Cliff Wagner & The Old #7 had quite a run as contestants on the Next Great American Band program, which aired on Fox TV in 2007. They made it a good ways into the finals, as voted by the television audience, playing their quirky brand of rock-inflected bluegrass music.
Cliff and the boys released a new CD, Hobo’s Lullabye, in 2008, and have now produced a music video for one of the tracks. Castleneck tells the story of man who went over to the dark side and lived a life of crime, only to eventually meet his end by his own hand.
The video was a total inside job, filmed by Old #7 bass player Lucas Cheadle. Cliff built the sets, with Old #7 drummer Steve Mugalian, mandolinist Devitt Feeley, guitarist Craig Ferguson – plus friends and family members – making up the cast.
Cliff relates how they almost made the news during the shoot…
“A cop from the L.A. bomb squad drove past Steve’s house while we were filming the murder scene. He thought it was real and called it in wondering how the press got there before the cops.
Then he walked over to us realizing what was going on. We all had a good (but nervous) laugh about it.
Before he walked away he shook my hand hard and said, ‘you know I could really mess with you right now, don’t you?’
I said ‘yup,’ then he smiled, got in his SUV and drove away.”
You can watch the video on the official band web site, and see the grisly tale of Castleneck, named for his first jailhouse tattoo.