The many-years-my-senior chef at the restaurant I used to work at asked me one night if I knew who The Flying Luttenbachers were. I replied that I did indeed, and that I had, in fact, seen them the night before. He immediately grew upset. "Why didn't you tell me about it?" he whined.
I don't remember why, exactly, I didn't tell him. I think part of it was an assumption that people had no interest in that sort of thing. By sort of thing, I mean Weasel Walter — the brains of the outfit, wearing a militaristic uniform, complete with a pair of S.S. pants and aviator sunglasses, pummeling on a tiny, cheap-looking drum kit, erstwhile leading a rag-tag crew of guitar shredders. I also didn't want to be hanging out with someone many years my senior, lest people get the wrong idea. I told the chef that the show sucked anyhow.
I went to the show with Phil, a peer of mine — a friend — and I had an absolute blast. After the show, I told Phil that I thought the show sucked, apologetic that he had spent $5 he ordinarily wouldn't have, especially on a bunch of brash, almost prog-rock, brak-noise. Phil loved the show and said he thought it was awesome people would do such a thing. I wasn't going to take my words back, you know, be a liar, so I just maintained that the show "sucked."
Anyway, though I had seen The Flying Luttenbachers before and knew what I was in for, I didn't know that Weasel Walter was so accomplished, a jack-of-all-trades.
In addition to high B.P.M. on the drums, Weasel is a bass clarinetist, guitarist, saxophonist, bassist, mellotronist, electronics wizard (knob-twiddler), and all-around wanker. He also has a reputation that precedes him, in the most endearing way -- and heads up To Live and Shave in L.A. 2, To Live and Shave in L.A.'s splinter group with Misty Martinez, Nandor Nevai, and Rat Bastard.
Fans of noise, free jazz, no wave, and experimental music would be well-informed to know of Weasel Walter's new CD Early Recordings: 1988-1991 out on Lyon, France's Savageland Records. The album is a collection of pre-The Flying Luttenbachers mayhem, showcasing all of Walter's instrumental talents.
What's more, Walter Weasel will be screeching in Oakland and San Fancisco on select dates with select musicians in myriad improvised forms:
06.16.07 - Oakland, CA - 21 Grand
●The Bangs: Jacob Lindsay (Clarinets), Ava Mendoza (Guitar), Damon Smith (7-String Ergo Bass), Weasel Walter (Percussion)
●Jacob Lindsay conducts an ensemble including Kristian Aspelin (Guitar), Matt Davignon (turntable), Phillip Greenlief (reeds), Scott R. Looney (electronics), Ava Mendoza (guitar), Kinoko Nishi (koto), David Slusser (winds), Damon Smith, (double bass), Weasel Walter (Percussion)
06.24.07 - San Francisco, CA - Musicians Union Hall
● Kristian Aspelin Group: Weasel Walter (drums), Kristian Aspelin (guitar), Scott R. Looney (electronics), Damon Smith (bass)
06.26.07 - Oakland, CA - 21 Grand
●Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly!
●Weasel Walter Clarinet Choir: Weasel Walter (percussion, clarinets), Jacob Lindsay (clarinets), Aram Shelton (bass clarinet), Damon Smith (cello), Alan Anzalone (alto clarinet), David Slusser (bass clarinet, sluss-o-matic)
●Scott Amendola/Matthias Bossi Duo
06.27.07 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
●Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly! Fly!
●Weasel Walter Quartet
●Wendy Atkinson (solo bass guitar)
06.30.07 - Oakland, CA - 21 Grand
Lou Harrison Tribute Concert featuring:
●Weasel Walter's Cellular Chaos (WW on guitar, William Winant, Mark E. Miller, Damon Smith)
●William Winant and percussionists performing on the instruments designed and built by Lou Harrison and William Colvig.
●f.u.b.a.r. 1 (John Hanes, M.E. Miller and Henry Kaiser) Film backdrop provided by Heike Liss
07.05.07 - San Francisco, CA - Hemlock Tavern
●William Hooker (with Damon Smith and Oluyemi Thomas)
●Weasel Walter, Aram Shelton, Liz Allbee Trio
07.17.07 - Oakland, CA - 21 Grand
●Ahleuchatistas (Cuneiform Records)
●Weasel Walter Ensemble