FROM THE COMPUTER OF DAVE TOMPKINS:
NCAA Basketball Championship, Easter Monday, 1983.
NCSU Wolfpack guard Derek Whittenburg sits in a locker room in Albuquerque, listening to “Pack Jam,” a vocoder hit by the Jonzun Crew. He is two hours and one Jimmy V-hug away from launching a 30-foot air ball that would be rescued by a (surprised?) Lorenzo Charles and flushed home when the buzzer screamed red. Snip net.
One of my favorite postgame memories was that of Wolfpack center Cozell McQueen standing on the rim–or verge—while back in Raleigh, NC, kids lit their couches’ asses on fire.
This Monday, April 5th, just before anyone but (please, for the love of Zardoz, not ) Duke wins it all, I’ll be at Book Court, in Brooklyn, playing 15 seconds of “Pack Jam”, in honor of all the Wolfpack squads who have been sitting at home on this special night for the past 27 years.
It will also be the eve of the release of my book How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War II to Hip-Hop—The Machine Speaks. I’ll be showing some photos of the Pentagon’s “Indestructible Speech Machine”(their words), playing space funk audio and swapping covert vocoder stories with David Kahn, leading cryptology historian and author of The Codebreakers, “the first comprehensive history of secret communication,” now in its undisputed zillionth printing. Kahn was also the first to openly publish an article about the vocoder’s deployment in World War II.
I hold Kahn responsible for tacking an extra three years onto my book-writing, after he suggested that I hunt down the German telefunkateer who intercepted Churchill phone calls out of the ether, while on a beach in Noorwijk. (Still working on that one.)
Joseph Patel (supervising producer at VBS) will keep things moving along. Joseph first hired me to work for 360hiphop in 2001. Most importantly, he allowed me to publish a photo of the undersea duck-knight from Mysterious Island on Russell Simmons’ web site.
Web site here: stopsmilingbooks.com
Hope to see you there!
Thanks to Kevin DeBernardi at Analog Lifestyle (http://analoglifestyle.com) for the dope flyer! And Rock Hudson and Seconds, for the “vocal chord resection.”