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Bloody Mannequin Orchestra


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The Bloody Mannequin Orchestra (BMO) was formed in the DC suburb of Bethesda sometime around 1982. It emerged, much as life did from the primordial soup, by happenstance: the original motive was nothing more than to gather in Colin’s basement and make noise. Even prior to this, roots of BMO’s eventual path could be found: many of the original band members would gather at Charles’ house after school and rap out improvised lyrics to “Cool as Shit,” which ultimately became a BMO classic, over a soundtrack provided by “Reggae Dancing,” by Kool and the Gang.

Of the original group, Charles, Alex, Colin, Benjy, and Roger, perhaps only Charles, Colin and Benjy knew how to play an instrument. For perhaps a year, the band would get together on random occasions, and make tapes. Benjy didn’t last long, because he listened to Yes and considered BMO to be “not music.” During this time, BMO frequently invited guest stars to record on the tapes, including Brick, later immortalized in “Theme for Brick.”

At some point, much to their suprise, BMO got asked to play a party at Natalie Avery’s house. (She was later to be in the band Fireparty). The notion that someone would actually ask the band to play somewhere was a novel concept. The band played in the living room, and most of the guests at the party hung out outside on the lawn until they were done. Nonetheless, this was the beginning of the road to stardom for BMO.

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