Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 40-45,000 words
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“The Blade” is the pseudonym of a small-town Texas boy turned big city journalist with an obvious U2 fixation. You can find more on The Funky Butts page on Facebook.
A satirical biography of a non-existent band.
“After nearly 20 years, the story of the Funky Butts can finally be told. In the brief period before grunge and after the explosion of MTV, one band represented the last gasp of pure, harmless, and good-natured rock and roll. One band challenged the music establishment by breaking the rules and making up new ones along the way. One band weathered controversies and scandals, and yet stayed resolute and true to its original mission of telling lies and having fun.”
If you’ve ever read a rock band biography or even watched an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music you’ll appreciate the satire in this “unauthorized autobiography” (you’ll have to read it to figure out how that could be). Formed by some college buddies while going to school in Denton, Texas, Funky Butts has many of the music business clichés: the band member who dropped out just before the big break, bands with style over substance, hype that builds “the next big thing” up well beyond what their actual accomplishments warrant, and music label shenanigans. Yet these are clichés only because we’ve heard and seen them so many times before.
For the music geeks, Funky Butts name checks bands from big (Led Zeppelin) to Big Star (the best band most people have never heard of), with plenty of actual rock history woven into the fiction. Before reading this, I thought the best band to ever come out of Denton, Texas was Slobberbone, but may have to revise this opinion.
One thing that struck me was that the song lyrics quoted in the text didn’t seem nearly as awful as most novels with fictional bands. They weren’t Lennon and McCartney, but they might rival The Ramones. It turns out the songs are real and there is even a soundtrack album available. Are we sure this is a fictional band?
No significant issues
Rating: **** Four stars