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april fools 2009 cozened, but no indigo

Another year, another joyous celebration of April Fools' chicanery. I didn't post a prank last year, the first time since 1997's Bus Crash that there wasn't one.

But, armed with t.d.n's new Twitter feed, this year's post helped drive a fair amount of traffic to the News page; we had more than double the recent daily average visitors on April 1st.

That increased interest by itself would be a good measure of pranky success, but the real fun is always in the responses from those who were (and who were not) fooled. A bunch of them, including a few from Twitter, are copied below.

Plus, at least two radio stations had to mention on-air that it was in fact just a joke. Is it appropriate to say "t.d.n ftw!" here?

But first, here's the recap. It started with a post to Twitter and the original post to the News page...

the twitter posts

URGENT:tool to announce SMALL VENUE summer shows this morning. TIX ON SALE via local radio! for info+password!

[Posted to t.d.n's Twitter 1:40am ET]

UPDATE: tool's management says the small venue shows are now almost sold out. tix still available. more @

[Posted to t.d.n's Twitter 6:33am ET]

04\01\09 Tool Small Venue Shows!!

In addition to Tool hitting the festival circuit this summer, word has just gotten out that they are going to play a series of shows at small venues ("under 1000 capacity", we are told) as they make their way around the country. Exact dates are scheduled to be released this morning to "modern rock FM stations" around the country, so you might want to tune in to your local morning show. §

UPDATE: We now have confirmation that in order to deter scalpers - under instruction from Tool's management - the stations will not be announcing local tour dates on-air, but will instead be giving ticket info all day today only to people who call in and request information with the password "COZENED".

Sorry for the late notice on this, we only just found out around midnight. §

UPDATE 2: Thanks to everyone who has written in so far. Sounds like there will definitely be small venue shows in Richmond, Portland, Indianapolis, and Los Angeles. This city selection probably has to do with filling the gaps around their festival appearances. At least two people have written in saying they have gone down to their local stations and picked up their tickets already. §

UPDATE 3: According to Tool's management, the small venue shows are now almost sold out. We know for sure that a limited number of tickets are still available. Try calling your local station and giving them the password above! §

[Posted by Kabir]

the solution

Now, I've been doing this April Fools' Day thing for over a decade, so many of you who came by were fully prepared for it, or at least aware that the post that day was going to be outlandish and apocryphal.

But for those of you who didn't catch on immediately, I had left two clues for you in the post to tip you off that it was not real:

1. The password to use when you called your local station was "Cozened", a word not only appearing in the lyrics to "The Pot", but one meaning "misled" or "deceived" - as you were being fooled that day.

2. (And this is the really obvious one.) The cities listed on the "updated" post started with the letters A, P, R, I, and L - as in April Fools! (One poster on a thread at actually figured this out - kudos to "Redisni", whoever you are.)

the responses

But what of those of you who didn't figure it out, despite these clues? We caught a few folks on Twitter re-posting the original fake tweet by t.d.n and later having to explain to friends that it was not real.

Here is what some of you had to say that day. As always, the names are left out ...

You totally got me with that one. Luckily my husband knows your tricks too well and didn't let me call in to the radio station

Haha, I knew it! Didn't trick me, but I'm glad to see you try

I totally fell for it! I'm so gullible.

...and you expect us to overlook the fact that this 'Small Venue Shows" news was published, of all days, on April 1..... hehe

you bastard. almost got me ;) [by t.d.n's Biographies author! we love you joel.]

is it not abundantly obvious that this is yet anor classic April Fool's prank? :)

you guys are liars

HOLY HELL!! This is fantastic news...but what do I do when NONE of the local stations PICK UP THEIR PHONE?!?! [This same person wrote an hour later....] waaaiitttt, wait a second...I just realized todays date....are you pulling our collective leg kabir?? if so, well done & im sad now

heh. Came for the expected 4/1 news. Was not disappointed.

F you and you're april fools.... you had me going... :)

Judas Priest Man!! Stop teasing me. Get those bad seeds over the water and we'll talk. [I'm still not entirely sure what this means]

if this is a joke i'm gonna be so sad...

Ha Ha, the radio stations are going to love you!!

I live in los angeles and called kroq and they knew nothing about this secret show thing yet he mentioned to keep on calling back. Is this some april fool's joke or am I calling the wrong radio station? Please help out if you could.

does this include canada?

Nice try dude. Cozened? The definition is a fraud, a lie, to trick. Why do you got to mess with us? :) Good thing I know better since I've been following this page for years!!

almost got me!

even though i always know it's coming i always look forward to seeing what the next prank will be. I even called in my local radio station and just said password cozened just for the fuck of it. they were so i said it slower password cozened.
      I did however all but get a confirmation of tool on lolla because of it. When i told them the small venue tool show Password Cozened they said lollapallooza? and then went on to explain tool wouldnt book another show around lolla in chicago to make sure everyone came out to see them then.Made my morning more fun. Gave me a prank to play on lame ass radio.
      Seriously thank you for all the years of awesome april fools. TDN makes AF one of my favorite holidays.

Just freakin cruel.....

You will pay dearly for that ..... Just kidding!  Even though I KNEW it was an April Fools joke, I STILL called the Los Angeles radio station to CONFIRM I was as stupid as I knew I was. They didn't hesitate to confirm it for me....... Have a great April bro.  You have a fantastic site.

ugh, if this isn't an april fool's day prank, I'm going to be upset.

i heard Maynard has found Jesus as well :-) [Nice reference to the 2005 prank]

obviously your last post is a joke huh? april fool's tradition. man playing small venues would be soo cool

...I hit up the local "rock" (loosely defined) station here in Houston. Got my tickets ;) -- nice one! The program director for the station even went far enough to contact Tool's management. Too funny.

Just read your post, wondering if its april fools day.  Called 98.7 in LA in they no info about this.  Do you know which station in LA i can call?  If so, please let me know!  Dyin to get my hands on some tickets,

the last word

So while a bunch of people called up radio stations, we've heard stories from two stations that seem like the winners.

First, Jason P in Houston wrote this:

the cat is out of the bag & dead in the box down here. the local DJ just announced your small venue story over the air. not bad, not bad at all... I knew something was up when I looked up the definition of the password... the irony was not lost on me.

But, I had to follow through just in case. The radio station is a Clear Channel station called The Buzz (KTBZ), located at 94.5 here in Houston. The DJ (Don Jantzen) is also the program director, and he pretty much looked up the Tool.Shed link I emailed to him.

He said something along the lines of, "It's Aprils fools day, but I have no pranks planned. But the guys of Tool are up to something." He then gave a brief description of what was written on Tool.Shed site, and elaborated that he scoured the web in a futile attempt to confirm the rumor. To wrap up the segment he said his new favorite phrase of the day was, "Jesus loves me, but like the T-shirt says, he loves everybody."

But perhaps even better was this email we got from a program director at X103 in Indianapolis:

We took a bunch of phone calls about the Indianapolis "Tool" show. In fact, I just took one about 3 minutes before I typed this email. I'm a fan of the band and have been very aware of the yearly April Fools Day joke. We were able to convince everyone that called in that it was an April Fools Day joke. Everyone one laughed except for one guy who called in and really thought that we were trying to hold information about the show from him.  Kudos to you and your website. I look forward to next year's joke.

Outstanding. Thanks to all who shared the day with us. See you next April ...

kabir/akhtar | kabir@t.d.n