Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Well, There's 20 Minutes of My Life I'll Never Get Back!

So for reasons that are unclear to me, I'm suddenly on the mailing list of a publisher -- I won't mention the name -- of distinctly shlocky books about music and film. The ones I've seen so far are rather frightening testaments to the progress of what Nick Tosches famously called sub-literacy in America, and rather than pee on anybody's dreams -- hey, I wrote a rock-n-roll quickie back in the day myself -- I'm not going mention any of the authors by name either.

In any case, I was browsing one of the books, about This is Spinal Tap, the other day when I was mildly surprised to learn that before both Tap and The Barbusters (the group in Paul Shrader's actually pretty good Light of Day), the great Michael McKean had already played, on record, in another fake rock band. I refer of course, to Lenny and the Squigtones, the stars of a 1980 LP released to cash in on Mckean's (and co-star David Lander's) Laverne and Shirley TV fame.

What made this even more intriguing was that it seemed Christopher Guest had made his first recorded appearance as future Tap guitarist Nigel Tufnel on said LP.

So naturally, I simply had to find a download of the damn thing somewhere on the intertubes.

I've since located the album credits, and sure enough -- the guitars on that track (and the rest of them) are by McKean and Guest/Tufnel. And to be fair, the songs aren't bad in a sort of upscale Sha-Na-Na way.

That said, I think it's not necessarily a cultural tragedy that the album's never appeared on CD.