When I was working on the story
about Nashville's seminal rock/punk scene, one of the first things I came across was a four-part blog series
by musician/local rock fan and former 'Boro resident Wally Bangs.
The series offered a great jumping-off place to dive into an era in Nashville rock I'd never witnessed, but also a kind of organic oral history that grew with every comment added as it drew various key players from the old scene out of the shadows. One of the people from the old days I didn't have space to mention in my story was Lee A. Carr, an illustrator and musician with a dark wit whose comics appeared in local zines such as the Fireplace Whiskey Journal
. Carr committed suicide a few years ago. Bangs has started a new blog series, Soulfish Stew: The Fanboy Archives
, where he continues to dig up rock relics. The first part chronicles Carr's various contributions to the scene, among them his participation in Nashville's first rap-rock band, Mr. Zero.
Mr. Zero would come charging out of Gallatin intent on melding hip hop and rap into one seamless trunk of funk. . Rock had been no wallflower at the hip hop dance before; check out Blondie's "Rapture", Run-DMC's "Rock Box", and the Beastie Boys, but Mr. Zero was close to being, if not the first, straight up metal/rap mix to firecracker into consciousness with Lickster Lee, Machine Gun Kelly, Slick Chris, and Grandmaster E. Their shows were gigantic parties with Grandmaster E. coming "into the place, kicking over chairs, people get mad, we don't care" urging the crowd to burn the roof off the mother while giving us white hillbillies a lesson in race relations at the same time. Maybe their high spirits had something to do with the "Terror Twins", Kelly and Lee, making sure their van was always stocked with Boone's Farm and Busch.