Tuesday 1 April 2014

Max The Dog's 'Picture Book' Part One - News Views and Music 176761 (1/4/2099)

ALAN'S ALBUM ARCHIVES - NEWS, VIEWS AND MUSIC ISSUE 176761******Still only £854.50 or two-and-a-half Quargs!****

Inside this weeks' exciting issue... Max The Singing Dog celebrates his 100th birthday by talking about his life and times; we celebrate Max's top six appearances on TV and Radio in our weekly 'top' column; we have the latest Doctor Who news; Nelson is still 'lost in time' and we finally reveal whether dungarees really are dangerous!

With a free MP-5 featuring the latest release by The Austounders and celebrating 130 years since the first CSN album!

"Earth edition - also available in Zigorosian"****"The Earth's Favourite Monkeynuts Newsletter"****"Rather nervous sponsors of BoFace Time Travel experiments"

Dear reader, welcome to another issue of News, Views and Music, your first from our all-new team Ed The Editor' Edwards and Max's nephew Scrappy Doo! This week we head back to the old brigade, though, with a special 'picture book'/ 'scrapbook of madness' in aid of someone very dear to this website's hearts! Oh and - err - sorry about the delay in getting last week's publication out to you: our android D79-4ZQ has been playing up again (somebody played him some Spic Girls music for a joke and it's fused all his circuits!) and all the drone-bots we sent out with your mail last week seem to have disappeared down the Bermuda triangle. Ah well, we hope to have more luck with this issue - in fact we know we will because apparently someone sent it back in time 85 years as an April Fool's joke, very funny! - which is a special publication celebrating the life and times of one of our founders, Max The Singing Dog, in memory of his 100th birthday.

Now a resident in the New York New York Folks Home For Retired Celebrity Canines, Max kindly took some time out from his usual schedule playing chess with Lassie and dancing with Pudsey to talk to us about some of his memories. He's also very kindly opened up his scrapbook to share some photographs and souvenirs from across Alan's Album Archives' long and complex history. I was particularly pleased to hear his reminiscences from his Grand-Doggy and his puppy past listening to records and dreaming of becoming a 'star' before joining the Alan's Album Archives team near the very beginning. From his slots on several big TV shows that are still running today and his help in overthrowing the tyrannical Coalition Government to his many awards and his successes, Max has led so much more than a dog's life. He's also very forthcoming about his addiction to top hats and canes that saw him serve a prison term in the 2080s and his rehabilitation back to full health thanks to his association with the Moomin Church.

Look out too for our regular 'top six' column, which this time around will be extracts from some of Max's most famous television and radio appearances over the years. interspersed with the interview. Most weeks we try to bring you the 'soundtrack' to your lives here at the AAA; this week we're bringing you the pictures to go with the soundtrack instead! Don't worry though: our usual columns such as the News, the Reviews, Nelson's time-travelling and the latest shenanigans in the AAA-sponsored Dr Who series will all be there as normal. So lean back in your Max The Dog Rocking Chair (£1999.99 from all good stockists), put on some music (the 'Best Of Alan's Album Archives' Volume 37 is out now priced £376.50) and tip your Max The Dog top hat (£798 from 'TopHatShop) to one cool canine! Oh and in answer to the question on everybody's lips: yes, dungarees are still very dangerous!
(Ed the Editor)

                                    THE NEWS:

♫ Various Artists News: While several AAA bands are no more, don't despair! There's now a long line up of AAA tribute acts treading the boards in a galaxy near you! Open for tickets now include The Beach Volley Boys (Beach Boys), In A Bit Of A Pickle (Dire Straits), Thankyou Rigor Mortis (Grateful Dead), The Herbert Hoover Hanglider (Jefferson Airplane) and My Little Ponies (Crazy Horse).


♫ Various Artists News: Following the success of last year's event the fifth AAA-sponsored 'Snoozestock' Festival taking place next month - to raise money for chronic fatigue. m.e. and fibromyalgia sufferers -  looks as if it will be bigger than ever. The event is being beamed around the world so sufferers can watch it from their beds and in the middle of the night when they're most likely to be awake! (Check out the BBC -  Belobrat Broadcasting Company - channel 12 listings for more details). Performances this year include several AAA bands who have reunited especially for the gig to sing their AAA themed songs including The Beatles ('I'm So Tired' 'I'm Only Sleeping' and a special extended version of 'Twist and Shout Before You Get Comfy'), Graham Nash ('Another Sleep Song'), Cat Stevens ('A Bad Night' and 'I'm So Sleepy'), The Beach Boys ('I Went To Sleep') The Kinks ('Just Can't Go To Sleep' 'Sleepwalker' and 'Sleepless Night'), Pink Floyd ('Uncomfortably Numb'), The Small Faces ('Every Little Bit Hurts'), Neil Young ('Bad Brainfog of Loneliness') and The Who (with their modified Eddie Cochran cover 'Aching All Over'). Ex-sufferers like Belle and Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch (singing 'Sleep The Clock Around') and Cher will be the headline acts. The event will raise money for research into the illness, care and comfort for the sufferers and their families and something guaranteed to cheer every me/cfs patient up: a special trip to Dartmoor Prison where those who suffered under the tyrannical Coalition rule can throw rotten eggs at David Cameron, Ian Duncan Smith and Nick Clegg!


♫ The Austounders News: Dog's recently returned from a highly successful cruise where he was voted 'second best dressed canine' after our very own Max! Meanwhile, the new Austounders compilation 'Still Dungareed, Still Dangerous' is out now on our own 'Spareroom Studios' label!


The Beach Boys News: The ever so slightly re-worked single 'I Get Around (On My Motor-scooter') is storming up the charts!


♫ The Beatles News:  The fab four's old record company Apple have been sold yet again - it's not Pine or CRAB that have bought them this time around but Carte D'or, meaning that from now on the company will be known as - yes, you guessed it - 'Applecarte'.


♫ The Kinks/Oasis News: Sibling rivalry is set to hit another fever pitch as the second run of releases by the two halves of two of the 20th century's greatest bands continue to work together. Today elder brothers Ray Davies and Noel Gallagher releasing their second album as 'Kinky Birds' with such songs as 'Wonderwall on Dead End Street' and 'You Really Got Me Looking Back In Anger'. Meanwhile younger brothers Liam Gallagher and Dave Davies are to release their new single as 'Kinky Eyes' next month: 'Lola Lyla' backed with 'Be Here Now 'Cos I'm So Tired Of Waiting For You'.


♫ The Monkees News: Here they come, hovergliding down your street...yes that's right, the revived Monkees TV series will be back by the end of the year and the 18th series will again be sponsored by Alan's Album Archives. The plotlines include Micky being abducted by a bunch of clandusprod aliens from Frodis, Peter competes in Strictly Come Dancing (where he comes last to a bunch of cheating four-legged aliens), Davy's ghost falls in love with the American president Jill Clinton and Mike is trying to post old clips of the Monkees to Youtube, but doesn't get a single view!


♫  Pentangle News: The band who love to explore old songs and bring them up to date have a new album out soon, said to be the best exploration of the ancient world since Mike's Dad recorded his own album 'She's About A Hoover'. The album, to be entitled 'Shopping Trolley of Light' includes late 21st century re-workings of such classics as Morning Has Broken, She Loves You and Lady Gaga's 'Pokerface'.


♫ Pink Floyd News: The recently reunited band continue their run of live performances. After 'Dark Side Of The Moon' performed on the dark side of the moon and 'The Wall' at the recently rebuilt 'Hadrian's Wall' (built after Scotland voted 'yes' to independence!) comes 'The Division Bell' performed inside Big Ben!


♫ Rolling Stones News: The band have a new live album out - their 27th this decade, a record even for them! Entitled 'Stones In Space' the latest release features the band playing on board their own 'Soul Survivor' Mars module and features epic re-recordings of their songs '2000 Light Years From Home' 'In Another Land' 'Moonlight Mile' 'Who's Been Driving Your Lunar Module?' and 'Star Star'!


♫ The Who News: The Dr Who theme tune re-recording 'Talking 'Bout My Regenerations' for new doctor Richard O'Brien continues to storm the intergalactic charts!


♫ Neil Young News: Well, it took a while but 'Archives: The Centuries Volume II' is finally here! Mopping up the albums from 2000-2050, the set includes such gems as 'Falling Off The Face Of The Earth' 'Oodlespingt' (the tribute to the belobrat protestors prosecuted by William G Bush) and the anniversary single 'Harvest Festival'.


Ed: Welcome Max, thankyou for taking the time to talk to us and of course best wishes for the big day. Now you've been famous the world over for 80 years now thanks to those Alan's Album Archives Youtube videos and nobody has ever really asked you how you got involved in the project.

Max: Well, I owe it all really to a jumble sale in a town called Skelmersdale where a nice lady bought me for 50p and gave me to a young lad named Mike - who became the AAA's IT director under his better known name of 'The Face Of Bo'. Being such a music fan it was inevitable I would end up involved somehow and fell into a crowd who are still my good friends - Bingo, RumBearBear. 

Ed: I was actually asked to present a plaque on your old house by the National Trust but I found out they'd pulled the whole city down in 2019!

Max: Yes, I can't say I was too upset at the loss of my unloved birthplace - or that the place was condemned to be honest. I was much happier in my spiritual home of New York, New York when I managed to persuade the 'boss' to move our headquarters there.

Ed: What about your life before that? Things must have been pretty miserable to have ended up in a jumble sale!

Max: Well, I was bored of being cooped up in a kennel and doing nothing but bark at the postman once a day. I wanted to get out and see more of the world and singing and dancing had already become a passion of mine by then, so one day I simply told my family I was going out to find fame and fortune...
Insert: Two pictures from Max's phone from 2002, kindly printed with permission:

Insert: Two pictures from Max's phone from 2002, kindly printed with permission


Ed: Well, move on you did - and how! But what about your earliest infleunces?

Max: Well, it was my great-grandoggy who first got me interested in music and told me about all this thing called the internet. Which was odd, because I realised later the world wide web didn't actually exist when he told me that...

Ed: Your youtube videos (link: http://www.youtube.com/user/AlansArchives/videos">http://www.youtube.com/user/AlansArchives/videos
) really made a star out of you. How did it feel fronting such a successful franchise that was born out of, well, nothing really?

Max: Well, it took a long time for things to get going, really. I think it was only the second half of 2014 when things became truly 'mammoth' for us and it must have been the sixth Youtube Video over about six years where we finally cracked it. In retrospect perhaps hitting David Cameron in the face with a cream pie wasn't the best advertisement for a music review website, but it seemed to work!

Ed: And how! I remember well how exciting it was in my childhood - this mixture of music, politics, comedy and talking canines and both you and the site became household names!

Max: For me, the biggest development was when we got our first office, taking over the whole of the fourth floor of an apartment block in a town in Sweden with our 15 staff - the country really took to us for some reason! I love the sign the staff had printed on my behalf, heh heh!


Insert: AAA Sticker released in 2018

Insert: The AAA Headquarters in 2020:

Ed: Alan's Album Archives won lots of awards and was of course crucial when the Clandusprod Aliens from Zigorous 3 decided to land on the planet in 2025 (note - the Clandusprods were preparing to destroy Earth due to humanity's capacity for destruction before discovering Alan's Album Archives and realising that most of the songs were about peace). That must have been a fun time in your life, Max?

Max: Oh yes! My fiance Bella Elephant were everywhere about that time - the Posh and Becks of the animal world but with better singing voices obviously! 

Ed: What was your proudest moment do you think?

Max: There are three, really. Saving one's home planet from destruction has clearly got to be right up there as far as big events go. Winning the first ever 'world favourite website' award was another - I still keep my rosette on my top hat to remind me of what a great time we were all having in the 2020s!

Insert: AAA In The News

Insert: Max's Rosette        

Max: However truly, paw-on-heart, I think my greatest gift to humanity that will be judged for years to come, is managing to prove in court that listening to Spice Girls music is hazardous to your health. I couldn't get their records banned, sadly, but at least they now legally have to carry 'parental advisory warnings' on their CDs every time they come out now and being a Spice Girl is now on an equal level to swearing or lyrics mentioning drugs or violence - personally I'd say their songs are more worrying for the nation's youth than all three. Unfortunately some wally (not me, honest! - ed) messed things up so that the sticker now reads 'parentasl' instead - oops!

Ed: I well remember - and I'm sure many of my readers do as well - the sheer amount of merchandise you used to appear on back then Max. I mean you were on everything - there was even a jigsaw of you out at one point...

'Max The Dog Jigsaw' yours for just £4.99 and three bottle-tops from 'Max-O' cereal!
Insert: That infamous mis-spelt label

Ed: Why do you think people chose you as their new 'mascot', Max?
Max: Because they had good taste, ho ho! No I think, for one, it was unusual to see a dog up there in 'showbusiness' back then, I think there was only really me, Lassie, Scooby Doo and Rowlf the Dog from the Muppets who'd been there before me. I think, too, people could see that I wasn't threatening - I was just a song and dance dog at heart, with a love of comedy and people seemed to like my dress sense too - well, it was the 2080s after all!

Insert: More merchandise - A frothy Maxucinno available only at Maxdonalds

Max's 'AAA' Alphabet Soup'

Ed: Never one to sit still, you soon put your Youtube Video experience to use in two blockbuster projects that saw cameos from practically every film and music star going. How did all that come about?

Max: Well, our Youtube videos were naturally getting longer and longer and as you'll know if you've read any AAA article, we do tend to get a bit carried away. So I thought lets try and sell a really big project and see if our mix of quirky humour and serious detail can work. 

Ed: Let's start with 'The Alan's Album Archives Movie', with a plot where you're a millionaire dog driving around in a car trying to get back a 'missing' review (out now on DVD, Blu-Ray and Pink-Ray). How do you feel about that project now?

Max: Ah yes, working title 'Give My Regards To Skelmersdale'. The music was good but the plot...who wants to know, really? It was just like a long music video really. I still say 'No More Bonely Nights' on the soundtrack album was really good though.

Ed: It certainly did well at the box-office! What about the casting for the movie?

Max: Well, Michael Caine seemed an obvious choice to play me, what with all the 'cane' jokes in the film and it also meant we could use the dialogue: 'You were only supposed to review the ruddy Doors album!' Oliver Reed - revived by the Spirit Foundation Society - was a natural to play Bingo too. 

How about your next project, a musical 'Max-A-Mama-Mia'?

Max: I'd longed to be starring in a musical ever since I was a puppy and I originally auditioned for the re-make of 'Top Hat'. When I didn't get that I got offered a deal to put on any show I wanted as long as I did it quickly, so I did the most obvious cliched surefire plotline I could think of - getting my daughter Maxine to accidentally invite three old flames who could have been their mothers and meeting up again on a tropical island. We had fun trying to shoe-horn all the most popular AAA songs in for me to perform for no apparent reason too. Strange, everyone seemed to love it when they did that in 'Mama Mia'...

Insert: Clapperboard

Fake Movie Posters
Insert: Film Poster

Ed: While neither project was a critical success, the public seemed to love you back then and you were raking in millions weren't you?

Max: Oh yes! I hired someone just to keep my canes clean for me - the old Prince Charles I think it was, right after the scandal when I thought I'd better help him out a bit - and I went everywhere by private jet. It was really odd actually - we even had our own fireplace in it, just like the Moody Blues, although we were too terrified to light it!

Ed: For me the moment where I knew you'd grown from a star into an institution was when we named a boat after you!

Max: Hmm! I hear it's a boat-museum now, very fancy! Goodness knows why - I can't even doggy-paddle!

Insert: That Plane!
Insert: That Boat!

Ed: And so we come to the 2050s - a mixed decade for you?

Max: Well, it started off on all the right notes. It was around then I became the last person to receive a medal from the Queen. Of course, we didn't know back then that she was secretly a Doosbury Giant from the planet Hellosphere or I might not have turned up for the medal...

Ed: It wasn't just our country that saw you hobnobbing with famous people though - you got quite close to Obama I believe?

Max: Yes, I got to sing at his last inauguration - to think, they changed the rules just so he could keep getting voted into power and to think he won it 12 times in a row!!

Insert: Flipping Marvellous! max Chats To Obama

Insert: Clipping Marvellous! Max (And Bingo) Make The News!

Ed: Of course! I'd forgotten how short terms in office were back then in the early 21st century!

Max: Oh yes! That gift of a longer life and a whole new regeneration cycle from the Clandusprod aliens when they made contact changed everything!

Ed: Which brings me on very neatly to the day that the Clandusprods came to Earth to blow it up but accidentally got hooked on reading Alan's Album Archives instead. It must have been a very nerve-racking day for you!

Max: Very! When we asked why we weren't being blown as threatened/promised this spaceship projected a giant 'www' web address in the sky before leaving a message in a crop circle right outside the White House. Suddenly I was an intergalactic as well as international star!

Ed: Is this the time when 'New York' state officially became 'New York Max'?

Max: Yes indeed, in the state of Alan's Album Archives. A very proud moment for me. Of course the gesture was quite meaningless in the end.

Ed: Because it sank into the sea ten years later you mean?

Max: No, because I can't read. I'm a dog, you see.

Insert: 'New York Max' in the state of 'Alan's Album Archives' (Max: 'We were always in a state making Alan's Album Archives!)

Insert: The crop circle message that sealed the Earth's fate.

Ed: You were probably the planet's biggest hero at that point, but then it all started to go wrong. Were you and Alan's Album Archives really responsible for the time-travel experiment that caused the whole of time to stop?

Max: Oh yes! And unlike about three-quarters of the population I can still remember what happened too. We'd been looking at new prizes to offer our readers and came across an eccentric scientist named Dr Zeus who said he could take a few small selected groups back in time to important events. Naturally we booked in a weekend at Woodstock - just to check that it worked you understand - and a glorious week at 'Live 80', the Bob Geldof anniversary concert when all of the AAA bands were there. Going forwards in time seemed to work out well too - and I can safely tell you all that dungarees are back in fashion by the 23rd century so get saving now! Unfortunately while I was there I, err, tripped over my cane, knocked the machine and suddenly there was chaos everywhere! Egyptians materialising alongside Victorians and humans from the Earth's future rubbing shoulders with cavemen. It's quite something to try to organise all those people and say 'sorry', but after the shock I personally quite enjoyed it, having different eras of the Earth's history on different countries. Living in Sweden in the Elizabethan era was great!

Ed: I thought everyone's re-action to it was quite mean, really, Max - I mean it was you and Dr Zeus who sorted it all out again wasn't it?!

Max: Indeed I did! Trying to get everyone to think about 'Alan's Album Archives' at one particular moment - it was quite difficult to arrange seeing as time didn't exist anymore!

Ed: Officially, of course, it never happened and the tenth of the population who remembered it all were told they were suffering from mass hallucinations, but when archaeological 'discoveries' kept turning up all over the place the Governments of the world had to come clean!

Max: I've never been so pleased to see graffiti! Of course, I soon learnt not to trust what Governments tell you - not after sharing a continent with the CIA official who really killed JFK, the Royal Family hitman who killed Diana, William G Bush's admission that his grandad had blown up the twin towers himself and the Lancashire Pixies that had always lived under the earth!


Insert: A couple of examples of out-of-time graffiti

Ed: Soon after came perhaps your crowning moments of glory - an album of your own and an AAA superstar line-up who got together for the charity single 'we are all one galaxy and we're only 38 billion light years apart'. Were they your idea?

Max: The 'New York' album was - it seemed an obvious thing to do for the state's 450th birthday in 2074 and I loved performing it outside in the memorial square next to the Triplet Towers. The charity single with the 'Zigorus 3 vs Earth All-Stars' came from a discussion I had with Mix The Ringing Dix, a rather smart alien I got friendly with who had three canes for his three arms and four top hats for his huge head. We were talking about wanting to promote peace on the planet and thought it would be a good opportunity to raise money for the 'Alpha Centauri In Need' appeal.


Insert: the two album covers for the best-selling singles of the 2070s and 2080s respectively

Ed: I know things got difficult for you around this time, though, Max. You'll realise I'm sure that I have to bring up your addiction. You were up to 14 canes a day around this time I believe?

Max: Yes, I just couldn't help it. I was travelling round the world a lot then and saw a lot of canes. I thought they'd be good for my image, you see, and the word soon got out and soon cane salesmen were everywhere when I tried to go out. It wasn't too bad at first with ordinary canes but then I got into cracked canes and soon everything became a blur.

Ed: The tabloids seemed determined to take you down back then, first with the paternity suit (made by Susie Poodle, which turned out not to have been by the married Max but his close friend Bingo) that later proved to be false and with the prison sentence for Cane smuggling (Max had been caught in Japan apparently trying to smuggle canes into the country - worried that he wouldn't find any in the country he'd simply bought them in for his own use). 

Max: Yes, I was innocent of both charges, but of course no one listens to you when you're in the media spotlight and it was partly true - I did have a problem. Ironically enough I ended up at the AA - when friends used to visit me they said I'd only gone there because I thought it was the AAA Headquarters!


Insert - Bad times; Max had made a 'dog's dinner' of things in the 2090s! The shock even caused him to temporarily change breed!

Ed: Where to from here then, Max?

Max: A good question - and one I kept asking myself. Eventually I turned the only thing I knew I could do and released a new record (released as 'Sing-A-Long-A-Max'!) It wasn't as big a seller as before, but it got my name out there in the public again!

Ed: Whose idea was it to re-record all the 'dog' songs from the AAA albums?

Max: I'm not quite sure to be honest - and I'm really not sure why the cover was printed the wrong way up! That's how many people felt about the whole project I suppose! It was so low budget it even came with instructions on how to cut around the sleeve!

Add caption

Ed: The story has a happy and unexpected twist, though. For the last five years you've become a preacher, is that true?

Max: Yes that's right. I had a calling - or as I like to call it a singing - and realised that I wanted to be part of a community full of songs again so I applied to become Reverend Max. I particularly liked the dog collar they gave me - all those years and I'd never worn one! I like to give lectures on the healing power of music too - it's got me through some tough times in my career and given me heaps of joy too!

Insert: 'I used to think the book of Genesis was just a Phil Collins biography until I found my new career'

Ed: How do you feel life turned out for you then, Max?

Max: It's been an astonishing journey, from being a general dogsbody in the early days of Alan's Album Archives to becoming top dog! I wouldn't have missed it for the world - I feel really fulfilled and I'm still having so much fun!

Ed: And may you continue to do so for a long time to come! A very happy 100th birthday from all of us at the new-look Alan's Album Archives and a very happy 80th wedding anniversary to you and your lovely wife Bella The Elephant!

Max: Ta very much! I now have more wrinkles than she does!

There'll be from Max when we feature his 'top six' guest appearances on TV and radio at the end of this newsletter! For now, though, it's our look back at last week's releases and there's a trio of offerings for you, from the sublime to the ridiculous...  

Continued in the very exciting part two here  http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/max-dogs-picture-book-part-two-news.html (in which Nelson goes back in time, Max appears on TV and the Spice Girls do ballet...) 

Please go to    http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/max-dogs-picture-book-part-two-news.html for more!         

A complete collection of April Fool’s Day Columns (Plus Other Bits and Pieces):

#1 (published 2009, set in 2034): http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2009_03_29_archive.html

#4 ('Swedish Elizabethan' edition, published 2012, set in a timeless universe): http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2012_04_01_archive.html

#5 ('Max's Space Museum' edition, published 2013, set in 7114): http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/news-views-and-music-issue-7114-maxs.html

#6 (Max's Scrapbook' edition, published 2014 set in 2099):

http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/max-dogs-picture-book-news-views-and.html and http://www.alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/max-dogs-picture-book-part-two-news.html

#7 ('Multiverse with famous authors writing for the AAA' edition, published and set in 2015)


#8 ('The Story and Discography of Pixie Drainpipe', published 2016, set in 5838)


#9 (‘All Hail President Bingo!’, published 2017, set in 2020) https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/april-fools-day-2017-all-hail-president.html

#10 (‘Spice Up Your Life!!!’,  published and set in 2018) https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2018/04/april-fools-day-2018-spice-up-your-life.html

#11 (‘Brexit Maxit and Farewell’, published 2019, set in 2029) https://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.com/2019/04/april-fools-day-brexit-maxit-special.html

Every Single AAA Studio and Solo Release in Chronological Order: http://alansalbumarchives.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/revised-article-every-single-aaa-album.html 

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