1985.04.02 tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE interviewed by Tim Clifford over the phone live on WMFO 91.5, Tufts University radio
Click on the above link to download the interview (the 1st track - although the 2nd track is a remix of it also worth listening to) as an audio file.
[interviewee's note: There's nothing quite like having your place set fire to by an arsonist coincide with having a gig that you've spent the last of your money on be cancelled because the management's afraid of you followed by being knifed by someone on the streets followed by getting a fortune cookie with no fortune in it followed by being awoken late at night for a radio interview.
In case you can't tell, this was a low point in my life during which my sense of humor was a bit grim. Nonetheless, there're some interesting bits about BalTimOre's independent arts festival, the Ad Hoc Fiasco, & my tape label [still going as of 2014] WIdémoUTH Tapes, & "Blaster" Al Ackerman.
In the recording I'm working from, my voice is under-recorded (especially at 1st), very soft, & I apparently boosted it somewhere along the line which also brought up hiss. It's often difficult for me to understand what I'm saying. I think I must've been asleep when he called & I yawn throughout much of the time. I've attempted to transcribe it here but I don't go to great lengths so I leave a few parts untranscribed. After a few minutes it becomes consistently comprehensible. - September 5, 2014 notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE]
[dial tone followed by touch tones followed by ringing followed by phone picked up]
tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE: Zende bad Betoor Ahzmayesh. Rahettee!
Tim Clifford: Hello.
TC: Is this tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE?
t,ac: [inaudible: probably: "Mmhhmm"]
TC: Hello, my name's Tim.
TC: Yes, it is. I just talked to Richard & he gave me your phone number here - to duscuss, uh, the Ad Hoc Fiasco.
t,ac: To discuss the Ad Hoc Fiasco?
TC: Well, yeah, that, & among other things.. Widemouth, I dunno, projects, whatever, you'd like to tell our listeners, few though they may be..
t,ac: Is this live?
TC: This is a live broadcast.
t,ac: I wish I could talk backwards.
TC: I wish you could too.
t,ac: So everybody [difficult to make out]
TC: either that or they'd have to record it & play it back on a reel-to-reel. So, anyway, what.. you sound rather out-of-it, do you have words of wisdom to impart or.. are you?
t,ac: Mmm, well I have the usual slogans: "Anything is Anything", "Stop Normality Before It Stops You", "No More Punching Bag Clowns" & at least one other one at the moment that I'm not remembering..
TC: So these are all the trademarks?
t,ac: [laughs] Yeah, it's pretty bad that I can't even remember my own slogans. The last one's a Fill-in-the-Blank [incomprehensible] [yawns..] I could tell the story of my last week.
the outside of the building I lived in the day after the fire
Monday night I learned that the building where I reside had a big fire on the 1st floor & it gutted the place causing smoke damage & firemen damage to the floors that I lived in..
close-up of the wreckage on the sidewalk
something that DID melt in my 2 floor apartment
a relevant poster on my apartment wall - now covered in soot with traces of water rivulets from the fire hoses
a view of my bedroom after the firemen had axed in the ceiling & tromped around
TC: That's no good.
t,ac: So, I was scheduled to have a film &/or vaudeo show & that was cancelled partially due to paranoia on the part of the institution it was supposed to occur in the building of..
t,ac: &, then, somone insulted me on the streets & I turned around & kicked the guy in the chest & ended up getting knifed as a result [yawning while speaking] - all within the space of basically 2 days & then Friday night I went to a Chinese restaurant & got a fortune cookie with no fortune in it for the 1st time in my life - which I thought was the perfect punchline to the week.
TC: That sounds like some week.
t,ac: Yeah, I'm quite proud of it.
TC: So is this typical of your life? Or was this exceptional?
t,ac: Fortunately, it's atypical in some respects - a little more concentrated in its violence. Friends of mine who believe in karma think that I paid off alotof karma.
TC: So what did the person who insulted you on the street say?
t,ac: Oh he just said something about how stupid I looked. He was drunk & the irony of it was that he was a young punk with a Mohawk. I didn't even see who it was until I'd already turned around & kicked him basically. [yawning]
TC: Well, for those out there who don't know you what's you hairstyle now? Is it a question mark? Or is it something new?
t,ac: No, the Question Mark, & the For Example, & the so-called Asymettrical Circle & the Moustaches around my head are all gone now. I think my hair's fairly normal looking - although my next project, one of my next projects is to get a tattoo of a brain on my head with the edges of the brain being like fuses that're sputtering
view of the back of my head with the finished 3D brain tattoo (1987)
& I want to have a DNA spiral emanating from my crotch
my DNA tattoo (1986)
& crossed-bones on my chest
my crossed-bones tattoo (1986)
- all of which I think should be an amusing tattoo combination.
TC: You'd be the talk-of-the-town. I'm sure you'd be the 1st one on your block, anyway.
TC: - if nothing else. So that would be some sort of personal satisfaction.
TC: - gleaned from that..
t,ac: Maybe I could start working for a heart fund.
TC: So what's the deal with the Ad Hoc Fiasco? It says on the flier I got that it's the "3rd Annual" - you've had 2 previously I take it?
t,ac: Actually, Richard would've been a better person to interview about this because I'm only very peripherally connected to it, but, yes, it is the 3rd one & there have been 2 benefist - the 1st of which was called "Ad Hoc Fiasco Medical Benefit", the 2nd of which was called the "In Hoc Fiasco Medical Benefit" & [yawns] the Fiascoes themselves are large outdoor events meant to.. uh.. be.. socially viable for a large variety of people
TC: So, did you do performance or outdoor art or something along those lines for the previous ones?
t,ac: Well, usually I don't have much of anything to do with them because they're framed as art events & I don't like to associate myself with such things - I only like to primarily frame myself as a Mad Scientist / d composer / Sound Thinker / T ho ugh t Collector / As Been although I've thought that as an art project it would be best to frame myself for murder sometime - that'd be a particularly interesting art project
t,ac: - framing myself for my own murder - if I could pull it off - that's a project for way in the future, though, I think. Um [yawns] although I did think last year planting mines around the park as an Ad Hoc Fiasco project but I decided against that. This year I was thinking of burying myself alive & leaving clues to everyone who would come to the Fiasco as to where I would be - they woul;d have to find me by the end of the weekend or I would suffocate [laughs] - I doubt that I'll do that either
TC: [laughs] I certainly imagine the ideas nonetheless.
t,ac: Well, it's partially inspired by the kidnapping of a woman that occurred many years ago. She was, um.. she was put inside an underground cement, uh, rectangle, whatever, cube.. what's the word for a 3-dimenionsla rectangle? [yawns] I don't know.. It might be.. There was an exhaust system in the tomb & she was provided with water & tranquilisers & instructions & told that she could live inside this tomb for something like a week if she didn't move around too much or try to scream or whatever &, uh [yawns], I think she was buried right near the motel where her kidnappers had been staying.. I forget the deal but eventually they did find her - fortunately for her, she didn't suffocate. I saw that as a rather inspiring kidnapping.
TC: [laughs] That's certainly a BalTimOre legend I'd say.
t,ac: So, but anyway, well actually that kidnapping didn't occur in BalTimOre I don't know where it was
TC: Oh I see. Sounds like something that would though.
t,ac: Well in BalTimOre if it had happened they wouldn't have found the woman in the coffin unfortunately.. So, as far as things that've happened at previous Fiascos: last year, a woman named Laure Drogoul rented a cow from a farm & made a giant facsimile of a hamburger roll - actually it was a cow & a calf &, um, this giant facsimile of a hamburger roll was the pen for the cow & the calf but they stood inside this facsimile of a hamburger roll & she set up a hamburger stand next to it & sold hamburgers
TC: [?] That sounds like it would be worth the trip for that alone - I mean, that must've been some spectacle
t,ac: Well, the hamburger roll wasn't too convincing but
TC: but aside from that
t,ac: I thought it was pretty funny & she did manage to make up through selling hamburgers the cost of renting the cows which was fairly expensive & then, uh, a fellow named Doug Retzler made a, uh, foam facsimile of himself as an angel with his arms holding a video camera, an actual video camera which had 75 feet of cable attached to it & with the aid of helium balloons he floated it overtop the Fiasco so that people who were holding the guide wires could move the angel around & control somewhat how it shot the footage below &, as a part of the footage below, there were giant letters which Richard had provided which people could spell out messages with - [yawns] all of which was seen from 75 feet above. Did you talk with Richard about any of this?
TC: Not that much, I told him that I expected to get you because I thought that that was your AGENT-16 handle &, uh, he said if you want to talk to tENTATIVELY I can give you this number, so.. I didn't really talk to him in too much detail - but, um, do you ahve musical & poetry & other sorts of, uh, sound events going on simultaneously with this?
t,ac: Mm.. Last year there were 3 stages - one of which was for "Christmas in July' - which is an annual party organized by "The Severn Instritute" from Annapolis - which involves the giving away of records by throwing them at the audience or throwing them out in UFO fashion & another stage was for poetry & another was for music & things were somewhat staggered but since they were a fair distance from each other over the park [yawns] they didn't need to be too staggered.. um.. [coughs] OooHOhoh..
t,ac: But I think that's probably enough about the Ad Hoc Fiasco subject since you mentioned the possibility of my plugging Widemouth Tapes which I now refer to as WI-deemo-OUTH Tapes
t,ac: démo, actually, WI-démo-UTH Tapes because, uh, the 1st 26 tapes were.. that I copublished, or whatever, I refer to as "Widemouth Tapes" & the new set that I'm putting out now are called "démo tapes" & since "démo" is spelled "d", "e", accent aigu , "m", "o", & since the 3rd through 6th letters in Widemouth are also "d", "e", "m", "o" I just put the accent aigu on that reformed syllable so that it becomes WI-démo-UTH tapes of which there are now 25 actually available.
TC: So you mean altogther with Widemouth & WIdémoUTH there are 51 tapes at the moment?
t,ac: No, um, ultimately with those 2 together there will be 54 but, um, there's actually only one démo tape or WIdémoUTH tape & there's actually only 24 currently available Widemouth Tapes even though there're supposed to be 26 - one for eah letter of the English alphabet, there're 28..
TC: Which? Which? Why? Have some been deleted?
t,ac: Well, one of them hasn't been put out yet although it's been planned to be put out & another one needs to be reissued with the assistance of the person whose tape it is..
TC: So in strict terms what's the most recent? What is the latest one you've issued?
t,ac: "Sinnit-Nut Hollow Earth Symposium" which is a quasi-documentary residue from an event of the same name - 6 people went to a cave called "Nut Cave" & stayed in the cave for 24 hours conducting a Hollow Earth Symposium in which we discussed various Hollow Earth belieefs & premiered a 20 minute tape made by Al Ackerman in Texas
TC: I've corresponded with Al, he's a, he's a person worth getting in touch with.
t,ac: I'll send you a copy of this tape if & when Widemouth goes back into production which would require organization out of the chaos of the firemen damage
TC: Oh, did alotof your.. I hope that your originals didn't get, uh, sacked in the fire.
t,ac: Mm, No, basically everything's a different color now - but it hasn't melted & it's still in one piece.
TC: Right. So is Al a prolific person as far as sound goes? Does he put out alotof tapes/
t,ac: He's [coughs] very prolific & this tape that he made is a "Dredradiophone" tape. I don't know if you ever heard any of those.
TC: I wrote for "The Laughing Postman", uh, but he said that he doesn't have the original anymore beause the person who appeared on it, who did the voice, I guess, was, uh, some sort of neur- [drop-out] himself that the Laughing Postman Dredradiophone Theater #1 tape was like the only worthwhile piece of art he'd ever done in his life & he came to Ackerman begging him to give him a copy of the tape so that he could, you know, show them to everyone to let them know what a great creative person he was & Ackerman said that he was so insistent & was so, was so obsessed with the tape that he said it was the least he could do to give him the 3 remaining copies that he had of the cassette.
t,ac: I'll try to remember to send you a copy of it.
TC: That's the one that you're referring to that you used?
t,ac: No, no, this is a new one that was called "The Sinnit-Nut Mystery".
TC: You have the 1st one? The Laughing Postman?
t,ac: Yeah, I have that. I can send you a copy of it..
TC: Yeah, cause he has no way of sending that out now.
t,ac: He described that particular one as being what, uh, Inner Sanctum would've looked like if the drunkern janitors would have locked the cast in the closet & taken over & continued to drink throughout the whole time. I think that's a very apt description.
TC: That's "The Laughing Postman"?
TC: That sounds good, I'd like to, uh, you know, I'll try to drop you a blank, uh, it's, uh, I'll drop you a blank tape in the mail - just fill it up.
t,ac: OK, yeah, send me a note to remind me to do it. I'll probably remember anyway.
TC: Yeah, yeah. But it's good to hear that you ahve that 'cause I was interested to hear his stuff & the only thing that I know of, besides that, is "Hamburger Lady" is his, uh, work or whatever.
t,ac: Well, now there's the Hollow Earth Symposium tape.
TC: That's going to be available through you?
t,ac: Yeah, it is available now. I'll send you a copy of that too.
TC: So, anyway, well I want to cut this short so I won't have to pay the station too much for the call but, um I would like you to give the address to everyone out there - or anyone out there who might want to write to Widemouth Tapes & tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE.
t,ac: It is: "b. o. pox 382, Crater BalTimOre, Maryland, 21203, us of anarchy, Earth". I'll repeat that: b. o. pox 382, Crater BalTimOre, Maryland," - which can be abbreviated MD as in Medical Doctor
TC: Or Medical Deviant.
t,ac: [laughs] - "21203, us of anarchy," - or circled a - "Earth"
TC: Does the "Crater" interfere with the mailing?
TC: It doesn't throw off The Laughing Postman?
t,ac: M, m. In fact it'll make it easier for a post-nuclear holocaust postman.
TC: Oh they'll bring it right to the crater of BalTimOre.
t,ac: Yeah, for those of you who don't know, um, postage is free, delivery of mail is free & all 1st class after a nuclear holocaust.
TC: & in case of anyone that doesn't know what to do or what to say when they write to, uh, tENT they just ask him for the catalog
t,ac: Or whatever..
TC: & you'll find out, you'll find out what there is, what you have to offer.
t,ac: SO, Tink Thanks for calling me.
TC: Ok. I appreciate your talking to me at this late hour but, unfortunately, this is my graveyard shift, so if I wanted to do it live on the air I had no choice but to do it now
t,ac: Pleasant Waking Dreams to all of you.
TC: OK, &, um, lest you forget, we're listening to MFO, WMFO in Medford, 91.5FM with tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
t,ac: Otherwise known as Betoor Ahzmayesh. Rahettee.
TC: Or Tim Ore.
t,ac: Or id ntity, or E G Head, or David A. Bannister, or Monty Cantsin
TC: Or numerous other pseuodnyms that you might care to make up at a later date. Anyway, it's been fun & you'll be hearing from me through the mails
t,ac: Ok, bye.
TC: Ok, bye.
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