Back in the Dumb(er) Days #2: Rocktastic Adventure

A series of stories about those days when I was even dumber than I am now.

Back in the Dumb(er) Days #2: Rocktastic Adventure
Date: Spring 2000
Location: Lafayette, LA & Baton Rouge, LA
Age: 22

Rock bands are a staple of suburban teenage life. At some point, it seems like everyone was “in a band” even if that person had no musical prowess. I was one of those people. In the mid 90s, my friends John and Steve decided to start “the worst band in the world.” They dubbed it Sparkely Vagina and recruited me and several of our other friends as members. Most of us had no musical experience. Instead we focused our attention on outlandish nicknames and costumes. We became Merle Bacon, Zorphamackx, Fourchinnigan, M.C. Foreskin, Selloutagus Buzzbandophagus (or Selloutophagus Buzzbandagus), and Dix Biggzly. We made terrible absurdist movies on cheap camcorders. We occasionally “performed” shows at venues foolish enough to allow us.

Shortly after transitioning into college, the gag grew stale. I held on to the Fourchinnigan name as an alter-ego for my illustrations and videos, but ceased pretending I was part of a rock band. Others moved on to other things. Merle and Zorph decided to start a real band. Sparkely Vagina became Sparkely V and Snogger and Epod joined the force.

During my last semester in college, as part of a documentary course, I decided to make a documentary about the band. I followed them around on weekends for a couple of months with a huge Betacam and boom mic. Afterwards, I used the modest digital resources at the University and struggled to build a 30 minute cut. Digital post was still in its nascence and I barely knew what I was doing. In the end, I met the deadline and presented what was one of the more ambitious videos in the class. Although reality TV didn’t really exist yet, I apparently already suffered from the same character flaws that those producers do. I encouraged my friends to become caricatures of themselves and guided the edit in a more sensational (yet less accurate) way. There is definitely a lot of hamming for the camera.

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