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Butthole Surfers

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The Butthole Surfers is an American indie and punk band. The band was founded by Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary in San Antonio, Texas in 1982; the pair met while students at Trinity University. Incorporating elements of hardcore, psychedelia, and performance art, their live shows also made heavy use of strobe lights, background films and naked dancers.

While their line-up changed frequently through the years, they had a core membership of Jeff Pinkus on bass, with King Coffey and Teresa Taylor on drums in addition to Haynes (vocals) and Leary (guitar). Mark Kramer (of Bongwater and Shimmy Disc) also briefly played bass.

They recorded their debut EP on Alternative Tentacles, before moving to Touch & Go to release their debut album Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac. Along with The Teardrop Explodes in the UK this album might be said to have begun the psychedelic revival (psychedelia having been extremely unfashionable in the five years since punk). It also showed the influence of heavy metal (especially Black Sabbath), again, many years before this sound became fashionable: in marrying punk and heavy metal it might be seen as one of the first precursors of grunge. Their second album Rembrandt Pussyhorse showed the increased influence of the European avant-garde (e.g. bands such as Throbbing Gristle and Einsturzende Neubauten) as well as American eccentrics like Frank Zappa and The Residents. They recorded two more albums and numerous EPs for Touch and Go before leaving to record an album (Pioughd) for Rough Trade Records. In 1991 they were part of the first Lollapalooza tour. Soon afterwards they signed to Capitol Records and this one time underground band eventually became a mainstream commodity with songs on modern rock radio and Beavis and Butt-head. They also contributed songs to the soundtracks of Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet and Mission Impossible around about this time.

The band's most famous song is "Pepper" from the album Electriclarryland in 1996, which recounted the somewhat sordid stories of several high school students in Texas. However, probably their best album is the critically lauded Locust Abortion Technician (Touch & Go - US/ Blast First - UK). The story of the creation of this album is told in Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad (Little, Brown) amidst other tales from the American underground in the 1980s.

In 1996 the band brought a legal action to recover rights from Touch and Go to their back catalogue, a case they eventually won in 1999. Those records are now in print on their own Latino Buggerveil record label. At the same time a huge legal battle with Capital records began which ended up with the band being kicked off the label and signing to Hollywood Records (a subsidiary of Disney).

In the early 'nineties Gibby Haynes and Jeff Pinkus released a side project (The Jackofficers) which produced a highly psychedelic take on House music. As the 'nineties went on, the band became increasingly influenced by electronica, with Gibby namechecking Massive Attack, Tricky, and The Chemical Brothers as influences. This culminated in 'The Weird Revolution' (a reworking of an aborted album recorded for Capital called 'After the Astronaut') their most electronic album to date.

Samples

  • Download sample of "Pepper" from Electriclarryland

Discography

  • Butthole Surfers EP (1983) (alternate title: "A Brown Reason To Live")
  • Live PCPPEP (1984)
  • Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac (1984)
  • Cream Corn from the Socket of Davis EP (1985)
  • Rembrandt Pussyhorse (1986)
  • Locust Abortion Technician (1987)
  • Hairway to Steven (1988)
  • Widowermaker EP (1989)
  • Double Live (1989)
  • Pioughd (1990)
  • Independent Worm Saloon (1993)
  • Electric Larryland (1996)
  • After the Astronaut (unreleased) (1998)
  • Weird Revolution (2001)
  • Humpty Dumpty LSD (2002)

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This culminated in 'The Weird Revolution' (a reworking of an aborted album recorded for Capital called 'After the Astronaut') their most electronic album to date. Cooke was inducted as a charter member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. As the 'nineties went on, the band became increasingly influenced by electronica, with Gibby namechecking Massive Attack, Tricky, and The Chemical Brothers as influences. Some posthumous releases followed, many of which became hits, including "A Change Is Gonna Come", an early protest song which is generally regarded as his greatest composition. In the early 'nineties Gibby Haynes and Jeff Pinkus released a side project (The Jackofficers) which produced a highly psychedelic take on House music. The verdict was justifiable homicide, though many believe that crucial details did not come out in court, or were buried afterward. At the same time a huge legal battle with Capital records began which ended up with the band being kicked off the label and signing to Hollywood Records (a subsidiary of Disney). Though the details of the case are still in dispute, it seems he was shot to death by Bertha Franklin (the manager of Hacienda Motel, where Cooke was staying) who claimed she killed him in self-defense and that he had raped a young woman, then threatened Franklin.

Those records are now in print on their own Latino Buggerveil record label. He was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Glendale, California. In 1996 the band brought a legal action to recover rights from Touch and Go to their back catalogue, a case they eventually won in 1999. Sam Cooke died under mysterious circumstances on December 11, 1964 in Los Angeles, California. The story of the creation of this album is told in Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad (Little, Brown) amidst other tales from the American underground in the 1980s. In spite of this, he released a critically acclaimed blues-inflected LP in 1963, Night Beat. However, probably their best album is the critically lauded Locust Abortion Technician (Touch & Go - US/ Blast First - UK). Like most R&B artists of his time, Cooke focused on singles.

The band's most famous song is "Pepper" from the album Electriclarryland in 1996, which recounted the somewhat sordid stories of several high school students in Texas. This was followed by more hits, including "Sad Mood", "Bring it on Home to Me", "Another Saturday Night" and "Twisting the Night Away". They also contributed songs to the soundtracks of Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet and Mission Impossible around about this time. His first RCA single was the hit "Chain Gang"; this is probably his most famous song. Soon afterwards they signed to Capitol Records and this one time underground band eventually became a mainstream commodity with songs on modern rock radio and Beavis and Butt-head. Cooke then created a publishing imprint and management firm, then left Keen to sign with RCA. In 1991 they were part of the first Lollapalooza tour. Though a R&B performer writing his own songs and achieving mainstream fame was innovative enough, Cooke continued to astonish the music business in the 1960s with the founding of his own label, SAR Records, which soon included The Simms Twins, The Valentinos, Bobby Womack and Johnnie Taylor.

They recorded two more albums and numerous EPs for Touch and Go before leaving to record an album (Pioughd) for Rough Trade Records. He signed with Keen Records in 1957, with his own "You Send Me", which had massive mainstream success. bands such as Throbbing Gristle and Einsturzende Neubauten) as well as American eccentrics like Frank Zappa and The Residents. Specialty Records, the label of the Soul Stirrers, complained to Bumps Blackwell, Cooke's pop producer, resulting in the loss of Cooke's contract. Their second album Rembrandt Pussyhorse showed the increased influence of the European avant-garde (e.g. His first pop single, "Lovable" (1956) was released under the alias of Dale Cooke, in order to not alienate his fan base. It also showed the influence of heavy metal (especially Black Sabbath), again, many years before this sound became fashionable: in marrying punk and heavy metal it might be seen as one of the first precursors of grunge. In 1950, he joined The Soul Stirrers and achieved significant success and fame within the gospel community.

Along with The Teardrop Explodes in the UK this album might be said to have begun the psychedelic revival (psychedelia having been extremely unfashionable in the five years since punk). He started his musical career as a member of a quartet with his siblings, the Soul Children, followed by a teenage turn as a member of the Highway CQs, a gospel group. They recorded their debut EP on Alternative Tentacles, before moving to Touch & Go to release their debut album Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac. Sam Cooke (January 22, 1931 - December 11, 1964) was a massively popular gospel music and R&B singer, born Sam Cook in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Mark Kramer (of Bongwater and Shimmy Disc) also briefly played bass. While their line-up changed frequently through the years, they had a core membership of Jeff Pinkus on bass, with King Coffey and Teresa Taylor on drums in addition to Haynes (vocals) and Leary (guitar).

Incorporating elements of hardcore, psychedelia, and performance art, their live shows also made heavy use of strobe lights, background films and naked dancers. The band was founded by Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary in San Antonio, Texas in 1982; the pair met while students at Trinity University. The Butthole Surfers is an American indie and punk band. Humpty Dumpty LSD (2002).

Weird Revolution (2001). After the Astronaut (unreleased) (1998). Electric Larryland (1996). Independent Worm Saloon (1993).

Pioughd (1990). Double Live (1989). Widowermaker EP (1989). Hairway to Steven (1988).

Locust Abortion Technician (1987). Rembrandt Pussyhorse (1986). Cream Corn from the Socket of Davis EP (1985). Another Man's Sac (1984).

Powerless.. Psychic.. Live PCPPEP (1984). Butthole Surfers EP (1983) (alternate title: "A Brown Reason To Live").

Download sample of "Pepper" from Electriclarryland.

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