Metal fans are rejoicing today as one of the most iconic fictional bands of the 1980s, Deathtöngue, is finally inducted into the Imaginary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. As pioneers of imaginary metal, Deathtöngue had a lasting influence on non-reality-based musical history.
Based in Bloom County, USA, the band’s lineup featured Bill The Cat on lead tongue, Opus The Penguin on electric tuba, and that guy whose name we can never remember but we think he might have been a woodchuck or a beaver or something. Band manager Steve Dallas wrote most of their music, which included the hit singles “Snail Snot From Satan,” “Demon Drooler of the Sewer,” “Leper Lover,” and “Let’s Run Over Lionel Ritchie With A Tank.” Never afraid of controversy, the band famously one-upped Ozzy Osbourne when, live on stage, Bill The Cat bit the head off a roadie.
Deathtöngue’s innovative tongue-based sound was never successfully imitated by any other group. “They really paved the way for a lot of modern imaginary metal,” says imaginary fan Mike Wilson, of East Armpit, Alabama. “When you talk about imaginary metal in the ’80s, most people think of the well-known groups like Spinal Tap or Wyld Stallyns, but Deathtöngue was right up there too. Today, we just wouldn’t have ugly obnoxious jerks such as William Murderface [bassist for imaginary metal superstars Dethklok] if Bill The Cat hadn’t been there 25 years before, showering audiences with spittle, hate, and incoherent songs about pus-filled pimples.”
The band broke up in the late ’80s, reformed briefly as Billy And The Boingers, and broke up again after a downward spiral of self-destructive behavior from its tongue player that included reading the Bible and experimenting with politics and televangelism. Attempts to contact any surviving members of the band were unsuccessful.
The Imaginary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was built in 2009 to recognize the significant impact of imaginary music on modern society.
“No other single genre has had such a major effect,” said Hall of Fame spokesman Rufus. “In fact, a recent survey of well-known musicians showed that in 100% of cases, their very first musical experiences were in that genre. Whether we’re talking about Eric Clapton’s early performances on a tennis racket while jumping on his bed at the age of seven, or Dave Lombardo shrieking randomly while beating the sides of his highchair with a half-eaten hot dog, all had one thing in common: solid early training in pretending to be the best freakin’ musician ever.”
Rufus said there were numerous challenges in creating the Hall of Fame. “In many cases, because of the imaginary nature of the music, we do not have actual recordings that can be shown to the public,” he said. “But we find that most visitors understand these constraints. One of our most popular recent exhibits was a retrospective of the supergroup Blast Radius, formed in Wales in 1997 by 13-year-old Joey Thomas. As we all know, Blast Radius featured Yngwie Malmsteen, Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads on guitars, Keith Moon on drums, Chewbacca from Star Wars on bass, Rob Halford as backup vocalist, and Joey Thomas himself as lead vocalist.”
“While there is no surviving audio or video of Blast Radius’s performances, we were able to display the band’s logo, which was drawn by Thomas in the margins of his geography homework. It was a tremendously successful exhibit, with all visitors saying they learned a lot about Blast Radius and agreed it was one of the best imaginary bands of all time, especially after Thomas departed the band and was replaced by themselves.”
The induction of Deathtöngue will be marked by a special exhibit that will include a bottle of Bill The Cat’s verminous cocaine-laced urine, some of Steve Dallas’s hair grease, and a tuba similar to the one played by Opus. All admission fees will be donated to a charity that provides spaceship-themed wheelchairs to disabled veterans.
“The board of trustees of the Imaginary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame extend their warmest congratulations to Deathtöngue on this most excellent occasion,” said Rufus. “As a proud Imaginary-American myself, I am happy to see our nation hosting the world’s greatest repository of music that doesn’t even exist in any meaningful way but would be awesome if it did.”
Guest reporter Carrie Patrick plays both real and imaginary guitar. On the latter instrument, she was recently voted Greatest And Best-Looking Player Of All Time for the 30th consecutive year, by a panel of international experts who live in her head.
#1 by Universe Number Five on April 9, 2012 - 11:22 AM
OK, first of all, as a journalist, I know Bill the Cat… he’d NEVER go for this!
#2 by Keith Spillett on April 9, 2012 - 11:26 AM
As a journalist, I must agree with you as a journalist. When I studied journalism at Journalism School, where I received a degree, their was no mention of Bill The Cat or this Opus fellow in any of the Journalist texts that we studied journalistically.
#3 by J Farfort on April 9, 2012 - 12:16 PM
Bill the Cat what an imaginary legend. Did he exist? In the realms of the deepest, darkest, slightly skewed imaginations imaginable. I’ve just self-combusted.
#4 by James on April 9, 2012 - 12:17 PM
Bill The Cat is a fake!
As a former studio musician back in the 80s,,I remember catching Bill having a prayor meeting with a nun..He was NEVER a true rocker! He was only in it for the money!!!
I later became a journalist and wrote about it,,but his manager, Steve Dallas ,who was also a lawyer, hit me with an injunction order and kept me from publishing it.
#5 by victoriagrimalkin on April 9, 2012 - 3:14 PM
Bill the Cat is not a fake, but an entity masquerading under the guise of “Kill the Bat” and eat his cake, too. The imaginary R & R Hall of Fame is a terrific concept, and I know that my solo theremin hit of 1996 is honored therein.
#6 by Danny in Canada on February 14, 2014 - 11:45 AM
the woodchuck-looking guy was named “Portnoy”, I think.
#7 by Mike B. on October 30, 2014 - 2:51 PM
Awesome! I had the same T-shirt that Steve Dallas is wearing! They were sold out at the imaginary DeathTongue concert, so I had to actually make it myself in graphic arts class.
I wonder if that shirt is still packed away in a trunk somewhere…
#8 by Gary Howie on July 12, 2015 - 9:38 PM
NOBODY plays the electric tuba like Opus. Check out his solo on “Let’s Run Over Lionel Ritchie With A Tank” or his hot tuba line during “The Devil’s Sister’s Divorce.” I get goose pimples just thinking about it.