The relationship between OCG and Svenson soon soured for reasons neither party is legally free to discuss. Rumors point to a series of Svenson-backed Japanese commercials in which the band, which refused, would have endorsed breakfast cereals. Blackballed by its bitter yet influential ex-manager, who stood to make a lot of green from the deal, OCG's cushy tour bus was repossessed, and the quartet lost $1.5 million in untouchable label support that had been set aside to record its debut record, a disc even more rabidly awaited than Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy.
Today, the Crispin soldiers move onward, starting with such humble steps as securing reliable transportation. "It's a piece of crap," declares drummer Billy, referring to the van OCG purchased from Moaning Lisa. "It's all rusted, and it doesn't have a stereo." Still, it gets from point A to point B, and, more important, it'll get OCG's gear to the studio when it's finally time to assemble the band's long-delayed debut.
To record this certain masterpiece, which is tentatively titled Danger Laser Beam, the band is settling for less opulence than it recalls from its halcyon days with Svenson. Thanks to its penny-pinching ways, OCG has the luxury of scrapping its initial sessions from last year, citing subpar production. The group is considering several candidates who certainly could address that shortcoming, such as Shiner bassist Paul Malinowski and Lawrence überproducer Ed Rose.
Even when Danger Laser Beam is finished and the band reaps the rewards of its surely instantaneous quadruple-platinum sales, OCG won't be quite out of the woods. Actor Crispin Glover, whose name the band has appropriated, might decide to drop some litigation on OCG; the band has yet to secure the jittery celebrity's authorization.
"We actually called Crispin Glover's manager, and she said we're supposed to write him a formal letter asking permission to use his name and so on and so forth," says Billy, his exhaustion at the process, which to date he has not pursued any further, clearly evident in his voice. "I'm too lazy," he explains. "If I can't talk on the phone or e-mail somebody, I'm not going to do it." Besides, there's always a loophole. "If we catch any hell, we'll just name my dog Crispin Glover and say the band is named after my dog."
But to initiate legal action, Glover would have to find the band, a difficult task of late. Until recently, there wasn't even any photographic proof of the band's enigmatic existence, something that's changing as OCG starts to realize that it must now follow traditional means of promotion, such as trading on the band's smoldering good looks. In fact, production has just begun on OCG's first TRL-bound video.
"We're just kind of in the midst of everything hitting us all at once," Billy says, simultaneously nervous and excited about OCG's prospects. "I've never made a video except for your basic VHS, mounting it in the corner of some bar and getting crappy sound."
When photographic and videotaped proof of OCG's members' identity finally emerges, don't be surprised if the faces look familiar. Billy spent time in Frogpond during that band's final days and played in Rocket Fuel Is the Key, guitarist/vocalist Byron was in the numerically monikered bands TV Fifty and Exit 159, and the other guitarist, Brad, played with Lushbox and Truck Stop Love. And newcomer Kristin's not bad on bass, either.
Impressive backgrounds, to be sure, but these former groups do not set the standard by which OCG should be judged, nor do they form an accurate picture of the new band's sound. As Billy says, those tours of duty are in the past. "We weren't trying to do it because we've all been in these bands that had good followings or whatever; we just happened to be friends and we wanted to start jamming," he says. "It works out good, but we don't want to be pigeonholed, like we've been in these other bands and that's why people come see us."
Not a problem. Most likely, people go to see OCG because of its oft-cited, never challenged status as the greatest band in the world, a declaration that not even Svenson (who has since been forced into hiding as a result of threats made by the group's more militant fans) would dare retract. And while it is tragic that such a group has found itself making a pit stop in the financial trenches, perhaps it can take some solace from Glover's fellow thespian Vivien Leigh, who as Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind famously proclaimed, "Tomorrow is another day."