None-hit wonders.Guided by Voices could half-fill a tent show or swamp a converted sweatshop barroom for twenty years or so. They had one recognizable song I know of. This is it. I’ve come to the conclusion that everybody has one garage rock hit in them. It’s inborn, like a vestigal tail or an appendix, and about as useful. People who can produce more than one are rare indeed, and need not be discussed here. No matter what, both the audience and the bandmembers keep expecting another tune worth the tap of a toe to be vomited forth, but it never shows up.
Because everyone knows, correctly, that they have that one song in them, they look at the mess on the stage in whatever club they’re in and grumble, “I could do that.” The modern music store industry is based on getting every single male human being to buy $25,000-worth of Les Pauls and trash cymbals and attempt to make one coherent noise in their mother’s garage, and then quit. If you enter the music store wearing a Guided by Voices T-shirt, you’re already doomed. You’ll buy anything.
To people like Guided by Voices, who have had their cup of coffee in the almost-big leagues, comes a kind of peace. No matter what, for one brief shining moment, they slipped the orbit of the portion of the home or the freestanding building designed and constructed to house a vehicle or vehicles, but never does because it’s got your goddamn son’s goddamn drum set in it.
Just as an aside, I might point out that the Unorganized Hancock version of Game of Pricks is immediately the definitive version of the tune. Watch the 12-year old drummer, then search the Internet for other versions of the song. No one can hold a candle to him. Nobody.