Norbert Fragg: Remembrance of Things Crass

Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2000 10:29:55 EST
From: Bknt at aol dot com
Subject: Norbert Fragg: Remembrance of Things Crass
Hotel Palais du Plonk
Surly Pains
New Jersey

Having arrived in good cheer and bad plumbing for a series of interviews
the lurking pressa"delight pounces unexpectedly. Interviewer #1 has
due to a sudden outbreak of suppurating facial blemishes and Interviewer #2
has succumbed to toxic shock having chewed his skin for several hours during
a transcontinental flight between Pago Pago and the Isles of Langer's Hands
(where, exactly 12 years, three months and a possible Leap Year ago, the
first Guitar Wonk session was canceled when a gibbering collection of
plumescent Morris Dancers insisted on intrusively photographing the
gigster with his trousers at half mast, possibly due to the gigster's
questionable turn as the star of a series of pornographic cinema shorts
featuring a magnificently endowed pseudo-Polynesian steel guitarist
performing under the nom-de-picker of Hawaiian Lay).

Two tranquil hours spent sitting on the floor (the chairs will no longer
me), snacking upon shrink-wrapped mini-bar madeleins and practicing
dilegently on a pair of portable Hernandez what-hath-Fragg-frothed
machines, were interrupted by a portly, persisently nasal retentive visitor
from the local constabulary, with a mostly scripted list of questions
concerning the tragic disappearance of Interviewer #3, whose hand-held tape
recorder and collection of String Tension officially de-mastered CDs (which,
presumably, would have been offered with the insolent expectation
mutilation by the cramped claw of a grateful but not yet dead working
guitarist) embedded in the surface of a mammoth tub of rapidly hardening

In the colourful slang of the local Americans, made vividly appealing in the
mouths of jolly Italianate duffers on the American television programme The
Contraltos, this hairy beefster from Copland was clearly out to get me. Was
(he asked) aware that with the world awash in the recorded squeals of pop
princesses, boy bands and sneering, artificially malignant "frappe music"
poseurs, I was ever much the lucky duck that the few lumpen,
wheezers willing to devote an hour or more in their otherwise busy workday
suckling at the treacly paps of multi-national media conglomerates, and
do-not-ask-what-is-it-but-make-their-feckless-visit to this Caligarlic
Cabinet of a hotel room, with its unspeakably scenic vistas of New Jersey
construction sites where the concrete encrusted corpse of Interviewer #3 is
no doubt playing a supporting role? After all (my madeleine munching
interogator continued) the collection of tortured twangs and polyrhythmic
rictus the latest String Tension disk, The CombuSTion of Spite, wasn't
to raise a bubble of noxious gas to the Top of the Slops (though it has
already received prodigious pre-release radio play on Glory Anderson's
Difficult Music Hour), without a wee bit o' puissant publicity. Why, then,
was this very Fragg, who has previously stated a piquantly perverse passion
for gratuitously violent filmed afflati, arranging for his dwindling
dedicated cheerful, willing, curry flavoring publicity hacks to suffer
disfiguring ailments and die horribly, when the aformentioned gigster could
strut and fret his hour upon the stage, and then be gone, or possibly
the task to the temporarily hairless Mr. Music Head, the very Mondrian
who can be charming, sincere and enlightening as to his inner motivations,
cosmic implications, zoopa-de-anglais, zippa-dee-days when he isn't calling
bunch of words a turd?

At this stage in the recedings, the dyspeptic performer, having arrived at
the stage in which the world is a stage, placed his trust in the nature of
the performance, replied, "This is may not be for you, but it is definitely
not for me." Then, improvising on a familiar spoon, gagged himself and thus
hurled upon the now fleeing unfortunate the deliquescing contents of his
discontent, careful in his aim that none of the post-digestive spray
approached the perimeter of his bed.

Mr. Page would have approved.

Bill Kent

Mike Stok