I wrote six songs. We’re putting out a single, and the A-side is called ‘Wedding Day.’ I wish I’d written this song when I was 19. It’s somewhere between the Stooges, Cheap Trick and the Beatles… No Joy Division, no Bunnymen references, no Slayer, no Pantera.
Former child actress and diplomat Shirley Temple Black has died at the age of 85. Here she is pictured with her daughter Lori Black, meeting the Beatles. Our sympathies go out to Lori and her family.
Lori was a bassist for the Melvins and dated frontman Buzz Osborne, who recounts his interactions with Shirley in my book Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge:
BUZZ OSBORNE (Melvins singer/guitarist) When I went to San Francisco, I moved directly into Lori’s house. Now, bear in mind, I started going out with her long before I ever knew who her mom was. Months and months later, she said, “My mom is somebody famous.” I was like, “What are you fucking talking about?” It was crazy. I couldn’t believe that her mom was Shirley Temple.
Lori’s dad was Charles Black, who came from oil money, I think. And Shirley is a self-made woman. Shirley’s parents squandered every dime she ever made as a child before she had a chance to spend any of it. She got nothing. Zero. So she’s a pretty tough broad, you know? She’ll rip your head off and eat you for breakfast. She was the ambassador to Czechoslovakia at that point, after being the ambassador to Ghana.
Their house was unbelievable. Lots of stuff from the Hearst collection. Amazing shit—they had really great taste. And there was an Oscar sitting there. Shirley talked about her acting a lot. At one point they had her playing drums, and she had a recording of her playing drums when she was a kid, and she sounded like fucking Buddy Rich. And then she showed us how tap dancing is really just drumming. She tap-danced for us, and she was fucking amazing.
DALE CROVER (Melvins drummer) Shirley was like, “Yeah, my mom made me give away my drum set because it wasn’t ladylike to play drums.” I was like, “Oh, you couldn’t spread your legs with a dress to play drums. I get it.” She was sad about it.
The family was kind of weird and straight and conservative. Proper. I remember we’d line up outside the dining room and all kind of walk in together for some reason. I didn’t really understand it. But they were nice to me.
BUZZ OSBORNE They probably thought that I was some leeching weirdo and that their daughter went out with me just to screw with them. Her dad was never nice to me. Shirley was nice to me to some degree, but they’re very guarded people. I’m sure they thought I was going to write some book or something. And believe me, without going into any graphic details, there are massive skeletons in that closet.
One thing that Shirley said to me was, “Working in the government, you can always get somebody audited.” I took that to heart. They never did anything to me personally, or even threatened me, but they didn’t need to. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. They were über-right-wing. Now, I’m not talking about Rush Limbaugh; I’m talking about the people who make life-and-death decisions. And it’s not necessarily evil; it’s more realistic. Charles was ex-CIA. It’s weirder than you can possibly imagine. I certainly never got the truth.
Since then, everything that’s happened—from Nirvana going crazy and on and on and on—none of that holds a candle to how weird that situation was. That’s David Lynch weird.
Dave Grohl and Electric Light Orchestra’s Jeff Lynne cover “Hey Bulldog” on last night’s CBS special The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles.
I mean, my band’s great – but when you augment it with Nirvana, that’s greater.
Paul McCartney was joined by the surviving members of Nirvana at Safeco Field in Seattle last night. Here’s video of Sirvana playing "Helter Skelter."
A skit from Dave Grohl's week-long guest-hosting gig on Chelsea Lately. Dave’s a charming motherfucker, but the writing here is beyond lazy. A fat Elvis gag? A white Michael Jackson joke? Come on. I did enjoy Chuy’s turn as deadmau5, though.
The collaboration came out of the Sound City film that was produced and directed by Dave. He asked me if I wanted to play with him, Pat and Paul? I said YES! It was a wonderful day—Paul came in with this cigar box guitar and started playing some mean slide on it. He said it was in a ‘D.’ Hearing that, Grunge instincts took over my left hand and I dropped the E on the bass to D. Pat and Dave got into it and the tune took shape. Paul flashed a riff and we picked it up. I busted another one out and everyone picked it up. Things started coming together.
It was so exciting to play with Paul. I became seized with thoughts, for I hadn’t played like that with Pat or Dave since the last Nirvana show in 1994. Wow, it was emotionally and musically heavy! Some other things brought me back; there was a Lefty on guitar who was a heck of a songwriter. Anyway, words can’t really describe it and I returned to the task at hand. A new song was born! And that’s about it. That’s all it is—a new song by some players who have doing it for a while.