Great Moments In Liner Notes: King Buzzo on Flipper
As the ideal format debate rages on (vinyl with free CD VS vinyl with free download, download only VS Flash Drive etc.), one disturbing admission I keep hearing from people is that not only do they not really care about the eventual doing away with album art altogether, but they could also care less about liner notes. I personally love liner notes. The more pretentious, the better. Whether it's press clippings from long defunct zines, superfluous essays by David Fricke (who claims to be a "Byrds Scholar"), party scene dirtbags reminiscing about the bad old days, ex-lovers dishing it out, gallery owners and venue owners bringing up numbers, incredibly narcissistic song-by-song commentary by the artists themselves, or even the random musings from unrelated and often lesser artists, I live for this stuff.
The following excerpts are from the fairly recent reissue of Flipper's "Gone Fishin'" album, written by King Buzzo of The Melvins. Someone recently read this tribute aloud to me while I drove away from the record store, and I nearly had an accident due to being so distracted by the genius contained therein. Here, Buzzo articulates much of what I have often tried to say myself on We Shot JR but more efficiently, and of course, more entertainingly:
"Fifteen years ago we recorded one of my all time favorite Flipper songs called "Sacrifice" and it's remained in our live set off and on ever since. More people scream for us to play "Sacrifice" than almost any of our own songs! In the late 1980s I remember seeing Flipper play a free show where Bruce Lose told the audience that Will Shatter had stolen the lyrics for "Sacrifice" from a World War I anti-war poem... maybe so. For the first 20 minutes the show was good, then the bass player broke a string and the whole thing degenerated into jumbled mess. It was perfect, in fact, I don't think anything Flipper has done has been wrong.
Flipper is always at the top or near the top of the list whenever anyone asks me what bands have influenced my own song writing. This is confusing to people because they always expect answers from me like Black Sabbath or Motorhead. Let me get something straight now, Black Sabbath and Motorhead or bands of that nature don't fucking MATTER to me. Those bands are horrible, horrible shit compared to Flipper and I am in no way kidding or blowing smoke up Flipper's ass. If you don't get that, then you don't get what WE are about and you should go back to music school 101 and figure it out, dummy...
...Flipper's music is genius in its simplicity. The lyrics are horrifying and beautiful. They don't waste a lot of time on musical gymnastics and they don't need to, their songs are that good. Good music has nothing to do with technical ability. It's powerful and dangerous and confusing insanity and I love it as much as I've ever loved any music that inspires me. Even more actually, I'm a devoted Flipper fan.
In 1980 "Sex Bomb" became the new "Smoke On The Water." What serious Punk doesn't know how to play "Sex Bomb?" That is the level of influence they've had on my generation. They're important. Face it and learn.
If you're never IN tune you can't be out OF tune."