I urge you to read this entire document.
In a nutshell, a 'fake' post maintained that there had been an accident in Australia, along Tool's tour route, seriously injuring several of the band, calling for the rest of their planned tourdates to be cancelled. The post concluded with a listserv address, signalling the prank: "firstname.lastname@example.org."
|URGENT - EARLY THIS MORNING, WHILE ON TOUR IN AUSTRALIA, TOOL'S TOUR BUS WAS INVOLVED IN A SERIOUS HIGHWAY ACCIDENT. EARLY REPORTS FROM ZOO ENTERTAINMENT ARE THAT AT LEAST THREE OF THE BAND ARE LISTED IN CRITICAL CONDITION. WHILE THE LABEL WILL NOT COMMENT ON WHICH MEMBERS OF THE BAND WERE INJURED, THE REMAINDER OF THE SPRING TOUR HAS BEEN CANCELLED, AS HAVE PLANS FOR A US TOUR THIS SUMMER. CHECK THE NEWS FOR MORE INFO!!!!|
[4/1/97] - Urgent: Information is still sketchy at best regarding the auto accident in Australia; the label won't release any information about any of the band members' conditions, except to say that at least three of them are currently listed in critical condition, and that tour dates for the next few months have been indefinitely postponed. Needless to say, this might end up being overwhelmingly disastrous. OK, Just in from BMG - they realized that a lot of you (hell, and me too) were going to be concerned about this, and would likely check this page for news, so they've set up an email address / listserv thing (I don't know what it is yet) which they plan to use to keep us updated. Do Not Mail ME about it, I do NOT know anything that you don't. I will post more about this as soon as possible. To get in touch with the BMG list thing, simply send mail to email@example.com.
(Posted April 2, 1997 to
alt.music.tool, the Tool Mailing
List, and rec.music.tori-amos.)
To all those who took this too seriously, I apologize. Some have suggested that this post was in poor taste, and given that it was written past midnight, I won't necessarily argue it wasn't. To those who spent any time or money on web-searching or phone-calling to verify this information, again, sorry you didn't see it for what it was. The subject is not one which calls for levity, and I stress that no offense was meant to anyone.
I apologize for having potentially taken advantage of the trust many of you have come to place in this site by posting this. Fear not, this site will not indulge itself in such outlandish pranks in the future. You can continue to expect rumor-free news and facts from The Tool Page as you have been able to since early 1995.
On a lighter note, there were a good number of people who found this entertaining as well. Having somewhat cleared my conscience, I present you with some of the best responses from April 1st, listed anonymously, of course:
+ Nice joke for april fools day. i pissed myself when i started reading until i realized that today was april fools day ... cool ... i enjoyed it... + hahaha .... best april fools joke ever + Ya know...that grain of salt thing really comes into effect with this one... + I really needed that early-morning heart attack :P + That's not fair. FUCK! April fools is over in Australia man, I shit myself. You bastard, Lucky I was listening to the radio and soon heard a review of a show they played today. I had a show cancelled on me on their last tour here! I'm going t listen to Aenima and settle down. Phew. No way. Shit, you fucken had me. + scared the shit out of me. It was pretty funny though. + Damn! And I thought this was an elaborate joke. Nooooo, you don't even have the decency to have a working URL I wanted so much to participate. I even wrote a message in reply the news of the "accident": "....Maybe Maynard's wife/girlfriend will become a really famous rock star. Maybe in ten years when they do a best-of album my Tool AEnema Press Release will be worth some money. Maybe I'll get to say to my sister's grandkids, "Yep, ah saw Tool five times in concert before I read about th' bus accident in Autralia on the Internet." + I truly am a fool..... + I can't believe that Tool was in an accident! Oh God! How horrible! Happy April Fool's Day, Kabir. ;) + you ALMOST had me freaked out there... + damn you. Auto accident in australia? firstname.lastname@example.org? That was very funny, I almost had a heart attack. + You fooled the shit out of me! GOOD ONE.... + You had me going for a while there. I was believing it and was rather concerned. I really thought they were in an accident. Then I saw the email address, "aprilfools@...". That was a good joke. + that was a cruel joke man......i didn't know what the fuck was going on..i spent like an hour on the web trying to find out more info...damn you :) + Do you realize that you've probobly sent thousands running to kiss their Tool albums, rapt in panic and depression? Very well done, Kabir....you got me too. thanks! + just wait til all your faithful unite and flood your mail box with hate mail!! ps -- good one. + That was a pretty good April Fool's joke. Had me convinced for about 5 seconds (until I realized what today was). + i fell for it. not surprising, since i fall for EVERYTHING. that's why i've started hating this april fool's thing. i'm so damn gullible. + that was a SICK SICK joke... SICK.. PS: SICK...BUT all in all, the tool page is great (for lack of a better word, cuz I spent all my time WORRYING today and have not the energy to think of something better...) Thanks... + You rule. I can't wait to see how many people beleive you. + If it had been some other group, say Manson, where not too many of the fans get what it is all about, I wouldn't be surprised if one of them would've killed themselve at hearing that Marilyn Manson was in an accident. + shit.. until i saw the april fools thing i was like oh my god no.. ;) + nothin to feel bad about, that flat out kicked dude.... it had me fearing for tool's lives. I needed that to wake me up =) + nothing like a little sheer terror to get you going in the morning :)
After posting the apology above, I received a considerable amount of mail saying that it was unnecessary to have expressed such remorse, as well as some mail commending the decision to post it. I sincerely thank both parties for their comments, comments which made me clearly realize the scope of t.d.n's readership as well as my position among Tool fans. Several people went so far as to compare this situation to the infamous Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" broadcast, a comparison I found quite flattering, though perhaps exaggerated. Then I heard that radio stations across the country had picked up the story, mostly relaying the fact that it was simply a joke, but a few taking it quite seriously. Perhaps to my aid, MTV News ran a clip stating that the band was fine, and that those who did not read to the end of the post (missing the words "April Fools") need not worry:
AIFF, 27 sec., 353K -- audio of the news clip.
Undoubtedly, there are one or two of you who feel that apologizing will not get me off the hook. To you, I say "take comfort in the fact that someone else has already put me back in my place." t.d.n conspirator Shane Brouse (who had nothing to do with the original prank) sent me this on the afternoon of April 1st:
Kabir, I've been corresponding with BMG Australia and they've been swamped with calls. Apparently there was a crowd of 200+ lining up at the venue solely to find out about reimbursement for cancellation. email@example.com has told me that the demo tapes have been been coming in via FedEx all day. They have at least 20 now. shane.
I was stunned upon reading this. I even fell for it, writing back that I was amazed that this had happened. Shane, of course, grinned, and told me that it hadn't. All I could say was: "oh christ almighty i feel like a bastard. go on, all of you have a good laugh, i'm admitting it in public, i lost."