I FIND out about the gig just two days beforehand, by chance. The Butthole Surfers are playing in Manchester on Saturday night.
The Buttholes! Manchester! Saturday night! What the fuck?
As far as I can make out, the band (the same line-up I interviewed in 1987) are only able to do this European tour because of financial assistance from the Paul Green School of Rock, whose young charges Haynes has been tutoring of late. Ahead of the tour, he was asked about gigging with kids by Mojo magazine.
“Well, at the earlier shows I played with them I said some very provocative things which I do not wish to relive,” said Haynes. “Mindbendingly inappropriate. The kids loved it. It’s all about the kids, man! My obligation is to them, not their parents.
“I was privy to an email from the parents after the last set of performances, which said: ‘How much more inappropriate behaviour are we to expect from Gibby?’ I promised to do nothing out of character.”
Trouble is, we’re skint, and despite my best efforts, I absolutely fail to get on the guesty via the tattered remains of my rock’n’roll contacts book. I resolve to work the old fanzine trick of going down on the night, hanging around before the soundcheck and asking for an interview direct – and by the way, could you also stick me on the guest list, plus one?
A couple of kids and an older bloke are throwing a ball against a wall by the side of what looks very much like the Buttholes tour bus. They’re speaking with American accents so I introduce myself and find that the guy is the tour manager. So what do you think? Will they be up for it?
“You need to speak to Tina,” he says and points me at the formidable vision in leopard skin and fuck-me boots teetering round the corner of the university towards us. The woman is fierce. She appraises me coolly as I explain what I want to do.
“It’s really up to Gibby,” she tells me. “But I’ll see what he says.”
Well, I dunno if it makes any difference, I add, knowing how lame it’s going sound even before I say it, but I interviewed them like 20 years ago. I know their stuff. I’m not coming into this cold …
“I’ll ask, okay?”