Bonus Dan Deacon Question: The Origin of the Green Skull


Another fine product from Safeway

Print media proved a woefully inadequate venue for my chat this week with goofy electronic savant Dan Deacon — space limitations prevented me from revealing the story behind the glowing green skull that figures prominently in his raucous live shows (and was once stolen, and then quickly returned). Here, then, is the relevant excerpt:

My friend wanted to know where you got the green skull.

Got it at a grocery store called Safeway on 25th Street in Baltimore. And I brought it home and I thought it was the awesomest thing.

This was an impulse purchase.

Yes. No it wasn’t! I went to the grocery store, and I went back the next week and thought, ‘I have to buy this when I go back.’ I thought about it for a while. It didn’t have the strobe light in it. And I was like, ‘I’ll have the white light on and it’ll be really bright and all of a sudden I’ll turn it off and the only thing will be this glowing skull.’ I tried it at a show at Wham City and it just didn’t do anything. The lights went off and people were just like what’s goin’ on? ‘Cause it was like a two-watt bulb. So I thought about it more and I took that light out and put a regular light in, and it worked a little better, but I just thought if I put a strobe-light in there–I think the term I used when I was doing it and my roommate Jimmy came in and was like, ‘What the hell are you doing,’ I was like, This thing’s gonna make me famous man! And I forgot even saying that until after it got stolen and then returned, and Jimmy was like, ‘You were right about that skull. It worked.’

As soon as I put the strobe light in it seemed to become this living beast. Probably because the toggle switch I made to toggle between the regular light and the strobe light was really poorly constructed, and I would electrocute myself every time I turned it on and off. So maybe a little bit of myself got sucked into there, or vice versa. Although I don’t like getting electrocuted, and I’ve since made a new switch that I only get electrocuted every couple shows, instead of constantly throughout the night.

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