Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dial P for Pussy Galore



Here's another in my series of musician interviews for KCMU's long-defunct mouthpiece Wire. In this one, I speak with Pussy Galore's Jon Spencer, who would go on to form the more commercially viable Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (JSBX) and Heavy Trash. Along the way, he has collaborated with the likes of Andre Williams, the Gibson Brothers, Dub Narcotic Sound System, and wife Cristina Martinez in Boss Hog.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Pussy Galore created an unholy metallic ruckus that was
part serious avant-garde noise wail, part nonsense pose.
-- John Dougan, All Music Guide

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Riddle me this. What would happen if you took the following re-
cords and popped 'em in a microwave on high: The Rolling Stones,
Now!
, the Fall - Totale's Turns, the Cramps - Rockinandreelininauk-
landnewzealand, Einst├╝rzende Neubauten - Halber Mensch, and
NWA - Straight Outta Compton? Aside from the fact that you'd
have a sticky, black mess and a hefty repair bill, you'd also have
the raw ingredients for pressing up half a dozen copies of Pus-
sy Galore's latest long-player, Dial 'M' for Motherfucker.

In August [presumably in 1989], I interviewed Jon Spencer,
the lead singer of Pussy Galore by phone. He was back home
in New York City after the completion of the band's US tour.

First question: Why "Damaged"?

The original idea, as Jon puts it, was for Pussy Galore to
cover "New York City" by Johnny Thunders, "since we're from
New York," and for Tad to cover a Sex Pistols song about London.
Why a song about London for a band from Seattle, I couldn't say.

In any case, Tad's answer was, "No, I don't wanna cover a song by
a British band." And since Sonic Youth and Mudhoney had already
traded tunes for an earlier [Sub Pop] single, the whole Black Flag
idea came about. Jon said he liked 'em. Apparently Tad did, too.

Click here for part two



Endnote: Slightly revised from the original text.
Formed in Washington DC in 1985, Pussy Galore
called it quits in '90. Spencer image from the BBC.

No comments: