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All Hail the D

I recently watched Tenacious D‘s movie The Pick of Destiny. It was a sloppy, scatological train-wreck. Intentionally so. And the remarkably talented director/musician/actor/D-fan-collaborator Liam Lynch makes that perfectly clear. But I loved the movie anyway. The music somehow stole my heart, and subsequently sold it to Satan (played by Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighers).

Jack Black (yes, the actor/comedian) and Kyle Gass (aka KG) are the Spinal Tap of my lost generation. They mix uncomfortable self-deprecating satire, parody, and in-joke comedy with honest-to-goodness kick-ass old-school 70s metallic-rock. Ironically, many (most) of their pieces are performed raw (and somewhat tongue-and-cheek) as an acoustic duo with KG on lead/rhythm/backup vocals and Black on lead vocals/rhythm guitar. Black’s vocals are absolutely phenomenal. Pure genius. Drawing from every influence on the planet, he could be the single most talented rock vocalist of all time. I kid you not. He may be the Kwisatz Haderach of rock vocalists, the final result of generations of careful rock vocal bloodline manipulation.

Ronnie James Dio is a hero of Black’s. Below is their classic Dio tribute song performed live at Brixton Academy. Originally, when a colleague pointed out the song, Dio thought Tenacious D was mocking him outright (which they are). But when he learned it was not done out of spite but rather as a loving parody done in Black’s unique comic style, he and Black became good pals. Dio appears in Pick of Destiny and Tenacious D has appeared in the Dio video for the song Push.

There really is no shortage of D videos available on YouTube. But I can’t resist posting a couple more here for your convenience. The first video below is (after a little nod to System of a Down) their epic song Tribute (starting about 40 seconds in). This is perhaps their best known tune written with a classic Faustian libretto as a tribute to the greatest song in the world. The second piece is Master Exploder from the movie. It plays a similar role as the dream sequences in the movie Song Remains the Same by Led Zeppelin. It gives you a clear view of their silly non sequitur scatology and perhaps how the “perceive” themselves on stage while performing acoustic (an insight made by director Liam Lynch). Enjoy.

One Response to “All Hail the D”

  1. That is just TOO funny! Very creative song writing and dead on performance too. The writing verges on being so good that people who are not familiar with who they are trying to mock, will think it is for real. Same thing that happened to “This is Spinal Tap”.