Writing about a fictional band is neither harder nor easier than writing about a fake one, but it is time consuming. I’ve borrowing elements from my own musical career, here and there, but it’s really fun to make up the story of a band that never existed. Here is part three…and I realized I’ve passed the 100,000-word mark. Yay me and yay you for reading them all.
Bukake Culkin part three
Before we can go forward, it is best to go back because a band name like Bukake Culkin probably needs, at very least, a brief explanation. During “Gatorhate” Randall’s junior year in high school, she was at a party at her friend Miranda’s house. It was a rather large party, attended by students from Randall’s school, as well as Frasier and Smythe’s school, and Randall walked into the bedroom of Miranda’s brother, Tim, who was showing a pornographic video on the television.
The video showed a Japanese woman who was bound to what looked like a dentist’s chair. There were a number of men standing around her masturbating. Hardened by years of seeing her older siblings’ warped sense of humor, Randall was not so much shocked by this but humored. As she would tell an interviewer a few years later in the zine, Jigsaw, Randall said:
“It was funny as hell, really. These old Japanese dudes with tiny dicks (laughs). They were pumping them furiously while the girl sat there with this look on her face like the kid from Home Alone. I turned to Chimi and said, ‘Bukakke Culkin’* and we laughed our heads off. I couldn’t get the name out of my head.”
For Randall, who had started playing guitar while she was in junior high, she now had a band name and more than anything, she wanted to play in a band. She and Frasier, who lived three houses down, had briefly dated during freshman year (they held hands while watching Heathers at the Camelview theaters in Scottsdale while Frasier’s mom did some shopping), but really bonded by playing music together in Randall’s garage.
During the summer of 1989, Randall had thought about doing a two-piece band with Frasier fashioned after one of Randall’s favorite bands, The Cramps, but Frasier, who got his first drum kit when he was eight years old, kept playing way too fast for the songs to sound anything like Cramps’ songs. Worse than that, Frasier’s best male friend, Smythe was always coming along and trying to talk them into making the budding act into a three-piece. The problem with that was that Smythe didn’t really play guitar. He’d rather mess around on his computer than learn any songs and that didn’t sit well with Randall.
The upside, though, was that Smythe was learning a new program called Sound Tools (later Pro Tools) and made some very rudimentary recordings of Randall and Frasier’s practices that summer after bringing his Macintosh IIx and a few microphones to the Randall’s garage. When these recordings were complete, Randall was able to view Smythe in a new light and their friendship began to grow as well. Randall, though, had never really noticed that Smythe was often quite tongue-tied in her presence. His crush on her began when he first saw her several years earlier when he was at Frasier’s for a sleepover.
Tall, blonde, and somewhat of a tomboy during junior high school, Randall didn’t really consider herself attractive. She liked big clunky glasses (she was blind as a bat) and preferred to dress a bit like a skater boy when she was not wearing her parochial school uniform. If it weren’t for the nuns at her school, she would have dyed her hair red like her hero, Poison Ivy Rorschach (of the Cramps), but that was not allowed. Either way, Smythe thought she was perfect when he first noticed her and wondered if she actually skated or just dressed the part (she did, but not particularly well).
Smythe had heard Frasier talk about his friend and neighbor named “Nancy” for several years while they went to Madison Meadows elementary school in Phoenix but didn’t see her until they were in 7th grade. During their first few meetings, Smythe didn’t say a whole lot. He could be really shy at times, especially around girls, and was often unsure of how to act or what to say. She was also a lot taller than him, which was intimidating. Smythe spoke of this in an interview about the band in LA Weekly in 1994:
“She (Randall) scared the fuck out of me at first. She was a way better guitar player than I am, still is, and she looked like Christina Applegate if she was a skate punk. I fell in love with her, but then I got to know her…(laughs). She’s the one who named us, though, so she gets all the money.”
In the beginning, Randall just thought Smythe was stuck on himself and decided he was worthy of being ignored. Although, she thought to herself in her then 13-year-old brain, he seemed like he might be kind of smart. She liked smart people.
Smythe also had a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He spent a lot of time at his grandparents’ home, which was also the address he used that allowed him to go to school in the Madison district. They doted on him, made sure he had everything he needed (such as a $3000 computer set up that was the envy of many of his more well-off classmates in junior high), but he lived with his mother in an apartment in Sunnyslope. He was also small and not particularly noticeable, especially to most girls. He looked a bit like the character “Fred” (portrayed by Cameron Dye) from the movie Valley Girl who was the best friend of “Randy” (portrayed by Nicolas Cage).
Frasier, on the other hand, was pretty darn lanky to be a drummer. During an early practice, singer John Preston told band manager Beck Cisneros that he looked like a spastic crane while he played the drums, but he already had a nickname. When he was eight or nine, Frasier was dubbed “Chimi” by his father, Ben, because he always ordered a chimichanga when they visited their favorite Mexican restaurant, Jordan’s, on 7th Street. He always finished it, too, which is probably why the nickname stuck. Music writers and fans often asked if Frasier and Randall were brother and sister because they did somewhat resemble each other, but they would usually just say, “We can neither confirm nor deny our familial ties.”
*The band decided to drop one of the K’s in Bukakke because they didn’t want to be associated with the KKK. This also caused much laughter when they considered the notion that they could be linked to such an organization.
See you tomorrow.
I didn't take this picture. Instead, I stole it from the New Times. They probably owe me.