HEAD MUSCLE PRESS (20 SEPT) – In a press release last week the Marxist rock band “Fresh Lenin” stated that they are still waiting on the government to provide them with musical instruments. “It has been over 10 years and, frankly we are tired of waiting for our <<explicative deleted>>guitars,” Fresh Lenin lead singer Niles Fjord complained. ” We will not be oppressed by profiteers in the music industry. Over 50 million Americans do not have access to quality musical instruments, and we are tired of music stores profiting on everyone’s….un-musicalness. Anyway, we believe that musical instrument ownership is a right, and that there should be a public option for aspiring Marxists like us!” “Yea it’s crap!” the band’s long time would-be drummer Ruddy added.
In case you have never heard of them, here is a bit of history:
Fresh Lenin was founded in 1998 by Niles Fjord in San Francisco. Niles recalls those first few years as being some of the most rewarding non-productive years in Fresh Lenin’s history. “We were just another group of young San Francisco Marxists, trying to start a rock band,” Niles mused. “Unlike a lot of the capitalist rock groups, we refused to sell out and get jobs just to buy instruments. Instead we decided to hang out with other Marxists, wear leather jackets, and smoke cigarettes. We really had the audacity to hope that if we sat around and complained enough, something good would happen for us at someone else’s expense.
Needless to say, Fresh Lenin was at the right place at the right time. They were just what the San Francisco progressive, intellectual, nihilist set was looking for. “It was like ‘wow’ man,” Niles recalled in a previous interview, ” when folks found out what we were all about we got famous overnight. Before we knew it we were not playing at some of the hottest clubs and parties in the Bay Area. Surely, we thought, with this type of fame our free instruments from the government would show up in a UPS truck any day.” But, instant celebrity aside, Fresh Lenin did not see so much as a tuning fork from Uncle Sam. Against all odds however, Fresh Lenin pressed on. Night after night they performed, almost playing at larger and larger venues. They were a new underground sensation. Then, almost a quickly as they found fame, they disappeared.
With our curiosity sparked from their press release, HM set up an exclusive interview with the two remaining band members Niles and Ruddy. We met in a small bohemian coffee shop near Sausalito for a chat. Needless to say, HM bought the lattes.
HM: So, you guys have been holding the Marxist line for 10 years now and still no instruments…right?
Niles: Not even a stinkin’ Jew’s harp.
Ruddy: Yea, it’s crap!
HM: You guys have been out of the limelight for a while now. How did you lose your following?
Niles: Well you can’t blame ’em really can you? I mean how bloody long can you keep a concert hall full of people interested when you got nothing to jam with? In the end, you’re really just four guys standing on stage staring at the crowd right?
HM: Yes, I suppose so. But they seemed to like it…
Niles: Well, for a while lots of our fans thought that we were these gifted performance artists, and that our “stand and stare” gig was something deep and profound. I think that it carried us longer than we care to admit.
HM: Wow that sounds like it was awkward.
Niles: Yea, especially when they would ask for two or even three encores. I remember being back stage and our agent yelling at us to get back out there and stand a while longer. It was humiliating.
Ruddy: Yea, it’s crap!
HM: So did you guys ever think of trying to sing or something instead of just standing there?
Niles: Hell no, we are a rock band man. Besides, who the heck ever heard of a Marxist A capella group?
HM: I guess you have a good point there… Did you ever try to borrow instruments for your gigs?
Niles: Yea. We knew some guys with a Socialist rock band and asked them once. They were willing to lend us some guitars but wanted 85 % of our pay and control of what songs we could play in return. Socialists are just a bunch of bossy control freaks. They really don’t get on well with anyone other than themselves. Creepy sort, ya now?
Ruddy: Yea it’s crap!
HM: So I am happy to tell you that HM Press has allowed me to purchase two guitars, and you can have them if you will let me be the first to hear one of Fresh Lenin’s songs today. Could you do that for me?
Niles: Well, we could if we knew how to play couldn’t we?
HM: You mean you don’t know how to play?
Niles: [Rolling Eyes] Well we haven’t exactly had any instruments to learn with have we?? We could do a bit of standing and staring for you though – if you like.
HM: No, that’s OK….So if I remember right, there were originally four of you. What happened to your other two band mates?
Niles: Well our prospective rhythm guitarist, Smelt, got a hold of some bad acid and kind of blew up on stage during our last show.
HM: You mean he overdosed and died?
Niles: No, he blew up man. There were bits of Smelt everywhere. Ruddy got the brunt of it. Doctor said Smelt’s head hit Ruddy’s head at about 200 miles an hour. He hasn’t been the same since.
Ruddy: Yea it’s crap!
HM: Didn’t you have an aspiring keyboardist? What was his name?
Niles: Oh him. We weren’t good enough for Barack. He had higher aspirations I suppose. One day he packed up and took off, saying something about needing “change.”
HM: You mean the President of the United States, Barack Obama, was in Fresh Lenin?
Niles: Yea, he’s trying to make nice with us now. Said he wants us to come to help him build his plan for brining the music industry into the government sector where it should be.
HM: That is unbelievable. What will your titles be in the administration?
Niles: He wants Ruddy and I to be his music co-Czars. The fact we are avowed Marxists makes it a perfect fit, anyway, he said the Jonas Brothers were just too expensive.
Ruddy: Yea it’s Crap!
Well, just maybe holding onto their Marxist principles has finally paid off. Fresh Lenin may actually have a new lease on life. With their ex-prospective keyboardist in the White House, Niles and Ruddy apparently have been catapulted to positions of prominence in the administration. HM plans to keep a close eye on our two friends as the rest of the story unfolds. It just goes to show you that in America even a Marxist’s dreams can come true.