August 22, 1996
You’ve gotta admire a band that can rhyme the word “guard” with the name Captain Jean-Luc Picard, whom Trekkers know as the captain of the most powerful Starship in the United Federation Of Planets, the Enterprise.
And you’ve gotta admire a band who tried to contact Patrick Stewart, the classy actor who immortalized the role of Picard in the classic cult sci-fi TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, for a role in the video of the song from which that stanza is extracted, a fun-filled romp called “Banditos.”
“He was in London and he couldn’t do it,” Brian David Blush, guitarist for pop rockers The Refreshments, is saying over the phone from the band’s home base of Tempe, Arizona.
“So then we contacted William Shatner’s people (Captain Kirk of the original Star Trek TV series), and he flat out said ,’No.'”
Nonplused, the four-piece band — which includes singer and chief songwriter Roger Meade Clyne, bassist Buddy (Arthur) Eugene Edwards III and drummer P.H. Naffah — decided to take matters into their own hands.
“We figured between the four of us that we had enough bad actors,” said Blush, specifically citing Shatner’s refusal to participate.
Welcome to the wacky world of The Refreshments, whose new album Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big & Buzzy is threatening to put the fun and excitement back into rock and roll.
Blush admits as much when he recalls how The Refreshments first got started.
“When we got together originally, we didn’t have a blueprint for where we wanted to go,” he recalls. “We weren’t this angst-driven bunch of kids who wrote songs as an outlet of frustration. We were more inclined to run off to Mexico , and generally have good fun.”
In fact, the song “Banditos” is about a Mexican getaway of another kind.
“‘Banditos’ is sort of our ode to amateur bank robbery,” says Blush. “Sort of our version of Butch Cassidy And the Sundance Kid. We were all poorer then we are now, and since we live fairly close to the Mexican border, we thought we could knock off a convenience store and safely make it across the border before we were caught.
“We figured it would be more beneficial to actually write a song about it then actually do it.”
Blush says Tempe, also home of The Gin Blossoms, The Meat Puppets and Dead Hot Workshop, is located about three hours from the Mexican border town of Nogales.
“We spend as much time there as possible, making general pilgrimages,” says Blush. “Mexico is a country we have a lot of respect for, especially its culture. It’s incredibly close to our hearts.”
Founded three years ago during a card game, Blush says the band went through a few names until they settled on The Refreshments.
“We originally started out as All You Can Eat, which I think was Roger’s suggestion, and I absolutely hated it,” he recalls. “The next name that was suggested was Pop Enema, and I said, ‘Absolutely not!’ I did not want to call home and tell my parents that I was the guitarist for Pop Enema.
“I’m not sure exactly who suggested The Refreshments or where exactly the name came from. I know it was the only one that didn’t cause a fistfight to break out between band members.”
Although this is The Refreshments’ first extended club tour of Canada, it isn’t their first area appearance. Only a few weeks ago, they made their Canadian debut at Edenfest, as the very first act on stage.
“We were treated unbelievably well,” recalls Blush.
“It was a terrific experience. The only unfortunate part of the whole trip is that our driver got lost on the way there. We had been sleeping the whole time, so we woke up about 45 seconds before we were supposed to be on stage.”