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.”

MFW INTERVIEW: Skum Rocks! Boys Just Want to Have Fun

Skum Rocks!: Boys Just Want to Have Fun
Posted on October 11, 2013 by Andy Markowitz on Musicfilmweb.com

Alice Cooper with Skum

Skum Rocks! narrator Alice Cooper with (from left) John Eaton, Hart Baur, Todd Mittlebrook, and Pat Burke of Skum.
Malcolm McLaren famously declared that the Sex Pistols couldn’t play, which (except for Sid Vicious) was patently untrue. Skum actually couldn’t play, and that was kind of the point.

Skum was launched in 1984 by Hart Baur and Todd Mittlebrook, soccer players at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. (Another teammate was Jon Leibowitz, who later changed his name to Stewart and tried his hand at comedy.) Lacking any musical background, they gained a regional following despite – or perhaps because of – their skill at not performing at their own booze-soaked gigs.

After graduating Baur and Mittlebrook moved the band to Miami, this time with some guys who could play. They partied with celebs, got courted by record labels, separated investors from their money, and flirted with actual fame – until the tapes of their would-be debut album, Lost at the Circus, were lost in an automotive mishap. By ’91 Skum was done, a footnote to the mad excess of the hard rock ’80s.

That’s the tale told in Skum Rocks!, a music documentary directed by Clay Westervelt that had its world premiere late last month at the Raindance Film Festival in London. And if it sounds implausible, Skum is back to tell you it’s all true, as Baur and Mittlebrook told me in a phone interview the day after the movie’s London debut.

The band – frontman Baur, “rhythm bass player” Mittlebrook, guitarist John Eaton, bassist Pat Burke, and drummer Tommy Craig – has remade Lost at the Circus, adding bonus covers recorded at the world’s two most famous studios, Sun in Memphis and Abbey Road in London. They’re looking for a distributor for the movie, which is narrated by Alice Cooper and features cameos from dozens of rock, entertainment, and adult-entertainment personalities of Skum’s acquaintance, including Jon Stewart, Kevin Bacon, Traci Lords, and members of KISS, Ratt, and Motley Crue.

And judging by their website and the media links dotting it, they’re not taking any of it too seriously and having a roaring time self-promoting, which seems to fit what Baur says has been Skum’s metier all along. He calls Skum Rocks! “a story about a bunch of guys who pursued the American dream in a very unorthodox fashion.” Cooper’s narration puts it more directly: “These guys may have been naive, they may have flat-out sucked, but nobody can say they didn’t go for it.”

MFW: When I first heard about this I was a little skeptical – I lived on the East Coast all through the ’80s and never heard of you guys. Now, I was in Maryland, and I understand you were mainly working Virginia to Florida, so maybe I was just a little too far north.

Hart Baur: We were a band that wouldn’t play clubs. We’d play our own events. We always wanted to be in control. We would book our own shows where we would get a yard, get a couple of bands to open up for us, put the money up for the kegs, and then suddenly you’ve got a thousand people and you’ve got a huge night going on. In the early days we never even really wanted to play. It was a lot better to be the headliner and then have some reason not to play, because we weren’t that good back then. It became more of an urban legend, did-you-actually-see-them-play thing. That completely countered anything that a real band would try to do. A real band would try to actually get there and play. We wanted to get on the bill, headline, and then not play.

Which begs the question, why be a band?

Todd Mittlebrook: If you lived in Maryland you’ve probably been to Williamsburg, Virginia. [William & Mary] is a great academic school, but it’s a boring town. There wasn’t even a damn bar. We were pretty close on the soccer team, and we wanted to meet more girls, and the way to do that is to form a band. The drummer, Hart, and myself formed a band, and then we quickly realized that we needed some help in the guitar area, so we brought on another guy by the name of Jon Tarrant. The band was around for eight years, and there’s a clear delineation. For the first three years in Virginia it was kind of a college band, a house band. We had a great time, got bigger in sort of a grass roots fashion.

HB: When we’d play it would be an event. We’d spend four or five weeks promoting the event. It would have a theme. Some bands play every weekend, three times a weekend – that defeats the purpose. We had a show. It was like, “Oh my god, they’re actually gonna play!” We might not play because the cops came and broke it down, or something would happen. Things would happen that would go wrong before the show, or after the second song the power would get cut. It was all planned out to get out of actually playing.

Did that piss people off?

HB: Not really. The band was fun. There’s no pretension, there’s no egos, there’s no “we’re writing songs that are gonna save the world.” People who would go see our shows had a freakin’ blast, whether we played or not. They’re there, they’re getting beer. We had some shows where we had a two-shot cover charge – you didn’t have to pay, but you had to take two shots at the door to get in. People were getting laid, it was just crazy. And we took that attitude to Miami when we got the real musicians.

Hart Baur (left) and Todd Mittlebrook in Skum’s early days.
There’s footage in the film of some of those shows. Did you guys shoot stuff? Was it just sitting around in boxes?

HB: It was all on VHS tapes. We dug through, we found it. It was amazing, all the photos we found. I was thinking, how in the hell did someone take all these pictures? I didn’t have a camera. There are some tapes of stuff that happened, I’m watching the tapes – oh my God, my wife’s in the next room, I’ve got to get this off. It’s like some orgy thing that we filmed. I didn’t even remember that being filmed.

It sounds like there might have been a lot of stuff going on that you wouldn’t remember.

HB: Oh, yeah, yeah. That’s what I’m saying. You went to the show and we didn’t play, but you woke up and you’d scored with a hot chick. “Man, I’m coming back. [Laughs] I don’t know what happened but I’m coming back. That was the best rock show I’ve ever been to.”

But at a certain point you guys did have actual musicians and started writing proper songs.

HB: Correct. A lot of the songs we wrote in the early days were restructured a little bit. We wrote them and we didn’t know what we were doing when we were writing them, but when John Eaton came in, he’d say, “This is a great song, let’s put this bridge here, let’s move the verse here.”

We’re really proud of [Lost at the Circus]. It’s a really good rock album. From a musical standpoint, it stands on its own in terms of hard rock, a punk, funk, poppish kind of sound. John Eaton is a brilliant guitarist. Tommy Craig is probably one of the best unsigned drummers in America. He session-ed with Duff [McKagan] and Slash a couple of times out in LA. When Steven Adler was getting run out of Guns ‘n’ Roses, he was in the pool of drummers to possibly replace Adler, but they went with Matt Sorum. But he’s at that level. And Pat Burke, the bass player, is just a straight up – he’s the quarterback of the musical team.

Todd, you’re credited as rhythm bass player. What’s a rhythm bass player?

TM: It’s a bass player who’s not too good but still wants to be in the band, so the band needs a better bass player to function.

Why did you decide that you wanted to become an actual band, as opposed to this performance art project of putting on gigs but not playing?

TM: That’s a good term, “performance art project.” I think the answer is, we were always the same people. We have always been friends first and a band second. We were always just a fun group of guys. But as soon as we started playing in Skum, the perception of who we were changed. Suddenly we were, for some cosmic reason, a lot more interesting to speak to. That’s pretty addictive. We wanted more.

The fact that you guys went to Florida, and primarily Miami – is that where you came into contact with all these celebrities who are in the film?

TM: Miami used to be a small town. When we moved down there South Beach hadn’t happened, there weren’t that many places to party. There was a place called Fire and Ice that was off the hook. We played a lot there. When people were in town they came there. It’s not like we went out to find these people. We didn’t seek some of the porn stars, we just became friends with them.

So everyone who’s in the movie is actually someone who did see the band or knew you guys back in the day?

TM: That’s right. Obviously we were closer with some people than other people. When people came into Miami, they came to Fire and Ice, and that’s how we got to know everybody.

HB: We had connections with a company called Cellar Door Productions [a major East Coast promoter in the ’80s and ’90s]. We had an in with one of the guys who worked with them, he would get us backstage passes to all the shows. We almost opened up for a couple of big acts. At the end it didn’t go through, but we’d be backstage, hanging out with these guys. It was a lot different back then. Now all the acts are a lot older. They get offstage, get on a bus, and go. Back in the ’80s it was a party. Backstage was backstage. People who hung around our group had fun, and that was really what the thing was all about. It never was about the music.

So how did it end? And what happened to the album?

HB: The tapes were being taken to be mastered. The guy who was driving ‘em, he never – his car was stolen, and the tapes were [supposedly] lost. The band at that point, people were like, it’s time to get a real life, time to get jobs. It wasn’t as driving as it had been two or three years before. You get older and decide, I’ve maybe got to be more realistic here.

Why did you start up again?

HB: It was the tapes. This guy called me, I guess it was five years [ago] now, and said, “I have a box with a bunch of shit in there, and your name’s on the side of it.” I go, “What’s in the box?” “Well, there’s boxes in the box.” “What’s in the boxes?” He opened them up and said, “Looks like there’s tapes.”

Was this the guy who had the car that was stolen?

HB: No, no – they’d put the tapes in the wrong car. It was a clusterfuck. This guy drove around with the box in his car for, like, 10 years, and he sold his car and put the box in his bathroom. Then one day he cleans his bathroom and he goes through the box – what’s in this thing? You know how boxes accumulate, it’s just there, you don’t ever look in it. So we went and looked at ‘em, and yeah, those are the tapes all right. The tapes were not in good condition. Pat, being the quarterback, said, “If we’re gonna do this we’ve got to re-record everything. If we’re gonna do it, let’s do it the best we can, because this is now our legacy, this album.” So we re-recorded everything, and we did the Sun studio thing, which was cool, because we’d never recorded a cover before. The only cover we ever did live was, we played a federal prison in Miami and we opened the show with “I Fought the Law.”

How did the movie get rolling? Whose idea was it?

HB: We started to film the remaking of the album. Someone got wind of that out west, then Clay Westervelt got wind of that. He started doing some research. He picked this up, we had a long talk, he read a lot of the old press clippings. He was like, this is really, really interesting. He started realizing who we knew, and from that it kept growing and growing and growing. It became much bigger than any of us expected. But we are guys who just sort of roll with it. As long as it didn’t interrupt our real world and our real lives and our families, we loved it and embraced it.

From the stuff I’ve seen on your website and the trailers, you guys are almost pushing it as a comedy.

HB: It is a comedy. We poke fun at ourselves. We revel in the fact that we were basically, from a musical standpoint, a bunch of fuckups who had a good time and didn’t take it seriously. It probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do from a professional perspective, but it was what we did.

Are you going to try and make it stick now that you’ve gotten back together?

HB: Well, we’re gonna release the album. There’s talk of a TV show in the US, we’ll see what happens. I’m not gonna get on a tour bus, [do] 50 shows. Unless they throw an incredible amount of money on the table. But I’d love to play a couple shows here and there, and go from there.

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 insidecelebrities.com)

 LATC ALBUM COVER

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.

http://booking.myvue.com/Home/My-tickets/cinema/piccadilly/uid/07e72899c4/si/5255

 

 

A SNEAK PEEK WITH SKUM

If you’ve never ridden in a limo with rock stars, allow me to paint you a picture.

There was a lot of alcohol, my favorite being the topnotch champagnechampagne
that was put into everyone’s hand and continually topped off (except for Todd Mittlebrook, who was content to sip from a flask).

There were a lot of beautiful women.  The ratio of musicians to these women, whom I can only assume were models, was easily 2:1.  I found myself squeezed in between Hart Baur and a lady whose skirt was so short I quickly came to know far more about her than I cared to.

The air was filled with excitement.  And cologne — lots of perfume and cologne — which stood in harsh contrast to the smell of the bag filled with Krystal burgers John Eaton insisted we stop for.  Have you ever gone through a drive-thru in a limo?  That’s a story in itself.limoAnd of course there was music.  Skum’s hit single “Bad Checks” played repeatedly throughout the long drive from the recording studio to the theater (to the exclusion of any other tracks and I never did get an explanation).  After a while, jammed in as I was and on my seventh glass of bubbly, I stopped questioning the music choice and tried to sing along, but the feathers from Hart’s red boa made their way into my nose every time I inhaled.

The limousine was so packed with people I can only imagine our exit resembled that of a clown car (perhaps one lost at the circus) once we reached our destination.  It was Skum’s final night in Memphis, and hundreds of their fans had gathered outside the Malco MalcoParadiso Theatre in hopes of catching a glimpse of the band.  A lucky few scored some autographs.  And an extremely lucky few had tickets to see a sneak peek of the film SkumRocks!

And me?  I didn’t need a ticket.  I was with the band (after ditching my date for Pat Burke).

As soon as we hit the red carpet, we were blinded by the lights of dozens of photographers.  Me and the women were, anyway.  The Skum dudes, having been through all this before, had put on their sunglasses, nighttime be damned.

Skum appeared to have the biggest entourage of the night as we all walked down the red carpet.  I think I only stumbled in my high heels once.  After the band chatted up the reporters and made some dreams come true by slipping a few girls their room keys, we headed inside for the sneak peek.  It was lucky director Clay Westervelt had reserved the front row, because it was a full house.

I won’t give out any spoilers here, but I will say this: SkumRocks! had an amazing reception that night in Memphis.  I’ve never seen a more captivated audience.  And when the film makes its debut at Raindance on the 26th of September, I’m going to make sure I’m in a reserved seat again.  Because if I’ve learned anything from my recent time with the band, it’s that Skum really does rock.redcarpet

SKUMTASTIC IN SUN STUDIO

When you think of Memphis, the same bubbles of information probably surface in your mind.  Elvis, Graceland, Beale Street, barbeque, the mighty Mississippi, and of course, the Sun Studio.

memphis-sun-studio-002-lance-vaughn

Well here’s something new to add to your cerebral repertoire.  Skum has now included themselves to the list of musicians to grace the ultimate temple of rock and roll.  In April, the famed fellows of Skum took the studio by storm, bringing with them a posse of inconceivable brilliance.  What could possibly be cooler than recording in the same studio as Elvis, Johnny Cash and (gasp) U2?  Try being the first band in rock and roll history to perform there in front of a live audience.

During a cover of “Angel of Harlem” that can only be described as epic, an uncontainable group of die-hard fans watched in awe, danced as only groupies in five inch heels highheels
can dance, and I’m pretty sure that one girl fainted.  If that wasn’t enough of an ego boost, the band even had their own cheerleaders — decked out with pom-poms and a tiger.  Authentic jungle cat or University of Memphis mascot?  Does it even matter? There was a tiger in Sun Studio, and it was partying hard!
And in case you’re hard to impress, the story only gets better.  Skum needed some brass in the song, so they commandeered the Bluff City Hornets, who arrived early; trumpet cases in hand and adorable plumes atop their heads ready to practice with Skum before the recording session.  Needless to say, their request was met with a mighty scoff.  Practice first?  Skum?  Without a single rehearsal with the Hornets (or with one another), Skum picked up their instruments, hit the record button, and proceeded to rock.  In a single take, the band created musical magnificence.

bluff city hornets

That’s probably why that one girl fainted.

Or it might’ve been the drink John Eaton gave her.

Either way, it was a night of legend.  And unlike many legendary nights, this one was captured on video.  That means when SkumRocks! is released, we can all feel like we’re part of rock and roll history.

I’ll be watching to witness some of the best musicians of our time in dazzling action…

Okay, you caught me.  I’m also watching to see that dancing tiger.

tiger

MEMPHIS COVERED IN SKUM

To wrap up the magical mayhem that is “SkumRocks!” the guys decided to invade Memphis. Have you ever taken a ride in a limousine with a tiger, a cheerleader, and a mash of groupies? Been kicked off the stage of a comedy club bucaneer2
for rocking too hard? Booted from a wedding for playing songs about teenage prostitutes? Well, the self-proclaimed Rock Gods of Skum can check all of those atrocities off their bucket list. And Memphis will never be the same.

To finish up the filming of their highly anticipated rockumentary, the gang booked several gigs in the homeland of rock and roll, starting at The Buccaneer Lounge. On an innocent comedy night, with the likes of local legend Jane Haze (comedian/femme fatale) hitting the stage, the band members wreaked havoc.
JaneBut what else would you expect after that many Mojitos and fine ladies? Of course, when the manager agreed to add them to the lineup, there’s a fair chance he wasn’t expecting a dozen roadies to pile in with equipment. “Oh yeah, we’ve got jokes,” assured Hart. “Here’s a really great one. A ONE, TWO, THREE!” I won’t add any spoilers, but I will say this…it wasn’t the kind of routine one hopes to hear at a comedy club. And honestly, that bar was too small for a smoke machine of that caliber.

But in true Skum fashion, the madness didn’t end there. The guys wanted to make the most of Memphis. So, between playing bar mitzvahs and ruining weddings, they found themselves recording in Sun Studio, as well as premiering a sneak peek of their movie at the Memphis International Film & Music Fest.
memphisfilmfestThe red carpet was awash in leather, short skirts, and sunglasses. Memphians attending the festival watched in awe as the band strutted into the theatre. Is that a man in a giant tiger outfit? Should I have worn my furry costume?

Maybe the sweltering Memphis heat is to blame for the outrageous happenings this past April…or maybe these guys really are as crazy as they seem. You’ll have to check the movie out and form your own opinion. As for me, I’ll never drink another Mojito. And Tommy Gunn, you owe me eight bucks.

Skum Featured in ‘Brevard Live’!

John Eaton, Walter Bruning, Hart Baur, Tommy Craig, Pat Burke, Todd Mittlebrooke

Skum was recently featured in the September edition of Brevard Live, with an in depth article article written by Brevard Live’s Music Editor Heike Clarke. Clarke recently visited with the band while they were in the studio at The Zone Productions in Melbourne, Florida putting the final touches on the long awaited album ‘Lost at the Circus.’

The boys took some time off to sit down with Clarke who was there as a guest of lead bassist Pat Burke. Clarke, who covered Pat, John and Tommy when they played in the Scoobee Doos in the mid 90’s, is a mainstay on the Space Coast music scene.

Clarke listened to the story of the making of the film, and listened to a few tracks and had a great time hanging out with the guys. She asked questions about the past and more importantly the present as the band is in the final stretch with the album.

Producer Mark Brasel was upbeat with the article and visit. “It was great to see Heike, she is such a good friend to the music community here and she learned about what these guys are doing, which is pretty cutting edge if you ask me.”

The Brevard Live article is the first to feature the band in the studio as they are usually very secretive about their recording methods. Explained Burke “we have been friends with Heike for years when she used to cover the Scobbess. She is totally cool and a great writer, so it worked out great.”

Rhythm bassist Todd Mittlebrook added ‘it was great to do a sit down with Heike and we all enjoyed the break. Awesome article, she did a great job with it and I can’t wait to get back to The Zone to finish this up.”

You can check out the article at www.brevardlive.com –