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Music Tidbits: The Melvins

  • The Melvins were named after a much-despised Thriftway supervisor of band member Buzz Osborne.
    The group started in the early 80’s by the members who attended school together in Montesano, Washington.

  • Throughout the years, the group has had trouble finding and keeping a permanent bass player. As a result, Buzz Ozborne and Dale Crover have been the only consistent members. Least you worry though, the bass players do not spontaneously combust like the drummers in Spinal Tap.

  • Many people have heard the group being credited as a huge influence of the Seattle grunge scene, but fewer people know that Kurt Cobain actually tried out to play bass in the group but he failed after forgetting all the songs because he was so nervous.

Image Via abux 77 [Flickr]

  • Kurt stayed good friends with the group, particularly drummer Dale Crover, and even worked as a roadie for them at a few shows. Later, he produced and played on two songs on the group’s album Houdini.

  • Aside from bands in the grunge scene, The Melvins have influenced a lot of other bands, including Tool, Crowbar, Mastodon, Eyehategod and Boris, the last of which were named after a Melvin’s song.

  • Dale Crover helped out Kurt Cobain in 1988, by playing drums for Nirvana on their ten song demo. Later this demo became part of their first album, Bleach. Dale later introduced Kurt to Dave Grohl, who would become the group’s long-term drummer.

  • Also in ’88, Osborne and Crover moved to San Francisco. This is when they lost their first bass player, Matt Lukin, who decided to stay in Washington. Matt later formed the band Mudhoney.

  • In 1992, The Melvins released three EPs based on the idea of the four Kiss albums each featuring a member of the group. Later in the year, the group tried to release a full-length album called Lysol, but the album had to be renamed Melvins because “Lysol” was trademarked.

  • The group was always a big fan of Kiss, so they were honored when Gene Simons played bass with them at Lollapalooza in ’93 and ’94. He also played on the song "Goin’ Blind" with them at a Primus concert in 1993. This track was a Kiss song that The Melvins covered on Houdini.

  • Atlantic refused to release the group’s highly experimental album Prick, so they released it under Amphetamine Reptile Records. Because they were still limited to releases under Atlantic, Prick was released with the band’s name in reverse.

Image Via Kent, J [Flickr]

  • A picture on the Tool website shows The Melvins in an image covered by lunchmeat that spells out “Melvins say…Tool Sux!”

  • In 1999, the group released three new albums and one of the highlights of these albums was a cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” sung by Leif Garrett.

  • There was originally going to be a European tour supporting the group's album with Dead Kennedy's singer Jello Biafra, Never Breathe What You Can’t See, but it was canceled due to some problems with bassist-of-the-time, Kevin Rutmanis. Later, Dale Crover and Buzz Osborne admitted that their bassist had “disappeared.” He returned for a short time in 2005, but then officially quit the band.

  • In 2006, The Melvins became a four piece by adding a second drummer, Coady Willis, from the band Big Business. Dale Crover said, "we want to do this 'mirror image' type of thing. We've kind of fused our two drum sets together, and we're going to try and do some crazy thing with it."

Source #1 & #2

I never heard of The Melvins until now which is surprising since I enjoy listening to Tool and Nirvana. Love the tidbits, keep'em coming!
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Oh my gosh. Last week B-52's and this week it's the Melvins??? Neatorama, will you marry me?

I love the Melvins, but my husband is a SERIOUS Melvins fan. They truly are HUGELY talented. The teaming up of Jared and Coady from Big Business with the Melvins is genius. The two drummer thing has been done before, but never this well. Dale Crover is one of the best drummers in the entire history of the world and Coady is right up there with him.

A few more bits of trivia:

Buzz' wife, Mackie, is a well-known artist and has done most of their cover art and the art of many other bands Tool, Rancid, Offspring, Bad Religion, and so many more). She also created the Social Distortion skeleton logo! Here's her website:

Their band meetings are often at Disneyland.

Jared usually wears really cheesy truck stop t-shirts on stage (like this:

Buzz (A.K.A. King Buzzo) is really, really opinionated. And a Dodgers fan.

Big Business also rock really hard all by themselves. Check it:

Their last album (Nude With Boots) kicked so much butt and you should totally check it out.

The last time I heard them live it was so loud that for a hours afterward it sounded like everyone was lisping. It was the weirdest thing.

*high five* middlepath
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OI! Excellent trivia, I loved it! Cool to see the Melvins get a spotlight on Neatorama.

@Jen Diggity Fugazi also did the double-drummer thing to much effect on "The Argument". BIg Business are one of the hardinest-rockinest bands around and a good fit for the Melvins. I can only think that maybe Lightning Bolt would have worked as well, but they're a bit too...manic.
see for yourself
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Thank you for this post!

When Stoner Witch was released, it hit my CD player and didn't leave for the next 6 months.

Amazing band!
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Yes! The Melvins are amazing, and I was thrilled to see them here. Trends come and go, but the Melvins just keep on being the Melvins, with little regard for public opinion. Awesome.
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I don't know how this article came to be, but excellent work!

I highly suggest checking out Jared's old band Karp too. One of my favorites.
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I never got into The Melvins, but did see them live back in the early 90's. They were very good as recall. I do remember being impressed, but they just weren't the kind of "thing" I was into at the time.

Interesting read. I would have never guessed the Kiss influence.
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I saw the Melvins touring with R.K.L. (Rich Kids on L.S.D.) back in '85 in Melbourne, Florida at the local V.F.W.

Buzz came out on stage and said, "We have come to destroy punk rock" and my life has never been the same.

Real "Neatorama-ish" unmentioned Melvins trivia is that Lori Black (aka Lorax), the Melvins bassist for most of their seminal work is the daughter of Shirley Temple Black, aka Shirley Temple. (Look it up.)
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