City Hall – Tenacious D

“Hello, Two Kings?”

This one will get the rules bent out of shape a little. Tenacious D are a real band right? You know the line up. Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Dave Grohl from time to time. Let’s be honest, Dave Grohl has been in most bands from time to time. Hell I’m sure I saw him as Beardy Spice at the last Spice Girls Reunion. The D? They’re real as real can be. You can buy tickets to see them. There are albums. Videos. Aaaaaannnnd Movies about Tenacious D.

It’s an angle. I’m going to take it. Tenacious D are Schrodinger’s Imaginary Band. They’re both real (Jack and Kyle) and imaginary (JB and KG). They’re two actors who love rock music and have a riot in their comedy band side project and they’re fully fleshed out characters in an ongoing imaginary world where JB bullies KG endlessly and hatches hair brained plots left right and center. They’re Pinky and The Brain with guitars.

We’ll lead as two kings!”

It’s a rock and roll tradition to make stuff up about your band. David Jones couldn’t just be Bowie. He had to be Ziggy while being Bowie while actually being Jonesey. Other bands have done it too. Green Day often head out as Foxboro Hot-tubs or The Network when they want to play something different. My Chemical Romance were The Black Parade one time and The Fabulous Kill-Joys another. Talking Heads famously transformed into Tom Tom Club mid set on the Stop Making Sense tour. Jack Black. He’s never just Jack Black, but always totally JB.

Who has been in more legendary imaginary bands than Jack Black? The man behind Sonic Death Monkey, Kathleen Turner Overdrive, Barry Jive and the Uptown Five from High Fidelity. The School Of Rock band he lead as Dewey (ex of No Vacancy) He sang a duet with Meatloaf (who in a first, played an imaginary roadie for Alice Cooper (who we have established is real) in the movie Roadie) on Hang Cool Teddy Bear. Black did backing vocals on The Vandals album Look What I Almost Stepped In and appeared as Dethklok’s manager on the soundtrack record The Doomstar Requiem (imaginary band manager now?). Black has been in countless Foo Fighters videos. He was the football armor wearing motivational speaker in Beck’s Sexxx Laws video and recently blessed Adam And The Metalhawks with the duet they so cravenly petitioned him for.

The man is the spirit of rock and roll made flesh. If the band he wants isn’t to hand? He just makes them up. Like most Tenacious D songs, that making up involves a fair bit of world building. City Hall is the song of choice for that reason. An epic tale of the fall and rise and fall of an empire. It all starts with a take away order and ends with the deliciously meaningless and hair metal aping Malibu Nights. This man knows the genre and loves all of its trappings.

14 thoughts on “City Hall – Tenacious D

  1. I now conclude that Steve Lukather was the Dave Grohl of the 80s as he seemed to pop up on many albums back then. Other useless tidbits of information: Iron Maiden used to play warm up gigs as Charlotte’s Harlots and in the US, I remember Blue Oyster Cult touring as Soft White Underbelly. All great memories and I do like that Tenacious D song you feature.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Who has been in more legendary imaginary bands than Jack Black?” Robert Pollard. He’s put out four boxed sets called Suitcase, with 100 songs each (!), one song per imaginary band name. That’d be my vote.

    Love Tenacious D though!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Apparently Pollard et al. used to do it as kids, just make lists of band names and song titles and cover art… been doing it a long time. Hell, look at all the side projects. It’s endless. Long live GBV ET AL!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve been in all of these bands at one point or another both fictionally and on occasion actually…
        Inferno No No (my high school band, hair metal 88-89, never played a show)
        Funkjunk (FNM inspired punk with a fiddle player)
        Futpuckit (Indie shoegaze in baggy knits, actually played more then one gig)
        Seven Once Squat (girl-fronted Britpop with a Scottish Asian siren on vocals, actually made a recording)
        Auntie Mabels Seance Table (Gothic Shoegaze with two drummers)
        HexXxaCution (NWOBHM meets Nu-Metal, I got fired for singing Suede lyrics in a death metal growl)
        Innertube With The Van Driver (Me and Doug and a drum machine, the most fun we ever had in a shed)


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