How I Got Into One Of The Most Hated Punk Rock Bands Ever
I was 13 years old, sitting in my room, listening once again to either Dookie or Kerplunk by Green Day, when my brother came in. He rolled his eyes, he hated Green Day and hated that I was a fan of them. “Here, listen to this instead”, he commanded, handing me a CD with a yellow background and a weird black pattern on it. It said ‘Screeching Weasel Kill The Musicians’ on it. Color me intrigued. I put it on, and he had me skip to track 9, “you’re gonna love this, you can’t like Green Day and not like Screeching Weasel”.
The intro began, and I’m like “okay, this is fine so far I guess”, and then the fast part started which perked me up a bit. Then the singing started. At the age of 13 this was by far the funniest and one of the more shocking songs I had heard in my life (GWAR and Green Jell-O set the bar kinda high). I was immediately hooked. I started the CD from the beginning after that, and probably listened to the whole thing a few times on repeat that day. Eventually my brother asked for his CD, so I gave it back to him.
A while later my brother and one of his buddies were listening to something loudly in his room. I asked my mom if she knew what it was. “I think it’s that Screeching Weasel or whatever”. OH SHIT! I ran up there and popped my head in asking if it was indeed them again, and it was, this time a cassette of Wiggle. THERE WAS MORE?! After my brother and his buddy left, I swooped into his room and looked for whatever I could find, which was just Kill The Musicians again, which was just fine. I grabbed it up and listened to it as much as I could before he’d ask for it back again.
After another while he let me borrow BoogadaBoogadaBoogada from him, which again was just absolutely mind-blowing. I needed more Screeching Weasel, but I also needed more of…just music like this! I eventually bought my own copies of Kill The Musicians, Boogada, Wiggle, and an album I hadn’t heard yet called Anthem For A New Tomorrow. I listened to these religiously, along with my Green Day albums, wondering where I could go from here. Well, from there I’d go to Descendents, Bad Religion, 88 Fingers Louie, Pennywise, Dead Kennedys, and all the rest of what some dickweeds call “entry level punk”.
When I finally made a friend who was also into punk rock he told me that Screeching Weasel sucked and that their singer was one of the biggest assholes ever. I was like “well, no, they’re great, but why is he such an asshole?” He then showed me “The Punk Rock Dress Code”, an article Ben Weasel had written for Maximum Rock ‘n Roll. While reading it I asked my friend “Is he…is this for real? Does he mean it? What the fuck is this?!” (Also if you haven’t read that, please do, it’s so fucking stupid) Then I was shown more of his articles, and I was like “okay yeah he’s a douche BUT THE BAND FUCKING RULES!”
Well it turned out that most of the other into-punk-rock friends I’d meet along the way hated Ben Weasel and his band too, or would say “I only like Boogada” or “I only like My Brain Hurts”. Hell my favorite album by them is Wiggle, which basically no one agrees with. Then 2011 happened, and, uh…well Ben went from “lovable curmudgeon” to “irredeemable piece of shit”, but that’s a whole other can of worms.
Big thanks to Dan for writing this super relatable story. It’s so much like my own introduction to punk. Same album and everything. For those of you wo lack culture, you’re probably unaware that Dan is in a super fun punk outfit called Pantzig. Go listen to it here.