REMINISCENT MONDAY: The Foo Fighters Keep It Clean
    • MONDAY, APRIL 24, 2017

    • Posted by: Robert Steiner

    Say what you will about the state of rock music, but at least the Foo Fighters are still around. Sure, they might not be everyone's cup of tea, but they're one of the few widely recognized rock bands left that are still putting out pretty solid music and selling out stadiums wherever they go. Aside from the music, the band has probably also gotten this far because they're honestly pretty damn likable, and they always take the opportunity to not take themselves too seriously. Take their many ridiculous music videos, for example, or their Carrie inspired Ice Bucket Challenge, or Dave Grohl's "solo" announcement video. As superficial the music world can be, it's nice to see massively successful musicians with an actual sense of humor.

    The band has always been up for practical jokes and stunts, but one of their most memorable and elaborate moments came all the way back in August 30, 2011. It was a simpler time back then: The iPhone 4 was brand-new, the Occupy movement was fighting for the 99 percent, and it seemed that home-grown hate, intolerance, and bigotry couldn't get any worse than the Westboro Baptist Church (my my, things have changed). The WBC, the widely disgusting thorn in the US' side, occasionally made headlines for picketing public events, rallies, and even soldiers' funerals in the name of some bastardized version of God, and they planned on doing the same thing at the Foos' Kansas City show. The band caught wind of the group's plans ahead of the concert, and they weren't going to let a bunch of sign-wielding homophobes picket their show without messing with them first.



    A few days before the show, the band unceremoniously dropped a new song via YouTube called "Keep It Clean (Hot Buns)." The track was a lot more country compared to the band's usual no-BS rock approach to songwriting, and upon a closer listen, it also contained some, shall we say, compelling lyrics: "Drivin' all night, got a hankerin' for somethin' / Think I'm in the mood for some hot man muffins." If you didn't catch on by the son's end, it can basically be summed up as a classic country-style anthem about truckers making hot, sweaty man-love to each other. It was weird, for sure, but was also a damn convincing country song. Convincing enough, perhaps, to fool a homophobe, who also happens to be a fan of country music, into listening to a song about gay sex.



    Shortly after the song premier, the band released another video, this time depicting them as longhaired truckers taking a break at a rest stop. It all seems pretty normal, that is until they all take a dip in the communal shower and start dancing naked to Queen. It was definitely hilarious, but most fans still had no clue what the hell the band was trying to do. They even started selling "Keep It Clean" trucker hats on their website (which, sadly, are no longer available), so how serious was this country alter-ego band? Was this just one of the craziest rebranding campaigns ever, or was this leading to something else?



    The band luckily didn't keep fans waiting for an answer for too long, as they posted an official video from the Kansas City show showing their days-long plan in action. There was the WBC as they promised, but before long, the Foos changed into their trucker outfits from the "Hot Buns" video, rolled out on a mobile stage draped in American flags, and played their gay country love ballad right to the protestors' faces. And they played the whole thing, along with some Dave Grohl ad-libbing about "men loving women, women loving men, men loving men, and women loving women!" Not only did it leave WBC right at the band's mercy, but it also took any scrap of attention they were clinging to away from them, as the non-horrible crowd gathered around the singing truckers for a quick pre-show. It was a brilliant way to give WBC the finger without spewing a word of hate, and five years later, the Foo truckers' message of keepin' it clean and lovin' one another still holds up today.
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