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.


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