I started college in 1980, the same year that the Meat Puppets formed in Phoenix. The music back then was pretty much an endless galaxy of angry, sloppy punk rock bands… plus the crap they played on the radio. Sure, that’s an oversimplification but it helps me tell my story.
Out of that punk rock galaxy, a few bands started doing things a little bit differently, while still retaining their punk rock cred. Hüsker Dü, Minutemen, and Replacements started making music that sounded like something more than just anger. They started writing pop songs. A lot of purists hated them for it, but I liked them all the better.
When I heard Meat Puppets II playing in Bow Wow Records I bought it immediately. It was really important at the time. Nobody on the planet was making music even remotely similar to theirs, and while they were still sort of punk rock they also had a mastery of their instruments that was almost unheard of within the genre.
Kurt Cobain understood how great the Meat Puppets were and did his best to spread the word, covering their songs in radio-friendly unplugged ubiquity. Somehow, it was always more about Nirvana. Well, those were Meat Puppets songs.
Go see the real deal Friday June 10 at the Launchpad. They may not be around forever.