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In the interest of history, New Times must reveal a hush-hush tale from the closing days of the glorious Hollywood mayoral campaign, the mysterious case we shall call "Coleman and the Karaoke Tapes."

Since this election featured controversy over everything from tax liens to out-of-state license plates, why not controversy over a song?

There were rumors Mara Giulianti operatives were at work, the Miami Herald was on the case, and John Coleman was sweating.

Or we should say "Cole Man."
It seems that somewhere in the depths of Hollywood someone had taped what may or may not be unlawful lyrics to the throbbing beat of what may or may not be a clandestine karaoke machine. The song may or may not have been inspired by the Sam and Dave classic "Soul Man."

Last week hard-nosed Herald reporters searched for the tape as Coleman enemies probed for illegalities, perhaps violations of campaign-finance laws, perhaps even federal copyright laws.

Then Coleman learned New Times had a copy. Maybe he had spies. Maybe the laughter carried all the way to Hollywood. (While New Times can't reveal sources, its copy may or may not have come from someone called Gravel Throat in a late-night rendezvous outside a pub code-named Waltzing Matilda's.)

Late last week a worried Coleman called New Times, swearing on a stack of credit reports the song had nothing to do with his campaign; some friends made it as a joke.

With the Herald on the trail, New Times knew this was serious stuff and tracked the taped voice to a lawyer named Joe Schneider, who may or may not be a karaoke star.

Schneider was nervous and uncooperative. Perhaps he feared future interrogations, bare light bulbs, torture: forced to listen again and again to Mara's state-of-the-city speech until he cracked.

Schneider begged for mercy, insisting the song was innocent. "It was just done for personal use, and a couple of copies got handed out," he said. "Someone brought up the fact of copyrighting and things. That's when we asked that all the tapes be brought back." End of interview.

Despite Schneider's pleas, New Times, in the public interest, must give "Cole Man" to the world. Key excerpts:

We all live in Hollywood,Where things could be twice as good,If we had a leader with a plan,A brand new mayor, John Cole Man.

Vote for Cole Man, vote for Cole Man, wooo.
Truth, justice, and the American wayIs what we need in our city today.Hollywood's future is in your hands,So go out and vote for John Cole Man.

Ah come on, you know you gotta do it,Get out and vote baby, get to them polls.

John -- ya -- Cole Man,John -- ya -- Cole Man, wooo.
We're really going to miss the Hollywood campaign. Wooo.

Undercurrents wants to know about any and all political deals, media screwups, and particularly dumb memos from bureaucrats. Let us know. Call 954-233-1572, fax 954-233-1571, or e-mail [email protected].

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