Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Ever Happened To . . . Schroeder?

In his childhood circle of friends, Schroeder was "the quiet one". Never caused any trouble, didn't want to be the center of attention, he preferred to spend his time practicing the piano and listening to his beloved Beethoven. His only pet peeve was a girl named Lucy Van Pelt, whose unwanted attention and infatuation with Schroeder drove him to distraction.

Lucy's affection blossomed into full-fledged stalking by the time they got to high school, and during his junior year, Schroeder and his parents were forced to file a restraining order against her. That was also the year that Schroeder gave up the piano.

"My love of music never left, but I found out pretty quickly that piano players don't get chicks," Schroeder told Rolling Stone magazine. "At least, not NORMAL chicks. And Beethoven's cool, but after you've played Fur Elise a thousand times, it gets kinda boring. When I was sixteen, I heard my first Hendrix album, and I knew right away that my future was as a guitarist."

With his perfect pitch and natural talent for music, Schroeder took to the guitar immediately, and formed a band called Lucy's Obsession. The band had a distinct sound, blending hard core punk rock with the neo-classical and Romantic elements of European music. During the late '70's, Lucy's Obsession climbed to the top of the charts with their eponymous debut album, featuring the top ten single I Gotta Rock. Schroeder talked about their first bona fide hit in a 1979 interview with Circus Magazine.

"That song (I Gotta Rock) came from my childhood. Every Halloween, a bunch of us would go trick-or-treating and we'd talk about what kind of candy we got at each house. 'I got a candy bar, I got a caramel apple,' stuff like that. Well, there was this one kid with a huge head, I can't remember his name, but he was a total loser. For whatever reason, at every house we went to, all of us got treats except him. He kept getting rocks. So when we showed each other what we'd gotten, he kept saying, 'I got a rock . . . I got a rock.' The phrase just stuck in my head, and it ended up being our biggest hit."

Between 1979 and 1993, Lucy's Obsession recorded seven albums, including the Platinum Psychiatric Help, Five Cents, which was released in 1984. Although the band never really caught on with the mainstream music world, they did receive a lot of attention in 1986, when Schroeder filed a lawsuit against an up-and-coming alternative band called Jane's Addiction.

"Yeah, Jane's Addiction hit the scene right about the same time that the Five Cents album came out," Schroeder recalls. "It was such an obvious rip-off that our lawyers suggested we do something, so we filed the suit. We let them keep the name, but let's just say that some money changed hands."

Jane's Addiction lead singer Perry Farrell could not be reached for comment.

When asked about Lucy Van Pelt, stalker and inspiration for his band's moniker, Schroeder became agitated. "She really made my life difficult in high school," he said. "When we were little, she was just annoying, but as we got older, she pretty much freaked out. She'd send me articles of clothing in the mail, follow me home from school, peek in my bedroom window at night. My parents eventually went to court and put an end to it. She still shows up at our concerts sometimes, though. I think she's got a thing for [the band's drummer] Steve now."

Confusion still remains as to whether "Schroeder" is the guitarist's first or last name. Rumors have surfaced claiming that his real name is Heinz von Schroeder and he is actually descended from Nazi war criminals. Other sources claim that his name is Schroeder Reinhardt, and that he is a relative of jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. There has been no clear evidence either way, and Schroeder himself refuses to tell. "I've heard the rumors, of course, and they're all wrong. And now that the band and I are famous, I kinda like the mystery. There are lots of one-named musicians. Sting. Bono. Slash. So that's just who I am. Schroeder."

Lucy's Obsession reunited in 2008 after a fifteen-year sabbatical, and is currently touring the U.S. opening for Linkin Park.

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34 comments:

Homemaker Man said...

That is so very clever. Really well done.

otin said...

Funny Guy!! This was the last thing that I read before I headed off to work. It is always great to start the day with a laugh!

Lucy's obsession! Psychiatric help 5 cents! LMAO!!!

One day I will change your name in my linky poem!!!!

Gaston Studio said...

Also LMAO at the Five Cents sign. And agree wholeheartedly this is so very well done! Thanks for giving me a smile this morning.

Jane

P.S. I love Schroeder!

huginnmuninnandme said...

You make my day with these . . .

Grumpy, M.D. said...

What about the part where he's on VH1 "After the music".

"The Lucy kid once threw my piano in the river, or a manhole, I don't remember. But that traumatized me. As a kid it was easy to replace a POS toy piano, but not a custom-made Gibson Schroedercaster Blaster. We had to stop touring for a month when she did that, and during that time was when one of our groupies, I think her name was Violet, or maybe Sally, but she first taught me about mixing JD with a bowl of Goop, and I just began using that stuff more and more..."

Mr. Condescending said...

Crap I thought I was going to make knuckleheads blogger of the week!

Now I'm gonna chuck all my Lucy's Obsession albums out, call linus van pelt, and send the giant pumpkin out after you.

Mike said...

Dood, you need to get paid for this shit.

Nanodance said...

Well done, as always.

CatLadyLarew said...

Does 50 Cent know about the five cents album? He might want a piece of the action and you wouldn't want a piece of that.

Ice Queen said...

Surely they could have carried their own tour. I loved those guys!

Michelle H. said...

Lucy's Obsession is touring with Linkin Park? Where can I buy tickets? Seriously.

Hmm... will Lucy finally crack and do something dastardly? Inquiring minds want to know!

jdemott said...

Excellent! Funny, creative, nostalgic. Very good stuff.

Quirkyloon said...

And did you know I was Lucy's Obsession number one fan?

I absolutely loved their album Psychiatric Help.Five Cents. And I bought multiple copies of it (to the tune -pun intended- of 100 copies or so).

Hey, when I like something. I REALLY like it.

Schroder RAWKS!!!

Carl Vine said...

Bravo! Very funny!

Sandee said...

Excellent. Thanks for my morning chuckle.

Have a terrific day. :)

The Good Cook said...

Brilliant. Just brilliant!! Thanks for the memories.

Jenn Thorson said...

Beautifully done! Schroeder's always been a fave of mine. And PS- "Gotta Rock" was excellent. :)

Me-Me King said...

Wow, awesome writing. So awesome, I'm going to share it with the world!

ReformingGeek said...

Where's the giant pumpkin?

I guess Schroeder was too busy for such nonsense!

Knucklehead said...

@Homemaker Man: Thank you very much!

@otin: I was wondering about that poem of yours. And I'm glad you got a chuckle here!

@Gaston Studio: Thank you! Schroeder and Linus were always my favorites.

@Mr. C: Sorry, dude, it was a really competitive week this time around. I'm sure you'll be up there soon!

@Mike: I only wish. Thanks!

@Nanodance: Muchas gracias!

@CatLady: Don't tell Mr. Cent. I prefer that my ass not have a cap busted in it.

@Ice Queen: They did in the 80's but now they're more of a novelty act. Like Styx.

@Michelle: I do think that tour is coming to the Pittsburgh area in January.

@jdemott: Thanks!

@Quirk: Schroeder and the boys appreciate your support.

@Carl: Thanks so much!

@Sandee: Any time, tell a friend.

@Good Cook: I appreciate the kindness.

@Jenn T: "I Gotta Rock" just kinda came to me. Poor ol' Charlie Brown.

@MeMe: Tell EVERYONE! I need to boost the ol' Follower base to pre-Knucklehead levels.

@Geek: Schroeder was always the focused one of the gang.

THANKS EVERYONE! PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD!

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

You, sir, are the master of Whatever Happened To stories, and this is one of your best. Love it, especially the bit about his name!

Candice said...

Very well done indeed!

Rae said...

aw Schroeder. I was watching South park last night and the boys wanted to be in a boy band and they had Schroeder doing the piano during auditions.

Beth said...

So funny! How do you come up with these stories? Is it the special mushrooms?

Samsmama said...

Oh my gosh, this was beyond brilliant! "This one kid with a huge head"...awesome!!!

J Giddy said...

Outstanding! Schroeder was always my favorite as a child - but I had lost track of where he had moved on to. Thank you for shedding some light on where he'd gone!!

Candy's daily Dandy said...

the thing is, chicks really dig the dark, quiet ones...

And the rock thing at Halloween...just pure brillinace. I had completely forgotten about that.

Isabella said...

Really creative. I'm so glad I found your blog.

f8hasit said...

YOUR funny...
Love the new addition to your banner.
:-)

Your a freak.
I love freaks.

moooooog35 said...

Schroeder was last seen hanging out with Prince, Cher and Kramer.

You're welcome.

f8hasit said...

Oh.
One more thing.
YOU're 17th on mine, yet I'm 30th on yours.

Hmmm.
:-)

Don said...

If you’re in a school band - marching band, concert band, jazz band or even rock band, you have to check out the new Rhett & Link School Band Rap video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CTDEteVMIA&feature=PlayList&p=F46A2A099A1F7398&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=61

Chrissy said...

You know, I've always wondered what happened to Schroeder.

Jenn said...

I'll have to get out & check them out on tour they sound like maybe they're fairly rockin. They will be so much bigger than Linkin Park.

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