april fools' day 2006 left out in the cold
Wow. Can you believe this was the tenth April Fools' Day prank we've had here at The Tool Page? I'm pretty sure that some succeed more than others, but obviously the real fun is in all the guessing games people play. And there were a lot of them this year...
This year, for the first time, the April Fools' fun started on the 31st of March. This was due to (a) the lead time we needed to generate some excitement about an "event" scheduled for April 1, and (b) because April 1st this year was on a Saturday, and with fewer visitors to the site over the weekend, it seemed a good way to maximize impact. Just to be safe, though, there was a second followup post on the 1st, intended to mislead people into thinking it was in fact not an April Fools' joke at all. And with over 54,000 visitors across the two days, it seems that we tricked, confused, or at the very least annoyed a lot of people...
The Original Postings
[03/31/06] - It's Four (4) Open & Loud Listening Parties![Posted by Kabir]
Suddenly got a whole flurry of emails this morning, seems everyone got wind of this before we even woke up today; sorry we fell behind. Seems as part of Tool's global promotional tour for the upcoming record "10,000 Days", they are giving fans a one-time chance to hear the record exactly 31 days before its US release - which is tomorrow! A press release quotes the band as saying:"With the four of us scattered across the world, this seemed a great opportunity to let our fans worldwide participate in something special. Tomorrow, in Sydney, London, New York, and Los Angeles, at 11 AM local time in each city, one of us will be on hand to play the album for the first 500 fans to arrive at the venue. No questions, no autographs, no cameras, no cellphones - just the music. We're sorry for the short notice, but we wanted to try to keep the media out and our diehard fans in."The venues listed at the bottom of the press release are Space (Sydney), The Mean Fiddler (London), Irving Plaza (NY), The Avalon (LA). So it sounds like they're going to just show up, hit play, and sit quietly until it's over. No word yet on who will be at which session, but it seems likely that since Adam has been working on the music video, he will be running the LA session. Perhaps Justin will be in London? As more info comes in, we'll keep you posted. Meanwhile, this could be the lucky break you were waiting for - and maybe I'll see you at the LA venue! §
[04/01/06] - Listening Party Reviews[Posted by Kabir]
Well, it's almost time for the LA listening party to start, and a lot of people have written in about the first three already. I'll get those emails up soon, but suffice it to say that everyone was pretty thrilled. Toolfan48 writes:"Hey Kabir - i saw the post yesterday night and i thought ok obviously this is just this years April fools joke, especially when i called the venue and they said nothing was happening. so i cracked up thinking about all these kids lining up outside irving plaza on a saturday morning. but i live about three blocks from there, so i figured i'd roll by to maybe take some pics for tdn of the people who showed up.Most of this morning's emails are like this. Did you all really think this was an April Fool's joke? Zavlin (a member of the Opinion forums) noticed that the headline of yesterday's news post acronymizes to "F()OL LP", but I assure you, that is just a crazy coincidence. The real significance of yesterday's headline, however, remains to be discovered. §
there weren't that many people there at first (like 10am), but there was a security guard there, which was our first hint that something was up. i figured they got him just to deal with any angry crowd that showed up, but he said he was there with Tool! by 1030 there were probably like 100 kids who had just rolled by, as they all said, just to make sure. and would you believe it?? the doors opened right after 11, and justin himself comes out!! he was totally shocked that there wasn't a huge crowd -- seems a lot of people 'believed in nothing' -- but was like 'whatever' and then we all went inside!!!"
Now, in years past, I have usually tipped my hand early, somehow making it very clear that the post is just an April Fools' Day joke. The very first one (the Bus Crash of 1997) featured an email address you could write to for help (firstname.lastname@example.org). Other prank posts have included the words "April First" prominently. Last year's Maynard-Finds-Jesus post did not feature any such warning, and seemed to reap solid results.
But this year, I tried to make it as obvious as possible. The headline of the 3/31 post was the clue, though it seems nobody figured out the puzzle. (Though, in your defense, we did turn off the Opinion forums for the 24 hours leading up to the "listening parties" - using a good old "503 Service Unavailable" mocked-up page as cover.) Longtime t.d.n readers might have noticed how out-of-style it was for the headline to include the "(4)". Zavlin (the aforementioned member of the Opinion forums) came the closest to figuring it out, hypothesizing that the headline...
"It's Four (4) Open & Loud Listening Parties!"
... could be condensed into its acronym, "F()OL LP". Which I must admit was a very clever observation, but not at all the answer to the riddle. Careful observers will notice that the headline of t.d.n's tenth April Fools' gag rearranges to say:
"April Fools Ten is Pretend Outings 4 U & I"
And honestly, I don't see how it could have been made any more obvious than that.
That said, it seems it wasn't quite obvious to some people. There were many threads out there on many forums, including at our own Opinion forums (like this thread, this thread, etc.), full of speculation as to the veracity of these posts. Here are a sampling of the emails sent in via t.d.n's Feedback page. Seems a bunch of resourceful people did call the venues to debunk the events, and we even heard from some people who worked for those venues! Maybe the best letters were from people who pegged it as a joke, but still wrote wishing they could go. So as always, here are some of the responses to this year's tomfoolery, posted anonymously as always.
1. Readers' Responses
If the new post about the listening parties taking place in Londen, Sydney, etc. is your/the bands idea of an april fools joke, it's NOT (going to be?) FUNNY!!! Good one Kabir! Again, you pulled it off ;-) You know Kabir, that depsite the history you have on this fool's day (and hey, you've pulled some good ones), there are going to be MANY sad and distraught TOOL fans who really thought that they would be able to make their ways to one of the four global listening spots. And even though I've been around for so many of your jokes, both successful and not, there's always that little nag in the back of my brain... "What if? What if?" "tdn - Totally Dubious Nature" Just got off the phone with Irving Plaza and they deny that the listening party is going to take place and a friend told me there isn't anybody camping out in front of the venue. So this may shape up to be a very successful April Fools if more people read your post. Congrats Kabir! do you owe those clubs money? Because they are gonna be surprised at the amount of buisness they get tomorrow at 11am. Not yours best, but your best in a few year fo so Just called the venue... they know nothing of this listening party... Was this their april fools joke!? poor! Nice try Kabir, calling you out early on this one. I got excited for about thirty seconds before I remembered what tomorrow was... That being said I hope tons of people show up at the venues you mentioned, you might need to go into witness protection after this one. Good one, Kabir. It's obviously a joke, but everybody will have to be there anyway, just for the slightest chance it might be true. Gladly, I wont have to make a desicion, as I'm 5500 miles away from the nearest 'listening session'. nice try with the april fools this year. poor attempt. "press release"? please. where did this "press release" come from? not like you to post something so vague. i think the best april fools joke would be no joke at all. Is the listening pary just another stupid April Fool's joke? if i show up tomorrow it's happening, i'm not going to be happy..... holy shit people are gonna be pissed off about this one. there's gonna be so many fucking people in line! genius really, i commend your work. i'm just glad i've been around for so many of these. i searched endlessly for the songs "floor pail" and "anagram" some years ago and i'm just glad i have the experience to get through these april fools jokes. I love you guys and everything. This is a great site, dedicated to a great band. If I get up at the ass crack of dawn tomorrow to hop on a train to NYC, show up at Irving Plaza, and someone yells "April fools," I swear to all that is good that I will never come to this website every again. Hey! So i got some bad for you. I work at Irving Plaza and have confirmed with production that there will be NO listening party tomorrow morning at 11. Better get the word out quick b/c you know some crazy fans are gonna be out there! I'm not going to drive to New York tomorrow only to find out it's April 1st :) The April 1 "listening parties" are not real. Just call the venues. The Pretenders are at Irving Plaza on the first and they will be setting up at 11 AM. Kabir, this year's april fools joke is fantastic! for about 10 minutes you had me cursing that i didn't live in sydney (im a brisbanite) and wondering what source you had for info ... (i didn't find any). nice work. Wow, if the 3/31/06 news post is an April Fool's, I'd hate to be you Kabir. I never write in to website owners/designers/whathaveyou's, but what if people cancel major plans, spend excessive amounts of $, and other hypotheticals based on this (faulty?) news item? Yikes. Or, I could be wrong, but given this site's history (and the band's), I doubt it! I'm just glad I live near none of those major cities. A day early on the April Fool's joke this year, eh? Although not much could top last year's, it was still a good one!! Long time visitor, first time writer. All I really have to say about the "news" for 3/31/06 is I hope you at least get a flood of e-mails requesting addresses and other such goodness to the "exclusive listening parties." Maybe you could also try and get some pictures of anticipated individuals lined up and waiting for that which they will not receive so easily. I think I am more intrigued to see the feedback you get and how it holds up against other years. On we go, the wait continues, and perhaps we all shall be mistaken for the fool. I can still say I've never been fooled by your April Fool's jokes but they have been dandy. Well it's not quite april 1 yet, but still, i assume this is the joke... listening parties with band members.. all i can say is "meh"... sorry, but that's not that good at all... now... what would be good if this news was true, and nobody believed it because they assumed it was the april fool's joke.. now THAT would truly be a great april fool's joke. yeah, then i'd have to say congratulations. well, either way, happy new month, and keep up the good work on the site. been going there for almost 10 years now (in oct 1996 i first stumbled upon toolshed, looking up "aenima" on altavista). Kabir! You are incredibly naughty this year, especially after a few not-so-good ones. I didn't read this until too late this morning to make it to Irving Plaza in NYC, but I wish I could see the people who show up. I wonder if they mentioned it on the radio? Then there'd be TONS of people. Oh well. Truly spectacular. Honestly Kabir, if anyone falls for this, they've got to be idiots or desperate. Better luck next year. Stinky dogg! Good thing I didn't buy that plane ticket last night to LA. I was feeling kinda down about it, until I woke up this morning and KNEW that I had fallen for yet another April Fools prank! I would hate to see the ire oozing from your inbox right now. This is probably the most clever AFD prank yet! Posted the day before...brilliant. I believed it myself yesterday until I saw it here again today. Bonus cruelity points as well...those poor bastards waiting... Excellent work! U do realize that the latest news about listening to the album is on april fools day, right. im sure u realize this already. hell, it might be your joke. but it would be crazy if it were true. i wonder how many people would be skeptical and not go and it be true. thats how they could limit the number to 500 people per venue. its probably a joke but if it isnt it sure is smart. Ok. I have been coming here a while. You always come up with a Good April fools Joke. But this..this, is just plain mean, if it's not true. The new album, years in the waiting. Tell me it's not a joke. Please. Thank you even if i did fall for it its not like it was even remotely close to my location in dallas. when i moved from my last place in el paso i did so in hopes that i would have more opportunity to see more bands, that remains to be seen. im just glad maynard didnt decide to find allah this time. last april fools made my heart stop! thanks for running an awesome site my friend.
2. Unfortunate Victims
Now, it is hardly a victimless crime, this April Fools' Day business. Midway through the first day of the posting, I heard from an old acquaintance asking if it were true. He said he wasn't asking for himself, as he would "definitely" go to the one in L.A. He said he was asking for his friend in Rhode Island, who was going to make the trip to New York. After some soul-searching, I told him to tell his friend to just not go. I mean I didn't want anyone to actually go too far off the deep end. Seems I underestimated some fans' love of Tool's music, as illustrated by this thread on our forums, and these two emails...I simply wish to relay how much i did not appreciate this years April Fools Joke. In the past I have enjoyed the fake news bits...but until this year it never got out of hand. This year I packed up at 1130pm...and set out at 7am to what I thought would be a listening party at Irving plaza NYC...it took me 3 hours and 3 states to get there...and over 100 dollars in expenses. I must say that i was taken by surprise when i found out it wasnt real...it made me feel that the band or maybe just you had taken advantage in my trust of this bands love for its fans... Well, there were 2 of us who turned up at London's Mean Fiddler this morning. We waited, and as we chatted about the band, 10,000 days and all the rest, I remebered the fear that it would never happen, that Maynard would go all holy on us. It seems i've been fooled again, along with this guy Hatch who seemed cool. It was a hoax, the girl at the Astoria (next door to Mean Fiddler) knew nothing of it, and there were no fans, no security, no Tool.
One longtime t.d.n reader sent a lengthy story about her April Fools' reaction, from impact through digestion to denouement and analysis. She even managed to put this year's prank in perspective...
So finally, you got me- well almost. First time in 8 yrs. I just happened to go to Toolshed to see if more dates had been announced when I saw the post. Thought it was kinda weird but it was just the kinda thing I could picture them doing. Then what seemed like days later (but came to realize was just the next day) I was with the ex, and we were shopping for furniture, driving around and I realized it was April Fools. So I tell Bill, oh Yeah, I'm gonna have to go to my friend's Kabir's site to see what the April Fools joke is. Which prompted me to remember about the listening party- for.. wait, that day. Huh...And I'm thinking, ya know - I now realize that may be the april fool's joke and I'm telling Bill who thinks it obviously is cause what band would do that (he doesn't listen to Tool and has no concept of how weird Maynard can be so, ya know to him it was obvious...) and I'm thinking, yeah but it was posted before April Fools, no fair - to which Bill responds "well he's a genius, he knows people like you are gonna go check it out prepared, so he throws you off by thinking ahead" - to which I said "Yeah, and besides everyone knows Kabir is a genius so that makes sense". Once I realized it was a joke and I fell (almost) for it- yeah I felt dumb. Feels good though to finally have been gotten after so many years. Truth be told I would have totally planned on going, probably gotten up early saturday and then either between brushing my teeth, getting dressed or driving I would have realized the date and turned around. I would hope. I'm not a big enough fan anymore to risk it just in case- I hope. I'm gonna go with that assumption. No announcements on MTV though this year- the true signs of success. And yeah, you'd think once you get them once they wouldn't fall for it again- but you've gotten them at least twice that I know of- maybe you can't just get them in consecutive years.
It's true; we didn't get any major media coverage, though IGN posted a story about us this year, calling us a "hardcore Tool fansite." Maybe next year there just won't be any April Fools fun at all.
Or maybe that's just the start of next year's joke... mwahaha.