SAVAGE SOUNDS Mike Edison & Jon Spencer

Terrible twosome team
up for the soundtrack of Mike’s life.

 

BY FRED MILL

 

If I Have Fun
Everywhere I Go
– the book – is the jizz- and reefer-stained chronicle of Sharkey’s
Machine/Raunch Hands/G.G. Allin/Edison Rocket Train dude Mike Edison’s life,
then I Have Fun Everywhere I Go – the
CD, on the Interstellar Roadhouse label – is the soundtrack. Or, more
accurately, the spoken word companion, produced by Jon Spencer and featuring
musical accompaniment from Edison, Spencer and a three-piece rhythm section. (Also
guesting: Dälek mixmaster Alap Momin.) Like a cross between a jive-talking beat
poet and a stentorian-voiced televangelist confessing to carnal knowledge of barn
animals, Edison roars through selected passages while the musicians serve up
everything from straight-up garage-blooze (“GG Allin Died Last Night”) to
twisted carnival music (“Jews For Jesus”) to loops/effects-strewn hip-hop
(“Talking Main Event Magazine
Blues”).

 

You can check out some choice samples from the record, as well as a cool Jon Spencer radio commercial, at Edison’s MySpace page.

 

 

Going into the project, Edison and Spencer considered
precedents like Ken Nordine’s Word Jazz albums and Public Enemy’s embracing of musique
concrète
. And unlike Edison’s fez-punk
combo Edison Rocket Train, whose 2006 album East
River Delta
Spencer also produced, IHFEIG presented some unique obstacles in the studio.

 

“With the Rocket Train,” explains Spencer, it was pretty cut
and dry. This wasn’t a band; it’s an audio book, basically. I’ve also seen Mike
[doing readings] with a drummer and bass player and he’d play keyboards. It’s
all cool and everything, but sometimes it would be overpowering. So the big
challenge was to make it so someone could hear the story and get the jokes – to
make sure that everything was coming through.”

 

Spencer and Edison live within a few blocks of each other in
New York; at one point Edison served as the
Blues Explosion’s official “Minister Of Information,” and Spencer will be
sitting in on guitar with Edison at selected
book readings. How did these two notorious personalities first meet?

 

“It may have been in Madrid,
when the Raunch Hands [Edison’s old band] were
living over there, on an early Blues Explosion tour in ’91 or ’92,” says
Spencer. “I remember it being really early in the morning, at some rock ‘n’
roll bar, just kinda being bowled over by this guy talking a mile a minute and
drinking and eating simultaneously in between hits of whatever – some [laughs] evil powder that was around. It
was a pretty crazy scene!”

 

“Crazy scenes” of all manner of debauched hilarity are described
in Times Square neon colors in Edison’s book. Yours
truly was present for one of them: It was the summer of ’87 when GG Allin’s
band, for whom Edison then drummed, made a swing through the South and I
witnessed the full frontal, chicken-chokin’, feces-flingin’ Allin effect, right
down to the part where a pair of frat boys piled on him for grabbing their
female friend and dry-humping her like a jockstrap-clad dog in heat. Unlike
Allin and a number of other indelible personalities who pass through the pages
of I Have Fun, however, Edison lived to tell his tales.

 

“Mike’s a very, very bright guy,” says Spencer. “And
resilient. He punishes his body quite a bit, but you know, he’s still going.”

 

 

[I Have Fun Everywhere
I Go
– the book – is reviewed HERE on the BLURT site.]

 

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