Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Jun 24th 2010 3:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
"I would say I had at least a passing acquaintance to pretty good friendship with just about everybody I talked to in this book, just because [the Turks] were a band for 13 years, touring all over the f---ing world," Davidson tells Spinner. "I met these bands. I hung out with them. Some of them were nice to me; some of them weren't. But I think when I sent out that initial invite e-mail -- 'I'm going to write a book. Do you want to do an interview?' -- except one person, everybody said yes."
Davidson chatted up dozens of fellow '90s travelers, including such luminaries as clang-bang Motor City minimalists the Gories, outspoken Dwarves auteur Blag Jesus, Pussy Galore and Blues Explosion frontman Jon Spencer and dapper Swedes the Hives. He also checked in with Crypt Records head Tim Warren, Sympathy for the Record Industry founder Long Gone John and In the Red Records boss Larry Hardy -- men whose labels were cornerstones of what Davidson terms the "gunk punk" movement.
"I think they knew me just enough to know, 'Hey, worst comes to worst, I can go bag on his f---ing band on some website if I want to,'" Davidson says, explaining his ability to score interviews with the book's many colorful characters. "They knew I wasn't out to tell people, 'Oh, now that you're married, I'm going to say all the girls you f---ed. I wasn't trying to do that. Maybe there could have been more sex in the book, to be quite honest, but people have kids now."
What 'We Never Learn' lacks in sex, it makes up for in rock 'n' roll. Davidson, who's written pieces for the Village Voice and Alternative Press, among others, trains his critical microscope on gunk's myriad mutant strains, celebrating the sleazy '50s revivalism of the Devil Dogs and Raunch Hands, the sugar-sweet wallop of the Muffs and the fuzz-bomb assault of Japan's Teengenerate, to name a few.
"One friend of mine said, 'Is this book Eric Davidson's favorite bands?'" Davidson says. "It kind of is, but I also tried to add in stuff maybe I felt was important that wasn't a big deal to me, and I tried to take out stuff that was a big deal to me but clearly wasn't important as the years have gone on."
"The first 50 bands were pretty easy to pick, but then I sent a list of bands I thought I should cover to people I thought were kind of cool-ass motherf---ers and had them say, 'Out of these, who do you think should get cut out of the list?'" he adds. "So I tried to get input from people who knew their s---, too."