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Two Local Legends Throw in the Towel

May 2009

This has been a somewhat sad time as last month we had final concerts at Uncle Steve's by two cover bands.

Good Times Bad Times as Led Zeppelin did their final performance in Bratwurst on April Fools Day and played what might possibly qualify as the longest version of "Stairway to Heaven" ever done. My good friend Joe Minsk, who filmed it on his video camera, said that it came to two hours and thirty-five minutes. The final moment of the song, where he sings, "and she's buying the stairway to heaven," lasted a full fifteen minutes, voice only, with no accompanying instruments. Joe has contacted the Guinness Book of World Records and is awaiting their response. He has tried to upload the video to the Internet, but has been unsuccessful due to the length. I'll let you know in a future post when he gets it up there so that you can see and hear it for yourself, if you dare. Talk about going out with a bang.

Crash Into Me as the Dave Matthews Band also did their last show at Uncle Steve's on April 25. This concert was only attended by a small handful of people, because, let's be honest here, most of us don't want to hear those songs anymore. I mean, please, they played them to death on the radio, so let's not hear them live anymore, alright? Let's send Dave Matthews and his friends down the road to join Hootie and the Blowfish, if you know what I mean. I'm talking about that dusty corner of your CD collection that has a mausoleum-like ambience.

Why did these bands break up? Here's the scoop.

During its relatively brief existence, the band Good Times Bad Times as Led Zeppelin enjoyed a certain degree of success in Bratwurst, went on to tour throughout the eastern half of Ohio and also some parts of West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and had a spectacular run of good fortune in Steubenville, Ohio, where they were given the key to the city by the mayor, and they were even invited to play at a junior high school. At a full thirty-six minutes, their version of "Whole Lotta Love" was said to be even better than the Zeppelin original. Nevertheless, the group recently disbanded after the lead singer, whose name I can't recall, decided to start his own bungee-jumping business in Utah. Without their leader, the other members decided to call it quits, although they have put an ad in a local paper and are prepared to audition singers that look and sound like Robert Plant.

The band Crash Into Me as the Dave Matthews Band has played at every possible fraternity and sorority party at Adlai Mortensen College; their services are no longer requested nor quite frankly desired. Most of them recently decided to re-enroll as students at Adlai Mortensen College, each one of them on academic probation. Lead singer Rodney Johnston also explained to me that, "We've got to part ways with our drummer Jimmy Booker because his dad made him join the army." A goodbye party for Jimmy will be held next Friday at Uncle Steve's, during which Jimmy's girlfriend Melanie will recite her poem "I Love You a Lot Jimmy and I'll Miss You Bunches." Rodney Johnston wants everyone to know that Melanie is "totally off limits while Jimmy is in Afghanistan because you don't stab your friend in the back even when his girlfriend is totally hot."

So, even though we've sort of had to say goodbye to two groups, the good news is that an old familiar face is back in town! Former lead guitarist for the now-defunct polka-metal band Nazi Sex Zombies, Pete Wilkinson, unexpectedly returned to Bratwurst last month after an extended absence. Drastically underweight and clothed in filthy and largely disintegrated garments, he was given his first bath in several months behind Uncle Steve's with a garden hose and a bar of hand soap found in the club bathroom. He was also taken by me to see a local dentist, who out of the kindness of his heart performed three root canal jobs on Pete for free. You can now see Pete working at Burger King on Johnson Avenue, where he handles the deep fryers mostly since he doesn't particularly like working the cash register. He tells me that he is now renting a room at Budget Inn, and that the hotel manager, Mahatma Patel, is allowing him to pay for his rent by working the night shift as housekeeper on Fridays and Saturdays. Pete says that he is saving up his money to buy a guitar and amplifier, after which he plans to resurrect Nazi Sex Zombies as the only original remaining member of the band. However, I recently saw Pete kind of hanging out behind the One-Stop Quickie Mart, and quite probably involving himself in the purchase of untaxed and unregulated goods, which makes me wonder how long it might take him to get the money together for the needed guitar equipment. I mean, I'm just saying, you know.

- Jacob Silverman

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"Won't you tell me where my country lies?" said the unifaun to his true love's eyes...