Lavator Anai World Reunion

"Lavator Anai" was a recent Band name Of The Month winner. It was sent in by a frequent corespondent who may wish to remain nameless--because he might be a clergyman or FBI agent or hold some similar office of public trust.

Its not that "Lavator Anai" is such a disreputable band name, after all, everybody poops, and you may as well refer to that muscle by its correct name. It's just that some people are overly sensitive.

You remember that flight attendant who lost her job after posting perfectly normal pictures of herself at work? Its not that the photos were too sexy. They wouldn't have even been considered scandalous in the 1930's. Rather, they were almost like a blank canvas, allowing the oversensitive to project their own insecurities upon them.

Well, a 1-shot band called "Lavator Anai" featuring a medical student and other working professionals is nothing to project your personal insecurities upon. Let's all keep a sense of humor. As far as I'm concerned, you're free to call your band anything you want. After all, "Ring Around The Rosie" and "London Bridge" aren't suitable for children either, and look how pervasive they are.

And with that humor-killing dictum in mind, allow me to post this update. "Lavator Anai" has played a reunion concert. Sort of. Allow the author's email to tell the story.

BTW, you were just projecting your personal insecurities upon the word "dictum", weren't you?
The un-named "Lavator Anai" band member writes:


I thought you of all people would be interested in my latest adventure. Besides my second son being born July 11, I had to put together a "Beach Boys" band for a vacation bible school. Wait, it gets better.

My Mother, bless her heart, is out here in the Dallas area to be near us and the kids. My Dad is gone and she's looking for ways to plug herself into life out here. I understand that. I'm not that dense. She's going to plays, Church groups, senior group suppers, and the like. The problem is she volunteers me to do things so she can be involved.

She's evidently on some committee at church that organizes VBS (vacation bible school) in the summer. She heard the word music. A bell went off in her head: Her husband was a college professor and musician. She gave birth to sons who are musicians. "Gasp, I'll get my boys to do it.

Before I knew it we'd been billed as a "Beach Boys" band (the theme of this years
vacation bible school was "surfin' with the scriptures" We were headliners in the church bulletin) I tried to explain to her, that although I don't really care for the Beach Boys, their music was not the typical three chord rock 'n roll. Their vocals often involved 4 and sometimes 5 part harmonies. This was a task I didn't have time or resources to fulfill. I don't have cables, amps, monitors, mics, ...and all the stuff it takes to put together something like this.

Oh,.....and I don't have a band!

She would not take no for an answer.
"When I was growin' up...if a family member asked you to do something...you DID it."

"Mother, this is not sewing a dress for a cousin's wedding, or raising a neighbor's barn. I can't do this."

"But I told the church you would do it."

"Well, stop telling them you're bringing Davey Jones to the prom. Or telling the kids your Dad's an astronaut, because this isn't going to happen. In other words...stop saying things that aren't true."
But it kept getting worse. There was a new, horrible detail that came up every few days. "You want us to fill 40 minutes?! When I was playing horns in bar bands they kept shaving their set close to 35 or 30 minutes as the night went on. Do you realize what you're asking of us?!!
[Editors Note]
Mark writes: As a musician, I can attest that your time always gets cut. Never expanded. So the author is writing about an unusual problem of needing to fill up too much time, which is a nightmare. Most tedium you encounter in public music is when the musicians only have 2 good songs for a 15-20 minute set. "Filler Material" is the enemy of quality live music.

Another problem is that beach Boys songs are notoriously short. Example: "Little Deuce Coupe" clocks in at only one minute and forty-nine seconds (a near record in brevity for a top 40 hit, but in line with other Beach Boys tunes. The complex opus "Good Vibrations" is only 3:37, for example). Imagine trying to learn 10 reasonably complex songs only to discover that they only cover half of your alloted time. The beach boys were not a jam band, and their songs just don't expand. In other words, this was no Phish concert. "You're gonna need a bigger boat."
[Story Continues]
At any rate....you can see where this was going.

So now....I was literally "on a mission from God". I called the guys who had played in the band 13 years earlier for my brother's bachelor party. Some people drove four hours for this. All these guys had had many meals in that old house, cooked by my Mother over the years...so they came. Brought equipment. Guitars. Themselves.

We had a reunion of Lavator Anai.

One rehearsal. Much worked out individually ahead of time. Relying on individual talents and prayer we put some songs together.

At the concert that night, the last day of VCB, I put up a sign on an easel that held evidently, oft referenced scriptures on it, at the front of the church for all to see. . .


An old guy came up to us and told us he'd helped his wife study for her medical boards years ago and knew what that was.

I said, "What do you mean?"

He said, "That's a muscle in your poop hole, son."

"Really", I said? "I had no idea. Just thought it was a cool sounding name from Latin class."

We played.

They loved.

I'm not doing it again.

I hope my Mother got that message.

Mark Responds:
Thanks, my friend. That gave me a huge laugh. I always thought I was the king of having people volunteer me for impossible tasks because they think they will be easy [link to anniversary videos, free original sports-music scores, political websites (for both sides!), 24-hour tech support . ] Clue: Its always easy when someone else does it!

It's good to know guys like you are out there suffering right alongside me. Hope your mom and the assembled multitudes appreciated all the effort.

P.S. You'll notice that there are no pictures on this blog entry.
In retrospect, that was probably a good idea. After all, what would I have shown?

You could have shown a picture of someone surfing? I'm a Florida-based friend of your anonymous correspondant, and was, ironically, loading my windsurfer on my car when I got a phone call from him complaining about being volunteered for this gig. I told him that I was sensing, nay, picking up something. He humored me, asked what, and I replied, "good vibrations." He emphatically denied that that's what I was sensing. My 83-year-old mother lives with me and continually annoys me, but this was one of those occassions where I was grateful that my mom, even with her failing memory, knows better than to do something like that to me.
I consider myself a prude, but after the event was over and he told me about using the old band name in church, I giggled for a good 30 minutes. I'm just sorry I missed the reunion tour.
RE being a prude:
It's ok just as long as Lavator Anai doesn't cover the Smiley Smile album (Beach Boys, 1967).

There would be something unseemly about that.

I never told you the actual set list...have to share that sometime.
I'd like to see that set!
The problem with doing a full show of 2 minute songs is that it's like doing a Ramones set: It has to be all killer and no filler.
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