Niels began making fezzes as party favors for his friends in the early nineties. These days he makes a batch of them roughly once a year to equip newly-initiated members of The Corvallis Vacuum Tube Collective. Each fez is hand-made by gluing fake leopardskin to a conical form cut and glued from double-strength pendaflex file folder cardboard. High-school graduation tassels from thrift shops and garage sales are then added. Recent editions of the fez have small vacuum tubes mounted in place of the tassels. Each fez is signed and dated by Niels and he records the particulars of its construction and its eventual disposition in a special notebook. To date, he has made and given away over 175 fezzes.
Why does he give away fezzes to the members of The Corvallis Vacuum Tube Collective? Because with your fez on, you can stand up and make pronouncements stiff with null-content jargon to eager representatives of the international press, who will hang spellbound on your every word. Your picture will appear in respected journals. With your fake passport, you will move unencumbered in places where lesser diplomats fear to tread, even with with legitimate credentials. You can soundly berate leaders of powerful nations with impunity, while representatives of the oppressed masses cheer wildly and chant your name. Like a barefoot Hindu ascetic in the foothills of the Himalayas, you can munch glass tubing with your bare teeth without ill effect, while pilgrims watch in mute amazement. Like an ex-Texan signed on as a roustabout for a petroleum prospecting expedition to the interior of Borneo in 1955, you can terrorize members of local tribes by spitting cigarette lighter fluid and igniting it with your Ronson, rendering deadly swarms of malarial mosquitoes into scorched clouds of chitonous exoskeletal dust.
With your fez on, you can be proclaimed king for a day of a remote district without basic sanitation in the Transcaucasus by cannily predicting eclipses, using a pocket almanac that the natives cannot read. The mayors of Cleveland and Muncie will mudwrestle to the death for the privilege of being photographed handing you the ceremonial key to their city. You will be beckoned on stage by members of superstar rock groups to solo through a slant-front 100 watt Marshall stack on a 1959 Gibson ES-355 with intact gold plating and strings so fresh that they can split oxygen molecules on contact, in front of a crowd reliably estimated at nearly five hundred thousand. Donald Trump will lend you his Paris penthouse anytime you happen to be in town and Snoop Dogg with send you $1,000 bottles of champagne before breakfast. Michael Moore will pose with you for a People Magazine cover shot.
In short: with your fez on, you will amaze and entertain your friends, and baffle and confuse your enemies. At the mere sight of your hat and mention of your name, drinks will be on the house. The world will be your oyster- except for the months with an "r" in them.
The Story Behind the Fezzes
What About Those Fezzes?
Tube Fez Close Up
Niels Makes His Own Fezzes
He Gives Them to His Friends
We Wear Them at the Collective