Hipsters Out Of Metal!

THE MELVINS’ BUZZ OSBORNE WILL OUT YOU

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THE MELVINS’ BUZZ OSBORNE WILL OUT YOU
By the time I got into Metal Church, founder Kurdt Vanderhoof had departed the band, but continued to write their songs. Which I guess means that after 1985’s The Dark, technically Metal Church was a Kurdt Vanderhoof cover band. Weird. Anyway, with help from HooM!-aprooved producers Mark Dodson and Terry Date, Metal Church did some awesome stuff. I even love their Volume 8: The Threat Is Real-style heavy rock album, Hanging In The Balance, barfy cover art and all.

But I guess MChurch isn’t hip enough for Melvins frontman Buzz Osborne, lord of coolness. In the liner notes from 2005’s Mangled Demos From 1983, Osborne reminisces about his time in the miserable-sounding Pacific Northwest, specifically about how he conquered the repressive Metal Church menace to achieve blockbuster success in The Melvins:

After miraculously graduating [sic] from high school I briefly attended Gray’s Harbor Community College in nearby Aberdeen — a major waste of time. It was there that I met an interesting blonde rocker character named Kurdt Vanderhoof. He was originally from Gray’s Harbor and had recently moved back to the north after spendng some time living in San Francisco. He was a little vague about the whole thing but I eventually figured out he had played in the Seattle punk band The Lewd. I had always really liked that stuff and was perplexed to find that he had nothing but bad things to say about them and about punk rock in general.

He informed me that he had moved on to “Heavy Metal”. He [now] had a band called Metal Church — tight leather pants and all. Well, I was a bit confused because at that point Metal Church consisted of five guys in their mid-twenties playing Iron Maiden and Scorpions covers to a handful of local high school rubes. Hmm… I remember thinking to myself, let me get this straight, he went from being in a good band from Seattle that relocated to San Francisco to returning to Gray’s Harbor to start up a “heavy metal” cover band. Something seemed fishy about his story but he was not eager to answer a lot of questions.

Still, he was infinity [sic] more interesting than the rest of the bozos going to that school so I continued to talk to him whenever I got the chance. He had a fairly decent knowledge of punk rock which was rare in those parts and I was bored out of my mind. As it all turned out, he ended up being one of the most obnoxious jackasses I’ve ever had the misfortune to bump into. Here’s the best part, I had no idea he was a HOMO! [sic] It really cracks me up now, and it also shows just what a half-wit he must have been to move from the gay rights capitol of the world back to a county where homosexuality was practically illegal, and it shows just how oblivious I was to what was going on out there in the real world. I learned later that his return to the Northwest centered around him hooking up with one of his former high school teachers. Well, there you have it. How brilliant! Some years later, that very same teacher was shit-canned for giving alcohol to minors. There you have it again.

What really threw me was when Metal Church started to become a “big wheel” band around town. At one point I somehow talked Kurdt into letting us open a show for them in Aberdeen. We had done a few shows in Olympia and Seattle so we weren’t exactly new to playing live and I thought it might be fun, instead, they sasheyed around like prima donna rock stars playing some massive stadium, not a dumpy rat infested abandoned movie theater in a one horse town. It was nauseating. The whole adventure was an enormous fiasco. This erstwhile musical mentor and so-called friend revealed himself as the false and dull-eyed fool he really was. You live and learn. Meanwhile, years later the Melvins have a career in music and my old friend Kurdt works as a waiter at a Gray’s Harbor Golf course and still talks shit about us.

I’ve almost never tried to hook up with my teachers. But I once was escorted, tearful and anguished, from an internet cafe when I got the email announcing a cherished professor‘s surprise engagement to her department’s dorkbag/spazneck office assistant. So you could say I should’ve attempted to Kurdt her, ‘cuz since that missed opportunity I’m a sad, loveless, bitter shell of a person — and worst of all, a fan of “heavy metal.” Actually, shit. Now that I think about it, that fucking email was from Buzz! Don’t tell that guy anything!

-ADF

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