You’d never know it from the ceaseless barrage of vapid Celeb-reality bullshit that runs like wallpaper across their airwaves, but VH1 still does take a break from masking Brett Michaels' receding hairline or morbidly obsessing over Leif Garrett’s hankering for heroin to air music-related programming from time to time. And by “from time to time” I mean in the a.m. hours, sandwiching bouts of paid programming. Last night — or this morning, technically — I channel-surfed upon a special on Kings of Leon entitled “Excess All Areas.”
Originally shot for and aired by the UK’s ITV2, the program features Dave Berry, an enthusiastic tele-journo from across the pond, as he spends 48 hours in Nashville with the brothers (and cousin) Followill — in which band members take the excitable Brit on a tour of the town while telling amusing tales of their rock ’n’ roll decadence over drinks. Lots of drinks. And some spaghetti. It’s a rollicking, alcohol- and homemade pasta-fueled 48 hours that culminates with an “exclusive homecoming gig” at, of all places, Rocketown. Of course, we here at the Scene are excluded from just about any of the band’s homecoming gigs, but I suppose that’s only fair.
Anyway, the first part is posted above, and you can find parts two through four here.
Watch for your house as frontman bro C-Fo (Caleb) gives a guided tour of the city and recounts their first photo shoot at Springwater, getting kicked out of The Gold Rush, upchucking from stage fright in the alley next to 12th & Porter in nerve-wracked anticipation of his first local show — which I believe was at an installment of 12 off 12th (the precursor to Mercy Lounge’s 8 off 8th) — and more.
Other highlights include drummer bro, Nay-Fo (Nathan) showing off his wine cellar while telling of spending more than 8,000 euros on a single bottle of vino that band and friends consumed in a single night, bass player bro J-Fo (Jared) navigating his home entertainment center over some sex talk and guitarist cuz bro Mat-Fo (Matthew) marveling over his muscle car collection.
Naturally, there are the obligatory stories of traveling with preacher papas, RCA’s early attempts to pair elder bros Caleb and Nathan with hired guns, etc., in between the hazily recollected backstage memories and dick jokes. ROFL.
While that’s all familiar territory to anyone who’s followed the Followill’s Music-City-to-the-rest-of-the-world Cinderella story, it’s always nice to see endearingly hyperbolic British tastemaking media moguls use their international lens to romanticize our stomping ground. It’s even nicer to see it aggregated on VH1, where it’s a welcome departure from soul-squandering reruns of whores fighting for an opportunity to suck on Flavor Flav’s, uh, “clock.”
But I’m not so sure C-Fo’s musings on the climate of Music City during the band’s days pounding Music Row’s pavements for publishing deals are entirely accurate when he says:
… Nashville didn’t really have room for [songs about sex and drugs]. You could write about being drunk, but you couldn’t write a song about cocaine.