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Curt Kirkwood


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#1 misterhat

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 09:48 PM



Curt Kirkwood was one of the most inventive and progressive guitarists and songwriters to come out of the post-punk scene happening in the US in the early eighties. Though his playing in actuality had very little to do with punk other than it's energy and unpredictability. Curt has always admired such guitarists as Billy Gibbons, Robert Fripp, John McLaughlin, Don Rich, and Jerry Garcia. He also admired country songwriters George Jones and Johnny Cash.
Born January 10, 1959 and raised in Phoenix, AZ, Curt played in various top 40 and rock cover bands in the seventies before forming the psychedelic Meat Puppets around 1980 with his brother Cris on bass and friend Derrick Bostrom on drums. The Meat Puppets released several records on Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn's SST label before switching to London in the early nineties.
Although most punk and punk-oriented bands shunned guitar solos just about every Meat Puppets tune featured the fretboard wizardry of Curt Kirkwood. Throughout the lifetime of the Meat Puppets Curt used the same Gibson Les Paul Heritage flametop. And he preferred half stacks- for a time Marshall and later Soldano and Bogner. Curt also had a fondness for effects. Nearly every Meat Puppets record featured his Morley Echo Chorus Vibrato. At various times Curt used a Scholz Rockman and a Big Muff Pi.
For most of the eighties and the beginning of the nineties the Meat Puppets and Curt Kirkwood were only known in underground circles. Things changed when Kurt Cobain, an avid Meat Puppets fan, invited the Pups to play three tunes on Nirvana's MTV Unplugged. As a result the Meat Puppets record Too High To Die went gold. They also had a radio hit with "Backwater". This version of the Meat Puppets would record one more record, No Joke, which contained a minor hit in "Scum". No Joke would be the last record by the original Meat Puppets lineup.
Eventually Curt Kirkwood performed solo acoustic and later moved from Phoenix to Austin, Texas. In Austin Curt formed the Royal Neanderthal Orchestra with sometimes Butthole Surfers and Meat Puppets tour guitarist Kyle Ellison, Shandon Sahm (son of Sir Douglas Quintet's Doug Sahm) on drums, and former Bob Mould bassist Andrew DuPlantis. But when they released Golden Lies in 2000 on Hootie & The Blowfish's record label Breaking Records they went with the name Meat Puppets.
After a short tour the Royal Neanderthal Orchestra/Meat Puppets disbanded and Curt went back to touring solo. It was while on his solo tour that Curt was approached at different times by former Nirvana bassist Krist Novaselic and former Sublime/Long Beach Dub Allstars drummer Bud Gaugh about jamming and maybe forming a band. Eventually Curt, Bud, and Krist got together at Krist's Washington state home and wrote some tunes. In 2002 they released the record Eyes Adrift, a more subdued affair than most Meat Puppets releases and bordering on psychedelic country rock, on SpinArt and did a tour of the entire US. With Eyes Adrift Curt used a goldtop Les Paul Deluxe into two effects- a Russian Big Muff Pi and a Boss Digital Delay (DD5?)- into his Bogner half stack from his Meat Puppets days. After the US tour there was talk of a European tour which unfortunately never materialized. Eyes Adrift hasn't officially broken up though Curt has begun touring solo again.

DISCOGRAPHY

Meat Puppets
1982 Meat Puppets Rykodisc (SST)
1983 Meat Puppets II Rykodisc (SST)
1985 Up on the Sun Rykodisc (SST)
1987 Huevos Rykodisc (SST)
1987 Mirage Rykodisc (SST)
1989 Monsters Rykodisc (SST)
1991 Forbidden Places London
1994 Too High to Die London
1995 No Joke! London
1999 Live in Montana Rykodisc
2000 Golden Lies Breaking Records/ Atlantic
2002 Live at Maxwell's 2.08.01 DCN
1990 No Strings Attached (compilation) SST
1981 In a Car [EP] SST
1986 Out My Way [EP] Rykodisc (SST)
1993 Backwater (CD single) London
2003 Alive In The Nineties (DVD)
Meat Puppets also appear on the soundtrack to Love & A 45.

Eyes Adrift
2002 Eyes Adrift SpinArt

Mike Watt
1995 Ball-Hog Or Tugboat Columbia

#2 MisterEEE

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 09:51 PM

I have liked what I have heard, and would have to say the Nirvana unplugged gave me reason to check Meatpuppets out. Backwater just didn't do it for me.

#3 misterhat

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 09:54 PM

I've always thought that the records to start off with are Meat Puppets II, Up On The Sun, and Mirage. The Meat Puppets were doing alot more experimenting in those days. Though I have yet to hear a Meat Puppets or Eyes Adrift tune I didn't like.

#4 kavedude

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 10:01 PM

i liked the song backwater
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#5 droctagon

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 10:04 PM

That's interesting, I didn't think they even came out until the mid-90's! I'd never heard of them before then, and unfortunately the people I knew who started listening to them were the biggest idiots in school, so I never really gave the band a chance. Maybe I will listen to some stuff now.

#6 misterhat

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Posted 29 July 2003 - 10:05 PM

I showed my girlfriend how to play "Backwater", "Station", "Lake Of Fire", "I Quit", and "Plateau" on bass. She sometimes sits in with one of the bands I gig with and plays some of those tunes with me.

#7 skm

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 01:45 AM

So does Curt have any solo acoustic records?
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#8 citizien_dick

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 04:06 AM

i love meat puppets II, its f*cking awesome.$$

#9 mrbung1e

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 04:31 AM

meat puppets rock. yes.

#10 misterhat

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 04:40 AM

QUOTE
So does Curt have any solo acoustic records?

No, he doesn't. Though the Meat Puppets occasionally performed with acoustic instruments.

#11 skm

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 05:11 AM

QUOTE
QUOTE
So does Curt have any solo acoustic records?

No, he doesn't. Though the Meat Puppets occasionally performed with acoustic instruments.


That's a shame.

I'm into low-key, stripped down recordings at the moment.
Which would you say is their most minimalist (possibly featuring acoustic) record?
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#12 misterhat

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 05:22 AM

QUOTE
QUOTE
QUOTE
So does Curt have any solo acoustic records?

No, he doesn't. Though the Meat Puppets occasionally performed with acoustic instruments.


That's a shame.

I'm into low-key, stripped down recordings at the moment.
Which would you say is their most minimalist (possibly featuring acoustic) record?


That would probably have to be Forbidden Places. Though if you want them at their most minimalist go with Meat Puppets, the very first one. It's not acoustic but it's as raw as it gets.
But if you want to hear a good bit of Meat Puppets acoustic get the DVD Live In The Nineties. About half of it is them playing acoustic in a music store and at the Knitting Factory in NYC.

#13 skm

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 05:26 AM

QUOTE
QUOTE
QUOTE
QUOTE
So does Curt have any solo acoustic records?

No, he doesn't. Though the Meat Puppets occasionally performed with acoustic instruments.


That's a shame.

I'm into low-key, stripped down recordings at the moment.
Which would you say is their most minimalist (possibly featuring acoustic) record?


That would probably have to be Forbidden Places. Though if you want them at their most minimalist go with Meat Puppets, the very first one. It's not acoustic but it's as raw as it gets.
But if you want to hear a good bit of Meat Puppets acoustic get the DVD Live In The Nineties. About half of it is them playing acoustic in a music store and at the Knitting Factory in NYC.


Sadly I'm not technologically advanced (or rich) enough to do DVD.
I'll check the other titles out though, cheers.
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#14 angusyoungfan

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 05:35 AM

Nicely done Misterhat Nicely done . I like the way you have written it it's as if you are talking straight to me which is pretty kewl smile.gif Maybe you will do us the honour in the future of maybe doing a few more .

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#15 misterhat

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 05:46 AM

QUOTE
Nicely done Misterhat Nicely done . I like the way you have written it it's as if you are talking straight to me which is pretty kewl smile.gif Maybe you will do us the honour in the future of maybe doing a few more .

Z smile.gif


I might do the occasional one later on. Glad you liked it.

#16 steppinout

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 07:47 AM

So is Lake of Fire a Meat Puppets tune?

#17 misterhat

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 02:10 PM

QUOTE
So is Lake of Fire a Meat Puppets tune?


Yes, you are correct. The original "Lake Of Fire" is on Meat Puppets II, a classic. "Lake Of Fire" was also a staple of the Meat Puppets live sets.

#18 badasstommyboy

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 02:33 PM

QUOTE




damn freddie mercury has really let himself go

#19 misterhat

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 02:36 PM

Curt Kirkwood is sort of a geek but in a very cool way. And he's a pretty staunch heterosexual. Curt has a couple twin daughters who are around nineteen or twenty now.

#20 angusyoungfan

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Posted 30 July 2003 - 02:37 PM

QUOTE
QUOTE




damn freddie mercury has really let himself go


Dear god tommy where do you get them from ?

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