Interview with The Candy Man
Interview conducted by Ipggi
Early November 1998
(C) The Scene News

Q: Who founded The Humble Guys?
A: I founded The Humble Guys with Fabulous Furlough. Fab had a job at the time where he had a lot of free computer time, and I was doing pretty well in the candy business, so I had time also. I supplied, he cracked, we both spread the games. Most of the strategy sessions later on included Slavemaster, but in the beginning he wasnt with us.

Q: When was it founded?
A: It was founded sometime in the late 80s. I dont honestly remember exactly when. I had gotten out of the commodore 64 scene, had joined up with Quartex on the Amiga, and had the IBM to run a bbs for Amiga games. When Fab showed me the quality of some of the IBM games coming out then, (his company gave him a little laptop, and he used to come over showing off the newest thing he had.) I was doing a bit of supplying for Quartex, but was really an ancillary member. No friends in the group or anything, I was in for entirely mercenary motives.

Q: Why was it founded?
A: This sounds stupid, and I dont want to insult anyone, (but at the same time I give a damn if I do insult anyone.), but when Fab started showing me around on the 'elite' scene on the IBM, it was so lame we kept thinking there must be a "REAL" elite scene somewhere else, and we were just to lame to find it. We didnt imagine that what we saw was the ELITE of the day. They were slow, the games were cracked poorly, nobody was doing anything with any penache. We put out the first couple of games holding our breath because we just knew the REAL elites were going to fry us for screwing around in something we knew nothing about. We really couldnt imagine that what we saw was THE ELITE SCENE. INC was about the only group doing anything, and they had never HAD to do things fast and well. We came along and put a charge into the PC scene. When I left, the PC scene was as competitive and ELITE as any scene out there. That's because at THG, we played hard, played to win and took no prisoners.

Q: Why the name THG?
A: We were about as un-humble as you could imagine. I used to tell our guys to be obnoxious, stuck up, assholes on the boards. (It came easy to them for the most part..) It is about being the best, and then having the balls to tell people you are the best. Like Babe Ruth said, "It aint braggin if you can do it." We did it. It was important to a lot of the "little people" out there that we be stuck up and snobbish. It is a dissapointment for someone when they meet God. We were worshipped by a hell of a lot of people from all over the world. I used to get tons of letters in the PO Box, and we virtually never responded. My reasoning was, God doesnt answer prayer in a tangible manner. If he did, he would lose that aura. We were unapproachable to those not in our world, and we were envied by those in our world. (Damn, I was slipping back into character for a minute....)

Q: Where was THG mainly based?
A: It was based in the beginning at 421 Tampa Dr. Nashville Tn. That was my house. :Later on, most of the leg work was done from the Slave Den, but Candyland was always the home base. It is where the planning went on, and Slave Den was where the work got done.

Q: When did you realise that THG was a major force in your scene?
A: I guess after the first or second game, and we had tons of people flocking to us telling us how awesome we were, that these games were uncrackable, that nobody had these games yet, etc. After a day or two and the sky didnt fall, Fab and I knew that the SCENE on the most important computer in the world was by far the lamest SCENE out there. We fixed that though. Inside a month, we were the recognized lords and master of all we surveyed.

Q: Before the dominance of THG, INC where the top group, did THG kill them (or help contribute), and if yes how?
A: I would say INC was the dominant force when we hit the scene, and when we came along, we kicked their asses. Giving credit where it is due though, INC came back and was our stiffest competitor eventually. They beat us on a few things here and there. You can mainly chalk that up to Line Noise. He was a kid back then, and he was basically running the group because Cool Hand was busy most of the time. I tried everything I could to get LN to stab INC in the back and come with us, but he was loyal to INC, and due to his and Cool Hands stewardship, they eventually caught on to the new way of doing things and got back into the scene. They were always a far second place to us though, while I was around. When I left, I dont know.

Q: INC ex-members today and back then say that when THG came along the scene turned to shits because they claimed you cheated. Why do they say that and how do they think you cheated?
A: We didnt cheat. We did whatever we could to win. We never put out games under another groups name to hurt their rep, and we never killed any family members of other groups. The scene turned to shit... yeah, I guess so... No more of taking the bus to Kmart and buying a game, cracking it half assed and putting it out.... Ya had to beat yer local store. We spent time, money, favors, whatever it took to get the games out fast and get them out right. They say that we cheated because they are whiny little bitches who didnt like the fact that we came along and put some discipline into the scene. Not all of em mind you, I read an interview with Cool Hand not long ago, and he said that THG revolutionized the PC SCENE. I am sure Line Noise didnt whine about us cheating. Any of them then or now whining, who cares. Losers spend their time whining. A quote we stole from the Raiders. JUST WIN BABY.

Q: THG got into a lot of fights with other people and other groups, did people take these things personally or seriously?
A: Oh yea, at times it was personal. It was always serious. For the most part though, it was all about having fun, and sometimes having fun is kinda ugly. We got ugly in ways that IBM pirates never dreamed of before us. We weren't to be screwed with, that became obvious quickly.

Q: Any conflicts you remember well?
A: Yeah, several. One time some guy in Texas was giving me a hard time about something. I dont remember what it was, but I got in touch with Deathmaster. (He was one of our seriously dark forces back then.) I told him to fix it so this guy knew that THG was serious, that we could and would reach out and touch him. DM went to dudes apartment, tied a note to a brick and heaved it through this guys window. Most computer nerds dont deal well with flying concrete and glass. Problem solved. One other little thing was a guy in San Diego was doing something, I dont remember what, but he owned a business that needed to receive phone calls. May have been a pizza delivery place, I'm not sure now. Anyway, I called a couple of dozen newspapers all over the country and placed ads advertising TWO SUPER BOWL TICKETS to whoever called with the answer to some dumb ass trivia question. Dudes business got nothing but calls for tickets for two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. He sold his computer, shut down his bbs, and once again, problem solved.

Q: Who where your major competitors on those days?
A: When I was around, really it was INC. After I left, some other groups got started, but when I left, I left. Nobody heard from me for years. I dropped totally out of the SCENE.

Q: How did suppliers in those days obtain their software?
A: If I told you, I would have to kill you. Seriously, we did some things to get software that I still cant talk about. I dont want to get anyone in trouble, and I dont know where those people are, and what they are doing. I was our main supplier, but we had several others also. Sometimes we would buy from wholesale places, and ship it next day before 10 am. Then I could go to UPS and pick it up at 6 am if necessary, but we had fast enough wholesalers we didnt need to do anything extra usually. Later it became a hell of a lot more covert. Inside help, programmers, etc.

Q: How did the courier system work for THG's in those days?
A: For us, how it worked is Slavelord was as genius. He got shit done, and got it done faster and better than anyone I have ever seen. He was tireless, inventive, brutal, cruel, had no principles whatsoever other than winning. He was, in short 100% THG. He can tell you better than I, because running the couriers was his main responsibility,and he did it so well, I never had to get involved really. On an overview, back then there were a few boards that were important. We had people who wanted access to the best BBS's sign a loyalty oath more or less. They were required to drop whatever handle they had been using and becom HUMBLE SLAVE #? We thought it would be hard to talk elite pirates into doing this, but we werent going to have THG members out slugging this shit around. What we found out was that for the average "elite pirate" out there, being a humble slave meant you got treated like a celebrity wherever you went. They were always being badgered about "Did you get to talk to Candyman? Whats Furlough like? Is R.Bubba Magillicutty as cool as he seems?" etc. These guys were sought after by the sysops because they (the sysops)knew that the slave had our games FAST, and dont forget, the games drove the scene. JUST WIN BABY. Later on, we tried to make sure that all the little local boards were getting our warez within a week of release. We organized Humble Spittle, which were intended to leech from the Humble Slaves and feed all the local markets. It was amazing how we set it up, and Slavelord gets the credit for it.

Q: What where THG's top BBSs?
A: Unfair to ask me that. I didnt call out much,and my brain is addled, so I would have to say Candyland, our headquarters and also Slaveden, which is where the work got done. Other than that I dont want to name any because we had a hell of a lot of important ones and I dont want to leave them out. (Hello Pieman, Eddie Haskell, Pink Floyd....)

Q: Did THG ever run into financial dificulties?
A: Well, yeah I guess so. I spent a lot of cash, and we had others pitching in also. Lots of times we bitched and moaned, but never did we not spend when we needed to. JUST WIN BABY. We lived it.

Q: How did THG usually obtain their money, and where did it usually go?
A: Most of the money was mine or other members. Occasionally someone would send us a few bucks in the mail, but we never sold anything. If they sent us cash, it was from someone we didnt know and it was their way of saying thanks. We also had a lot of hardware donated to us by grateful followers. I dont remember how much, but our guys had what they needed to get the job done.

Q: When did THG die in your opinion?
A: As long as Fab is alive and I am alive THG is alive. We just are retired.

Q: How would you like THG to be remembered?
A: I think we will be remembered by the cultists as the people who made the scene professional and really elite. Ultimately though, as time lends distance, we will be remembered as the Roman Empire, the Aztecs, the other great dominators of aspects of life in this world have been remembered, as diet for the worms.

Q: How where things different in your scene compared to today's scene?
A: When THG did something, we did it the best. Therefore I cant comment on todays scene, because I am unqualified to critique it. I am not into it, and being an outsider, I dont know anything real about todays scene.

Q: What was the worst and best thing about your old scene?
A: The worst part for me personally was the money I spent. For the best part, I dunno. Some might say the camaraderie, the friends, the things you learn. Not me. For me it was kicking the hell out of the competition and winning ugly. Plain and simple. Being the best. At one point in time, I asked Fab, "Hey, how does it feel to be the most important pirate on the most important computer in the world?" At that time, Fab, Slavelord and I dominated the scene like it will never be dominated again. We were all powerful. What we willed happened. It was cool. Being a computer pirate is a totally insignificant, unimportant, useless thing to be, but we were the best, and being the best is always a rush. No matter what it is you are the best at.