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04 Dec, 2002

The tour is over and the holiday season is in full swing. Here in LA it was a fabulous spring-like day today. Justin donned his gardening gloves and wellies (even though the sun is warm, the ground is still a bit damp) early this morning and stepped out into his garden, where he spent the day tending, trimming, potting and transplanting all sorts of lush green growing things - one of his little known passions. He advises aspiring gardeners to talk, sing or play Jimi Hendrix to their plants whenever possible, guaranteeing they will thrive beyond your wildest dreams. With him were his three dogs, three cats and two turtles, who sunbaked on a mushroom shaped rock midway between the cacti corner and the English rose garden, happy as pigs in mud. Which leads me to Adam, who passed most of the day today interviewing contractors bidding to build the palacial winter residence he has designed for his pigs, Etsel and Mo. No one has met Adam's high standards yet (nothing but the best will do for his betusked babies) but apparently Scott Reeder knows a top agrestic architect who recently constructed an underground lair for his own pot-bellied pig, Portis. Adam will meet with him tomorrow. Danny spent much of the day in bed in a state of semi-hypnosis, which he describes as somewhat like enhanced lucid dreaming. He is not sure exactly what kind of tree he stumbled upon last week in the hills behind his house, but plans to investigate once he crawls out of the trance like state the smoke from the wood has left him in for days. Of course that won't happen until he runs out of firewood, and being the Kansas boy he is, when Danny starts chopping he can pile up enough wood for a whole winter in one afternoon. We'll keep you posted on his condition, as well as his research into this mysterious tree. Maynard of course retreated to his home in ******* to continue working on his ********* project, which apparently is coming along nicely, but Blair will tell you all about that when he is ready. So by all accounts today was a pleasant but mundane day in the world of Tool. Which led me to ponder if this date, December 4th, is historically as pale as today. A quick websearch revealed this is not so: on this day in 1969, Black Panthers Fred Hampton, 21, and Mark Clark, 22, were gunned down in their sleep by 14 police officers in their Chicago apartment. Almost a hundred bullets were fired in the encounter, which police described as "a fierce gun battle". At a later date, however, ballistics experts determined that only one bullet came from the Panthers' side. Police sited "bullet holes" in the front door of the apartment as evidence that the Panthers were shooting from inside. These holes actually turned out to be nail holes created by police in an attempt to cover up the attack. So what can we learn from this? Hmmm... Oh yeah, that's right. THINK FOR YOURSELF. QUESTION AUTHORITY... kat

19 Nov, 2002

If you chanced to be driving through the Arizona desert in the wee hours of this morning, you may have seen a strange site. Justin, the band and the entire crew heralded the beginning of his ** year of life by watching the Leonids meteor shower* from the top of the tour buses. Driving out to a secluded spot (scouted by Adam and Danny on their bikes earlier that day), they spread out their blankets and lay in (rare) silence to ponder the mysteries of the universe and marvel at Mother Nature's wonder. While some of the crew members wanted to build a bonfire and make a party of it, Justin insisted on serenity and complete darkness. (They're saving the party for tonight...) Happy Birthday, Justin. *I watched the shower from the Antelope Valley, where we saw almost 300 meteors (we lost count around 222) in an hour and a half. Blair was unable to come with us, being a key attendee at a birthday dinner, followed by drinks at the pub and more drinks at home. Rest assured Blair, all of our sitings were confirmed by at least 2 pairs of eyes - there were no flying matches this time. kat

14 Nov, 2002

So, late soundcheck and we need time to get sound levels for the recording of the last 10 shows. Maynard heads for the dressing room. As he is about to enter, he sniffs, turns to our recording engineer in the nearby booth and says, "Mike, can you smell that?" Mike, being engrossed in computers and recording equipment, has noticed nothing. The door opens and smoke billows out engulfing the room. A drape hung badly on the wall by someone from the building has fallen and caught light on a candle in the dressing room. A candle put there to mask the smell of old Hockey pads and jock straps. Nice. Anyway flames everywhere and the room is full of smoke swirling and spreading. The alarm raised, Maynard wanders off to soundcheck nonchalantly stating... "My dressing room is on fire. What song should we start with tonight?" Stage manager Eric heads in to the room with an extinguisher to douse the flames assisted by a building rep. Myself and Matt (sound tech) take deep breaths and dive into rescue band equipment, computers, bags and personal stuff. After a few minutes we carry out the offending burnt table for further dousing outside the room. Mike is frantically covering all his computer gear to avoid smoke and extinguisher fumes. Wally, ever vigilant on his 40th Birthday calls 911 and liases with the local fire department on all things to do with the fire and the resultant mayhem in the building. Being a bit of a firefighting buff Wally ensures there are no secondary fires with the gratuitous use of a crowbar to remove smouldering notice boards from the wall. Sam is fussing round trying to sort all the bands possessions and clean as much as she can. Computers are opened up and cleaned also with the aid of the tour compressor. A quick change of rooms and a restock and the show goes on as normal. Although backstage is a bit smokey and even today in Laredo there is still a smokey smell in the aire from all the cases that were in the dressing room. The only real break with routine was the loss of two interviews for a couple of newspapers and the bowl of fruit in the dressing room. The Table was retired with honours and the room remains a shrine to badly fitted drapes and candles. All is well and the tour rolls on.

05 Nov, 2002

A couple of months ago I promised I would post a follow-up on the ‘pre-Deluge Art Stone’ that Adam bought at a flee market in Casa Diablo (near Bishop California). Well, after doing some further research into the matter, the rock does appear to be one of the slices of agate* that Pennsylvania spot-welder Richard Shaver believed contained pictures of the ‘hidden world’ once populated by the high-tech Titans (or Atlans). In a pulp magazine from the 1940s called Amazing Stories, Shaver wrote that these Elder Gods, the Titans, were forced to leave the earth after the sun began to eject harmful radiation. This in turn, forced the robotic ‘artificial race’ created by the Titans to bore underground where they later degenerated both physically and mentally, becoming what Shaver called "psychotic dwarfs" or "deros" (a contraction of the words DEtrimental RObotS) who often tormented later surface dwellers by kidnapping them and subjecting them to various types of torture. As for the stones themselves, according to Shaver, the Titans somehow projected their very thoughts onto the slices of agate as a way of recording their culture for future generations. * In the early 1960s Shaver cut the stones with a diamond saw in his shop in Arkansas.


In his book, Subterranean Worlds, author Walter Kafton-Minkel explains the process that Shaver used to bring out the pictures that were psychically impressed upon the stones by the Titans. This involved projecting the slice of agate onto a large piece of cardboard with an opaque projector. He then treated the cardboard with dyes and painted over it with oils so that everyone else could now see what he saw. However, Shaver warned that the dero were able to tamper with the pictures, thus spoiling them so that people wouldn’t be able to learn the ancient wisdom of the Titan empire. Or as he put it: "they change the face right before your eyes into new patterns, often a horrible portrait of a degenerated and ugly dwarf, possibly themselves..." To the paranoid(?) Shaver, this tampering of the rock books (which allegedly contained the key to the Titan’s technology) constituted "bona-fide proof of dero activity." Whether or not the so-called "shaver Mystery" is based in part on a historical reality, or is merely third-rate science fiction, I think it would be interesting if Adam would attempt to duplicate the process of bringing out the pictures to see if there is still any evidence of dero activity. And just one other thing: in the October newsletter I describe a bizarre nightmare (involving the inhabitants of a strange cavern world) that I once had while sleeping on a couch at Adam’s house. Coincidentally enough, hanging above the sofa was the mounted wall plaque that contained the slice of agate with the "pre-Deluge art." (Begin ‘Twilight Zone’ music here). BMB

04 Nov, 2002

MissKippy and I have posted more books from the extensive collection of Michael Flamm on E-BAY. Included this time are a couple of grimoires, one of which being the ‘Simon’ version of the NECRONOMICON. This is the full leather deluxe edition that was limited to only 666 numbered and signed copies (signed by the graphics artist, Barnes). Besides its decorative boards, the book was printed with full silver-gilding to the pages and comes with a black silk ribbon-marker. The other magician’s handbook up for bid is THE GRAND GRIMOIRE, an Italian text that has been translated into English. This book also has full leather binding, with raised bands, gold-blocking, marbled end-pages, and a black ribbon-marker. It comes in a black cloth slipcase and is limited to only 500 numbered copies. We’ve also put up A TRUE AND FAITHFUL RELATION... by John Dee (which records his experiments with the Enochian angels). This is the large format hardcover copy published by ‘Magickal Childe.’ And of course there are several Aleister Crowley 1st editions. Among them, THE EQUINOX OF THE GODS (published by the OTO in London in 1936), and GEMS FROM THE EQUINOX. Whenever people e-mail me asking for a good introduction to Crowley’s system of magick, I usually suggest ‘Gems’ which was edited by Israel Regardie. Other titles include WHITE STAINS, LITTLE ESSAYS TOWARDS TRUTH, AMRITA, THE BLUE EQUINOX, ALEXANDRA and THE MAGICAL DIARIES. All are highly collectible hardcover copies in their original dust-jackets. BMB

01 Nov, 2002

Well the first major Autumn holiday is over and we all appear to have survived unscathed. Time to chuck the jack-o-lantern and pull out your glow in the dark revolving plastic turkey to take its place on the front porch. Ahh, the joys of Hallmark holidays... By all accounts the show in Long Island last night was a huge success. The crowd was in a revelling mood (as expected) and so was the band (though there seems to be some confusion as to who or what their costumes actually were but don't worry, we'll clear this up soon). Alex Grey was in attendance along with Scott Reeder of Kyuss, our own Kevin Willis and many other members of the Tool family. Pre and post-show revelries abounded on this, our favourite of holidays (but that's a whole different story). Tonight's show in University Park, PA marks the end of the East-coast leg of this tour. The buses will turn south tonight and head into NRA and big tobacco territory for the Southern stretch of the tour, before returning to the West (AA and big *** territory) to end it. For those of you in the Los Angeles area, we'd like to remind you that tomorrow night is the opening of CHET ZAR and CAM DE LEON's joint exhibition at the Collective Minds Art Gallery in Monrovia (120 East Lemon Avenue). The reception begins at 5pm. For details call Nanci Withee: (626) 358-7608.

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