Strange Famous Records

Evel Knievel’s last interview, given days before he died.

Someone gave this to me the other night in Dallas, and I hadn’t seen it previously.  Thought it was good enough to share here.
Evel Never Dies
Before anyone ever dreamed of the XGames, Evel Knievel bet his life on every performance
By Pat Jordan

The greatest daredevil who ever lived is half-lying in an easy chair in a track suit, like Fidel in his hospital bed, struggling to breathe through a nose tube that’s connected to an oxygen tank in the living room of his small condo in St. Petersburg, Florida. At 69, he is a gaunt man with a wispy puff of white hair and taut, shiny, pale skin stretched over his high cheekbones. But that doesn’t mean he’s about to take crap from his bookie, who’s on the phone. “You telling me I didn’t take the Patriots?” Evel Knievel rasps. “I know who I took!” Minutes later he takes another call, from a man who  wants to “give” him a star on the Las Vegas Walk of Stars—for $15,000. “Not if I have to pay for it,” he says firmly, then hangs up, exhausted. How preposterous that someone in Vegas would charge him for a star. This January, after all, marks the 40th anniversary of one of the city’s greatest spectacles, his daring and disastrous motorcycle jump over the Caesars Palace fountain, the event that propelled him to super­stardom. He would go on to become one of the most famous men in the world. His motorcycle and riding costume are enshrined in the Smithsonian. A river is named after him, as is a biker convention in his hometown of Butte, Montana. When ABC listed its most-watched Wide World of Sports episodes, Evel Knievel specials placed 1st, 3rd, 7th, and 12th. No wonder he thinks Las Vegas, like everybody else, should pay for the right to use his name.

He is most famous for his death-defying motorcycle jumps and crashes, but mostly he’s famous for being Evel Knievel, the man who invented a sport, and himself. At a time when extreme sports and reality TV are more popular than ever, few remember that he founded both and bled for it as he did so. He was one of the first self-promoted celebrities, the man who, like his friend Muhammad Ali, shamelessly pronounced himself “the Greatest.” He redefined celebrity not as a means to an end but as a goal in itself. He inspired generations of fathers to say to their reckless sons, “Who do you think you are, Evel Knievel?” His godlike status makes it surreal to see him like this now, sucking up oxygen in God’s Waiting Room. “I’m dying,” he rasps. “This may be the last interview I ever do.”

He’s been dying for 42 years, first from his career, then from liver failure in the ’90s, and now from a rare lung disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. “How much can a human body endure?” he asks. “My immune system’s shot. The doctors gave me three years four years ago. I got this disease that’s so rare there’s no cure. I don’t know of anybody else who had it except Marlon Brando.” Which was always the point with Evel Knievel. He was always unique, and still is, awaiting death with a rare disease few other mortals ever had.

He created his image, and his life, out of the clay of Robert Craig Knievel, a wild kid from Butte, Montana. He was a good high school skier and hockey player, then a motorcycle racer, a bank robber, and—is it true?—a safecracker.

“What do ya mean, ‘is it true?’” he snaps, “I can still crack a safe with one hand tied behind my back. I’m not proud of it. But I was always against society.”

He became Evel Knievel in the mid-’60s when he asked a Norton motorcycle distributor named Bob Blair to sponsor him. Blair said he would, but only if he changed his name to Evil. Not eager to tempt God, he changed the i to an e. From that point forward, not even he would think of himself as Robert anymore. “It’s who I am,” he says. “I am Evel Knievel.”

To help sell motorcycles, he began jumping over “weird things”—a box of snakes, a lion, a tank full of sharks. (For the record: The term “jump the shark” originated with him, not the Fonz.) “I was happy he’d finally found a job he liked to do,” his wife, Linda—surely the most understand­ing woman in America—once said. When they divorced years later, she said, “He always thought there was something better out there and never stopped looking for it.”

He began looking for longer and more dangerous jumps, too, until, by the late ’60s, he was Evel Knievel, the greatest motorcycle daredevil the world had ever known, a man who was willing to jump over 13 double-decker buses, a 1,500-foot-wide canyon, the moon if he could find a rocket-propelled motorcycle powerful enough. He had balls the size of watermelons, which is why his fans loved him.

“It’s easy to be famous today,” he says. “People pay a million dollars to be recognized, but nobody cares about them. They cared about me because I did things other men were afraid to do. That’s why my fans identified with me. They were mostly working-class.”

His fans were also drawn to him because of the possibility of a crash, broken bones, failure, and death. They sometimes booed when he succeeded, shouting out, “That was too easy!” and cheered when he crashed. “My failures had a lot to do with my fame,” he admits. He once famously said, “I created Evel Knievel, and then he sort of got away from me.”

He meant that he let his fans dictate what he did. “They always expected more,” he says. So he gave it to them. Longer and more dangerous jumps: two cars, then 22 cars. It was said that during the height of his fame, grown men admired him, young boys wanted to be like him, and women wanted to sleep with him. He was tall and handsome in the country way, with prominent cheekbones and a high, swept-back pompadour, like a ’70s lounge lizard. He wore a white leather costume with red-white-and-blue stars and stripes and a flowing cape—a little gay actually, but understandable since the idea came from his friend Liberace.

Evel was dangerous, hard-drinking (his poison: a beer, tomato juice, Wild Turkey concoction called a Montana Mary), and sexual, every women’s bad-boy fantasy, which he embellished. He carried a .44 magnum and a gold-and-ebony hollowed-out cane with a sword in it. People wondered: Who was Evel Knie­vel real­ly? A flimflam artist, a crazy man, or a man of monumental courage? Maybe a bit of each. By the early ’70s, he counted Elvis, Ali, and Steve McQueen as friends. Books were written about him. Three bad movies were made about his life. He’s been featured in countless TV specials, and, Lord have mercy, this year Evel Knievel: The Rock Opera opened in Los Angeles to rave reviews.

Today Evel owns the rights to his name and image and is willing to put them on anything he can sell. He claims to have made $10 million over the past few years. To show me, he laboriously rises from his chair. Trailing his oxygen tube behind him like a tether to life, he shuffles toward his office, then suddenly gasps for breath. “You’re standing on my tube,” he mutters.

The office is a mess. Clothes strewn on a chair. Boxes piled high. Toys. Dolls. Caps. Tchotchkes everywhere. He points to a photograph: Evel in his white leather costume on a motorcycle while a slacker-looking kid in baggy shorts sits behind him, making a funny face, as if this posed picture with this fossil is a joke. Evel looks back over his shoulder, his eyes half-lidded, dismissive, a little threatening.

“That’s Tony Hawk,” says Evel, “the skateboard champion. I know him and Mat Hoffman, the bicycle stunt kid. I’m the father to them all.” He means he is the progenitor of all the extreme sports kids of today, the skateboarders who leap off walls, the actors who crash into walls in the Jackass movies, the contestants on Fear Factor.

“He’s a legend to all of us,” says pro skateboarder Danny Way, who jumped the Great Wall of China in 2005. “We probably wouldn’t have the opportunities we do without him. There wasn’t a lot of history of people doing 100-foot jumps before him. The motorcycles weren’t made for it. The ramps weren’t made for it. And he went out and just did it.”

Breathing heavily in little gasps, Evel shuffles back to his chair. “Things ain’t easy, buddy,” he says, struggling for breath. “It’s a compli­ment to me that all those kids come up to me. I always knew how to draw a crowd.”

Evel drew his biggest crowds with three jumps, all of which failed spectacularly, beginning with his Caesars Palace fountain jump on New Year’s Day, 1968. He cleared the foun­tain, but then his back wheel caught on the landing ramp, sending  him tumbling over his motorcycle, which then rolled over him.

“It was my worst injury,” he recalls. “I had a compound fracture of my left hip, broke my right wrist and left ankle, and had a severe concussion. I was unconscious 30 days. You know, I had a couple hundred jumps in my career, and I made most of them, but the ones they show over and over are the ones when I crashed.”

Which is not quite the truth. His most famous jump, in 1974, was meant to be over a 1,500-foot-wide abyss known as the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. That day would be immortalized on film and in the press as one of the most hyped events in sports—and one of the biggest fiascos. Fifteen thousand people showed up for the jump. People went to theaters to watch it on closed-circuit television. Then three quarters of the way up his takeoff ramp, Evel’s parachute prematurely deployed. He fluttered to the canyon floor below like the white petal of a flower.

He wasn’t hurt, but his image as a fearless daredevil was. The headlines the following day read “Evel Knievel Fails to Die” (right alongside: “Ford Pardons Nixon”). The presumption was, if he was stupid enough to self-destruct, then he was obligated to go through with it.

“The engineer made a mistake, and the chute deployed too soon,” he says. “It was heartbreaking.” When asked about the event’s credibility, he fumes: “I was on the cover of Sports Illustrated! What more do you want?”

To redeem himself, Evel set up a jump over 13 buses in London’s Wembley Stadium before a crowd of more than 70,000, for which he was paid $1 million. Like the Caesars jump, he cleared the buses but crashed on landing and suffered devastating injuries, including a crushed vertebra. Yet he managed to stand up afterward, wave to his fans, and say into a mike, “I will never, ever, ever, ever jump again.”

“I never thought I was a failure unless I didn’t try to get up after a crash,” says Evel today. “Kids come up to me all the time and say, ‘Once I was going through a really bad time, and I saw you crash and get up, and it inspired me.’”

Despite his Wembley proclamation, Evel made one last big jump, then retired. “I was tired of getting beat to death,” he says. But why did he punish himself in the first place?

“You can’t ask a guy like me why,” Evel snaps. “I wanted to fly through the air. I was a dare­devil, a performer. I loved the thrill, the money, the whole macho thing. All those things made me Evel Knievel. Sure, I was scared. You gotta be an ass not to be scared. But I beat the hell out of death. It would all go by so fast, in a blur. One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four Mississippi. You’re in the air for four seconds, you’re part of the machine, and then if you make a mistake midair, you say to yourself, ‘Oh, boy. I’m gonna crash,’ and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.”

Evel spent the rest of the ’70s drinking, carousing, chasing women—in general living up to his wild-man rep, which he bolstered by taking a baseball bat to a former publicist to settle a vendetta. For that offense he served almost six months in prison.

“There were always 15 guys standing outside my cell for autographs,” he says. “I liked all of them. They were just them and I was just me.”

Once when Evel was on a work release detail with other cons, he hired 15 limousines to pick them all up in the morning and bring them back at night. When the warden saw cons getting into limousines, he had a fit.

“Boy, he was pissed off,” remembers Evel. “I told him, just because these guys were in jail didn’t mean they were bad. I was just trying to get them to feel part of the system. He understood then.” On the day of his release, inmates carried out Evel’s footlockers for him.

Evel took a financial hit from the prison episode when he lost endorsements, and he began making noises about resuming his career, about wanting to jump out of an airplane at 40,000 feet without a parachute. “The state of Nevada stopped me,” he says.

I ask Evel if he still thinks of himself as a tough guy. “Aw, I don’t know,” he responds. “I’m just me.” He still keeps a .44 magnum, and he gets up and shows it to me. “I’d rather have men fear me more than like me. Fear and respect go a long way. If a guy likes you, that comes with it.” He returns with a beer. “I was a bitter sunuvabitch when I was younger,” he says. Which brings us to his son Robbie.

In his 40s, Kaptain Robbie Knievel is the greatest motorcycle daredevil of his day, but  Evel and Robbie have a strained relationship. Robbie says his father is jealous because he’s successfully completed most of the jumps Evel failed at. He has not, however, attempted to jump the Snake River Canyon. “You don’t see no long line of guys trying to jump that canyon, do you?” Evel cackles like an old crone.

Robbie has said he was the only member of the family who had the guts to stand up to his irascible father. “That’s true,” Evel says. “I admire him for that. Robbie’s a better rider than I was. He started earlier, and he has better equipment. But I don’t think any daredevils today, including Robbie, had to bite the bullet like I did. It’s not so exciting to fans if there’s a 90 percent chance you’re gonna succeed.”

In fact, Evel’s publicity biography lists all his crashes proudly, while Robbie’s mentions only “three sprained ankles.” Robbie even pokes fun at his father in his recent Holiday Inn Express TV commercial. In it a motorcycle slams into a school bus. People come running, but the rider turns out to be a dummy. Robbie appears smiling, as if to say, “I wasn’t dumb enough to crash.” When a reporter asks if someone talked some sense into him, he says, “No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.” The subtext: Evel Knievel is that dummy.

“I got my own commercial,” says Evel. “For a lunch box. It was on in a recent NFL game.” No wonder the kid’s been battling his old man all these years; the sunuvabitch never quits.

Before Evel says goodbye, he talks about how he found God a few months ago, in a hotel room in Daytona Beach. “All my life I was an atheist,” he says. “I’d tell people I didn’t believe Jesus could walk on water. Then something happened in Daytona. God spoke to me. He said, ‘Robert, you got to stop tellin’ people you don’t believe in me. I been takin’ care of you for years, watchin’ over you. I done everything for you. And you go tell people you don’t believe in me. You gotta stop it.’”

Evel puts his hands over his face, then sobs, “I told God I’d never insult him again.” So did St. Augustine, who also asked God to send him chastity. But Evel’s not quite ready for that. Maybe later, when he’s an old man.

Mar 27

“How Do You Sleep?”

Upon entering the wonderful world of youtube.com this evening I damn near suffered from a brain aneurysm. In the group of videos recommended on the home page, I was introduced to Jesse McCartney’s “How Do You Sleep” video.

Any John Lennon fan would see that artist’s name grouped with that song title and think the same thing I did:

“Are you fucking kidding me? Paul McCartney has a snot-nosed kid covering (or responding to) John Lennon’s ‘How Do You Sleep’ song?”

For anyone who doesn’t know, “How Do You Sleep” is something of a battle track aimed at Paul McCartney off of John Lennon’s “Imagine” album. It is one of my favorite battle-ish tracks of all time. Not only did John Lennon attack the government, military, government, and the concept of “god” while doing it with incredible melody and production during his solo career, but he lays into Paul McCartney with dis tracks and response tracks. Does he do it for obvious reasons or personal reasons most of us could never understand? Who cares. It’s great.

“a pretty face may last a year or two. But pretty soon they’ll see what you can do. The sound you make is muzak to my ears. You must have learned SOMETHING in all those years. Ughhh….how do you sleep? Ughhhh…how do you sleep at night?”

Here’s the full song if you haven’t heard it before:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCJhe9E1Wlo[/youtube]

For those who don’t need the little history lesson, you’ve skipped ahead to this part. Well here is the “How Do You Sleep” song by Jesse McCartney:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1RC7AxpD9c[/youtube]

For those who decided to skip the video altogether, you may have missed the fact that it features Ludacris. This cameo, for some reason, added validity to my fear that this guy actually has some clout and that this song is in reference to the John Lennon’s song with the same title.

Well…it’s not. Kid…I researched this shit. I put my journalistic training to use and I surfed the rough waters of the internets until I came up with cold hard FACTS. Boom bam. You’re welcome! This Jesse McCartney dude is not related to Paul McCartney. Not only that, but he is probably totally unfamiliar with John Lennon’s song. I suspect his career and the song title is a failed attempt by whatever collective of schmucks tried to manufacture a hit with this twat.

According to wikipedia:
“Jesse Abraham Arthur McCartney (born April 9, 1987) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. McCartney rose to fame in the early 2000s as member of the boy band Dream Street. He subsequently branched out into a solo career, having appeared in the television series Summerland.”

Why the hell did I waste part of my life (and possibly yours) dissecting something that doesn’t matter at all to anyone? Because after a long day of work I tried finding something enjoyable on youtube, but instead my head almost exploded.

If nothing else, I hope I introduced some people to the wonderful solo work of a highly under-appreciated John Lennon album.

Also, to make this hip-hop related, I’m amused by the fact that Ludacris will seemingly do anything if the money is right. Or maybe he was obligated to appear on this kid’s track due to a Mickey Mouse contract. Friends and contemporaries of mine swear that Luda is dope and I can understand why they think that. However, the Lennon spirit in me tells me otherwise.

Tell me. Tell me.
How do you sleep at night?

Mar 23

My trip to Southby or Meeting Sage Francis

My buddy Lija lives down in Austin and a while back he hit me with an email inviting me to come down for Southby. Seeing as the StrangeFamous show was goin on I thought it sounded like a good idea, plus theres a bunch of Boise heads in Austin, and I hadn’t met anyone from StrangeFamous yet except Sleep. Naturally I figured it would be cool to go shake some hands. But I had to go handle some stuff back in Boise first. Alot of things in my life have been sorta up in the air lately, and It started lookin like I wouldn’t be able to make the trip. I put it out of my mind and got back to playing online chess and constructing model airplanes. Anyway, a few days before the show I came up on some skrilla and realized I could just make it on the greyhound bus. So I did the two and a half day greyhound trip from Boise to Austin. Got my stuff jacked in Denver during a layover and finally made it into Austin around midnight before the show the next day. Initially I thought it would be cool to buy a ticket to the show and surprise Sage but then I got jacked, so I emailed B. Dolan and they hooked it up so I could get in. My homeboy Nick told me Southby was off the hook. I had never heard about it until he related some stories to me dealing with him and his cousin Cody Lightning(of Walker Texas Ranger) and their adventures during the music/film fest. Wandering through the blocked off streets of downtown Austin the next day I realized that Nick’s stories were probably more than just stories. There was a damn good chance the events Nick claimed had taken place in Austin were actually based on viable facts. 6th street, Migas stands, door guys at Emos taking bribes, grackles chirping in the bushes, and Texas heat. All the elements were there. So I got to the Scoot Inn, met Sage, mingled a bit with Scroobius, and got an orange juice. I was still pretty out of it from the long ass greyhound ride. Everything looked in order. It was a dope venue. I paced around and smoked and meditated on playing online chess and constructing model airplanes. Then Sage came up and said, “Curtis, you wanna help me out with something?”. “Yeah, whats up?” I said. I followed him into this little area in the back of the stage. We went through this door and he said “These guys should be showing up any minute. We just gotta clear the area before the show.” I didn’t really know what he meant but I was down to help out however I could. Then he pushed this table aside and opened up a trapdoor. I followed him down into this murky concrete chamber beneath the venue. “Any minute now. This connects to all the underground infrastructure in the city of Austin,” he said. All the sudden I caught a wiff in the air and got nauseous. It smelled like a crackhouse full of rotten macaroni. Next thing I knew Sage handed me a bunch of StrangeFamous vinyl and told me to pull them out of the sleeves and toss them at anything that made a move, but before he could finish we were surrounded. Everywhere I looked there were vicious filthy bloodsucking vampires, the sons of Dracule. Sage tossed a B. Dolan vinyl at one with lightning speed and I watched as it burst into flames. I took his cue and pulled an SFR T-shirt over one of their heads, then beat the shit out of it Hockey style while it melted into goo. We must of taken out 40 or 50 of those evil motherfuckers. So we finished up and headed back up to the show. Later on Sage explained to me that the undead monsters we made quick work of had actually been promotional reps for Kanye West trying to get him a spot at the show that night. Anyway, seeing everyone rock it was well worth 2 and half days on a greyhound and getting jacked in Denver. Big Props to everyone who played. Sleep gets the gold star for killing it even though he lost his voice. I’ve never seen or heard anything like that.


Kayne West’s head promotional rep Jennifer Arnelle. Rest in peace bitch.

Mar 23

People pay for “plays” on Myspace. (prt 2 of a continuing series)

Some people may remember the last time I did something like this. The difference here is this “company” is trying to sell their “online marketing/promotion” services rather than just being upfront and admit they’re in the business of falsifying play counts for musicians on Myspace.

As everyone knows, it is more important to make it look like people listen to your music than actually make music people are interested in listening to. Yes, people pay for play counts. So this company can thank me for the free advertising I’m giving them. God damn, I hate spammers.


I did my best to spell as bad as them so I could blend in. But damn, they even spell their own name wrong. If you want to waste 5 minutes then read the interaction below:

From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS
Date: Mar 9, 2009 12:51 AM

Hi there! We recently added you as one of our Friends here on
Myspace; Reason being, we took the time to listen to your Music and we
are very impresed by it. You show great talent and vass potential. Here
at Millenium Promoters we take tremendous pride in providing our
Artists with outstanding service. If you are intrested, please contact
us whenever you get a free minute. To learn more about us and what we
do here at M.P. please take a minute to visit our Myspace Page.
Thank you
-Millenium Promoters

——————————————————————————-
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

hey! thank you for adding me. I see that you sell “plays” on
myspace and youtube. The figures you offer are very impresive. I
understand you have vass potential but I need an understanding of
exactly how vass. Could you give me some details?
thanks man

—————————–
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

Hi there, and thank you for choosing Millenium Promoters as your
source for online Marketing/Promotion. To answer your question; What we
do here at Millenium Promoters is take your Myspace Page and Boradcast
it all throughout Myspace. If it is only plays you are looking for, we
take just your Myspace Player and market your songs to listeners who
fit your Genre of Music. I hope my answer to your question was
satisfactory. If you have any other questions, feel free to send us a
message at anytime.
Thank you
- M.P.

————————————————————————

From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

Thanks for the response. I’m interested. How would you boradcast my
myspace page in ways that I am not doing already? If you could, let me
know what I’d be paying for and what my options are. Same with youtube.

———————————
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

Hi there. Our question to you is, how are you Broadcasting your
Myspace Page at current moment? Once we determine that, we can assure
you of the ways our Company Promotes for Artists like yourself.

Thank you
-M.P.

—————————————————————————–
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

cool. well, i don’t know much about broadcasting. but at current
moment i just have my myspace page running through the internet. which
means it is online and other people are checking it out from their own
computers (not my own obviously) via the internets. So really it just
seems like…it’s kind of been working out pretty well for me but i
know there are ways of improving this. I just want an idea of how this
happens. I have a budget but I’m first need to know that i’m not being
scammed. not that you are a scammer. but i get tons of scam emails. i
mark them as scam and then they’re gone. this one i kept though

——————————–
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

Well, first off thank you for not Marking us as Spam. That we definatly
are not. Secondly, you are right about your Myspace Page getting
Traffic, soley based on your talents and noteriety as an Artist. In our
case though, there are two ways we can Promote your Music for you. If
it is only the Plays that you are looking; for myself as well as my
other team of Associates Market your Myspace Player to the Genre of
listeners you impact the most. If it views you are interested in we
Market your Page itself.(as I have previously explained both of these
before to you) We have teamed up with Jeff Goldstein of Last – Route
Ent. With his Contact List (Listeners, Promoters & Musicians) and
our Associates, we have taken Online Promotion to new and greater
heights.

If you are still warry or need reassurance on our end; we will
first Promote you FREE for ONE day (being tomorrow 3/10/09) and assure
you will recieve 3,000 Page Views & Song Plays, to get you started.

Thank you for your time.
-M.P.

—————————————————————————–
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

well yes i am warry just because this seems like some weird magical
type stuff. hehe. but what concerns me is i typically get more than
3000 plays. so if you do this test run does that means i will only get
3000 plays? also, just to be sure, when you get me plays on my myspace
page it doesnt mean youre hacking my page right? thats something i
warry about. i dont have tons of internet knowledge but i do believe in
promotion when its done right.

———————————-
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

Hey! Ok, so we Promoted your Myspace Page accordingly and I now see you have 10,000+ Plays/Views today already!

If you are interested in doing business with us after showing you,
what we can do for you; please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Thank you
-M.P.

Hi there. We were curious to know if you had recieved our last Message yet?
Thank you
-M.P.

———————————-
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

I think so. Can you explain what happened?

———————————-
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

We targeted your Listener Genre; Since your such a Popular Artist
it was not nearly as difficult to get your Views/Plays to increase. We
set a goal of atleast 8,000 Views/Plays and went well beyond that.

———————————-
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

How did you target my listener genre? That’s what I’m wondering.
Because whatever form of promo you use, all it results in is play
increases. No other activity was different.

———————————-
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

No, your Views & your Plays were increased. We monitored your Myspace Page very carefully the day we Promoted for you.

———————————-
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

So what you’re saying is you are in the business of increasing play counts for people who want to pay for that?

———————————-
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

Not exactly. Our service is strictly to increase Traffic to an
Artist’s Page; Myspace, Soundclick, Youtube or regular URL. When
Increasing Traffic to Myspace, Soundclick & Youtube, Traffic
results in higher numbers of Plays/Views.

———————————-
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

Yes, but traffic didn’t increase. Just my play count. No other activity changed. So what’s the magic trick here?

———————————-
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

There is no “Magic Trick”. If that was the case, how did you
recieve your other 6,000 Plays that day that you usually obtain by
yourself?

I will prove to you your Plays/Views did Increase.
I will make sure myself & my associates Promote your Music page on Tuesday 3/17/09.
Before we start Promotin we will Tell you your Total Views, Total Plays, and Plays for the Day.
At 12 Midnight we will again, send you another E-mail showing you the results.

———————————-
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

OK. Let me know where it’s promoted so I can give it a look.
thanks man

———————————————
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

Hey there! Ok so as we promised we would let you experience another 1 free day trial period.

The time now is 9:45 P.M. and our efforts of promoting have ended.(this
doesn’t mean your Statistics will not Increase further from now until
Midnight, or further).

When we started your promotion your Total Views were: 3,347,685,
which now are at 3,357,615 — That is an Increase of just under 10,000

Your Total Plays were: 6,027,117 which now are at 6,037,104 — That also is an Increase of just under 10,000

We have been Monitoring your Page for the past 72 hours and our
Statistics find that on a daily basis you are averaging anywhere from
3-7,000 plays. Today you have already hit 13,000+.

We now look forward to doing business with you sir. Hope to hear from you soon.

———————————-
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

But as I asked twice before, I need you to show me where my page is
being promoted. I’d like a link or an explanation as to how the play
counts are going up. Because otherwise, all you’re involved in is
increasing song plays which is not promotion.

————————————–
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

I’m sorry we cannot show you where and or how we Promote you as an
Artist. If that was the case, you yourself could take the information
we provide, and do it yourself. I’ve explained before, your Page Views
& Song Plays are Increasing due to where, how and who we are
Marketing your Music to.

If it is our process of where and how we market you, we cannot provide you with that knowledge.

———————————-
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

If you can’t show me, then you can’t show anyone else, and that
means no one else is seeing my page. Why don’t you just be upfront
about what you’re actually trying to sell me? You’re trying to sell me
extra plays on my myspace player. And lucky for you I am interested in
purchasing that. I’m just not going to pretend that I’m paying for
“promotion.”
So do you want to do this or not?

Let’s go.

—————————————-
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

Which Package Deal are you most intrested in at this time?
We will give you an added 5,000 Plays Extra, instead of the normal 1,000.

———————————
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

Where do I send the money?
Who do I write the check out to?

——————————–
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

No checks. We have set up a PayPal Account;
MilleniumPromoters@gmail.com

Once you have srnt the money please send us a Message, telling us what
Package Deal you selected and how you would like to ercieve your Plays
and or Views. All in one month, one week, etc.

Thank you
M.P.

————————
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

OK. I wasn’t going to pay with a check. But paypal is some magical
stuff I have never been able to understand. Is it OK if I pay you in
props? Or something else that’s intangible…sort of like play counts?

——————————-
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

No, sorry strictly money. If you are having a problem with PayPal I
can walk you through it. It is actually a very simple process.

——————————–
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

If you were a real business man you’d accept the props and just
roll with it. You’re beginning to frustrate me and make me warried.

——————————–
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

I don’t understand why your getting worried. And by “props” you mean what exactly?

——————————–
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

Props, ya know? Big ups. Much respect. That kinda thing. Don’t you do this for the love? You should.

——————————-
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

No sir we do not. If you would like recieve services through us, thats fine. But we will not do this for Free.

————————–
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

Now I feel deceived. Have you ever heard of the BETTER BUSINESS
BUREAU? Yeah, well…they’re about to hear from me. I hope you have
your internet business registered properly with the state you come
from. Otherwise you’re in more trouble than you could ever imagine.

———————————
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

Are you trying to Black Mail us sir?

——————————-
From: SAGE FRANCIS
To: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS

Alright, now you’re getting racist. And there’s no need for that.
But so what if I was a black mail? SO WHAT??? You gonna get all uppity
on me?

What I am TRYING to explain to you is that I’m going to send you to jale for false advertising. So get ready.

———————————
From: MILLENIUM PROMOTERS
To: SAGE FRANCIS

Your a funny man.
——————————

From: SAGE FRANCIS

To: All Spammers

www.StrangeFamous.com

Mar 18

A toy, a video, and a sausage mix

First things first, check out this “sage toy” a guy named Jay222 put together and sent over to me. This thing is diesel. It’s heavy and rugged. If it comes to life it will kick my ass. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about stuff like that a lot.

the toy was hand sculpted out of a polymer based clay called sculpey and hand painted with acrylic based paint.

If you want to check out more of this guy’s stuff the pictures are available at www.myspace.com/jay222toys

Second things second, here is a fan video someone made of my song “Good Fashion.” Not only did the person not learn the words before making a video, but it’s awesome in all different sorts of ways. It’s truly entertaining to me and if you don’t like it then I guess we’re not cut from the same cloth. So eff off.

Fan video for \”Good Fashion\”

Last things last, here is a mix I put together because I felt like it. I call it “Tom Sawyer Sausage”

http://download.yousendit.com/TTZrck93T001UjQwTVE9PQ

And final things final, B. Dolan and Jared Paul are on tour! Check them out so you can get learned on some stuff.

Love,

Francis

www.strangefamous.com

Mar 11

New B. Dolan Video + Tour Starts Today!

Here’s a fresh leak from B. Dolan’s DVD project, finally viewable after 2 years of recording, hunting down footage, and editing.

This is the Evel Knievel performance that Dolan performed for a year before writing “The Skycycle Blues.”

The main performance shown here, at the 2007 Paid Dues Festival, took place a few days after B found out he was cancer free, after a 6 month melanoma scare. “Ladies and Gentlemen you have no idea how good it feels to be here.”

Also contained here is footage from a number of the shows referenced on the back of the “Live Evel” EP. Turn the volume up and watch this fucker in full-screen mode.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnmIsR5jLWs[/youtube]

Below is a partial list of performances and workshops “The Direct Democracy Tour”
(Jared Paul & B. Dolan) will be presenting across the US STARTING TODAY.

Many of these shows will be intimate, spoken word type affairs, with poems and songs
being performed in a different format than usual, and lots of room for things like audience
Q&A, experimental & new pieces, and… you know… mind sex.

The workshops presented may be open to the public in some cases (check with the university for
more info). Jared & B will be talking in the workshops about their varied personal experiences with
social justice work, and providing workshop participants with
feedback on how to create dialogue and strengthen their own community efforts.

3/10 – D-Lounge – NYC 3/11 – University of Delaware, Perkins Student Center- Delaware

3/12 – University of Delaware (workshop)
3/13 – Prayers For Atheists w/ B. Dolan @ McKibben Loft – Brooklyn, NY
3/14 – Upstate Artist Guild/Social Justice Center – Albany, NY
3/17 – The Independent @ 501 Studios – Austin, TX
3/18 – Shannon Leigh Youth Arts Program – Austin, TX
3/21 – SXSW SFR Showcase – Austin TX
3/22 – Life In Deep Ellum- Dallas, TX
3/23 – Ephemeral Gallery – Baton Rouge, LA
3/24 – G.N.O.A.M. Artist Commune – New Orleans
3/26 – Taste of Art Cafe – Milwaukee
3/27 – First Ave w/ Cecil Otter & Sage Francis – Minneapolis, MN
3/28 – The Re-Evolution House – Ft. Collins, CO
3/29 – Mercury Cafe: Denver, CO
3/30 – Utah Valley University – Provo, UT
3/31 – BOING Collective – Salt Lake City, UT
4/1 – TBA – San Francisco, CA
4/2 – Tourettes Without Regrets! – Oakland, CA
4/4 – Speak Your Mind Festival w/ Sage Francis, 2mex, more – Reno, NV
4/5 – West Valley College: WVC Campus Theatre – San Jose, CA
4/6 – SubRosa – Santa Cruz
4/9 – Accident Gallery (HSU Workshop) – Eureka, CA
4/10 – Humboldt State University (KBR) – Arcata, CA
4/14 – Boise State University – Boise, ID
4/15 – Boise State (workshop)
4/17 – University of Washington – Seattle, WA
4/22 – UC-San Deigo, San Deigo, CA
4/25 – University of New Mexico: Fiestas! – Albuquerque, NM


Mar 10

Slow Down “Ghandi”

I often receive messages from US soldiers from over seas. Sometimes they tell me how they feel like they were tricked into the service. Mostly they tell me about how they can’t wait to get home. Some of my friends from school have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It always makes me wonder how they perceive my music or my message. Ever since 9/11 I’ve been on an anti-war crusade, and that reflects in my music. However, art is always left to interpretation and sometimes people interpret my lyrics in ways I never intended. That’s not “right” or “wrong”…that’s just how it goes.

That being said, I’m very careful about the type of energy I throw out into the ethersphere when it comes to my art. I know that ambiguity can work against me, but sometimes there just isn’t any plain way of saying something without it being a 30 page term paper that no one would ever read. For the record, my song “Slow Down Gandhi” is about fly-by-night activists who get caught up in political fervor every election year and then they fall by the wayside when the party is over. Those people annoy me to no end and it’s a big reason why Knowmore.org meant so much to me. At the risk of being a broken record, the motto stands true…”You vote with your wallet every day.”

Recently I received these photos from a soldier in Iraq. I assume it was meant as some sort of homage to my song or the idea of my song, but I can only hope that the homage is for the intended purpose of the song.

Dear Barack…bring ‘em home.

Mar 05

Movie time with Benjamin

I dunno.. what the fuck do people blog about.

Wanna know some movies I like?  Ok here’s some movies I like.

“My Best Fiend” by Werner Herzog

An all time favorite right here.  Klaus Kinski is not fuck-with able.  Werner Herzog is his only equal.  Together they make sweet sweet german despair-porn.  Have I made myself clear?  This is everything a movie should ever be.  If it turned out the universe existed just so this movie could be made, I would find that reasonable.  I’m exaggerating, but I think it’s very good.

“All The President’s Men”

The story of how Watergate came to pass.  Richard Nixon is one of my favorite characters ever to live.  Speaking of which, another great movie about Nixon:

“Secret Honor” by Robert Altman

This entire movie consists of one 90 minute monologue by Philip Baker Hall, playing Richard Nixon getting drunk in his library.  Without ever leaving the room, this movie has wiped it’s dick with Oliver Stone and Josh Brolin by the 2 minute mark.   Some interesting Bohemian Grove talk in this too.

“Rope” by Alfred Hitchcock

Another movie shot in one location.  Hitchcock gets a lot of love, but I think this movie gets slept on. Stop sleeping, world.

“Barton Fink” by the Cohen Brothers

Alright, I concede.  I’m not too into the Cohen Brothers a lot of the time,  but this is the movie that comes closest to making me a believer in the hype.  As soon as I finished this movie I watched it again from the beginning.  That’s never happened before.  Maybe the illest climax ever recorded to film.  Bedframe prison bars.  See this movie immediately.

I could keep going, but it’s gonna take you at least a day to watch all these.  I don’t want to fill up your schedule.  You have work you should be doing.

But, watch this shit when you get a chance.  Report back here.  That’s all for now

Slumdog Millionaire was shite,

b

Mar 04

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