COYLE & SHARPE / ARTICLES

Liner Notes, Audio Visionaries
written by Mal Sharpe
Released in 2000

Visionaries? Where did Coyle and I get our ideas? We would meet at nine in the morning at various San Francisco coffee shops, this was around 1963 B.C., before cappuccino. In front of us was an 8X10 manila envelope containing our releases, everyone we interviewed had to sign a release. While sipping black coffee, we would "premisize." Often the premises would spring from something in the environment around us. There might be a travel poster on the wall from Africa with a zebra on it and Coyle would blurt out "Half zebra, half eel." I would write "Zeb-Eel" on the envelope.Coyle would flick his cigar butt in an ashtray and I might say, "Grow ashtray on nose." And so it went. We never had an inkling that any of these ideas would ever surface in reality. While researching this CD, I came across a sequence called "Street Phone." We are thrusting an unplugged rotary dial telephone in our victim’s face and informing him that he has a call. This was unheard of in the early sixties but now it’s totally normal, believable and unfunny. We have all become "Human Telephone Poles." Armed with these premises we would drift onto San Francisco’s Market Street and "hover" in front of busy stores waiting to terrorize unsuspecting citizens. Cruise ships from overseas would dock at the foot of Market Street, hence the abundance of British Empire tourists that appear in our material ? this was an era before the advent of the Boeing 747 and Europeans could be quickly spotted in their shaggy tweeds and clumsy leather shoes. Thanks to the universality of Levi’s jeans this kind of quick identification has been obliterated. Often we would abandon our premise list when a victim was spotted carrying a cake or wheeling a handcart and then we would just walk up and start bugging him or her with no particular direction in mind. It was truly improvisational street theater, theater of the mind, and part of our delight was trying to come up with some bizarre image that would force the other to abandon his straight face. Little did we know then that by the turn of the century parts of pigs would be grafted onto thehuman heart and animal rights activists would make it possible for a wolverine to rent an apartment in a swanky hi-rise.