April, 1988: Victor Herbert Goes Rogue

LeRoy and Schiing testing fake Remo conga skins at our facility in the Dolomite Mountains

The inventor Paul LeRoy (28 at this time and, therefore, currently unaware of his own death), met up with our percussionist Schiing the other day. They discussed, amongst other things, the incident that shook the time-travelling community last month (or, last month thirty-five years ago, to be precise), when a young and out-of-time Victor Herbert somehow managed to delay David Mamet’s play Speed-the-Plow.

It was rescheduled from April 13 to May 3, 1988, and it caused all kinds of havoc in the time-space continuum. Safe to say, Herbert is not a popular man at this particular moment in time. Everyone involved in the business knows that if you reschedule a Mamet play by a certain amount of days, all his other plays will be rescheduled accordingly. This interferes with the actors’ schedules, and, because these are often big names involved in a variety of projects, important movies and plays will be moved or cancelled.

Indeed, Mamet wrote Our American Cousin under his Tom Taylor pseudonym in 1857, and as a consequence this episode reintroduced the 1865 Abraham Lincoln assassination to history. This hasn’t occurred since the George VI tea incident.

One can only speculate what was on Herbert’s mind, but it is well known that since learning about his fate and reputation post-Eileen (1917) when he was forced to compose in a simpler style in a misguided attempt to pander to newer musical sensibilities, he has become a bitter man, and many believe that he was also responsible for the recent HarperCollins Bridgerton misprint scandal.

LeRoy and Schiing also discussed the impact of fake Remo conga skins in the broader context of pop and easy listening, and how this might have affected the popularity of Peter Allen’s classic live version of I Go to Rio across the different time rifts.

We hope to bring you a YouTube video of the entire discussion soon.