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Junkie Business: John Frusciante meets Timothy Leary in Johnny Depp and Gibby Haynes’ ‘Stuff’


Johnny Depp in Berlin, 1993
 
Some movies make rock stardom look like hell. The reason it’s so hard to see Cocksucker Blues is not that it’s such an appealing advertisement for life on the road, but that it makes the lives of the characters in Glengarry Glen Ross look like a lot of fun compared to the Rolling Stones’.

Stuff belongs on the same shelf. Directed by Johnny Depp and Gibby Haynes in 1993, the unreleased short film is a documentary about the squalid junkie crash pad in LA that John Frusciante used to call home. Cameras drift through the house soaking in the bummer ambience as Frusciante’s Portastudio recordings play on the soundtrack. There’s no dialogue.
 

P’s self-titled debut on Capitol Records
 
If there’s a ghost in the movie other than Frusciante’s spectral presence, it’s River Phoenix. Depp and Haynes were bandmates in P, the group that was onstage at the Viper Room when Phoenix OD’d. According to Bob Forrest’s memoir Running with Monsters, Phoenix spent the days before his death at Frusciante’s house getting “deep into a major-league drug binge,” and even by drug-den standards, Forrest says the place was fucked up:

We all lived close to one another. Johnny only lived a couple minutes’ drive from Frusciante’s house and the apartment I kept nearby. The Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes, when he was in town, mostly stayed with Johnny. Sometimes I’d stay there or at Frusciante’s. I was hard to pin down. River usually stayed at St. James’ Club on the Strip, a flashy, high-end art-deco luxury hotel, also known variously as the Argyle or the Sunset Tower. The Viper Room was our headquarters, but Frusciante’s place saw almost as much use, although things had started to take on a dark and forbidding atmosphere there. It still didn’t stop anybody from dropping by. If any of us were working or out on tour, Frusciante’s house was the first stop as soon as we arrived back in town.

Frusciante’s place offered something the Viper Room had in short supply: privacy. But that also made it a liability. What had started out as a party place had devolved and spiraled into some dank drug den. Walls were covered with graffiti. Furniture was damaged. Walls and doors had huge, gaping holes. There was a current there—bad vibes and degeneracy. It was out of control and the kind of place that could make the hardest of hard-core junkies blanch and run in the opposite direction.

Watch ‘Stuff’ after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.27.2017
08:31 am
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Al Jourgensen and Gibby Haynes were Timothy Leary’s psychedelic guinea pigs


via Timothy Leary Archives
 
I knew Al Jourgensen and Dr. Timothy Leary were friends. Leary’s voice opened the Revolting Cocks’ Linger Ficken’ Good (see below), and when I saw Ministry at the Hollywood Palladium a couple weeks before Leary’s death in ‘96, Jourgensen announced from the stage that Tim was in the building. Jourgensen writes in his memoir that at the Palladium, he and Leary “hung out with Joe Strummer and Captain Sensible, and the four of us did more cocaine than you can fit onto a picnic table.”

But I was unprepared for the revelation, dropped as casually as a handkerchief two-thirds of the way through the same book, that Jourgensen lived with Leary for two years in the mid-90s, during which time both he and Gibby Haynes were test subjects for Leary’s experiments with psychedelics.

In the context of the book, this comes as a piece of good news, because at least Al is getting something like a doctor’s care. Fix, the depressing documentary filmed on Ministry’s Filth Pig tour (or “Sphinctour”), leaves no doubt as to the severity of Al’s multiple drug problems during this time, and the corresponding chapters of the book open dark new vistas of degradation. (One of Jourgensen’s war stories from this period includes the sentence: “She’s wearing a colostomy bag, and I was naturally curious.”)
 

Timothy Leary backstage at a Ministry show
 
At this point in the narrative, White Zombie bassist Sean Yseult has kicked Jourgensen out of their shared apartment on Melrose, and he has moved in with Leary. And here comes Gibby Haynes:

In addition to taking me in, Tim let Gibby Haynes stay at his house for a while. Tim encouraged us to take whatever drugs we wanted—he was the guru of LSD, after all. But as an academic and a researcher, he wanted to see what effects different hallucinogens had when they were coupled with different substances—coke, heroin, Nyquil, Hungry Man dinners. He would get all this hallucinogenic shit mailed to him from all these companies and universities and then test it on us every couple weeks. Actually, it was mostly on me. He kicked Gibby out of the house after he peed in the drawer of an antique desk in Tim’s office when he was off his head. So Gibby went and I stayed. Tim would get me to shoot up all these laboratory drugs that were based out of MDA—ecstasy and Ayahuasca, an Amazonian concoction made from shrubs, leaves, and Virola, a South American drug that you grind into a powder and cook down. Tim had me shooting up all this shit. He would be all excited and say, “Hey, I got a new package.” And I would groan, “Okay, fuck. Let’s do it.” I would shoot it up, and he would scribble down notes on how the drugs affected me. I don’t know what he was writing because to me the hallucinations were always the same.

I’d have these horrific visions of Hell and the apocalypse: naked people with blood spouting from every orifice; skies that turned black, then silver, then white again; winged beasts with razor-sharp talons; and, most of all, spiders of all shapes and sizes. They’d fall from the sky. They’d come up from the ground. They’d creep around corners and crawl all over me. I’d be screaming and trying to brush off the bugs. And I’d always end up staggering over to Tim’s blind dog, Mr. Bodles, that Lemmy, my dog, is probably related to. I’d grab his collar, and he would take me outside so I could breathe without spiders scurrying in my mouth and down my throat. Talk about the blind leading the blind. After an hour or so Tim would come out and stare at me. Then he’d take more notes and ask me some questions about how I was feeling and what I was seeing. He’d measure the diameter of my pupils and see if I could track his fingers with my eyes. I don’t know if I passed or failed; I just know I saw spiders. The stuff he gave me was so strong that it took effect in less than twenty minutes. The visions were instantaneous, and they were never enjoyable. But I’d subject myself to it because it helped him out somehow, and I knew if I did my job, my rent was paid and I had a place to stay.

 

Jourgensen and Leary horsing around
 
Elsewhere in the book, Gibby Haynes shares his own memories of the Leary years in an interview with the book’s co-author, Jon Wiederhorn:

When [Al] hooked me up with Tim Leary a lot of weird situations happened. We got kicked out of a Johnny Cash concert at the Viper Room because Tim was heckling Johnny Cash. The killer one was waking up in Tim’s study and seeing him feverishly typing three feet away from me. I was so hungover that I had pissed in his kitchen. He was nervously typing, like I shouldn’t have been in the room, and I discovered my dick was hanging out of my pants and was warm and moist.

Errr, what caused that?
Who knows? I guess when you sleep in Tim Leary’s study your dick comes out of your pants and gets warm and moist.

Maybe you pissed yourself?
I definitely pissed in his kitchen. Oh, and I let his blind dog shit in his living room. In the middle of the summer the sliding-glass doors to his house were open. I shut them in the middle of the night. I didn’t know you were supposed to leave them open because of his blind dog: It was the only way he could go outside to poop in the middle of the night. Not only did I urinate in his kitchen but I let a dog shit in his living room. I was not the consummate houseguest.

Is that why Tim kicked you out of his house?
The urine thing wasn’t really my fault. I was like, “Dude, your entire kitchen is white. That screams toilet to me.” There were probably three times I got so drunk in the middle of the night I got up and randomly urinated. It usually involved the color white. I peed on a couple one time, in their bed in the middle of the night. Their room was white.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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08.26.2016
08:57 am
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Cooking with the Butthole Surfers: Gibby Haynes’ dessert and drink recipes
05.27.2016
10:35 am
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If you were going to ask musicians for recipes, the Butthole Surfers might seem like unlikely candidates. There isn’t a Martha Stewart type among them; indeed, their dancer, Kathleen, once mixed her own urine in with the macaroni and cheese. But reading through the band’s old interviews has more in common with taking a Home Ec class than you might expect.

“I can cook a bad-ass peach cobbler,” Gibby Haynes bragged in the June ‘86 issue of SPIN. The interview concluded with the recipe for Gibby’s Spillane Peach Cobbler, named for Haynes’ old college basketball teammate Jeff Spillane, whom Gibby named alongside Ed Asner as one of the band’s heroes:

He’s this weird kind of straight guy with heavy beard growth and a hairy chest. He’s a nice guy, but he’s kind of geeky. He used to wear this lime-green polyester leisure suit. He’s the first person I ever saw light a fart. We usually sing songs that have Jeff Spillane in them, like “Back on Spillane’s Gang.” I think he’s now an accountant somewhere.

 

 
SPIN doesn’t say if Gibby read these very precise instructions off the back of a foxed, four-by-six recipe card inked with a grandmotherly scrawl, or (as I prefer to imagine) reeled them off from memory.

GIBBY’S SPILLANE PEACH COBBLER

Stir together ½ t. salt and 2 c. flour. Cut in ½ c. shortening until crumbly. Add ⅓ c. milk and stir with a fork until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. On a lightly floured board, roll the dough into a rectangle a little less than ¼ in. thick. Put it on a baking sheet and bake it at 425° until it’s lightly browned. Then put mixed-up water, brown sugar, egg white, and cinnamon [5 egg whites, ¾ c. water, ½ c. brown sugar, ¼ t. cinnamon] on top of the crust and bake it until it foams up like a custard. When it starts to look cooked, take it out and put sliced fresh peaches on it. It’s amazing. It’s a killer dessert.

Gibby also gave a cocktail recipe to Fiz, a short-lived, strongly pro-alcohol punk magazine from Los Angeles. In the 23 years since that issue of Fiz hit the newsstand, I’ve never mustered the courage to fix a Bloody Leroy for myself, but I imagine it would complement the peach cobbler very nicely when dining al fresco on a summer evening. The interview it accompanied outlined the band’s plans for a Joy Division game show in which contestants guess what Ian Curtis is singing (“You get points for correct answers and more points for better answers which are incorrect”), and is worth reading, though the transcription omits the drink recipe. From my personal tear-stained copy of the March/April ‘93 issue of Fiz, here’s the “BADASS BUTTHOLE BEVERAGE” you didn’t know you craved:

GIBBY HAYNES’ BLOODY LEROY

The best drink is barbecue sauce and vodka with a twist of lemon. The barbecue sauce has gotta be real thin. Stir it with a rip up. It’s badass. It’s cold. A Bloody Leroy!

Below, whet your appetite with the savory Buttholes rarity “Beat the Press.”
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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05.27.2016
10:35 am
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Butthole Surfer Gibby Haynes and Jesus Lizard’s David Yow star in ‘Walden Pink’
02.25.2016
08:34 am
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There’s a short film coming out that stars two legends of Texas punk. David Yow (of Scratch Acid, the Jesus Lizard and lately—have mercy!—Flipper) and Gibby Haynes (of the Butthole Surfers, blessèd be their name) have top billing in this good-looking black-and-white picture. This could be my generation’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and I hope I don’t have to wait too long to see it.

Directed by Peter Bolte, who previously cast Yow in his 2013 feature All Roads Lead, Walden Pink appears to be a tale of existential dread. Here’s the synopsis from the Victoria TX Indie Film Fest, where the movie will premiere on March 20:

Walden Pink sits disheveled on a park bench as the world drifts by him. The rest of his day is met with one unfortunate confrontation after another by the likes of religious proselytizers, process servers, angry bartenders and abrasive barflies. These conversations only distract him from finding a peace and clarity to this repetitive and draining existence. Just as Walden’s day began, his day ends seated on a park bench in a state of bitterness and self-loathing.

In the trailer below, Haynes’ character first tries to rouse Walden (Yow) from his catatonia by singing a visionary interpretation of Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song).” Why does Gibby not have a podcast, a SiriusXM channel, or a sheaf of optical fiber cables wired directly into my brain? And where is David Yow’s Oscar® or Golden Globe®, Hollywood? Just whom exactly is one supposed to blow to get things done during the Kali Yuga?
 

 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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02.25.2016
08:34 am
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Hear Butthole Surfer Gibby Haynes’ morning radio show
12.31.2015
08:58 am
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In the years before the Butthole Surfers had a radio hit with “Pepper”—a single that, Billboard noted at the time, “borrows liberally” from a much better song by DM’s Marc Campbell—not much was heard from the band. About a year after I saw them (billed as the “B.H. Surfers”) at the bloody, fiery Castaic Lake stop on 1993’s Bar-B-Que Mitzvah Tour, I heard that singer Gibby Haynes had roomed with Kurt Cobain during Cobain’s final trip to rehab; one year after that, I caught a glimpse of Haynes at the business end of a blowjob in Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man. One day bled into the next. Butthole Surfers news was scarce, and Butthole Surfers kicks were scarcer.

(I was unaware of P until the late 90s, when I asked a record store owner to explain why the Buttholes’ 1993 promotional 10-inch, wrapped in Mylar in parody of Madonna’s Sex, was no longer prized by collectors. He told me that everyone stopped caring about the Butthole Surfers when the P album came out.)

During some of that period, Haynes hosted a radio show on Austin, Texas’ brand-new alternative rock station, 101X (KROX-FM), which has recently posted a few clips in celebration of its 20th anniversary. It’s a good time. When he wasn’t forced to play the period’s dreadful “modern rock” product, Gibby took calls in rapid succession, dispatching listeners’ requests and opinions with psychedelic non sequiturs, and he fit in some quality music when he could, too. Sometime co-host Robbie Jacks and Gibby’s father Jerry described the chaotic radio show in SPIN’s oral history of the Butthole Surfers, “Feeding the Fish”:

Robbie Jacks Gibby hit rock bottom. He had just rehabbed. He was at the point where he needed money, and he really wanted to do a morning show [on alt-rock radio station 101X in Austin], cause his dad did a morning TV show, Mr. Peppermint. We always gave out the wrong time [on the air], and Gibby always spelled the words backwards on whatever we were talking about. He’d say sgurd for drugs: “I spent all my money on sgurd.”

Jerry Haynes It was great. He was really funny. He’d introduce all the songs he didn’t like as “puke chunks.”

Robbie Jacks When the station got enough publicity out of the morning show, they told him, “You’re too rank for the mornings,” and put him on at nine at night. Instead of going to bed at nine at night, he was going to work, and so it was time to party. He just degenerated into drink. I called the station manager on the first night and I was like, “Do you want me to go down there? I mean, he’s falling apart, just listen to him.” And she was listening and she found it compelling.

One night he locked the engineer out of the door and then just rambled for two hours and he didn’t even do an air call, and it was hysterical. He had Mike Watt on the phone and he wouldn’t let him go. I think the band getting back together saved him more than anything, not AA.

 

Some of Billboard’s “local radio air personalities of the year,” 1996
 
As the unnamed station manager suggested to Jacks, if there was a problem with the show, it wasn’t the DJ or his “sgurd” habits. The problem was the miles, acres and tons of grade-N horseshit music demanded by the 1995 alternative rock format—a format I remember all too well, since it was invented in my hometown of Los Angeles, where the only entertainment option in my teenage car was a 20-year-old stock radio that picked up about three stations. Listening to these broadcasts from the grim days of the 104th Congress, I heard long-forgotten songs by Soul Asylum, Hum and Green Day that made me wonder what the opposite of the word “nostalgia” is. Take the top clip below, in which, after playing a killer set of Jon Wayne, Chrome, Mudhoney and Cycle Sluts from Hell, Gibby is reduced to setting up this “rock block” of undifferentiated hog slop:

I regret to inform you that we’ve done enough damage to radio programming in general, at this point. Now we’re forced—we’re literally being strong-armed by a woman with blood on her shoes—into playing Live, whom I hear from a reliable source cries onstage. I want to cry onstage, and I have cried onstage, and I will continue to cry onstage. One of my favorite ways to cry onstage is to do it alone while playing an acoustic version of “Daniel, My Brother.” And, uh, this would be, we’re gonna totally throw up on ourselves as we play Live, Bush and the Offspring all in a row on the X.

(Happily, Gibby improved the Offspring song with judicious use of a Jeff Foxworthy sample.)

The two longest clips (undated, I’m afraid) are embedded below, and you can find others here and here.

There’s much more after the jump!

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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12.31.2015
08:58 am
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Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes, college jock
06.04.2014
12:02 pm
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Gibby Haynes
 
It don’t get a whole lot better than this. Many people have seen that news story from the 1970s of Guided By Voices frontman Bob Pollard throwing a no-hitter in college. Quite recently we posted a pic of a newspaper article about Stephen Malkmus, later of Pavement, from his high school days describing his exploits of playing in a punk band and also playing soccer for the high school team.
 
Gibby Haynes
 
But it turns out that Gibson “Gibby” Haynes of the Butthole Surfers was a star forward for his basketball team when he attended Trinity University in San Antonio. That’s right: The mastermind behind Locust Abortion Technician and Rembrandt Pussyhorse averaged 11.5 points a game and 4.7 rebounds as the starting forward on Trinity’s team. As we can see, Gibby was an “Accounting and economics major,” which makes sense given that he once landed a gig at a top accounting company in the area. Note that he also made the Dean’s List—kids, stay in school and you too can become as upstanding a citizen as Gibson Haynes!
 
Below, the full Blind Eye Sees All live concert video, shot in Detroit in 1985.
 

 
via WFMU and Marc Masters

Posted by Martin Schneider
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06.04.2014
12:02 pm
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Gibby Haynes on Fox News Channel
05.29.2010
04:19 am
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Ummm… Err….

Posted by Tara McGinley
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05.29.2010
04:19 am
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