It's a great idea. Rock life can't run entirely on gin, cigarettes and Cheez-Its, can it? Surely, every once in a while there must be something solid—something that starts out as a mere ingredient, or at least gets unwrapped, covered in cheese, and stuck into a toaster oven? And there you have it—preparation plus augmentation: the humble beginnings of a cuisine.
As it turns out, some bands can do considerably better than that. The Scottish band Belle and Sebastian roll out a veggie Thai red curry soup (though if you ask me the authors should have demanded haggis). Sonic Youth, who rarely sound as if they've had time to tune their guitars, can apparently make a mean Italian wedding soup. And the Trachtenburg Family Slideshow Players (featuring a drummer who's younger than some bottles of Scotch) have developed opinions on both salsa and homemade bread.
If the book has a fault, according to Hungry, it's the authors' unwavering focus on indie bands. Perhaps going for the arty and literate types was based on a hunch that they'd show the most promise in the kitchen. But when the recipes falter, it's hard to muster much enthusiasm for three separate chili recipes by people you've never heard of. If, say, Elton John or David Byrne were wielding the spice rack, I might read out of sheer curiosity. The guys of Dirty Excuse, not so much.
And then, of course, there's the danger of overingesting that hipster-band mainstay, irony. Exhibit A: a band called Japanther's hot dog recipe, made with peanut butter and banana.
Still it's an idea I wish I'd had first (such a good idea, it turns out, that this isn't even the only book on the subject).
So if you could ask any band in the world, who would you ask, and what would you ask for? After brief discussion, here's my top 10:
10. The Beatles' "Honey Pie" (closely followed by marmalade skies) 9. The B-52s' "Rock Lobster" bisque 8. Spinal Tap’s miniature luncheon-meat sandwiches 7. The Smiths' recipe for veggie lasagna 6. Something weird by Cibo Matto - either the Sci-Fi Wasabi or the White Pepper Ice Cream 5. Whatever Bob Dylan served that time he had a job in the great north woods, working as a cook for a spell 4. Oasis’s mimosa (preferably non-supernova) 3. U2’s humble pie 2. Meat Loaf's meatloaf 1. Abba’s cheese fondue
The song might remain the same, but the list can go on and on - please add your own most-wanted recipes in the comments section!