Awesome Site of the Week: The New Duncan Imperials
We’ve got a dandy entry for y’all as part of our famed Awesome Site of the Week series. This time around, we’re featuring the Internet home of The New Duncan Imperials, one of those bands that stayed entertaining, irreverent and all those fun things for around 20 years. The band has evidently called it a day, but its legend lives on and the whole, entertaining story is available online. Do yourself a favor and read as much as you can stand on that site.
Let’s face it — band sites tend to stink and feature little more than some tour dates, a few pretentious photos and links to where you, lucky consumer, can rush out and buy their stuff. There are some exceptions to the rule, of course, but the Internet-as-marketing-tool formula is well in place and it’s followed more often than not. Bands want to be serious these days and serious is rarely fun.
Ah, but the NDI site is a bit different. Sure, you’ve got photos, a back story, some videos and the stuff you’d expect to find, but this site is awesome simply because it recounts the legend of The New Duncan Imperials through Pigtail’s Blog. That resource, alone, is worth the price of admission.
And who are The New Duncan Imperials? The three primary members started out in a Chicago band called the Service. That band recorded four albums, did a lot of touring and was getting, well, nowhere. So, what did the members do? They simply tossed out a member they didn’t like (his name was Jeremy, according to the aforementioned blog), made up fake names, claimed to be from a fake town in Tennessee and quit caring about much of anything. Out of the ashes of the Service, then, came the NDI — Pigtail Dick (lead vocals, guitar), Skipper (bass — an instrument he’d never played before but picked up on in a hurry) and Goodtime (drums). For a complete history of the band, read the aforementioned blog as it’s valuable as both an entertaining story and a bit of history on how this amazing band came to be.
Amazing? Yep. I saw these cats live in Fayetteville, Ark., at a place called JR’s Lightbulb Club back around 1993. There were piles of confetti, three guys decked out in matching, pale blue tuxedo jackets and rocking obnoxiously hard to the delight of the crowd. If it weren’t for a girlfriend who kept whining about the noise giving her a headache, it would have been a perfect evening. What did the band sound like? Well, that’s a hard question to answer as the NDI jumped around from country to rockabilly, to classic rock to punk (not that slick, 1990s garbage — the real stuff) at will and sometimes threw all of that into one song. Just imagine Carl Perkins and Hasil Adkins taken to their logical extremes with a bit of Ted Nugent and Foghat thrown in for good measure and you’ll start to get the idea. The band was loud, none too serious and seemed to have a great time even in a packed little club in Arkansas. The band’s swaggering, fake hillbilly schtick worked well in a Southern college town and that should surprise no one.
So, check out the site and pick up and album or two. Don’t go cheap and try to find somewhere to download the band’s albums — spend some money, son, as groups responsible for such effortlessly great music deserve your hard-earned cash. Besides, take it from me — annoying a 12-year-old daughter who loves One Direction with some honest-to-goodness rock and roll is exactly as much fun as you’d expect.
Meanwhile, click here to check out the site and make sure to stop in on the blog (the story about the band taking its audience to a White Castle during its earl days is particularly entertaining). Fair warning — the site is often PG-13, so keep those kiddies out of there. All rock and roll sites should be as much fun.
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.