The Insane

The Insane PDF - 3 MB 48 page Booklet

[ A Note: I have been somewhat hesitant to publish The Insane PDF on this website because many of the images in it are without source. Over the years, anticipating the creation of this book, I collected hundreds of "Insane Images". Unfortunately, I neglected to keep a file of where they all came from. To that end, if there is an image here that you gave good blood for and  would either like attribution, or removed, let me know and I will be happy to do either.]

Series of Subtle Interviews,
Conducted by the Inimitable Dr. Geo. Kisker,
Five Tortured Souls
Who Have Spent Some Time
On the Other Side.
Onto A Supplemental & Admirably Compact Disc,
Some Musical Accompaniment,
With Clever Lyrics,
Has Been Prepared
In A
Vaguely Tuneful Manner;
Has Been Earnestly Performed
By S. Casey, Esq..
1986 - 2006


In the Fall of 1983, I was a teaching assistant for the course in Abnormal Psychology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. The course was taught by a garrulous old professor who had the improbable but appropriate name of Dr. Strange.

One of my duties during class was to set up an old Wollensak
reel-to-reel player and cue-up a series of interviews with people suffering from the particular “mental disorder” Dr. Strange was discussing that day.

These interviews were conducted in 1964 by a Dr. George Kisker to accompany his textbook, The Disorganized Personality. Of course, the textbook and classifications were far out of date, using the old, somewhat charming, DSM-I terminology. But the voices of those patients transcended categorization and quaint terminology.

Naturally, I found them fascinating and, at the semester’s end, asked Dr. Strange if I might borrow them and work on transcribing them; and transferring them to a more durable medium - the reel-to-reel tapes were brittle and often broke. So I took the tapes home and started listening to them a
lot - eventually having my own, unrelated, personal episode of insanity - or “mental disorder”- which led to my dropping out of S.M.U. and moving to Austin. Consequently, the tapes were never returned and remained safely stored in an old trunk.

Three years later, in 1986, Dr. Strange was dead, and I was living down in Manchaca, south of Austin. I had just bought a new tape deck and remembered my project of transferring the Insane Tapes - as I called them. While listening to them, I idly played the guitar and got the notion to write and record a few songs on top of and inside the spaces of the interviews. The
results were not intolerable - due mostly to the raw effect of the voices of the patients. I made a few tapes, sent them out to even fewer friends.

So now, twenty years on, perhaps just to appease the ghost of Dr. Strange, I figured to finally complete my project of transferring the tapes - this time into mp3 files on my computer. And likewise, also for a few private ghosts, I
re-recorded four of the original songs of The Insane and one new one.

You know, when it comes down to it, there are few things more enjoyable (for me) than sitting in a windowless room surrounded by books, listening to the screams and cries of the insane while playing guitar.

I hope that my accompaniments and embellishments
will find you in a forgiving state of mind.