Hoosier hollywood: MG and the Gas City Three 

click to enlarge Gila! in production.
  • Gila! in production.

You want a guaranteed, bet-the-farm, drink - some - Pabst good time? Go to a rockabilly gig. And go somewhere where the bar has some age to it.

I mean, you can go anywhere you want, right? But a little smoky, greasy, dinged up atmosphere gives the music the lived-in, spunky vibe it deserves. Rockabilly is Elvis, and Sun Studios, and Carl Perkins and The Stray Cats and MG and The Gas City Three, and it doesn't change much. Upright bass. A snare or small drum kit. Tattoos. Pompadours and leather.

Chicks in dresses that make you look twice. Some bad boy and girl attitude.

That's a snapshot of rockabilly.

The aforementioned MG and the Gas City Three ran into a little good luck recently, when they were asked to play as the movie band in a B-movie classic remake. The director is cult movie legend Jim Wynorski, from the Roger Corman School of Directing: quickie/campy/scary/drive-in movies.

Gila! - a remake of 1959's The Giant Gila Monster - was shot in Johnson County locations in December of 2011. MG and The Gas City Three contributed several tracks that they play during their current live set to the soundtrack. We caught up with MG's drummer and manager Nathan Striedinger as they prepared for the movie's premier in Columbus a few months ago; they'll play this week in Markleville.

NUVO: How did the Gas City Three get involved in the movie Gila!?

Nathan Striedinger: Bill Dever, the producer, contacted us. He talked about playing "Fever," by Peggy Lee. "Red River Rocks" and some originals. We were thinking about a traditional thing, but pushing it. After a few calls, we all got together at the studio and recorded the tunes. We rolled up to Franklin, met the director, Jim Wynorski, Bill Dever, and the cast and crew and broke a leg.

click to enlarge MG and Gas City Three filming their songs in the movie with Christina DeRosa.
  • MG and Gas City Three filming their songs in the movie with Christina DeRosa.

Jim would yell, and we'd started playing while cameras and things are flying around you and over your head. Christina DeRosa is an excellent hollywood actress and singer and sang "Fever" with us. Let me just tell you - - she nailed it. Hopefully it's not too obvious in the movie, but we were all stunned. All the cast and crew cheered after we were done but for a split second after the last note, you could have heard a pin drop. We also played during the general sock hop scene while people danced and talked. Jim was impressed.

NUVO: What is the short history of the band?

Striedinger: MG & the Gas City Three formed in the middle of 2010 in Anderson, Indiana. We've been playing almost non-stop and just recently took a break after singer Marc Gullion had his baby. We have an album on iTunes and in stores called Get In, Shut Up and Hold On, on Gas City Records. It came out in April 2011. I created Gas City Records to help promote MG & the Gas City Three and to help organize my thoughts.

I started a label to put projects under the same umbrella. If I'm working on flyers or booking shows, I need to group those under Gas City Records, LLC.

NUVO: What are a couple songs you love with the band?

Striedinger: "Can't Slow Down" is one of my favorites. After that, I'd say, "Rock Kept 'A' Rollin'" is absolutely killer. The video for "Rock Kept 'A' Rollin'" is also stellar.

NUVO: Best way to get recorded music?

Striedinger: Right now, we're using ReverbNation and iTunes.

NUVO: Who is in the band and what instruments do they play?

Striedinger: Marc Gullion handles vocals, Scott Manning on guitar, Josh Fite plays upright bass and I take care of the drums and management.

NUVO: Who gives you rockabilly fever?

Striedinger: JD McPherson is huge. We love Rev. Peyton, Hudson Hornet, Cousin Brothers, Bigger Than Elvis. Too many to name. Follow them for a great show. Playing with the legendary Art Adams anywhere is always a great show. And the Brass Rail in Ft. Wayne is an excellent little rockabilly venue.

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Rob Nichols

Rob Nichols

A music writer for more than 30 years, Rob began as a rock radio jock at age 17. Born in central Indiana, Rob moved north and spent his college years in Hillsdale, Michigan. That meant traveling to Detroit for all the good rock shows, and explains his affinity for Seger, the J. Geils Band, and Mitch Ryder. He's... more

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