With a new album out, I thought I would update Steel Panther’s Artist Spotlight which was originally posted early last year:
Do the following names ring a bell?
- Ralph Saenz
- Russ Parrish
- Travis Haley
- Darren Leader
No, what about these?
- Michael Starr
- Lexxi Foxx
- Stix Zadinia
Yes, I thought those would. They are Steel Panther. The greatest Metal, Comedy band of all time! That is right…Metal and Comedy. These guys are a tongue-in-cheek version of the 80’s Glam Metal scene. They are vulgar, repulsive, hilarious and man they can play some serious metal music. Well, not really serious music as it is comedy, but they can actually play and play well.
Five years ago, I was in Los Angeles and got a chance to go see these guys live at the House of Blues (at least I think it was the House of Blues). I am not sure how I would describe what I saw, but I know I enjoyed it immensely. The show was part metal concert, part comedy show and part soft porn. They never take themselves seriously and are always having a good time. The audience loved them and women were jumping up on stage and doing pretty much whatever they wanted. It was a little insane.
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When I was going through the box of vinyl that inspired my series “Turntables & Vinyl”, there were quite a few 45 singles. One of those singles was from a comedian that released a single about King Tutankhamun (King Tut). That person was Steve Martin. The “Wild & Crazy” guy is quite talented and he can kill it on the banjo. He can also sing (don’t let this song be the judge of that singing though). There is no banjo playing on this version sadly, but on the flip side you will here it.
The song was a satire of how the King Tut artifacts were turned into a traveling museum that went around the world back in the 1970’s for people to see and experience. Apparently, Steve found this funny at how popular the exhibit was and how commercialized it had become. I guess he thought he might as well capitalize on its popularity as well.
The song was released in 1978 and actually did quite well as it sold over one million copies and charted as high as #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. One cool fact is the band backing him were members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and they called themselves the Toot UnCommons for this project (get it!!).
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