Thursday, July 22, 2010


From my homeboy Bobby Peru of Nonchalance.
OK, I was in New York for a couple weeks last Fall. I had been trying to acquire Ramm:Ell:Zee's Alpha's Bet video for the Drive-In about two years before. During my e-mail dialogue with him I somehow ended up with his phone number, and left him a message, saying I was coming to New York. He called me back and in a very cryptic manner said we should hang out. So I was playing phone tag with him when I was there, and then one morning I pick up the phone and it's him, and I'm saying "when should we get together, maybe tomorrow?" and he's like "right now", and he gives me an address in Battery Park. I take a cab there, wait in the lobby, and he's appears, standing hella far down this hallway, in a football jersey, doorag, and crazy space shades. He says "Bobby Peru, this is the Ramm:Ell:Zee". I'm like "Pleasure", and he says "Do you like rum or vodka", and I say "Vodka", and we go to the liquor store and he buys a big bottle of nice stuff, and we go back to his apartment. Which is actually his girlfriend's apartment, because his old place (WITH ALL THE WORK FROM THE PAST THREE DECADES) had burned down. Apparently his paints and glues had caught fire, which doesn't totally surprise me after seeing the way he works. We enter the small apartment, and he says "Careful of the fumes", and it totally reeked like glue. He says "I'm all sniffed up". He pours two pint glasses of cold vodka, puts on Metallica's black album, loud, on repeat, and there is a TV set just blaring static / white noise. He's working on 3 toy sculptures for the Kid Robot store. I give him a bunch my shit (videos, zines, prints) and he starts flipping through and says "You've done your research", and starts really getting into it. Sean, he loved your illustration from the zines. He kept pointing them out, and saying "That's fresh", and I was like "That's Sean Goblin". I start asking him all kinds of questions about the history, the philosophy, the alter-universe, and he answers in his own abstract dialect that you just have to interpret for yourself. We talked about a bunch of shit, all afernoon. Love, Life, betrayal, artillery. Cool cat, who is intentionally under exposed. After a while, he says, "My name is Stephen". After a few tall glasses of the vodka, I'm helping him with the sculptures, and I notice that he is taking model glue and rubbing it in to the carpet underneath us. And I am getting FADED. And I've been drunk plenty in my life, and this was something else. I realized later that it was the glue. It was like mind eraser. Hours later I wake up on the floor and he's passed out too. I got up and kind of tried to get my shit together, went to the bath room. I come out of the bathroom and he's standing in the middle of the room with a red video tape. He says "I believe this is what you came for" and hands it to me. The Alpha's Bet (plus about another half hour of rare performance and interviews, called the "Evolution Griller"). I take it and stumble out the door. I mean literally, stumbling, holding on to walls and shit. I couldn't even talk when I got in the cab, and the driver says "You alright buddy?" Weeks later we leave a few voice mails for each other, both saying we should hang out again. I sent him a few post cards, and some weird toys from my collection. Then it had been about nine months since I'd talked to him and I get a phone call from his girlfriend (and art dealer), Caremella. She says "Jeff? You know that video Ramm gave you? It was the only copy. Can you dub it and send us one? Thanks!" So I did, and still have the original. It's bad.

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