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Fat Man, Full Speedo, Can't Lose

Austin band Churchwood's "I Have a Devil in Me" hits big, thanks to a fat man in a Speedo

Michael Corcoran
Churchwood band
Austin band Churchwood. Churchwood/Facebook

The band Churchwood, featuring longtime collaborators singer Joe Doerr and guitarist Bill Anderson (Ballad Shambles, Hand of Glory), has one of the greatest Austin music videos of all time. It’s for the hellhound-driven blues-rock song “I Have a Devil in Me,” from the Saustex LP Churchwood 2, and features a rotund man in a Speedo dancing with joy in an exercise class at a resort. The video has had about 60,000 views on YouTube and didn’t cost the five-piece band a nickel.

Gravelly singer Doerr (also a member of the LeRoi Brothers) found the footage on YouTube one day, when it had 210 views. “The original video description was written in Cyrillic, so I assumed it was Russian in origin, and I didn't pay much attention to the original soundtrack, which was some sort of Euro-disco and not that interesting,” Doerr says.

It’s the perfect rhythm of the song and the movements of a fat guy in a bikini that make “I Have a Devil in Me” such a great video. 

He downloaded the video, ran it through a converter and used Windows Movie Maker to add "Devil in Me" as the new soundtrack. “I also had to cut the video down a bit and edit certain parts of it to make it fit our song,” he says. It was supposed to be just a Facebook joke for his friends and Churchwood fans, but the thing took off in a grassroots viral way not long after Doerr posted it.

Around the time the vid hit 50,000 views, Churchwood was contacted by YouTube on behalf of someone who had claimed a copyright infringement. It was their footage. “I acknowledged it and thought YouTube would remove the vid, but all they did was allow someone to add the information you can see to the right of my description.” It says "Buy for the World (Stefano Pain & Marcel Booty Mix) — Artist Matte Botteghi."

But it’s the perfect rhythm of the song and the movements of a fat guy in a bikini that make “I Have a Devil in Me” such a great video. You gotta give the music credit for making the dancer cool.

Catch Churchwood and Sons of Hercules live at the first anniversary of Casino El Camino South on Friday at 10 pm.

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