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Popular musicians somewhat embarassing pre-fame Heavy Metal bands.
May 27, 2014 3:22 PM   Subscribe

Before there was Weezer, there was Zoom (nee-Avant Garde), Rivers Cuomo's poodle haired progressive metal band.

Before there was Mr. Bungle performing at the 1986 Eureka High School Talent Show [previously], there was Mike Patton and Trevor Dunn in the glammy Gemini performing at the 1984 Eureka High School Talent Night.

And perhaps most legendarily, before there was Pantera. There was Pantera.
posted by mediocre (68 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
What strikes be about the Gemini video is how earnest Mike Patton appears to be being. Two years later in the Mr. Bungle performance at the same high school he has already started to develop his imbecilic, sarcastic, and aloof stage persona. But in the Gemini video, he really seems to be going full bore with a take-me-and-my-ridiculous-pants-seriously attitude.
posted by mediocre at 3:25 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


Before there was Tori Amos, there was Y Kant Tori Read.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:29 PM on May 27 [3 favorites]


Zoom is news to me, but if I were going to choose one photo to give you an idea of the Zoom experience, it would be this one.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:35 PM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Billy Joel's first band.
posted by ardgedee at 3:35 PM on May 27


Before Nine Inch Nails there was the Mighty Mercer Mustang Marching Machine Band.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:37 PM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I wanted to use that one. But I decided to go with a photo in which Rivers Cuomo could be easily identified.
posted by mediocre at 3:38 PM on May 27


Before there was Michael Bolton, there was well.. Michael Bolton.. but playing super generic 80's glam metal in a silly outfit.
posted by mediocre at 3:41 PM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Holy shit.
posted by signal at 3:41 PM on May 27


The Card Cheat: Before Nine Inch Nails there was the Mighty Mercer Mustang Marching Machine Band.

And somewhere in between there was the Exotic Birds
posted by nickthetourist at 3:41 PM on May 27 [3 favorites]


Spoon, Sister Jack:
Always on the outside, always looking in
I was in this drop D metal band we called Requiem
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:42 PM on May 27 [4 favorites]


But what about the right to be forgotten?
posted by hippybear at 3:42 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


before there was Pantera. There was Pantera.

Phil Anselmo doing his best Halford impersonation here (and he's pretty good at it). And he has hair, double bonus!
posted by MikeMc at 3:43 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


Work For Love, from the first Ministry album.
posted by dfan at 3:48 PM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Though apparently no evidence of it made it out of the 80s, Jeff Tweedy has famously eulogized "the innocence I've known / Playing Kiss covers, beautiful and stoned."
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:49 PM on May 27


Before Nine Inch Nails there was the Mighty Mercer Mustang Marching Machine Band.
I want to believe that somewhere in the world is a marching band that only plays Nine Inch Nails tunes.
posted by b1tr0t at 3:50 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


eponysterical
posted by cazoo at 3:51 PM on May 27


Before there was Dio...


...there has actually never been a time before Dio.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:53 PM on May 27 [14 favorites]


Michael Bolton.. but playing super generic 80's glam metal in a silly outfit.

I...I don't even...um...wow. That is actually so generic that if I didn't recognize Michael Bolton I would swear it was a fake band put together for a party scene in a movie starring the The Two Coreys.
posted by MikeMc at 4:00 PM on May 27 [3 favorites]


G.G. Allin - 1980s Rock 'N' Roll (surprisingly SFW; however, if you don't know who Allin is I'd strongly advise against further research)

Shrapnel - Combat Love (The lead singer is Dave Wyndorf, later of Monster Magnet. This song is in no way embarrassing though...I sincerely miss the days when "punk" could mean "sounds like a TV theme song.")
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:02 PM on May 27 [3 favorites]


Daft Punk got their name from a well-deserved bad review of their previous incarnation, Darlin'.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 4:06 PM on May 27


Shrapnel - Combat Love

Holy fuck, I'll bet if there's one thing Dave Wyndorf could go back in time in and change he would choose to ditch that terrible faux-Ramone haircut. I was not familiar at all with Shrapnel, this is the Wyndorf I know.
posted by MikeMc at 4:07 PM on May 27


Underworld, pre-Darren Emerson: Underneath The Radar.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 4:12 PM on May 27 [3 favorites]


I'll bet if there's one thing Dave Wyndorf could go back in time

I'm fairly certain Dave Wyndorf can go back in time. Or maybe just experience really vivid flashbacks. Close enough.
posted by Hoopo at 4:16 PM on May 27


Prior to Wings, Paul McCartney's band.
posted by davebush at 4:22 PM on May 27 [10 favorites]


I'm fairly certain Dave Wyndorf can go back in time.

You know, I think you may be right.
posted by MikeMc at 4:23 PM on May 27


Though it wasn't exactly *pre-fame* (cause this was a pretty big radio hit back in the day) it's probably worth noting that Mr. Know-When-To-Hold-'em-Know-When-To-Fold-'em, the immaculately bearded, pop-country idol Kenny Rogers started off as a pop-psychedelic dude complete with acid-inspired visuals and trippy-dippy lyrics...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:24 PM on May 27 [3 favorites]


Well, if we're talking a young Kenny Rogers I feel we have to talk about a young Bob Seger's amazing proto-punk 2+2=?
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:30 PM on May 27 [5 favorites]


Thanks to Metafilter I found out about early Scorpions. Ignore the crappy lyrics.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 4:32 PM on May 27


Wow, Rivers Cuomo has some pipes! I like that about 10X as much as Weezer.
posted by ignignokt at 4:32 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


ardegee, Billy was in the Hassles (who recorded a few albums) before Attilla.
posted by jonmc at 4:35 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


Billy Joel's first band.

Weakling! You do not invoke the name of Attila without linking to the entire album! \m/
posted by jonp72 at 4:45 PM on May 27 [5 favorites]


I found out about early Scorpions

Zwei Schenkers ist gut ja?
posted by MikeMc at 4:46 PM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Michael Bolton.. but playing super generic 80's glam metal in a silly outfit.

It's still not as epic as this 1979 promo film of Michael Bolton's old band Blackjack.
posted by jonp72 at 4:50 PM on May 27


Elvis Costello's first band, Flip City.
posted by davebush at 4:59 PM on May 27


It's still not as epic as this 1979 promo film of Michael Bolton's old band Blackjack.

That's actually...not too bad. Of course I may be unduly influenced by Bruce Kulick's moustache. And those Polydor records guys are straight out of a Spinal Tap casting call.
posted by MikeMc at 5:01 PM on May 27


Prior to White Laces, there was Big Willy's Love Machine, which only exists on the web as links to dead Geocities and Listen.To pages. RVA represent!
posted by infinitewindow at 5:03 PM on May 27


This is an amazing post, if only I was in a place I could actually hear these things...
posted by fungible at 5:03 PM on May 27


It's still not as epic as this 1979 promo film of Michael Bolton's old band Blackjack.

The opening shots, wow, you could NOT do any better than that if you wanted to make a movie and cast the "smarmy music industry guy". Hard to tell at first if it was comedy, a la Spinal Tap, but then it becomes apparent that, yeah, it's real. Terrifyingly real.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:03 PM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Ah, I see MikeMc came to similar conclusions re Tap.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:04 PM on May 27


Ah, I see MikeMc came to similar conclusions re Tap.

Just goes to show what a masterpiece TIST is.
posted by MikeMc at 5:07 PM on May 27


And for some true early stuff, here's Bruce Springsteen's first recordings (he's on guitar and backing vocals and he wrote the song):

Castiles - Baby I
posted by jonmc at 5:12 PM on May 27


Early Dio drives home just how old that guy was. Sorta like the "Listen to the Flower People"-era Tap, now that I think about it.
posted by ignignokt at 5:15 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


Wait, I spoke too soon! Dio is as old as time.
posted by ignignokt at 5:17 PM on May 27 [3 favorites]


Underworld, pre-Darren Emerson: Underneath The Radar.

Before Underworld, there was Freur. Annoyingly, YouTube does not have - or I cannot find - the original music video for that track, which had the band faffing about at a garden party, and which I remember from a single showing on regional TV.

And before there was Numan singing Metal with NIN, there was Numan not singing Metal with 36 inch sparks. Shot at absolutely no expense (bar a single pyro) in the UK's electrical distribution test station, rumour has it that this was going to accompany Metal as the first single from Pleasure Principle, before someone decided to go with Cars instead. Particularly fine: the "Where is my RS232 cable?" shot at 2:05...
posted by Devonian at 5:33 PM on May 27


Before there was Primus, there was, oddly enough, Possessed.
posted by ignignokt at 5:38 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


rumour has it that this was going to accompany Metal as the first single from Pleasure Principle, before someone decided to go with Cars instead.

IIRC "Metal" was the B-Side of the "Cars" 45 (in the U.S. anyway). Should have been the A-Side.
posted by MikeMc at 5:50 PM on May 27


I kind of figured this would end up being a lot of referring to any musicians early work if it differed from what they became most known for. But I really did intend for it to be specifically about the early Heavy Metal bands of people later known for non-metal music. Thus why I didn't refer to Y Kant Tori Read, Freur, etc. Possessed might have made the list if I had expanded on it, but being that they were Larry LaLonde's pre-Primus band and not Les Claypools it does not have as much interest. So I would have gone with a band Les Claypool was in pre-Primus Heavy Metal band, Blind Illusion

And for what it's worth, I probably have listened to Ministry's "With Sympathy" more than any other Ministry album. At first just because it was an amusing historical blip on Al Jourgenson's career, but later because it's actually a really good Techno Pop album.
posted by mediocre at 5:58 PM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Ah, in the UK, Cars' B side was the frankly awful Asylum, which wasn't on the album.

(thread creep - Kenny Thomas And The Southern Baptists sing Metal, as does Afrika Bambaataa)

(sorry, Mediocre. But at least this post is about early Metal)
posted by Devonian at 6:01 PM on May 27


That Underworld was a huge radio hit in Australia. Fuck me.
posted by awfurby at 6:20 PM on May 27


Before there was Mr. Bungle performing at the 1986 Eureka High School Talent Show [previously], there was Mike Patton and Trevor Dunn in the glammy Gemini yt performing at the 1984 Eureka High School Talent Night.

... and between those two performances I saw Faith No More open for Suicidal Tendencies at the New Varsity in Palo Alto, March 1985. Weird to think Mike Patton was still in high school when Mosley was FNM's lead singer...
posted by oneirodynia at 6:21 PM on May 27


Weird to think Mike Patton was still in high school when Mosley was FNM's lead singer...

Hell, he was probably in Junior High when Courtney Love was briefly Faith No More's vocalist.
posted by mediocre at 6:28 PM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Nothing has ever made me hate the internet so much as this thread. Realizing that in the 80's I came a weave or a hat away from beerily rocking out at the Stone in SF - to Michael Bolton - negates the benefits of the internet.

The Dio upthread comes close to restoring it though.
posted by vapidave at 7:05 PM on May 27


Before there was Primus, there was Primate, no?
posted by professor plum with a rope at 7:11 PM on May 27


You can laugh at them in '88, but by '89 they had all their shit in one sock - Pantera in rehearsal in '89 with Kerry King - Green Manalishi (with Victim of Changes in the middle).
posted by 445supermag at 7:13 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


if you don't know who Allin is I'd strongly advise against further research

I think it's important to recognize extremely valuable and helpful advice, freely and kindly given!
posted by juiceCake at 8:13 PM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Before there was Dead Kennedys, Klaus Fluoride (bassist) played in an NYC band with Billy Squier (yes, that Billy Squier) called Magic Terry & The Universe. If a video existed on you tube, it would win the thread. Sadly, no such video seems to exist.

By written accounts, Magic Terry & The Universe were not terrible and were part of the Andy Warhol/Max's Kansas City scene.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:20 PM on May 27


Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe's 70s band, White Horse, also briefly known as "Mottley Croo".

Also, Alice Cooper in the early years, when the band was known as the worst in LA (but still signed to Frank Zappa's label).
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:37 PM on May 27


"Before there was Primus, there was Primate, no?"

Before Primus there was Sausage.
posted by komara at 8:42 PM on May 27


...if you don't know who Allin is I'd strongly advise against further research...

But you should (with apologies to James Burke), because Allin did a "cover" of a David Allan Coe song, and of course Coe collaborated with Dimebag Darrell, Vinnie Paul and Rex Brown of Pantera, the subject of this FPP.



Though, if you don't know who David Allan Coe is, I'd strongly advise against further research...
posted by 445supermag at 8:58 PM on May 27 [2 favorites]


Before there was Primus, there was, oddly enough, Possessed.

Not as strange as you'd think when Primus came up SF was pretty much the epicenter of the Thrash movement. Heck Les tried out for Metallica (having gone to high school with Kirk).

(Sausage doesn't predate Primus its one of the early Primus lineups named after a Primus demo)
posted by bitdamaged at 8:59 PM on May 27 [3 favorites]


Mookie Blaylock plays its first live show at The Off Ramp, Seattle, October 22, 1990.
posted by prinado at 9:27 PM on May 27


Michael Bolton.. but playing super generic 80's glam metal in a silly outfit.

That's really a great description of his entire career, though.
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:07 AM on May 28


Though, if you don't know who David Allan Coe is, I'd strongly advise against further research...

DAC wrote some damn good music.
posted by bradth27 at 6:52 AM on May 28


Before The Clash, here was The London SS and (shudder) Woody.
posted by Paul Slade at 7:25 AM on May 28


DAC wrote some damn good music.
Yeah, I keep planning on making a DAC FPP...

Hey, Fuck Anita Bryant
Who the Hell is she
Telling all them faggots
That they can't be free
Throw that bitch in prison
then maybe she'll see
just how much them goddamned homosexuals mean to me
Because they...
Wash your clothes
clean your cell
help you drain your hose
give you smokes
laugh at jokes
sew up all your clothes
rub your feet
beat your meat
Heaven only knows
What I'd do without those homosexuals
They all
Read and Write
Fuck all night
Clean your fingernails
help you dress
play you chess
lay you down some rails
Be your wife
take your life
in a jealous rage
who says we don't need them homosexuals
I tell you
Some are big
some are small
some are in-between
some are yellow belly queers
and some of them are mean
some are killers
some are thiefs
some are singers too
In fact Anita Bryant
Some act just like you

posted by 445supermag at 7:54 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


Trevor looks almost normal-sized in that vid. ;-)
posted by humboldt32 at 8:56 AM on May 28


For those unfamiliar with David Allen Coe, I think 445supermag may be referring to the fact that his lyrics from a certain period are quite unsafe for work, and often racist and sexist in very explicit and offensive ways. His most famous song might be "You Never Even Called Me By My Name", which is a harmless barroom singalong. But he's written some Stormfront-Level racist songs.
posted by Cookiebastard at 12:13 PM on May 28


Rivers Cuomo's poodle haired progressive metal band .

Wikipedia: Years active 1986–1990

This explains an awful lot.
posted by ersatz at 2:56 PM on May 28


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