Since mentioning my Tarkus mural in the neverending Kompakt thread on ILM, my inbox has been flooded with inquiries as to how I obtained such a thing. For the sake of convenience, I’ll respond here.

My wife and I were approached by the staff of Mutant House, a failed “home makeover” program that was beat to the punch by the Discovery Channel’s Monster House. (Gist: A crew of people come over to give your house an off-the-wall theme, usually involving bizarre constructions.) The show needed willing homeowners for their pilot episode, and we were game — as long as they agreed to make our house “Tarkus house” rather than something obvious like “Vegas house” or “Retro-Future house.”

The pilot failed, but the makeover was a success. The game room now features a wall-size mural that recreates the cover of ELP’s Tarkus; matching multi-color carpeting maintains a sense of flow. We have a fleet of RC tarkuses that retrieve the paper or carry our drinks. A wax figure of Keith Emerson now sits at our baby grand; at the push of a button, he and the piano twirl in mid-air (Californa Jam style). Our doorbell chime now resembles that “off to battle” Moog bit from “Tarkus Medley.” And, in keeping with the ELP theme, a 20-foot manticore guards our back yard. (As a footnote, word of our remodeling reached as far as Oslo. A gentleman from there wanted to purchase our house for a large sum and was willing to uproot himself and his family.)

One of the things I can say about Justus Köhncke’s remix of Wolfgang Voigt’s “Hot Love” is that it is funnier than our house. The original, presumably named after the T. Rex song of the same name, was a semi-pleasant shuffle-stomp of a track. Köhncke adds jubilant vocals (credited to Meloboy, but they sure sound like Köhncke) to make it a full-blown cover, as well as some burping children’s program keyboards. That’s all it took to transform a relatively benign Voigt production into something sprightly and noxious.