By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
By Falyn Freyman
By Hans Morgenstern
One must always temper one's hunger for knowledge with respect for the risk involved. To learn one must risk getting burned.
The trouble began three years ago when mail that was strange even for newspaper post-office boxes began piling up: letters plastered with cryptic misspellings, patches of print-media clippings, colorful drawings -- and all that was just on the outside. A code of many colors. Return address: the Prom Sluts.
The Prom Sluts then sent me a formal dinner invitation.
Yeah, right, I'm going to show up, by myself, at the apartment door of some psychos who've been sending me obscene and frightening mail. I'll walk in and there'll be a bunch of naked serial killers preparing an altar on which to sacrifice me.
The food, like the Prom Sluts's avant rock, was incredible. Tomato-mozzarella-prosciutto appetizers followed by spinach salad with mustard-based dressing, homemade bread, stuffed green peppers, an elegant orange-tuber side dish, perfectly cooked roast beef -- none of it poisoned or even laced with LSD. Then came dessert: fondue, chocolate cream pie, and, of course, Limburger cheesecake. (Really. I even took a bite. Like most things different, you don't know until you try it.)
Now time has finally come for a three-years-later pay-ya-back to a band whose credo was "we want to become immortal -- and then kill ourselves."
They did -- the Prom Sluts disbanded.
Frontman Sir Robert and drummer Tim Tim Tim the InTimidator have since formed a new band -- Kreamy 'Lectric Santa -- with Sister Ray (violin and some vocals), Shazam De la Rok (guitar and colonic), Barbarian (bass), Jan 9 (vocals and gymnastics). Their new three-song record, "Supergroup 2000," also features guests, credited thusly: "JM (sax), Sasha (chicken butt), and Dave Kudzma (projections and savior)."
When a rock group issues new product, members must make the promotional rounds -- Letterman, Rockline, in-stores at Spec's. Lacking those opportunities, this group was naturally eager to accept my invitation: a barbecue at Baker's. (Almost poetic, ain't it?) No Limburger cheesecake this time. Chicken guts, though.
I chose a sparkling summer Sunday 'cause I figured God wouldn't mind if we experimented with His reality. I invited the band members proper (so to speak); their manager, Sean Kelly; their record producer, Frank R.B. Falestra; and poet-band consultant Lionel Goldbart. The editor of this newspaper -- knowing full well I'd be plastered before the first piece of meat came off the grill -- assigned investigative ace Jim DeFede to cover the event. Twenty people showed up. (Guitarist De la Rok couldn't make it due to the fact he was sick and vomiting blood A and he hadn't even consumed any of my food!) The group had a reputation for doing crazed and twisted things on and off stage, and I thought it best to be prepared for anything.
The band had a live show scheduled for 4:00 that afternoon, so timing was tight, but I discovered that the propane tank for my grill was empty. My wife took off to get fuel about noon, when the first guests began to arrive: a photographer named Priscilla Forthman (on assignment for New Times) and Frank Falestra, who had flown in from New York City earlier that morning, abandoning the New Music Seminar early, driving straight to my place from MIA. Frank obviously takes his R.S.V.P.s seriously.
Frank and I popped open some cold brews and tried to explain to Priscilla what a Club Guido is, who the Boredoms are, things perhaps too obscure for general consumption. By the time we convinced her she should spend every night at Washington Square moshing, the Kreamy entourage began filing in.
From reporter DeFede's notes:
For those who've never been to the Bake-abode, you must realize it is about the size of a two-car garage but with fewer amenities. When I arrived Baker was working the grill on the back porch. He had about 80 pounds of meat in various stages of readiness. On the stove in the kitchen was bubbling a tub of baked beans...
Trained observer DeFede apparently did not look under the lid of the big frying pan, where the chicken guts were gently sauteing in garlic, onion, butter, and white wine.
Blaring from the stereo was Kreamy's new seven-inch single -- which they call a "vynal CD." "Supergroup 2000" contains three tunes: "Resurgence," "Ism," and "KLS Love Theme (Love Theme from KLS)" (partially mistitled in the credits as "Love Theme to K.L.S"). It's guitars and rhythms and vocals and squalling and different and beautiful because it's different. There are traces of the Fall, the Damned, Captain Beefheart, Zappa-but-on-drugs, the Buzzcocks. Music as anti-music but musical. DeFede knows what I mean.
Lionel Goldbart brought along a pal of his -- Fred. Clearly Lionel was a dupe in Fred's investigative game, some government agency or another was surely trying to nail us all for doing...oh, God, paranoia already. From DeFede's notes:
Cracking open a Pabst Blue Ribbon, I decided to see who was in the house. In the kitchen, sweating profusely, was a man in a floral print shirt, reflective sunglasses masking his face, neatly cropped gray hair adorning his dome. He looked fiftyish. This guy had Fed written all over him. I moved past him as quickly as possible.