By Jonathan McNamara
It was the politically charged Flobots that took their song “Handlebars” and turned in into a smash hit on alternative radio stations, but it was local 103.9 The Edge DJ Craven Moorehead who turned it into a hyper-local parody that will live on in infamy.
"Handlebars" is an Orwellian look at the loss of innocence thanks to corporate greed and the lust for power. The song’s primary refrain “I can ride my bike with no handlebars” quickly changes to “I can lead a nation with a microphone,” and finally “I can end the planet in a holocaust.”
Moorehead took his parody in a different direction choosing to focus his lyrics not on political tyranny but rather Scottsdale douche-baggery.
His song “Scottsdale Bars,” currently in rotation on 103.9 The Edge, is a comprehensive guide to every joke there ever was about the dating in the club-centric East Valley city. Cougars, frosted tip hair cuts, income exaggeration and drug references are included as well as dozens more.
Haven't heard "Scottsdale Bars" yet? Give it a .
“Look at me. Look at me. Claiming I’m straight in designer jeans” Moorehead sings in the second verse. It’s hilarious, it’s catchy, and once he figured out that he could replace “handlebars” with “Scottsdale bars” it only took 15 minutes to write it, Moorehead said.
Moorehead hosts the Skapunk show on the Edge Sunday through Friday from 10:00p.m. to 12:00p.m. in addition to doing production work for The Edge. I met up with Moorehead at his massive home recording studio (ironically located in Old Town Scottsdale) to get the low down on how he came up with the parody and how the public (especially douche bags and cougars) has reacted to it.
New Times: Why did you choose to parody The Flobots?
Craven Moorehead: I’ve done parodies in the past…none that have gotten the reaction that this one has. Working in alternative rock, you want to parody a big song but you don’t want to parody the Chili Peppers or the Foo Fighters or a time-tested band. So, something comes along that’s like totally left field like the Flobots song and you’re like “okay!” And it’s huge, it’s the biggest most requested song here on the edge and it just…that and a buddy of mine got me the instrumental version.
The reason Scottsdale bars came up is just that I was trying to come up with something to rhyme with handlebars. Cause the rhymes in that song are pretty intricate and I was just like “what the hell can I come up with to rhyme with handlebars?” As soon as Scottsdale Bars clicked in the rest of the song was written, you know? It was just like this makes too much sense. It could probably be a rock opera if it had to be. You could go on for days with it.
NT: What was the hardest part to write?
CM: The second verse. Initially I just did the intro. Especially on the Edge, we’re more about playing music than getting into bits or things like that. I thought maybe I’ll just make an intro and people reacted really well to that, so I decided I’d record the whole thing.
Verse two was tough. Those guys do some crazy rhymes. It was tough. It started off as just an idea for one verse and a chorus and I wanted to save all the good stuff I was working on. I went to The Ditry.com a couple of times to get some inspiration and I’ve lived here for ten years so the thoughts were definitely running around. I wanted to keep the best stuff for the last verse, so the second verse was the toughest for sure.
NT: Have you experienced any of the douche-baggery you rap about in this song personally?
CM: It’s funny because I love Scottsdale. Especially Old Town. I think it’s just a really cool place. I’ve never been into the club scene or anything like that. But I was all over Scottsdale even just last night and there were “affliction” shirts everywhere and it’s funny. I mean I don’t even get out that much anymore cause …married, kids, at home., working at night, but it’s out there.
NT: Have you done any other parody tracks for The Edge?
CM: I haven’t done one for a while. I’ve done really goofy original pieces before. Sometimes I’ll send stuff over and they’ll play it for a day or two. You know, here today, gone tomorrow. The only other one I did that kind of got some reaction was this one I did called “Even Jesus hates Creed.” We did it during Christmas. I use to do a character on my show that was called Dickson Payne and he was the alter ego to Craven Moorehead and it was kind of…are you familiar with Adam and his package?
NT: Can’t say that I am.
CM: He’s a solo artist from back East that did goofy, kind of Weird Al types of songs, so it was basically it was just ripping him off and putting my spin on what was topical at the time. Making fun of Creed a few years back certainly tops the list. It was the Scottsdale douche bag of its day for sure.
NT: How has the audience reaction been?
CM: Really the whole song’s only been done about 48 hours. It went from being a production piece that we’d play just for fun…cause my goal is to get the Edge to sound different and funny as opposed to just turning it on and hearing a voice guy doing some other goofy stuff. It kind of drives the station at times, you know. We’re trying to add to the uniqueness of the station. I just felt like there was so much more to be said on the topic. There’s great material out there.
People think it’s really funny. They’re just like “I was laughing my ass off!” It’s funny, the other night, a friend of mine who’s out every night…you know, one of these guys who gigs every night. And he called me and said, “I was sitting at a bar and I heard this guy talking about some douche bag song he heard on the Edge and I was sure that it had to be you who wrote it.”
NT: That was kind of cool to hear it from another person being out and hearing about it. I think it’s cool cause it’s local. It definitely hits a chord with what people seeing and are obviously thinking in their minds but don’t verbalize…probably.
For more on Craven Moorehead and The Flobots, check out the 103.9 The Edge Web site.