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Butthole Surfers is an American rock band formed by Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary in San Antonio, Texas in 1981. The band has had numerous personnel changes, but its core lineup of Haynes, Leary, and drummer King Coffey has been consistent since 1983. Teresa Nervosa served as second drummer from 1983 to 1985, 1986 to 1989, and 2009. The band has also employed a variety of bass players, most notably Jeff Pinkus. Rooted in the 1980s hardcore punk scene, Butthole Surfers quickly became known for their chaotic and disturbing live shows, black comedy, and a sound that incorporated elements of psychedelia, noise rock, punk and, later, electronica, as well as their use of sound manipulation and tape editing.

Links To Peel

Peel first saw the band in 1987 at the Clarendon Hotel Ballroom in Hammersmith. The following week, on his 10 August 1987 show, he still seemed overwhelmed by their performance:

"Perfectly extraordinary. I mean, excellent. But if you said you enjoyed it, I should be seriously concerned about you as a human being. But very well worth seeing and hearing."

A few weeks later, he described his impressions further to John Walters in the fifth programme in the Peeling Back The Years series:

"I saw the Butthole Surfers and came away genuinely – “with one’s senses reeling” does sound like a cliché from a regional newspaper, but that is exactly how I felt after I’d seen them. All of my preconceptions about what things should be – for example, one obvious thing was sexism for example, because they had a completely naked woman dancing on stage with them throughout the entire thing. I don’t know, is that titillation? I mean, what attitude should I have had to that? And that was just one aspect of what they were doing. So, I think the Butthole Surfers would define something for me, although I’m not quite sure what it is. I mean, I don’t feel one should necessarily always enjoy popular music. This is one of the things, you know, one of the conflicts that I’ve had with people over the years."[1]

Peel also reviewed the gig on the Observer newspaper in a piece that was later reprinted in the Olivetti Chronicles.

In 1988, Peel was invited to have lunch with the group but decided not to attend. He explained his reasons on his Peel 099 (BFBS) show:

"I chickened out at the last minute cos I thought they'd obviously be expecting some kind of fellow who looked as though he'd just escaped from a biker gang, and when they get this rather portly, avuncular grey-haired old chap - a nice chap in many ways, but at the same time it's not what they expect, really, from a DJ."

The band, though, continued to be keen to meet the DJ in person. On his 17 November 1990 show, Peel mentioned another abortive encounter:

"Somebody was telling me that a member of the Butthole Surfers is in town and invited me to get in touch with him, and so on, and discuss record label and forthcoming LP, and whatever else I wanted to discuss. Of course, I'm tempted to do that, but you can't help but thinking at the same time, you know, that they're going to introduce foreign bodies into your gruel. Makes me rather apprehensive about the whole process."

During the early 90's, Peel played some of the solo and side projects of the Butthole Surfers including Paul Leary's solo album and Gibby Haynes & Jeff Pinkus' joint project called the Jackofficers.

Peel appeared to lose interest in the Butthole Surfers after 1992, when the band signed for major label Capitol.

Festive Fifty Entries

Sessions

Butthole Surfers - Peel Session 1987

Butthole Surfers - Peel Session 1987

The band's second session is available on Peel Show 1988 (vinyl, 7", Not On Label)

1. Recorded: unknown. Broadcast: 12 August 1987. Repeated: 08 September 1987

  • Graveyard / Florida / Cherub / Shot Gun

2. Recorded: 1988-09-20. Broadcast: 27 September 1988. Repeated: 02 November 1988, 21 December 1988, Session Mixtape Mar-Sept 1988

  • Blind Man / Edg / Neee Neee

Other Shows Played

Butthole Surfers - 22 Going on 23

Butthole Surfers - 22 Going on 23

1985
  • 29 October 1985: Comb (12" - Cream Corn From The Socket Of Davis) Touch And Go
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
  • 07 November 1992: Eindhoven Chicken Masque (v/a album - God's Favourite Dog) Touch And Go

External Links

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