Watt started his career as a founder and member of the Punk fusion band Minutemen
Influential Alternative Rock Bassist Mike Watt Turns 65 today
Michael David “Mike” Watt was born in Portsmouth, Virginia on December 20th, 1957, throughout his career he had a pivotal role on the development of Alternative Rock music and it’s highly regarded among his peers. Mike formed Minutemen in 1978 with his high school friend D.Boon, they were first called The Reactionaries with drummer George Hurley and vocalist Martin Tamburovich who left a year after the band was formed. With D.Boon on guitar and vocals, Watt on bass and George Hurley on drums, Minutemen became one of the most unique Punk bands at the time, mixing their influences of Classic Rock, Punk, Jazz, Folk, Funk and Glam Rock. They recorded four studio albums between 1981 and 1985, their third album, “Double Nickels On The Dime” released in 1984 it’s considered one of the most influential Punk and Alternative Rock albums of all time, that includes perhaps their most famous song, “Corona” that was used as a theme song for the MTV “Jackass” show. But very shortly after the release of their 1985 album “3-Way Tie (For Last)”, the promising band came to a tragic end when on December 22nd D.Boon was killed in a car crash at age 27. The story of the band can be watched on the documentary “We Jam Econo”.
After the end of Minutemen, Watt joined Sonic Youth in the studio where he collaborated with the band, and went on to form Firehose that disbanded in 1993. Mike Watt was cited as one of the most influential figures and musicians among the Alternative Rock and Grunge bands during the early 1990’s, on his debut album “Ball-Hog or Tugboat?” released in 1994, a few of the names that collaborated with Watt were: Henry Rollins, Eddie Vedder, J Mascis, Carla Bozulich, Evan Dando, individual members of Sonic Youth, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Frank Black, Nirvana, Soul Asylum, Jane’s Addiction, the Beastie Boys and the Screaming Trees. In 1995 his touring band consisted of Eddie Vedder on guitar and vocals, Dave Grohl on guitar, drums and vocals, William Goldsmith on drums and Pat Smear on guitar. Throughout the 1990’s Watt continued a successful career solo and collaborating with names such as Porno For Pyros and Iggy Pop. In 2003 he became part of the new reformed Stooges and toured with the band as a bassist. Currently, when he is not on tour, Watt hosts a regular internet radio show, “The Watt from Pedro Show”, a continuation of a program Watt had first done on a low-power FM station in the late 1990’s. The program debuted on May 19, 2001, and became so popular with Watt’s fans that the website’s host, Sightworks, temporarily forced the show offline on weekdays until a sponsor or other solution could be found. On January 10, 2006, The Watt from Pedro Show became available as a podcast. Mike Watt turns 65 today.
Watch Minutemen performing their famous song “Corona” live in 1985
Watch Mike Watt Band featuring Dave Grohl, Eddie Vedder, Pat Smear and Mike Watt on bass and vocals performing live at The Jon Stewart Show in 1995
Listen to the complete four Minutemen studio albums and the EP 1981-1985 plus the 1985 EP “Project: Mersh” on Spotify
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