Anderson, Walkmen, Buttholes and How!

Album: Metaphysical Graffiti (1990)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Anderson, Walkmen, Buttholes and How!" was penned by Milkmen keyboard player Rodney Linderman as a way to poke fun at the supergroup Anderson, Wakemen, Bruford and Howe - all ex-members of the band Yes (since the only thing more pretentious than progressive rock is a progressive rock supergroup). The song displays the irreverent and comic style typical of The Dead Milkmen, riffing on the supergroup's unimpressive sound compared to their work as Yes.
  • The song, at only 12-lines long, is extremely short, a trademark for the band's punchy punk-rock style. The first verse pokes fun at the over-the-top imagery that appears in much of Yes' work; the second mocks the uninspiring sound of the reunited musicians' supergroup; and the final lines boast that The Dead Milkmen are far more progressive than Yes ever was.
  • The song features a guest vocalist: Gibby Haynes of The Butthole Surfers, accounting for the "butthole" pun in the title. Haynes was recruited to sing on the track by the band's producer after he noted that the song had a similar sound to The Butthole Surfers.

    According to Joe Genaro of The Dead Milkmen, Gibby Haynes coincidentally showed up to record his vocals (not knowing the title of the song) wearing an "Anderson, Wakeman, Bruford and Howe" shirt.
  • The song appears on Metaphysical Graffiti, the Milkmen's fifth record. Both the name and cover satirize the Led Zeppelin album Physical Graffiti. Metaphysical Graffiti features a number of songs that eschew the band's trademark comic style for attempts at more straightforward punk, which led to the alienation of some fans. Additionally, Joe Genaro sang the majority of the songs, a departure from previous releases where Rodney Linderman was typically the lead singer. The album was ultimately a commercial disappointment and resulted in the band being dropped by their label, Restless Records.

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