Thursday, December 27, 2007

Red-Nosed Stickmen

Honestly, this weblog was not intended to degenerate into a morbid "this day in history" funeral toll ("it's been five years ... it's been TEN years ... it's been FIFTEEN ..." well, you get the point).

However, I can't resist, because today is ten years after the infamous "Operation Mexicali" episode, resulting in four hangovers plus a bumper crop of superlatives: the band's second-most-concealed bootleg video, it's least flattering potrait of me, and, to boot (whatever that means), more than one damaged relationship. Oh, and songwriting: an entire album's worth of supressed obscene song material - all in the course of a single evening in Santa Barbara.

What's lesser known, even to most band members, is that Operation Mexicali ALSO saw an actual recording session by inebriated band members.

Which is remarkable in its own way, because The Stickmen/My New Invention never did the boozing and smoking thing that sidetracks so many bands. We maybe consumed a lot of caffeine at practice sessions, but that was it. Well, except for Don, at a few early concerts, but that was just stage fright. Not that we were teetotalers (whatever that means! Okay, vocabulary break. Hmm, let's see ... "reduplicated form of 'total,' coined by R. Turner, of Preston, England, in 1833, in a speech advocating total abstinence from alcoholic drinks" ... so says Random House!) Yeah, where was I? Right, no teetotalers, but we seemed to have an unspoken rule that we never mixed drink with musicianship. Maybe because it was in such short supply. Both.

So, yes, there is a unique TASCAM recording of several non-obscene songs performed by various subsets of the red-nosed band on odd combinations of instruments, and so far I am the only human being who has heard the tapes. I only remember "Nothing Special" and "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," but there were at least a half dozen tracks, and damn, they are funny.

These tapes sorely need to be aired, if for no other reason than to blow off the gin-stink. Well, I guess the time may come soon, seeing as Matt has announced 2008 as the "Year of the Digital Conversion" (oops, hope I didn't blow a Munson headline).

1 comment:

MattMunson said...

Man, ten years! that is indeed pretty wild. Even more wild (wilder?) is that there is a recording of parts of the obscene album! This I never knew. But then, what is the wwwebbies for if not finding out stuff you didn't know before.

And yes, you did steal my headline, but that won't stop me from doing it on my own. Just check your band history. There's precedent :)

I'm off to drop a bomb of my own, though I must say this revelation about the obscene recordings is rather Hiroshima like. Hiroshima-esque??