Live: Tempe, AZ - November 7, 1980

by Derrick Bostrom in

By the Fall of 1980, the Meat Puppets had a whole set's worth of original compositons under their belt, fully rehearsed and ready to perform. We'd made our initial visits to the West Coast, garnered the beginnings of a fan base there, and done our first spate of networking. This show, in fact, was an opener for our new friends, Monitor. It's the same show described in this post. The flyers for it can be found here.

This is an air recording, made by our sound man on a small portable tape recorder on a cheap cassette. I ripped it from the master, but the tape is 25 years old. You can hear the flaws for yourself, which I've left intact, just as they came through when I digitized it.

Flaws aside, it's an important recording. It's the first show we did where we started to show greater confidence in our showmanship. Our performances are solid for the most part, and while the vocals aren't exactly intelligible, they are starting to show some style. We whip up a good stink on the ravers, and manage to achieve some depth on the number requiring a little more concentration. The crowd gets into it, in an early-punk-scene kind of way. That is to say, the twelve people in the audience pogoed, and afterwards there were offers to smoke us out.

A good gauge of our confidence at the time is the cover of Carl Perkins' "Dixie Fried," which occurs about halfway through the show. It was the first time we attempted what was to become a tradition, doing songs we only partially knew. After laying down the basic riff, we pretty much discard the song and take it wherever it happens to go. In this instance, Curt substitutes his own words for the ones he's forgotten before meandering into a loopy instrumental finish.

I didn't bother to break this show into individual songs, since they are so short, but I enclosed it into a zip file anyway (which means you've got to download it to listen to it), about 60 megs.

(Note: Please be advised that this is a large file, and some ‘net connections will be unable to handle it. The file has been tested on both Macintosh and Windows platforms and it work fine. Files on this site are presented “as is.” I can’t offer tech support, nor can I mail them to folks unable to download them. Let the browser beware.)








01. Melons Rising

02. Blue-Green God

03. Saturday Morning

04. Fetus In Pus Sauce

05. Love Offering

06. The Gold Mine

07. Dolphin Field

08. Big House

09. Electromud

10. Reward

11. Wild Weekend

12. In a Car

13. Unpleasant

14. Dixie Fried

15. Meat Puppets

16. Hearts

17. Playing Dead

18. Foreign Lawns

19. I Had a Dream

20. H-Elenore