Shut Up, Little Man!

Original CD liner notes : Some Notes Toward a History of Shut Up, Little Man!

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Original CD liner notes — by Eddie Lee Sausage

237 steiner
237 Steiner, the “Pepto-Bismol Palace”

We were introduced to the saga of Peter and Raymond when we moved next door to them in the fall of 1987. As neighbors, we lived in the same Pepto-Bismol-colored apartment building in San Francisco’s Lower Haight. The building was designed like a cheap motel, so that the apartments were sardined alongside one another and separated by thin walls.

ray passed out
What horror would greet us?
(In the background, Ray passed out.)

Within a week of our arrival, we were exposed to what would become a dependable routine form our next door neighbors: evenings charged with belligerent rants, hateful harangues, drunken soliloquies, death threats, and the sound of wrestling bodies thumping against the wall that separated our apartments. Peter and Raymond fought with a raging abandon and total disregard for everyone in the building. Initially, we were angered by the volume and recurrence of the arguments, but equally we were intimidated by the threatening content. Whenever we got angry enough to go next door, confront them and ask them to keep the noise down, we were forced to give the idea a second thought. Perched in their front window, facing the walkway greeting all who dared pass, was a human skull; what horror would greet us? However, one can be meek and tolerant for only so long. Unnerved by sleepless nights and Peter’s incessant refrain, “Shut Up Little Man” one of us banged on their door, only to receive the first of many murderous death threaths from Ray. “I’m perfectly willing to kill anyone that thinks they’re tough. I was a killer before you were born, I’ll be a killer after you’re dead.” Soon thereafter the notion of recording their threats — in case of the need for criminal proof of an assault — was born.

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