Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Legend of Purple Aki

Every place has urban myths and legendary beasts - Scotland has The Loch Ness Monster,

















Virginia has The Mothman














and rumours have abounded for years of the infamous Abominable Snowman, or Yeti of the Himalayas,
















but NONE of these creatures have terrified the local populace so much as the local mythical beast of where I grew up, the all-too-real man-beast known as...
...PURPLE AKI!




















Y'see, back in the days before the internet, it was a lot easier to be mysterious and for unsubstantiated gossip to spread and mutate like wildfire. So it was with the shadowy figure known to us kids as Purple Aki. He was used as a bogeyman figure (yes, BOGEYman, not BOOGIEman like you fucking septic tanks use...seriously, are you THAT ashamed about disco?) by unscrupulous parents in the eighties in order to bend children to their will..."If you don't get to bed/do your homework/eat your greens, Purple Aki will get you!"...and stories were often told about him and encounters other people had with him, mostly bullshit we figured, but scary nonetheless.

As a kid, I heard the name around and learned the following 'facts' about him - that he was a large black man who was from Toxteth in Liverpool (A predominantly poor, black area where I spent half of my life living. It's a ROUGH place and is mostly famous for rioting and heroin) but was often seen around the St Helens area (Near where I actually grew up. It's a pus-filled canker sore on the face of existence and should be bombed into oblivion. It's famous for....umm....glass). That he would follow and accost young boys, especially those who worked out or went to the gym a lot, ask if he could feel their muscles and then offer them the choice of either being raped by him OR to have his initials carved into their buttocks, leading to the alleged bone-chilling question he was said to have asked his victims..."POP OR SLASH?".

At no point did I find out ANYTHING else about him - what he looked like, aside from being huge and black, why he was called 'Purple' Aki, or if he was ACTUALLY real.
To me, he was a spook, an imaginary ghoul, who would appear to friends of friends of friends and ask his question, only for them to run away and escape his rapey clutches. A friend of mine who was a well known bullshit-artist swore blind that Purple Aki had accosted his brother, but, well, I didn't believe him.
To be honest, I was pretty damn sure he didn't exist.

I was WRONG.













The story that I had heard most often in connection to Purple Aki was that he had approached a boy at a train station and so terrified the boy that he ran onto the train tracks and was electrocuted in his mad scramble to escape. Again, it all sounded like some kind of scare story told by parents to stop their children from going out at night alone or something...but in 1995 I moved to a flat in Toxteth and met people who actually KNEW Purple Aki. Then, I read about him in the local newspaper.

The bogeyman was REAL.

His name was Akinwale Arobieke, and he was known as 'Purple' Aki due to the colouration of his skin giving him an almost purple hue. He was six foot five and weighed twenty stone. He'd been charged over the death of the boy who was electrocuted running away from him but had gotten off due to lack of evidence and possible racial discrimination in the trial. This was the only crime he had ever been charged with, as far as I knew.




















It turned out that the whole 'pop or slash' rape thing wasn't true, and his ACTUAL perversion was FAR stranger than that. He hung out around gyms and suchlike and would ask people about their muscles and general fitness in the guise of being a fellow enthusiast, offering advice and so on, until he would whip out a tape measure and ask if he could touch and measure the hapless victims muscles. If you were particularly unlucky he would either ask you to do push-ups whilst he lay atop you - in the guise of 'providing extra weight to make it harder' - or, his signature move, "inverted piggybacks" – where the victim would squat so he could lean over their backs with his face by their buttocks and his junk on their necks, while squeezing their quad muscles.

Yeah. Now, you're probably wondering exactly HOW he managed to get such rough 'n' tough big-ass guys to DO this kind of shit? Well, it was a combination of his own intimidating stature, knowing that men are way less likely to talk about this kind of thing to the police, and the personal information he had in his 'Stalkers book'.

His WHAT?!?

Well, when he was most recently arrested in 2008 - after already having gone to jail in 2001, then again, almost as soon as he got out, in 2003, until 2006, when he was released on licence and had the following piece of legislation levelled against him, he was "...banned from touching, feeling or measuring muscles, asking people to do squat exercises in public, entering the towns of St Helens, Warrington or Widnes without police permission and loitering near schools, gyms or sports clubs" - one piece of evidence brought up against him was a book containing "...details about victims' body measurements, contact numbers and families." It was alleged that Arobieke would "do research into his victim, confronting them with such details as their father's car registration number or sibling's place of education.".
Yep, he may be a sexually perverse weirdo, but he does his homework.

Now, these brushes with prison and the 'muscle-touching ban' only seemed to serve as encouragement to him as almost as soon as he was released from prison following his 2008 sentencing, he was jailed for another two and a half years for defying the 'muscle-touching ban' in North Wales. So, his notoriety had spread across the whole of the North-West of England and into Wales. He was now internationally infamous, in a small way.




















With him safely ensconced behind bars for a while, weightlifters and fitness enthusiasts need not fear dropping the soap in the showers, and entire rugby teams will go unmolested - yep, I shit you not, he actually stalked an entire rugby team. you may be unsurprised to know that while he ws inside, even the prison hardmen were terrified of Aki. Of course wild stories still circulated - such as the one about him being the inspiration for Clive Barker's 'Candyman' character, but mostly he has just faded into the local culture as a figure part bogeyman, part figure of fun...
















This banner was seen as the Glastonbury festival back in 2008 - it's phrased in the Liverpool, or 'scouse', vernacular, with 'Arrr mate!' meaning 'What-ho fellow', 'gripped' meaning 'accosted' and 'portaloo' meaning 'portable john' - and can even be found on MySpace, Twitter, and in multiple places on Facebook. There is a Purple Aki website, is STILL widely discussed on bodybuilding sites, sites about urbanlegends and local weirdoes, hell, he's even on wikipedia!!

There have been a few songs written about him by local bands, and he gave his name to this wonderfully twisted composition by my good friends, and fellow infamous local weirdoes, a.P.A.t.T....



...and there are a number of 'tributes' to him to be found on YouTube, of which these two are prime examples - not only of what a well-known twisted weirdo he is, but also of exactly how fucked-up the local humour is where I grew up...




...oh, by the way, the opening of those cartoons is a reference to classic british 1970's kids TV show 'Bod', for all you septic tanks scratching your heads in confusion...



It's funny how an infamous sexual predator can become a cultural icon isn't it? The only other one I can think of is Freddy Krueger, except the child molestation thing was conveniently swept under the carpet after the first film, wasn't it?

Mind you, we do have a history in the UK of embracing well-known criminals and lunatics to our cultural bosom - train robber Ronnie Biggs ended up making a record with The Sex Pistols, and a frankly FANSTASTIC movie was made about notorious prison-addict Charlie Bronson.

So there you have it, yet more evidence that us limeys are a bunch of fuckin' weirdoes.

Now, I couldn't think of anything decent that was appropriate to give you as a download, so here is 'Dropped', the second album by Mindfunk - a criminally underrated record made by a mostly reviled band who saddled themselves with a shitty name - for no other reason than that I like it.




















Bon appetit!

31 comments:

Shelby Cobras said...

Mindfunk is pretty good, but more importantly, when does the new Rapey Clutches single drop?

The Thing That Should Not Be said...

As soon as it's released, in around eighteen months. Sooner if it's well behaved.

Ambassador MAGMA said...

Oh yeah, I remember when he slashed John Cleese on Fawlty Towers. That was a great episode...

Mike said...

Mothman is actually from West Virginia on the Ohio border. I love about a 3 hour drive away from there.

-Mike the Septic Tank, Ohio

stargraves said...

LOL I had no idea I'd encounter purple aki on illcon! As a scouser - we were terrified of him back in the 80s in my school!

He scared us as kids when we were playing footy on fields in crosby and I've seen him numerous times since. I used to run an internet drop in centre in Dingle about 4 years ago just near Toxteth - (where members of a.p.a.t.t came in to make flyers and surf the net back in the day) and the youths of the area still told stories of him - just like we did back in 87/88 when I first heard of him.

Great article = :o) And St Helens is also famous for woolleybacks and jeff walker too.

The Thing That Should Not Be said...

I figured it was time that Purple Aki went global. As for St Helens, Jeff ain't anyone to be proud of, not these days anyway. Mind you, Bernie Clifton was from St Helens too and he NEVER gets his props. Big up to the half man, half comedy ostrich!
Interestingly, Johnny Vegas once took Johnny Depp around St Helens, whilst they were filming 'The Libertine' - one of my all-time favourite films - in the Isle Of Man. Gawd knows what Depp thought of the place.

Shelby Cobras said...

"Woolleybacks"? "Scouser"? "Footy"? "Dingle"? "Toxteth"?

Either stargraves just wrote the most British comment I've ever read or it's all been part a massive, successful two-year troll...

stargraves said...

Always technically been british Shelby kidda - not that I ever refer to meself in such a way. Scouse first - then English - then European and then, but only at a push British... It's not a term we come across outside of Right wing nutcases over here - and they are a tiny minority in Liverpool!

Jeff's OK - just not that productive as a musician lately. But he gets the beers in.

One of my last books - memoirs of a bondage artist - did actually require a glossary for USA readers to understand...

The Thing That Should Not Be said...

I usually try to provide some kind of rough translation for the yankee-doodle dandies when relevant, but sometimes I just think "Ahhhh, fuck 'em".

The Thing That Should Not Be said...

Shelby (and anyone else who is confused), Woolleybacks = people from the north-west of England, specifically the area known as St Helens, which is near to Liverpool. They are so called because of persistent rumours that they fuck sheep.

A Scouser is someone from Liverpool, so named due to the local delicacy 'Lobscouse', or just 'Scouse', a type of stew.

Footy is what you call 'soccer' and I call 'repressed homosexuality'.

Dingle is an area of Liverpool known to be as rough as a dog's arse. Often, in the North-West of England, places with a bad reputation are given inoffensive names in the hope that this will somehow 'soften' the area. This has never worked (See 'Cantrill Farm' AKA 'Stockbridge Village')

Toxteth is the predominantly black, poor part of Liverpool that I spent a good ten years living in or nearby. It was the centre of major rioting during the eighties, due to local police officers targetting blacks unfairly and often.

Capiche?

NorthernSupRoar said...

I grew up in Frodsham, (thankfully, left the place MANY years ago...), But, we as kids ALWAYS heard stories about the big-fella, AKA Purple Aki..!! I never really understood who or what he was..?? Whether he was real, a joke, a nightmare - Nothing..!! But, I DID know that the shit I heard was enough to put me off EVER wanting to be near this cunt.. Scared the B'Jesus outta me to be honest - even though he was talked about in some humorous kinda way...!! Great reading up about the freak though, he should be banged up for life really..... Easy now, mind 'ow yer go...!!!

Aidan Cook said...

Now I see: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZM22AEmy6mg

Anonymous said...

Leave st Helens alone ain't the best place in the world but better than that crack haven shit hole that is Liverpool full of thieving pedophilia murdering counts world would be q better place if we bombed the cockroaches

Anonymous said...

Alright la, calm down. Won't be long until St. Helens gets some sort of culture award. Until then keep your s*it rugby and opinions to yourself. Love your neighbourly cockroach. x Oh yeah, the reason I came on here in the first place. Is our 'Local Legend' dead? I've heard vicious rumours!

Dani said...

I'm here for the same reason - two different people on Facebook have posted that he's dead, and I'd put money on them not knowing each other...

stargraves said...

Rumour has it he's died.

Christ knows what the fuck of, like, as he was such a massive beast, I'd be amazed that anything could stop him.

Sadly - if it's true - I'll have to torment my own kids by saying - The GHOST of Purple Aki will get you...

Anonymous said...

The police released a statement earlier today saying 'Akinwale Arobieke' is alive and well. The rumour was spread on twitter and is not true.

Anonymous said...

Shame he is alive still

L13 said...

My m8s banged up in walton with him now some poor get in a cell with him id sooner hang myself

Adam J said...

I just a Purple Aki sign on a WWE Raw in the background when The Rock is shaking John Cena's hand. Incredible. Well done that person with that sign. I also saw that Purple Aki sign at Glastonbury.

Gord said...

I've JUST SEEN Purple Aki in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester!!

Anonymous said...

purple aki is now living in the tonge moore area in bolton. keep an eye out n if u see him.... run

Anonymous said...

Apparently he is now in and around Bolton...

Anonymous said...

Aparently hes moved into connahs quay area in deeside

Anonymous said...

All ova facebook

Anonymous said...

Patrick Jordan was seen doing press ups on his big purple cock in the congleton area

stargraves said...


Aki's back!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2382507/Bodybuilder-squeezed-muscles-built-men-asked-squats-despite-banned-doing-past.html

Anonymous said...

I saw Purple Aki on Market Street, Manchester in late August. He noticed I'd recognised him and stared at me so I wandered off and didn't think too much about it... until a fortnight ago when I noticed him hanging about outside Asda in Harpurhey. Again, I was the only person that recognised him and again, he noticed. He followed me around the precinct and then around Asda. At one point I turned round to him and asked him what he was doing, he stared at me, pulled a 'don't know what you're talking about' face and then carried on following me. I'm a woman in my thirties, I wasn't concerned about him asking to feel my muscles, but having him follow me was pretty intimidating. He does have a bag for life though. He's crazy scary but I bet he recycles.

Anonymous said...

I have seen him in Birkenhead a few times. Guy is a legend, not condoning what he has done though. He is doing a UK tour too as he was nicked in Huddersfield recently.
Check out the songs on YouTubr: Purple aki song, The Ballad Of Purple Aki and Do the Purple Aki.

Anonymous said...

I was waiting for a train at Walkden Station (inbetween Salford & Bolton) on Thursday 30th Ja 2014. I had my headphones on & he approached me. He walked over, walked around the bench I was leaning on, around the back & stood next to me. I'm thinking "what does this weirdo want?". He then walked around me again & walked off. I still hadnt realised that it was actually Purple Aki himself. Anyway, he then came back & started pacing up & down in front of me. By now I'm thinking "Does this weirdo think he's Purple Aki or something?... ohhhh shhhhhitt!". The train arrived just in time. It was dark & there was only a couple of other people there. I made a swift B line to the back of the train. He gets on & I can see him coming down the carriage towards me!! Then he sits down in the same carriage only further down, facing me. The train seys off & the dozy cnt falls asleep. He wakes up at Ince near Wigan & gets off. Scariest train ride in my life!

Anonymous said...

Continuing my post above.

I'm from St.Helens, worked & studied in Liverpool & fully aware of his reputation