Last week I was discussing the rumoured possibility of a Megadeth/Metallica collaboration. It's only recently that this even became remotely conceivable. Anyway, this got me thinking about bands that I wish were real, and given a subsequent workplace discussion about the Muppets, this got me thinking about a certain fictional band that appeared on The Muppet Show.
I am, of course, referring to Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem. They popped up at various times over the course of the Muppet Show's run. Most would remember Animal on drums, but maybe not the rest of the band: Dr. Teeth on vocals and keyboard, Janice (lead guitar), Sgt. Floyd Pepper (bass), and Zoot (saxophone).
(It's worth also mentioning that they have quite possibly the greatest band name of all time.)
Anyway, like so much of the Muppet Show, the Electric Mayhem had aspects that were appealing to kids (mostly Animal, plus of course the concept of a muppet band), and adults (pretty cool music with often hilarious lyrics). For example, Don't Blame the Dynamite:
Of course, in usual Muppet style there were also some clever head nods here and there... Sgt. Floyd Pepper's name is a reference to Pink Floyd and the Beatles' Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band - outfit and all. More subtly, the frequent on-stage explosions during Love Ya To Death were a reference to The Who's infamous television appearance where Keith Moon (on whom the character of Animal was allegedly based) blew up his drumkit. Most kids and adults would've found them funny... for music nerds they're hilarious.
Musically, they're actually pretty funky. Rock, blues, funk, you can hear all those things at various points in time. Hell, if I could buy some of these tracks on iTunes I'd do so without hesitation. But they weren't afraid of being a little experimental at times either, most notably performing a 70's funk cover of Chopin's Polonaise in A Flat which is made totally memorable by Animal yelling 'CHO-PIN! CHO-PIN!' at regular intervals.
Speaking of songs where Animal yells out in amusing ways, the funk instrumental Sweet Tooth Jam features Animal spontaneously yelling "JAM!" at regular intervals. It just never gets old.
Now, if only they were real...