Meeting The Melvins

Buzz Beercan

I first heard the Melvins back in the late 1980’s, around when Ozma came out.

This was wayyy before they became professionally-known as the “Godfathers of Grunge” or Kurt-Cobain’s BFFs.

Hell, no one even knew who the Hell Nirvana were back then.

My first impression was that they sounded kind of like what-if Black Flag were chopped-up in a food processor and reassembled wrong.

I totally dug it, immediately.

Well, a couple years later, as Nirvana-mania was finally dying down a little, I got to meet them.

Our paths have crossed a couple of times ever since.

In 1994, the Melvins were getting their 15 minutes of fame, being interviewed on MTV and in all the big name glossy magazines.

They had released Houdini on Atlantic Records and, as King Buzzo would say, they became a “flavor-of-the-nanosecond.”

This was just a week or two after Kurt Cobain’s dead body was found.

So, I imagine that they were still reeling from the news of this, being old friends of his.

I was going to see them perform at Saint Andrews, in Detroit.


I showed up early and went inside St. Andrews, looking for a pop.

The bar wasn’t open.

No soda machines.

The place was still mostly vacant.

I asked the guy at the door if I could leave & re-enter.

He said “sure.”

So, I went out in search of somewhere to get a Diet Pepsi.

As I crossed the street,  happen to notice the Melvins and their entourage heading toward a Greek restaurant, to eat.

“Cool,” I thought.

I got back to the club.

But, the same asshole who said I could come back wouldn’t let me in! Bastard.

I wondered if the Melvins were still at that restaurant, and sought them out.

Sure enough, it was them, the other bands, and (pre-Foo Fighters) David Grohl.

I told them about my dilemma.

They were totally cool about it.

I ordered another pop and waited for everyone to finish their dinner.

Buzz gave me a backstage pass and we all headed back to the club.

David Grohl introduced himself to me and everyone else that he met, “Hi, I’m David.”

I thought, “Well, no shit. You’ve been on the cover of every magazine for the past three years.”

He was a really positive nice guy, though.

Dale Crover was very friendly too.

I got to stick my pass up to the guy who wouldn’t let me back in.

Everyone seemed to have guests with them, besides the bands themselves.

The band let everyone eat what they wanted from the deli tray.

I was too young to drink.

So, they wouldn’t let me have a beer.

I had a good time.

It was a little surreal though.

David Grohl told us stories about bowling in Germany.

I vaguely wondered if Allen Funt was hiding behind a door and that I was really on Candid Camera.

Anyway, it was a good show.

Like I said, we’ve crossed paths a few times since then.

A few years later, I was supposed to appear as an alien in their music video for Mombius Hibachi.

But, because of time and budget, my part got cut and they used “Goober” of Goober and the Peas (Jack White’s old band) instead.

Oh well, you win some you lose some.

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