Thursday, September 1, 2011

Give a Holler for Goober & The Peas

"Because love is something that needs to be nurtured, watered, cared for, and...talked to."

Well, folks, I dug deep in to my stash of CDs and ran in to some old friends.  I first encountered Goober & the Peas by chance during a night out at 700 High, also known as the 700 Club, in Columbus, Ohio way back in the early 90s.   As the boys warmed up, it was impossible not to notice their nearly perfect Honky-Tonk period, Grand Ol' Opry outfits.  I had no idea what was coming, but most of the people in the crowd appeared to be pretty excited.  When the single from their first album, The Complete Works of Goober & The Peas, "Funky Cowboy," kicked in and all I saw was a flash of the bottom of lanky front man Goober's shoe about level with his the top of his head as a spray of hay engulfed the crowd, I knew I was in for a fun night.  I actually believed their opening lines about being from Arizona until my friend, Julie, pointed out that everything about their clever, highly amusing 50's-era Honky-Tonk culture-spoof shtick is an act, and that they're actually from Detroit.  Of course, there was no way for me to know at the time that they appear on Detroit Municipal Recordings. 

Please, allow me to introduce you to the boys.  In the photo at the top, at left, on lead guitar, is "Junior."  Always a gentleman, that Junior.  Tough to get a
snap-shot of him when he's not  tipping his hat.  Peakin' out from behind ol' Junior with a devilish smile is Bassist, "Boss Hoss."  And that beanpole in the back muggin' for the camera, well, that's ol' "Goober," himself.  Next, also on guitar, is "Shorty."  (Hell, you mighta figured that one out for yerself.)  Last, but certainly not least, you've got Doc on the skins.

It turns out the boys played a well-received come-back show (seen here) the day after Christmas, 2009, bringing and end to a painful "15 year hiatus/vacation."  Why wasn't I notified?

I'd like to write a post describing the full effect of their live performance, but words could never do it justice.  It must be experienced. You can get an idea about the completeness of their dedication to what they stand for, though, by checking out their Facebook info page.  Here's a sample:
Band Interests:
Putting things on layaway, pride in one's hygiene, Swanson Turkey Dinners, finding hope in the bottom of a bottle, vacationing along the Detroit River, sitting at the bar whining about cheatin' hearts, warm bubble baths...
Also, you can find the vast bulk of their catalog on Amazon, including their farewell (second) album, The Jet Age Genius* of Goober and the Peas (seen here). In case yer wond'rin' about the footnote and can't read it here, I'll let ya in on it: "'Genius' rating based on public opinion poll. Margin of error, +/- 66%." It was also mighty nice of the guys to let us know before purchasing that the 1995 product is, in fact, recorded "IN STEREO." This album is great, but I think Complete Works gets the edge. It's filled with songs lamenting relationship and family trouble, reminiscing about the good ol' days, and a heart-breaking comparison of a lost love's turkey dinners to those of corporate behemoth, Swanson's, all interspersed with deep-delving dialogue between Goober and Junior. The point is, if you have even the remotest affinity for rockabilly punk, you'll be happy to own both of them. I don't know what else to say. You have to experience it for yourself. Both albums kick ass and are very enjoyable and humorous. I laughed through the whole album today. They're a blast. Here's a few lines from "Consider Me":

Just cause yer ma and pa and me don't get along
I'll still come to yer window and sing my song
And if I told your mama that she was good-lookin'
Said real nice things about her god-awful cookin'
If I said her tuna casserole was good
Even though the thing tasted just like wood
Would you still consider me?
Would you still consider me?
That's actually mild lyrically.  They're hilarious.  Also, if Doc wasn't obscured in shadow on the cover of Jet Age Genius*, you might recognize him.  It's John Gillis, later know as Jack White, founder of The White Stripes.

I didn't even know they have a video:

Oh, I don't knowwwww...they might be promoting unflattering images of women in that song.  Quick--Somebody call the ACLU on Goober and the Peas!!


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