Buckethead...C/D, S/D?

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what a fucking moron - is that kfc bucket supposed to be like a social commentary or what? in that case, it's just too fucking obvious.

If it it was social commentary, and 'so obvious," what would the commentary be, then? (A quote from the album "Giant Robot": "If he was raised by chickens, then why does he eat them?")

and it looks idiotic. kinda like a the phantom of the opera wearing a fez.

And... do you think Buckethead is under the impression that it looks intelligent?

Buckethead, Thursday, 22 July 2004 19:58 (sixteen years ago) link

ten months pass...
I have come to really like his collaborations with DJs. El Stew, Cobrastrike and Bermuda Triangle are the only Buckethead stuff I ever feel like listening to anymore. Did his DVD ever come out?

Stoner Guy, Friday, 17 June 2005 22:23 (fifteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Buckethead's work ties in with a bunch of interesting subjects, mostly through the interest of his peers/collaborators. Besides the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a continuous thread carried to surprising lengths throughout his own albums as Buckethead (and Zillatron), there are other threads of continuity in his collaborative work. Generally connected to the influence of Bill Laswell, Buckethead has appeared on numerous albums with themes of Sufism, The Moorish Orthodox Church, Chaos Magic and Aleister Crowley, to name a few.

Since Buckethead never really mentions these subjects on his own albums, I've a feeling Buckethead probably either isn't really aware of some of these connections or doesn't take all them as seriously as Bill Laswell, William Burroughs and Hakim Bey do/did. But maybe he does, I don't know. Details below...

PRAXIS - Transmutation (Mutatis Mutandis) - "Mutatis Mutandis" is a Sufi term that refers to a process of enlightenment (transmutation in alchemical terms) and it appears in Idries Shah's The Sufis. On the cover of the Praxis album it blatantly says "MAGIC" in the lower left quarter of the artwork.

Inside there is a "Malay Black Djinn Curse" by Hakim Bey from T.A.Z.

It also says, "This Work Is Part Of A Subversive Current Of Which The Last Has Not Been Heard" ... I don't know if you're familiar with the concept of egregores, but a current refers to a magically created entity who serves a purpose within a magical "current"... If egregores are not tied to a current, they get dangerous and unruly as the story of Golem illustrates, so occultists tend to bind them within a "current." For instance, you've probably heard of Current 93, but it is common to have a Lodge Egregore; this is why joining a lodge is sometimes the preferred route.

This is probably more related to Bill Laswell's influence than anything else. On the Axiom catalog that comes with the album are printed the words of the Axiom motto: "Magic calls itself the other method for controlling matter and knowing space... Nothing is true, everything is permitted," which comes from "Sufism" or "The Assassins," supposedly, by way of Brion Gysin, who is often considered the father of Chaos Magic (song #9 is "Aftershock/Chaos Never Died) along with William Burroughs, Austin Spare and Aleister Crowley...

Material - "Hallucination Engine" - This is a Bill Laswell thing and just one of many that references these occult topics, but I just wanted to briefly mention that "Khabs Am Pekht" is written largely atop the back cover, which is the opening line of Aleister Crowley's "Hymn To Pan." Also appearing on this album are Bernie Worrell, Bootsie Collins and William Burroughs, who appears on the TAZ album.

On the cover artwork is the Tau and the infinite crowned serpent design.

James Koehnline, who did the artwork for Praxis Transmutations, TAZ and Material Hallucination Engine (and has already completed the artwork for the yet-to-be-released new Praxis album) was a member of the Moorish Orthodox Church, which is a kind of Sufism and to which Bill Laswell also "belongs," although belonging is really more of a state of mind than anything else, as member rarely get together for church services and there are very few Moorish temples even in existence at this point.

So, it is probably mostly through Bill Laswell's influence that these overt occult references are displayed throughout Buckethead's career, but on Electric Tears, there are a few songs titles that stand out: Padmasana, Sketches of Spain (for Miles), The Way to Heaven, Baptism of Solitude, Datura, Witches on The Heath, Angel Monster and Spell of the Gypsies... possibly, almost every song on the album is suspicious of having occult significance. It doesn't necessarily make it so, I realize. The songs could've just felt ethereal so Buckethead gave them some ethereal-sounding names. They certainly aren't as obvious or specific references as Laswell's. Padmasana is a yoga pose and yoga is not just about getting a hot body. Sketches of Spain (for Miles) is for Miles Davis, who was into the occult and shared similar interests as Bill Laswell, who re-invented / re-produced Miles Davis' "Panthalassa." It's definitely a tenuous connection at best, but it's a nod toward a like-minded thinker, perhaps too. Datura is a plant used in shaman-type practices; it's a little too intense for just a recreational drug, although plenty experiment with it thanks to the internet. The others are obvious enough, "Spell of the Gypsies" bringing it all back to the Sufis.

Painkiller / John Zorn - This guy has as many obvious occult references as Bill Laswell and obviously has a close working relation ship with him. Has worked with Buckethead on at least some Praxis material that I know of and perhaps some other stuff as well. John Zorn is absolutely fixated on two things: The Moorish Orthodox Church/Sufism and Violence. Take a look at his Painkiller artwork for proof.

Now, another interesting thing about Hakim Bey, besides him also being a member of The Moorish Orthodox Church along with Bill Laswell and James Koehnline, is that he happens to be a professed pedophile, primarily interested in young boys. Below is a list of Hakim Bey's pedophile bibliography as compiled by Robert P. Helms, an occultist who has pointed out something extremely noteworthy regarding pedophilia: "Knowledge is power--children know almost nothing." This is quite a powerful argument against pedophilia, that does well to counter the arguments Hakim Bey has been known to print in books and articles such as those featured in NAMBLA, which stands for National Man-Boy Love Association.

Following is the full list as published by Robert P. Helms:
Note to the reader:
In recent years I have noted Hakim Bey's pedophile background and objected to ways in which he associates "man-boy love" with anarchist thought. I regard the matter as a simple observation of an author's published work.

Hakim Bey is the pseudonym for Peter Lamborn Wilson, (1945- ). The two names are cross-referenced in many library catalogs, including that of the New York Public Library. This bibliography should provide background material for further discussion. Perhaps the television producers, editors, event sponsors, and commentators, who warmly associate with Bey but who decline to publicly acknowledge the ethical issue, will do some reading and re-examine their position. All readers will understand Bey's inevitable child-references more clearly after checking his more carefully circulated work.
--- Paris, December 2004

Articles in the NAMBLA Bulletin
[NAMBLA Bulletin is published by the North American Man-Boy Love Association. This is a partial list of Bey's articles for the magazine. Original copies can be viewed at the Special Collections Department, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (United States).]

Bey, Hakim. "Japanese Scarf" (poem, reprinted from Seditious Delicious)
NAMBLA Bulletin, Jul-Aug 1985
--"Poem" NAMBLA Bulletin, Jan-Feb 1986
--"Five Conceptual Art Projects" NAMBLA Bulletin, Apr. 1986
--"My Political Beliefs" NAMBLA Bulletin, June 1986.
--"Association for Ontological Anarchism, Communique #2."
NAMBLA Bulletin, Jul-Aug 1986
--"The Face of God" NAMBLA Bulletin, Dec. 1986
--"The Eroticism of Banal Architecture" NAMBLA Bulletin, Jan-Feb 1987
--"Chaos Theory and the Nuclear Family" NAMBLA Bulletin, Mar. 1987
--"Divine Folly Indulges Pagan Passion" NAMBLA Bulletin, Nov. 1987
--"China Sea Post-Card" NAMBLA Bulletin, Mar. 1987

Articles in Gayme
[This is a partial list of Bey's articles for the magazine. Further citations are difficult to gather due to legal issues relating to its contents (Gayme was involved in obscenity lawsuits). The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives at Toronto preserves the title but will not allow scanning or copying of its pages.]

Bey, Hakim. "Contemplation of the unbearded." Gayme vol.1, no.1, 1993, pp. 16-21.
-- "Temporary Autonomous Zone." Gayme vol.2, no.1, 1994, pp. 26-28
-- "Pirate Utopias." Gayme vol.2, no.2, 1995, pp. 20-23
-- "What do we do now?" Gayme vol.3, no.1, 1996, pp. 8-11
-- "The music of what happens." Gayme vol.3, no.2, 1997, pp. 6-9

O Tribe That Loves Boys: The Poetry of Abu Nuwas (1993). [translation and biographical essay by Hakim Bey, pub. by Entimos Press, Amsterdam]

Bey, Hakim. "Boy-Love Novel Still Relevant 100 Years On" [a review of Fenny Skaller and Other Poems from the Books of the Nameless Love by the German anarchist John Henry Mackay] NAMBLA Bulletin, Apr. 1989

"Japanese Romance on The House of Kanze by Noboku Albery"
NAMBLA Bulletin, Apr.-May 1987

Bey, Hakim (editor) Loving Boys: Semiotext(e) Special. New York, 1980

For anyone who is repulsed at this point, trust me, Hakim Bey's sexual preferences are not easily skimmed from the surface of his more popular material, such as "T.A.Z. The Temporary Autonomous Zone," a book which was given an audio treatment by Bill Laswell, Buckethead, William Burroughs and others. However, knowing his more carefully circulated material, such as that written for NAMBLA, it becomes obvious what Hakim Bey is referring to in more poetic and flowery terms in his more mainstream books; pedophilia is one meaning being conveyed subtley in T.A.Z. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT MY BELIEF THAT BUCKETHEAD WAS AWARE OF THIS AND SUPPORTS THIS BELIEF. It is more likely a fringe culture thing accidentally brought into the Buckethead realm through fringe artist Bill Laswell and his even more extreme fringe-dwelling friends.

Here's some more info on Hakim Bey and Bill Laswell that ties into their occult beliefs and might explain it all a little better:

Hakim Bey subscribes to the basic pretext of Chaos Magic, which is the Hashishim's motto, "Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted." For those not acquainted with Chaos, it's an "occult" system that seeks to exploit the, well, chaos that engulfs everything, that there's no self so adopt new ones as necessary, kind of a heretical buddhism. Many practices involve deliberately engaging in what revolts one to "undo" one's self. It does nto shy away from amorality as a means for enlightenment. See the book "Undoing Yourself With Energized Meditation and Other Devices" for a compelling read about making sculptures with your own feces in attempt to achieve this very thing: "undoing" yourself by deliberately engaging in a revolting act. Now, in the case of Hakim Bey, it is obvious that he really enjoys his sexual preferences and is not trying to "undo" himself by being a pedophile. Bey may be subscribing to an amoral philosophy to justify pedophilia, but I'm not sure about that, either. The point has been made elsewhere that Bey prefers young boys about the age of 15 and that Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis married 15 year old girls... and that in other cultures, there's nothing wrong with 15 year olds engaging in coitus, in general, but I personally agree with the above quote by Robert P. Helms: "Knowledge is power--children know almost nothing." It just seems wrong.

However, this could be the explanation for John Zorn's incredibly violent artwork. It seems likely that Zorn is a fellow member of the Moorish Orthodox Church, since he is pretty tight with Laswell and has many Sufi artworks and occult designs on his albums and song titles (see IAO). Zorn played with Buckethead on at least one Praxis album that I know of. If Zorn is submerging himself in violent imagery and ideas to "undo" himself, then maybe that explains it.

Maybe that explains Buckethead's Texas Chainsaw Massacre obsession, too?

Naw, he just likes it. :-)

P.S. I hope you have found this informative and interesting.

PLEASE DO NOTE: There is no implication above as to Buckethead's views on Hakim Bey. I seriously doubt Buckethead is very affiliated with Hakim Bey, since Bey is an angry hermit who lives in a trailer in NJ and a Hotel in Brooklyn, most of his writing is way off the map and his pedophilia stuff is so far underground that I'm not really sure how the truth of it ever really got out. I guess he should have been more careful with his pseudonyms or something.
I hope this opens the door to more interesting discussion about the man and his many nuances!

P.P.S. Texas Chainsaw Massacre ---

This is very odd, but I am almost curious if Buckethead will only work with people who dig the Texas Chainsaw Massacre or if he demands that one mention of it be made on every project he works on, however subtle.

For instance:

Bootsie Collin's Zillatron album was entitled "Lord of the Harvest." This is what Dennis Hopper's character calls himself in Texas Chainsaw Massacre when he is cutting down the killers' house. They ask him who he is and he says, "I'm the Lord of The Harvest!"

Buckethead plays a great deal with Les Claypool, unfortunately. Back on "Sailin' The Seas of Cheese," they had the sample "dog will hunt" in the middle of Jerry Was A Racecar Driver (if my memory is correct). That sample was taken from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Les also appears on Buckethead's "Monsters & Robots," which has several songs about Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Buckethead plays in a band called The Corn Bugs with Bill Mosley, the actor who played "Chop Top" in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. In The Cornbugs, Bill Mosley is in full Chop Top costume.

Buckethead plays with Viggo Mortenson on his poetry albums such as "PandemoniumforAmerica", who was the actor who played Tex in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3.

Buckethead joined Guns N' Roses after Axl gave him a rare Leatherface doll.

Buckethead Fan, Monday, 18 July 2005 02:32 (fifteen years ago) link

six months pass...
I just watched a Buckethead DVD. Not so amazing to watch. Sounds harder than it looks. VERY BORING!

Shlubbethead, Friday, 27 January 2006 19:52 (fifteen years ago) link

fifteen years pass...

If Buckethead were really that awesome at guitar he wouldn't need the bucket and mask. QED.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Wednesday, 28 April 2021 20:34 (one month ago) link

I wish his music was less boring

brimstead, Wednesday, 28 April 2021 21:13 (one month ago) link

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