Who or What is a TAPKAE?
I was born at a very young age.
I'm from San Diego, and so far I have never lived more than ten miles from where I was born. For a San Diegan, some would be surprised to find I never go to the beach. Likewise, I never go to Mexico if I can help it—not even to be a drunken teenager—though at the age of 21 I did drive four hot chicks there and got into every club for free (a lot of good that did me). Instead of being a drunken teenager, at the age of 16 I participated in a Martin Buber study group which prepared me for naming my dog 18 years later. I've smashed drum kits, printers, stereos, televisions, plastic models, bicycles, and bottles—something that I later deemed unnecessary since our universe is expanding, which means there will be more space between me and all those things that drive me crazy. I once ate too many chocolate chip cookies on a dare to impress a friend. He stopped being my friend after that (well, twelve years later or so), but I am such a fan of cookies I don't regret my cookie indiscretions. I play a mean Dsus2 chord on a Stratocaster. As a stage tech, I have been photographed extensively and populate the photo albums and home videos of people from around the world. I am big in Japan. I once rode my bike so fast I temporarily left the world in which I live, and achieved nirvana but you won't hear me talk about that much because I never really liked them much. My friend riding alongside me fell off and smashed his face in the pavement on the day after Christmas. He achieved a good place in line at the ER. I've used drugs, but only to make the world adhere better to my vision of perfection and to help my demons leave me by projectile sneezing. I was a criminal in second grade, but have since paid my debt to society, a nickel at a time. (Accounting for inflation, that would now be closer to a $20 bill at a time.) I have played a six-string bass with an air compressor. I later found the technique to be too clumsy and have since used an Ebow. I never smoked a cigarette. I tell timeless tales using only one syllable words. I bend sound mercilessly using my mouth and other body parts. I breathe light in and exhale gold vapor. I tell Jewish jokes to the Pope and he rolls on the floor laughing, probably because my knowledge of such jokes is eclipsed by his own from his days when he used to be a Nazi. I eat hamburgers made from sacred cows and tip the cows that aren't so sacred. I save the world daily, but it constantly runs away before the news crew gets here to film me doing so. I am the quintessential American, but smarter than many in power. Old ladies like me. Cats lick my hands on the first meeting. I am a budding expert in many things, not least of which is kama sutra sex. I play drums so loud God asks me to turn it down. I use elementary words and concepts around Republicans. I still write in whole sentences to piss off people who send text messages. I drink beer to impress friends and wine to act civilized around the dog—something that isn't too hard considering that habit he has as a result of natural prehensile flexibility. I spend my days contemplating the virtues of nakedness in public, and my nights realizing such dreams. I dream in H.R. GigerVision sometimes. M.C. Escher taught me to play guitar. I properly refer to the plural of "house" as "hice" and the singular of "rice" as "rouse." I sweet talked my way through my senior year in high school but never kissed the teachers. My head is sometimes in the clouds, my feet sometimes on the ground, my hands are in the cookie jar, but generally, my heart is in the right place, but that isn't in San Francisco, even as nice a town as that is. I have an IQ of 137, but failed algebra all through school. Now that I don't need to do math for a grade, I almost enjoy it, but that would almost be stretching the truth, and I'd never do that.
TAPKAE, the Name: From Whence?
It was back in the summer of 1996 when I started using the name "The Artist Presently Known As Ed." At first it was just the name of the recording project I had just finished in late July. Then, by later in the year, the name had rendered itself memorable enough that I just started using it as my artistic persona. It still gets a good response from people who see it on the CD or the business card. It also still confuses people who don't ever notice what TAPKAE stands for, or that "The Artist Presently Known As Ed" becomes "TAPKAE." I worked with a feller in the sound business for a few years before he put the two of them together. It was one of those aha!-slash-DUH! moments.
People wonder about TAPKAE. One guy thought it was Greek. I have some Greek in me, but no such luck. Some think it is Japanese. I have a Japanese automobile, but no such luck. Some think it is pronounced "tap-kEYE," some think it is "tap-KEY," and others think it is "tap-KAY," which phonetically is how I say it. Some people, too lazy to spell all six letters out or to speak two whole syllables, have resorted to "TAP," though you would never here me refer to myself as "The Artist Presently." One guy even just called me "Presently." He was the one who had to constantly remind himself that it wasn't "currently" or even "formerly." I think "presently" is far more amusing than "formerly." "Formerly" sort of sounds like I would be too good for my own name, when in fact, it suits me just fine. Who ever bothers to state the obvious? I am presently known as Ed. The "A" in TAPKAE usually means "artist" and of course that was all well and fine when I was a musician more than I am now. It was actually more fine when I actually did do things in a visual medium: websites and illustrations in the digital realm. Having moved on in life somewhat, and not doing either of those sort of makes me need to figure out what the A still stands for. At present, the "A" seems to stand for "activist" if anything. Some consider it to be asshole, some to be American, and some consider that calling myself that is pushing my luck these days! They might slip and call me the anarchist presently known as Ed. Hopefully not the antichrist presently known as Ed! I work too hard to avoid that.
There are also some concerns about the name wearing out its welcome. I have an answer for that too. The "P" now means "presently"—but before I took this persona/name, I was previously known as Ed. Before I was born, I was prenatally known as Ed. After I die, I will be posthumously known as Ed. I like to think that I will be perpetually known as Ed. If that is in fact the case, then this was a well-chosen name. I think it will age gracefully.
It could have meant "Tits, Ass, & Pussy Keeps Adolescents Engaged." Maybe it means "Terrorist Arabs Plot Killing Another Enemy." I hope not. I sort of like the first one better. Let's not rule out the more likely case for our age: "Today's American President Kills Arab Enemies." Or most despicably, "The Antichrist Preaches Killing American Enemies." Yow! I'd better quit while I'm still "free." Or else maybe it could more agreeably mean "The Amateur Philosopher Known As Ed."
The Pig Thing
If you just gotta know what it is with me and pigs, then you can read all about it here. You might want to ask your mom first to see if it's okay with her.