I recently heard about a mess involving a couple places I did articles on when I worked for Second Life Newspaper last year. Flashdust Lamington, the head of Peach Fuzz Studios, had made a lengthy rant on the Peach Fuzz forum that had gotten quite a bit of attention, several residents in SL bringing it to my attention. Flashdust was going on the attack on two people he accused of ripping him off, Cindy Babii of ZZ Studios, and RECoyote Mindes whom had once co-owned a club styled after the one in the movie Xanadu, which he called “Perri’s Xanadu,” after his partner and other co-owner of the place.
To begin with, I first heard of Peach Fuzz in Fall 2009 when I saw an ad for it placed at Club Cutlass. One of the avatars in the linked Youtube looked like the “Zig Zag” avatar someone wore, not long earlier making a single appearance at Cutlass. Someone, either the person in the avatar or someone else, talked about it part of a new adult films production in Second Life. Whether or not the name “Peach Fuzz” was used, I don’t know.
About this time, I was approached by someone else who frequented Cutlass, RECoyote Mindes. He wanted a mention of his partner’s science-fiction/fantasy writings, Spectral Shadows, in Second Life Newspaper. I explained that we could, but we’d prefer if it was combined with something they did in Second Life.
And so, we did an advertorial of Perri and REC’s Xanadu club. REC and Perri mentioned Peach Fuzz at one point:
Perri and RECoyote told of another club Xanadu, but with a much different atmosphere than theirs. “Some of our old employees were also with a group called Peach Fuzz that makes SL videos” Perri explained, “They liked the idea of building a more close to the movie Xanadu as a set for their films. We helped them find the building on SLX, and they built a true replica of the movie disco.” RECoyote explained this other Xanadu was more detailed, “but they are thinking of the free yiff of the 70s, not the love of music that the movie did.” Perri explained, “Peach Fuzz is pretty much an X-rated business, and strictly Furry. Our Xanadu is PG and created with the general Second Life population in mind.”
I had seen the Peach Fuzz Xanadu only twice. Once when the place was alone, and another about the time I was writing the advertorial when he sent me a TP to there. He and Perri were there, along with a few avs whom I assumed were regulars. The two clubs did seem to have much the same building structure with some changes here and there. The few others there seemed a bit flirty with one another, which did seem to suggest a friskier audience than Perri’s Xanadu.
With the advertorial done, all seemed well. A little publicity for a nice little club and a writer, and a little cash for Second Life Newspaper, which had not recovered from the financial hit from the collapse of one of it’s main sponsors. REC and Perri and I became friends. Then the paper got an email from Flashdust Lamington, the head of Peach Fuzz. He complained that REC and Perri were not telling the truth, that they were ripping him off and that Peach Fuzz had absolutely no connection with them. We discussed what to do, the advert taken down for a couple days. I suggested putting it back up, but with the part Flashdust complained about edited.
But the point seemed to be moot. Not long afterwards, Perri’s Xanadu shut it’s doors. This was not a big surprise, the crowds had been small and its main audience from the Sunweaver Estate had a number of clubs to chose from. But I liked the place with it’s ‘70s music. Not too many places specializing in that. It was sad to see it go. Maybe if he had more funds available for advertising, they could have gotten a larger audience. Having to put a dream aside, even a small one, is not a pleasant experience, so I didn’t pry into why they closed it.
Months went by, and the issue was forgotten. Then in May 2010, I was contacted again by Flashdust Lamington. He had found out about the article on ZZ Studios, and complained, saying the article was not true. I met up briefly with him and his partner Opius Oddfellow, discussed a few things, including the possibility of an advertorial. I had no intention of making an attack ad, especially on a place liked by some of the people I knew. But I had given their competitor some publicity, so maybe I should offer them a chance to have their say.
When we met again a few weeks later, Second Life Newspaper had closed down, and I had only recently started up Second Life Newser. I was still feeling a bit uncertain about my paper’s future as Flashdust, Opius, and their secretary dropped in. Flashdust seemed most concerned with what he told were vicious rumors being spread about him, and that I was more than willing to give him a chance to answer.
But he also had the desire to bring up a couple people and places. One was Cindy Babii and ZZ Studios. The other was RECoyote and Perri’s Xanadu. He wanted it heard that his club had absolutely nothing to do with Perri’s Xanadu, whether it was still open or not. He claimed to have gotten the plans for the Pan Pacific Auditorium by contacting CBS and Peach Fuzz created it’s Xanadu club, and separate WKRP adult area on their own.
Peach Fuzz’s Xanadu was packed away, he told me, as they wanted to concentrate on making their big film. He also told me REC had made a post on his Furaffinity page about it. He didn’t see it as simply trying to attract an audience that was too modest to go to a place owned by an adult entertainment company, but an effort to steal customers. He also was less than thrilled to see the article about Perri Xanadu’s closing, thinking people might confuse the two.
I told him I had a problem with writing what he wanted about him for two reasons. One was that I knew Rec. Two, I also thought going into attack mode over this would accomplish nothing but make him look bad. I suggested he simply say he had no relation with any other “Club Xanadu,” but he just told me he’d drop the matter. We talked more, I told him I’d write something up on the rumors soon, and we parted on a cordial note.
We emailed each other a couple times, Flashdust saying he was getting ready for a con. And then no more messages from him. With some big news hitting Second Life at the time, the layoffs of numbers of Lindens, Philip Linden’s return as CEO, Second Life’s Seventh Birthday, etc, I was busy with this influx of news stories. In July, I finally emailed him again. He gave a brief response, saying he’d get with me soon about what to write.
Then in August, a couple friends alerted me to the Peach Fuzz forum, in the words of one, “Hey Bix, somebody’s pissed off at you.” She sent me a link to a post, “Yup! It’s time to clear things up.” Flashdust gave his own rendition of events concerning both his competitor Cindy Babii and ZZ Studios and RECoyote Mindes and Perri’s Xanadu. Flashdust basically called REC a thief whom was trying to piggyback on his success, and complained about it getting publicity in Second Life Newspaper, “Seriously, I’m gonna give those guys SUCH a pinch!” ... “... THE NERVE”
But the worst was yet to come. One of the friends who alerted me to this mess told me about a talk with Nydia Tungsten in which one of her “Angels” group, Jian Alcott, had been harassed by someone from Peach Fuzz. I soon went to Nydia, who told me what happened, “Flashdust is an ass. He had one of his goons or an alt come to Xanadu and try to intimidate Jian. ... Flash dust's crony came in telling Jian how she is going to be sued RL and lose everything, yadda yadda, because she was working for this Xanadu when the real one was going to open AFTER he offers her a job to work for them. ... stalked her. They knew she wasn't high in the chain there and waited until she was alone.”
“Blast him, bring out this smear campaign he has been pulling.”
Talking to RECoyote, he passed me a couple notecards of what happened, the person approaching Jian claiming to be a private investigator, “yep i was watching 4 u.” When RECoyote confronted the person, the “private investigator” claimed that Flash was the only one who could own a Xanadu club, “he has that name copyrighted and u stole his building.” I later talked to Jian, whom confirmed the story, though felt the one who was really harassed was Rec, “Rec didn't deserve any of what he got from those creeps.”
Talking to Ranchan Weidman, she told me, “Rec had been planning a club called ‘Xanadu’ a long time ago, ever since I had Afterburner on the Pacific Waters sim before it turned to a homestead sim. Rec was the one that brought the intan couples dance balls to my attention as well. And Rec had his club open way before even the first announcement of the (Peach Fuzz) Xanadu that, for records sake, was getting a free ride on rent, up in what was Cape Suzette.”
It’s one thing to make angry rants in an Internet forum. Going on Second Life and waiting until someone is alone and then harassing them is something else. Why stoop to this bullying? No one owns the exclusive rights to Xanadu on Second Life (or the new Pan Pacific Auditorium building that recently opened).
Exactly why Flashdust escalated his rivalry with Perri’s Xanadu like this, I don’t know. It may have helped him in the short run by driving a competitor to shut down. But surely he must have realized sooner or later word would leak out and be heard by others, including people working for him, including two certain artists?
As for Peach Fuzz and ZZ Studios, that is another story, one of which I’d prefer to talk to a couple people before writing about that.