Billy & the Boingers

By | Friday, April 23, 2021 Leave a Comment
In 1986, Berkeley Breathed had some of the cast of Bloom County form a heavy metal band by the name of Billy and the Boingers, formerly Deathtöngue. (Opus played the sousaphone, a "weighty brass.") The comedy played out in the strip for a while, culminating in the band's one-stop world tour at the Hiawatha Room during the 1987 Albuquerque Moose Lodge Banquet. Pretty typically funny stuff from Breathed.

When the strips were collected into book form, it included a flexi-disc with two of the Boingers' songs on it. "I'm a Boinger" was in fact written by Richard LaClaire and performed with Scott Freilich, Rich Kazmierczak and Mike Bryydalski who collectively were known as The Harry Pitts Band. As far as I can tell, this was their only recorded song.

The b-side was "U-Stink-But-I-♥-U" by Bill Casler and performed with Chris Milnes, John Milnes, Danny Nastasi, and Scott Lepage. They formed the real life band Mucky Pup, and enjoyed a fair amount of success for ten years, releasing six studio albums. While they formally split up in 1996, they got back together in various incarnations for short tours and reunion shows sporadically in the early 2000s. Their last performance was in 2014.

Both songs were chosen from reader submissions as part of a contest. Mucky Pup went on to record a video for their song, and it continued to be one of the band's closing numbers. Although non-winning songwriters weren't contacted at the time, some of have since come forward to place their recordings online. I'm still partial to "I'm a Boinger" though.

A bird on the bass
A tongue, what a face!
At best, the music could be described as lame

Sure we look disgusting
But whose chops are we busting
In a year, maybe two, we'll seem tame

And three years down the track
We'll be a Las Vegas lounge act
We'll be back
We'll be back, 'cus we're the Boingers

Jimmy dropped his pants
And Ozzy dines on bats
And Hendrix played guitars with his teeth

The Deadheads got their Jerry
And Mom's got her Barry
And Ronnie listens to guys like Falwell and Meese

But if you don't know by now
Bill bit the head off a cow
That's no lie
That's no lie, 'cus we're the Boingers

Was Bowie ever a fairy?
Was Debbie ever Harry?
Was Elvis ever the King? let's not be reflective

Does Barbra wish she was a goy?
Is George really a boy?
Is Filthy ever Divine? - It's all subjective

Answers to all this
Lie with their psychoanalysts
Just relax
Just relax
I can't relax!
I can't relax, 'cus I'm a boinger!
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