Minutemen- History Lesson Part II

Minutemen

Minutemen, from San Pedro, CA., formed in 1980. Minutemen were pioneers not only musically, but they practiced what they called “Econo Style,” which meant they went out of their way to reduce overhead costs.

They rented studios late at night when fees were lower, teched their own shows, recorded on used tape, rehearsed their songs before entering the studio, and recorded songs in their album order instead of going back and editing the master tape.

The result of their thrifty business practices was that Minutemen were one of the few Indie bands in the 80’s to actually make money (Albeit a pittance).

Signed to Greg Ginn’s (Guitarist from Black Flag) SST label, the Minutemen recorded their first LP, “The Punch Line,” in 1981.

From the beginning, Minutemen’s style was unique to the punk scene. D. Boon (Guitar), and Mike Watt (Bass) had a very “Funky” sound with Watt, at times, “popping and slapping” his bass in the vein of Funk bass players.

There songs were short, and sweet but they packed a punch, as Boon was a master at word play, and his political anthems were extremely popular in the growing underground scene.

In 1986, the Minutemen had big plans. The band was set to begin recording a half-studio/half-live triple album when tragedy struck.

On December 22, 1985, D. Boon was killed in an automobile accident in Arizona. Boon had been ill, and was riding in the back of a van without his seatbelt when it’s axle broke, and he was thrown out the back door. Boon was killed instantly.

The remaining members of Minutemen, Mike Watt and George Hurley, were devastated, and for a time considered giving up music altogether.

However, in 1987, Hurley and Watt returned to form fiREHOSE. Hurley and Watt have also released solo records, and in 2003 Watt played bass with Iggy Pop, and the reformed Stooges.

The documentary, “We Jam Econo” (Released in 2007), has interviews about the band from Hurley, Watt, Henry Rollins, Flea, and others from the California punk scene.

There is also a book “Our Story Could Be Your Life” (The title came from a lyric in this song), which chronicles the rise and fall of 13 influential bands (Including Minutemen, Black Flag, Butthole Surfers, Minor Threat, Hüsker Dü, and Big Black) of the American Underground scene.

If you’ve never listened to Minutemen, you should. “Double Nickels on the Dime” is an incredible album, and a great place to start.

 

 

History Lesson Part II


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~ by fairlane on November 4, 2007.

3 Responses to “Minutemen- History Lesson Part II”

  1. Very cool. Inspiring.

  2. Damn good.

  3. Saw FIREHOSE at UCLA in the early 90s. I never got a chance to see D. Boon. Proud owner of 2x5c($0.10). Nice work.

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