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4

Are You Ready for Some Soup?

I seem to recall that a few years ago, we wrote something unflattering about Chris Burney, who's second from right. Wonder what that was...
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Did you know Chris Burney, guitarist for Bowling for Soup, is in the new intro to Monday Night Football? (This assumes, of course, you know who Bowling for Soup is, which you oughta; they're good enough for Richard Thompson, they're certainly good enough for you. And this assumes that you would even recognize Chris Burney; me, not so much. Oh, wait. Got it. Continue.) Regardless, he's there--with the likes of Aerosmith's Joe Perry, Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen, Little Steven Van Zandt, Parliament-Funkadelic's Bernie Worrell, Clarence Clemmons, The Roots' ?uestlove, Little Richard and, of course, Hank Williams Jr. Put it this way: Burney's the guy wearing the Terrell Owens jersey. C'mon, guy's got a Grammy nomination. A little respect.

So how'd he get there? That's what Dave Walker wants to know in this morning's New Orleans Times-Picayune, in a story in which he details just how the guitarist wound up on the cluttered set. Suffice it to say, not a long story: Jed Drake, senior vice president and executive producer of ESPN, was at a minor-league hockey game in Connecticut with his young daughter one night, when Bowling for Soup had the sounds-dreadful slot "playing behind the net while the teams were warming up," Drake recouts. Liked what he saw. Signed him up. Simple as that. Still, Walker writes:

"So comparatively little-known was Burney among his all-star band mates that a couple -- Perry and Nielsen -- evidently momentarily thought he was a roadie guitar-tech.

'When everybody was walking downstairs to get on the set, they were tuning their guitars by ear,' Burney said. 'I had an electric tuner with me and said, "I've got a tuner over here." Rick Nielsen handed me his guitar and I tuned it up. Then Nielsen said to Joe Perry, "Oh, hey, guitar man's got a tuner over there."'

And so guitar man Burney tuned Perry's guitar, too."

Incidentally, Bowling for Soup's new album, the either brilliantly or unfortunately titled The Great Burrito Extortion Case, will be released November 7; the new single, "High School Never Ends," is streaming at the band's Web site this very moment. And, no, it doesn't sound like "1985." Not just like, anyway. --Robert Wilonsky

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