Derrick Bostrom - 2002

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I own every Meat Puppets album - you know what that means? That means that I like them a LOT. (Now please don't ask me why I own every Motley Crue album - contradictions weaken the heart). So you must imagine my interest and glee at getting the chance to meet former Meatmen drummer Derrick Bostrom at a Neil Hamburger concert on July 4th, 2002. That night, I learned quite a bit about his time with the Meat Beat Manifesto. I learned that Meat Loaf earned most of their money from "Nirvana Unplugged." I learned that Meatball Fulton really haven't communicated much since they broke up a decade ago. And most importantly, I learned that a Meat Love House DVD is on the horizon!!! But these days, Bostrom isn't spending his time reminiscing about the Meat Purveyors (although it should be said that he runs the official Meateaters web site and recently put together a bunch of Ralph Eugene Meatyard CD reissues for Rykodisc) - he's making new homemade music under the name Today's Sounds! And he's not even bitter that Maureen Meatpacker head figure Curt Kirkwood has moved to Texas and formed an ALL-NEW Meat and Potatoes, Inc. Because he's more mature than that. You can take Derrick Bostrom out of Meathook Seed, but it seems you can't take the music out of Derrick Bostrom. And after reading this excellent, lengthy phone interview that he was fantastic enough to conduct at me, just maybe you'll look at Meat Dan in an entirely new light.

You know what's gross? Every single one of those is a REAL BAND NAME. I got them all right off of All-Music Guide. And there are more where those came from! It's like I've been saying for a long, long time - when rock and roll has reached the point that bands are forced to call themselves "Ass Baboons From Venus," maybe it's time to stop naming them altogether. Just let the public call `em what they want to - "Hey, you wanna go see The Rap-Metal Band That Had A Hit With `Crawling' Tonight?" "Oh, you mean The Smelly Piles Of Shit? No, sorry. I want to hear my new album by Dyslexic Titgirl With The Awful Teeth That Lived In Her Car." See? It's better. It's just fucking BUTTER.


You've reached 555-5555. Please leave a message.

Hey! This is Mark Prindle calling to speak to Derrick. I'm calling from New York.

Hey Mark. Hang on a second.

Okay. Aw, I'm getting crispiness (bad phone connection).

Uhh (feedback noises). Hello?



How ya doin'?

Umm. Good?

Are you doing good?

I'm alright. Was that a question?

Ah, not really. No.

How you doin'?

I'm fine, fine. I'm still kinda pissed off about the whole site bein' down thing, but they're trying to figure out what's going on.

If you gave them money, then you have the right now to bitch.

Yeah. I keep telling them they can take it off my card, but they keep saying, "Uh, for some reason it's not connecting to our payment and the bills you owe. I don't know why."

Well, I'm sure they'll work it out in a couple of days, and until that time, your fans will just have to jones.

Okay. Oh, then they'll be super-excited for the interview section! I was digging through the Internet to dig up as much information as I could about you, and I found some digital art that you did. That stuff looks good! Do you still do that?

I still have the program installed on my computer, but I no longer sit down and work out, you know it's like some new idea will come into my head and I'll try to sit down and work out how it will - no. Not really. I haven't used that program in a while - it's a weird kinda psychedelic interface for making 3D landscapes. I don't really play with that much anymore.

Do you do any kind of visual arts anymore?

Well, I'm sorta painting a picture of my cats for my wife, but only because she wants me to. But she's already warned me not to make it ugly, which means that it's kinda difficult because I uhh. it will probably be ugly. So I'm not in any rush with that. I paint occasionally. Mostly these days, I have the music programs so I sit down and work with those.

Did you do - now that I've mentioned that, I suppose I could've looked this up but I didn't. Did you do any or all of the Meat Puppets paintings? The covers?

I did Mirage. And I did the Live in Montana one based on a sketch drawing of Curt's. But I didn't do the actual original drawing.

And I see also that you've done a lot of freelance web design. Are you still getting any work doing that?

Yeah, I still have a couple small clients. Not a huge amount.

Okay. I also ran across some of your comics. My favorite was the one "It's not enough to just think dumb - sometimes you actually have to be dumb," where the boss comes up with the idea of a telephone with wheels?

A telephone with wheels is the typical CEO type of idea, where he sends out a memo to everybody saying that there's an all-staff meeting Friday at 8:00 in the morning. Or better yet, Monday at 8:00 in the morning, so he can tell everybody about his wonderful idea.

Did you do the cartoons just for fun? Or were they for specific -

Oh, I just di those for fun. Oh - goddammit. Hang on a second.


(pause) (static)


Mark? Call me back, will ya?


(calls back)



Sorry about that.

What was all that craziness?

My phone died and then started giving me static so I had to hang up and try another phone.

Oh okay. Is it one of them fancy cordless ones?

It's not a fancy one. It's an average cordless one.

What'd you spend all your money on if not fancy phones?

Machines just turn to shit eventually.

At the time, it was a fancy phone.

Actually I just left it off the hook. So it had to happen eventually.

Oh okay. So when you were a youngster, were you into the rock or into the jazz or -

When I was a kid, I wasn't into music at all. I got into punk rock from reading about it. Then I got into other kinds of music from just being in music. I didn't really listen to much music as a kid. My parents - My dad liked music especially - he was into barbershop music and folk music and stuff, which is probably why I wasn't into music. Then I started getting into counterculture, so I got into your Bob Dylan and your Beatles and your Rolling Stones and your Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa, all those guys. Then I got into heavily psychedelic music like Gong or Can or some of the more extrapolative groups. Yes, Todd Rundgren. I got into punk rock. I got into disco and soul and all that stuff. I really got into music by reading about it.

At what point did the drums come in?

I got my first kit when I was 8. My brother promptly destroyed it. Got another kit when I was about 17. `Cause I had a friend who played the guitar. And my mom got me a kit. And then I found another bigger one for inexpensive which I bought. Then I decided that I wanted to be in a band, and the guy that I was playing guitar with didn't. So I threw him over when I ran into the Kirkwoods, because they DID want to be in a band. They were into playing out. 1980, we played at a friend's house and went down to a club in Tucson and played, and then when places finally opened up to punk bands, you know, we started introducing ourselves to people and playing - you know, stuff like that. Then we went to California and found some people who wanted to put out our records there. Then we started touring nationally.

Did you start out on the Minutemen's label or on SST?

SST. Which was not New Alliance. By Minutemen's label, you mean New Alliance.

Yeah. Okay.

Our first record was on SST, but it was actually licensed from a smaller label called Thermidor.

How did you get mixed up with the Kirkwoods anyway?

I think we shared pot dealers.


And I used to belong to the Unitarian church back then, and my friend who played the guitar and I used to sneak into the church to get high and play the organ. And sometimes we'd bring our instruments in and set up and play in there. They got wind of it and started showing up. But mostly it was pot.

Is there any problem it can't solve? (Simpsons reference - donuts)

What was that?

Is there any problem it can't solve? (completely unclever Simpsons reference - donuts)

Is there any problem it can't create?

Oh okay. Do you think it served as gateway drug?

Yes. Not to other drugs, but a gateway to anger. I mean, the Meat Puppets were good for several things, but I remember times where we'd be high onstage; and there'd be a lot of struggling on the sidelines. But I'm putting together a DVD with a guy, and I've been watching some footage. And we were definitely good for some things; there were certain things we'd do well. But in concert, when you counted on us to perform your favorite track in a professional relaxed manner, it always became an unrecognizable 10-minute jam. If you kinda were following us musically and were into it, you could follow it and like it, but it's no wonder that we had such a small group of devoted fans, even among people who like alternative music.

Yeah, you can tell, if that Live In Arizona thing is typical.

Live in Montana.

What? Oh, sorry, Montana. What the heck is that thing you start doing - "Get down, get down!"

It was a popular rap song of the time by UTFO.

Oh I've heard of them! I remember them from my youth.

That was just a stupid song that we stuck in there. We were pretty good, and we'd gotten so adept at playing together that that's the kinda thing we did. We just liked playing music.

So on that Meat Puppets record, you wrote a bunch of the lyrics -

I wrote the lyrics on the first album.

Did you write any on the others?

No, I named a couple but that was about it. When Curt started getting into his own thing, I didn't try to compete with him. I learned that if you tried to compete with him, you'd end up just inciting him. Curt's not the kind of guy who listens to others' opinions. I remember when he first started writing stuff, and I offered the occasional criticism and he would get defensive pretty quick. I learned that he wasn't interested in a normal artist/collaborator relationship. I figured that out really quick. But he had a rare gift, you know, doing that one thing. At least he had a vision. And he was trying to nurture it and get it right. Whereas Cris would just say, "You should write some more hit songs so we can make more money!" Somebody with greater musical training who he respected might have been able to say to him, "You know, if you do it this way, you're gonna." But Curt wasn't into that kind of songwriting craft. He was into self-expression, you know. Self-expression is used as an excuse for a lot of bad behavior. But as I said, it's just that it wasn't hard to forgive him of anything. The band's material, all the material was from him. Curt had a style and we sort of took that style and did a lot of different things with it. And a couple of those were near-hits. But we were never a hit band. We'll always be kind of on the outer edge or whatever.

But are there records where, because it was all his vision moving forward, were there any times he seemed to be going in a direction you didn't like? Or were there some records you didn't like as much as others?

Yeah, but the thing about that is that usually he would come up with a lot of songs, and we'd really only end up playing the ones that the three of us could get our heads around. So we'd give them all a listen, but we'd have to get a nice playing vibe to keep them in the set.

Um, god I. (unbelievable crackly noise on phone)

More to your question, we could really only play psychedelic, crazy music or spacy. We couldn't really play. very subtly. But in retrospect, even the songs that I thought were miscalculations that I don't care for, we'd stop playing them.

Were you upset when you found out that he renamed his new band "Meat Puppets," or had you planned to retire anyway?

I was chagrined, not really upset, by the timing because we were putting out the reissues and here he was kinda confusing the issue, muddying the waters. But you know he had this band, couldn't get it signed. The label said, "If you rename your band `Meat Puppets,' we'll put out the record for you." So, good for him.

Did he ask you first?

No. I mean, we don't really speak that much. But I knew it was coming and I didn't say, "Stop it" or, you know, "Don't do it." I just thought it was an interesting idea. Although I did say so, I didn't think it would work. And also, no, I discouraged him. I said, "You'll do a lot better if you go out under your own name. Because the only people who are gonna care are people who are coming to see Curt Kirkwood anyway." But again, like I said, he couldn't get signed. We already had a deal in place for "Meat Puppets." The name was already established with the record company. So, of course what ended up happening is that it got dropped anyway. He turned in the record and they didn't like it. So it got dropped. And Curt put out that record with a guy he'd been dealing with at the label. But in the process, we had to give our old record company points on that record. So supposedly it's all over now. But who knows. The thing about Curt is that, when there were three of us, we could always figure out what to do, but now it's all on his shoulders. I just thought he should get together with somebody else, another good player, and just proactively say, "I'm a great guitarist, you're a great guitarist. Let's form a band and you know, try to become superstars." Which is essentially what he's trying to do now. Because he really likes to tour around and play. And I DON'T like to tour. I wouldn't want to do that. I would rather do things like what I did with Neil (Hamburger). You know, do small studio projects to order. Where people would call me and say, "Hey, I need you to write a stupid comedy song about 7-11's!" I can do that! How long do you need? I have a more practical sort of attitude towards my music than they had. I can live without the jamming. Expressing themselves. "My soul is coming out through my fingers as they touch the fretboard of my guitar!" Guitarists just have this guitar thing. I never had that.

How did you get mixed up with Neil Hamburger? Did he ask for those songs or did you just want to contribute?

Gregg (Turkington, Neil Hamburger's record producer) and I have been friends since Gregg was a teenager. I first knew a friend of his who was in Caroliner who would come around to our shows to interview us for his fanzine. And he would always tell us about this girl he had a crush on. Turns out it was Gregg's girlfriend Lizzy. The two of them had "Breakfast Without Meat" magazine, so they wanted to interview us. And we became friends. The magazine stopped when they broke up, so Gregg got more into records. And he contributed some stuff to - are you familiar with the Product Music record? Do you know that record?

Product Music?

Music that was made for corporate shows or about products or something. He had a really good collection so he contributed to that record, and he asked me to contribute some stuff because I have an interest in that stuff too. So I decided that collaborating on kitschy projects was fun! So I did the first Today's Sounds record for his label. You know, we pretty much put it together like that. That was a fun project.

What was the reaction to it?

It got a couple of reviews - some said it was good, some said it was bad, some were like, "I don't get it. Is it supposed to be funny? `Cause it sucks but if it's funny, I guess that's okay!"


Gregg actually sent me all the copies of the record that hadn't sold, so I could sell them on my site after he closed Amarillo. And I made enough to eventually declare it more or less a break-even. I'm not sure how it sold in comparison to the other records on that label, because I'm not really sure how much they sold. I think the Anton LaVey record was the biggest seller. And I bet Astrology Songs sold a lot too.

Anton LaVey and what was the other one you said?

Harvey Sid Fisher's Astrology Songs?

Oh yeah, okay. (sings) "Talk about the Taurus! Talk about the Bully Bull Bull!" Oh I know it well.

That's the one!

So you said in an earlier email to me that you first heard "Pac Man Fever" (which he performed on the Today's Sounds single) in a version by the Osmonds?

Yeah, I collect Osmond records. They were in town doing a Spirit of America show, where they performed during football games and assorted other things. It was a 4th of July thing they did every year. And when they would do that show, they would sell their Spirit of America souvenir LP brought to you by Coca-Cola. One of the songs on there was a melody that was like the history of rock. You know, like "Wake Up Little Susie" in the 50s and on through the 60s and 70s, and then when they get to NOW, you hear Jimmy Osmond doing a 20-second snippet of "Pac-Man Fever." I've never even heard the whole song!

(laughs) Your version's good though! I thought maybe you'd grown up on it like I did. I love that album.

Well you know, I'm a lot older than you. I'm like 10 years older than you. So by the time that came out, I didn't like it at all. I liked Ms. Pac-Man! We used to play video games before shows sometimes, and I liked Ms. Pac-Man the best.

Oh. So you just mentioned that you collect, like, oddity records?

Yeah, well that too.

Oh, OSMOND records, you said.

I have some oddities too. Like I got these records today - the only really odd one is twist music for, well, there used to be this thing we had back in. whenever, where you would put a piece of wood on a, you could like set it down on the ground and it was kind of on a little kind of a wheel so you could actually twist on it? Like actually twist back and forth on it? Like you'd twist in place and supposedly it would help you lose weight. That's what this album is - songs to listen to while you do that.

(resigned groan)

It's got titles like, uh you've got "Calorie Consumption Twist," "Fatty Tissues Delight," "Weight Watchers Twist," "Nice Isometric Workout" - it doesn't have any songwriting credits, I'm sure it's just all like (sings happy major-chord rendition of Peter Gunn theme).

By like THIN Checker or somebody? (I thought that line was pretty funny, but that makes one of me.)

They didn't have anybody! Oh no wait, it was the Bob Scott Six, it says down here at the bottom.

Oh, those guys are good.

It's a 60s record. It was pressed for Trim-Twist Incorporated. The album originally retailed for $2.98.

How much did you pay for it?

A dollar. Got it in good shape!

So how huge is your record collection?

I have about 4000 titles and my wife has about a thousand but her stuff is like actual artists.

Uh-huh. What are yours?

Crap that I can get for a dollar.

Oh okay.

I also got a record today by Ray Anthony - "That's Showbiz." Based on a concept he had when he couldn't afford to keep a big band. He pared it down to a sextet and hired a couple of dancers and made a small band and made the whole thing kinda racy and off- color. Called "The Bookends Review." It was like a studio album of that concert. The concert was probably much funnier, but because they're just in the studio repeating jokes they'd made a thousand times live and pretending that they're fresh.

Oh. Are people - oh no, I'll skip that one and go to this. You told me you wouldn't uh, you thought an 8 - I was gonna give an 8 to your Today's Sounds CD and you thought it was too high.

Well, I think the individual tracks are okay, but I think it would have been better had I kept it the five-song EP it was supposed to be. An 8 just seems kinda - I don't know, actually the things that you rate a 6 - a 6 is pretty low.

Yeah. Well, a 6 is pretty good. And I think this is, song for song, I think if, like the first time I listened to it, I listened to it as a whole and I was like, "Well, that was a bunch of instrumental keyboard songs!" So the second time I listened, you know, I paid attention to each individual song and I liked most of them! I didn't dislike any of them.

Like I said, I wish I'd kept those five songs together as an EP that was really bland. But then I started bringing in all those other tracks, like the punk one and -

Oh, the point was that it was SUPPOSED to be bland?

The keyboard instrumentals are trying to be real, very simple. (sings) I think "Driver" came out really well. And "Natural Selection." Each one of them represents a certain learning curve. But I put a lot into them - used lots of tracks. I did what I could anyway to mix a lot of different styles in there And you know, the punk rock song - ummmm -


"Unacceptable"! Which is about not emptying the trash can.

(laughs) Deep!

Then the Teenage Fan Club cover, which is all real instruments, but I can't keep my instruments in tune. I've got a bass, a guitar and a keyboard and none of them stay in tune with each other.

Wasn't there one on there where you changed - there was something on there that made me laugh. You changed - oh, it was a song from Hair! That you changed into a disco song. I thought that was really funny.

Well the thing there was that, you know, normal people, psychedelic people - everybody dug Hair - it was one of those crossover hits. Like "Hey! Rock and roll, or ROCK rather, is crossing over into straight media!" Now it's like seriously happening. But in the late 60s, all of a sudden, there was this huge acceptance of the rock idiom by straight mainstream people who were formerly against it. Hair was what everybody would dig - easy-listening counter-culture. That's the kind of stuff I really like. Large orchestras, preferably doing more modern rock type songs. I just think it's more interesting to have like you know orchestrated music than just a straight rock sound.

So did you enjoy the work of the Electric Light Orchestra?

Well, that's just more straight rock. I'm talking about actually instrumental orchestrated music. A lot of these guys jumped on the - before they could do rock, they would do like Brazil beat albums or something. And everybody had like bossa nova records. Then after that craze went away, they started taking just ordinary hit records and playing them in orchestrated style. So there'd be this cross-pollination of straight rock and orchestration. And everybody in the easy listening scene was making that kind of music.

So is that sorta the feel you're moving towards with Today's Sounds?

Yeah. I mean, it's all pop music. I mean there's a lot of area there. You've got people who fucking hate pop music, then there are people who are Britney Spears, and then there are the people in the middle who recognize that it's all pop music, and it doesn't all have to be formal, straight - I mean, a lot of people take music too seriously. I mean, Curt took music very seriously. A little too seriously, I think.

Did you know him very well?

What's that?

Did you know him very well?


Yeah. (thinking he meant Kurt Cobain)

Curt Kirkwood.

Yeah. (pretending that I didn't think he meant Kurt Cobain)

Well yeah, I worked with him for 20 years. I don't see him much anymore because he's in Texas.

What about Cris? How long has it been since you talked to him?

Not since we broke up, but we'd seen each other like every day for twenty years. And we hadn't had any sort of meaningful social exchange in a long, long time.

And I of course thought, when you said "Curt," I of course thought you meant -


I tried to cover that up though!

No, I know.

It's hard to cover that up though when you've been playing with him for twenty years! How did that whole thing come about (Nirvana Unplugged) that made you all the money?

We had read in an interview that Cobain had pulled out a copy of Meat Puppets II and talked about its virtues. So we got the chance to tour with them for one week. And that week just by coincidence was one week before Nirvana was scheduled to be on MTV Unplugged. So Cris and Curt really played up to him and kept trying to convince him to do a cover on the show. Eventually, Curt and Cris wore him down and he, or somebody, decided that it would be cool to do a couple of Meat Puppets covers during the show. But then he didn't have time to practice the songs, so finally he went, "Why don't you just come to New York and do the songs with me?" So that's what they did. As it turned out, our manager at the time tried to stop us from doing it because we had to cancel a show to do it. And he was taking a large percentage of our income and never got us anywhere near the amount of money we made from doing that one show. Needless to say, we got rid of him. And then of course when Cobain died, they were playing that thing like 6 times a day on MTV, and as a result we ended up selling half a million copies of an album. It was the best selling record we'd ever had. I really gotta hand it to Cris and Curt - they really took great advantage of that situation.

Where'd that name "Meat Puppets" come from anyway?

You know, animated flesh. The spirit coming out through our hands playing the instruments. It was a song first. A song that Curt wrote about people. You know, about how they do all these things, they do everything. That song never had set lyrics, he used to just improvise, listing all the things people did as things popped into his head.

So what are your, when you started talking about that, it made me wanna move over to this other question cuz we discussed it a tad - What are your, what are your thoughts on Mr. Bush's presidency so far?

Don't get me started. I'm looking at Matt Drudge's web site and it says something to the effect that he wants to get rid of BAD governments to make the world safe. And I'm like "Keep it up and it'll help you help your own cause by getting you taken out of office for what you've done."

Oh yeah, he's talking about bombing Baghdad, right.

Yes he is. But the voters get what they deserve.

I really wasn't interested in politics at all, and I probably am not, still not all that interested in just straight politics, but after like 9, you know after September 11th and everything, I started paying attention to him. I'm just wondering if throughout your life - like you said, you're about 10 years older - were, I know I've heard bad things about them, were Reagan and the first Bush as obviously corrupt as he is? I mean, he is so blatant about it!

They weren't as obvious to the majority of people, but if you followed politics at all, then you knew these peoples' histories and you knew what they were really like. I mean, Reagan was the kind of guy who - you know he started out as an actor and during the `50s, he was one of the first to start doing like corporate shows, like with corporate sponsors, like you know "GE presents `Death Valley Days'; here's your host Ronald Reagan. `Hi, I'm Ronald Reagan. We're gonna see a great western tonight, but you know GE is a great company and they're doing nothing bad for us whatsoever and they're doing everything good!" And the head of GE was like, "You know Ronnie, you are, you are a handsome devil and people really like you. So we're gonna start having you do speeches at like our coporate dinners and public functions and things like that. You know, to put a smiling face on GE, and of course we'll pay you way more than you would make as an actor." And he took corporate money to become a corporate shill. And that's how he became a politician. So was he obviously corrupt? I mean, nobody ever caught him like naked in front of the White House with his teeth in the neck of a 12-year-old, but those who understand the nature of power could tell. And Bush was the head of the CIA! People need to think that there are wild and crazy conspiracies out there, so they wanna believe that something weird and secret is going on? But it's like right there in front of you. It's all about money, power and resources. They used to at least try to come across as good people. Now they're just like, "We're killing the world but who cares? I got mine!"

That's not what they're saying. They're still lying about it though. I think I may have mentioned that I didn't know until recently that the Vietnam War was about resources.

Well, see, the Vietnam War was a different sort of situation in that it was an offshoot of our hegemony after WWII which, in my mind, wasn't the United States against the Nazis - it was the United States against England. Because England had it all at the beginning of the century, and we took it away from them. Germany tried to take it all from them too, but we stepped in and we cleaned it up. We took over Britain's "white man's burden" and there were certain complications there. Vietnam was just something like, I mean we had to do it to prove we were strong. And Vietnam had to lay down and take it. But the government couldn't admit that that was the goal, so they got out of it by claiming that the liberal media or whatever lost the Vietnam War. We won, because we proved to the world that the price of standing up to the United States was steep. But we were unable to install a right-wing government, so to save face the government blamed the hippies.

That's what these Vietnam vet guys were telling me - they were saying that they won the war.

We did!

But what the hell? Why is there. Aw never mind. I just don't understand why I'm taught the wrong things that -

It's kinda like those pictures that are like 3-D but without the glasses. You know how at first nobody can see them? And then once you finally figure out how to see it, you can't miss it? That's what history is really like. It's all really obvious once you realize what the stakes are, but the - it's confusing because you think it's gonna be harder than it is. And it almost literally requires that you suddenly wake up, you've waded through, you know, like two dozen heavy-handed books of political ideology, and then you realize that most of the game that you're taught is lies and that the media is NOT liberally biased, that we were never anti-communist and that it's always the people in power against the people who have no power. And that the Communist leaders and the American leaders have a lot more in common with each other than the Communist leaders have in common with the Communist people, and the American leaders have with the American people. Nevertheless, the majority of people don't know and don't care, so they believe whatever they're told, and these people are probably the same people who believe that there's a God, which 93% of Americans do, and I am not one of them. If you look at the history of Europe, you realize that the Church was nothing but a governing body that tried to unify Europe for its own purposes. It was never about making sure that people had good lives per se - it was about regulations and rules and orders and restrictions. (clears throat) I'm not gonna be able to talk much longer; I'm losing my voice.

Oh okay. I'll just ask you one more question and then you can go eat your dinner. How did you first find out about this

From Gregg. Gregg told me you were coming to Arizona and I should take a look.

Yeah. What do you think about that site?

It's a little heavy on the punk. I didn't see anything about - do you have a Todd Rundgren section?


Do you have a Byrds section?


You gotta get a Todd Rundgren section. You've got Can! Do you have Zappa?

I will. But I have like 80 albums by him, so I'm holding off!

Just get yourself a big bottle of Wild Turkey and review the Zappa! You only have to write one line and your main cast of characters will chime in. But but but not Todd Rundgren?

No. I mean, I have Something/Anything but -

But that might be more poppy than you'd like.

What should I get by him then?

Initiation, Utopia - those are - you like Yes!

Yes I do.

You obviously like Yes. You would like Utopia and Initiation.

Is Initiation a band or an album?

It's an album. It's a Todd Rundgren album. But both Utopia and Initiation have that umm - one song per side type-deals?


But Initiation is a single album that's over an hour long! And so is Utopia. So the songs aren't 20 minutes each - they're 30 minutes each.

So this Utopia is - I thought that was a band.

Yeah, but the album. It's blue and it's got a big eye on it.

Okay, their other albums aren't as good?

If you're not interested in pop, especially that piano pop like Something/Anything, you're not gonna like it.


There's actually a couple others - there's one called Another Live by Todd Rundgren and Utopia with a drawing on the front of them playing in the sky.

Does it have "Feet Don't Fail Me Now" on it?

No, it's from like 1975.


And then A Wizard, A True Star is really good. It's like they're like uhh. it's like a Mark Prindle album! Each song is about 20 seconds long and they all go one into the next to the next to the next.


It's like an experimental studio recording.

Oh, I'd be into that!

Great songs. Todd Rundgren, especially since you obviously like playing around on a tape deck, you know, and appreciate studio chops?

Uh huh?

You gotta listen to Todd Rundgren.


Keeping in mind, of course, that Something/Anything was recorded entirely by him.

Yeah. That is impressive.

He takes acid after that album and just gets really weird. Until he discovers heroin and just gets really bad.


But from 1973 to about 1975, he was really good.




You're actually going to transcribe all this?

God, it's gonna take forever. I'm gonna have to do it over the weekend.

Well, I look forward to seeing your reviews, and good luck getting your web site up. What do they charge you at uh -

$9.00 a month.

Yeah, that's pretty cheap.

Well, we'll see if I ever get the damn thing back up.

Just realize that the people who took your reviews down probably fucked up the server and took EVERYBODY'S down. I mean, the fact that they're telling you it's a server error implies that they knew something was wrong with the server to begin with. So it's not like they just have to fix Mark Prindle's server - they have to fix like 400 other peoples' too. AND they're only getting like nine dollars a month from you, as opposed to the $30 a month that an average host would be getting, which means that the guys that are fixing your problem are probably making seven dollars an hour.

Well. I gotcha.

Be patient.

Alright. It's hard to be patient though! I miss it!

What's that?

It's hard to be patient.

(sarcastically) Oh, that's tough!

I just miss - I like getting the email every week and now there's no email to get.

That's true.

Yeah. Okay, well have a good dinner and thanks for wasting so much time!

No problem.



Reader Comments (Apollo DeLucia)
Hey, I just read the Derrick Bostrom interview by Mark.

I did one too back in 94! In fact I got a collection of interviews and record reviews up at if you want to add a link or check em out
ijust "wasted time" reading Bostrum's interview - to be honest - ididn't even realize they had broken up. too bad. pretty good band. got three of their cd's. (Stephen M. Smith)
The fact that the Meat Puppets have become a totally sickening and twisted saga over the past few years, joined with the fact that their old records still never fail to make me feel good and put a smile on my face only add up to... dammit they are great fuckin' band after all!!!

Mike Noto
Great interview, interesting to read.

Though I know your "to-review" backlog is literally the size of a skyscraper, I hereby second Derrick Bostrom and put in a request for Todd Rundgren too. A Wizard, a True Star is probably the 10 of his catalog and is the sound of one very, very talented guy trying to write a thousand Beatles songs at once under the influence of a shot glass full of liquid Owsley acid. And that doesn't even take into account the overwhelming case of synthesizeritis he's developing as the album goes on. An astonishing accomplishment.

Add your thoughts?

Meat Puppets CDs are available here at many affordable prices in every color for your stocking this year. Ho ho ho!

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