Dangerous Rock'n'Roll!

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Photographs by Jennifer Love

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Download Butchwax MP3s, Bad in Bed , She'll Never Go and Rockabilly Motion


Butchwax is:

Mike "Bo" Burnette – drums and ever-cool personality

Richard "Ritchie Clerk" Martin – bass and snide comments

Michael Dupree –guitar, grins and que ball head

Ron "Butch Modern" Taylor – vocals, felt tip pen and attitude

Molly "Polly Sexual" Winner – vocals, lyrics and heat 

Butchwax grew from an experimental seed that germinated in the dusty dank corners of a huge cardboard box in south Raleigh. From this petrie dish sprang the germ of the Short Wave Band , which was, in essence, just that; a short wave radio from which other worldly sounds were coaxed, strangled and forced. The synthesizer/theremin like noise this poor radio emitted was a desperate geek wail in the face of disco. The year was  1975-76 as best anyone can remember.

Notable "compositions" from this period are "Noizion" and "Playing the Wrong Notes, Seriously". The early tapes are primitive and badly recorded but do provide some insight into the spontaneous insanity that went t'ward the formation of the cosmos um I mean the evolution of the band. For some reason about this time a vintage Fender Tremolux amp was liberated from its pawn shop home and a ’69 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top '56 reissue was plugged in.

The Short Wave Band was suddenly warm and fuzzy. By this time the Ramones had released their first album. Nick Nasty was invited to join in the carnage on cigar box drums and vocals. Nick had never played drums. A scandalous little ditty called "Jailbait" survives. Pretty soon Michael "Doktor Grinnz" Dupree added his Keef Richard guitar and pugnacious Pignose to the mix (February 1977). The noise had become quite god-awful. A skinny tie architect named Hank Numb became the "bass" player but, of course, did not have a bass nor could he play one. Hank did, however, leave his indelible mark on the group by penning the instant classics "Elvis Presley Died on My Birthday" and "Like it or Not". Butchwax, phase one, was now complete.

Hours and hours of chaos and cacophonous caterwauling followed under the tenuous guise of practicing. These sessions were largely cathartic, black magic baptisms of white noise fueled by copious amounts of caffejuanahol. Nasty leaves. Enter Billy Brat. Billy leaves. Enter Johnny "Death" Ross. Hank leaves for California where they say he discovered his true self, I don’t know. Butch, to no avail, takes up bass. A couple more bass players and drummers come and go (they thought we were crazy – they could’ve been right). At some point Butch meets Richard Martin at the Cafe Deja Vu and Ritchie Clerk is soon added on bass and in May of 1979 the phase two line-up was completed when Mike "Bo Evercool" Burnette, a true rock action drummer, joined on percussion.

Somewhere along the line – the details are blurred by far too many Pabst Blue Ribbons – punk scientist Doctor Gary Indiana climbed on board as our manager. That was a very fortunate event because we would’ve probably never gotten out of the backroom otherwise. Well Doctor Indiana was then dubbed Malcolm Riviera (later to become a Junkie Slut, a Velvet Monkey and a Gumball-er) and the rest is, um, vicious but unconfirmed rumor. Thanks Malcolm.

The final piece of the evolving Butchwax puzzle was cemented in place by the first public appearance of abstract poetess and all around rock’n’roll hot chick Molly "Polly Sexual" Winner at the Cat’s Cradle in April of 1980. Maureen Elisabeth to her parents, Molly added several great songs to the Butchwax set list and drove the coolest push-button Dodge. Butchwax maintained this lineup until early 1982 when an unannounced dissolution took place. Nothing more was heard from Butchwax for 18 years. This Rip Van Winkle like slumber was awakened on January 21st Y2K. Butchwax is back!

Doctor Indiana takes a chance on Butchwax

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Malcolm Riviera and the bad ass GTO