Monday, April 23, 2007

Historia de la Musica Tad, vol. III

“Being a part of the TAD experience is like waking up in the middle of a train wreck, or like turning over to slap the button on your snooze bar and realizing you have no arms. Look around you; nothing but ashes and molten slag; you’re in the hypercenter of something big. Something that thinks, moves, and destroys.” --Sub Pop

Even though we’ve already written two chapters in what will surely be the definitive history of TAD, we’re only now getting to TAD’s first full-length, God’s Balls, which Sub Pop released on vinyl all the way back in 1989. I would love to write that this fantastic record completely changed the landscape of music, relegating the glitzy pop of New Kids on the Block and glitzy metal of Motley Crue to the rubbish heap of history, but history didn’t cooperate. Sure, a different Seattle band tried to achieve that goal two years later, but it’s hard not be cynical about the reversion of popular music back to pap and crap. Somehow, Justin Timberlake duped the so-called “alternative” press into thinking that he and his team of A-list producers and songwriters make respectable music, and the emo bands have more in common with hair metal than they do with the Dictators or the Dead Kennedys even the Ramones. Loser, indeed.

But hey, we’re preaching to the choir here, babe. So back to TAD.

By this point, Tad Doyle had built a proper band around himself with Kurt Danielson on bass, Gary Thorstensen on guitar, and Steve Wied on drums. (The one exception was “Tuna Car,” a slightly older track on which Doyle played all of the instruments.) It also bears all of the classic Sub Pop hallmarks from the time: Jack Endino recorded it, Charles Peterson shot the cover photos, and not very many copies were pressed (2500, from what I can tell). Although the small pressing may suggest to some that Sub Pop aimed to bestow immediate collector status on the record, in truth, Sub Pop was a young label at the time, and 2500 copies seems to have been a reasonably sized pressing. All copies of the original LP were on vinyl; Glitterhouse apparently released a CD version of the record for the European market, but I’ve never seen a copy.

Sub Pop’s later released most of God’s Balls on a Salt Lick/God’s Balls combo CD, but they shaved three songs (“Tuna Car,” “Hollow Man,” and the extraordinary “Nipple Belt”) from the original record to make it all fit; those three songs are available here, you lucky, lucky people. I pulled the other two songs from the CD, so you may notice a difference in sound quality.

Reviews for God’s Balls are proving difficult to come by. Only a pair of people reviewed this record—which I consider a classic—on Amazon, and if anybody has archived old reviews from Backlash or The Rocket (or perhaps The Stranger), then I can’t find them. Sub Pop’s history page reprinted Bruce Pavitt’s original Sub Pop USA columns for the Rocket, and although the May 1988 column had good stuff to say about TAD in general, it predates God’s Balls by quite some time. I would compare God’s Balls to the original, grainy Texas Chainsaw Massacre, if the Texas Chainsaw Massacre had been funnier and more literate.

We were on the fence about whether to post the entire record. Even though God’s Balls long ago fell out of print, Sub Pop has linked to our blog a couple of times, and it seems like it would be in poor taste to give away an entire record that may one day return to print. In the mean time, search around eBay for the entire record if you don’t own it already. But you do own it already, right? Right?!?!

Tuna Car
Hollow Man
Nipple Belt

And the songs can also be downloaded via .zip file here.



Yannick said...


Sebastian j said...

I do have that CD reissue and I fuckin' love it. Didn't know that a few songs were missing. You rule Lamesstain!
Cheers from Argentina!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant blog. Tad = amazing band. I have a small collection or original Tad record/live reviews and interviews from UK weekly papers like NME, Sounds and Melody Maker. Reviews of Gods Balls, Salt Lick, Wood Goblins (which was a Melody Maker Single of The Week) etc. Tad were VERY propular in the UK 1989/1990. I caught 'em twice with Nirvana on their 1st UK tour (once with Mudhoney headlining - Astoria in London Xmas 1989).

coops2001 said...

TAD is great. My favorite CD/Album is Inhaler.

Great post, great blog. Really turned me onto other music blogs.

How about a post on Coffin Break?

Thanks again!

Tad Doyle said...

Hey Laimstain,
Thank you for the kind words my friend. This blog brought a welcome grin to my face. I am looking for a drummer to finish the lineup of my new band (no name yet, more later). Any ideas? Anyone who can throttle the drums please post a comment on my blog at

or the TAD myspace at

Thanks again.
Cold brews & Bar-B-Ques,

Anonymous said...

Mmmm... Tad...

Just a question: Who exactly is Dick Johnson?

Anonymous said...

this is awesome!
your doing an awesome job here
I have salt lick gods balls
and I was really intrested in those songs that were cut off

problem is...
the link doesnt work...
any chance u can fix it?

Mike said...

I have sadly not found God's Balls or Salt Lick.

The only TAD record I have is 8 Way Santa with the banned cover with the man foundling the women. I have a few other things on CD but Salt Likc has gotten some VERY great reviews....I want it.

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