Publication Date: July 15, 2012
The Funky Butts: An Unauthorized Autobiography by The Blade is the story of the rise and fall of a fictional band in the pre-grunge and early MTV era. The Blade tells the story of Marathon Man, Slinkmaster and M.C. Mike rising from the ashes of Denton, Texas to a National stage and then realizing that fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
The book description invokes Spinal Tap which is about a band on a comeback trail but I believe the novel is reminiscent of the Canadian film, Hard Core Logo. If you haven’t watched this movie, I would suggest picking it up. Infused with moments of humor, it’s basically the edgy and mean spirited story of the rise to fame of a punk band. The Denton boys of The Funky Butts are the middle ground. They’re a group of four who never wanted to be famous but knows when a deal is too good to pass and also the desperation one feels when you’ll do anything to get out.
I thought a lot about this book after closing the Kindle cover. If I were writing about a fictional band and could write anything, would I write such a tame story? Probably not. On reflection, this is maybe more a read for people who are smart about music. I recognized some names in the narrative — I googled others. There were images that anyone who lived through the age, when referenced, would immediately call to mind. The red handkerchief in Bruce Spingsteen’s back pocket on the cover of the Born in the U.S.A. album, for example. What person of our generation doesn’t see the reference and have the ability to picture the cover. When The Blade is talking about how the band wanted to be simple in their videos and referenced Van Halen’s Jump, I automatically knew what he was talking about despite this reader not being so smart when it comes to music.
The scenes are well written and well described. We get the feel of Denton and the crowd. We get to know Marathon Man, MC Mike and Slinkmaster through their own words and The Blade’s memories. The Blade is candid with the audience 20 years from their success into present day. One moment I simply did not believe was the 16-year-old who accused M.C. Mike of raping her. The label runs a contest for teens and then leaves the artist alone with the child? Maybe I’m very wrong, but I cannot see the artist having been left alone even then. Too much risk and we’re led to believe that we’re dealing with a very canny label representative.
Yes, that is nitpicking. Overall, there’s nothing wrong with this book. Four boys that you want to see get ahead, and a story of a band. While the reader is drawn into the tale, there’s also nothing overly sensational about it. This is a nice, comfortable, story-involving characters to cheer for that I can see being about any band of the age.
So why, you may ask, is this an unauthorized autobiography when written by one of the fictional band members? I believe, and maybe I’m wrong, that it’s because this is a band that never wanted to be anything but what they became after they broke up. They’ve put the past firmly behind them, and while Blade wants to kind of vent as the most invested member of the band, the others are more passive in their approach. It was and now it’s not, sort of attitude.
Overall, this was a nice visit with the bands of my childhood. There’s a concert at one point in the book that is a name dropping extravaganza but I was grooving to the favorite beats rolling through my brain. Not the most exciting thing I’ve read all year but worth checking out if you’re a devotee of the ZZ Top, Stevie Ray, Blues type music and bands of the era.
Speaking of favorite beats, [easyazon-link asin=”B008YHQG6I” locale=”us”]Original Soundtrack for the Novel ‘Funky Butts: An Unauthorized Autobiography'[/easyazon-link] has been released by the author. With lyrics rather in the spirit of Moxy Fruvous and the Barenaked Ladies, you can check out the Funky Butts tracks as you read the novel.
Read and excerpt and buy Funky Butts by The Blade on