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edit "Do the Badger" Controversy
The Trinketeers were the premier skiffle and controversy group of their day, with over one Number One hits to their credit. They had their first big hit in 1964 with “Do the Badger”. The lyrics in the song were simplistic, inciting listeners to try the brand new dance in which the participant ‘digs a den’ by making burrowing movements with their arms, and kicking movements with their feet. However, there was much controversy surrounding the song, when impressionable teenage boys and girls misunderstood the song and started having sexual intercourse with badgers. This led to a massive death toll in the badger population, as the weak badger immune system was not designed to withstand so many human STDs. However, the effects of this new phenomenon, now known as '‘Badgery’', were not all negative. Sales in the Iodine industry skyrocketed, as parents rushed out to buy bottles of the disinfectant to apply to their childrens’ sudden and unexplainable scratches, which were largely attributed to Poison Ivy.
A new slang evolved around the phenomenon labelled “Badgery” by the establishment, but which teens referred to as “Denning”, as in “Hey Patricia, are you going with Robbie tonight to see that new Hepburn movie?” “No, I’m staying home cos Robbie‘s going out denning with the guys”. Phrases such as “Have you seen any black and whites lately?”, “You know where the Whisker is at?” and “I’m weasling out, man, i'm weasling out!” became commonplace ways to discuss the practice of denning while avoiding detection from teachers or parents. For a full list of the slang related to Badgery, see here(Badgery Terminology).
edit "PCP" Controversy
The Trinketeers second major hit came in 1967, but it too was not without its controversy. The band released the single "Pot, Coke and Pills" in anticipation of their new concept album “The Trinketeers Dress up in Circus Regalia and Sing Nonsense”, which was about the band dressing up in circus regalia and singing nonsense. Critics immediately jumped on the song, claiming its nonsense lyrical content might be secret hippie code promoting drug use. Some even reported that if the record was played backwards, the words “I’m higher than Jesus!” could be heard. The song was quickly banned by the BBC, and many other television and radio networks in England followed suit thereafter.
The band vehemently denied these allegations, but the controversy following them was causing gig attendance and record sales to drop. They eventually gave a press conference, a conference which lasted six hours due to various members of the band zoning out, having laughing fits, or turning away from the press, bending over slightly and making snorting noises. One entire hour of the conference was spent watching Luke “the Loop” Richards' (the "funny one") impromptu performance of the first half of the film “The Wild One”... with all of Marlon Brando's lines performed with a Scottish Accent...“Oh John, remember the night, the first time I went out scrambling with rebels. Remember? ‘Och, lass wut dae ya wun me ta doo? Sen ye some flowers?!’”
The press, who seemed confused, bored and in some cases, asleep, were nevertheless not easily sidetracked by these tactics of distraction and diversion, and soon returned to asking about the alleged drug references in the song. The song’s lyrical content was nonsensical and unsettling, with lines such as “fluffy poo machines fly on green turf, leaking yellow mistakes”, and “Plompledeedee, yap yap yap, I am the Bulldog, I am the Shitsu, I am the Setter” drawing attention as lines only a drughead could have written or understand. However, Kiddler Fid stated:
|Listen, right, I don’t know where all the people are getting the idea that we do drugs. Excuse me a moment.|
At this point, Mr. Fid took off his belt, wrapped it around his arm and disappeared under his table for two hours. Upon returning to his seat, Mr. Fid, groggy and with some drool around his mouth, continued...
|That song, right, Pot, Coke and Pills, it’s about me DOGS! Me fucking DOGS! Ahahahahahahehee. What?! Oh, yeh, ok. What? Right, let me explain, I was at home with me son Jucifer *Mr. Fidd is :referring to the illegitimate son he had with his Tae Kwan Do instructor YoYo Bono*, and he asked me, ‘Dad, why don’t you write a song about our dogs, Dad?’ and I thought ‘now that’s a fooking great idea’, so I did. Our dogs are called Pot, Coke and Pills, which is why I named the song after 'em. And I just thought, how would a kid see the dogs? Can I imagine those dogs through a kid's eyes? That's when I wrote that line "fluffy poo machines fly on green turf, leaking yellow mistakes." It's just Kidd stuff. Hahaha. Kidd stuff, get it? Hahaha.|
This explanation seemed plausible enough to the tabloid newspaper writers, and so they were briefly sated. However, when one journalist pointed out that the initials of the song spell out ‘PCP’, (an anaesthetic that is regularly used as a recreational drug), the band were not able to come up with a clear or even coherent answer to the question, and eventually resorted to cheap parlour tricks:
- Luke: well, liiiisten baaaaby...uh huh...mao mao, well ahuh mao mamao
- Kiddler: Um, well, er, as my lawyer says...no one who wrote “Do the Badger” could ever be guilty of doing anything wrong! I’m mean, that song’s a classic. I’m a legend!
- Matthew: Oh my, ladies and gentlemen, I’ve just gotten word through my invisible ear piece that it’s time for our super secret surprise performance! That’s right; we didn’t want this to be just any old boring press conference for you.
- Peter: No, err, definitely not, which is why we decided to do a one off, once in a lifetime, intimate performance for everybody in this room. So, if you’ll just give us ten minutes, we’ll :just go out this back door here while our crew sets up our equipment. Thankyou, no further questions.
- Kiddler: Thankyou. If you prefer to wait with your eyes closed, all the better, as it will surely :heighten the anticipation.
- Luke: thankyou! See you in a minute.
By the time the press had figured out that they’d been duped by the Trinketeers (some were now calling them the “Tricksterteers”), the band were safely holed up in the Hiyatt Hotel, and they’d made enough confusion and distraction to diminish the controversy surrounding the song.
edit The ACIDTATE Controversy
After a largely uneventful and unsuccessful spell during the early 70s in which members of the band grew beards, dabbled in alternate religions (such as Charismaticism, Eskimism and Legalism), released various sub-par solo records (Fiddler on the Kid; Hang on Loopy; Peter’s Pans) and openly experimented with drugs, the Trinkeeters released what was to be their highest selling album yet – the ACIDTATE. The ACIDTATE LP as a musical endeavour was fairly standard affair. The music the band was churning out by this point was fairly formulaic, and comprised the usual 3 minute pop songs, ballads about heartbreak, and 6 minute ‘skiffle operas’. What made it successful however, was what also made it their most controversial release yet, and what resulted in the band’s manager’s 15 year prison sentence. Each side of the record was coated with LSD, more commonly known as 'acid', and the album artwork instructed users (no longer called listeners by this point) how to “get the greatest experience possible” from the record.
- Excerpt from the original ACIDTATE liner notes* “...You funky starchildren who come a-skifflin’ :to our door (a-shoobee wop a-shoobee wop), we know what you want! Right, firstly, at this point, we want to thank our manager, ‘Shanky’ Pete Sissens, for actually getting this record made at all. :Ok, are you moon-babies ready? Firstly, make sure you are alone, or with ‘tuned in’ friends. Done? Ok, next, put your record on at standard 45 rpm. Yeah? OK, now drift away on Peter’s :wonderful flute playing for a moment...but not too long! Now’s the time....ok, you and your friends, hunker down over your record player, stick your tongues out, press them to the spinning :vinyl and be prepared to hear the universe expand for you in waves of guitar feedback. It’s SKIFFLE TIME BABIES!...”
It took a while for parents to understand why their children would rummage the living room record collection and, shaking, lick their copies of Beethoven’s 5th or Chopin’s Nocturne, and then scream that “nothing is happening!!”, but when they did, a backlash of immense proportions fell on the Trinketeers. The band were temporarily jailed and put on trial for “corrupting the youth of america with controlled substances and incitement to deviant behaviour”, but ultimately, the man who gave the final approval for the musical, and chemical consistency of the album ,the band’s manager, ‘Shankey Pete’, was the man who was found guilty. He received 15 years without opportunity for a shortened sentence dependent on behaviour. The trial by this point had become a media event, and was sensationalised on the television and in the newspapers so much that led to it being nicknamed “ACIDGATE” .
edit The Final Years
edit The Child Phonography Controversy
edit The Deadliest Poo Controversy
Realising that their manager wasn’t doing a very good job for them from inside prison, the band fired him. In 1980 they went on to release one final album, Trinkets, a collection of b-sides and demos, with a couple of new songs added on the end. It was poorly received as the Trinketeers backlash was still strong, and ACIDGATE fresh in everyone’s mind (especially the minds of the children, which were now full of holes and visions of goblins).
In 1981 Kiddler Fid released a press statement declaring the end of the band. The members of The Trinketeers, now by this point edging to middle age, were ready to give up the rock and roll lifestyle and settle into comfortable family life. Except Luke ‘the Loop’, who wanted to become a magician. Which he did.
In 1997 Kiddler Fid was arrested on 117 accounts of child phonography (see full article: Crotch Lettuce), but claimed they were “research material” into the lives of child sensations, as he himself had been made a child star and was a well-known celebrity by the time he was 12. In 2006 Matthew Esquire, drummer for the Trinketeers for 20+ years, died of a heart attack while trying to pass an especially large bowel movement. He was 57.
edit Kiddler Fidd's Return to Music
edit Crotch Lettuce: Will There Be Controversy?
In 2008 Kiddler joined up with legendary guitarist Cad Purshnor, of 80’s punk pioneers '‘the Love Guns'’ to form a new rock’n’roll project known as ‘Crotch Lettuce’. The duo formed a record label together called “Rubber Electric” and signed themselves to a ½ album deal. Their first single “''Electric Finger''”, a parable about proper finger use, is likely to be released early next year (with the b-side "''Shitty Ditch Blues''""), and an album to follow. (See main article: Crotch Lettuce)