Fancy Plans Guide to Rock and Roll (Requests)

May 16, 2009
And here it is, the first batch of requests for further rock and roll education. I didn’t have time to get to all of your requests but rest assured, I will get to them as soon as is personally convenient to me. Feel free to leave more requests as what I don’t know about rock and roll will soon be long enough to fill a book.
These four young men would eventually grow up to be David Lee Roth.

These four young men would eventually grow up to be David Lee Roth.

Sweet was formed in the late 1960’s basically as an excuse to show off their collected pleather jumpsuits. Over the years, the band has split and reformed under different founders’ names, such as Andy Scott’s Sweet, Steve Priest’s Sweet and the Billy Ray Cyrus Experience.

Their first album appearance was a split with local children’s group the Pipkins. With Sweet’s proto-glam on one side and waifish proto-KidzBop on the other, the album was a hit with both schizophrenics and locals who were looking to stock up on round discs in case of sudden zombie invasion.

Their second album, Detonation Boulevard, featured a young Andrew Eldritch on vocals. Eldritch took the band in a new direction, allowing them to show off their collection of large sunglasses as well. During this tumultuous time, the Sweet underwent a series of name changes: Mercy, Sweet Sister!, Sweet Soul Sister, Southern Death Cult and finally, the Matthew Sweet.

Bolstered by an unprecedented 20-year time skip and MTV airplay, the Matthew Sweet toured extensively, greeted by thousands of fans wearing jumpsuits and large sunglasses. Eldritch left the band due to creative differences, citing his irritation with daytime gigs and ill-fitting jumpsuits. Eldritch went on two form two bands, the Mission Region 1 and the Mission U.K., before being kicked out of both and reaching for his lawyers.

The Matthew Sweet reformed as the Sweet in 1999 and resurfaced in 2000 as a tattoo on Seann William Scott’s back in Danny Leiner’s seminal coming-of-age comedy, Dude, Where’s My Car?

An unhappy librarian asks the Prunes to keep it down, there are hoboes trying to sleep in here.

An unhappy librarian asks the Prunes to keep it down, there are hoboes trying to sleep in here.

The Virgin Prunes
Formed in 1977 by Bono’s estranged boyhood friend, Gavin Friday (b. Fionan Apple, son of Sgt. Joe Friday), the Virgin Prunes acoustic stylings won the hearts and minds of Ireland’s disaffected urban youth (is there any other kind?).

A turning point came during their performance at the Newport Folk Festival. The band hit the stage as the Electric Prunes only to be greeted with boo’s and shouts of, “Judas!”

Gavin has stated that the “Virgin” part of the band’s name was facetious and did not reflect the band members sexual prowess or pure, acoustic guitars. In fact, Gavin stated that the band got laid, “at least as much as Kenny Chesney,” making the “Virgin” especially ironic. Sort of like your promiscuous sister who insisted on wearing white at her wedding. You know the one I’m talking about. And then it rained. But I digress…

Alanis Morissette, after a brief attempt to become the next Tiffany (and finding herself losing ground to Y Kant Tori Read), set her sights higher and attempted to become the next Liz Phair. Her timing couldn’t have been better as Phair’s crippling stage fright was quickly preventing her from becoming the first Liz Phair. Morissette quickly staked out her claim as a 4 Non-Blondes fifth wheel and laid the nasal, faux-boho woman-roar that would lay the groundwork for Avril Lavigne’s opus, Sk8ter Boi.

To sum up, America is a land of contrasts.

The Fiends celebrates their 20th anniversary (not pictured: Mrs. Fiend)

The Fiends celebrate their 20th anniversary (not pictured: Mrs. Fiend)

Alien Sex Fiend
Formed by a horrific lab accident involving a post-op Alice Cooper and a collection of Hammer horror films, Alien Sex Fiend became fixtures of London’s Batcave scene. They performed several high-energy gigs and killed time making crude sexual comments and lighting things on fire. Much like AC/DC, only with a sense of humor.

Despite frequently mining the same crude veins as the Cramps, Alien Sex Fiend found themselves lumped into the po-faced goth scene. While initially limiting, it afforded them the opportunity to appear on Cleopatra compilations for the next several hundred years.

Founding partners, Nik Fiend and Mrs. Fiend, may or may not be actually married. Much like the Whites of the White Stripes, the “are they, aren’t they” speculation has led to much flamage on various alt.goth message boards, although more astute fans point out that the first name “Mrs.” would tend to indicate that they are.

Captain Sensible: Crimefighter

Captain Sensible: Crimefighter

Captain Sensible
Co-founding member of the Damned, a fixture of the nascent British punk scene. So nascent was it, in fact, that the Sex Pistols were able to raise the punk flag and steal Pink Floyd’s thunder (and inflatable pig).

The debate about punk origins raged on, until Guiness was asked to step in and sort it all out. After some fact-checking, Guiness declared the Damned “the first punk (sic) band (sic) to release a punk (sic) album.” Guiness would go on to steal scenes in George Lucas’slaughriot Star Wars, as the character “Crazy Old Man in a Bathrobe.” His scenes would be stolen later by the bathrobe’s portrayal of itself during a crucial duel with Darth Vader.

Captain Sensible (born Private Sensible) left the Damned and started a career as a solo artist and producer. He also branched out into vigilante law enforcement, forming the Guardian Angels as a response to the brutal murder of Gotham millionaires, Thomas and Martha Wayne, who were gunned down in front of their son.

He has also become politically active, sort of, forming the Blah! party, a collection of apathetic non-voters (noting that non-voters make up nearly 60% of the voting public). Political analysts have noted that the “No Opinion” choice on recent polls has climbed to nearly 3.8%, threatening to overtake periennial underdog, Alan Keyes.

However, due to Sensible’s disinterest in maintaining the status quo, Britain’s government has threatened to bust him back down to private if he continues with his cheerful disrespect and rampant beret-wearing. If you would like to protest the government’s treatmeant of local hero, Capt. Sensible Sliwa, sign the online petition at Blah!’s website if they ever get it up and running.

Captain Beefheart returns for his lucky charms: this time it's personal.

Captain Beefheart returns for his lucky charms: this time it's personal.

Captain Beefheart
– 3 lbs Beef Heart
– 1-1/2 cups Safe Milk
– 1 cup Water
– 4 tsp Onion Soup Mix
– 2 cubes Beef Bouillon
– 4 Trout Masks (if unavailable, use alternate such as cod or other whitefish)
– 1/2 cup Breadcrumps

1. Trim any fat off the heart and cut each heart into quarters. Cut these quarters in 6/8 pieces. Never mind, you’re doing it wrong. Watch closely. On this quarter, cut right here. On this quarter, right here. Go ahead… No. Stop. On these first 6 quarters, cut here but when you get to this quarter, cut here, then here… OK… And 1, and 2… Jesus Christ! I’ll just fucking do it myself! 6/8 except on these 16ths. How fucking difficult is that.

2. Throw Beefheart in water. Bring to a boil. Add carrots. What the hell do you mean you don’t have carrots? Look, if you’re going to cook with me, you’re going to need to be prepared. I need you to have ingredients on hand that I haven’t even thought of yet. And they’d better be good ingredients, too. I can’t have you half-assing around the kitchen unprepared. Well, go get some. I’ll wait. I’ve got some paintings to bang out while you get your shit together.

3. Add Onion Soup Mix and Beef Bouillon to the boiling water. Not right now. Right now. And now. That’s too late. You missed on the 4th and the 7th. Start over. No, really. From the top. Look, I haven’t slept in over a year and a half. I’ve got nothing but time… Because it has to be perfect. This isn’t just some warmed-over idea. This is art! Start over.

4. Clear a Spot. 3/4 by 9-1/8. I don’t know. Inches, I guess, if that’s what you’re used to working with. Arrange trout masks into a double-helix. A double-helix! Jesus! You remind me of Mrs. Zappa’s boy, all unnecessary questions and movements. OK. That’s close enough. I’ll fix it later. You’ve done enough damage. Make sure the Beast is Shiny. Make sure… Christ! Do I have to paint a picture? No, that’s not rhetorical. I’m a fucking artist, you hack.

5. Get the milk. Is it safe? Is it safe? What do you mean you have no idea what I’m talking about? Is. It. Safe. I’m going to get my tools out. Oh… now it’s “very dangerous, not safe at all.” You’re weak, your father was weak. I’ll work the Beefheart until you can tell me what I want to know. I don’t use novocaine and there’s usually a great deal of blood.

6. Once the meal is complete, serve on randomly selected brand new dishes. Brand new. Those stickers will have to come off. Can’t have those gumming up the works, eh? Go ahead. Not like that. Not like that at all. With your mouth. Watch my humming and follow along. Lick the Decals off. It sounds weird but it will all make sense when we’re done. Let sit for 11.3 minutes to allow flavors to soak in. 11.3… Look, I’m pretty much sick of your constant whining about my time requirements. They’re not irregular. They’re perfectly cromulent.

7. Serve with Ice Cream. Not for you. Not for you at all, you multi-instrumentalist failure. That’s for Crow. It’s purely decorative and melts rather quickly. Well, shove it out on the table. I don’t like how it’s tuned out but I really can’t be starting over again, can I? Just… Oh, just throw it out! It’s not fit for consumption, you retarded Bat Chain Puller. We will start over and over and over until it’s right. We’ll need some fresh ingredients and some other stuff. I’ll let you know when the time is right. Until then, do everything perfectly and we’ll be fine.



  1. “Born Private Sensible…” 🙂

    I have a freezer full of trout heads. I’m serving Captain Beefheart tonight. It looks deliciously inaccessible, impossible to fathom, at points grating and brilliant, and hard to swallow.

    Definitely not safe as milk. (Funny enough, I recently picked up a Captain Sensible recipe that involve eels, pink feathers, rat scabies, vampire juice and a dash of Robyn Hitchcockian wit.) Should be sweeter than a Wig Wam Wipeout, A Pagan Love Song, and a Ballroom Blitz!

    Thanks for indulging…

    I could go on forever. So, please just consider these suggestions and nothing more.

    Zodiac Mind Warp and The Love Reaction
    The Higsons
    Golden Earring
    Christian Death
    Gang of Four
    Dandy Warhols vs. Brian Jonestown Massacre
    Folk Devils
    Einstürzende Neubauten
    Sex Gang Children
    Jimmy Pursey
    Brownsville Station
    Lora Logic
    The Chameleons
    The Hollies
    Kate Nash
    Lime Spiders
    The Wombats
    The Guana Bats
    Banana Men

    • I should be able to group the Chameleons, Lime Spiders, Wombats, Guana Bats and Banana Men into some sort of save-the-rainforest thinkpiece filled with utter bullshit and completely fabricated “facts.” So, it should be picked up immediately by the nearest Green site.

      A Sex Gang Children post should get me arrested immediately. I’ll add a Paypal donation link for bond money. (However, I may have to fire up Winamp and crank Guy Wonder. That song kicks so much ass in a very non-heterosexual fashion.)

      Robyn Hitchcock and his famous wit, an integral ingredient to many impossible dishes, should be fun to write up as well. He is often able to amaze me/piss me off all within a couple of lines. Like this from the MTV favorite (ha!) Balloon Man.

      “And it rained like a slow divorce”
      Fuckin perfect. I would kill close relatives to be able to write like this…
      “And I wished I could ride a horse”
      Wha… The hell happened there? Your three-year old niece happen to scrawl something about ponies all over your unfinished lyrics?

      But I really can’t argue with Sleeping With Your Devil Mask. Brilliant all the way through and catchy as swine flu. No, catchier. Like real flu. Or malaria.

      This is turning into a post. When I’m lazy I’ll edit it and graft a couple of f-bombs onto it and release it into the wild as “fresh.” Publish!

  2. Couldn’t agree more about Sleeping with your Devil Mask. Always been my favourite Hitchcock song.

    I saw a Hitchcock show probably 15 years ago in a tiny club (maybe 60 people. It was just him and an acoustic guitar) and screamed for him to play Devil Mask all night. He finally played a couple of chords just to get me to shut up.

    And still, it was great.

    • Ram-

      Great to see you out and about.

      Screaming at Hitchcock all night, eh? I suppose it’s all part of the Faustian bargain when you sell your soul to rock and roll. Sex, money, fame, that guy in the fifth row who won’t shut the fuck up…

  3. Like Ram, I have had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Hitchcock on many occasions.

    I do believe Mr. Venkatararam may have even been in the same audience with me on more than one occasion…

    (The last Hitchcock show I saw was with The Venus 3 on the Ole Tarantula tour. I hadn’t seen him in such fine form since the “Gotta Let This Hen Out” days — a song that’s about him mistaking the lyrics of “Gotta Let this Heat Out” …A song by The Higsons. Who, I always thought were also rather wonderful.)

    About the amaze then piss off lines… I hear you… Although I think it’s safe to say that I like them more than you do.

    Even Devil Mask has that kind of ‘huh?’ absurdity. The closing line “Some things go in, some things go out/Next time round, I’ll be a trout.”

    A trout mask replica?

    But when you listen to him talk about his songs, the guy can be quite articulate about explaining the absurdity/meaning… Sometimes, anyway. To me, “And I wished I could ride a horse” while nowhere nearly as great as the line preceding it, still was an okayish summary of missed and innocent opportunities.

    Underwater Moonlight, is, for me, a personal favourite. And almost everytime I’ve seen him, he’s played “Kingdom of Love”

    You’ve been laying eggs under my skin/Now they’re hatching out under my chin

    One of my favorite moments in music.

    • One of my biggest regrets in life is growing up with extremely religious parents. While I love then both dearly and get along with them better than ever these days, they stunted my musical growth by subtracting about 15 years of listening to anything decent.

      Judging from the list you gave me, alantru, you (and I guessing Ram as well) have a much wider scope of musical experience under your belt.

      I’d like to be more well-listened(?) but with a family, a job, a house and all the other loose ends of life, I find it difficult to branch out a lot because I really don’t have the time to be rewarded for my patience by demanding bands.

      Anyway, I’m done whining. I’m glad you guys dig these posts and there will be more on the way.

      Quick Hitchcock thing: the first album I heard by Hitchcock was Queen Elvis and I loved it. It seems to be the equivalent of Metallica’s Black album in terms of the diehard fans. Popular because it was accessible, so that’s why it sucks.

    • I hear you. Only so many hours in a day. Alas. The record companies have never known what to do with Hitchcock. I think they were hoping that they may have struck gold with Globe of Frogs and Queen Elvis. But like one of the guys from The Soft Boys said, “It’s hard to imagine a group of football fans singing ‘He’s A Reptile.”

  4. […] the moment – I don’t regret it. Maybe I’m not gonna be the next Jimi Hendrix or Captain Beefheart , but I love playing and that’s all that […]

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