March 7th, 2012

Everybody Loves Our Outtakes, horrifying kitchen accident edition: How Babes in Toyland’s Maureen Herman got her first bass

In the lead-up to next week’s release of the trade paperback edition of Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge (out March 13; order info here), I’ll be sharing some of the book’s better outtakes for my faithful blog readers. I love the following story from Babes in Toyland bassist Maureen Herman (she’s the middle one in the photo), but there wasn’t a place for it in the book. For the record, Maureen said her brother recovered enough to play again:

MAUREEN HERMAN (Babes in Toyland bassist) My brother played bass in garage bands when he was in high school and he had this cheap Fender P Bass copy. He was working at a restaurant and making pasta in the morning before the restaurant opened. He was in the basement, and something happened with the pasta machine. He got his hand stuck in it, and it just keeps moving your hand forward and flattening it like 
fettuccine. It has an emergency stop, but it doesn’t have a rewind, and one of the guys upstairs was vacuuming so he couldn’t hear my brother screaming. (Laughs.) It’s kind of this horrible, funny story. So by the time the guy heard my brother, his hand was all mangled and someone had to come and dismantle the fucking machine.

At that time, he knew I was screwing around with music and he very begrudgingly gave me his bass, like, “Here.” He was all bummed he couldn’t play anymore, and for him to see me go from fucking around on the guitar to joining BabesI don’t think he ever came and saw us, actually. He wasn’t mad, but I think it was hard for him to watch me take off on the bass so quickly.

Previously: Everybody Loves Our Outtakes, drunken horseplay edition: Tripping Kurt Cobain at Reading ‘92

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Official Tumblr for Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge, a Time magazine book of the year. (Now in paperback; purchase info here.) The blog is run by the author, freelance writer/editor Mark Yarm; he is of no relation to Mark Arm of Mudhoney.