And so soon! I tell you, we live in the age of miracles.
This is a song I wrote about 8 years ago. It’s been recorded a couple times but the only video of it — Snake Suspenderz playing the tune at a little jazz club in Ballard — is a mess. Not only was it shot with an extremely cheap camera (making the whole band look orange), but I managed to completely vapor lock on the lyrics. Brain just froze right up.
This caused me to call for lots of solos. In fact, the only reason I’ve left it online is because one of them was a great mouth trumpet solo by our then bass player, Dean Hedges.
(There’s more info below the video.)
(If the embedded video doesn’t work for you, you can click on the song title to view it on YouTube.) EDIT 9-10-2015: I accidentally deleted the video so this is a re-upload. I’ll be editing the songsheet to reflect the new link as well.
About The Humbone
Some years back my friend Captain Swing was putting a band together to play at a festival in Bonney Lake and he asked me to play washboard in it. At our first (and possibly only… the mind fades) rehearsal I noticed this two-ish foot length of brass horn with a kazoo jammed into the small end. I pointed at it and cleverly quipped, “dafuq?” He demonstrated it and I had to have one.
I asked around on the interwebs and it turns out I knew a school music teacher who had access to “a whole closet fully of trashed instruments.” For the mere price of postage he sent me a chunk of dead trombone. I hacksawed off the piece I needed, faked a stand for it from a cheap folding music stand (duct tape, the handyman’s friend), and jammed the requisite kazoo into it. It was all mine!
Then, over the next decade or thereabouts, it was used at maybe 2 or 3 gigs. The rest of the time it just took up space and collected dust. So I am very happy to unleash it on the world. All hail the Infamous Humbone, Overlord of Kazoo Excess!
Speaking Of Kazoos
A while back I wanted a wazoo. I couldn’t find one locally so I went to order it online. The price was right, but the shipping was more than the price of the wazoo!
Heck of a lot smaller and lighter than the humbone, eh? I ended up adding two basic metal kazoos to the order and the shipping felt a bit more reasonable. Can’t have too many kazoos, amirite?
When it came time to make the video I dug one of the (still brand new) metal kazoos and used it in the humbone. I screwed up the first couple takes but the third take was just bombing along. Until about halfway through the solo when the cheapo diaphragm blew out. Took the pizazz right out of the sound.
There’s a serious problem in Kazoo Kwality Kontrol.
Luckily I had bought two. The second one held up all the way through the 4th (and final) take.
Now It’s Your Turn
If you want to try the tune yourself, you can download a free pdf of the arrangement. It’s arranged for C-tuned ukulele, but other instruments will work too. Just ignore the ukulele chord diagrams and play the proper fingering for your instrument.
Hope you enjoy the video. Share it around, please!