Thank You For Clapping

"The Preacher" - Lola da Musica
VPRO TV (NL) 12 March 2000

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Sunday evening I shut the blinds, dimmed the lights and tuned in to watch the Lola da musica documentary about Sixteen Horsepower. About Sixteen Horsepower? Yes, that is what they promised me. But I guess I could have seen what I saw (coming), it was all about Mr. Edwards, THE PREACHER. Oh yeah.

DEE: "My main ambition ... is to spread the gospel ... let people know about God and the bible ... God is real ... he has only good things for them."

The director certainly knew her classics. The opening shot could have been from Wim Wenders' Paris, Texas. A car approaching the camera down a long country road in a flat landscape with an instrumental part from 'Silver Saddle' as a Ry Cooder-ish soundtrack. The next shot was also heavily indebted to another famous director: The video shoot for Clogger with the band performing before red velvet curtains had a very Lyncherian surrealistic feel to it. (bring out the dwarves!!! ;-)

And then Bang! Back to harsh reality the next second. David is feeding his child, who is suffering from Down syndrome. Yet, he puts me right at ease when he explains how they communicate. (if the child wants him to stop playing the damn mandolin, he points at the wall, to put it back where it belongs ;-) Yet not only were we introduced to his fatherly feelings, we saw a warm husband sneaking up behind his wife grinding the coffee. ;-)

For the shooting of the Clogger video, Steve and his wife came over from New Orleans and stayed at their place. A quick hello to the VPRO crew, before David took place in front of the camera and started the one on one interview on his sofa. He told us his story: about his youth, his parents and his grandfather.

A revealing moment during the interview, was when he talked very openly about his father who passed away when David was a six-year old boy. Later when he introduced us his grandpa, he explained that this man took over the roll of his father and in turn he became the son grandpa lost, "cause I look just like my dad anyhow, don't you think?" But you could see on the reaction of his grandfather's face, he didn't take it that light-hearted. ;-) Yet, this 82-year old man was much more easy-going then I suspected him to be. When I saw him reclined in David's car seat with his baseball cap on, just after having seen David in black (with his black Tiroler hat, resembling William S. Burroughs ;-), it struck me that David looked much more like a preacher than the preacher himself. It felt a bit voyeuristic seeing those two interact. Especially when they arrived at his grandfather's place and took out a book to sing a hymn together. (Sorry, I'm totally not familiar with those songs. It was something about victory and calvary.)

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You can download this song, called "Victory in Jesus" by shift/clicking here (MP3, 53 sec., 430KB, 64kbps).

What also struck me was the immense roll his grandfather played (and still does) within the Edwards family. He is a member of the Nazarene Church, which he explained as a society where you are not allowed to drink, to smoke or even to visit a cinema. Unfortunately, he raised a son who anxiously rebelled against everything his father believed in. He became an alcoholic and a member of a totally different church ;-) the one of the 'Warlords', a motorcycle gang. When his son died of leukemia and his daughter-in-law changed to the Baptist community, he wouldn't speak to the mother with her children for years.

This is a part that is still unclear to me, cause later on David does say he was more or less raised by his grandparents. Yes, he did spend his summers and holidays there, when his father was still alive, but what happened afterwards? He never mentions his mother again. Did she go her own way and leave the children to her in-laws?

During all those warm and revealing moments, we saw some music-fragments of the new album. Poor Mouth and 'Cept You was performed acoustically with the whole band in some kind of cellar. (original footwork of Jean-Yves ;-) Clogger was shown in the setting of the video (remarkable shoes, btw ;-) not to mention the socks)(Pascal wore his sexy Las Vegas-trousers ;-) David sang Wayfaring Stranger in front of his grandpa and an intro of Straw foot in the presence of his wife. The best song, was the complete version of Straw Foot, played on the mandolin, in front of the TV. (Again, gorgeous. I can't mention it enough. This is 'the' most beautiful song of the Secret South-CD ;-)

He briefly talks about Secret South as an album where the band had a lot more influence on: "S&A is little more of a selfish record than the new record. The new record is more inclusive of the family."

I really did enjoy every minute of the documentary, yet I was a bit disappointed that the other members where not given any airplay to speak. And it was a bit egotistical of David (and contrary to his former statement), after he told us that the goals of the other members are different, to utter the following: "... I'm the singer ... My voice is the one that gets heard ... maybe they don't agree with me, but they don't have to play with me if they don't want. But they choose to ... which I find kind of amazing ..."

By Ing!

  • More frames of the Loladamusica-broadcast: pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
In 1997 VPRO broadcasted another 16HP Lola da Musica special. You can read the transcript here.

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