In 1989, after the relative financial failure of the Your Daughters Are Sucking On Us Right Now album and associated tour, the members of North Dakota's semi-famous Clark Schpiell and the Furry Cockroaches Without Butts went into the studio feeling adrift musically and, no great surprise, mentally as well. Waiting for their manager Chris "Boy-Nett" Nett to return from his trip to Edmonton with the hallucinogens they needed to continue work on their planned concept double album Hexalingus, they floundered for days in the cramped space. "What are we even doing in the studio?" Little J scrawled in his journal at one point. (In truth, they were all effectively homeless.)
One afternoon Dave came stumbling in after a long session of huffing butane outside the local mall with some fans who recognized him (and his famous mullet) from the group's last public access television appearance. Higher than a weather balloon, Dave had gone into the mall and run amok through the Santa Land display, convinced that the elves were real (they were plastic) and becoming incensed when they would not tell him the second verse of O Little Town of Bethlehem.
But the encounter had given him inspiration, and he laid out his plan before his cold, hungry and despairingly sober bandmates: a Christmas record "like only Clark Schpiell and the Furry Cockroaches Without Butts could do." Big J would later say in an interview, "You could tell we weren't thinking straight at the time. We all looked at each other and thought, 'Yeah, a Christmas album. That's something nobody's really done.'" Written and recorded in less than six hours, the EP that resulted would become one of the best-selling holiday-themed heavy metal albums in the state. Later, concerned with looking like pansy sell-outs, however, the group kept the album from being reissued, and for years it was simply a novelty item and, eventually, some thought just a legend.
Clark Classix Records, which has been devoted to remastering and reissuing the Schpiell discography, has finally released Clarkmas: A Very Schpecial Holiday. From original tunes to reinventions of holiday standards, Clarkmas is perfect for stuffing the stockings of the fans on your list. Order before December 15th and receive the enhanced CD version containing video footage from the never-actually-aired Clarkmas Holiday Schpectacular, which includes Dr. M's almost-tasteful rendition of John Lennon's classic Happy Xmas on electric clarinet, as well as backstage antics like Gieser's eating an entire poinsettia and then vomiting for forty solid minutes. Classic Schpiell, at long last available to the fans who, apparently, want it.