for CHARLES ARDINGER
"A Live Noise Experimental Tribute to Theodore Giesel/Dr.Seuss"
September 23, 1994
The Natural Fudge Cafe, Los Angeles,CA
During the first few years that Instagon was doing live appearances...we used to do this thing called a "noise/experimental tribute" ..and we would pick a subject, and they would be the subject matter that a conceptual based performance would be created around.. we did them for W.S.Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, Richard Nixon, Charles Manson, David Koresh, and a few others... THIS recording is just one such of these performances.. with our honoree being Dr. Seuss. The plan was to have a few sound artists with random instruments play accompaniment while a poet, Charles Ardinger, the punk nerd, reads 3 books by Dr. Seuss...this was the entire concept for the performance. But what happened was so much more.. and this recording does so little to convey just what really happened on that day. A few close friends and allies were present for this nights performance..
We drove into the heart of Los Angeles.. the east hollywood/silverlake side of town..if you are familiar with a venue called the IL CORRAL then this is exactly that same part of town..but long before the days of Il Corral. The space was called NATURAL FUDGE CAFE.. it was an underground legend in the LA area.. it was owned and operated by a woman and her husband.. and i cannot for the life of me remember thier names.. the husband passed and the woman continued to run the space.. renting to bands ..rockers, punks, mods, whatever.. she also sold cold sodas and was really quite an animated character in her own right. We, meaning Instagon, somehow got on a show with a few other bands.. i think Opus might have set this show up.. the other bands were high school aged pop punks.. we did not think this was gonna go over well.. but we proceeded anyways. On the mound for the deamon with me (Lob) was Sharon444 playing floor tom percussion.. Opus23 playing guitar.. and Reverend Andy Warthog (RIP) mixing noises and samples live with a 4-track cassette machine. .on the microphone ..reading the Seuss, Charles Ardinger. When Charles stepped out onto the stage space he was wearing his signature fedora hat..glasses.. a sports coat.. and black & red speedo underwear. .black socks.. hard shoes. it was QUITE the site.. (ANY PHOTOS THAT MAY EXIST HAVE YET TO BE SEEN) Charles took the mic and told us some fun facts about Dr. Seuss.. and then read Cat In The Hat, Green Eggs & Ham, and Hop Up Pop.. while the teenage crowd from the other band gathered and gawked in disbelief.. I remember there were a group of young girls.. barely of legal age i am sure.. they gathered together in front of the stage and got on their knees and bowed and praised Charles as he read the Dr. Seuss.. it was most incredible to behold.. and these sort of things really just cannot be made up. The performance ended.. I tried to engage the crowd in some dialogue about Dr. Seuss..but they were not really up for it.. Andy played some great samples and we faded away into the Los Angeles night never to been again at the Natural Fudge Cafe.