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Jason Toews and fifi (the band)

fifi History 2: Does its Duty

NOTE: Citing my notoriously faulty memory and my tendency toward “mendacious untruth” (not my words), various fifi alumni and supporters have graciously added corrections and additions where necessary throughout this series. If there are no corrections in the article below, that must indicate that my recollections are without error.

After the Heady Rush of Early Success, fifi Seeks a Deeper Truth

bloodycollar

A Very Special fifi Christmas

With time, the pendulum of public opinion swung in our favor, and MLTSHS officials began blaming the “Homecoming Riot of ‘84” on a small group of “out-of-town anarchists,” or possibly disgruntled members of the Gaming Club. Stan, the coffee-mug-collecting DECA teacher, told me that our performance was the coolest thing he had ever seen at a Homecoming Assembly. As far as I could tell, his compliment was entirely sincere. (I seem to remember that Stan was also the single faculty member who decoded – and congratulated me on – my yearbook “Senior Dedication Comments,” which, when read as an acronym, spelled out the words “FUCK THIS SCHOOL.” In recent years, these facts have led me to believe that Stan himself may have been the instigator behind the Homecoming Riot… but I have no proof. Yet.)

Jeff: Unless I’m mistaken, the typesetting monkeys left one word out of your senior dedication, so the acronym actually read, “FUCK THI SCHOOL.” It was still pretty funny, though.

In any case, Ms. Klein apparently forgot about our earlier lifetime ban, because when we volunteered to put on a Toys-For-Tots benefit concert in December of 1984, she gave us the go-ahead without batting an eye. In fact, in light of the Homecoming debacle, the level of official support thrown behind this ill-begotten plan was puzzling. We were given free rein over the cafeteria (which meant that, for the first and only time, fifi would be playing on a raised stage in front of an audience), we were allowed to decorate the stage as we pleased, and – in an unprecedented suspension of official MLTSHS Attendance Policy – all students were allowed to skip 6th period to attend the concert.

Eric: Actually, it wasn’t an official “Toys-for Tots” event; this toy drive was sponsored by the Lion’s Club. But they still gathered, you know, “Toys”. And then distributed those Toys to, uh, “Tots”. Never mind.

In fact, the single roadblock to a successful concert – the only obstacle preventing a total rehabilitation of fifi’s reputation – came from within the group. Toys-For-Tots is traditionally associated with Christmas, and our concert would take place during December, so everyone assumed the event would be Christmas-themed. This was a problem for me, because I was raised as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. To a Witness, Christmas is malignant and toxic; all of Satan’s evil machinations packed into a single, festive day. Celebrating Christmas – even passively supporting the celebration of Christmas – is cause for expulsion from the Witness community. If my father discovered that I was performing at some sort of “Christmas Concert,” I would be forbidden to participate. Therefore, I insisted that we come up with a non-Christmas-related name for the concert. After much deliberation, someone (probably Eric) came up with the perfect title: “Fifi’s Active Retaliation (with) Toys (for) Siblings.” Ms. Klein approved the proposed name, and we set about making posters and Scotch-taping them to every available surface.

The next day, after seeing one of our handmade “F.A.R.T.S. Concert” posters in the cafeteria, Ms. Klein angrily summoned us to the office. She almost called off the whole event right there, but, realizing we had overplayed our hand, we apologized profusely and created new posters, which contained fewer jokes about flatulence.

The deal was, if you brought in one toy for donation, you would be allowed to skip class and come to see fifi perform in the cafeteria. Needless to say, everyone wanted to skip class, so attendance at the F.A.R.T.S. Concert was high, and we gathered a ton of toys.

Eric: Close to 1600!

We didn’t play that well, but the show was pretty funny. Some of the highlights:

  1. Somebody we barely knew donated professional-grade strobe lights for the show. At key moments, we would shut off the stage lights and fire up the strobes. At those moments, it looked so freaking cool that it hardly mattered how well we played.
  2. Eric (I think) had this giant stuffed animal (maybe a dog, but definitely not a poodle), which he had won at a Seattle Center dart-throwing booth. We tied a rope around its neck and hoisted it up above the stage. During the Grand Finale, an offstage assistant (possibly Dan Carnahan) lowered it onto the stage for demolition! Dude!
  3. I was wearing ten layers of shirts. After every single song, I would exclaim “Whoo! It’s gettin’ HOT in here!” then remove one shirt and toss it into the audience.
  4. By a wide margin, my favorite part was Joey’s drum solo. It started as more or less a “normal” drum solo, but eventually devolved into Joey walking around his kit tapping out a rhythm on the drum stands, then the walls, and finally on the wooden floor of the stage. While this excruciating spectacle wore on, Eric, Paul, and I hauled a cooler full of soda and some lawn furniture out onto the stage. We stretched out on chaise lounges and simply drank soda for a while, then brought out a Frisbee and threw that around (until it accidentally landed in the audience). Through all of this, Joey continued to test the audience’s patience by randomly tapping on items around the stage…

Eric: All accurate, except I won the stuffed animal at the Ring Toss at Circus Circus Reno.

Jen: The thing I remember was this is how the “band” got a new name around school: “FI- FUCK”. People were screaming it when Joey was tapping on the ground for 11 minutes and the rest of the band was sipping soda. I was standing right next to the members of the other (only) real band at our school (Forced Entry)… and they started saying it… people caught on… it was pretty loud.

Joey: I’m with you on the whole drum-solo thing – that still makes me giggle. Don’t forget these other moments of fifi splendor:

  1. The live acapella performance of “In Celebration of Toasters,” despite the fact that our borrowed P.A. equipment cut out pretty regularly.
  2. The introduction of a new fifi song, “Afraid of Food” – I don’t remember much about the song except that it was peppy, had a nifty guitar-harmonic opening straight from “The Today Show” theme, and featured a bit of dramatic pointing during the “…and so is HE’S” part.
  3. Didn’t we have a large “security detail” led by Hugh Rainey? If memory serves, he was wearing wraparound sunglasses and a sleeveless leather jacket and stood at the front of the stage with his arms crossed, looking like the Terminator.

Of course, the show ended in disastrous bodily injury and property destruction. While we played, Ms. Klein and other teachers patrolled the room, squelching any possible outbreak of slam-dancing or stage-diving, or, you know, “fun.” Frustrated, one of us (probably me) encouraged the audience to get up and dance – on the lunch tables, if necessary – and several audience members complied. Designed to support the weight of 15 or 20 stationary lunch trays and a few Trapper Keepers, the tables soon collapsed under the strain of pogo-dancing teenagers fattened on a steady diet of high-cholesterol school lunches.

As our final MLTSHS live performance stumbled toward its unfortunate conclusion, the strobes flickering crazily and the giant dog-thing jerking spastically at the end of its leash/noose, audience members pulling themselves from the rubble of demolished lunch tables and Ms. Klein shrieking for someone to call an ambulance, we threw down our instruments and fled the building.

Eric: Actually, the only person who fled was you, with your then-girlfriend Jenny.

Jen: The table I was on went DOWN… I took one look at Ms. Klein and realized Jason’s hide was toast. Running from the cafeteria, we met outside and wildly made out in the Senior Locker bay. Until one of those band guys came in and threatened to kick Jason’s ass.

We believe that Jack Schwab captured the tragedy, Zapruder-like, on a library-loaned video camera. Also, Roxanne Björnson may have recorded the event on a hand-held cassette deck. Neither of these artifacts has survived to the present day. Coincidence? You be the judge.

The F.A.R.T.S. Concert took place on a Friday afternoon. The following Monday, Eric walked into Mr. Nelson’s Social Studies class and was greeted by the concrete evidence of our success: all the donated toys, in boxes stacked up the ceiling. His moment of joyful pride proved to be short-lived: Before first period ended, we were once again summoned to the office and informed that we had caused “several thousand dollars” in damage to MLTSHS property, plus a few actual injuries.

Joey: Ha! I wasn’t called to the office!

Seeing as how the pogo-dancing students in question had been brazenly defying MLTSHS Cafeteria Behavior Guidelines at the time the injuries were sustained, school officials weren’t too worried about being sued. They were, however, pretty worked up about the property damage. After we performed the requisite groveling, the principal agreed not to add the “F.A.R.T.S. Concert Disaster of Late ‘84” to our permanent records. He did, however, make it abundantly clear that fifi was no longer welcome at MLTSHS events. Being halfway through our Senior Year, this was a pretty weak punishment, but we acted suitably heartbroken and humiliated as we shuffled out of the Principal’s Office.

Eric: Would you believe this was the third time I was banned at MLTHS? I don’t think Jerry…er, Mr. Karnofski, liked me very much.

True, neither of our live performances had gone as planned; both events could legitimately be classified as catastrophic failures. But we comforted ourselves with a single undeniable fact: fifi had played live at MLTSHS twice as many times as our closest student-led competitor, Forced Entry.

Joey: As a footnote, I might point out that the FARTS concert nearly became a tradition at MLTSHS. Coven, the “other” local speed-metal band played a mid-day concert the following year. And, like in the previous year, chaos reigned supreme as a fire was ignited mid-concert, which resulted in some not-inconsequential damage. The next year, another band played and more disaster visited the campus. I can’t remember what kind of disaster, but for the sake of completeness, I’ll just say that someone died.

Jeff: At the time of your performance, I believe Forced Entry were still known by their original name, “Critical Condition”.

Eric: Even more interesting: Many years later, Forced Entry’s guitarist, Brad Hull, filled in on guitar for Metallica’s James Hetfield after Hetfield’s hand was horribly burned by a malfunctioning flashpot. And while we’re on the topic of Forced Entry: Did anyone else read that article about Forced Entry in the Everett Herald where they claimed that their band motto was “To Be, Not to Seem”? Which was funny, because our school had the exact same motto…

“To Be, Not to Seem” indeed.

And Then There Were Two…

Like most kids of my generation, I grew up watching daily reruns of “The Brady Bunch” (twice daily during the summer). Most people my age can name every character on the show, including Sam the Butcher (who seemed omnipresent, but actually only appeared in eight episodes). Serious students of the Brady mythos may even remember Tiger, the Brady family dog. Tiger appeared in about half of the first-season episodes and six episodes during the second season, after which he simply… disappeared. While his doghouse remained standing in the corner of the Brady yard, bearing silent testimony to his existence, Tiger himself was nowhere to be seen.

But The Case of the Purloined Pet does not end there: The Brady girls had a cat named Fluffy. Fluffy’s television lifespan was even more ephemeral than Tiger’s, lasting only for the duration of the pilot episode.

Now, when I was a kid, I lost a lot of pets, in all sorts of ways. Sometimes my dog would run away; sometimes my cat would accidentally eat some weed killer and crawl under the house to yowl pitifully for several days before expiring; sometimes our much-loved family dog was torn to bloody shreds by the next door neighbor’s psychotic German Shepherd; and a couple of times, my dad took my new puppy out in the middle of the night, drove several miles away, and dropped it off in the “rich people’s neighborhood” because the stupid mutt wouldn’t stop barking or urinating on his church shoes. The circumstances were always different, but our childhood reactions to the event remained consistent: We were always traumatized, and we always talked about the event for months to come: “That was before Fritzy got hit by a car… remember how the impact made her eye pop out of its socket?”

Eric: Oddly, there is one moment in my life that exemplifies the trauma of losing a pet. It was the day my baby brother was born. When we came back from seeing Mom at the hospital (I was 4-1/2), I found my cat Grover (named after my favorite Sesame Street character) lying dead in the flower bed. As my brothers buried her, I insisted she would rise again on the third day. To this day, I can remember the discovery in minute detail. I don’t remember a thing about my brother’s birth.

In stark contrast, the writers of The Brady Bunch never felt compelled to explain – or even mention – the disappearance of either (presumably beloved) pet. Tiger and Fluffy just… evaporated. They no longer served the storyline, or they were too costly to feed, or Eve Plumb was allergic, or the producers wanted to take the show in a “new direction” with “fewer pet jokes” and Tiger and Fluffy vanished from the Brady cosmos.

Following the elation and chaos of the F.A.R.T.S. concert, Joey and Paul mysteriously vanished from our band in much the same way.

Eric and I had big plans and still wanted to record, but Joey and Paul were no longer involved, and for the life of me I can’t remember why. In retrospect, it makes very little sense. Joey was likely the most musically talented member of the group. Paul, despite having no experience, played every song we put in front of him without complaint. Apart from the musical “seasoning” they added to the fifi “stew,” Joey and Paul were also the two “easy-going” members of the group, while Eric and I tended to be more, uh, prickly.

Suddenly, fifi was just two kinda crabby guys with no rhythm section. Of the two remaining members, one (that would be me) was unable to play any instrument whatsoever.

Despite this, we were convinced that the next fifi album would be our best ever.

Metrix Reloaded

There are a few cornerstone albums required of a band during its career: the live album, the greatest hits collection, and (optionally) an album of remixes. With the weight of those requirements hanging over our heads, fifi chose to get all three of those albums out of way right off the bat. Since our debut had been the requisite (fake, in our case) live album, we checked that off the list and moved on to the obvious choice for our second album: a greatest hits collection. Once this decision was made, the title practically wrote itself: “Fifi Does Its Duty.” The title, in turn, evoked the cover image: a vintage illustration of a boy scout saluting the flag. But, you know – a boy scout with the head of a poodle.

If you are an aficionado of popular music, you probably realize that a “greatest hits” album typically comes in the later part of a band’s career, after they’ve had a chance to produce a catalog of albums from which to cull the “hits.” This posed a slight challenge for fifi, since we had released only one album to date, and that was a live album, and even we were tired of those six songs.

With nobody around to tell us “look, guys, this just isn’t the way things are done…” we resolved all of these difficulties with a typically reductive masterstroke: we simply imagined all of the albums we might release in the future, and then imagined one song that might be on each of those albums. Put those songs together, we reasoned, and you’ve got a precognitive greatest hits album, fifi-style. An additional benefit to this strategy: If and when we got around to recording each of those proposed albums in the future… we would already have one song ready to go!

Writing songs that came from imaginary future albums was liberating; it freed us up to write a bunch of songs that were stylistically unrelated: “This song will be from our drug-inspired ‘psychedelic’ period,” we would say, or “This is from our ‘world beat’ album, recorded in Johannesburg.”

In December 1985, Eric and I made our triumphant return to Doug’s garage (aka Metrix Studios) and began recording our second album as fifi. This time around, the bulk of the engineering and recording duties were handled by Doug’s assistants, Michael and Brad (who everybody called “BradAss” – you know, like “BADass”?).

With one album under our belt(s), we now thought of ourselves as studio veterans. We felt emboldened to experiment a bit more, to try some unorthodox recording techniques, and – if absolutely necessary – to spend more than eight hours on the project, if that was what it took to produce a more “professional-sounding” album. To the chagrin of the Metrix staff, we also felt emboldened to boss around the engineers, re-position the carefully-placed microphones, and fiddle with the mixing board knobs whenever we got excited. Worse, Eric and I insisted on doing all recording “in character,” wearing our ridiculous fifi costumes and speaking in sub-literate Motorhead-esque voices at all times. One other thing that the Metrix staff did not appreciate: Eric preferred to do his vocal takes in the tiny recording booth while enthusiastically chopping at the air with a plastic battle-axe.

fifi Does its Duty: A Listening Guide

“Skippy’s Outta Jail” was our stab at a garage sound, plus our first and only song written for a female singer. Eric’s then-girlfriend Vicki Taylor sang it this time around; later, my then-wife Jen took her place.

Eric: It should be noted, in all fairness, that Vicki always felt a tad bit slighted by her unannounced replacement. I think I speak for all that it was never meant to be a personal affront. We are hereby completely, totally, and unconditionally sorry for any injury caused by such an unthinking and unfeeling act. Vicki’s vocals were perfect for the song, giving it a Waitresses-type of bent. Replacing her was inconceivable. The only explanation we can offer is that fifi were, above all other things, a pragmatic band. Time was money. Our youth was burning away. We acted impulsively. Sorry, Vicky.

Jen: Also, side note ERIC! I guess if you mean “not in tune or even on the beat or really even listenable” then Vicki’s version of Skippy is “Waitress-like”. You are kinda tone deaf, though, right?

Anyway, I had fun doing it, and we only didn’t let Vicki do it because she was Mormon, and had cruelly broken up with Eric in a “note” with stickers and all kinds of elusive accusations and veiled religious apocalyptic warnings about continuing to hang out with Jason. Or that’s how I remember it, anyway.

In real life, “Skippy” was a goody-two-shoes kid I knew when I was younger; a rich Little Lord Fauntleroy ass-kisser beloved by parents and hated by his peers. We fell out of touch when we were 8 or 9, and I didn’t see him again until a wedding reception during our teen years. Skippy was smoking a cigarette behind the church and sneaking drinks of something out of an improbable flask in his suit jacket. Every so often, he would rub his eyes sleepily and make passing reference to the “wild party” he had been at the night before. Clearly, he wanted someone to ask him about this “wild party,” but no one obliged. None of which is mentioned in the song.

With Joey on permanent hiatus, I decided I would play drums on “Skippy’s Outta Jail,” which was super-fun for me, and I flailed away joyously. It was less fun for Eric, since he had to play along with my awkwardly-timed pounding. That ate up some studio hours, let me tell you.

“A Day in the Life of a Doe” was inspired by – no, scratch that – shamelessly stolen from a short story by Woody Allen in which he describes some “lesser-known ballets.” This particular ballet begins with a graceful doe stepping out of the verdant forest to drink from a crystalline pool, and ends with the doe falling over stone dead. Eric played the $59 Casio I purchased at Fred Meyer, rockin’ the “Flute” setting.

“At Least You Saw the Jacksons” was inspired by the media frenzy surrounding the reunited Jacksons “Victory” tour, then in full swing. Like “Sorry ‘Bout That,” it was another of fifi’s “litany songs,” where we took the lazy songwriting approach of simply listing a bunch of unfortunate occurrences: “I heard you got electrocuted / You’re in a ‘State of Shock’ / I guess your boyfriend dumped you / Then drove off with your truck…” and so on. Bass by Eric, beats by Casio, spiced up with some improvised Morris Day-esque “flava.”

Saga was a Canadian prog-pop band I liked back in high school. They did this neat music geek thing where each album contained one song that was supposed to be a ‘chapter’ out of an extended story, but the chapters were scattered randomly throughout their catalog, forcing me to borrow ALL of Saga’s albums from our friend Tory Holmberg before I could painstakingly record the chapters in the correct order on a cassette and ascertain their true significance. Of course, even then, the songs didn’t form any kind of recognizable narrative, but my point is: that was pretty cool. Rush did a similar thing with the ‘Fear’ trilogy, but on a much smaller scale (only 3 songs).

This seemed like a pretty smart way to keep the fans engaged, and to trick them into purchasing all of your albums, so we wanted in on the scam. Our debut album had “Yogurt from Another World,” which we billed as “Part III of ‘Evil Dairy Products'”. For our second album, we recorded “Rebellious Cottage Cheese,” which was supposedly “Part XXXIX” of the same series. “Cottage Cheese” had one of my favorite opening verses, courtesy of Herr Creery: “Man lived in peace with his Cheese / Many, many years ago… / Havarti, Colby, Cheddar Cheese / Edam, Gouda, and Samsoe.”

We were huge fans of Peter Gabriel at the time (ask me about his concert at the Paramount, when he walked across the seat backs, and he reached out to steady himself on my arm!), and, through his music and interviews, we were just becoming aware of what we now call “World Music,” which, at the time, was primarily African. Peter Gabriel also shone a spotlight on political issues, like apartheid; issues that I knew nothing about. Years before any of us understood the full meaning of the word ‘apartheid,’ we were listening to Peter Gabriel albums and wondering who this “Biko” fellow was.

Eric: I always loved the final line of that song: “And the eyes of the world are watching now.” In truth, the eyes of the world were not watching, at least not yet.

We loved that he skillfully incorporated these influences and issues into his art; we also thought it would be really funny if our idiotic alter egos tried to do the same thing and failed miserably… Which is all a disclaimer for “African Disequilibrium,” the next song on “Does Its Duty.”

In this song, set to the insistent beat of some rented congas, fifi laments the living conditions in “Africa,” pointing to the facts that they “lack modern sewage disposal systems” and also that they “know not of Yamaha JetSkis.” The song ends with a plea for empathy, Eric and I urging our listeners to “Weep. Weep. Weep a lot.”

In our defense, I can only say that this kind of satire is very difficult to pull off, and we were only 18 at the time.

The album closes with fifi’s homage to (or cheap knockoff of) the Beatles “Revolution 9.” As a side note, I think our version is way better. First, we spent an afternoon down at the old pre-Koolhaas Seattle Public Library, on a fact-finding mission in the LP department. We checked out about 20 records from the “Spoken Word” and “Miscellaneous” bins: presidential speeches, language lessons, historic radio broadcasts, Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”…

Eric: Actually, it was the writings of Mao Tse-Tung.

…traditional Inuit folk songs, you name it. At home, we spent hours listening to those records and recording the best excerpts onto a cassette tape. By the time we were finished, we had something like 20 minutes of random audio snippets: “Do you, Richard Milhous Nixon…” “All modern weapons are merely extensions of the spear and the shield…” “If you will allow me, I would like to dance that with Mrs. Gunther…” “Cocaine makes it painless…”

Eric: I always loved the old Inuit lady singing along, randomly beating a drum in what could only theoretically be called a “rhythm.”

In the studio, we split this into two 10-minute sections which played simultaneously; one in the right channel, the other in the left. Over this schizophrenic collage, Eric blankly intoned the song’s only lyric: the word “semi-colon” repeated 156 times (yes, I counted). Add squealing guitar feedback to taste. Later, Matt made a video for this song.

The whole album was framed by an interview in which we introduced the songs and discussed the history of the band. The interview grew out of a skit Eric and I had written for Drama class back at MLTSHS. For the recorded version, we convinced Doug Williams to play the part of “The Interviewer,” which was a coup, because Doug had a super-smooth DJ voice. At the last minute, however, he backed out. He made various weak excuses, but we suspected that he just didn’t want any of his Christian friends to hear him participating in our childish hijinks.

In any case, Eric’s then-girlfriend Vicki agreed to take Doug’s place, so it all worked out in the end. Listening to the album now, however, with Vicki both conducting the interview and singing “Skippy’s Outta Jail,” it does seem a bit odd that the rock journalist fails to reference the fact that she is apparently a member of the group she is interviewing.

If anyone actually listened to our albums, this sort of gaffe would be unacceptable.

Video

  1. “Sorry ‘Bout That” Documentary, Part 2
  2. Semi-Revolutionary Colons

Audio

To download any of the songs individually, just right-click on the desired track in the playlist above and select “Save link as…”

To download the entire set in a .zip file, click here.

Lyrics

In case you’re interested (and also because Robin says she can’t understand what the hell we’re singing), the lyrics for this album can be found here.

Proceed to the next chapter in the spellbinding fifi saga.

2 Comments

  1. I can’t remember what I thought at the time… but today, I absolutely adore that video. It perfectly echoes the random “cut-and-paste” nature of the audio. After all these years, I can’t imagine any other images going with that song.

  2. A couple notes about the video for “Semi” –

    First: I had no idea what the song was about.

    B: I had no “vision” in my head of what I was going to do.

    IV: No reason why that should stop me.

    At this time I had a Super 8 camera (a Kodak – I think) and some film (that came in little black boxes). These rolls of film, all of four minutes worth, would be carted by me up to the Kodak Kiosk in downtown Mountlake Terrace. I would spend my paper-route money (or later my ‘real job’ money) on getting them processed. There was never any point where I actually used lighting, or sounds or anything like that.

    Now…why I chose to use 8mm film is beyond me since we already had proof (of the axe yielding video) that I had a video camera. Maybe I wanted to go “cinema verite” – or maybe I just didn’t want to break my EXPENSIVE VIDEO CAMERA (with attached portable video recorder). I don’t know the reason, okay.

    I think it also had to do with the fact that, well, I had an idea. You see, I collected 8mm films. As many and as crappy as I could find. There is something poetically majestic feeling when you stick a reel onto a projector, feed the header through said projector and bring it up to the rear reel. And then push “on” and see the images flicker and tweak the focus and suddenly, you’ve got a film playing. So, yes, I collected 8mm films. A lot of them. Small, large, big, little. If it was 8mm and I could buy it cheap – I would do so.

    Early in my marriage to Miriam we joined the “Friends of the Library.” The had two sales every year and, at this particular time, they were moving to VHS and selling off all their 8mm films. I would, literally, walk in, grab a box of films, walk to the counter, pay for them, walk out, put them in the car, walk in, grab a box of films, walk to the counter… How much were they? Well, the box said $1 per reel. Meaning that to get the four reel Hitchcock Film or the five reel “Saturday Night Fever” (with sound!) it would cost me $4 or $5. But…and this always worked in my favor, the person at the cash box didn’t want to calculate which box had how many reels so within moments they’d throw their hands up and say: “Oh, one dollar per film.” This collection came in handy years later when I sold them all on Ebay and made over $3,000.

    Still…at this point in my collecting I had small reels that would fit into mini players, or I had cartridges (still do) that fit into a Fisher Price Movie Viewer. I would rip these open (not the Fisher Price) and, using my film editor, would edit headers and trailers on them and watch them projected. Some of these were clips from “Star Trek” shows or “Emergency” or others.

    Using all these bits and pieces and the collection of random shots that I took (steam coming up through a grate, car driving, birds flying, sun setting) – I put them all together. There was no coherent thought as to why I cut it the way I did. I DID want to put the “Star Trek” and “Godzilla vs. Rodan” stuff on the end after a lot of the random cuts (running down stairs, traveling in an elevator) and I kept a flying bird (though sometimes it was flying forward, sometimes backward) as a bit of a constant. So it wasn’t COMPLETELY random…though felt like it.

    What did Jason think? Well, honestly, I don’t think he was that impressed. There WERE those random moments when the image changed perfectly in time with the music but, on a whole they were so completely separate to what the music was doing that it’s a wonder they were timed as close as they were.

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