Posts tagged “undercover”

That dream of finding an extra room in your house

In the summer of 1992, I came across this book, The Rolling Stones Complete Recording Sessions, in a bookstore on University Ave. in Palo Alto. Flipping the pages, I discovered the existence of an entire universe of Rolling Stones music that existed, albeit underground, beyond what was on the existing set of albums. Beyond recordings of live concerts, there are dozens and dozens of other songs, alternate versions, etc. This absolutely blew my mind, in an On Beyond Zebra! fashion.

From this book, I was inspired to launch an online community for Rolling Stones fans, Undercover, that still runs today. That was 1992, twenty years ago! I’ve met fans and made friends from around the world, including the author of the book, now in its 3rd edition!

Whether wistful or purely parodic, the notion of extending a closed set of content into new ones continues to fascinate me. While fan-fiction (including fan films) is extensively documented and discussed, I find these micro-forms quite cool and curious; in Martin Elliot’s book, he didn’t provide the actual Stones songs, just the library abstract that points to their existence, tantalizing the reader to experience them – somehow, somewhere – in a more complete form.

HEIGLR is a blog with fictional advertisements for fictional Katherine Heigl films that just might come out some day.

Seinfelt is a blog with plot synopses for Seinfeld episodes that never happened – but could have!

The Substitute

Kramer takes on a substitute teaching position, primarily because he already owns a pipe and a tweed jacket with padded elbows. He becomes frustrated when Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason is incomprehensible to his class of third graders. George’s girlfriend takes him to see a foreign film, which he finds so abhorrently pretentious that he decides to become a rabid football fan, deeming it “the lowest common denominator of popular entertainment.” An endangered species of eagle nests upon Elaine’s windowsill, disgusting her daily by bringing back enormous rats for its chicks to feast upon. When she calls 311 to ask if they can dispose of the birds, she gets a follow-up from the EPA, who say that her apartment is now a wildlife refuge and she must vacate. In a dusty old shoebox, Jerry discovers explicit photographs from his parents’ honeymoon.

TNG Season 8 is a Twitter feed with “plots from the unaired 8th season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

On the subject of me: Five Things

Troy Worman pings me for this new-ritual blogger effort (it’s called a meme, but is a chain letter a meme? The propagation is built-in, rather than being a side-effect of the compellingness of the content….) where you post “five things” about yourself. And then tag a bunch of other bloggers to do the same thing.

There’s no threat of deadly peril as in old-school chain letters, so that’s nice. But I’ve found it a bit exclusive. The “cool” folks got pinged months ago with this thing. In the interest of inclusiveness, I’m going to throw this open to anyone who wants to contribute their own five things. If you’ve got your own blog and want to participate, consider this your opportunity. Email me, or trackback, or comment, and I’ll add you to the body of this post. If you don’t have a blog (and let’s face it, most don’t) then leave your five things in the comments. If you want them anonymized more than the blog will let you, email me, and I’ll post it for you.

Five things about Steve

  1. In my public school (called elementary school in the US) the default assumption was that boys took shop and girls took home economics. I was the first boy to take home-ec. I simply asked. They weren’t trying to stop me, but they were very worried when they called my mother to verify this was acceptable. If it had been 10 years later, they would have drafted a release from liability, just in case. The next year, of course, all students took both. I was no Rosa Parks, but I did create a small change that was past due.
  2. Our dog Brody (Golden Retriever, 5 1/2, rescued) is my first pet (I’m not counting several goldfish named George).
  3. Back in the 90s, Tom Williams and I tapped into the latent storytelling need that would re-emerge as blogging when we created Turn Signals. A fax (originally) newsletter that took stories from the press and rewrote them in a dryly bemused tone. Indeed, we were always passing photocopied articles to each other in the office and so it was suggested that we productize it. You can see a few issues here (PDF).
  4. I really like cereal. I have my preferred cereal system, where boxes are stored in a cabinet from oldest to newest, so nothing goes stale. I like to have two boxes open at one time; where one is sweeter and the other is healthier (although they are all pretty damn sweet these days).
  5. In 1992 I started the first online community for Rolling Stones fans. It’s still going to this day.


Bounce of the day:

My Rolling Stones mailing list, Undercover, is configured so that no one who is not subscribed can post. This basically eliminates spam. But it does trap some interesting, if misguided, messages.
Dear Mick,
My name is xxxx xxxxx
I am a student at Winchester shcool of art.
I have been a fan of your’s for some time now.
Your latest album ‘Goddess in the doorway”
Has inspired my most recent prodject,
I decided to do a ceries of paintings about yourself.
I have included photos of two of them,
Please will you be kind enough to wright back
and give me your opinion.
My e-mail address is :

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About Steve