Andreyev and TVI agent Linus
Minimax visited controversial visionary Bob
Dobbs. Here's the transcript of that New York City trialogue,
which went down in December 2002.
BOB DOBBS: And we're now going to explain Sam's dream, so let's
see if I can do it.
LINUS MINIMAX: Sam's dream.
SAMUEL ANDREYEV: It's very brief. Basically, I'm at a birthday
party, and it's for a ghost, and this ghost is named Pathrow, and he's
SA: Pathrow, P-A-T-H-R-O-W. And someone says to me: 'Pathrow's
Thirty-Six', Pathrow's turning 36. And there are these birthday banners
all over the place. You know the type of banner in which there's a letter
on a different square of brightly coloured tinfoil of some sort. Except
instead of saying 'Happy Birthday' or something, the banner says 'Everybody',
and it's going up in flames. It's being torched.
BOB: Tremendous, this is so obvious. [Laughs]
BOB: Oh, that's the dream! So you're confronting the fact, there's
a birthday for someone named Pathrow, and he's 36.......
SA: No, he's a ghost.
BOB: And he's a ghost. Perfect! And 'everybody'......
SA: But why 36?
LM: I told you to mark the date that you had that dream and see
what was 36 years before it.
SA: You know what, I probably have the dream in my book.....
BOB: Was this recent?
SA: This would have been, possibly in the winter of 2001, the
early January or February 2001.
LM: So it would have been '65, would be thirty-six years before
BOB: Yeah, 1965. And 1965 is the date I pinpoint McLuhan
on my chart. See, I have the Decad-Dance, the period from '47 to '57
is replayed by the Android Meme, and the time-point of that is 1960.
Then McLuhan does '57 to '67, the satellite, post-satellite phase,
and his impact is 1965. Then William Irwin Thompson is '67 to
'72, not '67 to '77, because the first two were ten year things, now
it's getting.... time is speeding up, so he does '67 to '72, five years.
That's William Irwin Thompson, and I round him off in general
in 1970, and then Kroker is '72 to '77, and I round him off as the 1980's
when Baudrillard..... that scene started to have an impact. A little
ahead, because the chart is effects preceding causes, so it's showing
what was coming. And then me, I'm '77 to '90, and my main concentrated
date, if you had to pick an arbitrary time, is 1990. Now, you point
out '65, and that's relevant, we'll call that the McLuhan zone,
and this is what's happening here: a key phrase in Finnegans Wake,
which McLuhan spent his life translating, is 'Here Comes Everybody'.
SA: Yes. HCE. That's the parallel I was going to draw, actually.
BOB: Yeah, you knew that much, you knew that. And we'll get into
your music reality because John Cage, under McLuhan's influence,
did a roaratorio
with the ten thunders.
SA: Right, I've heard that.
BOB: You've actually heard it, or you've heard of it?
SA: I've heard it.
BOB: Okay, good. See, I went to the presentation in 1982.
SA: You were there! Really!?
BOB: Yeah, Convocation Hall.
BOB: Were you there?
SA: No, no, I would have been one year old. [laughter]
BOB: Yeah, right, but the point is, you hear it through the media,
through another medium. You mean like at school, they had it on tape
SA: I've seen it on videotape actually.
BOB: Okay, yeah, I was there. I mean, I knew John Cage from before.
But anyways, all of us, Toronto people, a lot of the McLuhan
gang, we were there. kay, so you know enough about Finnegans Wake
and Joyce and Cage.....
SA: Oh, yeah, sure.
[battery runs out]
LM: Your Pathrow lyrics would be a little bit in there.
BOB: Right, okay..... 'everybody's letters burn.....' Now, immediately,
you know, the problem with you conceptual musicians is you're so alphabetically
conditioned, you're still dealing with print, and so you're conceptual
or left-hemisphere but you're trying to point to right-hemisphere situations
via print, and that's Finnegans Wake is doing that; it's
a book pointing to post-book situations. So.... 'Everybody's letters
burn to align the whining curves. We will run up and grab Stan's....'
is that Stan Brackage? [laughs] 'Stan's alibi sheets, we will
slay the beast'. Well, that's....
SA: That's an anagram. Stan's Alibi Sheets / The Beast Is Slain.
BOB: Oh, right. But slaying the beast is the AP feeling it's
powerful against the AM, which the AM is making people think they can
do, until September 11th. 'Streamers float on dwindling time, as the
honour goes to show. They want Pathrow to find his thirty-six fine,
it will be arranged. Coaxing water from the mimes....' --the mime in
your dream, the acrobats-- '.....keeping ongoing lions thin. As the
new gloves arrive, publicly pure ones, well, at least they're plain.'
So I see how you're playing with the basic imagery, and... what was
the line that you first said that I was going to respond to? I haven't
seemed to come to it yet.... 'and the ghost is out of line, and the
moon scoped out for spores, we will run up and grab Stan's Alibi Sheets,
and the beast is slain.'
LM: 'The beast is slain' is an anagram of 'Stan's Alibi Sheets'.
BOB: Right, but that's not the lyrics you said when you first
quoted the song...?
SA: Yes, that was 'rear-view time' I was talking about. That's
on another CD, actually.
BOB: Okay, I don't want to go into that...... let's do the rear-view
time, what was the lyric? Because it fits.....
SA: '....the rear-view time that he'd postponed'
LM: 'Once it was clear in rear-view time that he'd postponed'
BOB: Okay, because..... where did you first think..... where
do you think you came up with the word 'rear-view', in your own growing
up with language, what's the context for the word 'rear-view' for you?
SA: Oh, certainly in the context of a rear-view mirror in a car.
BOB: Okay, did you know that was a major McLuhan metaphor?
BOB: Okay, just like 'the medium is the message' and 'the global
village' are phrases that...... it's a part of his icon. One of the
main.... if you read a little bit of McLuhan, one of the main
ideas that people generally got on the journalistic level was the idea
of the rear-view mirror. So you're not thinking of McLuhan, but you
are thinking of the rear-view mirror, so 'rear-view time'. You can see
with the tetrad, that all through history, the second phase, the second
law of what is obsolesced is kind of noticed? We ignore what's really
going on in the present? So we always are experiencing rear-view. So
that's a common thing in human experience, and then the media created
a dynamic collectively, so when TV comes in, the new wave turns movies
into an art form, takes all those old Hollywood crap, which when it
was a new environment, it was just ugly.... like a new environment is
just ugly commercial stuff from the aesthetic art elite's point of view.
So movies become an art form, or archetypal, and have a new museum significance
in the 50s and 60s with TV coming in, so under the collective effect
of TV, the rear-view time..... the content of the rear-view time syndrome
was movies. Now, once you get into the Android Meme phase, especially
with VCRs, reruns, and the ability to replay everything, you've got
a new metaphysical problem for humans. As McLuhan said, the biggest
metaphysical challenge was the instant replay, because all experience
is an instant replay --speech replays experience, all media are instant
replays-- but when you have the instant replay as an external cognitive
process, it's a metaphysically confusing time, because it's the beginning
of technology replaying what we did to ourselves back to us, so it's
a part of the Android Meme phase from 1960 to 1990. So, you guys lived
in a..... you grew up in a quadrophrenic rear-view mirror situation,
where the Android Meme was replaying rear-views of itself. So then the
internet comes up, and the Android Meme replays everything that humans
ever did, and all media were rear-view, so it's squaring --quadrophrening--
the rear-view experience for itself, and for you, and it's also allowing
you to be detached from that, so that people don't even have to recognize
the normal human syndrome of being rear-view, we can really embrace
forgetfullness, amnesia, collective amnesia, and that's a kind of cold
fusion, merging of the first and second Nature that the Android Meme
mimes in software terms, before we have the hardware, actual power source
of cold fusion. So 'rear-view time' could be a pop song about any time
from '60 to '90, but especially in the '90s, when you're doing a pop
song to kids, they would be experiencing through the death of the Android
Meme, which has replayed all media, and then there's an afterimage of
it, but people are independent of it. A phrase that would sum up the
'90s is 'rear-view time', which is on a simple level what my chart is.
So, that's what the meaning..... so, now, with that overview of interpreting
'rear-view time'..... it's a rear-view time for the Android Meme in
the '90s, and the humans are past that, in the AP, unconsciously. Now
let's say the lyrics that you remember, in light of that, 'cause they
fit. Just say it again...?
LM: 'Once it was clear in rear-view time that he'd postponed'
BOB: The postponing......
LM: Do you remember what the line before that was? Is it 'having
SA: [singing] 'Having passed the.....
LM: 'the quarrel by the bay?'
SA: '....the quarrel by, the plaintiff.... by....'
LM: The plaintiff groaned, didn't he?
SA: 'Having passed the quarrel by, the plaintiff groaned. Once
it was clear in rear-view time that he'd postponed.'
LM: 'Having passed the quarrel by, the plaintiff groaned....'
BOB: Quarrel. Perfect.
LM: '...once it was clear in rear-view time that he'd postponed.'
BOB: It makes total sense, in this way: McLuhan's PhD
thesis was about the ancient quarrel, between the dialecticians and
the rhetoricians and the grammarians, and if you.... have you read enough
SA: Very little.
BOB: There's a famous essay he did in the forties, you can get
it in his literary criticism, about the ancient quarrel in modern America.
But the quarrel that I show on the.... we'll call it the big chart.
Not the tiny, congested one.... on the big chart is the quarrel among
technologies, miming the human quarrel, then the Android Meme replays
that quarrel for itself from '60 to '90, and humans identify with different
parts of it. If they're a dialectician, they identify with the radio
effect, which is Larouche. If they're a rhetorician, they identify
with advertising/TV effect that McLuhan anthropomorphized. If they're
into the mystical/gnostic effects, they identify with Thompson.
If they're into the anarchistic or even Marxist effects, they identify
with the Kroker part, which is.... if you'll notice, after the
radio-satellite, TV-satellite, computer-satellite, then I have satellite-squared,
that's the Kroker thing. That's the beginning of us being outside,
taking in the meaning of the satellite, and being autonomous. That's
what po-mo is, intuiting that. And they deconstruct the previous memes.
The postponing by the Android Meme of the bringing in of the cold fusion
and breaking out of the software replay, is what that means. He postpones,
he can postpone, and you're criticizing the collective mind is welcoming
the postponing. Now, say it again.... the quarrel is over, the human
quarrel is over, the Android Meme is replaying it, and it creates the
autonomous effect, the AP effect, that we can postpone active engagement
with the meaning of the Andriod Meme. And the larger seduction is, we're
postponing leaving it, getting into the hardware breakthrough. So say
the lyrics again....
SA: 'Having passed the quarrel by, the plaintiff groaned.'
BOB: The groan.
SA: 'Once it was clear in rear-view time that he'd postponed.'
BOB: And it was clear in the '90s.... we'd been postponing in
the '77 to '90 period, in the '90s it was real clear that we'd postponed
because the information envrionment was so silly, so phatic, so edutainment,
so cynicism in viewing. We'd known the quarrel was over, and we knew
that the official quarrel was in politics, magazines, whatever: arguments
that are featured in culture were all gone. And say the last couple
of lines again?
SA: 'Once it was clear in rear-view time that we'd postponed.'
BOB: That's an effect of the '90s exactly. And then what comes
LM: Um..... glancing?
SA: 'Glancing in the ray, as though it were saying, rumble down
from the roosters nesting within the sidewalk at bay.'
BOB: Hold it.
LM: Say that again.
BOB: The ray, that's a satellite-laser effect.....
SA: 'Glancing in the ray, as though it were saying, a rooster
LM: No, he rumbled down.
SA: 'Rumble down from the roosters nesting within the sidewalks
BOB: Right, at King and Bay.
SA: Yes! [laughs]
BOB: Did you mean that?
BOB: Good, because it's at Bay..... as you get into the Voluntary
ESP illusion, you're immune from all of the crap, but you're riding
on it, and you don't know that the real effect of the AP is body-fear
paranoia/war coming back which is September 11th, you know? It's going
to be beyond the media. But the stage before that is that you're immune
to the media, but you don't know that the immunity you're feeling is
irrelevant, because you're not even in the media anymore, and it's the
AP sneaking up. The 'rumble' is Rumplestiltskin..... you see, I claim
that I can take whatever your personal experience is and fit it into
my filter. In other words, I have a collective meme that the public
could use, because it's not my personal point of view, I've just picked
the right things that tell you what happened, the archetypes, and then
you can be filtered, you see? That's what psychology was, you know,
they assumed everybody was controlled by sex, Freud and that,
so they could filter everything through that archetype. But we're way
beyond that. And if you look at the chart, I have God is Larouche,
McLuhan dealt with Sex, Thompson deals with Politics,
Kroker deals with Consciousness, and then my level is, I deal
with the Orphic Baroque Spirals [!--SV] of all of those, simulated by
the media, which creates a whole new need for a new kind of psychology/sociology,
or basically pattern-recognition, that's not being met! And so I'm taking
your stuff, and I can even claim that the 'rumble' is 'Rumple'! You
know what I mean? I can take advantage of that! And as you say that,
it does imply a somewhat immune, indifferent, knowing the quarrel's
over, but groaning within it, and kind of frustrated, you know what
I mean? That's the simplification of the lyric. Now this image, we got
here, which is the Palthrow dream... Palthrow?
BOB: Pathrow. Yeah, it's Paltrow, Gwynyth Paltrow, isn't
it? That's the Cloned ESP, the pre-1960 media burning up, and Rumplestiltskin
is flying and floating, that's the ghost, that's a butterfly --butterfly's
better than a ghost-- but you have to include the ghost, so it's a dead
ghost, but it's reappearing in a fake Nature, a Nature that we could
really get back to if we had cold fusion but we can't under Android
Meme conditions, which is pretending to replay a Nature-hologram. This
is a general condition, this is a general condition, I'd say this is
the AP [referring to different images in the Songs of Elsewhere
cover and booklet (tree with roots up, butterfly, Pathrow-figure
as AP, King and Bay buildings as AM with Sam outside (looking up/looking
down) as AP)]. Because you've got the Cloned ESP then you have the Voluntary
ESP effect, both created by the Android Meme. But what's coming up is
Rumplestiltskin, who is partly part of that, so these two are related,
but it's looking in the opposite way, it seems to be looking away from
this scene. It's the groan of: 'I know if I turn around and live in
that, I have a sense of Voluntary ESP and a participation, and autonomy,
but I know that's not where it is, so I'm looking outward to something
new.' And what he sees is September 11th. Or that frustration leads
to September 11th, you see what I'm saying?
SA: [referring to cover illustration] ... a bleeding boar, and
a tree with the roots on top.
BOB: Right, that's virtual reality, inverted Nature. That's the
confusion. When first Nature and second Nature start to merge under
Android Meme conditions, you get genetic engineering, you get the opposite,
and so that's fit. This is almost like a hologram that you're presenting.
SA: Yeah, the spores in the moon, there's burning letters, there's
clams, there's a condor.....
BOB: There's the burning letters, are you thinking of Finnegans
Wake, which is about one letter?
SA: Not specifically, no.
BOB: But that could be in your subconscious. I bet you we could
go through this, and since you said Finnegans Wake changed
your mind, your life, there's a lot in the Wake that you're
not aware it was communicating, but you're expressing its influences,
and since you're literate --or a POB, a Print-Oriented-Bastard, that
was McLuhan's phrase-- someone who can't help but be that if
you grow up in North America, and in Europe, you're probably taking
new Android Meme things and calling it visually-biased letters, you
know what I'm saying? So it's almost like I'm a psychologist of art,
and you're expressing your wacky personal stuff, well I can fit it in,
it's not so servilistic as people think, you know? That's why I'm critiquing
your art based on standards we have established. It would be great to
present this to art schools, or to anybody. And so this is in 2001....[referring
to King + Bay skyscrapers in photos] you see, this is the wall in Finnegans
Wake, this is the controlled humans inside media, up 'til the
satellite, because these are possible because of electricity --the lighting,
the elevators, everything-- electricity creates this thing and its a
stoned acoustic space. New York is an acoustic environment, the echoing
of all that activity inside canyons. So here's acoustic space, but it's
a virtualized acoustic space, therefore it's not just ear, it's tactile,
and then it's virtualized tactile.... But today, the human being is
not inside there, and it's sort of like, your standing there, and these
are floating away, and leaving you immune like this guy. But it is until
we get the cold fusion, we are trapped in that. The AP is still dealing
with this monolithic corporateness, and so when September 11th happened,
the international corporate Bush-complex, that 19th century part
of my quadrant, they made their move to preserve themselves under the
icon 'oil' and new preservation and new surveillance. People think September
11th was done for that reason, but September 11th was done for AP reasons.
The Bush response, and the big industrial-military complex is
just one-fourth of what's..... how is the media responding, how is the
Thompson quadrant responding, and how is the virtualized population
responding? These are different wars going on, and I would say the TV.....
then we start getting into the five bodies, do you know anything about
my five bodies?
LM: Well, I've heard you outline the five bodies, but I haven't
heard you go way into them.
BOB: Right, the five parts of the chart. Because as the media
minaturizes... Radio was a collective force in the 20's and 30's, it
was a collective body, it was creating a certain body image in you,
based on whatever the image was the culture had in the 19th century,
it then gets altered under the radio conditions, so a different kind
of image, and that image was chemistry and pharmacological medicine,
I.G. Farben and the oil cartel taking oil, making chemical... and then
that kind of medicine took over. ... Why did I go into that? Okay, I'll
hold that thought, so.....
SA: The five bodies.
BOB: Oh, right, the radio. So it affected our image of the body,
but it still was in the radio corporate effect. Once you get into the
Android Meme and the media start shrinking, then what was a corporate
effect, radio, becomes a private body for you, added on to you. So the
kid with the computer can listen to music, watch movies.... it can engage
in its Cloned ESP body, which I call the screenal body. It can engage
in the Android Meme body, which is the chip body. It can engage in the
19th-century, oil-consciousness body, what we think our bodies are made
up of based on normal hospital science, so to speak, the neuron body.
So we have a neuron body, created by Western science in the 19th centruy
and still going under pharmacological medicine, then you have the TV
screenal body, then you have the astral body, which is the other dimensions
from first Nature. You have this body, but if you believe there are
other dimensions, you survive death, then that's the astral body. And
that represented by Thompson on the chart, and then Kroker
is the chip body, and the AP, what Dobbs
is connected to, is what we are, but we don't know what it is. We don't
know what our full body is, every culture maps it and says 'this is
what our body is', but ongoing evolution doesn't fully understand what
the body is. But presently, that body consists of these four maps: the
neuron body, the screenal body, the astral body and the chip body. But
it also goes beyond those. Now, in first Nature you have a physical,
living, space-time body, and then the astral body, that's first Nature
that was made for you by somebody, the Creator. Then we made
our bodies, and that ended up to be the Cloned ESP body (the TV body)
and the Voluntary ESP body (the chip body). But note: the screenal body
is similar to the first Nature body, which chemistry hijacks and calls
the neuron body --that's a Western model, the Chinese have acupuncture,
different version-- but that physical body is mimed by the screenal
body, which we made, and the astral body, which is the invisible part
of our first nature body, is mimed by the chip body. So you got a ratio.
You have our first Nature reality, which is a physical body and an invisible
body, then humans make technology and grow their own bodies, first collectively
and then they get miniaturized, and so they parallel the first physical
body --that's the TV body, you can see what's on TV and experience it--
but our psychic astral body, which is in first Nature, is mirrored by
the chip body because the chip body you can't see, you just use it with
your cell-phone and computers and that, you see what I'm saying?
SA: That reminds me of Hundertwasser's five skins, actually.
BOB: Who's that?
SA: An Austrian painter.
BOB: When did he live?
SA: I think he just died a couple of years ago.
BOB: So he had five? That's good.
SA: Five skins, yeah, that's very similar.
BOB: These are concepts he painted, did he write about them?
SA: He wrote about them, and he painted them.....
BOB: Well, I'll have to look into him.
SA: ....he's very very interesting.
BOB: And he thought we had five skins? That would fit.
SA: Five skins. There's the skin, the clothing, the house, I
don't know the fourth one, and the fifth one is the Earth.
BOB: Yeah, I would probably...... I would put him in immediately,
if he brings in the Earth he's probably heading toward the Thompson-astral-Gaia
quadrant. He's probably favouring too much first Nature stuff. He acknowledges
a bit of second Nature, but he probably doesn't understand the later
second Nature, the McLuhan knowledge. So I bet we could update
what he's doing, you know what I mean? He didn't realize..... he doesn't
have television in there, you know what I mean? Maybe the fourth skin
SA: Yeah, that could be it actually, I'll have to look into that.
BOB: And then has the Earth as the fifth skin. That could be
what I call the AP, that's trying to re-connect first Nature in a fused-confused
situation of first Nature and second Nature merging. The body, one skin,
clothing, that's private skin, then house is collective skin, then let's
say he put in technologies, and Earth. That's pretty good, that's close,
but it's...... he's a baby boomer, you know, older generation intuiting
that we have five bodies, so yeah, we could use him as an antecedent.
Now I went through the five bodies, so I was explaining how they're
miniaturized so they become private bodies. So the chart is our collective
bodies, replayed holeopathically, the second chart, replayed as they
get smaller and smaller holeopathically, but what's coming is, they're
pointing to Bob's five bodies.
LM: Are you saying that the HCE, ALP, Shem, Shaun, and Issy represent
those five bodies as well?
You asked.... you brought up something that..... well I want Steve [sic]
to hear this. What was it you asked? Maybe it's on the tape. You brought
up something I was going to answer but then he had to leave....
LM: Oh yeah, I brought up the five bodies relating to Shem, Shaun,
Issy, ALP and HCE.
BOB: Oh yeah, ALP and all that. Well, you have the five figures,
the family, which is an AP reality, and all the media extended the family.
Now, as the media shrinks, the world is run by a family, collectively,
the AP family. But who is the family? Well, on the surface it looks
like Bush family, right? And then they go back several generations,
so that's part of your dream, the distorted family. But nobody runs
this situation, which then gets into this. So, yes, each member of.....
As the AP swallows, and gets more detached and free from the four bodies
--because the AP is the fifth body-- it can be more playful with the
four bodies, and any member of the family can be in that position. So
the hierarchy of the family goes from Leave it to Beaver
to The Simpsons, where everybody's one year old and nobody's
in control. But I think I was going somewhere else.... So the family
is the image, and we don't know how to get out of the quarrel within
the family, but we've arrived at the point where it is a family quarrel
and we're back to people arguing over religions and cultures. That's
what this present war is supposed to be, it's arguing over our tribe
against your tribe, but on the deepest AP level of religion and values,
you know what I mean? Whereas before, wars were simple conquest. They
might have ideologies, ideologies to fight over, or as alibis to defend
why they're taking over some place, but this war is seen as partly unnecessary
because there's nothing to fight over anymore, there's no territory
worth owning, 'cause the economy is based in a virtual space, not a
territory, so war is obsolete, so what's the war about? It's the war
of the AP against the media, and each culture has an AP. So then it
becomes a fight between different APs!
SA: It's ideological.
BOB: Yeah. It's former business partners Bin Laden and
Bush having a family quarrel. So that's the larger meaning. But
it does come down to one family, what I call the committee of twelve,
that did September 11th.
SA: You just said two names of two albums of mine, right there.
BOB: Oh yeah?
LM: Yeah, 'the AP swallows'....
SA: Swollows is one of my CDs.....
BOB: Just 'swollows'?
SA: .....and another one is called Twelve.
LM: The last two albums before this one.
BOB: Alright, now this is the xenochrony, this is the strange
synchronicity. When I interact with people who are interested in what
I'm doing, they'll find that there's synchronicities always happening,
but we didn't expect, so it was a strange synchronicity, and it's been
anticipated. So it's not just simple synchronicity.... the way people
are today, we're so imploded, the synchronicity is not a special thing.
But we want to remain immune to that, that's the Voluntary ESP, so we
go around ignoring the ESP.... that's why the New Age ideology fails,
because it doesn't deal with the environmental effect that people already
experience Cloned ESP, and then synchronicity and six degrees of separation
is always happening, so it gets boring and cliche, so people want to
avoid it, so they start to become indifferent. Therefore the effort
to be indifferent and not dwell on it, or have it happen, always gets
undermined 'cause it comes back, and this was just an example. I find
that in the media..... you haven't read the article on The Matrix,
that it shows The Matrix is about me?
LM: That was the first thing I read about you, actually. That
was the first link I followed from that site.
BOB: So, if I tune into to any movie or anything, if I go to
it, it's always about me, more than it is about you, because I can prove
what it's doing in relation to what I've already publicly said. You've
expressed publicly more personal things, you know what I mean? But when
I talk I'm not expressing my point of view, I'm using a technical language.
So I always get xenochrony, strange synchronicity from the media. But
it happens on the AP level like this, as an example. So that may mean
that you've been anticipating and thinking about my stuff, not me, but
about my stuff, because my stuff is what you should think about, in
terms of wanting to figure out what's going on, as an artist. And so
you're already having expressions of it, and then you bump into me,
and then you'll have overlaps, like we just did. And this seems to be
a communicatory fact. So, this image first, of that, and then I just
really saw this closer [Songs of Elsewhere booklet images of
Sam at King n' Bay looking up and looking down]..... see, if you look
on the chart, Kroker is under the satellite-squared, tactility-squared....
we're post-tactile, now the tactile is in the interval. So what you
have here is you, looking up and looking down. The AP is in the interval
between two aspects of the two Escher-pathways of the Android
Meme, right? But you're in the interval, just like this guy [Pathrow-figure
on cover illustration by Richard Kirk] is in the interval between
SA: Liminal state.
SA: Isn't that the term, liminal?
LM: Liminal? I believe so.
BOB: For what, for being in the interval?
SA: For being in the in-between-state.
BOB: Right, subliminal means, um...... yeah, that's right, you're
either overliminal or underliminal, and the liminal, it's the boundary-point,
right? The sub- is below.....
SA: It's the doorway.
BOB: Which is..... it's both sides, it's something you can't
say where the yin-yang boundaries of it are, right? So the liminal,
right. So Voluntary ESP is an extending of the liminal state, that's
why I have tactility-squared in the Kroker, which is satellite-
and tactility-squared. But that is a media effect. Now we're getting
back to our bodies, but we don't know what the body is --certainly not
what any culture says it is-- and we're going to meet someone who looks
just like us, in body form, your genetic clone, at some point. So we
are bodies that left the garden, and then we created other bodies, and
then those bodies are eventually evaporated, and then we meet the body
that came from the Garden of Eden, so to speak, and it looks just like
us, but it's not totally us, it's an extension of us, right? It looks
just like us, that's an interesting mirror-effect that's happening to
us. So, you're looking at an image of yourself..... the person looking
at this is your clone body coming to meet you, 'cause you're looking
at pre-AP Android Meme expressions here, but you're expressing the AP,
but the AP's going to have to confront it's double. So the double is
me, in general for people, if they get into me, because I'm talking
about that pattern. It's not me but my mind..... I'm your double, so
to speak. It was very..... in 1973..... you know, 73 came up today,
that's how many chapters/episodes there are in Gravity's Rainbow,
and then we had 73 is the CD, and I think Bob's Media Ecology
is about 73 minutes.
LM: And you were talking about 37.
BOB: Oh, yeah, okay! And then '63 the Kennedy assassination,
and 36...... But, in 1973 I was in Carnegie Hall with a friend, and
during the intermission, all of the culture snobs are standing around,
everybody's mingling, talking, and I think it was an Ornette Coleman
concert, who I met around that time..... I just met him recently again,
last year at a party, and had an interesting conversation, I was talking
to him about Finnegans Wake and this and that. A guy started
walking through the crowd holding I think it was a picture of himself,
like an ID card. And he's going around holding it to you, wanting you
to respond and sort of comment on this. And we were nice enough to start
talking to him. So what he was telling us, he says: 'If you stand on
the corner down on Wall Street long enough, you're exact double will
come by'. You're exact double, you wait long enough, and he said: 'I'm
going around looking for my double', so I'm indicating by a picture
of myself, this is an extension of me. So that theory was the first
I'd ever heard of that, and later it's partly true, and I don't know
what he was..... I was meant to hear it probably, so that I could think
up this thought that we're going to meet our doubles, but that guy was
actually anticipating it, in his own eccentric, homeless kind of guy,
he was obviously a little off, but he was there at the concert and expecting
people to respond to the meaning of him showing a card of himself to
you. So this image..... oh, so Songs from Elsewhere [sic],
that's you making the songs from elsewhere, these [the towers] are elsewhere,
because the Android Meme has taken over in the last thirty-fourty years,
especially for your Generation-X generation, you're quite removed from
the media because the AP has been enhancing your distance from it. And
that, the Android Meme is a dream-state, that's the metaphor of Joyce
in Finnegans Wake, the dream is not only an AP dream,
a human dream, it's the media's dream! And you can see that, with radio
and movies at the time, and then that would become TV. So the dream
is the Android Meme, and it's a dream that's awake, it's alive, and
it's making itself disappear so that you wake up, inside its dream,
but think you're not inside a dream, you're separate from the dream!
So a perfect expression of that problem, that dilemma is Songs
from Elsewhere because you didn't make these songs, you're going
through a virtual environment that's going to replay it, and you're
presenting material for the elsewhere, and you're saying 'it forced
me to contribute to it'. So I take that as the meaning. And then, um....
was there some line in here or...?.... What's interesting about you
is that you look like Dave Newfeld, here, the guy that made Bob's
Media Ecology, who has the..... who just produced in his underground
studio, the album that the reviewer of Eye, Now, Globe
and Mail and Toronto Star, four of the five papers, I may
have them wrong, they all said: 'this is the album of the year'. It's
some band, Dave Newfeld is the producer of that album, but you
look like Dave there. You don't look like Dave right now, but on the
angle, that's the way..... I've seen pictures that Dave looks like that.
And he's a pretty interesting guy, you guys should connect.... He's
forced to make a living to deal with the disco world, the dance world,
and he makes records, and because he's not totally in the industry,
they come to him, people rip him off all the time, but he's stuck. But
now this band, they gave him.... he did some songwriting credits, but
they came and used his studio, they didn't know they were going to have
a hit. He's really good, he made a tremendous album, it's now pronounced
the best album of the year, and the reviewer was quitting, maybe you
know, the reviewer of one of these papers was quitting, and it was going
to be his last column, and he was going to do a farewell column, but
he had to talk about this album. I don't know if he did another column
after, but that was the theme. So Dave, there was no written contracts,
they paid him maybe a little bit, they're going to make a lot of money
from this, but they don't have to pay him anything. So he has to deal
with the ripoff in the music industry which is one of the..... as Joni
Mitchell recently said 'the entertainment-music industry is the
most ruthless industry'. So he's there, but he has a good mind, and
he should meet someone.... I take it you're in the abstract-intellectual-conservatory
kind of academic world, and you need someone like that, 'cause he knows
my stuff, and he......
SA: I'd love to meet him. He lives in Toronto?
BOB: Yeah he lives on Cameron.... you know where the Cameron
SA: I played there, we played there!
LM: We played there on my birthday.
BOB: Oh, I was going to ask you what your birthday was.
LM: September 30th, 1981. I actually sent you my birthday in
the first email that I sent to you. Back in the summer, I sent you an
BOB: Umm, on the Voluntary ESP?
LM: No, I mailed your address...
BOB: To me? Oh, I'll have to look at that.
LM: ...'cause on the Voluntary ESP you posted to someone giving
your address so I.....
BOB: Oh, yeah, that was to Glow, let me tell you an amazing
story about that!......
SA: We were playing Songs of Elsewhere at the Cameron
House, that's just amazing!
LM: Yeah, on my birthday.
SA: On his birthday.
BOB: You mean you together?
LM: Yeah, I play in the band, I play flute.
SA: We have a group, that we.....
BOB: How many people?
BOB: And you have recorded music, synthesized music in there
SA: It's all live. Entirely live.
BOB: No electronic synthesizers?
SA: None whatsoever.
BOB: So what do all these people play??
SA: Brian plays flute....
BOB: Oh, is this a part of this, in the back?
LM: It's some of the same people, it's in the front page, actually.
BOB: Right, so Brian plays the fruit, flute.....
LM: I'm in it, Becky's in it, Carly is in it, Michael
Smith is in it.....
SA: ....bass clarinet, double bass, violin....
BOB: All these classical guys!! Old fashioned, 19th century.....
You go into the punk house, you know, the garbage dump, but they're
cool, they let you play, and you play this stuff?? ....Dave, he
has a great mind, but he's stuck by a need to live, to work with the
industry, but he's very creative. I mean, Bob's Media Ecology
album, you haven't heard it, is one of the best albums ever made! Partly
because what I say on it is awesome, 'cause it's way out of the....
it's commenting on stuff that's relevant, that has staying power. He
does a decade-dance, he does weird mutated versions of all the musics
of the 60s-70s-80s-90s, and then my liner notes, my essay is really
important. So it's a great package, it's like my chart in the music
industry. But Dave did it, I had nothing to do with the album, he and
Nelson..... Nelson oversaw it as executive producer, but Dave's
creativity..... So anyway, I like Dave's taste in music, what he does,
but he needs to meet someone out of the street level.
SA: I'd like to meet him.
BOB: Yeah, so you guys should connect. But you look like him
in this picture, it's interesting.
LM: It's interesting, I've been catching some...... Ever since
you first walked up I'm been catching some strange angles where you've
been looking a lot like Steve Venright.
BOB: Is that right?
SA: Yes, I've noticed that as well! Very much.
BOB: Is that right? How old is he?
SA: He's 41.
BOB: How would I..... I mean there's Michael Enright on
CBC, you remember that name? So what did he do, how would have
I encountered him?
SA: Well he's a poet, and he was very active in the late 80s,
the mid to late 80s, doing readings.....
BOB: Was he part of the.....?
SA: .....I think he knew Connie Dobbs, you were saying.
LM: Well, he was..... when I was first reading your stuff, I
asked him..... I mentioned it to him and he was saying: 'Oh yeah, I
knew a guy named Robert Dean and he said that he had an appointment
once with Connie, Carolyn Dean.
BOB: He said that? So he was maybe a patient.
LM: Yeah. He said that he knew you not very well, but he'd met
you a few times, and you'd talked about some......
BOB: I'll mention the name to Carolyn, she might remember, unless....
LM: He said he was really impressed that one of her first questions
in his appointment was 'do you prefer mountains or oceans?'
BOB: Is that what she said? [laughing] Wow. You see, people....
When Bob Marshall was on the radio, my understudy, my probe before
I was on, people thought that wasn't his real name, and it was true,
it wasn't his real name, because they thought it was controversial information
and therefore he had to cover. And they figured.... he was seen going
to Carolyn's appointments, as a doctor, and they thought he was married
to her, and they thought his real name was Bob Dean, that's where
the Bob Dean thing comes from, 'cause that's not my name, my
name's Dobbs, her name's Dobbs.
LM: Oh, so maybe he knew Bob Marshall.
BOB: Yeah, he might have run across Bob Marshall, or he
LM: 'Cause he said more specifically that the person he knew
was really into conspiracies....
BOB: That'd be Bob Marshall, yeah. And he might have only
heard about it through Carolyn, or something. So anyways..... see, Ian
Arlett was the guy who did the 22, he was in the poet scene....
what's that old poet..... Mitchell........ Acorn!
SA: Oh, Milton Acorn!
BOB: Was Steve part of that scene?
SA: I don't think he would have known Milton Acorn, but
he knew a lot of people who knew him.
BOB: Robert Priest? Chris Dewdney?
SA: Yeah, absolutely, he's good friends......
LM: Yeah, Steve is actually, he's doing an album with Chris
BOB: Oh, is that right?
SA: David McFadden.
BOB: And then McCaffer.....Cafaffery.
SA: Steve McCaffery.
BOB: Yeah, so that's the conceptual kind of poets.
SA: That's Steve's circle.
BOB: Yeah, he might have heard about me through..... 'cause Dewdney
was a good friend of Derrick de Kerckhove who was the program
director of McLuhan.... you ever heard of Derrick?
SA: I've heard the name, but......
BOB: Yeah, so he mingled among the world that part of me was
involved in, right. Okay, so he admires your work, eh? So he wrote this.
SA: Yep, well he produced the CD.
LM: Produced the album, released the album, designed.... took
BOB: Is this any company or you guys did it youself?
SA: Torpor Vigil Industires. That's Steve's record label.
BOB: Okay, so um..... we looked at this..... the imagery.....
SA: Now, I became obsessed with skyscrapers at a certain point
during the making of this, and there's an entire tune at the end, 'International
Chimney and the Matyiko Boys', which is entirely about that, that's
why the skyscrapers are there.
BOB: Right, let's see..... I'll say this first, before I read
it. When you brought in the radio world, you're inside a non-visual,
tactile electric space which favors acoustic more than visual... than
printed abstract stuff. So jazz becomes the esperanto, Louis Armstrong
in the world. So you have this supressed culture in the States on the
AP level, on the physical body level, becoming a music that unites the
world as content within the imploded effect of radio. And it's not for
another generation that the white culture, the print-industrial culture,
tries to absorb, to integrate them into their culture, when the blacks
have already integrated the whole world, there's the irony of the black
world. Now, another thing is that when the architect... the famous one
of the twenties....
SA: Mies Van Der Rohe?
BOB: No, but the European one.
SA: Lloyd Wright? [?Gropius?]
BOB: The fourth one, the eccentric one, the one who didn't become
icons like them. ... E? does his name begin with E? I keep thinking
of E..... Le Corbusier!
SA: Oh right, yes.
BOB: When he came to New York, he said --this was in the thirties
or something, twenties or thirties-- he said it was 'hot jazz in stone'.
Now he's looking at the skyscrapers and that, which are just starting,
so it he had to be in the thirties.
SA: The Chrysler Building.
BOB: Yeah, they start in the late twenties early thirties, the
Empire State Building is '31, so he sees this, he says: 'hot jazz in
stone'. Hot jazz is acoustic space, and it's in stone. Now, it's real
interesting: the art of sculpture is a tactile art, kinetic-tactile.
So you have this global industrial-military-complex all over the world
in the twenties. Now it's inside, discarnately, the radio environment,
and it's then going to try to take its cultural history and adapt to
the new demand, so its going to go tactile, and its going to sculpture
itself. It's going to take the scultpure impulse, so it sculptures the
concrete world it had been building in the nineteenth century, so it
sculptures buildings, and you get skyscrapers. And it's still visually
biased, it's trying to reach somewhere, so it's reaching to the sky,
but its also a way of doing the pyramid effect. Because you could say
in the history of media that the pyramids, when you went from the tactile-ESP
cultures, before writing, in the stage when you're beginning to get
to writing but you haven't got there yet, there's this kinetic-tactile
phase, and that's these huge sculptures, so sculpture on a mega level
is a response to tactile space. So the skyscrapers are an effect, by
industrial man, to trying to respond to the Escher-like, weird,
non-visual dimensions of tactile and acoustic space. And then it creates
a canyon, so it becomes 'hot jazz in stone' is what I said two hours
ago that New York City is an acoustic environment, it's not a well-laid
out, 19th century visual grid city like Toronto or any other city in
the rest of North America. New York is not an American city. So let's
see what you say, but I remember the other thing, the letters..... When
you talk about the letters burning? The letters burnt with the printing
press, but that was too invisible because they were part of visual space,
but the letters really begin [to burn] with the telegraph, which is
electric writing, tele graph. So you're talking about letters buring,
that happened with the symbolist poets....
SA: Right. Rimbaud, right.
BOB: ....and then Joyce took the insights of the symbolist
poets, and saw the causes that caused it, and wrote a post-symbolist
thing which looks like a dadaistic clash, but there's a lot more than
that in there, and he's beyond the letters. You with your literate,
young, western-hemisphere bias are still seeing the print. It's way
past the burning letters, that's what I wanted to say, you know what
I mean? In terms of your awareness of what you're picking up. 'Cause
you're making the letter..... [flipping booklet]
LM: The next page is what you're looking for there......
BOB: Okay. So in light of the sculpture of the skyscraper, what
do you make of them? 'International Chimney and the Matyiko Boys'. Well,
it's in the radio-era, the international electric ESP is caused by radio,
and it's a chimney because internationalism, the world conspiracy, the
Bush complex started in the twenties with I.G. Farben
and the Rockefellers and Standard Oil, that's what Gravity's
Rainbow is about. 'And the Matyiko Boys' .... is that Japanese?
SA: No, there's a company in the States called International
Chimney, which is run by a pair of brothers called Matyiko,
and they were responsible for the moving of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse,
which is this striped lighthouse, somewhere in, uh.... I don't know
where it is.
BOB: It's a one-time lighthouse?
SA: It's a lighthouse that apparently the ground around it was
being eroded, and they needed to move it inshore by half a mile or so.
BOB: And they were the company that moved it?
SA: They hired International Chimney to move it inshore.
We were watching a television program one night, and the phrase that
we heard was: "....and International Chimney and the Matyiko Boys...."
and I thought, 'that's immediately the title for a song'. Immediately
I knew that. So I wrote it down.
BOB: So that's the particular context, and then this is the metaphor.
And the Matyiko.... why did they move it? They were known to
be lighthouse people, or.....?
SA: They were industrial movers, they were people who would move
houses, and things like that.
BOB: And they did this lighthouse..... and why did they call
the lighthouse and ['an'? --SV] international chimney?
SA: That was the name of the company, International Chimney,
that was contracted to do the move.
BOB: Ah, the Matyiko.... they contracted International
LM: Matyiko are the members, the Matyiko boys are
the members of International Chimney.
SA: They run the company.
BOB: Oh, it's the same people, same thing. And somebody else
wanted this thing done. Is that a special lighthouse, the striped one?
SA: It's a very famous one.
LM: That's interesting then, in the title, 'cause you've got
the..... it's saying 'International Chimney AND the Matyiko Boys',
but they're the same thing. It's like: the two guys, and then, their
BOB: There's a technical term that McLuhan has, in his
book, a chapter named after the grammatical term for this, called 'hendiadys:
one by means of two'. You give an example: 'the cups were golden and
burnt sun', you put an extra word which means golden......
SA: It's a synonym for the same thing.
BOB: Yeah, it's redundant. And that's called hendiadys. And that's
a big metaphor in Finnegans Wake 'cause remember, it's
Belinda the hen, that......
LM: Yeah, I was going to say, 'hendiadys', is that spelled 'hen'
'deities', like gods?
BOB: No, it's d-i-a-y... dies, 'hendiadys', d-i-a-y..... but
Belinda the hen discovers the letter, and then there's all these opposites
and conflicts in Finnegans Wake so they're the dyads.
And they're twins so they're redundant. So there's a big pun on hendiadys
in the phenomenon of Finnegans Wake, by having Belinda the hen
find the letter, and the letter divides everybody. Okay, so this is
hendiadys, right? 'Though the fall breaks all over town the lights are
never dimmed, the flag retains a thrill. In the silence of uncanny posts....'
--there's your letter mania again--.....
BOB: Shem, Shaun the post, right..... Were you actually thinking
BOB: Which he's the letter deliverer..... 'in the silence of
uncanny posts, forsaken all along the line for what must be. Anything
that gets out of time, corrects itself on top of sandy bass....'
SA: Bass, as in the fish.
BOB: Oh. Could be said 'base', though, eh? Isn't that the way
bass is....? 'By the shore it takes at least a month to move a lighthouse....'
[laughing] --getting literal here-- '....to move a lighthouse due west
through the wind. Early kicks, though appearing rash, succeed in freeing
plates, from cracking up in vain. Meanwhile over at intelligence....'
--you mean CIA?
BOB: '....the wind is cruel to a job that must be done. Rivets
hang erasing tiny stains from every singular movement made. For opposites....'
--there's your hendiadys-- '....decide on leverage, with planks in mind
pivoting on massive slabs.' So a lot of this is actual imagery of what
you saw them doing when they moved it, some of this?
BOB: 'Crushed stone will move miraculously along steel beams,
a single step could send beauty rumbling....' --you've got that word
'rumbling' again-- '.... a single step could send beauty rumbling down
toward good luck.' Now, since it's particular.....
SA: I realized afterward there are an alarming number of parallels
with the whole September 11th phenomenon.
SA: With the specific events, the towers coming down, the American
flags that were everywhere.....
BOB: And this is before! You made this before?
SA: Yeah, long before this.
LM: 'Although the fall breaks out all over town'
BOB: I see nothing in the first reading, but now you put this
SA: I was amazed.
BOB: 'Though the fall breaks....' --it was in the fall, September,
and you remember the collapsing thunder of Finnegans Wake--
'Though the fall breaks all over town, the lights are never dimmed...'
--that would be the coverage of the phenomenon, the Android Meme covering
this-- '...the flag retains a thrill...' --there's the new patriotism--
'...in the silence of uncanny...' --in the silence of emails! People
emailing uncanny posts: 'What do you think of this? I think George
Bush did it! Bob probably did this!' [laughter] -- '...forsaken
all along...' --yeah, you know, when you email it's forgotten, collective
amnesia, perpetual motion-- '...forsaken all along the line...' --or
the flag-- '...for what must be.' For what must be, which is: we're
going to war. 'Anything that gets out of time...' --yeah, not out of
line, out of time, because Bush wants to impose his time, his
interpretation, which is a Time-meme, on the thing-- '... Anything that
gets out of time corrects itself on top of sandy bass [base], or sandy
bass [fish]...' --ah, the fish is the Piscean age, the Android Meme,
that's the.... we're outside of the goldfish bowl, so it corrects itself
by being autonomous, but adjusting to the AP forming the autonomy of
the 90s, it gets restricted again. 'Anything that gets out of time corrects
itself on top...' --it's still outside, but it has to act like its adjusting
to the new mood of paranoia and fear-- '...by the shore it takes...'
--the fish out of the water-- '...by the shore it takes at least a month
to move a lighthouse...' --it took them a month to fucking move to Afghanistan,
to move a lighthouse?? Had you thought of that, are we going in deeper,
or you had done this?
SA: Oh yes.
BOB: '...to move a lighthouse due west...' Yeah, you go west
across the Pacific to get there, you know, to move a lighthouse, and
Bush is trying to be the lighthouse which is the floodlight, which is
visual space imposing a beam on people, and that's the oligarchy. It
then becomes the laser beam because Poindexter has the new Homeland
Security technology development, they have a Freemasonic symbol, this
is a government office, they wrote about it in the New York Times on
SA: The sun sets in the west, as they say.
BOB: Yeah. He has a freemasonic triangle, the eye on the dollar
bill, aiming a beam at most of the world, of the planet, and then Afghanistan
is not being beamed at. So there's the lighthouse, to move a lighthouse:
the old hierarchy. 'To move a lighthouse due west through the wind'
--the electric wind, the invisible chip bodies-- 'Early kicks, though
appearing rash...' --okay, that's the AP bodies bumping into each other,
in the war-- 'though appearing rash, succeed in freeing plates...' --what
that means is there's unforseen effects of this whole environment which
could be optimistic, you know, but you're talking about within the building
of the... 'succeed in freeing plates from cracking up in vain' --succeed,
okay, 'early kicks', the AP succeeds in freeing us from amusing ourselves
to death within the old Android Meme and going nuts, from cracking up
in vain. 'Meanwhile over at intelligence...' --Poindexter's Homeland
Security-- '...the wind is cruel to a job...' --they have a fierce view
of: we must surveil everybody, and they're taking electronic wind and
using it for surveillance, to keep the job market going-- '...that must
be done' --it must be done, it's inevitable, these collective effects--
'Rivets hang, erasing tiny stains from every singular movement made,
for opposites decide on leverage, with planks in mind pivoting on massive
slabs' Now, this is the key four lines, much density in here.
SA: I wrote those in Central Park after.....
BOB: Here? Oh, you've been here before?
SA: Many times.
BOB: Oh, because your sister's here, so you have a place to stay.
So you wrote....
SA: I wrote those four lines, those very four lines, in Central
BOB: Yeah, see, 'cause it's separate, these are separate. 'Rivets
hang, erasing tiny stains...' --I would say that's people, once they
saw the surveillance coming in, everybody got their shit in order, okay:
'no, I don't have... yes, we should go, we should fight, yes, we must
go to war.....', you know? Everybody got politically, militarily correct,
they're erasing their stains, their 90s individualism. 'Rivets hang....'
--'cause if you don't, you hang-- '....erasing tiny stains from every
singular movement made...' --in the nineties, of eccentricity, in different
media-- '...for opposites decide on leverage, with planks in mind....'
--opposites decide...., oh, they knew that the opposites of AP life
was ruling the case, so they had to give in, accept the opposite, the
war, decide on where the leverage is, so adjust the leverage. And the
'planks in mind', now how was 'planks' used earlier? Isn't 'planks'
up here earlier? I thought... no maybe not. 'With planks in mind pivoting...'
--there's everybody just... the Rumplestiltskins getting into leverage
position, putting their planks, pivoting on the massive Android Meme
becoming hard and warlike, which is the AP effect. 'Crushed stone will
move miraculously along steel beams....' --see, I'm trying to ignore
the literal thing of what you're showing, and make the metaphor-- 'crushed
stone will move...' --so what's actually happened is.... oh, back to
the collapsed towers!
LM: Clearing out the site.
SA: The stone was completely crushed.
BOB: Where did you write this? This four?
SA: That would have been written in my home.
BOB: So you wrote most of this....
SA: I wrote most of it in Toronto.
LM: And before September 11th.
BOB: And then you wrote this after the Central Park? Or was that
[last four lines] there, and you stuck the Central Park in there?
SA: Those four lines [the Central Park four] were a later addition.
BOB: Yeah, you've got the World Trade Center literally here,
then you stick this in, but that is you, in the park, in the Phoenix
Park, looking at the whole thing, and putting in the response of the
individual to all this.
SA: The knock in the park.
BOB: Yeah, yes. 'Cause you're looking at the crime in the park.
Back to the crime: 'Crushed stone will move miraculously along steel
beams, a single step could send beauty rumbling.... a single step could
send beauty rumbling down toward good luck', yeah, that depended on
what move I made. And I went immediately to Toronto and broadcast on
CKLN what was really going on. So, you actually.... since you
are picking up on this, you might be actually.... could claim to be
an artist, you could continue being an artist, because you actually
picked up on something! You know, you actually were prophetic in that,
that's pretty interesting. So, but there's nothing.... I would say that
you're describing the collapse of New York City, so it's not about sculpture,
it's about the collapse of the structure. The collapse of New York City.
So I don't see any particular sculpture thing, that's because it's after
that, so anything I was saying about Le Corbusier wouldn't apply
here. And that is sort of in relation to that too, these images.....
SA: I kept trying to find the music for that. What would be the
music of a modern skyscraper, the streamlined shapes, the hard edges,
the glass, the reflective.....
BOB: That's rock n' roll.
SA: I don't know, though. Is it?
BOB: Yeah, well.....
SA: I mean, in terms of, if we can use the word, serious music,
concert music. What would be the analogy? You can make the analogy of
art-deco skyscrapers to jazz, but modern skyscrapers, they're too streamlined,
they're not like rock, I don't think.
BOB: Right, no.... The acoustic effects of the canyon, the caveman
reality that you're inside, which radio brought in, and then TV obsolesced
radio. So the effects of radio, which high-rises were, become entertaining
content, and that's rock n' roll in the 50s and 60s. That's the acoustic
space within the tactile effect. And it's mechanical.... a lot of industrial-mechanical
hardness in there, so it's the industrial stuff. Now, you're asking
about avant-garde music....
BOB: Well, I think Zappa was the king. I think that he
covered everything and everybody, so Zappa.... what Zappa
did, which was Rock, Stockhausen, Stravinsky.... everything,
he had everything in there. If you think of the 60s and 70s skyscraper,
the modern skyscrapers, not the ones of the 20s and Le Corbusier,
they are the more virtual skyscrapers. They are the....
SA: They hide their industrialness, they don't expose it at all.
Mies Van Der Rohe, the Seagram building, it hides its functionality.
BOB: It's beginning to do an AP thing, trying to not let you
be bothered by the old industrial legacy. So, Zappa tried to
hide that he was being serious, and to hide that he was being playful.
He did quadrophrenia. But, you know, you gotta have rock in there, but
the sleekness is this computerized reality, high-tech thing. So who
did high-tech? Well, Zappa did high-tech! I'd say Zappa
was the music, and you know what's really..... to beef it up: the only
time he ever admitted that something influenced him, was that New York
City changed his life, when he came from LA to here in the late 60s....
BOB: Well, Varese was an influence, and also when he gave
up Catholicism when he was 18 and got into Zen, that was an influence.
But, he thought he was cool, with Varese and Zen going into the
60s, but when he comes to New York in '66, '67, '68, that brought in
a new level that he wasn't ready for, and it altered him. And when he
moved back to LA in '68, he put out Hot Rats, he started
his Bizarre label, and the sleeve, the company sleeve he put
on every record he put out would have him and Herby Coen in his
studio, looking rather mountain-men-like, sort of just different, and
he had little initials, one of them was NYC, New York City. Another
one was STP or something, I don't know what that was, maybe just meant
the oil for cars. But he put NYC indicating: 'this is what I'm up against',
it was his intuitions of the Android Meme. So his music is a reaction
to New York City, and the skyscrapers. So that would be my case for
saying that's the answer, but what would you..... you can't come up....
you don't have someone?
SA: Well, see I was thinking about, first of all, the repetition
of form, which is something you get with skyscrapers to a greater extent.....
BOB: That's the rippling of the industrial, which is content.
SA: But the thing about it in music, is you almost never have
verbatim repetition of form.
BOB: Other than Glass, Philip Glass.
SA: Well, but Philip Glass though, and Steve Reich
and Terry Riley and all those people, they use shifting patterns,
they have little..... they have movement within them, the pattern is
never literal. The thing is if you have a literal pattern in music repeating,
it destroys the music. It stops being music, so what would be the.....?
BOB: Well, Zappa did that, Zappa would repeat,
he'd take pieces he wrote many years ago, and redo them, so he's repeating
things, but during performances he would alter the lyrics and improvise
on it, but he had what he called conceptual continuity, a repeating
thing. So he would say.... what was the last time.... something....
'well, that was in 1966, I died in '66, now I'm just repeating myself.'
SA: Think of something like the Citicorp Center, what would possibly
be the music for something like that? There has to be an analogy.
BOB: Okay, now I'm talking conceptual, you're asking what kind
of music per se, in a piece, on a little thing....
SA: But there's always an analogy with any aesthetic, I think,
to the other arts.
LM: More of a structural resemblance, you [Sam] seem to be talking
about, rather than a conceptual one.
BOB: Wouldn't it be the curve? Oh, Citicorp.
SA: The slant roof.
BOB: It's not the one with the curve, is it?
SA: That's the Solow Building, on 57th.
BOB: So yeah, that is the fingertip, that's something that's
trying to get away from the building, it [peaks/peeks] beyond, but it
also has the slope..... they don't call it po-mo, but it's the beginning
of the po-mo, isn't it? It's the beginning of playfulness with the shape.
But to ask what kind of music would go with that.....
SA: Because music is very tightly analogous with architecture,
it always has been, and so for the first time you're starting to have
these architectural forms which I don't think are really reflected in
modern music, and I'm wondering what the music would be.
BOB: Yeah, but see, you're talking technically within the musical
field. What is modern music? What's the latest in modern music?
SA: Complete eclecticism, this is what you're up against. I'm
not a fan of that.....
[to be continued]