Being punk rebels in Texas, with a name guaranteed to ban them from all God-fearing media outlets, qualifies the Butthole Surfers for the next edition of Profiles in Courage. But, alas, they have their own book now, filled with firsthand accounts of their history, posters, fliers and other smelly treats.     

Psychotic!!  Absurd!!  Shocking!! 

When I think of the Butthole Surfers, all of these words come to mind as well as wacky, exciting, and PUNK AS FUCK!!!

As a 13-year-old in Southern California, I did what many other Junior High students did and purchased these brand new things called Compact Discs through an ad that came in the mail that promised, “Ten CD’s or tapes of your choice for only one cent!”

“How in the hell could they afford this?”  I wondered. My adolescent brain was unaware of the stipulation where you sign into a club of sorts with future fees. I was full of daydreams of rocking out in my grandma’s retirement home to the new Nirvana and B-52 albums, amongst others.

A spread from the book

A spread from the book

After all the known bands were selected, I was left with two spots for the unknown. Hmmm…  Butthole Surfers…. Well with a name like that, they had to be cool. That was how I picked up records in a pre-internet world. The name or cover of the album had to grab my attention to take the risk of using my hard-earned money on it. Also word of mouth, followed by a double check with the local stoners who worked at the record store across the street from my school.

Independent Worm Saloon was the title of the Texas-based Butthole Surfers’ release from 1993. There was a big, cartoon worm head on the cover with a cigarette hanging out of its mouth. The opening number, “Who Was In My Room Last Night?” blew me away with its wailing guitars and muffled, speedy vocals. Singer Gibby Haynes telling a frantic tale of a midnight intruder getting into bed with him, amongst his own screams, got me pumped.

Eight studio albums and two live albums later, the San Antonio-raised rebels are releasing a coffee table book made up of a D.I.Y. mix of old fliers, photos, and funny and inspiring quotes from fellow musicians who are devout fans and friends of the band. This book is perfect for all of us late-thirties and up former punks who want to display the message to our guests on our vintage 1960’s table that we may have settled down a bit, but we are still anti-establishment weirdos.

Butthole Surfers, What Does Regret Mean? was authored, curated, and designed by Aaron Tanner. It was produced by Melodic Virtue. The opening is a sweet walk down memory lane by Ween’s Mickey Melchiondo. He recounts his uncle turning him onto the Sex Pistols, the Sic Fucks, and the Dead Kennedys at age 12. A funny quote from Michael reads, “I heard a lot of rumors… they fucked onstage, were always on acid, traveled with a dog, and had twin albino drummers.”

Butthole Surfers book cover

Butthole Surfers book cover

This book is chock full of dirty, and humorous quotes by musicians like: Al Jourgensen (Ministry), David Yow (Jesus Lizard), Henry Rollins (Black Flag), Eric Wilson (Sublime), and Kevin Rutmanis (Cows), among others.

The chapters are separated by years active, beginning with Chapter one (1981-1983) and ending with Chapter 6 (2008-2018). The fliers the band made throughout the years were usually creepy, cut-out collages. Like one example of possessed eyeballs on Star Trek characters. Sometimes photos of dead body parts made their way onto their fliers or albums. The Surfers really pushed boundaries with an offensive photo of bloated, starved men for their album, Brown Reason To Live/ Live PCPPEP, released in 2003. Or with photos of KKK members in full uniform on another album. Although you get the sense from their music that they aren’t promoting these horrors as much as throwing them in the faces of the citizens who like to believe evil doesn’t exist in their neatly packed, suburban minds. I mean these images were like candy to my teen psyche sick of listening to Lionel Richie and Phil Collins on my mom’s car radio station. The Butthole Surfers music is like the audio equivalent to the film, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: terrifying, insane, unpredictable, and even a little funny.

A spread from the book

A spread from the book

I asked my pal David Yow, singer of the Jesus Lizard, to make a statement about the book overall.

“It’s fun to look at and it’s relatively informational, but I gotta be honest about this, it smells like shit.”                  – David Yow

Chris Kirkwood of the Meatpuppets remembers when he had just recently met the band and was high as hell in their car with their dog who was bleeding a little out of its bum. In his deranged state, he thought that maybe they fuck their dog. His theory being that their name was afterall, the Butthole Surfers. Luckily, he was wrong.

A spread from the book

A spread from the book

**   Pick up the Butthole Surfers, What Does Regret Mean? Available online and in stores Friday, March 8th.

http://www.pleasekillme.com

Like this? Follow us for more!