googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: Steampunk Part 1

Steampunk Part 1

    When my band, The Tooners, perform our lead singer and bassist, Greg Piper, wears a black top hat. Greg and I have been jamning since high school and on cold, rainy San Fernando Valley Friday nights when we’d go to the high school football game and then the dances afterward Greg would wear his top hat and I’d wear an Aussie hat my Grandmother brought me back from her trip to Australia. Greg and I both had long dark hair and full beards.
    Greg’s top hat and long curly hair reminds people today of Slash, the guitarist from Guns and Roses, but Greg wore the top hat because during the summers his family would live in Vail, Colorado, and performed a live show melodrama called Curse You, Villain. Greg came from a show biz family and they even performed for then president Gerald Ford while at Vail. Greg was a musician in the show, played various parts but would understudy for his dad in the part of “Villain”. The black top hat was part of that costume. The only rock musicians to wear top hats at the time were Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead and occasionally Alice Cooper. The Slash comparisons doesn’t bother him but they annoy me.
    Now, however, there is what I see as a new “Hippie” movement, at least stylistically, that is called “Steampunk”. Like the early West Coast hippies of the Sixties, Steampunkers adopt the fashion sense of the Victorian era of which top hats are very much a part. I like the creativity and especially the positive vibe associated with this new fashion counterculture. I know there are Steampunk bands out there and I’ve seen some but I haven’t heard any music that I feel captures the attitude and atmosphere, yet.  Goth bands always disappointed me as the music I’ve heard just sounded like Punk Rock and didn’t have any of the vibes the look gave off. Evanescence is the only band that sounds like the visual representation it presents.
    In general, I don’t like the term Punk and it’s the one thing about Steampunk to which I object. To me, Punk is a term that denotes an “I don’t care” attitude. It is about rebelling by refusing to put any real thought or effort into anything. The early punk bands bragged about recording their new album in two hours, breaking strings during shows and not caring and stealing and smashing equipment. It’s hard for me to put out money that I worked hard to get (in the old days) to buy a record or see a show by someone who doesn’t even bother to change from their shorts and T-shirts or tune their guitars for a show. Steampunk does not have that apathetic punk attitude. Its members put a lot of time, money, energy, creativity, imagination and love into what they do and they seem to do it with a great sense of fun, not apathy, angry, rebellion or angst.

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