Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Plug your nose and take a deep breath - we are truly going off the deep end today.

As Donna Kossy, author of the book "Kooks" and proprietor of the Kooks Museum website says, the writings of Francis E. Dec make the rest of kook literature look as routine as a business memo. Dec, a disbarred lawyer, convicted forger, and paranoid schizophrenic, holed himself up in a house on Long Island, New York in the mid-60s and rarely left it or talked to anyone except through his written diatribes, of which thousands of copies were mailed out to media outlets, and elsewhere. He hated and feared just about everyone, since everyone seemed to be working for the Computer God who was trying to control him through Frankenstein Eyesight TV. Or something like that.

In 1985, radio newscaster Boyd Britton (now working on Los Angeles's KROQ as "Doc On The Roq"), while employed at WZUU in Milwaukee, recorded himself reading several Dec rants, adding occasional studio effects and background music, such as the soundtrack to the James Bond film "Goldfinger." These cassettes were passed around for years, portions of which were sampled by the British group Psychic TV (in collaboration with Don "Kitten Sparkles" Bolles) on the song "St. Francis E" on 1992's "Ultrahouse: The LA Connection" album.

Finally, these tapes are available to the public, thanks to the good people at UBUWEB. One's eyes can easily glaze over trying to read Dec's delirious rantings, but Britton's production and impassioned reading make Dec's hellish visions come alive with hallucinatory power.

Listen to "Rant no. 5"
(I particularly like the bit about the Pope's "High Holy Communion sodomy.")

In the mid-'90s, Dec finally had to leave his house for a VA hospital. As reported in this article, "I Met Francis Dec!," his nurses claim he hardly ever spoke - a surprising end to the life of a man who had so much to say.


Umbagollah said...

Those rants are astonishing. It's like reading Burroughs with any hint of literary theory or deliberate method removed.

Mr Fab said...

Interesting comment! That brings up the notion of "authenticity" - like The Shaggs vs Jonathan Richman - the self-concious vs the unself-councious...

Mr Fab said...


" UbuWeb is offline for the summer to clean house. Please bear with us as we move our media files to WFMU, who have so generously offered much needed server space and bandwidth.

Please note that during this summer, most of our media files (MP3s and films) are offline.

We'll be back in the fall at this URL ( all fresh and shiny.

Have a great summer."