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or: Who Are These People and Why Should I Care?

THE GADGETS ARE an Athens, GA post-everything foursome who play music. They got together in 1995 in Albany, GA and wrote a rock opera about Bessie, the cow pictured in the logo of an Elmer's Glue bottle. The rock opera was an immediate success, and enjoyed a brief but memorable run off-Broadway and critical raves before moving on to the Big Time : Branson, Missouri. To this day, locals still regale visitors with tales of young Bert "Bessie" Baranko's heart-breaking rendition of "At the Factory", the tearful centerpiece of the story. BUT THEN, tragedy struck. The writer of a rival opera production, Adam Eidson, began to blackmail the boys with unsavory photos of "Bessie" in flagrante delecto with teen idol Jared Leto, and proposed an offer : in exchange for the negatives, Mr. Eidson would be allowed to become a Gadget, with complete artistic control. Crushed, but without an alternative, the Gadgets accepted. Mr. Eidson's changes were immediate and severe. He ordered female lead W. Josh Bentley to undergo a sex change operation, and placed 320-pound Mark Doyal, a production assistant, on a dangerous crash diet, resulting in a 250-pound weight loss. He then made the Gadgets learn to play rock music, forced them to record and release a CD in 1997, and moved the lot of them to the concrete jungle of Athens, GA. The band now plays pop songs to drunken crowds, a mere shell of its former self, and the sly Adam Eidson has remade himself as a laid-back, unintrusive drummer. But make no mistakes, he is EVIL personified, and he rules the band with an iron fist. In Branson, they say you can still hear Bessie's plaintive cries, late at night...