Unknown Mortal Orchestra

You’re about to enter a world of pain. Since BLURT launched in 2008 we’ve asked musicians, comedians and authors to write about their most outrageous stories. They’ve really delivered the gross-eries – we have sex, scat, puke, violence and heart-wrenching tragedy among almost three dozen columns at and in the print edition of our magazine. What follow is one among many true stories of seriously fucked-up events we’ve compiled. Some will make you laugh, most will make you cringe. One might make you puke. Grab a bucket; it’s about to get weird. — Randy Harward, Senior Editor and Resident TMFU Transcriber


by Jake Portrait (Unknown Mortal Orchestra)

 One night in London, we had pretty intense night of drugs and alcohol. We’d played at a bar that was part of an artists’ commune in Wadsworth, London – a shitty, dilapidated part of London. It was called The Cat’s Back.

 Anyway, there was this crazy guy there who was related to the owner. He had a talking problem – he couldn’t not talk. I don’t know what you’d call it; that’s the first time I ever came across it. But literally – he talked all night long. Even when we were playing. We thought he was heckling us.

 After the show, we had a raging party. And, at about 7:30am, we were trying to find place to sleep. This is when Julien Ehrlich [Note: now of The Smith Westerns] was in the band. The three of us went up above the bar to lie down on the floor. There was absolutely nowhere else to go. We’re trying desperately to fall asleep on floor of this shitty dive bar. We were just fucked.

 Then the compulsive talker waltzes back in and of course he won’t stop talking. All of a sudden, we hear a really loud thump. The dude had passed out sitting at table in middle of the room. His head had hit the table and he was bleeding profusely. As I looked over, I noticed a puddle of yellow forming around the dude. We pretty much just sat there and watched this 65-year-old dude lying bloody on the floor, pissing his pants. That tour was one of the darkest, and that was probably the nastiest thing we’d seen on tour. At least the first year.

 Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s latest album II and recent acoustic EP Blue Record are available on Jagjaguwar. Visit the band at

 Photo credit: Neil Krug


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