Fanbase: an interview with Pterodactyl Man
by Rob Dayton
Entering the public school system in a cold northern British Columbia town can be harrowing. I remember two brothers, the Peevers. they always scowled and had real chips on their shoulders. Why? I dunno. Once they took bottle caps and pressed them real hard on their upper arms to make it look like a tetanus shot. For some odd reason they equated tetanus shots with toughness. They did other things, too. One vivid memory that I have is of the younger Peever brother trying too push me off the big snow hill (known as the battle hill ot something akin to that). They disappeared for several years. It wasn't until I was in junior high that we all heard about them agian. They mover to another town. Their new foster parents wouldnt let them watch TV one night. So the Peever boys and a friend (I think) grabbed an axe and chopped the unknowing couple to bits. Nu guff. This really happened. One girl I knew had a borther who was so into drugs taht he had a real sexy girlfirend, who, we all surmised, only went out with him for the drugs. She looked half asleep alot but that's just an aside. After the killings the Peevers fled to my hometown in their car. They were visiting this girl I knew's brother and stuff. The girl and her brother and everyone else were completely oblivious to the fact that these boys had just killed their foster parents.
I grew up in the United Church. One family, in particular, was quite predominant in the church. They were always nice and fun loving and great. They organized a lot of the New Year's parties. They were seen as the perfect family. Husband, wife, and two daughters. One great memory I have is when they organized a concert. They played some really fun songs like the one about the horn going "beep beep beep". Another one was about this monster in a box. The husband would bring the box around and at the bottom of it was a mirror. At the end they formed a conga line. I was feeling a tad lonely so, it was quite encouraging. when they grabbed me up and out of my seat and got me to join the conga line.
It was a sad day when they moved away. years later, the husband cheated on the wife and they divorced. Everyone was shocked! He eventually moved back to my town just before I left it. I saw him last buying a Three Dog Night CD. He told me aht I woudn't know who they are but that they are good to get stoned to. It was another shock when the eldest daughter moved back a year or two ago because she started dating the biggest drug dealer in town. She would consume any drug that she could get her hands on. Last year the cops followed the dealer and her in a high speed car chase. The car crashed and she died. The last time I saw her was ten years ago.
One day rock will be completely powerful to an unlimited extent without any spiritual aspects. More so than today. Rock for rock's sake. No redemption. Interview with the Pterodactyl Man and Steve Pterodactyl of hot new rock band the Pterodactyls conducted via long distance telephone.
INTERVIEW WITH THE PTERODACTYL MAN
R: Hello, is this the Pterodactyl Man?
R: How you doin'?
P: (breathes frustratingly) Pretty good.
R: I just have some stuff to ask you. I don't know much about you and I really gotta know, you know? You know what I'm saying?
R: Who are the jean jacket kids? Where do they come from?
P: The jean jacket kids are the youth.
R: The youth of today?
P: The kids that are at the shows with their fists in the air. They've saved all their money up to go to the show. It's just a salute.
R: So, basically, you're paying those kids back by giving them that song? It's a tribute to the kids?
R: Wow, that's really nice.
P: Somebody's going to pay three dollars or five dollars to get in to a show to see you.
R: Som you're going to sing for them and you're gong to sing a song called "Jean Jacket Kids" for them.
P: Oh ja.
R: That's who it's for.
P: We play big places.
R: You guys are pretty huge then. How many people do you usually play to?
R: Wow! I'm in Canada so , I haven't heard too much about the Pterodactyls yet.
P: We're hoping to go over there soon.
R: That'll be so hot! The Scorpions were here a while ago.
P: I hate the Scorpions.
R: But you like the rock, I take it.
P: Oh, I love the rock.
R: So, you think they just don't push the rock enough.
P: We're pushing the rock.
R: So, where'd you come from?
P: I come from the city. I come from the streets.
R: You seem urban to me in your attitude, your movements, your mannerisms.
P: You can't see me.
R: I've seen your video and I've studied you very closely frm the material I've had at hand. Through the audio and video tapes and the poster of you. The way you talked, the songs you sang, it was all very urben.
P: I mean, aren't we all?
R: Hmm... Aren't we all?
R: Urban. sure, sure. I like acup of coffee in the morening. But, you're a Pterodactyl Man. How'd you get to be Pterodactyl Man?
P: I was in a band called The Rats. Actually, on the Pterodactyls new CD, "Reborn", we do a cover of a Rats sond that I wrote called "Drive up Snake Shop." .....
I'm sorry, I was just thinking about that song.
R: It's a good song, huh?
P: I don't know if it's on the video but, when you hear it, you'll know. Anyways, I as in this band called The Rats and I just wanted to take it further.
R: Right, right. But, how did you get to be a Pterodactyl? What's your secret origin?
P: I evolved into... I met this buy Big Ben. I was down at the record shop checking out some videos and this guy was playing this guitar, just testing it out. I mean, he was fucking jamming! I just went up and I started talking to him, y'know. We decided to get together sometime and jam. The guy, he was amazing.
R: He could really play, huh?
P: He knows. I've never met anyone who knew how to rock as much as Big Ben.
R: So, he knew the shit?
P: Fuck, yes!
R: I thought that you being Pterodactyl Man that you'd be like Batman or be over a million years old.
P: There's a bit to it. Pterodactyls have always been my favourite animal.
R: Aah! So, you feel like a Pterodactyl?
P: Ja. All the pictures I saw of them when I was little, ya know, they're fucking flying around rocks.
R: And you rock!
P: No, I mean, it ws just a small connection. I decided to use this remembrance form childhood.
R: Do you feel like a Pterodactyl?
P: When I'm onstage I think I do.
R: And what sort of feeling is that? Do you feel like you're flying or laying eggs?
P: No, it's just the energy. All the other dinosaurs looking up at the Pterodactyl. All these kids with their rock uniforms on are looking up and like, getting into it.
R: Wow, I get it!
P: Can you hold on a sec?
Okay, I'm sorry.
R: That's OK. What did you do?
P: I had to piss.
R: How do you feel when you get up in the morning?
P: Everyday's a new day so, I wake up and prepare myself for the day.
R: How important is the beat in your music?
P: Steve's putting it out 100 percent. Steve Pterodactyl is the greatest drummer on earth. He's pretty good.
R: Is there any specificity to his beats? Is he trying to get people to move their heads? Or what?
P: I don't think he cares. He is not there to care, he's there to give it his all, ya know. He doesn't give a shit about the crowd. He's just getting it all fucking out. Fucking...
R: And you wrote a song aobut the corwd. Who's the bassist?
P: The beautiful Dactyls.
R: What is a Dactyls?
P: That's her name.
R: Tha's a wierd name. What's it mean?
P: I don't know.
R: Her and the drummer are working together.
P: They're the rhythm.
R: Where do you see the band goin?
P: All I see is the band going up. To the top. I'm going up, ya know. (pause) God.
P: I'm just thinking back.
R: To the earlier days?
R: So, it's better now, huh?
P: Oh ja.
R: What was it like back then?
P: We, we started... it was me, Big Ben, and God, I don't even know the bassist's name. I was singing, Big Ben was playing drums, and this guy was playing bass. We had two practices and it was amazing. We have no documents of it. But, it sucked. Me and Big Ben, we got together and we got Steve. There was a short time whe Steve had to go, he was hanging back at his parent's place for a while so there was this other guy guy playing drums. L.A. Ellington. It just didn't work out so, we got Steve back.
R: That's cool, that's cool. Tell me- have you written any new songs?
P: Not lately, no. I'm kind of on a vacation.
R: What sort of political issues inspire you when you write a song?
P: I don't know politics.
P: I just try to avoid 'em. I'm just there for the rodck.
R: That can be political, too. Can't it?
P: -and the girls.
R: You guys aren't a boy's band like Slade?
P: Oh no. The guys know what it's all about. I'm sorry. Never mind.
R: I understand. I'm burnt out, too. I've been working all day. (pause) Is there anything else you want to say?
P: We love the fans. I'm really excited for the CD to come out because we've been working on it long and hard.
R: I don't think the fans well be dissappointed.
P: I don't think they will, either. I know they'll love it. It will be on all the headphones. We're putting it out on tape, too.
P: Tape is the favourite format of the Pterodactyls. Ya, man, I mean demos going around all the time. Great fucking rock bands, man! ANd then you can get the shit, and you're like "Whoa! Oh my God! I just got the '81 Venom demos! Y'know? All the good bands did demos. What's your band July Fourth Toilet been up to?
R: Lotsa things. We've just done some SOuthern Rock. ZZ Top and stuff and some originals like "Kentucky Whore".
P: Do you like Sodom?
R: I've never heard Sodom.
P: Oh my God! They're great!
R: I'll have to hear them some time.
P: Actually, our band is German.
R: I didn't know that! Well, I'm glad that I asked about the Scorpions then.
P: Ya, but they suck! "Blackout" had some good songs. It had a good cover.
R: Was it Pete that brought you guys over from Germany?
R: Did you guys ever play in Germany?
P: No, we thought, y'know, where are we really going to go where people know how to rock?
R: North America.
P: North America.
R: That's a touching story. you guys didn't have to flee the country ot anything? you just came over?
P: We just came over. They had our instruments here. We got off the plane and we played our first gig about three hours later.
R: That's really inspiring!
P: Did you want to talk to Steve Pterodactyl?
R: Sure. Thanks for tlaking to me. When the CD comes out, it's going to blow a lot of minds, man.
P: Well, fuckin seven for rock, seven for roll, together.....14.
(Steve comes on)
R: Hi, Steve. Tell me: do you care about the fans?
S: Oh, I care about the fans.
R: But, really, you just want to rock.
S: I just want to rock, too.
R: Pterodactyl Man told me that you don't care, that you just want to give 100 percent.
S: For the fans. I just wasnt to rock, too.
R: Who are your fans?
S: Our fans are people. They work all week. They save all their hard earned cash. They want to have a good time on the weekends. I f they spend $18.50 on a ticket they want to see a good show.
R: I work all week and I want to see a good show and have a couple beers and forget about my troubles, too.
S: I mean, you got your truck payment...you gotta worry about other stuff, too.
(Pterodactyl Man comes on the line)
P: Fuck the fans! We want the money and we want the chicks!
R: I thought you liked the fans!
P: Fuck 'em! I wanna rock!
R: I think fame's going to your head. If you didn't have the fans you wouldn't be able to rock. You wouldn't have the money or the chicks, man. Don't you forget that!
P: Alright, I don't know! Things change.
R: Things change but, if you don't have your fans where will you be?
P: I don't know.
R: you wouldn't be anywhere, man. You'd be working all week paying $18.50 to see a band.
P: Paying $18.50 to see who?
R: Some band. Some big band. Look, I gotta go.
P: I was just kidding.
R: Okay, okay, you remember your fans, you hear?
P: I was just kidding.
R: You were just kidding. okay, I understand. Look I gotta go. I gotta head out but it was fun. you take care of yourself. And remember yor fans!
P: I love 'em! Just tell the fans. Seven for rock, seven for roll. Put 'em together fourteen.