The Simple Cavemen Sunday April 30, 12p.m.-3p.m.
The Simple Cavemen continue their evolution from suburban patio dwellers into sophisticated beings skilled at striking stringed instruments and drums. Here is their story, recently found scrawled in primitive handwriting on the bathroom walls at a Central Florida Waffle House:
In the beginning, there was a Phil Hartman skit on Saturday Night Live. And it was good. There was music by Bob Dylan and Doug Sahm, Jerry Garcia and Johnny Cash. There also was Hank Williams. And that was very good. There also was a cowbell skit on Saturday Night Live and it inspired much laughter — but that’s not important now.
Three chords and the truth. That’s how people described the power of a Hank Williams song. To the Simple Cavemen, three chords sounded simple enough, although they weren’t above using just two if that worked.
Jimmy Carl, (guitars, vocals, pedal steel guitar, accordion, uke, fiddle, harmonica, purveyor of songs, unable to resist strange, heavy instruments) fairly certain that he was born 10 years too late, was foolishly convinced that a 40-lb. accordion and a 100-lb. pedal steel guitar would be chick magnets. They were, but unfortunately, there was no room left in his car for any women.
Roscoe Gray, (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, musical compass, maracas, haji bongo, bartender) who followed the Grateful Dead for years in a tangerine-colored VW micro-bus (in his mind), bought a guitar. He already knew how to sing a million songs, so it didn’t take him long to learn where to put his fingers.
Known for his angelic high harmonies and equally sweet disposition, D-Squared (bass, vocals, encyclopedic Beatles knowledge, architectural design advice) refined his musical skills as a major player in Central Florida’s influential garage-band scene of the 1960s. Nowadays, he stays busy as a member of multiple bands, including the Simple Cavemen. Who knows? With his presence, the band might have become more highly evolved.
As for MacGyver (drums, percussion, technical support, art designer, ability to play without sticks and cymbals), he finds it comforting to know that he can handle Caveman rhythms with sticks and cymbals as optional equipment. The truth — or, shall we say, the “simple” truth: MacGyver could make you dance by tapping on the old toaster on your kitchen counter, while wearing oven mitts.
For the moments that call for electric guitar, found percussion, Internet trouble-shooting or homemade hot sauce, the Cavemen call on guitarist Tie-Dye Thurston. Although it’s hard to coax the jalapeno-loving, organic gardener off his neo-hippie compound, it’s always worth it – especially when he brings the musical bucket and the salsa.
So perhaps these Cavemen aren’t as simple as they claim? Perhaps this old, simple music exerts a power so mysterious and complex that someday it might change the world! To quote another SNL alum, Medieval barber Theodoric of York: “Nah!!!” This band is simply a lot of fun.