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Book of the Month: Butthole Surfers: What Does Regret Mean?
Melodic Virtue

Book of the Month: Butthole Surfers: What Does Regret Mean?

Butthole Surfers: What Does Regret Mean? (Melodic Virtue) by Aaron Tanner

The aesthetic of this retrospective is immediately striking. The neon pink semi-profile on the cover, the scrawled notes and flyers inside — the coffee-table book has the feel of a super-organized fanzine.

And it is a coffee-table book. Frontman Gibby Haynes said as much in the press release accompanying the release. “We’re all history buffs. We drink coffee. We like tables. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Cherner oval dining table. And the book wasn’t our idea,” he said, rather cryptically.

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Quite staggeringly, the San Antonio band have been offending and inspiring in equal measure since 1981. In the book’s foreword, Mickey Melchiondo of Ween details how he was looking for the most “outrageous shit out there” as a teen, and his uncle introduced him to the Dead Kennedys, the Sick Fucks, the Sex Pistols and, of course, the Butthole Surfers. His life was changed forever, a story familiar to many Butthole Surfers fans (well, maybe minus the introduction from a family member).

Anyone who found punk rock and said “I want more crazy” would eventually stumble into Haynes and his merry crew. Punk rock mainstays such as Chris Kirkwood from the Meat Puppets, Chris Gates from the Big Boys and Gary Floyd from the Dicks have their say, with short paragraphs detailing their experiences with the Butthole Surfers thrown in among the awesome art.

It’s not a lengthy read but, as a visual document of a band and their legacy, it works beautifully. Bonus feature: It comes with a 7-inch flexidisc of the previously unreleased track "Local Abortion Technician." We were sent a PDF of the book so haven't listened to it, but hey, free music.

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