GURU: TURN AROUND AND REMEMBER THAT THE PP GURU IS STANDING TALL - THE PP GURU IS STANDING ON SCARED GROUND!!There is a good September 11th and there is a bad September 11th.
This is a very bad September 11, 2001 where more than 3,000 people unwillingly kissed their asses goodbye. And this is a good September 11, 2001: which you can listen to over and over again and think positive thoughts to help ease or block the grisliness of those terrifying moments that kept one nervously glued for hours on end on that displaced Tuesday morning. The band's latest studio effort, Magnification had the misfortune of being released in America on September 11, 2001- although the PP Guru was lucky enough to latch onto a advance copy that was sent to him via Germany by his close transatlantic package designer friend at Inside Out Music, Matt Goodluck. Inside Out is a record label based both here in the US and in Germany that specializes in bands whose roots are planted firmly in the progressive rock life style - and the PP Guru has been a staunch supporter of almost all of their releases. Many of the PP Guru's current favorites are now recording for Inside-Out including The Flower Kings, Ayreon, Asia, Jadis, IQ, Spock's Beard and most recently, Carptree. There were days when the PP Guru used to look forward to Matt's packages of promo discs. Matt would send the PP Guru free CDs so that they could be reviewed- but the PP Guru technically never got around to writing them- but he would reciprocate by sending Matt a few Daredevil or Howard the Duck comics his way while he was pitch hitting as a manger for Rookies & Allstars. Matt, being within the crux of the record business was able to secure an advance copy of the new Yes disc - probably through Steve Howe's management dropping off some at the office (Steve's solo discs are distributed through Inside-Out) and the PP Guru had his copy at least a month in advance of both the Europe and US ship date.And he was glad he did - because coincidentally enough, the lyrics to Anderson's songs - We Agree and The Spirit of Survival are eerie enough as it is- as if Maestro Jon A's mind was strong enough to channel clairvoyant powers through his consistent peyote panderings to predict the tragic events of the twin towers crumbling. And what's even more shocking - the band had completed a series of 3 shows in New York City the night before all pandemonium broke loose and got out the proverbial nick of time.
After the departure of the only traces of young blood in the band, Igor Khoroshev
and Billy Sherwood
, Yes returned to the studio, this time to record with an orchestra in lieu of a keyboardist. Instead of looking for a replacement (although the Swiss Poodle Spaceman, Patrick Moraz
was even considered for a return engagement ) - the band considered the idea of returning with an orchestra, not used on a Yes album since 1970 when Time and A Word
was released. Both fans old and new were dreading this idea or prospect of using an orchestra to fill the vacant keyboardist spot. Oddly enough, the idea did seem to work out ok.
The PP Guru's
favorite tracks on the album is "Don't Go
" and "Give Love Each Day
." It's far from anywhere near an original statement, other than wearing its Beatles
influence openly on its sleeve even down to the "All You Need Is Love" trumpet flourishes at the end. Also, the PP Guru
can thump his tunics to Squire's "Can You Imagine." If the PP Guru
remembers correctly: this marks his first full-track lead vocal on a Yes studio album. The PP Guru
learned through a bootleg tape that he has lying around that the song is indeed an outtake from the era of Chris's first solo effort of Fish out of Water
The band was not only backed by a 60-piece orchestra, but specific parts and arrangements were written by notable film composer Larry Groupe and executed by the orchestra, sounding as if the orchestra was a permanent band member. On tour, however, the band hired a session keyboardist, Tom Brislin, (who now works a manuscript transcriber for Keyboard Magazine ) as the orchestra alone could not faithfully reproduce some of the classic material. Unfortunely, the PP Guru had missed out on this tour in his local area due to finanical restraints (he was a little strapped for cash at the time) when the band made it's first appearance at the Hollywood Bowl. However on the tour's encore run in the summer of 2002- he was fortune enough to catch some of Magnification performed live when Curry eating Capeman Rick Wakeman came back in the fold and has been firmly rooted to the spot ever since.
In summer of 1998, on the PP Guru war front: the PP Guru was emanicpated from his mother side of the family due to a tremendous blow out with his stepfather: in sorely need of a Reality Check Roger, which sent the PP Guru off as a subject of a NATION WIDE PP GURUHUNT by the authorties, but when the Van Nuys police department was notified upon the PP Guru's touchdown arrival- they laughed at the in sorely need of a Reality Check Roger and told him that they only hunt down gangbangers and murderers - not PP Gurus.
The PP Guru doesn't want to go all deep on the reprecussions of the event but he will tell you that the blow out stemmed from some sour words that were exchanged between the PP Guru and the in sorely need of a Reality Check Roger about the PP Guru, even at the young mannish age of 34, refusing to cut his hair. This curt defiance so enraged the in sorely need of a Reality Check Roger, that he demanded that if in the presence of his PP Guru's mom's house or in company of his friends or neighbors, that the PP Guru would be made to wear a ponytail at all times as to not embarass his already over-inflated ego. The PP Guru basically told his stepfather, in sorely need of a Reality Check Roger to go climb his fucking thumb- and shit only escalated from there (let's just say massive destruction of property followed and leave it at that) . The PP Guru didn't really need this shit going down: after all he was in New Jersey on business of finding a publisher to take on the Deposit Man.
Someone fell for it hook, line, and sinker - but the PP Guru found out that the joke was on him when this someone by the name of Scumbag Scott Goodell took the PP Guru's property and made it look like a piece of dog turd. Scumbag Scott had first met the PP Guru at his very first San Diego Comic Book Convention way back in 1985, when Swamp Thing writer Alan Moore had made his first and only comic book convention - and boy, did Alan's armpits really stink!! Alan Moore was in sorely need of a shower - because to be around him- you must have had the tolerance to enjoy the smell of ass. It was rumored at the time of that convention that Alan would be taking over the writing duties of the Spectre- so Scumbag Scott had heard about it and started drawing sketches of the Spectre, hoping to land a gig at DC. The PP Guru remembered seeing those sketches and liked them, and so the PP Guru and Scumbag Scott hung around together just shooting the shit on the Spectre. Scumbag Scott had came out to the convention from Arizona and when he went back to Arizona, the PP Guru had lost track of him - but lo, and behold, Scumbag Scott had spotted one of the PP Guru's many manly mantras in the pages of the Comics Buyer's Guide and contacted him by sending some of his recent samples. So Scumbag Scott wanted to hook up with the PP Guru with any idea that he would to care to layway him with for a book. PP Guru had pulled out his pilot episode of the Deposit Man and asked him if he wouldn't mind tackling this far- fetched idea of a 'landlord in the afterlife'.
Cover to the first Deposit Man one-shot The Kaleidoscopic Medicine Freak Show by Larry Nadolsky January 2001
The pilot episode of the Deposit Man
was originally intended as a eight page feature - much in the similar format that Will Eisner
had done for his classic creation of the Spirit.
They were supposed to be little mini-mysteries with a little social topical bite running through. The PP Guru
had two scripts ready to go- but once Scumbag Scott
had read them he asked the PP Guru
to make the story longer, shorten the number of panels per page (the PP Guru
got in this habit of writing each page with nine to ten panel grids peppered with an exorbitant amount of dialogue) because he wanted it as a feature story in a anthology book that he and some other shady character out in Miami were planning to publish. Scumbag Scott
pushed the PP Guru
in concocting some kind of origin story. The PP Guru
didn't have one planned - he figured the character was just immaculately conceived or some shit- but he sat down on the toilet one day and he happen to hear this noise of coil springs being snapped over and over. The PP Guru
poked his well defined proboscis out the window and discovered his next door neighbors' kids were bouncing up and down on a trampoline- and so he thought that would be a perfect way to introduce the Deposit Man
was to open the scene with a trampoline lesson as adminstered by God with theological talking points taking place between each jump on each panel.
The PP Guru
thought it was a novel approach in introducing the series, so he went about commencing writing it in two days flat and had sent to New York within the week. Scumbag Scott
gushed over it and said it would have be rushed to the artist that he selected for the project: Ben Fogletto
. Ben Fogletto
had done some work on the Munsters licensed comic book with writer C.J. Henderson
through TV Comics
- he could have also penciled the V.I.P.
series as well, but you'll have to take the PP Guru's
word for it. Ben went ahead designed all of the preliminarily characters such as Betty Fusco, Esquire Row
, and Spice Cakes
for the PP Guru
, and most importantly designed the Deposit Man
in his traditional PI Philip Marlowe
type of trenchcoat and fedora drenched in zip-a-tone to act as his electrical static charged epidermis as similiar as one would find if he or she were getting a bad reception on a piece of junk portable television. Ben got through three pages of the fourteen page 'pilot' story and abandoned it over a fit of conscience (the 8 page introductory story had never reached the drawing board and still lies dormant in the PP Guru's
computer database to this very day. Something to save for the trade paperback, he supposes) - so in order to make the printing deadline - (the Diamond pre-order was around 500 or something copies) - Scumbag Scott
had to enlist something like 12 different pencilers and inkers to complete the rest of the story while two other bookend stories (one completed by Fogletto
) sat around waiting for the Deposit Man
pilot adventure to catch up. When the PP Guru
first got to see the finished pencils - he thought the whole thing looked like a jumbled turd pieced together. None of the artwork was consistent and the various different styles made for a poor flow of continuity from one page to the next. The worst effrontery of all was when Scumbag Scott
took a bottle of rubber cement and pasted each word balloon in the panels all by hand - not to mention that they were hand written by him too! So that left a lot of human error in terms of misspellings and some of the pasted balloons becoming more loose in it shipment to Florida.
To make matters even worse, Diamond even sent back the book and told Scott that he would have to change one of the panels in the story simply because there was brief reference to kiddie porn in it. To put it simply: it's revealed towards the end of the story, that we peek into a hope chest belonging to the wife of the antagonist to find that there was indeed a kiddie porn magazine stuck inside the chest (only the title of it was showing). This little controversial snafu on Diamond's part tied up the book for least another month. In fact, the PP Guru
did not get to see the final product until he met up with Scumbag Scott
at a APE
convention up in San Jose in early 1999.
Other than seeing the PP Guru's
all obtrusive disregard for the first book, the PP Guru
was estatic upon seeing his name listed in the Diamond Previews
and for the oddest reason, half the stock which was brought over to the show was nearly depleted- because everyone dug Jillian Suzanne's
painted cover on Malice
so much that we might have sold like twenty copies in twenty minutes, and she had a lot of signing to do.
The PP Guru
was happy that there was a small sum made on the table that weekend - but the question remained of whether the PP Guru
wanted to retain Scumbag Scott's
services for the foreseeable future. For one thing, the PP Guru
felt conned in some aspects of the book's promotion. For one thing, the PP Guru
thought that this was going to be a major product- something slick in the format similiar to that of Heavy Metal
- but what came back from the Death Comics
publisher was a enlarged piece of garbage that look like it was shat out of a Kinko's recycle bin. And the first printing from Diamond had some pages switched around between the book end stories, but the Deposit Man
portion was unaffected- but the PP Guru
wrote in to CBG
to say he would replace any copy free of charge that would come out of the second printing. Another thing that really irked the PP Guru
is that the publisher of Death Comics
would not put an ad in the trades (looking at the end result - it was easy to see why) to fanfare the book, so the PP Guru
had to construct one of his own to place in CBG
and pay for it out of his own pocket.
Both Scumbag Scott
and the PP Guru
discussed on where the character was going to go next. The PP Guru
originally wanted to do shorter stories in other anthologies, since Malice
was a one shot thing - but Scumbag Scott
insisted on giving the character his own book. So the PP Guru
had to take the other eight page story he wrote that had the Deposit Man
facing off against a atheist hippy chick who was about to give birth to a child in the afterlife and expand that into a 22 or 24 page magnum opus. So while the PP Guru
was off doing that, Scumbag Scott
was making arrangements for a past collaborator of his from his days of doing unauthorized Metallica
comic books for Revolutionary Press
to be the new full time Deposit Man
artist, a Canadian gent going by the name of Larry Nadolsky
- who was also incidentally recommended to the PP Guru
through Revisionary Press / Carnal Comics
publisher Jay Allen Sanford
when he was pitching the idea for him to maybe publish it. The PP Guru
suggested to Scott that the PP Guru
would keep in contact with the artist, so there would be no problem in conveying what the PP Guru
wanted to see on the pages- because the last one had so much disarrayed shit going on that it hardly resembled anything that he wrote. Scumbag Scott
was reluctant to give out Larry's number, because Scumbag Scott
wanted to act as the mediator between us - the control freak as it were - and that's where we first started tumbling into a bad working relationship. When the PP Guru
finally pryed the number out of Scumbag Scott
, because he only had the first 3 pages that Larry drew for the longest period of time, he found out through calling Larry that he entire book had been completed for three months and was wondering what the hell was happening to it himself. Scumbag Scott
was just sitting on the book doing nothing with it.Scumbag Scott
said that he had potential interested buyers in it, but it would take a series of 'power broker' lunches to get a serious deal running . So the PP Guru
spent most of the year 2000 sitting on his fucking thumb in limbo waiting for the latest words on his quote unquote
"meetings" until the ...PP Guru
couldn't take it anymore and demanded to Scumbag Scott
that he get to see the completed pages. Scumbag Scott
kept stonewalling the PP Guru
until the PP Guru
announced to Scumbag Scott
that he had found a interested buyer on the West Coast - a vendor from Rookies & Allstars
, named Mark Capuano who supplied the store with action figures wanted in on the action and therefore calls were made on his behalf to coax Scumbag Scott
in sending the artwork out to us - all for the price of a cassette copy made of a imported Peter Gabriel
CD that the PP Guru
had in his collection called OVO
that Scumbag Scott
had trouble hunting down.'ORIGINAL ARTWORK
first, Scumbag Scott
!' decreed the PP Guru's
battlecry. A week later, the artwork came in the mail, and out went the pirated tape.Cover to The Deposit Man Survival Guide to the Afterlife - art by Larry Nadolsky & Mark Capuano, November 2001
The first Deposit Man one-shot, The Kaleidoscopic Medicine Freak Show (don't ask the PP Guru where he came up with that one- it just appeared to him like a fucking epiphany. No rhyme or reason- just enjoy it) was printed in a little Armenian family owned print shop in Sherman Oaks, Ca in late Janurary of 2001 under the auspices of Mark's registered imprint of Independent- Comics.com and premiered at The APE convention when it switched cities from San Jose to San Francisco. The book was another good seller and made money at the table. Although the PP Guru was good at promoting the book at shows, none of the distributors like Diamond or Cold Cut wanted any part of it- because the book was off sized and printed entirely in black and white- including the cover on sturdy cardstock that was so rigid that you can take it outside and play a few rounds of frisbee football with it and have it come boomeranging back practically unscathed. The book still sells well at shows for the PP Guru. His initial printing of 600 copies is nearly depleted.
Another stipend of Mark and the PP Guru's arrangement with Scumbag Scott was that he would still retain some creative control on the Deposit Man - and one such agreement was that Scumbag Scott help the PP Guru plot out the stories. The next solo one shot of the Deposit Man called the Survival Guide to the Afterlife (it sounded pretty catchy to the PP Guru, so why not use it?) had Scumbag Scott come up with some conceptual ideas to blend in with the PP Guru's main plot of doing a homage to Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series (using famous dead celebrities to help in a uprising of heaven to perserve gay rights ) and his favorite all time Stephen King story, The Long Walk. None of Scumbag Scott's ideas were totally original. Scumbag Scott wanted the PP Guru to take some terminology that Yes Maestro Jon A had used in his lyrics such as 'turn around glider' from Siberian Khatru and use them in the story (although his idea of a 42nd Screamdown from On the Silent Wings of Freedom to used as a name of a gay bar that the Deposit Man frequents was a nice touch) - but then Scumbag Scott came up with this dumb idea of on a Colonel Sanders rip called General Chicken to be used in the end that just made the PP Guru's generosity look too condescending. The book was printed in November of 2001 and it marked the first time that the PP Guru didn't use a story that he wrote that wasn't growing mothballs in his drawer for seven or more years. It was written just as the first one shot was going to press and help to expediate things along- the PP Guru had help from his roommate and pre-school teacher, Rebecca Robbins to feed some lines of dialogue spoken by Betty Fusco and Spice Cakes . Regardless of Scumbag Scott's unrelentless meddling, it's still one of the PP Guru's favorite Deposit Man issues....regardless of what Sequential Tart's Trisha L. Sebastian thinks.
Unfortunely, shortly after the printing of this book, (and the fear that terrorists such as Ozzy Mama Bin Laden might use it as weapon against the American people) a tragedy too unbearable for the PP Guru to comprehend occurred just downstairs from him in the house he was renting from Obi-Dan Kenobi. The PP Guru had been close friends with Rebecca's brother, Jared - who was also Obi-Dan's stepson. When the PP Guru first met Jared, Obi-Dan Kenobi brought him down to a Comic Con one year and we went on a party cruise that was sponsored by Capital City Distribution and later checked a sneak preview of Natural Born Killers at the Horton Plaza. We had a blast getting drunk and playing jokes on the crew. Jared even went so far as to grab a crewman's jacket he found lying around and went posing as a barmaid - taking everyone's drink orders. When we got back to LA, the PP Guru found out that he was going to migrate to upstate New York in order to shack up with some redneck girl and her eight or so offspring that he met online. Jared settled down, got a monster truck and a job at some warehouse. He was happy and content- until fate had intervened when a piece of shelving fell on him at work injuring his back. Since the state of New York couldn't provide him with the proper medical treatment, Jared had to claim permanent disability and was forced to come back to California to get the help that he needed. He had surgery- but it wasn't enough to piece together the severed nerve damage and had to use a wheel chair until he was able to get around with the use of a cane. To make a long story short- Jared constantly had to see therapists to get his muscles back in shape, psychiatrists for the mental anguish that he was going through, and doctors to prescribe him all sorts of candy- coated goodness.
<> Cover to the Malice one shot anthology by Jillian Suzanne - Cary
Coatney's comic book writing debut of the
Deposit Man published by Death Comics
> circa 1999
Too much candy coated goodness if you ask the PP Guru
Larry Nadolsky self portrait
Bad things started to happen shortly after Jared
recieved some kind of workmen's comp settlement and he went out and bought an excessive amount of material possessions. Included in the sweepstakes shopping spree were Gameboys, Sony PS, a CD player, a guitar and amp, and not to mention a new monster jeep that he needed help to be lifted in. After a while, Jared
crashed the jeep over a highway after he took a combination of too much vikodin and painkillers washed down with a couple quarts of JD.
Even though the jeep had caught fire and Jared
managed to escape with his life, the drug problems only escalated from there. Jared
grew so despondant over a friend that had died of cancer, that he went over to his gravesite over at Forest Lawn and threatened a entire entourage of funeral mourners that he had a bomb in the trunk of his car. Once the memorial park got evacuated, police and news helicopters surrounded the vicinity and Jared
gave up without incident and was carted to a nearby institution. Jared
made the headline story on the six o'clock news that night.
That all took place before May of 2001. Nearly six months after on the chily evening of December 15th, not long after the PP Guru
pissed off Jared
after finding out that he made a few cracks pertaining to John Lennon's
masculinity in the Deposit Man Survival Guide to the Afterlife
. John Lennon
s all time idol - and thus he was so worshipped by Jared
that he had his entire back tattooed with a John Lennon
was really out of it - He had two shoeboxes filled to the rim with pharmaceutials that he could've almost opened up his own underground Osco drug store with them. He had them lying by his side on the guest couch he was spending the weekend on, cause he had a doctor's appointment on Monday in Encino. He was living with friends in Pasadena because of all the fights he was having with his surrogate mom, the Dragon Lady
. The PP Guru
had asked Jared
if he had wanted eggs that morning, but Jared
sounded weak when he could hardly open his mouth to utter the word 'no' out of his mouth. All Jared
wanted was his daily requirment of a 2 Liter Pepsi bottle and a left over box of Domino's Pizza. So Jared
laid back down and went back to sleep. So the PP Guru
went about his usual business of chores, fucking off on writing his Deposit Man
scripts or blasting his Yes
albums on his Dolby surround stereo. Then the PP Guru
went out to the movies and just as he was leaving, he noticed that Jared
was sleeping in this strange rigid position like as if he were a cat clawing at something imaginary in the air. The PP Guru
voiced his concerns to Obi-Dan
, but Obi-Dan
assured the PP Guru
will be alright in time for Rebecca'
s Christmas treetrimming party that she was throwing at her new apartment she was sharing with her new fiance' Cro-Mag Albeeman
and her daughter, Olivia.
When the PP Guru
came back from the movies- he was dismayed to discover that Jared
was still in the same position when he left for the movies. The PP Guru
ran to Obi-Dan
in the study where he spray painted old Aurora
model kits of Spider-Man
to get an update. Obi-Dan
said again, it's probably the drugs that are causing it- probably put him in a trance. Jared
will probably have to miss the party.
So they left the PP Guru
alone in the house....with Jared.
So the PP Guru
went and did some laundry. He read some comics. He recorded more pirated tapes for Scumbag Scott
. He fucked around on his old Roland
synthesizer. He watched some TV. He went to bed. The PP Guru
did everything but try to coax a blow job out of a marauding raccoon that was shifting through his garbage cans that night to keep his mind off the Jared
problem to the extent that he had tiptoe around the house as to be careful as to not to wake him up.BANG! BANG!! BANG!!!
Was that a gun shot? Jared
was always telling the PP Guru
that he wanted to massacre himself and the family along with him (the PP Guru
included) if he didn't get better soon.
Uh, oh- maybe Jared
had finally snapped.
Perhaps, it's time for the PP Guru
to jump out of the upstairs bedroom window. He knows he can't outrace a bullet - but the day would be forecast when the PP Guru
would one day have a blog. And he wanted to be alive in able to see that day.
However, at midnight that night- all that noise was being woken up by Obi-Dan
pounding on his door to ask if Jared
had woken up at all during the night.'Not that the PP Guru knows of'
, the PP Guru
.'Well come down and help me wake him up'
, he called from down the stairs.
We went down to the living room and flicked on the switch. The PP Guru
literally freaked out. Jared's
skin was all a pallor of bright yellow and he was still in that rigid cat clawing the air position. Obi-Dan
said to lift him up and help put him on the floor.
The PP Guru
said 'you gotta be kidding?'
The PP Guru
bare calf and immediately flinched back. Goddamn - that's fucking cold!! Maybe, the PP Guru
did get a blowjob that night. If your name was Mr. Freeze
- The PP Guru
can be reached on his cell at --- --- -----
Huh? Oh, um ... forget the PP Guru
said anything. Nonetheless, Obi-Dan
started to give him mouth to mouth resuscitation, and the PP Guru
nearly retched his cookies (he thinks they were Oreos that night) at the sight of it. The PP Guru
had physically pull Obi-Dan
. The PP Guru
told the Dragon Lady
to call the paramedics - because they was nothing they could do for him. Jared
was long long gone- the rigor mortis had already set in.
The paramedics didn't arrive until 3 AM that night. The city of Los Angeles was short on coroners that night- only two were on duty that night and they had to pick up a gangbanger shot to death in a drive-by before making it to our house.
From that moment on, the PP Guru
knew that this luxury house that he has been living in for the past six years or so was indeed tainted with death. After all, Jack Haley,
the chap who had played the Tinman
in the Wizard of Oz
movie used to own this house and died of a heart attack in it two decades earlier before it was bought by Obi-Dan Kenobi
and the Dragon Lady
The PP Guru
couldn't sleep that night and went to the Los Angeles Comic Book and Science Fiction Convention
the next morning where he cried on Booth Coleman's
shoulder (TV's Doctor Zalius
from the Planet of the Apes
And that's where the story ends for now for the PP Guru
Magnification personel: Jon Anderson
/ lead vocals, MIDI guitar, acoustic guitar
- Steve Howe
/ acoustic & electric guitars, steel, mandolin, vocals
- Chris Squire
/ bass guitars, vocals, lead vocal on "Can You Imagine"
- Alan White
/ drums, percussion, piano, vocals
. Recorded in Santa Barbara. Orchestrations by Larry Groupe
featuring the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.
Favorite lyric: The gods have forgotten to switch on the light /Who's lost in the dark will crash in the night
- The Spirit of Survival
Talk among the Prophets will give the PP Guru
something to tell: