Tag Archives: punk

Piltdownlad #8.5 – The Cult of Teddy Ruxpin

evil teddy ruxpin cult





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Piltdownlad #6

This issue features the “Institutionalized” story cycle, which is an exploration of one event told from the individual perspectives of four participants. Picks up where The Nasty Dear (Piltdownlad #4) left off: from the Jackson group home in Anniston, Alabama, to Hill Crest Hospital, a mental hospital in Birmingham, where my brother Joey is put in the Youth Ward and I end up in the Adolescent Ward. Meanwhile, our father and Rick come home to discover their fate: a potential life sentence for child sexual abuse. Interspersed among the narrative are actual court records from the trial, newspaper clippings, song lyrics, photos and other miscellany. As with all issues of Piltdownlad, not for the fainthearted or the hardhearted.


The “INSTITUTIONALIZED” story cycle:
1. The Adolescent Ward
2. Shit on A Shingle
3. POW
4. Group
5. The Hanged Man
6. Mister Nice Guy
7. Reckoning
8. Feeling Blocks

100 pages
wraparound cover
perfect bound

Available through Amazon.com




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VIDEO: The Clash Live in Tokyo 1982

Watch if on YouTube for the song selection. Version of “Police on My Back” is stellar.

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Postcard from Ian MacKaye


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Prisoner of Time – A Masque of Infamy Excerpt


After a few minutes, Dave said, “I think we need to start getting serious.” He reached into a briefcase and placed three spiral notebooks on the table with band names and logos scrawled into the covers.

“Hey, my notebooks!” I’d forgotten them in the rush to get out the door when the social workers picked us up.

Dave spread them out on the table and flipped through the pages. “What were you trying to express in this song, ‘Fade to Black’?”

“That’s a Metallica song.”

“Yes, I see you have that written underneath. You have a whole section devoted to what you call your favorite rockers: ‘Mommy’s Little Monster,’ ‘Suicide’s An Alternative,’ ‘Annihilate This Week.’ What is it about these songs that made you want to write them out in your notebook?”

“I wanna be a songwriter, so I write out lyrics as practice. I study how the verses, bridges and choruses work together. Most of the songs in there I wrote.”

“I see that…” Dave flipped through the pages. “This is one of yours: ‘If telling you would kill you, to realize would be suicide.’ What did you mean by that?”

“It just, you know, sounded cool.”

Dave turned the page. “Here you have, ‘One of these days when I have the guts, I’m gonna jump right in front of a pick-up truck.’ Another one goes, ‘Sometimes I just wanna blow it all away. Light a fuse and watch the world go up in flames.’ That one you titled ‘Hate Bomb’.”

“They’re just songs,” I said with an awkward chuckle. “They aren’t supposed to mean anything.”

“What kind of songwriter would you be if you wrote songs that had no meaning?”

“I mean, yeah, sure… they have some meaning. But you’re reading them all wrong. I’m just trying to come up with songs that rock, you know?”

“You don’t think this subject matter reflects your true feelings?”

“No. I’m not afraid to say what I want.” I laughed to show how good-natured I was. “Look, you’re totally judging these songs based on the words. But that’s only part of it. My songs are about the music as much as the lyrics. These are just words on paper, so you have to imagine the rest of the song… the power of the music.” I reached for one of the notebooks and flipped to a particular page. “Take this song right here, ‘Prisoner of Time.’ This one I just wrote. It starts out real mellow, almost a ballad—but once the verses start, it gets fast, but not too fast. It’s still slowly building up to the bridge. Then it’s like—” I replicated the sounds of the instruments with my mouth, blowing out air rapidly through parsed lips: “Dun dundun! Dun dundun! Dun dundun! Dun dundun! Then it goes back into the verses again. But after the second bridge it keeps building to the chorus where the guitars go, Chuga chuga chuga chuga. Chuga chuga chuga chuga. The double bass kicks in and it’s getting faster…” I tapped my feet rapidly against the floor. “Then the lead guitar starts to wail.” I pantomimed playing a guitar. “Right, and then it’s like, ‘I’m a prisoner! Prisoner! Prisoner of time! And he walls! The walls! They’re all in my mind!’” I covered my mouth to replicate the background vocals. “Then it just goes totally insane, the drumbeat is all over the place as the bass follows the lead guitar: ‘Prisoner! Prisoner! Break free!’” I leaned back in the chair and folded my arms across my chest.


“So you see, that song’s really about freedom, you know? I wasn’t trying to be negative or anything.”

Dave smiled at my performance. “I can see you are very enthusiastic about your music.”

Just when I thought we were getting somewhere and Dave would realize I didn’t need his help, he pushed the notebook with the plain green cover across the table. “What about this one?”

The green notebook was my journal. My mind raced as I tried to remember all the crazy stuff I’d written. I knew there were detailed descriptions of my trysts with Missy, commemorated in case I forgot any of the details. But there were also death fantasies, the pros and cons of suicide

As Dave stared at me, I didn’t know what to say. I just sat there, trying to not look crazy.

“I think we need to start talking about why you’re here,” Dave finally said.

— from A Masque of Infamy

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THRASHMETALPUNK – A Blog for the Book

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 12.16.32 PM

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A Fake Mohawk – A Masque of Infamy excerpt


Back at Hillcrest, I counted down the days until my departure. Sandra said I would be out of the hospital some time before Christmas. To commemorate my inevitable discharge, I requested a trip to Supercuts so I could get a mohawk. “It’ll be my Christmas present,” I told Calvin. “I got the cash. Just need somebody to take me to get it done.”

As I was leaving the Sheltons’s house, Mrs. Shelton slipped a bill into my pocket. “In case you need anything down there…” In Sandra’s van, I unfolded it and smiled at Benjamin Franklin’s smirk. One hundred smackeroos!

“You’ll look like a fool with a haircut like that!” Calvin scoffed when I showed him the picture of the hairstyle I wanted. “I’d let you do it just to see how dumb you’ll look afterwards, but I’m not that cruel.”

“What do you know? It’ll be tough.”

After a few days of persistent cajoling, Calvin went to Julie, who decided that I needed to get permission for such an extreme hairstyle.

“From who?” I asked. “My mother’d let me do it.”

“Your caseworker.”


I was vaguely optimistic when I picked up the phone, but Sandra was ambivalent.

“I don’t know… that sounds a little drastic.”

“It’s not a real mohawk,” I protested. “I just want to shave the sides, that way if I want, most of the time my hair’ll just fall over the side, or I could part it down the middle and nobody would be able tell.”

After she relented, Nina drove me to Supercuts, where the hairstylist wrinkled her brow when I described the haircut I wanted.

“I don’t think that’s gonna look very good.”

I was persistent. But she refused to shave my sides to the skin. Instead she left an inch of hair that she slicked back with gel. So it was almost like a real mohawk.

On my way out of the mall, I stopped by the photo booth and documented my new style.

— from A Masque of Infamy

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VIDEO: Chelsea – I’m On Fire – LIVE

From URGH: A Music War — Shot in Los Angeles… at about 1:30, the rhythm guitarist takes a tumble and keeps playing, barely missing a beat.

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VIDEO: Chelsea Live on Old Grey Whistle Test 1979

The quality sucks, but still great footage of an extraordinary and extremely underrated punk band.

Three songs from the first album:

Your Toy

All The Downs

Twelve Men

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Death Is The Ultimate High – A Masque of Infamy Excerpt


The social workers called me into the office. The first one gestured at my clothes. “Can I ask why you’re dressed this way?”

I looked down at what I was wearing that day: a sleeveless white t-shirt with an anarchy symbol scrawled on the front with a red magic marker.

“What? This is just my style.”

She pointed at my hi-tops. I’d written the word “FUCK” on the front tip of my right shoe, and on the left, “OFF.”

“You have ‘death is the ultimate high’ written on the side of your shoes… Are you suicidal?”

“No, that’s from Miami Vice. When Crocket and Tubbs went after these punk rock thugs, that’s what they had spray-painted on the side of their car. I just thought it was a funny expression. It’s not supposed to mean anything.”

— from A Masque of Infamy

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