Brian Keating and other members of the New York AVATAR mob broke into the American Colony Press in Worcester, Massachusetts late Sunday night June 16, to steal 2500 copies of New York AVATAR #6. A total press-run of 7500 copies of the 32-page magazine was being withheld from the New York Mob pending payment of a printing bill of approximately $300. The mob had been informed by representatives of the American Colony plant earlier in the day that the papers would not be released unless payment was made. When these representatives learned of the heist, they offered the mob 24 hours time to make payment before informing the police and pressing charges of breaking, entering, and theft. [see: John Wilton's editorial in NY Avatar #7.]
The Worcester theft is the second event in recent weeks which has involved Brian Keating and other AVATAR members in a raid to capture from someone else newspapers they somehow felt belonged to them. "It had our name on it" is now an often repeated phrase.
The first theft was part of AVATAR's internal struggle and was reported in BOSTON FREE PRESS #3.
As a result of the internal struggle, Dave Wilson, editor of BROADSIDE, has been installed by the stockholders of AVATAR in Boston as editor of the Boston AVATAR and is also President of the Corporation. The Fort Hill Mob, responsible with Keating for the destruction of 45,000 copies of AVATAR #25 taken from AVATAR's South Side Gang, has withdrawn from publication of the Boston newspaper because they object to Dave Wilson and the procedure which installed him as editor. They have also expressed disappointment in the quality of AVATAR Vol. 2 #1 which they produced with the South Side Gang and which Dave Wilson had no part in. It is Wilson's intention to allow AVATAR to concern itself primarily with what is going on in the streets and neighborhoods of Boston, and less with the personal lives of those people responsible for publication. He feels this is the main concern of the group of artists and writers he is now working with and that it should be the main concern of a community newspaper. He commented recently, before the Worcester theft, that Brian Keating's group in New York probably had no right to use the AVATAR name. Upon hearing of the theft, he was amazed at the stupidity of the attitude and the action. The first AVATAR edited by Dave Wilson, Sandi Mandeville, and published since the stockholders' meeting [Avatar Vol. II No. 2] will be on the streets of Boston this Thursday or Friday.