Anna Minard claims to "know nothing about music." For this column, we force her to listen to random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.
It's MOTHER LOVE BONE TIME!!!! I just said that to get a reaction. See, around here, it's easy to get people to talk about Mother Love Bone. When the music staff brought up the idea of assigning me this, they were all laughing uncharacteristically hard. I couldn't figure it out. "Where have I heard the name before?" I asked. More giggling. "What, was Courtney Love's mom in it?" (ZING!) "Well," music editor Emily Nokes began. "You know how in every grunge documentary ever—" I gave her my best how many grunge documentaries do you think I've seen? look. "Right," she said. Then, no one would admit to having any MLB sitting around. Eventually, a burned CD landed at my desk, origins unknown. So I listened to it, thinking it was just some goofy joke band. My notes read something like this: "Uh-oh, a children's chorus. Aah, only two songs in, thought it was half over. Lyric sounds like 'I bone China.' On soundtrack to every '80s/'90s movie? Would make great karaoke. Sounds like it should be on Guitar Hero."
Then I did some research. I learned that they predate Nirvana, that lead singer Andrew Wood was Chris Cornell's roommate, and that Wood died of a heroin overdose right before the band's first album came out. I found out that members of MLB went on to form Pearl Jam.
Then I discovered that everybody has Love Bone feelings! I resorted to just saying their name to everyone in the office. "Mother Love Bone! Go!" I said to books editor Paul Constant. "My sister's older boyfriend listened to them," he offered. "MOTHER LOVE BONE!" I threw at theater editor Brendan Kiley when he came in looking for takeout menus. He told me that Wood was from Bainbridge Island. Resident record-hoarder Mike Nipper just made a face like he had eaten something really gross. Bar none, the best Mother Love Bone story came from our copy chief, Gillian Anderson, who rolled over in an office chair to tell me that she was around when they were popular, and she saw them play. She said they were something totally new, combining parts of glam and punk—cute boys with long hair who weren't into butt rock. She also said that one time at a show, "Andrew Wood walked right up to me and went—" here she did a full-on double-boob-honk motion. "NOOOOO!!!" We were all shocked and way impressed. "I was totally traumatized," she went on. "I was a teenager." But come on! Right here in my office, sitting next to me, correcting grammar with me all day is a real-life Andrew-Wood-teenage-boob-honked badass.
I give this a "the more you know" out of 10.