The Meat Puppets did a lot of upgrading in 1987. We bought new equipment, new vehicles, even a new practice space. We also started buying new costumes. Of course, Cris’ girlfriend had been dressing up her Puppet as early as 1984. But I resisted for the most part (though even I succumbed to the pressure of a goth girlfriend for a couple of months). But while in London in 1987, I willingly visited the famed tourist traps at Carnaby Street and threw down per diem money on some unfortunate fashion choices.
The evidence is obvious on the East Coast Rocker cover. The ridiculous unflattering red pants display both my package (what there is of it) and that part of me uncrammable into the waistline. (The clashing flowery shirt was a gift from Mrs. Kirkwood, who was so proud that her boys were finally traveling across the ocean). The gold shirt on the Option cover was another London purchase. (Perhaps it will come as no surprise to learn that the timing of our 1987 trip to Europe coincided with the rise to fame of a certain Axel Rose and his ilk).
Soon the word got out among the photographing community that the Meat Puppets were willing to play dress-up. Suddenly, budgets for photo sessions began to balloon ominously as “stylists” appeared, along with racks and racks full of their thrift store trash. Even worse, they began demanding that we pose in the buff. It took years to undo the damage of the late eighties and early nineties and finally get back into my own threads. Though nothing I ever wore became quite as cool as a “Hi How Are You” tee shirt, I quite fancied my “I Love It When They Boo” sweatshirt, or my “Lutherans 86: In Love With Life” and my “An Appropriate Education For Everyone” tees. Eventually, after a brief flirtation with “Don’t Mess With Texas,” I settled in for the remainder of my career with a few carefully chosen Superman insignias.