On His Majesty's Secret Security Detail.
"What is this, Finding Forrester? You taught me something? I learned nothing from you. No, I taught you everything; you taught me nothing." -- Tom, denying Petey credit for mutual tutelage
"Yeah, Spike, just shut up." -- Petey, silencing the amateur film historian to get schooled by Tom about Stanley Donen's little-seen gem, Hey, Cabbie
"We've got a grown-up President now. It's time to act like a grown-up." -- Tom, telling Star Wars fans to finally emerge from their childhood cocoons
[More to quotes come.]
"Probably people sleeping, I guess." -- Melissa, noting the main attraction in Poland, Ohio
"Well, give me another example of robot-horror. Bicentennial Man? --- Tom, exploring Melissa's favorite subgenre via the remarkably lifelike Robin Williams
"I am a Death Machine. The only way you can stop it? You can't stop it!" -- Mr. Hammerhead, warning Tom about his indefatigable pit antics
"Basically ... uh ... I'm his Ron, I Knew Him Well." - Mr. Hammerhead, announcing his role as Team Ziegler's Chief of Staff
"Yeah. We're gonna make it less stinky." - Mr. Hammerhead, explaining the new administration's olfactory "vision" for Newbridge
"I'm kidding. Or am I? No, I am. Or am I? No, I am. Or am I? No, I am ... or am I?" - Mr. Hammerhead, joking (or not) about Mr. Ziegler's plan to get rid of Tom
"Well, you know, if someone's screwin' up in the pit, they gotta sit out for like a month. No pits for them. Like, 'Hey, Granny, no pit for you ... for a month. She's awful.'" - Mr. Hammerhead, doling out punishment as P.I.G.
"Well, an old lady might not love it." - Tom, giving an example of someone who wouldn't mind a month-long ban from good, rad pits
"Yeah, I was gonna make this Jay Reatard idiot look like Axl Rose." -- Mr. Hammerhead, revealing his now-thwarted plans to release 30 McCain Youth 7" singles per year
"You can't make fun of the new guy. Maybe the Bad Brains can get away with it, I don't know." - Mr. Hammerhead, lamenting the respectability of President-Elect Barack Obama
"He actually wanted to do a hardcore album, but Neil Peart wouldn't do it because he said his beanie falls off if he plays too fast." - Mr. Hammerhead, blaming unstable headgear for ruining Alec Lifespan's plans for a new direction
"Hey. Crack a mid-70s comeback album by an aging blues pioneer featuring a way-too-long and plodding song that would 20 years later be used in a Miller beer commercial much? It doesn't sound like you do." - Mr. Hammerhead, doubting that Tom listens to Muddy Walters's Hard Again
"What's wrong with you?! Does your hearing not work?" - Tom, questioning Mr. Hammerhead's ears after he refers to the Stones song "Jumping Jack Flask"
"Hey, clockwise, you munches! Come on! That's weak! Come on! Come on, youse guys." - Mr. Hammerhead, admonishing a group of kids with a PBR-y twang
[More to quotes come.]
Dayglo Abortions - "Stupid World"
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Go Back Snowball - "Lifetime For The Mavericks"
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Public Zone - "Naive"
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The Royal Purple - "In A Year Or So"
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Love Is All - "Movie Romance"
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Hunchback - "Inside Out"
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Nip Drivers - "Fox on the Run" (Sweet cover)
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EXCLUSIVE Bonus Track:
McCain Youth - "HAAAAAAAAAH?"
Now is the time for us to gather together and celebrate those things that we like and think are fun:
- Ryan from Lynchburg wins Tom's heart by asking how he's doing. If Tom owned a chocolate factory, he would give it to Ryan as a reward for the nice Charlie Bucket move. Sadly, the hypothetical offer evaporates when Tom GOMPs him for not knowing the rags-to-riches candy magnate.
Tom Scharpling, the only radio host who is NOT (NOT!) a convicted felon, warms up with some John McLame noises that shift to a whimper before launching into another Tuuuuuuuuesday night installment of The Best Show on WFMU. The format remains the same: three hours of mirth, music, and mayhem. While there's usually nothing sadder/scarier then seeing a flashing line pre-topic, Tom gets even more spooked by not seeing the line lit up. He wonders aloud if his buddy Spike is okay. Tom vows to forge ahead because he and Spike are not a radio duo. He brings it solo. The underappreciated Mike the Associate Producer says Tom will not regret taking the first call.
- A surprisingly cogent Petey checks in from the Hazleton Drug Rehabilitation Center. He's actually holed up in his bathroom because the entire family is cranking their radios throughout the rest of the house. Petey says he just wanted to fill the Spike slot because he's better equipped to properly jumpstart the show. Tom agrees that he's skilled enough for the pole position, but he disputes Petey's claims that they are old high school friends. He reminds listeners that Petey used to frequently call the program as a troubled young boy. Tom guided him through the tricky thicket of adolescence and helped him become a normal person. Petey believes he provided the same support to Tom throughout his burgeoning adulthood. Tom makes it clear that he learned absolutely nothing from Petey -- there was no Finding Forrester-like, generational give-and-take in this relationship. Petey argues that everybody learns something from everybody else. Tom ain't buying what Petey's selling about this one-sided mentoring gig.
"You're the man now, Downward Dog!"
Tom guesses that Petey is coming up on 12 years old. Petey says he's a 13-year-old middle-schooler, but he's really 17. He's nervous about his plans to get his driver's license next month because he hasn't practiced that much. Tom predicts that he will fail the test without sufficient preparation. Petey says he will make up for it by doing the "Downward Dog" yoga pose prior to the examination. Tom says his concerns are less about relaxing exercise techniques and more about Petey learning not to crash into other vehicles. Tom fears having to elude Petey while he drives with his foot bent around his neck. Petey doubts that Tom even knows what Downward Dog looks like. Tom assures him that he's seen this very simple position and many others from Mike, who was just named the third-best yoga instructor in Southeast Bayonne. Petey says DD is based on a real doggie. Tom longs for Spike. Petey actually wants to either completely cut Spike loose or bump him to later in the show, if he's still listening. He would replace Spike as the permanent little guy up there. Tom considers the possibility that the polarizing Spike's status as the post-music-set fixture may be a turnoff for some listeners. Meanwhile, Petey is showing that he can get things rolling like a champion. Tom realizes that we are all in trouble with this potential trade-off.
Petey says he's starting to apply to inexpensive colleges in the NYC area. Tom wonders if he will matriculate at Apex Tech, but Petey is looking at Hunter College. He thinks he can make it on his own in the big industries without them taking all of his money. Tom approves of the frugal approach since he's a Joe Lunchpail who skipped Harvard in favor of an education on the streets. Petey hopes to eventually to trade scripts with Tom and make all the movies. Mike has had enough of Petey, so he throws Spike into the mix.
- A distracted Spike greets Tom and joins the lovely trio. Petey says he used to watch an old Japanese action cartoon featuring a character named Spiku, which translates to "Spike" in English. Spike assumes that he will land a role in one of the Tom-and-Petey productions. Petey doesn't seem very enthused about the casting, but he asks Spike for his preferred title and plot. Spike wants to take over the world and rid it of all the cretins, degenerates, perverts, and weirdos á la the heroic Travis Bickle. Petey is reluctant to accept an insane exterminator as a positive societal influence. Tom says that he also liked Bickle in
Bambi Hey, Cabbie. Petey and Spike inform him that Martin Scorsese's gritty study of urban isolation is Taxi Driver. Tom has seen it 150 times, so he knows that it's the sequel to Hey, Cabbie. Spike wants Tom to trust his information because he knows best. Petey tells Spike to shut up while Tom tries to set him straight. Spike says his film reference books make no mention of this Hey, Cabbie precursor. Tom gives Spike the Heave Ho for pretending to be David Thompson. He also dismisses Petey because he has no time for people who refuse to accept that Taxi Driver is the sequel to Stanley Donen's Hey, Cabbie. I saw the film years ago at a rare festival screening -- it's an intriguing mash-up of Italian giallo and Pakula paranoia. The musical setpiece featuring George Segal filetting a drug dealer (Scatman Crothers) was particularly memorable. The sneakily erotic picture is, sadly, only available on a barebones Region-5 DVD with pink Belarusian subtitles. Get on this, Criterion munches.
- Julie from Cincinnati calls to find out if Tom has really seen Taxi Driver 150 times. He admits to only seeing it three times. JfC brags about seeing it a few times, but she's really only it once. She declares Fritz Long's Hangmen Always Die Also the best movie she's ever seen. Tom has no idea what she's talking about. JfC fails to make any more sense when she shifts the conversation to how one can make diamonds from tequila. Tom thanks her for the call. He directs Mike to the "D" section at the back end of the WFMU library to look under Davis/Miles for an album called Pangaea. Perhaps Mike can tipple along with a companion beverage. Tom expects to use the psychedelic jazz-rock since the show is already off the rails. No it's not! Tom takes control of the bus because Petey, Spike, and JfC are not licensed drivers. He's not here for jokes -- this is serious business.
Tom says that he enjoyed his usual pre-show ritual at the five-star Panera Bread on Route 22 in Springfield, N.J. He salutes this location for its cleanliness, fast, well-prepared food, and polite employees who take pride in their work. However, Tom got smashed in the face with a door that was released by a kid who mistook him for a ghost in a scene from M. Night Shammywow's The Sixth Sense. He thought it might be the mischievous Ronnie Shields (Bobb'e J. Thompson) from Role Models, which he saw earlier today. Tom tips his hat to the people behind this weirdly touching film. While he didn't cry, he was definitely moved by its heart. Tom does criticize the inclusion of gratuitous nudity to fill out the R rating. He compares it to John McLame's appearance in the pornographic Wedding Crunchers. If Tom was Barack Obama, he would have brought this up during one of the debates. He doesn't think the President should promote filth and the degradation of society. Tom imagines that McLame would have invited the cast to the inauguration celebration and then rewarded some key sleaze merchants with undeserved Cabinet positions:
He is very thankful that McCain did not win because he exhibited extremely poor judgment in not picking Dodgeball: A True Underdog's Story for his comedy cameo. Tom mentions that GOMP victim Nate Hartley appears in Role Models. He extends the olive branch, but falls short of apologizing. He says that Hartley earned some leeway for now.
[More to come.]
- Andrew from Kansas City reveals that he now lives in Chicago. However, he plans to continue citing his location as KC when calling The Best Show. Tom revises his question about the Missouri heartlands to request a scene report from the heart of Obamaland. Andrew says he's still in the throes of mania for the President-elect, although it's not as crazy as the buildup to Election Day. Tom bets that there's some weird McLame guy roaming around Chicago and refusing to buy what all the triumphant Good Guys are selling.
Andrew says he never understood the appeal of Robot Chicken, the popular stop-motion animation series. While he likes most of the [adult swim] programming, he can't bear to watch the stoop!dity spawned by creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich. Tom says that he's also unsatisfied with RC's 800 variations on the dubious concept of foul-mouthed action figures and efforts to keep the Star Wars spoof genre alive. He's had enough of the franchise and urges everyone to start acting like grownups in preparation for the grownup President taking office in January. Tom is particularly sick of the whining fanboys who still rip George Lucas for ruining their childhood sci-fontasies with Episodes I - III. He points out that much-maligned Naboo native Jar Jar Binks was just a bit of floppy-eared comic relief for six-year-olds -- the target audience for all the films. Andrew agrees that many people who embraced the original trilogy as kids can't let it go or allow for any critical re-evaluation. Tom says he's pretty sure that the droid stand-ins for Laurel & Hardy -- slender C3PO talking with a British accent and portly R2-D2 tooting toilet sounds -- were not exactly aimed at brainiac cinephiles.
[More to come.]
- First-time/first-time Melissa from boring Poland, Ohio, reports that the most exciting thing going down tonight is people sleeping. Tom doubts that this non-activity is the highlight of her town. Melissa assures him that Ohio residents love their sleep. Tom wants her to get right to the topic while she's still awake.
Melissa says she's not buying the new crop of lackluster horror movies with no happy medium between the snuffiness of the Saw franchise and the limp vampire romance of Twilight. As a genre enthusiast, she's disappointed in these undesirable choices. Tom wants to know what she considers the ideal horror movie. Melissa enjoys top-shelf entries from various subgenres, such as science-fiction horror, slashers, zombie horror, and her favorite: robot horror. She picks Richard Stanley's Hardware as her favorite robot entry. Tom requests another example of robot-horror, suggesting Bicentennial Man, starring Robin Williams as a positronic housekeeper who launches a lucrative career making wood figurines, as a possible contender.
Melissa agrees that it's a pretty horrific movie, but she counters with 1995's Death Machine. The plot centers around Brad Dourif (Billy Bibbit in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Voice of Chucky, nimble forest creature) as mad scientist Jack Dante. After getting laid off from Chaank Armaments Corporation he designs a "Death Machine" to wreak havoc on his former co-workers. Tom thinks it sounds thrilling. He asks Melissa if this is a low-budget film. Melissa says that despite now-dated special effects it was pretty expensive for its time. Tom asks her if she's scared of the death machine. Melissa says horror films don't really scare her, but she's adept at gauging their overall quality. She admits that she would get scared if she heard the Death Machine approaching in the real world. Tom wants to know if it's smarter to run away from the robot or to engage it in combat. Melissa says fleeing is unwise because this Death Machine is speedy. She says the only way to stop it is to extract the A.I. chip, thus preventing Brad Dourif from conducting its mayhem via remote control. Tom understands the importance of attacking the man to stop the machine. He plans to check out this film.
Melissa says Death Machine is the debut feature from the director of Blade. Tom, of course, knows that this is the great Stephen Norrington, who also made A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and the surprisingly frightening Van Helsing (actually Stephen Sommers). Tom says that while the trailer looked stupid, the film included very scary scenes of Mr. Van Helsing fighting all the classic munsters: Frankenstein, The Werewolf, The Mummy, Dracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, and The Phantom of the Opera. Tom gives Melissa the Heave Ho for adding the Swamp Thing to the parade of all-stars.
- The next caller enters Tom's air to say that you can't ever stop the Death Machine. Tom assumes that he's also a fan of the Norrington film, but the caller says he is a Death Machine. He downplays the value of chip extraction because the only way you can stop it is that you can't stop it. The caller says the only viable course of action is to exit the pit. Tom asks him if he's who he think he is. The caller wants Tom to say his name. Tom misidentifies him as Hammerhead, his former NBHC nemesis and recent Mayubernatorial candidate. He labels Tom a dummy and a munch for not showing him the proper respect of his new name: Mr. Hammerhead. Tom explains that he didn't know about the addition of the honorific. Mr. Hammerhead thinks Tom should picked up on the buzz about it in the past week.
Mr. Hammerhead reveals that Mr. Ziegler appointed him as a major player in his transition team. Tom congratulates him for an impressive fifth-place finish with 1,837 votes. He didn't expect the violence-prone hardcore veteran to gain that much support from the Newbridge community. Mr. Hammerhead gets very angry with Tom for doubting his electoral appeal. Tom says that he thought a popular entertainer like Zachary Brimstead, Esq. or more respected candidates like Dr. Fred Meyers would finish ahead of him. Mr. Hammerhead dismisses Mr. Brimstead as a lightweight, obviously a reference to his lack of political capital and not his ample girth. He says that he's very respected in the community, unlike Dr. Meyers, who has been tarnished in the court of public opinion for his involvement in all kinds of weird stuff. Tom's heard about some of that stuff. Mr. Hammerhead mentions Tom getting wrapped up in this weirdness. However, Tom doesn't want to talk about the unethical behavior of his former therapist. Mr. Hammerhead mentions that all the details can be found in Dr. Meyers's controversial memoir, He Ate My Fudge: In the Psycho Trenches with the Unfixables.
Hammerhead says he's very excited about his Team Ziegler (matching knit Phillies caps and Iggles-green jumpsuits in production) post, which is basically serving as the new mayor's Ron, I Knew Him Well. Tom isn't sure what that is. Mr. Hammerhead asks Tom if he cracks the Newbridge Republican-Herald Times Republican-Herald much because it doesn't sound like it. Tom says he reads the local newspaper, but it did not help him crack this particular case. Mr. Hammerhead asks Tom if he's heard of Barack Obama. Tom says that he is familiar with the President-elect. Mr. Hammerhead says that Ron, I Knew Him Well is Obama's Chief of Staff. Tom informs him that Obama tapped an Illinois congressman named Rahm Emanuel for that job. Hammerhead is almost certain his name is a sentence, another example of the crazy new monikers like the ath-e-lete Texaco Jones. Tom is still hung up on Ron, I Knew Him Well. Mr. Hammerhead agrees that it's an odd name. He asks Tom to repeat his version because he thought he said the first name was Ramen, the Japanese noodle dish. Tom spells out the first name, which Mr. Hammerhead thinks sounds like some kind of God, such as himself. He recognizes the last name as the titular character in the French softcore series that became an after-hours Skinemax staple. He loved those films.
Mr. Hammerhead says his transitional duties include working the security detail with several ex-members of the Philadelphia Bell. Tom is not familiar with this unit, so Mr. Hammerhead asks him if he's eight years old. Tom confirms that he's older. Mr. Hammerhead asks him if he's ever heard of the World Football League. Tom vaguely recalls this short-lived NFL competitor from the mid-1970s that never expanded its reach beyond the Hawaii Hawaiians. Tom thinks the Bell is a pretty dumb name for a football team. Mr. Hammerhead disagrees because the Liberty Bell is the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Philadelphia besides it being great and awesome. Tom wonders if this pro-Philly sentiment is a requirement for his new role. Mr. Hammerhead says he just gradually came around to the charms of the city. He informs Tom that Vince Papale is part of the security force. Tom recognizes him as the quarterback from the Eagles. Mr. Hammerhead doesn't think it sounds like Tom has cracked the Oscar-nominated feature film Invincible because Papale was a wide receiver with the Bell for two seasons prior to landing the same gig with the Eagles when head coach Dick Vermeil held open tryouts prior to the 1976 campaign. Mr. Hammerhead laments that Invincible didn't win the Oscar. Tom doesn't actually recall the film garnering any nominations. Mr. Hammerhead claims that it lost the Best Sound award to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dean Man's Jest. Tom believes it's still an honor to just get nominated, assuming this is true.
Mr. Hammerhead says his culinary tasks include making sure that Mr. Ziegler has seven hoagies within reach at all times. Tom is amazed that Mr. Hammerhead has become such a party loyalist. Hammerhead embraces his foray into public service. He explains that Mr. Ziegler needs the steady supply of hoagies because the bread is quick to go stale. Mr. Hammerhead imports the rolls from Stroehmann's bakery in Philadelphia because you can't get that kind of product in Stink City. Tom assumes that this is his nickname for New Jersey. Mr. Hammerhead clarifies that Newbridge is Stink City and New Jersey is Stink State. Tom finds it a bit odd that Mr. Hammerhead will be on the team in charge of running said odoriferous municipality. Mr. Hammerhead says the goal of the Ziegler administration is to make the area less stinky. Tom accepts this as something that at least approximates a legitimate governing "vision." Hammerhead says the first order of business in the destinkification initiative will be the removal of one guy. He wants Tom to guess the unlucky resident. Tom guesses that it's him. Hammerhead says that's correct, but he's just kidding. Or is he? He is. Tom is glad to hear that. Or is he? He is. Tom is relieved. Or is he? He is. Or is he? Tom knew he couldn't resist firing one more piece of doubt at him.
He also detects that Mr. Hammerhead is laughing like his employer. Mr. Hammerhead realizes that it does kind of sound like His Majesty. Tom is taken aback by the signification of royal ascent. Mr. Hammerhead believes that Mr. Ziegler is destined to become the President of the United States followed by a reign as some kind of "Earth King." He says that Roy, Jr. has been telling his father about these future thrones. Tom thinks Mr. Ziegler continues to take way too much advice from his manipulative son, who will now serve as his Karl Rose/Lon Chaney advisor. He asks Mr. Hammerhead how he's been getting along with the precocious power broker. Mr. Hammerhead says he's in awe of him. However, he does find his laser-bean (and possibly psychic) eyes kind of scary.
Mr. Hammerhead says his primary function is to patrol Newbridge to make sure there are no weak pits. In fact, his official title is P.I.G. Tom angers Mr. Hammerhead by pronouncing it like the mammal. Mr. Hammerhead demands more respect from the munch because it stands for Pit Inspector General. Tom asks Hammerhead to discuss his criteria for assigning a given pit a weak or strong rating. Hammerhead says he assesses the slamming velocity, rotation (clockwise is mandatory), and the stage dives, which must be graceful yet totally rad. He will be present wherever a pit breaks out: workplaces, schools, hospitals, churches, and homes. Tom hopes that pits do not erupt at local hospitals. He asks Hammerhead how he plans to punish practitioners of weak pits. He says that if someone screws up a pit, they will have to sit it out for a month. A clueless grandmother is a prime candidate for a hiatus. Tom points out that an elderly woman might not mind the reprieve. Hammerhead wonders who doesn't like a good, rad pit. Tom reiterates that an old lady might not love this kind of action. Hammerhead disagrees because he can't imagine why any demographic would be anti-pit. Tom says it's because they are violent, but Hammerhead believes the intensity is what attracts such a diverse group of people. Tom says it's simply not for everybody.
Hammerhead thinks the massive inauguration throwdown will be for all tastes. He and Mr. Ziegler butted heads on the entertainment for the celebration. Hammerhead wanted to book acts with some bite, but Mr. Ziegler predictably preferred Philly-centric fare with a more mainstream appeal. He shortlisted nem Hooters, Ashford and Simpson, Cinderella, Man Man, Tommy Conwell, The Dead Milkmen, Patti LaBelle, Psychotic Norman, The Oates Band, Electric Love Muffin, The Hall Band, The Roots, G. Love & Special Sauce, The A's, Bill Haley's & Nem Comets, and Todd Rundgren. Hammerhead lobbied for the good-time, pit-generating hardcore of Philly stalwarts like Decontrol, YDI, FOD, Sadistic Exploits, McRad, Ruin, and Circle of S hit.
Mr. Hammerhead's support for these bands is certainly surprising considering his complete rejection of Philly scene during his call back in July 2007. He tried to convince Tom to join him and his two sons, Emerson and Taft, on a trip to disrupt and ruin the Philly hardcore reunion show. The bad blood between NBHC and PHC dated back to the 1980s. At a show in the spring of 1985 all of the Newbridge bands played alongside a couple of Philly bands. Mr. Hammerhead, who was fronting Threat to Society, taunted Flag of Democracy fans by changing the lyrics of their cover of Black Flag's version of "Louie Louie" to "Philly Philly, you gotta go." Mr. Hammerhead got annoyed when the Philly kids just shrugged it off, so he took things up a notch by thrashing wildly in the pit, stomping and hurting people with his trademark Newbridge Nudge. He then got up on stage and taunted FOD's bassist Dave Rochon. He refused to take the bait, so Mr. Hammerhead attempted to pull his pants off to further goad him into violence. He then ran across the stage at full speed and jumped on one of the PA stacks. He dove off from such a height that he smashed through the crowd's outstretched arms and broke his neck.
Tom says that inauguration ceremonies are typically intended to be inclusive events for everyone to enjoy, not a hardcore punk rock 'n roll festival. Mr. Hammerhead understands these concerns, which will be addressed by having beloved funnyman David Brenner swear in Mr. Ziegler. Tom was not aware that the new mayor could pick anybody he wanted. Hammerhead reminds Tom that Gerald Ford got daredevil "Evel" Knievel to swear him in back in 1974. Tom questions the accuracy of this claim. Mr. Hammerhead tells Tom to Wick 'n Petey the information. Tom doesn't have time to delve into this misspeak. He recommends that Mr. Hammerhead use Wikipedia to research Wick 'n Petey.
Mr. Hammerhead wants to get Tom's opinion one of Mr. Ziegler more risqué ideas. He's reluctant to even say it on the air. Tom gives him the greenlight since it doesn't involve any profanity. Hammerhead says that Mr. Ziegler wants to orchestrate a live love-making session with Tina Fey on the stage of the Tower Theatre. Tom thinks it's equal parts horrible and improbable. Hammerhead agrees that it's weird. He advised Mr. Ziegler to do it as a Pay-Per-View television event. Tom wants him to stop because it will never happen. Hammerhead says that Mr. Ziegler will also not be able to summon the ghost of Robert Hazard, who died this past August from pancreatic cancer, to play the inauguration. He thinks it's impossible and a little sick. Tom thinks it's tasteless and a sign that Mr. Ziegler is a little off.
Mr. Hammerhead says he's also been feeling a little off since the Presidential election earlier this month. He's kind of bummed that John McCain lost, even though Tom sensed that he was pro-Obama earlier in the call. Mr. Hammerhead says that technically he's into him, but he was all set to launch his new band, McCain Youth, with the old man installed as its villainous muse. He already planned to release 30 7" singles in each of the next four years, a prolific output that would make the idiotic, write-a-song-per-day Jay Reatard look like terminal tinkerer Axl Rose.
Tom points out that the Obama/Biden landslide victory over McCain/Palin is good for the country. Mr. Hammerhead says the downside is that there will be nothing to rant against now that the Good Guys won. Tom says he should be proud to have had the chance to vote for the better candidate. Hammerhead sees a return to the dull Clinton years when there was lack of fiery political punk. The best he could muster was a Monica Lewinsky's Army merchandising effort. Mr. Hammerhead mentions that one of his MLA t-shirt designs was a take-off on seminal Orange County surf-punkers Agent Orange's "Bloodstains" single. He called it "Dress Stains." Mr. Hammerhead admits that it wasn't his finest moment. Tom agrees that this was a weak topical spoof.
Hammerhead was all primed for a rad McCain/Palin run with a terrific set of fliers with their heads [censored]. He was also going to sell McCain ringtones:
"Uh, Mr. President, the Russians are attacking." [solemn, President Baseball-y tones]
"Haaaaaah? Haaaaaah?" [piercingly shrill]
"Mr. President, you must do something."
[sound of nuclear explosion]
Mr. Hammerhead wants Tom to make the McCain sound. Tom does it, but Hammerhead wants the jerk to do it like he means it. Tom makes a more spirited effort that also fails inspection. Mr. Hammerhead wants him to put his 'nads into it, if he has any. Tom refuses to dig deep and go any louder. He's sorry that Mr. Hammerhead missed out on the marketing opportunities tied to a McCain Presidency. Mr. Hammerhead says the Bad Brains, who are an African-American group, are probably the only band who might be able to get away with making fun of Obama. Tom denounces the racist remark and says that people of all races will start criticizing him as soon as he takes office.
Mr. Hammerhead says that he feels just as out of place as Horace did when he was up there with those guys in Toronto. Tom doesn't know who or what he's talking about. Mr. Hammerhead concludes that Tom has not been cracking a mildly ska-influenced early-1980s Rush album. Tom says he's really lost. Mr. Hammerhead explains that Horace Panter (Sir Horace Gentlemen, you munch!) is the guy Tom knows as the bassist for ska revivalists The Specials. He calls him a Canadummy for not knowing that Panter played on Rush's Signals back in 1981. Tom disputes the guest appearance. Hammerhead says that Panter most definitely contributed to ska/reggae tracks like "New World Man" and "Subdivisions."
Since Geddy Lee was unable to play in that style, guitarist Alec Lifespan suggested enlisting Mr. Panter. Tom says the musician's name is Alex Lifeson. Hammerhead claims that Lifeson, who was a huge fan of Canadian hardcore, met Panter at a 1980 DOA show. He also loved bands like Stretch Marks, SNFU, The Asexuals, and Dayglo Abortions. Tom is skeptical about the progressive axeman's level of hardcore fandom. Hammerhead says that Lifeson wanted Rush to do a hardcore record, but Neil Peart declined because his beanie falls off if he plays too fast. Tom never heard about that. Hammerhead says this nutty bit of trivia was reported in all the drum magazines.
Hammerhead thinks Rush and hardcore is an interesting pairing, not unlike when Johnny Winter produced an album for Muddy Walters. Tom believes the artist is named Muddy Waters. Hammerhead asks Tom if he cracks a mid-1970s comeback album by an aging blues pioneer featuring a way-too-long and plodding song that would 20 years later be used in a Miller beer commercial much. By the sounds of it, he guesses no. Tom is unable to identify the album or the indulgent track in question. Hammerhead performs a snippet of "Manwich Boy," which the The Rolling Stones covered on Love You Live. He pronounces the last word of the title as a verb. Tom believes "Mannish Boy", a rearrangement of Bo Diddley's "I'm the Man," is the correct name of the song. Hammerhead says he never understood why Hunt's didn't use "Manwich Boy" in their commercials. Tom speculates that it could be because the song doesn't actually feature their product in its name. Mr. Hammerhead explains that a Manwich® is a brand of canned sloppy joe sauce. He can't believe Tom has never had one. Tom tells Mr. Hammerhead that he's woefully misinformed on the topic of bluesman Muddy Walters, "Manwich Boy," and his knowledge of meal-grade sandwiches. Mr. Hammerhead once again disagrees with Tom's take on things.
Tom also points out his incorrect pronunciation of the Stones album. Hammerhead reminds Tom that it's a live album. Tom says that's why the word in the title is the adjective form of "live," indicating that it was recorded during a concert. Hammerhead thinks Tom is talking about York, PA, alternative rockers Live, who released the multi-platinum breakthough album Throwing Copper in 1994. He's talking about the Stones, who did the song "Jumping Jack Flask."
At this point Tom speculates that Mr. Hammerhead is suffering from hearing loss. Hammerhead says his ear canal often gets plugged up by the lingering effects of that JFA show. Tom thinks Mr. Hammerhead stood way too close to the speakers. Hammerhead says he lost it when the band went into scorchers like "Tentpeg" and "Beach Blanket Bong-Out." Tom thinks it's exciting to see Mr. Ziegler reaching across the aisle to another candidate, and Mr. Hammerhead is ready to be part of The Ruling Class. He's getting his engineer boots shined up for the next decade of work. Tom isn't familiar with this type of footwear. Mr. Hammerhead chuckles because Tom has tasted the working end of these boots many times back in the glory days of NBHC. He lapses back into his PBR laugh while reflecting on his past Scharpling stompings. He denies that PBR is rubbing off on him while adopting a thick Philadelphia accent that suggests otherwise. Mr. Hammerhead says he has to go because he spotted some kids down at the Sieben under Leiben getting a totally weak, counterclockwise pit going. He yells at them with a mixture of old-school Hammerhead rage and Zieglerian pleas before hanging up. Tom thinks Mr. Ziegler is rubbing off on Mr. Hammerhead to the point of excess.
TO BE CONTINUED ...