Audiopile owner Geoff Barton reacts to King Buzzo and Cupgate
Proving that the flapping of butterfly wings will cause a shitstorm online, the tale of King Buzzo’s abrupt departure from the stage at the Melvins’ Commodore show on August 19 became a breathless article on Spin.com by August 23.
“Melvins Show Ruined by Dude Who Was ‘Tripping Balls’ ” ran the headline, which referred to a Music Note written for Straight.com by Al MacInnis on August 20. The guitarist ended the show when he was hit by a flying plastic cup thrown, in what was described to MacInnis as a “peak experience”, by contrite Shearing Pinx drummer Jeremy Van Wyck.
That would have been the end of it if not for the 60 or so comments that followed the Straight’s piece, some of them employing a threatening tone toward Van Wyck and his employer, Audiopile CDs & Records. Eventually, Audiopile owner Geoff Barton left his own bone-dry message on the Straight’s message board.
“Our voice mail has been loaded with death threats against Jeremy, and threats of vandalism against my store,” wrote Barton, who promised to turn Van Wyck over to CSIS and U.S. Homeland Security, and then fire him. “I have also branded him a HIPSTER,” he added.
In a call to the Straight, Barton said Audiopile really did receive five anonymous voice mails that “were threats against Jeremy and the store”. He also said he was more puzzled than disturbed by the whole episode, mentioning that he thinks boycotting is fine “if it really bugged you enough not to come shopping at Audiopile”, and that he could even relate to Buzzo’s reaction.
“You know, you get curmudgeonly when you get to my age, and his age,” he said.
But his comment was designed to “show how ludicrous it all was”. More pointedly: “I put my name on it,” he said, “because I know you’re supposed to be anonymous nowadays, you’re supposed to hide behind things, but if I’m gonna get annoyed enough to get my ass up and onto a computer, I’m going to put my name to it. That’s how that happened.”
Barton also urged people to take the hipster crack with a grain of salt, as he prefers the company of hipsters to jocks.