How to Wreck a Nice Beach

More Crosstalk on the Vocoder
  • About the Book
  • About the Author
  • Reviews
  • Buy the Book
Something To That Effect

How to Wreck a Motorcycle and Suit Up for Football Practice

By Dave Tompkins at 12:10am ET

(Image Courtesy AT&T Archives and History Center)

The AT&T Voder talking keyboard exhibit, photographed at the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939. A robot-to-robot phone call took place between the Bay Area Voder and the New York Voder, which had been speaking barnyard at the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadow. I can only imagine what those old buzzards said to each other. We go stupid for Mac Dre.  Unvoiced thizz energy.

The How to Wreck A Nice Beach hot airship/wheat shredder has landed in the Bay, where George Lucas once hired a funeral director to play the voices of robot cops.

Where an iguana ran a subterranean computer city. (More on that one later.)

Where  I once interviewed Jack “Call Me Assassin” Tatum on a golf course and learned that his Oakland Raider teammate, Skip “Dr. Death” Thomas, did indeed take his practice in full pads just after having a THX motorcycle wipeout in the team parking lot.

Late Night Hype Addendum From SOM in S.F. last night
Last night, B Cause’s set went from “Street Freeks” [sic] to “Nasty Rock” to “Shutterbug.” (I heard “Shutterbug” while talking to Chapter 7’s Annie Coulter about her dad’s vocoder exploits in the CIA). Among the many reasons to love “Shutterbug” is the fact it uses the Talk Box to channel The System. (Wasn’t the bald guy from The System in Phantasm II?)


  1. have totally enjoyed the book – a subject that has interested me for years. have quite a few of the records already, but your discgraphy was an easy way to discover many more. BTW shutterbug is no longer there on youtube. have read your waxpoetics stuff before. thanks for a cool book, got it at city lights in SF.

    Comment by applejack — April 21, 2010 @ 10:37am
  2. I caught your interview on NPR this morning while I was taking my 5-year-old, Patrick, to preschool. About thirty seconds into the piece, I started to ask him a question. He said, “Can you hang on, so I can finish listening to this story?” We had to wait in the car at school to hear the whole piece, which was really great, by the way. He totally had his first Driveway Moment, learning all about the vocoder!

    Comment by Stephanie Jackson — May 13, 2010 @ 11:23am

Leave a comment

Stop Smiling Books

© 2010 Stop Smiling Media, LLC. All rights reserved.