Minutemen unplugged: Punk legends’ rollicking acoustic jam on cable access TV, 1985
08:34 am
Minutemen unplugged: Punk legends’ rollicking acoustic jam on cable access TV, 1985

It’s hard to watch this achingly wonderful unplugged jam the Minutemen perpetrated on Los Angeles public access TV sometime in 1985 without meditating on the tragic early departure of D. Boon. It’s really almost the only thing one can think about.

Aside from that, however, this is an unusual document presenting the seminal San Pedro punk band with no way of knowing that in just a few weeks the band would no longer exist as a unit. On December 22, 1985, Boon was killed when a van he was riding in swerved, with the result that Boon was forcibly ejected from the vehicle through the rear doors. He was 27 years old (yes, D. Boon is definitely in the Club of 27).

The show is called “Acoustic Blow-Out,” which is certainly apt. Hurley has nothing but a set of bongos in his lap the entire time, and the show pretty much sounds like what would happen if the Minutemen decided to do an inpromptu, covers-heavy set at the campfire you just made.

The show appeared on L.A. public access TV but there seems to be no date associated with the airing. It is commonly stated, however, that it was just “weeks” before Boon’s death. It does seem likely that this was late in 1985. Minutemen’s last album 3-Way Tie (For Last) was recorded in August and came out in December, and it’s just barely possible that this appearance was intended to promote that album.

Watt starts things off by reciting a favorite line: “Never gave a damn about the meter man until I was the man who had to read the meters, man….” The set is just a half-hour as the trio plows through 13 songs with zero banter. The high point, if you have to isolate one, is “History Lesson: Part II.”

Corona (Double Nickels)
Themselves (Double Nickels)
The Red and the Black (3-Way Tie (For Last)/Blue Oyster Cult cover)
Badges (The Politics of Time)
I Felt Like a Gringo (Buzz or Howl)
Time (Richard Hell cover)
Green River (”Tour-Spiel” EP/CCR cover)
Lost (3-Way Tie (For Last)/Meat Puppets cover)
Ack Ack Ack (The Politics of Time/The Urinals cover)
Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love (Double Nickels/Van Halen cover)
History Lesson Part II (Double Nickels)
Tour Spiel (Project: Mersh)
Little Man With A Gun In His Hand (Buzz or Howl)



Posted by Martin Schneider
08:34 am



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