Dr. Albert Flipout is a fictional character created by Mickey Pantelous in 2006.
Dr. Flipout is a 10 cm can, filled with pebbles that Mickey attaches to his left foot when playing as a one-man band. The band’s name is “Dr. Albert Flipout’s one CAN Band” and Mickey claims that Albert is the leader of the band and that is why by definition, it is a “one CAN band” and not a “one man band”.
Mickey also claims that it is Albert pulling the strings when they’re playing and not himself.
Here, the word CAN* represents two meanings:
a) As a noun: A metal container in which something such as food, drink, or paint is put.
b) As a verb: Able of - indicates that someone has the ability or opportunity to do something.
It is said that Mickey created this character after having a fight with a fellow musician during a tour, while the future of his full band was being questioned, and (as if THAT was not enough) he had just split up with his girlfriend.
Mickey was very close to giving up on music for good, if not giving up in general, and needed someone to hold on to. Someone he could get along with and even better, play music with. So he transformed his Latin Shaker into Dr. Albert Flipout and gave him life. After two years of thinking and talking with Albert, Mickey finally gave him the one thing that was missing. A past. He gave him a past that is directly connected to true historical facts, making people often wonder whether Dr. Flipout is an actual person, since he’s even written his own songs.
Besides true historical facts, Mickey Pantelous has also added bits and bobs of his personal life into Albert’s story:
For example the dates of Dr. Flipout’s birth and Betty McNeill’s (Albert’s wife) death, match Mickey’s father’s dates of birth and death. Having added many elements of his real life’s story to Dr. Flipout’s, it gets hard to understand where the fiction ends and the truth begins, literally or metaphorically.
Dr. Albert Flipout’s “BIOGRAPHY”
Dr. Albert Flipout is born a HUMAN on January 21, 1913 in Dusseldorf, Germany, the only child of a middle class family. In 1932, after finishing school he decides to fulfill his parents’ desire, and gets himself accepted at the University of Vienna to study medicine.
It was there, at the University of Vienna, that he met Sigmund Freud with whom he came to be very close. Not only was he his teacher, but he also became his mentor; a father figure, especially after his parents’ death at the Hindenburg zeppelin disaster in 1937. A year later, in 1938, Dr. Flipout finishes his degree as an anesthesiologist and decides to follow Dr. Freud to London, where he fled from right after his arrival because of the Nazi regime. Dr. Freud suffered of mouth cancer, which spread pretty fast so Albert volunteered to help Dr. Max Schur, personal physician and friend of Dr. Freud, to put an end to his misery by injecting him with three shots of morphine. Sigmund Freud’s death was a big shock to Albert, and being left all alone made him feel lost.
Moving to the States
By the end of 1939, after some serious thinking, Dr. Albert Flipout decides to move to the United States of America hoping to work as a doctor, and to avoid World War 2 that just had started in Europe. In 1940 he gets hired at the San Francisco General Hospital in California. There he’ll meet Betty McNeill a fine looking nurse and a good-hearted person, whom he’ll get married to in 1943.
In 1945 Betty has an accident at work. The ambulance she was in during a duty call rolled off the road and crashed into a tree. She broke her neck and the doctors diagnosed quadriplegia. She stayed in bed without being able to move a single muscle. Two years later, there still was no improvement to her situation, and she begged Albert to set her free from her misery. On November 28, 1948 Dr. Flipout mercy-kills his wife by injecting her with three shots of morphine, and gets accused of murder by her family. After three years in court, Albert is sentenced to life for first-degree murder.
In 1951 he gets locked up in the ROCK. But in the beginning of the 60’s the U.S. government decides to close Alcatraz down, and all the inmates are transferred to other prisons. For a very strange reason and in the midst of some kind of bureaucratic mess-up, Albert was transferred from Alcatraz to Mississippi State Penitentiary. It was there at parch-man farm, during hard labor, that Dr. Flipout heard the inmates sing the prison songs for the very first time, and it was then that his interest in music and the blues started to grow. Even back in his cell, his fellow inmate would play the guitar and Albert would play along tapping and hitting anything that would make a sound, keeping the rhythm. He even wrote his first Blues song there.
In 1965 the powers that be decided he had no business doing his time in Mississippi and the U.S. government transferred him back to one of the prisons in California. Folsom Prison this time, where he was lucky enough to see Johnny Cash perform live three years later, in 1968.
In 1972 still doing time at Folsom Prison Dr. Albert Flipout gets to share his cell with a new inmate who’s no other than Charles Milles Manson. In the beginning they got along just fine, but after a while sharing a cell with Charles Manson wouldn’t be what you’d call the easiest thing in the world…
It was during that time when Dr. Flipout heard about some teleport experiments of sorts that the U.S Air-force was carrying out in cooperation with NASA. They were looking for volunteers to take part (in other words they needed human/guinea pigs). For top secret experiments of that kind, secret services usually rely on death-row prisoners or life timers that have no one to care for them, and so they ask them to participate in exchange for their freedom (that is if they get out of it unharmed). Albert thought he had nothing left to lose and since he was having such a hard time sharing his cell with Charles Manson, he agreed. The experiment took place in Area 51 in the state of Nevada in 1973.
Dr. Flipout was sitting in the “decomposition room” waiting for the experiment to start, when the system’s main fuse burned out – or that’s what he was told. He was also told to stay put and wait, but more than two hours passed, and he started getting hungry. So, he asked one of the supervisors if they could get him something to eat, and shortly, Albert was brought a can of CAMPELL'S Chicken Soup. He was so hungry; he started drinking the soup right out of the can. It was then, that the main fuse turned back on by itself and the experiment went off with no one in Area 51 being able to take control of anything. Next thing, Albert is in the “development room“ (where they put back together what they have just decomposed)… as a can. The result of that uncontrollable experiment exceeded every expectation the scientists had - having a living Can in their hands was something they definitely wanted to keep for further research. But in Albert’s view that was not part of the deal, since he managed to survive the experiment, he was free to go.
Albert managed to literally slip from the scientists’ hands and started running in the facilities of area 51 trying to find a place to hide. He ended up in what seemed to be area 51's food supply warehouse, and hid himself between piles of cans. “No better place for me to hide, the ultimate camouflage!” (He thought to himself)… Alas, much to his dismay and ignorance, the cans along with Albert were to be loaded on a C-130, and dropped off somewhere over Vietnam. And so Albert landed in the Vietnamese jungle, near Hong Gai.
It took him a year (or two?) to get himself out of that jungle, until one day he reached the sea. He was at the golf of Hai Long. There, he found shelter in a cave that also happened to be a pirates’ hideout. Dr. Albert Flipout had to be on the lookout at all times cause the pirates would come anytime, day or night, to leave or take containers, packages and boxes that contained all kinds of smuggled goods.
Cigarettes; alcohol; food; ghetto blasters; batteries… you name it, they had it, and so Albert made himself comfortable. One day as soon as the pirates where gone, Albert opened a newly arrived box to check his contents out of curiosity, and what he found was white dust packed in small plastic bags. He opened one of them to make sure that the white dust was what he thought it was, but by the time he found out he was right, it was too late. The pirates nosed him out and took him hostage to the ship. The Captain, a Chinese-American dwarf that went by the name of Chuck Thong, was amused with the idea of having someone shorter than himself on board, and decided to keep Dr. Flipout as a ship-boy. That suited Albert just fine, because there wasn’t much he could do and not many places he could visit as a can. He had found himself shelter, food and people who’d accept him for what he was….a living CAN. He spent many years on board, sailing through the seven seas and getting himself into all kinds of pirate activity.
The Pirate Years
Not much is being disclosed about Albert’s pirate-life, except that he travelled with them for about 30 years, and that Chuck Thong was a drug addict who was losing his mind as the years where passing by…
At the beginning of the new millennium Dr. Albert Flipout, Chuck Thong and his Pirates sail into the Aegean Sea. Chuck Thong is now old and too much opium has already clouded his mind and heart. Money is the only God he serves. Being faithful to his god, now he’s got his ship sailing in the Aegean Sea heading towards Turkey for slave trafficking. He would use emigrants who were trying to get illegally into the European Union from Turkey through Greece, by vowing to take them to a safe place where a better future was awaiting them (in exchange for their money of course). Not only would he not he take them to a safer place, but as soon as he got their money he would throw them into the sea. There was simply no future for those people and Albert sure as hell wasn’t going to be part of all this. They reached the Turkish coast and the emigrants were boarding the ship when Dr. Flipout told Chuck Thong that he wanted out of this and that he should let him go. Chuck Thong pulled a can-opener out of the kitchen drawer and threatened to kill Dr. Flipout if he didn’t do as he was told. While the emigrants were being thrown off-board somewhere along the western coast of the island of Lesvos, Albert managed to steal the can-opener and open a hole at the bottom of the ship, big enough to sink it.
On September 24, 2004 Albert woke up on the beach of Tsihlionta, which lies between the villages of Sigri and Eressos, not knowing what had happened to everybody else. He spent two years there wandering between the two villages among scorpions and snakes, digging holes in the ground to protect himself from the sun. You know, western Lesvos is very much like Arizona desert.
Running in to Mickey
It’s in the summer of 2006, while Albert was half-buried head down trying to keep cool in the middle of a dusty road where practically no one ever passed through, when he instantly got unburied by being obnoxiously kicked in the ass - and thus coincidentally discovered - by a blues musician, singer/songwriter who goes under the name of Mickey Pantelous.
How Mickey got there is a completely different story. Mickey was going through some serious financial problems, and was mainly buskin at the time. When Dr. Albert Flipout decided to help him by drumming along, Mickey started earning well and it wasn’t long before the two of them created “Dr. Albert Flipout’s one CAN band”.
“Dr. Flipout’s Story Through A Century Of Blues Based American Music”
Mickey first presented Dr. Albert Flipout in 2008 in a show called “Dr. Flipout’s Story Through A Century Of Blues Based American Music” at Café Alavastron in Athens, Greece. He would unfold his story by showing pictures and documents of Dr. Flipout’s life, while playing songs either recorded at the period of his life he would refer to (starting out with artists like Blind Lemmon Jefferson and Blind Willie Mc Tell and ending up with artists like The White Stripes and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club), or songs written by Dr. Albert Flipout himself. The show was a great success, went on for two years and is still being performed every now and then. It is considered to be a cult classic.