Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Chainsaw: The Coolest Instrument in Rock n' Roll

I'm up at the crack of dawn to bring you one more post before the sun peeks over the horizon and I scurry into the deepest recess of my cave. That light stuff is bright, and I'll have none of it, thanks.

Everybody loves rock n' roll. Being in a rock band is every teenage boy's dream: the lights, the roaring crowd, the fame and recognition, and all the sex and drugs you could ever want. What they don't seem to realize is that you don't necessarily need to play a "standard" instrument to get there. Take this baby for instance:


Ah, the chainsaw. It's the preferred tool of lumberjacks and zombie slayers alike. You can use a chainsaw for just about anything: cutting meat for dinner, defending your house from trespassers, scratching your back, and even playing music. Wait. What?

As the video begins, a blue car pulls up to a barn in backwater Tennessee, and an elderly man (whose name I can only assume is Cletus) gets up from his rocking chair and says "Hey boss, there's some men here to see you. You want me to shoot 'em?" Apparently this is just a customary hillbilly greeting because the camera then cuts to the band, who is already gotten from the car to the barn and the song begins. This music starts out like any respectable hair metal song should: slick guitar riffs, shirtless white guys in skin tight pants, and singing voices three octaves higher than any man should be able to hit without a swift kick to the testicles. There are some chainsaw noises in the background, but the first time viewer could attribute that to establishing theme. The song is called "The Lumberjack" after all.

It doesn't take the band long to convert the citizens of the town to their side through the sheer power of metal. It starts with the hicks on the porch, then the rebellious teenagers in the classroom, and soon even Cletus is rocking back and forth and grinning like a lunatic. Then, as the music builds to an inevitable guitar solo, the singer (Jesse James Dupree) reaches down for his guitar, and pulls up a fucking chainsaw.

Now, at this point, any normal person would stop the song, yell at his band-mates for swapping his guitar with a chainsaw, cry like a little girl, storm off to his trailer, and eventually come back and start over.

I'm looking at you, Axl Rose.

But this is rock n' roll. It's an unstoppable, testosterone and drug fueled, exploding sex tornado. Dupree presumably says "Fuck it," and plays the shit out of that chainsaw.

He controls the pitch by revving the engine and using the brake. He flails the chainsaw around like a merry-go-round from hell, narrowly avoiding the other members of the band and his own face, but he doesn't care. Why? Because it's metal. And metal just doesn't give a fuck.

                                                     via Wikipedia
Pictured: Metal

At the end of this song in Jackyl's live shows, Dupree saws a stool in half with the chainsaw, smashes it, then throws the pieces into the audience, because there's no better souvenir than a concussion.

Someone once asked Dupree "How the hell can you play a chainsaw?" His response? "How the hell can you not play a chainsaw?"

Case closed.

© 2011 Kier Harris

No comments:

Post a Comment