Wednesday, March 19, 2008


The Empire Waists were a collection of failed So-Ho haute couture fashion designers who started a band.  Honestly, they had about as much business in the music industry as they had in fashion.  Their biggest hit was an out-of-tune, off-kilter, up-tempo medley of “Walkin’ In Rhythm” and “Pass the Peas.”  And it was abysmal.  But the kids ate it up.  Then again, kids will buy anything they think they relate to.  No child in their right mind should’ve been able to relate to the Meth-fueled antics of The Empire Waists.  This band made actual train wrecks look like pleasure cruises.  Their clothing, make-up and hair styles were all over the map.  90’s club kid meets circus clown meets Phantom Tollbooth meets Captain Kangaroo.  Everything was made to look slap-dash, but it was carefully orchestrated by their lead singer, Pox Devlin, who sang mercilessly into the microphone while holding a gun to his head.  No one ever knew if the gun was loaded except for Pox.  The NRA even condemned his actions, all the while funneling money into the band’s checking account.  The video for “Walkin’ In Rhythm / Pass the Peas” was simply one long shot of Pox Devlin’s feet dangling lifelessly from the top right corner of the screen.  An apparent suicide in glorious black and white.  This solidified their dangerous, avant-garde image even more than the gun or the Captain Kangaroo clothing ever could.  I guess I still don’t understand their appeal, even today, 50 years later.  And to think that was considered controversial back then.  Christ how times have changed.   



Blogger Adam said...

There should be a video like that for Sigue Sigue Sputnik, but for the dude who programmed the synthesizer. He's probably selling Real Estate.

March 19, 2008 at 6:01 AM  

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