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The Screamer

Greatest Hits

This album contains 85 of the Screamer's greatest knee-slapping and side-splitting telephone calls to talk radio hosts and guests.

A full track listing is below.

Compact Disc (CD) ($14,44)

In Warm Series® digipak,
with replica of wrap-card.

Download (DWNLD) ($9,99)

Listen to samples, download
full-release, or single songs.

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TEEN-BEAT GRAPHICA design moniker
Teen-Beat website re-design
FLIN FLON Black Bear album
BELLS OF 3's Company album
2002 Teen-Beat postcard catalogue
THE SCREAMER Greatest Hits CD album
THE SCREAMER
Greatest Hits
CD
cover front
THE SCREAMER Greatest Hits CD wrap card
THE SCREAMER
Greatest Hits
CD
wrap card

DESCRIPTION

Prank telephone calls to talk radio stations in Washington, D.C. and Boston, Massachusetts. made in the late 1970s and early 1980s by a fellow known as The Screamer. These are his greatest hits. Released as a part of Teen-Beat's Warm Series¨.


TRACK LISTING


1. "Intro: Primal Scream Suite"

2. "Human Rights"

3. "Prayer"

4. "Foster Homes"

5. "Very Sick"

6. "Infant Son"

7. "Dumped"

8. "Plant Advice"

9. "Playing Games"

10. "Samuel T Chair"

11. "Court TV"

12. "Subvert This Program"

13. "Full Deck"

14. "Cough Call 1"

15. "Immature"

16. "Re-Armament"

17. "Aborted Baby"

18. "Sick"

19. "Baby FaceNelson 1980"

20. "Eldridge Cleaver Middle School"

21. "Long Distance Call"

22. "FBI"

23. "Filing Cabinets"

24. "Seven Second Delay"

25. "Local Grocer"

26. "Hostron Bomb"

27. "Civil Defense / Reagan Revolution AKA "Tom"

28. "Police Brutality"

29. "Healings"

30. "FCC"

31. "Zac, Susan, Jimmy and Bob"

32. "Maggot Man"

33. "Hi Cork!"

34. "Mall Confusion / Nixon in Chinatown /
    Date-a-Horse"

35. "Games"

36. "Radio Narcolepsy"

37. "Scalding Hot Coffee"

38. "Anti-Theft Device"

39. "Hinge-Purge Syndrome"

40. "S & L Advice"

41. "'69 VW"

42. "Market Place for Ideas /
    How Much Do You Weigh?"

43. "Uppers and Lowers"

44. "Dentist"

45. "Financial Advice 1"

46. "Questions for the WRC Psychic"

47. "Birth Control"

48. "Drunken Priest"

49. "Pop you Like a Rubber Band"

50. "Red Fluid?"

51. "Chapped Lips"

52. "Sports Call!"

53. "Robot Double"

54. "Financial Advice 2"

55. "Fruitloop"

56. "Near Death Experience"

57. "Time Machine Incident"

58. "Waco (Cult Advice)"

59. "Winter Carjacking"

60. "Cough Call 2"

61. "Cough Call 3"

62. "Cheaper Crack"

63. "Fragrance of Manson"

64. "Christian Talk Radio 1"

65. "Christian Talk Radio 2"

66. "Christian Talk Radio 3"

67. "Turkey!"

68. "Chappaquiddick Call"

69. "Jerry Springer"

70. "Love Letters"

71. "Chelsea"

72. "Lost Son"

73. "Rational Thought"

74. "Repeat Sex Offender"

75. "Father's Day"

76. "Bigfoot Infestation"

77. "Phallic Symbols"

78. "Confused Caller"

79. "Oklahoma!"

80. "Christian Car Phone Traffic Report"

81. "First Kiss"

82. "Battlestar Gallactica"

83. "Liveline Call"

84. "Ancient Indian Burial Ground"

85. "Mike Brady?"


LINER NOTES


FILE UNDER

Comedy / Radio / Spoken Word


BACK COVER QUOTE

"He's very sick."
- Sheldon Tromberg, agitated radio talk show host.


MASTERED BY

D. Trevor Kampmann,

at pulCec, Washington, D.C., USA


COVER DESIGN

Mark Robinson, Teen-Beat Graphica


ALBUM NOTES

Before the era of 24-hour cable news, before the Internet and, perhaps most importantly, before Caller ID, there existed Talk Radio. Not the Talk Radio of a certain overexposed monologist's fevered imagination, but a more mundane and benign Talk Radio. This was the strictly local (with the exception of Larry King), non-confrontational brand of the medium. This was the pre-irony age. Before the Morning Zoo teams. Before the rotund conservative blowhards. Before the mass acceptance of that latter day Lenny Bruce of the airwaves, Howard Stern.

The underpaid practitioners of this earlier, blander version of Talk chatted endlessly into the night with old ladies, drunks and mental patients about precious little of any import. The discussions sounded like a telephone party line for the clinically depressed. One soon-to-be-famous yakker once fell asleep.

on the air. The occasional guests (a seeming rarity) of these "entertainers" were often even less interesting than their questioners. The foregoing ingredients (and the relative ease of passing the interrogation of the screener) amounted to an open invitation to every malcontent within broadcasting range to call in and wreak as much havoc as possible.

A bored teenager who picked up a black Bell-issued rotary telephone receiver one late night in 1979 accepted the above invitation. At the suggestion of his similarly bored friend, the game plan for this inaugural call was a stratagem of maximum idiocy: Once announced on the air, the teenager would begin issuing his civic-minded comment as approved by the screener. Thirty seconds into these comments, however, the teenager would divert from the prepared remarks and scream "SCUM." Why "Scum"? Why not?

The plan, such as it was, succeeded beyond the wildest hopes of the teenagers. On a cheap-o tape/radio recorder they played and replayed the hostâs vitriolic reaction to the "scream." Indeed, the response was so ridiculously out of proportion to the act, that the boys decided to call in again to see if they could cause an on-air cardiac arrest. Using a embarrassingly phony British accent to bypass the screener, the second teenager was on the air within minutes of the earlier transgression. Soon "SCUM" was bellowed again in the middle of an otherwise cogent sentence. The host became apoplectic. Suddenly other callers began calling in to vent their frustration over this "Screamer." The teenagers rolled on the floor in fits of hysterical laughter over the commotion they had caused. To the teenagers, a new, albeit very esoteric, form of entertainment had been born. To the faithful (and now annoyed) listeners of the radio station, a peculiar kind of "talent" appeared to be infecting their favorite programs.

Over time the calls evolved from the simple primal scream variety to an absurd question/comment approach (e.g. "I recently had my head removed") that caused the chosen host to gradually become quite angry. This "slow boil" effect was even more gratifying to the teenagers and their small cadre of admirers/enablers/ghost writers. The frequency of the calls escalated accordingly. Between 1984 and 1993 the calls ebbed and surged (mostly ebbed) as time and interest allowed. By 1993 Newsweek and the Washington Post were publishing articles on the "high art" of the prank phone call. It was time, finally, to move on.

With the prominent exception of Christian Talk Radio, the Golden Age of the Easily Enraged Talk-Show host has long since passed. This collection Ñ spanning 14 years of calls Ñ is a time capsule of anger. The creators (now hopelessly ordinary, middle-aged tax-paying citizens) sincerely hope that you have as much fun listening to this recorded rage as they had in inciting it.

- Joe Klein


ET CETERA

The Screamer is anonymous.

There were no Warm Series digipaks to manufacture this release, so 563 copies of Teen-Beat 285, Flin Flon's "Chicoutimi" compact disc, were disassembled and the digipaks re-purposed for this project.


RELEASE DATE

September 1, 2002


FORMAT

compact disc


LENGTH

76 minutes, 17 seconds

85 tracks


CATALOGUE No.

Teen-Beat 315


DETAILS


1,063 pressed,

563 packaged.


PACKAGE:
full-colour 6-panel cardboard Teen-Beat Warm Series digipak with clear tray.


WRAP CARD:
4.25" x 6" postcard scored twice (one side colour and one side black and white).


LABEL:
Black, red, and white ink.


Wrap card printed by
Modern Postcard, California, USA


Digipaks printed by
Failsafe, Illinois, USA.


Pressed by
Failsafe, Illinois, USA.


DISCOGRAPHY


ALBUMS

Greatest Hits


COMPILATIONS

2002 Teenbeat Sampler
2003 Teenbeat Sampler