It was 1995 Valentine’s Day, and I arrived at work early, and I was mostly alone in the office. The phone rang, and I answered with my usual greeting, “Good morning” (the company name), “may I help you?”. It was a man with a British accent. He spoke very slowly and clearly when he asked me, “Can I have your fax number?” I was a bit startled. His voice sounded familiar. I gave him our fax number and hung up.
A man with a British accent had never called the office while I was answering the phone. I had to know what was in the fax he was sending. I went over to the fax machine and watched as the paper slowly moved forward. Large letters at the top of the page were coming through, and then I saw it in bold letters, the name PALMER at the top of the page. I felt sick, and I took the paper to my desk and just stared at it. My hands and the paper were shaking. Then I realized where I had heard that man’s voice before. He sounded just like ELP’s manager Stewart Young, who called my house and to who I had talked on the phone.
I put the fax on top of my boss’s mail. It was from a company in Canada with whom we hadn’t been doing business. My boss didn’t seem interested in the fax at all. Before I gave it to him, I made a copy of it and was about to keep it, but it was so freaky I threw it away and tried to forget about it all. It wasn’t my property to keep anyways, and besides, it was from a legitimate company in Canada. It wasn’t something I could use as proof of being stalked. Palmer and his friends did it again. They covered themselves very well but managed to scare, haunt and stalk me on Valentine’s Day.
I had lost my previous job because I was so upset about what Palmer was doing that I couldn’t go to work. It was a struggle to remain calm and acquire that new job, only to be stalked there. How did they find me there? Did they want me to freak out at my new job? Well, I didn’t.
I remember so clearly when I wrote to Gilmour and told him about the incident. I asked, “Why won’t they leave me alone?” It was as though Palmer wasn’t about to be intimated by the message The Division Bell lyrics and artwork was sending him.
Emerson Lake & Palmer released their last album, In the Hot Seat, in September of 1994. I didn’t even know about it at the time. I never cared to listen to it. Who were they putting in the hot seat?
On May 29, 1995, Rod Stewart’s Spanner in the Works was released. It was incredible how beautiful and inspirational the songs were, and still are, to me. I believe Gilmour told Stewart what was going on and how I needed more help as I was still being stalked and harassed. (I wrote about hanging out with Rod Stewart and Faces in Chapter Two). So now it was like more old friends had come back from my past to help me out.
The title “Spanner in the Works“ means to cause disruption deliberately, to interfere with the running of something.
In the ELP album cover art, it shows a train with an ELP logo on it and a chair on the tracks about to be smashed. On Stewart’s album cover, he’s sitting in a big beautiful chair to show that he and his music are the spanner itself to stop the ELP train from continuing to do me harm. It’s to tell Palmer and his friends to leave me alone and stop their hideous hateful stalking. Other songs on the album are so beautiful and gave me hope and the strength to keep trying to tell my story.
After Stewart’s album came out, Palmer never stalked me again. There were more lyrics from the band ASIA, but I didn’t pay much attention. I knew, if anything, they were all lies anyways.
Both album covers are in black and gold. Musicians were speaking to musicians with lyrics and artwork. Like the Pink Floyd lyrics, “Haven’t you heard it’s a battle of words?”
Also, Emerson Lake & Palmer released two albums in 1977, Works Volume 1 and Works Volume 2. So the phrase spanner in the works meant even more.
The one song on Stewart’s album that stood out the most is “Leave Virginia Alone.” I read that Tom Petty wrote it in 1993, and he gave the song to Stewart. It was amazing to find out many years later that my friend Chris Adamson also worked as tour manager/director and production manager for Tom Petty and Emerson Lake & Palmer, and Pink Floyd. For so long, I had only known about his job with Pink Floyd.
Regarding the song “Leave Virginia Alone,” Tom Petty never said what the song was about and that he wanted to leave its meaning up to the listener.
The song means the world to me. When a legendary musician speaks to another legendary musician, it’s easy to understand the meaning of “she’s not like you and me.” She’s not a rock star like you and me, so leave her alone.
“Well they chased her down the alley and over the hill to steal her will.”
They tried to steal my will to live. You only have to read my story to see what happened. And you can decide for yourself. All I know for sure is that the song worked, and I wasn’t bothered anymore, and they left me alone.
“When the ‘A’ crowd came” represents Palmer’s band ASIA who came onto the scene with their love songs to adore my brain. That means to make me believe that Palmer loved me all along, so I would never tell about him and what he did that horrid night in ‘73.
I’m not sure where Tom Petty got the name Virginia from, but I am a Virgo. I believe the name comes from the old song “Sweet Virginia” by The Rolling Stones. It encourages and begs a friend to come on down from being too high or, in my case, to come on down from that expressway over-pass and not to jump.
Leave Virginia Alone” was initially meant to be on Tom Petty’s studio album Wildflowers, but the track did not make the album. In a Billboard interview with Rod Stewart, Stewart revealed that Petty’s manager gave him the song and that he did not like the song and had to be convinced to record the track.
That’s funny that Stewart had to be convinced, perhaps by a third party. Was Gilmour the third party? They all had to cover their tracks on this song because, to me, it speaks directly to Palmer and his creepy friends and tells them to leave me alone.
“Leave Virginia Alone” was sung by the writer Tom Petty and would later appear on the tracklist for the posthumous album released by his estate, Wildflowers & All The Rest. The song was released as a single from the album on October 1, 2020. It’s just so beautiful.
My interpretation of Rod Stewart Leave Virginia Alone (Official Video).
A woman looks out the window and is waiting for a man, it seems. She decides to pack a suitcase and take a bus to the beautiful place she believed he’d be and where she thought she’d be welcome. When she arrived, no one was there to greet her. The furniture was covered up, and boxes were filled as if the person she came to see had moved.
She seemed to be trying to give a press conference because she had something important to say, and she was annoyed with all the cameras in her face. She ran and hid from the guys with big paper mache heads who wouldn’t leave her alone. Then she ends up leaving and going right back to where she started. The trip to a beautiful place wasn’t what she believed it would be.
In Wikipedia for this particular video, there is an article, which I won’t even repeat. It’s just a very sick interpretation about the woman in this beautiful Tom Petty song.
The song helped save a woman who did nothing wrong and ran away from people who tried to force her into a sexual situation and photograph her to ruin her reputation. And that’s part of my story.
Rod Stewart wrote the song “Shock to the System,” and it is the B side to “Leave Virginia Alone” with the lyrics “She came from the Motor City, played piano in a rockin’ blues band.” I came from the Motor City, but I played drums in a rockin’ blues band. Not exact, but closer to describing me than anyone has ever done before. I was shocked when I heard it.
I had “the old folks out on Sunday” going to church, mostly old folks there. “With an eye for Polynesian art.” Made me think of the style artwork on the Asia album covers.
“Well, she earned a whole lot of money And went back home to Michigan” I never left Michigan and never made much money.
“As I was walking home one night In the streets that never sleep In that subterranean part of town Where love is never found.”
After Stewart asked my friends and me for a ride to his hotel, we walked through a rough part of Detroit’s east side to get to my car.
Now, this next part is hilarious and NOT true at all, and so NOT like me!! “On a billboard on the topless place, I noticed her pretty face. It said appearing here twice nightly.” Once again, that’s not me at all. It’s really funny, though.
Thanks so much, Sir Rod!
And Thank You so much to my old friend Chris Adamson. I finally found out where you were!
I never got the chance to say thank you to Tom Petty, but somehow I know that he knows. So many of his songs still inspire me to keep going and tell my story.
I have many more people to thank before I’m done writing.
(Note: On May 1, 2021, I sent a letter to Pink Floyd music publishers asking permission to use song lyrics, album, and CD booklet artwork. I gave them the address to this website, in case they want to see what I’m using. It’s been five months since October 1, 2021, and I haven’t heard anything back from them. If I don’t hear back, then I can legally go ahead using the copyrighted material. If this story goes into book form, it will be stated on the imprint page that “All reasonable efforts have been made to contact the copyright holders” and that anyone who believes their copyright to be infringed is welcome to contact the publisher).
In 1995, Sean Heisler, a fan from the Pink Floyd online newsgroup, spoke on the phone to Storm Thorgerson, the graphic designer and music video director for Pink Floyd.
I knew Storm couldn’t give any details but could provide clues, and he did. During the interview, out of the blue, Storm said, “Where there is smoke, there is fire.”
Then later, he was asked if he knew the answer to the question that Publius had asked fans “Why would the newspaper be crumpled?”. Storm laughed and said, “Really, I have to go. You will have to reach me at work.”
Storm laughed because he had just answered the question with his comment of “Where there is smoke, there is fire.” Because the answer to Publius’ question, “Why would the newspaper be crumpled?” is to start a fire or fire.
Regarding the newspaper, Storm said, “Well, I guess the heads were formed that way….you know to make them three dimensional to look like heads, they were facing each other…the name of the song is on the newspaper, well it is a love song.”
So what he was implying is that the heads on the album cover also represent a man and woman and a love song, which I’ve been saying all along.
Storm’s comment, “Where there is smoke, there is fire,” may have originally referred to the ruins smoke clue shown during “Sorrow” behind the band in the PULSE video. I’ve shown that previously.
Then Storm said, “If Publius is so fucking smart, then ask him what the meaning of the back of The Division Bell cd booklet means, ask him why there is only two hands and three banners?”
If you hold the above picture up to the light, you see a man with a cape from the other side in the circle.
Also, on the back of the 1994 American tour guide, you see the three flags artwork again. What is on the other side of the page directly opposite of the missing man? The name Storm Thorgerson. You need a bright light to see through the page, as it is thicker.
It’s funny the way Storm mentioned the clues that he put in the artwork. He couldn’t give direct answers. And the way he talked about Publius was strange. He covered it up so well that perhaps Storm was Publius or a part of a group of people posting as Publius. He included himself when putting clues in the artwork.
I’ve already mentioned earlier, the man with the pointed cape or flag on his back appears on another page in the American tour guide. When you hold the page with the cities listed up to the light, the man stands directly between the I and T of DETROIT, and the flag points to it. The clue is, IT is Detroit. Clues had been given to fans about finding a location where all would be revealed. I’m from Detroit, and I have been telling the story for years now.
He was asked about the Publius Enigma and said, “What do you mean Enigma? There are well, many Enigma’s, not one Enigma, maybe more than one or several.” And that’s very true. There are enigmas within enigmas.
Storm Thorgerson sadly passed away in 2013. David Gilmour released a statement describing him as “a constant force in my life, both at work and in private, a shoulder to cry on, and a great friend.”
After the anonymous messenger Publius stopped posting to the Pink Floyd online newsgroup, a new messenger using the moniker Genesis started posting clues. They posted about 60 messages from 1997 through 2006. I won’t show all the messages here, most were very wordy, and the same clues were repeated. The messages can be found on the Internet. But I’ll interpret the important clues given.
Genesis gave a clue “What’s been missing??? The wars they have fought, and the flags they have flown, may carry upward with chills of an appearance long forgotten and almost unknown ))) Just open your eyes, see, and under I’ll be”.
I explained the clues about the three flags and the missing man to the newsgroup as I had just done here when I wrote about Storm’s comment. He referred to the flags as banners. Then Genesis wrote, “A sharP Eye has found the flags)))” and in another post, he wrote: “A sharP Eye has given the location of the flags.”
Also, the Genesis clue “and under I’ll be” fits the fact that Storm Thorgerson’s name is under the back page of the tour guide with the flags. He only spoke about the back page of the CD booklet. He couldn’t mention the tour guide because his name was underneath the page directly where the missing man would be.
In another post, Genesis wrote “A=Sharpe<))eye,” which also refers to the clue in the American tour guide how the cape points to Detroit. It also refers to how the cape points to the boxing glove in the cd booklet when held up to the light. My last name is Sharpe, and I’m from Detroit and Michigan is considered the glove-shaped or mitten state. Storm must have been told where I was from to put those clues in the artwork.
Genesis also wrote, “Finding a sharP Eye will be your test.” In the CD booklet showing the mirrorball or glitter ball, you see the same face image in each square. When you enlarge the image, you can see a shadow, and the light on the eye forms an S. It seems Storm was told my last name was Sharpe to create the S artwork around the eye. And then for Genesis to give the clue Sharpe eye, Storm may have been posting as Publius and Genesis by himself or with a group of people.
I already knew the story behind The Division Bell lyrics and some artwork but didn’t know who Publius was or wrote the messages. But through the clues of Publius and Genesis, I was able to find more things in the album’s artwork. It was up to the fans to find the clues and then find my location and me, and then I would tell the story. But here I am, revealing the story and interpreting clues. It didn’t work out the way it was planned, and fans didn’t care.
Five of Genesis’ early messages were titled “CHAPTER One,” Author: Genesis. That subject title was a clue in itself. It represents the beginning of time or, in the case of the Enigma, the beginning of the video for the song “Time.”
On The Division Bell tour,at the beginning of the song “Time,” there’s a video shown on the screen behind the band. Genesis refers to a key within the first two minutes of “Time,” which will unlock the mystery.
Genesis wrote, “If you watch for two minutes, you miss the key.” If you watch the video “Time” (PULSE restored and re-edited) on the Official Pink Floyd YouTube channel, you see a wheel of objects. Genesis wrote, “I need your wheel to complete our journey together.” “It takes the time and a collective wheel of objects you find using the total messages” and “point you in the right direction.” Genesis wrote the clue of “The sum of the numbers from messages 1 and 2,,, can break the code”. The answer to that seems to be as simple as 3. I believe the key is the lion shown at 0:38 in that YouTube video.
When the wheel turns, the lion flies off to the right. Why a lion is the key should be self-explanatory if you read the story. A Manticore has the face of a man, the body of a lion. In 1973 ELP launched their own record company under the Manticore label. And I am in the film first shown on THE OLD GREY WHISTLE TEST: ELP ON TOUR’: broadcast on 26/12/73 – ‘BBC/Manticore Films.’
In the YouTube video of “Time” during The Division Bell tour, the wheel is shown flat, and the lion flies off it, and you see the letter C, and the sundial with the lady’s face appears. That’s the artwork that shows one sun ray intentionally clipped to reveal an image of a lion.
These clues drew me to the song “Wot’s…Uh The Deal?” written by Gilmour and Waters. It’s from the 1972 album, Obscured by Clouds. The lyrics “Flash the readies, Wot’s…Uh the Deal” is a phrase used by my friend Chris Adamson. I may have heard him say it a few times. Also, Chris worked for ELP before he worked for Pink Floyd.
The lyrics in that song, “Show me where the key is kept,” “Point me down the right line because it’s time,” and “Try to keep up with the turning of the wheel,” give clues. The old lyrics mean even more today, and that’s precisely what Gilmour said.
“Cause I’m the man on the outside looking in” and “Now I’m the man on the inside looking out” seems to describe the man with the cape and its point in the Tour program and the CD booklet. He looks out and looks in whichever way you hold the page up to the light.
It seemed as though Storm Thorgerson based the clues on the old song. Then when the Genesis clues were given to fans, they would refer to the old song lyrics. Fans probably wouldn’t think an old song could provide new hints of the enigma. Sometimes it was just enigmatic how old Pink Floyd song lyrics were foretelling the future.
During the restored and re-edited Pulse concert, the wheel is tilted, which draws attention to the lyrics, “Try to keep up with the turning of the wheel.” And the Sundial is not shown, directing fans to investigate.
Gilmour played the song at the Live in Gdansk concert on August 26, 2006. But it only appears over the end credits of the Live in Gdansk DVD. Fans posted videos of it on YouTube, and after the lyrics “Try to keep up with the turning of the wheel,” Gilmour gives a strange look. He points his eyes downwards to his right. That was a definite signal for the lyrics, “Point me down the right line because it’s time.” When you put all the puzzle pieces together, it does make a complete picture.
Genesis gave a clue “Backwards we fall.” And “the key has a keeper.” I thought of a timekeeper, which refers to the timekeeper or mechanical drummer in the “Time” video.
You can see a long wire with a crescent-shaped C at the end of it, and it’s connected to the mechanical drummer, and he is wearing a mask. And then, as he turns and falls backward, the timekeeper has a woman’s face. Carl Palmer wore a mask when he played with Arthur Brown, and I was a drummer at one time.
So the timekeeper holds the key. And I’ve been telling all about Carl Palmer and the horrible things he and his friends did to me. The clues in “Time” are meant to help me be believed when I tell the story behind The Division Bell.
In his messages, Genesis wrote, “If you follow the new ‘breathe’ you’re listening like never before.” In several messages, Genesis wrote, “Follow the breathe.”
I wrote in the newsgroup how a recording from the Detroit concert with my voice, from the front row, was used in the song “Breathe (In the Air”) in the 1995 PULSE DVD and CD. And I told them how the recording was used again during the 2005 Live 8 Pink Floyd reunion show. No one believed it. It was also used two more times in 2006 Live in Gdańsk live album and DVD by David Gilmour, and 2007 Remember That Night Royal Albert Hall.
In 2005 Pink Floyd was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame by Pete Townshend (The Who). A clip from the Live 8 reunion show was shown on screen, and the performance of “Breathe (in the air)” was used.
There was also a segment shown with various artists praising the music of Pink Floyd. Rick Wakeman (Yes) was first and said, “When the first list was being drawn up in the rock ‘n’ roll book of Genesis, it would have been: In the beginning, God created Pink Floyd.” (Rick Wakeman wasn’t with the band Yes when they recorded their 1994 album Talk.) Then later, Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins) spoke.
I will never forget the moment I saw the cover of the Smashing Pumpkins album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It was 1995,and I was still trying to find somewhere to tell my story and be believed.
I was shopping at the mall across from the record store, and something caught my eye. And I quickly turned and saw the artwork displayed. I was shocked. I had never seen a picture that expressed exactly what I had been experiencing. The woman was stuck in a star and seemed lost. She was a half-human and half star. It was like I was looking at my circumstances. She seemed to be looking up to heaven, and her eyes were like the eyes of saints on Holy cards.
It was scary to see at first, so I didn’t go into the store, and I went home. Later I found out about the album and how the title was about melancholy and sadness, just like I had been experiencing.
In 1996 Pink Floyd was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame by Billy Corgan. He played acoustic guitar during the ceremony with Pink Floyd when they performed their song “Wish You Were Here.”
When I found out about that, I was glad thinking that maybe Gilmour was getting his musician friends to help me to tell the story.
The song “Tonight, Tonight” was significant to me, mainly the lyrics, “You’re not stuck in vain” and “The indescribable moments of your life.” The words “But you’re sure you could be right if you held yourself up to the light” seemed like a clue about holding The Division Bell artwork up to the light. And I’m sure that I’m right.
I have to keep believing that the impossible is possible and that I can somehow describe it all now and finally be understood. I wasn’t stuck in vain, and I’m still not. I still believe.
Next Chapter 13. Coming soon..