THE DWARVES reputation for live mayhem begins in 1983 when an early version of the band (SEXUALLY DEPRIVED YOUTH) perform at a high school pep rally. Following their performance the group is expelled for hiring teenage art models to pose nude with bowls of fruit balanced on their heads. After changing their name to SUBURBAN NIGHTMARE, the "Hard Day's Nightmare" Ep is released and degenerate artist JON STRAUS creates the Skull and Boners logo.
Appearing in Chicago with the CRAMPS, DWARVES singer BLAG JESUS is told to leave Illinois or face criminal prosecution for impersonating a celebrity. Drummer SLAMBEAU becomes the band's first fatality, falling off the roof of Medusa's in an amphetamine haze shortly before the band's relocation to San Francisco.
SLOPPAGE skinsman SIGH MOAN joins the new line-up and pens "Lick It", the first DWARVES song to be used in a TV advertisement for postage stamps. SALTPETER begins work on his "Tales From The Toilet" soundtrack, which receives a Grammy nomination for Best Four-Track Audio. He later quips, "We put the Poop in Pop!"
Dwarves are Born
Attempts to play live at this point in their career are always disastrous. Original singer JULIUS SEIZURE is stabbed over a cocaine deal and novice singer BLAG JESUS is forced to sing at a MINUTEMEN show in Chicago. The band change their name to the DWARVES and release the seminal and fluid HORROR STORIES album. Combining garage rock and toilet humor, the DWARVES begin their full frontal assault on rock and roll.
Rumors of onstage sex acts, drug abuse and random violence prompt a petition to circulate at Berkeley's GILMAN STREET venue asking the DWARVES to “please stop hurting people and stop eating meat, OK?" BLAG HISTORY MONTH changes his name to JR. HIGH and joins SF glam band PENETRATION. The band is a huge success in LA, but when word leaks that members of the DWARVES are involved they are banned from appearing in public without heavy metal clothing on.
Much has been written about how the DWARVES brought rock'n'roll to Seattle in the late 80's and showed a bunch of underfed junkies how it was done. Appearing on the west coast with NIRVANA, ROLLINS, L7, DINOSAUR JR. and URGE OVERKILL they begin a four year reign of terror that yields three classic CD's and sends audiences running for their lives all over the USA, Europe and the tolerable parts of Canada.
Retail chains across the country refuse to stock the record as pre-pubescent consumers clamor for the already legendary album. Executives at LA's KRQR hear the record and place "Drug Store" in heavy rotation. The record lights up switchboards at radio across the country, but interference from the then powerful Parents Music Resource Center leads to it being just as quickly yanked from the airwaves. A statement from the PMRC reads in part "...this record contains nudity and encourages kids to drink cough syrup. 'Blood, Guts and Pussy' is an outrage, an abomination and an affront to little people everywhere. The DWARVES are not healthy for children and other living things."
Teaming with grunge guru JACK ENDINO, the DWARVES create the classic "Blood, Guts & Pussy" record in a startling 17 minutes. Wowed by the group's productivity and their ability to find horny girls even in Olympia, the emerging SUB/POP label releases the record sporting a classic MICHAEL LAVINE photo of full-frontal, blood spattered strippers cavorting with a naked dwarf. The backlash is instant.
Tales of riots and violence at shows spread, gaining hype with every city. The DWARVES, formerly banned everywhere, begin an era of non-stop touring as fans await the first onstage fatality. Sold out shows follow in San Francisco, LA, Atlanta, Chicago , D.C. and New York. HEWHOCANNOTBENAMED introduces total nudity into the act, proving that everything is a little bigger 'out there'.
"Thank Heaven For Little Girls" is released to capitalize on the press from "BG&P". Once again radio picks a favorite and "Dairy Queen" begins climbing the charts only to be derailed by a lawsuit from the Dairy Queen Ice Cream Co. that pulls the record out of the stores and off of the airwaves once again. The record is briefly re-marketed as "31 Flavors of the Dwarves", but the damage has already been done.
HEWHOCANNOTBENAMED dies in a mysterious wrestling accident in Kankakee, IL. A nation of snotty punkers mourns their fallen icon, as BLAG collects donations for the funeral and winters in St. Croix. SUB/POP announces intellectual bankruptcy, and the Grunge era passes quietly, silent but dead.
Every show becomes a fight, every fight becomes a riot and every riot becomes a legend. With no venues in the Mid-West willing to risk a DWARVES show, and California promising a fresh crop of pubescent fans, HEWHO's army prepares to conquer the Golden State and then Seattle.
The Grunge-Lite movement invades Hollywood. Heavy metal cover bands shave their poodle cuts and trade in their spandex for flannel shirts, while aging A&R men pound their coke spoons into syringes. The DWARVES continue touring and collecting viruses while hospitalizing rabid fans in places like Richmond, VA and Bozeman, MT. A cease and desist order finally brings them to Europe with the REV. HORTON HEAT. Even with the entire country of Switzerland mobilized against them, the DWARVES perform to capacity crowds all over the continent.
With Seattle transplants CRASH LANDON and MARKY DeSADE rounding out the line-up, 'Sugarfix' is released. The single "Anybody Out There " is selected as the official anthem of the 1994 Special Olympics. The DWARVES continue to fuck and fight their way across America. A possible breakthrough cameo on "Beverly Hills 90210" is cancelled when HEWHO refuses to cover his genitalia while performing. SALTPETER briefly leaves the band for a career in proctology, but soon realizes that he actually encountered more assholes at record labels than in his practice. The DWARVES video "The Scum Also Rises" is released and promptly banned for obscenity and the worst live audio in the history of film.
Back in the USA, sold-out appearances in LA, San Francisco and New York prompt an appearance on HOWARD STERN's Show where a typically laconic HEWHOCANNOTBENAMED strips naked and performs BACH's "Das Wohltempierte Klavier". Not to be outdone, drummer VADGE MOORE schedules his own guest spot on "CONAN O'BRIEN", only to be bumped in favor of television's PUNKY BREWSTER. A brief Green Room affair quickly fizzles. MOORE later releases his solo effort "Everything and Moore" featuring MONDO GENERATOR bass player and rabid dog MR. EVERYTHING. The record goes amethyst in Belgium (over 65 copies sold) but the tour is cancelled when guitarist WHOLLEY SMOKKES of Norwegian deathmetal band HEMI is accused of capitol murder, church burning and skating ABBA's pool. On the lam in Holland the trio acquire drugs from sampling DJ MARZ. The promise of working with the DWARVES and encountering women who shave brings them all to the USA shortly thereafter.
DWARVES shows with OFFSPRING and GREEN DAY are widely credited with resurrecting California pop punk. VADGE MOORE is badly injured when he attempts to jump over all five members of POISON IDEA on a skateboard. AMPHETAMINE REPTILE, MAN’S RUIN and SYMPATHY release various singles and comp tracks for completists.
BLAG DAHLIA, in conjunction with Atlanta socialite and recording legend COL. HARPER HUG writes and produces "Blackgrass" by backwoods Beethoven EARL LEE GRACE. The album garners mixed reviews in Nashville, but cover versions by WILLIE NELSON, BILL MONROE and a posthumous MINNIE PEARL yield lucrative publishing splits. The DWARVES become staff producers for GREEDY's San Francisco office. A unique profit share system allows them to attempt the hostile takeover of CHASE MANHATTAN BANK within weeks by cornering the market in South African Kruggerands.
SGT. SALTPETER teams up with self styled producer BLAG TUESDAY to create the "Venus With Arms"-Ep for Chicago's ATAVISTIC label. The label balks at releasing the original cover, which shows a teen-age girl having her arms lopped off by surf music legend SWOOP KUDLER. Sales are meager, but singles on GREEDY and REPTILIAN receive extensive airplay on Armed Forces Radio.
The late HEWHOCANNOTBENAMED is revived by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical School. The DWARVES mark the event by creating their longest album to date, "The Dwarves Are Young And Good Looking" with producers ERIC VALENTINE and BRAD COOK. Instant classics are "Everybodies Girl", "We Must Have Blood", and "You Gotta Burn", the record becomes a cult favorite at skate parks and junior high gang bangs while still in its pirated cassette edition.
After the release of "Y&GL" through underground labels THEOLOGIAN and RECESS, EPITAPH boss BRETT GUERWITZ signs the DWARVES during a psychotic episode, believing them to be similar to BAD RELIGION, except without all the big words and stuff. Outraged fans picket the label's posh Silver Lake offices when they discover that the album was actually financed by corporate giant GREEDY for a reported 250K (Kenyan). The album is a critical favorite, but offers to tour with MARILYN MANSON, HOLE and THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS are rejected when singer BLAG JESUS learns that the DWARVES will have to play before the headliner. What follows are appearances in The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and The UK where unruly fans lob pints of beer and cocaine and pledge their undying support. These same fans later riot and demand their foreign money back after witnessing yet another ten minute DWARVES show.
Also completed at this time is BLAG DAHLIA's novel "Armed To The Teeth With Lipstick", illustrated by MARC RUDE. The book is deemed brilliant, but incomprehensible by the New York literati, and finds a receptive audience in Japan where its lack of a coherent structure is embraced as 'how to write good'. RUDE goes on to national prominence by piercing CHELSEA CLINTON at a Stanford rugby match.
Ready to warp the minds of a new generation, dope producers Dahlia and Valentine team up to create an ambitious follow up to "Young & Good Looking". Fresh from helming Top Ten hits for SMASHMOUTH and THIRD EYE BLIND, Valentine experiments with a more brutal form of pop-music and in the process drags Punk-Rock kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. "The Dwarves Come Clean" is a schizophrenic effort that jumps frenetically from hook-laden power-pop to skin-crawling hardcore, from dirty novelty songs to disturbing new-metal production pieces, in the process mutating the whole spectrum of modern and retro rock styles. Blag the Ripper enlists the help of songwriters NICK OLIVERI, REX EVERYTHING and HEWHOCANNOTBENAMED who join a host of guest artists (Swingin' Utters, Toys That Kill) to further fracture the heads of record buyers desperate for something new. Recalling the classic "Blood, Guts & Pussy" album, photographer Lavine captures the return of dwarf icon Bobby Faust as he cavorts with two luscious nymphettes and a bubble machine for the album's cover. So much for sales at Wal-Mart. Once again, the British press salivates for the new Dwarves record, but this time even America is starting to catch on to the San Francisco Rock Legends. Adding bassist CHIP FRACTURE (Jon Cougar Concentration Camp, Machine Gun) and drummer GREGORY PECKER (Excel, My Head) the Dwarves take their ever expanding line-up to the stage. Once again the nation and the world prepare to hide their daughters.
The Dwarves release HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE, a collection of new versions of classic Dwarves songs. Shows with the Damned, Motorhead, and other old folks follow. BLAG and the artist known as HAIRBOY produce tracks for SWINGIN UTTERS, GODAWFULS, DAMNATION and other underground bands. Blag becomes the announcer for SF cult favorites Incredibly Strange Wrestling and begins the HOW 2 WRITE GOOD column for the Wave Magazine. Dwarves tour Australia with BLOOD DUSTER and a comedy cd by BLAG DAHLIA- METROSEXUAL is released by Australian label High Voltage.
BLAG the RIPPER and a cast of thousands return with a desperate bid for cash and immortality- "THE DWARVES MUST DIE. Ancient indie label SYMPATHY FOR THE RECORD INDUSTRY empties the Swiss bank account they share with the WHITE STRIPES and mounts a promotional campaign that threatens to stretch into 4 digits as critical raves multiply and sold out live performances continue. Careening wildly from garage punk to hardcore, from hip hop to bubble gum pop, from art rock to sheer noise, the album takes a gut wrenching journey through the dark heart of American music to the dirty soul that lies beneath. The single "SALT LAKE CITY" delivers the death blow to pop punk while the GREEDY BROS. supply the insane B-side. The new record features lifetime Dwarves favorite HEWHOCANNOTBENAMED along with new stars FRESH PRINCE OF DARKNESS, CLINT TORRES and Drummer WRECK TOM. The Dwarves first female member TAZZIE BUSHWEED later starts DUTCH OVENS with industrial thrashers KMFDM. The Dwarves Must Die also features cameos by DEXTER HOLLAND (OFFSPRING) BLACK JOSH FREESE (VANDALS, PERFECT CIRCLE), SAN QUINN (GET LOW PLAYAZ), NASH KATO (URGE OVERKILL), SPIKE (ME FIRST & GIMMIE GIMMIES) and the immortal GARY OWENS (SPACE GHOST). Dirty cover pictures lampooning nudity, religion and death ride the line between smut and sheer genius to a place where parental advisory stickers dare not tread. .
SPIN magazine rates Blood, Guts & Pussy as the most offensive album of all time, edging out the ROLLING STONES and 2 LIVE CREW. SPIN also honors the Dwarves in its' 7 Greatest Rock'n'Roll Hoaxes, but the late HEWHOCANNOTBENAMED still has no comment. The venerable PLAYBOY and the scrappy new MAXIM both rate Dwarves records as among the sexiest album covers of all time. The Dwarves also supply tracks for films like GHOSTWORLD and ME, MYSELF & IRENE, television shows like VIVA LA BAM and SPONGEBOB and surf and skate videos by guys so cheap even we won't mention them. The Dwarves also supply the track "Kids Today" featuring the MATCHES and the AKAs for the FAT WRECK CHORDS compilation ROCK AGAINST BUSH Vol. 2. In this age of prepackaged punk and ready-made rebellion, the Dwarves remain fiercely independent and unrepentant to the end!
The Dwarves tear up Europe with appearances at the Leeds and Reading Festivals and on BBC radio who continue to spin instant classic 'SALT LAKE CITY'. The SLC video is filmed during the Dwarves tour of Japan where they perform live and on NHK Radio Tokyo. Australia and Hawaii feel the sickness as KMFDM drummer DUTCH OVENS makes his debut and HEWHOCANNOTBENAMED corners the market on drugs and prostitution. GREEDY WORLDWIDE is created to launder money from DWARVES merchandise across the globe. Our heroes appear on MONSTER GARAGE, PLAYBOY'S NIGHTCALLS and on soundtracks for tv shows like VIVA LA BAM, HOMEWRECKER and SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS. CLINT TORRES appears with soul crooner GNARLS BARKLEY and several television stars including L. RON HUBBARD. The FEFU video is made by BOB SEXTON with a little help from naked pin-up nymphets the SUICIDE GIRLS. Fetish artist DAVE NAZ contributes a huge dose of perversion as the Dwarves premiere a video that can't be shown for a song that can't be broadcast. Nudity, violence and dwarf love make FEFU the most popular GREEDY/MVD release yet and stations across the country spread the video virus while a full length FEFU dvd showcases 20 years of live insanity following the Dwarves from their midwest origins all the way to intercontinental infamy. BLAG DAHLIA releases his second novel NINA along with a spoken word cd. The reaction to this depraved tale of a wayward teenage girl is swift and harsh.
THE DWARVES music becomes inescapable in film and television swelling HEWHOCANNOTBENAMED’s bank account and ego beyond all proportion while the band appears in hardcore porn films like ‘Rocksuckers’ and soft core television like ‘Playboy’s Nightcalls’ where REX EVERYTHING’s oversized penis becomes caught in the tailpipe of HUGH HEFNER’s Maserati. BLAG and producer THRUSTY OTIS discover female pop singer ANGELINA in an Azerbaijani bus station and the result is the classic album CANDY NOW!. Audiences are stirred by the sultry siren and retro lounge tunes and this prompts an extensive tour of Oakland, California. BLAG begins to perform solo shows around the world insisting that he is the only artist who can play an acoustic guitar and not be gay at the same time. Critics vacillate between outright disagreement and complete avoidance as Dahlia congratulates himself for learning an additional chord and remembering songs that he’s already written several times before. Guitarists CHIP FRACTURE and THE FRESH PRINCE OF DARKNESS form MOTOCHRIST and END OF POWER to capitalize on the DWARVES now legendary status, while drummer GREGORY PECKER forms the percussion heavy GNARLY WATTS and magically sprouts hair.
BLAG the RIPPER and DJ MIKE ROUTHIER launch their attempt to control the media through bad music and useless conversation- RADIOLIKEYOUWANT.com is born! Specializing in punk, garage and novelty tunes the podcast is an instant success garnering two digit listenership and a sponsorship from Mentor condoms. Guests like JELLO BIAFRA, EXENE CERVENKA and HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS discuss music, sports and handy kitchen tips. Like JOHNNY CARSON and TOM GREEN before them, the broadcasters create an enduring legacy that truly will last roughly an hour every other week.
I guess you could say we got tied up for a while. Merchandised into everything from throbbleheads to belt buckles, tapped to score MTV reality shows, busy making solo records and fucking way better than even Rock Legends have any right to, somehow reports of The DWARVES demise still ran rampant as the decade turned. But the masters returned with THE DWARVES ARE BORN AGAIN, a magnum opus featuring every Dwarf ever, a return not only to hardcore glory days, but to the garage and retro styles where the whole sordid saga started countless blown minds ago.
Die hard fans mauled CHIP FRACTURE after a show in Bilbao, Spain when he played the Star Spangled Banner with his teeth. THE FRESH PRINCE OF DARKNESS was detained in Peru on smuggling charges, but managed to consume all of the evidence before trial. UK transplant DUTCH OVENS programs electro classic ’15 MINUTES’ while steering a Harley with his feet.
HEWHOCANNOTBENAMED produced the classic ‘Sunday School Massacre’ (Greedy) and embarked on an extensive tour of Croatia and Southern Latvia.
25 years is a long time to rule Rock, but massive sales of the Dwarves Are Born Again are predicted for sometime near the band's 50th anniversary. Teenage harlots still flock to San Francisco hoping to get a piece of the last punk band left, lunkheads still leave with lumps and the sound still snaps crackles and pops with all of the chaos of yesteryear. The Dwarves have indeed returned; revived, refreshed and raring to rock you right down to your ribcage. Now take you’re your top off!!!