For a couple of months he comes in, a shaggy-haired, slightly slouched kind of a guy, with a pair of aviators that accentuate a certain Leonard Cohen-esqueness. In his hands there are always a few sheets of paper: song lyrics, snatches of short stories, news articles. Submissions, in other words, for the editor.
One day he comes in with a rolled up sheet of butcher paper tucked under his arm. It turns out to be a blown-up photo of himself, out in some thick patch of wood, smoking a cigarette with both delicacy and disinterest. The Tragedy of Hal Browning Fruit is written in shorthand above the treetops.
"My band's first album," he explains. "Any word yet?"
On another day, he comes in with a roll of film he's had developed.
"Here ya go," he says. The colors are maybe a little off, some of the negatives have cross-pollinated. But, still, they're dynamic and weird pictures, full of strange familiarity and familiar strangeness. They are the street lamps on Second and Lenora, neon signs glimmering from the obscurity of a closed bar, men and their newspapers on the seat of an idling bus. It's an interesting and unexpected moment: Pete Frisbee, who has been meandering in and out of the office every few days for about six months, has "it." Whatever "it" is. Let's call it talent.
Born in Portland while the Beatles and Stones -- bands that would later come to inform the sound of Hal Browning Fruit -- were invading America, Frisbee came to Seattle in the late '70s, where he worked in the "underworld" for a couple years. Along with his art, it is this statement (that word, "Underworld," delivered as flat as a pancake) that intrigues me most about Frisbee.
And like his art, he doesn't explain it. But I think I understand.