IN MEMORY OF AN OLD FRIEND
Richard Christopher Legener
a.k.a. Criss Piss
December 11th 1954 - October 26th 1996
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. - AL I:40
~ REMEBERANCE ~
Richard Christopher Legener, better known to most of you as Criss Piss, was born on December 11, 1954 under the sign of Sagittarius. His tarot card was Art and that was truly his outlook on life. Everything he accomplished was tied in with this. His greatest satisfaction was derived from creating Art from whatever he found in his travels. I'd never known him to spend much money on his creations. He would 'dumpster-dive" for old photographs behind photography labs and make collages. If he needed spray paint or T-shirts or just about anything for his projects he knew where he could get them for free, or they would just come to him. Not to make it seem easy; he was out there walking and working for them in his own way. He had a particular spot where he would get boxes of blank cassettes which he would never tape other peoples music on -- he would only make his own. He would collect T-shirts out of the free bin, print them and them give away all of them -- usually with his band or Crowley/ Thelema designs on them. He called his son, Alex, his greatest creation. Chris taught me the Art of beautiful Love. There were times when Chris would feel as if he wasn't as successful with his Art as he would like to be, but he never changed his style to be more palatable to anyone. He was true to himself, to his heart, and that's where his Art came from. Chris was one of the strongest propagators of Thelema I have ever met. He introduced me to the Book of the Law and when I heard him speak of it shivers would run up my spine. Yes, I know I'm biased, but my point is that he was so strong in his certainty it was inspiring. He really appreciated the way Crowley made his entire life a work of art. I've seen Chris enlighten many people over the years with his particular form of Art -- in your face. He was studying Qabbalah and Liber Al when he was a teenager. He had a band called "Creeping Things" when he was in his 20's. One of their songs was the Enochian First Key set to punk rock. Later, when he was 30, he had another punk band with his friends Cheryle, Charles, and Crum, called Circle Kaos. He was the singer and lyricist. The content of the lyrics were very political and, at times, very sarcastic. For example, "I hate war and Ronald Reagan, I hate all authority. I hate organized religion, pseudo-Christianity. Jerry Falwell, big False Prophet, preaching his hypocrisy. I wish Jesus was here to witness all this mockery." Circle Kaos played around Texas, then went to New York City. They were well received by the underground street kids. When he returned to Texas and one of the members remained in New York, Chris and Charles formed another band, Ex Pistos. This band was more hardcore and the lyrics were different. They still remained political, always; but he incorporated much more magick into them. "Scorpions and creeping things, having power in their stings. Beetle lurking, gathering, sacrificial offerings. Satan laughing with delight, brandishing a bloody knife. Lennon was the sacrifice, Victim of the Antichrist." With songs like The Ancient of Days, Braineater, Make your Peace with Death, and Now It's Boiling (the lyrics are instructions on how to shrink a head), Chris was able to teach people esoteric ideas. The Rant, a long tongue-in-cheek "expose" on the stupidity of Christian tele-evangelists, was a favorite. While on tour with our bands in California, we found the OTO and attended Gnostic Mass. We decided to move to Berkeley. Chris had previously visited Berkeley when in his 20's and met Grady McMurtry. We received our Minerval initiations at Thelema Lodge. Ex Pistos remained together for about a year, but the OTO really became Chris' main focus. He organized several classes, a Yezidi mass and a Voudoun bembe. One of the events that he was most proud of was the Thelemic Arts Fest, held at Gilman Street Theater, which he and Terri Compost put together. It featured only art created by Thelemites, but was a success with non- Thelemites also. While in California Chris advanced to Second degree OTO, was made a Gnostic Bishop and joined the A.’.A.’.. Chris would argue vehemently with the Christian propagandists on the University of California campus. That was definitely one of his favorite things to do. He knew the Bible inside out and could quote passages that most of the supposed Christians had never heard of. He could really piss them off with the truth. It was hilarious to watch them get flustered -- he would bring along friends to enjoy it also. But he was very serious about what he was saying. When he returned to Austin, he continued to "debate" with Christians on the UT campus. He also would call the radio/TV talk shows and some of the hosts would become so upset that they would screen calls and recognized him even when he used different names. A group called the Crystal Methodists heard Chris on some of the shows and taped him. They will be releasing a CD with some of Chris' better conversations included. While Chris worked at a tele-marketing firm, he still found ways to help people. He would turn them onto jobs there, or call his friends to sign them up for "beer-drinking" studies and others. During the seven months after he was diagnosed with lung cancer he was blessed with the support of many friends and family. Throughout the summer people visited and it really meant a lot to him. Special thanks to James and Caitlin from California, to Content and Cammi from Austin, to Cheryle who never failed to cheer him up and to Carole Dixon, his sister, who was really there for him when he needed it most. Thank you to everyone else (yes, you Charles, John, Shaun and Theta). As I said at his memorial service, Chris really believed Love is the Law, Love under Will, and he was shown that Love again and again throughout his illness. Chris will remain with us always.
Please take time out to look at the site that his sister, Carole, made for him.
~ MEMORIES ~
I MET CHRIS WHEN I WENT TO AUDITION FOR THE BAND 'CIRCLE KAOS'!! I HAD PLAYED DRUMS IN SOME BANDS & IMPULSE THE MONTH BEFORE I HAD BOUGHT A BASS & AMP AND DECIDED TO SWITCH INSTRUMENTS & PLAY IN A BAND. I HAD PLAYED BASS ALONG WITH STUFF LIKE "SMOKE ON THE WATER" AND ALOT OF ZEPPELIN, RUNAWAYS, BLACK SABBATH, HMMM... 70'S MUSIC When I was A Teenager... BUT REALLY WAS A DRUMMER. I Recognised Chris & realized I had met him BEFORE when Fate had brought him into the restaurant 'The Omelettry West' where I Was a Waitress. HE CAME IN AND ASKED FOR A ICE TEA (only) and I gave him my employee meal. So, when I went in for the audition... We remembered each Other...And felt like we had bonded. I learned 12 songs that night and Chris had more songs all in a large notebook crammed full of an assortment of things he had found on the street walking over to Band practice. A bird feather and a silver medalion was some of the prizes he had found and he pulled out a chain and put the medalian which read "MONSTERS OF ROCK" on it and gave it to me. Crum the guitar player wasn't really happy with me. But, Chris and Charles said..."She'll be great!!!" and very enthusiasicially Chris said "She'll be a Monster Of Rock!"...So Crum said "We'll see ya next practice!" And, that's how my start in the infamous punk rock career began. LOL...He is the only person in my whole life that called me a Genius. A Compliment that meant so much coming from someone as smart as Chris!!! Funny, I always thought Chris was my best friend...but, after living with him as a bandmate, and touring...I realized He made "Everyone" feel that way! And, After he met jEANNE...Chris & I became even closer because being the Only Girl in the Band... He was always talking to me for Love advice. And in trade I learned about things that only a World Traveler Sage would know. He was an expert on almost every topic. He had been to Russian and other exotic places, and was a life teacher to so many. Those of you who ever met him know that he was an original.
(unlike the rest of us). He lived by his own rules.
He always worked odd jobs, didn't always have a lot of money yet could ALWAYS come up with money in a pinch. Besides He Was Rich in life experiences AND Shared what he had freely. He was one of the happiest, most present people I've ever met. If you go by what RICHES people bring to the table, nobody ever came close to Chris. I got sick once and could not work, Chris Found out and INSISTED I bring my little daughter and myself to the Taco Stand that He worked at on the Drag. To this day I can still see Him Piling on The Steak, Avocado, Beans, Sour Cream into the Largest Burritto I've ever seen... Knowing It Was Probably Our Only Real Dinner. He would Hand Me a Little Money to Go across the Street To Get My Daughter a Smoothie Or Shake... to Go With our Daily Free Meals. We ate for Free until I was back on my Feet again. He never thought twice about helping Me & my Children. And, Weeks later I found out Chris Had been "Let Go" because of his generousity. Instead Of being without jobs...We (Circle Kaos) went on tour And Moved To New York City. I found an ritzy Apartment over in the Soho Area. He and Crum stayed in Squats at first, Then Made a groovy pad and Living for Free on the Roof Of My Building Complete with Potted Plants, Beds, Lights, Couch and Tables...all while I paid the exorbitant Rental Price For the Flat In The Building! Ha ha Chris Helped form fundraiser's with great bands like Agnostic Front, Reagan Youth, Warzone, Nausea, Our Band Circle Kaos, etc. To raise Monies to Get Windows installed in the Squats B4 Winter. Steven Spielburg was filming 'Batteries Not Included' and asked Us to Leave the street. Chris told them that We were Having a Punk Rock Show and Couldn't Be Bought. Spielburg offered 2,000.00 dollars and 3 van loads full Of Beer and Pizza for the Show to Be Moved To Thompkins Square Park Which We agreed to! The Windows Got put in and A real fun Party happened!!! Chris was Also made an "Extra" In Spielberg's Movie 'Batteries Not Included'... and You can see Chris in it as Well As A Lot Of Our New York Friend's. Another good Chris story...While Living In N.Y.C, our Band Circle Kaos Practised 2 X Week at A Great Studio That Was All Set Up W/ Equiptment Where all you'd have To Do is Bring your Guitar's and Drum Stick's. It was quite a walk though and we didn't Own A Car (Who Did?). Chris, Charles and Crum Would Walk Up To The Vintage Clothing Store I worked At (And pick me up ha) and We Would All Walk Over To Practice which was 5.00 Dollars a Piece. I would Ask Everybody If They Had their Cash and Chris Would NEVER have His. I would start freaking Out and Charles Would Tell Me To Calm Down...all While Chris walked a good 15 feet Behind The Rest Of Us Kicking over garbage and Looking Down At his Feet. He was Picking Up Cans For Christ's Sake! I Yelled Out To him: "Chris...This Is No F@ckin' Time For Recycleing !!" He just gave Me this little Smirk. Right Before We made it To The Studio Chris Goes Into a Corner Grocery Convenient Store and He walked Out With Soda and Chips For The Whole band and a Banana Flip for Me! He would Smile as He Paid his Five Dollars For The Studio Band Practice! On the Way Back, I saw A Sign In The Store Window That Read: " Recycle! 25 Cents Per Can!" OMG... That was SOooo Funny! He had the ability to make The System Work For Him. In N.Y.C. He and Crum Got A Job Handing Out & Tacking Up Flyer's...So Naturally He Incorporated Our Band Flyers Copies For Free and Tacking them Out And Handing them Out With the Business Flyers He was getting Paid For! Free advertizing :-) He had this ability to find humor in the seemingly mundane world around us. He could turn me onto some totally random tv show (He loved Kung Fu and Sunday Church Sermons!!) He could start a conversation with someone I would have never made eye contact with only to find out they were a total gem. Chris noticed and appreciated the world around him and I was often the fortunate beneficiary. I used to tease Chris about the wayward odd souls he often adopted as friends. I only just now have realized I was the most wayward of the bunch and probably his biggest project. I was fortunate to have spent so much time with him in his band touring, moving to New York City,Starting the Sinister Sister's W/ Jeanne as my Bass player, Touring with Ex Pisto's, moving with Jeanne and Chris to California. And, finally staying close with Him & Jeanne and family after they got home to Texas, where we found out he was sick. He leaves a collage of precious memories in my mind that No One Else on the whole Planet could have given me.
I am comforted that he left such a legacy in his Family...his wife Jeanne, and his children Alex and Becky. His Mom Marianne, Dad Richard, and his other brothers Tom, & Jim and His sisters Barbara, Suzie, and Carole. PLus Thousands Of Friends...
Still...I've always thought that Chris lived life the way an Immortal would.
Because after all, He will always be with us....and He didn't have anywhere else he'd rather be
Chris Piss was a most interesting friend. We were in a band called The EX PISTOS together - latin for "no fish". We were the punk band that was swindling the swindlers known as the SEX PISTOLS. People would buy our records thinking we were the SEX PISTOLS. Our records and the shirts went for $6.66. Criss Piss invented EX PISTOS on the grounds that Ronald Wilson Regan=666. When the Son is removed being the Sun already equals 666 . At the time I thought it was a great Idea. Chris and I had just left NYC in 1985. I left first then Chris followed a month or two after. We were with the band CIRCLE CHAOS, which also included Cheryl St. Germaine on bass and this creepy New York punker known as Crumb of the DEGENERETS. Crumb played guitar and also managed the band. I was the drummer. We rehearsed at the laundry mat next to the Circle K in Austin TX on 24th Street.
Chris and I were best friends for years. We hung out in Austin in the 80's all the time - always tripping on LSD, and sharing different concepts about the music scene, politics, spirituality, religion, drugs,and sex - and how to get over on the rich. Chris always taught me that if I would be a criminal like him we could pull off scams and never wind up having to pay for anything. In the 15 years I knew Chris, and seeing all the crimes he pulled off, he only got busted one time for stealing a pack of cigarettes. We all bailed him out of jail and had a Chris Piss Bail Bonds Benefit concert. No matter what, when we were hanging out and tripping Chris always knew how to come up with some concept to make everyone crack up so hard that it would be painful to laugh. The pain of laughing for so long would be overwhelming. When we were in Berkeley, CA, Chris would be chilling in Sproul Plaza arguing with the evangelists and yelling contradictory teachings back to narrow minded and unenlightened Christians. Those people still drive us crazy to this day. Chris's artwork was off the hook. I only have a little in my collection, but Ariadne or Jeanne probably have a lot more. Chris Piss also brought me to my first gnostic mass in 1986 on 63rd Street in Oakland. I wasn't a thelemite back then; I played in three different punk bands at the same time. Chris never tried to push Thelema on me and hardly ever said anything about it except that Crowley was cool. Our last Ex Pistos recording was about three months before he passed on. We talked about how much fun we had in the 80's planning record labels and playing gigs. He was already really skinny and seemed distant, but was still determined to put down the last Ex Pistos tape. It featured him playing an instrument he created by bringing in a large slab of dry ice and setting a metal dagger on it. It made these ripping sounds that were so eerie it made you shiver up and down your spine. Like scratching a chalk board with your finger nails.Then he would grab the zithar and start banging away at it. Chris simply told people that the scraping sound was him naked in a room trying to screw a chair. He also inspired me and many others with his creative genius. He was the songwriter for CIRCLE KAOS and EX PISTOS. His magazine called ONUS was off the hook. Chris and I were best friends even though we did have disagreements and arguments at times. We hung out all the way to the end of his life, and even after he passed on. Jeanne, or Ariadne, made sure that the OTO opened the Chris Piss memorial library at the Scarlet Woman Lodge in Austin, TX. It featured many of Chris Piss's Crowley books. Many friends here in Berkeley miss him and we still talk about him all the time.
I came to California from Puritanical Connecticut in the fall of 1989. After a few days of simply settling in I decided to head up to the infamous area near U. C. Berkeley Campus called Telegraph Avenue. It was a beautiful sunny day. The streets were packed with every imaginable type of character. I was wearing black pants, boots and my favorite Aleister Crowley T-shirt as I strolled along taking in all the sights. Then, out of the blue, someone whom I didn’t even know from the opposite side of the street, seeing my t-shirt, screamed at the top of his lungs – “93 Dude!” ... and then, upon getting my attention, he smiles and gave me the ‘horns’ in the air. I smiled, waved back and that folks is how I first met Criss Piss. Over the years our friendship grew. He was such a unique person to have met; someone you never forgot once you’ve heard him talk; and in truth, we were all richer having known him.
Your Last Chance: by Criss Piss
This may be YOUR LAST CHANCE!
Are you a "Christian"? Are you "Born Again"? Are you "SAVED"? Are you "Washed in the BLOOD of the Lamb"? Well, if you are, it's no "accident" that you are reading this pamphlet RIGHT NOW! This little tract could change your ETERNAL LIFE! This little booklet could be the most important thing you'll ever read, because it concerns the fate of YOUR IMMORTAL SOUL! This little message could be YOUR LAST CHANCE! Where will I spend Eternity?Think about it. Where will you go when you die? Where does the flame go when you blow out the candle? Will you go to Heaven or will you go to Hell? Or will you just be dead forever? Well, if you're a Christian, you already know the answer. You'll go to Heaven when you die, to be with your God forever. DEATH IS EVERYWHERE. As we all know, DEATH is Ever Present. Any of us could kick-off at any time. You could be hit by a bus or struck by lightning JUST FOR READING THIS TRACT. You could have a heart attack or catch a stray slug in the Drug Wars. Either way you'll be dead dead dead. Even if you die of old age, at home, in your bed. "IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MAN ONCE TO DIE" (Coloss. XI ch. 9). You have to die. But where you spend ETERNITY is UP TO YOU! Remember, God gave you Free Will! Christian, I'm here to tell you the Good News! You DON'T HAVE TO GO TO HEAVEN!!! HEAVEN OR HELL? By all accounts, Heaven is a dull place, populated by De-Sexed Angels and smug, holier-than- thou prigs. Smoking is not permitted and the chief occupation seems to be the perpetual praising of a jealous and insecure God of Love and Goodness. Hell, on the other hand, is a hot, happening place with plenty of Sex and Thrills Galore. Most of the people you know will be there, and many friends and lovers will be re-united. The good people, party poopers, censors, hypocrites and evangelists will not be allowed in but will have to watch from Heaven knowing that "There but for the grace of God, go I". YOU MUST CHOOSE. Would a God of Love really crucify his Own Son? Did Jonah really live in the belly of a whale? Is Santa Claus really coming to town? YOU MUST DECIDE. Only you can choose, but this helpful tract is here to guide you to Do The Right Thing. SATAN IS COOL! Christians in general have a lot of misconceptions about Satan and His Kingdom. But the facts are simple: "YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE GOOD TO GO TO HELL". Anyone can go. We're not asking you to break all 10 commandments today; start out slow, a venial sin: tell a lie, lust in your heart, masturbate. See how EASY it is! Soon you'll be able to step up to the Big Time and STEAL, LIE, SWINDLE AND MURDER with the best of them. Commit ADULTERY! Cheat on your Taxes! You'll be amply rewarded - in this life and the next! By the time you die your carnal body will be able to withstand the kind of Hard-Core Jollies available in Hades! "DO IT" TODAY Just say this simple prayer and fill out the handy form. Satan Does the Rest! "Dear Jesus, I know I asked you into my heart but now I'm asking you nicely to leave. I want to go to Hell when I die and be with all the Cool People. Satan, I adore you and worship you like a God and I want to bewith you always. NEMA! "DID YOU "DO THE RIGHT THING?" check one: [ ] Yes! Christianity is stupid!
Love is the law, love under will. - AL I:57