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Robert Anton Wilson with Steven James Pratt at the Prophets Conference, Palm Springs, December 17th 2000. Photo by Paul Krassner.


Having read with relish the Robert Anton Wilson week items at boingboing I thought I would put one up too.


RAW and his writing influenced me a lot, in 1996 while reading Cosmic Trigger i felt suddenly cast out into a new universe where i could take control of my own mind. Plus i could share some bits of RAW wisdom with friends and those around me.

I often wondered why, in my estimation RAW seemed largely unknown to anyone outside of my little tripper circle, and seemed to be strangely ignored by institutionalized education systems and universities. Where were the movies and the Robert Anton Wilson TV shows, I thought?

So, in 2000 A.D i flew solo on a journey to the United States to find out more about RAW, and see him and hear him speak. Maybe i would record him on my mini disc and use the wise samples in some tunes.

SAUL PAUL SIRAG INTERVIEW


I sold my turntables and on April 10th traveled to the Prophets Conference, Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I had a series of mind blowing synchronicity sequences, as some might expect going to see RAW, and as many experience who come into contact with his works, or even little bits of his works. They were spearheaded by a dream premonition I had 6 months previously, that paralleled the sad news that RAW had fell ill and would not appear to speak at the conference as i expected.

However I met some wonderful friends through this turn of events, and discovered a whole bunch of new intellectual stimulants, culminating in a spontaneous trip to San Francisco where I ended up meeting with the great Dr John Lilly, Jack Sarfatti and Saul Paul Sirag (whom I interviewed) I attended Terence Mckenna’s Wake in S.F, the Planet-workers conference, which I helped film for archive company Soundphotosynthesis, and I joined the jazz/funk jam band super-group Garaj Mahal, after an auspicious meeting with bassist Kai Eckhardt at the Planetworkers.

I finally met RAW in Palm Springs 2001, at another Prophets Conference due to the organizers kindly inviting me to be RAW’s helper around the conference center, in part due to the great distance and effort I made to hear him in New Mexico. To me, this was like a golden Willy Wonka ticket. I was not only going to get to hear him speak, but, really meet the magic man, and unload all my own crazy notions about music, mushrooms and revolution. Face palm.

It all went down like a dream, i flew to Palm Springs, settled in a shabby hotel, and the next day went and greeted RAW out the gangway at the airport. I met him together with a big guy wearing a red and white Hawaii 5-0 shirt, who claimed to have worked once with Frank Sinatra, as his body guard. We all traveled together to Renaissance Hotel and I helped Bob settle into his room. We met the next day before his presentation, enjoying breakfast together with Paul Krassner and his wife Nancy. RAW did a short TV/Radio interview for some local TV channel, and shortly after we went down to the hall for his lecture titled ‘The Universe Contains a Maybe’. After the lecture RAW invited me up to his room as I had already mentioned my plan of conducting an interview with him.



I sat on the floor in his small room and sipped coffee while RAW settled into his chair, and started flipping through the book I had bought for him: ‘The Stargate Conspiracy by Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince’ in which he’s mentioned briefly, and that seems to me, regrettably a damn-crappy book. Raw was reading The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester at the time, and talks about it in his speech. His phone rang with the news that Richard Metzger and Alex Burns from Disinformation were coming up to see him, i was invited to stay, and within 10 minutes Richard had rolled up a joint of high times cannabis cup winning weed and we were all puffing away like steam trains as Bob and Metzger for the most part, played tongue fu. My mini disc recorder was laid out but i did not have it switched on out of courtesy, which i regret to this day.

PALM SPRINGS PROPHETS CON. INTERVIEW WITH RAW


After the Disinfo’ crew finally left us stoned to the bone in the drab hotel room, RAW kindly still asked if I wanted to do a short interview and so here’s what happened: TEXT AUDIO.

Back in San Francisco, where I was living in 2001, i crossed paths with RAW at his learning Annex lecture. This time I was helping to film the event on behalf of SoundPhotoSynthesis, I felt that RAW didn’t really recognize me but why would he I reasoned later. On this occasion RAW kept dropping Hannibal Lector jokes and quotes and dazzled the small audience with his general knowledge and precise answers to all sorts of crazy questions including my own. I believe video is available from Soundphoto and one of RAW’s learning Annex lectures are up at Youtube the last time I looked.

SHORT EMAIL INTERVIEW WITH RAW


During his lecture RAW mentioned that he would consider doing interviews by email so shortly after I sent a few questions and got a quick response: TEXT.

On September 10th 2002, after some email I travelled from S.F to Capitola in Santa Cruz, and navigated my way to RAWs apartment complex more or less next to the Ocean. I buzzed his intercom and after a long pause and a second buzz he answered with a, ‘yes?’

“It’s Fly Agaric, I’m here to conduct an interview”
(There was a long pause, perhaps twenty seconds), then he said firmly.
“So, do you want to come in?”
“Yes” I replied, another pause, and he buzzed me through the gate.

I went up to his small apartment with a D.A.T recorder, four Guinness and some kind Humbolt nuggets plus a few prepared questions.

CAPITOLA INTERVIEW WITH RAW AT HIS HOME


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RAW let me into his home and gave me his time and wisdom which pays testament to what so many others who knew him have mentioned, his unbounded generosity, patience and compassion for everybody he meets. He talked about that in the course of my interview. He also practised it all his life. Here’s the interview TEXT

I left RAW’s apartment pretty high and with a massive grin, it felt like the lights were brighter, I went straight down to the pebbled beach, stripped off naked and dived into the ocean. I came out the ocean somewhat transformed with the feeling that my work was done, or just beginning.

Shortly after my interview, I contacted the local Santa Cruz based film maker who RAW mentioned that he was working with on a documentary movie project called //MAYBELOGIC//, and from this contact I helped get involved for the most part with the soundtrack, featuring a number of Ninjatune recording artists. I was given the generous credit of Associate Producer of the movie.

MAYBE LOGIC


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I made a long journey with my fellow RAW follower Ben, from New Orleans where we both lived at that time (July 2003), to Santa Cruz for the world premiere of //MAYBELOGIC//: The Lives and Ideas of Robert Anton Wilson, and a special appearance by the man himself. After the show Ben and I were having a sneaky smoke outside when RAW was wheeled out to his car awaiting him, an old 1970's black Jaguar. What else?

We got to say our brief stuttered thanks and wish support and he was gone. This was the last time I saw Bob, although by no means the last time we communicated. The makers of the Movie were about to launch the MAYBELOGIC ACADEMY that would feature RAW as an on-line teacher of classes based on his works, accompanied by an array of like-minded teachers and colorful students. Many of which are still friends today.

The MLA was the beginning of what I might call my second phase of RAW studies, sustained courses and assignments based on RAW’s works, using both books and web materials together with RAW himself, answering questions and posting the weekly assignments.

In 2010 I designed a class ‘Email To The Tribe’ that is a continuation of RAW ‘Tale of The Tribe’ class (2005) and that outlines his great unfinished work which would strongly focus on Ezra Pound and the Cantos, James Joyce and Finnegans Wake, poetry, communications theory, information theory and open Internet, together with his impossibly rich and unpredictable hologrammic prose. What you are reading right now is an outcropping of his TTOTT.

I returned from the US in 2005 and started my work over in the UK, continuing classes and co-producing the great MAYBELOGIC QUARTERLY Webzine with the brilliant critters from the MLA forums whom have all helped to further support the work and ideas of RAW in their own special ways and carry the torch off out into the wild wild webs.

RAW TRIBUTES


After RAW’s passing in early 2007, I made my own RAW tribute show in Stourbridge, followed by a trip to another tribute held in London at the QEII theatre by Coldcut and featuring a stella’ line up of Wilson heads, combining DJ’s, VJ’s, and live speakers. A fitting tribute in size, vibe and medium I thought: VIDEO

The day after the London tribute I flew to Amsterdam (20th March 2007) and continue my work here. I currently curate several RAW related blogs and web pages, and keep relations with an ever growing community of RAW heads.

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FUTURE RAW PROJECTS


The latest RAW project will synthesize more of the above into a whole new style. Imagine a RAW multimedia museum in 2014: www.raw360.net


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