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I Want To Be a Rock'n'Roll Star
September 18, 2013 8:33 AM   Subscribe

In 1986, an episode public-access TV show Forestville Rocks began with these words: "Butch Willis has moved into the most selective rock n roll territory, that of the inspirational primitive. Guided by neither the commercial concerns of mainstream pop nor the calculated artsiness of new wave nor the hip rage of punk, Willis stands quite alone; undaunted, he dreams the rock n roll dream..."

From an interview with Butch in that same year:

"In the mind of Butch Willis, he and his group The Rocks are the entry-level equivalent of Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Bruce Springsteen & The E-Street Band, or even the latter-day Rolling Stones...

To the rest of the world, however, he and The Rocks belong much more to the realm of such outsider musical artists as The Twinkeyz, Electric Eels, Shuggie Rodelle & His Imbiblio Band or the singing flea market cowboy Buddy Max, (or his former roommate and fellow DC area oddball Root Boy Slim) than they do to the world of arena rock. As evidenced by the two albums he released on his own Love label in the mid-1980s, Of and Forthcomings, Willis and his revolving-door band of D.C.-area musicians are anything but pedestrian. Would Bob Seger have a full-time band member whose sole duty is to stand there and chop at his throat while warbling vocal tones?"

Some classic Butch Tunes:
23rd Rocker
TVs From Outer Space
The Gardens Outside
I Miss Her Too Much
Concrete and Birdfeathers
The Girl's On My Mind

Butch's last studio record of new songs, Superstitious Mummies, came out in 2000. But there is no doubt he is out there somewhere writing and scheming even as we speak.
posted by Potomac Avenue (11 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Throat-chopping warbler guy is the best. And a snappy dresser, too.
posted by fikri at 9:15 AM on September 18, 2013


I read that as " Bruce Willis" and was mighty confused, wondering if this was one of his lesser known films. Seriously, a film where Bruce Willis forms his own indie band would be something I'd totally watch.
posted by happyroach at 9:18 AM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I read that as " Bruce Willis" and was mighty confused, wondering if this was one of his lesser known films. Seriously, a film where Bruce Willis forms his own indie band would be something I'd totally watch.

Your wish has been granted (almost).
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:58 AM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw Butch a couple of times during my D.C. days, and have one of the albums, but it never occurred to me to check YouTube. Thanks very much for this!
posted by doubtfulpalace at 10:10 AM on September 18, 2013


Jeff Krulilk's website posted that Forestville Rocks clip a few years back. I'm pretty impressed that he's kept recording music.
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:11 AM on September 18, 2013


Seriously, a film where Bruce Willis forms his own indie band would be something I'd totally watch.

I'm afraid the reality was far worse.
posted by mykescipark at 10:19 AM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Damn, scooped by ZenMasterThis. In fairness, I only ever knew about the album.)
posted by mykescipark at 10:19 AM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Forestville Rocks clip left me almost speechless - low-budget art mutants of my suburban Maryland youth, where did you go?

I'm taking this as a sign that I finally need to put a Travesty Films FPP together.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:09 PM on September 18, 2013


I'm afraid the reality was far worse.

Heaven's Database (SNL, 1987)
Deceased:  So, I guess the idea is, I'm dead, huh?

Angel:        Yeah. Uh-huh.

[. . . ]

Deceased:  Boy, this is so weird! I don't even know what to ask!
                   Okay -- Bruce Willis. I mean, that guy -- he had to've
                   made a deal with the devil, right?

Angel:        Yeah.

Deceased:  I knew it! I knew it! Who else?

Angel:        Oh, there're so many . . .

I Want To Be a Rock'n'Roll Star
And if your hair's combed right,
and your pants are tight,
it's gonna be awright

Now's the time to go downtown
Where the agent man won't let you down
Sell your soul to the company
Who are waiting there to sell plastic wares . . .
posted by Herodios at 12:15 PM on September 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm taking this as a sign that I finally need to put a Travesty Films FPP together.

Mmmm... maybe a Random Radar Records FPP would be good as well.
posted by doubtfulpalace at 4:11 PM on September 18, 2013


I heard that Butch Willis used to do some professional wrestling. If so, he's in a great tradition of wrestling rock:

The Novas, The Crusher
Beauregarde, I Got Something (featuring Greg Sage on guitar)
The Superstars of WWE sing Land of a Thousand Dances
posted by jonp72 at 6:27 PM on September 18, 2013


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