Photo by Sonia Bovio / derrickbostrom.net
The Meat Puppets recently were inducted into the Arizona Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame, and, to mark the honor bestowed by their home state, original drummer Derrick Bostrom joined brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood on stage for the first time in nearly 22 years.
The Meat Puppets performed a nine-song set at the Aug. 17 induction ceremony at Phoenix’s Celebrity Theater, where the band — one of SST Records’ stable of hugely influential indie-rock acts in the ’80s — was joined by fellow honorees Nils Lofgren and the Gin Blossoms.
The set, which included performances of “Oh, Me,” “Plateau,” “Lake of Fire” and the band’s ’90s alternative radio hit “Backwater,” marked the first time Bostorm had performed with the Meat Puppets since Dec. 31, 1995. During much of the band’s 2000 reunions, Shandon Sahm has served as drummer.
The band was inducted by Tom Reardon of the Father Figures, according to the Arizona Republic:
“There’s never been another Phoenix band like them. From the beginning, the band didn’t really know where they fit in. The early Phoenix punk-rock scene embraced them. But the prevailing factor in those days was that everybody was doing their own thing. The definition of punk then was pretty wide open. We’re a scene of weirdos and the Meat Puppets fit that bill. There’s a lot of weirdo musicians in Phoenix, maybe more per capita than anywhere else in the world. That’s a good thing. When the Puppets broke into playing shows downtown or down in Tucson or L.A., people didn’t know what to think of them. And I don’t think they knew what they wanted people to think of them, except that they rocked.”
After the show, Bostrom wrote on his website about the experience of reuniting with his old bandmates, saying he’d learned “just how much you can let go and still leave plenty of room for what really counts.”
“I hadn’t touched the drums in over fifteen years, and hadn’t been on stage in twenty. During our brief rehearsals, I’d been trying much too hard; trying to be too clever. But in the actual moment, the magic asserted itself with an authority that took my breath away. I relaxed, joined the audience and just enjoyed the show, letting the music do most of the work.”
Below, check out some fan-shot video of the Meat Puppets’ reunion, including a performance of “Look at the Rain,” on which the band invited the Gin Blossoms’ Robin Wilson to sing.
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