I first came across Mudhoney when I saw them supporting Sonic Youth at the Kilburn National Ballroom on 23rd of March 1989 (See Daydream Nation). I had been told in advance that they were playing by a girl at work, stating that they were ‘pretty wild’, an understatement as it turned out!!
I arrived a little late so missed the start of the set. I worked my way through the Kilburn National foyer and headed to the bar on the right. I ordered a pint and then headed for the heavy black rubber doors of the auditorium. As I opened the door I was nearly thrown backwards by the shockwave of Mark Arm screaming ‘I open my eyes, Watch the sky turn blue, I felt so good I almost forgot all about you’!!!!! (If I think). The sound was so powerful, it felt like I’d been smacked around the head by an invisible concrete slab!
I found the following set list from the gig;
3/23/89 Kilburn National Ballroom. London, England
Supporting: Sonic Youth
Supported By: Sperm Wails
Set: Mudride, Here Comes Sickness, No One Has, If I Think, Burn it Clean, Sweet Young Thing, This Gift, Touch Me I'm Sick (set incomplete and out of order after the first three songs)
With Sonic Youth: I Wanna Be Your Dog
Notes: For Sonic Youth's encore, Mudhoney comes out and plays I Wanna Be Your Dog with the group. The guys start throwing Kim Gordon and the rest of Sonic Youth around, and it turns into a big noisy mess, with people and instruments flying.
Mudhoney’s performance was wild, Mark Arm and Steve Turner either running into or jumping on each other while they played a heavy rhythm with a heavy dose of feedback overlaid! Bodies were flying, guitars were flying and hair!!!! So much hair!!!
Following this gig I went out and bought Superfuzz Bigmuff. The first track I already knew. Sonic Youth and Mudhoney had released a joint 12 inch single. Mudhoney performing the Sonic Youth track ‘Halloween’ and Sonic Youth performing the Mudhoney track ‘Touch Me I’m Sick’. I loved the Sonic Youth version with Kim Gordon on vocals however this version soon became second place to the Mudhoney version which was very gritty and dirty unlike the Sonic Youth version which was surprisingly clean!
Stand out tracks are ‘If I Think’ and the awesome ‘In 'N' Out of Grace‘. A lightning speed rocker complete with duelling feedback guitar solos! The track started with the sample from the film ‘The Wild One’ staring Marlon Brando, later RIPPED OFF by Primal Scream on ‘Loaded’;
“We want to be free! We want to be free to do what we want to do! We want to be free to ride. And we want to be free to ride our machines without being hassled by man. And we want to get loaded!!!”
A truly wonderful album which lead on to so much…………
I was going to finish here, saving this story for later on, but what the heck!!!!
I was reading some record reviews in NME, the year was 1989. I came across a review which jumped out at me, within the first paragraph the review stated that ‘anyone that loved Mudhoney would love this band’.
That was enough for me, the next time I was in London I headed into Virgin Records and bought an album called ‘Bleach’ by a little known band named Nirvana!!!
Touch Me I’m Sick - 1991
In ‘N’ Out Of Grace
Sweet Young Thing/Chain That Door