Hardcorner in Paradise

After years of radio silence, USOUNDS is pleased to present the latest dispatch from T. Philips Hardcorner, tastemaker, addict, and unknown muse of writers, musicians, and truth-seekers the world over. We hope to make this a regular column and have sent Hardcorner several new albums to review…

The Mexican sun was burning holes through my desicated eyelids as I was awoken this afternoon by Carmelita, my common-law wife. She was waving a telegram over her head and blathering on in her ungodly Indian tongue. Judging by her frantic carryings on and what little I knew of her aboriginal language, I thought the United Nations had finally caught up with my for my heroic series of war crimes of the second world war. War crimes, indeed! The fate of the world had been in the balance! What were the lives of a couple dozen filthy Jerry prisoners in comparison, I ask you?

When I had gathered strength enough to pry the filthy missive from her clutching, hysterical grip I realized the situation was graver than that. Much graver. This wasn’t a summons to appear for before an international tribunal, but a dispatch from the U-Sounds headquarters. U-Sounds! I suppose I had always known they would track me down long before the international justice community ever could. Their methods are much more insideous, unbound as they are by treaties or the press. Miserable goddamn SOBs. So once again I buried the memory of those charred Tuetonic cadavers and turned to the contents of this long-anticipated, long-feared telegram.

It read:
T. Philips Hardcorner, 11 Pl. de Toros, Guanajuato, GTO 113-34, MEX. Have tracked you down via errant laudanum delivery boy, stop. Had your Los Angeles apartment staked out past 15 years, stop. Prior consumption legendary, boy acted on hunch, stop. Traced him to current supplier, R. Tiaverde Juarez, stop. You know better than trust Mexican junk-pusher, Hardcorner, stop. Make contact Roderigo Estalvo, Oso Seco, 7 C. Todos Santos, Guanajuato, stop. Will be there until 7pm tonight, stop. One call to Kofi Annan, Hardcorner–make connection, stop.

Vile bastards! Can’t they let a man wait out his golden years shooting junk in a Mexican hovel in peace? I sent my delirious whore-wife from the room and sat down to weigh the implications. Where was that goddamn morphine runner? Little Indian bastard knows I can’t even get out of bed without a spike by noon! Must be some opiated suppositories around here somewhere…. Carmelita, you whore! Stop that screeching and jam this glycerated wad up my ass! Ah, that’s it. Now let’s see.

Of course they were trying to get me back on staff. I’d broken every music wave from Scott Joplin to Janis. I’d torn apart hotel rooms with Al Jolsen and given Sid Vicious his first kiss of H. My record was impeccable–I was the best the world had ever seen. But I had gone on the lam for a reason, damnit, and I wasn’t about to return to a world even more squalid than my one-room cold-water Mexican flat, its walls papered with 15 years worth of smashed goddamn cucarachas. Have you ever been so drunk you don’t even know which Andrews Sister it is you’re nailing? All you know is she’s calling you her Boogie-Woogie Booty Boy and you dare not let up because she’s got a broken whiskey bottle in her hand. What about a deranged Bing Crosby so bent on ether he yanks down his pants with one hand while wielding a five iron in the other and demands you admire his fine, tight scrotum and who cares if it’s the goddamn Grauman’s premier of “Going My Way?” Now that’s depravity for you. Bunch of filthy reprobates. Anyway, I can’t leave this place–don’t they realize the carpet in this shithole is a junk goldmine! I could get high every day for the rest of my life just by smoking the fucking fibers! But they had me over a barrel, now. If I ever get my hands on that miserable Tiaverde! I’ll wrap my withered spiderfingers around his trackmarked neck and send him off to his reward. Loathsome goddamn spic mule….

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