Out of the Sarcophagus: It’s The Mummies! -By Johnny Mystery

Written by on April 12, 2022

You just blew your last five bucks on a Filet-O-Fish sandwich and a box of Screaming Yellow Zonkers but you’re a “vinyl junkie geek” and you have to have that 45 which just hit the secondary market. So, what are you gonna do?  You find the nearest ATM because it’s another dateless Friday night and you have time on your hands as usual. What luck! You’ve got enough cash now to run back to the all-night record shop and get that limited press copy of “Only Sold at The Shows” single by The Mummies. Better hurry though, their other local fan is sure to be scrambling for that rare slab of wax.

 This is your life now. You are under the spell of a group whose work ethic flies in the face of what the ”music biz” deems a clear cut, tried and true formula. The Mummies record with the crudest methods available. They insult and tease their audience relentlessly. They engage each other on stage. They use obscene language to describe modern formats. Their records are pressed up in such small quantities, that if you don’t catch them on release date, you’re going to blow the grocery money on one when you find it. 

Take this as a warning, if you’re lucky enough to get one of their records, you’ll think there’s something wrong with your turntable or perhaps your speakers. What you hear is the way it’s supposed to sound. The Mummies are just so freaking great, you don’t need that sterling production value. It would in fact be something of a hindrance.                                                       

One of their true charms is they don’t take the world, themselves, or the music industry very seriously. How refreshing it is to find a bunch of guys with great talent who make fun of what people consider art now. Rock n roll was meant to entertain the working masses by sucking you into the beat! And they’ve been going at it off and on for over 30 years. 

I myself became one of their victims. My fault was coming late to the party. By chance I heard “(You Must Fight to Live) On the Planet of the Apes” on a national radio program, which shall remain nameless at this time. It was already over 10 years old by the time I discovered them, but that one song got me hooked.

The Mummies are primarily a West Coast group, so whenever I find one of their recordings, it’s usually being sold by someone out in California, Oregon or Washington. You probably don’t want to spend the time or the money, running down their recordings, even though it’s worth it, at least in my opinion. 

They’re all over YouTube of course. Check out the stage antics, people. You’ll fall on the floor! The keyboard player flings and spins his Farfisa combo organ like a kindergarten Keith Emerson. They all dress like mummies and they get extra points for being able to perform so well with all those loose bandages flying around.

 The Mummies play down and dirty original “budget rock” as they call it, as well as surf and cover tunes. Check out their version of The Beatles “I’m Down.” Another one I suggest is “My Love Is Stronger Than Dirt.” That tune being loosely based on an Ajax commercial from the sixties. The hilarious “Planet of the Apes” is brilliant, in my opinion.

Apparently, there is a jazz incarnation of The Mummies with extra members. I don’t know enough about that version of the band yet. Perhaps we’ll talk about them in the future. I’m having too much fun listening to them this way. They are loud, obnoxious and low-fi and that’s just the way I like it. It really is hard to find an honest group of rockers who stick to unpopular principles these days, but The Mummies fit the bill and they don’t care what you think.

Now get out and hit the bins…

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