Monday, July 2, 2018

Mauled again for the last time

ONCE AGAIN, WE'VE survived a Maulers show. Survived is a good way to put it, since watching the Maulers involves screaming and covering your head and trying to breathe as fireworks fall in your hair.

Four years ago, Brien Murphy and I were honored to play at the last ever Maulers gig. It takes place every years at Swinegrass, the home of Randy and Marcy Phillips. Note that every year it's the final Maulers show, and every year they have another one. So I play every year and it's a blast.

Yes, Ted, they are wiring up pyrotechnics behind your butt.
This year I ended up jamming with Burt Shackleton and Sam Middendorf. I threw the set list away and we bulldozed our way through about eight songs, and it was soooooo much fun. The last time Burt and I stood on that Swinegrass stage was seven or eight years ago, when Marci and Randy got married and we played at the wedding. All I remember was Randy saying "I do" in a Gumby costume and the wedding party dressed in Monty Python and Star Trek garb. I'm not making it up.

The Maulers are a mock rock band with a decorated and dubious history. Also, Wavin' Pete and the Wagonmasters played, as did Oompah Pete and Der Wagenmeisters. You haven't lived until you've seen Sam do "Crazy Train" on the accordion. We'll just leave it at that.

Between the Wagonmasters, oompahing and the Maulers, I played a couple of songs with Pete Magliocco. He nailed "Louie Louie" and sang every word to every verse perfectly.

As for the Maulers, well, you know it's a great gig when you look behind you and two guys are wiring up explosives behind the stage. And I'm putting that mildly. I came up to Randy when he was arranging the set-closing fireworks and he nearly had a heart attack when seeing my unlit cigar. "Don't worry. It's out," I lied. "Good. Because my face is two inches from a jet stream of explosives," Randy said. Put it this way - if you want to see it for yourself, Maulers fan Mike Provine got some excellent video. Stay patient until the end. If you can bear it.

Let Jason Warren from the band Johnny 7 explain it to you ....

"Just a fair warning to: when attending a Mauler show, do not leave your windows open. This morning I found two mortar shells and the drive back home there was an interesting smell of sulfur!!!!"

All in all, it was another great night in "rural" Coatsburg, and I'm sad it's the last one. Until next year, anyway.

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