Snake Oil's first practice
by David Rhoden. Day .
I know I have at least one picture of this band because I remember our guitar player Rick is wearing a top hat and cut off jeans with a basketball jersey and we are playing in a Blockbuster parking lot. but I can't find it. Rick??
One of my favorite self-penned lyrics, "Breathe Fire", is on this recording. "Couples Skate Only" is on here too.
Here's something i wrote about us twenty years ago (circa 2000):
Snake Oil was a band ahead of its time. Only now is their overheated metallic blues finding the audience it deserved.
The band began when I, Dave Rhoden, got kicked out of my own band Everything Tool, because I wanted to do more stupid material. The surviving members suggested I hook up with KGB (not the Jefferson Airship refugees or the other "supergroup" also using that name), three drunkards who frequently opened shows for us. They played a lot of 'double covers' - songs the Replacements covered, basically. Also "Dragon Attack." But they had a song called "Black Label Light", and Everything Tool had one called "Black Label", so we had something in common.
The first rehearsal took place in Gryphon's Laundry's basement in Knoxville the night the Gulf War broke out....you figure out the dates. Then we played a bunch of shows where the audience booed and threw things, finding the combination of goofy "blooz" lyrics and the band's maximum heaviosity unbearable.
Despite our absolute lack of success (I don't think we ever got paid, ever), we had a number of classic songs that are as good as...I dunno, "Take The Skinheads Bowling"? We didn't want to rule the world but we wanted somebody to think we were all right.
We had a little kindling size pile of great songs, and I still think "Breathe Fire" has one of the best lyrics I ever wrote and I'm shocked that the salacious ballad "Couples Skate Only" isn't played at more weddings and proms.
Others who were in the band with me have taken umbrage at my telling of the tale but none of them have stepped up to the mike (no longer true! read Rick's version -ed.) ...but apparently all our songs were hyper-intelligent and wildly commercial and our behavior was without stain.
I don't know what happened to Rick's version.