This week, I was home on “stay-cation” and doing random tasks around the house (mostly yard work, cleaning out our storage shed, and de-cluttering closets in anticipation of the baby). Thursday I was working on our (home) office closet and found all these old framed posters/autographs I had from back in the day. There’s a (personalized) Bryan Adams autograph from the first time I saw him in concert (I’ve seen him three times). I also had (generic) Galactic and Medeski, Martin & Wood autographs and a framed Widespread Panic poster from their Thanksgiving 2000 shows at the Mid-South Coliseum. I’m planning on giving those away (possibly through BHAM.FM) to anyone who wants them, but there was another framed poster I was sure no one (outside of Memphis) would be interested in.
In high school, some of my good friends were in a band called RETROSPECT. They were really good (seriously, I’m not just saying that). They went through a “jam-band” phase, and then settled on straight ahead pop-rock (Big Star is so hot right now). I know the music industry is tough (darn near impossible), but I really thought they could have “made it” had their music fallen into the right hands.
The New Daisy Theater (was) a pretty “hot” venue back in the day, and would book RETROSPECT with other local (high school) up and coming bands. This was a good business move on the Daisy’s part because it brought in tons of high school aged kids when there weren’t any other shows going on. One band RETROSPECT would often get booked with was Accidental Mersh. They were a bunch of punk MUS/White Station kids and they were awful!!!! Seriously, they were so annoying and played the crappiest cover songs and all their preppy/snobby East Memphis friends would pack out it out!!!!!! As a “real” music fan, it was just annoying (and confusing) watching all these kids rock out to such crappy music. Even today, I can still picture their dopey bass player singing the “Owwwwww” part to Elastica’s “Connection.” Lucky for Memphis, the Mersher’s eventually graduated high school and went on their separate ways (and the RETROSPECT fans rejoiced!).
A few years later, I heard one of the Mersher’s started a band at UGA called the Whigs. They were getting a lot of buzz, but I was reluctant to give them a chance. Then I heard them on-line, and I couldn’t help myself. I felt like Rob Gordon after hearing those punk skater kids (the Kinky Wizards) outside his record shop. I didn’t want to like them, but I couldn’t help it. I bought Give Em All a Big Fat Lip and it was really good.
So I found an old concert poster from a Big Ass Truck show that RETROSPECT and the Mersh opened for (B.A.T. was an awesome local band from Memphis that “almost” made it - I think they had a video on MTV at one point, and had some college radio play, too). I was dropping off a load of old clothes and other sundries at Goodwill and threw the B.A.T. poster in for good measure. Before I left, I took a pict on my phone and sent it to N!ck and Harden for a good laugh.
N!ck replied, “CAN YOU BELIEVE that the lead singer of Accidental Mersh is now in MGMT?!?!”
WHAT?!?!?! Are you serious?!?!?! I quickly Googled (I’m already addicted to my iPhone) “MGMT Accidental Mersh” and sure enough there was an article in the Commercial Appeal last year about how this Mersher was now hitting it big. I’m sure you’ve heard their song “Kids” on the radio (I still think of Lil Kim when I hear it – thank you Hood Internet). Not only has MGMT signed to Columbia Records, but they’ve played the Late Show with David Letterman, and OPENED FOR RADIOHEAD!!! Holy Crap!!!!
So yeah, if any MGMT super-fans are living in Birmingham. Head on down to the Goodwill on Green Springs and pick yourself up a framed poster from Andrew VanWyngarden’s high school band Accidental Mersh (opening up with RETROSPECT for Big Ass Truck). I’m sure it’s a one of a kind!!!