Monday, March 22, 2010

The Phoney Figure

First of all, I am glad that I am not a real journalist because we are dealing with some very flimsy stuff today.

The name, "The Phoney Figure" or "TPF" seems to have caught on as a way to refer to the Iamaphoney actor character who first appeared around the time of Rotten Apple 39 K. I think it might have been Mikeynl1038 who coined the term originally. Mike credits himself for making me famous, but from my perspective, the opposite is true.

TPF has gone through some appearance changes since then. This guy, featured in a video from July of 2007 was shown briefly more recently in Rotten Apple 78.

The image below is from Rotten Apple 75 L.

Then we had the video called "Footage TPF 1" that threatened to expose everything. Have you ever noticed how everyone who threatens to blow the lid off the whole thing never does? I'm beginning to wonder if this thing has a lid.

Some have even claimed that the individual playing the part of Iamaphoney has changed from the original in a similar scenario to an American Television show of the 1960s that dealt with the occult.

Lately there has been some speculation on the identity of TPF based on some of the softest evidence yet. We haven't exactly been a fount of critical thinking up to this point, but now it's going to get much worse.

Apparently, for a brief period of time Iamaphoney changed the background on his channel to a picture that showed TPF with a guitar in his hand. Therefore, speculation was that if he is pictured with a guitar, he must be a musician. If he is a musician, he must be on the recordings in the Rotten Apple videos. If he is on the recordings on the Rotten Apple videos, he must sing on them too.

While we are at the Olympic Conclusion Jump trials, we might as well keep going...

On December 8, 2009 (yes strange things happen on infamous Beatle anniversaries) someone left a comment on my blog post "Curious Thing" supposedly revealing the identity of TPF. Someone using the moniker "thetruthmustout" claimed to be a former classmate and said that TPF was an actor named Richie King.

The Internet Movie Database actually has a listing for Richie King, who is alternatively known as Rich King. There is not much information on Rich King, but it does list two films in which he appeared. In 1978, he was in "Stunt Rock" and in 1984, he was in "Rocktober Blood." Despite the murky waters of this research, I did find it interesting that he portrayed a bass guitar player in both movies.

The IMDB had no pictures, but I did find this Rich King on Google.

Undaunted, I searched YouTube and actually found a clip from "Stunt Rock" with the band Sorcery. The bass player, Rich King looks like this.

Going back to the comment from "thetruthmustout," Richie King, the Phoney Figure can be found in the movie "Less Than Zero" playing an uncredited extra in the pool scene. I first should warn that "Less Than Zero" is one of those "brat" movies where almost everyone looks like TPF. But from the description in the blog comment, I believe the alleged former schoolmate is the young man with thick blond hair who walks in the background during the pool scene. You see him emerge in the picture below to the left of the principle actors.

In this second capture, he is right between the principle actors in the scene.

In this third shot, he is to the right of the actors.

In this last capture he is about to exit to the right side of the screen.

The most recent twist in the liquid tale of TPF emerged two weeks ago when a new YouTube channel called FORN00NE uploaded nine tracks credited to an artist known as "The Afterlife." Based on various anonymous comments, the lead singer of the melodic synth pop band is a previous incarnation of the The Phoney Figure. The videos contain a few low quality pictures of what is implied to be a young TPF.

I must admit, he does look like he could have been any one of about 26 extras in the movie "Less Than Zero."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Twin Peppers - An Investigation

In the Fall of 2008, the fifth and final Iamaphoney suitcase was left in Berlin, Germany and reportedly found at the Brandenburg Gate by YouTube user sdofik. Your friend and mine, MikeyNL1038 chronicled this momentous event in his famous video paul is dead - nothing is real 333, which features the obscene gesture heard around the world.

At the time, the famous finger was credited to blog reader Yenz, who I'm told is back on solid food and should be released within the next few months. People were a bit unkind to poor Yenz, who was never proven to be the individual in the famous video with the famous middle finger.

MikeyNL1038 continued to put pressure on Mr. sdofik, and eventually, I think, came in possession of what some consider to be the most interesting items from the suitcase. "The Twin Peppers" (two Parlophone vinyl copies of The Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album) were strategically attached to a rumor that if you play them in sync, hidden messages would appear.

Mike made another video called paul is dead - nothing is real 334 suitcase contents showing the items found in the suitcase.

More recently, Mike generously shared a link (no longer active) to what he claimed were digitized versions of the two vinyl albums at rapidshare. He instructed listeners to open the two files in Audacity and play them at a speed of 0.93%. Do you have any idea of what happens to 40 year-old sleeveless vinyl records that are left in a suitcase on the ground in Germany? Am I supposed to try to play them in sync? They both skip a lot, so one would have to do quite a bit of editing to keep them in sync. Playing them at 93% speed results in a nearly imperceptible difference, even to a trained ear.

I did do some experiments with them, but the results were not too inspiring.

I was hoping that Rotten Apple 59 was giving us a clue. Released about one year before the German suitcase was dropped, the video features the sound of scratchy vinyl and a loop from the song "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." My first slightly out of sync attempts at playing the Twin Peppers simultaneously reminded me of the Iamaphoney mashup.

But a close listen to the soundtrack, which can also be found in Mike's Iamaphoney Bootleg 2 under the title iamaphoney - Paperbags For Pepper shows that the Iamaphoney recording bears no resemblance to the scratchy records I downloaded from rapidshare.

The idea of syncing up two vinyl records that skip is folly. And please don't suggest that the skips may have meaning. Variables such as the quality of the turntable cartridges, weight of the tone arm, condition of the stylus and environmental elements would not allow for planned skips in vinyl records. It is possible to sync them to some degree by putting breaks in the skips to equal the amount of time lost, but nothing emerged from that experiment.

There is one thing I can tell you about those two records. These are not alternate mixes of the Sgt. Pepper tracks. The sound on these records is what you would get if you played them on a monaural record player with a stereo needle. You basically have a mono mix of one channel with some bleed through. So, Paul's part at the beginning and end of the title track is buried, as are the backing vocals on "When I'm 64," the lead vocals of "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite," the laughter at the end of "Within You Without You," the chorus vocals on "Good Morning Good Morning" and the lead vocal of the first verse and bridge of "A Day In The Life." There is nothing on these records that can't be heard on the standard issue of the album. The only highlight would be that it is easier to hear the vocal at the end of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)," which some interpret as "Paul is dead, really dead."

So basically we have a phony alternative mix (actually two identical ones) of the Sgt. Pepper's album that can be easily achieved by using improper equipment. That was a rather curious choice by whoever it was that ripped them and uploaded them to rapidshare.

It is a surprise that neither record has the inner groove recording that existed on the first British release of the album. There is an extra bit of sound at the end of Side Two of Album Two, but it sounds like an accidental needle drop. Attempts to slow down this artifact did not result an any meaningful discovery.

I have inquired to MikeyNL1038 for some clarification, and will update this post when I receive any information.

There are some new videos inspired by the Rotten Apple Series. TheMagickian gave us A Craftsman in the Works.

YouTube user VomitonRBX303 has been uploading Rotten Apple videos with Spanish sub-titles. I have posted a permanent link on this blog under Essential Links. Sunssol also has a new backwards backwards video, if you know what I mean. And I'll be uploading a new video shortly.

It will be interesting to see if Iamaphoney says hello to us in April. April has always been an interesting month in the Iamaphoney saga.