[Posted on the Steely Dan fan Bluebook, April 2, 2008]
I’m still experiencing some sort of afterglow about this whole ’spoof’ thing as mr. Michael Ricci, founder of the All About Jazz site wrote in his email to the contributors and editors of AAJ. They’ve been ’spoofing’ on April Fools’ Day (this is the correct way of writing it, otherwise it is called ‘disambiguation’, according to wikipedia and i looked it all up like i usually do since this is supposed to be my second language haha) for some years now and i read the email last week or even longer ago, but paid not mucho attention to it due to work and such.
On March 30th i suddenly remembered i talked to Jim Beard via myspace before, related to an article i still have to write, about Maastricht and jazz musicians and a former jazz club, Take Five. Mr. Beard and Steve Khan and Bob Berg and Mike Stern and everyone else who is real big now, performed in that little cafe on the corner back in the late 80s. Special times in certain genres and styles of music, things were really ‘cooking’ then, musicwise. Plenty of room for musicians to grow, experiment, do the session musician thing and ’strut their stuff’ on higher planes. There was a strong vibe in jazz and fusion and smoother jazz and such in those days, one that sometimes emerges again in contemporary music, the same warmth and vibrant atmosphere with positive energy to give.
Anyway, i remembered that AND the fact Jim Beard also played on Walter Becker’s new album. Why not drop him another spacemail and ask him about it? At that time there was no hint whatsoever of any review or hoax to step into.
Mr. Beard emailed back and all i did was post here in Blue --the little quote-- and then write up something for Mizar5. Still no intention whatsoever to make a joke out of it all. I knew it meant a lot of work to write up something nice mixing both the liner notes of Revolutions and the Circus Money stuff.
Then i went to AAJ, for the daily review editing moments. I started to read the April 1 reviews and was floored by the Hermann Goring one. Then the Rickie Lee Jones/Tom Waits one. And that’s when the idea suddenly hit me. It was late in the evening. Close to midnight even. I only had a few hours left to do this thing. So it all went fast and furious, as they say.
Then i found this pittoresque image with the (laughing?) gas masks and picked three names. One of them had to be Walter Becker. What about the other two, which two? I'd read Jim Beard’s website and what he had shared about the recordings for CM also involved some later dubs in his B&C studio, the one he owns with Jon Herington. Perfect. Then it shall be them! It did cross my mind i perhaps had to tell Jim Beard about the spoof and explain some about the issue involving ‘outtakes’. But what if he was otherwise engaged, i couldn’t be sitting about in the dead of night just to wait for his consent… so i just went on with it.
It was all in the nick of time and different time zones. Reviews have to be edited. Editors have to be awake or available. Every review for April 1 had already been set to go automatically in the system. When i submitted it, i had no clue whether it would be in time or not.
Until i opened the spacemail next morning and found this message from Jim Beard. He had received an AAJ notification about a certain review… the April Fools’ Day icon did not mark my review yet and he must have not known what hit him, because i had said i would send him a link to a Mizar5 article, also involving the liner notes to his new album. Instead, a review about him leaking outtakes?
I sent my apologies and said sorry. And explained it was an April Fools’ spoof thing instigated by All About Jazz.
My head was frantically thinking and i then wrote up The Dirty Low Down article which ended with the Circus Money Outtakes link. One had to read the whole story in order to get it right. I didn’t think the review would be posted earlier than i anticipated. I figured there’d be time enough in the morning to write the story to accompany and somewhat explain the (fake) background details of the review. Also, Siggy and Neb in Sweden were waiting for a sound sample to come their way (grin), we intended to post almost simultaneously so people could switch from site to site…
And in the back of my mind this image of Jim Beard who probably had no idea what to make of the review hovered over me like a thunderstorm.
May i add that i also edited the review some afterwards, so the version that had reached mr. Beard’s eyes was a little different. It could have sounded a little bit disrespectful if one was reading as if it were a serious review.
He sent me another spacemail. I was afraid to open it. I didn’t for a day. Until this morning. It said that people believed he was in on the joke and i also think he meant that there were people who thought there actually were Circus Money outtakes. And that he actually had leaked them (!). Or asked questions about the whole thing. Something he knew nothing about. All he did was answer a question about collaborating with Walter Becker and sending along the liner notes for his yet to be released new album.
I didn’t mean for him to be targeted in this eh, spoof.
So he asked whether i could explain he had nothing to do with it and that it was all an April Fools’ hoax and he thanked me for putting up his liner notes, they looked nice he wrote.
re: disclaimer. Patricia Barber sings Sonny’s ‘The Beat Goes On’ and we hum ‘Let The Hoax Hoax On’. What do we know about disclaimers. No. How do we feel about disclaimers? And how are they usually written? I googled for disclaimers and found a whole bunch of them that didn’t make any sense. Disclaimers are phenomena in their own right, like legal documents often just seem a whole pack of words thrown in a hat and then scrabbled together to confuse the reader. That’s what disclaimers do. I copied/pasted threequarters of the sentences and only had to fill in some of the blanks. And it got me to laugh, still, once again, even more!
And as dr. Wu said sometime this day, driving west or east or north or south somewhere near or far from Sunset Boulevard:
‘all’s well that ends well’.
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