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Your Humble Ruler, Rajah Cheech Beldone, King of the Gypsies.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Nobody said you had to be smart to play guitar

(Damn, I think I'm going to have to start microwaving the shampoo.)

You know, I never laughed the first time I watched This Is Spinal Tap.
I just found it depressing, I guess because it was so dead-on accurate.

You want a great rock and roll band double feature, check out Anvil! The Story of Anvil and Some Kind of Monster, probably in that order.

What's most amazing, to me, watching these two groups of dudes who are each at diametrically opposed ends of the rock and roll success continuum, was how stunningly similar their experiences are.

I should note in the interest of full disclosure that neither of these outfits is particularly meaningful to me, musically, I don't, nor would I ever, probably, own any of their music, although I kind of like

and don't terribly mind the Metallica>Load>Reload series.
Also, this is pretty feckin powerful stuff

But whether you're watching Lipps and Robb

busting their asses to try and scrounge up US$18,000 to get their new CD recorded, or Kirk Hamster and Lars Assrich

trying to figure out how to keep their multi-multimillion dollar corporate entity afloat while Papa Het

spends his year in rehab, while the external circumstances differ wildly, after a while you realize that you're really seeing the thing play out, that these guys are just basically a bunch of dudes who were lucky/good enough to continue well into middle (ish) age doing exactly what they did when they were 14, and are now wrestling with the consequences of severely arrested development, that they were all just practicing guitar and partying while (most) regular guys were (however reluctantly) being forced to figure out how to get through life as an adult human.
Repeatedly, in both accounts, you can see these men, in their 40s and 50s, absolutely bollixed by situations where they have no idea how to cope, since they've kind of had the luxury of living their lives like a bunch of junior high school kids.
It's sort of tough to reconcile the vast financial and experiential gulf that separates the two bands, really.
Granted, Anvil started about 10 years before The Mets (Uls Larsrich even makes a quick appearance praising them as pioneers and inspirations) and hadn't necessarily kept up with changes.
Also, as is known, Metallica has a bit of an edge in Uls' upbringing as a Eurotrash child of privilege and Hetfield's relatively high IQ, compared to your average metal meatball, both of which contributed significantly to their work surpassing the standard



of the genre.

And, of course, Anvil is in fuckin Toronto while Metallica's right there in San Franciso.
Further, you can't deny that there's more than a bit of a charisma and attractiveness deficit.
No matter how much you love the Anvil boys, I mean

up against

It's still, after all, Show Business.
Even so, there just ain't that much difference between the two acts, certainly nowhere near enough to mitigate the discomfort you feel when you watch Lips cheerfully humping hampers full of school cafeteria lunches through the fucking Toronto snow, followed shortly after by fuckin Lars going through paroxysms of angst as he auctions off a painting from his private collection for SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS.

Of course, if you have even a shred of humanity, you'll end up rooting for Lips and Robbo, hoping against hope that they'll hit the fucking jackpot

I'll follow up tomorrow with some random thoughts on both films, as well as some talk about the outcomes, so if you don't want to be spoilered, don't check it out until you know how they end.


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