Friday, April 2, 2010

Tales from the Trenches: Pranks, Calamities and More From Nashville's Working Musicians [On This Week's Cover]

Posted By on Fri, Apr 2, 2010 at 9:41 AM

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This week's Scene cover story is essentially a compilation I, uh, compiled of sordid and calamitous stories from working Nashville musicians. It's called "Tales From the Trenches," and basically, doing this story was an excuse for me to spend a few weeks picking the brains of some of our city's more colorful local musicians and having them regale me with hilarious anecdotes. The 14 vignettes featured in the article -- which you can read here -- were culled from the memory banks of two dozen interviewees. Among those featured in the glorious glossy are tales of Brian Eno getting punk'd by David Bowie and Reeves Gabrels, Superdrag terrorizing Korean War vets and disabled children, The Pink Spiders getting people to eat their shit and smoking blunts with Snoop Dogg, The Jesus Lizard taking on R. Kelly and blowing up the vans of their tour mates, BR549 re-enacting The Passion of the Christ, and Be Your Own Pet brawling with French hecklers.

Other things revealed to me while "reporting" the story include:

Cure singer Robert Smith sleeps with his lipstick on (as witnessed by Reeves Gabrels).

Multi-millionaire KISS singer Paul Stanley charges fans $50 to pose in a picture with him (as witnessed by Pink Spider John Decious).

A former member of The Cars buys weed -- by the pound! -- from a former member of Bad Brains (also as witnessed by Pink Spider John Decious).

Philadelphia indie-pop darlings Dr. Dog are some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, but they don't shower (as smelled by Bobby Bare Jr.).

ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons expected American Bang to be "a bunch of old black guys" (as told to Bang bassist Kelby Ray).

Included among Brad Paisley's repertoire of pranks he likes pull on his openers is filling the bunks of their buses with ice (as experienced by Michael Webb).

Joan Rivers thought Naval fight song "Anchor's Aweigh" was a show tune (also witnessed by Michael Webb).

30 Seconds to Mars frontman and '90s TV pin-up Jared Leto had a bit of a man-crush on The Pink Spiders (as experienced by The Pink Spiders).

Dandy Warhols singer Courtney Taylor-Taylor thinks England -- the country that loves his band -- has yielded some of the worst artists in rock history (as told to Jonas Stein).

DJ Steve Aoki Kid Millionaire likes to get "young adults" drunk and film them puking into Japanese toilets (as experienced by Jonas Stein, while in Tokyo).

And, more than one person told us a disturbing story about the singer of long-defunct locals The Grinning Plowmen once kicking a dead dog about the stage of a now-long-gone downtown punk rock club.

Another favorite chuckler was one told by local sideman John Deaderick of witnessing -- while on an arena tour -- a catering assistant arrive backstage with a 100 pounds of flowers ... after being given petty cash and orders to pick up 100 pounds of flour.

And nothing could be more confounding than Larry King (two decades of television experience) stopping Lambchop steel guitarist Paul Niehaus in the halls of NBC (they were fellow guests on Late Night With Conan O'Brien) to ask if he knew whether or not he's supposed to just wait in his greenroom to be taken into the studio or if he's supposed to go out there on his own.

Stay tuned for more...

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