|Listen to a CD-quality audio excerpt|
When Kevin and I were on tour in '95, we stopped by a record store in Boulder CO. Pasted on the wall was a Gentle Giant poster. Kevin badgered the owner into letting him scrape it off and take it home. It was framed and hung in his studio until his death.
Contrary to rumor, this was not Kevin's last song. The Suit Canon, or Suit Fugue as it was sometimes called, is part of Kevin's concept album, The Shaming of the True. This is a story of a young man, Johnny Virgil, who is hell bent on success in the music business. The story follows him as he is chewed up and spit out by the very thing he coveted. The Suit Canon is the chorus of record execs (A&R, Promotion, etc.) as they seduce Johnny. All the voices are Kevin.
One more note. When I turned Kev's computer off for the last time, 90% of the email was Gentle Giant related. Kevin loved GG and was way into this project. I know he is proud and honored to be included.
For those of you who would like to hear more of this exceptional work, I hope to have it out in its entirety soon. Also in the works are a live album of Kevin's group, Thud, a compilation of unreleased singer/songwriter stuff, and a rerelease of both the Giraffe CDs.
- Jon Rubin, 27 March 1997
Hi, John, it's Mel from Megalophone I've been listening to your tape for the 19th time Oh that's another call - can I call you Back when I was in a band we used to sound like this And I loved your songs, they reminded me of myself You sound like Air Supply meets Gwar In a good way; Here's my other number Can you wait for just a sec - That's another call coming in I'll get back to you - Have my girl take your information Hi, John, it's Guy from Groanophone Heard some talk about the band and the way you sing I really think it's great - Can we make a Deal with me, call me a friend, we'll be a family You're a talented individual If you sign here on the dotted line ... that's good And my nephew will be your producer Yo, John, it's Bill from Biddybum Word is travelling around that you've got some tunes We will not be outbid - Radio is in the bag, we own the chart They will not add your song Without checking with our promotion staff Hi, John, it's Shep from Shinola We should really do a lunch Quite a tape indeed - my secretary flipped You're a genius My name is Johnny Virgil (hammer hammer hammer hammer schmooze schmooze schmooze schmooze) I play this here guitar (patronize patronize pass the buck pass the buck) I play it for myself (wheedle wheedle wheedle wheedle sell sell sell sell) Can we speak candidly? Got hands that move like clockwork (hammer hammer hammer hammer schmooze schmooze schmooze schmooze) Voice that carries far (patronize patronize pass the buck pass the buck) Got a love for nothing else (wheedle wheedle wheedle wheedle sell sell sell sell) Let's be spontaneous! Hi Jack, it's Al from A&R You don't really need the band, they are in the way We only wanted you anyway so Dump the band, you are the face You better wise up fast This is not a game - we're professionals Did I mention that you won't be out this year? Cannot be helped - Go take a vacation One more thing that you should know We're all counting on you to be Our new golden boy - Lots of lives and jobs Hang in the balance here Virgil, it's Pete your president Calling to congratulate you on your fine choice You must be very proud, so are we I'm sure your music is terrif although I must admit I don't listen to much of anything Did I mention that I used to have a band? I have to run, been great talking to you Hi, Joe, about publicity Thought about the photo op with the cripple No, we need a sharper hook - like a scandal Maybe you could rape a nun Or better still a priest Some androgeny could be interesting Hi, Jim, it's Val from Video Who decided on your hair? Can we cut it off? We'd like to see a buzz bin rotation My name is Johnny Virgil (weasel weasel weasel weasel lie lie lie lie) I play this here guitar (pacify pacify jack you off jack you off) ...aahh fuck it.... (shuffle shuffle shuffle shuffle yawn yawn yawn) Are you a priority? My name is Johnny Virgil (weasel weasel weasel weasel lie lie lie lie) And I'm gonna be a star (pacify pacify jack you off jack you off) This is how it's done (shuffle shuffle shuffle shuffle yawn yawn yawn) Do you want a hit of this?
(Enter crazed drunken record company promotion men with loosened ties and powdered noses, accompanied by slattern women, wildly undulating and ululating the "Danse Recoupable" or "Recoupable Dance" where lots of money gets thrown in the air (Johnny's money) amidst primal though somewhat germanic chantings of "Hit Song....Hit Song")