Two poems from high school in 1987

The Witch’s Lair, or, time crawls when you have no fun

Inside of the room, all of them gather

They are cheerful, talking, sometimes joking

Five minutes later, the bell rings ominously

And the witch appears with her ogre assistant

The witch screams for all to be quiet and follow her orders

The ogre, not wanting to be left out, joins her

The tedium begins, it is reasonably quiet

All who defy the witch’s orders of quiet and peace will be cursed with detention

They will stay after longer, and that is the worst that can happen–

To hear her eerie voice, crackling like fire across your ears

Some sleep, some throw paper, all are bored

This is a place to study your patience, not your books

And then…beep!…study hall is over

The Rhyming Predicament

One evening I wanted to make a cake

So I looked around as to what to find to make

I looked in the pantry and I found a snake

I grabbed it by the mouth to go throw it in the lake

My mom screamed, “Kill it for Pete’s sake!”

Her yelling gave me a big headache

It felt like I had got hit by a rake

I had to sit down, so I called out for Jake

Who took it and got tough like Robert Blake

When he cut it in half with a large wooden stake

So let me say this to you–let me give you a break

A snake in your hand does not a cake make


What name should The Anderson Council have?

So when I started having this germination of this “band” back in the day, I thought the name was oh-so clever. Nowadays, I have realized there are multiple bands, large/small, around the world who use the name “Anderson Council”. So readers, can you think of a good name for this band? I can’t promise you a big prize for your contribution, but I will think of some sort of honorific for the effort.



So I Was Listening in… (10/30/92)

(overheard conversations on the Blue Line)

So did it scare ya…at the dock?

No I wasn’t scared…possibly.

Sitting here in the express lane is pretty wild Whoo!

Freak out as a train goes by

It’s scary!

Welcome to nothing

Four cars, all aboard!

It’s getting a lot darker…

I wanna hit her! If I woulda!…it rings 50 thousand frickin’ times! She always looks so nice, it makes me mad…I can’t figure that shit ot, my mom knows all that shit…we’re born to be with a crap-head. I said “Forget it!”…

So she’s dressin’ in a costume tomorrow?

I don’t think so…I got in a fight with Evie’s mom this morning…She got an asthma attack all day because you were smoking! You think I’m making all this up, do you? If you don’t like the way we taske care of her, December¬† 1st, we aren’t taking this bullshit!”She’s just a real burn. She smelled all the smoke. I don’t know how she does things like that. I love it, I just wantr her to be with us.Let her take us to work. She isn’t married, she hasn’t got a job, for two whole Christmases, she hasn’t got the kid SHIT. And she thinks she’ll be able to make it up so quick?…I had this really expensive Christmas card…I got it, like, from last year, it’s actually two years old..Dammiit, I gotta do dry cleaning tomorrow, the one that’s by Elston & Cicero? I took it there. It’s so crowded.

We had stopped in a costume shop before….How did you make a circle?, use a big bowl or something? …All we did we just took a measured string and tied it to the end of a pencil. ..We have no cups, no silverware, absolutely nothing!…I used to know where everything is when we unpacked…Eric’s been in Police Academy, he had stuff from his old girlfriend…I threw out the ones she could use…Remember the doll with a string on it? I still have it! Red hair and everywhere!…If you don’t see it, don’t keep it.



Sitting under a Green sign that says “Please do not extinguish cigarettes in carpet.” Number one: Nobody obeys the rule. Number two: It ain’t good English. I hear things.

I hear now classical music, a choo-choo train, life is so extraordinary. Now the birds are singing to me. Now it’s a total blank. Voices are inside my head.

Ding dong, a bell goes off. The door is open at the groccery store. I walk in, and the grocer smiles at me. A day dream, nothing else.

I say “Hi” to Waldo as he passes by. We never say more than “Hi”, even though we see each other every day. He’s an egotist.

In my Walkman is the latest music, and I hear that now instead of the sounds in my head.

Sing it…”I’m just sittin’ on the side of the wall…class has been canceled, what a ball!” My legs are crossed and my smelly sneaker odor wafts up to my nose again. I got to pay for some new shoes, I say again for the umpteenth time. Maybe I should move.


(Text later used as “Hit The Bullseye”, recorded in 1992)


much earlier than that…

The boys (that is, Pennywhistle, Lakes, Shriner, and Wong) all met while serving detention in their 5th years at Porker On The Liffey Primary School in Bootswang, England. All were not the brightest of students. Lakes was the one who tested highest in aptitude, but miserably scoring when academically tested. Wong achieved his highest scores in Music class, but was acheicving the UK equivalent of Ds and Fs everywhere else. And Shriner…well, he was Shriner.

(edit later)


More about The Unlit Part…

Unusual for the band at this time, all of the tracks were improvised in the studio, with no pre-conceived conception of lyric (but the usual lack of pre-conception for meter, melody, harmony, etc.)

Nigel: “I’d come in with a ‘bang-ban-ban-ker-clang!’, then Dan would go ‘skkkrrunch!’ on his guitar, scraping the strings with the side of his pick, not plucking ’em, you know? He did it on every third beat, and then Dick would tootle on his Hammond as good as he could, and Robby would plunk something arbitrary on his bass. It was always cool that way, a truly collaborative effort. None of the future bullcrap.”

All ten tracks of the album were laid down in this fashion, in increments of 3 minutes and 30 seconds for each. Which led to some unusual problems…

“Robby, which track is which, I just don’t understand?…”

“Mal, here we go again! The order in which they appear-“

“And then what? You’re saying, just lop off 3 minutes and 30 seconds for the first one..and then where does Track 2 start?”

“Um, I believe it was probably ten minutes after. Or seventeen. Or twenty-three. Damn, I just don’t remember Mal.”

“So…wait uphere, I have to master the first three minutes and thirty seconds, turn it off, then let the tape run again until I hear blank space?”

“Yeah, that’s all there is to it!”

“Are you blokes off on a trolley ride?”

“No, that is how we all agreed to do it. No compromises about who did what, and how long their contribution was, and who gets what percentage of whichever fuckin’ royalties from Stephoscope. It’s all one hundred percent teamwork in the writing: Lakes, Gilless, Shriner, Wong.”

“Why that order?”

“We drew names out of the hat, too.”



“Uh, Robby, that is an odd way to cut off each song. It makes it all seem rather, uh…choppy.”

“Mal, you are the engineer, I am the artist. Who should make these decisions, eh?”

“It just sounds so…off.”

“Aw, pissers! Look, if it’ll make it any easier and make you happier, don’t put a pause in between the tracks, then. Make ’em all segue!”

(Mal’s  jaw drops down onto his chin. He sputters, spit collects at his tongue, and he swallows it quickly, leaving behind a taste in his mouth akin to battery acid. He coughs as that wad of spit slides erratically down his windpipe, allowing his reflexive respiratory self-defense mechanisms go into hyperactivity in order to expel the distasteful and unwelcome foreign substance out of his breathing passages)

Hoix! Be-gaugh!! Egach! (pat!;pat!)  “Mal, take it easy there, Mal, Mal!”

He-hahh, He-hahh….ohhhh…Oi! (Mal attempts to squeak out one word, and it comes out like a little dormouse peeking through the cracked hole wall of a fiberboard wall in a crummy little apartment…) “Segue?”

(Mal Parsnips pardons himself at this moment to attain a Coke from the Cuticle Records vending machine on the 3rd floor. Boy was he mad, throat scratchy like sandpaper. Nearly choked to death on his own saliva due to the sheer idiocy and egomania of the man named Robby Lakes. Fuck all! Robby remains in the control room, the echoes of a distant recrimination from him wafting down the halls…)

  “Dream up something shitheel, you are the engineering boy-genius, arent’ you?!”



Producer Mal Parsnips thought the reeds and mouthpieces and submerged flute were a great idea. The studio musicians hired for the sessions, however, scoffed. Trombonist Mickey Malanucci also happened to be shop steward for Musicians Local Union #1231 that year, so he filed a grievance against Parsnips and the band, citing “artistic inanity.” A series of official arbitrations followed, delaying recording of Mutant Spleen Daddy for six weeks. The result was a renegoation in the contract for the musicians…1/10 of 1 percent of residuals, plus individual credit for their appearance on the album liner notes. “Bloody twats,” Robby said of the whole affair in a late interview. “Obviously they didn’t give a crap about ‘artistic integrity’, they just wanted more money.”

The Unlit Part Of Our Satellite was another concept album. Its theme was, according to Robby Lakes, “the things that were pissing us off at the time.” Ideas for songs were written on slips of paper–20 in all, five apiece from each band member–and were randomly selected from a hat. Thus, the infamous tracklisting:

1.Traffic  2.Waking Up  3. I Was Never Good At Checkers  4. My Auntie’s Smelly Breath   5.Rice Sticking To the Bottom Of My Wok  6. Bullies

7. Cheap Halloween Candy  8.Peace Protesters   9. Ayn Rand  10. The Styrofoam Canister That Your Big Mac Is Served In.

A few tracks from the album (since bootlegged by collectors with extremely unusual tastes) were deleted due to lack of space: “That Dirtbag Nixon”, “When Your Underwear Gets A Hole”, and the elegaic “Everyone”.