David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
Day 225: The B-52's (Deadbeat Club)

February 8, 2003

Welcome to the Deadbeat Club, the largest, least focused social club in the world.

About Us

Conceived and loosely supported by a bunch of Southern American ne'er-do-wells in the late 1970s, the Deadbeat Club (please note that the "the" is not part of our official title; in more ways than one, we will never strive to be The Ohio State University) celebrates unemployed, aimless, quirky, marginalized people from all over the world. There is no physical home base for the Deadbeat Club, as that would require research into markets, real estate, and purchasing agreements. As a result, the Deadbeat Club meets wherever the inclination leads its members. More often than not, Deadbeaters show up unannounced at someone else's party, the local establishment with the cheapest beer, or the middle of the street. We are a tax-exempt social establishment, in part because we have no membership dues and provide no direct funding for any activities.

Our History

In 1976 five patrons at a Chinese restaurant, after causing a ruckus over a shared flaming volcano, started the Deadbeat Club, although at the time they had chosen the more succinct name of "The B-52's." Those five included Fred Schneider, Ricky Wilson, Cindy Wilson, Kate Pierson, and Keith Strickland. Finding creativity in their mutual anti-normalcy, they created the tradition of Deadbeats, successfully launching the national craze for a Deadbeat Club in 1989, part of their, ironically, greater efforts to create a Cosmic Thing. The only tradition that has survived all those years is a reverence towards their co-founder, Ricky Wilson, who passed away in 1985.

Current Leadership Team (as much as they can be called so)

Note that the Deadbeat Club abhors traditional officer titles, as they suggest both an elitism but also the very establishment Deadbeaters wish to reject. Instead, leadership has picked up informal titles over the years:

Sprechgesanger -- Fred Schneider

Kitschorian -- Kate Pierson

Contralto Extraordinaire - Cindy Wilson


Deadbeat Clubs can meet at anytime without any notice. Generally, an overwhelming sense of boredom and/or good caffeine buzz leads to some member to call an impromptu meeting. Meetings are kicked off with one person calling to the group, "Get a Job!" The rest of the attendees call back, "Why?" to which someone replies, "I'm trying to think."

Discussions are characterized as "humming," and once started generally require members to talk all day. Minutes from meetings rarely exist, mostly because some members sing, while others talk, often at the same time, but not always about the same thing. Screamed-out non sequiturs (such as "Tin Roof Rusted") are encouraged.

A Deadbeat Club has no formal dress code. Since skinny dipping could occur at any time, most members wear clothing that can be easily removed. If dancing in the rain, an activity frequently motioned (but never seconded, as that again requires too much formality) torn sheets are highly recommended, but members never use torn white sheets. We don't want to be confused for other Southern social clubs. The commitment to looking "wild" as deadbeaters walk down the street is key. A successful meeting has been determined when a non-member is documented as saying "oh, no, here they come."

How To Join

There is no formal process. That would require too much work. Quit your job and hang out at coffee shops and corner bars. If a deadbeater sees you as a potential member, we will seek you out, anyway we can. Most often you will be notified through a flaming volcano.

The B-52's. "Deadbeat Club." Cosmic Thing. Reprise, 1989. Link here.

Day 224: The Inmates "Tell Me What's Wrong"

Day 226: Small Faces "Itchycoo Park"

See complete list here.