Revolting Cocks' Bill Rieflin

Today is the 38th birthday of Bill Rieflin, drummer for Revolting Cocks, a group of

industrial-dance musicians who get together from time to time to record and tour.

Revolting Cocks formed in Chicago in the mid-'80s. At first, the Cocks included Ministry's

Al Jourgensen, producer/musician Luc Van Acker and Richard 23 of the avant-garde

dance act Front 242. The three met in a pool hall.

The Cocks' first single, "No Devotion," made the Parents Music Resource Center's

"Naughty 9" list because of its "blasphemy." British Home Secretary Douglas Hurd tried

to prevent the Cocks from entering his country by refusing them work permits.

Revolting Cocks' debut album, 1986's Big Sexy Land (Wax Trax!), featured tracks

with synthesized club-beats, such as "We Shall Cleanse the World" and the title cut.

"Attack on Fire" was a big club-hit. Many of the tracks included profanity, adding to the

controversy surrounding the Cocks.

After Richard 23's departure, Revolting Cocks settled on a lineup that would play the

core of the music on their albums for years: Jourgensen, Van Acker, singer/guitarist Chris

Connelly (formerly of Fini Tribe) and Rieflin. This ensemble produced a hybrid of guitar

noise, samples, synths and dance rhythms. While the Cocks' music is frequently

extreme, industrial noise with a dab of progressive rock, the band's lyrics are filled with

silly references to pop culture. The Cocks' next single, "You Often Forget," came in

"malignant" and "benign" versions, in reference to media coverage of the status of the

lumps on former first lady Betty Ford's breasts.

You Goddamned Son Of A Bitch (1988) captured a 1987 Chicago show during

which the Cocks played their loudest, most distorted music. Revolting Cocks' live act

attracted a major following among dance-music enthusiasts.

The Cocks' next studio album, Beers, Steers + Queers (1989), highlighted an

effective combination of grunge-guitars and heavy-dance rhythms and outsold their first

two efforts. The title track, which included dialogue taken from the homosexual scenes in

the movie "Deliverance," was a weird mix of country and hip-hop, while "Get Down"

featured a frantic guitar-solo. The LP also included a cover of Olivia Newton-John's big

hit "Physical," which was comprised of a loop of someone screaming the title.

Linger Ficken' Good ... and Other Barnyard Oddities (1993) was the Cocks' first

album on a major label (Sire/Reprise) and was more sample-heavy than its predecessor.

Standout cuts included the jazzy title track and a heavier-than-the-original cover of Rod

Stewart's disco hit "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?"

Other musicians who have recorded with the loosely structured Revolting Cocks include

Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor and Skinny Puppy's Ogre. Women who have appeared on

the group's albums, including Kim Assaley and Patty J, have been labeled the "Revolting

Pussies."

Although there was no official announcement of a Cocks breakup, Jourgensen

increasingly focused on his work with Ministry. But speaking of the Cocks in 1995, he

said, "[Revolting Cocks] ran out of beer at the party."

Rieflin played on Connelly's solo albums Whiplash Boychild (1991) and

Shipwreck (1994). Rieflin was also part of Pigface on their 1990 releases,

Spoon Breakfast and Gub. In addition, he played with Ministry, most

notably on their 1988 The Land of Rape and Honey, and with Ruby on their

Salt Peter (1996).

Other birthdays: Dewey Martin (Buffalo Springfield), 56; Marilyn McCoo (Fifth

Dimension), 55; Sylvia Peterson (Chiffons), 52; Basia Tretrzelewska, 42; Dave Betts

(Honeymoon Suite), 41; Frankie Lymon, 1942-1968; and Marc Bolan (T. Rex),

1948-1977.