"Prato has curated a collection to attract the uninitiated as well as preach to the unwashed converted masses."
"It's a wild ride that's vividly captured in Greg Prato's excellent oral history, Primus: Over the Electric Grapevine."
--Bass Player Magazine
"A book about the highly strange San Franciscans Primus has been overdue for years, so Greg Prato's excellent oral history of the band is welcome--doubly so, given that the key bandmembers, Les Claypool, Larry Lalonde and Tim Alexander, are involved....Great stuff."
--Record Collector Magazine
"A master storyteller, skilled in the art of assembling oral histories that not only examine their subjects in great depth but also spin a great yarn, Prato is able to combine a thorough study of Claypool's eccentric genius with a relaxed, free-flowing narrative of the Primus's origins story, detailing influences and lineup changes, early performances and the making of landmark Primus albums....[The book] doesn't get bogged down by minutiae, and although it could be called an 'exhaustive' work, it's far from an exhausting read."
"Esteemed journalist and rock historian Greg Prato brings his estimable literary skills in unwrapping the enigma of Primus....If you loved Primus before but maybe didn't understand everything they did, that will change after reading this. In fact, when you finish the last page here, race over to your Primus CD collection and re-listen to all their music with new and educated ears. Their music will never have sounded so good."
--Curled Up With a Good Book
"Almost as if you're sitting across from them at the bar as they reminisce about the past...this book was the most fun I've had reading a book all year. Go get it!"
Praise for Primus:
"They were real musicians' musicians...Primus had their own thing, for sure. Nobody really does that Primus thing--they have their own personality, which is something difficult to do."
--Chad Smith, Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Primitive, animated, dinosaur, Halloween, trailerfunk. I felt Les was a kindred spirit. Someone I could learn from and collaborate with. Quick, schooled, humble, with an amazing musical lexicon and down home as hell, with a bent sense of humor."
Usually when the "alternative rock revolution" of the early 1990s is discussed, Nirvana's Nevermind is credited as the recording that led the charge. Yet there were several earlier albums that helped pave the way, including the Pixies' Doolittle, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Mother's Milk, Jane's Addiction's Nothing's Shocking, and especially Primus's 1991 album Sailing the Seas of Cheese.
This fascinating and beautifully curated oral history tells the tale of this truly one-of-a-kind band. Compiled from nearly fifty all-new interviews conducted by journalist/author Greg Prato--including Primus members past and present and many more fellow musicians--this book is sure to appeal to longtime fans of the band, as well as admirers of the musicians interviewed for the book.
Interviewees include: Tim Alexander, Trey Anastasio (Phish), Matthew Bellamy (Muse), Les Claypool, Stewart Copeland (The Police), Chuck D (Public Enemy), Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Larry LaLonde, Geddy Lee (Rush), Mickey Melchiondo (Ween), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Matt Stone (South Park), Tom Waits, and many more.
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About the Author
Greg Prato is a Long Islandbased music journalist, whose writing has appeared in Rolling Stone. He is the author of numerous books, including A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon, Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, and MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years of Music Video. He is the coauthor, with Primus, of Primus, Over the Electric Grapevine: Insight into Primus and the World of Les Claypool.
Table of Contents
Foreword Matthew Bellamy (Muse) 11
Chapter 1 Welcome to This World 15
Chapter 2 Dad, What's a Primate? 28
Chapter 3 The Gig That Should Not Be 36
Chapter 4 How to Make Sausage 42
Chapter 5 Then Along Came Ler 56
Chapter 6 Herb the Ginseng Drummer 63
Chapter 7 Suck on This 75
Chapter 8 They Call Me the Frizzle Fry 86
Chapter 9 "C" Is for Cock 106
Chapter 10 The Magical Mr. Whalley 110
Chapter 11 Sailing the Seas of Cheese 117
Chapter 12 Spreading the Cheese 135
Chapter 13 Grab Yourself a Can of Pork Soda 161
Chapter 14 The Prawn Remains the Same 177
Chapter 15 Tales from the Punchbowl 188
Chapter 16 Tim Has Left the Building 200
Chapter 17 Mackerel and the Brain 206
Chapter 18 Lunatics Run the Asylum 215
Chapter 19 Rhinoplasty 228
Chapter 20 I Am the Antipop 236
Chapter 21 The Wheels Fall Off 255
Chapter 22 Oysterhead 258
Chapter 23 Colonel ClaypooPs Fearless Flying Frog Brigade 275
Chapter 24 Return of the Bastards 284
Chapter 25 The Onion, the Pumpkin, and Other Adventures 292
Chapter 26 From Pumphouse to Festeroo 308
Chapter 27 Green Naugahyde 317
Chapter 28 Los Bastardos 330
Chapter 29 In Glorious Hindsight 346
Chapter 30 The Roller Coaster Continues 366