Monday, November 18, 2013

"Turn of the Cards."

As we wind into the season, and Tag der Danksagung here again, well what better after dinner pleasure than a hand of cards?  And no better Naval Gazing, than an All Hands on Deck of Cards, Tarot style.  Officer in charge: Major Arcana.  Your Captain speaking:  "Let's Make a Deal!"
It's no secret that Tarot imagery played a large part in my creative universe.  This quicksilver messenger, he of the mercurial temperament, leader of the ninth guard, was quick to use The Hermit card as my logo for the production company behind Space Pirate Radio, that of Graven Images.  
And as mentioned in a previous entry on my nun obsession, the gender preferences put a wolf in sheep's clothing, thus voila...!
So in a spirit of thanks, I wish to share with you the two images of my ultimate playing card: The G3 of Pyramids!
Inspired in a Fever Dream in the '70s by yours truly and executed in the delirium shared by my great artist friend David Fontana...
The original below, with photo incorporated, is shown in all its black and white glory.  Mid seventies.

And it gives me the greatest of pleasure, to present above, Signore Fontana's 2013 interpretation of this card.  Il Maestro's incredible artistic vision, created, he tells me, to the soundtrack of Space Pirate Radio.

Grazie, il mio caro amico.
Or as Kevin Ayers would say, "Thank you...Very...Much!" 

Monday, October 28, 2013

"Soon Over Babaluma."

Movies for the Elderly: Bladder Runner.

Movies for the Elderly: The Social Security Network.

I heard that director Michelangelo Antonioni's son is a professional wrestler named Jesse L' Avventura.

Antonioni and Cruise: Zabriskie Business.

TV for the Elderly: Rowan and Martin's Shut-In.

TV for the Elderly: Burke's Lawn.

TV for the Elderly: Walker, Texas Ranger's Walker.

Unsold pilot for Elderly version of The Walking Dead: AARPer's Bizarre.

Whenever in a clinic, I get depressed.  Is there a term for this?

Saw my doctor this week and he said I was very sick.  I said I wanted a second opinion.  He told me he didn't like how I cut my hair.

Watching "The Bekins Story."  Very moving.

"If you believe...they stuck a man up Keith Moon.  Man up Keith Moon."  Original Michael Stipe lyric before sobriety set in.

Anyone else remember early sixties actor Cliff Brink?  Every performance was edgy.

How about forties actor George Stucco?  He covered everything.  Solid, too.

Lenny Bruise: Now there was a true Beat comic.

Bombay's most popular children's show: Mister Rajah's Neighbourhood.

Classic Hindu science fiction film: "Invasion of the Bodhi Snatchers" (1956).  Reincarnated several times.

Monday, September 30, 2013

"I am a camera."

Did This Mortal Coil ever Shuffle Off to Buffalo?
Did anyone else go to Burning Midget this year?
I had Soup of Jar Jar Binks tonight ("Miso").
Have you tried the Gregory Hines Mineral Water?   I believe it's tap.
Black Ops 31 Flavours: The Mango Cherry and Candied Date.
Richard Lester's remake of Doctor Zhivago: "The Pasternak...and How to Get It."
Nicolas Roeg's remake of The Caine Mutiny: "Woukabout."
Wearing elevator shoes has its ups and downs.

Another sign of Deviant Maturity: Being curiously attracted to Agnes Moorehead.

Foreign military generals often tell time with a coup coup clock.

Stomped grapes can vintage into a La Feet Chat Toe.

I know I am still a vampire because I am attracted to the long necks of women.

Pink Floyd's soundtrack to La Rue de Valley, aka The Dark Side of the Croon.

Obscured by Clods.

The Muse of Really Bad Dancing: Twerpsichore.  Currently mutated to Twerksichore.

My Mood Yesterday: Edgar Allan Poe on Acid.

Insult to Clubbers: "Your Dance Music wears Spats." 

Monday, September 16, 2013

"Aye, there's the rub."

During my earlier theatrical pursuits, I contemplated the idea of becoming a Shakespearean actor.  Yeah, seriously.  After all, all my favourite English actors had started or continued doing the Bard on stage and screen.  Peter Cushing, Basil Rathbone, Diana Rigg, Ian Richardson, Helen Mirren and so forth.
I wasn't particularly fond of reading Shakespeare initially.  I found being assigned Julius Caesar in high school English rather painful.  Still, in the Sixties, I bought all the Signet paperback releases and read the lesser performed ones.  The Henrys and Winter's Tale, as well as my faves, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer's Night Dream.  My conflicting tastes were still alternating me between Comedy and Tragedy.  Horror and Humour.  Mad Magazine vs. Macbeth.  Olivier as Richard the Third, or Peter Sellers' parody of him in What's New, Pussycat?
So I sent out feelers.  I applied to join the Summer Shakespearean companies: Ashland and for some reason, the Utah Shakespeare Festival.  1967, 1968, I believe.  Not accepted.  On to the next bit.
Around this time I still hadn't done a real Shakespeare production.  The closest I had come to Royal Shakespeare Company style quality had been Marat/Sade at Cal State Fullerton.  It was enough to keep my appetite whetted.  My youthful delusion still veered into David Hemmings territory.  I could do Blow-Up, I could do Charge of the Light Brigade, I could do Camelot.  Or Terence Stamp.  I could do Toby Dammit, I could do Far From the Madding Crowd.  Delusions.
There were fine examples of what Shakespeare could be like on film coming from Europe.  1968's Romeo and Juliet is still my favourite.  And Tony Richardson's Hamlet with Nicol Williamson and Marianne Faithfull was inspiring.
Flash Forward, 1978-1979.  I am auditioning for Tony Richardson's production of Shakespeare's As You Like It in the Hollywood Masonic Temple, the play to be produced in Long Beach.  I am an Equity Actor now.  Big Deal.  Richardson ignores me, his assistant is asking me the questions.  Being an Anglophile, I need something to grab the great man's attention.  Something to set me apart from the rest of the lowbrow soap opera types, trying to get a job.  An obscure reference, methinks, one only a British Master of the Arts would understand.  "I consider myself a character actor," I announce to the minion, "along the lines of a Michael Hordern."  (This reference to the obscure English actor who Tony has directed will clinch it, I hope.  The Masonic Handshake in the Temple of Thespus!)  Richardson makes no movement, lost in paperwork.  "We'll let you know," says the Kafka-like extra, and I leave The Castle.  :)
(Not Shakespeare related, but in an earlier Cattle Call at the same Hollywood Masonic Temple, I submitted my CV to get a job in a Los Angeles production of Oh! Calcutta.  No Tony Richardson; no references to obscure character actors, and I didn't have to audition nude.)
1971-1973:  These are active years for me theatrically.  No actual Shakespeare yet, but I have had a nice part in Moliere.  1972.  Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, or The Would-Be Gentleman, as it's called for Santa Barbara's Alhecama Players.  In a way I feel more comfortable in the Court of Louis XIV than Elizabeth I.  (Pourquoi?)  The summer's dream to follow that year is a production of Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.  Produced at UCSB, I hope for Hamlet or the Player role, but must settle for just a Tragedian.  This is okay.  Like Marat/Sade, I like the play and want to be a part.  At the time, Stoppard wasn't done locally and just being near it would be rewarding.  I couldn't say the same for endless productions of Oklahoma.  The year winds up in Cervantes' Spain in Man of La Mancha.  The costume period roles keep coming.  I am the Captain of the Inquisition.
1973 is a smash.  Love Rides the Rails, followed by Nothing is Sacred.  Comedy is King Again.  And then, finally, the Real Thing comes along.  Alhecama Players decides to do King Lear with a Real Pro in the lead:  Ford Rainey.  This is as close as I'm going to get to working with Peter Hall in Stratford-upon-Avon.  Pope Freeman in Santa Barbara.  Feeling Foolishly that I've proven myself the most capable comedy/slash/tragedy character actor in The Big Avocado, I intend to play the Fool.  I do.  Just not on stage. 
Long since the days of having the pleasure of working with Ford Rainey, the man pops up regularly in gems of classic television.  Four episodes of Perry Mason (one with Barbara Parkins as his daughter), Have Gun-Will Travel, The Outer Limits and Checkmate among an impressive list.  He was part of the repertory company for The Richard Boone Show.  Of course, in 1973 I'm not as familiar with the man's work and more self-obsessed with adding to my own resume.  Oh, yeah.  I want to get the part of The Fool.
Well, it's not going to happen.  Pope Freeman, despite my futile attempts to impress him that the Comedy Master stands in his midst, has a Concept in his Mind.  He wants the actress who is playing Lear's rebellious daughter to also play The Fool.  Interesting!  A reverse Gender Switch.  A comment on Women's Oppression.  A twinkle to Shakespeare's day of Males playing the Female parts.  This might be something Tilda Swinton would do.  I'm disappointed, but being a conceptualist, I acknowledge the attempt.  It doesn't work, of course.  Dan Sullivan of the Los Angeles Times came up to review the play and said the actress (Kathleen Quillen, another Equity pro) had "missed the mark.  To play the Fool this wanly is to suggest Cordelia herself has stolen his clothes."
No signs of outwardly satisfaction from me here :).  No Sirrah!  I'm just struggling along in my near invisible contribution to this first true entry in the work of the Master.  Oh, yeah.  I don't get The Fool, but my special abilities are now in the role of The Gentleman.  I have a swordfight with the Duke of Cornwall (played by my old friend R. Leo Schreiber, from Love Rides the Rails and Nothing is Sacred).  In practice, my right wrist is hit.  Off to Cottage Cheese Hospital, no x-ray," just a bruise, put ice on it."  It swells and cramps during the night.  Off to competing hospital, St. Francis the Talking Mule, x-ray, "it's fractured," into cast.  Out of cast as The Gentleman.
But it's not over yet, Folks!  No, Sirrah!  With arm in cast, I am given role (ironically) of The Doctor!  My costume is a beautiful blue Merlin's robe with huge sleeves to hide my cast.  Still no lines, my part is to tend to Lear's health shifts, view his sick body, nod looks of Hippocratic nonsense to family members and lead Lear out of harm's way.  This is great fun, Folks!  It is more fun because for most of the three hour running time, yours truly is in the historic Lobero Theatre Green Room, drinking coffee, taking codeine for my wrist and having smokes.  This can turn one's view of The Bard's Masterwork into something a tad goofy.
My "big" scene is to come out, look at Lear's dying body, shake my head and give that hopeless mime moment so well known among members of the AMA.  Under the lights, in my surrealist moment, I always wanted to have slugs (shellless snails) in my pocket, and ad-lib the lines: "WAIT!  There's hope!  Let's bleed him with the leeches!"  I would then put the slug on Ford's body, causing him to bolt up, out of character in shock and surprise.  "LOOK!" I would shout, "HE LIVES!!!  You will get my bill in the morning."  And walk off triumphantly, stage right.
"Caffeine, Codeine and Cannabis..."  La la, la la, la lah... (*giggles*)
It was once said that my not getting the part of The Fool destroyed my creative soul.  Hardly.  I've had far greater disappointments and clear visions of the nature of show business and human motives than not getting a part.  After King Lear, I had only months later, the satisfaction of doing Abelard and Heloise, another costume character part.  I came back to Santa Barbara City College, as an instructor, to direct my play Casanova's Lips.  And finally, I worked with my favourite director, Max Whittaker in the new theatre debut of Arsenic and Old Lace.  The success of this production was responsible for me being invited by Pope Freeman to revive the show at the Lobero.  Because of my full time work in radio, I declined the paying offer (I was Equity then).  And I didn't think it would be as good or as fun as it had been with Mr. Whittaker. 
If anything, it probably changed my discipline on being a serious stage actor.  I hated cold memorization.  I took long to remember script if it wasn't connected to the blocking.  Remember a line just sitting: tough.  Remember it, cause I'm moving this way or doing that: fine.  This is probably the writer in me coming out.
I was sorry I couldn't accept the part of the MC in Cabaret at SBCC.  That might have fun!  :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"You're the maximum utmost!"

Doesn't Alain Delon have a son named Moe?
Nipplelodian (the TV network for undernourished, non-breast fed children) has a tween version of "Easy Rider" in development.  It's called "iHarley."
Jonathan Rhys Meyers is Henry Ford the Eighth in "The Two Doors."
Erica Jong's new erotic novel about the dangers of nudists cooking in the kitchen:  "Fear of Frying."
The Queen of Transgender Indie Jazz Film: Charlie Parker Posey.
The football team at Marquis De Sade High School has a Sacher-Mascot.
My wife has a patch of dry skin on her foot and it knows opera.  I think it's a Callas.
Slight of handmaidens.
...the cryptic note was signed, simply, "R. Cana."
Carloads Casa de Nada had perpetual visions after eating zenchiladas.
"There is no perfect country, as long as people reside within it."  Phil O' Sophocles.
Picture This: "Casablanca" but with Fred Schneider replacing Humphrey Bogart.
"Pagan Place" the TV series.  With Me, a Pharaoh?, Rayon O' Nile and Barbara Parthenons.
Everyday my loving wife reminds me that vaudeville died.
Bill O' Reilly has admitted to wishing he was the lead singer of The Doors.  But did you know that John Negroponte wanted to front A Flock of Seagulls?  And John Poindexter thought he was Falco.
Helmut Newton didn't give a fig.
Updated Product Placement: The Third Man.  The Many Lives of Perrier Lime. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

"I was a beatnik."

When I was a kid of 8 or 9 years old, I found one of my curious youthful obsessions to be that of the beatnik stereotype.  I had no real understanding of the Beats.  Never read or really knew about Kerouac or Ginsberg.  But the image of the beat(nik) as outsider or oddball connected immediately with my alien kinder mentality.
It's cheerfully ironic that a parody--or Hollywood portrayal of an outsider group, meant to lessen their impact--can actually inspire one to copy its outside and outsider attractions.  Thus it was for my pre-teen hep-cat identity.  I didn't know that the term beatnik was actually like a racial slur.  Credited as being coined by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen, his dismissive term was a combo of  Beat and Sputnik, suggesting the new trend was a merger of Cool and Commie.  Like the later Hip or Hipster being turned into Hippie.  Or even the N word.  A slur, which ultimately embraces those named, rather than ridiculed.  Want to know why a President, Senator, or Reverend is assassinated?  A truth loving investigator is turned into a Conspiracy Buff.  Well sign me up, Daddy O Trotsky.  I'm an underage, card-carrying, cool cat! 
Once again, I have to credit that publication of subversive activity, MAD Magazine, for starting me On the Road.  Their artistic interpretations of the Beat Lifestyle, through the drawings of Mort Drucker and the masterworks of Kelly Freas, drew me into the dark coffee houses of Suburban Bohemia.  How many times did their beat parodies of square entertainment make wish to enter a smoke filled club, lit only by candles in chianti bottles?
As a pre-teen, of course, I never had the opportunity to enter a real or even unreal coffee house.  But as a child sitting in the back seat of my parents' car, we drove past them on our many weekend excursions.  In hyper-dull Orange County, the Coolsville establishments stuck out beside the Pep Boys stores.  I remember one called Dracula's Den, way, way out, Daddy, outside of Fullerton, near Yorba Linda.  And as we headed to the Drysville desert, there was one outside of Riverside called Diogenes' Lantern.  How prophetic was that?!  Hermes.  The Mercury Players.  The Nun of the Abode, the Nun of the Above...the logo for my Graven Images.  It all fits, dear friends.
Still, the full understanding of Being Beat was beyond my youthful ignorance.  My older sister hung around with Kool Kids, but not as anti-establishment as I would become.  But still, her influence was there: being four years older than me, she was in the Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb crowd.  That 77 Sunset Strip vibe, I think.  I remember the fad of wearing Tikis, carved, wooden, on a leather bracelet around your neck.  Did this come from Hawaiian Eye?  Connie Stevens and Troy Donahue?  Surfside Six and Bourbon Street Beat.  Those ABC TV shows of the late Fifties!  So back to Mad Magazine to jive it up.
Being too young for the taste of coffee, I decided to open up a Beatnik Lemonade Stand.  Dressed like the Mad Magazine illustrations and inspired by Dracula's Den (was this in Brea?), King Kong's Korner opened for business on a small street in Fullerton.  I think I even had a melted candle in a chianti bottle.  How did I pull that off?
Not sure, Kats and Kittens.  But bella donnas in berets and black leotards with bongos and be-bop, these give me comfort.
I Dig You the Most.  With Love from Dreamsville on Cloud Number 8 (close to benign).  :)   

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"Grand is the name, and, uh - money is the game. Would you care to play?"

A character trait, or flaw, of my Virgo Sun personality is the tendency to over explain things.  I'd like to work on this.  So, my first step is to...

Monday, April 1, 2013

"And are there two Gs in 'Bugger Off!'?"

Good Idea?/ Bad Idea?   Nudist Camps for the Blind.

Turhan Bey.  Doris Day.  Alice Faye.  Charles Gray.  Ricky Jay.  Danny Kaye.  Frito Lay.  I.M. Pei.  Aldo Ray.  Anton LaVey.  I don't get the connection, but if you repeat these names out loud, people will give you space.

Genitalgenesisaphobia: Fear of the testicles of Phil Collins.
For some unknown reason, The Third Man was never the Mystery Guest on "What's My Lime?"
Doctor Frankenstein's lab equipment would often malfunction if it was on the Fritz.
What Ravi Shankar's doctor once told him:  "Take 2 Tablas and call me in the morning."
The great Indian musician once considered opening a restaurant that served Italian-Mexican cuisine.  He called it Ravi Ole!
I am a Mitral Valve Prolapse Progressive.
A Thighnote is like a Footnote, only higher up.
Bieberlieberphobia:  A fear of German boy band groupies.
Have read the latest book on director Alfred Crotchitch, "The Master of Suspenders."  It seems all his films were rooted in his mania of ill-fitting trouser angst.  As a portly man, his fears were deep seated.  From "The Man Who Grew To Much," "Rear Pocket" to "Torn Cotton," the obsessions are all too obvious.
Did Joan Plowright in Gracie Fields?
When it comes to food, was Eydie really a Gorme?
Stammer Films re-releasing, "Ras-pu-pu-pu-tin, the Ma-ma-ma-mad Monk."
China's most underrated playwright was George Bernard Rikshaw.
An unfortunate typo helped ban Jules Verne's "20,000 Legs Under the Sea."
South America is lovely this time of year.  Hasta lumbago, everyone!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

"Picnic Boogie"

Wanks For the Memories...The famous massage parlour chain is having a Spring Cleaning Sale on Happy Endings.  Full price for The Mount Vesuvius.  Half off on the Stubby Kaye.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court drives a Torque Mazda.

I used to drive a 1976 Marquis de Sade.  It had On the Rack and Pinion Steering.

Jazz in Religion: John the Be Boptist.

At Ronnie Snott's Acid Jazz Club: Hugh Mingus.  He was HUGE!

Rejected theme song from Lincoln: "I Got You Abe."

New Wave Music for the Elderly: The Truman League (featuring Phil Oakey and his brother Jack).

Hard Rock Music for the Elderly: Gums N' Roses.

Heavy Metal Music for the Elderly: Black Sitbath.

You know in France, those vampire/werewolf movies are called The Toilet Saga. ("twah-let").

New Films That Suck: Bruce Willis as David Hemmings.  "Blow Hard."

At Ronnie Snott's Acid Jazz Club: Saxophone Rohmer with Flute Manchu.  An evening of Limehouse Music.

TGM (Turgid Gastric Movies): "The Last Heterosexual On Earth" (1974).  Vincent Tag, Virginia Drapes, Lyle Flooring.  2nd film adaptation of sci-fi author Richard Mattress story, "Do You Die Here Often?"  Crisp B&W cinematography can't lift this feature's limp portrait of transvestite undead.  Drags mostly.

Five films by Spielberg on Race: The Color Purple, Amistad, Schindler's List, Lincoln and Duel.

Prog Muzik for the Elderly: CAN't.

Prog Muzik for the Elderly: Amon Drool 2.

Time (Way) Out Restaurant Guide suggests an Order from the Golden Dawn.  Chef Aleister Barley is a Master of the Take Away.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

"China My China."

An admission of failing here: the real China of the past thirty years; the China of Business and Historical Warfare films and so forth...this China holds little excitement for me.  My China is the distorted one of the Occidental. The Romantic Version of the Western Merry Non-Celestial.  The revisionist interpretation of the returning Sir Richard Burton.  All silks and sandalwood incense.  Harems and Veils.  Limehouse and the Daughter of Fu Manchu.  Vegetable Egg Rolls and plenty of Hot Mustard.  And don't forget the Opium!   Not exactly PC.  But I care little of the criticism.  My papers are in order.  I'm on this train to Shanghai.

We're still progressive here, folks.  One of my most admired persons is a lady named Anna May Wong.  She fought against the Hollywood Tyranny Machine regarding Asian actors playing Asian roles.  I loved Myrna Loy, but look at how she played the Eastern femme fatales, while an authentic talent like Miss Wong could not.  And like another exotic dish, Josephine Baker, Miss Wong turned her back on the racist West and headed to Europe (or in her case, England) to perform to a more receptive audience.  Anna May would return on her terms for a while and break the stereotype.  Baker would call France home.  This entry is illustrated with a collection of my Anna May Wong cigarette cards and souvenir postcards from Europe.  You may remember the lovely t-shirt with her likeness worn by Dr. Wu-hu in a previous post.

So it seems my passion for the sensual delights and mystical aura of distant Cathay weaves in and out of different time periods, and real versus mythological images.  My business gives me the opportunity of viewing numerous films from China, but the majority feel like soulless imitations of Western Westerns.  I'm amused, but more so saddened, when I see Chinese directors who made revealing films of their country, then come to the U.S. and make comic book films.  The contemplative films of Asia have receded.  Action flicks over the interaction ones.

Cue David Bowie's "China Girl" song, or the one I used to play by The Korgis...I still enjoy the image of Tsai Chin, from Blow Up, You Only Live Twice, and all the Christopher Lee Fu Manchu films.  I bought her autobiography and will watch her persecute Richard Gere in Red Corner.  And speaking of that film, how about Bai Ling and her fall from grace?  Don't piss off The Maker!!!  From A films to being doomed opposite Michael Marsden.  (And let's not even BEGIN to get into the reason why so many Chinese actors play Japanese.)

Well, after all is said and done, I don't think much has been concluded here.  Except for a personal contradictory obsession with beautiful Chinese women (Playboy Playmates China Lee and Grace Wong), Western visions of the East, noodles, egg rolls and hot mustard, Fu Manchu, Charlie Chan and Mr. Wong.  The best Shadow adventures took place in Chinatown, New York and San Francisco.  All the exotic items were made of jade.  Manfred Mann singing "My Little Red Book."  Or was that Manfred Mandarin?

Happy New Year Celestials!  The Year of the Snake.

As always, I remain,
Your Obedient Serpent (fx: "sound of gong").

Sunday, January 27, 2013

"You switch me on."

It's all true, fellow travellers.  Thank you for playing with the knobs.  I do appreciate it.  The miracle of the wireless.  "Turn on, tune in, drop trousers."  And for those on the Short Wave... 
A throwback to the Golden Age of Radio is the Radio Premium.  The Artifact of Loyal Listenership.  Many elements came together in the Kosmic Banger that was Space Pirate Radio: Short Wave and Ham Radio.  Radio Astronomy.  Sixties Pirate Stations.  Even Axis Sally & Tokyo Rose.  But classic radio drama of the Thirties and Forties had an allure that needed the Psychic Dial Up!  Get ready Space Pirate Radio Astronomers...for YOUR SECRET MESSAGE!!!
My Father got me interested in old radio with his stories of collecting premiums from his favourite shows.  He mentioned Jack Armstrong, Little Orphan Annie and Tom Mix.  But the one that stayed deep in my subconscious was Captain Midnight.  Sponsored by Skelly Oil Company (an odd choice for underage listeners), the show's fans were offered a number of collectibles to its Flight Patrol.  Secret codes and rings could only inspire one to have...a SPACE PIRATE RADIO DECODER RING.
Jack Armstrong had a Dragon's Eye Ring.  The Shadow had a Blue Coal Ring (to mimic his classic Red Opal).  Why not Space Pirate Radio?  Well, the answer was simple: BECAUSE IT'S IMPOSSIBLE!
A Space Pirate Radio Decoder Ring was like many of the other SPR ideas for artifacts.  Pipe Dreams and Slippers.  In the same vein, yours truly considered Space Pirate Radio Wing Badges, medals and lapel ornaments to denote length of listenership.  Passports stamped annually.  Comic books and magazines were worked on.  T-shirts got made, but not as many as were planned.  CDs, books and artworks.  I suggested to bookmaker friends that we create a plastic case binding that contained quicksilver...liquid mercury.  Mad as a Hatter?  Mata Hari?
Came very close to releasing the Green Neon Motel Vacation Souvenir Pack.  A memento of your stay.  ("Travel considerations for Space Pirate Radio furnished by the Green Neon Motel.  The only True Surrealist Motel, located in the heart, or rather, bladder of the San Industrial Valley.  1949 Linoleum Blvd., in the City of Appliances, California.")  The pack included custom soaps, postcards and complimentary packets of Anxiety Coffee.
And the Decoder Ring?  Well, it finally got made.  Not as a ring for the finger, but as a flat instrument for sending and translating cryptic messages to listeners.  Said a few rude things about corporate owners, general managers and program directors in code under the electronic airwaves.
Still called it the Space Pirate Radio Secret Decoder Ring and gave them away on the air.  My wife asked for one, before we had met and married.  "Not what I expected," she wrote to me.  I'm sure she still feels the same after over 20 years.
Happy 39th Anniversary.
Oscar B. Ciao, for now.