According to the Matador blog, Dennis Flemion of the Frogs is missing and presumed dead.
This is the worst.
That dude, along with his brother, Jimmy, got somewhat famous in the mid-90s for getting sampled by Beck and being friends with Kurt Cobain.
But they should be famous--scratch that. They should be immortal for making the funniest rock record ever made.
This record is so important to mankind that I had high hopes for writing a 33 1/3 about it. I still remember the first time I listened to it.
It is 1997, my sophomore year of college, and I'm sitting on
my boyfriend's living room carpet, an unfortunate composite of beige nylon
pile, faint traces of cigarette ash, and rancid bong water.
There are also mice.
The boyfriend's roommate, [REDACTED] has just driven back from Tower Records with two LPs.
One of them, the shabbier one, has a picture of a hairy
man sitting Indian style in a baby's crib, his hands gripping the bars, his
face raised up at the camera in abject supplication. This is Barry Lewis
Polisar -- a name we can't say without laughing -- who wrote songs for children in
Baltimore.The second one, still in its cellophane wrapping, bears a
black and white photo of an apple-cheeked prepubescent in suspenders and a
Hitler Youth haircut. Hovering over his breast pocket: a hot pink triangle.
I read the band's name. I recall I had seen them back home in
Chicago, when they had opened for the Smashing Pumpkins at the Aaragon
Ballroom. Some friends who saw the show on the first night had told us about
the opening band, a bunch of ugly, sexist assholes who couldn't even sing.
On our way to see the Pumpkins, in the back seat of Mrs.[REDACTED]'s minivan,
we plotted. [REDACTED] fished a tampon out of her purse, daubed the tip with red
nail polish, and held it out the window.
After jostling our way to the front -- a journey always fraught
with ass grabs -- we awaited the Frogs. After a while, they
slumped onstage, and they were uglier than we could have imagined. One of 'em had the most alarming haircut I had ever seen: though thin,
greasy hair cascaded down his back, his lumpy crown was altogether bald. He
wore silver angel's wings and held his guitar like he found it revolting. He
sang as though he was cut off from the rest of the room by an electric fence.
He flipped us the bird.
Midway through the first song, a warm rumble penetrated the
thin racket coming from the stage. Boo.
In seconds, the whole room was either cheering for the Pumpkins or booing
outright. We plucked our bloody tampons from Julie's purse and flung.
But when we put on that record, I listened anyway:
That will blow your
Real fine tonight
Blow you blind tonight
Going out of my mind
They'd done drugs? Well so had we. Within seconds, we were
howling lumps on the floor. When they sang about the fucking priest with a yeast
infection, we were almost dead.
And thus began our questionable habit of listening to It's Only Right and Natural on repeat.
I'm pretty sure we played that record at least three times a day, every day, that entire
academic year. It was ritual, as ritual as yelling out "Ice dildo!" in that
scene in the porno we had rescued from the dollar bin. We'd hunch around the record player, grinning dopily. When
we knew a funny part was coming up -- like the part in that song about mouth-raping the S&M
baby -- we'd catch each other's eyes. And when Jimmy and Dennis really got going, we'd
crack the fuck up.
Fourteen years later, I still laugh every time I listen to that
record. Laughed, I should say -- I don't
know if I'd still be able to laugh if the worst is true, but I mean it as the holiest of compliments when I say
I'd expect to, someday.