Everything you need to get excited about the Replacements, Keith Richards and 30 Rock.

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The Replacements posted this video to their Youtube channel the other day….

Their 1986 Saturday Night Live appearance is legendary, so it’s a kick to see that they were letting them back in the building at 30 Rock.  There was some speculation that it could mean they were playing Seth Meyers’ Late Night but Tonight Show booker Jonathan Cohen confirmed that they are playing the show today on Twitter.
Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 3.11.37 PMThen, Paul Westerberg fan site Man Without Ties pointed out that Keith Richards is scheduled to be a guest on the show.


Here’s everything you need to know to get excited about the possibility of anything remotely resembling Keef and the Mats being near each other in the NBC building….

January 18, 1986.  The Replacements appear on Saturday Night Live with Harry Dean Stanton hosting.  Unable to leave between dress rehearsal and the live broadcast, they did what any musical guest would do: trash the dressing room and get yourself and the host drunk. They played a fantastic “Bastards of Young” first. Paul yelled “C’mon, fucker” to Bob before the solo, then just kinda got bored at one point and didn’t sing. 

Paul, Tommy and Chris switched into each other’s clothes and came back later in the show to play “Kiss Me On The Bus”, which isn’t shown in shortened syndicated show repeats.

We were picked up to go to the studio at 10 in the morning in a limousine stocked with booze, and from 10 to five you couldn’t leave that floor.  Anything you want they’d send for.  Before we played we were completely just out of it.  Harry Dean Stanton was in there drinking booze with Tommy.  They were all fucked up.  I was in the bathroom getting high.”  -Bob Stinson in All Over But The Shouting (click to read more of his hilarity)

Producer Lorne Michaels was apparently livid and threatened to ban all Warner Brothers acts from future shows unless they paid for the damage that the band did to their hotel and dressing rooms.

On December 17, 1988, the Replacements played their only show of the year and their very first arena show, opening up for the last date of Keith Richards and the X-pensive Winos’ US tour at the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  They’d spent most of 1988 recording and getting ready to release the Don’t Tell A Soul album.  Since they’d be rusty, even by Mats standards, they actually rehearsed for it at 1st Avenue in Minneapolis, which turned out to be their only known taped band rehearsal.  Of course, it didn’t matter. One fan described their set as “BEYOND shitfaced” (show recording link).  

Photographer Paul Natkin recalls, “So, I spent about 3 weeks with Keith Richards and the X-Pensive Winos in November and December of 1988, traveling coast to coast with the coolest guy in Rock and Roll. The tour ended on Keith’s birthday, with a huge party after the show backstage at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. The Replacements, who were the opening act that night, asked me if I could take their picture with Keith. I told them to hang out and when he was through cutting the cake I would ask him. He of course said OK, so we went back to the Replacements table (This was about 15 minutes later,) and two of them were gone and the other two were passed out at the table. Keith and I just looked at each other, smiled, shrugged and went about our business.”

Happy birthday to Keith/Unsatisfied

Keith doing a timely Chuck Berry tune from that night’s show

Keith and the Winos on that one show

Tony Pierce (full 2008 LA Weekly interview): I saw a picture of you with Keith Richards who has got to be a big hero of yours. Did you guys have a chance to sit down and talk?

Paul Westerberg: Yeah we met about three times and that was the time we were doing a television show… no that was his birthday. Funny thing is that was his 45th birthday, I was 28, and now that I’m 45 I’m trying to get a picture of me and someone who’s 28 and compare them. Or take one of me and Keith now. No, that was very– I just snuck backstage through the security guard and took a Polaroid of us. I wasn’t scared of him. He gave me the look like he was going to kill me but he knew I was safe.

Polaroid found on Gypsy Dungeon tumblr

Polaroid found on Gypsy Dungeon tumblr

Nine years later after the first 30 Rock appearance, Lorne Michaels either forgot, forgave or didn’t know that Paul had been the singer of THAT band. In 1993, 3/4 of the current Replacements lineup was the musical guest on SNL (with Paul’s longtime manager Darren Hill on bass). They played the Keef influenced “Knockin On Mine” and the Replacements’ “Can’t Hardly Wait” with the house band’s horns.  Paul told drummer Josh Freese to yell something during the pauses, so he blurted out “BURT REYNOLDS!”.  In the end, he’s busting ridiculous moves that even Steve Moore would approve.  In a hilarious account of the night on Facebook he said, “I’m such a goddamn hot dog during the performances (I was 20 though…c’mon) that I can barely watch it”. He mentioned that they were told to keep it quiet that Paul was a Replacement for fear that they might not let them play.  The show ended without incident but 70-year old conservative host Charlton Heston couldn’t remember Paul’s name during the closing goodbyes. Paul made a “Ah, these people don’t care about me” gesture but then coughed into his hand and gave Heston a firm handshake.  A+

pw snl pw snl2

So, what if Keith actually played with the band on Tuesday night?   What would they play?  Probably some old blues or early rock & roll song but the amazing Replacements Live Archive made it easy to find what Stones songs they’d done before……

Happy and Honky Tonk Woman on PaulWesterberg.net

Last Time, Let It Bleed, Midnight RamblerMoonlight Mile Start Me Up (Replacements Live Archive download links)


After the PW and HOF show at SF’s Great American Music Hall I was fortunate to get to meet with Paul and talk with him at his bus. Music was coming from inside the bus and when the Stone’s/Richards’s song “Happy” started playing, Paul turned and pleaded, “Can you turn that up?” I acknowledged the song by saying, “Keith!” Paul shook his head solomnly and said, “I love Keith Richards.”   -Brianlux

I might just have to stay up late and watch.  As if I’m not excited enough about heading to Minneapolis in….uh oh, I need to buy some plane tickets.

Is this the first time NBC has actually admitted that someone was banned from SNL? http://www.nbc.com/the-tonight-show/filters/guests/11346Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 8.56.58 PM

Soundcheck in NY for @fallontonight.  -Josh Freese, Instagram

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.02.44 PM Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.03.19 PM



Tonight…. via The Replacements’ FacebookScreen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.03.29 PM

Questlove and Tommy Stinson. I like this duo. via Jonathan Cohen’s Instagram

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.03.44 PM Thank you, goodnight!  via The Replacements’ Facebook

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.04.00 PM @officialKeef & @ruby_stinson (daughter) via Tommy Stinson’s TwitterScreen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.04.19 PM Keef and the Mats in the hallway after @fallontonight. I am a very happy and lucky fellow. via Jonathan Cohen’s InstagramScreen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.04.34 PM The cards say it all. Thank you, Paul and Tommy. SPOILER ALERT via Jonathan Cohen’s Instagram  Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 5.04.46 PMALSO CHECK OUT
The Last: words on the Replacements at Denver RiotFest
Elvis Costello on Saturday Night Live: The most overrated “punk” moment in TV history.


Latest…..Riot Fest report……EVER, Denver 2013

After returning from last year’s Riot Fest in September, I had to immediately blab about seeing the Replacements and it ended becoming one of the most read Yer Doin Great pieces to date. Let’s see what my olde man memory can remember about the rest of my Denver trip four, er, eleven and a half months later. Seeing the amazing photos taken by my three friends is helping bring it all back. Just in time for Riot Fest 2014!

RF_Denver_Admat_web-1The first announcements about last year’s Riot Fest lineup in Chicago were tempting but when the Replacements and an additional date in Denver were added, I started thinking about going a little more seriously.  I’d never been to Colorado, I have friends there I’ve never visited and I’d just missed both of Rocket From The Crypt’s hometown reunion shows.  Then it was announced that original RFTC drummer Atom Willard would be playing with the band for the first time since 2000. When I met singer John Reis for the first time a few weeks before the festival at the Tower Bar, he insisted on getting me tickets.  How could I say no?!

I flew into the Denver darkness late Thursday night. It was strange visiting a new city and not actually getting to see it but by the time I bused into the city, I was barely awake.  Only a cool documentary about the Sunset Strip could’ve prevented me from crashing.  I woke up the next morning with no plans and a flip phone to (not) guide me.  I knew I was within walking distance of Twist & Shout Records so I headed that way and wasn’t disappointed.  After hitting a bookstore next door, I saw an amazing looking building across the street which turned out to be East High School, built in 1924. There were some purdy trees over yonder, so I headed north into what ended up being a huge park with museums galore.rf hs

I haven’t followed baseball in years but I couldn’t let my childhood dream of visiting every major league baseball stadium die, even if I didn’t care about an expansion team that didn’t exist the last time I could name more than three current baseball players. So I cabbed over to Coors Field, scalped a great third base side ticket, befriended some locals who schooled me on local history and watched the most unreal fireworks finale I’ve ever seen. The stadium was built to look like a classic and the hometown team prevailed, so it was a good night.

Highschool friend/punk icon Matt Page and his girlfriend Ambeur whisked me away to Denver suburb Northglenn afterwards and, since his daughter was away for the weekend, I slept in her bottom bunk while Justin and Selena posters watched over me.  Felt like home. They were also housing fellow highschooler and former Lorna’s Italian Kitchen slave Sarah and her awesome husband Greg (Ribshots).  As if they weren’t fun enough company, between the four of them, they introduced me to an endless stream of cool, interesting folks at the festival.

(fast forward seven months after I started writing and I can remember less….)

After a quick lunch, the five of us headed to the small town of Byers, Colorado, about 45 minutes east of Denver.  We didn’t hit a lot of freeway traffic but, understandably, the line of cars to get into the festival was not short. The parking lot route took us past the entrance and we drove at a slow crawl, getting further and further away from our destination as we watched exhausted pedestrians pass in the other direction. It was at least an hour until volunteers guided us into our parking space and we started the long hike back to the farm hosting Riot Fest.

c/o Your Older Brother

c/o Your Older Brother

c/o Greg Jacobs, Ribshots

Airborn ‘chunk c/o Greg Jacobs, Ribshots

There were some extremely unhappy Superchunk fans in our crew when we finally arrived to catch just a few Chapel Hill anthems on the stage closest to the entrance.  The entire festival was put on three huge stages all spaced apart and facing the same way. I’d never seen a set up like it but it worked fine.  We started to run into friends as soon as we walked up to see Guided By Voices. I’d never seen the original lineup that had recently reformed but I found myself missing the late-era replacements I’d seen so many times.  Bob’s Peter Pan juice ran dry for the rest of the band and they looked and played like their age. Strangely, the only song that really seemed to get the crowd going was “Teenage FBI”, which these guys hadn’t even played on.  They ended just in time for me to catch a few Dismemberment Plan songs and go help stake our claim up front for RFTC.

MP, Apollo9RFTC & me. -Matt Page

MP, Apollo9RFTC & me. -Matt Page

GBV -Your Older Brother

GBV -Your Older Brother

-Matt Page

DPlan -Matt Page

All reports of the Rocket reunion shows were, unsurprisingly, raves. It felt good to be that excited in my olde age, up front, jumping up and down and dancing like an idiot with fellow San Diegans, while our boys absolutely destroyed and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little cool to be on their guestlist.  To see Atom up there on drums again was beyond special and Superchunk’s Jon Wurster even bounded out to yell and tambourine along like he’d done in the studio with them. Speedo was in rare form and kept thanking the rock community of Byers (population 1,160) for such a strong showing. Quite a few folks said their set was probably the best of the weekend. They rocked fierce and tight and I could feel my cheeks lodged into a semi-permanent smile.  This trip was already worth it.

-Your Older Brother

-Your Older Brother

Us up front having a little fun. -Ribshots

Us up front. -Ribshots

-Your Older Brother

-Your Older Brother

Atom -Matt Page

Atom -Matt Page

Atom -Matt Page

Atom -Matt Page

RFTC w/Jon Wurster during "Sturdy Wrists", photo by Matt Page

RFTC w/Jon Wurster during “Sturdy Wrists”, photo by Matt Page



rf Riot Night ob

-Your Older Brother

There was time after Rocket to grab some quality foods and try to avoid the unavoidable: AFI, the Brand New and Toxic Airborne Whatever blaring away with no audio shelter to be found.  A roving noise/marching band and conversation with my new best buddy, Tim from Dagger Zine, helped but it was hard to keep my energy up at my age at that hour.  I had flown from California to see the Replacements but was barely standing as Iggy and the Stooges tore into their set.  God knows what they’ve got Iggy on to get out there and be that crazy but it was motivating.  All around me, kids half my age gawked in shock and ran to get a closer view, some even getting onstage. I stayed my distance and walked off within earshot of the searching and destroying to jockey for position for the Mats.

-Your Older Brother

-Your Older Brother

-Your Older Brother

-Your Older Brother



-Matt Page

-Matt Page

I’ve already told the Replacements tale.  I thought I had no energy.  I even thought I’d be happy leaving without seeing them. I couldn’t have been more wrong.  After that fun, we all found each other and went back to Rocket’s trailer, where they’d left us their wristbands that would allow us anywhere for Day Two.  Boy, did we need them…..

-Matt Page

-Matt Page

I don't even drink. -Matt Page

I don’t even drink. Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe Oakland sweatshirt RIP-Matt Page

After a long drive home and a good night’s sleep, we returned a little later and found all the  traffic problems had been solved. Not sure how or why but it was nice to avoid that mess again.  It’s a brand new festival in a remote location, so I figured there’d be plenty of kinks to work out. I’d say it all went pretty smooth considering everything that was about to happen….

Waylon from Kitten. -Matt Page

Waylon from Kitten. -Matt Page

We got there just in time to see California kids Kitten. I’ve known ex-School of Rock guitarist Waylon Rector for a few years, so to see him and the band do their thing way out in Colorado at a huge festival was a big kick. They jumped around like crazies per usual and the ol’ “Purple Rain” bit was fitting on such a gray day.  I eventually found fellow LA SOR guitarist Jacob Butler, whose Dad dropped him off like he was dropping him off at the mall and we went over to watch Peelander-Z, who was like a Yo Gabba/Power Rangers act for kids.  In broken English, they sang about tacos for 11 minutes and the youth contingent ate it up.  Huh.





I gave Naked Raygun a try but even hardcore fans said they were disappointing so I made the trek to the Public Enemy stage guilt free.  Their set got off to a worrying start.  There were only two S1W’s and they barely moved.  All the cutting and strutting with military precision was nowhere to be seen and, worse yet, they started into the first song and Flavor’s parts were pre-recorded but he was nowhere to be seen.  Oh no.  SIKE!   He came bounding out halfway through and the place went ballistic.  They jumped and rapped and preached, gave us all the classics and Flav played passable bass and drums for a few seconds. The mostly young crowd gave the band deafening call and responses, waved their hands in the ayah and jumped when told. Hell, no one even corrected Flavor when he gave shout outs to other bands on the bill, including Blondie and the Violent Femmes who’d played the Chicago Riot Fest but weren’t there that day.  I had almost forgotten they were playing so it was a great surprise to see them for the first time.



It had started to drizzle a lizzle at the end of PE’s set but, right as I met up with YDG reader and San Diego stranger Martin Weinstein, the wind picked up and we saw a bunch of trash go flying across a hill.  As we walked over to watch FLAG, who sounded monstrous, I saw a few flashes of lightning in the distance. The wind had just blown away the stage’s side banners and it felt like my contact lenses might go with them when they cut the power to the stage and announced that the National Weather Service had declared it unsafe and that everyone had to head to their cars until further notice.  In the chaos, I managed to find the rest of our posse quickly and we rushed backstage just as someone they knew pulled up in a minivan and yelled for us to get in.



-Your Older Brother

-Your Older Brother

While thousands of poor people had to walk a mile back to their cars and wait, we were whisked to a central barn to hang out with all the bands.  For my punk loving friends, it was an unreal chance to chat with buddies and heroes while eating free food and drink.  I got to see the Kitten folks before they used my phone to get a taxivan to come pick them up and catch their flight.  The organizers and hosts were doing a great job of keeping everyone safe, happy and informed.  You could see people on laptops, sending out notes on Twitter and Facebook while redoing and printing new band schedules as the rain started to let up.  After a couple of hours, we all headed back and the masses all returned to the festival grounds.

While Greg had been sidestage taking amazing pictures all weekend, I was finally getting my first VIP view. As we walked up the stairs to see Bad Religion, I saw a volleyball fly behind the stage followed by the sound of thousands of disappointed people chanting “WILSON! WILSON! WILSON!”. Having JUST seen Castaway for the first time, I put two and two together, ran back down the stairs, grabbed the ball, squeezed by security telling us to back up, walked onstage and gave ‘em back their ball, just before the band walked onstage. Biggest…cheer….ever.  Punk anthems never sounded so triumphant as they did playing to a field full of people who thought their weekend had just been cut short.

Photoshop free. -Matt Page

Photoshop free. -Matt Page

-Your Older Brother

-Your Older Brother

As we started to walk from behind the first stage over to the third, the skies EMPTIED.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen it rain that hard in my life.  We made it to a small tent near the stage where Rancid was playing and found other people like us, just seeking shelter.  After awhile, I figured there might be some coverage onstage and made a break up the stairs. The sides of the stage were packed so I ended up with a few other folks behind the band’s amps watching them play to a deafening throng of kids as SHEETS of rain came down on them.  It was an amazing sight and a perfect ending to a great weekend.

-Matt Page

-Matt Page

You don’t think we’d actually stay for Blink 182, do you?



concert-list-logoDust off those ticket stubs and memories! I said I would never update this but the archived version from 1996 has helped enough people that it should probably be back online. This is incomplete (and inaccurate in parts), so if you know of any more shows or corrections, please tell me with a comment here or on Facebook. Shows are in America unless noted. I went to the shows in caps.

UPDATE/THANKS: Lisa Henley (Atlanta show at Center Stage in 1990 & ’93 at Cotton Club),John Read Knapp Jr (’93 Seattle club names), John Molloy (The Marquee in NY ’90), Danny Means (Edgefest ’93, got bands from KDGE.com and date from Facebook), Notherland Kiefer (German ’93 show ticket), Danny Means (Berlin 93 poster) Geoff Leamon (Studio Kafe, 1st show), Scott Whitehead (Norman OK 93), Verity Bolwell (The Palace in Melbourne, date unknown), Matt Kellie (Manchester dates & tickets pic), Merlyn Veray (UCSD 90), Brenda Blackhalo (Summerfest 93 date), Clayton Lillye (Syndey 93), Carol Suzuki (Tokyo 93 setlist) plus found Austin, Philly & Detroit Sept 90, Club Lingerie (1990 video, date unknown) Detroit Nov 90, some 91 Black Crowes shows, JJJ Australian radio show date and Philly, Vegas, Dallas & San Antonio 93 with Tears For Fears. Also linked to 1990 NY review,  video of JF singing with Black CrowesUK tour postcard (Chris Manning), Magic Mountain ’93 postcard & LA Palace ticket/setlist/LA Times article (Bill Rowan) and 1993 Warfield videos.

1990 (date unknown, possibly August just after Bellybutton released) Studio Kafe, Santa Rosa, CA Warmup show as Smürf (photo)
1990 (date unknown) Catlle Club, Sacramento, CA

9/09/90 Wadsworth, Los Angeles, CA
9/10/90 Warfield, San Francisco (World Party’s set)
9/12/90 Boulder Theatre, Denver, CO
9/15/90 Austin Opera House, Austin, TX
9/17/90 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN
9/19/90 The Vic, Chicago, IL
9/20/90 St Andrews Hall, Detroit MI
9/27/90 The Ritz, New York NY (review)
9/28/90 Chestnut Cabaret, Philadelphia PA
9/30/90 Lisner Auditorium, Washington, DC
10/2/90 Center Stage, Atlanta GA

10/24/90 Cal State Fullerton, Fullerton, CA free show
10/25/90 The Roxy, Los Angeles, CA
10/26/90 UCSD gym steps, San Diego, CA
10/27/90 The Pub, UCSB, Santa Barbara, CA (preview)
10/90 (date unknown) Club Lingerie, Hollywood CA (video)

11/8/90 St Andrews Hall, Detroit MI
11/11/90 Max’s, Baltimore, MD
11/13/90 9:30 Club, Washington, DC (preview #1) (preview #2)
11/15/90 Chuy’s, Tempe, AZ (w/Maggie’s Dream and Big Head Todd and The Monsters)
11/16/90 The Axis, Boston, MA
(date unknown) The Marquee, New York, NY
11/19/90 Cotton Club, Atlanta, GA w/Maggie’s Dream
11/25/90 Mercury Cafe, Denver, CO w/Maggie’s Dream

12/5/90 The Edge, Palo Alto, CA
2/17/91 Catcus Club, San Jose, CA
2/21/91 Bogart’s, Long Beach, CA, recorded for Westwood One
2/22/91 The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, CA
2/25/91 Slim’s, San Francisco, CA

3/2/91 Bay Area Music Awards Broadcast on TV
3/11/91 The Backstage, Seattle, WA (Ken & Jon from the Posies jump onstage for “Go Your Own Way”) w/the First Thought
3/24/91 Appfel Park, Galveston, TX
4/6/91 University of Arizona Mall, Tuscon, AZ (opening for Redd Kross w/the Posies & Momma Stud) (can you say dream concert?)
4/91 KUKQ Birthday Bash ’91, Chandler Compadre Stadium w/Sisters of Mercy, Drivin n Cryin, Havana 3am, Danielle Dax (MTV report)

(date unknown) Harpo’s, Victoria, B.C., Canada

4/23/91 Manchester University Student Union, Manchester, UK
4/29/91 De Melkweg (Milky Way), Amsterdam, the Netherlands
5/2/91 The Underworld, London, UK

5/7/91 Township Auditorium, Columbia SC
5/9/91 Sunrise Musical Theater, Sunrise FL (w/JF?)
5/10/91 Orlando Sports Club, Orlando FL
5/11/91 Entertainment Center, Tampa FL (w/JF?)
5/12/91 Civic Auditorium, Jacksonville, FL
5/14/91 Bayfront Auditorium, Pensacola, FL
5/15/91 Andrew Jackson Hall, Nashville, TN
5/17/91 Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL
5/18/91 Milwaukee-Eagles Club Ballroom or Central Park Ballrom(?), Milwaukee, WI
5/19/91 Adler Theatre-Rivercenter, Davenport, IA
5/21/91 Music Hall, Omaha, NE
5/22/91 Memorial Hall, Kansas City, MO
5/23/91 Made in OK, Oklahoma City, OK
5/24/91 Bronco Bowl, Dallas, TX
5/26/91 Unicorn, Houston, TX (or the Ritz in Ybor City, FL?)
5/27/91 Municipal Coliseum, Lubbock TX (w/JF?)
5/28/91 Convention Center/Exhibit Hall, Albuquerque, NM
5/29/91 Auditorium Theater, Denver, CO (Ebay poster auction)
5/31/91 Greek Theater, Richland, WA
6/1/91 Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland, OR
6/2/91 Opera House, Spokane, WA
6/3/91 Paramount Theater, Seattle, WA
6/5/91 Warfield Theater, San Francisco, CA (poster)
6/6/91 Events Center, San Jose, CA (poster) (video JF w/BC)
6/7/91 Freeborn Hall, Davis, CA (poster)
6/10/91 Wilson Theater, Fresno, CA
6/12/91 Ampitheater, Mesa, AZ
6/13/91 Music Hall, Tuscon, AZ
6/15/91 Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, FM broadcast of Crowes set

6/24/91 Hard Rock Cafe, San Francisco, CA, FM broadcast
6/29/91 Milwaukee-Marcus Ampitheater, Milwaukee, WI (opening for the Violent Femmes with Fishbone)

(3 WEEK UK TOUR) (postcard)
7/11/91 Moles Club, Bath, England (or Town & Country Club?)
7/13/91 Wembley Stadium (Summer XS), London, England (opening for INXS w/Jesus Jones, Hothouse Flowers)
7/14/91 The Waterfront, Norwich, England
7/15/91 Duchess of York, Leeds, England
7/17/91 Wulfren Hall, Wolverhampton, England
7/18/91 The Venue, Edinburgh, Scotland
7/19/91 King Tuts Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, Scotland
7/21/91 Riverside, Newcastle, England
7/22/91 Manchester International 1, Manchester, England
7/23/91 Goldwyns, Birmingham, England
7/25/91 Bierkellar, Bristol, England
7/26/91 Town & Country, London, England

8/2/91 The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA
8/9/91 F/X, San Jose, CA
8/10/91 Slim’s, San Francisco, CA
9/3/91 NBC Studios, New York, NY, TV show taping “Late Night With David Letterman”


12/13/92 Live 105 Acoustic Xmas show, San Francisco?, CA, FM broadcast
12/17/92 KFOG acoustic show, San Francisco?, CA, FM broadcast
2/10/93 FX, San Jose, CA

4/3/93 SIX FLAGS MAGIC MOUNTAIN, CA 1:00 SHOW (postcard)
4/4/93 The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, CA (Palm Sunday over & over)
4/13/93 The Roxy, Phoenix, AZ
(date unknown) Tower Records, Austin TX
4/15/93 Liberty Lunch, Austin TX
4/16/93 Rome 90, Norman, OK
4/18/93 Starplex Amphitheater, Dallas, TX, 94.5 KDGE ‘Edge Fest’.w/Gumball, Dinosaur Jr., Pop Poppins, Tragically Hip, Gene Loves Jezebel, Belly, DADA, 808 State

4/21/93 Berlin, German (poster)
4/22/93 Luxor, Germany (image)
4/24/93 De Melkweg (Milky Way), Amsterdam, the Netherlands

5/5/93 Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
5/6/93 Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, England
5/8/93 Roadmenders, Northhampton, England
5/12/93 Bristol University, England
5/13/93 Nottingham University, England
5/14/93 Manchester University Student Union, England
5/16/93 The Arches, Glasgow, Scotland
5/17/93 Leeds Metropolitan University
5/18/93 Redcar Bowl, England
5/20/93 Junction, Cambridge, England
5/21/93 The Astoria, London, England

This is a mishmash of tourdates sent out by the fanclub before the tour (a lot of ‘em were switched) and the corrections you guys have been helping me with.
5/26/93 The Grand, New York, NY
5/27/93 WBCN, Boston, MA interview & performance*
5/27/93 Thje Orpheum, Boston, MA
5/29/93 The Chance, Poughkeepsie, NY
5/30/93 Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
5/31/93 Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ
6/1/93 Toad’s Place, New Haven, CT
6/2/93 Babyhead, Providence, RI
6/4/93 The Academy, New York, NY
6/5/93 Tower Records, Philadelphia, PA
6/5/93 Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA
6/6/93 Bogie’s, Albany, NY
6/8/93 WHFS “Lunchtime” acoustic perf., Washington, DC, FM broadcast
6/8/93 Gaston Hall, Washington, DC
6/9/93 Club Rogues, Virginia Beach, VA
6/11/93 Tampa, FL
6/12/93 The Edge, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
6/13/93 Station, Orlando, FL
6/15/93 1313 Club, Charlotte, NC
6/17/93 328 Performance, Nashville, TN
6/18/93 City Stages, Birmingham, AL
6/19/93 Masquerade Music Park, Atlanta, GA “A Rock Garden Party” w/ Trash Can Sinatras, Dillon Fence, Hollyfaith (with Tim’s future Umajets singer Rob Aldridge)
6/22/93 Tipitina’s, New Orleans, LA
6/23/93 The Varsity Theater, Baton Rouge, LA
6/24/93 Trees, Dallas, TX
6/25/93 Six Flags Over Texas, Arlington, TX (w/dada) RAINED OUT
6/26/93 Columbia, MO
6/28/93 Mississippi Nights, St. Louis, MO
6/28/93 Rose Records acoustic perf, Chicago, IL
6/29/93 Cabret Metro, Chicago, IL
6/30/93 Milwaukee-SummerFest, Milwaukee, WI (w/Antenna, Material Issue and the Buck Pets)
7/3/93 St. Andrew’s Hall, Detroit, MI
7/4/93 Patio in Brewery District, Columbus, OH
7/6/93 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN (No Matter What w/Joey Molland from Badfinger)
7/7/93 Ranch Bowl, Omaha, NE
7/8/93 Bottleneck, Kansas City, KS
7/10/93 Mercury Cafe, Denver, CO
7/11/93 Club DV8, Salt Lake City, UT
7/13/93 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
7/14/93 RCKNDY, Seattle, WA
7/15/93 Portland, OR
7/17/93 The Warfield, San Francisco, CA (videos)
7/18/93 Sacramento, CA
7/21/93 The Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, CA
7/22/93 (daytime) Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, TV show taping, Dick Clark’s Battle of the Bands
7/23/93 The Palace, Hollywood, CA (w/ Antenna) (ticket/setlist/LA Times article)
7/24/93 Iguana’s, Tijuana, Mexico (w/ No Doubt) CANCELLED
7/25/93 Ventura Theatre, Ventura, CA

8/?/93 Endfest Festival, Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH w/The Jayhawks, Violent Femmes, L7, Gigolo Aunts, Candlebox, The Clarks, The Odds, Tears for Fears

9/9/93 FM Yokohama, Japan acoustic perf
9/12/93 Shibuya On Air, Tokyo, Japan
9/14/93 Nagoya Quattro, Japan
9/15/93 Tokyo, Japan
9/19/93 Tokyo, Japan (setlist)
9/21/93 JJJ Radio, Australia
9/24/93 Selinas, Sydney, Australia (opening for Died Pretty)
(date unknown) The Palace, St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia
9/28/93 Honolulu, HI, The Garage

10/4/93 State Theater, New Brunswick, NJ (Jellyfish cancelled)
10/5/93 Beacon Theatre, New York, NY
10/6/93 The Chance, Poughkeepsie, NY
10/8/93 WXPN, Philadelphia, PA, “Fundraiser” acoustic perf
10/8/93 Tower Theater, Philadelphia
10/9/93 Shippensburg University, Shippensbeurg, PA
10/11/93 Chrysler Hall, Norfolk, VA
10/12/93 Constitution Hall, Washington, DC
10/15/93 Shea’s Buffalo, Buffalo,NY
10/16/93 University of Connecticut, Hartford, CT
10/19/93 Holiday Star Theatre, Merrilville, IN
10/20/93 Fox Theatre, Detroit, MI
10/22/93 Palace Theater, Columbus, OH
10/23/93 Milwaukee-Riverside Theater, Milwaukee, WI
10/24/93 American Theatre, St. Louis, MO
10/25/93 Memorial Hall, Kansas City, MO
10/27/93 Paramount, Denver, CO
10/28/93 Salt Air Ampitheatre, Salt Lake City, UT
10/30/93 Alladin Theater, Las Vegas, NV
11/1/93 The 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, WA
11/2/93 Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
11/5/93 Universal Ampitheatre, Los Angeles, CA
11/7/93 San Jose Events Center, San Jose, CA (poster)
11/9/93 San Diego Civic Center.San Diego, CA
11/10/93 Gammage Auditorium, Tempe, AZ
11/12/93 Bomb Factory, Dallas TX  (w/JF?)
11/13/93 Rockefeller’s West, Houston, TX
11/14/93 San Antonio(?)
11/15/93 State Palace Theatre, New Orleans, LA
11/16/93 Cotton Club, Atlanta, GA
11/17/93 Orlando, FL
11/18/93 Ft. Myers, FL
11/19/93 Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersberg, FL
11/20/93 Broward County Fairgrounds, Hallandale, FL (the last show ever)




When I first started Rookie Card in 2001, I was excited to finally be playing my own songs and would busk outside of shows for fun sometimes.  Once I went to play near the exit door of Solana Beach’s Belly Up at an Old 97’s show. A tall, bearded man came out to have a smoke while the band was still on, so I started playing.  He nodded and after awhile said, “I like your songs.  You remind me of Scott McCaughey.” He was testing me.  “I love the Young Fresh Fellows!” I replied and we bonded on all things Replacementsy.  After playing for the departing concertgoers, I went inside to say hi to the band. Rhett took me aside and said, “Do you know who that is?”  I hadn’t followed baseball since my early childhood obsession so I’d never heard of Jack McDowell.  He probably appreciated that.

jackm1Besides being the winningest American League pitcher of the 90’s, Jack is an unabashed music fan. He’d started his own band, Stickfigure, and we played together a time or two. I’d just fallen in love with Kevin Chanel’s baseball/punk magazine Chin Music!  I’d been wanting to do more musicwriting and both Jack and Kevin agreed to an interview. I went up to his house in Del Mar and we talked a long while about baseball and music.  It was good and lengthy enough to be a two part article, so I focused on baseball in part one.  Before we could publish part two, Kevin stopped doing the magazine. RIP

Some of the old articles, including a GREAT one with Johnny Ramone and A’s owner Billy Beane and Apollo 9 from RFTC talking about meat prep, are archived on the magazine’s website but my interview never was.  You can buy back issues from their site. Do it. Writing about the Old 97’s for the ABC’s of Rock on the YDG Facebook page made me want to dig up a photo of Jack and I from when I had him play acoustically at M-Theory Music.  I came up empty, so I thought I’d at least put the article up online.  Someday, I’ll come across the cassette again and put up part two of the interview….

Recently, ChinMusic! was lucky enough to sit with real-life ex-Yankee & rock star-in-waiting “Black” Jack McDowell. He’s one of the few baseball players to ever take being a musician seriously, first fronting the band V.I.E.W. in the early 90’s which eventually turned into his new band, Stickfigure. In the first of our two-part interview, McDowell focuses mainly on his time pitching in the Big Apple. The winningest American League pitcher of the 1990’s spent the 1995 season with the Yanks, posting an impressive 15-10 record, leading the league in complete games and pick-off throws, while finishing top 10 in strikeouts and shutouts. Though only in New York for one season, he made quite an impression, pitching the team into the playoffs AND making the best use of a middle finger since Billy Martin’s 1972 baseball card. To many, including this magazine’s editor; whose band dressed in ChiSox uniforms onstage in tribute, McDowell was the perfect marriage of rock and baseball. It’s not surprising that he loved being in NYC. Correspondent Adam Gimbel visited him at his home in Del Mar, California.

jack sportingChinMusic!: You were in New York for a year. Did you live there?
Jack McDowell: Yeah, on the upper west side. We’d just had our first kid, Lucas, in February of that year. We were living in Chicago and coming out of the strike. I didn’t know where I was going to be. I got traded by the White Sox during the strike so no one knew whether it was valid or not. I was supposed to be a free agent that year but I was 13 days short because they weren’t counting the time that I was on strike. Kenny Rogers and I were the only two players that didn’t get our free agency that year. So, I had to play seven seasons to become a free agent. It was screwed but it turned out being fun. New York was probably the most fun year I had in baseball.
CM: Really?
JM: Yeah, because the team was great. The guys were great.They hadn’t been to the playoffs in 13 years and we got to the playoffs and Mattingly got to be in the playoffs before he got out of there.
CM: You had a pretty good year.
JM: I was 15-10 and it was a shortened season. I ended up missing my last few starts of the season before the playoffs because I had a torn lat (latisimus dorsi) muscle. No one ever knew. We couldn’t say anything because we were going into the playoffs and they knew I wouldn’t be able to heal but I said,”Screw it. I’m just gonna roll with it.” I had this golf ball sticking out of the back of my lat. So I missed the last two starts of the season but still ended up, like, third in the league in innings.
jackm2CM: It looked like you had a good year but what everyone remembers is you flipping off the crowd at Yankee Stadium. Was that just you having a bad day?
JM: I went in there as their number two starter. Jimmy Key was our number one and past me were basically fill in starters. Jimmy made two starts and then he was done.When Jimmy went down, (manager) Buck told me, “You’re an innings guy. I know you don’t care what your ERA is. You’re going to have to suck it up this year. You’re gonna have to take the ball and if you’re getting beat up, you’re going to have to stay out there.” Before I missed my last starts of the season, I was leading the league in innings by, like, 20 innings. It was ridiculous. But, I wasn’t giving up four runs in three innings, I was giving up seven runs in seven innings and stayed out there to get pounded on, if I was having a bad day. I had a couple of those starts in a row and I was getting booed and then the White Sox came into town. My old team beat the crap out of me, hit three home runs. I gave up about seven runs but I ended up sticking out there. Just kept going and I was getting booed. I said, “You know what? That is enough!” New York guys are supposed to be smart. They’re supposed to get it.That this was admirable what I was doing and I just snapped. Rather than bitching about it in the media, I just covered it in one fell swoop.They got it. though.They did understand. People on the outside were like “Oh, he hates it in New York. He’s cracking under the New York pressure.” The assumption is that I hated it there and I had a horrible year but it wasn’t that way at all. I had fun. It was a great team. It was a great year. There was that incident but after that I was like a folk hero. (years later, Scott McCaughey’s band the Baseball Project paid homage to the incident in “The Yankee Flipper”) 
CM: How did it feel to know that you were going to be a Yankee? There’s such a legacy. Were you into that when you were a kid?
JM: I grew up in Van Nuys, so I was a huge Dodgers fan but if you’re a baseball fan, you know about that legacy. It was great to be a Yankee, at least for that one year.The strangest thing was changing teams in general. After spending six years with one team, you hate everyone that isn’t in your clubhouse and all of a sudden they hate you! I go into a new clubhouse and they’re thinking one thing about me and they don’t know anything about me.
CM: You were a Dodgers fan but you ended up with all American League teams.
JM: I know, I know and I was a good hitter too! I never understood why a National League team never picked me up.
CM: Could you actually try to get picked up by a National League team?
JM:Well, my only chance was when I was a free agent one year and we only had two offers. One was from the Marlins, who’d just started, and the other one was the Indians. No one was getting free agents.
CM: Did you try to call the Dodgers? I’d assume you’d want to be a Dodger.
jack rcJM: We tried to get the Dodgers to pick me. They were a few picks after the White Sox when I was drafted out of college. We were trying to sneak by, telling the White Sox I didn’t want to sign with them but they picked me anyways and you pretty much have to go where you’re picked. It ended up being great. We had a great team and it’s a super city.
CM: So when you grew up, were most of your early baseball heroes Dodgers?
JM: Oh yeah.
CM: Such as?
JM: You know. The Garvey, Cey, Lopes, Russell years. Dusty Baker and that whole thing.Those were my guys. When I was a kid, I had a Steve Garvey t-shirt that my brother painted for me. He was the only player that I sent away for his autograph and I got it back. I remember when I was 9, I had a 12 year old kid I was hanging out with and we all had baseball card collections. I traded all my dad and brothers’ 1920’s cards for that year’s Dodgers. Like,”Yeah, here’s Babe Ruth’s rookie card for Billy Grabarkewitz. You know? Bill Singer!
CM: Did you get to see Drysdale or any of those guys?
JM: No, but he was my first announcer for the White Sox when I was there. It was crazy because as a rookie, I came in and Jerry Reuss was there and (Tom) Paciorek was doing the TV and Drysdale was there. A couple of years later, they traded for Charlie Hough. CM: Were you wanting to be a pitcher when you were younger?
JM:I always was. I played pitcher and shortstop when I was younger. I went into college as a shortstop AND as a pitcher but I ended up just pitching. I was a big Bob Welch fan.That was my guy. I ended up pitching against him. I also pitched against Tommy John when he was at the end of his career with the Yankees. Both of my brothers played at USC and they used to play the Dodgers every spring. I have a picture of me getting Tommy John’s autograph when I was, like, 7 years old. I always wanted to pull that out and show him.  (note: in Feb 2014, McDowell was named manager of the Dodgers’ Ogden farm team)
CM: What do you remember about your first trip to New York?
JM: I remember room service being crazy expensive as much as anything. I mean, it was cool. I don’t remember being in awe of the stadium or anything. I just remember how very cool it was to be there and check it out and then ordering a couple of beers and a shrimp cocktail and having it be about a hundred bucks.
CM: So you’d already been to Yankee Stadium before you were a Yankee. What were your first memories of going there?
JM: It’s crazy going to EVERY big league park for the first time. First of all, you get to see all these places you’ve only seen on TV and, secondly, you’re pitching against a team where you know everybody in the lineup. Like, “Oh my god, I know all of these guys!” When you first get to the big leagues, you don’t know who your “outs” are and who the dangerous guys are. I tell rookies that you know you’ve made it when you know these guys are the “outs” and these are the guys I have to worry about.
CM: How was it having a newborn kid in New York? Were you walking him in Central Park and all that?
JM: Oh yeah, we were right by the park. We’d take those walks. It was a new team and a new city. Like I said, I didn’t know what team I was going to be playing for. I get a call from the Yankees when the strike broke,”Okay, we’ll see you at spring training in 48 hours.” Spring training was in Ft. Lauderdale and I was in California at the time. So I was on the phone with the (players) union saying”Is this real? Is that where I’m going?” I had to fly out there and then fly up to New York and get a place for us to live for the season while the season was starting. It was crazy. It was a crazy, crazy year.jack-mcdowell
CM: You were living in town. Were you able to go out at night?
JM: Not really. We had a new kid, so we were just trying to figure out parenting as much as anything. I had a couple of fun nights. I had one great night where we went to the R.E.M. concert at Madison Square Garden and we went out with all those guys afterwards, the Smithereens and Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows) who’d just started playing with R.E.M.. I was late for stretching the next day. Let’s put it that way. It was a Saturday night and there was a Sunday day game and I was late the next day.
CM: Was there anyone on the Yankees that could relate?
JM:Yeah, there were a few guys that were into it. They knew I was a huge R.E.M. fan. They understood that I could be late that one day to check in with my heroes. (check out Instream’s recent Jack interview where they talk a whole lotta R.E.M. -ed.)
CM: Had you already known the Smithereens?
JM:Yeah. we had already done a tour with them around ’91. It was the winter of ’91 when V.I.E.W. opened a tour for them.
CM: What other New York bands are some of your favorites? Stickfigure covers the Velvets (“Rock and Roll”).
JM:Yeah, I like all the stuff that was considered punk back then. But that’s not what people consider punk now. It was just basically straightforward rock from guys who weren’t into studio slick.There was some serious songs but some of it was funny and tongue-in-cheek. I like all that stuff from that era.
CM: Did you get to go to any of the smaller clubs?
JM: It’s tough during the season because someone will come through town when you’re not there. I wasn’t hanging out at clubs. In baseball, its tough because you get home at 12:30, you know? It’s different on the road because you’re just sitting there wasting time.You go out more on the road because your wife and kids aren’t there.You can get out of there and go to a club on the way back to the hotel.
CM: So you were just there for the one season?
JM: Just one year and I was a free agent after that year. Me & Coney (David Cone) were free agents. They fired Buck Showalter and they hadn’t hired Joe Torre yet and I had to make a decision. So I decided to sign with Cleveland. They were in the Series two years later.
CM: So, you got an apartment and you were only there for a year?
JM: Really just six months. As soon as the season was done, we moved back to Chicago and I ended up signing with Cleveland. Later, we moved to Cleveland and bought a house, had another kid, played that one season and had surgery the next season.That was pretty much it. I played two more years with the Angels, starting the season seeing if I could pitch without that muscle in my arm and it didn’t happen.
CM: What do you remember about 9/11?
JM:We were in Chicago.We were supposed to play a gig there on the 12th.The first I heard of it was our drummer waking me up in the morning from the airport saying there was something wrong with his flight. So I’m awake and on hold with United and I turn the TV on. I’m trying to focus on it I don’t know what it is, a burning building or whatever and then BOOM! The second plane goes in right as I’m watching. So I hang up the phone and turn it up to find out what’s going on. We were in downtown Chicago, so I’m on my balcony thinking “If they drop that Sears Tower, which you KNOW is next, we’re right here.” So, I’m FREAKING out. Mike (Mesaros, Stickfigure/Smithereens bass player) knew people that were in the building that got out. I knew friends of friends there but no one immediate.
CM: Did you actually use the phrase “chin music”?
JM: I’m trying to think of what we’d say. We’d probably say “knock ‘em down” more than -chin music”.
CM: Because, you were known for throwing high and tight.
jackm5JM: It’s so funny because I was known for that and it’s a crackup because I never hit more than, like, four guys in a particular season. Greg Maddux will hit 15 a year. I actually had veterans come over to our team and say, “You need to hit more people.You’ve got that reputation. You should just hit someone randomly, just to keep it in the back of their minds.” But I didn’t even have to. I’ve got this image that I do that anyways and it came from when I first got called up from college. I was primarily a two-pitch pitcher. I didn’t have a really good curveball. I had a fastball and a split-finger fast-ball. I didn’t have the normal split where they’d throw it in the ground and guys would swing at it. I had to throw mine for a strike. Over time, it became a great pitch for me. I was really basically a one and a half pitch pitcher, so I had to use my fastball a lot. Carlton Fisk was king on using the fastball, just moving it in and out in the right place. There were times in the first couple years where I’m throwing to Pudge (Fisk) where I would go into the windup and he’d move over to where he’s going and I can’t see him because he’s set up BEHIND the batter. (Adam laughs) You know? He’s set up and you can JUST see his glove sticking out behind the guy’s thigh. (thinking out loud) “So I’m throwing inside, man.” So, I got pegged as not being afraid to throw inside. But, I always threw inside to try to throw strikes to try to get people out.Very rarely did I waste a pitch just to get someone off the plate. I hated wasting pitches.
CM: Was it more up to the catcher to do that? I know there’s a signal for coming in tight, but, is there an actual signal for “knock ‘em down”?
JM: There’s a signal for “knock ‘em down”. Everyone’s got one but you can’t use it so much these days because you’ve got cameras. If a fight starts, they’re going to go back and see that the catcher gave the sign. Usually, when you see fights, it’s because someone got hit and then you’re in the dugout (and see it on a monitor), so everyone sort of gives the high sign that we’ve got one coming to us.
CM: Did you ever have a theme song like “Hell’s Bells” or something?
JM: The only time I had something on when I came out on the mound that they didn’t pick was one year in Cleveland, I had them play Pearl Jam’s “Present Tense”. I’d started seeing a sports psychologist, sort of a mental coach and his whole thing was to just stay in the present tense. It’s so easy to say and so hard to do. In baseball, if you throw a pitch and give up a home run, who gives a crap? You’ve gotta throw the next pitch. If you’re gonna trip about it, then your next pitch is going to be terrible. It’s all about “Next pitch, next pitch.” If you stay in the present, you’re going to look back and you won’t know what happened but you’re going to be good.That song came out almost exactly the time when I started seeing that guy. It was like (to Eddie Vedder), “You’re thinking along the same lines.” So I had them play that. It was a little knee-jerk. They played it as I ran out and warmed up for the game. It’s kind of a mellow song but it was good. It wasn’t like I was trying to trip anyone out. I was just trying to get in my own zone.

jack stickIn the next issue of ChinMusic!, McDowell discusses what it’s like to be into “weird” music in a locker room full of jocks and being an ex-athlete trying to make it in the music world.
Check out Stickfigure’s website at http://www.stickfigure.com (link to archived version). Their new album, Ape of Kings, is out now on What Are Records? It’s available through their website at http://www.war.com (link to archived site, War.com now belongs to the band War).


To celebrate the 50th anniversary of A Hard Day’s Night opening in America today, I found a plethora of posters for the film from around the world.  If you know of any others, please let us know!  Check out our other AHDN collections below….

USA,  via Martha’s Vineyard Film Center.
ahdn us

A Hard Day’s Night at the California Theater, downtown San Diego 1964 via San Diego Reader ahdn sd

British via CineMasterpieces
ahdn ukUK#2 via Movie Poster Shop
ahdn uk2UK premiere via Beatles Blogger
ahdn premiere uk
Australian via Movie Poster Shop
ahdn australia
Belgium via Endless Movie Posters
ahdn foreign posterBelgium via Beatlebilia
Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 11.22.55 PM
 via Movie Poster Shop
ahdn unknown
Frenchahdn french poster
French via Fine Art Americaahdn french
Two German posters via Endless Posters
ahdn german2ahdn german
German via Art.comahdn german3 Italian via Movie Poster Shop
ahdn italian
Italian via Movie Poster Shopahdn italian3
Italian via SRS Collectables
ahdn italian4Japanese via Endless Posters

ahdn japaneseJapanese (reissue?) via Movie Poster Shop
ahdn jap2New Zealand via BeatlebiliaScreen Shot 2014-08-10 at 11.24.25 PMPolish via Polish Posters
ahdn polish

Spanish via Movie Poster Shop

ahdn spanish

Spain via BeatlebiliaScreen Shot 2014-08-10 at 11.25.37 PMSpanish via Peach LobsterScreen Shot 2014-08-10 at 11.40.52 PMSpain via Fantomas38000ahdn spain4Sweden via BeatlebiliaScreen Shot 2014-08-10 at 11.26.46 PMSweden via Beatlebilia
Screen Shot 2014-08-10 at 11.28.04 PM
Unknown (fake USA?) via Imp Awards
ahdn unknown2


Thanks to Vincenzo Ravina for posting about this interview on Reddit, we’re having one of our biggest days ever (4000 views so far). Thanks!  A little last bit of interview and some other fun related stories in the final pages of the big report….

Russell: What about Kurt? Did you ever talk to Kurt Cobain?
Al: Yeah, yeah I did. I talked to him, actually on the set of S
aturday Night Live. ‘Cause Victoria Jackson is a friend of mine. I did UHF with her and I knew that Nirvana was gonna be performing that night, so I said, “Look if you ever get Kurt alone somewhere, put him on the phone with me ’cause I wanna ask him about a parody,”which she did. She called me up later in the day and said, “Uhhh, here’s Kurt Cobain,” and gave the phone to him. And I just said, “Hey, Kurt. Hi. It’s Al Yankovic. I just wanted to say I love your new album and I was wondering if I could do a parody of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’?” And he said something to effect of, “Well, is it gonna be about food or something?” “Well, no, it’s gonna be about how nobody can understand your lyrics.” And he said, “Oh. Well, that’s funny.” He was extremely cool.
Russell: That video’s pretty funny. That guy with the donut—is it a donut or a bagel?
Al: Ahh, I think it’s a donut.
Russell: It’s soo…fresh. (pause) So now, what about the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Do you like them?
Al: Yeah, I do.
Mike: How were they about the whole…did you ever talk to them personally?
AI: Briefly.
Russell: Now that stuff came out before the Flintstones movie.
Al: Yes.al9full
Russell: Which, whenever I show people my video library, I sit ‘em down, I always make sure I say, “You gotta remember, this stuff came out before the Flintstones movie. Just givin’ you props.”
Al: Thanks. In fact, when MTV started playing the video, they said “Well, this is from the upcoming Flintstones soundtrack…”
Russell: See, see…
Al: Which, actually it wound up being on the Flintstones soundtrack, but that was…
Mike: Really? Oh, I didn’t know that. So after it was already out and you’d done the video, they came to you.
Al: Yeah, like months later they said, “Hey, can we use this song in the soundtrack?” I’m like, sure…
Russell: So anyway, Red Hot Chili Peppers?
Al: Yeah. I was at the MTV awards and Anthony Keidis was sitting two chairs away from me so I leaned over to him and said, “Anthony, what do you think? Can I do a parody?” and he said, “Well, I gotta run it by the band, but ahhh, I guess so.”
Russell: That’s a pretty genius video.
Al: Thanks. Yeah, I had to go through hundreds of hours of Flintstones footage to get just the right little bits to use. And we found the exact same patch of nowhere that they shot their video on.

From the Glen E. Friedman archive; backstage. Madonna tour. circa1985.

From the Glen E. Friedman archive; backstage. Madonna tour. circa1985.

Russell: You found the same patch?
Al: We drove two and half hours out to Palmdale or wherever it was, and said, “I think that’s the bush they had…yeah.” (laughs)
Russell: How did you know even to go in that which direction? Did they tell you?
Mike: Location scouts.
Al: We talked to the original location scout.
Russell: That’s really really funny. So, I saw the “Amish Paradise” video today on MTV. Is it getting a lot of airplay?
Al: It seems to. It’s on like three or four times a day.
Russell: Florence Henderson, that’s pretty genius. How was it working with her?
Al: Oh, it was great. I mean, she was very professional, a great sense of humor. She showed up on the set and she said she was watching the “Gangster’s Paradise” video and she was getting the Michele Pfeiffer look down. She’s such a machine (laughs).
Russell: She does the Michelle Pfeiffer…(laughter)…she looks pretty good.
Al: She looks, you know…kinda like Michelle Pfeiffer, in her own Brady-like way.
Russell: Before we go, tell us some of your old favorite TV shows.
Al: Old favorites. Police Squad is my all time favorite.al10full
Mike and Russell: Alright.
Al: Twilight Zone. Monty Python, SCTV…nothing much else comes immediately to mind. Any others that you wanna…
Russell: No, no. (pause) When’s the tour gonna start?
|Al: Right now it’s tentatively scheduled for May 24th. We have our first gig already at Hershey Park, Pennsylvania.
Russell: Alright.
Mike: Alright.
Al: We’re talkin’ Amish Country. We’ll get the Amish contingency going in…
Russell: You gonna be wearing the full-on Amish outfit this tour?
Al: Oh yeah. sure.
Russell: What are you gonna do about the no mustache, though?
AI: Well, (weakly) I, I don’t know yet. We’ll probably just have to be an Amish with a mustache for that song.
Russell: That’s a great place to do a gig.
Al: Yeah, we wind up doing a lot of amusement parks, ’cause it’s kind of a family oriented show.
Russell: So that’s your audience?
Mike: Do you think there’ll be a lot of neck braces there? (laughter) It’s safe to assume…you figure it’s an amusement park—there could be.

(see last issue’s Russels Simins/Simmons identity controversy for context)(***I dug up issue two to read Simins’ hilarious tales of being mistaken for Def Jam Records’ head honho, I’ll post it here someday….PROMISE. -YDG ed.):
MESSAGE CENTER: …one fifteen, PM.
Wesley: How you doin’ Russell? This is, ah, Wesley Dalson from Game Records. Uhm, I’m not sure if you remember me or not, Russell, but I brought you a few things down to the Four Seasons. Ahhh, my artists rap on, uhhm, uh, a lot of Southeast Cartel albums, the Havoc and Prodigy albums. Ahh, I have a artist right now that’s rappin’ on one of the songs coming out on, uh, Ice-T’s new album. They, uh, created the concept and everything and they’re thinking about going with that one for the second single. And basically, I did a D.O. promo for 92.3 The Beat, with South Central Cartel featuring two of my artists. And that’s on the front of the tape as well as six songs off the album Mobile Nobel featuring Mr. West Side. I know you’re gonna like it. You can give me a call back, the number’s on there. Alright, Russell.
MESSAGE CENTER: End of message. To save message, press…

beck-logo Weird Al is the archetypal great karaoke artist, in that he pushes the disciplined art of karaoke one step further: providing his own backing track and parodic lyrics while retaining the original melody. Beck has his own karaoke fixation, as manifested in both his talkin’-blues talk-over mic style and the numerous lyrical karaoke references that appear his Odelay DGC release. In the following exclusive, two worlds collide.

HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEW WEIRD AL ALBUM WHERE HE DOES A RENDITION OF “LOSER”? No. He was gonna do a full-blown “Loser” and I was sort of not down with it at the time cos he asked me like two years ago. If he asked me now I’d say go for it, but at the time I felt like I wanted that song to die, like, a quiet death. He wrote back a letter saying, “If anyone can kill a song I can kill it.” So he ended up using it in the polka. Russell Blues Explosion is a huge Yankovic fan and we watched the videos at his house. I don’t think Russell will ever forgive me for not telling him do the full blown “I’m A Schmoozer”. I think the song is already a parody of itself. It’s got inherent parody.
It all started from this Filipino family I used to live next door to who used to have these karaoke orgies every night where everyone in their extended family, which seemed to be half the street, would gather there and go all out on Burt Bacharach and Mariah Carey songs. Then when “Loser” was out and the album came out and we were touring, I was walking down Bourbon Street in New Orleans and there was a bunch of frat boys doing karaoke to “Loser” and now I have this little Radio Shack karaoke machine which has a built-in microphone with tape player, speaker and reverb. Reverb is essential for karaoke, really wet drench reverb. There’s a little grunge karaoke tape now. They’ve done a pretty good replication of the music.
Damn, I wish. I’d retire. I have nothing to do with the beer either.
No, Beck’s Beer.

(seven years later, “Wanna B Ur Lovr” from 2003’s Poodle Hat is pretty much a straight-up Midnight Vultures/“Peaches and Cream” homage)

MONDAY: Months after the first Weird Al interview attempt, Russell and Mike are rescheduled with Al.  With just four days to go, Russell has a stroke of genius and decides it’s essential for Dick Van Patten to make a cameo during the Weird Al interview. He tells Mike D, who simply nods in agreement.
TUESDAY: Grand Royal‘s Corporate Activites Coordinator Fritz has painstakingly located Van Patten’s manager, who immediately asks “Will there be any compensation fee for Dick?” Fritz says no. The manager sounds doubtful that he’ll be avallable on such short notice but says he’ll “run it by Dick.” al-dick2WEDNESDAY: Amazingly, Dick Van Patten personally calls Grand Royal to explain he has prior conmitments for Thursday afternoon. Russell tells him to cancel them. After an exhaustive discussion, Dick offers to do a telephone interview on Friday at 5:00, the day AFTER the Al interview. Faced with no other choice, Russell agrees.
FRIDAY 5:00pm: Dick Van Patten waits for Russell’s phone call but Russell is locked in the Grand Royal conference room for a crucial Butter meeting. 5:32pm: Dick never receives the call.al-dick3

Grand Royal Magazine only lasted for a few more glorious issues. The Butter album came out that year and is one of the greatest things ever made by human hands.  Al didn’t direct their stylee “Butter of 69″ video (done by BBoy name-checked Evan Bernard) but made good on his intent by directing the Blues Explosion’s “Wail” video a year later, in 1997.  Russell put out the sexy ass Public Places solo album on Grand Royal in 2001.  Mike D played drums on the song “Stay”.  Three years after the interview, Al put “Intergalactic” in the “Polka Power” polka medley. You know the rest.

Al’s 1988 Licensed To Ill homage, “Twister”.

What do you get when you cross Beastie Boys, Blues Explosion, Weird Al and a music page run by a Jewish guy named Adam?  Enjoy. RGJX RIP 2001-2002.  I handed Russell a VHS of this at a NYE show here in San Diego, which made him grin. He and Judah were both outed as Jews in a book called Jews Who Rock but it turns out that it was false information on Judah’s roots.  Geezer still plays this one year-round.

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In part four, more hilarity ensues and we see the backstory behind the first failed attempt at an Al interview, as visualized by “famed court reporter Ben Pjorn”…

Russell: So, now, there’s also something that really got me. It was seeing Steve Cropper….I want to talk about your band a little. There’s that kinda joke audition thing in your video and then all of a sudden Steve Cropper tums up. I mean, did you hang with Steve?
Al: Not too much before—
Russell: —Cause those guys are some of my heroes.
Al: I forget the connection, there. I think he’s either friends with Jay Levy, my manager, or more likely, Rob Weiss, who co-directed The Compleat Al and he’s like a major Hollywood producer. Actually, I think that was it. Was Steve Cropper in The Blues Brothers? ‘Cause Bob produced The Blues Brothers.

(14 years later, Al played tambourine in Hanson’s amazing Blues Brothers homage “Thinkin’ Bout Something” -YDG ed.)
Russell: Okay, so you’re not friends with him or anything?
Al: Well, not close. But I’ve hung with him a little bit.
Mike: And what about Rick Derringer? (Derringer produced and played guitar on Al’s first six records, which is why the earlier “Rock n Roll Hootchie Koo” reference was….somethin’. -YDG ed.)
Russell: Isn’t he like, slowly shrinking? (laughter)
Al: I haven’t talked Rick for a couple years.
Russell: What’s up with “State of Shock”‘s Harvey Leads. I mean, there’s actually something in the video that’s funnier than what you do and he’s doing it. Who is he?
Al: He was an executive at CBS Records. CBS used to distribute all of Scotti Bros. products. He was one of our friends at the label.
Russell: You just got him to do it because he was some executive?
Al: He was a friend of ours at the label. I mean, I forget why exactly we wanted him to do it. We just thought it would be funny to have him singing “State of Shock”. The gag was Michael Jackson wasn’t going to a video for “State Of Shock”, so it was somebody at the label doing it for him. It was just basically him singing it with a cheesy drum track and some really cheesy lighting.
Russell: It’s amazingly funny. It seems like he’s reading the whole thing.


Al: Hello.
Mike: Yasoo, you’re back.
Spike: I got a little freaked out.
Al: Oh. that’s okay. You see Yoko Ono walk by?
Spike: I did. That was really her?
Al: Yeah.
Spike: (pause) Wow. (Al giggles) I was going to tell you, when I went upstairs I thought of a few ideas for you.
Al: You did?
Spike: Yaaa.
Al: —Oh. this is great! (Russell and Mike laugh)
Spike: I’m, don’t…you’re probably going to think this Is dumb.
Al: Should we work you the deal before you tell me? Because I don’t want to hear a great idea and then we can’t come to a business arrangement.
Spike: Ohh, you’re teasing.
Al: Okay, you can tell me the idea first.
Spike: Okay. Well, you know that new song?
Al: Yeah! Oh. I (makes slapping sounds), what, what what is that? Shoot. No. Wait.
al7fullSpike: “Dead Man Walking”?
Al: Uh huh.
Spike: I was gonna do…say you (Spike begins breathing funny) you could one (breathing harder) called….(on the verge of losing it)…it might be too silly. (laughter)
Russell: That’s a good one—”It Might Be Too Silly.”
Spike: No no no. “Bread Man Walking?”
Al: “Bread Man Walking”?
Spike: Yeah and it’s a guy…
Al: He’s made out of bread?
Spike: No, he’s, he’s, yeah. Well, he’s either the Pillsbury dough guy? Or he’s a loaf of bread? (Al begins giggling) And they start it out like “Bread man walk-in’…” (Al starts cracking up, everyone follows)
Spike: You think it’s funny?
AI: Yeah, “Bread Man Walking”? Are you kidding me? That’s entertainment there.
Spike: And I was gonna say then you’re handcuffed in shackles and bread suit—
Al: —In bread soup? What?
Spike: In a bread suit.
Al: In a bread suit. Oh, sorry. That makes more sense. In a bread suit.
Russell: I like bread soup.
Spike: And they’re gonna execute you. They’re gonna execute the bread.
Al: They’re gonna execute the bread.
Mike: Like burnt toast?
AI: Uh huh.
Spike: Yeah, that could be funny. (laughter) Uhm, then I had another one too.
Al: Oh, okay, alright.
Spike: Then I’ll let you get back to it. These are probably too silly for you. I don’t know. How silly is too silly for you?
Al: I don’t think there’s such a thing.
Spike: Really? Then this could be good. “Truth Or Dare” you know, the new song by Hootie and the Blowfish. It’s on TV?
Al: Uh huh. You a big Hootie fan?
Spike: You like Hootie?
Al: Oh, me and Hootie. Like this.
Spike: Have you met ‘em?
Al: Met them?
Spike: Yeah.
Al: I’m an honorary Blowfish!
Spike: Oh no. (pause) Whoa…okay. so their new song is “Truth Or Dare” and this would be really funny ’cause you could do the song. They’re in a bus station playing their acoustic guitars. You could do the one called “Shoe Repair”, where you’re in the bus station…
Al: Repairing shoes?
Spike: Yeah. You like it? (long pause, then AI responds in almost spooky, wacky tone of voice)
Al: Love it!
Spike: Really?
Al: Shoe. Repair. That’s amazing. What do you do for a living?
Spike: I’m actually doing, riding with a bike team. I’m on a bike team.
Al: I think you’re wasting your talents.
Spike: Really, nooo, nooo. You can have those. Those are yours, for keeps.
Al: For free?
Spike: Yeahyeahyeah.
AI: For nothing?
Spike: No, no problem.
Russell: Is your lawyer F. Lee Bailey?
Spike: Uhm. No.
Mike: F. Lee Jaily?
Spike: Will you sign my bread?
AI: I’d love to.
Spike: Okay, this is, if you ever do the “Bread Man Walking” I’ll have the piece of bread that started the whole thing.
Russell: That’s kind of a hard thing to sign, there. (Al carves into the bread with a pen)
Spike: You’re a machine. (pause) What nationality is Yankovic?
Al: Japanese.
Spike: Is that true? ‘Cause my father’s Chinese.
AI: Here you go.
Spike: Thank you.
Al: You’re welcome.
Russell: Right, now we gotta let Al eat his food.
Spike: Oh, sorry.
Russell: Sorry, yeah.
Mike: You’ll just be over in that area. (Jenna laughs)
Spike: I’m, I’m gonna go back to…oh…to my room. But hopefully I will see you guys later. If you need anything. I’m listed—Yasoo.
Al: Okay. Thanks Yasoo.
Russell: We’ll be sure to call you.
Spike: I have those photos of you, too. Can I please take another photo of you guys?
Al: Suuuure. (laughter and focusing noises) Mmmm.
Russell: Anyway (laughter)….
bad hair dayMike: I have a question, Al. This might be personal, but, as we’re coming off this disturbance, so it might be good. Now, with your hair, you’re talking about all these different outfits on tour. Have you ever considered going with the process, like Barry White? You know, ’cause right now, I’d have to say it’s kinda jehri curl lite in appearance.
Al: I’m for the natural look. A lot of people think this is a bad perm but it’s actually just bad hair.
Mike: Yeah.mullet
Al: It’s the way it really is. I was dating a girl for awhile who wanted me to cut the sides of my hair really short and then, luckily for me, I read your last issue and I realized she wanted to mulletize me and (Jenna gasps) I cut that in the bud, nipped that in the bud.
Russell: What do you put in your hair?
Al: Water, usually (laughter). Water helps. Actually, I use a little macadamia nut oil now. That’s supposed to be good for it.
Mike: That’s good, that’s natural.
Russell: I use coconut oil, just a little bit.
Mike: Russell also uses coconut lotion.
Russell: Yeah, but that’s personal. (pause) Well, what else? You know those Yoda pillowcases? (Jenna moans)
Al: Yeah.
Russell: Are those yours? Where’d you get those?
Al (disinterested): Where was that? Was that an album cover?
Russell: No. It’s in a video. It’s in “Midnight Star”.
Al: Oh, that. I don’t know where they got those. They just went crazy with the set design and just found all the tacky stuff they could.
Russell: Okay ’cause that’s pretty fresh stuff.
Al: I should keep better track, you know. When you do a video, the props just kinda disappear afterwards.
Mike: Yeah.
Russell: Especially your videos. Those props…those will be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame one day. Let’s hope so.
Mike: Speaking of videos. We’re friends with this guy Spike Jonze—
Al: —Oh! Love Spike Jonze. Yeah. (and the other one. -YDG ed.)
Mike: …and he just wanted to forward to you that he’s a big fan of your work.
Al: Are you serious?
Mike: Yeah.
AI: Oh man, that is so cool.
Russell: He’s a huge fan.
Mike: He just wanted to tell you that…’cause we work on our ideas with him.
Al: He’s brilliant. He’s doing a feature now?
Mike: Yeah.
Al: What’s that about?
Mike: It’s called Harold and the Purple Crayon. It’s based on, have you ever heard of that children’s book? I don’t know if you’re familiar with that…but anyway, it’s part animation, part real action.
Al: Oh. Looking forward to that.
Russell: Also, if you’ve ever wanted to do a Blues Explosion video…have you heard the Blues Explosion album? Alight, well, someday you might.
Mike: We can send you the Blues Explosion stuff.
Russell: Yeah, we’ll send you the Blues Explosion stuff. That’s the main band I’m in.
Al: (slyly) I know, you got the flavor.
Mike and Russell: Ahhhhhh. (Mike appears in the JSBX “Flavor” vid -YDG ed.)
Russell: He’s on it.
Mike: Why wasn’t there a Weird Al in the “Flavor” video?
Russell: Well, I wanted to. What we originally wanted to do… do you direct videos? Are you directing all these videos you’re doing?
Al: Yeah.
Russell: Well, I was hitting up Chris Lombardi—
Mike: President of Matador (Records)—
Russell: …to get you to direct one of our videos and he was all into It but we just never got around to it.
AI: Oh, god. I’d love that. I’m trying to get that…’cause you know, I’ve directed most of my own videos. I’ve been directing videos for Jeff Foxworthy, which is cool. I mean, he sold a lot of records.
Russell: That’s the guy…
Al: “You know you’re a redneck…” Yeah. But yeah, I’d love to break into the more alternative/120 Minutes kinda genre and prove myself there. (Al went on to direct video by Hanson (the Titanic sequences in “River“), The Black Crowes (“Only a Fool“), Ben Folds (“Rockin’ the Suburbs“), The Presidents of the United States of America (“Mixed Up S.O.B“) and, hot damn, the Blues Explosion’s “Wail”, where he makes a cameo. -YDG ed.)
Russell: Well, there’s this band called Butter coming out soon, which is a band that I’m in with the girls from Cibo Matto. You ever heard of that band? Anyway, we’re gonna come out on Grand Royal so maybe we’ll hit you up to direct our video.
Al: Oh, I’d love that.
Russell: WOW. (pause) But you have to be in it…(laughter)…dressed as James Brown. It’s good to know you’re available and that you’re into it. That’s pretty exciting.
Al: I probably wouldn’t be available until after I got off the road. though…
Russell: No no no. I know. I know.
Mike: Yeah. Russell, we don’t need to make any concrete plans (laughter).
Russell: I know it’s a limited agreement.
Mike: Russell doesn’t want to mean any disrespect to James Brown but I have to say, Russell is the hardest working man in show business right now. Playing with Yoko Ono and the Blues Explosion and Butter…. doing interviews for Grand Royal
Russell: This is not work though. This is pure pleasure. (pause) Do you like Sting?
Al: Yeah. His album actually came out of the same day as mine, on Tuesday. So we’re battling it out on the charts.
Russell: How do your records do, generally?
Al: Thin. (hesitantly) They average between 500,000 and a million, usually. Some sell more, some sell less. (pause)
Mike: That’s good.
Russell: That’s all you need. So you’ve been on Letterman, right?
Al (sadly): Actually, no. Letterman and Saturday Night Live are two of my favorite shows and I have not been on either one.
Russell: Have you been asked, or…?
Al: I don’t think I’m Letterman’s cup of tea. I think he thinks I’m too silly, juvenile or something.
Russell: That word comes up a lot in this interview.
Al: Wacky! And zany, too.Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 2.48.10 PM Russell: Did you ever play CB’s?
Al: No (laughter). Are they still doing punk rock there?
Russell: Yeah, all the time. But it seems like bands who used to play CBGB’s can now fill up bigger clubs, just because the music is…whatever. More mainstream.


7:45pm With NO IDEA WHATSOEVER that in 15 minutes, they’re scheduled to conduct the interview of the century, Mike and Russell hit the courts.
8:10pm MEANWHILE, ACROSS TOWN Al has arrived at the upscale Trader Vic’s and orders a fruity (nonalcoholic) drink.
8:22pm D AND RUSSELL TOWEL off to avoid sweating on the leather seats.
8:32pm AL PONDERS while nibbling (vegan) appetizers.
8:41pm RUFUS (Mike’s dog) greets Mike and Russell on the lawn of Club D.

al-drawings28:43pm AL IS ANNOYED and noticeably checks his watch, in case onlookers wonder why Weird Al is sitting alone in a Hawaiian restaurant on a Saturday nignt.
8:45pm RUSSELL CHILLS  in the lounge while Mike mixes up the carrot-beet-ginger smoothies.
8:56pm AL STORMS OUT, speed-dialing his manager on the cellular.
9:01pm TRANSFIXED by America’s Castles on A&E. Mike and Russell are oblivious to the fact they have just dissed Al Yankovic.

Thought for sure that Russell was gonna say that he thought Al would love Cibo because of their food-centric stuff.  Besides Butter, he played quite a few shows with Cibo, which is enough of an excuse to post one of my favorite clips of all-time, with none other than Sean Lennon on bass.


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