Butthole Surfers Biography

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Formerly known as the Ashtray Baby Heads, this maverick quartet from Austin, Texas, USA, made its recording debut in 1983 with a self-titled mini-album (the name Butthole Surfers comes from an early song about beach transvestites). Gibson "Gibby"


Haynes (vocals) Paul Leary Walthall aka Paul Sneef (guitar) and King Coffey (drums) were initially indebted to the punk/hardcore scene, as shown by the startling "The Shah Sleeps In Lee Harvey's Grave', but other selections were inspired by a variety of sources. Loping melodies, screaming guitar and heavy-metal riffs abound in a catalogue as zany as it is unclassifiable. Lyrically explicit, the group has polarized opinion between those who appreciate their boisterous humour and those deeming them prurient. Having endured a succession of bass players, including Kramer from Shockabilly and Bongwater, the Buttholes secured the permanent services of Jeff Pinker, alias Tooter, alias Pinkus, in 1985. The Surfers" strongest work appears on Locust Abortion Technician and Hairway To Steven, the former memorably including "Sweet Loaf", a thinly disguised version of Black Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf'. On the latter set, tracks are denoted by various simple drawings, including a defecating deer, rather than song titles. In 1991 the release of Digital Dump, a house project undertaken by Haynes and Pinkus under the Jack Officers epithet, was followed closely by the Buttholes" ninth album, piouhgd, which showed that their ability to enrage, bewilder and excite remained as sure as ever. It was marked by a curiously reverential version of Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man".
In 1991, Pinkus also recorded the frenetic Cheatos as Daddy Longhead. This set was closely followed by Paul Leary's excellent solo debut, The History Of Dogs, and the band's shock signing to Capitol Records. The delay of Electriclarryland was as a result of objections received from the estate of Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II when the band wanted to call the album Oklahoma!. It is difficult to be indifferent about this band, it's a simple love or loathe. Tagged as the sickest band in the world, they thrive on their own antics which include simulated sex, urinating and masturbation on stage. This tends to mask their musical ability and commercial potential which Electriclarryland clearly demonstrated. Haines also appeared alongside actor Johnny Depp in P, while Coffey recorded 1992's Pick Up Heaven as Drain on his own Trance Syndicate Records label. Following the release of 1998's After The Astronaut, the band signed a contract with Surfdog. Their first album for the label, Weird Revolution, was released in August 2001.


Thanks to Jorge Heredia for submitting the biography.

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-------- 07/31/2014
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