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Baker's Dozen

These Gifts: Mark Arm Of Mudhoney's Favourite Albums
Nick Hutchings , May 26th, 2015 15:35

As they embark upon a run of UK dates tonight, the Seattle fuzz merchants' frontman takes Nick Hutchings on a tour of his top 13 LPs


Tales Of Terror - Tales Of Terror
Tales Of Terror were this band from Sacramento. Unfortunately this record hasn't physically been reissued yet. They came through Seattle and played a show. It was random, nobody had heard of them, they hadn't got a record out. It was at an all-ages venue where you'd just go for something to do and this band came on and destroyed the place. And this was probably around '84 so at that point I was kind of looking for other things besides hardcore, which I was much more into a year or two previously.

Green River had started at this point and I was trying to do something a bit differently, and this band came out and among the covers they played they did 'Search and Destroy' and 'Spanish Castle Magic' and everyone in the band was just an awesome, crazed musician. The singer would do backflips and land on his feet and by the end of the set all of them except for the drummer were wrapped up in cords. Somehow they all got tangled up and it didn't seem like something pre-planned, it was the natural course of events for that particular show. They were just wild, wild dudes and unfortunately a couple of them are dead now, and one of them is severely debilitated due to too much drugs, which is kind of a bummer.

They were the kind of people who were just up for everything and they'd push whatever boundaries and envelopes there were. Supposedly they would carry a blender with them and they'd just put whatever in the blender. They'd go to someone's house, find the alcohol and weird shit from the fridge and put it in and then they'd drink it. I even heard they would put dirt in it. I don't know if that's true, it seems a little over the top. They were a great band that unfortunately only lasted for one record.

The only flaw of that record is that it starts off with a cover of 'Hound Dog' but once they kick into their own songs after that it's a fantastic fucking record. It's really super loose. The record seems like you can almost hear them getting drunker and drunker as everything continues. Green River covered one of their songs from that record - a song called 'Ozzie' - we didn't do it nearly as good but... we did it.

They were a big influence in our approach to live performance. Unfortunately I don't have the limberness and the wherewithal to do that now. There was one crazy Mudhoney show at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London where everybody tried to fit up on stage.