Saturday, May 17, 2008

History Lesson - Part 2: Minutemen Edition

The Minutemen (1980-85) were the greatest punk rock band of all-time. Better than The Clash, better than X, better than The Ramones, Hüsker Dü, Fugazi, Minor Threat, Black Flag, Bad Brains, or anyone else you'd care to name. Furthermore, their 1984 LP, Double Nickels On The Dime, is not only the greatest punk rock album ever recorded, I'd put it up against anything by Dylan, Hendrix, The Stones, The Beatles, you name it. I'm not saying it's necessarily better, but it's in the discussion.

I starting writing up a mini-bio of the band, but David Rees' heartfelt (and spot-on) essay, What Would D. Boon Do?, is better than anything I could possibly come up with. The essay is included in the Minutemen DVD, We Jam Econo [purchase], which as far as I'm concerned should be required viewing for anyone interested in rock, let alone punk rock. I'll surely delve into the Minutemen discography in future posts, so for now, please enjoy a pair of history lessons from the mighty Double Nickels.

Minutemen: Viet Nam [purchase]

let's say i got a number
that number's 50,000
that's 10%
of 500,000
oh here we are
in french indochina
executive order
congressional decision
the working masses
are manipulated
was this our policy?
ten long years
not one domino shall fall

Minutemen: History Lesson - Part 2 [purchase]

our band could be your life
real names'd be proof
me and mike watt played for years
punk rock changed our lives
we learned punk rock in hollywood
drove up from pedro
we were fucking corndogs
we'd go drink and pogo
mr. narrator, this is bob dylan to me
my story could be his songs
i'm his soldier child
our band is scientist rock
but i was e. bloom, richard hell, joe strummer, and john doe
me and mike watt, playing guitar

D. Boon is dead. Long live D. Boon.

8 comments: said...


Anonymous said...

D. Boon did change my life. I grew up in Mo. way the hell away from anything good but heard the Minutemen in 1984 and couldn't stop listening. D. Boon is the clearest, most honest example of being yourself, taking chances and saying fuck all to what convention demands. D. was punker than you but he never let that get in the way. George and Mike are ultra freakin' cool too. Selling me a FiREhoSE t-shirts out of a Hefty bag for 5 bucks cause that's all I had, etc. There are no true rock bands like them anymore. Too bad for all of us.

Ramone666 said...

I should have thought of this one myself as a longtime Minutemen fan. Thanks! Do you happen to know who E. Bloom is? I always wondered about that one.

LD said...

E. Bloom (aka Eric Bloom) is the longtime singer/guitarist for Blue Oyster Cult. The Minutemen ... and then subsequently, fIREHOSE and various Watt bands ... covered their tune, "The Red And The Black."

On a separate note, I may be wrong about this, but I'm almost positive that it was Bloom's cowbell playing on "Reaper" that helped create a cultural phenomenon. I mean, who doesn't need more cowbell???

Anonymous said...

the red and the black was written by albert bouchard then drummer for blue oyster cult AND also the cowbell player that spawned the cutural phenomena

LD said...

Ahhh, so it was Bouchard, not Bloom. Nice sleuthing, thanks.

Ramone666 said...

Thanks for the info Id!

Santo said...

Thanks for posting my favorite Minutemen song: History Lesson - Part 2.