Jsh will say of the Melvins, "It's like they're the only band in the world." I always thought that was cute, even when he'd play "Charmicarmicat," their 12-minute dirge, over and over again while he slapped out the drum beat on his chest (the keys in his pocket served as the high hat). Jsh isn't just my favorite Melvins fan, he's the embodiment of their music: intelligently quirky, surprisingly graceful, reliably solid, kinda dirty, ineffably tender, unrepentantly metal, funny as hell, intentionally disgusting, utterly indefatigable, good as gold.
Collectively, Jsh and I have seen the Melvins five or six times, and we've never been disappointed. When they were still on Atlantic, they toured as the opening band for Helmet. The show was sold out and we didn't have tickets, so we went to the band entrance and rang the buzzer until someone came over the intercom. One of our friends said, "Dildo! Melvins!" into the speaker and we heard the door click open. As we maneuvered through the backstage labyrinth, we only encountered one security check. The burly, bearded man asked us, "Where you guys coming from?" Someone said, "The fucking bus." He said, "Cool."
Later on at the merch table, they were selling Helmet T-shirts, and what used to be Helmet T-shirts: The Melvins had scrawled "Sucks" under the emblazoned "Helmet," and had signed their names over the list of tour dates. But they were going for like, 30 bucks. Fuck that.
My favorite Melvins moment, though, is "Skeeter." In the summer of 1995, Jsh and I were living in a hole on East Fourth Street, in New York. It must have been 100 degrees at night, and so humid that the fan ran slower as it sliced through the thick air. We worked stupid, shitty jobs. We were listening exclusively to the Melvins. It was the only thing to keep us going. We'd listen to King Buzzo, and Jsh would try to learn the drum part to "Skeeter," while I would shout and giggle at my favorite lines: "She bought him all this stuff. She like bought him cologne. He was really, really smelling good, you know." It was Dave Grohl speaking, under the pseudonym Dale Nixon, an alter ego Greg Ginn had also adopted to play bass on Black Flag's My War. We debated endlessly whether it was Grohl or Buzzo on drums (the album credits Dale Nixon, but could Grohl have written, much less performed, that ingeniously complicated drum part?).
But there's not much doubt that the story of "Skeeter" is Grohl's, as are some of the finest comic lyrics in recent history: "And then he says, uh, he says, 'Hey Dave' and I look up/And he's standing there with his dick in his hand/And he's kinda got it like lifted up/So he's looking at the head of his dick/He kinda pointed it at me/I didn't know what to think/He said, 'Does that look like pus to you?'/I said, 'No, I think it's lint.'"
Kathleen Wilson is on vacation. It's My Party will return in two weeks.