Date: Sat 06 Sep 1997 - 16:30:20 PDT
Dear Jazz Butcher Conspiracy Friends & Family,
Sorry for the excessive download time, but I must express my belief
god we all know and love as Pat Fish. He has answered my prayers by playing
his only U.S. show in my own backyard. Delightfully shocked and amazed as
I am, please indulge me with my rambling testimonial to Pat and the JBC.
On a wretchedly hot august night in 1984, a friend frantically
me to invite me over to listen to an amazing new album. "You gotta come over", she said, "I have this record by some group called the Jazz Butcher,
you're gonna love it". After a 60 mile drive, I was somehow stunned, mumbling an amazed drawn-out slack-jawed "fuuuhhhhhkk" as we listened and
re-listened to the Bath of Bacon lp. As any JBC fan can attest, the music
hits you in a personal way that most other folk cannot comprehend or readily
Two years later The JBC was on their first U.S. tour and I was third
line to buy tickets. The first were two sisters I met a month before in the
"J" section of the local record store. She brought a copy of the original
'Marnie' 12" single for Pat and Max to sign. Nearly a decade later I ran
into her selling all her records at a flea market in another part of the state in order to but a plane ticket to England. I bought the single. Anyhow, the 1986 Los Angeles show at the Roxy was beyond belief. The two
opening bands were Downy Mildew and the Clay Idols, the JBC set (w/Max, Mr. Jones, etc.) was incredible, and after the show Pat came out to talk to
the crowd. Being a Californian, I told him I too had a swimming pool in my
backyard, but that it was filled with carp (which it is). He seemed amused,
whether he believed me or not. He gave me the guitar pick that he used to
play the encore set. A treasured icon that I will grab first when my house
Three years later The JBC played in San Francisco, but it was the
before the morning of my doctoral oral examinations. I considered postponing
my academic career to see Pat and the gang again, but I sent my girlfriend
instead. She related my disappointment at not attending the show to Pat, and
he signed his apologies on the bottom of that night's playlist and wished me
luck. I passed the examinations.
1992 was the year when the Jazz Butcher had their big North
tour, and I had been hearing rumours that it was the last time that the JBC
would grace our country. We first saw the San Francisco show, a swell time
if not for the rude badgering by brats from a local college radio station.
I befriended Kathie (now Mrs. Butcher) and she told me about a smaller venue
the next night in San Jose. I showed up early and met Pat, Dooj, Pete, &
Nick at the pool tables while some assinine Goth band played. Wearing a Downy Mildew shirt and offering free beer, he warmed up immediately. After
the show he invited me back for more beer. I got up the nerve to express
my devotion to his god-like persona. He seemed to take it as a compliment
even though he thought it a bit excessive. After a while he suggested I come
south and see a few more shows,
For the next week I skipped work, school, and responsibilities to
the road with the JBC. First was the Sweetwater Saloon in Los Osos (inspiration for the song title?), where we were greeted by an odd mix of
rednecks, white-trash hootchie girls, and artsy college radio types. He played a fantastic show and won over the local yahoos, who respectfully bought
the JBC dozens of drinks. Two bottles of Jagermeister were the first to be
sacrificed, followed by more beer, whiskey, and a fading parade of other drinks. The owner even asked for an 8x10 promo photo that they could put on
their wall. We all lost track of how much we drank that evening.
The next night was at a private record-release party for Downy
joined by our pals-in-common The Black Watch at the Club Lingerie. The Downies paid tribute to Pat by playing 'Girlfriend', and pat later joined
them onstage foranother song. We left and regrouped at a local bar- restauraunt where the hard drinking really started. I bought the band over
$125 in alcohol alone that night, and many others were buying too, and god
only knows how much booze was actually consumed.
I awoke several area codes later and met up with the JBC, tender and
recovering, with Kathie nursing them back to their former selves. That
they played the Roxy again, The Black Watch opened with a nitro-burning set,
and when the JBC got onstage they burned just as hot. Pat invited a parade
of guests to play onstage that included TBW, Cole (Braindead Sound Machine)
and other local celebs. Show over, time to drink. We loaded into several
vehicles, and I rode in the van with Pat blaring what I thought to be the
Spacemen 3. Cole brought us to a desolate bar owned by an ex-Vietnam vet
and staffed by Thai waitresses. Drinking, pool, more drinking, foolishness,
and anything past that I cannot remember, except for a drive-by shooting farther up the street.
A painful morning greeted us, and back in the van for more shows. I
met up with the JBC at a show in San Diego. It was crowded and sweaty,
still another excellent show. I wanted to take the gang out for one last
alcohol binge before they left for parts east, but Kathie's better judgement
ruled that out, replaced instead by a tearful goodbye.
Each of the shows was a spiritual moment, made real by the dozens
serious and nonsense conversations with Pat, Dooj, Pete, Nick, & Kathie, guest-list admission to the shows, and plenty of booze. My life took several
nightmarish turns soon after the tour, but as I look back I can honestly say that those ten days with the JBC was one of the best times of my life.
Pat had the courtesy (or bad judgement) to list my name in the 'Thanks and
respects' liner notes of the 'Western Family' album recorded on that tour (as
a payback for all the drinks?), but I would like to thank him for the best
booze-and-travel music holiday I've ever had.
The Grand and Glorious Pat Fish may never come this way again, so
must and shall greet him, drinks in hand, this September 22nd in San Francisco. He is my personal Pope, and could be yours too.
Thanks for your time, my friends Sincerely (with a gin & tonic), DouglasReceived on Sat Sep 6 16:30:20 1997