General Notes: Green River had four proper tours:
Those tours are accounted for and have separate notes for the tours as a whole. Aside from those tours, Green River didn't play any further away from Seattle than Portland or Vancouver, Canada. Most of their Seattle-area shows are probably accounted for below. Some shows are known, but with no information as to the date. They're listed at the bottom, and they all occurred between 7/28/84 and 8/21/87.
- Fall, 1985 from Seattle to the East Coast
- Fall, 1986 on the West Coast
- Spring, 1987 in the Northwest
- Fall, 1987 on the West Coast
They played several originals live that were never released on record at the time, like 'Leech,' '33 RPM,' 'Personality Meltdown,' 'Against the Grain,' and 'Bleeding Sheep.' Those songs have since been released on various records. They're also known to have performed several covers live, though show dates for them aren't known. They played Aerosmith's 'Nobody's Fault' (once or twice), and The New York Dolls' 'Vietnamese Baby.'
When it comes to the billing advertised on posters, that can be misleading. Mark: "A lot of times bands would make fliers, and they'd put themselves up top even though the billing was totally different."
There are a decent number of shows where no date is known, or notes for a show that aren't paired with a show. These are found on the Green River Mysteries page.
7/28/84 (118 12th Ave). Seattle, WA (50 min)
Supporting: Positive Metal Attitude
Set: (Jam), Baby Help Me Forget, New God, 10000 Things, Leech, (Barbara Ann), Personality Meltdown, (unknown), 33 RPM, Against the Grain, Tunnel of Love
Notes: This is Green River's first public performance, at a private party on First Hill's 12th Ave and Yesler St. It's just four guys for this one - Stone was already in the band but didn't think himself ready to perform. Though, he did loan Jeff his Marshall ampilifier for the gig. PMA lived out of a storefront on the corner and put on shows there. As they're playing the an introductory jam, Mark takes a few minutes to address the crowd, thanking PMA for letting them open, thanking the crowd for coming out, and directing them to where they can find the beer. After "Leech," while everyone is re-tuning, Steve sings a snippet of the Beach Boy's 'Barbara Ann.' 'Tunnel of Love' is introduced by Mark as "a short, little operatic piece called '2112.'" The unknown song is a Green River original, the title of which has been lost to time.
Mark:The very first show we played was at a storefront at 12th and Yesler in the Central District. Some friends of ours had this sort of a psychedelic Velvet Underground/Dream Syndicate kind of band called PMA, and they had a party at their place. They actually lived in this storefront ... There were maybe like 20, 30 people or something, and the show was a lot of fun; really positive, really great...Stone was already in the band when we played our first show (without him). He didn't play because he didn't feel like he knew the songs well enough.Mark again:The very first show we played was at a storefront at 12th and Yesler in the (Seattle) Central District. Some friends of ours had this sort of a psychedelic Velvet Underground/Dream Syndicate kind of band called PMA, and they had a party at their place. They actually lived in this storefront.Mark in Grunge is Dead:Jeff was on a really big KISS kick, so at the first show, Jeff shows up with white makeup. I remember Steve and I going, 'That's weird - where did that come from?' [Laughs.] I vaguely recalled Jeff talking about the possibility of makeup, but I thought he was joking. I'm sure the fact that Landrew from Malfunkshun wore white face paint played into Jeff's decision.Steve:The first show we did, Jeff showed up in full whiteface, with no warning to any of us. Which is hilarious! It was Landrew [Andrew Wood] style, white pancake makeup.Mark in in Everybody Loves Our Town:The very first show we played was at a party in a storefront-slash-house that a friend of mine was living at with his band called PMA. Before the show, Jeff was joking around a little at practice like, 'Maybe I'll put on some whiteface.' Landrew from Malfunkshun was doing that regularly. I was like, 'Yeah, that'd be funny,' and he showed up at the show with complete whiteface on. 'Wow, okay, I guess he wasn't kidding.' But that only happened once.Steve in Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle:
Stone Gossard had joined the band before that show, but he didn't feel comfortable enough to play it. Stone got on board through Steve and Alex - they all went to high school together. Steve and Alex were the kids that went to punk-rock shows, and Stone hung out with kids that went to metal shows more. But somewhere in there, the scenes converged a little.Stone wanted everything to be perfect with everything he was playing. So he was practicing his solos and he just didn't feel he was ready yet.Leighton Beezer of the Thrown Ups in Grunge is Dead:I remember going to their first show - August of 1984 - there were probably 40 people there. I later told people I was blown to the back of the room - I really could not believe what I was seeing.Chris Cornell in an interview for the Jimmy Fallon show:Probably the first time I met [Stone and Jeff] had something to do with Green River, because they were both in that band. I actually saw the first Green River show ever. That was Jeff; Stone wasn't in the band yet.
8/11/84 The Grey Door. Seattle, WA
Supported By: The Melvins, 'R' Gang, False Liberty
Notes: This is Stone's first show with the band, and the band's second show. Jeff designed the show poster. Duff McKagan, who went on to play bass in Guns N Roses, played drums for 'R' Gang.
Mark:I can remember the second show too, which was the exact opposite (of the first show)! For some reason, nothing gelled, and I remember thinking, 'Maybe this whole singing in a band thing isn't what I should be doing...'Jeff in Grunge is Dead:Green River played maybe our third show with the Melvins, at the Grey Door. I remember seeing Krist Novoselic - I think he was driving the van and helping out with their guitars, I'd never seen somebody helping out a punk rock band, sort of teching. ... I remember playing Buzz's Les Paul, and it hardly had any frets on it - the frets were super-low. And I was like, 'Wow, this guitar is the easiest guitar I've ever played.' A frickin' killer band.Chris Friel (who was in Shadow with Mike McCready - who would later play in Pearl Jam with Stone and Jeff):I was pretty blown away. I was the only Green River fan in Shadow. I told the rest about the gig, and they all started laughing.Poster
8/24/84 The Lincoln Arts Center. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Fang, House of Commons
Supported By: DSML, The Fags
Set: Baby Help Me Forget, 33 RPM, New God (set incomplete)
Notes: Mark stage dives while singing '33 RPM' and makes it back on stage without missing a word. The Lincoln Arts Center was located at 66 Bell St.
Mark:That Lincoln Art Center show with Fang, I don't think there were five bands on the bill. It was probably just Fang, us, and DSML. As far as I know, we never played with The Fags, and I have no idea who House of Commons is.Alex:We played the show with Fang and Tom [Flynn], their guitar player, thought we were great. Tom had Fang on his own label [Boner Records], and he wanted us to release a record on it. ... Tom was a great guy, but we knew his distribution was really limited.
Krist Novaselic in Backfire, May 2001:I saw Fang at some ballet studio near Pioneer Square. Green River opened for them.Baby Help Me Forget on YouTube, and 33 RPM. Poster
9/14/84 The Lincoln Arts Center. Seattle, WA
Supporting: D.O.A., Immoral Roberts
Supported By: DSML
Notes: If this is the D.O.A. "riot" show (where police cars ended up getting spray painted with D.O.A. graffiti), then Green River didn't play. But that was probably a different show, with D.O.A. The Circle Jerks.
Steve:I don't think we played [the riot show]. I remember that vaguely, and it might've even been after I was out of the band. That was a big deal. Circle Jerks and D.O.A., I think. If we were supposed to play that gig, we didn't. I don't even think I was there. I know I wasn't there.
Mark:I don't think we played that show with D.O.A. at the Lincoln Arts Center. I think we probably played other shows with local bands at the Lincoln Arts Center, too. I remember hearing about that show, that there was a riot, but I don't think I even went to that show.Poster
9/25/84 The Mountaineers. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Black Flag, Saccharine Trust, Tom Troccoli
Set: Against the Grain, Corner of My Eye, 10,000 Things, P.C.C., Your Own Best Friend, Strange Ways, Tunnel of Love
Notes: The Mountaineers was located at 300 3rd Ave W. Matt Lukin attended this show as a concertgoer (he'd already been at 8/11/84 when playing with the Melvins). They play KISS's 'Strange Ways' for the first known time.
Steve:Probably the biggest show we did was with Black Flag at the Mountaineers. That was a big hall. That would've been a proper rock show. That would've been the most big time rock show we did.
Mark, relating this show to 11/1/85, in Grunge is Dead:I'd gotten pulled into angry crowds before, like when we opened for Black Flag and Saccharine Trust in Seattle.Jeff in Grunge is Dead:We got big shows right off the bat - I think we played with Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys [within] the first four or five months were we a band. It was killer ... I remember playing with Black Flag, and Henry Rollins having his own dressing room. And I remember playing with Public Image, and those guys having a $200 bottle of Bordeaux and La-Z-Boy Chairs - we saw their rider.Mark:That Mountaineers show, I'm pretty sure we were the very first thing, before Tom Triccoli, even. [Note: the poster suggests they went on after Mr. Troccoli.]Poster
9/28/84 Tropicana. Olympia, WA (40 min)
Supporting: The U-Men, The Noxious Fumes, The Melvins
Supported By: GCD
Set: (Intro Jam), Against the Grain, 10,000 Things, (Corner of My Eye), New God, Corner of My Eye, P.C.C., Strange Ways, Tunnel of Love
Notes: This performance was released on LP as Live at the Tropicana in 2019. '10,000 Things' is the early version, like on the 1984 Demos. At various points, Mark teases the crowd, saying they're in Tukwila and Tumwater - "Is this how big the crowds get in Tumwater? [Crowd shouts at him.] Olympia? Man, we've been on the road for so long..." Mark introduces 'New God' with, "We've got a little dance number coming up for you. Better get your leg warmers on. It's kind of a slow one. If you wanna grab your baby, go into a corner, nuzzle up, talk about old times at the soda shop." The show is being recorded for a live record of the bands that played this evening (which never came to be), and after that song, Mark comments, "Hold on, stop the tape for a sec ... is there any duct tape around? Could we PLEASE have some duct tape? Some duct tape for Jeff? [etc.]" as the guitarists tune. After 'P.C.C.,' "You missed the fast part of that song. That's where you're supposed to run around and jump. ... This is a Sex Pistols song that goes way back. It's on one of those Japanese import albums, it's kind of obscure, but it's worth it if you can find it, for $25 or something, a double album," and they go into KISS's 'Strange Ways.' The Tropicana was located at 311 E 4th St. It may be that GCD didn't play. It's also possible that the bands that played were The Wipers, The U-Men, The Melvins, Napalm Beach, The Enigmas, The Young Pioneers, Pop Defect, and Beat Happening, and that they played all three nights from 9/28-30 to record a live LP (that, if it exists, does not include Green River). It may have been that The U-Men cancelled and were replaced on the bill by GCD (Generic Crib Death).
10/19/84 The Moore Theater. Seattle, WA
Supporting: The Dead Kennedys, The Crucifucks
Notes: Half the crowd seemed to enjoy it, the rest pelted the band with popcorn, ice and shoes. The Seattle Times ran a show review that focused on how horrible the bands' names were.
Mark in Everybody Loves Our Town:We opened for the Dead Kennedys and the Crucifucks. I didn't see any evidence of it, but apparently there was a group outside picketing based on our name. Okay, it's the Dead Kennedys and the Crucifucks, and you're picketing Green River?Jeff in Grunge is Dead:We got big shows right off the bat - I think we played with Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys [within] the first four or five months were we a band. It was killer.Steve:The Dead Kennedys at the Moore theater. That was a big deal, that was a big one. The Seattle Times article on it is pretty funny. They were mad about the band names, and mentioning the picketers outside. I think there were a couple people holding signs. It was a classic three-band bill. Something to piss everybody off.
Mark in Grunge is Dead:When Green River opened for the Dead Kennedys at the Moore, I couldn't figure out where all these kids came from. Home come they don't go to other punk shows?Jonathan Poneman, who saw Green River for the first time this night in Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle:Mark was very funny, but it seemed more like comedy rock, parody rock, than actual rock rock.Poster
12/7/84 Gorilla Gardens. Seattle, WA
Supporting: The Butthole Surfers
Supported By: Wicked Angel
Set: "Green River River", Corner of My Eye, New God, Ride of Your Life, P.C.C., Your Own Best Friend, Swallow My Pride, Tunnel of Love
Notes: This is the only known performance of 'Your Own Best Friend' (from the Deep Six compilation), 'Corner of My Eye,' and 'New God' (before the reunion for the latter). 'Green River River' (possibly a different final word) is an unknown song, and may be an introductory jam, which they were fond of doing. This was the opening night at Gorilla Gardens, which was located at 510 4th Ave S (before moving to Queen Anne in late 1985).
1/19/85 Gorilla Gardens Omni Room. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Sonic Youth, The U-Men
Notes: Thurston Moore, in Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle:[Green River] had too many musicians on stage.Poster, Show advertisement
3/30/85 Gorilla Gardens Omni Room. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Agent 86
Supported By: The Melvins, The Thrown Ups
6/??/85 Gorilla Gardens. Seattle, WA
Supported By: SGM
Notes: This show may have taken place in May; SGM skipped their high school graduation party to play the gig. Note: This show might've taken place in 1986. The SGM guys probably graduated in 1986, but Gorilla Gardens was closed by then - even the newer Queen Anne location. Perhaps this took place in 1986 at a different venue.
7/7/85 Gorilla Gardens Rock Theatre. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Part Time Christians
Notes: This was Steve's last show with Green River. Up to this point, Steve started acting up: playing with his back turned to the audience, stopping playing with any distortion, sitting down on stage. "I was basically being a dick on stage. Wasn't loving it at all. And I felt bad about that - clearly this isn't working out and I shouldn't be trying to fuck them up." Malfunkshun was originally on this bill, but pulled out before the show. Dr. Know might've also been on the bill.
Steve:That's what I decided to do [quit before the tour], because I knew I didn't want to do. And it was going to cost money, too. It was like, "God, I don't want to spend money to go on tour with this stuff." I knew they'd be better off, and I didn't want to do that. I wanted to get out of there to give them enough time - a few months - to get Bruce together. I didn't think of any other possibility - "Well, Bruce can just join the band. It'll be great." Mark sent me a couple postcards from it, that I probably still have. Maybe as some kind of rite of passage it would've been awesome on one level, but it sounded pretty horrible. [The U-Men's summer in Austin in 1985] sounds great to me. If I could've toured like that and gone down to Austin for the summer, that sounds like an awesome tour for 1985. I would've done that one. Maybe they [would've broken even] if they'd gotten to play more than five shows. There were a lot of shows that were supposed to happen that didn't happen.
I was bumming out on the makeup and stuff, too [in addition to the music], a little bit. The presentation of the band wasn't my thing. There were little things I'd do to piss them off. [Laughs] I definitely didn't handle it well. My hair was just about the longest in the band at one point. And I said, "I think I might cut my hair soon." And Jeff said, "Wait until we get some more band pictures taken." So, of course I went out and fucking shaved my head - just kind of a dickhead move. There were little things like that. It was mainly the music, because when we started, I really did like that first batch of songs. And, in retrospect, when we were redoing the Green River stuff, we were thinking, "Wow, that sounds really good." Maybe they weren't then - Mark was singing super gruff, and I know he hates how his vocals sound on that stuff. But we all agreed that some of these are really cool tunes. They're really simple, and Alex wrote a lot of them, too. Some of the ones that are three-chord punk rock kind of stuff, like 33 RPM - Alex had a lot to do with those songs.
I was striking. I'd just gotten a bigger amp, so I could be heard finally, again. And I played to the side of the stage for most of the show. I might've sat down for part of it. They had make up on and it was bugging me - eyeliner, it was getting a bit more glitzy. Scarves tied to things. It's not very important, but it just didn't feel like - by the end of that show, I realized I was just being a dick and I should bail out. I didn't want to ruin their band. I was sure I wasn't adding anything to it. And when I quit, I said, "You guys should get Bruce." I think they had already planned that, anyway. Not that they were going to trade me in, but Bruce was so tight with those guys at that point. He was living with Jeff, he'd been in a band with Jeff before. And he was right on the money in terms of what they wanted to do. They got immediately better.
[My guitar tone] was pretty clean. I was dialing that stuff back, too. I didn't want to play heavy metal. "How can I help this not be metal?" ... We weren't communicating much.
Mark:I remember there being a show at The Gorilla Gardens where he sat down. I think we were all like, "Oh, that was weird." [Laughs]. Probably like the same way in that very first show where Jeff showed up in white face, like, "Fuck, that was weird!" [Note: their first show on 7/28/84.] That might've been the last show Steve played, I don't remember. Talking to Steve about it more recently, he was like, "Yeah, things weren't going the way I wanted them to go, so I was being a dick and digging my heels in. And after a while, it was like, I should quit the band." ... I think what made Steve quit was that there was a tour coming up and he was like, "Fuck, I don't even like playing what we're playing."
Mark in Everybody Loves Our Town:Steve stopped playing with any kind of distortion, and during at least one show, he played sitting down on a chair in passive-aggressive protest.Mark:Before Come on Down even came out, Steve quit. He had just discovered The Milkshakes and Thee Mighty Caesars, and he just wanted to play simpler, stripped-down stuff. I mean, there were a couple of songs on that EP like 'Tunnel of Love' that were, you know, how many parts? Steve says to this day that he never once played that song right. He just couldn't keep up.Steve:I thought we were still a punk rock band. I was totally into garage rock stuff at the time, too. And they were definitely more into heavy metal than I was. When I left, it was n't so much that they were going glam as they were going metal. They were really into Venom and Iron Maiden. Plus, they really wanted to go on tour, and I didn't.
8/2/85 Gorila Gardens. Seattle, WA
Supporting: No Trend
Supported By: Soundgarden, Malfunkshun
Notes: This was Bruce's first show with Green River.
Steve:I saw the first show without me, and another one, when they opened for Sonic Youth the next year. We got some pretty good gigs, considering. We wanted to play with bands who we thought were really cool, so we were stoked to get some of those shows. I was like, "Fuck yeah!" because I was a huge Sonic Youth fan already.
Slim Moon in Everybody Loves Our Town:I saw the first show after Steve Turner quit, and it was much more of a hard-rock set. They did a bunch of Led Zeppelin covers, which Mark Arm kept joking about [Note: Green River never covered Led Zeppelin. The closest they came was Stone suggesting doing 'Achilles' Last Stand,' which was considered until they actually listened to it at a rehearsal]. I think Steve was the advocate of a sort of punk simplicity, which was against what the other guys in the band wanted, which was bombast. When he left, it was just bombast. The glam influence really came in.
There were a lot of different moments where you could say, 'It's the birth of grunge,' but I like to mark it as that moment: when Steve Turner left Green River
8/16/85 Gorilla Gardens Omni Room. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Sonic Youth, Upright Citizens
Notes: This show was originally scheduled by Le Club Hit on 935 Westlake Ave N, which was a batting cage by day, and a short-lived club by night. The club's short-lividness came to an end between the time this show was booked and when it was held, leading to the venue change.
Thurston Moore in Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle:They were focusing on rock moves that predated punk, without losing the punk aspects. These moves belonged to '60s garage bands but also longer-haired sub-metal bands, be it Deep Purple or Sabbath. It was spearheaded by Black Flag saying, 'We're into music that predates 1977.' I was fascinated by that, having experienced that music before punk, to the point where, in 1979 or 1989, I found those dinosaur records like Pink Floyd in my mother's basement and had this sense of almost weird sadness about it, seeing them sitting there, knowing that I actually had invested some merit in them - because I'd excised them from my life to such a degree. They'd been blown away by the excitement of the new. So, years later, to have undergrounds referencing Black Sabbath, it was a tricky and radical thing to do. I saw Green River coming out of that, and Seattle being the first place to really buy into it: 'OK, we're growing our hair out and doing some metal moves, but we're still gonna be smart and we're still gonna be punk.'
Poster, Poster 2
8/24/85 Gorilla Gardens. Seattle, WA
Supported By: Alliance, Killing Floor
Notes: It may have been that there was only one support act, and that was Slaughter Haus 5.
9/14/85 Gorilla Gardens. Seattle, WA
Supporting: The Faction
Notes: The date may be incorrect. Green River got the gig when Mistaken ID dropped off at the last minute. Mark asks of the crowd, "Are there any skaters tonight? ... Congratulations!"
9/24/85 The Fabulous Rainbow Tavern. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Tupelo Chain Sex
Supported By: My Eye
9/25/85 John Barley's. Vancouver, Canada
Supported By: Social Menace
10/15/85 "Air Aid". The Fabulous Rainbow Tavern. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Room Nine
Supported By Soundgarden, Skin Yard
Notes: It may be that Green River headlined. The show was part of a series of shows from 10/13-10/17 at the Rainbow that were a benefit for KCMU radio (which later became KEXP). All of the performances were broadcast live on KCMU. There was a second Air Aid show to benefit KCMU on 6/2/86.
Notes on the Fall, 1985 Tour: This was titled the "Prematour" (other tour names were "Immatour" for Fall, 1986, and "Disastour" for Fall, 1987). They were scheduled for 16 shows and ended up doing only 7 or 8. The shows listed are in probably in correct order relative to each other, even though the specific dates aren't known. The tour didn't go particularly well.
They made up a shirt for the tour, which lists the cities in this order: Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Boston, Pullman, Missoula, Minneapolis, Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago (again), Cleveland (again), PIttsburgh, New York (again), Providence, Washington. That omits a few gigs that were pre-planned (e.g., Detroit was booked before the tour) and that weren't (e.g., Newport, KY), and mixes up the order.
Mark:We hit the road supposedly when the record was coming out, but it kept getting delayed.Alex:It was a disaster. We came up with these names for the tour. There was the Imattour, the Prematour, and the Disastour.Mark:It wasn't disastrous. It was like a vacation. Stone's parents let us use their station wagon and we rented a U-Haul. We travelled across the country and played seven shows. We didn't have a booking agent. Jeff was doing all the work. I don't think we thought of it as a success or a failure, we just thought, "Well, that was a fun, weird little trip." No one was going on tour, at that point, from Seattle.Daniel House (of C/Z Records, who released Deep Six):Back then, even going to Portland was a big deal. The first two bands to go on tour were the U-Men and Green River, and they got full stories in (local music paper) The Rocket. They had big going away shows!Mark:While Steve was safely in school we were stuck in the midwest. We had seven shows altogether; it was kind of like a vacation; we all worked and saved up money for the tour. The problem was, no one knew anything about us. (Come on Down's release had been delayed) so we didn't have any records out. We did two shows opening for Big Black: they had records, but there was still only 30 or 40 people there. We headlined CBGB, playing to six people: four Japanese tourists and two people that worked there. I guess they liked us; all six stayed for the entire show. Maxwell's, in Hoboken, New Jersey, was pretty good as well.Alex:The tour fell apart partially there was nothing to back us up with. All these dates were supposedly set up by Gerard Cosloy - but we found that he never followed up on them. That's when we learned that you either set the dates up yourself - or get a manager. Besides, the record was to come out about a month and a half before we left so at least we had something in hand...Then a month...Then two weeks...Then the day of...And it didn't come out until about a month or so afterwards. [They played shows only while heading East.] ... After the whole debacle on the east coast thing, when we got done in NY we busted for home as fast as possible.Alex:Other disastrous things that happened on that tour. The record didn't come out until about a month after the tour.Mark in Grunge is Dead:On our first tour - which was supposed to coincide with the first Green River record - ended up being a seven-show tour across the United States. Seattle to New York and back. We drove out to Boston, called up Gerard Cosley at Homestead, and he's like, 'Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, there's no show in Boston.' [Laughs.] This was in '85. We played two shows with Big Black - one in Lexington, Kentucky, and that was really weird. Big Black had two EPs by then and I figured there'd be tons of people there. There were less than 30. We played with them again in Columbus, Ohio, and there were maybe 75. We stayed in Columbus for a couple of days, and played a pickup show with Decry. We saw the Necros and the Minutemen, which was fantastic. I'm so glad we did, because [Minutemen singer/guitarist] D. Boon died a few months later.The guys in Everybody Loves Our Town:
Gerard Cosley got us two shows in the New York area. We played clean up at CBGB's in front of the staff and a couple of Japanese tourists. I still had a blast. I was stoked just to be at CB's. We also opened a CMJ Homestead showcase at Maxwell's. I had saved up $700 from my shitty job to go on this tour. Basically, it was my summer vacation.Bruce: We went out on our first tour in October 1985, and if anything should've broken up Green River, it should've been that tour. We went in Stone's piece-of-shit station wagon, which we called the Shled, and attached a U-Haul trailer.Jeff in Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle:
Alex: I like to call it the Prema-Tour, because it was premature for us to go out. Our record, Come on Down, was supposed to come out about a month before we went on tour. Then it was supposed to come out three weeks before the tour. Then it was supposed to come out a week before the tour ...
Stone: We put up our own money to go out to tour in New York. We played six shows in frickin' six weeks, which is a joke. We were just pretending. Or we were doing it, but it was like we were making three or four fans. Someone behind the bar would go, 'Hey, you guys are pretty good.' Or not.
Alex: On the way back [to Seattle from the tour], we were driving through some part of North Dakota or South Dakota, and it was pitch-black out and snowing lightly. We were all just wiped out. Mark was driving. I was laying in the way back of the station wagon, and we were all talking about lighting farts on fire. 'Oh, you can't light a fart on fire.' 'Sure you can.'
And Stoney goes, 'Yes, you can,' and he puts his legs up, takes a lighter, puts it between his legs and just rips one out. And the flame goes boom! Everybody was like, 'Fuck! Oh, my God!' thinking he was gonna blow the place apart. And it scared Mark so bad that he yanked the steering wheel and hit black ice, and we go flying off into this ditch.
Mark: Fart-lighting? (Laughs.) I don't recall anything like that happening at all in Green River. It wasn't like a frat house. Also, the sun was just starting to come up, and everyone was pretty much asleep when that happened. We were driving through a snowstorm and had to get gas. So I started taking an exit and the exit was basically a sheet of ice, and we ended up going off the edge of the road.
Bruce: Me and Jeff and Stone were in the back sleeping. All I remember is waking up, with Alex going, 'Oh, my God, oh, my God! No!' And looking up and seeing the trailer bouncing and snow flying everywhere. I just wrapped my head in the pillow and went, 'Oh, let it happen.'
Mark was never the greatest driver, and he took an exit on black ice going 60 miles an hour. We just went off down this hill, totally out of control, through a ditch and ... ended up right at a gas station.
We were fine. We were all just terrified.In retrospect it seems ridiculous, but we were a bunch of kids motivated enough to save a few bucks and make our way across the country. None of us had ever been easy of the Mississippi before, so it was a cool trip. We saw the Badlands, New York City ... Big Black was amazing, so powerful. On one of the nights off we saw The Necros and Minutemen - turned out it was the third to last Minutemen show. All sorts of great things happened on that tour. Just to be out there in the middle of it was amazing.
10/??/85 Pullman, WA
Notes: This show was supposed to be the start of the tour. It was most likely cancelled.
10/??/85 Spokane, WA
Notes: This show might have taken place instead of the Pullman, WA show.
10/19/85 Third Street Studio. Missoula, MT
10/??/85 Havre, MT (CANCELLED)
10/??/85 Minneapolis, MN (CANCELLED)
10/??/85 Madison, WI (CANCELLED)
10/??/85 Milwaukee, WI (CANCELLED)
10/??/85 Chicago, IL (CANCELLED)
10/??/85 Cleveland, OH (CANCELLED)
10/??/85 Pittsburgh, PA (CANCELLED)
10/??/85 Boston, MA (CANCELLED)
Supporting: The UK Subs
Notes: This show was cancelled when the UK Subs couldn't gain admittance to America. Green River found out when they made it to the venue and a sign on the door said the show was cancelled. This was after they couldn't find a Boston hotel for under $100, so drove 20 miles out to Tewksbury for a $60 room, then drove 20 miles back into Boston to go to the venue.
Mark in Grunge is Dead:We drove out to Boston, called up Gerard Cosley at Homestead [ed note: who put out the Come on Down record], and he's like, 'Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, there's no show in Boston.' [Laughs.]Bruce in in Everybody Loves Our Town:The reason for this whole tour was that we were supposed to open for the U.K. Subs in Boston. Gerard Cosloy from Homestead had booked the show, so we drove all the way to Boston to find out that the U.K. Subs didn't make it into the country. So that show didn't happen.
10/??/85 Providence, RI (CANCELLED)
10/??/85 Washington, D.C. (CANCELLED)
10/??/85 Columbus, OH
Supporting: Big Black
Notes: Mark in Grunge is Dead:We played with them [Big Black] again in Columbus, Ohio, and there were maybe 75.
10/??/85 Columbus, OH
Notes: Mark in Grunge is Dead:We stayed in Columbus for a couple of days, and played a pickup show with Decry. We saw the Necros and the Minutemen, which was fantastic. I'm so glad we did, because [Minutemen singer/guitarist] D. Boon died a few months later.That Minutemen and Necros show was at Stache's on 10/30/85, so it's some other date for these two Columbus shows.
11/1/85 The Graystone Hall. Detroit, MI
Notes: This show was a disaster.
The guys in Everybody Loves Our Town:Bruce: When we made it to Detroit, we played this place called the Greystone, out in a sketchy part of town. The show was on November 1, after Hell NightMark:
Mark: We were driving into Detroit, we put in the Stooges tape, and we're like, 'Fuck, this is gonna be so great. Detroit.' But everywhere you looked were these buildings with the windows smashed out, just totally desolate. You'd see a lone figure huddled near a fire.
Alex: Buildings were burning. It looked like a war had been through there.
Mark: The next morning we went to eat breakfast somewhere. The waitress, who was probably about our age, finally just asks if we're all gay. We're like, 'What?' It could've been the way some of us were dressed, sure. Jeff's hair was a little big at that point. And Bruce Fairweather, his jeans had holes in them and he'd wear his girlfriend's fishnets. But the waitress's reaction was a signifier of what Detroit was gonna be like: If you're not totally tough, you're gonna be considered gay.
Alex: We were opening for Samhain, one of Danzig's bands. Everybody there was grrr-grrr, ruff-ruff kind of fans. People were calling us fags, throwing shit at us. I remember Jeff came onstage and he was wearing Capezio dance shoes and a T-shirt that said SAN FRANCISCO in pink letters.
Mark: Jeff is wearing a pink tank top that says SAN FRANCISCO in purple cursive writing. Why would he do that? Because he has giant balls. I remember there was this particular girl in the front row that kept spitting at Jeff, like she was really offended by him. At one point Jeff stuck his foot up in her face, like, Knock it off.
Jeff: And her boyfriend, from behind, grabbed me, pulled me off the stage, into the crowd, and I got pummeled! ... I'm just getting like beat to death. It was horrible.
Mark: I'd gotten pulled into the crowd before, when we opened for Black Flag, and Jeff had thrown his bass off and jumped in after me and saved my ass, so I'm like, Oh, great, it's my turn. I gotta save Jeff's ass.
Alex: I wasn't gonna jump in a crowd of 700 people! Screw this crap!
Bruce: All I remember is Stone and I look at each other, and we just backed up. I was like, They're on their own, man. I thought they were going to get killed.
Mark: We're about to get pummeled by the angry crowd that surrounded us. But a security guard, who was an off-duty cop with a gun, stepped in and saved our asses.
Jeff: Went up to get paid afterwards, after probably the most humbling experience ever. And Corey Rusk, who was in the Necros at that point-I was really excited to meet him, 'cause I loved the Necros-and he runs Touch and Go now, he was the promoter for the show. We were supposed to make like a hundred bucks, which was a huge payday for us at that point. He's paying Danzig like $12,000 or whatever he's making that show. And I put my hand out, and he goes, 'Man, I thought you guys sucked. I'm only giving you $25.'Detroit was the worst...everyone had this bad-ass attitude. We're thinking it's going to be great - 'Yeah, the Stooges, MC5.' But these people just wanted everything fast. Jeff was wearing a pink tank-top with 'San Francisco' in purple letters, and with his hair (big and flowing), well you can imagine. This one girl kept spitting at me, and Jeff put his foot out to block the spit. But this guy thought he was kicking her in the face. He was huge, and pulled Jeff right into the crowd. In the past, I've been pulled into the crowd, and Jeff rescued me, so now was my chance to help him out. But Jeff is a big guy, and I'm not. Still, I jumped in. The guy was a seven-foot-tall brick of a man; the only thing that saved our asses was an armed policeman.Mark:It was just before Halloween in Detroit with Samhain. By this point, we were all growing our hair out, and Jeff had developed this glam image. He was wearing this pink tank top that said San Francisco in purple letters. I think he also had a scarf on. They just couldn't handle us. People started spitting at us. So Jeff put his foot out to block the spit, and somebody grabbed his ankle and pulled him into the crowd. That had happened to me before, and Jeff was always the first guy that would dive in to save my ass, so I jumped in, and it was like, "Holy shit!" We were just surrounded by the biggest guys in leather jackets that you could imagine. Just knuckleheads. We were saved by a security guard who had a gun. Like an off-duty cop that just happened to have his gun with him.Alex:We were all semi-glammed out, and everybody was screaming "Faggots!" I thought we were all gonna get killed. Those guys were huge.Jeff in a 11/6/00 KNDD interview:I think it was like our third show, this was Green River. And we were half way across the country in Detroit. It's Halloween, and we're playing this place called the Greystoke in Detroit with Samhain, who is Glenn Danzig. And its Green River, and we're kinda at our kind of most glam, Green River, like Mark's wearing his silver tights, I think wearing like a pink San Francisco t-shirt, and Stone's got a big scarf wrapped around his neck. And we're opening up for Samhain on Halloween in Detroit. And people in the front were like spitting at us, and this whole thing is going on, and then this girl who was right in front of Mark, who just kept like spitting at him. Like Mark would get right down at the edge of the stage, and this girl would like spit right in his face. So I put my foot down, kinda in front of her face. And her boyfriend from behind, like grabbed me, pulled me off the stage, into the crowd, and I got pummeled! I was like in the crowd with my bass, just going 'whirrrrrr' and I'm just getting like, beat to death. It was horrible. And then...and then, I went up to get paid afterwards...after, you know, after probably the most humbling experience ever, and, Corey Rusk, who, he was in The Necros at that point, I was really excited to meet him, 'cause I loved The Necros, and runs Touch and Go now. He was the promoter for the show, we were supposed to make like a hundred bucks, which was a huge payday for us at that point. He's paying Danzig like $12,000, or whatever he was making that show. And I put my hand out, and he goes 'Man, I thought you guys sucked, I'm only giving you 25.' I just put my head down, and I'm like, I gotta to back and tell the band that we only made 25 bucks.Jeff in Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle:I was so nervous at meeting [Corey Rusk]. I was back there counting the money out, and Danzig had made a thousand dollars, maybe even more. We were supposed to get a hundred dollars, and he looked at me and said, 'Man, you guys sucked, I can't pay you anything.' So I had to put my head down and go back and tell the otheres: 'Hey guys, we didn't get any money...'Poster
11/??/85 "CMJ Homestead Showcase". Maxwell's. Hoboken, NJ
Also on Bill: Fear of Ordinary Life, Volcano Suns, The U-Men
Notes: They weren't scheduled to play Maxwell's, or even Hoboken, but got this show by luck when the tour started falling apart. Gerard Cosley got them this show as a make up to them when he didn't inform them that the Boston show he arranged was cancelled (Gerard ran Homestead Records, which was having this showcase as a part of CMJ). This probably occurred the day before the New York City show, making it most likely 11/3/85.
Mark in Grunge is Dead:[In addition to the CBGB's show] We also opened a CMJ Homestead showcase at Maxwell's.
11/??/85 CBGB's. New York City, NY
Notes: They go on at the unenviable time of 2am, and two of the six in attendance are employees and the other four are Japanese tourists. The venue staff liked Green River and was happy to do about anything for them, save for pay them money, as there was no door revenue. They were originally scheduled to play New York City, but not CBGB's, and got the gig their through luck when the tour started falling apart. There are incorrect reports that they played CBGB's a second time in early 1986, a show that Joe Perry attended (which, in turn, led to rumors that Joe Perry was producing their next record, and they credited production for the 'Together We'll Never' single to "J. Perry," when it was Jack Endino). Green River played New York City only once. This show probably occurred on 11/4/85.
Jeff in a 11/6/00 KNDD interview:We'd save our money for three or four months, and go play, we'd drive to New York and play seven shows in a month or something, you know, just ridiculous things that you put yourself through. But it was all about having that experience of like, 'Man, we played CBGB's!' you know. 'There were six people there, but we played CBGB's!'Alex:The best show was playing last at CBGBs on a Monday night to six Japanese business men and the staff. (It actually was a great show. The staff liked us enough to give us anything we wanted - aside from cash because there was no one there).Mark in Grunge is Dead:Gerard Cosley got us two shows in the New York area. We played clean up at CBGB's in front of the staff and a couple of Japanese tourists. I still had a blast. I was stoked just to be at CB's. ... I had saved up $700 from my shitty job to go on this tour. Basically, it was my summer vacation.The guys in in Everybody Loves Our Town:Alex: [As a make up for the cancelled Boston show] Gerard said, 'Okay, I can get you guys a show on Wednesday at CBGB's in New York.' [Note: That'd make the show date 11/6/85.] We were going, 'Fuckin' awesome! CBGB's!'
Mark: Of course, we played last, which is cleanup-it wasn't the headlining slot. The place cleared out, and we played in front of the staff and a couple of Japanese tourists.
11/14/85 The Jockey Club. Newport, KY
Supporting: Big Black
Notes: Mark in Grunge is Dead:We played two shows with Big Black - one in Lexington, Kentucky, [ed note: it was Newport, KY] and that was really weird. Big Black had two EPs by then and I figured there'd be tons of people there. There were less than 30.The guys in Everybody Loves Our Town:Alex: We played Cincinnati, opening for Big Black, and across town the Red Hot Chili Peppers were playing that night, which meant we weren't going to draw anybody. In the middle of our set-boom!-all the power went out onstage. We thought they had cut our power. And Mark was like, "Fuckers! Motherfucker!" and he went over and grabbed every mic off the stand and threw them into the audience.Alex:
Mark: Actually the show was in Newport, Kentucky, across the river. I can't even recall what my motivation would have been for acting so stupidly, but I just decided for some reason to take the microphone and throw it as far as I could.
Bruce: It turns out that the club had just blown a fuse. The guys in Big Black said, "You guys should leave," because somebody called the soundman and he was probably coming to kick our asses.
Steve Albini: I was looking forward to playing with Green River because I was into a cassette of them I'd gotten. But they were acting like fucking rock stars. They were kind of petulant.
I remember the singer, Mark, smashing a couple of microphones, getting pissed at the monitor or something like that. And there were just 10 people there at that point. He was being a total crybaby, and it really bothered me. Everyone I had grown up admiring in the punk scene thought of all that rock-star behavior as stupid and offensive. I don't know how to describe it, except maybe like going to a vegetarian restaurant and seeing them slaughtering hogs in the lobby.
Mark: They were threatening not to pay us, and I remember Steve Albini going, "'Course they don't want to pay you-you just fucking destroyed a mic," and me feeling admonished, and rightfully so. What I did wasn't calculated. Maybe I was spoiled by being able to get away with really stupid shit in Seattle.Steve Albini, from what I remember, is a really nice guy. We did a show with them in Cincinnati where hardly anybody showed up - the Red Hot Chili Peppers stole away the whole crowd from across town. While we played to almost nobody, the power went out. We thought they cut the power off on us and Mark got pissed! He unplugged all the mics and chucked them into the crowd (or what there was of a crowd). It turned out to be a blown fuse, so we gathered up all the mics and put them all in place - except one was missing, and it turned out to be the $500 mic. Needless to say, we didn't get paid, but Steve was nice enough to help us out with a few bucks from their payout. (As a side note, the guy who ran the club was gunning around town trying to find us. There were some girls who were at the show who knew that he was not a good fellow. So they hid us out of town in one of their father's cabins until we could get to our next show. Nothing happened, except that Jeff learned to properly tease his hair.)
12/31/85 Gorilla Gardens Omni Room. Seattle, WA
Supported By: Shadow
1/11/86 UCT Skank Klub. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Saint Vitus, The Brood
Supported By: Circus of the Stars
Notes: The UCT Skank Club was located at 5th and Aloha. It may be that the show took place at Munro's Dance Palace, at 912 Elliot Ave W. It may also be that Our Neighbors Suck opened instead of Circus of the Stars.
2/21/86 The Ditto Tavern. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Bundle of Hiss
Notes: This show takes place on Mark's birthday.
3/14/86 The Fabulous Rainbow Tavern. Seattle, WA
Supported By: Girl Trouble
Photo by Cam Garrett
3/21/86 "Deep Six Record Release Party." UCT Hall. Seattle, WA
Supported By: Soundgarden, The Melvins
Set: Bleeding Sheep (set incomplete)
Notes: This was the first of two shows celebrating the release of Deep Six. The second night featured The U-Men, Skin Yard and Malfunkshun. This is the only known performance of 'Bleeding Sheep' - a song that was never released on a record.
4/4/86 The Ditto Tavern. Seattle, WA
Supported By: Bundle of Hiss
Notes: Green River played a ton of shows at the Ditto Tavern in late 1985 and early 1986. Not all of the shows may be accounted for. For instance, there are no known 1985 Ditto Tavern shows. The change from playing all-ages clubs like the Gorilla Gardens to 21-and-over clubs like The Ditto Tavern occurs here. This coincides with the passing of Seattle's Teen Dance Ordinance law in 1985, which made it financially infeasible to hold an all-ages show.
Steve (who'd left Green River by this point):They passed the Teen Dance Ordinance. It was convenient [that guys in bands were turning 21]. It was just impossible to do an all-ages show. I was happy when I turned 21 [on 3/31/86] because I could see bands again.
5/10/86 The Ditto Tavern. Seattle, WA
Supported By: Debutante
6/2/86 "Air Aid 2: The Sequel". The Rainbow Tavern. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Mye Eye
Supported By: Skin Yard, Bundle of Hiss
Set: Unwind, This Town, Baby Takes, P.C.C. (set possibly incomplete)
Notes: This show was a follow up to the 10/15/85 show, and was also a benefit for KCMU FM. The benefit shows ran from 6/1-6/7, though Green River played just this one show. The known set contains four of the five songs on Dry as a Bone, which was recorded this month. This performance was broadcast on KCMU, and video of it was broadcast on Seattle public access TV. Jonathan Poneman (future Mr. Sub Pop) introduces the band. At the time, he was a DJ on KCMU and also promoted shows. The four songs may be the band's entire performance - it is all that was broadcast. Unwind on YouTube and This Town.
Poster, Poster 2, Photo by Libby Knudsen
6/28/86 The Paramount Theater. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Public Image Ltd.
Notes: As Green River is finishing their set, Mark tells the audience, "Stick around if you want to see what a real sellout looks like." After their set, the guys steal PiL frontman Johnny Rotten's easy chair while Andy Wood takes all of his wine. Allegedly, this all inspired Rotten to write the song Seattle. Mark is wearing a black negligee for the show, and brief video of the performance can be seen in the Mudhoney documentary, I'm Now.
Mark and Steve in an 8/90 Maximumrocknroll interview:
MRR: Is the story about John Lyndon true?The guys in Everybody Loves Our Town:
Mark: What story?
MRR: Who played with Public Image? You guys or Green River?
Mark: Green River.
MRR: The story that you spit all over John Lyndon's mic.
Mark: No, no, no. There was this piece of paper tied down right by the mic that said 'J.L.'s mic' and I knew this would bug him so I took my pen and I crossed out the J.L. and wrote M.A. Just little shit like that. They had these keyboards and stuff set up on the stage and said, 'We're not gonna move this stuff so just be careful,' and we said, 'You better move this shit or we can't guarantee you that it's gonna be there when we're done because that's the kind of band we are,' and they moved it. We pretty much stole all their beer when they were gone.
Steve: Andrew, the singer for Mother Love Bone, who was then the singer for Malfunkshun, took John Lyndon's wine and poured it all out.
MRR: This was where?
Mark: At The Paramount in Seattle. Anyway, he was pouring it out over the road crew...
Matt: Then you guys threw salami out of their tour bus.
Mark: Yeah, it was pretty out of hand, but it was a reaction to seeing someone that you respected at one point turning into something that you imagine that at one point he hated.
Steve: I never respected him at any point, really.
Mark: The first three records are great. I saw them a long time ago and it was an amazing show.
Steve: I never thought Johnny Rotten was a really cool dude. I thought The Clash were really cool.
Bruce: Green River got to open for Public Image Ltd., at the Paramount Theatre in '86. When I showed up, Andy Wood and Regan Hagar are hanging out backstage, and they're totally out of control. I was like, 'You guys seem hammered.'Jeff in Grunge is Dead:
They're like, 'Yeah, we've been going upstairs to PIL's dressing room and stealing their beer.' So I was like, 'Hell, I'm going to have some.' Grabbed a couple of beers, and kept going up and taking a couple more. Finally, we just went up there and took everything.
Steve: I snuck in the back with Andrew and Regan from Malfunkshun. We were throwing lunch meat onto the roof of PIL's tour bus. We were yelling back and forth at their dirtbag roadies, telling each other to fuck off. And finally, this voice from the sky says, 'Would you like to be silenced?!' And that was John Lydon. Yeah, it's fucking Johnny Rotten. And this shut us all up. [note: Steve had already quit Green River before this show.]
Mark: Our room was just down the hall and we could hear John Lydon fucking raising a hissy fit about the fact that there isn't a La-Z-Boy recliner in his room. You're supposed to be punk rock! By the time we played, we'd worked ourselves up into a tizzy about this outrageous behavior. It fed into my anger and made me want to fuck shit up.
Mike Lawson (former Green River manager): Here's the founder of punk, and he's getting pissed off and irritated, so we'll just see how irritating we can be. We just start yelling back at him, and Mark starts yelling back in a faux British voice. We didn't hear anything from them after that, and then the band went onstage.
Mark (from the stage at the Paramount Theatre, June 28, 1986): Hey, if you ever wanna know what it's like to become what you hated, ask the next band.
Bruce: Four or five songs into the set, Mike comes out on my side of the stage, starts saying something in my ear, like, 'Bruce, you know, you guys have to quit playing.' I'm like, 'Get the fuck offstage.' And then they shut the power down on us. Apparently, John Lydon was running around backstage saying, 'I want them out of the building right now!'
Mike Larson: After about the eighth song, I remember the promoter coming to me and saying, 'You gotta tell your band that this is the last song.' I remember those guys looking at me going, 'What the fuck? We're not stopping.' They did about four or five songs after that, and the promoter just went mad. We were able to get them off just in time, so they didn't have to cut the power.I remember playing with Black Flag, and Henry Rollins having his own dressing room. And I remember playing with Public Image, and those guys having a $200 bottle of Bordeaux and La-Z-Boy Chairs - we saw their rider.
7/10/86 The Retro. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Sonic Youth
Also on Bill: Ig-Pow glakmore
Notes: Steve was at this show. The show started at midnight (going into July 11). The Retro was located at 1624 8th Ave.
Steve:I saw the first show without me, and another one, when they opened for Sonic Youth the next year. We got some pretty good gigs, considering. We wanted to play with bands who we thought were really cool, so we were stoked to get some of those shows. I was like, "Fuck yeah!" because I was a huge Sonic Youth fan already.Poster
7/12/86 The Ditto Tavern. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Das Damen
7/13/86 Satyricon. Portland, OR
Supported By: Das Damen
8/8/86 Washington Hall. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Agent Orange
Notes: This show was originally scheduled for The Retro. Washington Hall is located at 14th Ave and E Fir St. At the time, it was leased to the theater group On the Boards, which would rent the venue out for punk shows to make ends meet. Mark stuck a fish in his pants for most of the show, and then swung it around, which left a smelly mess on Agent Orange's drum carpet.
Bruce in Grunge is Dead:We had this guy, Mike Larson, who was our manager - we did this one show opening for Agent Orange in Seattle, and Mike's like, 'You guys got to do something crazy this time. I think you need a fish, Mark ... [put it] down your pants! but not like a fresh fish - a really old fish.' So he went down to the market and all the fish vendors, asking them for old fish. He finally found some old stinky fish and put it out in the Sun. Mark put it down his silver lame pants. Alex had borrowed Agent Orange's drum rug. Halfway through the set, Mark reaches down into his pants, pulls out this fish, spins it over his head, and throws it out into the crowd. Immediately, it comes onstage, and gets mashed all over the place. Agent Orange is on the side of the stage, and it's all over the drum riser - they're not happy at all. I think one of the guys grabbed the fish, went up to Stone, and scraped it down his arm - cut him open with the scales. When I was in Love Battery years later, we played with those guys, and I'm like, 'Hey, I used to play in this band Green RIver, we had this stinky fish onstage.' The guy just glared at me.Bruce again:Love Battery ended up opening for Agent Orange years later and I reminded Mike Palm of the story, and he still wasn't pleased! I was totally laughing about it and he was just like, 'Yeah. Whatever.'Mark, in Grunge is Dead:[Regarding Chris Cornell's antics] To be fair, I did some fairly contrived things in Green River. I played most of one show with a fish down my pants, the joke being that my huge bulge was actually a perch, which I pulled out and split open - spilling fish guts on the crowd. That was a punk rock gross-out act - not an act of narcissism.The guys in Everybody Loves Our Town:Bruce: The fish incident? I remember it being Mike's idea to do the fish. We were opening for Agent Orange at the Washington Performance Hall. Mike tells Mark, 'I think for this show, you should put a fish down your pants.' Mark used to wear these silver lame Iggy Pop tight trousers. And so Mike went down to the Pike Place Market, and found this horrible, stinky trout.
Mark: The only problem was the fins were really spiny. It was worth it for the art, though.
Bruce: About halfway through, Mark pulls the fish out of his pants and throws it out into the crowd. Sure enough, it comes back in pieces on stage. Alex had borrowed the Agent Orange drummer's drum carpet, and it got all over the drum carpet. The Agent Orange guys were furious.
Alex: The smell was just terrible. I'm almost positive that we got banned from there. We were banned from almost every place that we played at least once. And then they would ask us to come back 'cause we made them money.
Bruce: Years later, when I was in Love Battery, we played with Agent Orange, and I reminded the singer about the fish. I was like, 'It was great, right?' He didn't say anything. He just shook his head and walked away.
Mark:The fish in the pants thing, gotta have something! The fish in the pants thing, that kind of goes back to a Dicks show in Texas where Gary Floyd had steaks in his pants and his armpits and played the whole show and sweated on them, then threw them out into the crowd. Which I think is a reference to one of those John Waters movies where Divine is shoplifting and putting steaks down her pants. [Mudhoney would later cover The Dicks' 'Hate the Police.']Poster
8/29-9/1/86 "Bumbershoot". The Seattle Center. Seattle, WA
Notes: Green River played one day of this free four-day festival.
Mark:We did Bumbershoot one time, but we were never on the bill or announced. Jonathan Poneman was in a band called The Treeclimbers, and for some reason they couldn't play. Without getting it approved by One Reel [Bumbershoot's producer], he gave us their slot. And this was after The U-Men played Bumbershoot and lit the moat on fire and caused a big commotion [in 1985]. It was, "We're gonna give a local underground band a chance," and not a local band that does originals, but an underground, punk rock band. And the U-Men did an awesome, great show and a FANTASTIC stunt. [Laughs]. And of course that ruined it for local bands that didn't play ball in the traditional way. I think Jonathan was like this is a way to get one of our bands in front of people. I think we were on Sub Pop already.
Scott Vanderpool in Grunge is Dead:Onstage at Bumbershoot, Green River had this cooler filled with green Jell-O, that they threw out into the crowd. Made a god-awful mess.
9/10/86 The Vogue. Seattle, WA
Notes: Free copies of the 'Together We'll Never' 7" were given away to the first 250 people who showed up - if that many people did show up.
10/2/86 The Central Tavern. Seattle, WA
Supporting: The Sea Hags
Supported By: Girl Trouble
Notes: It may have been that the Sea Hags were at the bottom of the bill instead of headlining.
10/13/86 The Town Pump. Vancouver, Canada
Supporting: SLOW, The Hip Type
Notes: The show took place on the last day of the Expo 86 World's Fair, and was a Monday night - a long round trip drive for one show on a weeknight. This was SLOW's last show.
10/17/86 Satyricon. Portland, OR
Supporting: Saccharine Trust
Supported By: Obituary, Hell Cows
Notes: It may be that Obituary and Hell Cows were support on 11/6/86 only.
11/1/86 The Central Tavern. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Butthole Surfers
Supported By: 64 Spiders
Notes: Mark placed a foam cooler with green Jello on stage, planning to stick his head in it and then shake it over the crowd. The cooler broke, so instead he flung the Jello around at random, hitting the venue's big screen TV.
Mark in Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle:There was a trashy, performance aspect to certain punk bands. The first time I saw The Butthole Surfers they did all kinds of wacky things. Gibby Haynes was wearing clothes pins in his hair, maybe 50 of them, and at some point he starts shaking his head rapidly and all the clothes pins fly off in all directions - how did he even conceive of that?! So I was like: 'What can we do to outdo the butthole Surfers?'From Everybody Loves Our Town:Dawn Anderson: After a while, the Green River fans knew when to step back, because there might be green Jell-O coming at you.Bruce:
Julianne Anderson: That was at the Central. I looked at my friends and all of a sudden they were taking six, seven, eight steps back. I didn't know what the hell was happening, and I got the worst of it. My hair was bleached blond at the time, so I had green hair for a week. I still fuckin' hate Mark Arm for that.We got 86'ed. They're like, 'You're never playing here again!' And a month later, they're like, 'Hey, you guys want to open for Sonic Youth?'Mark:The jello show was opening up for the Butthole Surfers at the Central. The Central didn't have a big TV screen...I don't remember getting a lifetime ban from the Central, that's just probably hyperbole...The folks at The Central were pissed at us, but it seemed more like we got a scolding, like we were kids who didn't think things through (which we were).' [Note: If they were banned, the "un-ban" show may have been 12/28/86 with The Mentors instead of Sonic Youth. Green River never played a show at The Central with Sonic Youth.]Mark:We might've gotten banned a short period of time from the Central. I think the Thrown-Ups were banned from The Ditto, so they did a show where they changed their name to the Hands of Love. Because of all the shit that got sprayed all over the place. They for sure got banned from The Central.Poster, Photo by Allen Brooks (#2, #3)
Notes on the Fall 1986 Tour: This was christened the "ImmaTour." The band had an old school bus as its tour vehicle, complete with broken-out windows and mis-spelled racial graffiti on the sides of it. The tour was originally scheduled to run through Texas, but the bus died in Los Angeles, leaving the band stranded. Jeff and Alex ended up stuck in Hollywood during Thanksgiving, which occurred on 11/27/86 (though they had a gig the next day, which doesn't quite add up to being "stuck").
They made up a shirt for the tour, which lists the cities in this order: Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Eugene, Ashland, Medford, San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tuscon, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, New Orleans. The Vancouver and Seattle shows took place a few weeks before they properly started the tour.
Mark in Grunge is Dead:We made two more attempts at touring, both down the West Coast [after the 1985 tour; this ignores the short Idaho and Montana tour in Spring, 1986]. Our plan for our '86 tour was to go down to L.A., and then cut over and go to Texas - we were supposed to play with Scratch Acid and Poison 13. So we bought this broken down, dilapidated school bus from Jeff's dad. It didn't take us as far as we wanted to go - we ended up ditching it in L.A. [Earlier] Jeff and Stone went out to Montana to pick it up, and it barely made it to Seattle. That should have set off alarm bells. Our first show was in Portland. Portland had a really gnarly group of skinhead Nazis then. A couple of them went to prison for killing an Ethiopian man - they were just retarded assholes.We played at the Satyricon, and there were a couple of skinheads, just hating us, giving us all kinds of grief - yelling at us and throwing shit. I guess our hair was too long. The last song of the set was a cover of the Dead Boys' 'Ain't Nothin' to Do,' I remember doing this really quick forward bend, and at the same time, Jeff was going in the opposite direction with his bass - so my forehead hit one of his tuning pegs and split open. I ran into the bathroom right after the song to wash the blood off my face, and this skinhead comes in, and goes, 'Oh, I guess they already got to you,' turned, and walked away. It seemed to me that this guy was new and his initiation was to go beat up one of those 'hippies' from that band.
We played a killer house party in Medford, Oregon, and maybe two shows in San Francisco. We had two shows in L.A. that were two weeks apart. The second was for our return trip from Texas, but the bus went tits up in L.A., so we never made it to Texas. We had to call our parents, at least I did - 'Hey, uh, I need a plane ticket home.' [Laughs.] Because we didn't make any money on these tours. That tour was cursed. Come to think of it, all our tours were cursed. Most of the band stayed in Hollywood, but I went down to Laguna Beach with Bruce to ride those two weeks out at his folks' house. They were super nice, but two weeks is a long time to stay at someone else's parents' place.
11/6/86 Satyricon. Portland, OR
Supported By: Obituary, Hell Cows
Set: Ain't Nothin' to Do (set incomplete)
Notes: A gang of skinheads came to the show. During the last song of the show, Ain't Nothin' to Do, Mark rocks out by bringing his head down, Jeff rocks out by lifting the head of his bass, and the result is that Mark gets a big cut on his forehead. Mark is dealing with this in the bathroom after the show, and a wannabe skinhead comes in, sees the blood, says, "Oh, they already got you," and leaves. Apparently, his initiation was to beat up Mark.
Mark in Grunge is Dead:Our first show [of the tour] was in Portland. Portland had a really gnarly group of skinhead Nazis then. A couple of them went to prison for killing an Ethiopian man - they were just retarded assholes.We played at the Satyricon, and there were a couple of skinheads, just hating us, giving us all kinds of grief - yelling at us and throwing shit. I guess our hair was too long. The last song of the set was a cover of the Dead Boys' 'Ain't Nothin' to Do,' I remember doing this really quick forward bend, and at the same time, Jeff was going in the opposite direction with his bass - so my forehead hit one of his tuning pegs and split open. I ran into the bathroom right after the song to wash the blood off my face, and this skinhead comes in, and goes, 'Oh, I guess they already got to you,' turned, and walked away. It seemed to me that this guy was new and his initiation was to go beat up one of those 'hippies' from that band.
11/8/86 Rib Cage. Eugene, OR
Supported By: Snakepit
Notes: Chris, who promoted the show, remembers:I had been sent a copy of the bands Together We'll Never 45 with a press kit earlier in 86 (which I still have) and looked for a place to promote them as the University where I promoted most acts like REM, Replacements, Meat Puppets, Screaming Trees, etc., didn't have any available dates. The local hospital was expanding and they bought out a small Chinese restaurant next to campus to make way for a parking lot, the owners then illegally sold on the keys to a guy whom opened it back up as a ribs restaurant, he didn't pay anybody and did a runner, somehow I ended up with the keys. I booked TSOL whom cancelled, Green River and another act. By the time Green River had come to town the city had shut off the water and I remember trying to wrestle a very large drunk girl off of the toilet which I had already put tape across the door as not working...I failed. The band had found there or brought a big candelabra which they placed in front of the drumkit lit with candles, I remembered it fell down and was thinking the place would go up in flames since the water was turned off and I would be held responsible so I think that was the only gig I ever promoted there. I paid them about $40 of the 75 I got at the door as we had around 25 people there if my memory holds well and it was a great but set. I told them I owed them $25 if I didn't have to pay rent on the place and I never did get charged rent so technically I still owe them! The band slept at my place that night and were all really cool even if my roommates didn't like all the long hair in the drains. Snakepit opened which featured Mike Johnson later of Dinosaur, Jr. and some other Seattle bands as well as Alan Larsen.
Years later I had moved to London and Mudhoney were playing at the Hibernia Club for 3 nights in 1990 just down the road from the Mute Records Warehouse where I worked. I went to soundcheck and invited them down and told them they could take some Nick Cave, Wire, Can etc cds in exchange for me getting some friends into the shows. I had to leave the warehouse while they were pillaging it but forgot to tell them not to take my own stock that included Carpenters etc cds which I had just borrowed off of Pete Shelley from Buzzcocks. I didnt discover this till they were out of the UK so they got that $25 and then some back off me for the 4-5 cds that they took.
11/9/86 Ashland, OR
Notes: Mark in Grunge is Dead:We played a killer house party in Medford, Oregon, and maybe two shows in San Francisco.
11/??/86 Medford, OR
11/14/86 The VIS. San Francisco, CA
Supporting: Boss Hoss, Shower Scene
11/15/86 Mabuhay Gardens. San Francisco, CA
11/22/86 The Farm. San Francisco, CA
Supporting: Jetboys, Sea Hags, Touch Me Hooker
11/??/86 Berkeley, CA
11/??/86 Sacramento, CA
11/28/86 Anti-Club. Los Angeles, CA
Supported By: SWA, Silver Stars
Set: Searchin', One More Stitch, Unwind, Ain't Nothin' to Do, Porkfist, Ozzie (set incomplete)
Notes: These are the only known performances of 'Searchin',' and 'One More Stitch,' and the only known pre-break-up performance of 'Ozzie.'
Mark in Grunge is Dead:We had two shows in L.A. that were two weeks apart [and this was the first one]. The second was for our return trip from Texas, but the bus went tits up in L.A., so we never made it to Texas. We had to call our parents, at least I did - 'Hey, uh, I need a plane ticket home.' [Laughs.] Because we didn't make any money on these tours. That tour was cursed. Come to think of it, all our tours were cursed. Most of the band stayed in Hollywood, but I went down to Laguna Beach with Bruce to ride those two weeks out at his folks' house. They were super nice, but two weeks is a long time to stay at someone else's parents' place.
1?/??/86 Phoenix, AZ (CANCELLED)
Notes: The remainder of the tour was cancelled when their bus died in Southern California.
12/??/86 Albuquerque, NM (CANCELLED)
Notes: The remainder of the tour was cancelled when their bus died in Southern California.
12/??/86 Santa Fe, NM (CANCELLED)
Notes: The remainder of the tour was cancelled when their bus died in Southern California.
12/??/86 El Paso, TX (CANCELLED)
Notes: The remainder of the tour was cancelled when their bus died in Southern California.
12/??/86 San Antonio, TX (CANCELLED)
Notes: The remainder of the tour was cancelled when their bus died in Southern California.
12/6/86 The Continental Club. Austin, TX (CANCELLED)
Supporting: Scratch Acid
Supported By: Guardez Lou
Notes: The remainder of the tour was cancelled when their bus died in Southern California.
12/??/86 Houston, TX (CANCELLED)
Notes: The remainder of the tour was cancelled when their bus died in Southern California.
12/??/86 New Orleans, LA (CANCELLED)
Notes: The remainder of the tour was cancelled when their bus died in Southern California. New Orleans was supposed to be the last date of the tour (except for the second L.A. show, which they appear to have picked up after the tour started).
12/11/86 Club Lingerie. Los Angeles, CA
Supporting: Raszebrae, Haunted Garage, Rhythm Pigs
Notes: They were going to play L.A., then go as far out as New Orleans, then play L.A. a second time. When their van broke, they stayed in L.A. between the two shows, and cancelled the rest. Shadow, a band from Seattle that Green River shared bills with, was playing down the street at the Whiskey that night, and the two bands met up after the show.
1?/12/86 Club Congress. Tuscon, AZ (CANCELLED)
Supported By: River Roses
Notes: The remainder of the tour was cancelled when their bus died in Southern California. Tickets to this show were $4.
12/28/86 The Central Tavern. Seattle, WA
Supported By: Malfunkshun
12/31/86 GESSCO Hall. Olympia, WA
Supported By: U-Men, Danger Mouse, The Primitives, Bundle Of Hiss
Set: This Town, Baby Takes, Bazaar, Searchin', Search and Destroy (set incomplete)
Notes: They play Iggy & The Stooges' 'Search and Destroy' for the first known time. After 'This Town,' Mark announces, "OK, someone ... someone up here keeps trying to unite my shoes. I'm not gonna, no one's gonna fucking see my bare feet until all of you take off your shoes." They're not quite to midnight when it's time to play 'Bazaar,' so Mark says, "We've got just a little time before midnight, so we're gonna play a slow number. Grab your date, snuggle up with 'em." They're not on the same page for 'Search and Destroy.' Mark has the words down, but the other guys don't quite have the structure for the song, and they finish it by devolving into noise. It may be that Girl Trouble headed the bill rather than Bundle of Hiss opened it.
Poster, Poster 2, Poster 3
1/24/87 The Central Tavern. Seattle, WA
Supporting: Sea Hags
Supported By: Melvins
3/27/87 The Arts Club Theatre. Vancouver, Canada
Supported By: Iron Gypsies
Notes: At the time, it was standard for the venue to book a band to play both Friday and Saturday on a given weekend.
3/28/87 The Arts Club Theatre. Vancouver, Canada
Supported By: Iron Gypsies
Notes on the Spring, 1987 Mini-Tour: Tad Doyle of H-Hour is from Boise and Jeff is from Montana, which may have led to the bookings.
4/3/87 Butch's Den. Pullman, WA
Supporting: Three Slaves
Notes: Butch's Den is located in the Compton Union Building on Washington State University campus.
4/5/87 The Down Under. Missoula, MT
Also on Bill H-Hour
Set: Rehab Doll, Porkfist, Together We'll Never, Queen Bitch, Baby Takes, Hangin' Tree, This Town, One More Stitch, Smilin' and Dyin', Search and Destroy, Swallow My Pride, Take a Dive, Unwind, Ain't Nothin' to Do
Notes: This is ony known performance of both 'Hangin' Tree' and 'Take a Dive.'
??/??/87 Spokane, WA
Also on Bill: H-Hour
Notes: This show occurred in the Spring.
??/??/87 Boise, ID
Also on Bill: H-Hour
Notes: This show occurred in the Spring.
??/??/87 The Molly Brown. Bozeman, MT
Also on Bill: H-Hour
Notes: This show occurred in the Spring.
5/1/87 The Crescent Ballroom. Tacoma, WA
Supporting: D.O.A., Whipping Boy, D.C. 3
Notes: The venue was a former USO ballroom, where The Sonics and The Wailers had played in the 1960's.
5/22/87 Satyricon. Portland, OR
Supporting: Red Kross
Supported By: Downsiders
Notes: Much like the next night, which is documented in more detail, Mark swings from some lights that hang from the ceiling. This time, Mark ends up pulling the whole set of lights from the ceiling.
5/23/87 The Crescent Ballrooom. Tacoma, WA
Supporting: Red Kross
Supported By: Soundgarden, Malfunkshun
Notes: Mark wore a dress while performing.
Bruce in Everybody Loves Our Town:Green River opened for Redd Kross in Tacoma, along with Soundgarden and Malfunkshun. And a label person was coming up to see us play. Soundgarden played first, and we found out after the show that Susan Silver had snuck them out of the building during our set, so whoever the A&R person was didn't see us play. She did what a manager would do, and got them out of the building. Back then, they weren't signing bands left and right. Jeff was furious with Susan for a long time about that.Tomie O'Neil in Everybody Loves Our Town:
It was a really awesome show, too, so we were totally bummed out. Mark had on his silver pants and the black negligee that he used to wear. He might've been on drugs that night.Mark Arm, wantin' to do something crazy there, climbs up on top of the P.A. It was a pretty tall building, and they had four-foot fluorescent lights hanging on chains down from the ceiling. With the mic in his hand, he jumps on top of that thing like a swing, and the minute he hit it, it pulled down about six to eight inches, and we thought, He's done. It looked like that thing was gonna come down. He's like 15 feet off the ground, and he fuckin' sang a verse up there.Bruce in Everybody Loves Our Town:Mark was up there. His head was 20 feet in the air. He was swinging and he was able to jump-he hit the stage and rolled with the microphone. It was pretty cool. I fell to my knees and split my pants open, and I didn't have underwear on. I think I was more concerned about that. I was like, "Whoops!" That was a fun show.Mark:There was a Green River show at The Crescent Ballroom where I was out of my mind on MDMA. And we're playing with Redd Kross and I hung from this light fixture and everyone thought it would kill me cause I'd climbed up a PA stack and jumped up to this fluorescent light fixture held up by two chains and I started swinging it like it was a swing and it was just something I did while I was high on drugs.Mark in Everybody Loves Our Town:It [Seattle's concert-killing Teen Dance Ordinance] also drove things into more underground spaces, like house parties. And when Seattle promoters wanted to do bigger all-ages shows, they would have to go out of town. There was Natasha's in Bremerton, and the Crescent Ballroom in Tacoma, where we played a great show with Redd Kross.Poster, Poster 2, Poster 3
I was out of my mind on MDA that show and thought it would be a really great idea to climb to the top of the P.A. and, from there, jump onto a fluorescent light that was hanging by two chains from the ceiling and try to swing on it like it was a kid's swing.
5/25/87 Harpo's. Victoria, Canada
Supported By: Bedspins, Noise Generation
Encore: Queen Bitch
Notes: Mark was front and center for the Bedspins' set, especially when they closed with a medley of the Alice Cooper Band's 'The Ballad of Dwight Fry' and Cheap Trick's 'He's a Whore.' Afterward, Mark told Bedspins that they reminded him of The Celibate Rifles. Like 10/13/86, Green River comes makes the long roundtrip drive to Canada to play one show on a Monday night.
5/29/87 Washington Hall. Seattle, WA
Supported By: My Eye, Catbutt
6/5/87 The Scoundrel's Lair. Seattle, WA
Notes: This show was a record release party for Dry As a Bone.
Jonathan Poneman in Grunge is Dead:Even though they were doing a completely original revisionist take on it [ed note: being rock stars], it made me uncomfortable, until I saw them do their Dry as a Bone record release show. To this day, one of the greatest shows I'd ever seen in my life - completely blew me away. For a long time, I felt like, 'I love Green River ... but I love Soundgarden. But after I saw that record release party, Green River was indisputably the coolest band in Seattle. That show - it was a hot July day in 1987 - blew my mind apart.Jonathan Poneman in Pitchfork:In 1987, I was working at a small venue and we put on the record release party for Green River's Dry as a Bone - to this day, that show is one of the best I've ever seen in my life. [Note: This venue was booked by Bruce Pavitt, Jonathan's partner at Sub Pop, though they hadn't yet partnered in the record label at this point.]Jonathon Poneman in Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle:To this day it's one of the five best rock shows I've ever seen. It was absolutely and utterly mesmerizing. Before then I had booked Green River at various shows and it almost seemed like it was parody, but the crucial difference [now] was that they had an audience that was all theirs and completely got it. Sub Pop's relationship with Green River early on was really what cemented the label. Bruce had this undygin belief in all things Green River, whereas I had an undying belief in all things Soundgarden. In many ways, in retrospect, Green River were the smarter band, in that what they were doing was a lot more sophisticated. Or what they were trying to do. At the time it was all about the live shows, and Green River was much more multi-dimensional because you had all these different characters on stage.Poster
7/1/87 The Vogue. Seattle, WA
Poster, Poster 2
7/10/87 Natacha's. Bremerton, WA
Set: Forever Means, Baby Takes, Porkfist, Together We'll Never, Unwind, Rehab Doll, Smilin' and Dyin', Swallow My Pride, This Town, Louie Louie, 10000 Things (set possibly incomplete)
Notes: Stone starts up the intro to 'Rehab Doll' before the rest of the band has finished with 'Unwind.' Before 'Louie, Louie,' Mark asks the crowd, "What's the one word that the smartest man in Bremerton can say three times?" Someone in the crowd shouts, "Fuck you!" "That's two words. This is harder than I thought." 'Louie, Louie' is stopped half-way through by Mark, and they go into '10,000 Things,' which he introduces as being called '2112.' Natasha's was located at 3536 Arsenal Way.
7/17/87 Satyricon. Portland, OR
Supported By: Snow Bud and the Flower People
8/21/87 Luna. Seattle, WA (30 min)
Set: Baby Takes, (Porkfist), Porkfist, 10,000 Things, Rehab Doll, Smilin' and Dyin', Take a Dive, Queen Bitch, Somebody
Notes: They play Aerosmith's 'Somebody' for the first known time. This was Green River's last Seattle show before they broke up. The show takes place in a shoe store. Just before they start, one of the store owners pitches the crowd: "We're open six days a week, 9 until about 9, every day but Monday." And Mark adds, "This is the start of our shoe store tour. We're playing next week at the Volume shoe store at [unintelligble] mall. Hope to see you there. We wouldn't play Fluvog's because they wouldn't let me walk away with a pair of these boots, like in our contract." Mark is wearing black thigh-high high-heeled boots (and skin tight silver lame tights - see photos; it was 1987, and these things happened). They try to go into the second song of the set, but Bruce already needs to tune his guitar, so Mark banters with the crowd: "Bruce bought a tuner so it'll match his tan. ... Thank you for that hearty laughter. Whatchu got there [Seattle scenester] Slats? [inaudible] Oh, thank you." Mark introduces '10,000 Things' with, "And now we would like to bring you back to 1984 when we recorded this lovely number." After the song, Stone announces, "I can't see my strings at all, I have to work my tan," and Mark comments, "Gregory, these shoes are too big," to which Alex adds a *ba-du-dum* on his drums, like Mark just said the punchline to a joke. Before 'Take a Dive,' Mark tells everyone, "OK, this is a trick I learned from Soundgarden," and whatever he does, the crowd likes it. After that song, someone in the crowd is shouting for them to play Queen's 'Get Down Make Love.' The only known time they've played this is, 10/23/87, so they must've played it earlier, as well. Before the last song, Mark refers back to his thigh-high high-heeled boots: "It's really hard not to look sexy in a pair of boots like this. I manage, though."
Mark:We knew the guys who worked and ran the shoe store. They were trying to think of things to bring people in. I don't think we were the only band to play there [Stone and Jeff's post-Green River band Lords of the Wasteland also did].Photo, (#2)
10/10/87 The Community World Theater. Tacoma, WA
Notes: This show may have been cancelled.
Notes on Fall, 1987 Tour: Portland started the tour and Los Angeles ended it (and the band). They may have squeezed in a fourth proper show on 10/22/87. They titled this one the "Disastour."
10/21/87 Satyricon. Portland, OR
Supported By: Hellcows, Exploding Satans
10/??/87 KSLC-FM Studios. McMinnville, OR
Notes: Green River plays on the radio of Linfield College's student radio station. Mark went to school here for a year before transferring to the Univeristy of Washington. This probably took place on 10/21/87 or 10/22/87.
10/23/87 The Chatterbox. San Francisco, CA (75 min)
Set: Forever Means, Baby Takes, Queen Bitch, By Her Own Hand, Together We'll Never, This Town, Rehab Doll, The Needle and the Damage Done, Smilin' and Dyin', Get Down Make Love, Swallow My Pride, Somebody, Unwind, Porkfist, Ain't Nothing to Do
Encore: Ozzie, Search and Destroy
Notes: They play By Her Own Hand (the lyric of the Mudhoney song, with different music), Neil Young's 'The Needle and the Damage Done,' and Queen's 'Get Down Make Love' for the first known time. The Chatterbox was a small bar in San Francisco's Mission District. Mark called this show good. They're in tuning hell and need to take breaks between most songs to retune. But the crowd is appreciative and energetic, and everyone is having fun. So, they get one song in and Bruce needs to take some time to re-tune. Mark jokes, "That saved us 30 bucks." Bruce: "I'd like to introduce you to our singer who occasionally talks way too fucking much. Mr. Fucking Mark Arm!" Stone is noodling, playing some Aerosmith-y type things - though, in 1987, most everything Green River played was Aerosmith-y. Stone: "That's the noise from hell that we have to play whenever we announce his name," and plays his Aerosmith-y bit again. Mark: "This goes out to our guitar player who smokes too much pot, Mr. Bruce Fairweather. [Jokingly] Asshole." And they make it one more song before getting back to tuning their instruments, so Mark returns to keeping the audience engaged. Mark: "You know, it's been a long drive. But we always love to come to our favorite club in the world, The Chatterbox! Some people would think it's really rough being in a car with these guys for five days. But they're really alright naked!" Jeff (talking about Bruce): "Hey does anyone know how to tune a guitar? We need help over here." Mark: "This is a song called 'I Want Crack.'" Jeff: "The next time a bid bad singer falls into your guitar, you can tune it for me then." But now they're tuned, and they make it ... one more song before they need to tune up some more. Stone: "That was our tribute to Spinal Tap, that whole sequence of events." Bruce: "Now would be an excellent time for Bruce to come up and fucking work his magic on my guitar." Mark: "I wrote this next song about Bruce, who's the biggest junkie in the whole world. He can't live a minute without some brown. He's even more strong out than Kenny Rogers, his idol." And they play Neil Young's song about heroin, 'The Needle and The Damage Done.' They start off like the original recording, but transition to being loud and distorted by the end. After 'Smilin and Dyin'' a glass is smashed. Mark: "That song was a waste of a good beer. OK, this next song's called 'The Gambler' [a Kenny Rogers song]. The drunkest man in showbiz! [The other guys are tuning.] That's an E! [Someone in the crowd shouts for The Thrown Ups]. We're this close to The Thrown Ups." They go into a piss take version of Queen's 'Get Down Make Love,' changing up the words in a joking way, like Mudhoney did with their cover of 'Revolution.' They go through two verses and two choruses, and that's enough. Mark announces, "Thank you! That's all the covers we know. [Though they'll go on to play three more covers in this show.] How many of you dye your hair black?" To which someone in the crowd shouts back "How many of you work at Muzak?" [Mark worked there in the Green River years, and at least one of his coworkers was at the gig.] More Mark: "This is a song about the poor children who don't have enough to eat while you drink beer on the money you fucking scavenge off of rich people. We like to call it, 'Bummer, Man.'" Four of the five guys make it onstage for an encore, and Bruce and Alex shout for Stone. Mark: " We've never really practiced this for a while. But we figure we're in 'Frisco, we can get away with the [Grateful] Dead thing [of improvising]. Before we play this song, everybody's gotta buy a beer! And after we play, you gotta come up and buy our record!" They close with a sloppy and fun 'Search and Destroy.'
Mark, in Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle:It was just a totally crazy, wild, great great show. In fact, I blew out my voice that night.Mark in Everybody Loves Our Town:A night or two before our last show, we played in San Francisco at the Chatterbox. It was a great show, and we finished our set and people wanted more and we just kept playing and playing and - here's where singing lessons might have helped out - at the end of the night, I'd just totally blown out my voice.
10/24/87 The Scream. Los Angeles, CA (40 min)
Supporting: Jane's Addiction
Set: Forever Means, Rehab Doll, Queen Bitch, Together We'll Never, By Her Own Hand, This Town, Smilin' and Dyin', Swallow My Pride
Encore: The Needle and the Damage Done/Ain't Nothin' To Do
Notes: This show was a part Green River's five day tour down the West Coast. Green River's last show before breaking up. The tensions in the band come to a head at this show. After 'Queen Bitch,' Bruce and Alex disappear for a second. Mark tells the crowd, "We lost our rhythm guitarist. All we've got left is a hat. We lost our drummer. Anyone know how to drum? Oh, they're back. Hello, L.A.!" and they launch into 'Together We'll Never.'
Mark:We went down to L.A., and had a guest list of 10 people, all of whom were from major labels. Only two of them came [ed note: or maybe just Anna Statman of Slash Records, who arrived too late to see the band, anyway]. Meanwhile, I wanted to get my friends in and they [the band] said 'No, it's really important that we get these industry people in.' But these people didn't give a shit about us; I'd rather have had my friends come in for free ... I could barely croak out a note. I'm sure that let everyone else, including myself, down.Jeff in Grunge is Dead:We had a show with Jane's Addiction - that was the last show - at the Scream, in downtown L.A. The thing that I remember the most is when Jane's Addiction played, being blown away that this band that didn't have a record out was playing in front of 2,000 people - who knew all the words to the songs. They were a really weird band. They weren't conventional in any way. I remember thinking how much I loved the rhythm section - Stephen Perkins and Eric Avery were doing some shit at that point that I don't think I'd ever seen done on a punk rock level. Stone and I were standing on the side of the stage - just fuckin' blown away. At some point, Mark and Bruce said how much they thought that they sucked. That was pretty much it - I think Stone and I knew at that point.We didn't know what we wanted to do, but whatever it was, it was different than what Mark wanted to do. I remember reading that Mark thought the end happened when I wouldn't let his friends on the guest list, because I had filled it with record company people - which is partially true. They were all the people that helped us get most of the shows down the West Coast, and I felt it was the least we could do. Of course, only a few of them showed up - so he was ticked off. I think if we had been better communicators and talked about our differences better, we would have turned into an incredible band. We could probably have been as good as Jane's Addiction. But shit, we were were 21, 22, 23 at the time. I didn't want to work in a restaurant the rest of my life - that's for sure. I don't think any of the guys had to work to pay their rent, so I don't think it was as hard a decision for them. For seven years, I got up at five in the morning and went to work - I couldn't wait to not do that. I guess that made me a careerist. I do like how my career turned out.Mark in Everybody Loves Our Town:Our last show was in L.A., playing with Junkyard and Jane's Addiction. I was not a fan of Jane's Addiction. At the time, I was really opposed to high-pitched vocals-to me that was just like fingernails on a chalkboard. Junkyard were this AC/DC-ish, Southern rock- ish, L.A. glam-metal band, but they had Brian Baker from Minor Threat and Chris Gates from the Big Boys and Poison 13. I thought, I don't want to just be another ex-punk who plays in some shitty glam band.Jeff in Everybody Loves Our Town:
And there was the guest list issue. Jeff had put a bunch of A&R people on the list. He's trying to make something happen, while my point at the time was, 'Why can't we get our friends in?' We ran into Anna Statman, who at the time worked at Slash, and I think she was the only A&R person on the list that showed up.
We sucked. I sucked, in particular. I couldn't hit half the notes. The rest of the band was probably glad the A&R people didn't show.Stone and I were on the side of the stage when Jane's was playing, totally mesmerized by the interaction between the band and the crowd.... It was the first time I had seen an alternative-music show where it was like the most reverential hard-rock crowd. That night Jane's Addiction showed us that you could do something totally different and make it work, which basically caused Green River to break up since the other guys didn't dig it as much as Stone and I did. Our drummer hated them. When we got back to Seattle we just knew we wanted to do something else, something with less limitations, something that had endless possibilities ...Jeff in I'm Now:I remember Stone and I standing by the side of the stage and going, "Oh my god, this is incredible." And I remember Mark and Bruce coming up at different times, saying, like, how lame they thought it was. And I remember thinking, "Wow." I think any hope that I had that Green River could be as good as Jane's Addiction - because Mark didn't like Jane's Addiction, for me it felt like there was a big chasm there. I remember being kind of bummed and, like, [makes bummed out facial expression].Mark:So we played the LA show, which was pretty disastrous. We'd played the night before at the Chatterbox in San Francisco. It was a tiny place. It was crazy. We played our set and then we just kept going, because they wanted more and more. So, I blew out my voice screaming like an idiot. The next day we played L.A., and I could barely croak out a tune. This was a showcase sort of show. Jeff had invited a bunch of A&R people down to see us. My performance was definitely not up to snuff. I think that pretty much solidified any doubts that Jeff and Stone might have had in what they wanted to do.Stone in I'm Now:Whether people say Jane's Addiction split them [Green River] up - it's like, it was just a moment in time that sort of became more evident.Jeff in Mudhoney: The Sound and the Fury from Seattle:I remember driving back from L.A. and we had a tape of the show and it just wasn't very good. I think everybody knew on that drive back that the band was at an end. I don't remember there being a whole lot of drama.Jeff in Grunge is Dead:It was impossible [to get paid]. When Green River broke up, the hardest thing was we played on Saturday night, drove home all day Sunday, and then I went to work on Monday. And on that Monday morning, Jonathan Poneman came down and said, 'We just got a bunch of money - we're going to buy a van, so you guys can tour on this next record.' I thought, 'Wow, just when we decided we're not going to do the band anymore, somebody is actually offering to do something for us.'Alex:On that last leg you saw that everything was coming to a head. We got back, and it was on Halloween, 1987. Mark and I were at the practice space, ready to rehearse, and then Stone, Jeff and Bruce walked in and said, "Well, we're finished." Mark was like, "Oh, OK," and I was like, "Well, I'm fucked."
11/??/87 Luna. Seattle, WA (CANCELLED)
Notes: Alex:We came back [from the West Coast tour] and, a week later, we were supposed to have a show at a place called Luna, which was actually a clothing store. But we broke up before it happened.
11/14/87 The Central Tavern. Seattle, WA (CANCELLED)
Supported By: The Walkabouts, Room Nine, Danger Bunny, Terry Lee Hale.
Notes: This show was a benefit for Washington Grass Roots. Green River cancelled after they broke up on 10/31/87.
11/22/87 The Central Tavern. Seattle, WA (CANCELLED)
Supporting: Bundle of Hiss, Coffin Break
Notes: This show was a benefit for Young Democrats of Washington. Green River cancelled after they broke up on 10/31/87.
11/30/93 The Alladin Theater. Las Vegas, NV (10 min)
Also on Bill: Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Urge Overkill
Set: Swallow My Pride, (Jam), Ain't Nothin' to Do
Notes: Near the end of Pearl Jam's set, Stone steps to the mic and introduces Green River: "You're just going to have to sit through it because we decided we wanted to do it." Eddie Vedder gives the group another introduction, and they're off, with big, goofy smiles all around and Chuck Treece of Urge Overkill on drums. They spend the first few minutes huddled together in the center of the stage, but eventually spread out. Mark messes up the lyrics to "Swallow My Pride," singing "can't keep my blood from running cold" twice. After the song, Jeff and Mark shake hands and then hug. Mark then tells the audience, "The next number Jeff wrote. It's a thing called 'Jazz Odessey."' The guys make random noise on their instruments while Mark does some faux-scat. Chuck Treece gives up drumming duties and Dave Abbruzzese takes over for "Ain't Nothin' To Do." Jeff is running and jumping all over the stage. Steve takes his solo where it normally appears in the song, and then Stone takes one equally as long. Steve, Stone and Jeff give the song a drawn-out ending, with Steve not stopping until he's been offstage for thirty seconds. Mark: "I'm sure [the Green River reunion] just bummed out all the kids there, because that was the height of not even Pearl Jam mania but Eddie Vedder mania - they weren't screaming 'Pearl Jam' between songs, they were going 'Ed-die! Ed-die!'"
12/2/93 Lawlor Athletic Events Center. Reno, NV (5 min)
Also on Bill: Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, Urge Overkill
Set: Ain't Nothin' to Do
Notes: Again, Green River comes out near the end of Pearl Jam's set. On drums, it's Dan, Eddie Vedder, Dave Abbruzzese and Chuck Treece, with Dave sitting at the kit handling most of the duties while the other guys stand around him banging on whatever they can reach. Steve is using Mike McCready's guitar. Stone is running all over the stage, in big circles. Near the end, Mark repeatedly shouts out, "Everybody pogo!" and he, Jeff, Steve and Stone all pogo in unison while the four drummers destroy Dave's kit.
7/10/08 The Sunset Tavern. Seattle, WA (55 min)
Supporting: The Fluid, The Press Corps
Soundcheck: Ozzie, Ozzie, P.C.C. (soundcheck possibly incomplete)
Set: Come on Down, 33 RPM, P.C.C., Ozzie, Baby Help Me..., Unwind, Leech, Queen Bitch, Together We'll Never, Swallow My Pride, New God, 10000 Things, This Town, Ain't Nothin' to Do
Notes: This was billed as a show by The Press Corps, with special guests. In attendance are Guy, Matt, Kim Thayil, and Jack Endino. Green River combines the Steve Turner and Bruce Fairweather eras to create a three-guitar onslaught that can barely be contained by the small-ish Sunset Tavern stage. From stage-left to right it's Steve, Stone, Mark, Jeff and Bruce, with Alex holding down the backline. A couple of people from Pearl Jam's crew are handling set-up, so when either Stone or Steve has a guitar problem midway through the show, he hands it off and gets another one, prompting Bruce to comment with some amusement, "That's the first time we've had a guitar tech, ever." Swallow My Pride most closely resembles the Dry as a Bone version. Things begin to get wild during New God when a weekend-warrior mosh pit starts up. After the first chorus, Mark jumps into the crowd and makes his way across the narrow Sunset Tavern to the bar. In a move remiscent of his earlier days, he climbs on top of the bar, and while using the rafters to steady himself, walks further into the audience while towering over them and singing. Unfortunately, somewhere in the process his mic gets disconnected and not one note is heard. When they finish the song, he jokes, "I sang great during that second verse." Stone then polls the crowd with, "Who wants to hear 10,000 Things?" and gets a lukewarm response, using this as justification for why they shouldn't play it. He tells the other guys, "Only four people want to hear it," but they play it anyway. Steve's post-show analysis: "That was fun."
7/13/08 "SP20 Festival". Marymoor Park. Redmond, WA (40 min)
Supporting: Wolf Parade
Supported By: Beachwood Sparks, Comets on Fire, Red Red Meat, No Age, Les Thugs, Foals, Kinski, Blitzen Trapper, Grand Archives, The Ruby Suns
Set: Come on Down, 33 RPM, P.C.C., Ozzie, Together We'll Never, Baby Help Me..., Leech, Swallow My Pride, New God, This Town, Ain't Nothin' to Do
Notes: This was the second day of a two-day festival to celebrate Sub Pop's 20th anniversary. Mudhoney played the first day. The guys take part in a group hug backstage before coming out and bringing the rock. In attendance side-stage are Dan, Guy, Matt Cameron, Jack Endino, and Chad Channing, among many otheres. When they finish Baby Help Me..., Mark mentions, "That song breaks my heart every time," and then introduces Leech: "We made a demo in 1984 and passed it around to friends. The Melvins recorded this song and pulled a Led Zeppelin by crediting it to themselves. We're the Willie Dixon of Grunge. Now that we've got the combined legal forces of Sub Pop and Pearl Jam, we're taking it back!" He introduces the band by saying Jeff and Bruce are from Montana's Deranged Diction, Stone and Steve from The Ducky Boys, Alex from Spluii Numa and he's "the evil genious behind Mr. Epp" (something he took credit for on 1/9/89, as well). As Ain't Nothin' to Do crashes to a finish, Alex, in his priest's collar, darts out from behind the drum kit and goes for a crowd surf, surprising everyone else on stage. Jeff takes over on drums as they continue to make a racket. Finally, Alex makes it back as Mark exhorts him to "Rise up!" The crew brings out three or four large boxes, and the guys cap it off by throwing dozens of the classic "Ride the Fucking Six Pack" shirts into the audience.
11/28/08 Dante's. Portland, OR (60 min)
Supported By: The Darlins, The Nights
Set: Come on Down, 33 RPM, P.C.C., Together We'll Never, Unwind, Leech, Swallow My Pride, 10000 Things, Ozzie, Baby Help Me..., New God, Rehab Doll, This Town, Ain't Nothin' to Do
Encore: Queen Bitch
Notes: Rehab Doll is brought back into the setlist. They tear through the set at a breakneck pace. Mark introduces Baby Help Me... by saying that it's even older than their first song, since it's a Mr. Epp song. Steve and Bruce throw some twin-lead-guitar licks into the "my time of dying" part of This Town, which causes Jeff, who's standing between them, to crack up. When they come out for the encore, Mark said it took a while for them to figure out which songs to play and in what order, until they realized they only know one more song. Steve's post-show analysis: "That was fun, too [like the Sunset Tavern on 7/11/08]. I liked that one."
11/29/08 The Showbox. Seattle, WA (50 min)
Supporting: The Supersuckers
Supported by: Zeke, Gerald Collier
Set: Come on Down, Ozzie, P.C.C., Together We'll Never, Leech, (Happy Birthday), Swallow My Pride, 33 RPM, Baby Help Me..., Unwind, New God, Rehab Doll, This Town, Ain't Nothin' to Do
Set: This is The Supersuckers' 20th anniversary show. After Leech, Mark takes note of that and says that it's also to celebrate 20 years of Green River not being a band. He and Jeff then go into a few quick lines of Happy Birthday. Early on in Swallow My Pride, Steve breaks the indispensible G string. Stone drapes his guitar over Steve (who still has his guitar on) and Steve starts playing that. Lacking a guitar, Stone helps out the song with hand claps and a booty-shaking dance, as well as playing Steve's wah-wah pedal. It gets a little rambunctious, and after Unwind someone makes it on stage only to do a singularly unimpresive stage dive that doesn't even make it fully out into the crowd. Mark notes that with, "Oh!...That sucked!" Alex calls everyone together for a consulatation near the end of the set. When they break, Mark announces that they have hatched a plan that they will now execute. Stone wants him to tell the audience the plan, but Mark says it's secret. The secret is that they're playing This Town and Ain't Nothin' to Do with no break between them. The twin guitar leads during This Town get Jeff laughing again tonight. 10,000 Things is crossed off the setlist after 33 RPM.
5/22/09 The Showbox. Seattle, WA (55 min)
Supporting: The Melvins
Supported By: The Melvins 1983
Set: Come on Down, 33 RPM, P.C.C., Together We'll Never, Ozzie, Leech, Swallow My Pride, Unwind, 10000 Things, Queen Bitch, Baby Help Me..., New God, Rehab Doll, This Town, Ain't Nothin' to Do
Notes: With various versions of The Melvins doing the opening and headlining sets, Mark refers to Green River's position as being "the center of a Melvins twinkie." After New God, Stone goes into an extended monologue talking about how Alex is the best songwriter in the band (he wrote the song), and how Paul Solger, who was a big inspiration, wrote the next song and gave it to them. Jeff's bass cuts out in the middle of Ain't Nothin' to Do, and he and a tech can't get it to work. Alex sees this and starts doing fills to wind the song down, until Mark catches his attention and gets him to plow through. After a few bars they get back on track and finish the song out. Alex comes out for the last song of The Melvin's main set to play drums on Spread Eagle Beagle.
5/23/09 The Showbox. Seattle, WA (60 min)
Supporting: The Melvins
Supported By: The Melvins 1983
Set: Come on Down, 33 RPM, P.C.C., Together We'll Never, Ozzie, Leech (w/Dale Crover), Swallow My Pride, Unwind, 10000 Things, Queen Bitch, Baby Help Me..., New God, Rehab Doll, This Town, Ain't Nothin' to Do
Notes: With The Melvins playing both before and after Green River, both bands' gear is set up simultanously. Mark introduces Dale Crover on Leech (a song The Melvins covered when Lukin was in the band) with, "This is a song so heavy it requires not only three guitarists, but also two drummers." Stone adds an understated and soulful lead to the intro of Baby Help Me.... After the song, referring to the consistent trickle of unskilled crowd surfers, Mark says, "Kids, watch out for fling old men. They hurt." Mark tries to say his goodbyes at the end of the set, but his mic cuts out, so Stone picks up the slack. Kim Thayil, Mike McCready and Randy Johnson are in attendance. Alex comes out for the last song of The Melvin's main set to play drums on Spread Eagle Beagle.