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Local Artist’s Brexit experience comes home?

 
stonehenge_shirtless

Davin Stedman & Massy Ferguson at Stonehenge

When the majority of the UK woke up the next morning after the good folks of Great Britain decided voted to unhinge themselves from the European Union, they were in a state of shock, anger, sadness and despair. Sensible minds thought that there was no way that the people would vote for what could be perceived by most as an insane proposition. Many of us will feel the same way when we wake up and realize that Donald Trump and all that he stands for will lead our country and sit in The White House. Some friends of ours and yours happened to be in the UK during Brexit, this past summer, which would ultimately become a key indicator of how the 2016 election would end up. To our brothers and sisters in the UK, we feel your pain and so does the stock market.
 
Spinal Tap, Brexit and Frontal Nudity: When Seattle’s Davin Stedman and Massy Ferguson met at Stonehenge (An Oral History) Special to SMI
 
Scott Rowe (British Drummer, Brighton, UK): Why go to Stonehenge? Why not go to Stonehenge?  I think it’s imperative for any touring musician (laughs)
 
Shaun Whitehouse ((Massy Ferguson tour manager, driver, British guy, Brighton UK): I sacrificed a full English (breakfast), turned the van up to 11 and hit the 303 freeway to Stonehenge.
 
Scott: Well, I was dragged by an American to go and meet more Americans. I was nervous to be honest, never interviewed anyone before so I was trying to keep my cool.
 
Davin Michael Stedman (Band leader of The Staxx Brothers, Promoter, TV personality, Everett, WA): I really sold it to SMI as a chance to get a cutting edge interview. But ever since I was a boy that discovered national geographic underneath an older cousin’s mattress, I have fantasized about paying a nominal fee to get an American Football field away from Stonehenge. I always wanted whip out my disposable camera from my fanny pack and capture its Druid glory. By the time I finally got there I had to settle for using an iphone. 
 
Ethan Anderson (Massy Ferguson singer/bassist): Davin and I were talking about meeting up for an interview for Seattle Music Insider while we were on tour and it seemed like the most British thing we could do would be to go to Stonehenge and do the interview there. So we went thousands of miles to do an interview we could have pulled off in Ballard. Though banshees don’t dwell in Ballard. Actually, I take that back …
 
Fred Slater (Massy Ferguson keys player): It is a perfect setting.
 
Shaun: Stonehenge will be nice when it’s finished
 
Fred: The interview was just like, you know, meeting two new best friends, except under a garden hose.
 
Shaun: Let’s just say it was moist
 
Davin: English rain is maybe the shittiest kind of rain I’ve ever experienced. They say they are many kinds of rain on this sceptered isle, but I only experienced the shitty kind. It’s like Hawaiian rain in that it comes and goes. But unlike Hawaiian rain, it’s not a refreshing tropical pause from paradise. It’s just an odd mix of muggy, chilling, and inpolite. It’s no wonder their comedy aspires to be so dry. I’d just come back from Glastonbury where it rained every day, but only after I heard someone say, “it looks like it’s not going to rain today.” But after a Glastonbury that was Spring Break. I was just thrilled to no longer be crawling in mud in my muddy tent, and that sat upon a billion gallons of mud and post Brexit, liberal tears. 
 
At Glastonbury, while I had the time of my life, it became clear why the Romans finally said, “____ this rain and ___ “. That’s when history records that they threw the keys to South to the Saxons, and declared upon soggy ground to their legion, “you don’t have to go home, but we can’t stay here.” 
 
Scott: It was a pretty special experience for me as my only experience until this day was Spinal Tap so getting to go and hangout with Massy and Davin for the day at Stonehenge was awesome.
 
Davin: Stonehenge said this to me: 
 
 “Look, even if the British go the way of the Druids after Brexit, there will be a whole new culture to displace this charming society. But Stonehenge is still going to be here, and this new civilization will still have no idea what the *&%$ Stonehenge was for.” They will look back on the British, and they will say it was for raves. 
 
Ethan: The day we landed at Gatwick was the Brexit vote, went to bed and we started the tour by waking up in London the next morning to the sound of helicopters and news trucks moving around town because Brexit passed. A guy in Trafalgar Square was screaming “Britain for the Brits!”. So things were getting “real” – real quick. David Cameron resigned as we drove to our first gig. The second night of the tour, a guy said to me “So, you’re Americans. Where’s your friend Donald Trump?” So being at Stonehenge after Brexit was … complicated.
 
Ethan: It just so happened that our driver in the UK had a DVD player in his van and it just so happened that he had a copy of Spinal Tap. So we had this surreal experience driving to Stonehenge while watching the Stonehenge scene from Spinal Tap. I think, deep down, Spinal Tap had something to do with us going to Stonehenge.
 
Fred: No way was Spinal Tap an influence on us going.  Spinal Tap just talked about it.  They didn’t actually go.  I think we are operating at a higher level.  If Spinal Tap were an influence, we would have flown to Milwaukee and gone to Shank Hall.
 
Davin: If it wasn’t for Spinal Tap, and Stonehenge would be condos. That’s what’s happening in Seattle. We basically we went to Stonehenge because Spinal Tap had a lot of nice things to say about it, and I wanted to see it before it’s gone. And I wanted to see it before the international heritage site was privatized and rebranded as Hedge Stone, a gated weekend community for bankers. Rust never sleeps, and Air BnB cannot die. Civilization is coming to Stonehenge. It will survive in our hearts as an app. 
 
Shaun: (sings) “No-one knows why we went there…”

 fullsizerenderSpinal Tap “Stonehenge” Actual Lyrics

In ancient times, 
Hundreds of years before the dawn of history
Lived a strange race of people, the Druids
No one knows who they were or what they were doing
But their legacy remains
Hewn into the living rock, of Stonehenge
Stonehenge! Where the demons dwell
Where the banshees live and they do live well
Stonehenge! Where a man’s a man
And the children dance to the Pipes of Pan
Stonehenge! ‘Tis a magic place
Where the moon doth rise with a dragon’s face
Stonehenge! Where the virgins lie
And the prayers of devils fill the midnight sky
And you my love, won’t you take my hand?
We’ll go back in time to that mystic land
Where the…
Adam Monda (guitar player, Massy Ferguson): I’d always wanted to go to Stonehenge.
 
Ethan: What we didn’t plan for was the pissing rain … and that Davin would start stripping when we got there
 
Adam: Davin is a force of nature.
 
Davin: I had goosebumps …  Because I didn’t have a shirt on most of the time.
 
Ethan: When he took off his shirt, I think we all wondered just how far he was going to go. Stark naked? Seemed possible. It added some much needed “drama” to a thousands of years old sacred site that, honestly, was just sitting there, being old and not entertaining us Americans – we need to be amused every second of the day (laughs). As one Seattlite once said, “Here we are now, entertain us”. Davin definitely make me feel more American that day. 
 
Scott: (Laughs) We got there and then I was like … he actually did it!
 
Shaun: My thought was, is (Davin) about to spontaneously combust? If he does, who’ll report it?
 
Fred: Davin was really getting into British culture there.  Showing his sensitivity.  Blending in.  Watch any English Premier League soccer game, and you’ll see—the players take off their shirts at the end of each game.
 
Ethan: The funny thing is we were all laughing and taking pictures of Davin, us with him, me with him, Scott with him, and then this Chinese tourist lady whips out her camera and motions something to Davin. We thought she wanted him to get in position so she could get a pic with him too. Then we realized that she was motioning to him like, “get out of the way, a*&hole, I’m trying to get a picture of Stonehenge!” She was utterly unimpressed by a half-naked American posing in front of Stonehenge in the pissing rain.
 
Chinese tourist lady (approximated translation of what she might have said): I wanted that big American to get out of the way of the sacred, ancient monument.
 
Davin: People really took notice. If you want to take control of a situation, take your shirt off in public. It shows people that you know you’re in charge and you’re not afraid of the rules, or being served, or being asked to leave. It’s really a flimsy taboo. I have a unique figure. It’s like a body builder really let himself go 5 or 10 years ago. I’m like a soft gorilla. Things did go sideways rather quickly. I thought this starry eyed old Asian couple was taking photos of me, until they used some universal body language techniques to show me that I was ruining their view of ancient Stonehenge with my modern dad bod. 
 
Scott: When he took off his shirt, I felt like I was also an American tourist.
 
Shaun: Seriously, it’s always a treat to get share our “real old” stuff with you guys and a relief when no-one decides to reciprocate for Ozzy at the Alamo
 
Davin: Let’s be honest, English take Stonehenge for granted. It’s the equivalent of their troll under the Fremont Bridge or that disgusting yet colorful tuberculosis wall you stick gum on. I grew near a town called Mill Creek that was drawn up by the Japanese, in the early 80’s to attract rubes who thought their new money was old because the entire city was wrapped around a golf course like bacon. I’m drawn towards ancient Britain, which for the citizens of Mill Creek is Pre-1979.
 
Scott: And where are they now? The little “Americans” at Stonehenge and what would they say to us if we were here, tonight?
 
Ethan: I felt like I had a British “moment” at Stonehenge. It’s an amazing place – crazy thing is from what I’ve heard, up until recently, you could go walk in between the stones. I think you can credit Spinal Tap for popularizing it, at least a little bit, and taking away that privilege. Plus, the sausage roll I had at the gift shop café wasn’t bad either.

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Not only is he a multi-media journalist, he is also an accomplished musician. He is the founder of SMI and drives the creative look, feel and branding for the publication. His years of writing, arranging, and performing live music in a variety of genres inform his ability to communicate the message and the mechanics of music. Roth’s work on SMI reflects his philosophy that music is the universal language, and builds community. He believes it has the power to unite people of every race, religion, gender, and persuasion.