The Wizard of Menlo Park Old Thomas Edison mixing up the medicine, messing up time from Accrington to Amazon. See them all come with their wires and booms and their itchy little thumbs, saying, “Play your funky drum!” Each jump in the dark we claim as our own, we know it’s a lie; we never acted alone. Each jump in the dark… A foot in the past, a head in a book, a soup of opinion, a ladle of luck. Each jump in the dark… The machine became the star, beats to the bar, poor Gus Dudgeon lying in his car. Down in the basement messing with the moment: alchemy and elements! Smashing up your instruments! From starlight to flashlight, sorting out the copyright – it takes a little time but the contract’s airtight. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The money’s in the black but the needle’s in the red “1,2,1,2, check, Wednesday, Mississippi, yeah…” Old Thomas Edison mixing up the medicine, messing up time from Accrington to Amazon. See them all come with their wires and booms and their itchy little thumbs, saying, “Play your funky drum!”
“Mary had a little lamb…” – that’s Thomas Edison, inventor of the phonograph in 1877. The Father of recorded sound, of recorded voices, of the sample and the loop: nicknamed The Wizard of Menlo Park, Edison built around him a small army of workers dedicated to inventing New and Wonderful Things: the lightbulb, the electric fuse, the megaphone. When a new employee asked about the company rules, Edison told him, “There ain’t no rules around here. We’re trying to accomplish something.” Invention, re-invention, the original and the Readymade: “Anything in the popular electronic media should be fair game.” (Negativland). In Britain we are each captured an average of 300 times a day on CCTV, and every political speech we hear is a cut-and-paste amalgam of focus group buzzwords. Pop music trips over itself trying to stitch together every catchy record we’ve ever heard from the past fifty years. “The blurring of the classic distinctions between past, present and future returns us to the nature of the loop itself. Somewhere in the world Tomorrow Never Knows is still playing.” (Jon Savage). Gus Dudgeon, one-time producer for Elton John, stitched together a rough six-second audiotape of African drummers in 1971 to make a continuous beat: the very first breakbeat, the first loop. He died in a car crash in 2001. His last words were “1,2…1,2… mic check.”
Just Desserts Groucho-Marxists look so sweet. Slapstick anarchists, nice enough to eat. Peter Kropotkin in the way we talk; Charlie Cairoli in the way we walk. See them scramble to the top – watch them fall from grace. Never trust a man with egg on his face. Intellectual tarts with a good left hook. Copycat killers – cover and duck! Polite assassins: You shout, I scream! And the party starts on a count of one, two, three. We talk without words, and everybody understands. Just desserts, delivered by hand. “Nobody move! Or the CEO gets 11it in the face with cream and dough!” See them scramble to the top – watch them fall from grace. Never trust a man with egg on his face.
“We have a crazed belief in ourselves, we pose a direct threat to everything that is pompous, from Margaret Thatcher to The Pope.” Pie-throwing is part of a surreal struggle against the status quo, against self-importance and conformity. It’s a communal effort, needing bakers, transporters, look outs and throwers: “With Bill Gates it took 32 people.” (Noel Godin, the Pope of Pie-Throwing). The rich, the powerful and the pompous are the natural target for the pie. The Biotic Baking Brigade describe their struggle as: “Diverse in philosophy and targets, diffuse in geography and structure. This movement comprises freedom-loving folks with a sense of aplomb and gastronomics. Fighting a guerrilla media and ground war with the titans of industry, revolutionary bakers and pie-slingers have achieved in short order what can truly be called a Global Pastry Uprising (GPU). This uprising has its roots in the belief that our planet is not dying, it is being killed; and the ones doing the killing have names and faces. Since the GPU began in the late 20th century, dozens of prominent corporate executives, politicians, economists and sell-out non-governmental organisation “leaders” have received their just desserts for crimes against people and the land. When it comes to defending the Earth from the corporate universe, the pie’s the limit!” One such target, Bill Gates, said he was “surprised and disappointed by the attack,” which left him with proverbial and actual egg all over his face. Even with a personal wealth fluctuating between 55 and 100 billion dollars, Gates was still vulnerable. He could buy and sell countries but not duck a pie. Godin says Gates was a target because he “chooses to function in the service of the capitalist status quo, without really using his intelligence or his imagination.” Pie throwing is about killing them softly with humour and disgrace. “We are careful not to hurt people… well, they are hurt but always in their amour propre (pride).” Links, videos, pictures, stories, and recipes: http://www.bioticbakingbrigade.org
On eBay Mr Kokoschka, it just happened again – they struck the museum like a hurricane. All of our culture, it’s dead and it’s gone. From Babylon, baby, back to Babylon. There’s stuff you find along the way and stuff you leave behind, and it all ends up as stuff that you can buy on eBay. From Babylon back to Babylon. In old Baghdad they’re dusting off the antiques; it’s the fourteenth Guernica we’ve had this week. I got twenty-five dollars for a Persian vase. Hold the critique! I think I’ll Go Large! That stuff inside your houses and that stuff behind your eyes, well it all ends up as stuff that you can buy on eBay. From Babylon back to Babylon. They’re building a tower out of wrappers and cans, and now we speak in a language that we all understand. T-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-tongue-tied and starry-eyed… It’s the ancient history of old school ties. There’s stuff dressed up as truth and then there’s stuff dressed up as lies, and it all ends up as stuff that you can buy on eBay. From Babylon back to Babylon.
“The military have known the importance of this museum. I showed them where it was. There’s no reason why this should be looted. I fully expect to see some of these looted items show up on eBay in coming weeks” (McGuire Gibson of the University of Chicago, one of the world’s top Mesopotamia scholars, after the museum looting in Baghdad.) Writing in The Independent, journalist Robert Fisk said this of the looting: “For Iraq, this is Year Zero; with the destruction of the antiquities in the Museum of Archaeology and the burning of the National Archives and then the Koranic library, the cultural identity of Iraq is being erased. Why? Who set these fires? For what insane purpose is this heritage being destroyed?” French writer and critic Jean Baudrillard made sense of what happened in Baghdad when he said that the West’s mission was to make the world’s wealth of cultures “interchangeable”, and to subordinate them within the global order. “Our culture, which is bereft of values, revenges itself upon the values of other cultures.” When Donald Rumsfeld was asked about the theft of Iraq’s cultural treasures he quipped: “Stuff happens. It’s untidy. And freedom’s untidy. Free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.” He further joked, “Television is merely running the same footage of the same man stealing a vase over and over,” and added that he “didn’t think there were that many vases in Iraq”. According to Baudrillard, war’s primary aim is to normalise savagery, diminish any resistance but also “to colonise and tame any terrain, geographical or mental.” By imposing Western culture on Iraq and allowing its own history to be decimated, America is merely making the worlds cultures interchangeable. Making everything taste the same, and making nothing have any real value. Here, swap you a Big Mac for this vase.
Everything You Know Is Wrong Taking scissors to play cut up with the black vote down in Florida; coloured pens and glitter glue for sexing up the dossier. I’m the someone who knew something they’re not telling pre-September. I lean on people in the loop to help them un-remember. I was flying on UA 93: that shadow in the footage- it was probably me. You think I’m little more than a lie, but you wouldn’t stand near me if you didn’t want to die. Everything you know is wrong. There’s █████ missing out of this song. Everything you know is wrong, wrong, wrong. In the canteen down at Columbine with the bags they never found; striking matches up at Waco when they burnt it to the ground. Without me, Oklahoma wasn’t possible at all – see my silhouette in the Super 8 around the grassy knoll. I was there when they landed on the moon (in a studio in Kentucky in June). I’ve got Kennedy’s brain in a jar. If you knew what I knew you wouldn’t laugh so hard. I was in Paris in the underpass. I’m the FO-sponsored supergrass. I’m Charlie Thrush in Minnesota, and I smuggled hep across the border. Stole Danny Casolaro’s memoirs; put the acid in the reservoirs. I’m Ron Brown’s body on a T-43 (and I hid those missing WMD’s).
“Received wisdom – the common knowledge – is often wrong.” (Russ Kick, author of You Are Being Lied To). They’re telling lies to cover for me. That’s right, it was all me. I did their dirty work every time, and some other sucker always got the blame. All of ’em, Kennedy to Diana. Charlie Thrush, aka Timothy Leary… sings like a bird, that was the lie. Ha! Start the rumour and watch it become Truth. Hepatitis ‘B’ was flooding the States, so we shipped it wholesale over the border to Canada. Don’t believe me? Check the deleted records. Ron Brown… just what was in that briefcase? I’d love to find out, but l’ m too busy right now trying to find Weapons of Mass Destruction over in Iraq. You know what, I might be here some time – and that’s the truth. “Stop complaining about the media. Become the media.”
Be With You The future glints like the moon on an old slate roof, and everything you say sounds like the truth. The things you did made half my dreams come true – and I wanted to be with you. Sing your songs of what could be; of all the things you brought back home to me. And I wonder what the papers are going to say? Another actress, another war, another day? But everything’s changed, the world woke up today – and I wanted to be with you. Sing your songs of what could be; draw the world for those who couldn’t see.
“It’s given me the balls to want to do something,” said a white Zimbabwean who saw Henry Olonga and Andy Flower take the field in black armbands at the opening game of the Cricket World Cup in Harare. Olonga and Flower said the armbands “were mourning the death of democracy” in their country. President Mugabe Is press described the pair as “traitors, mercenaries and schizoids,” and their actions led to them being hounded out of Zimbabwe and into exile. The World Cup was supposed to give a veneer of international respectability to Zimbabwe, to cover the poverty, rapes, tortures and murders under polite applause and the sound of the ball being driven for six. Olonga and Flower’s black armbands instead focused attention on the corruption and violence of Mugabe’s regime- the crowd supported their stand by shouting “Viva Henry!” every time Olonga ran up to bowl. It took guts to make such a public statement in a repressive regime. On the bus after the game, the two players were kicked and man-handled by the other players and officials and both were forced into exile because they were no longer safe in Zimbabwe.
When Fine Society Sits Down To Dine With her friends on a road less travelled, on a journey of do’s and dares. Looking back on a fear of leaving and forgetting how it felt to be scared. There are those paying fancy prices to pretend they have fancy lives – but at every charity banquet the majority stands outside. When fine society sits down to dine, remember that someone is pissing in the wine. Pissing in the wine, pissing in the wine – remember that someone is pissing in the wine. She’d love to be dancing the tango and she traces the steps in her mind. You can tell by the snap of her fingers that she moves to a different time, where all the quiet submission is smeared in lipstick red; and every act is a crime of passion: “That’s not all she wrote,” she said. We play to a packed gallery. We smile for the CCTV. We’re making our own history. When fine society sits down to dine, remember that someone is pissing in the wine. Pissing in the wine, pissing in the wine- remember that someone is pissing in the wine.
Mujeres Creando (women creating) take art back to the streets. In 1992 three friends, Maria Galindo, Julieta Paredes and Monica Mendoza started painting Bolivia Is walls with public deconstructions of machismo, neo-liberalism and homophobia. Their graffiti (las pintadas) was witty, stinging and shouted what had only been previously whispered in Bolivia: “Disobedience: it’s your fault I’m going to be happy.” As anarcho feminists – two of them the only openly-gay activists in Bolivia – they brought ideas, confrontation, desires and happiness to walls. And they’re doing it still. Their anarchism is steeped in everyday life, they’re serious and funny, and even their cafe is called Carcajada (laughter). “We’re not anarchists by Bakunin or the CNT, but rather by our grandmothers, and that’s a beautiful school of anarchism.” (Julieta Paredes). The intention is to subvert the patriarchal order. They sing, they dance, they paint. They seize space and art and the moment; they see themselves as beautiful and flawed, and their actions are all rolled up into one forward movement. Mujeres Creando take tradition and turn it inside out: in 2002 they faced arrest for making a TV show where two women in national costume kissed long and passionately. They gave pots of paint to women from the barrios who then painted slogans on the walls of the bank that was suffocating them with debt. When bankers were taken hostage by a group of debtors (so desperate that they strapped dynamite to themselves) Mujeres Creando were part of the delegation who stopped soldiers from mowing down protesters and then negotiated the wiping out of the debt. Mujeres Creando can be 15 women or hundreds of women; the resonance coming from their creativity is altering Bolivia and influencing Latin America and beyond.
A Man Walks Into A Bar A man walks into a bar, he says, “Give me a Bacardi and Coke!” The ‘Back o’ Beyond Repair’ welcomes the broken and the broke. Blather hitches a ride on the back of second-hand smoke and the man, well, he’ll be the punchline in someone else’s joke. He says, “I’ll beat this drink! It’s a habit I’ll kick. Please help me now, I’m going to be sick. Something hit me; I wound up on the floor. Damn this Bacardi! I don’t want any more…” A man walks into a think-tank full of hooch and future sales, mixing wish lists with extension plans re: Guantanamo jail. Smell the solid beech and a whiff of ‘cannot fail’ and a gilt-tray chock with goblets dripping cut-throat cocktails. And they drink a toast to Florida and all its air-conditioned hum, and they damn the health of Cuba and they damn its bona fide rum. He sucks a kalamata olive, spits out the stone, and he mimics crushing people between forefinger and thumb. The first man wakes up in the same bar, but it’s different, as in a dream. In fact it’s someone else’s dream… clean sheets and new regime. Fidel burns as Nero roams, “Give the bar a zip code!” “See you…” “Si… C.U.” and it’s one more for the road.
Squeezed between the American embargo and Castro Is crackdowns, the Cuban people are well and truly screwed. The USA funded the former dictator Batista, and when Cuban rebels nationalised everything in 1960 they failed to recompense US companies. This is the cause of the embargo; the US was sulking. Many of the Cuban exiles on the Florida coast were supporters of Batista. They get older, but they still lobby the US government to keep crippling what is left of Cuba. They dress up in camouflage to practise for a war that never comes; and they drink Bacardi. In advertising its white rum, Bacardi plays on its Cuban roots, misleading drinkers into believing that Bacardi still has some links with the island. In fact the Bacardi empire is based in the Bahamas, and the Bacardi company broke all ties with Cuba after the Revolution of 1959, when its cronies in the Batista dictatorship were overthrown. Bacardi’s lawyers helped draft the US Helms-Burton Act, which extends the United States’ blockade of Cuba to third countries. The blockade prevents the sale of food, medicines and other essential supplies to Cuba and threatens other countries (including Britain) if they trade with Cuba. Humanitarian goods are included in the embargo. It has been estimated that the blockade has cost Cuba over $40 billion in lost production and trade. If Cuban rum were to legally enter the US market, Barcardi sales would plummet. The US claims the blockade is about establishing democracy. It’s supposedly the last remnant of the Cold War: capitalism versus state communism. The USA’ s trade with China makes a mockery of this stand. Though Castro is definitely guilty of violating human rights, so are the governments in Guatemala, China and Indonesia. These nations all receive US economic and political support despite their atrocities. The blockade has only strengthened Castro’s hold on Cuba, giving him a moral advantage point he shouldn’t possess. Don’t make mine a Bacardi…
Buy Nothing Day I woke up this morning my temperature high. “I’ll never buy nothing again,” I lied. My doctor he told me stay out of town. He said, “Affluenza will get you down.” What did you do in the war, Dad? What did you do in the war? Ring up the tills in the High Street – I’m not coming in anymore. There’s a price tag on me and there’s sick on the floor: we’re buying up anything we can’t afford. Wherever I go I keep hearing this voice saying “choose what you want!” but there’s so little choice… What did you do in the war, Dad? What did you do in the war? Ring up the tills in the High Street – I’m not coming in anymore. There’s dumb moves behind me and bad debts above; I pawned my affections and still got no love. My heart and my pocket will say it’s unfair (I’m unlearning the cost of this laissez-faire). What did you do in the war, Dad? What did you do in the war? Ring up the tills in the High Street – I’m not coming in anymore.
Introducing The Church of Stop Shopping… “Each and every one of us is labouring under the psychic weight of powerful absurdities, children!” (Reverend Billy Other Love, founder of The Church). Buy Nothing Day – one Thanksgiving day in November. President Bush roasts a thanksgiving bird and gets ready to carve up Iraq. Buy Nothing Day is ours, a temporary disconnection from solving everything with another purchase. “Hello, my name is… I am a shopaholic.” (Aren’t people supposed to clap at this point?) Started by Adbusters magazine in 1997, Buy Nothing Day has turned into a global phenomenon. A one-day break from the endless cycle of consumerism, a chance to breathe without buying, a pause to consider where the stuff on the shelves comes from and who produces the things we fill our lives with – and under what conditions. In Australia, Japan, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, America and the UK, activists take to the shops not to buy but to perform. In London members of the Not Cricket Club serve free cucumber sandwiches outside Starbucks and McDonald’s, and Santas take over Hanleys, taking toys off the shelves and handing them directly to kids. The message is: “Buy Less, Live More.” Go to http://www.adbusters.org, and they’ll sell you some really good stuff…
Following You Lilac growing up the walls. This sunny afternoon is ours, after all – the sip sip sip of the dripping tap. Raise the pirate flag and laugh! This town, as ugly as sin, hidden from our secret garden. We make it up as we go along, and sometimes it turns into a song – this song. Don’t ask me what needs doing when there is so much to do. Don’t ask me where I’m going, ‘cos I’m just following you. We took back this bit of space and made it into a different place. Now there’s a promise in your eyes; and there’ll be breakfast when you rise. We’re a shipwreck in this town: a hunted fox that’s gone to ground. See us dancing on the polished floor. We’ll do the fox-trot forever more! Don’t ask me what needs doing when there is so much to do. Don’t ask me where I’m going, ‘cos I’m just following you.
Social Centres are attempts to create new worlds in ugly places. Inside the often run-down buildings, people meet and break down the barriers between politics and leisure, socialising and organising. The idea of the social centre is well established in Italy and Spain, but the concept of stepping sideways and creating a space that is outside the control of business is taking hold in the UK, with new centres opening in Brighton, Leeds and London. If capitalism has made life a ‘social factory’ where everything is paid for in some way and all roads lead to work, then social centres are the stolen kiss against the factory wall. They transform little pieces of the city, little pieces of us. They are a place where people aren’t judged by what they own but by what they do together. They represent a new living politics, a making-it-up-as-we-go-along space, where the emphasis is not on consuming and producing but talking to each other. We played a show at Milan’s Leon Cavallo Centre. There was a little bit of everything all poured into one pot: when we arrived to set up our equipment in the afternoon, old men were sitting out in the sunshine, talking. We drank beer and read in a tiny patch of garden. A cafeteria served cheap food (and terrible wine) to people who seemed to emerge from nowhere. In one of the side rooms a meeting, in the main hall a film and a discussion. We played pop music at midnight, and outside in the courtyard there was an art installation with DJ’s, a full-on rave in the enclosed cobble square and a cocktail bar (complete with Hawaiian thatch) tucked into an alcove. In social centres there is no division between community and activist, between politics and having a good time: from this space comes new possibilities.
We Don’t Want To Sing Along Tap, tap, tap in the chatrooms – we’re learning how to make a bomb. “Hmm, well, whatever…” We don’t want to sing along. We don’t want to sing along, we don’t want to sing along. We know every word to the song but we don’t want to sing along. Oh Marilyn, she’ll desert me, telling me I was wrong, She’s all lipstick and instinct for money. Well, we don’t want to sing along. We don’t want to sing along, we don’t want to sing along. We know every word to the song but we don’t want to sing along. Shhh! Listen to the bullies singing to prove that they all belong. You’d better watch your step, bully, ‘cos we don’t want to sing along. We don’t want to sing along. We don’t want to sing along. We know every word to the song but we don’t want to sing along.
Time magazine quotes a 255lb defensive lineman at Columbine as saying: “Columbine is a clean, good place except for those rejects.” He added, “Sure we teased them. But what do you expect with kids who come to school with weird hairdos and horns on their hats? It’s not just the jocks; the whole school’s disgusted with them. They’re a bunch of homos, grabbing each others’ private parts. If you want to get rid of someone, usually you tease ’em. So the whole school would call them homos, and when they did something sick, we’d tell them, ‘You’re sick and that’s wrong. ‘” As they opened fire on their classmates, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were heard to say, “This is for all the people who made fun of us all these years” Investigator Regina Heuter reported to the Columbine Governors’ Board that Harris and Klebold were “often” harassed by the jocks because they were loners and didn’t have the protection in numbers of the so-called Trench Coat Mafia, a group they didn’t belong to. Klebold and Harris weren’t heroic wimp avengers; they didn’t just attack their tormentors. They were full of hate and racism and though they claimed their targets were jocks they hunted down and murdered one of Columbine’s six black students. But they didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to murder the school’s royalty. Death didn’t surface out of a void… look into the reports and out comes bullying and gun culture. Harris left a suicide note which read: “By now, it’s over. If you are reading this, my mission is complete… Your children who have ridiculed me, who have chosen not to accept me, who have treated me like I am not worth their time are dead. THEY ARE FUCKING DEAD… Surely you will try to blame it on the clothes I wear, the music I listen to, or the way I choose to present myself, but no. Do not hide behind my choices. You need to face the fact that this comes as a result of YOUR CHOICES. Parents and teachers, you fucked up. You have taught these kids to not accept what is different. YOU ARE IN THE WRONG. I have taken their lives and my own – but it was your doing. Teachers, parents, LET THIS MASSACRE BE ON YOUR SHOULDERS UNTIL THE DAY YOU DIE.”
Did It For Alfie Rejoice! Just rejoice at that news! This girl has got the midlife blues. She lost her favourite marble again, it rolled down the nearest drain. A swing to the right and she’s under attack: much-sought-after property, completely detached, plunging at the neck and daring at the back – and everybody says she looks better like that. Rejoice! Just rejoice at that news! This girl was split completely in two. Trevor, knock me down with a feather! In the United Kingdom of Whatever. With a clean-cut centre parting and a bloodrush to the head, “You won’t get any older, dear,” is what her stylist said, “it’s elegant bold and striking!” (She’ll never need a hat). Everybody says she looks better like that. “Alfie – I did it for Alfie.”
Paul Kellher bought a new Slazenger V600 cricket bat and headed for the Guildhall Art Gallery. He smuggled the bat into the room down his trousers and waited for an opportune moment, then got the weapon out and lunged towards an 8 feet high marble statue of Margaret Thatcher. The first blow hit her on the nose and bounced off with a ‘ping.’ Kellher then grabbed a crowd barrier and attacked again. This time it was a clean decapitation. Her head rested beside her floor-length skirt. Kellher waited for the police to arrive, then told them: “I think she looks better like that.” Most level-headed people agreed. Thatcher is more than an ex-prime minister; she is a symbol of ruthless ideology, of enforced globalisation, of gangster-style unbridled capitalism… she is Pinochet with hairspray, she is the Ronald McDonald of politics, wiping out choice and opposition and imposing a generic, stifling culture. Kellher said he vandalised the statue to protect his son, Alfie: “I am becoming increasingly worried as to what sort of a world I have brought my son into.” During his trial he explained that he did it to prevent globalisation, to stop the world cosying up to America. Kellher said: “I’m not a criminal so I will have to enter a plea of not guilty.” Despite being handed three months in jail, Kellher was unrepentant: “I didn’t hurt anybody. It’s just a statue, an idol we seem to be worshipping to a greater extent.” We need to spend a lot more time asking each other, says Brian Holmes, “whether our cultural fictions – our architecture and our ideas, our hierarchies and ambitions and loves- are really any good for us… we need to engage in desymbolisation and resymbolisation, in what Bureau d’Etudes calls ‘the deconstruction and reconstruction of complex machines.’ This is the way that artistic practices can affect reality.”
Rebel Code One mic, three chords, our memories stored. One song, two words, no chance to get bored. Dreaming that you’re quietly driving by… waking, wiping sleep out of your eyes. Watching fiery cocktails in the sky. Rebel code. Huddled in the cellars underground, they’re tapping out a code to bring you down – hacking into every home in town. Rebel code. Stalin waits forever at the gate. We simplify, we complicate- the urge to break, the need to recreate. Rebel code. Changing everything that they were taught: alcohol and fire and ones and noughts. Something in the water and the bones – Rebel code.
Two revolutionary inventions from Finland, at both ends of the evolutionary scale: the molotov cocktail and the Linux computer operating system. The molotov cocktail was first used by the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War, but it found a name in the ad-hoc attacks against the Soviet occupation of Finland in 1939. Empty vodka bottle, petrol, rag: three steps to burn out an invading tank. The home-made bomb’s namesake was Mikhailovich Molotov, the Finnish politician who engineered the ‘friendly’ Soviet invasion. So it’s the Molotov cocktail because it’s aimed at Molotov… Zoom zoom zoom to 1990, and young Linus Torvalds is halfway through his computer studies in a Helsinki classroom. Bill Gates is about to take over the world (bar the odd pie in the face). Linus and a few mates bury themselves in downstairs rooms, drink vodka, and invent revolutionary computer code which will be called Linux – free operating software. Linus posts a message to the world: “Want to get rich quick by the end of the century by taking money from hordes of venture capitalists and clueless Wall Street suits? Need to get even with Bill Gates but don’t know what to do except throw cream pies at him? Then this post might just be for you :-)” They called it Rebel code. It must be the cold weather. Or the vodka.
Chumbawamba on this recording are Alice Nutter: Unorganised vocals • Jude Abbott: Untardy trumpet, vocals • Dunstan Bruce: Unisex vocals • Louise Watts: Unchaotic vocals, Una Corda keyboards • Boff: Unpunctual guitar, vocals • Neil Ferguson: Unfussed bass, vocals, whatever, I don’ t mind, no really, you decide • Harry Hamer: Unity Gain drums, vocals • Danbert Nobacon: Absolutely unembarrassed vocals. With Andy Cutting: Diatonic accordion • Gill Pearson: Violin • Simon Lanzon: As Mrs Arbuthnot’s host • Justin Sullivan: Mouth organ • Kevin ‘Lord when abroad, Charnley when in Armley’: Testing, testing • Pat Grogan: Gus Dudgeon impression (sue The Pope, not us). Un was recorded in 2003 at Shabby Road Studios, Bradford, above the sound of a newborn baby crying. It was mixed in a farmhouse called Schoolmaster Pasture up in the Yorkshire Dales and mastered in Heaton in the room at the top of the house. It was written, arranged and produced by Chumbawamba (bloody control freaks). Photographs by Casey Orr. Sleeve design by Unbaader-Meinhof.
All songs published by EMI Music Publishing Germany GMBH © 2004 Chumbawamba
®&© Mutt Records Ltd
Chumbawamba can be contacted at PO Box TR666, Armley, Leeds, LS12 3XJ, UK.
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Back cover (clockwise from top left): Alice, Neil, Harry, Danbert, Jude, Boff, Lou, Dunst
“No, no, no; you’re wrong.”
(John Lennon, 1966)