23 October, 2003

Anyone who went to last year's Pinball Expo will be aware of Korn's work. More specifically, they couldn't have failed to hear his Black Knight 2000. It was cranked up really loud, but this was only made possible by the excellent sound system he had installed.

Left to right: Yancy Blaylock, Korn, Lyman Sheats

This year Korn - a.k.a. Vince - held a pre-Expo party at his and Angela's Skokie home which is around 10 miles from the Expo's Ramada home.

They had a great collection of 10 pinball games for us to play:
Black Knight 2000, Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Shadow, Rollergames, Funhouse, High Speed, Dr Who, Sorcerer, Whitewater and Black Rose. The latter two were brought in by Mikey.

Thankfully, the Black Knight 2000 was set to a lower volume level this year, but the sound system remained and is a vast improvement over the barely adequate amplifier and speaker combination fitted as standard. We did get to hear it well enough though, especially during Lyman Sheats' 15 million marathon game.

All the games played well, although The Shadow succumbed to a purbah attack halfway through the evening.

We had particular fun playing the Creature from the Black Lagoon. It was tight and fast, just like a new machine in fact and that made it all the more challenging. It was a shame about The Shadow; I'd been looking forward to playing that and trying to find out why some people rate it so highly. Perhaps another time.

Naturally, playing these great games is only a part of the mix for a fun party. The other major part is the people, and it was the occasional trips into the back yard to have a proper chat and cool down which will stay in the memory.

Left to right: Korn, Angela, Mike (Wolffy), Yancy.

Everyone seemed to have shrugged off any disappointment at the Chicago Cubs losing the final game against the Florida Marlins and got on with the serious business of pinball and partying. Vince and Angela had provided us with loads of pizza, wings and other party essentials which were supplemented by drinks and snacks brought by guests, while the line-up of whiskeys of various kinds got close to outnumbering the pinballs. It was an interesting to experience genuine moonshine alongside a 10 year old single malt scotch. I was never brave enough to open one of those test tubes.

With the success of this year's party - and it's wonderful to have an event such as this near enough to Expo to make a taxi ride feasible - let's hope it becomes an annual event and part of the essential Expo experience.

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