User:Wireless mike

From This Might Be A Wiki

My Name is Mike Buffington. I've been a fan since about 1994. I've done a bunch of cool stuff for and related to the band that I'm quite proud of, so this is my little corner of the internet where I'd like to gush for a moment, if you don't mind.

Rock-Rinse-Repeat Volume 1.png
The Making of Chessmaster II
The Record-a-Call 675 Years

Graphic Design[edit]


I compiled a volume of books, called Rock/Rinse/Repeat, about TMBG's awesome hand drawn setlists as special items for their Instant Fan Club. They're selling Volume 1 on their website.

  • I will be uploading the original scans to TMBW at some point, please don't scan the book and upload those scans.
  • If you have setlists that I don't have, please get in touch!

Tucson Show[edit]

I did the liner notes for the once-downloadable 2004 City Limits show in Tucson, AZ. I look back at it and cringe at my sub-par graphic design sensibilities.

Chessmaster II[edit]

I built a replica of Flansburgh's Mojo guitar, called The Chessmaster. I documented the build with a video called The Making of Chessmaster II

Record-A-Call 675 Story[edit]

I saved the Original Dial-A-Song the first time around, but nobody really knows about this.


  • Nov 2000: TMBG puts a message on their website
  • Nov 2000: Ebay auction won
  • Dec 2000: Got in touch with Dan Miller
  • Feb 2001: TMBG receives Record a call 675
  • Feb 2002: my Record a call 675 was installed
  • Aug 2002: my Record a call 675 bit the dust

From, Nov 2000:[edit]

We are down to our last functioning Dial-A-Song machine, a Record-A-Call 675 circa 1983. Believe it or not, this brand model is about the only machine that can perform the tasks necessary for Dial-A-Song (unlimited outgoing message, high fidelity (!) full size, regular cassette) These machines are getting increasingly hard to find. We got this one at a yard sale for $5. EBay has not been useful, so we are putting it our to you- the audience. Your Mom got one in the garage? Your reward is a small mystery gift we haven't thought up yet, along with a free years subscription to TMBG Unlimited. Also, among the more technically minded fold out there- if you know of any over the counter- kick ass computer based answering machines that can handle multiple files easily, we're all ears!

Email from Dan Miller:[edit]

Return-Path: <danamil@[REDACTED]>
Received: from [REDACTED] by [REDACTED]; Thu, 14 Dec 2000 11:52:05 -0500 (EST)
User-Agent: Microsoft-Outlook-Express-Macintosh-Edition/5.02.2022
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000 11:53:23 -0500
Subject: Re: record a call
From: dan miller <danamil@[REDACTED]>
Message-ID: <B65E6533.FF%danamil@[REDACTED]>
In-Reply-To: <[REDACTED]>

Hey Mike,
I can't remember if I replied to you or not. If this is the first time and you still have the answering machine. Yes we'd like to have it. Let me know the details about what you need to send it and I'll start putting together the reward package. (some schwag, Emusic stuff and tickets when we come to your area, etc.).
-dan miller

> I won a record a call 675 on ebay for you guys. Do you need it? I can
> have it sent to you. Let me know. I'd love to help out.
> Mike

Email from Dan Miller:[edit]

Return-Path: <danamil@[REDACTED]>
Received: from [REDACTED] by [REDACTED]; Tue, 20 Feb 2001 10:27:48 -0500 (EST)
From: "danamil" <danamil@[REDACTED]>
Subject: thanks
Date: Tue, 20 Feb 2001 10:26:28 -0500
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2919.6600
Disposition-Notification-To: "danamil" <danamil@[REDACTED]>

We got it, thanks so much. I've contacted Emusic and should have an account number for you in a few days. In the meantime, head to the website and pick out a few things you'd like. Let me know and I'll send them right out with the money for postage. I think we'll be hitting Arizona in April so I look forward to meeting you and we'll get you and a friend in on the guest list.

Once again thanks,

Email from Jim Stabile of eMusic:[edit]

Return-Path: <>
Received: from ( by [REDACTED]; Thu, 8 Mar 2001 08:01:02 GMT
Date: Thu, 8 Mar 2001 08:01:02 GMT
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Congratulations! You've been given an EMusic gift certificate.Mike Buffington, you have received an EMusic gift certificate for a 12 month subscription to an EMusic subscription service from Jim Stabile!

Mike -
Per your assistance in acquiring the elusive Dial-A-Song answering machine for TMBG, John Flansburgh asked that I send you an annual subscription to TMBG UnLtd. Please follow the steps in setting up an account and you should be all set. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an e-mail at [REDACTED]
Thanks for your help.
Best regards -
Jim Stabile
TMBG Product Manager
To redeem your gift certificate, click on the URL below [REDACTED]

From, Feb 9 2002:[edit] (dead link)
Dial-A-Song, (718) 387-6962

This is the original home of Dial-A-Song. I just installed a new Record-A-Call 675 machine, circa 1985, that was found on eBay by a fan. This is probably our 30th phone machine. You can't even get them repaired anymore; there's no one to repair them. You can't access it remotely, so people can't hack it. We are freak magnets, man. There are all sorts of people who project all sorts of crazy things on us, and they want to get their insane message through.

Short Record-A-Call Documentary[edit]

From owning a Record-A-Call and studying it, I made a short documentary about the Record-A-Call's abilities and function as the Dial-A-Song's answering machine.
A History of They Might Be Giants’ Dial-a-Song: The Record-a-Call 675 Years


Wireless mike's Collection