Tuesday, November 08, 2005



After I moved back to America from Holland I wound up in San Francisco. I didn't choose it; it just sort of happened. And I didn't choose to start a record company; it just sort of happened. And I didn't choose the first band we signed, The Nuns; they talked us into starting the company so we could put out their record. And I didn't choose the first hit on my label-- my partner Chris did; the band was "too pop" for my tastes. But I did choose the first band we signed to a long-term deal. And that was the most coincidental situation of all. I was taking Lester Bangs for a walking tour of San Francisco and he was drinking something alcoholic and finally passed out on my shoulder and he was no light weight. I dragged him into the Mabuhay Gardens around 4 in the afternoon where bands were auditioning. After I got over the shock that bands auditioned to play that dive, I noticed that one of the best bands I had ever seen there was on stage playing. It was Romeo Void and I went up to them after the audition and asked them if they would like me to release their record. Before that we had only signed bands to do one record. In Romeo Void's case we signed the band for a long-term recording deal. A few weeks ago I saw Debora Iyall, their lead singer playing with her new band, The Never Say Nevers. They sounded really good.

A few hours ago our pal Helen got back from a wild time in Vegas and connected to a computer for the first time in a week or so. The first thing she wanted to know was if the mass media was covering the use of prohibited chemical weapons in Iraq. Well... the Italian, U.K. and mass media on most of the rest of the world. The U.S. media hasn't figured it out yet. Somehow. And just as I was about to ask Helen how much she had one this time after a week at the craps tables, up popped an e-mail from Debora's mom, Marilyn, a very concerned veterinarian up north who is always interested in justice and balance and is a dependable correspondent. She sent me a BBC report about the RAI (Italian state TV) documentary accusing the U.S. of using white phosphorus bombs against civilians in Falluja. According to the story, eyewitnesses and ex-U.S. soldiers say chemical weapons used in "built-up areas in the insurgent-held city" (ie.- where civilians live). Oh, by the way, click on the link and you can see the video too.


Today's DAILY KOS has a horrifying story about U.S. use of chemical weapons in Iraq. Imagine Bush and Cheney being dragged in front of a war crimes tribunal! The KOS piece is "graphic." The RAI video came to me this morning. "In a documentary to be broadcast by RAI, the Italian state broadcaster, this morning, a former American soldier who fought at Fallujah says: 'I heard the order to pay attention because they were going to use white phosphorus on Fallujah. In military jargon it's known as Willy Pete. Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone ... I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 metres is done for.'"


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