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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Give America Gumption Again



[This video is dedicated to Kathleen Murphy, whose support of our boys is as constant as the sun]

If you're new in these parts, Unorganized Hancock is an Intergalactabilly Band from Maine. If you're a regular reader, well, Unorganized Hancock is still an Intergalactabilly Band from Maine. The band consists entirely of my two sons, a plywood bass player named Laverne, and a whole lot of gumption. I call them The Heir and The Spare. Sunshine and Ravioli. Garlic and Gaelic.

This video is fresh off the assembly line, but they recorded Go, Go, Go! sometime in 2015, I think, when The Heir was hey nineteen, and the The Spare was eleven years old. The Heir sings and plays the guitar, bass, and keyboards, and The Spare plays the drums and tells jokes.

It's a song about gumption, as I said.
gumption
[guhmp-shuh n]
noun, Informal.
1.
initiative; aggressiveness; resourcefulness:
With his gumption he'll make a success of himself.
2.
courage; spunk; guts:
It takes gumption to quit a high-paying job.
3.
common sense; shrewdness.
My kids have gumption, and recognize it when they see it, hence the video, but that dictionary definition is way off. It takes gumption to quit a high-paying job? That's like telling me it takes gumption to rope and brand a Sasquatch. Let's stick to the possibles, as the cowboys used to say. It takes gumption to keep working for peanuts. It takes gumption to keep going when it's hard, not to quit when it's easy.

The Heir and the Spare know all about that. They recorded this song in an attic room without heat or electricity. They dutifully dragged an extension cord down the hall whenever they wanted to play. That's gumption.

What's Unorganized Hancock Up To Now?

 

Stay with me, and I'll explain. In 2015, the boys entered a contest to write and perform the fight song for the local minor-league hockey team, the Lewiston-Auburn Fighting Spirit. The couple who own and operate the team are some of the nicest people I've ever met. It's hard to run a semi-pro hockey team in an out of the way place. It takes gumption.

The contest was promoted by the local radio station, Z-105.  They're in Auburn, Maine. They have an affiliated station called WOXO, too, which broadcasts from Mexico, Maine, just over the river from where we live. They also have a studio in Norway. Norway? Mexico? Maine's funky, isn't it? It takes gumption to live here.

The children were interviewed on the radio station as part of the promotion. I was amazed by the people that own and operate that company. It's nearly impossible to make a go of it in the radio business in this day and age. They manage it while being pleasant to everyone. That's impossible, I know, but they do it all the same. They have gumption.


The universe still rewards gumption from time to time. My kids won the contest with another song they wrote called Spirit Score!. The hockey team loved it. They were all 19 years old or so, and wonderful young men. They treated The Spare Heir like a little brother, and made him feel ten feet tall. One of the greatest moments in my life was standing in the concrete runway between the rows of seats in the Lewiston Colisee and hearing Spirit Score! blaring over the PA system when the team skated out onto the ice, and again every time they scored. They scored a lot. That team has gumption.

Unorganized Hancock signed a contract to have the song played for one year at the rink, to make it all legal. The following year, the team had another band write another fight song. The hockey team refused to play unless the old fight song was restored. It was. That took gumption.

Which Leads Us To 

 

My boys were interviewed on Z-105 a few more times after that. The station noticed that The Heir had a sonorous voice, and he had the kind of aplomb that radio hosts need. They hired him. He's now on the air six hours a night, five nights a week. He sometimes hosts call-in shows on the weekends, too. That takes gumption.

The radio job was too far away from our home for him to drive back and forth, so we lost him to the world. It's a hard thing to raise your children to leave you. It takes gumption, and breaks your heart a bit.

The Unorganized Hancock YouTube page recently passed 100,000 views, a notable milestone for them, I thought. Their performance of Minor Swing has over 25,000 views, although their live version of the song is, er, livelier. But Go, Go, Go! is their own thing. It encapsulates their approach to life. They have gumption. I hope the Go, Go, Go! video helps to Give America Gumption Again.

Say, that's a cool slogan. We should make hats.

You can download an MP3 of Go Go Go! at their Bandcamp page for 99 cents if you like:


Of course you're welcome to listen to it for free by hitting play on the YouTube video, too. Unorganized Hancock just wants to get a little more gumption out in the world, and doesn't care how it happens.

[Update: Many thanks to Michael K. for leaving a big fat tip on the boys' Bandcamp page. It is very much appreciated]
[Update: Many thanks to Kevin S. for leaving a tip on the boys' Bandcamp page. It is much appreciated]
[Additional Update: Many thanks to longtime friend Dinah H. for her generous contribution to the PayPal tipjar. It is very much appreciated]

9 comments:

julie said...

I was just thinking of this song the other day. We went to a Panther's game, and after listening to their choice of intro music I figured they'd be a million times better off with this instead.

Joan of Argghh! said...

A wonderful update on the Heir. What news of the Spare?

Sam L. said...

Good to hear of the Heir's new gig, but what's the Spare doing to keep busy?

Good to see the tricycle gear on the airplane; we often see the landing gear coming down from the belly (of a B-52) and rotating to face forward) in these shots.

Larry Geiger said...

" It's a hard thing to raise your children to leave you. It takes gumption, and breaks your heart a bit." This.

Hang in there pops, grandchildren help to put that heart back together again, just a little.

Hank LeMien said...

Sipp, thanks for the update. I'm happy to see you are posting. I stop by the site most days to catch an update on you and the boys or whatever you might have for us. Glad the heir found his gig, but wonder how the spare is doing.

Thud said...

Wow! ta for the update, onwards and upwards hey?

Eclecticity said...

Amazing. Justly proud of those boys indeed. Thanks for the update. E.

Ken said...

That's a good track. Reminds me a bit of Ben Folds Five's "Sports and Wine" (and I mean that as high praise). Those are boys to be proud of.

SippicanCottage said...

Hi Ken- Thanks for reading and commenting, and for your kind words about my boys.