A very Thrown Ups Christmas…
In this very special holiday outtake from Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge, Thrown Ups bassist Leighton Beezer tells the story of the grunge improvisers’ last show before their 1991 breakup:
“The Thrown Ups’ last show was my favorite one, because it was so horribly misunderstood. This was ‘90, it was definitely Christmas. It was at the Off Ramp, and Ed [Fotheringham] was the baby Jesus, and the band was the Three Wise Men. I was pretty psyched about it, but to really do it right we needed a star and a manger and all this crap, and it became clear to me as we got closer to the show that none of that was actually happening. I was wondering how Ed was gonna pull that off. So I went to go get him, and we’re talking maybe two hours before the show, and he’s blitzed drunk and he doesn’t really have anything. And I’m like, Dude! But he was a master of the last minute.
“So he goes, ‘Oh, no, no, no, I got it all worked out.’ So we go down to the basement and he starts grabbing sheets—he’s gonna rip a hole in the middle of the sheet, pull it over our heads like a poncho, and that’s our wise men outfit. And then he took butcher paper and wrapped it into little conehead hats. That made us wise men, I guess. For the sheep for the manger scene, he had these sawhorses. He had done some preparation—he’d got giant plastic bags full of cotton balls and he had spray mount. His plan was to spray the sawhorses and then stick the cotton balls on them. He did that to a couple of them, but the cotton balls didn’t really stick, and they certainly didn’t look like sheep, but whatever.
“We got there for the show and Ed was so drunk he couldn’t stand up, so he was really leaning on one of the sheep as a crutch. And then the rest of us were wearing our outfits. I was used to people in the audience looking at us like we’re idiots and leaving. But a lot of people seemed hostile—there seemed to be people stomping out like they were really offended—and afterwards, I asked someone about it: ‘You know, I don’t think I’m too sensitive here, but I sensed some hostility.’ And he goes, ‘Well, maybe you shouldn’t have dressed up like Klansmen! And Ed—he was buttfucking a sheep!’ It’s like, What? Oh, okay, I can see how that came across—that wasn’t actually what we intended.”