Team 1984 says…
Shut Up Little Man: The Bootleg Volume 1
Shut Up, Little Man! is the title of a number of audio-verite recordings of two violent alcoholics, Raymond Huffman and Peter Haskett.
The recordings were made by “Eddie Lee Sausage” and “Mitchell D.”, who lived in a bright pink apartment buildingódubbed the “Pepto Bismol Palace”óin San Francisco’s Lower Haight district.
Eddie Lee and Mitchell moved into the apartment in 1987, and soon discovered their neighbors, Peter and Ray, who argued nearly constantly. There was also a third who is on tape, Peter’s gay lover, ex army man, vagrant Tony.
They were initially shocked and intimidated by the volume and intensity of the fights, which occasionally turned violent. Later, however, Eddie Lee and Mitchell became fascinated by the content of Ray and Peter’s yelling matches. Peter’s repeated insult of “Shut Up, Little Man!” became a fixture of Eddie Lee and Mitchell’s own conversations.
Eventually, Eddie and Mitchell began tape recording the arguments, and distributing copies among their friends.
Eddie Lee and Mitchell sometimes goaded Ray and Peter, such as with prank telephone calls, hoping to introduce new topics for the drunken pair to argue over.
In 1992, after Eddie had moved to Madison, Wisconsin to obtain a Masters Degree, he received a telephone call from San Francisco’s Bananafish magazine. Copies of Peter and Raymond’s tapes had found their way to the magazine’s editor, who was interested in arranging a commercial release of Ray and Peter’s screaming matches.
The first Shut Up, Little Man! compact disc was released in early 1993. A number of other volumes were issued later. The recordings quickly gained a cult following, and were adapted into comic books, zines, a theatrical production and the 2002independent film Shut Yer Dirty Little Mouth, starring Gill Gayle and Glenn Shadix as Ray and Peter, respectively.
The recordings found fame far beyond San Francisco. Lee reports that “I went to see (New York City-based) John Zorn, one of my favorite jazz composers, performing with his experimental game-playing ensemble, Cobra. The keyboard player had sampled Shut Up Little Man, and thus, throughout the evening - amidst the saxophone squawks
and grinding guitar breaks - there would be sampled little blasts of: ‘Shut your fuckin’ mouth!’ or ‘I want to kill!’”
Raymond Huffman died in 1992 , he was repeatedly kicked by Tony while lying in bed, and soon died from the trauma. Peter died in 1996 of liver problems due to years of excessive drinking. Tony was placed into a mental institution and his current whereabouts are unknown.
The band DEVO had a side project, “The Wipeouters” and on their only album there is a track titled “Shut Up, Little Man” using many samples of Ray and Peter.