"So, when the men in dark suits and sunglasses from the telephone company started chasing Chris Phipps, it was like . . . well, it was almost like Chris Phipps was dead," explains Pointless Hobo. "He would call occasionally. But he wouldn't tell the other band members where he was or what he was doing. Everyone was worried. No, that's wrong. No, I meant: no one was worried. They just made music, and thought one day Chris could clear up his telephone bill and come record in public again. You know."

John and Kevin cement their musical partnership with a big firm handshake. And typical facial expressions.

After working on classics such as "Wham U.GAY" and "Crying Hands" Kevin and Jon recognized in each other the determination, the dedication, the degredation, and the retardation necessary to create a sweeping musical and conceptual phenomenon. So one windy afternoon in 1985, Jon brought his Casiotone over to Kevin's house.

And musical history was made.

At first, most Al Phlipp material was made up on the spot. Jon would start singing something, playing music to accompany it, and Kevin would make irrelevant noises that would eventually coagulate to a comprehensive finished piece of raw, real, undiluted genius. Or sometimes not; in fact, part of the fascination of the early Al tapes is the sheer random unpolishedness, the raw, eager, musical fever of two young retarded geniuses, putting anything and everything onto their tape recorder, and giving it to Brian Craig, manager, who would critique the work for them, and attempt to market their music to local stations. To date, only Brian Craig's alternative rock show has actually played any of it on the air (notably, classic Al Phlipp hits like "Chris Phipp's is Dead" and "Hairy Arms") but it didn't matter to the young, exuberant, cutting edge musical experimenters. They weren't in it for the money and the babes.

Jon and Arwen at ScumFest '86, innocently celebrating the joyus Triumph of the Al Phlipp "Dead Nuns in Drag" Tour.

Though rather large and sporting a hair-style more like an afro than anything else back in '85, Kevin still exhibited his dedication to the cause of Al Phlipp, all the time.

Though little commercial airplay was to be had for the strange musical lads, reliable sources have told us that unauthorized duplication of ancient Al has made its way to several sates, and has enjoyed uncredited airplay on more than one college radio station.

Later, as bootleg Al Phlipp tapes circulated across the country, and then across the world, rumors of bootleg Al being big in France and Japan began to abound. Several underground pirate stations, it is rumored, began to play the music that was Al qite frequently. Some music critics feel that it may well have been Al Phlipp music, being played on pirate stations across the Soviet Republic, that eventually led to the dissolution of the USSR. But we'll never really know, will we?


End Chapter Two

[Previous Chapter] [Index] [Home] [Next Chapter]