5 Fingers was an audio art band consisting of Marian Halloway, Scott Campbell, and Randy Magnus.
Other musicians at times included Martin Corgiat, Tamara Yoneda, Mr. Speedo and many others.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

5 Fingers - How It Started

I was doing these experimental multi-layering live radio shows on KPFA in Berkeley, CA with Don Joyce, Negativeland, Fake Stone Age, and Helen Holt. This was in the very early eighties, and my high school friend David Graver went on to Cornell University for his masters and PhD in comparative literature and after his BA in philosophy at UC Berkeley.

This is the time I coined the Audio Art Phone-In concept, allowing sound pieces to be phoned into a radio station and to be broadcast live. Later I did a weekly layering, live mixing program for a while on KCSS at Stan State University in Turlock, "Art Radio" (using radio as a creative art medium, taught a class on it.)

Leonard's Shoe Repair Shop in early 1983 became available for me to use as an art studio and occasional gallery, crossed out shoe repair on the sign, added artspace, and Leonard's Artspace was born.
Began doing these live Altered Audio performances for friends and interested people. It was a collage of the various recordings I had found or made with a little percussion and effects, creating interesting soundscape experiences.
Amon at an Altered Audio event.

Brent Cook of punk-band Problem Fish, wanted us to do something together, and 5 Fingers was born. We got Joy for the first female vocalist. David had been sending me these stream of consciousness postcards that I made into songs, and accompanied with a layering of sounds with percussion, synthesizer, guitar, and voice.

Brent wanted to make more regular sounding songs, Scott Campbell came along with a more electronic music background, and raised in a Scottish Bagpipe family band, replaced Brent for a more experimental art appeal.

A layering of sounds controlled and altered in the tape machines during the live playback, live instruments, live hip drumming, and the lyrics spoken to the beat like beat poetry, loosely scripted, listening to one another, and improvised at and for the moment. The bottom line was always listen to the drummer, and take your cues from him (which was me).

Lolly was suppose to replace college bound Joy, but Lolly didn't want to do it and Marion stepped in on the evening of the show, moments before we began. I explained the parameters to her, gave Marion the lyric sheets, and away we went.

Randy Magnus

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

5 Fingers Members

Marion Halloway - vocals
Randy Magnus - electronics, percussion
Scott Campbell - Korg, vocals, guitar
Martin Corgiat - vocals, guitar, casio
David Graver - lyrics
Mr. Speedo - waving
Jason Peterson - fill-in effects, percussion, kazoo

special guests:
Steve Kenworthy - guitar, violin, trumpet
Joe Bettencourt - banjo

Marion's Name

I first met her as Marion Halloway.
It took her a year to tell me that I was misspelling her name, and that it was Marian.
By then it was too late, I always spelled it Marion.

A little later she married Kjel Anderson,
and she became Marian Anderson.


Where They Went

Scott - went off to San Francisco to be with the Gothic rock bands Fade to Black and later Thrill of the Pull.

Marian - found herself in the Bay Area with punk bands The Misfits and Insaints.

Martin - was doing solo gigs in the Modesto area.

Scott and Randy - For a short period of time performed at poetry readings and art galleries as 2 Fingers, hip drumming and beat poetry. (It was never really beat poetry, but rather say the words to the beat.)

Randy - evolved into 3 Fingers, performing more instrumental/experimental music with Cathy George on marimba & vibes, Steve Shaw or David Dow on synthesizer, Deborah Kavasch on extended vocal, and other musicians, including at times a belly dancer.

David - was an assistant professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University for eight years. In those years, he published The Aesthetics of Disturbance (University of Michigan Press) and Drama for a New South Africa (Indiana University Press) as well as numerous articles on theatre and performance art in periodicals, anthologies, and encyclopedias.

Where They Are Now

Randy - Still producing the television show Art TV now in Hawaii, performing on ukulele with a group of 70 year old ladies called The Ladies of Kona (and Randy).

Scott - Living in the San Francisco, working as a counselor, active with the Haight music scene.

David - Assistant Corporation Counsel, Dept. of Law, City of Chicago, and plays trombone with the jazz ensemble at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and was playing harmonica and singing in Alton Smith's Troubadours, doing Tom Waits songs.

Martin - dropped out of society

Mr. Speedo - aka Keith Longcor, still painting away in Modesto, CA

Marian - Marian died of a heroin overdose in Nov of 2001.

Comment from Scott

Always sentimental, it is tough & wonderful going back the days of 5 fingers.
My trustworthy korg synth, homemade guitar and voice were my instruments of choice.
Randy was the true mastermind of 5 fingers, allowing Marion and myself the space to be ourselves (however dark or destructive that may be).
There were hours of naive art in 5 fingers sounds.
Scott Campbell

Scott in Tin Shadows at Leonard's Artspace.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

5 Fingers Equipment Used

Randy - Superscope Variable Speed Cassette Recorders, Mattel drum machine.
Later Yamaha drum pads DD17, Yamaha midi sound generator,
Synare 3 dual oscillator drum pad (bought from The Residents), BOSS cymbal/chime drum pad, various acoustic percussion instruments, anvil, sampling Casio keyboard

Scott - Early Korg Synthesizer, home-altered guitars, penny whistle, bagpipe chanter

Martin - electric guitars, 12 second delay, electric bass, electronic devices

PA System - SUN amp head/mixer, flanger, quadverb multi effects rack mount, BOSE monitor speakers from Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66

Synare 3

Five Fingers Performances

Performances by 5 Fingers included:

The Art of Sound - 1983
(Brent Cook, Randy, Joy, and others at Leonard's Artspace)

Pearl Harbor Performance - December 7, 1984
(part of the Made In Japan Show mail-in art show reception)

House Party

The Mall Show - March 10, 1985
(part of Art Awareness Week at the Vintage Faire Mail)

Live at Bob's Place - April 27, 1985 8pm
(Behind Robert and Jeff's storybook house in the middle of an orchard in Ceres, CA.)

Five Fingers Does Howl - 1985
(an evening performance of Allen Ginsberg's classic poem held at Leonard's Artspace)

A Free Concert at MJC - July 31, 1985 8pm
(an evening of 5 Fingers live in the Modesto Junior College Art Gallery)

Live at Dazzles
(part of a benefit show at a Modesto nightclub)

Lend A Hand (live at the coffeehouse Mondo Java)

International Pancake Day
(held at Charlie's house, including pancakes served during the break)

Groundhog Day
(Maybe we did 2 Groundhog Day shows, one was HOWL)

Hire a Human

Pre-Halloween Show - 1986
(held at Modesto Junior College's Art Gallery as part of Decade of Photography exhibit by Randy Magnus)

Pearl Harbor Day at Bob's Place - December 7, 1987
(Done inside Robert's storybook house, a live remote broadcast on KCSS Radio)

Live at Stanislaus State - 1988
(part of the university's art dept. graduation party, with a great version of the Beatles Get Back. Bob Raab helped out as roadie, transportation, & road manager for the event.)

I few of these shows really stand out, and a few I can't remember at all. Like what was Hire a Human about?