I was watching Rage
petrol and candlewax…
On the 26th March 06 we managed acquire a pretty decent piano for free via Freecycle. It sat majestically in the corner of our student house in Aberystwyth, and although not in fantastic condition or perfectly in tune we all had fun playing on it.
We are all 3rd year students and will be moving over the next few weeks. We had originally planned to leave the piano for future tenants to enjoy, however our landlord did not agree to this. Therefore we had to get rid of it. It would have been nice to have found a new home for it, and a number of people we knew expressed a casual interest in taking it. But would they really have? It’s easy enough to say you’ll take it but it takes a lot of effort to move a piano.
One drunken night the idea of burning it was put forward. It was clearly the most rock n’ roll thing to do, and would be very memorable if we could pull it off. Years later we may return to Aber and people would come up and say “hey! you’re those guys that burnt the piano on the beach back in 06!”. It’s the stuff of legends.
Around late May we started investigating into the construction of the piano. The panels, keys and hammers could all be removed easily. We were also hoping to be able to remove the heavy metal frame to make it easier to move, however it was so tightly built into the main body this was deemed impossible. Removing all the other parts did make it a bit easier to move.
The pieces were reassembled with lighting gel was squirted all over the inside of the piano, and fire cakes placed between the keys.
The flames came up from under the keys and round the back to engulf the piano.
The next day we returned to the beach and spent about an hour picking up all the screws, strings and pieces of metal that had been left. Including the large metal frame which weighed an absolute ton. This is all that remains of the piano.
It was a fantastic night, a truly unforgettable event. Some people have been quick to criticize us, and were appalled that we even considered doing it. But we stand by our actions.
This report was commissioned by the Jinx Ministry of Intelligence. The report was prepared, and is presented, over the protests of several senior officials. The authors wish concur with those objections, and regret that this report should have been ordered. We advise NO FURTHER INQUIRY into this subject.
The Madagascar Institute cannot be safely investigated, described, or even mentioned. Our investigations have yielded virtually no hard data. Rumors, hearsay and innuendo comprise the bulk of our information. Agents assigned to this matter have described repeated, credible threats to their safety. One Agent (Agent ***********), ordered to infiltrate the Institute, has been missing since 3/13/2002.
On the basis of the very dubious, very limited scope of our intelligence, we offer the following theories. The Ministry of Intelligence is requested to consider that these theories are highly speculative, almost entirely lacking evidentiary support.
Theory One: The Madagascar Institute is a laboratory for robotic weapons research.
Theory Two: The Madagascar Institute is a private space program seeking to compete with or replace the NASA program.
Theory Three: The Madagascar Institute does not exist.
Theory Four: The Madagascar Institute is a mirror government for the city of New York. According to this theory, the Madagascar Institute provides certain sections of the city with an independent police force, postal service, public works, etc., without the knowledge or consent of the Mayor.
Theory Five: The Madagascar Institute is a neo-Futurist cult. The Futurists were a short-lived movement in Italy between the First and Second World Wars. The Futurists worshipped machines, speed, power, war, and masculinity.
This report must again emphasize that these theories are almost certainly false and without merit. Protocol generally indicates a second study should be commissioned to build on the data of this study. We strongly advise against such a study. First, there is no data to build on. Second, an additional study would pose an unacceptable level of risk to any agents and officers involved.
The True Story of Captain Beefheart
may be found here