Big Name for Big Band
Here's some trivia for
you.........Elephants love to see themselves in the newspaper! Well,
except for Dave who's trying to keep a low profile since his FBI / CIA /
Professional Assassin / Ninja days.
When Waco Trib Entertainment Editor, Carl Hoover, became aware of this
little-known fact, he was kind enough to write a feature article on the
Elephants for the Brazos Living section.
Thank you so much, Carl. The Herd's got a huge bag of peanuts with
your name on it, my friend!!!
See the article here
A Very Elephant Zoobilee
some things that just go together. Like beer and peanuts. Or Cheech, Chong
and those funny little cigarettes. Or Selma Hayak and a thong.
So it's not surprising that the organizers of the Zoobilee fundraiser, one of the
biggest events of the year, would bring in the Elephants to serenade the
partygoers (and their animal friends). Nothing goes together better than a
world-class zoo and a herd of hard-charging Elephants cavorting onstage.
The Herd did two full sets at the June 29 spectacular, compelling the guests
to fill the floor and (at the end of the last set) leaving them literally
shouting for more. There was food and drink for all, on a dry hot summer
night under a big tent--a perfect evening for fun. The 'Phants sampled the
food and tested the liquid refreshments (such as the Sunburn Martini and
other interesting inventions) before the crowds arrived, to be sure none of
our fans would be disappointed. And although a cache of chocolate chip
cookies was spotted at one of the food booths on the walkway beyond the
tents, there were no unfortunate incidents with the Herd's well-known
chocoholic--as luck would have it, when the announcement was made, Buddy was
deep in conversation with an old Navy buddy, Captain Morgan, and (amazingly)
passed on the cookies....
How the Elephants Got Their (NEW) Name.
And other tales never written by Rudyard Kipling…
The story is well-known to Ele-fans,
those music lovers who follow the Herd to venues large and small to rock and
boogie. How a large group of anonymous musicians and singers used to gather
furtively, late at night, in small clearings in the jungle where irate
neighbors are less likely to call the police. How the trumpet section’s
double high C’s routinely cracked every mirror in the place, so this
nameless band never noticed that we were Elephants--until one night, after a
long rehearsal, one of the singers tossed out a particularly apt one-liner,
something about “what’s big and gray and sings scat”. And so the band
But…times change. Even a good joke can
grow stale, especially when it needs explaining. There were the strange
looks—Ella Fitz—who? Oh, but I thought she died (yep, unfortunately,
thanks for asking). The stylistic confusion—so you play big band swing?
(Well we’re big and we can swing, but…wait, there’s more!). The subtle
innuendoes—Gerald, eh? Wasn’t he the lead exotic
dancer at the old Pink Flame Bar?
Faced with an agonizing decision, the
Herd went into a huddle. Emails flew left and right. Charles rented a
white board. Buddy roamed the Internet searching for catchy phrases. Some
choices were rejected almost immediately—we all agreed pretty quickly that
The Constipations had a rather flatulent tone to it, and Funk in
the Trunk was a little risqué (or maybe risky, depending on the size of
the trunk). Others were much better—and Buddy has copyrighted most of
those, adding them to his forthcoming parenting manual for record producers,
Birthing Your Band.
Ultimately, however, we came back to
where we started—aided by a rehearsal where Tim took everything down an
octave, leave a mirror or two unshattered. We be Elephants. The
regulars in the audience always referred to us at Elephants, dropping
the Gerald (sorry Ger’). We’re still big. We still can swing, and
stomp and shuffle as well. We never forget. So…we didn’t have to choose a
new name, our name chose us—
we’re (ta-da) Elephants—the Band!!!!!
And that’s not all that’s new, either. We’ve
redecorated The Book, shuffling tunes, stomping on some, adding others.
Lots of them! From the 60's, 70's and 80's. More Chicago, more Earth, Wind
& Fire, Kool & The Gang, The Commodores, The Temptations, The Beatles,
Stevie Ray Vaughan, KC & The Sunshine Band....and more!
And don’t worry about Gerald. He was last seen crossing the
border with Mustang Sally, and we heard they were a fixture on the beach at
Cancun, drinking tequila and remembering the good old days….
BAND, SMALL ROOM
Another frequent question we hear is, "How do you guys
manage to fit in enough practicing to sound so good?" And we admit, it's
been a challenge finding a venue big enough (and sound-proofed enough) for a
whole herd. For a while we used a vacant lot in Hewitt (on the assumption
that nobody would complain if we were Out Standing in our Field). But the
insurance claims for shattered windows started affecting the Luedeker
Chocolate Chip Cookie Fund (which we need to ensure one of our members makes
the rehearsals), so we had to move. For a while we met in a distant high
school band hall, but rising gas prices ate holes in our Beer Budget.
Finally, our energetic drummer, Charles 'Chainsaw' Burleson, found us a new
home—space in a warehouse off Franklin, where we can stomp without fear. We
know about that pop tradition, the garage band--but the Herd can't think
that small, so welcome to the era of--The Warehouse Band.
So as not to miss anything, this might be a
good time for you to join our
Elephants Open for Motown Legends,
The hot June sun pours down on the grassy veldt alongside
distant Lake Belton, the ancient grasslands largely empty except for a
few natives sheltered beside their rustic RVs, sipping on local adult
beverages. A large structure looms near the shore, a platform on
spindly legs, obviously the site for some tribal ritual. Slowly, one by
one, members of the Clan of the Elephants emerge from the hills, making
their way to a trailer set aside for them, cooled and stocked with
offerings of fruit, lunchmeat and cookies for the One Called Buddy. As
the afternoon wanes and natives gradually gather before the edifice,
clan members don their ceremonial garb (Aloha shirts and dark pants) and
drag their sacred instruments up the steps to the temple stage. And as
the sun slowly disappears in the west, with the sound of a high concert
F, the Clan starts to rock and stomp, beginning the rituals that would
warm the crowd and welcome the visiting priests from the Town of Mo....
Thus it was that your Herd had the honor and privilege of
opening the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area concert appearance by
the legendary Temptations, on June 5. A large crowd spread
blankets and set up lawn chairs around the stage as the Elephants worked
their magic, and stayed to shake and shimmy to the classic harmonies of
the Temps (with the last surviving member of the original band, Dennis
Edwards, at the forefront). A great time was had by all....