To: Danny Goldberg
From: Paul Krassner
June 7, 2002
Dan Castellaneta, who is the voice of Homer on The Simpsons, and I have long
been fans of each otherıs work, and he has attended several of my
performances. When you invited me to do another album for Artemis Records,
I asked Dan if he would introduce me at the taping in Homer Simpsonıs voice.
He said he would consider it an honor and a pleasure. He typed out a
manuscript and I observed him studying it before the show. Then he
introduced me from an offstage microphone.
I had already been informed that Fox TV wanted to hear the entire CD before
granting permission, so of course I mentioned that to the audience, adding,
³Who would ever have thought that some day Homer Simpson would become an
Then I learned that Fox wanted seven copies of the mastered tape of ³Irony
Lives!² I prepared myself for their refusal; the word in the industry is,
³Never mess with Fox lawyers.² And, ³Theyıre worse than Disney.²
Next I was told that Danıs attorney said Dan didnıt know his introduction
would be included in the actual CD. This was simply not true. I gave Danıs
phone number to Artemis attorney Adrian White so that she could check with
It turned out that the lawyer was concerned because the introduction leads
into the first track (an organic process) which is titled ³Terrorist
Attacks.² I immediately instructed artist Kalynn Campbell to list
³Introduction by Homer Simpson² and, beneath that, ³Terrorist Attacks.²
Next, Fox wanted $500 for a licensing fee, which is apparently the going
rate these days for a pound of flesh. Artemis agreed, but the delay
continued, and Fox still hadnıt signed anything.
You told me, ³It would be cooler to have Homerıs introduction on the album
than not to,² and I concurred.
As a result, the release of my album--originally intended for July 16--would
have to be delayed for three weeks. This was frustrating, partly because so
much of the material is topical, but also because I would be touring for my
book, Murder At the Conspiracy Convention, in June and mostly July, and I
knew that he-writes/he-talks would provide a good publicity angle.
Today, designated bearer of bad news Jason Janego informed me that,
³Unfortunately, Fox declined our request, and in doing so failed to go into
any detail as to what their reasons were.² He asked if there could be any
situation where they would allow use of the introduction, and the Fox lawyer
said he would go back and ask again.
Yeah, as they say, right. But thereıs a blessing in disguise here.
Iıve decided that I donıt want to have a second delay in releasing the
album, and in my own Aikido-like fashion of turning negative energy into
positive energy, I now believe that it would be cooler NOT to have Homerıs
introduction on the CD.
Rather, its suppression is much juicier than its inclusion, the kind of
story that the media enjoy spreading, all the better for creating a buzz
that will only serve to promote the album.
This will begin on the first leg of my tour, in Los Angeles, June 10-12,
where so far Iım scheduled for one local radio program, one syndicated TV
program and one dinner with a columnist for the L.A. Times.
Plus--and gosh, I just canıt imagine how this has happened--there are
already bootleg copies of Homerıs introduction in the hands of friendly
print journalists, web sites and disc jockeys. Iıll be sure to inform them
to play it at their own risk.
I daresay that more people will hear Homer introducing me than would have
heard it on the CD itself. The irony of Irony Lives! is that the result of
Foxıs attempt to disassociate themselves from the album will backfire.
Would you arrange for it to be remastered in New York so that the
introduction is eliminated and the first track begins with the applause, or
will it be necessary for me to have that done out here?
I realize that this kind of censorship is not a 1st Amendment issue, since
itıs not being done by the government. Nevertheless, I have to deal with
Burn CDs, Not Books.
* * *
Fox owns only Dan doing Homerıs voice, not a transcript of what he
said--here is the text of the introduction that will accompany the liner
Hello. Iım Homer Simpson.
There have been many great counter culture heroes I have admired over the
years. Steve McQueen, Dr. Demento, Dr. Denis Leary and Wavy Gravy. Mmmmm
But even some counter culture heroes go too far and step over that line
between dissent and in-dissent...cy.
Iım speaking of Paul Krassner.
The first problem I have with Paul Krassner is that the only good song he
wrote for The Jefferson Airplane was, ³Crown of Creation.² And even then
his name is spelled K-a-n-t-n-e-r even though it is pronounced Krassner.
I also have a problem with the fact that he is an atheist. If there is no
God then who has placed a pox on me and mocks me every day? Of whom do I
live in fear and mortal terror? Buddha? I think not. Heıs way over in
China where thankfully he canıt get at me.
I have a problem with his constant use of words such as ³penis² ³Larry
Flynt² ³premature² ³ejaculation² ³CIA² and on several occasions he has been
known to use the words ³Bush² and ³Bush Jr.² in mixed company. Did I
mention ³penis²? Yeah, here it is--³penis² (Laughs). (To self) Penis.
Letıs see, where was I? I mentioned, ³penis ³gravy² ³Buddha² ³God²
No. Thatıs it...
Will everyone please put their hands together for that raving unconfined
nut...hereıs hoping he opens with ³Crown of Creation²...Paul Krassner!
[Note: Homer Simpsonıs introduction can be heard on paulkrassner.com]
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