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Melvins to attempt Guinness World Record on U.S. tour

June 5, 2012 |  9:26 am

The Melvins are attempting to break a Guinness World Record for fastest tour of the U.S.: 50 states in 51 days

This post has been corrected, as indicated below.

Los Angeles rock band the Melvins has been one of the hardest-working acts in show business for going on three decades now, and for at least the last two they've been on the road almost annually, touring the U.S. and the world.

In fact, during a world tour last year, they lived through two massive earthquakes in two different countries -- New Zealand and Japan -- one of the more impressive feats for a band whose durable but constantly evolving take on hard rock has earned them a devoted cult following and critical acclaim.

It turns out they were just in training mode for this year's tour, during which the band will attempt to break a Guinness World Record for the fastest tour of the United States. Starting at the Bear Tooth Theatre and Pub in Anchorage, Alaska, on Sept. 5, the Melvins will attempt to perform in all 50 states in 51 days. The tour is to conclude on Oct. 25 in Honolulu, a day after they perform in the Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

The band's new album was put out under the moniker Melvins Lite -- a three-piece, rather than four, featuring longtime members Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover, with Mr. Bungle bassist Trevor Dunn in place of the duo known as Big Business -- and is a departure. Though it has its moments of heaviness, it shows a more experimental, and at times even ethereal, side of the band. 

Looking at the itinerary, the Herculean journey before them is rife with perils. After Alaska, the group is to perform the next night in Seattle, then move south to Oregon before heading east through the Plains states, across the Kansas prairie and through the heartland of Iowa, Nebraska, and Missouri. An early winter storm or a fall tornado -- or an earthquake -- could derail them at any moment.

They're then to head north all the way up to Fargo, N.D., and travel through the Midwest until the end of September. Then it's on to the Northeast, followed by a drive down the Atlantic Coast to Athens, Ga., through the South and then westward through Texas and the Southwest. 

Variables and potential pitfalls abound: What about bus breakdowns? One failed alternator can do some serious damage to the band's chances. Also, although Osborne and Crover are seasoned travelers, what of Dunn, whose touring stamina is relatively untested? What if he starts to get on the other two dudes' nerves or has a mental collapse?

Luckily, the band strategically plans to start winding up its tour at Hollywood Forever, where, if they're on death's door and can't muster the strength to board the plane to the last stop in Hawaii, they can finally, after such an amazing journey, rest in peace.

Here's their itinerary, as provided by the band:

September 5    Anchorage, AK    Bear Tooth Theatre and Pub
September 6    Seattle, WA    Showbox at The Market
September 7    Oregon    TBA
September 8    Boise, ID    Neurolux Lounge
September 9    Missoula, MT    Top Hat Lounge
September 10    Salt Lake City, UT    Club Sound
September 11    Casper, WY    TBA
September 12    Denver, CO    Bluebird Theatre
September 13    Lawrence, KS    The Bottleneck
September 14    Columbia, MO    The Blue Note
September 15    Omaha, NE    The Waiting Room
September 16    Des Moines, IA    House of Bricks
September 17    Sioux Falls, SD    The Vault
September 18    Fargo, ND    The Aquarium
September 19    Minneapolis, MN    Grumpy's
September 20    Madison, WI    High Noon Saloon
September 21    Chicago, IL    Double Door
September 22    Indianapolis, IN    The Vogue Theatre
September 23    Louisville, KY    The Vernon Club
September 24    Detroit, MI    Smalls
September 25    Cleveland, OH    Grog Shop
September 26    Morgantown, WV    123 Pleasant Street
September 27    Jermyn, PA    Eleanor Rigby's
September 28    South Burlington, VT    Higher Ground
September 29    Dover, NH    Dover Brickhouse
September 30    Portland, ME    Asylum
October 1    Boston, MA    Paradise Rock Club
October 2    Pawtucket, RI    The Met Cafe
October 3    New Haven, CT    Toad's Place
October 4    Brooklyn, NY    Music Hall of Williamsburg
October 5    Hoboken, NJ    Maxwell's
October 6    Wilmington, DE    Mojo 13
October 7    Baltimore, MD    Ottobar
October 8    Washington, DC    Black Cat
October 9    Charlottesville, VA    Jefferson Theatre
October 10    Carrboro, NC    Cat's Cradle
October 11    Knoxville, TN    The Square Room
October 12    Greenville, SC    The Handle Bar
October 13    Athens, GA    40 Watt Club
October 14    Birmingham, AL    Bottle Tree
October 15    Pensacola, FL    Vinyl Music Hall
October 16    Jackson, MS    Duling Hall
October 17    Little Rock, AR    Juanita's Cantina
October 18    Baton Rouge, LA    Spanish Moon
October 19    Austin, TX    Mohawk
October 20    Norman, OK    Opolis Production
October 21    Albuquerque, NM    Launchpad
October 22    Phoenix, AZ    Crescent Ballroom
October 23    Las Vegas, NV    Artifice
October 24    Los Angeles, CA    Hollywood Forever Cemetery
October 25    Honolulu, HI    The Republik

[For the record: 9:25 a.m., June 6: a previous version of this post said that the Melvins were playing outdoors at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. They are playing indoors in the Masonic Lodge.]


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Photo: Buzz Osborne. Credit: Mackie Osborne