You Say It's Your Birthday: Faith No More/Mr. Bungle's Mike Patton

Birthday boy Patton scene here with members of Faith No More.

Today is the birthday of Mike Patton, who does dual duty

as vocalist for Faith No More and Mr. Bungle; he was born in 1968 in

Eureka, California. While Patton wasn't the original vocalist for Faith No

More, his rude mouth, quirky vocals and on-stage antics have earned the band

more attention than they ever bargained for.

Formed by bassist Billy Gould

and keyboardist Roddy Bottum, Faith No More began as a San Francisco-based

outfit with drummer Mike Bordin and guitarist Jim Martin, who had been playing

in a band with the then-future Metallica bassist Cliff Burton (who died in a

car crash while touring Europe in Metallica). During club gigs Faith No More

allowed volunteers to sing with the band; although one of these was often Hole

vocalist Courtney Love, the most avid was Chuck Mosely, who was eventually

hired to front the band.

The group's indie single, "We Care A Lot," earned

them a record deal, and they released an album of the same name in 1985,

followed by Introduce Yourself in 1987. However, Mosely was booted for

"unpredictable behavior," and Patton, who had been working with Mr. Bungle in

Northern California, was quickly hired to replace him.

Not that Patton

wasn't guilty of unpredictable behavior. But he fit well with the band's

rock-thrash sound, adding a funk element which launched the group into MTV

success. He recorded The Real Thing with them, which was released in

1990 and included hits like "Epic" and "From Out Of Nowhere."

In 1991

Patton worked with Mr. Bungle, then returned to Faith No More for 1992's

brilliant Angel Dust. Martin left the group in 1994; while Trey Spruance

from Mr. Bungle recorded guitars for their 1995 album King For A Day, Fool

For A Lifetime, Dean Menta officially took Martin's place.

Patton

switched back to Mr. Bungle to make Disco Volante in 1996. In the midst

of recording a new Faith No More album, Bordin took a job playing drums on Ozzy

Osbourne's tour last spring, but the band managed to finish the album without

him. Currently being mixed, that album will be released by the summer. Other

birthdays: Margot Timmins (Cowboy Junkies), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), Nedra

Talley (Ronettes), Seth Justman (J.Geils Band), Brian Downey (Thin Lizzy),

Gillian Gilbert (New Order), prodigy and composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,

ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and the late Ross Bagdasarian, voice of Alvin

& The Chipmunks. -- Beth Winegarner