Sunday, November 02, 2008

Holy Modal Rounders- Bound too Loose?

In the world of 60's folk, two of the biggest outsiders and jokers were a pair of guys who were considering names like Total Quintessence Stomach Pumpers, the Temporal Worth High Steppers and The Motherfucker Creek Babyrapers before settling on the Holy Modal Rounders. What set them apart in the scene was their indomitable sense of fun and craziness. No doubt that caught the attention of the Fugs, who soon hired them as a band. HMR would also find their way on the Laugh-In TV show and the Easy Rider soundtrack. Though they did find a place in Dr. Demento's playlist (which is where I first heard them), they never broke into mainstream consciousness. Too loose? Too wacky? Maybe but you wouldn't want them any other way.

Bound To Lose is a loving bio-pic from last year featuring extensive interviews with the band's two principles, Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber, as well as thoughts from associates and fans like playwright Sam Shepard (who was once the band's drummer), Dennis Hopper (who including them on the Rider soundtrack), the Monkee's Peter Tork, activist/comic Wavy Gravy, Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan and others. Along with the interviews is even some rare archival footage of the band and their attempted reunions that have been doing on since the 9o's- truth be known, the group had been working on and off for decades.

Weber finally packed it in recently and decided that he was wasn't interested in music anymore, bringing a end seemingly to the band. It wasn't too surprising, given the chaotic nature of his appearances with the group. At several reunion gigs I saw, he'd show up late, blow off the set lists and play whatever he wanted and generally sabatoge the flow of a show. Not so different than accounts of his unreliable nature back in the day. Make no mistake, the guy's a great songwriter and performer when he wants to be but, as the film shows, not the best musician to count on. Stampfel is a constrast as he restlessly works on several new projects at once (including his fabled 100-year song project).

See/enjoy/buy the flick at the DVD homepage.


Blogger Ed Ward said...

Plus, Peter turned 70 the other day! And he still acts like a teenager.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rather interesting blog you've got here. Thanx for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. BTW, try to add some images :).

6:30 PM  

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