I'm having a few flashes of memory this morning, I doubt it's the pancakes, but I even have an offhand memory that is tangentially related to music critic Greil Marcus about a music group he breathed into life from the pages of Rolling Stone.
In one dizzying moment, I remembered a performance art piece that a group called the Masked Marauders
put on in 1969. Maybe I can tell this story now, even though it's all so far in the past as to have lost nearly all significance. One member of that group that performed onstage as I recall was drawn from H.P. Lovecraft, which was one of the first bands to recognize the writing talents of a guy in LA named Randy Newman. People from different bands and troupes known about Berkeley, some of them still under contract to other record companies, decided to appear in new form, wearing masks and singing tunes penned and performed in a style reminiscent of the groups that had made them famous. They named themselves after a fictional band that Marcus had invented: the Masked Marauders. The one song, well the only memorable song, that came to mind for me was the parody of the Rolling Stones’s "Satisfaction." They were new lyrics based on a completely different melody but all combined to hint at an imitation of Mick singing his complaint, "I Can’t Get No Nookie." It can all be reduced to such a simple mock sometimes.
The Masked Marauders had their first and probably last personal appearance at a club I worked for regularly in table-swabbing, beer-pulling, and cheap wine-sloshing capacity. But after Commander Cody's resounding success (witness only my narrative of their Telegraph Avenue audition many years back and their subsequent shot to stardom), my eye for talent was seldom questioned.
The Masked Marauders donned marks to perform that night, which I thought absolutely wonderful because their choice of disguise reminded me of the time Mario Savio had reappeared on the Berkeley campus from which he had been banned permanently. He showed up to deliver a speech to the anti-war protestors wearing a lone ranger mask which was handily available at the Halloween outfitter store next to where he was attending bartender’s school on University Avenue. That little mask had a price tag of 49 cents as it lay in the basket on the glass counter, and Mario went on to have so much fun with it. Only reminded me at the time ... because the lead singer that evening wore a long fringed scarf with eyeholes cut out as his mask.
This is a true story, likely the kind even your mother won't tell you, and not even the names have been changed to protect the innocent. You music scholars who thought the Masked Marauders to be a fiction, or that they existed only on a concept album made by a group assembled for the occasion. Wow, man, I actually saw them perform onstage once (and once only; in fact, perhaps the only time they ever performed in public, for all times, ever again). That is to say, they might be a memory now, but they were real enough to me.