Butthole Surfers

THIS is an old interview from a fanzine I used to put together in the mid Eighties.

It’s just a crappy little Q&A, and we didn’t really make the most of a rare opportunity to talk to the Buttholes when they were in their wacked-out prime – I think it was around the time they released Locust Abortion Technician – but you know, I like it.

Not that I can actually remember much of what went on, you understand, but it sounds like we had fun.

It’s very much of a time and a place so expect some rather old fashioned ideas and expressions.

* * *

WE CAME, we saw, we blagged into the gig, barged into the dressing room, did the interview and tried to do as much of their rider as possible. The Airstrip posse travel over to the big, bad city of Leeds to talk sex and drugs and rock’n’roll with those Cowboys from the USA, the Butthole Surfers.

You can’t do much with a Buttholes interview apart from get on with it. Those who did most of the talking were: Teresa Taylor (Sheryl Dwyer and drums), Gibby Haynes (Huggy Bear waistcoat and vocals), Jeff Pinkus (‘Twisting-Up’ and bass), Paul Smith (highly amusing Northern accent and Blast First) and the Airstrip Brains Trust (slurring and mumbling).

Jeff: “So we kicked her out, and toured with one drummer from then on.”

That was Teresa?

J: “No, this was King. We have two drummers.”

So King was the smelly one?

J: “No! Don’t let him hear you say that! Teresa isn’t smelly, she’s the other drummer.”

Teresa: “Is someone saying I’m smelly? I only smell sweet, like lilac.”

J: “It’s the armpit, man. I’m talking about a smell like ammonia. Have you ever smelled ammonia? You don’t need to get that close to smell this. You would be sitting across the room and I would be able to smell you, that’s the kind of smell we had in our band. Five people and a dog and poor King was at the back, downwind from it all. He just couldn’t deal with it, man.”

You don’t seem like the kind of band that would worry about that kind of stuff too much.

J: “What? About smells? Fuck man! Have you ever tried driving around the United States of America with someone that refuses to shower? God fucking dammit, man, where the fuck are y’all from? Are y’all into that? What’s that word over here? Grease-bo? We had someone asking us if we were into that shit and we didn’t even know what it was.”

T: “Teresa smells like lilac.”

J: “Teresa smells like lilac. That’s L-I-L-A-C.”

So how long have you been in Britain?

T: “Were you smoking a spleef? Can I have a hit off your spliff? Is it loaded?”

J: “It is loaded, but it’s all tobacco man. I tasted it and spat out a sky rocket.”

T: “Does it have a splash of marijuana or hashish? In that case, may I have a hit? I’ll trade you a hit of Marlboro tobacco. A Marlboro chaser. Mmm, I can taste that Turkish … I can taste that open Paki.”

Open?

T: “Open Paki.”

I don’t know what that is.

J: “It’s a store that sells beer on Sundays.”

T: “Like a Pakistani prostitute. Open Pakis – I love them.”

They won’t serve you beer after 2 o’clock though.

T: “After 2 o’clock in the afternoon or 2 o’clock at night?”

In the afternoon.

T: “Oh my god, that is a drag. But I love Britain, I love the people, I love the sights, I love the country. Everyone’s really friendly, they’re laughing at me and laughing with me. I’ve shared some moments with some Britons.”

Are you the person who talked about Sheryl Dwyer?

T: “She’s this wacky woman from New York. Sheryl Dwyer, Sheryl Dwyer, Sheryl Dwyer. She’s just a chick, a bird, so to speak.”

What’s a throwdown?

T: “A throwdown is a hoe-down. It’s a get together, you’re dancing, you’re singing, you’re pissed.”

J: “It’s a sautier.”

T: “That’s a mispronunciation of saucer.”

Have you seen the Beefeaters?

T: “Gin?”

Gibby: “I’ve always wanted to see those guys. How come an elephant has got sex organs on its feet? Cos if it steps on you, you’re fucked! Will I tell them a racist joke?

J: “Alright, now what you gotta do is take some hash, you take a bar of hash, and you take a lighter, and hold the lighter to the hash. I gets a little hot, maybe it starts smoking. You take your finger around it, wiggle it around, kinda like errrr … I don’t know, really softly, anyway.

“You should be able to figure it out when you start getting chunks, little flakes, should I say? You get the flakes into a pile, you get yourself a little piece of cardboard and make yourself a little rolled filter, and after you get the roach, you put it into a paper, and then you pour the hash onto the other side.

“Roll it up and you have your perfect hash joint. Do not let the hash fall on you, do not tip the ash, keep it straight up. If it falls on you, you’re gonna end up with napalm burns all over you. You wipe the hash off and it doesn’t so a bit of good. You’re still gonna burn, baby. That’s about it.”

Beautiful. Thank you.

T: “This is about the most coherent interview you’re going to get.”

G: “Hit me! Hit me! Hit me! Hit me! Hit me!”

T: “There have been a whole lot of lawsuits, a whole bunch of lawsuits, against Bic. Like this woman was hiking out in the country and all of a sudden her leg blew off. See, she didn’t know that the lighter had leaked all over her leg and … are you actually taping over Led Zeppelin for this bullshit?”

It isn’t my tape and they’re a load of crap anyway.

T: “Let me tell you, Led Zeppelin are a fuck of a lot better than this interview. What a blasphemous thing to do! Jimmy Page! Ginger Baker rocks the sky!”

Eh?

T: “Some of the best music ever made! I wasn’t old enough to appreciate it – well, I guess I was old enough but not hip enough. It’s something I discovered later in life.”

What sort of thing do you listen to now?

T: “We like a lot of obscure country music, Walter Brennan, surreal western-influenced cowboy music. We like Roy Orbison, we listened to him for no other reason than we thought he was dead.”

Tom Jones did a big tour this year.

T: “He’s always been a big man – and you know what I mean when I say that. I’m not talking about height here. He knows what it takes to make it big. That’s why I’m where I am today, because I don’t have that.”

Gibby Haynes.

G: “What?”

Interview. It is an interview, look we’ve got a tape recorder. What are your impressions of Britain?

G: “Everyone is really wonderful. Everyone is really nice. The place is really beautiful. I really love it. It’s gorgeous weather. The food is incredible. Out of sight. The toilet paper is brilliant here. The people are much like the toilet paper, brilliant. No, I’m just kidding.”

Paul: “Gibby was really amazed at the water pressure in the toilets over here.”

G: “Ah yeah, but you don’t have the … uh, I don’t wanna talk about toilets and all that shit.”

So what do you think of Maggie?

G: “Margaret Thatcher is a beautiful, wonderful person. I don’t know anything about her, I really don’t. I think she’s probably ugly naked. Did you hear about Reagan? They took a piece of his ear and stuck it in his nose. I like that kind of shit.”

What about the Ayatollah?

G: “Good posters.”

Arabs?

G: “Beautiful people. Wonderful. They beat their women.”

Yes.

G: “I like that though. I like that. It’s not like they didn’t earn it.”

Are you a sexist?

G: “Yeah.”

How much of a sexist?

G [approximates size of penis with thumb and forefinger]: “About that much. No, I’m not much of a sexist.”

Of course you are.

G: “Okay, I’m a big sexist.”

That’s what I wanted to hear.

G: “I’m into fucking pussy and things like that. You know, I hear they’ve never actually found the Aids virus in vaginal secretions, so if you just like to fuck and eat pussy then you’re probably pretty safe. Unless you bite it and you get blood, then you might be in trouble.

“A lot of the girls I’ve known just lately have really been into anal sex. That’s where the real straight contraction, um, contradiction, um … let’s not talk about Aids.”

Are the Butthole Surfers a big drugs band?

G: “I dunno, like ‘big drugs’? Cocaine, LSD, marijuana, hash, that’s about as big as we get. We’re not really into pills, we don’t shoot dope. On occasion, we might smoke a little heroin if someone came up with it. Wait a minute, I gotta take a, um, drunk.”

A drunk?

G: “A drunk. You’re pissed, you’re drunk, right? Or I could just piss in a plastic cup. That’s good for an interview.”

[This interview first appeared in Airstrip fanzine in June, 1987]

See also: How not to interview the Butthole Surfers and Psychic, Powerless, Another Man’s Sac & Cream Corn From The Socket Of Davis

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7 Comments

Filed under expletive undeleted, interviews

7 responses to “Butthole Surfers

  1. rae donaldson

    They may not have been firing on all cylinders during this interview but it’s still pretty funny. Sometimes a small taste can be just as piquant as the full course.

  2. undeleted

    Absolutely.

    Care to share any Buttholes tales Rae? I know you have them …

  3. Brilliant, still love playing them at home. The missus just doesn’t get them. She says they can’t play their instruments…..man, they are so talented……regrets….not going with you lot to this gig.

  4. Did u ever like the Jack Officers?

  5. undeleted

    Yeah, women rarely seem to get the Buttholes. Wonder why that is?

    Glad you like the interview. I hope I get the chance to have a proper chat with them one day. It’d be really interesting and a lot of fun, probably.

    I wasn’t into the Jack Officers so much. Too busy listening to real house music at the time.

  6. Wak, bought the Jack Officers album. It rules

  7. In the prism of the reflection of the wax on the glossy floor, I saw the image of Popeye the sailor. I mentioned my discovery to an army recruiter and was given ligature marks and a buzz cut for my troubles. I then approached my district councilman for her (?) impressions of Great Britain. She said it sounded like I already had my mind made up by carrying on about how great it was. Then we simultaneously realized how many cornish hens were devoured by British tosser sods who wanked and gobbed and knew sweet f*#k all about organic white carrots. Whose broad stripes and white stars were in the perilous night. And the cockney’s red hair gave poof to a light, and my fag was still there.

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