Shut Up, Little Man!

Some Notes Toward a History of Shut Up, Little Man!

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“Where Are the Police?” — How the whole thing got started

cassette cover
The cassette cover

Shut Up Little Man made the transition from a private obsession to the public realm in the Spring of 1992. I had moved away from the Pepto Bismol Palace in 1989 to work on my Master’s degree in Madison, Wisconsin. Three years later, I received a phone call from Seymour Glass, the editor of Bananafish magazine. He said: “Eddie? Eddie Lee Sausage? This is Seymour Glass from Bananafish magazine in San Francisco. I want to talk to you about some famous ex-neighbors of yours.” Having been blessed and cursed with a rather rich and nomadic life, a life that had facilitated my living in many different cities (and next door to many different people), I was sort of confused and bewildered. “What famous ex-neighbors?” I asked. Seymour responded: “Peter and Raymond.” My face opened to a toothy grin: “How the hell do you know about Pete and Ray?” Seymour went on to explain that he had received a tape of Peter and Raymond from his friends in that great musical ensemble, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. The Thinking Fellers had received a tape from someone in Iowa, who had obtained a tape from someone in New York, who . . . and so on. Seymour said: “Everyone out here is listening to tapes of these guys.”

I had seen Bananafish when I lived in the Bay Area and had found it to be one of the most consistently provocative journals to chronicle schizo subterranean culture, and Seymour Glass is one of the few people I have met who is obviously possessed by genius. So, it was an honor to be interviewed by him for Bananafish. A month or two later, Seymour ran our exchange in Bananafish 5. Following the printed interview, he transcribed a few pages of dialogue from the tapes. Tedium House, the publisher of Bananfish, also produced 500 copies of each of the six volumes of the original recordings and offered them through their PO Box. They quickly sold out. Seymour assembled several artists, including Dan Clowes, Gary Lieb, Dame Darcy, Christine Shields and Paul Musso, to generate the first edition of the Shut Up Little Man comic book. The comic book also sold out.