Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

“The Spirit”: Mike Watt Of The Missingmen’s Favourite Albums

Currently in the middle of a European tour, the Minutemen, Dos and Firehose founder pares down his record collection to give John Calvert his thirteen all-time top LPs

Far inside Mike Watt’s perpetually ablaze eyes plays reruns from a lifetime of wonderment. Though only memories, in the Minutemen bassist’s retelling here of anecdotes about a favourite band or song he seems overawed all over again. A living testimony to doing what you love forever, he is the eternal boy, his every thought and idea arriving as an exclamation mark. Watt talks just as he has lived these last 35 years: in capitals letters.

Assuredly, everything you need to know in order to understand what made Minutemen one of the greatest units in the history of punk can be learnt within ten minutes in the company of the 56-year-old bassist. Formed in 1980 in the SoCal outpost of San Pedro, the trio of Watt, drummer George Hurley and Watt’s childhood friend D. Boon viewed punk not as a scream of angry reactiveness but rather a gateway into an entire world of possibilities: a world wherein it’s you that makes the rules and where self-expression, no matter what form it takes, is king. The sense of infinite possibly that to this day fills Watt is precisely the same force that powered Minutemen’s incredible energy, pioneering genre-splicing and artistic boundlessness.

The Missingmen are touring Europe, heading to the UK in April – head to Mike’s website for full details and tickets; click on his image below to begin scrolling through Mike’s choices

First Record

The Quietus Digest

Sign up for our free Friday email newsletter.

Support The Quietus

Our journalism is funded by our readers. Become a subscriber today to help champion our writing, plus enjoy bonus essays, podcasts, playlists and music downloads.

Support & Subscribe Today