltimore grab that brass ring on the
carousel of the music business. We here at Arch of Stone Publishing, while focused mainly on literary fiction both short and novel length, are nonetheless pleased to
see an associate make good. Founding member of AOS, Mortal Arthur, has in recent years expanded the reach of the company beyond one genre to include music
as well as painting in Canada, Europe and the United States (although in the last country distribution has been difficult due to the current federal administration), so
that we might give a voice to artists of many fields who might not otherwise have a voice, and giving credit where it is due to "behind the scenes" contributors. This
brings us to the point of this correspondence.
It has been brought to our attention by one of our clients; a one Thom Payne, former frontman for infamous Baltimore accent-core trio The Pamphlets, that he has
been unnamed in any album credits of Paul Flum´s, despite the fact that he claims he has worked extensively in the studio as both musician and engineer for said
musician. Specifically, he claims that on Paul Flum´s "Lex O´ Brien Soundscape" he not only engineered half the songs while "piss drunk" and still produced a sound
"unmatched since Elvis´ ´Aloha From Hawaii´", but that he also found numerous tracks erased from the final mix without his consent, claiming that he played
bagpipes, marimbas, Kenyan death-horns and two-row button accordians throughout the album. As you may have noticed, none of these instruments are evident on
any of the tracks, nor is any written credit given to his exhaustive efforts. Also, he claims that the closing track to the "Shrimp Trawler" release was promised to be a
solo work of his entitled "Another Red Cloud Sprayed in the Bowl". Thom Payne goes further to say that he was promised that the album entitled "New Orleans
Bath" would in fact be entitled "Doin´ Beer Bongs With Jenna Bush".
These claims have not been able to be validated, as Thom Payne never bothered to get anything in writing, which explains why (ironicly enough) he is actually
working on a shrimp trawler currently positioned 60 kilometers northwest of Nuuk, Greenland. He is currently recording a solo effort under the name Bear Claw in a
shabby, 8-track studio in Kulusuluk, Greenland when the trawler docks every few weeks. We have had to follow his movements carefully as he is want to drink his
pay and pick fights with Inuits before he pays the bill for studio time, but has assured us he has recorded at least four tracks that are ready for mastering.
We at Arch of Stone Publishing are well aware that Thom Payne is not the most reliable source of information. He has made previous claims to songwriting and/or
engineering credits involving Sparklehorse, Slint, and Mariah Carey, who opted to settle out of court. We leave it up to you to tell us whether or not Thom Payne´s
claims are true. If they are, we ask that he receive the printed credit he should have. If not, please disregard this correspondence. Either way, we intend to buy him a
case of Red Bull malt liquor on your behalf.
Phineus T. Reflux, coordinating director,
Arch of Stone Publishing
|Greetings, or I believe in Icelandic, its "Danglefuhrer!",
My name is Kevin Lundahl, who until recently, just handled web management, press, and invoices for the Paul Flum Discography; but now I've added the title
'International Litigator' to my dossier.
Thank you for your brisk acknowledgement to the publishing of the Paul Flum Discography home page. We are pleased to see that those tiny volcanic island nations
like yours have fiber optics and Sovtek/Soviet 56k modems available.
We are also pleased to know of the rich moral fiber (non-optic), that your PubCo delves in, notwithstanding the pugnacious efforts of a one Thom Payne.
My crack research team was placed into motion in the early dawn hours, scrambling around searching for the whereabouts of "our hero", my boss, Mr. Flum. It was
only after happy hour concluded at Kislings's Bar and Tavern in Highlandtown, and the Rolling Rocks were no longer a buck, would he be interrogated on the
subject of your associate, Mr. Payne.
After much cajoling, the persistent grilling on previous musical associations with your client seemed hazy at best. The only comment we can put in print from Mr.
Flum, describes your client as "...a psychotic heroin tyrant who so deftly injects his habit into his own hind quarters daily..." Big Endquote.
So that puts us back to where we started. Our Clients. You have your fuzzy-headed, naval-pushup-donor over there with you, in your little crater-infested charcoal
plateau. I have my boh-swilling techno-quasi-hippie-flack-kneed prolataria-not over here in Charm City, just to torment me.
Sounds like two kings on a chessboard, my friend.
At this time, I am unable to substantiate any of the allegations that came in your Icmail (Icelandic Email?), moreover, if you decide to press on with your case, we
feel confident that your arguments will be proven 'Unsubstantial' if push came to shove in the high courts here in B-More.
Feel free to contact me with more abuse - I need practice in diffusing legal innuendo on the Cross-Atlantic scale. Without it, my chances of passing the entrance
exams to the Western Maryland College School of Law, are slim at best. In addition, I have added your email to the PFD site for all visitors to see, and hopefully
voice their opinion/opposition.
goodbye, (I believe in Icelandic, it's "YankerSteemuh")
|THE CASE :|
|THE REPLY :|
|Dear Mr. Kendahl:
Thank you for your speedy and courteous reply. I was glad to receive coorespondence from both you and David Andler, the "CEO" of Morphius Records, within twenty-four hours. While the latter claims we at Arch of Stone Publishing must have the wrong Paul Flum; as if there could be another Paul Flum, I was pleased you contacted your client and that he has acknowledged at least having an acquaintanceship with Thom Payne. Currently Arch of Stone is trying to launch a free monthly internet literary magazine that will award cash prizes to writers who are selected for this spring´s Best Of issue, which will be released on the printed page. As you might imagine, for this reason Mortal Arthur has been almost too busy to address the case between Thom Payne and Paul Flum. Almost.
Mortal Arthur had been forced to fly to Kulusuk, Greenland late last night to meet Thom Payne at the studio he is renting to give him the bad news that Paul Flum is still refusing to acknowledge the tremendous amount of effort he has put into Paul Flum´s "solo" material. Needless to say, our client was nonplussed, and went on a grain alcohol tear that left five Inuits injured, a kayak damaged, and a walrus emotionally duressed. While the walrus will make a fast recovery, things are less certain about our client. At approximately 4:00 a.m. Greenlandic time today, Thom Payne distracted Mortal Arthur with a rare Arcadia EP and ran to Kulusuk harbor. There, he hijacked the shrimp trawler which currently employs him and headed due west. Not being very proficient in cartography, he ran aground on Ellesmere Island and is currently being detained by Canadian authorities.
To cut to the chase, Thom Payne, having lived in Greenland for about the past five years, qualifies as a national of Denmark and will be released as soon as we can gather all his paycheck stubs together. This process should take a few days. I don´t have to tell you that this experience will not dampen his determination. In an early morning phone call, Thom Payne informed me that now his hate "burns with the fury of a million rabid schnauzers" and despite my objections to his groundless case, still wants to pursue.
Hopefully we can find a solution to the problem. Mr. Flum seems unwilling to acknowledge more than a passing encounter with Thom Payne, and Thom Payne, while his bruises heal, his resentment does not. Two kings on the board indeed.
Anxiously awaiting your reply,
Phineus T. Reflux, coordinating director,
Arch of Stone Publishing
|THE REACTION :|
|DangleFuhrer, Phiney Ol' Boy!,
It's great to see that all those exacerabated comments and legal transgressions haven't alleviated your charming and courteous manner and good spirits. I, for one,
often dispense from the back breaking stress caused by information overload on our planets "Information Super Highway", by blowing off some endorfins at the
nearby squash courts in my neighborhood. In some instances, I like to take a fresh cannister of balls, and play sans racquet, with my meaty palm absorbing the
punishment. Like today.
The opportunity to speak for Mr. Flum on his website, seemed like an attractive avenue early on. Plus, the perks were good - he gave me .50 cents off the price of
each CD that I bought, and .75 cents off if I bought more than four. Though you might be floored by that saints generosity, I can honestly tell you Phiney, things have
gotten totally Flummed Up around here.
Not long after towelling off post squash, i received an urgent reply in my email inbox:--
On Fri, 10 Aug 2001 16:55:59
kevin lundahl wrote:
>Do I need to worry about this?
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Send instant messages & get email alerts with Yahoo! Messenger.
Re: thom payne
Fri, 10 Aug 2001 20:01:54 -0400
"kevin lundahl" <email@example.com>
that payne character subscribes ROYALLY to his last name...if you know what i mean...in other words, he's a blank in the ass
whoops, someones coming...i've got to get back to the bunker...
It appears I've bitten off more jerky than I can digest when I elected to administer this web site. That Doc Hoo guy? Turns out THERE REALLY IS a Doc Hoo
from "Doc Hoo's Creepy Covers", and Paul Flum wasn't pulling my leg, like I stated in the aforementioned CD's press release, dated August 4, 2001.
I don't know where the fine line between clever and stupid lies between Flum and his dodgy cronies. Thom Payne? Sure, why not. Hell, maybe the goddamn Gerry
and The Pacemakers worked "behind the scenes" on this discography. I wouldn't know if they expected royalty checks in pounds, or a Baltimore Brewing
Company beer jug refill, either.
Let me make this simple - I believe the possibility exists that Payne contributed to some measure of artistic insights on some of the PFD. But without hearing a
demonstration of what Payne produced at the time - I can't fathom how you can grind the beans for your case, and expect any compensation.
Lastly, I want to wish Mr. Payne a speedy convalescence. Also, since both of us seem to support our clients creative sides, I look forward to hearing any evidence
you can produce on said recordings. Maybe check back at Payne's igloo, and see if any rough mix cassettes are strewn about, with words like "SHRIMP MIX #1"
or "N.O. BATH, first overdub", or "LEX, third take (Xylophone)" etc...
|THE ADMISSION :|
|Dear Mr. Lundahl:
Thanks for your compassion towards Thom´s well-being. Suffice it to say we are all a little flustered here ourselves. But things are beginning to settle, or at least they were until we received a communique from a one Doc Hoo. Thom Payne is now officially a subject of the Danish crown--now those are words I never thought my fingers would bring to printed page--and was subsequently released by Canadian authorities late yesterday night. Mortal Arthur returned confused and battered but nonetheless happy to possess the only live bootleg EP of failed Duran Duran side-project Arcadia. Thom Payne even received word from the Uvula brothers, who currently run a coffeeshop in Quebec City and read with great surprise about his maritime shenanigins. They plan to visit Kulusuk within the next day or so.
This communique from Doc Hoo has, to say the least, troubled Thom Payne. Apparently the words "rigadoon, page 57, choo choo" elicits quite a reaction in him. he has locked himself in the studio and is recording at a furious pace under the guidance of his engineer, Eddy Sneezing Carabou, the only Inuit left in Greenland who will talk toThom, let alone make eye contact. Occasionally from the studio we receive faxed requests here in Iceland for things we could not possibly find here, such as malt liquor, frozen microwavable fried chicken, and Morris Day and the Time´s "Ice Cream Castles" LP. Whether or not these requests have anything to do with the music he is recording or the communique from Doc Hoo remains to be seen.
As for what it is that Thom wants from Paul Flum, this too is a mystery. I have personally told Thom time and time again that without recordings his case is as legless as a quadraplegic snake, and that his demands for printed credits on Paul Flum albums is therefore not feasible. In lieu of this, he has asked me to ask you for everything from a case of Red Bull malt liquor to video recordings of the entire body of work of "The Electric Company" children´s show. I don´t know what to tell you really except: let´s wait and see what, if anything, comes out of that studio or the visit from the Uvula brothers, or what sense Thom Payne can make of the Doc Hoo communique.
Yours in law and practice,
Phineus T. Reflux, coordinating director,
Arch of Stone Publishing
Ever try searching for mercurichrome in a Charm City pharmacy? Don't waste your time. I had to settle for a .79 cent bottle of hydrogen
peroxide, to cleanse my cracking and calloused hand this afternoon. But it was my own damn fault. I headed back to the squash courts too soon,
without letting that top layer of skin heal. But I had to blow off some steam, since i'd already chewed the erasers off of a dozen Dixon
Ticonderoga #2 pencils, before brunch.
I haven't been forthright in disclosing all information regarding Paul Flum and his cronies. And now I see, you've been unfortuantely bothered
by one of those ninnies, Doc Hoo. It was I who forwarded your email address to Doc Hoo, something that I regret. I'd like to apologize for
that. Let me back up and explain what I know of Doc Hoo.
After your first email, my approach to Flum regarding the Payne accusations, drew only a cursory response. I was more inclined to simply
blow off the whole affair, dissing you in the process. But during the Flum interrogation, there was one bit of information that he revealed,
that I treated lightly. He said, "...if you wanna know anything else...hic...email doc hoo....he knows more about that danish bimbo than
I have had many correspondences with Doc Hoo, one of which I included in my last reply to you. These correspondences are getting weirder and
weirder. To make matters worse, he keeps writing using that goddamn dot.dot.dot crap, that I'm sure he stole from Louis-Ferdinand Celine.
This is what he sent today:
...feel the payne...rudi?
Tue, 14 Aug 2001 17:35:27 -0400
"Doc Hoo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
...stop your foolin' around...
...better think of your future...
...time you straighten right out....
....ah - hah....hah....
...or you'll wind up in jail....
....ah - hah....hah....
The problem here, is that I think he is emailing YOU information that is only supposed to go to Thom Payne, exclusively. He's emailing ME
gibberish that only a children's bottle of Tylenol, with the safety cap broken off, can cure. For instance, I never received that "Rigadoon,
Page 57, 'choo choo' " email from him. I told Flum about it, and he turned white as a ghost. Then he went to the bathroom, came back, and
ordered another Guinness.
No, all I get by email from him are the lyrics to "A Message To You Rudy" by The Specials. Ah - hah, indeed.
This matter concerns me more and more, because I do not know the whereabouts of Doc Hoo. To me, he exists only in cyberspace. What if he
has been trying to get a hold of Payne all of this time? He has seen the PFD, and knows where Payne is. This could become a dangerous situation,
phiney ol' boy. And I'm afraid I've stuck you square in the middle of it.
I suggest you keep your correspondences with Doc Hoo ongoing, until he can be tracked down. Befriend him, maybe you can coax his location out
of him. Flum says he's dangerous, or drunk, or both; but if too drunk, then he's not too dangerous. Forward your emails to me, and I'll let
Flum parouse them, to see if he can make heads, or tails, or a mullet out of it. As for the PFD, I'll have to inpose a blackout on our future
correspondences, in case Doc Hoo is watching.
In the meantime, I'm going to get some gauze for my hand, and a large roll of duct tape. At least that ol' Kentucky Chrome is easy to find
here in Charm City.
Godan daginn (this is Icelandic for hello. Good-bye is simply "bless", or the more formal, "vertu sael"). While Mortal Arthur continues to wear down the grooves on his Arcadia EP, stretching the limits of how many times any of us here at Arch of Stone can listen to Simon LeBon´s sissy playboy voice employing such feeble rhymes as "i´ll pull my shirt off and pray / we´re coming up on re-election day" (actual lyric), Thom Payne remains non-communicative and unreachable. The Uvula brothers arrived yesterday, and with Thom the three of them chartered a helicopter to Thule; the second northern-most city in the world. There is no running water in any of the thirty-odd cottages or the gas station; which pretty much comprises all of Thule, but the Pamphlets (is it too soon to call it a reunion? or too late? what is the operative adjective here?) are entertaining all the residents at Eddy Sneezing Carabou´s summer cottage there, going down their old playlist and introducing a couple new songs, inspired by recent events. "Dave Sandler Can Chew My Grundle" was a big hit, as were some of the other Bear Claw songs.
" . . ." : it´s called an ellipsis.
I´m one step ahead of you on the Doc Hoo thing. Dysprosium Mary, our subcriptions coordinator, accompanied the Pamphlets to Thule for the faux purpose of recording the event, and the actual puropse of finding out what she can about how much Thom knows Doc Hoo. She recorded a brief conversation between herself and Thom, and sent the transcript to us by fax (available at the gas station). Here is a sample:
Mary: Do you know who Doc Hoo is?
T: I´m asking you. Quit f@#kin with me.
M: Doc Hoo. Does that name mean anything to you?
T (after lengthy pause, menacingly): Where did you hear that name?
M: Well, he´s been trying to contact you and-
T: Did you tell him where I am?
M: No, but I think he knows-
T: Jesus motherf@#king Christ. I can´t trust you people with shit.
M: Thom, relax. So you know him?
T: No, I´m freaking out over someone I´ve never heard of.
M: Umm . . .
T: Fuck yeah, I know him.
M: Who is he?
T: He´s a (. . .garbled . . .) who used to ( . . .glass breaking . . .) with me and if he so much as ( . . .unintelligable . . .) Billy! Get yer god-damn hands off my beer before I break my foot off in your ass!
Not very revealing, I know. Still, we have at least established that the two know each other, and they are not on friendly terms. At Arch of Stone we have begun recording all calls, and making copies of both faxes and e-mails in an effort to trace the origin of Doc Hoo. No hard feelings over giving him our e-mail. You might have done us a favor.
The Pamphlets are due to return in the next day or so. I say "due to" because the Uvula brothers serve the duel purpose of being the only two people on the planet who can control Thom, as well as the only two people on the planet who can keep up with him if they choose to. We never know.
Did you know that critics called Arcadia´s first and only LP "the most pretentious album ever made"? It would be nice to produce the most "anything something" ever made.
Yours in espionage and international jet-setting,
Phineus T. Reflux, coordinating director,
Arch of Stone Publishing
I have some potential good news: we at the PFD believe Doc Hoo is a crackpot. After hearing D-Mary's report, and analysing Flum's Feelers placed in the Field (FFF), we think he might not be all that dangerous after all.
Just a little wacked.
Case in point: he has been emailing us "secret" (termed loosely) codes, most of which contain 6 characters or less. They have been quite trivial, often baseball boxscores (Os3As2), ex-girlfriends? (36DD), or profanity (EATME). By far, the most entertaining had to be WTTDHS. We cranked that one out, using our Yahoo!search engine, and we finally ended up at Women Taller Than Dustin Hoffman Society. Members include Gabrielle Riis (USA Volleyball), Nicole Kidman (Ex-Ms. Tom Cruise), and Janet Reno (Ex-US Sec of St.)
We patiently waited for the returns from Flum's Feelers in The Field - and we were mobbed with hoaxes. We sifted through the most reliable sources, and we have narrowed down Doc Hoo's location to one of three places. They are:
1) He's working as a Smitthy, hammering railroad spikes into the ground somewhere between Clear Lake, Iowa and Mason City, Iowa. Hoax? Probably.
2). He's shacked up with his ex-girlfriend, Molly Gast, in the Isle of Wight, UK. Those who know Ms. Gast, former BBC intern under The John Peel Show, think this is doubtful. Apparently, she got fired from the BBC after a Peel Session went bad in 1988. She did the forgettable "what does this button do" sketch - and instantly "A Guy Called Gerald" had portions of his session tape erased. It is unlikely she would get back together with Hoo, though some feel that this love affair, which sparked from the "Doctor Who" TV series, has run amuck.
3). He's living at his Mom and Dad's retirement condominium in White Marsh, MD. The attic, a.k.a "The Bunker", is where he is camped out, only occasionally leaving for the nearby Blockbuster Video store on 3 for 2 Tuesdays, or dropping into the Weis Supermarket for low fat Haagen-Daaz. Hoax? This received the highest response in the USA Today "Pie-Poll" we conducted. Due to our proximity, we'll check here first.
Of course, nothing is certain, and if you can help us with any of these leads, we certainly would appreciate it. We don't want Doc Hoo to trash the good name of the PFD. Our funds are starting to run dry, and as such, Flum has asked all of us to switch from the chef salad's to garden salads on casual Fridays. We do not have enough in our budget to fly to the Isle of Wight, even with the Britsh Airways Concord Special turning heads elsewhere. Our travel agent, Nina Hedgeworth, said something under her breath as she stormed out of the Baltimore Travel Plaza, that apparently wasn't under her breath. Now, we can't book a bus to the Des Moines, Iowa hub under Peter Pan Trailways....the grand-frommage there "isn't talking to us" unless Nina takes back her comment regarding his girly camel-toes. Whats one more headache?
Lastly, I hope everything went well in Thule. I am curious to hear the Bear Claw recording. Perhaps it will link it to the PFD, and Payne can at last get his credit due. As for his faxed demands to you at the AOS, I can't help you with the frozen chicken or Malt Liquor, and I don't have quite enough clout to land the "Electric Company" re-runs. But I did some digging, and I've attached a link to a rare video rendering of the 1967 Caldecott Medal winning children's book "Drummer Hoff", which you should forward to Thom Payne at once. This should keep him happy until his next shipment of demerol arrives.
Keep me abreast of any more Doc Hoo contact. See if you can crack any of his codes.
-later (american for Goodbye!)
Please excuse me for not writing sooner. Actually, I only have time for a quick note at present; my sincere apologies.
The Pamphlets, I am happy to say, have officially reunited and signed with Arch of Stone Records. They will release their first full-length work shortly.
Mortal Arthur is beginning a second novel. This one is some whiny, self-indulgent trash about his shitty childhood. Boo-hoo. Like anyone had a good childhood.
Thom Payne has received Doc Hoo´s latest code, but has not been unable to respond to it, as he has been "hungry enough to eat the asshole out of a dead skunk" to get back into the studio with the Uvula brothers.
I promise you a real letter after the weekend.
Thanking you humbly for your continuing patience,
Phineus T. Reflux, coordinating director,
Arch of Stone Publishing . . .ps . . .new business in Cambodia. More on Monday.
Congrats on your companies expansion into the recording realm. Here's hoping your foray into the record business, notwithstanding any "Arcadia" reissues, showcases the fine wealth of talent that exists in the North Atlantic. While you are diversifying your company, we here at the PFD are monopolizing the market in time-killing episodes of "Who's 'Hoo' of America's Most Wanted." Needless to say, our attempt to locate Doc Hoo last week, turned out to be an embarrasing fiasco. No luck finding him in White Marsh, MD.
I'll relate this disaster as it unfolded:
Monday, 8/20 - Larry Foster, the paperboy whose route covers the "HooHouse", calls us in the morning to let us know that he is retiring from his route. It seems that he got a new job, working Tuesday's and Thursday's at The Foot Locker at White Marsh Mall, starting tommorrow. Flum decides it would be a good idea for our traveling secretary, Nina Hedgeworth, and him to stake out the "HooHouse" a.k.a. "The Bunker", while I am supposed to shadow Larry Foster.
Tuesday, 8/21 - Flum and Nina drop me off at White Marsh Mall at 4:30P, then head a few blocks away to the "HooHouse", parking his 1988 Honda Accord across the street. Nina makes the observation that there are at least three newspapers on the Hoo lawn, including the Sunday advertising supplement, and another wrapped in plastic to keep dry. At The Foot Locker, Larry shows up promptly for his 5:30 to 9:30 shift. I duck in and out, occasionally asking when the next shipment of squash racquets arrives.
Wednesday, 8/22 - Larry's day off. I ask Flum if I can stay in the office, to catch up on PFD merchandise and email requests. He asks me to drive back out to White Marsh, since the Accord needs a jump. He had the tape deck on all night and the battery went dead. I bring out the laptop, and drive out to White Marsh. Nina begs off, heading home to shower and shave (her legs.) I notice the new paperboy doesn't retrieve the old papers left on the lawn.
Thursday, 8/23 - Larry's second day. They ask him to come in an hour earlier, 4:30, because they're swamped. The manager lets him ring up his first sale, an extra large Baltimore Ravens TShirt. Larry notices me ... he's getting suspicious...he takes his break over at the Boardwalk Fries. Back at the "HooHouse", Nina returns. She brought her boyfriends' Comcast Cable shirt with her. More later.
The Weekend, 8/24 - 8/27 : Larry and his parents head to Rehobeth Beach, Delaware for the weekend. I express to Flum how I think Larry is on to us, and also that I don't think that he and Doc Hoo are in cahoots, anyway. Flum says Hoo is smarter then I think, and that I should follow him down to the ocean. I think Flum just wants an excuse to be alone with Nina for the weekend.
Tuesday, 8/28 - Back from a long, dull, pointless, weekend in Delaware, I arrive in White Marsh at 1:30P. Flum is extremely agitated; not because no one had entered or left the "HooHouse", but because Nina was on to his advances. When she finally had enough, she urged him to put the Cable shirt on, walk up to the front door, and impersonate the Cable Guy. No Answer. Then the REAL Cable guy shows up, and wonders what the hell he's doing wearing "Willie's" shirt. Flum asks if he knows the people who live here. The Cable Guy just laughs ...no one lives there, you idiot, its the model house.
Larry doesn't show up for work at The Foot Locker. Flum rings me on my cellphone.
Me: "Hey...Larry didn't show up for his shift...what the hell is going on?"
Flum: "Nevermind...Hoo's not here, and I bet he hooked up with that little punk Larry, and they're at BlockBuster...meet me there"
Now, Phineus, at that point I could have headed home, and avoided the pending embarrassment at the video store...but in the back of my mind, I
remembered I'd been wanting to rent that lastest Coen brothers flick, anyway.
I pull into the parking lot, but I'm too late - the lights and sirens were already there. Baltimore Counties finest were called in to investigate a phoned in "bomb threat", and Flum is there prime suspect. To make matters worse, hundreds of pissed off patrons, standing in line to rent the new "Hannibal" DVD, were ridiculing Flum. The police questioned him, and well, he's not a good liar. But Nina's quick thinking saved the situation - she claims she cut Flum's cellphone off last week - and the police believe her.
Lastly, I never got to rent that Coen bros film. Larry Foster? He called The Foot Locker earlier that day and quit, because he got a better shift at The Boardwalk Fries. Once the police released Flum, he took Nina and I back to the mall for funnel cakes and California Smoothies.
With the search here at an end, we are gonna concentrate our efforts on the Isle Of Wight - and Molly Gast.
Please, PLEASE, let me know of any more Hoo contact.
Dear Mr. Lundhal:
At last, I am able to write to you with a fair amount of time to spare. Mortal Arthur´s fiction efforts continue, leaving the rest of us delegated to do the meanial tasks he
normally took care of. I myself am currently supervising in the mixing of the Bear Claw sessions. The Pamphlets reunion, however, is currently "on hold". Once again, Thom Payne has runt off (as I believe it was put in the last Coen brothers flick), this time, for Phnom Penh. He believes Doc Hoo resides here. I know; don´t ask me why either.
Apparently driven mad by repeated e-mails from Doc Hoo regarding some code, without which, the Bear Claw project would be impossible (or so alleged), Thom bought a one way ticket to Copenhagen. The stub was found in his sleeping bag. By tracing his passport number, we followed a trail that lead to Singapore and then to Cambodia.
Hold on . . .
Just received an e mail from Thom Payne. He says he is doing fine and currently chilling in Siem Reap. He has mentioned the 5-dollar-a-day 200cc motorcycles, the
1-dollar-a-litre gasoline, and the absence of any traffic laws, including those regarding possession of a license. The fact that Angow Wat, considered by many to be the
greatest archetectural feat in human history, is also here has completely escaped him.
There is little to fear in this situation. The Khmer Rouge upper escelons are currently on trial; the civil war is over and the Singapore businessmen have yet to buy up all the real estate. But landmines abound, something which I passed on to Thom. For now, Cambodia seems to be just a place he can piss off to and stretch his rock star buck to it´s limit.
He asked me also to ask you to pass on to a one Colin Seven: "This place gives whole new meaning to ´Maelstrom of Asians´ ". Whatever that means.
Good luck in your search for Doc Hoo. You´re bound to be more successful; at least you´re in the same hemisphere.
Ah Kohm (Khmer for "thank you")
Phineus T. Reflux, unappreciated thrall for
Arch of Stone Publishing
Good dog dogging, Phineus:
Just got back from the squash courts. P-Yew! Real stinky...had to break in my new squash racquet and...something is stuck to my sweaty leg...it's one of those "little yellow sticky things" placed on my chair by Paul Flum. Hmmm. He wants to meet. Let me shower, meet with him, and I'll get back to you.
O.K. where was I? Oh yeah, I was gonna tell you about the latest Molly Gast "is she, or isn't she" back at the BBC rumor, but Flum has given me even bigger news.
His band, The Uniform, just played a show on Sunday night at The Ottobar, opening up for The Fuses (their last show, temporarily). The reason he wanted to meet with me, was to chew me out for not coming to the show. I explained that I needed the entire weekend to conduct interviews and hire a software tech to hack into Doc Hoo's email account. Much more on that later.
But first here's the juicy part - I told Flum that Thom Payne had fled to Phnom Penh. He was stunned. He told me that while he was at The Ottobar, he was conversing with Rob Girardi, the gentlemen who recorded the latest Uniform record "Black and Vain" (Morphius Records), and Rob was telling him all about his summer vacation...to Cambodia. Apparently, Rob completed The Uniform recording in early June 2001 at Mt Royal Recording (The Copy Cat Bldg), and within days, boarded a trip for the island of Boli.
Flum is convinced that someone must have been eavesdropping on their conversation. Which of course, leads to this next accusation, that leaves me undone to have to put into print - Flum believes Payne has a SPY IN AMERICA!!!
I know, I know. Believe me, I'm still not over the BlockBuster fiasco either. Anyhow, the crux of his argument is that this "spy", according to Flum, must of thought that
Rob was actually Doc Hoo, since they were discussing a studio recording. Hence, the "spy" informs Payne that "Doc Hoo" (Rob) left the studio and fled to Cambodia with tape in hand...it's so preposterous, but ya gotta remember Phiney - this is the man who signs my paychecks.
But now I must tell you of the REALLY big news: I hit the jackpot with that software tech I hired. Charles "Punch it, Chewy" Backus was doing a Novell Networking
seminar in Christiana, DE when he abruptly quit ("they just don't get me!"), because he's a big Paul Flum fan ("I keep 'The Shrimptrawler' in my cars 12diskCD changer in the trunk."), AND...he's working for gratis.
After only a few hours, this kid was able to hack in, and steal this nugget:
The Tunnel , The Code, and Payne
Fri, 17 Aug 2001 21:16:53 -0400
"Doc Hoo" <email@example.com>
...what...No Response!...Silence!...I will not tolerate this insolence!!!...understand this NOW!...have you given payne my
...here in this tunnel, this phosphorus oven, plus the shrapnel at both ends, a flaming slaughterhouse from end to end, all
ready for the three of us and Bebert...and now this busybody, this officer...in the middle of all this molten metal, rails
and cars, and their Marshall Von Lubb!...and the Baltic women and their babies...gossip is right at home! nothing fazes it!
peremptory! on the nakedest summits, Everest or Nevada...it'll be there before you are! whispering, snug as a bug...or in
the heart of Vesuvius...never fear! under myriations of lava and rock and molten iron! Enough of my exaggerations! let's
get back...to the tunnel!
...you WILL pass this secret code on to Thom Payne...YOU WILL...the code is...N3794N...I'll type it again...N3794N...one
ah, what the!...I'LL KEEP DOING IT TIL YOU GET IT!...N3794N!, N3794N, N3794N...NO MORE INSOLENCE...pass it on to
payne..that is all
Wacked, dude!!! This is nowhere near the kind of email he's been sending us (bLoWmE) at the PFD. Flum says that the 'tunnel' gibberish may have been lifted from Celine's flight in the novel Rigadoon, just to throw us off track. I believe my boss has completely succumbed to Payneful Paranoia. Fortunately, the test pressing's for The Uniform's 7 inch "Dictionary of Deconstructionists" / "A. P. Hill Came To Dub" arrived today, so Flum is amusing himself with it in the PFD sound room. (Peabody Sound)
Our techie, Punch (thats what he goes by), says he's gonna run the code, N3794N, through the Yahoo! search engine to see what he can come up with. As far as Flum's
spy theory, I myself plan to model my work habits in the manner of one Arch of Stone publishing company - I've "begun recording all calls, and made copies of both faxes and e-mails in an effort to trace the origin of Doc Hoo." Or this spy.
Well, I've got to go and untie the phoneline now. Expecting a return call from Molly Gast' agent or - heaven forbid - Ms. Gast herself.
Virtual Sale, or "Bless",
P.S. I believe the correct spelling is R-U-N-N-O-F-T. Three cheers to John Turturro. Big yawn to George Clooney
|Be anything but demure, it works towards your advantage|
|THE SPY & THE HACK:|
Sua S´Dei, Mr Lundhal:
This is most bizarre, these turn of events. Mercury must be in retrograde or something. I have contacted Thom Payne, who is now in Phnom Trep, a tiny little town in the
northeast. When I breeched the question subtly about him perhaps knowing someone in Baltimore whom he might still be in contact with, he mumbled. And when I asked
him if he had run into anyone he knows in Cambodia, he grumbled. When I finally bluntly asked him if he had a spy in Baltimore he spat forth a strem of obscenities foul
enough to make Hitler wet his pants. In other words, he admitted it.
For the past few weeks, Thom Payne has been in phone contact, calling one of seven pay phones in Baltimore once a week, which was answered by an as yet unidentified
contact. Thom Payne will only tell me that this contact "knows what´s up" in the Baltimore music scene. He is also convinced that wherever Doc Hoo is now, his base of
operations is in Baltimore, and to find this base would be to cut Doc Hoo off from his life source. So it appears two hounds are on the prowl now.
Thom Payne has re-assured me that he is coming home from Cambodia when he runs out of money, is deported, or both. In the meantime, he is amusing himself by learning folk medicine from the hill tribes. God help us. Meanwhile, Mortal Arthur has asked, ney, ordered me to keep Thom Payne tacked to the map, as Mortal Arthur has plans to start an Arch of Stone Cambodian base of operations. Guess I´ll be making another field trip. Sigh.
Anyhow, thanks again for keeping me posted. Try not to sprain anything.
"Ain´t this place a geographical anomoly? Two weeks from everywhere!"
Phineus T Reflux, kissinger-like envoy,
Arch of Stone Publishing
|THE CONFIRMATION :|
|THE CODE :|
Hello again, Mr. Reflux. My ear is very tired. I am one of those few individuals who still has a telephone with not only a ringer, but also one of those long, pigtail-curling
embillical cord thingies connecting the receiver to the wall unit, that those "cordless" phone people do not possess. I'm also pro-stem cell research, if you can somehow link the analogy.
I've just been painfully bored to tears for the last hour and 35 minutes by Ms. Molly Gast. You know, sometimes when I hear individuals speak in person with this much hot air, I get the urge to flick my lighter, forgetting that they stopped filling those balloons with hydrogen a century ago...Darn. Fortuanately for Ms.Gast, though I was flicking a lighter, it was to ignite stimulus of the relaxing kind, as i nodded on agreeably to her rambling... hehehe.
Phineus, I am no closer to finding Doc Hoo. But if you want to know where Molly Gast buys her bagels, takes her dry cleaning to when "Uncle Woo's" is closed for
rennovations, gets her pumps re-heeled, rollerblades, takes her dalmation to when sick with heartworms, practices yoga, sees the cinema show (O, Brother? "Hated It!"), gets replacement belts for her Kia Sephia, sips chardonnay, spelunks, drives her sister Margaretta to (when her brother-in-law comes home pissdrunk), recites poetry on open mike nights for convalescents, plants her tulip bulbs - just give me a ring some time and I'll get you up to speed.
Hasn't heard from Hoo in eight years.
But I didn't write just to bore you with those details. A little celebration occured earlier this evening at the PFD: We've cracked the code! Well, actually, Punch cracked the
code...you know that little whipper snapper is gonna be sorely missed when he finds out that we don't have any bread to pay for his services. Punch's favorite film is "The
Big Lebowski", and all day long, he recites lines from it, whether anyone is listening or not. In fact, he's got me hooked...'so you's don't rollllll on Saturday, eh? Yah don't try any of that psych-out bullllllshit with me'....
Sorry, I got carried away. Now take a look at this plane crash photo, Phinney:
Ouch, that's gotta hurt. If you can read the markings on the wing, this is the remains of the aircraft N3794N, which crashed on February 3, 1959 in a cornfield in Mason
City, Iowa. In addition to the pilot dying on impact, there were three other noteworthy people on board who perished: Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper.
This was the "day the music died."
As you can imagine, our celebration was short-lived, followed by desperation and panic. We ignored leads placing Hoo in Clear Lake, Iowa just two short weeks ago, and
now we're too late.. We called our sources back, but apparently the "smithhy" who rolled into town from the east, rolled even quicker out of town to the west. Flum thinks that there is still a chance we can catch up with him, but Miguel Pena the trailways dude (dudette?), isn't into 'Selling you Seats on the SilverStreak' (you should hear him say it...Stopp-ppp!) without an apology from Nina, and she and her boyfriend rolled out to Virginia Beach for the weekend.
We're busless, clueless, and kicking ourselves for letting the trail go cold.
I did come up with one possible scenario that might tie together all these shenanigans between Flum, Payne, Doc Hoo, and The Spy...bear with me on this. Let's assume
(hope) that Doc Hoo was never in Clear Lake, Iowa, that the sighting was also a hoax. Maybe the code means something else, something more literal. All these gentlemen
have worked with each other (though perhaps briefly) in the field of music...what if Doc Hoo is trying to catch up with Thom Payne to work on the Bear Claw recording?
Perhaps he has already authored some elements on it already, that you are now privy to.
What if Doc Hoo knows of a musical link between Bear Claw and music by those three dead musicians, and the crash represents a warning to Payne not to publish the music fearing a similar fate? We all know what happened to George Harrison when his song "My Sweet Lord" sounded TOO MUCH like The Chiffons' "He's so Fine" ... sure, I realize thirty some odd years passed before he got stabbed, and then brain cancer, but Flum thinks I might be on to something.
Flum and Hoo apparently doodled around with a cover of "Not Fade Away" that didn't make the track list on "Doc Hoo's Creepy Covers." I'm thinking that Hoo may have
dabled with Payne in a similar manner.
Or I could just be going batty, Phineus. In any event, we are on twenty-four hour phone surveillance around here - we meaning Punch and myself, since Nina and the rest of the staff took a three day weekend. Oh, and Punch wanted me to tell you that he 'does not roll on Shabbas...'
Try my theory out with you and your staff at Arch of Stone, and let me know what you think. Who knows, it may help explain Payne's behavior as well.