Melvins to attempt Guinness World Record on U.S. tour
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.]
-- Randall Roberts
Photo: Buzz Osborne. Credit: Mackie Osborne