Joey Ramone, on stage at the Rainbow in London on New Year’s Eve 1977, apparently recovering from a pre-gig chow-down at a local Indian restaurant, mournfully groaned into his mic, “After eating that Chicken Vindaloo, I wanna be well.” The Ramones then blasted into their next fast and furious tune, leaving us wondering—whoa, what was it about that nice, fiery vindaloo?
You say you haven’t thought about the connection between rock ‘n roll and food? You say it’s probably only about the fancy contract rider backstage platters of lobster and God-knows-what-else big name bands demand on tour?
You’d be wrong. It’s much simpler and more humble than that. And longtime rock ‘n roll soundman, writer and self-proclaimed foodie Bruce Moore has cooked up a cheerfully goofy yet serious feast of road-worthy recipes, collected from hard-working bands around the world.
For Those About to Cook (a riff on AC/DC’s immortal anthem, For Those About to Rock: “We ain’t no legend, ain’t no cause/We’re just livin’ for today.” Heavy stuff, man.) is a rock ‘n roll stew of culinary contributions from fifty-five bands and musicians. Nicely presented and well laid out, each recipe is accompanied by Moore’s complimentary intro, a pic, a bit about the band. But here’s the thing, here’s what gives the book its off-kilter charm—nearly every band photo is a glowering, gonna kick your ass (or worse) collection of long-haired guys—you’ve seen these standard band pictures. We’ve got bands you might not have heard of, like Dusk Machine, Borganzur, Sasquatch Agnostic, Crimson Glory—we’re talking a heavy dose of the metal genre in all its grim incarnations—thrash metal, death metal, extreme Christian death metal, stoner sludge metal, Finnish folk metal. I kid you not. But then the reader, perhaps hesitantly, turns the page and the sepulchral power metal band Crimson Glory scary frontman, Todd La Torre, presents his charming preparation of stuffed artichokes—“The Art of the Choke.” Mom would be proud.
It goes on. We have the badass, guitar-slinging guy from Guns ‘n Roses kindly sharing his recipe for blueberry chocolate chip muffins.
Or metalcore singer Robert Meadows of the band A Life Once Lost humbly offering his Bobby’s Bacon Cheeseburger Explosion. Sounds great. Could also be a great song title. Or band name.
To be sure, though the book is heavy on meat and potatoes guy food, more sensitive, alt-indie-folkie and even one or two out-of-left-field classical music types do inexplicably find their way in. Vegan? Garbanzo beans? Got ‘em. And there’s even Jeremy Haffner of Oedipus, a smiling chef in rock ‘n roll disguise offering his lovely, ready for a nice place in Napa Valley steak pot pie with thyme and cream sauce. Let’s rock.
Overall though, we’re not talking high-end culinary artistry here, just simple, down to earth stuff the boys (or occasional girls) in the band could love. Here’s the first bit of the first concoction in the book, from New Jersey’s A Clever Con:
“Empty the entire box of cereal into a large bowl. I use a metal one, so it’s easier to clean later on. Crack open the cuddly honey bear’s skull, turn him upside down and mix in all of his sticky, gooey delicious insides.”
I’m good with that. And I bet Joey Ramone would be too. Let’s eat.