Dear Chicago Reader,
There was some very interesting information in Neal Pollack’s article “Everyone Knows Thax” [August 13]. There were a few points I wanted to bring up. First of all, I am not sure how to interpret the ambiguity on the working relationship between Eric St. Clair and Thax. On one hand, Mr. St. Clair told Thax never to come on his show again, but on the other, Thax continuously refers bands to him. Thax gave me Eric St. Clair’s phone number about 18 months ago. I still don’t know what to do with it. If I called up, would it be part of some in-joke? The article said that Thax gives people the opportunity to perform onstage who are ordinarily not given it. This is true, for thanks to Thax I played at Lounge Ax at two of his bass shows. It was a great honor to be on the very stage that was graced by the presence of my idols such as Borbetomagus and Faust. The article said that Thax had bad taste in music. Wouldn’t it be better to say Thax had different taste than the common herd? Say Thax likes Anthony Braxton’s music while many other people like Kenny G’s instead. That doesn’t mean necessarily Thax has bad taste. It’s all relative. If Marc Smith is the Stalin of poetry, is Thax Trotsky? If Thax is the Andy Warhol of Chicago, does that mean David Bowie will be portraying him in a series of movies? It might work, considering David Bowie has been seen many times this decade with a beard.
It was at a poetry open mike in the spring at Morseland that host Noam Paco-Gaster proclaimed Thax the Andy Warhol of Chicago. But this date contradicts Thax’s claim that he hasn’t been at poetry open mikes for seven to eight months. I also remember Thax attending Shag’s “Little Thing” featuring Steltch as recent as July 6 this year and as early as December 29, 1998. If anyone is interested in hearing Thax do poetry on CD, they should check out the CD of the December 29, 1998, performance. The CD also features poets Lola Huston, Paul Paredes, Shag, Yusuf E. Brown, and others. Steltch provides the music, which is improvised. The music is in no way associated with the so-called improvisation of Christian Vandermarc, James Ruriksson, Chicago Velvet Duet, Freddy “Garthudson” Limburg, and Benjy Vida Loca, whose names appear so many times repeatedly in the Chicago Reader I may have purposely misspelled their names. In fact, the CD is called Stop Hitting Us With Our Own Name. For further inquiries write to 1331 S. Wabash, Hobart, IN 46342. Some proceeds shall go to Thax, as long as he gives some to Che Maraschino and whoever wrote that poem about 1911 boxing.
John A. Knight