A mutual friend was on the U of M @ Morris Spring Festival (unsure if it was called this, though it was similar to Concordia'sCornstock w/o the Lutherans. or, at least, less of them) entertainment board and made a convincing argument in favor of allowing Screwey Louie (SL from this point fwd.) to participate in the "Battle of The Bands," which, was a prelude to the main act, which was? A band from Minneapolis, I believe with members of Polara, or it could have been Flipp. Regardless, it was one of those bands whom were popular on "MN College Radio" as opposed to "College Radio."
About the event: Prior to playing, a fat boy dressed as a pink pig and handed out candy to admirers. Since the audience was to vote on the best band, this was a bribe. Please note, that this was before Wayne Cohen and his ilk were doing the same with bunny costumes. SL will admit to sharing the same chemically produced influences, however. Additionally, the bovine child was to be attacked during SL's set at some point.
The "competition" consisted mainly of jam bands and I believe a lone metal/funk/ska band, thus, blending whatver Spin considered vogue in 1996 into one horrible, and unfortunate act. Kids in Morris brought drums they fabricated themelves to the event, and most wore skirts that were haphazardly tie dyed.
SL played last and utilized the services of a claque that was to heckle and throw rotten fruit and vegetables. This being April, rotten fruit and vegetables were a precious commodity, I believe marshmallows replaced tomatoes.
Unsure the lineup, though someone played a toy train whistle, and I do know that the guitarist was covering Ornette Coleman's "The Shape of..." and the bassist was covering a Melvins album at the same time. Both played with their backs to the auidence, though would periodically turn to insult the crowd. Everything was loud and disjointed, a singer recited Sun Ra liner notes, and audience members with hacky sacks pointed and laughed. When this occcured, the pig child would throw marshmallows at them.
The finale began when the pig led a fat man dressed as robot out on a leash, and paraded the robot back and forth in front of the stage. The singer then yelled, "Kill the Robot! Butcher the Pig!" and the claque encouraged audience members to attack the costumed, portly men. Drunk college kids are easily swayed, and spent three minutes wailing and tearing apart the robot and pig, causing a welt and black eye.
Those running sound unplugged the system.
SL came in second to a band that featured a white bassist with corn rows and braids, this was considered a travisty and the band refused to leave the stage. Eventually, the crowd favorite award was bestowed on SL.
Additionally: SL, along with "roadies," and the claque raided the special area set aside for the main band, and took a cheese and meat tray, several bottles of water and soda. The last thing I recall from that day is the popular minnesota college radio band guitar player calling someone a theif, and then it was pointed out that his band is making a living playing alongside a band that has never practiced and utilizes fat men dressed as robots and pigs.
A video tape exists.
- Bryan Gerding (bass)
- Travis Hanstad (vocals)
- Ali Narimani (guitar)
- Mike Larson (drums?)
- Kyra Deprez (vocals)
- Various farm animals and aliens.
U of M Morris Spring Festival.