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Early Dandelion Wine photo
How
Dave and Tom in the formal photo
got their name...
An e-mail conversation with Tom and Dave

Beckett: Out of curiosity, what does AKF stand for? I'm having a hard time getting a handle on a look/style for the AKF page, so I keep putting it off. Maybe if I had a better feel for it that would help...

Dave: Hmmm, Tom should I tell her the story? Do you really want the world to know about the space ship? If I'm going to appear nude you perhaps should have an equal claim to fame... Mulder, where are you when we need you?

Tom: Ok here it is. "AKF" stands for "Alien Kelp Farmers" which is the name I had suggested for the band instead of "Dandelion Wine"(Alien=Filk Music/ Kelp=Songs of the Sea/ Farmer=Songs of the Land). Sadly I was outvoted so I took my revenge by calling the studio "AKF". Years later after Erin Mckee painted the CD cover for Circles in the Grain, she gave me the original painting with a spaceship added hovering over the Crop Circle and the the letters on the side of the Spaceship read "AKF". I know this is a long answer but you asked for it.

Dave: It all started with a phone call from a potential gig. "We would like to hire you. Prairie Wind is such a great name for a country music band.". This sent shock waves through the group. We immediately decided to change our name. Sadly, we could not immediately find a new one all four of us liked. There were months of searching and hundreds of ideas brought forth but nothing suited. We eventually degenerated to reading random phrases off cereal boxes, picking three words at random from page five of the National Enquirer, and the like. We were rapidly polishing up our first album "Circles in the Grain" and we had to have the new name for it.

Tom: Can I jump in here with some comments? Well I'm going to anyway.

Dave: Tom was the source of many good suggestions. His background as a rock and roller, a celtic musician, a draftsman, and a creative song writer came to the fore. For a while he held out for "Stuck to the Rug" but then switched to "Alien Kelp Farmers".

Tom: There was also "The Plastic Coated PLaying Cards" and "The Flatulant Flatlanders" (boy am I glad we didnt pick that one!)

Dave: (Alien Kelp Farmers) How could it miss? It had everything! Aliens for our filkish side, kelp for our maritime sea side, and farming for those vast prairies and occasional crop circles. He mounted a valiant campaign and just missed out. The vote was close, three to one against.

Tom: I even padded the ballot by putting in two votes. I am suspecting sabotage here. If we lived in Florida I bet I would have got a recount.

Dave: Sitting in the Sun room of the Bhigg House a week before the album was to go to press we were again struggling with the name issue. I don't remember who first suggested it but the name "Dandelion Wine" popped out. There was a silence, meaningful glances from eye to eye, and a cheer.

Tom: Actually three loud cheers and one muted one.

Dave: We had found it at last! It rang many bells for us. Dandelions for filk, Dandelion Wine for Ray Bradbury, dandelion wine explosion at my house when I was young (but that's another story), dandelion flowers woven into necklaces and rubbed on bellies (oh yeah, that's another story too), dandelion seeds floating in the wind, a prairie wind of course, like notes drifting out from main stage to the back baggies, it was perfect.

Beckett: What about the spaceship?

Dave: The space ship? Well, I may as well tell it all. Erin McKee painted the beautiful cover piece for the Circles album and presented it to Tom. Later she borrowed it back to shoot for prints and to box frame
it. Somehow she got a fun idea for an addition to the painting. I can't imagine how she came up with the idea. Smirk. She painted a very faint flying saucer in the sky over the image of Stone Henge. She put four little aliens in it and in teeny weeny little letters wrote "AKF4" on it. I think it took Tom two years to find the space ship. The next time you are visiting AKF Studios check out the painting and see if you can find the space ship.

Tom: Actually my girfriend Kate was over at my house and pointed it out saying "Hey look at that Spaceship hovering over the crop circle in front of Stonehenge. What does AKF4 Mean?" My jaw dropped.

Dave: And that's the truth, the whole truth and I'm sticking to it. :) I think it would go well on the site. don't you agree, Tom? Tom? Tom, no, no!

Beckett: Hope the Coffee House gig went well. :)

Tom: The Gig went well although we had some technical difficulties with our instruments. A friend from Minneapolis drove up that night and surprised us by walking into the Coffee House wearing a Dandelion Wine T-shirt just as we were playing "Circles in the Grain" :-0

Dave: Not only that, Tom was wearing a D.W. t-shirt too under his sophisticated subtle vest, you know, the one you need to put your sun glasses on to properly appreciate? I have long ago decided there are no coincidences. The threads that connect us keep twining together drawing us closer and closer. Most of us can't see the threads so we think the crossings of threads are mere coincidents. There are far too many stitches in the family fabric to be simple coincidence.

Tom: I don't know how many times I've gone over to Dave's and found that we
both decided to put on the exact same T-shirt and I have an awful lot of T-shirts. ;-)

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