1. Sign Overture

    After one of my readings , a man wheeled up to the table and had me sign a book called  Violence of Childbirth .  Though I did not write  Violence of Childbirth , I signed my name and stamped it with a conch shell ( cantharus tinctus ). Last April, a student at Berkeley had me sign Jeff Chang’s book  Can’t Stop Won’t Stop .

    This wasn’t the first time I defaced a book I didn’t write. As a kid, I signed books I didn’t write all the time. The invention of the Pro Football Autograph mandated that each signature should act like some freak of instant cursive. So if someone found my copy of  Where Eagles Dare , there was no legible proof of ownership. (Actually, it belonged to the library but I signed the living shit out of it anyway.)

    At summer camp, this kid named Doug Bicknell inscribed his name in every cabin with toothpaste and shaving cream. The rife range wasn’t spared either. His punishment, as handed down by a surprise kangaroo court, was an afternoon tied to the flagpole by the lake.  Kids signed Doug until dinner.

    Rammellzee called tagging “sign-overture,” perhaps with an 1812 cannonade in mind.

    This Full Force autograph clearly came from Full Force, though apparently Full Force is/are six people. Who signed it? Curt with Two T’s?  Spanador? Six guys powerlifting a sharpie?

    For those late to the Full Force thing, one can find them crammed inside a Samurai Suzuki, beating up on Kid N’ Play in House Party . They are considered pioneers of hip-hop R&B, along with Force MD’s.  (I recently heard “Love Is A House” coming out of a Snapple truck in the pouring rain.)

    My favorite Full Force beat*, from the dub of UTFO’s “Beats & Rhymes” is here:

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    *The Bombay raga vocoder was recorded in 1982 by Bollywood soundtrack legend Charanjit Singh, but born from a Hindu burial ground.


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