As much as I love a good night of rock’n’roll, you can always have too much of a good thing. Crowding into the same dive bars, seeing the same chords every other night just starts to get old. That’s the beauty of the Rhythm Chicken.
You don’t make plans to see the Rhythm Chicken. You go about your day, when suddenly there’s some noise. Maybe it’s coming from across the street, maybe it’s coming from the bathroom. You look over, and there’s the strangest looking chicken you’ve ever seen, pounding away at his drum kit. With a lust for life that puts any beer mascot to shame (not to mention a thirst for Hamm’s), the Rhythm Chicken is here to spread his ruckus with the world.
Joe: Are you related to the San Diego Chicken? Is that how you ended up working for the Milwaukee Brewers?
RC: I am not related to the San Diego Chicken whatsoever. He does not look like a chicken AT ALL!!! He has feathers and a beak! What the hell kinda chicken is THAT? After viewing a Nardwuar interview with the San Diego “Chicken”, however, I do find myself with a certain amount of respect for this guy. As for the Milwaukee Brewers, I was picked up first for video footage on the stadium’s jumbotron. Whenever they Brewers were hurting (which was more often that I’d care to admit) they would throw the “Rally Rabbit” up on the screen, and I hear the stadium would go nuts! People started showing up to the home games wearing their own chicken-ears in support. Humbling, ain’t it. I am the Rhythm Chicken. Take off your clothes!
Joe: How did you end up playing at a wedding?
RC: Uh….which one. I think I’ve played at maybe 12 or 15 weddings. I’ve played at two weddings in Kansas City, plenty in northern Wisconsin, and a few in Green Bay, which I guess you could call east-central Wisconsin, or more aptly, Titletown. Yeah, most wedding crowds are a little taken aback at first, but then join in on the ruckus. I am the Rhythm Chicken. Take off your clothes!
Joe: What's the oddest overall place you've ever played?
RC: The oddest overall place? This question is tad difficult. How does one rate the level of “odd”? Well, I’ll list three, how’s that? Playing on a pontoon boat in the middle of downtown Dresden, Germany, on the River Elbe, just after the fireworks show for their “Stadtfest” with millions of drunk Germans yelling from the banks of the river and from the bridges overhead. Playing at the finish line for a Mardi Gras run at the Railroad Pass Casino just outside of Las Vegas with all the runners dressed up Mardi Gras style. Playing in the back of my friend’s little wave runner boat along the shore of Lake Michigan to other partying boaters who could do nothing but laugh and hoot! Uh….there’s plenty more. They’re all pretty odd, to tell the truth. I am the Rhythm Chicken. Take off your clothes!
Joe: When did/what made you you start migrating to Nevada for the winter?
RC: Last winter (’08 – ’09) I went to Las Vegas for the winter, just for winter work, nicer biking weather, and basically something new to do. I knew that Las Vegas would offer an endless list of opportunities for a chicken like myself. The Vegas ruckus-meter reading is actually much lower than one would expect. Then last summer and fall I was back in my trashy trailer in northern Wisconsin, and now I’m back out in Nevada. This time in Boulder City, just outside of Vegas. It’s a nicer smaller town, more like my hometown back in Wisconsin, and just as weird, which is good. Las Vegas is a bit too predictable and “run-of-the-mill”. Sin City? I couldn’t even find one can of Hamms! I am the Rhythm Chicken. Take off your clothes!
Joe: What happened to the Rhythm Chicken 7"?
RC: Oh that! Well, I spent about $1200 pressing 300 copies, each with its own DVD (the making of the 7”!) back in 2005. I ended up giving away most of them, and sold maybe 50 at the most. I didn’t really intend to make any money back, and I didn’t. It was just neat to have them and to see the look on people’s faces when they saw that I had my own 7”. Now, I think I have maybe 5 or 6 copies left in a box at home. If you come across one, look closely. There are many hidden bits of information therein. If anyone would want to fund the next one, I’m all ears. Side 1 was recorded at the National Liquor Bar, and Side 2 at Koz’s Mini-Bowl, both quality bars in Milwaukee. Neither of which have ever seen such ruckus before that or since. Actually, shortly after this was recorded, the National Liquor Bar was torn down and now I hear it’s a Walgreens. So there you go. I am the Rhythm Chicken. Take off your clothes!
Joe: How did you get acquainted with Dr. Sicnarf/Francis Funyons (from your Razorcake column)?
RC: Well, the good Doctor Sicnarf was a drunkard who was writing for my local liberal paper in northern Wisconsin. He and I are of a kindred spirit. I drum, he writes. Then there is the not as good Francis Funyuns. He was responsible for the Rhythm Chicken newsletter (Follow that Bird) which used to come out a few times a year. I think there were maybe 10 or 14 of them ever released. There hasn't been a newsletter released in over 5 years or more. I'm gonna have to light a fire under Funyuns' ass. Some have pointed out the interesting fact that Francis is my human side's middle name, and if you spell it backwards, well, it just gets more interesting. Total coincidence says this chicken. Squawk on!
Keep on cluckin’ in the free world.