Tales Of The ACTION MAN (Fiction???)

by Roger Neville-Neil

From Aural Innovations #11 (July 2000)


  1. Twice As Much Fun... Twice As Much Action... Man
  2. Faster Than A Commuter Train!
  3. Lights Camera, Action Man!
  4. If You Can't Breeze Through - Draw Attention To Yourself
  5. The Simple Art Of Slumming
  6. Shakedown On First Avenue
  7. Great Balls Of Fire

Chapter 3:
Lights Camera, Action Man!

I walked into Satyricon and paid the cover charge. It is about 10:30 PM and the place looks fairly packed. To my RIGHT is the long top of the bar. To my LEFT a few pin ball machines, chairs, and an inset table with wrap-around black cafe sofa seat. Above me is the ceiling painting with stars expanding ever larger as they leave the hands of a standing, smiling Asian chap with a fat belly. A lamp hangs toward the stage area is some garish interplanetary green with a huge plexiglass ring around it-- a mock saturn.

I hear my name called from the cafe table. Looking over I see Daniel Riddle's ever grinning face. I walk over to join him.
"You got your hair cut! It looks nice."

It surprised me that this is the first thing he had to say to me. The second thing he he said was that he has something for me. A CD-R of all the new King Black Acid songs

Daniel is very excited and tells me all about it. Soon as it's all ready he'll give me a copy. We get into a long talk about what's gone on since my last time at their show. He hasn't seen my photos from EJ's yet.

Daniel exclaims "We put up the Christmas lights. look up at the monitor." I glance over to the bar and the TV set in the corner. Sure enough, the stage has christmas lights draped all around it. Miniature lights. Pin points of light. Hanging from above in a fish-net-like mesh. A red mesh. A green mesh. A blue Mesh. Let's face it... it was all a MESH!

As KBA set up I positioned myself down front near Jeff... a guy who turns up with and records many of their shows on DAT. I look over the lights and get the impression I am too close to really capture the christmas lights properly. Looking at the base of Daniel's mic stand I see the set list and make note of the songs for the evening: "The Slow", "Into the Sun", "All the tea in China", "Starseed", "Where ever it is you are", "I'm alive", "Butterfly Bomber". Hmm, looks good.

I recall seeing Tahoe Jackson in the lounge earlier. This meant she most likely would join the band for the last number.

I move over to the right side over at the tiered tables to the side of the mixing desk and take a few from there... trying to get a full band shot. Something I think Daniel would like to see more of. Most of my early photos are close in tight shots of individuals. nice but just doesn't give a band feel if you show someone and tell them it is a band.

Later I moved to the left side where there is another tiered table section. Well, bench type seats with a long slab serving as a table top. Naturally all painted black. I take a few photos from that side on the floor and then I scan the tables. I spot a chair on the floor and get an idea. I'll stand on it and get above the crowd's heads and do a few from the crowd shots. Great!

A creative spark came over me. The red mesh lights where in front of Daniel... dangling. Two of these bottom red lights were level with his eyes. I waited patiently for when he moved... lining the two red Miniature christmas light over his eye sockets. SNAP! There that will surprise him when he sees a photo that he has red Christmas lights for eyes!

I got bolder and more in a heightened state, driven on by the unrelenting rhythm of the music. I stepped off of the chair and onto the table top. Action Man was going to scale the tables for photo opportunities! From there I could catch the full band and all of the mesh lighting. I became more and more elated. Yes this is how to do this show tonight-- from up on high!

Climbing down I moved to the stage and up the very end of the tiered table section. I walked up the steps to the top and turned to take a few shots. I was living through the lens. My position in space and time didn't matter until... I took a step backwards. My eyes become the eyes of Marty Feldman! There was nothing under my foot. My body pitched in space. The guy at the table wearing a red knit stocking cap on his head returned my Marty Feldman look. His eyes wide open, his mouth gapping is amazement.

While in the moment of unearthed terror I reversed my pitch in space and flung my arms forward while the lower part of my body was being drawn by gravity. In this case gravity was located down near the extra band equipment. Drums, cymbals, you know the typical percussion implements that make for a great exclamation point while landing. The current KBA song was "I'm Alive". Soon the songs title would need to be change to "I'm Alive but Action Man isn't going to be very much longer." No it would be too much trouble to change the song title this late into the show. Action Man would have to do something. And do something fast. Very fast.

My arms crossed in front of me like how Ringo Starr plays the drums. There was a loud thud sound. And time stood still. I was clutching both sides of the table top hanging by my arms alone. I looked up at the guy in the red knit cap he was smiling with relief as I laughed uncontrollably. I had managed to fall and save myself at the last moment. I also felt a bit of a twat. why was I doing Peter Sellers stunts at a King Black Acid show?

Mr. Red cap reached over and gave me his hand and ushered me over to the side where it would be imposable to fall off of. he smiled and craftily picked dup his pint glass before I attempted to try to dive into that too!

I am sure I captured some great shots from this altitude. It was all worthwhile and as always Action Man triumphs in the end. Speaking of that... the implant is still there. I'll have to shake my booty a bit harder to release this alien listening device. But a few more shows like tonight and I'm sure it will all be behind me!

Tahoe came down through the crowd to the front of the stage. Grabbed the mic and turned singing to the people in the front. Several people threw their arms into the air in ecstatic joy. The expression on one guys face looked like he was having an epiphany. All eyes where on him and Tahoe.

Tahoe was dressed in gold. When the light hit her she was transformed into the center of the universe. the origin of all light. A blinding beacon belting out free formm heavenly blues in spontaneous scat. Indeed, her voice scattered and filled the club. Arms swinging. Bodies swaying. The band churning out a powerhouse rhythm. The room was in orbit.

I was standing on a chair that had one leg shorter than the other three. I teetered on the edge of oblivion. I snapped my final shot, managing not to be launched into outer space.

After the set Daniel said he would have Denny send me the disc. Thanked me for showing up and said he hoped I had a safe trip home on the bicycle. I did. It was a clear starry night. I would say there was a chill in the air... but it is becoming more than that. It felt refrigerated.

When I pealed off my shirt at home... I could see that the chill was turning my arms red. a red coldness. A good time for a hot bath and to get some sleep. Action Man faded into the fog of dreams.

CLICK HERE to continue to Chapter Four: If You Can't Breeze Through - Draw Attention To Yourself

Click your browser's BACK button to return to the previous page.