“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is a bona fide living legend, and we don’t say it lightly. Watt from Pedro! Founder of a band that truly could be your life, and have been mine, Minutemen whose songs “Viet Nam” and “History Lesson Part II” are in a perpetual loop in my house, bass hero Watt had already cemented his place in punk rock history and that’s before he founded Firehose too and Dos.
A plethora, nay myriad of solo albums followed before he was also asked by Iggy Pop to play as a member of The Stooges from 2003 through to 2013 including on new albums “The Weirdness” and “Ready To Die”.
Excitingly he’s now joined another legendary band as part of their stellar live line up for a European tour like no other. Sludge punk pioneers Flipper of “Generic Flipper” and more are heading this way for their 40th anniversary and as well as guest vocalist David Yow of The Jesus Lizard, they’ve got guess who on bass?
More than a gun for hire, he’s a low-slung sniper for hire, a bon vivant, a true punk godfather, a compelling raconteur, an outstanding radio presenter (the “Watt From Pedro” show), one of the all time bass greats. Were are lucky to have him here on Velvet Sheep. He is Mike Watt! (Cue fanboy fanfare! Bring on the Mariachi bands. Shout it from the rooftops).
Here’s one of my all-time Mike Watt favs…from the “We Jam Econo” doc – definitely scientist rock worth studying…(I was lucky to play this tune in my own radio debut as a guest on the Bad Punk show, Resonance FM)
Here is one my fav Flipper songs, which I hope to see him play at the Garage in London soon…(this clip features Yow but sans Watt)
Flipper from San Francisco are known for a heavy as hell live show, full of repetitive rhythms, atonal guitar and a noisy unpredictable nature. They started out in 1979 on the SF Underground 7″ comp with the track “Earthworm” followed by “Love Canal / Ha Ha Ha” on Subterranean Records and the now legendary single “Sexbomb / Brainwash” in 1981 which saw the underground scene flip their collective wigs. First album “Generic Flipper” is a cult classic, and Kurt Cobain famously was a fan (with Krist Novoselic joining the live line up in recent years), while Henry Rollins notably wrote about Flipper in his killer biog “Get In The Van” thus: “They were just heavy. Heavier than you. Heavier than anything…When they played they were amazing”….
There have been four studio albums and five live releases and it’s been a rich and colourful history of which a new chapter is about to open.
Incoming and ready for a dissonant party at a venue near you, featuring founder members Steve DePace on drums and Ted Falconi on guitar, it’s a tour not to be missed featuring as it does fellow punk rock luminaries such as Yow and our man Mike Watt, about to add to his CV which is already as long as his arm.
I doff my figurative cap to Mike and his valorous career, but who does Mike admire? It’s a sad, timely one, a mention in dispatches to a recently departed psych hero and proto punk godfather, so without further ado, it’s over to Watt for his “song for ewe”…
“I have always been here before” Roky Erickson
We just lost brother Roky and so I chose this song he wrote cuz
I covered it for ‘pert-near twenty years in my own Watt way to pay
homage to some of the most sublime lyrics ever put in a tune, they
reached way down and were most profound on me… they still do and
prolly always will.”
THANKS VERY MUCH TO MIKE WATT (YES!!!!) and to LAUREN BARLEY of RARELY UNABLE!
Catch Watt on tour with Flipper as follows:
FLIPPER 40 YEAR ANNIVERSARY TOUR:
30-Jul-2019 Nottingham UK Rescue Rooms
31-Jul-2019 Bristol UK The Exchange
1-Aug-2019 Blackpool UK Rebellion Festival
2-Aug-2019 Glasgow UK CCA
3-Aug-2019 Leeds UK Brudenell
4-Aug-2019 London UK Garage
5-Aug-2019 Gent Belgium DOK
6-Aug-2019 Amsterdam The Netherlands Paradiso Noord
8-Aug-2019 Aachen Germany Musikbunker
9-Aug-2019 Karlsruhe Germany Hackerei
10-Aug-2019 Bologna Italy Freakout
11-Aug-2019 Milan Italy Magnolia Open Air
12-Aug-2019 Padova Italy Anfiteatro del Venda
13-Aug-2019 Vienna Austria Chelsea
15-Aug-2019 Bielefeld Germany Forum
16-Aug-2019 Hamburg Germany Hafenklang
17-Aug-2019 Helsinki Finland Kuudes Linja
20-Aug-2019 Berlin Germany Bi Nuu
Check out the Watt from Pedro radio show: