Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Update: Thax Douglas is alive and well

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Thax

Thax Douglas photo from his Facebook page.

The local rock 'n' roll poet posted this on his Facebook page six hours ago:

Thax Douglas wow--fwiw I have never attended much less read at Pitchfork- will write more tomorrow- thanks for the ♥ 's

An odd statement, since A.) It does not address how someone posted on his page yesterday, claiming to be his father and asserting that Thax was dead, and B.) Thax has attended Pitchfork in the past--or at least he tried to. The promoters said Friday night and Saturday morning that he tried to crash the fest without a ticket once, and they told him he had to come in like everyone else (that is, to pay). Thax apparently took this as being "banned" from the festival.

Could this all have been a way for Thax to get a dig in at Pitchfork by casting a maudlin pall on opening night and/or affirming that many local scenesters love his burly, bearded presence? Or was he punked by a hacker? Either way, it would be nice to hear the poet and scene mainstay explain what really happened.

This is not, by the way, Thax's first Internet controversy. A few years ago, he lashed out at Jeff Tweedy and Wilco, long some of his biggest fans and supporters, when they declined to let him read at one show (never mind the countless others where he did). When the band members were offended that the poet had turned on them, he then claimed not to have written the nasty and paranoid post in question.

Update: Thax has made two more posts related to this mysterious death on his Facebook page:

The message which I removed was by an anonymous hacker- I thought a certain friend of mine was playing a practical joke but he denied it. Altho reading you are dead seems like a curse-the publicity was entertaining so I will leave it at that. Sorry but not my fault.

btw I don't read at Pitchfork because I am good friends with the Intonation people and are uncomfortable with how the people who run the P festival treated my friends. I like Ryan Schreiber as a person- I'd just rather keep my distance from the festival-plus I do Lolla & 1 megafest a year is enuf!

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9 Comments

I thought Thax was moving to New York. I remember going to Lollapalooza in 2006, and he read before The Redwalls. I thought they said he was moving. Did he? Did he move back?

Your corrections substantially change the tone of this post and remove details about what happened at Pitchfork, but you haven't noted that with a correction or even any indication that you've been revising this in place. How is that supposed to work on a blog? I wonder if pro journalists have a higher standard to meet than amateur bloggers.

I've been seeing Thax at shows since about 1991 and while there's something to be said for "art", it's quite likely he's got any number of psychiatric disorders due to his near-homeless level of hygine. I could smell him from about 10 feet away last Thursday at the Hideout.

John Herndon of Tortoise "dedicated" their set to him so they were either in on it (esp. if he was ther) or got punked as well.

I'm not complaining. It's obvious that you're tuning the story as you develop it, just like you did with the Day 1 Pitchfork Festival story. But in a lot of other venues, each refinement would be appended to the end of the story as an "UPDATE", or the story would be corrected inline with a footnote about the correction.

I've just noticed you revising your stories more recently, and I'm wondering what the ettiquette is supposed to be. But, this is your busy season, so I'll stop being a pest.

Technically, Thax has never read at "Pitchfork." But in the first year of Intonation - curated by Pitchfork - he did read before Thunderbirds are Now! (as well as a couple other bands).

http://chicagoist.com/2006/01/19/thax_around_town.php

I think Tortoise was in on the joke Friday at Pitchfork. As Herndon was delivering the dedication, Dan Bitney was smirking.

This guy's a poet and who gives a s---?

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on July 18, 2009 10:41 AM.

Pitchfork 2009: Day I was the previous entry in this blog.

Pitchfork 2009: Day II is the next entry in this blog.

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