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The Legend

If you had to sum up the Martian King experience in two words, they would be "Martian" and "King." In other words, you can't sum up the Martian Kings. We're more than just a band, although some people might say we're not even a band. I don't know why they lie so much. Anyway, for those of you who like to tell the truth, you know who you are, we offer the incomplete, unofficial and unreliable legend of the Martian Kings and its honorable members. We even included a short version for those of you who don't care, don't have time, don't have the attention span to sit in front of a computer and read, like, a whole page of text. Oh, and A & R reps too.

The short version

The Martian Kings were formed in May of 1997 when Shawn Kaup, Eric Hart, and Terry Hart got together with fellow classmates Jeremy Shaffer and Aaron White to record a song about their Chemistry teacher, John Traver. They also recorded two other songs at the time: On the Inside and Baby Jane. Pleased with such a successful first practice, the group called themselves 'Q and the Brass Boys.' After several practices during the summer, including one at the middle school which resulted in the songs "Robots", "Galactic Boy", and "Moving On" being added to their repetoire, the five guys performed several songs during Stone Valley's Music Under the Stars show. That would be the first and last time the five played together as Q and the Brass Boys.

The group then went on hiatus when fall rolled around. Kaup moved to Harrisburg, and Eric and Terry both went to college. They planned on playing a few shows during the winter, but only succeeded in getting together once over winter break. After months of discouragement, they decided to disband Q and the Brass Boys and reform as the Martian Kings, this time keeping only Kaup, Eric, and Terry. Eric and Terry lost contact with Kaup when he moved again, but spent the summer exploring many musical avenues.

Kaup was located just recently, the band's ties have been renewed. They look forward to playing together again, as well as recording together.

The Martian Kings

The band is made up of members. Three to be precise. And none a drummer.
terry   Terry Manny ... Hey, Terry, this is your biography. I know it's odd that I'm actually addressing him, but chances are he's the only one reading it. Terry writes a lot of our songs, especially the deep ones. I hate bands that think they're deep. Screw deep! Wait, that sounded really, really bad. I hope my parents aren't reading this again, then I'll get in trouble. Where was I? Oh, yeah he plays sax and guitar, which also passes as a bass whenever our bassist is missing. Which is never, since we don't have one.
kaup   Quinton T. Johnson ... Shawn is the fabled "third" member of the band. Well, not so much "fabled" as "lives far away." He plays guitar and sings and drums. He likes to think he's as good as Jimi Hendrix ... we smile uncertainly and assure him that he is, but deep down, we know Jimi is crying his butt off.
eric   Eric ... This is Eric, the only cool guy in the band. Actually, he's not so much in the band as he is in the house when the band is around. He pretends to play trombone, and the other guys pretend he's in the band. Then he starts making up stories like he's the "manager" or "publicist," or something like that. Stoopid, stoopid, why don't you just stay in your corner and let the "real" musicians practice.
drummer   Our Drummer ... Our drummer is not on the planet yet. Or maybe he is, but we don't know his name yet. We call him Pepe.

Honorary Members

Think, "permanent guests," or as we say, "Aaron Whites"
aaron   Aaron White ... tno fee four
 

 The Martian Citizens

There are also a bunch of people who play, have played, or want to play with us. Actually, there are a lot of people who want to play with us. Nah, I'm just making that up. It's a lie. We only play with ourselves. I mean, by our ourselves.
seth   Sef Brodner ... Seth is the Hart's friend, not Kaup's, although they did sleep together once ... he plays bass. He's good too, but he's the only one to make fun of the band. Lack of talent, you say? Never practice, do we? pssh, you're cut
jeremy   Jeremy Schaffer Mar*****a ... Jeremy was there with us since the beginning too. He helped us lay some fat drum tracks and recorded whatever crap came out of our instruments back then. Since then, he's become busy with his fourteen jobs, three schools, seven cars, and millions of bw's. He's cut.
kevin   Kev-Stand ... Kevin is our good friend, and that's probably the only reason he's here. He sings and plays piano really well. In fact, one time, we almost got him into the band as our keyboardist. But that was back in the dark days when we were thinking of covering ... gasp ... Dave Matthews. As soon as we realized what we were doing, we stopped learning crappy covers. And we cut him.

The Long Version

Beginnings

Eric and Terry Hart always loved music, and were rather good at it, being child prodigies with IQ's of 200-no,no . . . 300! From providing the citizens of Animal World with their national anthem as well as well-loved classics like 'Beach Bunny Party and Park Inn, to banging out songs on their MIDI keyboard hooked up to a Amiga 1000, to occasionally jamming with their friend Sef . . . can I just end the sentence there? Cause I don't have anything to add to that. Anyway, the
foundations of their anti-man sentiments were layed in these early years, inheriting some from their early years in the orphanage under the brutal hand of Nanny
Manny, while also being immune to his influences in the mass media. They didn't have TV, they didn't listen to the radio until maybe 10th grade, first CD a few
months later, they probably have spent more time on the internet than watching TV.

They met Aaron during the Line Mountain musical, 'Mame.' They were freshman, and he was in 6th grade. Vowing revenge on him for saying they had big noses, the two Hartboys waited for their senior year when their paths would cross again. In the meantime, they had their own worlds to run. Animal, an exile from the above-mentioned Animal World, had come to Earth and joined the ranks of Fardel, superheros and makers of luxury mousepads. Eco-Geek and Jungle Joe fought there own struggles throughout the world.

Kaup came on the scene when he joined Leather and Lace, the same singing group the Hartboys were in. What a jerk. He thought he could sing better than anyone else and play guitar better than Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn. (Everyone knows the only 2 guitarists who can do that are members of the Fat Elvis's.) Plus, he was a better defensive lineman than the Great Wall of China, could slam dunk from cross court, and hit home runs with his ass. We hated him, I mean they hated him, since this is being written by an impartial third party. Kaup and Aaron spent hours during Leather and Lace practices and after school going over songs they had written.

A tangent: John Traver worked as a chemistry teacher at Line Mountain High School, our alma mater and home of the state's only latently homosexual wrestling team (woops, can I say that?). At one point, he had been a physics teacher. Then one day, while he was struggling to ride his bike across the street, Emporer Grignard, my bad I meant Emporer Gringard, kidnapped him and brought him to another dimension. Luckily, Gringard is a benevolent godhead, and he replaced Traver's bones with a special kind of steel that also gave him superhuman strength and speed. Before sending him back to our dimension and Line Mountain, he told him to follow the Way of the Qualitative Chemist. While we were in 11th graded chemistry, we knew our path led to the Way of Qualitative Chemistry too. Every day, we would look at the assignments on the blackboard and sigh with longing. They looked something like this:
11th Grade Qualitative
10/14/96 - pg 56 #1-19
10/15/96 - pg 58 #3-37a
10/16/96 - pg 59 #2-84
10/17/96 - pg 63 #7,17-40b
10/18/96 - pg 64 #1-325 odd
10/21/96 - test chap 3-6 12/21/97 - Xmas party
We were honored when we joined the ranks of the Q Chemists the next year. The Hartboys soon became friends with Kaup, who joined them in foiling John Traver's every move. Those aren't the PLANETS!!! One day, Eric, Terry and Shawn were contemplating the explosive properties of lycopodium powder, when all of a sudden there was an explosion. Faster than Aaron could execute a pie, John Traver ran to the explosion, swallowed it, and blew it into the hood, where it was contained. From that moment on, we called him Captain John Traver.

During our time spent sitting around doing nothing in class, we discussed forming a band, making music, and just having a blast. The stage had been set, lyrics were written under cover of night for the John Traver opus, and no one was sure what the future could possibly hold.

Q and the Brass Boys

It was an early morning, and the three Q Chemists met at the Stone Valley Church with their friends Jeremy Shaffer and Aaron White. Their purpose: to record a song about their hero and mentor. Things were going great, they were laying some great tracks down with little more to go on then a chord (Bb9) and shouted drum rhythms (SAMBA!!! FASTER!!!). But then they got too loud, and the old ladies downstairs heard them. They were going to yell at us for playing loud and fast music in church when God stepped on. He said, "Women, leave these guys alone. They kick ASS!!!" Later that day, they added lyrics to the John Traver song and stood in awe for hours just staring at the tape that contained there masterpiece.

Monday morning came, and reluctancy to share the tape with the man who inspired them set in. What would he say? Could he fail us? The song was definately a tribute, but whether it was flattering or not was the question. However, peer pressure won out that day, so they played the tape for the Captain. Four minutes seemed like an eternity, but the silence that followed seemed even longer. And then, He spoke:
 

"I like it."

Their wasted years of education soon drew to a close. If they knew now what they knew then, they probably would have flipped the crowd off during graduation just like Shawn Harris did. Summer meant a lot of things, including Aaron's many camps and workshops, and it took a lot of effort for Q and the Brass Boys just to get together and practice. Oh yeah, another tangent: If you haven't already figured out where the name came from, I'll let you in. They took the Q from the society from which they sprung. The 'Brass Boys' part came from the fact that they used horns (keep in mind that this is Line Mountain we're talking about. The Hartboys were just beginning to learn about ska, and the swing scene didn't catch on until, oh, last week.) They figured the name harkened back to the days of yore when bands were named with the formula 'leader' and the 'rest of the guys.' Example: Gary and the Pacemakers, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, KC and the Sunshine Band. The kicker was that none of the guys in the band was the leader, let alone 'Q.' Plus, the name was corny enough to be cool. Anyway, the Line Mountain Arts Council was planning a Broadway show for the end of June, which meant of course that the Hartboys were signed up by Jeremy and then told about it the day before. But the good news was that there was a set of drums and a bigass keyboard set up in the Middle School Auditorium that was screaming for Q and the Brass Boys to play on. They had by then added 'Galactic Boy' and 'Moving On' to their repetoire, though little did they know what was about to happen at the Middle School.

After arranging to meet one day before everyone else got there to practice, the Hartboys set out. On the way Eric mentioned to Terry that he was thinking about doing a song about robots that disguise themselves as humans. Ok, actually he begged Terry to come up with a song about robots that disguise themselves as humans. Terry, being the absolute creative genius that he was, came up with a song before Eric had even begun to cry. By the time they had gotten done telling the other band members about it, they had worked out 4 part harmony and the count-off. When people started arriving to practice singing songs written by other people years ago, the fearless band had a tape of the newest, hippest, funkiest songs yet. Oh yeah, and they also broke Jeremy's drum set, as heard toward the end of the Robots Mamafuzz Edit. Little did they know that Emporer Gringard, I mean Emporer Grignard (the evil one), was lurking in the vicinity, waiting for the right moment to unleash his awful fury into our dimension. He was like an evil chessmaster putting his pieces into position until the time was just right. Today he would have to be satisfied with just robbing a bank to get some more money. To accomplish this, he used a certain Gurba Davis, who was currently talking with Kaup. When Kaup had left, Davis put his ski mask on, took his shotgun, and embarked on what he believed to be a 'mission from God.'

From the material they had, plus a few new songs from the ever-creative Terry, the band had enough material to assemble a collection of greatest hits, which they called '3 Penguins.' The name was taken from an award given to them by the prestigious Daily Item for their website. The city of Shamokin's web site, in comparison, only got 2 1/2. About their web site: in those days it was crap. It sucked. Picture 17 words on a paisley gray background. From then on it only got worse. It was updated maybe 3 times, which is more than the number of none band members who visited the site. But they didn't care. They had illusions of grandeur. Some day, they would be big, like that guy over there. Man, he must be 7 feet tall. That would be awesome to be that tall, think of how much more stuff you'd see!

Wait, what were we talking about? Oh yeah, the band. We played a concert at the Stone Valley Night under the Stars Music under the Stars Concert. All the old people hated Galactic Boy. Some people say we sang an acappella version of 'Love and Lies,' but we don't know why they like to lie so much. Seth was there, though oddly enough, he was in the crowd, though in the end that probably helped us more than anything. We also played with the 'jazz' band. Seth joined in for this. He played the bass part, though we didn't have a bass, so he used a guitar. We also didn't have bass music, so after careful delibiration, he decided to play the 4th trombone part, but it didn't really matter since he can't read music anyway. Judy White played piano with us, and judging by the way she drank that whole bottle of tequila that night, we figure that's when she started to hate us. I mean 'them,' since obviously this is being typed by an impartial third party who is not part of our band.

The Dark Ages

An ominous cloud rolled over the earth in the months that followed. Emporer Gringard was putting his plans into fruition. He tricked the Brass Boys into going away to different colleges, hours apart from eachother (it had to be a trick: Terry going to Alfred, NY to study ceramic engineering? I mean, come on!). At first, the Brass Boys remained strong, even recruiting Seth into their anti-madness. But it seemed as though Gringard was destined to win. The Brass Boys became silent.

One night, in cold cold Alfred, Terry had a vision come to him in a dream. It was a vision of hope and of Galactic Boy, though the hope was distant and Galactic Boy was really Uncle Clem . . . well, you know how dreams are. Galactic Boy told him the days ahead would be dark indeed, yet there was a chance the band could survive, but it was slim. They were to look for a 'sign': a sign of new hope, new beginnings. A sign that would symbolize their crowning acheivements that were there density. I mean destiny. All they had to do was find the sign, and Emporer Gringard's destruction was sure to follow. Then Uncle Clem became Terry's Dad, but he was still wearing the cape. Terry's mom just kept telling him that the cape helped him drive, helped him drive. Terry woke up, but Galactic Boy's last words to him still echoed in the still-cold of the morning air: 'say you're going to have a concert in the barn so you can drink the beer that's out there...'

Terry kept this in his heart, since it worried him deeply. Yet, he had to listen, cause right now it seemed like their only chance. So, he thought and thought about how he could underhandedly get the band to have the concert that was foretold to him without them knowing how important it was.

Terry: Hey Kaup, how's it going?
Kaup: Not bad, what are you up to?
Terry: Oh not much, just getting some work done.
Kaup: Oh yeah, that reminds me, I have this problem I've nee-
Terry: Hey! Let's have a concert in our barn! We can drink beer!

Well, you can bet Gringard tried his best to thwart their plans. First he tried snowing them in. This seemed to work, though he conceded a small victory to Grignard, who had actually persuaded Judy to bring Aaron to the barn through 3 feet of snow but turned around when her minivan stopped spinning around. I think this served to fuel her dislike for us even more. But anyway, the Brass Boys could not be stopped, and they had the concert, with one audience member: the Hartboy's beer-drinking dad (can I say that? oh who cares anymore.). And they got toasted, nicely toasted.

A few days later, they were in Shawn's uncle's restaurant (Perkins) discussing the future of the band. The conversation casually got around to changing the band's name. Well, yeah 'Q and the Brass Boys' is corny, but what could they change it to? Suddenly, Kaup said offhand:

"How bout the Martian Kings?"

Music played, angels sang, the sun broke through the starry sky. Terry knew this was the sign, the one he'd been waiting for, the one Galactic Boy had told him about! Hesitating not, he replied, "I like it." Then the waitress called them gay and kicked them out for not drinking their refills.

Hiding

Kaup moved far far away in May, and the Hartboys lost contact with him. Terry, having seen the sign that Galactic Boy had foretold, came out of the spell Emporer Gringard had placed on him and began the process of transferring out of Alfred. Seth went off and joined another band. It looked as if the Martian Kings had disappeared as quickly as they had appeared. However, the opposite was true: they were simply laying low, building up their strength for the coming battle that would surely tax them beyond their limits. Emporer Gringard continued his plans, though his inability to locate those blasted Martian Kings constantly annoyed him. It seemed like they foiled his every move, and the closer he got to capturing them, the more pissed off he got. "I'll get you next time Martians, NEXT TIME!!! MEOWWWWW!!!"

The Hartboys willingly placed themselves on the front line of the battle, taking up a safe harbor slot on WVBU. They honed their music skills by listening again and again to the same stoopid requests made by 7th graders. It was a time of prurience, patience, stealing posters from the station and throwing chairs at the walls. However, Emporer Gringard had his victories too. He killed the creative muses of the Hartboys, and of Kaup as they found out later. He appeared to Eric in a dream in the form of a bucket and told him to "learn covers and play in fraternities. Luckily for them, their lack of talent stopped them before they stepped off into that abyss.

The fall semester came around, and the Hartboys positioned themselves even more strategically, feeling stronger after enduring the summer's tribulations. Terry began the Martian King mailing list, a weekly supply of Martian madness that barraged Emporer Gringard's defenses. However, the most curious of events was yet to come . . .

Recrowning the Kings

Ashley, it wasn't so much curious as it was beer. Cypress Hill, longtime foes of Emporer Gringard's ally, the Man, were playing at nearby Susquehanna University. Eric began his long journey to pick up Terry, with a strange premonition that something strange was going to happen, but he had no idea the import of what would take place that night. Miles later, with only blocks to go before arriving at Terry's apartment, the most direct attack on the Martian Kings took place: One of Emporer Gringard's henchmen, disguised as a lacrosse player, pulled out in front of Eric in a suicidal attempt to destroy Eric. Pf, Eric was driving an LTD, like anything could stop that. The plan foiled, Eric ran to Terry's place. He would have to stay there for the night, and there was no chance to make it to the concert. Was the night doomed?

Both Emporer Grignard and Emporer Gringard knew what was at stake that night. Gringard threw out all the stops. Ska concert, free, in the CUB!!! No, Grignard had made sure the Hartboys would never go to another skancert again after seeing Reel Big Fish at the Chameleon Club. The Hartboys decided to get Kaup's number from Aaron. But they didn't know the number!!! No problem, they used the 'net to find it. But Aaron was in the shower! Emporer Gringard knew this was one of his last chances, so he disguised himself as Mary Beth. "Mom, it's for Aaron, do you want to take it?" Tense seconds passed, as the fate of the world hung in the balance. "No," she replied. "Just have them call back later." Victory!

But it wasn't over yet. True, the Hartboy's got the number, but when they called Kaup's place, they got. . .an answering machine. They gave him the number, but little did they know that Emporer Gringard had sent robots disguised as humans to take away Kaup's long distance service months ago. Kaup couldn't call back no matter how much he wanted to.

Twelve beers later, the Hartboys got bored and tried Kaup again. RING. RING. YEAH!!! It was KAUP!!! The Martian Kings, reunited once again, talked for minutes. They made plans for the future. The next day Kaup visited Terry and they discussed their plans for the band, and for saving the world.

This is where the manuscript ends. Unfortunately for all of us except Judy White, the next few months are shrouded in the mists of time. No records from the era exist, but we have been able to piece together what we believed happened from stories kept alive by Gypsys and Midgets. It seems as if Kaup once again disappeared from the Hartboy's radar. Something about moving on up to the east side, and a deluxe apartment in the sky. And he marryed his boss. Pssh, that's the only reason he got the promotion instead of Hurley, cause everyone knows Hurley was more qualified than Kaup. Eric and me, i mean Eric and Terry, formulated a Theory about Eqqs which they used to harrass Emporer Grignard with. They woke up every morning at 6 A.M. during their summer break and put every idea they had into practice. From what I've gathered, it seems like the Hartboys accomplished a lot that summer! Aaron White began working on some sort of Rocket Ship that he believed would carry him to the Planet of Jill, where he hoped to live out his days in the Fields of Timothy. Human beings gave birth to AI. We don't know who struck first, but we do know it was the humans who scorched the sky. Eric and Terry joined the Video crew team, and they would spend their afternoons on the lake practicing their rowing. Kaup discovered the true meaning of the Inter-Net. A bit of hieroglyphics discovered in downtown Rebuck mention The Hart brothers, but the exact meaning is vague. Some scholars read it as "The Hart brothers...foiled a plan by evil pirates [to] take over [the] World..." and some scholars translate it as "The evil Hart brothers...became software pirates..."

Everyone knows what happened next. That's right, purple monkeys! Yeah, and remember the way Old Man Higgins looked after that fateful day? HA HA! I guess he got what he deserved, wouldn't you agree? Anyway, after that very important event that everybody remembers, the Hart brothers went back to college. Eric thought he was cool what with his two room dorm room, and Terry learned the true meaning of United States Geography. He also made a ton of cool music by myself I mean his self. Then during winter break, as all big events seem to occur, something special happened. The Hart brothers rediscovered the true joys of making music. They shared this with Kaup, and he let them onto a little secret: he wanted to get the band back together and perform. Older, wiser, and a little battle scarred from their constant warring with Emporer Grignard, they knew it was now or never. Either they would give it one last hurrah, or they would be doomed to lives of working at gas stations and dining halls. So, they said, all these years the only reason we didn't ever play was cause we didn't have a drummer. Well guess what, we don't NEED a drummer! They have MACHINES that drum! WWWWAAAH!!!! Ironically, the day they discussed this, Kaup mentioned that he found a kid that would love to drum with us. But we're still getting the machine, cause you know how drummers are. That's right, just like Old Man Higgins on that fateful day.

So that's where we are now, I mean that's where they are. I mean He means that's where they are. Shwew, that was a close one. I, Terry Hart, almost gave away the fact that I, Terry Hart, am writing this and not an impartial third party. Oh look, I left the keyboard on, I wonder how long that was like that. Oh well, where was he? Ah yes, Old man Higgins. What a crabby guy! I think it's time we go steal some more of his peaches. So, we don't have a name, we don't have a genre, but we do have what it takes to make it: irrational stubborness and obstinate persistance. We will be in a band, oh yes. Or we'll get real tired trying. Not die trying, that's harsh. Goodbye.

Let this be a warning to you, Emporer Grignard! You may have taken our money, our dignity, our freedom, our voices, our women, our sweet sweet nectar, but you will never take our, wait what do we have left. Oh yeah...that lousy drum machine...

Epilogue

So that's our story. Granted, it's not a good story, I mean there's not much a plot or an ending, or anything really interesting. I actually made a lot of it up. Except for the Old Man Higgins part. His peaches suck, I don't even know why we stole them. The end.
The End: wwwwwWAH!

 

© 1998 by Eric Hart
All Rights Reserved
martiankings@yahoo.com
http://members.tripod.com/~Hartboy