1994, Fall - Another Letter from Flansburgh

From This Might Be A Wiki


A Letter from Flansburgh
by John Flansburgh
TMBG Info Club
Fall '94

Greetings Info Club people -- I'm sitting in a London hotel with my powerbook. I am slipping into a coma watching an incomprehensible piece of trash/spy thriller called "The Satan Bug" on the television. It stars the actor who played Sgt. Carter from Gomer Pyle, and the Captain from "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea." + We have spent the bulk of the last three days driving. We traveled from London to Amsterdam, performed at the Lowlands festival, turned around and drove back. Yesterday we performed at the Reading Festival, which is a big event with multiple stages that takes place over three days in a town outside of London. Our set was limited to forty minutes, which was kind of restricting. We didn't get a chance to play much of our repertoire beyond the better known material, although we did play "Spy" with the conducted improvisational ending. We got them going though, and the crowd (of about 7000) at our stage was pretty packed out. I didn't get a chance to see anything else due to interviews and the necessity to leave before the evening ends in a colossal traffic jam. But I heard an echo of what I suspect was Henry Rollins' voice as we left the tv tent. + I regret to report that our keyboardist/saxophonist Kurt Hoffman and trumpeter Steven Bernstein have departed our line up. Both are working on their own projects, the Band of Weeds and Spanish Fly respectively. We want to wish them the best and thank them for the dedication and talent they brought to our shows and our recordings. They will be missed. + Their departure instigated a change in the instrumentation of our current band. Linnell is playing electronic keyboard on a bunch of songs. It fills out the four piece arrangements, and actually makes songs like "Don't Let's Start" and "Twisting" sound closer to the recorded versions. + Our new horn section is composed of a trumpet and trombone/tuba in addition to Linnell's baritone sax. Outside of his extensive downtown New Music gigs, new TMBG trumpet player Jim O'Connor's "M" resume includes Afro-Cuban heavyweight Mario Bauza, the Monkees, big band legend Mel Louis, LaMonte Young, and Mostly Mozart at Lincoln Center. He can be seen performing in the Rainbow Room in the film "Six Degrees of Separation." Jim has also endured the cruelest of all horn gigs, Blood, Sweat and Tears. + Our new trombonist/tuba player, Randy Andos, has performed and recorded with Spiro Gyra, Jon Bon Jovi, rapper Rob Base, r&b singer Micki Howard, and numerous Motown touring acts. His commercial work includes playing the tuba on a Wendy's commercial, and trombone on the New Adventures of Mighty Mouse. Randy has appeared on screen dressed as a policeman, playing tuba for two episodes of "The Guiding Light." + The tuba songs have been grouped together in a section of the show we're calling Tuba Corner (since it takes a moment for Randy to get the thing on and off) and currently features "Particle Man," "She's an Angel" and "Extra Savior Faire." + We are currently planning the show for the American tour which is based on our run at the Variety Theater in New York two years ago. At the theatrical venues it'll take advantage of the bigger stages and start the show as a duo and then have various band members join us, waiting a bit before the full rock onslaught. Our light guy, Myles, who has put together lights for the Pixies and the Breeders, is cooking up some interesting stuff, but it is all still very much in the planning stages, Call Dial-A-Song in the beginning of October for updates. + Well, there is a lot of activity here in the Giants' treehouse. Hope to see you all out there this fall. I'll be the guy with the half empty coffee cup and dark circles under my eyes.:Flansburgh