Revolting Cocks biography
In the Seventies a great party consisted of inviting some
starlets into a hot tub with some dwarfs. In the Eighties, it
meant a Twister board, some clear vistaline drop cloths and a whole
lot of salad oil. It's 1993, and if you want a great party, invite
the Revolting Cocks. But, for God's sake, hide the pets.
The powers that be at Sire/Reprise Records did and the result is
Linger Ficken' Good And Other Barnyard Oddities, ten tracks of bad
craziness from the same morally bankrupt miscreants behind the
sonic firestorm known as Ministry. But, while Ministry grabs you
by the shirt and demands you to react, the Revolting Cocks grab you
and shoot a urine-filled plastic lapel flower in your eye.
"Look at it this way," offers Al Jourgensen (a.k.a. Hypo Luxa, Buck
Satan), "Ministry is Monday through Friday, RevCo is weekends.
Ministry is roll up your sleeves and get the shit done, while RevCo
The Revolting Cocks story began close to ten years ago when
Jourgensen met two Belgian foreign exchange students, Richard 23
and Luc Van Acker in a Chicago pool hall. The drunken Van Acker
stumbled into Al during the final shot of a $500 pool game.
Surprisingly, Jourgensen made the shot anyway, and the three men
celebrated by trashing the club. The club owner called police and
screamed, " Get out, you revolting cocks!" At that moment, a
concept was born. Their first single, the tantric swirling "No
Devotion," was released on the Chicago-based Wax Trax label and
made the PMRC's Naughty 9 list for its potentially blasphemous
lyrics. Big Sexy Land, the band's first album soon followed,
featuring songs about industrial accidents, soccer fans killing
each other and people who enjoy sitcoms, all wrapped in ominous
bass lines, the accidental pressing of studio buttons and
Van Acker's tourettes-inspired vocals.
Noted international musicologist William Rieflin joined the band in
1985 to assist in the making of their next single, "You Often
Forget," which featured both "malignant" and "benign" versions,
reportedly influenced by the news media's fascination with
Betty Ford's breasts.
The band reached a turning point in 1986 when the trio, sans
Rieflin, went on a promotional tour of Mexico City's black velvet
art museums and bordellos. Upon leaving El Coco Loco, the band
found themselves in the middle of that country's worst earthquake.
A huge chasm opened up in front of their rickshaw-driven Winnebago,
swallowing Richard 23. The band never heard from him again, but he
was spotted a few years later, alive and well, sporting a severe
haircut in Front 242.
Shaken by the tragedy, Al and Luc returned to Belgium in search of
good chocolate and band members. Jourgensen met Chris Connelly on
a train ride through Brussels. Connelly convinced Al that he was
martial arts actor Jean-Claude Van Damme and that it was perfectly
normal for a Belgian man to wear kilts. When they reached their
destination, they ran into Paul Barker, a fine bass player and
disccple of recording svengali G. Reid Hyams. Barker was on the
lam for shooting a man that looked at him funny in a Taco Bell.
The trio pitched him on joining and Paul, figuring that no one
would discover him in a band called the Revolting Cocks, agreed.
It was this line-up that recorded the half-live album, You
Goddamned Son Of A Bitch (the band played in Chicago, while the
applause was recorded in Detroit).
1988 saw the release of their menacing single, "Stainless Steel
Providers." Critics hailed it as "'Born To Be Wild' for the next
generation of cultural terrorists." The salute to American-made
motorcycles involved driving a Harley into the studio's drum
booth and a video showing the band stealing gasoline from an
all-night filling station and dropping a flaming motorcycle off the
roof of a prominent Chicago grocery store. The Cocks' second
album, Beers, Steers And Queers, was released shortly thereafter.
Influenced by a midnight showing of the film Deliverance and a diet
of Jimmy Dean Flapsticks, the band explored such autobiographical
sentiments as " Can't Stand Still," "Razor's Edge" and a savage yet
salvaged version of Olivia Newton-John's "Physical." The band went
out on tour with noted feminist activists The Mentors to the
surprise of absolutely no one.
When the Wax Trax label demanded that the band change its name to
RVLTNG CCKS to keep with the continuity of groups like TGT and
KMFDM, the Cocks deemed the party officially over and found the
Swedish Bikini Team stocking up the Sire fridge with imported beer.
The Cocks, now absorbing Ministry team players Roland Barker,
Mike Scaccia and Louie Svitek, figured that this was much cause for
Linger Ficken' Good And Other Barnyard Oddities is the pinnacle of
scintillating sonics, pounding pressure and the equivalent of a
whoopee cushion filled with battery acid on the President's chair.
"Gila Monster" opens with a taunt from LSD high priest Dr. Timothy
Leary that breaks into a ride on Hell's elevator down to the bottom
floor. "Crackin' Up" was commissioned by ABC news reporter Barbara
Walters for a 20/20 segment on inner city drug use, but was nixed
due to budget constraints. (The kill fee paid for the last two
Ministry tours.) Then there's "Sergio," a track that features
arcing bass drums and the sound of vapor coming off guitars. By
way of explanation, Rieflin intones; "Sergio exists, Sergio has
always existed, Sergio will continue. It's up to the calm,
centered person to find their own inner Sergio.") The violent
"Butcher Flower's Woman" is a cocktail of napalm and cobra venom
where Connelly viciously spells out the title. "The first time I
did it," he recalls, "I belted it out with all this conviction and
I could hardly breathe. Then Roland tapped me on the shoulder and
said quietly, 'Uh, Chris? You spelled 'butcher' wrong.'" The
single is a cover of Rod Stewart's venerable "Do Ya Think I'm
Sexy," that features a booty-movin' groove and special, socially
aware lyrics by Mr. Connelly concerning dental dams and lubricants.
But the real gem here is the title track, a swaggering, bopping
jazz vamp that chugs away while estrogen-dripping female voices
inquire "Who's your favorite cock?" The track features a spry
guitar solo from holy amphibian Duane Denison and a spoken
word character assessment/assassination of the band from the
blacksploitation film star DeWayne Buford. "He's a very nice guy,"
divulges Connelly. " But give him a 40 ounce and his mouth turns
into a sewer."
Despite the time-consuming efforts spent on cleaning the guns of
Ministry, the band are just as determined to see the Cocks flourish
like a child playing catch with his father, even if Junior goes too
far out in the street in the path of a flatbed truck hauling
"If you are a studio musician and your experience of the particular
piece of music takes place within that studio, when the record is
done, your participation is over," illuminates the articulate,
educated Rieflin. "If you can't find a nothing inspirational in
it, then you're a total asshole because you're wasting your life."
Connelly agrees: "I'm happy to say that I've never been so
satisfied with a project I've done. We played together and wrote
together like a real band. That, and the fact that we have no
qualms about inflicting our sense of humor on the public."
While people have used many adjectives to describe the Revolting Co
cks, the most redundant is "industrial," a term used to describe
fishnet clad hermaphrodites with lots of synthesizers and hair dye.
"ZZ Top have been using Fairlights for years," says the redoubtable
Barker. "Does that make them industrial? If people think that,
let them be lazy. If using sequencers and distorted vocals means
industrial...well...I'm sorry, what was the question?"
Where the Cocks' next venture will take them is uncertain: there
were plans to cover the Who's rock opera Tommy in its entirety,
under Connelly's stipulation that "we'll persecute the deaf bastard
the whole way through." Rieflin feels t hat Robert Goulet should
play the deaf, dumb and blind kid while Jourgensen envisions Tommy
played by country singer George Jones "on a lawnmower with a bottle
of corn liquor making right turns for three hours." They will
undertake a brief tour of major cities across the globe featuring a
fifteen-piece, toga-clad horn section and several scantily clad
serving girls peeling grapes while the band eats a buffet supper on
stage in lieu of playing. According to Al, "We're going to
practice our screw-in-the-lightbulb royalty-style hand wave. Plans
are almost finalized for shows in the ruins of Pompeii, as well as
the palace at Versailles.
"This is the greatest rock and roll swindle ever!" proclaims
Jourgensen cheerfully. "We pay people to insult us on records and
we'll eat dinner on stage. I'm sure we'll hear 'you guys are a
sell-out.'...Absolutely, we sell out every weekend. Then we'll
hear morons saying 'They're poseurs cause they don't work on
Linger Ficken' Good And Other Barnyard Oddities. Wet-naps not
Transmitted: 93-09-17 23:15:55 EDT
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