Mikael Jorgensen

April 19, 2000

Post #1097 – 20000419

Dear Mister Pinkwater,

My name is Mikael Jorgensen, and from 1990 to 1996 I was a member of a band from New Jersey called *gulp*, Lizard Music. I was out of High School, and looking for direction. A good friend of mine at the time was a great guitar player and I played keyboards. We got to messing around, listening to records, writing songs etc…We loved The Beatles, Booker T and the MGs, Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention, The Meters, Captain Beefheart, Sly and the Family Stone, James Brown, and would try to incorporate those influences in our music.

Gradually the band started to form, and it came time to give it a good handle. My friend, the guitar player, suggested using the title of a book he had read when he was younger. I figured, “Let me read the book, and then I’ll get back to you.”

After reading it, I was absolutely convinced that it was the best name for our strange brand of eclectic-pop-music, and the other members agreed as well.

We enjoyed extremely modest success, recording a record in Chicago (where I now live), touring the states, and then three weeks in England. I then left the group, and the rest of the guys went on to record another record, keeping the name.

In retrospect, I think the name was fitting. Personal conflicts and tour-induced paranoia, to name the lesser problems, eventually brought the group to non-existence. I suppose this is where, from my point of view, the name goes back to the original owner-discoveror-author-man. We never really did any research into whether or not it was “legal” to use the title of a book as the name of our band. This illuminates our ultra-keen business sense at the time, and could be perhaps one of the reasons why those records are currently out-of-print and unavailable because the record label is out-of-business.

Thanks for a great book, it provided a great ride for me.

In addition to all of this, I recently re-read “Chicago Days, Hoboken Nights,” and am profoundly affected by nearly every story in that collection.

Two in specific:

The story about the zen puzzles “Navin Diebold” would present to you in the mornings at the studio, and would ask you, “What do you want to do today?” And the terribly simple answer you realized. It really is that simple. I have done it in Chicago ironically enough.

Your story about the day Kennedy was assassinated, the light in your studio, and the wonderful last lines, “…the best way I could address the big evils of the big world would be to keep chipping away at something comparatively small.”

Which is part of why I continue to record and make music.

Thanks for your time,

Mikael Erik Jorgensen

Daniel replies:

I had fun writing those things--and still do.

If you liked them, that's a bonus for me.