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Rusty Saber

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by Joe McAdoo

Johnny Carson once said there is only one fruitcake in the world; people pass the same cake around among themselves. Likewise, I think there's only one rap and one rock music group in existence.

Think about it. It would take a finely tuned ear to tell the difference between one rap or rock CD and another. Rap consists of grunts and groans in cadence. It sounds like it might be coming from a hospital ER. Bob Dylan's lyrics are easier to understand.

Rap fans play the stuff so loud that what few words might be understandable are lost in a sea of electronic distortion. When fans crank up the volume in cars above legal limits (has anyone ever been arrested for violating the loud music in cars ordinance?) the ground vibrates like a giant hammer is smashing against it.

Since it all sounds alike, maybe there is just one rap group recording under several names.

Rock music is electronically distorted, crammed through amplifiers the size of buildings so tall Superman couldn't leap them in a single bound. The end product is nothing but dissonance. Vocals are so distorted that whatever talent singers might possess is undetectable.

Rock fans, too, play music so loud that all recordings sound alike. Like Johnny Carson's fruitcake and rap, there may be only one hard rock group, recording under different names. In order to keep their fans from getting wise, they select ridiculous names with absolutely no meaning.

If I'm right, a market exists for someone to create fresh meaningless names for the designated rap and rock groups. I'm just the guy to do it. I can be ridiculous with the best of them. How about a rap group named Stuck Sticky Wicket? Before you say, "That's silly, it makes no sense," explain the meaning of the real rap group Snoop Doggy Dog.

I've got a bag full of names. Here are eight rap groups: half are real ones, half I made up. Circle the real ones. 1. Three 6 Mafia. 2. U-Be-Dead. 3. Regressive Genes. 4. Slack Pack. 5. Mo-Be-Dick. 6. Bone Thugs 'N' Harmony. 7. Fill-Th-E-Mouth. 8. AK-47. If you got them all, you may need to get a life. The real ones are: 1, 4, 5, 6. The others are mine, and I believe they interchange nicely with the real ones.

I guess the Beatles started the meaningless rock group names business. Alas, electronically enhanced dissonance has taken rock music and the names of its groups to heights of foolishness never imagined by the truly talented Fab Four.

Marilyn Manson, one of today's biggie rock stars, comes to mind. Marilyn appears to be a man, or an extraordinarily homely woman. He is, in fact, a man. Interviewed on National Public Radio, he said his stage name is a combination of the late movie goddess Marilyn Monroe and mass murderer Charles Manson.

If symbolic logic was involved in coupling these two, it went by me on stilts. A rock "artist," listened to by teenagers, whose role model is Charles Manson. That may be the symbolic logic we should be aware of.

As far as I can tell, the only thing distinguishing one hard rock group from another are the names. Maybe one group is recording everything, using different names.

For instance, could Marilyn Manson and Massive Attack (an actual name) be the same group? Could his group also be Goo Goo Dolls, Gravity Kills, and Match Box 20? These are real groups. I'm not making up names, yet. Hold on, I'm about to.

Considering the goings-on in Washington, D.C., the designated rock group could be Clueless Interns. Or Marilyn Manson could be Monica Intern. How about Bimbo Eruption? Hold on. These make too much sense; they won't do. The same with one I made up in honor of basketball player Dennis Rodman: Purple Hair and Crazy. Everyone would understand it.

Here are some names that will work because they meet the criteria they make no sense:

?The Upchucks

?Coughing-Up-Phlegm

?Torn Hamstrings

?Death By Injection

?DNA and the Gene Pool

?Psycho-Babble

?Face on the Barroom Floor

?Cereal Killer

?Bone in the Throat

?Runnin Amok

It must be obvious. I'm the man for the job.

Look for these names to appear soon on the record charts.

(Joe McAdoo is former chairman of the communication department at Drury College and a Springfield public relations consultant.)

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