THING // Altamont, TN
Booking Agent: Bonnie Khandpur
THING was formed in the early part of this century when four provincial youngsters from a nearby Amish community wandered into a local Walmart Supercenter and serendipitously came across an old Cheap Trick record. Having been raised on gospel standards and old time religion, the boys weren’t sure what to make of this alien music called rock-n-roll at first but were quickly spellbound by the raw power of its beguiling, three-chord rhythms. Overjoyed and eager to share this newfound glory with their friends and kinfolk and other members of the congregation, the youngsters returned triumphantly to their community.
Word spread quickly to the pious church elders, who were aghast that such youthful and impressionable members of their devoted flock had been exposed to such ungodliness. The devil’s music, they called it. After much prayer and reflection and deliberation among said puritanical elders, it was determined that the youth in question would be excommunicated from the church and banished from the fold, never to return.
Young Jebediah, kind Ezekial, and honest Jehoshaphat would soon be forced to flee into the nearby mountains, where they would become pig farmers by trade. By day, the young men labored mightily in the sun-drenched canyon, pausing only to quench their insatiable thirst with bottomless pitchers of lemonade and iced tea, and at sundown would unwind around the vintage Thorens TD125 turntable they had acquired from an antiques and curiosities shop in the village far below, a prized possession that was the fruit of many months’ toils. They would gather there nightly, eyes ablaze in the fire of their hearth and chests pounding along to the rollicking sounds of the Monkees, the Beach Boys, and their personal favorites, the Ramones.
But the boys soon grew weary of merely listening. They wanted to rejoice in exultation, to make a joyful noise unto the Lord. But they were men of modest means, barely able to afford the necessary farm supplies and daily sustenance they required for such arduous and unforgiving labor. Many nights they humbled themselves before the Lord. They prayed a sign or for some minor miracle from above. What they got was silence. Perhaps, they thought, it was not HIS will. Perhaps they really had been led astray. Until one day, far in the West toward the dying sun, they saw a storm looming over the horizon. Soon, the thunder was like the voice of God himself. And then the rains came. For many a fortnight, it rained the likes of which we haven’t seen since the days of Noah. It was as if the sky had opened up and out poured all of God’s unused tears.
But the boys and their pigs and their lowly little farmstead all weathered the torrential storm of biblical proportions, and soon, all their prayers would be answered. All across their meager little stretch of land, crops of all variety and description began to sprout up from the divinely-irrigated soil, and by and by, they would amass more rations and provisions than they knew what to do with and so were obliged to sell and barter their wares with the vendors and wholesalers in the neighboring villages. With their affairs now in order, the boys reconvened and arrived at the conclusion that they should resume their – albeit lofty – musical pursuits, and so organized an expedition to the vintage mom-and-pop consignment store and each acquired the instruments, equipment, and accessories they’d been pining for so wistfully: Jebediah, the 1974 blue Mosrite Ventures II and 1977 Marshall Super Lead amplifier; Ezekial, the 1976 White Fender Stratocaster and 1983 Marshall JCM 800 amplifier; and Jehoshaphat, an early ‘80s model Pearl drum set. And much to their delight and to the everlasting chagrin of their poor little piglets’ eardrums, they’ve been making music ever since.
- Jamie Cooper, Biographer