Wednesday, November 15, 2006

64 Spiders: What Life Was Like Before Cat Butt

If you are like me, you talk about Cat Butt as much as possible. While your friends might find it pretty annoying, you know it’s your personal mission to spread the Gospel of the Journey to the Center of Cat Butt EP to all the nonbelievers. While some folks refuse to look past the band name, you know that Cat Butt were Seattle’s closest thing to Austin’s legendary punk band, Poison 13.

You have also been fascinated by Brother James’ earlier band, 64 Spiders, ever since you heard C/Z record’s Another Pyrrhic Victory compilation LP many years ago. 64 Spiders, sadly, weren’t around for very long and did not leave much of a recording legacy. But as luck would have it, they are doing a reunion show at the Funhouse on November 25th.

According to the very detailed Grunnen Rocks webpage, the band formed in 1985 and originally featured David Lee on vocals, James Burdyshaw on guitar, Joe Ross on bass, and Eric Walker on drums. Eric soon opted for a normal non-rock and roll life and was replaced by Scott McCullum (aka Norman Scott) around 1986. Who David Lee was remains a mystery; he was not credited on the records, and James and Joe perform the vocal duties. The band broke up in 1987 after slaving away in the local club scene, and members went on to other projects. Brother James, of course, formed Cat Butt, Yummy, and Sinister Six and currently fronts the Bug Nasties; bassist Joe Ross rejoined the Green Pajamas and also played in Yummy; Scott McCullum played in Skin Yard, Gruntruck, and Capping Day. Scott was also rumored to have almost joined Soundgarden before Matt Cameron (who also played in Skin Yard) accepted the job.

Their only release was a posthumous 500-pressed single on Issaquah’s Regal Select Records (RG-006). Regal Select put out some great garage punk rock records by bands like the Fall Outs, Kings of Rock, and the Night Kings and the 4 Puget Power compilations EPs. We’ll someday do a commemorative post about them. Until that glorious day comes, you’ll have to settle for these songs. The songs “Potty,” “Swat,” and “Rubber Room” were recorded by Jack Endino around 1986/1987 and released in 1989. On the back of the single, they mention a demo tape for sale, but I have never seen or heard it. “There Ain’t” and “Bulemic [sic] Saturday” are more grunge sounding and were included on the 1989 Another Pyrrhic Victory compilation. Jack Endino also engineered these songs at Reciprocal Studios, but the record dates are not listed.

On a personal note, this single has been tacked on a University District record store wall for many years, but the $20 price tag always dissuaded me from buying it. As a record nerd, if there is one thing I hate, it’s when record stores don’t know how to price records. Why they would choose to sit on inventory for an indefinite amount of time with the most likely vain hope that a sucker will eventually come along and overpay for it instead trying to get everything to sell quickly by charging a reasonable price is beyond me. Yes, the single is rare and everything, but $20? You can generally find it on eBay for around $5. Rant Over.

64 Spiders--"There Ain't"
64 Spiders--"Bulemic Saturday"
64 Spiders--"Potty"
64 Spiders--"Swat"
64 Spiders--"Rubber Room"

-- MC Tom


yannick said...

great song, Pure Grunge, Pure shit

Anonymous said...

I've been listening to this EP relentlessly. Thank you.

Aaron said...

Hey All,

Is there anyone who can burn me a copy of Cat Butt's "Journey to the Center Of"? I love the song "Big Cigar" but can't find the album on LP or disk. Any help would be hugely appreciated.


Max said...

Hi I've been looking for this forever, could you re-post the 64-spiders stuff? if not is there anyone out there that has this album that would be willing to burn me a copy? thanks! -Max

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Anonymous said...

I realize that this is a very old blog post, but since David Lee seems to be a mystery, I thought I'd chime in here. David's vocals in 64 Spiders were amazing. He was a friend of mine, but unfortunately he died of a drug overdose. I still have one of his tshirts with a classic T-Rex album cover artwork with cut off sleeves. It was totally David's style. Gone, but not forgotten.