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This whole monstruousity was originally conveived February through March 2001 by the members of The Big Note - a Frank Zappa YahooGroup. After an arduous gestation period, this site was birthed on April 11 2001. True to the essence of collaborative effort, these people are held responsible.

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Cultism: A Chipmunk Off the Old Block & The Simon Followers

Yes, this is off subject, but - Were the Chipmunks really little furry animals, or was that just the cover story??? Did they sing their own stuff, or was it a prelude to Milli Vanilli??? And what about the infamous DAVE. Did Dave produce them, manage them, or just plain want to be famous by 'being involved with a hot, new group'???
Gosh, I wish I had time to dig into this one!!!
P.S. - Sofa, it is cool that you got hold of CS - Bruce Bickford would be an interesting character... if he remembers anything...


*Were the Chipmunks really little furry animals, or was that just the cover story???*
This took a lot of investigation, but I finally found the answer at and it appears that Simon and Theodore were actual chipmunks, while Alvin was an illegal Mexican midget named Raoul.
*Did they sing their own stuff, or was it a prelude to Milli Vanilli???*
AFCMR? says that the 2 real chipmunks sang their own stuff while Alvin lip-synced. Their FAQ - in the "where are they now?" section - states that Alvin/Raoul was the Vanilli in that infamous duo (remember, he was the shorter, cuter one with the overbite).
*And what about the infamous DAVE. Did Dave produce them, manage them, or just want to be famous by 'being involved with a hot, new group'???*
A lot of dissention in the newsgroup over this. Half of the posters say that Dave was a scheming, calculating, manipulative tyrant in the mold of Lou Pearlman or Herb Cohen. The other half believe that he was a musical genius invaluable to the CMs career in the mold of Lou Pearlman or Herb Cohen.
And there was one post that went on and on about the "blow & teddy" years - I had a hard time following that thread, tho'.
*Gosh, I wish I had time to dig into this one!!!*
Me too!!!

Regarding Dave, Alvin, and the Chipmunks, the sad truth (long known to insiders) is that there were no Chipmunks at all. I know that some will have a hard time accepting this, but I'm afraid it's the truth. Dave himself did at least one of the voices (speeding up his own voice, through technical wizardry in the studio, to create that well-known Chipmunk sound). What is even less well known is the fact that he did so, not to emulate chipmunks, but rather to emulate the generally higher-pitched human female voice (NOTE: This technique was later used by the underground acid-rock group, Moby Grape, in the song "Funky Tunk."). The reason is that Dave was a frustrated transsexual.
The Chipmunk thing was only a cover, albeit a temporarily lucrative one, to spare him the social embarrassment of his shocking obsession. When the Chipmunk "craze" died out, Dave, deprived of his cover, dropped out of sight and later took his own life in a run-down one room apartment in a seamy section of Los Angeles.
During the next holiday season while we are enjoying the infectious good cheer of the Chipmunks singing "Please Christmas Don't be Late," it would serve us well to remember Dave, and the angst, and ultimate tragedy, he suffered to provide us with that warm and sentimental glow we annually experience - thanks to his tortured efforts. Thanks, Dave. If we had only known, we would have loved you just the way you were...


Off topic: After years of silence, out of the public spotlight, will Simon speak again?
Back in the day when Simon was a teenage sensation (long before The Backstreet Boys, even before Ralph Maccio), and children around the world obeyed his every word, he would occasionally demand confounding abstractions of his audiences: "Simon says, 'Touch your toes!'" he'd tell the mimicking crowd. Then, "Simon says, 'Become zinc!'"
The whimsical genius of a young artist at work.

This is a wonderful retelling of a very old story - with one glaring error: Young Simon, though indeed whimsical, was still a genius; he never said "become zinc" proceeded by the "Simon says" epithet. As was the law at that time, children around the world had to do what Simon said (under penalty of decapitation or tickling until wetting oneself - the choice was either or), and, since Simon knew that they could not actually turn themselves into zinc, Simon never uttered the above phrase.
The cult of Simon was directly evolved from the Shaman (hence the name Simon; not to be confused with the ancient do-gooder Simon Peter, who also had a tendency to tell people what to do) and the powers of the local Simon were not taken lightly. However, with that power came great responsibility - and penalty if the power was abused.
There have only been 4 recorded cases where a Simon requested something outside the accepted laws of physics - each Simon paid for his crime dearly (for more investigation on this, I suggest visiting the newsgroup - and their punishment was so heinous that a new word was coined to describe it: soothsayer. The term still carries a negative connotation, but not the stigma it did when the Simon cult was at its peak.
Oddly enough, the above story is based in historical fact - tho' those facts have been twisted with time. The great Simon of Lourdes, leader of the cult in the late 1700s had a neighbor - Al Chemist, father of modern chemistry and creator of "Sweetest Day" - who used to experiment on Simon's unsuspecting prepubescent entourage. After (or during) a particularly grueling "Says Session" with Simon, Al would leap out from behind something (it didn't matter what; Al was always leaping from behind something) and shout, "Al says turn to zinc!" in the hope of actually witnessing such a miracle {I know this is really stupid, but he invented Sweetest Day too, remember?}. Since there was no cult of Al in those times, and modern chemistry was a long way off, no one paid any attention to him.
That's what I heard, anyway....

Frank Zappa

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