Welcome to a special one-off version of The Unvarnished Truth... the blog of choice for discerning PDC fans and honey farmers everywhere.



The Sting Of Losing A Loved One


As I type this blog out on my sunny, spacious and palatial deck in Dustbowl, Alberta, I watch a wasp flit about the half glass of vino I've just placed upon the ledge.

"Hello, innocent woodland creature looking for food and adventure," I say to myself, marveling at nature's creation when the little bastard does an Olympian swan dive into my formerly delicious red and begins to swim around with reckless (and not to mention disrespectful) abandon thereby rendering my elixir undrinkable. After the shock of such wanton insectoid douchebaggery, I proceeded to discard both bevvie and squatter, never again to fulfill either's planetary duty.


Suffice it to say that wasps are, indeed, the assholes of the bug world.


This was the end. And now the bee-ginning.... 



Beard Of Bees: The Epic Tail


By now, you've undoubtedly feasted your starving eyes on the Beard Of Bees video: the story of a man in a funny hat, accompanied by his compatriots in funny hats journeying thru hell's half acre searching for love & acceptance. Let the allegorical conjecture begin!

Now I'm not here to explain or interpret the video's obvious geopolitical, religious and social implications, no sir. Far be it from me to tell you what to do. We have an editor for that. (Editor's Note: Purchase the new Punch Drunk Cabaret album, Electrik Steamshow NOW! Available thru cdbaby, iTunes or the trunk of Sawbones's car.) 


This is the story of the "making of" process. Hopefully, your queries may be answered by this detailed chronicling. Like:


 - How'd they do that?

 - How much did it cost?


And more probing, personal inquiries like:


 - Is Bandmeister Randy B's face ok?

 - Is Capt. Sean E. Watts kneeling for demeaning reasons?

 - Is Sawbones actually ordained?


Read on, my dear literary voyeur, for all the juicy answers!



Part I: Flight of The Bumble


Making a video ain't no picnic. And though, normally, bees aren't welcome at picnics, we spat in nature's face and invited all the bee imagery we could handle at the "band rocking without actually playing" portion of the shoot. This took place at a secret location near Punch Drunk's homebase of Dustbowl, AB. The producer/editor of our last two vids, Point Of View's Mark Remple, handled the task once again -- mainly because we have trust issues but that's a story for another time and our therapist.



                  The requisite prep time                                                                Shooting a camera angle, shooting another camera angle, etc., etc.


A loft barn was procured and away we went, into the fantasy world of rock video making. An odd, unnatural process, it involves a lot of "hurry up and wait" as well as "miming" or "lip-synching". Since none of us are as able as your Britney-Ashlee-Milli Vanilli types, we just pretended we were on a giant stage in front of thousands of people opening for Britney, Ashlee or Milli Vanilli.



BRB going over his mark... in his beekeeper's helmet?                          Sawbones in the spotlight... or beneath a bullet hole in the ceiling, one of the two


Once we got going with our pretend rocking, things loosened up on the set. Our director, Mark, and his lovely assistant, Crystal (also his loving wife) made the mood comfy for us. Musicians can be neurotic types and need constant acceptance, reassurance and comments about their hair.... well this one does, anyway.



The "Queen" scene: The Remples set up while Bandmeister prepares for his closeup...   and Cap't Sean without pants. 'Nuff said.


As untroubled and relaxed a working environment as possible, it only masked the obvious foreshadowing of the latter part of the shoot --  traversing the wilds of the Alberta Badlands! In the meantime...



Things Overheard During The Loft Scenes


 - You need to project more strength


 - Is that on the darknet?


 - Must.... project.... strength.


 - Hey baby, you got a big crunch for me?


 - You're projecting too much strength


 - The last thing I need you to see is me shitting myself while I'm pushing



Part II - The Birds & The Bees... And The Damned Mosquitoes


Later on in the month, we attempted to finish the story of the intrepid trio's search for the Queen Bee (played seductively by the ravishing Nina May Laderoute). This meant a day trip to "all hell for a basement"... the Southern Alberta Badlands! Little did we know that what lay before us would test the very longanimity of our fortitude.

Band members, one actress and three crew (incl. crack drone camera operator Larrie Thomson) made up the day's video team.

Tool of the trade: camera with cat mount... mouse mount. Weasel mount? Whatever.


We traveled down the highway to the Drumheller area for the character shots. Nina applied her detailed makeup in a moving vehicle the entire way -- an expert & steady hand creating the coquettish countenance required for her part. Reminds me of the time I tried to remove a contact lens while driving... to unsavory results.


Miss Nina gettin' her bee on


The principal characters in this epic vid were:


 - The bridegroom-to-bee (Editor's Note: ha!)

 - The bride or "queen bee"

 - The groomsman

 - The chain-smoking clergyman



Little cast on the prairie


The story was basically the three of us roaming around hell's half-acre to rendezvous with this mysterious lady for reasons of a matrimonial nature. In reality, your costumed heroes traipsed around the desert plains of southern Alberta all day, inviting all manner of peril and/or distress. This didn't show in the final cut of the video being the thespian powerhouses that we are. But trust me, it weren't pretty.



Director Remple, Bandmeister Randy B, drone cameraman Thomson.... hot, sweaty, mosquito-bitten visionaries


 Capt. Sean E. Watts -- multi-talented and multi-hatted


The entire lot of us were attacked by blood-sucking insects of all varieties while high-stepping thru the local prickly flora with temperatures in the high 20's. In full costume, I might add. Bein' the spineless city slicker your ol' Sawbones is, I may have been the only one complaining. Or perhaps it was only a soft whimpering, not sure. Ask my band mates. I do know that my man card (of which I am a proud charter member, thank you!) was conspicuously missing from my wallet.


At the end of a very long day full of pith & peril, the weary band and crew had completed the herculean task of filming the "Beard Of Bees" rock video without big budget, corporate help nor, ahem, buzz. No animals, insectoid or otherwise, were harmed during the making of this project. Unless you count horseflies & mosquitoes... and they're just the unholy minions of hell, anyway, so that doesn't count. 

Now that doesn't mean there weren't any casualties....



Sawbones Items Lost During Video Shoot


 - Rope sash that Bandmeister gave me (never lend me stuff!)


 - Steampunk rosary that was made for me by a kindly Red Deer bar waitress (never make me stuff!)


 -  Any remaining interest I had in hiking or the outdoors in general



Royal Jelly


Thanks to the queenly Nina May Laderoute, the equally queenly Larrie Thomson and the pollenesque tandem of Crystal & Mark Remple for sharing and helping execute the vision of our third official music video! Here now is Mark with a visual sum-up of the day. Not to be confused with his skills. In fact, it might make him look bad in the end. Oh what the hell.... who's gonna read this anyhow?????


And that's the unvarnished truth.