Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Which Minutemen Song Gets Your Vote?

In 1985, Minutemen planned a triple album with the self-explanatory title '3 Dudes 6 Sides 3 Studio 3 Live.' Fans would vote for their favorite songs from the Minutemen catalog, and the winning tunes would comprise the live portion of the mammoth project. The band distributed printed ballots at shows in the summer and fall of '85, and there was also a ballot inside the studio album '3-Way Tie (For Last).' After the album owner chose his 30 favorites, he could mail it to SST so his voice could be heard. You can see the ballot below. Voting was to end on April 1, 1986... D. Boon's birthday.

Sadly, the death of D. Boon in December of '85 put an end to the idea of '3 Dudes 6 Sides 3 Studio 3 Live' and, for that matter, the entire band.

In 1987, well after Mike Watt and George Hurley reunited to become two-thirds of fIREHOSE, the surviving members of the trio decided to tally the results and release a live double album. The songs were culled from radio sessions and live shows. Some of the recordings came from the fans. This makes for a far from perfect album, but I love the DIY aesthetic. It's a great tribute to a fallen comrade. According to the back cover of the album, the following results are from ballots received by SST between January and April 1986.

This Ain't No Picnic
If Reagan Played Disco
Jesus And Tequila
Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs
King Of The Hill
Little Man With A Gun In His Hand
The Punch Line
No One
The Cheerleaders
History Lesson, Part II
Political Song For Michael Jackson To Sing
Joe McCarthy's Ghost
Shit You Hear At Parties
Paranoid Chant
I Felt Like A Gringo
Ack Ack Ack
Song For El Salvador
Dreams Are Free, Motherfucker!
The Price Of Paradise
Take Our Test
Party With Me, Punker
Hey Lawdy Mama
Split Red

Here are my two favorites from 'Ballot Result.' Amazingly, the album is still in print, and you can buy it here. I consider this a must for all Minutemen admirers. Go get it right now. What's your top Minutemen tune?

Minutemen - Little Man With a Gun in His Hand
Minutemen - I Felt Like a Gringo
Note: Live on the air from Athens, Ga., radio station WREK, circa Nov. 30, 1985


Dirk said...

Rather astonished not to find 'The Red And The Black' on that list!!

Brian said...

Hi Dirk. Mike Watt has always had a thing for Blue Oyster Cult. fIREHOSE continued to cover them for years after Minutemen was a distant memory. I won't try to defend it. I did, however, like there was a covers section on the ballot.