Local fiddle player Larry Gard is uncertain about his chances of playing future shows with local honky tonk band Honky Tonkitis.
"These guys are a little strange," Gard says, scratching his head.
"I've enjoyed playing with them, but then they've made all of these requests of me that I think are unnecessary. For instance, they told me that they don't think my first name is good enough, so they want me to change my name to just Gäärd, because they think it sounds more metal. I don't even know what that means!"
Other examples Gard could provide were the band requesting him to only play shows in yellow clothes, performing the vocal solo in Hocus Pocus by Focus during their live act, and strapping smoke bombs to his stage fiddle and lighting them during his solos.
"Last show went great, but my shoulder got burned pretty badly during the last solo. Those smoke bombs put out a lot of heat."
The band would not comment on Larry's accusations other than to say, "We think Gäärd has some great potential."
Gard commiserated about past projects as well.
"I'm grateful to the band for giving me this opportunity. Things haven't gone so well for me recently. My John Denver tribute band never really took off, my group dedicated to playing the music of Bob Dylan as heard by Devo wasn't a hit, and my one man nude fiddle show only brought me three misdemeanors and a number of restraining orders."
"I'm planning on stopping at the courthouse later today to see if the restraining orders will prevent me from making the name change. Maybe if I get three umlauts on my name the band will really like me," Gääärd concluded.
Clown in photo may not be Larry Gard.