John Eaton and Trisha Yearwood – Country Cooking!

John Eaton and Trisha Yearwood

John Eaton and Trisha Yearwood

On Sunday Skum’s lead guitarist John Eaton joined friend and country superstar Trisha Yearwood at her country style brunch held at the Loew’s Miami Beach.  The brunch was a highlight of the Miami Wine and Food Festival, an annual event that attracts scores of celebrities and celebrity chefs from around the world,

Trisha not only hosted her brunch, but many of her dishes were on display for all to taste and to top if off and she even played a five song set for sold out event. Tickets were impossible to get, but the band was well represented as John was there to support Trisha with her event.

“Brunch on the beach with Trisha? Are you kidding me? Great way to end the Food Fest”, said John who even got behind the table and whipped up some omelets for thrilled guests.

“I couldn’t believe John Eaton was cooking my omelet”, said Food Fest patron Robin van Calcar who flew in from London, England for the festival. “I look up and he asks me if I want some mushrooms and salsa. “Only in Miami!”

“I told Trisha that next year we should do something special with the whole band and she was all in. She was giving me a hard time that we didn’t ask her to join us on stage last month.”

“Martika is great and I love her but I would have loved to do it,” said a smiling Yearwood.  “But I did hear it was a great compilation.

“I met Trisha a few years ago at her wedding to Garth and always loved her music,” said John. “When our friends come into town we always make it a point to get out and support them.  It is what makes this band great.”


Jan17v3Want to rock and become a part of Hollywood legend? Then join us as we film the final scene of our movie, Skum Rocks! on January 17th, 2014, at Baroos Beachside Bar in Indialantic, Florida  We’ll be joined by good friend Frankie Banali of QUIET RIOT as well as other surprise guest celebrities. This is certain to be an epic show  – as it will be the first on-stage live performance since Skum broke up in 1990. Director Clay Westervelt plans to shoot the concert scene with no cuts. This is an extraordinary undertaking in what Hollywood Film said “is about as innovative as it gets”, calling Westervelt “the mad genius of rock and roll filmmaking.” “This is an opportunity for fans to not only be in the Skum Rocks! movie – which will immortalize them forever – but to help a great cause,” said lead singer Hart Baur. Proceeds from the concert will go to help launch the non-profit Shining Through Shadows Foundationin memory of our good friend Seth Stark who died in September 2011.  “Seth was a great friend of ours, so this is a win-win for everyone. Clay Westervelt gets his shot, our fans get to see us play and be a part of the movie before the summer premiere, and Shining Through Shadows gets launched properly.” “We have Frankie Banali joining us on stage for a couple of songs.  How does it get any cooler than that? ” asked lead bassist Pat Burke. “This concert is going to have Rock and Roll and Hollywood – we are bringing it all – and it’ll be great to be back onstage before the Skum Rocks! film, book and album are released this summer.” This event is a must if you are anywhere near Baroos Beachside. Where else can you see one of the greatest underground bands of our generation perform, participate in the filming of a major Hollywood movie, and help raise money for an extremely worthy cause? “There are going to be a lot of surprises and surprise celebrities showing up,” said lead guitarist John Eaton. “We’ve performed at Sun Studio and Abbey Road this year.  And now Baroos?   I’d say it’s been a pretty good year.” All net proceeds from the performance will go to help launch the non-profit Shining Through Shadows Foundation. If you wish to donate or become an event sponsor, please contact us at Hope to see you January 17th!

Skum Album “Lost at the Circus” Nears Completion

Themed Album Analyzes the Fringes of the American Landscape

 By Michael Wench (originally posted on  09222013 on


In 1988, in a small, barren studio in Hollywood, Florida, about two miles west of I-95, the band Skum began work on what was supposed to become one of the great themed albums of the rock era.

Grunge music was already making a rumble in the American Northwest.  While it would be several years before Grunge decimated what we all loved with its self-pitying songs about rich white kids’ angst, the writing was on the wall.  The West Coast record companies were mostly to blame, with the signing of any band with a blond lead singer who had played at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go.  The power ballad and MTV heavy rotation was the result.  Gone were the straight up rock and roll albums like Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin or Fair Warning by Van Halen.  In vogue were mindless songs — ear candy.  Good for a moment and forgotten the next.  Themed albums such as Pink Floyd’s The Wall, Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell, and the Beatles’ White Album were things of the past.  Faded, like the vinyl album covers in our closets.  It was all changing.  No one had the guts to stand up to the modern, formulaic recipe for popular music.

When Skum first walked into Walker studios, they may not have fully understood what they were doing in terms of historical significance, but still they were doing it.  What they produced and then lost was an album filled with biting social commentary.  The album was aptly entitled Lost at the Circus.  It was a blistering look at the backstreets and alleys at the social fringes of America.  It took the listener into the rooms and the minds of common Americans – where few people dared to look — much less study.

Skum, then riding their wave of modest popularity, was taking a chance.  A band that had a reputation for fun and wildness was doing something remarkably serious.  Maybe they didn’t see it at the time, but in hindsight, this was a high watermark for the era of big albums.  In a way, Lost at the Circus was the Alamo for rock and roll as we knew it.

Lost at the Circus is an honest look at America’s outcasts and unwanted — the five percent no one dared talk about,” Hart Baur, lead singer of Skum, commented.  “The album is not so much a social commentary but an observation.  The title alone says it all.  You see a grown man holding a teddy bear, crying at the circus, and you know something has gone horribly wrong, but you don’t want to know the backstory, so you walk away.  This album discusses what would have happened if you’d stayed, and tries to analyze what went wrong.”

The album includes ten songs, with two more to be recorded at Abbey Road in London.  The songs are an offering from the band’s eight year period performing from Virginia to Florida.

The album starts with the musical intro “5 of Spades” and launches into the band’s signature opening song “We Are Skum.”  “5 of Spades” is a loud, brutal lead-in to the album,” said lead bassist Pat Burke.  “The five of Spades personifies the fact that sometimes you don’t get the cards you want, but you still have to play with the cards you’e dealt.”

“We Are Skum” is the first song written by Skum.  It is an existential offering that questions how as individuals we each may have faults, but is that any worse than a society of “skum” that has forgotten the individual?  Obviously, the band is playing with semantics here by using their name.  To many, this is simply a song about themselves.  However, digging through the lyrics, one finds it’s much deeper than that.  It tells the side of those who are deemed by society as unfit, unworthy of recognition.  The line, “’Chad came down and took the chord’ very well signifies life being taken by someone who deems this person as ‘less than worthy’.  John Eaton had this to say, “There is an element of homeless abuse in this song, and even though we cover this in “Jon the Bagman” there is a lot in here.  This song, I think, is the most layered lyrically of all of them.”

Rhythm bassist Todd Mittlebrook added: “Sadly, ‘Lost at the Circus‘ and the stories of the common man struggling are more relevant today than they were twenty years ago.  The average American is having a more difficult time today than they were in 1988.”

The song “Hanging Out with Fred” is the tale of a man who toils at his menial job as a laundry cleaner and finds his ‘kingdom’ is illicit sex with co-workers.  Can anyone say they haven’t seen this type of situation, yet how many times have they turned a blind eye to this too common struggle?

“Bad Checks” is another brilliant gem.  It’s a song about the existential tale of a Dr. Andrew Watson.  Like other persecuted religious figures throughout history, he gave away what he didn’t own.  He paid for his friends with bad checks and then was betrayed by those he clothed.  He was forced to flee the country seeking a better world elsewhere.  It is a song that revels in the guilt of those who persecuted the very man who gave his name on their behalf.  Is this a song that exposes treachery or poor decisions, or both?  The listener must make his own determination, and that is how the band wants it.

“Jon the Bagman” takes a serious look at homelessness.  The song, absent of emotion, simply points out homelessness as a part of everyday American life.  For better or for worse, Jon — the protagonist of the song — cannot find solace in the anonymity of the streets as he’d hoped.  What does leaving his job and his wife get him?  Cracked ribs and a beat-down by thugs.  No glory here, no hero in the song.  Just a guy who made bad life decisions.

I believe “16”, a song about an underage porn star, is the most important of the album.  This song approaches a social malaise that has plagued the adult film industry for decades.  Pretending it doesn’t exist is akin to being complacent.  We all are responsible for it, and Skum chose to take a stand.  This song alone merits an award.  “16” is a “sobering song that sheds light on a very dark corner of society,” said Baur.  “You can run from it once the light is upon it, but if you do, you’re allowing it to continue.  It is called the “adult” industry for a reason.  It’s for adults.  “Lyrically, this is a brilliant piece of work,” said Burke.  “It’s a simple take on a very serious topic.  And the music?  This song is going blow people away.”

The tale of a lost soul in the song “Shaken It” is certainly one of the most controversial rock songs of the past thirty years.  The song parallels the southern Gothic tale told by Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” by using a narrator to speak about sexual frustration.  It’s about a young man not blessed with looks, wit, or intelligence, who was “still a virgin against his will” at age thirty-three.  The song addresses how he chose to deal with his sexual frustration.  It is a shocking song, but based on a true story.  It leaves you unsettled, but at the same time strangely fulfilled.

“Keychains and Cigarettes” — the only song with a writing credit by original guitarist Jon Tarrant — compares everyday living to that of life inside an insane asylum.  It is a composite of the unwell.  We see the demented — trapped in their minds by demons only they can see — yet we as a society are happy to drive past without caring.  For better or for worse, this is perhaps the most important song on the album, and Eaton lays down a blistering guitar solo that leaves the listener speechless.

The album is rounded out by “It Happened” and “Mace your Face.”  These two songs detail a bad night, one ending in childbirth and the other with a street criminal in ungodly pain.  Both are based on true stories, according to Baur.  “’Mace’ is a song where the victim is also the criminal,” said Burke.  “Johnny (Eaton) lights up the sky with that solo.  This is what rock and roll is supposed to be.”

Mittlebrook added, “In America, our generation is probably the first generation in a long time where the children will not be as prosperous as their parents…that’s a hard pill to swallow.  America is filled with stories about good people who have abandoned the American Dream.  This album is written for the common man in order to tell their side of the story.”

Lost at the Circus still doesn’t have a release date.  But, according to Baur, you can download “Jon the Bagman” and “Bad Checks” on a variety of platforms.  It’s interesting to hear a themed album that was written more than twenty years ago.  Sadly, the album is more relevant in today’s troubled world than it was in 1988 when it was written.  Skum hoped this album would speak for their generation, and who knows what might have happened had it been released then?

Thankfully it will soon get its moment in the sun.


“Bad Checks” and “Jon the Bagman” are now available for digital download.


Skum Announces Pre-Screening Party at Walkers Rock & Roll Bar

Skum is having a party!  Skum announced they will host a pre-screening party immediately prior to the global premiere of their film, SkumROCKS!,  at the Raindance Film Festival Piccadilly Vue Cinema on Thursday, September 26th.

The party will be at Walkers of St. James, 32 Duke Street St James, London, between 1800 and 2015 (that’s 6:00 pm until 8:15 pm BST — London local time — for you Yanks).

Fullscreen capture 9192013 111125 AMmapofstjames

Walkers of St. James is a cool, subterranean bar located in the heart of London.  Mat Knox (pictured below), is the owner of Walkers and a huge rock and roll fan.    “Rock and roll has always been a big part of my life and the walls of my bar are filled with music posters.  I am really excited – it’s a thrill to host Skum’s party for the SkumROCKS! premiere.  Spinal Tap is dead and Skum are the new kings!”

Mat Knox

Mat Knox

According to Skum’s rhythm bass player Todd Mittlebrooke, “Walkers is the ideal location for the pre-screening party.  Mat Knox, the owner,  is a huge music fan, so  Mat and Walkers are the perfect hosts for our event – it’s a match made in rock and roll heaven.”

The bar is ideally situated just off the corner of Jermyn Street between Mayfair and Piccadilly, and less than a five minute walk to the Vue Cinema Piccadilly where SkumROCKS! will premiere at 2045 (that’s 8:45 pm London time) the same evening.  This was an important factor for Mittlebrooke. “Walkers is only 150 yards (that’s 137 meters) down Jermyn Street to Regent Street where the cinema is located.  We want to make it easy for our fans.”

Mittlebrooke  says the pre-screening party for SkumROCKS! is more important than pre-screening parties for other films.  “Going to see SkumROCKS! will be like going to a concert.  You know, you want to get together with your friends, hang out, have a few drinks, catch up with each other and get pumped for the show.  Walkers is the place where that’s going to happen.”

The evening promises to be special.  Walkers will be playing never before heard tracks from Skum’s forthcoming album, “Lost at the Circus” to be released later this year.

To make sure you have a ticket to the global premiere of SkumROCKS! following the party at Walkers, visit Vue Cinemas to secure your ticket before the event sells out.



Joanna Angel to Star in First Video for ‘Lost at the Circus”

Joanna Angel Models Skum Tank Top on Lincoln Road

Joanna Angel has agreed to star in Skum’s first video for the song “Bad Checks” in what will be the first single off their long awaited album “Lost at the Circus” in what already is raising controversy in music circles.

“I would love to be in the video,” said Angel looking great in a Skum Tank Top while in Miami for Exxxotica 2012. “I hope we are able to workout the schedule when they are ready to shoot it.”

Kym Whitley

Not everyone one is on board. Comedian Kym Whitley when asked if she will also appear in the video was a bit more direct. “Fuck no I’m not going to be in the video! What the fuck is wrong with those guys?” said an exasperated Whitley.

The video, which is in its fourth re-write, has drawn wide criticism from several mental health, family and media based organizations for it’s controversial theme after a copy of the script was leaked though an unnamed LA based website. A MTV executive who asked that his identity not be disclosed, said he read the stolen copy of the script and stated “there is no way MTV will play this as it is written now. This is simply a disturbing take on the modern music industry and frankly I am offended that this has even made it this far.”

Countered rhythm bassist Todd Mittlebrooke “who cares what MTV says. I mean do they even still play videos? I haven’t watched that channel since 1991 when they stared doing those lame skit shows. This is more a VH1 vechile anyway.”

With no shoot scheduled, the video clearly is still in the developmental stage, but that hasn’t stopped the ferocious writing and re-writing that is taking place.

“This is going to be an epic album and we want to launch it with an epic video,” said lead singer Hart Baur. “This isn’t going to be a bunch of guys in Members Only jackets standing behind venetian blinds strumming their instruments. This is going to make people take notice.”

The video, as it is shown in the third re-write is timed at 7:45, of which it can be cut down to 4:15 for TV play.

“The intro lead in is non-negotiable,” said lead guitarist John Eaton.”That stays and we are all 100% on board with that. It is a brilliant lead in, that is all I am allowed to say. This is going to set the bar for modern video making the way Bowie did with “Blue Jean back in 86′. Just a little edgier and the girls will be much better looking.”

“I haven’t seen the fourth draft yet, but I sent in my recommendations,” added lead bassist Pat Burke. “OK, I can see some people getting a bit unnerved with the scene behind the 7-11, but as far as the taxi cab shoot and the rest of it, well it seems pretty straight up rock and roll if you ask me. I really can’t see the issues with some of this. People are going to just have to deal with it.”

“We’re shooting a video? Are you sure? When is this happening?” asked Tommy Gunn. “Nobody told me anything about this. No one ever tells me anything. Does Tommy Craig know about this?”




Bruning and Martindale Shoot Scene for ‘Skum Rocks!’

On Saturday morning the ‘Skum Rocks!’ film crew headed over to Miami Beach for the shooting of a hilarious scene for the upcoming the movie ‘Skum Rocks!’. The scene entails two members of the band’s entourage that are caught abusing their power of access granted by the band, to get young girls. What else is new?
The band’s tour manager, Steve Martindale, was in bed wearing his colorfully printed boxers totally mesmerized by Errabella Victoria’s sexy attire. “They told me I would be with someone hot, and they weren’t kidding. It’s just like the old days with these guys, never a shortage of beautiful women. I hope we tour again.” But sparkling sequenced bras and tight black miniskirts were not the only highlight of the day, witnessing Victoria jolt across the room in 6 inch heels as Martindale chased after her to no avail, was quite an experience.
“[It was a] great shoot with the guys. This film is over the top, I can’t wait to see this. ” Errabella further explained her past experiences running in heels, saying “its not easy.”
If this didn’t already have you bursting into laughter, Walter Bruning and Tiffany Hayden’s simultaneous and morally questionable emersion from the bathroom in scanty attire would surely have you in tears.
Hayden said she “[absolutely] loved it. Being a part of this is totally cool.” Her cheetah print corset and matching heels had the whole crew salivating, “The shoot went well, Errabella and Tiffany looked hot as hell, and Walter is the best” said Erix Mercedes, camera man and editor.
The shoot was a definite success and Bruning’s words summarized the day perfectly, “I loved the ladies, and this was all about them. Its always about them.”
Andrea Rey