(shirt by Alterior Facial Mandala, Meat Puppet photo by Margaret: http://flickr.com/photos/griffis/sets/72157600174926532/)
So many triumphs, so little time. I have reached the mountaintop quite often. The glory days of the post-punk late eighties contained some of my greatest successes, and they are one of the things I still revel in. Last night there was a Nirvana Unplugged marathon on TV, and it brought back a flood of championship memories.
We would paint shirts, and then bring them to the show to break the ice. Our heroes (Minutemen/fIREHOSE, Meat Puppets, Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, Husker Du) would always be hanging around somewhere, usually in a van outside the club. We would find them, grab them, and tell them how they must wear the shirts onstage for the show. It worked every time.
That photograph is from one of the highlights. Curt Kirkwood, wailing. One night in Tampa I was chilling after the show and two bimbo/blondes came giggling into the room. They gushed about how great the band was, then passed around a jacket for them to autograph. The girl gave the pen to me first, even though she had just seen the show and should have known that I was not in the band. I signed it while the Puppets laughed under their breath. I told the girls, who wanted to get to know the music better, to get the album called Meat Puppets II. Curt disagreed, telling them to buy the newer stuff.
A few years passed, and then Nirvana invited the Meat Puppets to play on the Unplugged show, and confirmed my tastes. Kurt Cobain agreed with me, chosing three songs from the record that I knew was their best.
Then a couple years ago, Meat Puppets II was re-issued by Rykodisc. Derrick Bostrom the drummer did the design on the new package. One of our painted shirts was featured in the photograph under the CD. It is one of the crowning achievements that carry me on toward even greater things, especially when Kurt Cobain sings “Lake of Fire” on national television.