This Was 'FINAL RAP' • In Search of the Lost Keyboard with Saginaw's First & Last One Night Band

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, , Culture, ,   By: Jazz Scott

27th December, 2022     0

Editor's Note:   Back in March of 1985 in Issue #115 of The REVIEW we published the second installment of 'True Tales From the Saginaw Swamp' - a humor/parody special edition inspired by the traditions set by such seminal publications as 'National Lampoon' and 'Mad Magazine'.  This humorous parody piece that was written by contributor Jeff Scott shines the limelight on the region's first and only one-night band.

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Not since The Flies has the local music scene buzzed with blither about an area rock-pop-ska-funk-dunk sometimes wedding band named Final Rap. The members of this group are no strangers to the Saginaw music scene. Everybody has seen them somewhere. Said group leader Blatz Blotto, "The members of this group have been in every band in the area at one time or another, including some twice but not exceeding three times. 

We interviewed the band while they primed up for a big gig somewhere on State Street.

REVIEW: You guys have been in many different bands. Why is it so difficult to keep a band together?

Blatz: People is the number one problem. A band can really grow by playing the the local bars and after about six months when things start going well most bands kick out the most or least irritating member of the group.  That's what I like about Final Rap. When we got the group together we decided to give everyone two weeks notice right from the start. If you know everyone is leaving the band, or at least threatening to, then you can just relax and play damn loud music!

At this point in the interview Ear Ring Thrasher - the band drummer - joins the interview.

Blatz: Hey, Ear Ring - you're late! We've got the press here.

Ear Ring: Sorry, I overslept and woke up somewhere near Bridgeport. Do you know if I left my equipment on last night? Hope my car is still there. Did we get paid?

REVIEW: How would you describe your music?

Blatz: It's the kind of sound you get from equipment that isn't paid for yet. Like my keyboards have knobs and sounds that I'm not supposed to touch or understand until the final installment payment when it becomes obsolete again.

Ear Ring: Being loud helps because you are able to artistically blend so many mistakes together. Also, if you play loud the people at the tables can't talk to each other and are forced to listen to you. But of course many of the married couples don't talk anyway.

REVIEW: How do you guys pick your song selections?

Blatz: It's pretty easy really. All the bands try and learn the same Top 40 songs so when members quit they can join different groups and just change personalities, but keep the same songs. You don't have to practice so much and that leaves more time to watch TV or score pot.

REVIEW: Do you have plans to play original music?

Ear Ring: We've got lots of originals. They just haven't been written yet. We've got many concepts but not many real ideas. It's hard to get together and rehearse originals when you're working 20 hours a week, including breaks at some local gin mill.

Blatz: We do have a couple things we're working on, but don't like to perform them in bars because someone could walk in and steal your tune and be  in L.A. by morning and a star that evening. Our guitar player Snownose does most of the writing because he stays up real late. He was really upset when France pulled out of NATO and wrote a real cool tune called, I Ain't French Kissing No More. The lyrics are a real tongue twister. He also has one called Red Light District in K Mart. It's a flashy, grabby kind of tune. 

REVIEW: What kind of stuff are working on for the future?

Blatz: We'd like to build our equipment up. We need more extension cords that can handle 3 prong. And we're not talking about the ones in the audience. We definitely would also like to buy another hairdryer and iron if we do go on the road.

REVIEW: Do you have plans to go on the road?

Ear-Ring: Not really. We figure the big guys in New York or L.A. will eventually hear about us and fly to Saginaw and hear us play at a Wine and Chese party or something. I tried to call Clive Davis once but his line was busy. Someone has good connections with him though, so we should be up there anytime now.

Blatz: Its tough being on the road. You put four guys drinking beer in a car driving to a gig and somebody always has to go to the bathroom or find an Arby's or something. We've got our musical timing down and now are working on getting our body functions and belly rumbles together.

Ear-Ring: I'd like to work on getting my music store bill paid. I think image is real important. Our guitar player is really good at it. He struts around like a rooster in tight pants fleeing from a barber. He wears his guitar real low so when he starts strumming his axe like crazy it looks like he's scratching his bloody private parts. It's all part of the positive image we try to emit.

REVIEW: Do you think the rest of the guys in the band are going to show up?

Blatz: Didn't you call them? We're really not on speaking terms. I thought you called them.

REVIEW: Any final words for young and aspiring musicians?

Blatz: Yeah kids - just remember that credit from the local music store is probably the most important ingredient. And follow our motto: No dive is too jive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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