A look inside John Forbes's brain | Bleader

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A look inside John Forbes's brain

Posted By on 09.14.11 at 01:18 PM

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A still from the new Tijuana Hercules video
  • A still from the new Tijuana Hercules video
Last week Kevin Warwick wrote about the Seen and Heard Music Video Showcase that's coming up September 16 at Chicago Filmmakers. What he didn't mention—because it's a late addition to the program—is the animated video for Tijuana Hercules's "Quicksand Passin' Through," drawn by front man John Forbes.

One of my old bosses at the Reader once told me a story about the time she first met Forbes. It was at the headquarters of Skin Graft Records, and if I recall correctly he'd only known her for an hour or so when he presented her with a drawing he'd made—a cartoon portrait of her with a Christmas tree up her ass. I can't remember if Hitler was in the drawing somehow too, but at the time, he tended to be.

Forbes, who played in Phantom 309 and Dirt in the 80s and early 90s, when he still lived in Atlanta, has been a Chicago fixture for ages—maybe you remember him from Skin Graft band Mount Shasta, whose 1993 debut LP, Put the Creep On, features Forbes sharing the front line with future U.S. Maple singer Al Johnson.

There are no Christmas trees or Hitlers in the video for "Quicksand Passin' Through" (released in 2009 on the album The Almanack of Bad Luck), but you will see a penguin funeral, a green guy in cutoffs and a monocle having a swordfight with a hot dog wearing tighty-whities, and a man squeezing eggs directly out of a chicken's butt into his mouth. Among other things.

The band's dirty, rollicking roots rock, topped with greasy horns and Forbes's vaguely Beefhearty vocals, probably seems a lot less unhinged accompanying a video like this. It's below.

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