Smash Your Head On The Punk Rock: 1 Down 3 To Go - The Meatmen

A loving tribute to John Lennon in the wake of his murder.

Michigan's The Meatmen are one of the most juvenile and offensive bands in the history of American punk rock. They're pretty awesome, too. Headed by Tesco Vee (a fourth grade teacher by day, profanity-spewing politically incorrect rocker by night), The Meatmen left no stone unturned in their attempts to offend every single possible group. They had songs like Tooling For Anus, Crippled Children Suck, I'm Glad I'm Not A Girl and Blow Me Jah. Their style was standard hardcore, but for young white kids looking to make everybody and anybody angry, their comedically insensitive lyrics were a joy.

Vee was the only steady member of the group, which over time morphed into more of a heavy metal sound before returning to their hardcore roots. While it could be argued that We're The Meatmen... And You Suck is their best album title, I have to put my money behind War of the Superbikes, which is simply one of the best conglomeration of words in the English language ever. 

Tesco Vee also started a fanzine called Touch & Go, which later blossomed into the seminal label of the same name. Touch & Go released records by The Meatmen, Negative Approach, The Butthole Surfers, Jesus Lizard, Slint, Big Black, Scratch Acid... well, by dozens of the best indie rock and punk bands of the 80s, 90s and 00s, basically. It's one of the greatest labels in the history of American music, in my humblest opinion.

1 Down 3 To Go is a song about the death of John Lennon; as the title and the chorus 'Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck The Beatles' makes clear, Vee and friends weren't too torn up about it. It's all part of punk's disdain for their classic rock predecessors (see Johnny Rotten's awesome homemade 'Pink Floyd Sucks' shirt from the late 70s), and it's really funny. I don't know what Vee's current thoughts on the song are; while he hasn't exactly disowned The Meatmen's foulest material, Vee has expressed disappointment that Blow Me Jah gets airplay in the modern day. "It's hard to believe anything's off limits for Tesco Vee, but, yeah," he told Detroit's Metro paper back in 2008. Even Tesco Vee grows up eventually, I guess.

 

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