Mike Madriaga 2:12 p.m., June 24
White Gold's Comedic Rock Opera Really Does Rock!
White Gold and the Calcium Twins started off as jokey TV commercial characters ala the Free Credit Report.com band.
The Spinal Tap-esque glam rockers, created for the iconic “Got Milk?” advertising campaign, were featured on over 750,000 school book covers being distributed free throughout the San Diego school system, in hopes of keeping textbooks in good shape for future students.
White Gold’s spandex-clad singer plays a milk-filled guitar and encourages milk consumption in a series of humorous ads, alongside two soulful female black singers.
So who is White Gold? The California Milk Processor Board (CMBP) declines to say, and there’s no hint on their website or on the White Gold site, whose url simply states “www.WhiteGoldIsWhiteGold.” The CMPB is funded by a coalition of California milk processors, and administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
However, with the help of Dialed-In Rosie at http://www.sddialedin.com , I managed to find the man behind the “luxurious white mane” himself, the elusive (and entirely fictional) White Gold ------
White Gold is played by Joe Hursley, vocalist for the Ringers. The raunchy rockers are known for songs like “Beaver Fever,” “Backseat Lover,” “Moan N' Bitch,” and “Tokyo Massage.”
White Gold’s music is performed by Detroit-based Electric Six, whose own tracks include “I Buy the Drugs,” “Feed My F-ckin’ Habit,” “Sexy Trash,” and “Gay Bar Pt. 2.”
Most San Diego public school administrators are likely unaware of those raunchy band connections to the massive book cover distribution.
“The students are really amused by White Gold,” said Heidi Anderberg, administrator at San Diego’s Sarah Anthony School in a press release. “The band is really funny, and it gets your attention. Plus, you can’t help but enjoy the group’s lyrics about the benefits to milk.”
In a phone interview, “White Gold,” aka Joe Hursley, told me “I improvised almost all of the promos they recorded…I was saying stuff like ‘Yeah, I like to inject my balls with meth,’ and they were just shaking their heads, like, ‘no way can we use that.’”
“I’m actually an actor too, so that was part of what attracted me to the role of White Gold, but it’s not exactly what I want to be known for. I don’t think many people would just see me [as White Gold] and automatically recognize who I really am.”
So is that milk-filled guitar that he plays for real?
“Nah, that piece of sh-t was leaking milk all over the place. There weren’t any electronics hooked up to it or anything. But it looked pretty good, huh?”
The “Calcium Twins” who sing and pretend to play bass and drums in the White Gold spots are actually Sonya and Sabrina Millen, a soul duo known as the Millen Sisters. “We auditioned to a rock song singing and dancing,” the sisters said in an email interview. “We’re in talks now to shoot the second phase of the campaign.”
The schoolbook covers have brought the Millen Sisters a whole new fan base entirely unaware of their real-world act. “We do get recognized from the campaign. Teenagers love it, because it’s different and fun.”
The Millens and Hursley confirm that, in light of White Gold’s popularity, there have been talks of a concert tour. With thousands of YouTube plays for their videos, it could be the most successful imaginary TV band concert tour since The Archies (unless you count the current incarnation of Kiss, with imposters dressed as Peter and Ace).
That is, unless the new Free Credit Report.Com band gets out on tour first -----
Me, I love the White Gold Videos – they remind me of both the worst ‘70s rock opera-inspired movies (The Apple, Lizstomania, 20th Century Oz) and the best (Tommy, Phantom of the Paradise), with hysterical Spinal Tap touches and some impressively produced anthem-like tunes.
Think Zappa-Meets-Grand-Funk, as produced by Jim “Meat Loaf” Steinman ----
I give each vid a four-finger salute and recommendation --- this first song, “Is It Me, Or Do You Love My Hair” is our profile song at http://www.myspace.com/sandiegoreadermusic .
The milk-filled guitar is featured in “One Gallon Axe” – checkout the totally authentic Sly and the Family Stone groove, with Captain Beefheart-style vocals!
“Tame the White Tiger” – how can you beat a milk river, “provocative pumas,” and guitar licks played with bare feet! Note that he sings about how milk turns you into “a sexy beast” --
If you check the lyrics at the White Gold website, the Milk Council wrote the lyric as “healthy beast,” so this version appears to be one of Hursely’s improvisations slipping thru the cracks. “Hey, kids, drink your milk and be a SEXY BEAST!” Yeah, I notice weird crap -----