Butthole Surfer's Chart With "Larry"

Aug. 23, 1996 -- Austin's Butthole Surfers have ended 15 years of hitlessness with an actual chart single, "Pepper," off the band's latest album, "Electriclarryland." So what's with the critical sniping? Let's take a look.

GIBBY HAYNES, Butthole Surfers: Most rock bands today are Sha Na Na at Woodstock.

KURT LODER: Well, maybe. But after 15 years together authenticity is no longer an issue for Austin's Butthole Surfers. Consider, well, their name for one thing.

KING COFFEY, Butthole Surfers: Its a really great punk rock name because the whole idea of rock'n'roll is to offend your parents.

LODER: Alas, some parents still run record stores, and when they got a look at the cover art for the latest Butthole masterwork "Electriclarryland." 4 big retail chains demanded an immediate overlay of good taste and general niceness.

PAUL LEARY, Butthole Surfers: Yeah, let's call this M-80 a ladyfinger.

KING COFFEY: For some reason "B***H*** SURFERS" to

me seems more perverse than "Butthole Surfers." It seems like it's really drawing grand attention to the name. This is a really dirty thing, you dirty birdie!

LODER: Moral arbiters may be especially upset about the Surfers because with their 13th album, the band is actually selling. Thanks in large part to the single, "Pepper," a track some critical curmudgeons dismiss as a rip of the Beck hit "Loser."

COFFEY: I don't really understand how sampling turns you into Beck.

LEARY: We were the first to use drum loops, the first. Before Easy E.

LODER: Well, it's not the alleged Beck connection that's made the Buttholes a hot property in the Summer of '96, it's, well... there are other reasons.

HAYNES: Beavis and Butthead made butthole a safe word for the United States to say. They brought buttholes out of the bathroom and onto the dinner table.

LEARY: Everybody else decided to really suck this summer and give the Butthole Surfers the chance that

they deserve.

COFFEY: Well, we find young bands, cut off their heads and drink their blood.