1983.10.28 tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE & Ron Cummings on WJHU

Click on the above link to download the interview (tracks 9 to 12) as an audio file.

[interviewee's note: I was living in a neighborhood full of street drunks & other desperadoes in South BalTimOre & most of the buildings around me were deserted by their owners. As such, they were occupied by the drunks who were a VERY violent crowd. Instead of calling the cops on them (we shared an alleyway & a courtyard so I had plenty of contact with them) I was friendly with them even though they were bad neighbors to an extreme. They were always fighting & trashing the whole area. Nonetheless, I thought "live & let live" or some anarchist variation on that. My windows got broken by them & I STILL didn't call the cops. After all, I was pretty desperate at the time too. I could relate.

One of the more psychotic drunks, Norman, had taken a dislike to me & took it upon himself to threaten me & to try to blackmail me. He had come into the apartment during the "7th International Neoist Apartment festival" that I organized in 1983 & imagined that he'd learned something from that that he could blackmail me WITH. I talked about this with some of the other drunks who'd grown to respect me & they offered to beat him up for me. I declined on their offer but I think they did it anyway. After that Norman really had it in for me. On October 28, 1983, I caught Norman unscrewing the lightbulb on my porch. I then overheard him talking with one of the other drunks saying something to the effect of "force him to kill". Since I was very vulnerable & since, as an anarchist, I STILL didn't want to call the police, I called RAN at JHU instead & we recorded Tracks 9 to 12 of me talking about the situation while RAN played various musics that he thought were appropriate or funny. These tapes then became part of a performance that I eventually did with some of the drunks. My place was torched a year & a half later by an arsonist. I think the arsonist was hired by the assistant to my landlord. - December 4, 2012E.V. notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE

the interior of the building that some of the drunks squatted in

Ron Cummings was probably the most innovative of the radio people that I ever collaborated with. We shared a preference for expanding what could be done on the radio into territories most people would've never thought of or considered. Ron would run reel-to-reel tape loops in the studio by having them stretching over various objects like a spider-web in the room.

He had an extremely sardonic sense of humor. Hence as I was calling from my vulnerable South BalTimOre apartment seriously worried that the street drunk Norman was planning to break in to attempt to kill me, Ron & I both calmly discussed hanging toy percussion on my windows as an alarm system while Ron played music such as the sountrack to Psycho. - September 6, 2014E.V. notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE]




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