Monday, 9 December 2013

#30. Dude Fell Down Niagara Falls – The Extreme Sprinklers

Jade McLaren: vocals.
Matt Neal: vocals, guitar, bass, programming.

Lyrics and music by Jade McLaren and Matt Neal.
Written November 9, 2003.
Record at Studio Study-o in Warrnambool on November 9-10 & 21, 2003.
Produced and mixed by Matt Neal.
Additional mixing by Brendan Hoffmann and Matt Neal.

On October 22, 2003, an unemployed 40-year-old Michigan man named Kirk Jones entered the history books by becoming the first person to go over Niagara Falls without a barrel or protection and survive. Despite obviously possessing massive balls of steel, the authorities saw fit to charge him with “performing a banned stunt” and “criminal mischief”. He was fined somewhere between US$2000 and Can$5000, depending on which website you read.

I'm not sure how the incident affected his work as a Ron Jeremy lookalike.

A couple of weeks after this momentous occasion in human idiocy, Jade McLaren came to visit, probably with the intention of writing and recording. We’d written and recorded our first song together (which will be coming up in about nine blogs from now) about five months prior and in the weeks before Kirk Jones made his infamous leap/fall we had written a couple more songs as part of the 21st Century Ox recording camp known as Dion’s Week Of Debauchery. Things were building towards the beginning of The Extreme Sprinklers, although our first gigs as a full band were still about 10 months away.

But at the time of early November, 2003, we were content for The Extreme Sprinklers to be a little recording project in which we could live out our most Ween-like musicaldesires. Dude Fell Down Niagara Falls is a prime example. I seem to recall Jade and I discussing the Kirk Jones incident and me playing the verse as an impromptu joke ditty. We laughed hysterically then put our heads together, wrote a chorus, locked down the verses and about 10 minutes later we had the whole song written (complete with a total inaccurate guess of how much Jones was fined). We adjourned to my spare room, which was dubbed Studio Study-o, to record it.

Here we are in our usual recording get-up.

In what seemed to be our normal routine for recording at the time, we started late at night, putting together about the beats around 11pm. At 1am the following morning, we were still going, laying down the final vocals for the verses. Aside from re-recording a bass track 10 days later, the whole song was finished in just over two hours.

As for Kirk Jones, in the wake of his infamous plunge he was kept in a psych ward for three days. Upon release, he was interviewed by TV stations, met his childhood idol Alice Cooper, and – I shit you not – joined a circus. That didn’t last long, and Jones started making appearances at souvenir booths near the Falls.

So why did that guy fall from the sky and into the water? While some suggested it was a daredevil stunt, it turns out Jones’ crazy feat was actually a drunken suicide attempt. Poor dude.

While this song is obviously stupid (and no, I can't explain why we did the spoken word intro) I am proud of one thing - the fact we found so many words to rhyme with Niagara.

This is my favourite photo of myself and Jade. 
We're at Golden Plains singing our little hearts out to Ween.
Good times.


Oh ….
Dude fell down Niagara Falls
Dude fell down Niagara Falls
Dude fell down Niagara Falls
And nobody had done it before
Dude fell down Niagara Falls
Dude fell down Niagara Falls
Dude fell down Niagara Falls
Got fined $17,000
Dude fell down Niagara Falls
Dude fell down Niagara Falls
Dude fell down Niagara Falls
And he was one lucky motherfucker

Why did that guy fall from the sky into the water?
Why did that fool fall in the pool that was the Niagara?

Was it Viagra?
Or maybe a jaguar?
Wish I had a camera.