Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool

Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool

Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool

Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool


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An oral history of the legendary band Primus, with a star-studded cast of interviewees (Tom Waits, Phish front man Trey Anastasio, etc.)

It’s a wild ride that’s vividly captured in Greg Prato’s excellent oral history . . . . —Bass Player Magazine

“A book about the highly strange San Franciscans Primus has been overdue for years, so Greg Prato’s excellent oral history of the band is welcome—doubly so, given that the key band members, Les Claypool, Larry Lalonde and Tim Alexander, are involved. . . . Great stuff.” —Record Collector Magazine

Usually when the “alternative rock revolution” of the early 1990s is discussed, Nirvana’s Nevermind is credited as the recording that led the charge. Yet there were several earlier albums that helped pave the way, including the Pixies’s Doolittle, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’s Mother’s Milk, Jane’s Addiction’s Nothing’s Shocking, and especially Primus’s 1991 album Sailing the Seas of Cheese.

This fascinating and beautifully curated oral history tells the tale of this truly one-of-a-kind band. Compiled from nearly fifty all-original interviews—including Primus members past and present and many more fellow musicians—conducted by journalist/author Greg Prato. This book is sure to appeal to longtime fans of the band, as well as admirers of the musicians interviewed for the book.

Interviewees include: Tim Alexander, Trey Anastasio (Phish), Matthew Bellamy (Muse), Les Claypool, Stewart Copeland (The Police), Chuck D (Public Enemy), Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Larry LaLonde, Geddy Lee (Rush), Mickey Melchiondo (Ween), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Matt Stone (South Park), Tom Waits, and many more.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781636140681
Publisher: Akashic Books, Ltd.
Publication date: 12/06/2022
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 366,141
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

“Tommy the Cat.” “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver.” “My Name Is Mud.” Yessiree, PRIMUS is responsible for some of the most cutting edge and original rock music of the 1990s. Although originally formed in 1984, it was not until shortly before the end of the decade that the classic Primus lineup featuring Les Claypool (bass/vocals), Larry LaLonde (guitar), and Tim Alexander (drums) was solidified. With most hard rock/heavy metal acts at the time either neatly falling into either “thrash” or “glam” categories, Primus joined a variety of underground bands that refused to be pigeonholed (and by the early ’90s, had fully infiltrated the mainstream)—merging metal, funk, alternative, punk, country, roots rock, and experimental music, along with Claypool’s penchant for witty and often humorous storytelling lyrics. Building a large and loyal following first in and around San Francisco (before eventually, going global), Primus kicked things off with a string of releases that are now considered classic alt-rock titles: Suck on This, Frizzle Fry, Sailing the Seas of Cheese, Pork Soda, and Tales from the Punchbowl. Along the way, Primus toured with some of rock’s biggest names (Jane’s Addiction, Public Enemy, Rush, U2, etc.), headlined the third Lollapalooza Festival, and issued a variety of crafty music videos, which stood out in sharp contrast to the ultra-seriousness of most other video clips at the time. Primus, with Greg Prato, is the coauthor of Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool.

GREG PRATO is a Long Island–based music journalist, whose writing has appeared in Rolling Stone. He is the author of numerous books, including A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon, Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, and MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years of Music Video. He is the coauthor, with Primus, of Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool.

Table of Contents

Foreword Matthew Bellamy (Muse) 13

Chapter 1 Welcome to This World 17

Chapter 2 Dad, What's a Primate? 30

Chapter 3 The Gig That Should Not Be 38

Chapter 4 How to Make Sausage 44

Chapter 5 Then Along Came Ler 58

Chapter 6 Herb the Ginseng Drummer 65

Chapter 7 Suck on This 76

Chapter 8 They Call Me the Frizzle Fry 86

Chapter 9 "C" Is for Cock 106

Chapter 10 The Magical Mr. Whalley 110

Chapter 11 Sailing the Seas of Cheese 117

Chapter 12 Spreading the Cheese 135

Chapter 13 Grab Yourself a Can of Pork Soda 161

Chapter 14 The Prawn Remains the Same 177

Chapter 15 Tales from the Punchbowl 188

Chapter 16 Tim Has Left the Building 200

Chapter 17 Mackerel and the Brain 206

Chapter 18 Lunatics Run the Asylum 215

Chapter 19 Rhinoplasty 228

Chapter 20 I Am the Antipop 236

Chapter 21 The Wheels Fall Off 255

Chapter 22 Oysterhead 258

Chapter 23 Colonel Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade 275

Chapter 24 Return of the Bastards 284

Chapter 25 The Onion, the Pumpkin, and Other Adventures 292

Chapter 26 From Pumphouse to Festeroo 308

Chapter 27 Green Naugahyde 317

Chapter 28 Los Bastardos 330

Chapter 29 In Glorious Hindsight 345

Chapter 30 The Roller Coaster Continues 365

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