I had a dream the other night that Guns N' Roses played at this local watering hole called Andyman's Treehouse. It was Guns from back in the day, but with Matt Sorum on drums. Cowtown readers will immediately understand why this can be translated as a stress dream for me. The "stage" area at Andyman's Treehouse is about the size of a large peanut and has a tree right in the middle of the room. In my dream of course, I was trapped behind the tree and unable to see anything that was going on. I woke up in a sweat, as you can well imagine.
Don't ask what that story has to do with today's post. I just wanted to tell it in the hope that getting it out will prevent it from recurring. All I need is for that to join the one I have about twice a week about having to go back to junior high for a do-over...I'm on the brink of insanity, mind. Just let the GN'R at Andyman's dream be a one-shot deal.
OK, I guess today's post does have something to do with my dream. It involves rock stars taking their craft to a place that we all wish we'd never seen. Like Axl does...Mr. Obsessive-Compulsiveness took 13 years to release the Chinese Democracy because he can't get along with anybody. But low and behold that album comes out next week and lemme tell you, it's well worth the wait. But besides that point, let's get to today's fun, shall we?
I love Prince. Love him, love him, love him. Who doesn't? But now that he's a Jehovah's Witness, he's not the Mr. Lovesexy we all used to know and love. He won't perform some of his racier songs anymore. And when he hired director Kevin Smith to make a documentary about the release of his album The Rainbow Children all the footage poor Kevvie got was of Prince lecturing fans about religion. So basically it turned into a video version of the Je-Wits showing up at your door, literature in hand, to spread the gospel. After weeks of filming and getting nothing, the documentary was shelved. (Note: If you want to hear the whole hilarious story straight from Kevin Smith's mouth, I highly recommend renting the DVD An Evening With Kevin Smith...it's worth it just to hear this one.)
Remember in Spinal Tap when Derek Smalls got stuck inside the pod onstage? Well, that very thing happened to Bono and the gang on their 1997 Popmart Tour. Only with a giant lemon.
11. Warren Cuccurullo
You would think that being a somewhat accomplished guitarist who's worked with Frank Zappa, Missing Persons and Duran Duran (he even wrote one of my favorite D2 songs "Come Undone") would be enough to make a boy happy. But not Warren. He wants to give his fans more...more than they ever could have imagined. Like the Rock Rod, a dildo modeled after his own wang. The toy did wonders for Warren's rep: he quickly became a gay icon, did a little nude modeling and is currently an outspoken 9-11 truther.
10. Rick Wakeman
Rick is the keyboardist in one of the most keyboard-rific bands of all time Yes. Ricky's a wizard on Ye Olde Casio...literally. He dressed like a wizard and performed his concept album The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table with a full orchestra, two choirs and PERFORMERS ON ICE! The Yes Capades! The ice-stravaganza was a big hit, but it was also supa-expensive. Rick nearly went bankrupt bringing his vision to life.
Have you ever longed to hear Gene Simmons sing "When You Wish Upon a Star" or wished he'd done a duet with former girlfriend Cher? Ever thought Paul Stanley should do a cover of the '50s hit "Hold Me, Touch Me (Think of Me When We're Apart)"? Felt Ace Frehley never really got a chance to shine? Wondered what Peter Criss' singing voice sounded like? Well, then the four simultaneously released KISS solo albums are all you need to make these dreams come true!
8. Pat Boone
Charles Eugene Boone was the face of '50s shiny happiness. Singer of happy ballads, preacher, Christian activist, conservative talking head, Mr. Family Values. But then in 1997 he decided to show everyone his saucy side. That's when Pat released In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy, a collection of metal covers, and showed up at the American Music Awards wearing a leather daddy vest and a dog collar. The album includes Pat's versions of "Panama," "Enter Sandman," "Paradise City," and "Crazy Train," which you may remember as the opening theme to The Osbornes reality show.
7. Happy Mondays
If you've seen the movie 24 Hour Party People, you'll be familiar with the Happy Mondays who were staples on the Manchester doll scene in the late '80s. Problem was, the Mondays were a little too into the doll scene and their label hoped to clean them up to record their follow-up to the hit album Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches. The solution was to fly the band to Barbados to record, but little did they know that while the island was heroin-free, it was crack heaven. The band members went ape shit, smoking up to 50 rocks a day, selling their clothes and gear for drugs and holding the master tapes hostage. Which would have been good because the resulting Yes, Please album is, not surprisingly, really shitty.
6. Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds is widely considered one of the best rock albums of all time, so of course expectations were very high for the follow-up. So when he started recording SMiLE, Brian Wilson went balls-out: he created a gigantic sandbox inside his house, he made his band wear little fireman's hats and then, sadly, had a nervous breakdown. The end of this story is happy, though: Brian took the project back up and performed it live in 2004 to critical raves.
5. Julian Cope
You may have never heard of Julian before reading this, but you'll never forget him! The British songwriter is the king of wild n' wacky creative ventures. Among his more interesting endeavors:
• He recorded the vocals for an entire album while crouched on the floor wearing only a giant tortise shell.
• He protested taxes in London by dressing up as an alien named Mr. Sqwubbsy and plotted to assassinate Margaret Thatcher.
• He wrote several books on prehistoric monuments of ancient England (all got rave reviews).
• He stabbed himself in the gut with a broken mike stand on stage.
• He lived on a traffic island.
Ah, Julian...the lovable scamp of music kooks. Gwar has nothing on this guy.
If you've ever wanted a look into the mind (and pants) of Madonna, then look no further than her much-hyped 1992 book Sex. Believe me, you'll wish you hadn't. Some choice passages:
• I think for the most part if women are in an abusive relationship and then know it and they stay in it, they must be digging it. I suppose some people might think that's an irresponsible statement. I'm sure there are a lot of women in abusive relationships who don't want to be, who are trapped economically; they have all these kids and they have to deal with it. I have friends who have money and are educated and they stay in abusive relationships, so they must be getting something out of it. The difference between abuse and S&M is the issue of responsibility.
• Sex with the young can be fun. One of the best experiences I ever had was with a teenage boy. But he gave me crabs.
• My pussy is the temple of learning.
If these zingers wasn't enough to induce flaccidity (and nausea), be sure to check out the pics of Madge romping around in the altogether with Vanilla Ice. Seriously.
3. Michael Jackson
Let's say hypothetically that you have just been let off the hook after being very publicly accused of playing hide the sausage with a prepubescent boy. The details of your utterly insane life and vivid descriptions of your naughty bits are now being discussed at watercoolers around the world. Everyone in the universe thinks you're a major freak. What do you do? Why, spend $30 million erecting giant statues of yourself near famous European monuments, that's what! Don't forget to put one on the hill overlooking Prague...on the exact spot where a giant statue of Stalin once lorded over the landscape to show people how smart and sensitive you are!
2. R. Kelly
Mr. Pee Pee Man's epic 22-chapter hip-hopera goes a little something like this: Married man cheats on his wife with married woman, married woman's husband comes home and catches them then reveals he's cheating on her, too...with a man. Married man goes home to his wife, who's in bed with another guy. Someone gets shot. Everyone is sleeping with everyone else. Then a midget shows up. R also dresses in drag. It's hard to tell if R's being serious or if the jokes on us, but remember this is the man that peed on a teenager and said of his subsequent arrest, "Osama bin Laden is the only one who knows what I'm going through." It would be number 1, if it wasn't for this:
1. Garth Brooks
In 1999, the pudgy, balding country singer from Oklahoma adopted the alter ego of a heroin-thin, emo-haired alt-rocker from Australia for a movie that never came out called The Lamb. A whole backstory combined with guerrilla marketing campaign were cooked up, and included a fake Behind the Music, album, phony Grammys and a staged "comeback." Instead of wonderment, the public reacted with confusion, disinterest and plenty of mockery. Poor little fatso Garth...one imagines him sitting at the kitchen table in his little farmhouse thinking about Ziggy Stardust and Spinal Tap and then telling his old hound dog, "Dag-nabbit, I'm one talented sombitch and I'm gonna show the world that Garth Brooks ain't just a one-hit wonder. No-siree-bob! I'm a-gonna become one-a them gee-runge boys and show 'em all what I can do! Yee-haw!"