N.p. The Cryptic Corporation / Ralph Records, 1977-1978. An archive of four typed letters signed, each with holograph additions and/or corrections, along with an assortment of promotional material from Jay Clem, unacknowledged member of The Residents, to noted musicologist, journalist, broadcaster, and writer Jon Savage. Savage is the author of "England's Dreaming," a 1991 history of the Sex Pistols and punk music, today considered one of the most essential references on the subject. Archive housed in a Ralph Records mailing envelope, with a postmark from December 28, 1977.
Two of the letters are on The Cryptic Corporation stationery, and two are on pink bonded Ralph Records stock, the former being the Residents' mysterious umbrella organization, the latter being their mysterious record label.
The letters themselves, while not as avant-garde as the Residents' musical identity and work, are quite entertaining, and shed much light on Clem's state of mind in the late 1970s, circa the release of the band's "Fingerprince" album. Clem discusses, among other things: the release of "Fingerprince" ("delayed daily for nitshit reasons that infuriate me"), the controversial Swastika image from "The Third Reich 'n Roll" that has caused the band some heat, but that they do not want to dismiss, Donna Summer ("She sends me"), the Residents' first single, "Santa Dog," their 1978 album "Duck Stab," the then-forthcoming 1979 album, "Eskimo," the ultra-obscure Residents' film "Vileness Fats," Throbbing Gristle, Blorpesette, Trouser Press, Mary Hartman, "Eraserhead," and "Forever Fernwood."
A revealing and content-intensive archive from the central figure in a band that has maintained its avant-garde stance and complete anonymity from its inception in 1969 until the present, embracing all forms of media, satire, art, and commentary.
Archive includes: (1) original Ralph Records mailing envelope, (2) a Residents silver gelatin press kit photograph from the "Eskimo" album, (3) three one-page typed letters signed (with holograph additions) on Cryptic Corporation stationery, (4) one typed letter signed on pink Ralph Records stationery, and (5) six photocopied press notices for The Residents, one with holograph notations by Clem. All pieces Near Fine excepting the mailing envelope, which is Very Good plus with light wear.