ADMONISHING THE BISHOPS
a brief guide to the Sun City Girls on the web
is no official Sun City Girls website, just as there
is really no official Sun City Girls anything. In
fact, their entire aesthetic mission seems to be
to tear down the concept of "official"
and god bless 'em for it. However, Sun City Girls
junkies like myself have gotta have something, and
after digging through numerous Google returns (1,600
to be exact) I've come up with some things worth
the best article I've ever read on the elusive subject
of the Sun City Girls is right here,
written by one Derek Monypeny for the commendable
music e-zine Perfect
Sound Forever. At
the end of this article is a link to an
excellent interview with guitarist Rick Bishop.
This originally appeared in Popwatch magazine,
and is easily the most extensive and straight-faced
media appearance the Girls have yet offered. (Although
it seems to still have its share of subterfuge and
misinformation.) There's also a link to a
page featuring some recent live photos. WARNING:
if you're really into the SCG mystique, you might
want to stay away from this page, as it features
many shots of Rick Bishop looking and dressing almost
exactly like my high school basketball coach.
"fourth Girl," engineer/producer Scott
Colburn, has a comprehensive discography
of the band at his Gravelvoice
site. This is the closest thing to an "official"
Sun City Girls website. Probably the best fan site
on the Sun City Girls is right here.
Again, it's basically just a discography, but features
good commentary, good cover reproductions, and an
especially extensive section on all the self-released
official Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 website,
featuring a whole bunch of tour diaries by bassist
Anne Eickelberg. These span about ten years-worth
of shows, including some missives written about
the legendary SCG/TFUL282 tour of 1992. Check
out the site for yourself, but I've separated
out some of the more SCG-relevant anecdotes from
the pen of Ms. Eickelberg:
The good and the bad tail each other. Last night
in Winnepeg the Sun City Girls took me from one
beautifully insane dimension to another. Every possibility
evident and rising within my heart: my mind jammed
open & so expertly twisted. Alan in whiteface makeup
crouching and leaning over the balcony above Charlie
and Rick. Stilted/flowing gestures, flicking ashes
gleefully upon them. Singing that incredibly female-like
song. And Charlie behind a gay cartoon cow mask.
They scared me. More, more more! No band has ever
taken me this far. Not the Buttholes, Caroliner
or National Disgrace. More. Sigh.
Then we got
detained at the fucking border again. Supposed pot
residue in ______'s jacket. he gets humiliated and
fined $500. Fuck the USA. ______ is a god-like being.
he radiates otherness. The scum cops can't see it.
I'm in love with SCG.
I proclaimed my love for the Sun City Girls. I was
completely beside myself with insane girl-crush
over seeing them again. I forced my way up front
and felt like I was going to come...into another
goddamn fucking dimension. "Where's my four boyfriends?"
(them & recording master Scott)
Last night at Masquerade in Atlanta. Us and SCG
opening for the Dead Milkmen.
Such a huge goddamn club. I got into a nasty state
of mind due to the hurry up, dude! atmosphere, even
while I was piling excellent free pasta and vegetables
into my face. When I heard the soundman ask if SCG
could play something with some melody I became even
more full of disgust. I need to learn to not get
so wound up and pushed around by the atmosphere.
No one was being decisive or quick enough for me.
I flew, enraged, into the backstage and began to
drink Budweiser and gulps of water and smoke cigs.
I hung in that room the whole time, unable to go
check out the rest of the club--the other levels:
Purgatory and Hell.
I stayed in Heaven though I felt it naught. Focusing
my attention on Alan and Rick helped. Finally crept
out, wandered out, curiosity getting me going, as
SCG were taking the stage.
The room was packed. Fucking kids! 14,15,16,17 years
old pressed up against the expanse of the stage.
The reality of the possibilities of the situation
nearly made my head explode.
I couldn't even look anymore; I ran backstage again,
grinning insanely and saying over and over these
kids are going to have their minds blown! Then I
ran back out and watched. I was so excited that
my mind and spirit were several yards above my body
as I thought: this is what WE face as well--a young,
captive audience. Difficult, yet simple.
SCG almost immediately split the crowd into factions.
Confusion, joy, bullish hatred, drunken bellows,
flipping the bird; others cheering support. I knew
I would completely get off on this. Preaching to
the completely uninitiated. They are going to go
home and mull this evening over. Talk and argue
with their friends about it. How fine.
Alan became more and more certain of his control
over the crowd, and the frontman for the Dead Milkmen
and their manager were soon along side backstage,
screaming their support. Alan threatening to kick
anyone's ass who had the guts to come on stage.
He eats them for breakfast. Telling everyone how
great it is that they paid for it and HE'S going
to get some of their money!
This made the Dead Milkmen guy nearly rocket through
the ceiling, jumping up and down, clapping and yelling
Yes! Fuck, YES!
Bishop of the SCG
Anne Eickelberg, bassist and sometime tour diarist
of the TFUL282