House of Mmmmm....Good
Looking back, the Sorting Hat Experience was going to be the greatest musical sensation since the Beatles. It should have been. It had the backing of our beloved Lord Magneto as the face of change, but what happened to this gifted trio? Watch as we look back at the life and times of the Sorting Hat Experience
, next on Behind the Music.
Behind the Music: The Sorting Hat Experience
“We were so young and so foolish, looking back on it.”
Harry Potter, lead guitarist:
“We were the biggest mutant group to come about right after the change. We were the next big thing. Everything was amazing. Packed Houses, record companies giving us everything we ever wanted; and the parties
: it was like everything was going our way.”
In the fast and furious late 80s, they were the center of the Mutant Rock Revolution, a change that moved from stage displays of cranks and pyrotechnics to massive displays of mutant talent and abilities mixed with laser shows and power ballads. The Sorting Hat Experience led the way and others followed.
“It was really weird. We went from nobodies to this sudden world wide sensation. They were practically handing us bags of money. And we’d spend it. Oh how we’d spend it.”
Arthur Bea Wilson, Lead Base:
“To this day I don’t know how it happened. We went from playing in the Leaky Cauldron to this global sensation playing for 20-30 thousand people a night. It was bloody surreal.”
Their lives as nobodies were over. Seemingly overnight, everybody on the planet knew their names: Harry Potter, Arthur Bea Wilson, and the Sorting Hat. Others would come to the band and stay for a while, but these three were the first and continued to be the true core of the Mutant Rock phenomenon. Their album sold nearly ten million copies; their second sold more than twice that and the money kept piling up and the shows kept selling out.
Their popularity exploded thanks to the growth of the new cabal station MMTV, the now well known Mutant Music Television. They were some of the first to market themselves through music videos and shows of their brilliant stunts.
Fashion Model Angel Salvadore:
“Oh man! I remember when I first saw them. It was incredible! Thousands of people were just screaming their names. I could barely see them, I was so far back in the crowd, but then they did their thing and were standing 40ft tall in Central Park. And that was only two months after Badgers and Snakes
. They’re still my favorite band.”
The Sorting Hat Experience’s journey began in a private school in Scotland. The music was their way of avoiding the problems faced by the changing world. The school, known as Hogwarts at the time, was the center of magical training in Britain for almost a millennium.
Long time friend, Hermione Granger:
“In the Wizarding World, nothing ever changes. That’s what people used to say. When the mutants started springing up everywhere, even we knew things couldn’t stay the same. Harry outing himself as a mutant was really the beginning of the end of the Wizarding World.”
But the closed society wasn’t that willing to change. A group of human terrorists tried to kill off the mutant population like in so many other places, but this one stepped a little too far. Their leader, Thomas Riddle, made the mistake of murdering a friend of the Royal Family. Betsey Braddock asked Lord Magnus for assistance and the Red Guard tracked them down and dealt with the terrorists.
Esteemed Mutant Rock historian Ron Weasley:
“The Wizarding world was due for a change. These people were fools. They thought they could stop the world from turning, but eventually the world rolled right over them. When the Red Guard took out the ministry most of us knew the status quo had changed. Too many fought back, they shouldn’t have.”
Harry, Arthur and Neville, their friend from school set out to make a band, something to rise above the chaos that had filled their society. They soon discovered two things: none of them could sing and Neville couldn’t keep a beat.
“Neville was a horrid drummer. Oh we were trying this one song and he just started hitting everything in front of him. It didn’t make any sense. We finally spelled the sticks to keep a beat and let him pound away at the rest of them all he wanted.”
The singer was harder to find. They tried their friends, but that didn’t work out so well.
Hermione Granger again:
“Ha! Oh, I tried. hehehe…We had this one gig at the Three Broomsticks and I just couldn’t do it. Everyone was staring at me! There I was, all of 16 and I couldn’t take the pressure. Put me in a science symposium and I’ll take the house, put me between a band and a crowd and I fold like cleaning charm. It was so bad. I could watch, I could manage, but there was no way I was going to sing.”
Eventually, the trio found their singer in the most unlikely of places: the Headmaster’s desk.
“We’d all seen it before.”
Arthur Bea Wilson:
“We’d all seen it every year when they brought the little ones in at the start of the school year, but we just didn’t think of it. Jessica was killed in the crossfire and we just picked up the place. And there it was, just as happy as if it knew something. The Sorting Hat heard we started a band and it suddenly hit us, the missing piece.”
The Sorting Hat had worked in the school since it’s start at the start of the second millennium AD. It’s responsibility was to sort the students into different houses based on personality traits determined by the founders. With the collapse of the Wizarding World, there was no need for the old ways to continue, so the Sorting Hat found itself out of a job. Now, allowed to show off its impeccable range of voice and talent to the world, the Sorting Hat Experience was born.
It didn’t take long for them to be found side by side with the most famous people in the entertainment industry.
“The Sorting Hat could be found on almost any young starlette’s head in those days. He went from model to soap star to groupie. He never stopped. He always said that he’d be the best if he only had a good pair of legs.”
“That first show in Hollywood was like a dream come true. There was everyone who was anyone. That was when Sorty met Mary-Jane for the first time. Contrary to popular belief they didn’t start off on a good note. Sorty made some lewd comment and she threw a drink in his face. Oh it’s funny now, but the girl under the hat was pissed and annoyed. The drunken bitch punched Mary right then. I don’t know if I’ve seen a bigger fight since.”
But this great band was plagued by inner disputes and problems. Every high they attained was followed by an equally deep low. They almost didn’t make it to their second album, 1986’s Mixing the Houses.
Arthur Bea Wilson:
“We had this first big mega hit. Badgers and Snakes
was this multi platinum thing and we didn’t deal with the success well. People were giving us things we always wanted and took it for granted.”
“We were at this all time high. Everything was going our way and we should have known then that it was going to take a toll.”
And it did take it’s toll in the form of the life of their good friend and drummer Neville Longbottom. Neville Longbottom died backstage, choking on his own vomit just moments before the band was set to go on stage.
“Neville had more firewhiskey in him than the whole of Hogsmead. He never should have been with us, but it was just one thing after another. Eventually, it all came to a head. It was really hard. We known him since we were kids. He was the first one of all of us to have died and we didn’t know how to deal.”
Neville’s ex-girlfriend Carol Danvers explains:
“Neville-well-Neville never had a problem with self esteem. He always knew what he wanted to do and nothing was going to keep him from it. That was a problem when he started going over the edge. You couldn’t tell him that he had gone to far because he wouldn’t believe it. I was growing in my powers and popularity and he was touring with the band. Eventually we knew it was going to end badly, but you could never get Neville to listen to reason.”
Arthur Bea Wilson:
“He was just falling apart, and we watched, but we were falling apart too. We just never noticed that it was getting that bad because we were all
getting that bad. There was simply nothing to compare to.”
The band got back together and changed their image, going to fashion designer Janet van Dyne for help. She remade them from a Wizarding Band with a mutant member to the face of the Mutant Rock movement and set the stage for immortal stardom.
They then had to come to the sad realization that they had to replace their beloved Neville.
“That was basically the hardest bloody discussion we ever had. We lost him, we knew it, but we had to move on. The problem was we didn’t want to move on. It was so bloody hard.”
“In some ways this was harder than dealing with his death in the first place. This meant he was going away. Sorty took it especially hard. There was a lot of yelling, I remember that, but I don’t really remember what was being said.”
Eventually, a friend of theirs introduced them to Canadian rocker, Jean-Paul Beaubier, better known as Beau. His mutant powers allowing for spectacular photokenetic displays and the ability to hit 4,567 recognizable beats per minute made him an instant hit with the other members.
“We all knew we had to make a change, so we didn’t go with the same methods we had used with Neville. Beau made his own place. I don’t think we were very welcoming at first. He had a hard time filling that hole.”
“Beau was incredible. And what was better, he didn’t try to replace Neville. It was more like he just pulled up a chair next to where Neville was supposed to be. I don’t really know how he did it, but some times, when we were deep in the songs, it was almost like Neville was there with us.”
Arthur Bea Wilson:
“Beau was amazing. He could just do it. He took that drum set and made it his own. We couldn’t have done any of this without him.”
But Beau had his own reservations about joining a band so soon after their instant stardom.
“Frankly, I was worried that I had just joined a one hit wonder band. They’d only put out one album, which was great, but it was alarming too. I’d worked with other bands and already had a name for myself. I was worried that this would be the end to my music career.”
With their new image and a new drummer, the band went back to the studio. After thirteen weeks of eighteen hour days nonstop they had their album. The legendary Mixing the Houses was ready.
Rock Historian Ron Weasley again:
“Mixing the Houses
was bloody brilliant. I mean it’s all about the change and the destruction of a society, but it’s focused on what’s coming next. It had it all: loss, forgiveness, pain, joy, arrogance, humility. It was everything they felt from the loss of Neville and the loss of society as most of them knew it, but it was more than that. It told a story for everyone, not just the Wizarding folk, but the whole planet. We’d just come to a point where mutants weren’t hated and were being revered. Mixing the Houses
was perfect for the time.”
Arthur Bea Wilson:
“Looking back on it, I can’t believe it took off. We were just a bunch of young punks with wands, a couple of mutant genes and a hat on a bird. We had no business writing the soundtrack of the times.”
See how they dealt with the fallout after this commercial break.
The Avengers, the X-Men and a few others awakened by the powers of Layla Miller looked at the TV screen with shock and horror. They knew the House of M world was wrong, but that took the cake.
“Am I the only one totally creeped out by that?” Scott asked.
“Nope,” said Wolverine.
“That’s pretty much the most twisted thing in this world so far,” Peter Parker said. “And considering the whole new world order going on, that’s saying a lot.”
“…You guys want to watch the rest of it, don’t you?”
The others looked at each other for a long silent moment before nodding.
“It’s like watching a trainwreck in slow motion and not being able to do a damn thing about it,” Tony Stark said in an almost hypnotized voice. “I just can’t look away.”
Deadpool's note: Though it should be obvious, Behind the Music and affiliated references are property of VH1 and not the writer-person. Everything else is JKR and Disney, because they own HP and Marvel and me. Well, Disney owns me, not JKR. But I think you knew that. You did right? Really? Okay, good. Cool. Now I've gotta go pick up Cable-Baby from Mr. Sin, have dinner, eat a lot of barbiturates that were laced in the meal, hang with Siren and have a party.
...wait. That game doesn't really work if it's not a fortune cookie, does it?