Anthrax Goatstrangler is - arguably - the most infamous and influential rock musician still alive on the planet today. His seminal ‘difficult’ second album with his band The Electric Cost Accountants - Sausages Are Not The Only Purple Reindeers - invariably tops most of those incessant Best albums polls.
The album does seem dated - if not quaint - now, but Goatstrangler was the first rock artist to combine the beats of electro-hip-hop, Morris dancing, the lyrical complexity of Jon Anderson at his must cosmically obscure, verbose and irrelevant, and the cutting-edge musical experimentation of Chas 'n' Dave with the now-fabled knitwear of Val Doonican. Goatstrangler also has a musical virtuosity almost unknown in rock music since the great days of the washboard in the skiffle era, and is notorious as the first ever (and, so far, only) rockstar to play the electric spoons.
Anthrax Goatstrangler first came to notice as the lead electric spoons player in the seminal British retro-post-punk-blues-reggae-revival band Toasted Weasel Event. TWE were soon infamous for their three-hour jams around such perennial standards as Tea For Two, She Must Be A Lesbian and, of course, Ignite My Love Rocket, Baby, Then Stand Well Back.
The legendary drink, drug and groupie excesses of TWE are now the stuff of legendary legends, and some of those stories may even be almost true. Everyone, these days, knows the story of how the TWE bassist (Vas) Defrens Volegrater stayed up until almost nine-fifteen one evening, whilst on tour in Bromsgrove, almost building up the courage to ask a groupie if he could hold her hand, if only for a minute.
TWE split - due to musical differences - in the late 70s when Volegrater had the nerve to laugh at Goatstrangler's socks - calling them 'pink and girly'. Goatstrangler threw down his spoons, walked out of the rehearsal and caught the next train back to Welshpool.
Six days later, after emerging from a lemonade and cod-liver oil capsule drink and drug orgy, Goatstrangler formed The Electric Cost Accountants. In those heady days, it took only seven years, and some rather sordid blackmailing of record company executives, for TECA to get a recording contract. A few weeks later, they started out on a major world tour of Iceland's smaller and more obscure breakfast cafes.
The overwhelming indifference from the music press that greeted The Electric Cost Accountants infamous second album Sausages Are Not The Only Purple Reindeers seems hard to credit these days. Nevertheless, that was nothing compared to the indifference shown by the record buying public.
The album's reputation grew though through word of mouth (usually the words 'what the fuck is that crap you're playing?'). Therefore, by the end of the year, it had sold almost seven copies, and was unceremoniously deleted from the record company catalogue. The album therefore became an instant classic and - while, of course, remaining totally un-listenable for any sane or reasonable person - its almost-total obscurity meant the critics loved it, and it soon became the must-have album for the aspiring hipster.
Consequently - Anthrax Goatstrangler and the Electric Cost Accountants became the name for any music journalist to drop in order to demonstrate just how cool and hip they imagined they were, thus giving Sausages Are Not The Only Purple Reindeers and Anthrax Goatstrangler and the Electric Cost Accountants their now-unassailable places in the fairy tale that is rock history.