Norbert Fragg: the Flossed Diaries


Date: Monday, 4 Jan 1999 14:18:55 
From: Bknt at aol dot com
Subject: Norbert Fragg: the Flossed Diaries

Dear Team,

While researching an ingestigative expose of Frank Zappa's trenchant Dental Hygiene Dilemma, I found myself in the quaintly named section of London known as Spittalfields, where I was directed with salivary vehemence by a somewhat dusty dustman to a peculiar accumulation of medicinally related music industry waste that failed to qualify for inclusion in the so-called sanitary landfill beneath Cleveland's Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame.

There, tangled among zircon encrusted tweezers, modified dog retainers, an Official Disco Boy Souvenir Nasal Hair Removal Kit and a truly hideous tangle of Montana-raised dental floss, I discovered, to my shock, horror and carefully constructed facade of disaffected ennui, another excised edition of the dyspeptic jottings (some would say spottings) of Norbert Fragg, that chart-bottoming, cappuccino-swilling, seminal but not Seminole guitarist and former member of the supremely influencial but never quite commercially feasible musical group, Sing Frampton, whose delightfully dissonant compositions--Spoonchild, Tailor's Sale, and Will Somebody Tell Me What Thella Hung Ginjeet Means (the same zesty ditty that has been covered by both Leon Redbone and Garth Brooks) continue to constipate Earnest Young Men everywhere.

While I would normally horde these writings for future disposal by Sotheby's, I decided to share portions that concern Fragg's pensive massacre of an innocent household pest, his guidelines for audients, and his instructions to musicians regarding his recording company, Insolent Foaming Bile, which he has founded for the purpose of "enabling money to enter my world."

Thus:

  1. Having flung the contract binding me to the disputatious, fraudulent, rapacious, thieving, bung-brained and otherwise not very nice Fee Gee Records into my incommodious commode, last used by Cecil Beaton for purposes upon which the mind boggles, I filled my bath with arscenic-laced cappucino in the hope of poisoning a wretchedly noisey cricket, whose persistent acoustic leg rubbing in 4/4 has become so intrusively monotonous that I can no longer do my morning sitting without its insistently predictable time signature offending my polyrhthymic sensibilities. After much consultation and consideration on the subject, I, who have been a vegetarian since I was forced by an American record promoter to eat my hat in 1976, decided that living things may indulge in unconscionably ordinary time signatures outside my walls. But come inside, and fail to set your electronic percussion on stun, and you're dead meat.

  2. For music to enter the world properly, that is, without a passport and spared from paying the VAT, the eager audient must do exactly what I want the eager audient to do while I am performing or I will just have no fun at all and get all hissy and mean and refuse to do interviews in which I am asked questions that I have been asked previously. If the eager audient does exactly what I want I still may not have fun and I certainly will refuse to do interviews because it's just no fun at all to be intellectually obscure, mystically arcane and fecklessly enigmatic and have someone ask you why you broke up a band that was on the verge of great success on August 17, 1976 at 7:42 p.m. while dining on a braised banker's bowler at Sardi's.

  3. If you are a musician who wants to be rich and famous and desires a small, woefully underfinanced mail-order record company such as Insolent Foaming Bile to become a pathway to the rewards you feel you deserve, please send me your demo tapes because I am so good at identifying demo tapes made by people who want to be rich and famous that I don't even have to listen to them and therefore won't listen to them because they remind me that if I were rich and famous I wouldn't have to be mucking about the dreary business of having my own record company, clinging to the hope that someday, among the disgracefully derivative dreck that daily darkens my doorstep, the Baron Vonder Bon Von VolksRabbit (who, unlike the cricket, listens to all unsolicited submissions, responds promptly to all guestbook posts and can thump out a mean 7/5) will find and market the Next Big Thing, thus enabling me to become a disputatious, fraudulent, rapacious, thieving, bung-brained and otherwise not very nice recording industry mogul, retire to a Carribean paradise, wear tiny bathing trunks, breed killer rabbits and have scandalous relationships with females young enough to be my children.

Isn't THAT what music is FOR?

(At this point, the diaries deteriorate into the infrequently alliterative, unprincipled ravings of a contentedly depraved artist-turned-venture capitalist eager to make his first billion so he may circle the earth in a balloon whose content, size and metaphorical possibilities have no correspondence to his opinion of himself.)

Bill Kent



Mike Stok