Scratch Acid profile, 1986

When Spin magazine flew me to Austin to interview pigfuck progenitors Scratch Acid in 1986, I was only a few months out of the U.S. Army. Not sure precisely how many months, since the (quite long) article doesn’t directly cite a calendar, but I’d been honorably discharged in May, and the piece ran in the October issue, which apparently came out in early September, which means I must’ve taken the trip when — July, maybe? I do vaguely remember it being summer-ish. A hot tub was involved. You do the math.

It was only my second time visiting Texas’s capital, where I now live. When Richard Linklater coughed up Slacker in 1990, this was presumably the Austin era he had in mind. My first wife Martina and I, as I recall, had passed through on a road trip a year or two earlier. We saw the band Zeitgeist, who Wikipedia tells me formed in 1984 and later had more college radio success as the Reivers. A couple guys in Scratch Acid later had more college radio success themselves in Jesus Lizard, and I much preferred their noisy kind of ’80s independent-label (not called “indie” yet I don’t think) rock to Zeitgeist/Reivers’ jangly kind of ’80s independent-label rock at the time. Still do.

My loud-not-quiet crusade led me to take gratuitous aim at The Austin Chronicle‘s supposed scene cheerleading, since without a whole lot of evidence (how many issues had I even read?) I was under the impression the (now venerable, then just a half-decade old) alternative weekly didn’t like the right bands, boo hoo. Pretty jerky of me, as one Luke Torn duly noted in the paper’s September 12 issue: “Nice trick, Chuck, nothing like a little journalistic backstabbing to go with all our musical backstabbing. Kind of makes you feel warm all over, doesn’t it.” I plead guilty, and belatedly hereby apologize.

1 comment

  1. via facebook:

    Steve Pick
    I saw Scratch Acid once, immediately after the greatest concert of my life, Ornette Coleman and Pat Metheny Song X tour. I’ll read your long article later as a tribute to such a great day.

    John Ned
    Good article. I’m sure they rolled out the welcome wagon for you when you moved there.
    ·
    Chuck Eddy
    Actually, I’ve kept it pretty much on the downlow. For 11 years!
    ·
    John Ned
    Chuck Eddy undercover rock critic.

    Jaz Jacobi
    Hmmm, I’ve also heard the town where I live credited with the “highest musician-per-capita rate”–wonder if they say that EVERYWHERE? Like how everybody’s family claims an ancestor who was a U.S. president… 🙂
    ·
    Chuck Eddy
    Or how every place in the world thinks it invented “You know what they say about _____ weather. If you don’t like it, just wait a few minutes!”
    ·
    Chuck Eddy
    That said, there really ARE a heck of a lot of musicians here.

    Edd Hurt
    Cannot be more than Nashville
    Ha. We also have even more horrible weather.

    Like

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