Here Come the Mummies — and there goes one of my two cardinal rules for covering entertainment.
Ever since e-mail became the most expedient form of communication, I’ve made it a habit never to do e-mail interviews for one simple reason: There’s no way of knowing who is actually answering the e-mail.
It could be the celebrated artist I’m interested in profiling in my column but who, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to do a phone interview. But the answers could just as easily be coming from an anonymous publicist or even an unpaid intern working for donuts and college credits.
I’ve also avoided talking to the dead. If word got out that I regularly communicate with those on the other side, it could affect my journalistic credibility. Or quite possibly invite a lawsuit from John Edwards, the psychic medium who really does talk to those who have taken the big dirt nap. He might think I’m trying to steal work from him.
All of which brings us, in a round-about fashion, to this weekend’s Atlantic City debut of Here Come the Mummies, one of the best original funk and R&B bands you’ve never heard of. They’ll be performing during a costumes-optional Halloween party Saturday night, Oct. 29, in the Grand Exhibition Center at the Tropicana.
HCTM consists of 10 outrageously talented musicians who dress in mummy bandages from head to toe and whose birth names are as closely guarded a secret as the formula for Coca-Cola or Dolly Parton’s bra size.
Don’t bother trolling the Internet to discover their identities. I invested two hours of my life that I’ll never get back trying to uncover the mystery.
HCTM perform under cleverly humorous nome de crypts, like Java Mummy (it’s pronounced JAY-va), Eddie Mummy, Mummy Cass and my personal favorite, The Flu.
To promote their appearance, HCTM was willing to do an e-mail interview, which I turned down (see paragraphs two and three). I told Java, the group’s spokesmummy, that I wanted to do a phoner, which I could also use on my WOND radio show.
He informed me that mummies only speak when they’re playing their music, so they wouldn’t be able to do the phoner. I politely reminded the silent one that I wasn’t the one coming in to play a major casino venue in a market that had never heard of Here Come the Mummies. A day and time for the chat was quickly arranged.
Several days later, I dialed a number with a Nashville area code and was greeted by a growling Java Mummy. In the background I heard faint but funky guitar chords and a shaker-like rhythm; Mummy Cass and Eddie Mummy were sitting in on the conversation, adding their growls and moans of approval.
A 15-minute chat with the spokesmummy only raised more questions than it answered. Java stuck to the party line and gave no clues as to the true identities of the mummies. Even seemingly innocent questions elicited convoluted answers:
If you want to hear some authentic monster mash music, Here Come the Mummies is the band for you. The ghoulish guardians of funk will perform Saturday, Oct. 29, 9pm in the Tropicana’s Grand Exhibition Center as part of a Halloween Party. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.