Here’s a Wild Story

This is from an album recorded 33 years ago by two teenage farm boys from a little town near Spokane:

In some ways, the Emersons’ story runs parallel to that of the Wiggins sisters from the Shaggs. Just as that their father decided that his girls could make their own music and not just rehash what was emanating from the radio, Don Emerson Sr. also wanted his sons to play their own music and not simply regurgitate the pop hits of the day. It’s only natural for a father to encourage creativity in his sons, but Don Sr. went well beyond ordering a Danelectro guitar out of the Sears-Roebuck catalog and calling it a day. Instead, he took out a loan with his land as leverage in order to erect a log cabin for the boys to woodshed in, then furnished it into a full-blown studio, complete with a TEAC 8-track, amplifiers, drum kit, PolyMoog, and more. (And that’s saying nothing of “Camp Jammin'”: a 300-capacity venue that their father also erected on the property, complete with his/her bathrooms, concession area, balcony and green room.)
And unlike the Shaggs’ endearing/excruciating Philosophy of the World, Donnie and Joe can sing, write songs, and play. In between logging, fence-post digging, and other farm chores, the boys practiced nonstop and put Dreamin’ Wild to tape with little idea of what was happening in popular music (they barely even knew how to load a reel of tape in their studio) other than what emanated from the radio. […]

This video and this Times piece are both worth some time if you’re interested.

24 replies
  1. 1
    RP says:

    Wow! That’s an amazing song.

  2. 2
    different-church-lady says:

    If you chase the links from the Times article, you’ll hit a short promo documentary film that’s just wonderfully sweet. It’s so refreshing to see outsider musicians treated with dignity instead of freak show curiosity. (‘Course it helps that their music earns the respect, no matter how offbeat the path it took into existence.)

  3. 3
    huckster says:

    Cool song.

  4. 4
    different-church-lady says:

    That film is just wonderfully sweet. It’s so refreshing to see outsider musicians treated with dignity instead of freak show curiosity. (‘Course it helps that their music earns the respect, no matter how offbeat the path it took into existence.)

    (Sorry ’bout the double post — my internets have Gastritis)

  5. 5

    Well twitter is saying that John Kerry will be nominated for State in a few minutes. Stupid move IMO.

  6. 6
    maya says:

    Sounds like the Stephen Bishop song, On and On, which, predated this by a year or so. Hmm. If only my daddy had mortgaged the home to build me a recording studio/venue. I wouldn’t be kicking around this here blog.

    Got anything else?

  7. 7
    MikeJ says:

    Hey mix, did somebody add those seo plugins back? It was pretty peppy when you pulled them, and it’s low again now. And yesterday once, and only once, I got the header with the broken redirect.

  8. 8
    cathyx says:

    All that work and all that talent and I never heard of them, never heard of the song.

  9. 9
    JPL says:

    Anyone gonna watch the NRA news conference? Our local ABC station is going to carry Jesse Hill’s funeral. He was a pioneer in the civil rights movement and has volunteered his time and money for the inner city youth in Atlanta.

  10. 10

    Scott Brown is out-polling all potential Dem contenders (who aren’t Deval Patrick) here for the special election, BTW. But Gov. Patrick doesn’t want it.

    Meanwhile, some of the obvious contenders (Mike Capuano for one) are said to be saving themselves for a run at the Gov seat in 2014 (after Patrick retires) anyway.

    Shame we can’t clone “Perfesser” Warren.

  11. 11
    JPL says:

    @Judas Escargot, Acerbic Prophet of the Mighty Potato God: There’s rumors about Affleck as in Ben.

  12. 12
    Narcissus says:

    Aww snap, LaPierre off the chain

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:

    That was awesome!!

  14. 14
    GregB says:

    LaPierre opens up with poor me and now he’s calling for turning schools into militia camps.

    Fucking SA Nazi.

  15. 15
    Corner Stone says:

    The issue, of course, is gun free zones at schools. Natch.
    I love that protestor and want to have thousands of his babies.

  16. 16
    Narcissus says:

    I am so glad I am watching this

  17. 17
    Scratch says:

    And it looks like the NRA is going to recommend security forces and turrets with machine guns to protect our children in schools.

  18. 18
    peorgietirebiter says:

    Okay then, Gun Free Schools are the clear and immediate threat to our children. Wayne’s balls are clanging loud and proud.

  19. 19
    Narcissus says:

    Vidya games and movies

    also, a database of the mentally ill: good idea/bad idea?

  20. 20

    Well, lots of money to be made doing that.

    Firearm, concrete, and barbed-wire futures must be going through the roof right about now.

  21. 21
    Death Panel Truck says:

    I’ve lived in eastern Washington most of my life, grew up here, and until today I’d never heard of Fruitland, Washington. Maybe that’s because it’s only a spot in the road with a post office.

  22. 22
    nastybrutishntall says:

    Been hearing the new Ariel Pink cover of this song all year. Good to know its history!

  23. 23
    Jennifer says:

    I’m going to have to go find and watch the LaPierre press conference.

    Given the mood of the country, it sounds like this may be another “let’s ask Catholic bishops about allowing non-Catholic women access to birth control” hearing moment, another Terry Schiavo moment.

    I sincerely hope so.

    BTW, if you’re in the mood for some levity, I’ve posted over at my joint a great David Sedaris reading where he explains the Christmas traditions of the Netherlands vs our own, and brings it all back home as only he can. Really funny.

  24. 24
    Baron Elmo says:

    Ahem. Contra the NYT, The Shaggs are not “excruciating.” The fact that they can barely play their instruments does not take away from the timeless, off-kilter beauty of their music.

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