Improbable as it seems, my Shemp obsession crested almost fifteen years ago. It's been a long haul--from Besser Boulevard to DeRita Junction--I've been up and down Stoogeville and back. Having successfully banished Shemp Howard's ceaseless cries of pain and pleasure from my inner casaba, I can now finally work within the system. Heck, I'm a credit to my community at this point. My career as a NYS licensed organ grinder has brought stability and a reluctant tolerance amongst the townsfolk that I would've never imagined. I treat my profession like the way I treat my various worker monkeys: with respect and caution. (And diapers with shotglass-sized holes cut out for the tail.) This is the kind of gig where you get back exactly what you put into it. Some days it's sawbucks, some days it's bananas. Life is sweet now, sure--I can talk about it--even laugh about it; but years ago those Shemp voices in my head triggered my every waking thought, my every waking action--every goddamned Shemp Howard day of the week.
Nineteen Ninety-four: My dubious contribution to the FMU marathon was the Shemp Meditation Tape Volume 2. What a surprise. The usual frenzy of voices in my head compelled me to assemble an audio cassette tape of more Soothing Sounds to Shemp By. An unasked for sequel if there ever was one. Following the non-success of the Shemp Meditation Tape Volume 1, I once again strung up my cockroach festooned apartment thusly: A microphone pointed in the general direction of a TV set unspooling videotaped Shemp-era Three Stooges two-reelers, quarter-inch reel-to-reel Ampex tape running down the hallway at seven and a half inches per second--Mousetrap-like, speeding past pencils sticking out of thread spools held down to the floor with duct tape, bounced into two reverb guitar pedals, ricocheted into a Radio Shack 4-track mixer and then knocked back into the Old Man's reel-to-reel Sony Furshluginner from Nineteen-fifty-something. What led to and what happened after that, I couldn't tell you--especially today. I was on a sleepless Shempified mission back in my clueless youth and fully under the impression that I was not alone. I listen back to these tapes and wonder what the hell I was thinking about. I realize now that neither mind nor flesh could resist the ethereal Eee Beee Beee Beeee--the calls to arms for chucklefucks everywhere to rise and to conk their collected coconuts to the funny sound effects glory of OW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!
So here's The Shemp Meditation Tape Volume 2. You might want to operate heavy machinery while listening to this.