Will the history books remember Smash Mouth?
It’s a question that’s dogged scholars for decades, as they pore over the lessons of the past to try to figure out whether Steve Harwell et al. will be included in the narrative that future generations construct of the time period that, we can’t help but assume, they’ll be referring to as “The Before Times.” Will these future scholars look back on an era where humanity once walked freely on the sun? Will the “Road Man” become a mythic figure in the legend of America? And what will these far-future children make of Shrek? (“We believe this man to have been their king. They carved graven images of him, and forced Regis Philbin to dress up like him as some sort of ritual punishment.”)
Luckily (citation needed), Smash Mouth has now moved a little closer to seizing immortality for itself—if not for its fans. In a report originally released by Brooklyn Vegan, spokesfolks for health departments in North and South Dakota have linked 57 cases of COVID-19 to attendance at the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally this year, with other states bringing the number to over 100. And, of course, Smash Mouth played at that event, ignoring requests that they please not bring their hordes of fans into close proximity to each other, where the fluids soaking through their various Ed Hardy shirts would serve as a potent transmission vector for the disease. (Lead singer Harwell did offer a heartfelt “Fuck that COVID shit” to the crowd, for whatever that’s worth, which is nothing.)
Of course, not all the cases that emerged from Sturgis can be directly linked to Smash Mouth; some of those people were probably more into Buckcherry or Reverend Horton Heat. In any case, Smash Mouth seems as unaffected by their new role as Harbinger Of The Bad Times as they are by pretty much anything else in our culture that doesn’t directly happen on social media; they recently posted an angry letter from a fan begging them not to perform at the rally, which they glibly labeled “fan mail” on their Instagram—an image that’s going to look pretty nifty sitting in whatever hologram (or, possibly, dirt-etched log) the Future Ones use as textbooks when they try to teach their kids about how we let this shit get so bad.