(c) 2001 by Jim Fairchild, Jeff King & Lewis D'Aubin
"Are all these your sitars?"
Like many internet denizens back in 2001, we greeted the appearance of Daler Mendhi with shock and wonder. The video for 'Tunak Tunak Tun' had appeared and made its way past our wondering eyes and ears. "Oh my gawd!" we said. "We've GOT to do a bhangra tune!"
Of course, this being C.O.G., the indian pop style would have to be mutated and cross pollinated with another style, in this case, low down 70's funk. Jamming on these grooves in practice led to the core of the song being written around a bass lick for the verse, and a stereotypical middle-eastern guitar figure for the chorus. Simple! Jim came up with a LOT of verses, and with some encouragement, pared them down (by about half) to the ones in the recording.
Speaking of the recording, we once again had fun with our guest stars. Beth Patterson contributed to this song in a big way, bringing in her Tambora, Shruti Box, and beautiful voice for the girls in the sketch at the beginning and the middle eastern ululations in the background. Liz (Lab Girl VI) and Katie Streckfus also contributed some female scorn to the intro. Rick Naqvi, whose band Zaemon gave Dr. Z his first name, contributed the genuine electric sitar doubling many of the guitar lines in the song. And Ron Kellar played the organ parts on his Korg Triton, over at Rockit Studio.
This song is great fun to perform live, with everybody donning turbans, burquas, etc. and dancing around the stage like mad. Dr. Z is quite a popular guy and this song simultaneously sums up and augments his cult of personality...
Tambora/Shruti box..Beth Patterson
Electric sitar......Rick Naqvi
Lead vocal..........Jim Fairchild
Backing vocals......Lewis D'Aubin, Beth Patterson, Jeff King
Recorded and mixed Spring 2003 at C.O.G. Secret Lab, Harahan LA