As we wait for the swearing in to begin, I think it might be interesting for our viewers to remember the humble roots of our nation's newly elected President, C.J. Bunks. It was at a concert with his former band, the Wusses, when his political career really began. As Dr. Allison Lampworth, professor of history at Duke-Citibank University, explains in her book, "Bunk: Meanings and Rhythms," it was during the fifth hour of one of the Wusses' usual eight hour sets that President-Elect Bunk, right in the middle of a song--which one is lost to history, of course--and gave his now famous 'This Nation Has Lost Its Grove" speech. Most scholars agree that he probably meant to say 'groove,' a strange "verbal typo" that gave name to to the political party to which he belongs, The Grovers. The speech, three hours in length and touching on such topics as cheese, telephone cleanliness, why do we have kneecaps, who eats pineapples, why are biceps roundish, wind, ear hair, nose hair, hair that is on the bridge of the nose for no real reason, who do babies get ugly as they get older, mine safety, binomial nomenclature, romantic love, what sort of dog a duck would be if it was a dog...
An evening of bobbing for apples and dancing with spooky ladies ended a little darkly for international soft rock stars The Wusses on this year’s All Hallow’s Eve. Though details are still emerging and contradictory reports persist, it has been confirmed all members are shaken but in good health. Guitarist Arturo Fratelli’s attorneys express confidence he’ll be returned to the States very soon, his deportation merely a misguided effort by the Italian branch of the Wusses’ All-Female All-Fan Club. Keyboardist/guitarist Bobby Turnblue, guitarist Gordy McDowell-Manor, and drummist C.J. Bunks’ temporary realization of their small place in a vast and uncaring universe was traced to a poorly-labeled bottle of non-alcoholic spiced rum; the situation was remedied before any permanent spiritual awakening or other career-jeopardizing damage could be done. Bassist Josiah Yoder perhaps fared the worst, being rushed to the emergency room of the nearest cruise ship (per a stipulation in his health insurance policy) after succumbing to dangerously low chest hair levels following an exuberant toast with a flaming drink. Sources report he’s recovering in good spirits, calling from his hospital bed for some sort of flaming drink with which to make an exuberant toast. All members of the Hercules Europe Brass have been confirmed alive and in tune.
And what of their fearless and soft leader? “This has really never been our holiday,” said lead singer Leon Alabaster, recovering with cocktails in a well appointed hospitality room constructed right when he sat down. “People dressing up in ridiculous costumes pretending to be someone they’re not? It’s silly…and sometimes I worry it might not even be designed to woo ladies.”
Luckily for local ears, hearts, and ladies alike, the inimitable stylings of this soft rock outfit—featuring no fewer than six Handsome Contest winners along with 1977’s Nobel Laureate in Baby Making—have indeed been chartered for that holiday which is always and forever theirs: the eve of the next New Year. As 1978 comes to a close again on Saturday December 31, land-locked Chapel Hill’s musical byword the Cat’s Cradle becomes the port of call for another smooth voyage into ’79. Beginning 9:30pm Eastern Standard Time, world famous honky tonk troubadours The Texas Peters will twang your ears with the sounds of dusty highways and reasonable motel rates of another era. Then you’ll be treated to the endless string of 100% original and 100% current soft rock hits of The Wusses. There’s even some speculation the consummate showmen will employ a clock, or perhaps a watch, allowing them to indicate when the transition to the New Year is happening (reasonably close to the minute!) in an effort to make the complimentary champagne toast all the more special. Two even luckier-than-the-rest-of-all-the-lucky-attendees will win Dinner Cruises for two on lovely Lake Norman or lakely Smith Mountain Lake--lakes being considered the oceans of that world of much, much smaller bodies of water. And all this magical evening costs is $15, less than half of what you might spend at another event; say, for example, one that cost $31. No one says you can’t dance the night away. Oh no, no one says that.
At the strange intersection of cold war politics and smooth pop rock music sits the case of the Wusses and a mysterious line up change, causing many to speculate that smooth saxaphone player, Lincoln Jefferson Mossgrave-Witherspoon has actually been swapped back to East Germany in exchange for the long-missing Fred "Eagle" Beagle, believed by many to have perished in Berlin in the 1960s, though his body was never found. The believed to be missing sax player has reportedly been spotted on stage with the Wusses on a string of dates down under, where the Wusses have been promoting their new album, Jonathan Livingstone Segal in Australia, the only country where the album has been allowed to be released.
Beagle was best known for his work with 1960s psychedelic rockers, "Mister Klein's Ultra Acid Test." It was during a month-long engagement at the famous "Bassy" club in West Berlin that Beagle disappeared, along with three of his bandmates, never to be seen again, until now. Mossgrave-Witherspoon, for his part, had recently been revealed to actually be East German rocker, Olaf Otto Sauer von Lindenbergh. The Wusses have been unusually tight lipped about the affair, reportedly refusing to give an interview or release a statement. Unsubstantiated rumors of a CIA/KGB exchange have been whispered in some circles. Sources do say that mysterious "men in black" have been preventing anyone from speaking with the band. This has not, however, prevented the spike in birth rates usually associated with a Wusses tour.
A little bit of curtain was pulled back today on the mystery of the Hercules Europe Brass and their origins. Iron curtain, in fact. According to authorities in East Germany, East German hausfrau, Bärbel Wachholz, recognized her husband, Lincoln Jefferson Mossgrave-Witherspoon during a pirate rebroadcast of The Midnight Special in Magdeburg. According to Wachholz, Mossgrave-Witherspoon's real name is Olaf Otto Sauer von Lindenbergh. Although it is still unclear how Sauer von Lindenbergh/Mossgrave-Witherspoon came to leave East Germany and become Billboard Magazine's "Smoothest Sax" as member of Nova Scotian supergroup, the Wusses, we do know that Sauer von Lindbergh/Mossgrave-Witherspoon had previously had a minor hit in East Germany with his song, "Plums $2," a scathing critique of western capitalism in a tidy 2:30 polka. Rare copies of the AMIGA records single that have made their way to the west have shot up in value, with one 45 RPM single selling in San Francisco for $200, which in and of itself is a scathing critique of western capitalism.
All members of the Wusses, including Mr. Sauer von Lindenbergh/Mossgrave-Witherspoon, have denied having any prior knowledge of Mr. Sauer von Lindenbergh/Mossgrave-Witherspoon's origins. Mr. Sauer von Lindenbergh/Mossgrave-Witherspoon has said on the topic, "In Folge des unvorteilhaften Gedächtnisverlustes, den ich erlitten habe, konnte ich bisher nicht meine wahre Identität herrausfinden. Allerdings, muss ich sagen, daß ich eigentlich dachte, das ich aus Alabama stammen muss." Members of the Wusses have also denied ever noticing that Mr. Sauer von Lindenbergh/Mossgrave-Witherspoon speaks no language other than German.
For immediate release. The Wusses have been out of the limelight for the better part of a year, working on a project some say is their most ambitious to date. Diehard fans may finally have some clue as to what the Wusses have in store. Or rather, what they had in store. A suit filed in the district court of Fresno by author Richard Bach seeks an injunction against the group to block release of their new concept album, John Livingstone Segal, citing copyright infringement. Mr. Bach is the author of the best seller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a self help book for airline pilots with low self-esteem. Mr. Bach's other well known (and per critical consensus, less boring) works include The Body and The Stand.
The Wusses for their part have been unusually close lipped about the affair, citing the advice of their lawyers not to talk about the suit in public. According to Leon Alabaster, though, "Ours is totally different." An unnamed source claims the Wusses concept album is based in part on the true life of Leon Alabaster and is about a young Jewish boy from Alabama who is kidnapped by the circus, escapes in a zeppelin, and becomes a barnstorming pilot. Eventually he discovers his true love: music. Jonathan Livingston Seagull, on the other hand, is about a bird that eats out of dumpsters and thinks he's better than everyone else.
Speculation notwithstanding, The Wusses legal team informs us that you probably won't hear any of the new songs on their upcoming tour, until the law suit gets settled. Instead the Wusses will be drawing on their extensive back catalog of hundreds of number one hit songs. The kick their tour off this Saturday, the 30th, in the humble burg of Durham, North Carolina at Motorco Music Hall. The Wusses perform at 10pm.
For immediate release. The Wusses are embarking on a new pet project as the world's population continues to grow. Tentatively dubbed "Give Some to the Earth", The Wusses will attempt to impregnate the planet this Saturday, April 17 with the hopes of spawning another life-supporting world to accomodate the ever rising global population. Given their aptitude for inspiring spontaneous conception, the band feels they are in a unique position to help solve this pending crisis, using a unique position. According to Hercules Europe, "Given our aptitude for inspiring spontaneous conception, we feel we are in a unique position to help solve this pending crisis, using a unique position."
The band will embark on this project Saturday afternoon at 2:45 PM at the Northern Carolinas Museum of Natural History and Unnatural Future in Raleigh. Plastic jumpsuits will be provided to all fertile women as a precaution.
For immediate release. The Wusses, continuing their crusade against chorus pedals, testified this morning before the United Nations. Begun last year following guitarist Gordy West's untimely chorus releated death, The Wusses have waged a campaign petitioning the United Nations to levy sanctions on chorus producing countries across the globe. "Chorus is a weapon of mass destruction," vented frontman Leon Alabaster. "We're simply not willing to allow the smoking cloud to be a mushroom gun." The band will be sending their own UN ambassador, Josiah Yoder, to appeal to the UN Special Council on Chorus Proliferation (UNSCOCP). Mr. Yoder only speaks Pennsylvania Dutch, so guitarist for the candadian supergroup, Arturo Fratelli, will be on hand to translate Mr. Yoder's remarks into Italian.
For immediate release. The Wusses announced today they would be soldiering on without the late Gordy West. A new tour is scheduled to get under way this Friday in Raleigh, NC at the Tir Na Nog arena. Bobby Turnblue was available for comment: "Somebody's gotta pay the child support." Turnblue is referring to a class action paternity suit which the Wusses settled last year for an undisclosed amount after having allegedly impregnated thousands of women, dozens of men, and untold live stock (Yoder) during their decades long touring career. It is rumored that the Wusses child support payments comprise 8% of the GDP of Canada.
Rumors are flying as to who the Wusses have tapped to replace West on guitar, but the Wusses themselves remain tight lipped. "Our fans will meet the new Gordy this Friday night," said Yoder, with a sly grin. Scientists at MIT have speculated that Wusses must be touring with a computer generated facsimile of the late West. Lead singer, Leon Alabaster, calls such rumors "proposterous" citing the fact that he has no idea what a facsimile is. Or a computer for that matter. A team at Cornell has also challenged the idea, saying that such a computer would require 4 tractor trailer trucks just to go on tour and would consume enough electricity every minute to power France for a week.
For immediate release. Canadian supergroup, The Wusses, suffered a tragic blow today. Guitarist and back up singer Gordy West died this morning at a hospital in Sandy Lake, Ontario. West was 37 years old. West was admitted to Sandy Lake municipal hospital late last night after a concert in Sandy Lake after suffering what appeared to be chorus related injuries.
A tearful Josiah Yoder recounted today, "Gordy would always said you can never have too much chorus. I guess he finally found out their was." CJ Bunks, Leon Alabaster and Arturo Fratelli vowed to petition the United Nations for stronger sanctions against chorus pedal producing nations. Japan has repeatedly blocked such efforts in the past.
West, best known for his "chorus on all the time" style of guitar playing, had an astounding 40 number one hits with the Wusses, and an additional 50 songs in the top 20 from his solo career. Fans will remember him always for such songs as Don't Wait Until it Hurts, Look With Your Hands, and Why Don't We Take This Inside.
In 1976, West gave the public a rare glimpse into his private musical philosophy in this 60 Minutes Interview.
For immediate release. After nearly a year out of the limelight, the Wusses have been thrust back onto the national stage. This time it's not another thirteen month megatour or benefit for preteen victims of hair loss. A class action lawsuit filed today in Fresno, Michigan accuses the Wusses of being not just the fathers of soft rock, but also of thousands of illegitimate children.
The law firm, Siegel, Sieglitz and Siegel announced today that it was working with over 800 mothers who had all been impregnated by a member or, in some cases, members of the Wusses. "Now that we've finally gone public with this, we think we'll be hearing from a lot more mothers who have also been impregnated during this legendary groups long career by one of its members," said attorney Ira Siegel, himself allegedly the 36 year old son of Gordy West, conceived during a West/Ward tour while West was still but a mere boy of ten. "We're asking mothers to send us a DNA example of their children so that we might ascertain who their father is and include them as a plaintiff of this class action law suit," added Siegel.
For their part, the Wusses have filed a counter suit against the Siegel, Sieglitz, and Siegel law firm, claiming that the firm had illegally employed groupies to obtain DNA samples from the group. "The sacred trust between a rock musician and his groupy has been irreparably violated," Arturo Fratelli is quoted as saying in a court brief.
The only member so far excluded from the suit is Josiah Yoder, on the grounds that because of his Amish religion he does not have DNA. A fact confirmed by Duke University geneticist Ally Kornbluth. "We were surprised, but apparently Josiah Yoder's faith prevents him from having any DNA in his cells. We've learned now that the Amish might be an entirely new form of life, and we are beginning active research into this exciting new field of weird faith based biology," said Kornbluth at a press conference ealier today.
For immediate release. On May 19th The Wusses will play the "Free Europe" concert at the Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC to support their beleaguered trumpet player and tambourine maestro. Grammy-winning trumpeter Hercules Europe will report to federal prison on May 20th to begin a one-year tax evasion sentence after a judge denied his request to remain free while he appeals the conviction.
Europe, 59, will report to the federal penitentiary in Key Bescane, FL, U.S. Bureau of Prisons records show. His projected release date, with credit for good conduct, is June. 4th.
A jury last October convicted Europe on charges of conspiracy and tax evasion involving his gospel music ministry.
Europe recorded with several pop acts in the 1970s, including Joe Cocker, Stephen Stills, Leon Russell, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and The Wusses. He received a Grammy in 1984 for his tambourine work on Van Halen's album that year.
He recorded more than 30 of his own albums of gospel and patriotic music, which he distributes through his ministry based in Bland, WV., and its Web site.
An indictment accused Europe and his mistress, Acca Larentia, of scheming with her mother, bookkeeper Christy Larentia, to avoid reporting personal income totaling more than $1 million between 1996 and 1999.
An IRS agent testified at the trial that Europe and his wife improperly used his Mighty Horn Ministries to shield the money and evade $128,627 in taxes. They were also accused of operating a corn ethanol operation without a permit, but those charges were dropped.
For immediate release. Brighid Flood Willis today announced she was suing the Wusses after she received a package from the group containing a dead turtle dove and a note thanking her for booking them for an exclusive private holiday party. According to Leon Alabaster, the bird was sent as a thank you and was intended to be alive and fly out upon arrival. "I don't know what wrong. I thought it would be a beautiful thing, to give her this beautiful bird, a symbol of peace on earth and the holidays." Willis and a number of animal rights groups remain unimpressed. The event, a multimillion dollar holidy gala, is thrown every year at the private mansion of clinical trial management mogul, Gilbert Andreeson, and involves a veritable who's who of CRO glitterati. Willis says she has already cancelled the Wusses engagement at the event and has instead retained soft rock duo, Skeels and Toft.
Alabaster is facing misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty and is scheduled to appear before Fresno County district court.
For immediate release. The Wusses find themselves embroiled once again in scandal as news hit the streets today of a paternity lawsuit filed by Judge Linda Kenner, now three months pregnant, against the Wusses. The suit does not identify which Wuss is the alleged father, but names all of the Wusses as potential fathers and asks for a court order for all Wusses to undergo DNA testing.
The scandal has prompted many to question Kenner's decision three months ago to throw out a federal criminal case against the Wusses for tax evasion. Many voices in Washington have called for a retrial but have found themselves stymied by the so called "double jeopardy" clause of the fifth ammendment to the constitution which prevents the government from trying a person twice for the same crime. Kansas senator Sam Brownback, a republican, has proposed an ammendment to the constitution, the so called "Wusses" ammendment, that would allow the government to retry criminal cases under certain circumstances. On the eve of mid term elections, however, few lawmakers are eager to take such a public stance against the Wusses, given their enormous popular appeal.
For immediate release. The Wusses today were cleared of all charges related to their case of tax evasion. Judge Linda Kenner today threw the case out this afternoon after the prosecution, in her words, failed to prove the Wusses had earned any income at all. "Frankly, I've never seen a flimsier case," she told reporters this afternoon at a press conference immediately after the trial. According to the Wusses the band members themselves had never earned any money from their music. According to Arturo Fratelli, "The houses, the cars, the studios. Those all belong to the record company. We own nothing. We earn nothing. The company gives us place to live, food to eat, and we make music. We do not have to worry about money. It is better this way."
For immediate release. As a testament to how well respected the Wusses are in the music community, the industry's top recording artists have banded together to record a tribute album of songs all recorded originally by the Wusses. All proceeds will benefit the Wusses legal defense fund. The album, entitled Fly On, Smooth Gulls, is slated for release in July. In the meantime, you can see many of these bands performing their own versions of Wusses tunes right here.
For immediate release. Bobby Turnblue was found yesterday lecturing at McFadden music store in Mobile, Alabama. Turnblue was at the store promoting a new line of keyboard amplifiers for Peavey Electronics. Bobby Turnblue has apparently been touring the deep south extensively, in search of the perfect gumbo. When asked about the possible whereabouts of the remaining Wusses, Turnblue responded, "I don't know where those guys are. They better [expletive] show up for our gig Sunday night." The Wusses are booked to play the Local 506 in Chapel Hill, NC, Sunday May 28th, with local band, Shipwrecker opening. According to Bob "Miami" Vice, "They'll be there."
For immediate release. The Wusses, it seems, have gone missing. The group's manager, Bob "Miami" Vice, told reporters at a press conference earlier today that the group hadn't been seen or heard from since the second show of their Save the Pelican Tour. "Yeah, to be honest, I kind of forgot about these guys. Some club owner called me this morning to try to book them and I realized I hadn't heard from them in a while." Police broke into their posh home and recording studio in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but found no signs of human habitation. They did find a fierce clan of ferrel cats who apparently had been surviving for five months by hunting the ever more abundant mice and cockroaches. The stench, according to police, was unbelievable. The Myrtle Beach police department is asking for persons with any knowledge as to where the Wusses might be, to please contact them immediately.
For immediate release. Tour dates for the Wusses' upcoming Save the Pelican tour have been finalized. The Wusses will be playing your hometown soon. Don't miss 'em!
For immediate release. Federal agents yesterday raided the 21 room mansion and recording studio in Modesto, California where the Wusses had been living and recording their much anticipated follow up to last year's album, Sailing on the Wings of Love. The raid, in which most of the bands assets, including master tapes, were seized was the result of an IRS audit in which it was found that no Wuss had paid any income tax on any of their millions of dollars of earnings from record sales and sold out stadium concerts. According to Arturo Fratelli, "I am Italian citizen. I do not pay taxes in United States." Seamus Perez, spokesperson for the IRS, begged to differ, saying, "Mr. Fratelli is mistaken with regards to his tax liability."
Although federal prosecutors haven't ruled out criminal proceedings, for the time being, at least, the Wusses are not facing jail time. They will be hitting the road after Christmas, however, in order to raise the money to buy back their master tapes and reopen their posh home and recording studio so they can finish their concept album, The Pelican. Release of the album, unfortunately for the Wusses' fans, has been postponed indefinitely. Upcoming tour dates will be released as soon as they are known.
For immediate release. On Friday, Dec 2, The Wusses will interrupt work on their 26th album (a concept album entitled The Pelican) in order to play The Great Cover Up in Raleigh, North Carolina. The national show case will honor their over 30 years of number one hits and will be the first television program to be broadcast world wide via sattelite. The concert will be held at King's Barcade and the Wusses hit the stage at 11pm.
For immediate release. Gordy West has given a rare interview with Neal McNeal for the BHBS television network. Gordy West talks about cutting hair, chorus pedals, and his relationship to bees. Watch the full interview here.
For immediate release. The Wusses will be making a rare appearance in the deep south of the United States, playing Chapel Hill, North Carolina. They will be performing at the Local 506 on Friday, September 23rd. Proceeds will benefit victims of hurricane Katrina. The complete line up for the show is not yet known, but should be finalized soon. According to Josiah Yoder, "We're all actually really excited to play this tiny redneck town. People are always really nice to us in the south, and we like their funny accents. And, of course, it's for a good cause."
For immediate release. The Wusses have returned to their home of Thunder Bay, Ontario on the heels of an ambitious world tour. Their arrival comes about 8 months ahead of schedule. When asked about their early arrival home, Gordy West replied, "Yeah, I guess we made pretty good time." "Maybe there are less countries than we initially thought," Leon Alabaster theorized. All of the Wusses appear to be in good health and good spirits.
For immediate release. The Wusses will kick off a tour of the world's capital cities on August 13th, when they play Washington DC, at the Peter Geddes Arena. From there they will be on the road for 271 days as they play the capital of each country in the world. Although the Wusses aren't ones to play favorites, they are particularly looking forward to playing in St Peter Port, Guernsey, Djibouti, Djibouti, Bereenberg, Jan Mayen, and Thimphu, Bhutan.