Y'know, I Feel Like I Could Assasinate You By Boredom Or Something. I Need Some Adventure, Some Of That Je Ne Sais Q'uois. I Need Some Fishbone.
I'm not sure if they know it, but Cory White and Monster Zero are directly responsible for fostering my deep love of Fishbone. Confused? Let me explain. Flip your yearbook pages back to 1989. I was a sophomore in high school, playing drums in a Cure cover band called Oed's Cat. One afternoon as we lolled around our rehearsal space, in walked our intrepid lead singer Cory White. Late as usual. Gone was the long blonde hair and paisley shirts we'd grown accustomed to. In their place were black Doc Martens, flat front black pants and a short, angular haircut. After our initial shock subsided, Cory announced we were no longer going to be covering the mopey, English pop we'd slaved so hard to ape over the last 6 months and instead would be playing Ska music. As he popped in The Specials debut album and the intials strains of Nite Klub filled the room, I knew right then and there I was hooked. Hearing that album led me to The English Beat, Madness, early Bob Marley, and Toots & The Maytals. But it wasn't until later on that year, summer to be exact, that I heard Fishbone. My friends and I were a pretty lucky lot; growing up in Southern California, ocean at your doorstep, sunshine almost year round. We also had access to a house band of sorts; several seniors who played together under the Monster Zero moniker. With a setlist comprised of Primus, Madness, and a host of their own ska inspired originals, MZ turned our young ears onto bands that to this day still see regular rotation on my stereo. Especially Fishbone. With their version of Ma & Pa still ringing in my ears, I made the trek to my local record store and began to devour their back catlogue. Armed with an explosive mix of ska, reggae, rock, and punk Fishbone managed to alter the musical landscape of a young, pasty red head who thought the sun rose and set to the strains of New Wave. I got to meet Fishbone years later when I was DJ'ing in college. They palyed a show at the bar I was spinning in and I recounted the story about Cory and his overnight transformation to lead singer/sax player Angelo Moore. We shared a laugh and a beer over it and even though I considered myself a huge fan of the band, I couldn't help but feel like Cory and the members of MZ would have appreciated the moment much more than I did. For your listening (dis)pleasure:
Fishbone: Ugly (highly rec'd!!)
Fishbone: Ma & Pa (highly rec'd!!)
Fishbone: Everyday Sunshine
Fishbone: Fishy Swa Ska (highly rec'd!!)
Fishbone: Love And Bullshit
Fishbone: It's A Wonderful Life (We Gonna Have A Good Time)