Hot Water Music – Retrospective Vol. 4

Posted in Spotlight by unartignyc on 2009/10/07

The fourth and final edition of our Hot Water Music retrospective concentrates on the European tour in 2001 with Leatherface and on the reunion shows in 2008. It features blurbs by Scott Stimac of Wallside, Andrew Lainey of Leatherface and David Lee Burdon of Leatherface/Former Cell Mates.

You will probably notice that some of the 2001 footage is of sub par quality. Halfway through the Wiesbaden set I wrecked my Sony VX1. Fumbling around onstage with the camera like an idiot, the monopod to which it was attached came apart and sent the camera flying into Wollard’s guitar. Unfortunately, I was way too wasted to realize what was going on. Seconds later camera parts were being handed to me, and it just wouldn’t stop. It felt like a Twilight Zone. “Hey, here’s your view finder, oh and the lens.” Well, to cut a long story short, HWM in Wiesbaden was the last show I ever shot on the VX1. The remainder of the tour had to be captured with prehistoric equipment, namely an old Canon UC1 Hi8 with terrible audio. Another episode to be added to an out of control tour…

Looking back, 2001 was a major juncture in my life, and wrecking the VX1 had little to do with it. Being on the road throughout the summer and experiencing every imaginable rock and roll cliché to an extent most would file under “heavy adult content”, culminated in a distinct feeling of something having peaked. Think ‘mountain top’ and where to go from there. Even though this was more of a subconscious affair, somehow I knew that from here on forward everything would feel like a rerun of your favorite TV show, like a great movie being aired over and over again during Christmas. As incredible and as mind blowing of a ride as it was, I couldn’t do it any longer. Communicating this state of ‘turmoil’ properly to friends and acquaintances alike was a challenge I have probably failed miserably. And I have little doubt that it left a few stains on friendships, maybe even some beyond repair. One thing though should always be understood. No matter how much I personally might value a certain record over another or how much I am willing to throw myself into this exhausting beast called “being on the road”, I will always feel nothing but love for the four individuals that are Hot Water Music.
Torsten | (((unartig))) – October 2009

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[Scott Stimac | Wallside]
Is there any doubt that Chris, Chuck, George and Jason were born into this world to become Hot Water Music? Watching the footage from this show that Torsten bravely ventured into the third world conditions known as New Jersey, USA to capture will tell you all you need to know. Every so often a band comes around that is simply destined to be and thankfully these gentlemen worked their asses off to share it with the world. From the 90’s DIY circuit to eventually headlining shows in front of thousands, perhaps the most incredible thing about them is they never really changed. I’m not sure the impact they made on the lives of their friends and fans could ever be properly put into words. They sang of community, following your heart and positivity and more importantly – they fucking lived it and continue to do so. Always the gracious hosts, they have always been quick to offer a beer, a shot or a drag off Wollard’s pipe. Whether you were at their home, in the back of their van or backstage at one of the world’s countless rock clubs they blew the doors off. We stayed with Chuck while on a mostly ill-fated tour in 1997 and he fed us three times in less than 24 hours, he must have given us every bit of food in his house (there were 8 of us on the tour). And goddamn if he wasn’t overjoyed to do that for us. As I recall, when I woke up on his floor he was already awake and in the kitchen making hummus to take with us for the day’s drive.

Every time they put out a new record, it was better than the last and by the end of their “official” career, they had become some of the finest tune-smiths that punk rock has ever seen. I believe this show in 2008 was the 31st time I was lucky enough to witness HWM. They never disappointed and rightfully earned a reputation for being one of the best live bands you were ever going to see. And when they reconnected to play these shows, it wasn’t the same old “going through the motions” bullshit that usually comes with “gettin’ the band back together”. I mean, look at their faces – you can see the love and respect they have for each other and for the music and for the people who love HWM.

Thank you Jason, George, Chris and Chuck for all the great songs, great times (and wicked hangovers) and incredible shows. You know I’ll be there anytime I’m in the same town where you’re getting on a stage.
Scott Stimac | Brooklyn, NY – October, 2009

[David Lee Burdon | Leatherface]
In 2001 I was 24, 6ft tall and just under 12 stone, I’d been playing bass in Leatherface since late 98, met Hot Water Music in 99 and since then things have gone down hill…

What sits in front of this greasy keyboard in 2009 is a 32 year old, standing at just under six foot and 15 stone, I’m a regular drinker and I miss the good old days. We can all sit and speculate and theorise as to what social circumstances and mental turmoil would create a man like me but I can sum it up in one sentence…

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…Two months on the road with Hot Water Music!

We were already solid friends by 2001, been on tour together and met up in various cities around the world too many times to mention, so the first day of the 2001 Hot Water Music / Leatherface Euro tour was like a gang of neighbors just meeting in the bar – and staying there for two fuckin’ months! Thus beginning my downward spiral…

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…And the beginning of the tour routine of drinking, talking, arguing, embracing, learning, wearing your heart on your sleeve and jumping head first into something you truly love and believe in, the earnest and sincere manner in which they spoke to strangers and brothers alike, the smoking, the trusting, the accepting and the drinkin’… My goodness, the drinking!

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I truly believe an experience as rich and rewarding as this may happen to a person maybe once in a lifetime, it happened to me every time Leatherface played with Hot Water Music and for that I’m truly blessed. Talk about a flight and a crash … I’m still pickin’ up the pieces.
David Lee Burdon | October 2009

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[Andrew Lainey | Leatherface]
Hot Water Music are a great set of lads. The first time I met them I was left stunned. It was the first gig of the tour and they were late. I was standing outside when a red van with a trailer pulled up, I walked up, stuck my head in the window and shouted “What time do you fuckin’ call this you bunch of useless cunts?” They looked a bit nervous and that was the start of a great friendship. To this day I can say that Hot Water Music are one of the best bands I’ve seen live and a great band to tour with.
Andrew Lainey | October 2009

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Volume 1: Europe 1998 & 1999 w/Liner Notes by Daniel of Lay Screaming
Volume 2: Europe 2000 w/Liner Notes by Nagel of Muff Potter
Volume 3: US 2000 & Europe 2001 w/Liner Notes by Walter Schreifels of Quicksand and Gorilla Biscuits

One Response

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  1. 1h05 said, on 2009/10/17 at 11:39

    Spitze, danke. You went on tour with them? I saw the show in Berlin, it was great…

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