By Uncle Blurt
The ever-diligent Dangerous Minds website has unearthed a good-quality half-hour video of the late, great Minutemen performing an unplugged set for Los Angeles public access television in 1985. The footage has circulated quite a bit in the past, including this relatively recent 2013 YouTube upload, but it’s still always a welcome addition to the daily mix. (How unplugged? Drummer George Hurley plays bongos against Mike Watt and D. Boon’s acoustic guitars.)
In addition to certain key Minutemen numbers, the video includes the band’s takes on Meat Puppets, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Blue Oyster Cult. I can personally testify to the latter pair of bands figuring high on the Boon, Watt, and Hurley Top Ten lists. To that I can testify, having hung out with the band for close to a week in 1985, interviewing them and semi-surreptitiously bootlegging their shows opening for REM that fall; BOC was frequently mentioned as an influence on Boon and Watt. The version of BOC’s “The Red and The Black” on this video is classic – all they needed was Will Ferrell to jump onstage and add some more cowbell.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the set has also been bootlegged numerous times, audio-wise, with some M-men fans going to great lengths to clean up and remaster the material. If you hunt, you can find decent quality audio downloads and maybe an actual CD version. How about an official release, gang?
RIP, D. Boon. Never forget.