An event which started off as regular live show for the New York band Oneida has spiralled out of control and has the potential to end in tragedy. Oneida regularly perform ‘Ocropolis’ shows - epic improv gigs which last for around twelve hours - both at their Williamsburg rehearsal space and on tour. Now one such ambitious gig, however, has resulted in Oneida’s seemingly eight-armed drum monster Kid Millions becoming trapped within his own rhythm and physically unable to stop drumming. The band were alerted to the catastrophe when organ player Barry London suddenly realised that Millions’ facial gurning no longer expressed the pleasure of being immersed in a krautrock-influenced art-rock jam-throng, but that behind his eyes lay a frighteningly unfamiliar tint of pain and distress. While the rest of the band immediately went to get help (after drawing their parts to a professionally coherent close), Millions’ body continued to pound away at his skins in what has become longest drum solo of all time. Kid Millions has been drumming for ten consecutive days with no sign of cessation or even of slowing down.
Millions’ physical state is said to be under immense strain and discomfort. At first the band struggled to feed him by attempting to hurl sandwiches into his jiggling, gaping mouth at a safe distance from his powerful, floundering arms. Similarly unable to pause his drumming in order to make required trips to the bathroom, Millions soon brought a whole new meaning to the term ‘drum stool’. Doctors have since fitted him with a drip, catheter and colostomy bag, although they are keen to emphasise that this is only a short term method of keeping him stable and that he could still collapse, explode or spontaneously combust at any given moment.
Millions’ condition is recognised in the medical world as Corsano Christitis. Although it is familiar to professional musicians who fear it greatly, it is much rarer than well-known rhythm-related ailments such as Dance Fever, Beatle Mania, and Biggie Smallpox.
In the 1990s, original Pavement drummer Gary Young managed to immunise himself against the condition by spending more time doing acrobatic handstands than actually drumming. While he successfully avoided contracting the illness, his flamboyant antics unfortunately got him fired from the band.
Dave Grohl has such a concern about potential outbreaks of Corsano Christitis that when recording with the Foo Fighters if he even begins to suspect that his drummer might be afflicted, he removes his sticksman from behind the kit by means of a violent kicking motion and takes over the drum part without even missing a beat. Then he overdubs all the rhythm tracks himself just to be on the safe side. Such a response to the condition is not recommended by health experts. Similar to the sudden awaking of sleepwalkers, this extreme approach can induce shock, a heart attack, brain damage, or even plunge the patient into a useless, vegetative state known as ‘full-blown Lars’.
Subtler and safer approaches are highly recommended. In 1975 Genesis managed to coax a sickly Phil Collins from behind his kit simply by getting rid of Peter Gabriel. Ginger Baker can be broken out of a perpetual drum trance by waving a family packet of kettle chips in his general direction, or a massive bag of quality heroin.
The technique with the greatest proven track record of releasing drummers from perpetual beat hypnosis is that trialled by Robert Plant on the patient John Bonham. Trapped in the midst of a fourteen hour version of the Zeppelin track ‘Moby Dick’, Plant accused Bonham of missing a fill. This caused Bonham to stand up, throw his snare at Plant’s head and storm out of the room. Though he called Plant a ‘helium-voiced talentless git’ at the time, he expressed his gratitude at a later date.
While Millions’ medical team have tried a variety of methods to free him from paradiddle hell, none have yet been fruitful.
Unfortunately, Oklahoma life-lovers the Flaming Lips have exacerbated the problem by invading Oneida’s rehearsal space and selfishly attempting to exploit Millions’ dismal condition to their own advantage. They have surrounded his kit with their own equipment and intend to jam with Millions without his consent in order to create a song that will last longer than eternity. The music will be recorded live onto tape by the band’s producer Dave Fridmann and sections of it intermittently released via a series of $10,000 dollar gold encrusted platypus skeletons containing luminous USB sticks which can only be listened to on a bouncy castle.
Even crueller, the Lips have refused to donate any of their profits to Millions’ healthcare, choosing instead to spend the money on obscene amounts of glittery things, a variety of novelty balloon animals and an intergalactic, time-travelling space pod. As he is unfortunate enough to live in a country in which much of the population equates national healthcare with tyrannical Maoism, the Oneida percussionist has accumulated exorbitant medical bills over the course of his ten-day drumathalon. Anyone wishing to make a donation to Kid or his family during this difficult time can do so at www.millionsformillions.net.