Friday, March 30, 2012

DVD Review: Of Dolls & Murder

Text © Robert Barry Francos/FFanzeen, 2012
Images from the Internet

Of Dolls & Murder: Extended Version
Written and directed by Susan Marks
I See Dead Dolls Films / Da Silva Pictures / Seminal Films, 2012
70 minutes, USD $14.95

At the turn of the century, a woman’s “place” was considered to be in the home, especially for an heiress from Chicago. This was the culture into which Frances Glessner Lee was born, locked out of a professional life in those pre-suffrage days.

Frances Glessner Lee
 But Lee was not one to shirk away. After an unhappy marriage, into her 50s, the socialite turned her interest in forensics (and a talent for textile art) into not only a career, but she revolutionized the science. Before her influence, police work relied more sleuthing, rather than an exact, scientific study. By the time she was done, she also founded Harvard’s Legal Medicine department.

In 1939, she started the yearly Seminar of Homicide Investigations for State Police, which is still being held, years after her death in 1962, while in her mid-80s. For many of these seminars, she personally created what are known as the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Deaths, a series of 1-foot = 1-inch dioramas of actual death scenes using dolls, which were employed in the colloquium as teaching tools. In fact, 18 of the 20 known Nutshells (one was crushed in transit, one is missing) are still used as teaching tools in Harvard to this day.

This is merely the starting point of this fascinating documentary, about not only Lee and her dioramas, but what cultural outcome has resulted from her work.

Now, the whole dolls-death-diorama thing may sound familiar. If it does, odds are you watched the season of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation where there was a serial killer who did similar dollhouse scenes. This was a nod to Lee, and is discussed in detail in this film. In fact, the whole relationship of the television show to culture is a topic as much as Lee. There are clips from the program, and one of the interviewees is connected to the TV series. There are also plenty of shots of the Nutshells (called that after the expression, “ a nutshell”), including some fine details.

Along with dissecting the Nutshells as the camera lovingly flows around the scenes, forensic science is compared with the television show, such as the fact that even though all the machinery is real, there is no actual existing single police-related space that is that sophisticated; a producer sadly states that the CSI set has the best forensic lab in the world. Also, they tell of the real amount of time it takes the police to get pertinent information, such as DNA or fingerprint identification.

A quite shocking focus of the film is what’s known colloquially as the Body Farm. Apparently, people donate their bodies to this scientific space, and their corporeal remains are tested for rates of rot by being left exposed to the air, or put into peculiar situations (such as being in a sealed garbage bin or plastic bag), for example. We get to see particular body parts covered with bugs and maggots, skulls, and the like, which is occasionally gruesome; but honestly, there is nothing here that is more gross than the fake CSI show.

One aspect I found particularly interesting was the two-sided question about evidence. On one hand, thanks to the plethora of sophisticated television cop shows (not to mention how many times they are rerun), jurors are more likely to pay attention during the trial to scientific information, and understand it better. On the other hand, it is becoming harder to get a conviction without DNA evidence. For example, just this week (end of March 2012), a man was found innocent of murdering his wife in a wide-publicized trial because all of the evidence against him – of which the police felt was sufficient and substantial – was circumstantial. One has to wonder if there may have been a different outcome pre-CSI.

As a strange choice, the narrator of this very serious documentary is legendary auteur-of-the-outcast-and-bizarre filmmaker John Waters (part of this documentary takes place in his beloved Baltimore, which is the locus of all his films). Waters is an admitted crime buff, so his interest in the topic is understandable. It was a brave choice to use him, but he does an outstanding job, without camping it up (and, I am proud to admit that I am a Waters’ fan). Each section of this release goes into detail about a particular Nutshell, with Waters describing the real-life circumstances that led to the death depicted in the dollhouse.

There are five extras included: the first is “John Waters on the Nutshells,” in which he describes what they mean to him, and how he sees them as a hidden (i.e., not public) art project (2:40). The second is “John Waters on Frances Glessner Lee,” where director Susan Marks interviews Waters, who jokingly refers to Lee as possibly having been “…a cop hag,” and how he is “intrigued by true crime treatise.” (2:30).

The third short is “The Patron Saint of Forensic Medicine,” which goes deeper into detail about Lee and her relationship to her Nutshells. For example, she hand-knit all the clothes, and it is explained that she was more interested in them being an aid to investigative thinking in processing evidence than actually solving the crimes they depict (5:30). The last of the films is “The Missing Nutshells,” which describes the two missing ones indicated above, and includes still pictures of them (1:00).

The last extra is a full-length film commentary, which is quite interesting, though occasionally frustrating. People who make films, listen up: If there are more than two people talking (there are four here), since we can’t see you, it is hard to tell who is saying what. No, we don’t necessarily want multiple commentary tracks; just make it as easy for us as possible, okay? Note I am saying this with a smile, and not a finger-point.

This is a film that is fascinating viewing, on a weird topic as its thread. Director Susan Marks keeps the pace steady and the topics interesting. As documentaries go, it never loses the audience’s attention while covering many topics, and yet is never obtuse, without talking down to its audience. It’s as much a cultural study about forensic science as it pertains to our perceptions as it is about Lee and her Nutshell Studies. Good viewing all the way around.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Club Flyers and Invites from 1970s and 1980s: Part 6

Text (c) Robert Barry Francos, 2012
Images are owned by the artists.
Also, images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

As stated in an earlier blog, throughout the years I have collected flyers, especially from the 1970s and '80s. Many were sent to me directly by the bands while I was publishing FFanzeen. Below are some scans I made from my personal collection, in no particular order. I did see many of them, but not all, and I will comment on them from time to time. Note that I do not financially profit off of publishing them, but only do so to honor the work that was involved, and for archival purposes.

1. Wayne County, Max’s Kansas City
Wayne didn’t receive enough props for helping to bring punk to the UK from New York, and vice versa. It was always a good night at Max’s when he (remember, this is pre-Jayne) was behind the DJ booth.

2. Get Hip Showcase
The garage label from the Pittsburgh area is still going strong after all these years, run by members of the Cynics.

3. Folk City Psychedelic Nights
For a while, Todd Abramson, who published the fanzine Young Fast and Scientific, booked a couple of nights at the folk stalwart that introduced such rockers as Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, and Peter, Paul and Mary. His shows are the ones in black. I saw the Nov 18 and 19th shows. Todd is now a co-owner of Hoboken’s best nightclub, Maxwell’s.

4. The Brooklyn Zoo, March 1983
While the Brighton Beach-based club wasn’t open very long, as you can see they had quite a line-up going.  Unlike now, Brooklyn was not looked upon in favorable light in the downtown Manhattan scene, and one can say it’s arguably still true beyond Williamsburg (aka Greenwich Village East, as opposed to the East Village). I saw many a good show there (including the Iggy Pop / Helen Wheels one on the flyer, where I interviewed Helen – RIP), such as BowWowWow, Joe “King” Carrasco and the Crowns, and many others.

5. The Rat
I’m sure people in Boston hate it when their Ratskeller was referred to as “the Boston CBGBs.” “Actually, it works for me, because they were both holes in the wall. I saw quite a few good shows there, as I was up in the area for many Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, hanging out with, in alphabetical order, photographer and Bang! fanzine publisher Rocco Cippilone, cult legend Kenne Highland, future legend Donna Lethal, and music impresario Joe Viglione. Though I’ve seen Willie Alexander a few times, I would have liked to have seen most of the others on this as well.

6. Peppermint Lounge
While some of the larger clubs were more an annoyance than anything else (e.g., Danceteria), with their hindering door policies where you were never sure if you were wasting a trip, the Pep Lounge was wide open and many wonderful shows were to be seen there. Some I caught were the Stiff Little Fingers show listed here, the Fuzztones, Chesterfield Kings, and Husker Du, to name a smidgen. Great venue to see bands.

7. When People Were Shorter and Lived Near the Water
Yes, WPWSaLNeW is a great name (or horrible, depending on your taste), but they were mostly a joke band. A side project for a bunch of local New York City musicians; they did bizarre covers (only) of songs that were classic rock, punk, or even Top 10. Usually, the sound was distorted and very guitar heavy. But they did play pretty often in CBGB’s Jr., aka the CBGBs Record Canteen (next door to Sr.).

8. New Music Awards, Beacon Theater, 1985
I had been to the awards the year before, at Studio 54 (hosted, in part, by Al Franken in wedding dress drag), but did not make it to this one. Perhaps it was the Cheech and Chong emceeing that scared me off, because I never found them funny (“Who is it, maaan?!”).

9. Art
Led by New York punker extremeo Mykel Board, Art was actually a very sharp, biting band that skewered some of the bigger releases from the scene in a very nasty (re: fun), Weird Al re-writing way. If you can ever find their Live at Carnegie Hall release, it is amazing.

10. Artless, The Pyramid, 1986
After the collapse of Art, it only makes sense that Mykel Board’s next group was called Artless. It continued in a more hardcore way, but just as biting.                                                           

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DVD Review: Public Image Limited: Live at Rockpalast 1983

Text © Robert Barry Francos/FFanzeen, 2012
Images from the Internet

Public Image Limited: Live at Rockpalast 1983
Directed by Christian Wager
MIG / WDR, 1983 / 2011
58 minutes, USD $19.95

Public Image Limited (aka PiL) is not just the band that John Lydon formed after his time with the Sex Pistols, but once it’s initial members left (and pretty early on in the 1980s), essentially it became the name of Lydon’s back-up group, since musicians came and went so fast during it’s initial 14-year run (1978-1994; though a version reformed in 2009).

There is certainly a marked difference between the Pistols and PiL, despite both starting with the letter “P,” and that is certainly to Lydon’s credit. While the former were musically talented, they were certainly not very disciplined. The latter, on the other hand – and this is especially true in later incarnations of the band – were a tight and consistent unit.

For a series of shows in Germany and Japan – part of which was taped for this release when they appeared at the “uberdisco” Zeche, in Bochum, Western Germany, on Halloween 1983 – Lydon assembled a collection of touring musicians to join him and original PiL drummer Martin Atkins. While the rest of the band doesn’t necessarily look the part (guitarist Joseph Guida, for example, looks like he should be in a pre-hair-metal rock band), they certainly play like they do, giving Lydon a strong backing for his music.

During the Pistol days, in “Johnny Rotten” mode, it seemed all Lydon did was give that tilt-headed, unblinking glare which works for about a minute, and snarl out some lyrics while being a living embodiment of sarcasm. In PiL, however, while some of that still exists, he seems a lot more relaxed, and, dare I say it without destroying his public image (pun intended), he seems to be having a good time. Rather than just hanging on the mic stand, hunched over and screaming, he jumps off the stage and approaches the audience pretty often, and frequently does that reggae-style skank dancing. Heck, he even smiles repeatedly. No, this is not JR, this is JL, even though he still occasionally leans in and sings into the camera.

As this excellent performance shows, PiL take an early Stooges and / or later Flamin’ Groovies influence and base many songs on a single riff, such as with “Religion,” that is played in a round, over and over, with slight changes. Mix in a bit of atonal No Wave, and this makes it hypnotic. PiL creates something of their own though, by also adding a reggae touch (just a smidge) and an elaborate keyboard set-up that would make Rick “I’m Boring” Wakeman notice.

If I had to pick a quintessential PiL-styled song from this DVD, it would be “Memories,” though my fave is by far one of their biggest successes, relatively speaking, “Bad Life.” In this one Lydon doesn’t sing as much as atonally caterwaul. It’s more known, however, for the repeated line, “This is what you want / This is what you get…” On the DVD box, however, they state that the band’s biggest hit was “(This is Not a) Love Song.” Fair enough.

While it may not be the classic Lydon-Wobble-Levene-Atkins version of PiL, this put-together band still delivers the sound. [Two quick sidebar PiL stories: when PiL first played in New York City at the Ritz in 1981, they stood silhouetted behind a curtain while the club played prerecorded tracks. The ticket-paying fans were not impressed, and the resulting riot did a lot of damage to the club. Second, while I was working for cable access show Videowave, PiL was scheduled to appear for an interview, but the story we heard from their management was that Levene was MIA looking for drugs, so the rest of the band decided not to bother showing up, being the only non-shows in Videowave history, other than a new, young singer named Madonna Ciccone.] Quite honestly, I was not impressed with PiL back then, finding them too contrived for my Ramones-Heartbreakers-Dictators taste, but this DVD shows that there was definitely something there quite interesting, in a more primal way. This especially shown in the song “Under the House,” where everyone on stage other than Lydon rhythmically pounds drums together, while he sings / chants.

As a surprise, for the eighth song Lydon dusts off his Rotten character and delves into “Anarchy in the U.K.,” showing he still has some of the fire that lit up the Pistols. While played a bit too sterile (i.e., not sloppy, like the Pistols, but sounding more precise like the studio album/single), I’m not complaining; I sang along with it and enjoyed it. And as not a surprise, after the song, Lydon says goodnight and leaves the stage with the band. Short 33-minute set?

Well, as you can see below, they came back and played nearly as long an encore as the set itself, thankfully. Between each of these songs, though, they leave the stage and then return. Oddly, they end their show with “Public Image.” Why is this odd? Because they began the gig with the exact same song. Happily, it’s a good one.

In all, there is a total performance from beginning to end, and nearly an hour of music. Lydon’s between-song comments are kept to a minimum (thankfully), and the music stands out.

The Rockpalast series was/is far superior to any of the then-contemporary American relatives like Don Kirshner’s Rock Concerts or In Concert, because the German version played the entire show (I have no idea if the original airing had commercials or not), and did not resort to any of the ridiculous special effects that the U.S. ones did, such as split screens, flipping the images, annoying angles, or the dreaded kaleidoscope effect (that’s where there are five images in a circular pattern, and they twirl around the center). Rather, you have clear images using multi-camera editing, and a dynamic sound for its time period (i.e., pre-HD).

There are two extras: the first is a six-minute interview with Lydon done by Rockpalast host Alan Bangs. Lydon seems to be wearing pajamas and a bathrobe (I should go back and see if he’s wearing slippers…). He asks some decent questions, about such topics as the original PiL members (Lydon states that they’re busy with their “own projects,” which is to musicians what “spending more time with their families” is to politicians) and Lydon’s experience working on the film Cop Killer. Before long though, Lydon being Lydon, he gets bored and says, “Are we done?” and walks off. Y’see, Lydon is solid ego. His public persona has always (well, since joining the Pistols anyway) believed that what he feels at any particular moment, is the most important thing, regardless of anyone else’s needs. Now, one can look at this admiringly, as being his own person. I find it’s easier to be like that than have to attended to someone behaving in that manner. Being obnoxious is only good in the first person, but again, Lydon being Lydon, he has never been able to think beyond his own skin. I mean this as an observation rather than a judgment… Okay, maybe it’s a bit of both…

The second extra is the band – with Lydon still in PJs and robe – soundchecking “Annalisa” and “Chant.”

I would recommend this without hesitation. It’s Lydon and his music at the top of his game, and an easy groove with which to have some fun.

John Lydon: Vocals
Joseph Guida: Guitar
Louis Bernardi: Bass
Arthur Stead: Keyboards
Martin Atkins: Drums

Set List:
Public Image Limited
Flowers of Romance
Anarchy in the U.K.
(This is Not a) Love Song
Low Life
Under the House
Bad Life
Public Image II

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Vanity Plate No. 5: Queens College and Newsbeat

Introductory piece © Robert Barry Francos, 2012
Main body text and photo by Mark Spector, in Queens College’s
Newsbeat newspaper, 1977

For a year and a half in the mid-1970s, I was Arts Editor of the Kingsborough Community College newspaper, The Scepter. In fact, I joined on a Thursday and was elected to the position on the following Tuesday. When I graduated, I figured I would continue the trend and write for one of the newspapers at Queens College, since my work at KCC was such a positive experience, but found it to be a very tricky and painful at Queens, due to their cliquish nature (I have learned since that this is more common than not). First I tried the Phoenix, and wrote two dozen pieces for them, of which they used, in total, one paragraph. After hearing them talk about me when they thought I wasn’t there about how I wouldn’t write about disco so what was the point of my existence, I went next door to the other, competing major on campus paper, Newsbeat. I tried the same tactic of writing first and hoping they would print me, and managed to get about a dozen pieces published, such as LP reviews of Blondie’s first album on Private Stock, Loretta Lynn’s Somebody Somewhere, and Tanya Tucker’s Here’s Some Love. One day the editor, R___ R___, said that he had enough writers (who were his friends), thanked me for my time, and said buh-bye.

This is when I started
FFanzeen. I figured, if I couldn’t get anyone else to publish my stuff, I would do it myself. And I did, starting out as a 15-page one-sided ‘zine (though it would become much larger and more professionally printed as the years progressed). I was already somewhat well-known across campus for various reasons, one being I was one of only two people who knew anything about the punk rock scene at Queens; the other was a die-hard Ramones fan, but he was more metal oriented. Another reason was my kicking in the door of the radio station, but that’s a tale for another blog.

The ‘zine and my limited notoriety led to someone from
Newsbeat informing me that his editor (the same one who canned me) wanted an article about me and my publication. From the beginning, as he interviewed me in the school’s teacher’s cafeteria (where he also took the photo, above), it was clear that this writer had no interest at all in either me or what I was about, and took as many snarky jabs as he could. He also got a lot of the information wrong, which I will currently comment on via [brackets]. It should be noted for clarity that at the time, the term “new wave” was being used to describe the New York Underground scene, and “punk rock” was the British contribution.

Over the years I’ve come to realize that we were so young then (you never realize it at the time), and therefore had enormous chips on our shoulders. I said some things I look back and feel squeamish about, too. Now, I actually smile when I read this, despite the tone from either of us. We were just in two parallel worlds occupying the same time frame.

At this point I should point out that I did shortly become Arts Editor of a Queens College newspaper,
The Globe, which was focused on the Third World politics (many on the paper were Marxists and revolutionaries).

Please note that there is a follow-up to this story at the end of the article! – RBF, 2012

FFanzeen - New Mag for New Wave Rock
By Mark Spector, July 26, 1977

What do you do when the editors of college newspapers frustrate your attempts to publish esoteric reviews of “new wave” Rock and Roll? Well, if you’re Robert Barry Francos, you publish your own magazine and hope somebody buys it.

The first issue of FFanzeen, which sells for $1 at the [campus] record co-op and some record stores in the Village, features interviews with Tom Petty, Blue Ocean [sic], and – are you ready for this – the Cramps. Never heard of any of them? They all have a following that comes to see them regularly whenever they play CBGBs, and Max’s Kansas City.

Francos looks like your typical burnt-out freak who’s trying to keep his brains functioning after taking one hit of acid too many [his insinuation of my drug taking (not something of interest to me before or after his pronouncement) was because I was so naturally thin, at 115 lbs. My aunt cried when she read this part, dude]. His short, skinny frame is clothed with torn jeans held together by safety pins [never have I worn safety pins to hold my clothes together in my life; however, I did occasionally wear a huge laundry pin in my jacket lapel in 1979 after Sid died in his honor] and a Roxy Music tee shirt. In last Thursday’s 104 degree temperature, he was the only person on campus wearing a dungaree jacket. Holes on the sleeves, underarms, and back provided the air conditioning.

But in spite of his appearance, Francos is not heavily into drugs [heavily?!]. In fact, his disfavor for most of today’s popular bands revolves around their appeal to drugged audiences. “Hard rock is for potheads,” he says. “I’m not a heavy pothead” [what I said was, “I am not a pothead”]. He describes new wave music as just basic rock and roll. “If you strip rock to its barest commodities, rip it to its guts, you’ll have new wave.”

Francos first became interested in new wave music, or “punk rock” as it’s sometimes called, in the summer of 1975 while hanging out at CBGBs. The people sitting at the table next to him got up, plugged in their instruments, and started to play. That group was Talking Head [sic]. After they finished, four guys got up and did the same thing. They were the Ramones.

Since then, Francos has amassed a huge collection of albums and singles by groups like Blondie, the Ramones, the Dictators, Sex Pistol [sic], etc. He recites the lyrics with the same enthusiasm and feeling with which teenie boppers in the 60’s [sic] recited Beatle lyrics. But these lyrics are definitely nothing like what would come from the McCartney-Lennon song factory. For instance, one song on the Dictators’ new album goes: “I’d rather slash my wrists / Cut my throat/ Than have to spend a night with you.” [Not only did he get the name of the band wrong – yes, I knew it was Tuff Darts and told him so – but he got the lyrics partially wrong, as well; and as for the “Lennon-McCartney song factory,” what about “Run For Your Life”?] Like any avid fan, Francos knows the meaning of the song and which groupie it’s dedicated to [sic].

Also, like any fan of anything, Francos knows the complete history of the music he loves. New wave music had its roots in England [I said no such thing; it started in New York City and was adapted in the U.K.] where it was known as punk or “dole rock.” Dole is the British equivalent of welfare and most of the original purveyors of punk rock were on the Dole [Under Margaret Thatcher’s government, a large percentage of youth were on the dole, not just punkers].

Punk rock came to America when Richard Hell (that’s right) and Tom Verlaine approached the owner of a small country blues place in the Village and asked him, “Why don’t you showcase rock and roll?” Hilly Kristal liked the idea and changed the name of his club from Hilly’s to CBGBs. Hell and Verlaine were in a group called Television and that became the first group to play at CBGBs. They were followed by Patty Smith [sic], the Ramones, Talking Head [sic], and Blondie.

As punk rock became popular in New York, the record companies came down. The New York Dolls became the first American Punk Rock band to record [years before the opening of CBGBs, Mark]. Neither of their two albums sold very well. The next group to record was Patty Smith [sic] and Francos is certain to point out that she quickly “rose above the new wave.” He explains that many of her followers from the CBGBs days still consider her new wave, but musically she leans toward jazz-rock.

The Dictators’ first album, Girl Crazy [sic], sold only 6,000 copies but their second album, Manifest Destiny, is doing better. Francos insists that “they’re both great albums.” Other new wave bands to record include Television, Talking Head [sic], and the Ramones. “Glitter rock was dying,” Francos observed. “The only thing that was coming out was disco and a lot of people hated disco.”

Francos insists that there is a strong difference between punk rock in Great Britain and what he calls new wave rock in the United States. “In new wave music, the violence lies in the music and the lyrics,” he says. “In British punk rock the groups get physically violent on stage.” English punk rockers are not afraid to throw beer bottles across the nightclub or at each other while on stage. One girl performs with a safety pin through her pierced cheek [I don’t know who he was talking about, and it didn’t come from me].

But still this music is popular. Recently, Sex Pistols released a song called “God Save the Queen.” With lyrics like “God save the Queen / And her fascist regime / She made you all morons / potential H-bombs,” the song was quickly banned from the radio. However, that didn’t stop the song form rising to the top of the British charts.
While Francos was developing his taste for new wave music, disco was becoming popular, and college newspapers refused to print his stuff. At Kingsborough Community College he was restricted to writing movie reviews and he claims that when he came to Queens, neither Newsbeat nor Phoenix would print his material. “When they did,” he charged,” they butchered it up to the point that I couldn’t recognize it as my own.” So, Francos became publisher, editor-in-chief, layout man, photographer, and the only writer for FFanzeen [that was mostly true for the first issue]. “I just figured that if nobody will publish me, I’ll publish myself.”

FFanzeen is a standard fanzine style publication. It consists of 15 mimeographed pages held together by a staple in the upper left-hand corner. Francos hopes to come out every other month and expects to have a larger staff for the next issue. Friends in Boston, Buffalo, California, and Long Island have all offered to write for him.

In the meanwhile, though, Francos has no trouble filing the magazine himself. Getting interviews is easy. “Most of the performers,” he points out, “don’t even take their music seriously. They’re just out to have a good time and they’re easy to talk to [what I actually said was that many bands are more interested in having fun that being considered serious artists].” Francos pointed out that the Ramones still live with their parents in Forest Hills. “The Dictators have a song – ‘(I Live} For Cars and Girls’ [sic]. That says it best.”

Publishing your own magazine can be a big move and if you’re successful you could make a lot of money. Francos’ ambitions are simple. “I’m giving myself five years to buy the Playboy Mansion, kick Barbie Benton out, and replace her with someone else who looks decent” [while I don’t remember saying that last bit, and am a bit embarrassed by it in hindsight, it is a period piece from when I was very, very young…].

2011 Follow-up
As I was preparing this, I managed to find Mark on Facebook, and we had a pleasant exchange about the whole thing. He now runs his own advertising company as a marketing consultant, copywriter, and creative consultant at There were no hard feelings from either of us, and he seems to have turned out to be an okay guy.

When approached about my reprinting the above, Mark wrote:

Well, Robert,
I'm glad you didn't let that antagonistic and condescending jerk discourage you. It sounds like you had a nice run and a lot of fun with FFanzeen and continue to do so. Very glad to see that! I have no tear sheets (and very few memories) from that period. Though a (big) part of me dreads coming face to face with Mark Spector 1977, none of us are the same people we were back then and hopefully I, like you, can put it in context. I've long since learned to be less full of myself. And congrats on the success and fun you've had with FFanzeen.