Saturday, April 20, 2024

Story behind Churchwood’s banana hammock classic

Churchwood video for “I Have a Devil In Me”

The band Churchwood has one of the greatest Austin music videos of all time. It’s for the bluesy rock song “I Have a Devil In Me” and features a rotund man in a Speedo dancing with joy in an exercise class at a resort. It’s had almost 60,000 views on YouTube and didn’t cost the band a cent.

Churchwood front man Joe Doerr (also a member of the Leroi Brothers) found the footage on YouTube one day, when it had 210 views. “The original video description was written in Cyrillic, so I assumed it was Russian in origin, and I didn’t pay much attention to the original soundtrack which was some sort of Euro-disco and not that interesting,” Doerr says. He downloaded the video, ran it through a converter and used Windows Movie Maker to add “Devil in Me” as the new soundtrack. “I also had to cut video down a bit and edit certain parts of it to make it fit our song,” he says. It was supposed to just be a Facebook joke for his friends and Churchwood fans, but the thing took off in a grassroots viral way not long after Doerr posted it.

Around the time the vid hit 50,000 views, Churchwood was contacted by YouTube on behalf of someone who claimed a copywright infringement. It was their footage. “I acknowledged it, and thought YouTube would remove the vid, but all they did was allow someone to add the information you can see to the right of my description,” Doerr says. The added words are  “Buy For the World (Stefano Pain & Marcel Booty Mix) — Artist Matte Botteghi.”

But it’s the perfect rhythm of the song and the movements of a fat guy in bikini briefs that makes “I Have the Devil In Me” such a great video. You gotta give the music credit for making the dancer cool. And he definitely makes the song sound better. It’s a hit!

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