As a huge fan of the rock bands Primus, Phish and the Grateful Dead, I had to seek out this 2006 comedy starring, written and directed by Primus frontman Les Claypool.
This Spinal Tap-style mockumentary follows fictional jam-band Electric Apricot, formerly known as Electric Knectarine, until the name was changed because people kept pronouncing the silent K. The band comprises drummer Lapdog (Claypool), who takes 10 hours to set up his kit; bassist Aiwass AKA Steve (Adam Gates), whose various dietary requirements mean that all he can eat at festivals is wheatgrass and cinnamon-covered rocks; keyboardist Herschel (Jonathan Korty), a yoga enthusiast prone to fits of road rage; and guitarist Gordo (Bryan Kehoe), whose most prized possession is a tortilla that looks like Jerry Garcia.
Laid-back and consistently funny, the movie hits the usual rockumentary beats: meet the band, fraught recording sessions, guitarist passes out naked in the woods and is visited by the ghost of Jerry Garcia, climactic performance at ‘Festeroo’. Less innovative but no less likeable than This is Spinal Tap, the reference points are slightly more niche due to the cult-like jam-band scene, which Claypool sends up with great affection and music geekery. There are some hilarious lines, with jokes about hippies, tapers and the subtle difference between the 11-point lightning bolt in the band’s logo and the 13-point bolt in the Grateful Dead’s.
With appearances from the Dead’s Bob Weir, Phish’s Mike Gordon and South Park’s Matt Stone, which is a nice touch given that Primus are responsible for the South Park theme tune, Electric Apricot is a must-see for Deadheads, Phans and anyone who gets this joke: How many Deadheads does it take to change a lightbulb? None; they just follow it around for 30 years and wait for it to burn out.