Insane Clown Posse coming to town (in a tiny car), bringing Miracles All Up In This Bitch

Pictured: Insane Clown Posse. Sometimes people get confused about exactly who this is a picture of.

Pictured: Insane Clown Posse. Sometimes people get confused about exactly who this is a picture of.

Island Packet — Before anyone goes all crazy about the Insane Clown Posse performing on Hilton Head in October, a quick story: There was a time in probably 1972 when everyone was afraid of Alice Cooper, and his torrnents of blood, and his big dumb rock show, and his disembowelment and corpse makeup and all that, and the last time I encountered Alice he was, I believe, engaged in a round of televised golf on VH-1 with Hootie and the Blowfish.

Actually, that’s not true — the last time I encountered Alice  was in 2005, when I interviewed him in advance of a vintage Alice, ridiculous, over-the-top splattery concert in Florida, so of course we spent the entire time talking about my son.

In preparation for Alice’s call I had deposited my then 2-year-old before what was probably the day’s 20th screening of “Elmo’s World,” a small dosage of cognitive dissonance I pointed out to Alice by way of introducing myself, and he replied with, and I am so not making this up: “Oh, I love that you’re a daddy!” and then spilled forthwith into a half hour of thoughtful, often genius parenting advice that I find myself referring to even now (“Think, Jeff,” I’ll whisper to myself when I catch Jake erupting into a small fit because his Lucky Charms have arrived in the incorrect bowl, “How would Alice react?” You’d be surprised the clarity this usually brings, along with the chorus of “School’s Out,” which is totally a bonus.) See? And you thought Alice couldn’t shock anymore.

This brings me back to the wicked clowns (well, these particular wicked clowns anyway — I still don’t trust that “Bozo”).

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If you are not familiar with the Insane Clown Posse, and since I’ve read our paper’s demographic figures I can be reasonably assured you are not, then you do not know that they once recorded a song about a zombie/corpse dance party attended by, unless I’m misreading the lyrics here, a dancing and decapitated Kurt Cobain. You are not aware that they executed a six-album mythology — SIX ALBUMS, LONG ONES, WITH SONGS — involving a Dark Carnival, 8,500 revenge murders, Snoop Dogg and — and trust me when I say you cannot be as remotely as stupefied about this as I was — The Lord. And you could not possibly even Google the knowledge that their songs include a great many horrible things, including murder, stabbings, mutilations, horrors, terrors, the unprecedented befouling of a nice bowl of soup and a cameo by — circle of life — Alice Cooper.

‘THE GREAT MILENKO’

Now, why would I know this, you might be asking, me, such a well-rounded and handsome humor essayist? This I blame squarely on my friend Tony, who in 1997 high-speed dubbed me a cassette of the band’s best album, the extremely terrible “The Great Milenko,” because neither of us were in danger of having any girls around to be disappointed by us. (This record, incidentally, was briefly newsworthy for being banned by its label — which was owned by Disney, ka-pow — on the VERY DAY IT CAME OUT, meaning it arrived in stores, and then pulled from those stores later that same day after someone in management got around to listening to it, creating a tremendous waste of time and free PR and possibly the only time in music history where it could be argued that the two men in clown-face paint rapping about axes were, for a while, the most logical people on the conference call.)

Anyway, the duo is touring behind a new album called “Bang! Pow! Boom!” (“This album will break your neck,” rapper Shaggy 2 Dope said in a press release. “When you play it in your speakers it will straight up break your neck.”) It appears to be a throwback to their traditional, much-beloved classic style of violence and mayhem and tiny, tiny cars. Which is good, because the last song I heard from them was about how much they liked their friends, and it sounded like the Counting Crows, and it sucked.

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They are also hosting an annual festival called the Gathering of the Juggalos in Illinois this week which will also feature Ice Cube, Coolio, Gwar and Vanilla Ice. The Gathering is a weekend-long festival that is generally frowned upon by local residents, officials and churches, with the exceptions, of course, of Our Lady of the Floppy Shoes and St. Seltzer’s.

And if there are lessons to be learned here, it’s these: Please don’t go nuts, because going nuts makes other people famous and you look silly. And also, later this month I’m planning to put on a Hawaiian shirt and listen to a 62-year-old man sing about cheeseburgers among a sea of aging doughy bankers and developers in grass skirts getting wicked drunk and pretending life hasn’t crushed them yet, and if you can quantify which collective group looks more ridiculous, I beg you, e-mail me.

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About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

2 responses to “Insane Clown Posse coming to town (in a tiny car), bringing Miracles All Up In This Bitch

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