The Man in the Iron (Polar Bear) Mask
Pleaseeasaur Reveals All
Interview by Grant Cogswell
Unsuspecting audiences have been startled, freaked out and cracked up in recent years by the experience of going to see some band they know (the list of bands Pleaseeasaur has shared a bill with is endless and very diverse) only to find sometime in the evening the phenomenon of a variously costumed, singing, dancing JP Hasson getting all up in their grill. Part infomercial, part instructional video, part science-fiction musical revue, Pleeaseasaur will make you piss your pants. I sat down and exchanged a few emails with the man in the giant prosthetic head-and-gingham dress (and the polar bear costume, and the cop uniform), John-Peter G. Hasson, known to the multitudes as Pleaseeasaur.
NM: Single? Married? Dating? Engaged?
JP: Single. Straight.
NM: Where do you live?
JP: Capitol Hill.
NM: What is your place of birth, and means of financial support?
JP: Seattle, Washington. Pleaseeasaur.
NM: How tall are you?
JP: 6 feet.
NM: What are the mission, history and significant characteristics of a Pleaseeasaur?
JP: We just want to help people and pay off our new van.
NM: What is your method of composition?
JP: Falling asleep with the television on. Really.
NM: Does your performance of ‘Bowl Noodle Hot’ make you hungry?
JP: Yes. But luckily due to the wild success of the song ‘Bowl Noodle Hot’ around the world…we have garnered a certain catering sponsorship by the Nong Shim Corp. of Korea (the manufacturers of the actual Bowl Noodle Hot) of which we require three cases…neatly stacked in our backstage dressing room…along with one box of white wine…and some of those white towels.
NM: Where did you score the polar bear outfit?
JP: It was custom made by Thomas Hurley III, who is a fantastically skilled seams-man. More importantly, however, is that he is the other half of Pleaseeasaur as master of the live projections/props/lighting tech. And he makes all of the other costumes…and was born in Rhode Island by the way.
NM: What is your opinion on the fate of the Alaskan Way Viaduct?
JP: Similar to a bad bad dog…diggin’ a hole seems like a good idea. But that’s expensive and reeks of Boston’s Big Dig project. I think the proper question is perhaps: What would Ivar Haglund think?
NM: Who and what are your major influences?
JP: Ron Popeil, the ultra-inventor and proprietor of RONCO Inc. He developed the Ronco Electric Food Dehydrator and the Spray-On Aerosol Hair and the Rotisserie — just set it and forget it! — Peter Thomas & His Sound Orchestra, the most fantastic group of musik-makers in the world! Thomas was the composer for German Television and films such as Rampatrouille (Space Patrol), which is the German equivalent to Star Trek (circa 1970s) but better! Plus he did a bunch of German soft-core porn movies I have never seen, but I have the albums. He is still alive and living in Switzerland and he and I have been in contact for potential collaborations. I got into him via Mike Patton from Mr. Bungle. Iâ€™m also influenced by OG Readmore, this animated cat who had brief segments on Saturday Morning Cartoons in the 80s, coaxing children to READ instead of watch TV. And my parents. My parents are radical. Very influential in my life and extremely supportive of my life as Pleaseeasaur. Also Bob Newhart, the Dead Milkmen and Ennio Morricone.
NM: Do you have any ministers in your family? Would you consider a “faith-based” adaptation of your live act if you underwent a conversion? (You have a very preacherly bearing.)
JP: Nope, no ministers in my family. I did not grow up being religious, but I have coincidentally adapted Pleaseeasaur into a potentially profitable Christian entertainment show called PLESUS-CHRIST. Same format as Pleaseeasaur, but songs about Noah’s ark and Ezekiel’s wheel and shit.
NM: What is your favorite Seattle institution?
JP: The Seattle Mariners (lifelong devoted fan) and Dave Niehaus and the Pike Place Market (in which my family used to own a fruit stand in for over twenty years…which we sold in 1980something and is now Sosio’s in the heart of the market).
NM: In the upcoming race for Richard Conlin’s seat on the city council, do you favor the incumbent, lefty opponent Dwight Pelz, or establishment stooges Paige Miller and/or O. Casey Corr?
JP: Dwight needs a hairpiece, but he’s got an interesting attitude. I don’t like Paige’s pleated pants, therefore I think Richard’s got this one nailed down.
NM: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
JP: In a futuristic mirror.
(Grant Cogswell ran the first citizen campaign to build the (new) Seattle monorail. He is one of the founders of the People’s Waterfront Coalition and a Hugo House Belltown Writer-In-Residence. His 2001 campaign for Seattle City Council is the subject of a book, ‘Zioncheck for President’ by Phil Campbell, to be published in October by Nation Books. Cogswell reads his ode to Congressman Zioncheck, the second installment of his book-length poem ‘The Dream of the Cold War,’ on March 1 at Richard Hugo House. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)