In 1996, a band named Phyneas Gauge formed in Houston, Texas, USA. Those of you who know me today may find it difficult to fathom, but your favorite photographer posed as a singer for this mighty rock and roll outfit. I had no musical skill (at all), but the other guys had loads of talent, and they felt sorry for me. To give me a sense of value, they handed me a microphone and told me to sing. So I did, in a sense.
Unfortunately, my ego developed much more quickly than my musical abilities (which, frankly, never developed at all). Once I learned three (even four!) guitar chords, I began to fancy myself a songwriter. The "songs" I wrote were very bad. Very, very bad. Emotionally scarring and physically hazardous to anyone with ears. The best of them were crap.
Except... There was one glorious aberration, a Phyneas Gauge superhypermasterpiece called Holidays in Texas. For a couple magical hours one autumn evening in 1998, the light of inspiration shone hazily upon my drunken me and myself, also. The result: three minutes, 37 seconds of tingly, 110% joy. Covering the eternal themes of holidays, Texas, beer, social harmony, beer, ripping guitar solos, personal responsibility, and beer and beer, Holidays in Texas is more than just a song. It's a guidebook for life. I get misty just thinking about it.
Now, many decades and brain cells later, the humanitarians at Phyneas Gauge World Headquarters have made this tour de force available (free of charge!) through the newfangled series of tubes we call the "Internets." Because nothing is too good for you, dear anonymous reader, we produced our Holidays in Texas video at massive cost, in terms of both dollars and human life. But that's not all. To dazzle and amazzle you even more, the "ultra-tech® executive-quality" Holidays in Texas sensory explosion includes not just music, but more than 100 intriguing words. Wow, indeed. What a deal! What are you waiting for? Click below and waste 217 seconds of your precious time.
Even today, the name, PHYNEAS GAUGE, evokes a mélange of joy and rage, disinterest and disgust, confusion and nausea. Even you may be wondering: WHO are Phyneas Gauge? WHAT are Phyneas Gauge? WHY are Phyneas Gauge eating my Cheezee Snax®? HOW did they get in here? WHEN are they leaving? WHERE are my slacks? Who cares?
Believe you me, Sparky, many people care. People like Hans Rübberpäntz, famed bioengineer at Pelvis Bend Community College. He cares a lot. In his hilarious best-seller, Me and My Genome, Dr. Rübberpänts calls Phyneas Gauge "a sinister mutation of the human form... a frightening biological error of the most shocking proportion... an egregious, toe-crunching misstep in the mambo of life." By contrast, E. Mitchell Laxative, acclaimed music critic for Schwing! magazine and long-time P. Gauge fan, labeled them, "The most profoundly superfluous band of this or any era... empty, vacuous inappropriate... icons of irrelevance... just what the doctor ordered: the next Captain and Tenille cover band."
So, what IS the story? Well, it's like this, Susie®. Way back in 1996, when Earth was still round, the city of Houston, Texas spawned the rock and roll supergroup now known as Phyneas Gauge. Like so many awe-inspiring bands before them, P. Gauge were founded at a Tupperware® party, while arguing violently over the proper method for "burping"® a Tupper-bowl. That night, the young heroes who would become Phyneas Gauge bonded over their shared passion for Tupper-science, pretzels,® and trumpet-infused Black Sabbath cover tunes. Right then and there and then, the four gallivanting lads with varying hairstyles and questionable hygiene decided to form a musical ensemble that would make groovy, swinging music all the kids would love.
Who were those mysterious supermen? In our next installment (scheduled for early or late 2038, or never), your favorite documentarian, JP Denk, will provide the shocking details.