a narrative

whatever is thrown to the audience
will make its way back to the stage

-[1989]- It begins…

It begins, as it usually did and sometimes still does, with a last-minute phone call.

Heinous Bienfäng, on-air personality and artistic daredevil, has a Christmas hit on his hands. Perhaps it isn’t the same magnitude of a seasonal song as “White Christmas”, or even “We Are The World”. But “I Saw Elvis on Xmas”, a song about seeing a cheese-eating Elvis on Christmas doling out WFIT sampler CDs, is none the less a hit at that college station, if not with its listeners then with its staff, who really needed an excuse to hand out these sampler CDs. Seriously. There are hundreds of them.

So on a typical Florida holiday morning, ersatz acoustic bass player His Cheap Moves receives an emergency phone call on the landline, asking for his talents on the upcoming live-on-the-air rendition of “I Saw Elvis on Xmas”, with other songs TBD if he could get there soon enough and write them.

It would be easy to say at this point that the rest is history. But that would imply that in some way it’s over. It’s not.

Over
0
pieces of toast destroyed
  • His Cheap Moves

  • Heinous

  • Doctor

-[1990]- It continues…

It continues, despite the one-time nature of the Xmas gig. For some reason, a young man growling like a hungover grizzly bear accompanied by another one whanging on an acoustic bass in a futile effort to be heard seems to be a thing humans want to experience for themselves, maybe for no reason other than to be the ones to tell others they have to experience it for themselves. All this self-experience leads up to a string of “opening” slots in local events.

As Heinous Bienfäng and His Cheap Moves gain exposure, they are quickly joined by jailbait trumpeter and beatboxer Lord Gregory, and soon enough, “serious” musicians are approaching them for the chance to perform a song or two on the next gig. Like Tom Sawyers being offered $50 to whitewash the fence before they can begin the task of selling the job for $5, the duo quickly gets over their shock and begins accepting a who’s who of local talent. The Instant Sporkestra is born.

  • Album
  • Album
  • Album
  • Album

-[1991]- It flourishes…

It flourishes, this random collection of talent intent on figuring out what needs to be figured out. No effort is made to plan a “band” — instrument players of all kinds are welcome to join the enterprise, with the only prerequisite being the ability to make whatever gig happens to come next. Three bassists? Not a problem: the show will be called “Basses Loaded”.

Meanwhile, as musical chaos self-disorganizes behind the frontman, Heinous himself is busy building a world of hand-painted fantasy and outrageous behavior that would make even Jim Morrison lean back and say “that’s messed up, man”. Electric pickles, squid projectiles, stage blood, fake Pepto Bismol, abused water bottles, giant six packs of Mickey’s, incense loaves, and other accoutrements make regular appearances on stage, arrayed like relics along a non-dimensional pentagram, intent on summoning lower cacodemons, or perhaps ordering a large pizza with pineapples and jalapeños.

The band quickly learns to roll with it.

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