Isolation causes people to do funny things. Sometimes brilliant, sometimes mad, often both. We're both under the recommended self-quarantine and as we're waiting for this pandemic to hopefully quickly subside. We started thinking about albums that were made while in confinement. Many came to mind quickly. The Rolling Stones recorded Exile on Main Street while holed in France avoiding tax penalties. Of course, that is less like quarantine and more like a weekend at Caligula’s. Bon Iver’s post-break-up self induced retreat in a hunting cabin turned into For Emma, Forever Ago. Songs of Pain by Daniel Johnston was recorded in his parents basement as his bipolar swings made social engagements tremendously difficult. The majority of Cat Power’s Moon Pix was written during a terrifying hallucinatory nightmare while left alone in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. And of course, David Allen Coe, Charles Manson, that psycho guy from Burzum, and countless hip hop artists made records while incarcerated.
That's when we remembered Camper Van Beethoven’s Tusk. As we recalled, the band got snowed in at a cabin somewhere in the depths of the California mountains in the late 80s. To stave off boredom, the band did a track by track remake of the Fleetwood Mac maligned bizarro AOR classic, Tusk. CVB got through most of the tracks before the thaw, stashed the tapes, and went about their merry way. Many years later, about to embark on a reunion tour, the band found the tapes, cleaned them up, added and rerecorded bits, and released the record. We both love Camper Van Beethoven and Tusk, so we decided it would be a good exercise in exploring what happens to bands when cabin fever sets in. So, today, break into your emergency vodka, settle into your confinement, and check your supply of toilet paper as we cover the bizarre tale of Camper Van Beethoven’s Tusk.