WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?
In the 80’s, L. Ron Hubbard had gone into hiding … mostly from fear of prosecution by U.S. authorities who had already brought indictments against his wife (who eventually went to prison with two other conspirators in 1979) and 10 other officials in an alleged conspiracy to place the religion’s spies in government agencies, bug government meetings and steal government documents.
One of the things that emerged from this self-imposed sabbatical was Space Jazz, an very strange entry into the rock music world. This article from Slate magazine describes the aftermath:
Musically, the album alternates between canned uplift (“Jonnie”, “Golden Age of Sci-Fi”) and droning dirges, broken up with patches of comic-book dialogue, robot voices, and laser-gun sound effects. A then-new, extremely expensive digital sampling synthesizer called a Fairlight CMI peppers the album; Hubbard seemed to imagine it represents the sound of the future, but it actually sounds more like the rightly discarded mistake of an abandoned past. Even for Battlefield Earth buffs like myself, Space Jazz is less a guilty pleasure than a harrowing endurance test. With Space Jazz, L. Ron Hubbard set out to re-create Battlefield Earth as a purely sonic experience. He succeeded all too well.
Less about real music and more like “What should I do with all this free time I’ve got on my hands,” Hubbard proved again in a period of time just preceding his passing that he was nothing more than a professional dabbler in weirdness.
The Slate article is very interesting … make sure you give it a read!