Unannounced to most of us, one of the most incredible rock and roll groups has passed before us and we didn’t even notice it. Maybe most of us were too stoned to catch it.
This group was named The Rock Bottom Remainders, and should have made the cover of the Rolling Stone, except for one problem – it was made up of mostly literary figures. The thought of listening to people involved heavily with books and articles is enough to send most hard core rockers into a catatonic state.
Stephen King, of course, is famous for his many best selling horror stories; such as Carrie, The Dead Zone, Cujo and so many others that he himself cannot remember all of them. Dave Barry is the famed humor writer who won the Pulitzer Prize for his hilarious newspaper columns, and has written several best selling books himself. (One wonders what the Pulitzer Prize statuette for humor looks like – clowns jumping out of a golden Volkwagen Beetle?)
Add to this dynamic duo the talents of Amy Tan, the author of The Joy Luck Club, Mitch Albom of Tuesdays With Morrie fame; Simpsons cartoon creator Matt Groening (OK, the Simpsons aren’t really literature; but, hey, this is America, and anything goes here!); and humor writer Roy Blount Jr. With that line-up they should be able to win the World Series.
But instead they played rock and roll.
This is really, really, really true. This is a real band and these famous people made up its members. And they have been trying to live it down for years now.
Even the mere thought of Barry and King, two geniuses of literal subversion, should have alerted the NSA to the threat, and caused them to raise the terror alert to Code Red. Instead they are off keeping their beady eyes peeled for much more boring groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda (who also have their own rock and roll bands).
Anyway, the Rock Bottom Remainders apparently perform a couple times of year publicly; and, as Dave Barry wrote famously, once for the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. It is part of their determined effort, now that they have conquered the world of writing, to take over a hunk of the musical universe as well. Already they are giving Adele panic attacks from the threat of their competition.
According to Dave Barry, they got Amy Tan to dress up like a slut to sing “These Boots Are Made For Walking.” According to Dave Barry, that is. (It might have just been a fantasy that he had that he mistook for real. You know how it is with these professional musicians and their drugs).
Many of those in the music field fear this new assault to their status; and with good reason. Would you want to be up against a group whose main member is a man who, if angered, could write a novel about you in which you die horribly; such as being skewered by a satellite dish tower in a tornado, or being pulled in through a too-narrow heating duct by some sort of space alien who took up residence there; or being abducted by a race of small people who want to include you in a sport they play that involves dismemberment; or any number of other grim, painful demises that only the imagination of Stephen King could come up with?
Add to that threat the fact that you have three humor writers in the band as well with wits that they hone daily with a sharpening wheel who could mercilessly lampoon you to death from the pages of their respective writing kingdoms. Dave Barry, Roy Blount Jr. and Matt Groening all seem like nice guys on the surface; but get in the way of their desire for dominion in the musical world, and you might find them to be screaming banshees of an entirely different ilk. Just look at what satirists like them from around the world are doing to Donald Trump right now (although none seem to make much of a dent with him).
The Rock Bottom Remainders play a fusion of old classics (what else would they know, having a mean average age of around 90?) rock and pop. Before you laugh and say how much of a threat could a bunch of old crackers like that be, just remember what Susan Boyle did to the competition in the British version of American Idol. Also remember the Rolling Stones are still around; or at least a few functioning parts of them.
And speaking of Rolling Stones – doesn’t it sound like the Rock Bottom Remainders should have made the cover of the magazine version?
Coming soon – You get to read just how creepy it can be making music in a group that includes Stephen King!