Tebe of the Columns

Fan-fiction sketch for an episode of the Twilight Zone, written by 20jazzfunkgreats, age 16.

This is the super-geeky prank we came up with!

We made up a film and went to the Music-o-theque to ask for the Soundtrack. Maybe we just wanted to wind up the owner, see what happened to him when faced with an impossible task: to have knowledge of a cult film that didn’t exist.

We brainstormed this film for hours, so that the prank would not only be credible, but also fulfil some of our teenaged cinematic fantasies.

We decided it was called Tebe. It was set in 1970s Greece, loosely inspired by Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘Not After Midnight’, a creepy short-story about smuggling of antiques and spiritual corruption. It starred Edward Fox, Telly Savalas and Sophia Loren (pretending to be Greek). The soundtrack was by ‘La Piramide di Sangue’, a 1970s Euro-progressive super-group featuring Ennio Morricone,  Claudio Simonetti and Klaus Dinger.

We went to the Record Album, we browsed nervously, and then we asked for Tebe’s soundtrack by Piramide Di Sangue.

The owner thought for a moment.

We looked at each other out of the corners of our eyes. We could imagine the clockwork mechanism inside his head grinding, a thousand dusty filing cabinets being carefully explored, for nothing! Ah, the curiosity of youth, and also its cruelty!

He checked his ledger.  He groaned mildly. Lines of worry and annoyance like a graffiti in his forehead, spelling the ‘does not compute’ of a Pre-ICT revolution. He looked genuinely distressed by this detonation of ignorance. We started regretting doing all of this.

And then his eyes illuminated.

Tebe, ah, Tebe, yes, now I remember Tebe”. Very rare, a film with Edward Fox, Savalas and La Loren. Was supposed to follow on the wake of Don’t Look Now’s success – Classic du Maurier psychological thrills with a bit of espionage thrown in for good measure. Soundtrack by Morricone and Simonetti with Klaus Dinger on drums in a couple of tracks.

Yes, very rare, it was a bit of a flop. I believe the producers, Cobra Films, spent a big chunk of their marketing budget bribing the police in Crete to cover-up the felonious behaviour of the crew.  Some sort of sex affair, but not the usual.

I have even heard apocryphal stories about the whole thing being cursed by their decision to use authentic antiques from some obscure Cybele cult as props. Very disrespectful, but of course, this was the 1970s. People thought they could get away with murder those days, and sometimes they did.

Yes. I can call some of my dealers and see if we can find a copy, but it won’t be cheap. What shall we do?”

We sheepishly asked him to enquire and left the shop in silence. A few days later, he gave Dan a ring. His dealer in Rome had found a copy of Tebe. Good quality, not mint. Hence, £66.

How could we not pay for this object we may have conjured out of thin air in an inadvertent ritual, or whose existence was whispered into our ears by dark muses? How could we not pay?

So we did.

This was a week ago. Tebe arrived in the shop today. It’s one of those winter afternoons when it feels as if there were invisible giants roaming the streets of our battered city, looking for victims.

We approach the Music-o-theque with a mixture of anticipation and dread, like one should when closing the circuit between reality and fantasy. We see the face of the owner through the shop window, grinning into the void, like a wax doll waiting to be activated as the door opens, ringing the antiquated bells.

Tebe is in his hand, Tebe is in his hand, as much as a dream or a nightmare can be held in human hands, it is. We advance towards it as if it were a rabbit-hole.

Which it is.

La Piramide Di Sangue – In bici sulla strada della perdizione

La Piramide Di Sangue is like some sort of synthesis of everything that rocks 20jazzfunkgreats boat – say, Morricone jamming with the Sun City Girls, or a lost piece of Anatolian Invasion Esoterica, the dark Kali to Zelda’s Vishnu. It’s already in our top of 2012 list, you should go and buy it immediately from Sound of Cobra/Boring Machines.