Wright is a fucking crazyman first and foremost, but
unlike most of the drooling insane that populate America's
streets, he's a crazyman with a mission and a whole
bunch of web pages.
John was most occupied with the psychic violence done
onto him by Bob Dylan and Dylan's using his precognitive
powers to steal John's then-wife, Martha "Marty" Brumbaugh.
crime is detailed in a series of astonishing webpages,
audio and video cassettes, and countless sheaves of
loose-leaf paper. But other matters also occupy John's
attention - he once threatened to kill George Bush
on a Michigan radio show, and is busy trying to sell
his screenplay, "Teenage, Teenage Volleyballers,"
to Hollywood.Last year, I ordered a bunch of stuff
from John. A copy of the "Teenage, Teenage Volleyballers"
screenplay ($30), the soundtrack to "Teenage, Teenage
Volleyballers" ($12), the "Dylan Stole My Marty" video
($20), and the "Dylan Stole My Marty" audiocassette
($8). So that's a total of $70 I spent on this maniac.
A couple months after I sent a check, I recieved an
ungainly package in my PO box. Inside?
audio tape, the "Dylan Stole My Marty" one, was recorded
over a typing lesson. "Dylan Stole My Marty!!!!!"
was scrawled on it in ball-point pen. I popped it
into my walkman and gave it a listen. The first side
was a retelling by John, in his hash-ravaged croak,
of an argument he had had with Marty over "Tarantula"
by Bob Dylan. The second side opened with John's terrible
acoustic guitar renditions of "Lay Lady Lay" and some
Joan Baez song, and then segued into a phone call
John recieved from "Bob Dylan" one Saturday night.
obviously not Dylan; it sounds nothing like him. It's
some stupid twenty-something Michigan slacker with
a dep bass voice who knew some of John's preoccupations.
But as John talks to him, you realize that he really
thinks that it's Bob Dylan calling him.
"Dylan Stole My Marty" video is even better - it's
taped on incredibly cheap 1980s videotape, the title
is written on a piece of masking tape stuck to the
front, and the recording quality is immeasurably terrible;
it skips and jumps all over the screen. The "movie"
starts out with a pot-wasted John staring straight
at the camera, narrating the story.
should be pointed out that John Wright is an immense
man with a striking similarity to John Wayne, albeit
with gray hair cut into somewhat of a pageboy. He
has the same leathery certainty to himself, and as
he relates the story of Marty's leaving him at the
University of Chicago, you almost begin to empathize
the video changes to scenic shots of Hawaii (another
Wright obsession) while we listen to John play the
entirety of Dylan's "Blood On The Tracks" album. He
superimposes cheap computer graphics titles on these
shots to symbolize the "telepathic connection" - red
text for Dylan, blue for John.
better is the "Teenage, Teenage Volleyballers" soundtrack.
While Wright's musical talent is difficult to grasp
at best when he's playing solo acoustic guitar, it's
even more mind-boggling when he's accompanied by an
underpaid studio band and female vocalists.
of the six songs on the soundtrack is at least seven
minutes long, and the screenplay calls for all of
them to be played at their full length in the film.
They range from the morose, dirgelike "Company Town"
to the frenetic 80's techno of "Teenage, Teenage Volleyballers
singing style has been described as "Hold the chord
while trying to find the note" and that sums it up
pretty well - his reedy, wavery, ironically Dylan-inspired
voice is all over the map on these tracks, and when
placed up against the insane repetition of the keyboard
parts, it really creates a hallucinatory listening
the best thing of all was the screenplay for "Teenage,
Teenage Volleyballers." If this epic film was ever
made, it would be nearly three hours long and rated
"X", sort of like "Eyes Wide Shut" but actually good.
Here's some sample dialogue from the script:
"Teenage girls? Teenage volleyballer girls? TEENAGE,
wanted to get some graphics from John's site for this,
but it seems like his main site at www.pacifixparadise.com
has been shut down, so I couldn't. The link below
still works, however.
John North Wright Motherlode