Wednesday, July 30, 2014

If Living Legends Chant And There's No One To Hear...

Yeah, we're here, and we're not going away. The Fleshtones, 1991
In the summer of 1990, the Fleshtones were lost in the wilderness, and I'm not referring to Woodstock, where they were holed up at Dreamland Studios recording their eighth album, Powerstance. I mean the proverbial wilderness: ask the average rock and roll fan about the Fleshtones as the 1990s dawned, and half would say Didn't they break up after Hexbreaker? and the other half would say, Who? The band was as far from mainstream success and visibility as they'd been. Yet here they were, singing about being Living Legends, name-dropping their own songs and stage moves, calling back to their old riffs, and dropping in obscure references (Soupy Sales's 1965 novelty hit "The Mouse"). They were without a permanent bass player, but were among friends. Dave Faulkner of Hoodoo Gurus was producing, and Andy Shernoff of the Dictators was filling in on bass. (Ken Fox would join the band for good in July of that year.) But they were lonely. Clearly, most of the world had forgotten about the Fleshtones. Powerstance came out in the UK and Australia in 1991, making not a ripple in the States. A year later, the band would sign with Ichiban, but upstate, escaping New York City's wost murder rate in history, they were in free fall.

And still they were proud. What else is there to do when you're down and out but plug in and turn it up and crow to the few who are listening? "Living Legends" marked Fox's debut with the band, his popping bass heralding better days ahead. You can read all about in in Sweat: The Story of the Fleshtones, America's Garage Band. Are you ready?

     Are you ready? Here’s a song
     Are you ready? Come along
     Are you ready everybody
     are you ready to belong
     in the mighty Hall of Fame?
     Are you ready? Shout your name
     They’re already carved in stone
     We’ve already found a home
     in the solid house of rock
     get ready on your block
     Are you ready in the house?
     Are you ready? Do The Mouse
     Are you ready? Take your place
     as they enter wearing capes
     Are you ready? Shout yeah!

     Living legends are now holding session
     Here’s a lesson for everyone
     Don’t be surprised when you realize
     I’m a Living Legend

     Magic number is 7, prime number is 11
     It’s never been divided, one for all, all for one
     Are you ready for the dawn?
     Are you ready everyone?
     We’re already Hexbreaking. Shout yeah!

     Are you ready? We want more
     Yeah we're ready at the door
     Yeah we're ready, start to dance
     and we strike the Powerstance
     Yeah we're ready, shout it now
     as we’re grooving through the crowd
     Are you ready? Shout yeah!

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