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From the Ladle to the Grave: The Story of Shallow Gravy - Recap

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Thrill now to the story of the rock band Shallow Gravy. Hank grew up as the better-looking son of Dr. Rusty Venture, child star and occasional piano player. Brock Samson gave Hank his old bass and taught him to play, and his initial solo performance at a Venture Christmas party went well. However, he needed the inspiration and attitude of Dermott Fictel, self-trained martial artist and singer of Spice Girl songs.

Hank and Dermott met at Rusty’s Day Camp when Dermott came looking for his birth father, Brock Samson. They hit it off and found they shared an interest in rock-n-roll. It was also there that they met drummer and third member: H.E.L.P.eR. The band rehearsed in Hank’s bedroom and Dean published the news in his family newsletter. They put their first single out on a cassette and things were looking up. However, tragedy struck when H.E.L.P.eR was destroyed in a car explosion during a battle in the Venture compound. The Monarch gladly accepted the blame for destroying the band.

Hank retreated to his room and perfected his music. Meanwhile, Dermott sought to become an Ultimate Fighter. When they met the next fall, Hank had come up with a new song, “Jacket.” Meanwhile, Dr. Venture rebuilt H.E.L.P.eR as a spider robot. Dermott wanted to name the band “Shallow Grave,” but Hank and H.E.L.P.eR thought it was pretentious and came up with “Shallow Gravy.” Reenergized, the band performed atop the Venture HQ roof until Dr. Venture sent them out in his father’s battle van.

The band had to work wherever they could at backyard birthday parties to make ends meet. Finally they returned to the Venture compound to play at the brothers’ home-school prom. Amateur DJ Pete White saw them perform and got them into the studio at Conjectural Recordings. After much experimentation, they came up with a distinctive sound for “Jacket” and released it.