Butthole Surfers (EP)

Butthole Surfers (EP)

:"Brown Reason to Live" "and" "Pee Pee the Sailor" "redirect here."

Infobox Album
Name = Butthole Surfers
Type = ep
Artist = Butthole Surfers

Released = July 1983
Recorded = 1982-1983
San Antonio, Texas
Genre = Punk
Length = 18:36
Label = Alternative Tentacles
Producer = Butthole Surfers
Mike Taylor
Reviews =
* Allmusic Rating|3|5 [http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:m9q8b5f4tsqh link]
* Robert Christgau (A-) [http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?id=1392&name=The+Butthole+Surfers link]
Last album =
This album = "Butthole Surfers"
Next album = "Live PCPPEP"
Misc = Extra album cover 2
Upper caption = Back cover
Type = LP

Extra album cover 2
Upper caption = Alternate cover
Type = LP

Lower caption = Later editions of Alternative Tentacles' 12-inch vinyl version of the Butthole Surfers' debut EP include the words "Brown Reason to Live" on the cover.

"Butthole Surfers" is the debut studio EP by American punk band Butthole Surfers, released in July 1983. It is also known as "Brown Reason to Live" and "Pee Pee the Sailor" (see "Title controversy"). All songs were written and produced by the Butthole Surfers.

The album was originally released on Alternative Tentacles. "Butthole Surfers" and 1984's "Live PCPPEP" were reissued as the "Butthole Surfers/Live PCPPEP" CD on Latino Buggerveil in 2003. The 12-inch vinyl version is still available from Alternative Tentacles, and is listed as "Brown Reason to Live".

The center label on "Butthole Surfers"' vinyl printings invites listeners to erroneously play the record at "69 RPM," a joke referencing the famous sex position. The album's back cover features a mildly distorted image of famed Mexican luchador Santo.


The Surfers introduced themselves to the world with seven songs full of throbbing bass, crashing drums, and heavily distorted guitar topped off with largely nonsensical, barely intelligible lyrics, alternately sung by lead vocalist Gibby Haynes and guitarist Paul Leary. Haynes also plays saxophone on some tracks. Unlike later Surfers albums, no electronic instrumentation is present.

Some songs, such as "The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave" and "Suicide," appear to be either mockeries of, or sloppy attempts to mimic, the hardcore style of music that was rising in popularity amongst then-contemporary American punk fans. "The Revenge of Anus Presley" is likely a Black Flag and Henry Rollins parody. Others, including "Hey" and "Bar-B-Q Pope," are better indicators of the psychedelic direction the band would take on future albums.

Having parted ways with their original drummer, Scott Matthews, shortly before entering the studio, the Surfers used a number of different percussionists on this album. The last of them, King Coffey, is still with the band to this day. Bassist Bill Jolly was also a relatively new addition, joining after original bass player Quinn Matthews quit at the same time as his brother, Scott. [Michael Azerrad, "" (New York, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2001) 279] Jolly would also play on the Surfers' first official live release, "Live PCPPEP", and their first full-length album, "Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac".

Most of this album is often included in the band's live performances, including "The Shah Sleeps...," "Hey," "Something," "Bar-B-Q Pope," and "Suicide."

"The Shah Sleeps..." and "Bar-B-Q Pope" are the two songs that are aviable as a download on the MP3 section onthe Butthole Surfers official website.

Title controversy

Though this EP is also known as "Brown Reason to Live" and "Pee Pee the Sailor", "Butthole Surfers" is its official title. First, "Butthole Surfers" were the only words to appear on the front cover of its original release. Furthermore, Latino Buggerveil's 2003 reissue of the EP, together with 1984's "Live PCPPEP" on a single CD, is titled "Butthole Surfers/Live PCPPEP". Perhaps most importantly, it is listed as "Butthole Surfers" in the "Discography" section of the band's official website. [ [http://www.buttholesurfers.com/disco.html Discography page] at the Butthole Surfers' [http://www.buttholesurfers.com/ official website] ]

That said, "Brown Reason to Live" has a strong claim to title rights, and many fans refer to it by that name. The 12-inch vinyl edition was, and still is, sold as "Brown Reason to Live" through original label Alternative Tentacles, but it is unclear if it was initially released as such. Also, though the words "Brown Reason to Live" did not appear on the original album's packaging, they were included below the band's name on later Alternative Tentacles printings (see image). [ [http://www.alternativetentacles.com/product.php?product=37&sd=kFxYpAQFC4bplLNEscG "Brown Reason to Live" page] , online store, [http://www.alternativetentacles.com/ Alternative Tentacles website] ] Finally, Latino Buggerveil's reissue of this album is listed as "Brown Reason to Live" (together with "Live PCPPEP") on iTunes.

As for "Pee Pee the Sailor", the album has never been officially released or marketed under that name. That title is derived from Alternative Tentacles' vinyl editions, which include a cartoon of a Popeye-esque character with buttocks for a face printed on the record's center label, and the words "Pee Pee the Sailor" written next to it. This cartoon is in addition to the label's humorous suggestion that listeners play the record at 69 RPM.


The sessions for "Butthole Surfers" were made possible by an earlier Surfers concert at Los Angeles, California's Whisky a Go Go, where they had opened for the Dead Kennedys and T.S.O.L. The band gained an early admirer in Kennedys lead vocalist Jello Biafra, who also ran the Kennedys' Alternative Tentacles record label. Biafra told the band that, if they got someone to loan them studio time, Alternative Tentacles would reimburse the studio once the album was complete.

According to guitarist Paul Leary, the band then talked Bob O'Neill, owner of San Antonio, Texas' BOSS Studios, (a.k.a. Bob O'Neill's Sound Studio, a.k.a. the Boss), into loaning them the required time. [Michael Azerrad, "" (New York, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 2001) 279] Joe Pugliese, a San Antonio music promoter, recalled that lead singer Gibby Haynes slept at the studio during these sessions. Mike Taylor, an engineer at BOSS Studios, assisted with the EP's production. Taylor would later record and assemble the contents of 1984's "Live PCPPEP". [ [http://ngro_obsrvr.tripod.com/articles/feedfish.html Joe Nick Patoski and John Morthland, "Feeding the Fish: An Oral History of the Butthole Surfers," "Spin Magazine", 1996] , archived at Butthole Surfers fan website, [http://ngro_obsrvr.tripod.com/ Negro Observer] ]

Track listing

All songs written and produced by the Butthole Surfers.

ide 1

# "The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave" - 2:09
# "Hey" - 2:06
# "Something" - 4:36

ide 2

# "Bar-B-Q Pope" - 3:36
# "Wichita Cathedral" - 2:22
# "Suicide" - 1:24
# "The Revenge of Anus Presley" - 2:25


* Gibby Haynes - lead vocals ("Hey," "Wichita Cathedral," and "Suicide"), saxophone
* Paul Leary - guitar, lead vocals ("The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave," "Something," and "Bar-B-Q Pope")
* Bill Jolly - bass
* King Coffey - drums ("Bar-B-Q Pope" and "Wichita Cathedral")
* Brad Perkins - drums on "The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave" and "The Revenge of Anus Presley" [ [http://www.jasonramke.com/bhs/show.php?era=80&year=1983&id=27 07/xx/1983 ‘A Brown Reason to Live’ released, archived at Butthole Surfers fan website "The Anal Obsession"] ]
* Keith Rumbo - lead vocals on "The Revenge of Anus Presley" [ [http://www.jasonramke.com/bhs/show.php?era=80&year=1983&id=27 07/xx/1983 ‘A Brown Reason to Live’ released, archived at Butthole Surfers fan website "The Anal Obsession"] ]
* Various musicians - drums (all other tracks)


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