Monday, February 28, 2005

Stephen King writing crime

From the Hard Case Crime line:


2005-2006 Lineup Also Includes Lawrence Block,Donald Hamilton, Ed McBain and Donald E. Westlake

New York (February 28, 2005)

– Winterfall LLC, creator of the celebrated Hard Case Crime line of pulp-style paperback crime novels, today announced that a new book by Stephen King will be the leadtitle of the line's second year. The Colorado Kid tells the story of two veteran newspapermen and their investigation into the mysterious death of a man on an island off the coast of Maine. The book was written specifically for Hard Case Crime and has never previously been published. One of the most beloved storytellers ofall time, Stephen King is the world's best-selling novelist, withmore than 300,000,000 books in print.

(This line of books looks great, but no one sells them in Finland. Maybe there's a Stephen King book I will read!)

Alien films

I watched James Cameron's "Aliens" last night. It must Cameron's best film. This comes from someone who thinks Cameron is a severely overestimated director. The first "Terminator" is snappy, but the second one is ponderous and there's too much posing before camera. "Titanic" is overblown and at times pretty stupid. "True Lies" can be watched as postmodern parody, but I fail to notice it. And it's wildly racist and xenophobic. (As for "Abyss", I haven't seen it since it was new.) Did I forget something?

Cameron also wrote "Rambo", but you can pretty much guess that I don't care for the film and its hateful depiction of the Vietnamese soldiers. And Stallone is no actor. Just check his final monologue. (I know some people always say he's intelligent and a great guy. After all, he wrote the novelization of "Rocky II" himself! And he did write "Paradise Alley" and it was filmed only after it was published in hardback. (Maybe I should check these out. I'm going by memory.))

"Aliens", however, is exciting, intriguing and at times even touching. It's fast-moving and there's not too much posing as is the case with "T2". The tone is a bit militaristic and there's gun fetishism, but I don't mind.

Yet I don't give much credit to those who think "Aliens" is a deep film with many layers and meanings and comments about femalehood, motherhood and feminity and the power of patriachality. (Is that the right word?) I can see the parts where this discussion is relevant, but I don't see them in any other Cameron films, so they may be unintentional. After all, the tough female hero wasn't Cameron's idea (or Walter Hill's, who wrote the original story) as Ripley was very tough already in Ridley Scott's original film (which is, by the way, wildly better than Cameron's).

The Finnish TV will also show David Fincher's "Alien 3". I remember thinking it was an original and well-made film. Will see. Jean-Pierre Jeunet's "Alien Resurrection" was a disappointment, even though there were some chilling scenes. I remember especially the one in which the aliens swim under water! (And I haven't seen "Alien vs. Predator", as I wrote earlier.)

There were of course novelizations of the Alien films. Alan Dean Foster wrote the first three ones and the Jeunet film was novelized by Ann Crispin, whoever she is, from Joss Whedon's script. There was also "the official juvenile novelization" by Terry Bisson. Huh? I thought that these were no kiddies' movies. Marc Cerasini has written the Alien vs. Predator tie-in. Once again: who he? (Well, I checked. He seems to have written other tie-ins, too, including books about Ace Ventura and Jimmy Neutron Boy!)

One more comment. My dad who was once a movie critic didn't go to see the first Alien, because he thought it was just another space flick for which he didn't much care for. He saw it later and was blown out. He said that it's the best horror film he has ever seen.

Oh, one comment more. Or, rather, a memory. Some ten years back (how years go by!) I was the president of a movie club called Monroe in Tampere where I studied. We held a special Alien night with all the three movies. The show was a success and we sold more tickets than the theater allowed. Some guys sat on wooden chairs all night in side of the theater! As a surprise, we showed a Disney cartoon before "Alien 3" and it got crazy applaudes. I think it was "Donald's Better Self". We got it from the church - they had movies to rent at the time. (I phoned there some months ago and asked if they still had the service. The man in the phone said he'd never heard of such thing. They had a wonderful list of Disney shorts, one Norman McLaren and some other animations, with the rest being of course educational church films. Too bad this kind of thing wouldn't succeed anymore. The film distributors don't keep old films in stock anymore, which is a great shame!)

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Tie-ins (at last!)

I promised to write something about tie-ins, i.e. novelizations of movies and TV shows. Now as my Sunday work, I decided to write at least something. These are only random thoughts and anecdotes, so don't expect a highly formulated essay.

Tie-ins are somewhat marginal to the literary culture. They are only pulp fiction, written for money and to be read in an hour or two and then to be thrown away. That hasn't prevented some tie-ins to become cult favourites and collector's items. But nevertheless, tie-ins are what hacks write. That's what the establishment thinks and for some tie-ins (maybe most of them) that is true. There are some absurd books like the Knight Rider novelizations (by one Roger Hill - who he? I haven't found out any other books written by him, which makes me think it's a nom de guerre). I've also heard and read of some truly horrendous books, such as "Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman" by Arthur Scram or some such. (It's a novelization of a Mexican horror film, in case you're wondering, but the book is American. Author's real name was Leo Guild, if I remember correctly.)

There are some interesting books that wouldn't exist without the tie-in phenomenon. Orson Welles directed a film called "Mr. Arkadin" (or "Confidential Report") and an American publisher put out a tie-in that was credited to Welles, even though he hadn't intended it to be made into a book. Guy N. Smith (and some other British paperback writers) was asked to make new novelizations of Disney classics in the early seventies. British writer John Fearn Russell wrote the novelization of "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" even though the film was American and there was no American novelization. Later Ramsey Campbell wrote one, as Carl Dreadstone. What about those books that are based on films that never got made, such as Samuel Fuller's "Crown of India" (1966), which is a pretty good adventure yarn? Are they novelizations?

Someone has pointed out that Graham Greene's "The Third Man" is actually a tie-in, since it was published after the film was made. Arthur C. Clarke's "2001" is a tie-in. Kubrick's film is based "only" on Clarke's short story and he wrote the novel(ization) only later.

Finland has been pretty slow to produce its own novelizations. There are some, though. Katri Manninen who has later gained some fame for her fitness books started out writing books on the Salatut Elämät (Secret Lives) soap series. My pal Tapani Bagge wrote his first novel (after many pseudo- and anonymous paperbacks) on a TV series called Pelastajat (it's about fire men).

But this was in the nineties and I can't think of any previous examples. Finland hasn't been very good in merchandising. There's a classic Finnish film from the fourties called "Katariina ja Munkkiniemen kreivi". It's based on an early romance paperback that was reprinted when the movie was made, but it's never been reprinted since even though the film is shown regularly on TV! You'd think the book would make money.

So, it's a bit strange cultural phenomenon here, and not many novelizations have been translated. Finnish paperback houses published some in the early seventies without notifying the books were based on movies - I even doubt they knew it themselves! In the eighties and nineties some have been translated, but not regularly. There was a book called "The Good Son" by Todd Strasser that was based on a film in which Macaulay Culkin played a bad boy. The film was never shown in Finnish theatres and I think the publisher must've felt pretty much let down and after that their number of novelizations went down.

(By the way, Todd Strasser has also written books on Home Alone, Super Mario Bros., Lady and the Tramp and other films. Isn't Strasser "really" a respected YA author? He must make a living, I suppose. By the way, pt. 2: "The Good Son" was written originally by Ian McEwan who is a very respected literary author. Why didn't he make the tie-in? Maybe he was too busy.)

There are some writers specializing in novelizations. For example, Max Allan Collins and Alan Dean Foster have produced tons of them. Foster has said that in his novelizations, there's 40 % of his own and 60 % from the screenplay. Both have written books of their own, too, but some writers write only tie-ins.

I've read some good novelizations. Harry Whittington's "Charro" comes to mind. It's based on an Elvis western from 1969, directed by Charles Marquis Warren. It's reported to be pretty bad, but Whittington's novel is a good straight-forward adventure/action novel with plausible character development. Collin Wilcox wrote at least two tie-ins for the Marshal McCloud series (you know, the one with Dennis Weaver). They are solid police procedurals - such as those he wrote later. Steve Frazee's novelizations of Bonanza and High Chaparral for young readers are very good in their genre, touching and exciting, especially the Chaparral book "Apache Way" (Whitman 1969).

There are also novelizations of video and computer games and of comic books. I have read only one book of that kind - Robert Sheckley's "Alien Harvest" (from 1993, IIRC). Someone might say that it's no job for a veteran of Sheckley's stature to write a comic book novelization, but I thought the book was quite well executed, even though the aliens themselves weren't as frightening as in the first three films. (By the way, I haven't yet seen the fifth one, "Alien vs. Predator", but for some reason I don't think seeing it will be necessary... The fourth one has some good moments, but it lacks drama.)

Hey, I'm sorry - I *have* read other comic book novelizations, too: the Phantom books by Ron Goulart, based on the Lee Falk classic. They were certainly written fast, for fast money, but they were nevertheless entertaining. (It only occurred to me that Shadow and Doc Savage and other pulp heroes met more interesting villains than Phantom in these paperbacks.) As for the game novelizations, I haven't read any.

One interesting line still: Victor Miller who wrote Kojak tie-ins in the seventies is the same guy who wrote the screenplay for the first Friday the 13th film.

Time to go. There would so much to talk about these and the history of them, but maybe some other time.

Friday, February 18, 2005


I've now been reading larger parts of Algren's "Golden Arm" and getting to the taste of it. It seems though that the drama is getting deeper when Frankie Machine goes to jail, which proves once again that jail is a place for good drama.

Enough of this, though. We'll be having guests tonight and we are going to make some Italian risotto and drink lots of wine.

Seems that I'll never be able to write about tie-ins, as I promised. Ah well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Just a quick note

Just a quick note before I head for a massage: I've been busy rewriting my forth-coming book "White Heat: Introduction to the History of Cinema" and haven't had time to write anything here. Working on drafts is boring and it doesn't feel like real work. You don't get to produce anything new, which is what I think work is. Everything else seems redundant and could be left to other people to be finished.

There was a discussion on tie-ins at the Pulpetti group I moderate ( Check it out. It started out of two Dr. Who tie-ins that were published in the seventies in Finland even though the TV show has never ever been in Finnish television!

Check out also It's in Finnish and it's a nice blog, very well written by a friend of mine.

"Check it out"? Hmm.. where have I heard that before? On Conan O'Brien?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Vintage clothes

As has become apparent here, Elina and I are suckers for vintage clothes. The local UFF store has been having its normal clearance sale for almost two weeks now and we've amassed quite many vintage (and also not so vintage) clothes there. Today it was the two euros day (everything went by two euros) and I rushed in there to take out the fabulous seventies overcoat* I had been looking earlier on the three euros day. It was gone! Damn damn damn! What good did it do to me that I tried to save one lousy euro when I didn't get the coat? I cursed myself and said to Elina: "You regret the clothes you don't buy, not those you buy."

Luckily I found another marvellous overcoat. The original price was 50 euros! It was dark brown fake fur and had very nice buttons on it.

* Very tight fitting, very long, brown baize, a belt, and very strange buttoning system. I thought at first it was a ladies' coat, but it turned out to be a men's coat after all (I fear it was bought by a woman who will throw it away when she sees it's a men's coat). It was designed by Rohdi Heinz, who was a German-born designer who worked in Finland in the seventies. Damn again. I've liked all the Rohdi Heinz clothes I've seen. I could almost collect Rohdi Heinz! Have to get my shit together on this matter!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005



I've managed to put myself into a point where I have to go the library to find a reference book I already have. We moved a year ago and I haven't organized the shelves yet and I can't find a goddam thing in there! I was trying to check up some quotes from Rick Altman's "Film and Genre" and something from André Bazin, but I can't find them! I thought that the fastest way is to go the library (where I'm going anyway later today) and check the books there. But it is sooooo embarrassing. I won't admit this to anyone. Not a living soul.

(No, nothing on tie-ins at the mo'. Can't find the time.)

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Alcohol again; younger generation

I wrote earlier about hangovers. It's Sunday and I don't have to work, which is just good, since I got a bad hangover from last night. It's been a while since I've been boozing heavily. Now it feels like I will never ever booze again, but I realized that it's only because when you're having a hangover, you think you will never recover from it and if you start drinking again, your head hurts still and you still want to throw up etc. When you're having a hangover, you think it's permanent. That's why some people always say: "Never again!" I say "never say never", because I had wonderful time.

I went to a club some friends of mine were having just a block away from where we live. The DJ's played some nice tunes and there was this trio called Sir Trio that played free jazz covers. You read it right - Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman and that stuff. They were young guys, and I was explaining to someone that it's really great that the new generation (the audience and the DJ's and the band were all younger than me, maybe four to six or seven years) doesn't give a damn about the genres of the music. They play free jazz, but can also listen to the Sonics and 90's acid house and old school hip hop. It's funny actually, since my generation was quite rigid about genre borders. If you were a punk guy, you didn't listen to rockabilly or prog rock, and vice versa. Now it's all the same to them and I think that's very cool.

I was thinking about writing something about tv and movie tie-in books, since there was some discussion over at Ed Gorman's and James Reasoner's blog ( and - hey, I don't know how to make hyperlinks, could someone show me? :P ). But c'mon, man, I'm having a hangover. Who writes about tie-ins in a hangover?! But I will start from the Knight Rider novelizations. Has anyone read them? Does anyone know anything about Roger Hill who's said having written them? Does anyone read this?

Still reading Algren. I don't get to the rhythm of it. Started reading some John Ashbery, felt like I should read poetry again. Was watching earlier Bugs Bunny - great stuff! More power to him and especially Daffy Duck, my everlasting hero!

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The story of the Demars

This is an article for some US based indie zine - I forget the name, but it's the one Anthony Rettman publishes. The Demars is the band my kid brother Matias and our cousin Juho had 1995-1997. They recorded over 450 songs on C-cassettes - I call the music kiddies' hardcore. There's a 7" out from Lal Lal Lal called Blood Stains: The Best of the Demars (2004).

Masters of kiddies' hardcore
The Demars from Finland

The Demars is a loud fuck-off at your face. It’s a Finnish punk/hardcore/whatever band with only two guys in it, and the guys are only something between ten and fourteen.
Demars is also breath-takingly naive and absurd. The lyrics don’t make any sense or if they do, then there’s no logic in the world. Maybe there’s none, because they sing in their hit tune Pallomainen vittu/Ball-shaped Cunt: “Ball-shaped cunt / flies in your ass / ball-shaped cunt / you don’t understand / what’s flying / ball-shaped cunt / it visits your pants”. Get it? I don’t, but it’s funny as hell.

The story of The Demars begins at my father’s home. Matias, the guitarist-drummer of the band, is my kid brother from our father’s second marriage. I used to visit them a lot and we used to hang around from the time when Matias was just a kid.
He was a bit of a weirdo, drew strange pictures of strange cultures he’d invented himself and made weird home videos with a crap video camera.
We started playing our own songs when he was about five or six (that’s something like 1985 or -86). We taped the songs on C-cassettes. Sometimes our little sister Essi joined the sessions. I remember one in which I shouted “Back in the sixties!” and drummed the empty yoghurt can, with Essi or Matias playing the harmonica.
For some reason, our father had amassed lots of toy instruments, many of them pretty old, which we used in our sessions. Some of them were broken or at least not in good shape. At one point we decided to put up a band. That’s maybe too much said, because I remember that we just started playing. We used an old National Panasonic cassette player and at the start of the cassette I declared: “Ladies and gentlemen, now The National Panasonic Boys!” We taped three songs at our first session: Bylsimme sinut, Raju meininki päällä and one whose title I can’t recall. (The first one was a mistake: the title means “We fuck you”, but I didn’t know that at the time. I was only 14 or so. The second one means something like “The going gets tough”. It was about earthquakes and car crashes, sung with a fervor of a seven year old.)
The National Panasonic Boys lasted up to 1990. We taped some fifty or sixty songs, all improvised and played with a different set of instruments every time. The hit song was Robottien kosto/Revenge of the Robots, our only venture into electronica. Matias played the old toy organ (great sound! too bad the organ has since disappeared) and I played the plastic toy drum with an intensive beat.
It’s altogether possible that someone will issue the lost tapes of The National Panasonic Boys.
But that’s only the beginning. I moved out of our hometown, Pori, in 1990 and the band “split”. Matias was ten at the time. In 1993 or 1994 I came to visit Pori and Matias played me a cassette. He had formed a band called Pyro with a drummer friend of his. Matias had acquired an electronic guitar and played quite well for a self-educated punk man. The songs were pretty good, Ramones/Offspring-influenced punk pop. Pyro recorded some thirty songs and Matias’s capabilities as a songwriter got better with the time.
The spin-off from the whole game was a different issue altogether. We have a cousin called Juho, who is born in the mid-eighties, and he was eight when they made their first tape together in 1994. I gather the tape is lost, since I’ve never heard any of it. It’s rumoured to be acoustic and it was made in Forssa, where our uncle lives with his family. The band’s name might’ve been The Communists.
Juho visited Matias in 1995 in Pori and now they had Matias’s electronic guitar and some other instruments. They recorded the real first Demars session at the eighth store of a ten-story building. It’s amazing that no one ever complained.
The first Demars session is still one of the best to me. It includes some real classics like Maitoa mä juon/I Drink Milk, Laula/Sing a Song and Vanhan mummon kehtolaulu/Lullaby of an Old Granny. The songs are very, very crude, but they were like a breath of fresh air at the time: funny, absurd, at-your-face, irreverent and naive at the same time.
And the lyrics.. they are great. “Sing a song / and go fuck yourself / I can’t listen to you / if you won’t sing”. Say what?
There’s sure something of a punk attitude in the lyrics, but at times there’s not enough kick in it. Jälki-istunto/Detention tells about staying after school: “I got detention / it was a tough break / I got detention / I couldn’t get out / for another ten hours”. Hey, this is eight-year old singing!


The technology behind the Demars is astonishing. Now, Matias had his cheap guitar and a small Gorilla amplifier our dad had bought for 50 marks (8-9 dollars at the time). He also had a small drum pad you had to tap with your fingers. The songs were all improvised. Matias played the guitar and drums and Juho sang. They just decided the title of the song and started playing. I don’t believe any of the Demars songs have been composed beforehand (unless some of the last ones, which are quite sophisticated compared to the earlier ones). Matias said later that the worse the songs sounded live, the better they sounded afterwards.
Of course not all the Demars songs are good. There are some real clunkers, forgettable laugh-offs, but then there are some real gems, including Ball-shaped Cunt mentioned above. It’s fast and catchy. Even my wife likes it and she’s not into this kind of music at all. Well, to be honest, some of our friends have asked the music to be shut down.
The songs were all recorded with an eighties cassette player. So, you were supposed to have only one track. For some reason, though, you were able to record in two tracks with it. First they recorded the song with guitar and vocals, then Matias rewinded the tape and recorded the drums over it. It worked to everyone’s surprise.
One thing about the recording technology: many of the Demars sessions were recorded on game C-cassettes our father had bought somewhere. They were all the same Batman game.


The lyrics are part of the game. You don’t always hear what Juho is singing about. But when you can make the lyrics out, you’ll be delighted. In Veriläiskiä/Blood Stains Juho sings something like this: “Veriläiskiä / joka puolella / veriläiskiä on lakupekan päässä”, which translates as “Blood stains / all over/ blood stains / are on the licorice guy’s head”. I burst out laughing every time I think of that. Elina, my wife, said that they must’ve been eating licorice candies when they were recording the song.
Then there’s one song which strikes me as an example of pure genius. I don’t know what’s actually happening, but all of a sudden Matias starts singing too, something totally different from what Juho is screaming. Their voices couldn’t differ more – Juho screams at high pitch, Matias has a low baritone. The contrast is great and makes up a great song, which unfortunately isn’t on the Veriläiskiä EP. I can’t remember the title.
What does Demars mean? “Demari” is a Finnish word used to describe the socialdemocrats who are the biggest party in Finland – they are left from the American democrats, but very far from the extreme left and communists. There’s no word “demar”, which should be the English equivalent, but who cares?
Demars made some political songs about socialdemocrats and they are not nice. To be frank, I never understood the political agenda behind the Demars, but clearly there’s none.
Unless one counts the song which is one of the first, called Heap of Dung. Juho sings or screams: “Fucking huge / heap of dung / it’s cows who make them / and commies who smell them”.

Fast boys

The cassettes kept on coming. The boys were fast. They had appr. 4,3 “albums” every year, totalling in thirteen.
The songs got better and better, including the one session where I was in. I played the organ in two songs, called Utsjoki yllätti/Utsjoki Has a Surprise and Roihuat/You Are in Flames. Utsjoki is a small town in the Finnish Lappi, but that’s all I know of what the songs are about. I can’t make out anything of what Juho sings, even though I was present at the time. That’s also me who kicks the Lal Lal Lal issue going with the shout “Yy kaa koo”. It’s Finnish and means simply “one, two, three”.
The two songs are what turned Lal Lal Lal’s Roope Eronen to put out the Demars 7”. We had a party couple of years back and after midnight I started playing some songs at the downstairs disco we had (it was actually our study). It was either Utsjoki yllätti or Roihuat playing when Roope’s eyes began to shine and he asked: “What is this?”
One of the best Demars songs is Vehkeilijä/Con Man. It starts with the gripping, almost funky riff. The lyrics are again crop of the cream: “Con man / lived in Fuck Alley 6 / but he will come back”.
Some of the Demars sessions were what you might call concept albums. Muna-albumi was one of those. In it all songs had the word “muna” in them. It means “egg” in English, although I believe the boys had something else in mind, since it also means “dick” or “cock”. There are songs like Salimuna/Gym Egg, Pimppimuna/Pussy Egg, Lohimuna/Salmon Egg, Plektramuna/Plectra Egg... The buys must’ve invented these titles as they go.
The boys also had something of media critique in mind. There’s a great song called Helsingin Sanomat in which there’s a brooding slow death metal riff and Juho repeating in a very low voice the words “Helsingin Sanomat” over and over again. Helsingin Sanomat is the biggest newspaper in Finland, so you could gather Matias and Juho had something nasty to say about them.
Well, then maybe not. Who can tell with these guys?
Some of the later songs were not all so crude. For example Siementerska/Semen Glans Penis is almost psychedelic, in the manner of Syd Barrett’s solo work, with carefully recorded two guitars. The boys also could slow down: Vanhan ajan panolaulu/The Good Old Fuck Song is a nice and clean acoustic folk song. There’s funny discrepancy between the titles and the feel of the songs.

Electronic department

Demars also made three electronic masterpieces. The best of them is clearly Lada of which Kompleksi of the pHinnWeb fame ( may do a cover song at one point. It’s a rollicking and very light pop piece about Lada, the Soviet car that our father used to drive. “Jos ajetaan ja ajetaan / pitää olla Lada”, improvises Juho (“If you drive and drive / you gotta have Lada”). The tunes are made with an old plastic organ.
The other two electro tunes are Munakenno/Egg Cell, in which Juho doesn’t clearly know what “munakenno” is and he seems to think that it’s someone’s name, and Leonardo which is again a great tune, slowly and stomach-grindingly swinging song about someone called Leonardo. I don’t know what’s it about. At one point Juho sings: “Leonardo antaa meille läksynsä”, meaning “Leonardo gives us his homework”. Great verse there, huh?

Catalogue of over 400 songs

As it always happens, the drive behind Demars started to fade out as the millennium drew close. Their last “album” Isänmaan parturit/The Barbers of Fatherland came out in 1997. Matias has had another bands going and Juho has since learned to play – his instrument is guitar.
The bands Matias has been in have been great. One of them was called Tha Aslak and they had a great tune called Hornaan sun tiesi vie/Your Road Will Lead to Hell, which mixes tango, ska and death metal in one astonishing tune. Matias had also Pornolääkäri/Porno Doctor which plays one instrumental tune hours on end and some other bands with equally great names.
Demars are nevertheless a great band which deserves to be known better. The Lal Lal Lal 7” isn’t enough. Demars recorded over 450 songs and you should hear them all.
In 2002 Matias made a CD-R with 110 Demars songs. It has had a very limited distribution, but maybe someday it will be issued for a larger audience.

The Demars discography (all C-cassettes)

The Demars, 1995
Väsyneitä juttuja/Tired Stuff, 1995
Natsisika/Nazi Pig, 1995
Pervot sosiaalidemokraatit/Perverted Socialdemocrats, 1995 or 1996
Demarit aikuistumassa/Demars Growing Up, 1996
Unplugged, 1996 or 1997
Demarivaltio/Demars State, 1997
Muna-albumi/The Egg Album, 1997
Vitunkatu 6/Fuck Street 6, 1997
Vitu riskaabeli/Fuk’n Dangerous, 1997
Leonardo, 1997
Isänmaan parturit/The Barbers of Fatherland, 1997