Vinnie & the Stardusters

Vinnie & the Stardusters

Vinnie & the Stard½sters met at the Nicollet Child Guidance Center in Minneapolis when their parents were forced to seek outside help for their sons' disabilities. While they have been degradingly called, "Minneapolis' best retarded band," theirs is a story of courage and being able "to just laugh" at a bad hand dealt by mother nature.

John's schizophrenia combined with his Tourette's Syndrome sometimes leads to shocking profanity and then what he describes as a "moral hangover." Through years of treatment, John has been able to transform his expletives into music.

Eric is what is popularly called an "idiot savant," giving him the memory of a Cray computer but the intelligence of a 3 year old. While thought to be a child prodigy since he could instantly transpose an entire orchestra score to guitar, his parents soon feared the worst when they caught him memorizing MTC bus schedules. Eric can remember the most minute details of the band's history and has chronicled them in an often-disturbing comic. Sadly, he can hardly feed himself.

Nick's mantra is "I'm not drunk, I have cerebral palsy" since this prenatal brain defect often causes him to flail his arms and legs uncontrollably, especially when listening to music. Happily, he turned out to be a natural drummer, and the hospital staff is pleasantly surprised that playing drums temporarily interrupts his incessant masturbating.

Vinnie & the Stard½sters' sometimes humorous music helps other patients as well and formed a nurturing community at the Child Guidance Center. Much to the nurses' chagrin, the boys always try to play their "curative music" in the nude. The hospital staff frequently has to round up their robes and cover them up before too many of the other patients rip their clothes off in an adoring act of emulation.

The Vinnie & the Stard½sters' saga is a story of courage and hope against all odds. Their first CD is an effort to raise money for the Stard½sters' parents to help recoup medical costs and try and keep the boys under constant supervision (the only way Gourmandizer could get the parents to agree to release the songs). Unfortunately for the world of music, touring is nearly impossible for Vinnie & the Stard½sters since they would require nurses to continually clothe, feed, and wash them. While many listeners might feel they are laughing at rather than with the Stard½sters, just remember that they truly realize they are funny, even if their combined IQs only total 110.

project mini Novelty Music for Casual Sex
released: 1998
Gourmandizer - GMZ-07

project mini Bake My Pie
released: 1997
Gourmandizer - GMZ-02
(7" single)

project mini The Girl from Ipanema Wants to Kill Me
released: 1995
Ultramodern Records - GMZ-07
(7" single)

Band's official home page
UltraModern Records's Vinnie home page
Allied Chemical - Music Division