The Double Door
Feb.2, 1996

"All the boy-goo talk makes me crave my favorite SubGenius..."
-- Sarah Vowell, CHICAGO READER


Hello, just wanted to let you know after ten years of wanting to see a SubGenius show, I caught the Chicago Devival. The rants and the freaks (on stage) were great, but the crowd was a bit scary. Are they representative of those expected to board the pleasure saucers?

And yes, it sure was cold while you were here. Such cold, however, does have it merits. For example, you cannot step in dog shit. You can step ON dog shit. And you can impress your friends by taking a running kick at a pile of dogshit, confident that it will be hard as a rock (and hopefully land on a Burger King windowsill). So, if wherever you are now is that cold, try it. Or better yet, pick one up with your hands, break it apart and juggle turds.

Anyway, thanks for a good show.

--Pat Lyman

COLD. Cold in the huge tour van and 18 degrees below zero between the Spaceport in Ohio and Chicago. The GWAR groupies survived, of course, being bred in Antactica, but the Bats died, and Andrew's iguana. I told those guys not to strap the animals on the roof. It is somehow fitting that a SubGenius tour take place in the far north in the dead of winter, in a freeze so bad that it was predicted in the Bible. (The Weekly World News was onto this A MONTH before the big freeze!) You could spill a cup of McDonald's coffee in the car and it would freeze before it hit your lap.

Did you know that there is a town outside Chicago, in INDIANA, called Hammond, which has a Kennedy exit off the highway just like Chicago, and when you get on Kennedy, you come to a whole bunch of streets with the exact same names as big Chicago streets, like North, Michigan, Clark, etc.? Well, Jesus Devilacqua, our driver, didn't, and he didn't know that Chicago was in Illinois rather than Indiana, and we LIVED the Hammond 2-in-the-morning subzero trainyard scene better than you ever will!

But when we got to the Inhibiting Factor bunker (in the building formerly known as the Playboy Mansion) and met our Clench Brother, Dr. C. Windstorm, and saw his gaming room, his zoo, his botanical garden, his scale model hot-rod bashing and crashed UFO collections, his Voodoo Altar collection, and his "bathroom," and watched him do his... well, let's just call them "YO-YO TRICKS"... WE KNEW EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO BE JUST FINE.

Windstorm's Slack Crusade report:

Shows Devilacqua-Stang buttplug insertion and MANY MORE PICTURES!

C.N. Windstorm's Worldwide Goose Chase home page:



They spelled the name right on THIS marquee.

St. @ndrew's website contains HIS self-centered memories of the devival, and many groovy snapshots:

(Posted to alt.slack three days after the devival:)
Monday the 5th of February, 2.5 B.X.


Rev. Devilacqua, Dr. Legume, David Apocolypse and St. Andrew the Impaled (not to be confused with St. @ndrew) and myself, Rev. Stang, are in Minneapolis at the Odinist Temple of Popess D. Perfecta and Dr. EXESS 10cl (AKA Faustroll, DP) readying ourselves for the Minn. devival at Ground Zero. The squirrell is in the pumpkin and tomorrow night we'll all get to fuck it... that's our new ritual that we do before we go onstage. I'd love to bore those punkin-holes TONIGHT but that might spoil the energy...


The Chicago show was FUCKING GREAT and if you missed it, THEN GO DIE.

We could tell you about getting lost in the train yard in Hammond Indiana (which has all the same street names that Chicago does), and about Dr. Windstorm's incredible bunker full of Cray gaming equipment, and the FRAP FIELDS OF G'FRANGINSTAN, BUT... we won't. Janor missed the bus but got to Chicago anyway, and despite the 50 degree below zero weather, so did the rest of us in the huge Tour Bus that Devilacqua rented from GWAR. Unfortunately most of the dancing girls got tuberculosis so we had to drop that part of the devival. But we got a HUGE SELL-OUT CROWD and are STILL counting the money from the DOOR ALONE, not even counting the GUARANTEED PAY and the Sacred Table Sales. (A VERY SPECIAL THANKS to Pope Phred and St. @ndrew for Sales Table Spouting). The show itself -- well, I don't remember much. We were all UTTERLY AMAZED that @ndrew didn't totally fuck up his first rant; in fact, he did very well indeed despite Legume's efforts. Moreover, Pope Michael Flores did a hell of a rant too, even if he does still owe me money. Every devival on this tour is different with the "local" acts, but Circus Apocolypse Legume and I generally do the same unfuckingbelievably professional "routines" at each show... all two of them so far. And GOD DAMN are we good.

On the other hand, as Legume points out, what kind of Crusade is this? When the Christians did theirs, people DIED. Not only has nobody died, but nobody has even TRIED to kill US... so we're gonna try to up the ante for future devivals. Legume is sitting next to me admiring this huge metal AX that he's considering replacing his BAT with. Anybody who PUSSIES OUT from attending these shows due to minor inconveniences like the WEATHER, doesn't even DESERVE the CHANCE to be KILLED by Legume.

And how about this weather, folks? This happened the last time, only in reverse. Last time I was in Chicago, 600 people had just died there from the HEAT. This time it was the COLD. Apparently Dobbs hits these towns a week before and develops a terrible crying NEED, or rather a MARKET, for Slack, and then leaves it to us to deliver the goods. WHICH YOU PEOPLE NEED TO BUY MORE OF, incidentally. We probably didn't sell more than 10 g in SubGenius shirts and videos, and that's PATHETIC. Look. We're buysexuals. When you buy, we COME. SO GET TO IT!!!

-- Rev. Stang


"Come X-Day, you'll WISH you WERE THAT COCKROACH!"" -- Dr. Legume

Backstage at the Chicago show, bored, waiting for preachtime, Dr. Legume found a cockroach scampering across the dressing room table. He caught it and, while Janor spouted show-biz spew, Legume TORTURED this cockroach. He chased it around the table and then broke its little back and pulled its legs off . He held a lighter to its little bitty antennae and "listened" to its psychic screams. It was like his own mini-X-Day, with him the Xists and the cockroach the human race.

He was to refer to this incident in his preaching for the rest of the tour.

My opening rant went fine... probably better than my LIFE had been going up until I wrote the NEW sermon (SEEN HERE).

The Flaming Sword worked fine, as did the video projection and the Drs. for "Bob" background Rantin' Music, although we're gonna try to have a butane-powered Flaming Sword made for future tours. The flash paper just doesn't stay lit long enough to ignite the $10 bill off it.

After my rant #1, and a showing of REPRODUCTION CYCLE OF UNICELLULAR LIFE FORMS BENEATH THE ROCKS OF MARS (always a crowd-pleaser, since it's pornographic claymation -- CAN'T go wrong), I introduced Pope Michael Flores. At that point, a reviewer from The Chicago Reader, Sarah Vowell, got to the club.


Boy, she really didn't like the devival. I wish I could reprint her whole article here. She starts it by saying, for some reason, how much Ben Franklin and SubGeniuses would hate each other, based on her totally erroneous assumption that Franklin was somehow the ultimate Pink! "The rule-following, nit-picking neatnik Franklin personifies everything small, petty, and sterile about pre-Elvis America -- everything that the Church hates." Actually, Benjamin Franklin was a proto-SubGenius crazed Yetinsyn satirist/cult leader who fathered hundreds of kids, was a charter member of the original Hellfire Club, and generally said "fuck the establishment" -- while exploiting it to its hilt! So the cluelessness of this reviewer is a GIVEN.

WITNESS how slanted, how thoroughly and thoughtlessly human-biased are her descriptions of this wonderful, innocent, joyous celebration of "Bob's" Word:

"The man at the mike is a portly freak wearing a caftan, a turban, and eyeglasses with demonic eyes painted on the lenses." ((He's a "freak" just because he dresses comfortably??)) "...He speaks before a mob that's roughly 96 percent male. ((That's radical lesbian propaganda. The audience was 33.5 percent female. And there were at least 3 Negro type Yetinsyn there too.)) "Praise Bob!" they call back. Overheard in the crowd: "Are they for real, or are they just trying for comedy?"

The Pink cannot comprehend that the Church is BOTH SIMULTANEOUSLY, and a lot more besides. Pope Flores delivered a hell of a rant, directed at the Church of England for deciding there's no such thing as Hell and thus trying to spoil the fun for us sinners. I believe that he was speaking over her head.

She does like THE HOUR OF SLACK (noon saturdays on WZRD 88.7 fm in Chicago). "The Hour of Slack" -- whose sneaky subtext isn't slack but free speech -- is one of the most creative radio programs in town: a rough-hewn collage of sermons, noise, rants, homespun editorials, found sounds, and annoy-your-parents rock'n'roll. It's strange, but smart. Unlike the bulk of tonight's performances, most of which are marred by adolescent male idiocy along the lines of "Girls don't like me" or "Semen cracks me up."

((As if these were quotes from the preaching! And since when is "Girls don't like me" adolescent male idiocy? It's a simple TRUE STATEMENT of PLAIN FACT. Did this stuck-up human ever hear of plain ordinary anguish? And did she mayhaps MISS all those Hours of Slack that were nothing BUT devival preaching JUST LIKE THIS, only with the CUSSWORDS removed?? SHEESH!!!))

"DISGUSTING." -- The Chicago Reader

To heckler: "Hey, buddy, do I pull the dick out of your mouth when you're working?"

"After the first of what will be three interludes of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," a disgusting duo called Circus Apocalypse (sic) takes the stage. Andrew the Impaled, sporting a court jester hat and leather bondage gear, hammers a nail up his nose, then yanks it out with pliers. "I can't believe I'm clapping for this," I think, as he extracts an entire screwdriver from his nasal cavity. After his partner, David Apocalypse, dressed like a black-and-white Op Art painting, juggles large, sharp knives and drops them, Mr. Impaled elicits a big group wince by eating glass from a broken light bulb."

She calls CIRCUS APOCALYPSE "DISGUSTING!" That makes me SICK!! That turns my STOMACH! These guys aren't JUST a gross-out act. They're FUNNY AS ALL!!! And they're HARD CORE. I've seen St. Andrew SUDDENLY SPOUT a GREAT and totally original SUBGENIUS RANT, SPONTANEOUSLY, WHILE JUGGLING FIRE! And SURE they drop the knives. That's because of the AMATEUR KNIFE JUGGLER GAG, DUH!!! Not to mention what great role models for kids they are. I dunno, I've seen the basic C.A. routine a dozen times and anyone who DOESN'T pick up on the BETWEEN-STUNT and DURING-STUNT PATTER, and recognize this as a CLASS ACT, PROBABLY ISN'T PAYING MUCH ATTENTION AT ALL!!

The Lone Star Lazarus

Not to be upstaged, SubGenius preacher Dr. Legume assumes the pulpit to the bagpiped strains of "Amazing Grace." This is nothing short of resurrection, since Legume's death was announced a few months back on "The Hour of Slack." The Lone Star Lazarus proclaims, "Slack is better than getting gang-sucked by a band of Nordic Valkeries." Gee. Then he plays faith healer to a man on crutches who also suffers from kidney problems, seizures, a heart murmur, two tumors, and "hands so gnarled that he can't even masturbate." Cured! Which is to say, "Washed in the jism of Bob."

"Lone Star Lazarus".... HMPH... what, she thinks ANY kind of redneck accent makes one a TEXAN?? Dr. Legume is from NEW JERSEY, pardon me!! And, for her information, Slack IS "better than getting gang-sucked by a band of Nordic Valkeries." I suppose that Dr. Legume could have STOPPED THE FLOW of his lovely preaching, and added, "...or getting gang-eaten-out by a band of Greek Gods," so as to not offend the dainty ears of this p.c. modernist, but I think MOST people probably got the FUCKING IDEA!!


"...a 12-year-old's mind trapped in a grown man's badly dressed body"

All the boy-goo talk makes me crave my favorite SubGenius, Reverend Susie the Floozie, the "Hour of Slack" regular whose sexy, sagacious commentary throws some welcome girl talk into the masculine mix.

((Now I HAVE to interrupt again. It has always seemed to me that Susie's "girl talk" is nothing but "GIRL goo" talk. In fact, come to think of it, what she does is STILL "boy goo talk"!!))

Instead, I get Janor Hypercleets(sic), a 12-year-old's mind trapped in a grown man's badly dressed body, railing against Jimmy Swaggart, Newt Gingrich, and "linear thought." Hypercleets sermonizes against the mainstream's co-option of the underground: "In the old days, they used to send an assassin," he shouts. "Nowadays they send a representative from Island Records." I think about all the Island-embossed PJ Harvey records strewn about my floor at home, and decide that the gutsy, hollering Harvey could swallow this plaid-jacketed doofus whole. Any real woman would, not to mention Nordic Valkeries.

((Those last two sentences are all too ironically true, although not in the way the writer meant! But... "BADLY DRESSED"??? Janor's been collecting pieces of that outfit for YEARS! CHRIST doesn't this woman know anything about VEGAS STYLE SHOW BIZ??

I'll admit that some of what Janor does offends EVEN ME, although sometimes only because he's GONE ON TOO LONG ABOUT IT. I think SOME of his Hitler-Manson stuff is inappropriate. But still. This a AMERICA!!! God damn it.))

"Ivan Stang... I can't blame him a bit."

"Stang, always the last word, closes the show. Wearing a Bob Dobbs T-shirt and a suit as white as the pearly gates, he speaks in a Texas twang, aping the delivery of a holy-rolling preacher. Though there's a thick blanket of annoying irony draped over the entire night, there's something like real passion in his voice. "If this church is a joke," he asks, "what do you call the evening news?"

"A video screen blasts a dizzying mix of images: gulf war tanks, an old porn film, Bob merchandise, and a blurry, purple Ronald Reagan. Stang's tirade rises above both the flashing imagery and a sound-track of Hendrix-like guitars. The sensual effect is loud, fast, and slick. But aside from all the cutesy, psuedo-eschatological mumbo jumbo (the SubGenius rapture is called a "rupture"), Stang articulates a species of oppositional politics, encouraging his flock to unleash their "cre-hate-tivity." Hate for a government that has "already replaced your name with a urine test result number," for a cultural climate in which rock 'n' roll has been turned into "nothin' but a beer commercial," for a media soiled by the "silt from the Hollywood death delta." Enjoining the congregation to "flaunt your weirdness!" Stang points out that "it's always been the crazy people -- the nuts, the crackpots -- who have the guts to fight city all. And sometimes," he adds, "they win."

"Still, Stang is well aware that his own lunatic fringe -- a group of oddballs and misfits who set out to create a do-it-yourself "disorganization" -- is turning into a herd. Looking out at the fist-raising, Bob-praising frat boys before him, he calls these taggers-on "Bobbies" who are "stickin' to the tar baby of Bob." Perhaps his most telling insight is "I don't practice what I preach, because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to," which sounds like the performer's greatest sin: contempt for the audience. But remembering the creepy Lord of the Flies-ish glee with which the crowd welcomed a bloody rubber head of golfer Arnold Palmer earlier in the show, I can't blame him a bit."

A "HERD"?? "FRAT BOYS"?? SHE'S READING IN PINKNESS wherever she can. It takes one to know one. "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to" is used as a sort of PUNCHLINE to my exhortation, "AS OF THIS MOMENT, YOU MAY NOW DO ANYTHING YOU WANT !!" And I ALWAYS add, "Well, actually I probably am the kind of person I'm preaching to." Just because I didn't want people like HER getting BIG IDEAS!!

And what's this business about "aping the delivery of a holy-rolling preacher"?? That's the way I REALLY TALK!!! I'm from TEXAS!! I'm a PREACHER!! Is that just too SIMPLY UNBELIEVABLE for you??!?

Badmouthing Janor. Hmmph. "Disgusting." Hmmph.



The Chicago Underground Film Festival was partially sponsoring this devival, and Jay Bliznick had a professional videographer there, with an eye towards some sort of MTV project. We should eventually get some GOOD footage of the rants by Legume and myself. The rest of this Devival was not shot or recorded particularly well, as the SubCam spent most of the time perched atop the video projector, getting a generic profile wide shot. The monitors were near the camera mic, so the preaching can be heard fairly clearly over the projector's fan noise.

Like the Grateful Dead, we let anybody videotape our devivals for home viewing (NOT for commercial sale). All we ask is that if you happen to capture something particularly WEIRD or particularly WELL, send us a copy.

Our intention is to collage together an incredible "STRANGEST MOMENTS FROM SUBGENIUS DEVIVALS" video. In fact I SHOULD be doing that right NOW and not sitting here FUCKING with this WEBSITE!!


Boy goo indeed.

"Bob-praising frat boys"