The Driving Stupid – Horror Asparagus Stories

31st January 2023 · Uncategorised

Not just a deep cut – this psych-garage gem is positively subterranean. And I’m only posting it for the title. It’s rubbish, of course, but I’m intrigued by what little I know of the perpetrators, The Driving Stupid.

Living up to their name, the band – college students from New Jersey – drive all the way cross-country from the East Coast to California in the summer of 1966.

Their dream, like so many others before and since, was to become big stars – but they got waylaid in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they recorded some demos. Remarkably, the results earned them a record deal.

In Hollywood they got as far as releasing a single – so far, so good – but when it failed to become a novelty hit the record company shelved the album (opening track: My Mother Is A Big Fat Pig).

And that, effectively, was that – though they managed to meet Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Cher and cruised up and down Sunset Strip in their customised Driving Stupid sports car.

Long after they gave up and found day jobs, the B-side of this, the equally nonsensical blues number The Reality Of (Air) Fried Borsk, found its way on to a 1992 reissue of Volume 3 of the Pebbles series of underground psychedelia compilations.

As a result there are fervent fans who regard this as an example of a record that’s so bad it’s good. But it isn’t really. It’s just bad. Or, as Allmusic puts it:

“The reality of The Driving Stupid is that this particular brand of horror/science fiction/comedy rock isn’t too funny or clever. Imagine a bunch of teenagers who barely know their way around their instruments, fueled by a steady diet of surf rock, Mad magazine, and monster and outer-space films, half-improvising songs in their suburban basement.

“That’s what this sounds like, and though some might interpret that as a high recommendation, it’s not.”