TAD: Busted Circuits and Ringing Ears (2008) - full transcript

Sex, Drugs, and Rock N Roll with a side dish of lawsuits and in-band turmoil, Busted Circuits and Ringing Ears chronicles the band's rise and eventual disintegration. It contains archival footage spanning the band's entire career, from the club days to the arenas. The documentary also utilizes insightful interviews from some of Seattle's most respected musicians including Krist Novoselic (Nirvana), Chad Channing (Nirvana), Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Mark Arm (Mudhoney), Mark Felchtone (Zeke), and many others.

[wind roaring]

[speaking drowned out by wind]

- [laughing] Yes,
I've got everything!

[wind roaring]


- You're awesome, man.

- [Man] Give us a hand.

- That cop by Danny.

Right behind us was a cop.

Did you see that?
- Yes! Oh my god.

I just about died.

- Guys, I saw lights
and went oh fucking god

back there, there's cops.

- [Interviewer] Do you feel
like grunge is an empty word?

I mean there's nothing to it?

- Yes, yeah it's an empty
word, nothing to it.

Nothing to it,
nothing to grunge.

Nothing to grunge.

- [Interviewer] One
might say that TAD

was the pioneer of this,
the inventor of this.

- In some ways they're the
quintessential grunge band.

["Satan's Chainsaw" by TAD]

♪ When she woke up
she had a chainsaw

♪ Burning through the
woods and the fields

- They were the combination
of musical ingenuity,

musical fluidity, a sense
of humor, a sense of style.

But I mean they really
were as charismatic a band

as any that were
ever on Sub Pop.

- [Krist] Like TAD the band,
they kinda took on this

character, like, there's Tad
the person and then there's

T-A-D, capital letters, TAD.

- Hello people, my name is
Gary and I play washboard.

- My name's Kurt, I play base.

- I'm Tad, I play with myself.

♪ Like the little beast
in a small cold room

- All the musicians
were really skilled,

had quite sophisticated
approach to their instruments.

- At one point they
were the favored horse

coming out of Seattle.

- Without TAD, to me there'd
be like a black hole or a gap.

It's like, well where
was that really intense,

the rawest of the raw.

- [Bruce] They were the
heaviest and the meanest

and the darkest sounding
band in the scene

and I think that
influenced a lot of people.

- I think of the
TAD fan, I think of

smoking pot.

- Smoke pot!

- [Crowd] Smoke pot!

- Things were like fuck
if their dressing room

wasn't a smokey haze.

- I think of bongs.

[heavy metal grunge]

- He's a real miracle band.

A garage band that
never grew up.

[heavy metal grunge]

It wasn't just because
they were weird looking,

it was also because
they were a good band.

♪ Shut out red and blue

♪ Shut out red and blue

♪ Shut out red and blue

- That's a cut there.

Just take it back
to the beginning.

[rewinding screech]


- [Man] It was late
'88, early '89.

And there was this
regional sound in the air.

We felt like we were part of

the select group of people that
were allowed to document it.

There wasn't a lot of
national acts coming through,

or like a lot of good
indie acts coming through

as much as later years.

So it was kind of
like an isolated area

where these people were
coming up with music

and they're mostly
influencing each other.

- Not being too self conscious
about what they were doing.

That was the best
thing about it,

was bands wanted to just,

they had a very
clear artistic vision

and that's what they
wanted to pursue.

It wasn't like trying to think
of what would get them signed

or what would get them attention

or what the fans would like.

It was more about what
people were very much doing,

the music that they
wanted to be doing.

Making the records that
they wanted to make.

Commercial considerations
hadn't really

come into the picture yet.

- There wasn't any inkling
of any kind of idea

like I'm gonna get rich
and famous from doing this.

There was no concept
of it being a career.

It was just like here
and now in the moment,

this is what we're doing,

I don't care if it's
gonna fall apart tomorrow.

I don't remember yesterday.

This is what we're doing now.

Yeah, it was great.

- I just remember it
being vibrant, exciting,

and incredibly supportive
and collaborative.

All these bands
were checking out

everyone else's shows
and their tapes.

- It didn't seem like
there were any kind of

petty rivalries or animosities.

People would come
together and it was

a positive supportive
situation scene.

That made things a lot of fun.

- All of the sudden
you'd go to a TAD show

and there would be
hundreds of people there

and hardly anyone that I knew.

Fuck man, the sense of family,

or at least
familiarity was gone.

[heavy metal grunge]

- The whole grunge
scene was really

just an extension
of rock & roll hype

that has been going on since
the Colonel and Elvis Presley

and even before that.

- In one word, grunge is like

all new wave bands sound alike.

Or all rock bands sound alike.

- And then one day the
devil came and said

you know we'll pay you guys
more money to play Satan rock.

So we began to play
Satanic rock music.

And you know, it's
something we do,

but it's not like--

- Yeah, we don't
take it home with us.

We just leave it at the office.

[crowd cheering]

- Yes, you wanted the best!

You got it!

The hottest band in the land!

[crowd cheering]

[electric guitar]

- It's just one word that
kinda summed it all up

and that's heavy.

- We're here to
destroy your hearing.

- Yeah, TAD was the biggest
thing I ever heard in my life.

Because I'm from Fayetteville,
Arkansas originally.

You know when I,

Black Sabbath, Lynyrd
Skynyrd, and Black Sabbath.

There was nothing,
nothing remotely heavy.

It was just always
garage band here,

garage band with
punk rock band here,

punk rock band, hard core band.

None of it was even
close to the first time

that I actually got
to see those guys

play Behemoth.

That was like, I
was like [stutters]

clearly this is what
you want to be hearing.

And I was convinced that
TAD was the best band

out of all of the bands
I was getting to see

at the Off Ramp.

TAD was just pretty much balls
to the wall kind of angst.

[heavy metal grunge]

- I remember seeing
TAD at a show

at one of the clubs
in Pioneer Square

and the sound was
literally so heavy

that I felt like I was having
a heart attack or something.

Because it made your chest
cavity actually beat.

- TAD is so loud
and just so heavy.

We would play so loud
that I would like

almost pass out.

[heavy guitar riff]

- You see a guy that big
moving around that much

and there's skinny-ass
little 18-year-olds

that cannot rock that hard.

Not only that, but you put in
between the onstage banter,

I mean, the guy is quick.

So it's like almost
seeming to get bad-ass rock

and stand up comedy all in one.

- I am extremely fat and
overweight and you're not.

I'm fine, I'm pissed
off, goddamn it.

[crowd laughing]


I'm told you're
supposed to take care

of my microphone needs tonight.

They're all fucked up.

[crowd laughing]

But I mean it, really I do.

You guys don't know.

I really mean fuck
you, all of you.

Fuck you.
[crowd cheers]

[heavy metal grunge]

- You know you had Kurt
Danielson who'd like,

would head bang
through the entire set.

To see somebody who would
do that with such intensity

made me kind of
thought that he was

maybe having some
kind of seizure.

Tad was a big guy,
dwarfing his guitar.

And to have this huge guy
jumping out into a crowd

and the crowd's like [yells].

- Middle of the show,

he stage dived and
crushed a few people.

[heavy metal grunge]

It was something that
people are probably

telling their children
at this moment

and the legend will
be passed on to

their children and so forth.

- I just remember once
in Portland when Tad

just fucking ran backwards and
he ran into his guitar stand.

The whole thing
just went flying.

And he went kinda flying too.

And that just
freaked me out, man.

And just to see Tad
like whaling around

and his guitar's
like not strapped

and he's still whaling
and jumped in the
crowd or something.

- If you listened to TAD

and you didn't have a
visual image for them

you would think this
is the Seattle version

of Sonic Youth in some ways.

These are sophisticated
hipsters creating this

very deep and
sophisticated sound.

- It was like, this is great,

this is what Tad's
doing, this is great.

It's like, he's totally
pushing the envelope.

This is about as anti-radio
rock as you're gonna get.

Which was cool, because
that's what we're all like.

Oh this is, I want to
be anti-radio rock.

I want to do this stuff.

[guitar screeching]

[crowd cheering]

- I had gotten a tax
return from 1986.

I took my whole tax return in.

I'd come from being
a drummer in a band,

that was my main instrument.

And I bought a guitar
and wanted to play guitar

and I had this little Champ amp,

which is right there.

And I played that and
came up with these ideas.

And I just wanted to try it
out and see how it would sound.

And went into our
studio called Reciprocal

with Jack Endino.

- There was no click tracks.

He did the drum track
and then he came in

and overdubbed the guitar,

overdubbed some base,
and then did the vocals.

And that became his first seven
inch on the Sub Pop label.

♪ I gotta grow some food

♪ I've got to move some earth

♪ I've got to tame the beast

♪ I've got to tame the beast

♪ I've got a rock in my hand.

I remember taking it
to work the next day,

a cassette of it.

- I worked with Tad at Muzak

in '87 until the spring of '88.

- I was working in the
cartridge cleaning room,

that's my first job there,

and I was working with Mark Arm.

- It was a totally loud room

and we'd be cranking
the Butthole Surfers

or Scratch Acid or the
first the Dinosaur record.

And I remember one day like,

Tad came in with these
songs that he'd recorded.

- Bruce Pavitt came in
and he had this crazy look

on his face like, you know,
what's this, you know?

And then he walked out of the
room like his mind was blown.

And then he came
back a little later

and we'd start talking about it.

And I said man, maybe we
could put something out.

And he goes yeah, I'd love
to put it on a single.

- Bruce was blown away
and he played it for me.

♪ I've got a bone in my hands

♪ I've got fire in my hands

♪ I've got a pain in my arm

♪ I've got a pain in my chest

♪ I've got a pain in my head

♪ I've got a pain in my chest.

- I thought it was
fucking amazing.

- And here was the
one interesting thing,

every band had
established itself

as a live performing artist.

In many cases years
before they recorded.

Tad was a recording
artist years before

there was a band TAD
there was the guy Tad.

- The response to that
single was so good

that he said well, maybe
I should actually get

another drummer and
get a base player

and get a guitarist
and have a band.

[people talking]

- Tad told me he was
recording a single

with Jack Endino at Reciprocal

and did I want to come
down and check out

what he was working on.

And I was like, yeah, yeah.

I was like really
blown away with what

Tad was doing all by himself.

I mean he was playing
all the instruments,

writing all the stuff,

and it was really impressive.

The band I was in,
Bundle of Hiss,

used to play gigs with H-Hour,

which was a band that Tad
used to play drums for.

And that's when Tad and I met.

I didn't realize at the time,

but Tad was planning
on switching to guitar

and quitting the drums.

And H-Hour broke
up over that issue

and others perhaps.

- Kurt and I got
along really well

and we shared similar humor.

So that's kinda how
it started there.

And I had always been
a fan of a drummer

who was playing in a band called
Death and Taxes at the time

and that wound up
being Steve Weid.

- Our keyboarder had
just moved to California

and we were like, wow,
what do we do now?

So Tad, he had talked to Sub Pop

and he got a single out
and stuff so I was like,

okay, that sounds
cool, let's do it.

- And Kurt knew about a guy
that was playing guitar.

- Gary had been in a band
with Jonathon Poneman

and so I called up Jon and I,

I had seen Gary play with
Jon before in a band.

They had a band together
called the Tree Climbers.

And I was just blown away
by his guitar playing.

So we asked Gary to come in.

- And I said well,
why don't we just

get these two guys
together and we'll start

seeing how it works.

That's what became the
first incarnation of TAD.

- When the band got
together, for example,

we encouraged them to
just call the band TAD

versus any other name
because Tad had such

pronounced personality
and such a presence

that we felt that the
media would warm up to Tad.

- What happened to it?

- Oh, I thought you meant
it blew up or something.

- Earthquake, oh my god.

- The hype?

Well, it's just that,
nothing but hype.

Seattle was a nice, friendly,
little college town.

A maritime city, a port city,
right on the water, very nice.

Rains a little but too much, but

there are few rock bands,
just like any other city,

but then there was a
record label, Sub Pop.

[heavy metal grunge]

- Bruce and I went into
business on a full-time basis

over at 1932 First Avenue,

which was where our
first office was.

On April first, 1988,
April Fool's Day.

So we've always used
that as being kinda

the beginning of the company.

We felt there was a certain
vibe going on in the city.

All these groups were playing

kind of a sludgier,
grungier punk metal sound

that was super powerful.

♪ Here comes sickness

♪ Moving up our block

♪ Will she come to my house

♪ I hope she don't--

- So as a label, we
were trying to capture

the essence of that scene.

We weren't sure how long
that sound was gonna last

or where it was gonna go,

but we wanted to document
it because we thought

there was a definite
scene there in the sound.

[heavy metal grunge]

- [Bruce] They knew
what they wanted.

They had a concept for the label

both visually, in terms of
live photographs and graphics,

and sonically with a
kind of regional sound.

They felt it and saw
it developing as well.

And they wanted to document it.

And it was like recognizing a
chemical reaction occurring.

- Keep in mind
these are two guys

that, you know, went
to community colleges

and one of them, his
degree was basically

smoking pot and spinning
records, you know.

All of the sudden their passion

and where their heart lies
is becoming a business.

- In our own modest way
we were trying to recreate

something that would stimulate
people's imagination.

Because there are hundreds of
thousands of bands out there

and there always are,
millions of bands.

And the way that you're
gonna make a distinction

is by of course,
first and foremost,

making music that
people care about.

But they also want to
care about the people

who are making the music.

And that you create a mythology.

If you just say hey, we're
a rock bank from Seattle

and we practice a
lot in our garage

and we work at Kinkos
and we hate our day jobs

and we want to be rock
stars, it's like [yawns].

You know, fuck that man.

You know, you and
everybody else.

But you want to create
this whole sense that

we're an invading horde
and we live on mountains

and we eat raw flesh
and we're gonna come and

rape your children.

They played the role to a T.

- We're from
Seattle, Washington.

[speaker feedback]

We play rock & roll.

Punk rock, rock & roll.

Don't be shy, don't piss me off.

And whatever you do, stand back,

because we're gonna blow
your fucking nuts off

if you've got any.

[heavy metal grunge]

- Not only did you have
an incredibly heavy sound,

but Tad was kind of
an icon of heaviness.

And visually he's
lent another level

of intensity to the music.

- Just this giant dude
with a full beard,

reflecto-shades, some
kind of crazy trucker hat,

an Ed Geen t-shirt, and
he looked like somebody,

he looked like a trucker or
some kind of scary serial killer

and Kurt Danielson
looked exactly the same.

Just as scary, he looked
like some kind of crazy

redneck lumberjack or something.

And they just looked dangerous.

And there was nothing
cute about them.

They were a really,
really scary looking band.

- I hope I didn't offend any
of you college yuppie types.

A car that your mother
says your turnip

turns into a
casserole at midnight.

Your chariot turns
into a pumpkin at one.

And you'd better not
go home with Bill,

or I'm gonna spank your butt.

- In reality, he
was so different

from the character that
was being concocted.

- I mean, I remember going out,

taking some pictures on the set

of their Wood Goblins video.

And I had to show Tad how
to start up the chainsaw.

We all knew that
that's not really Tad,

who Tad is.

But of course, the label
and the band to a degree

wanted to play that up.

- I think the guys in Sub
Pop thought this was cute.

It pissed me off in all
the interviews we did

for that year or afterwards
I would always make a point,

the band Soundgarden,
make a point of saying

this guy is brilliant
and he's smart as hell

and the whole fucking
band is smart as hell.

The initial theme,
the initial single

had on the label Tad's
scrawling backward letters.

"Hi, my name is Tad."

Tried to market this sort of a

folky savant sort of character.

You know, kind of retarded,
huge monster of a man

who somehow makes
this beautiful music.

People give too much emphasis
on the personal story,

which is important with folk
artists and in popular culture.

But ultimately, does the
work stand on it's own?

Is it beautiful?

- We definitely wanted
to be exploited,

there was no question about it.

And we didn't have many
scruples about how it was done.

so long as it succeeded.

Later, perhaps, we
had some regrets

that we were boxed into
this grunge category.

Not only that, that we're
always being referred to

as this band that was headed
by a 300-pound ex-butcher,

et cetera et cetera et cetera.

And we felt like that
people came to see us

for those reasons
instead of the fact

that we had songs that
were worth listening to.

- I think a lot of
the bands, Nirvana,

and to a lesser degree
Tad sort of resented it.

It's hype.

And that hype, I've got to say,

helped propel all of the bands.

It's by no means
solely responsible.

I think as the years went
by he came to appreciate

that there's a certain
artistry in the creation

of the mythology.

- This is Hate number
17 is where he appeared.

And at the time the
TV show The Simpsons

started having a lot of
celebrity guest stars.

So I thought it would be funny,

since I just did this little
league, cruddy comic book

to do the same, to have
a celebrity guest star.

So I wrote Tad into
this one story.

And the idea behind it was the
main character in the comic,

in Hate, Buddy Bradley, he
had this friend named Stinky.

And Stinky's the type of guy,

even though the average
person never heard of Tad,

to Stinky that would
be like meeting a god.

It's like, oh my god, it's
Tad, I can't believe it.

And the other thing
that was very funny,

is because Tad used to
have this reputation

of being a wild guy,
or a party animal,

a lot of people,
like younger people,

would always say I
want to party with Tad.

That'd be a phrase that
I used to hear a lot.

People would always ask
me, did you party with Tad?

I hear it's awesome
to party with Tad.

I want to party with Tad.

So I thought it'd be funny
to have this character,

Stinky, meet him and say,
"We're gonna party with Tad!"

So that's how that came about.

And of course as soon
as the comic came out

more people than not
said who the hell is Tad?

- [Announcer] It's TAD.

[heavy metal grunge]

And it's totally heavy.

TAD, available at awesome
record stores near you

on Sub Pop.

- The first official
TAD release on Sub Pop

was the [laughs]

the album called God's Balls.

[heavy grunge]

- And we thought it
was cocky enough too,

or somewhat shocking.

[heavy grunge]

- The band really had
a great sense of humor.

I remember Tad coming and going,

this is the heaviest album
title we could come up with

was God's Balls [laughing].

- Kurt Danielson had a
porno video that he saw

and it was some priest
getting a blow job from a nun.

- He would scream,
"God's balls!"

- "God's balls,
that feels good."

- "God's balls,
that feels good!"

I thought, god
that's a great line.

And so I kept it in
mind and when we were

in the studio recording, I
just mentioned it to Endino.

- And I said, that's the title.

You have to use that title.

- We'd make jokes about that.

We always were making
jokes about porno movies,

so that's where the
title came from.

- I know that the
SGN really liked it.

That was Seattle Gay Newspaper.

They really liked it.

♪ Leather straps
cracking my head

♪ Sound rings I feel no pain

♪ Don't want to stay
to hear it again

♪ You will fall down behemoth

♪ Mother fucker.

- I believe that Jon was there
for this particular session.

And I remember seeing
him in the control room

banging his head.

So I was really
pleased to see a friend

getting into the music.

- Kurt had really good lyrics

and we had good
ideas that we just,

we wanted to hammer,

just to riff.

And have a groove to it too.

That was out main
thing and I think

that's really what set us
apart from a lot of bands.

- The rest of the Sub Pop
crowd was all about the

keep it simple, keep it basic,
keep it rockin' sort of thing

and Tad's thing was always to
try and go a little further.

Let's play around with melody,
experiment with arrangements,

and still keep it brutal.

- Kurt and I, when we
started playing together,

we decided that we wanted
to be as low and nasty.

We were going for the
brown note, you know.

We used to make
jokes about that.

Like, what happened to
your concert last night?

Well three people
shit their pants.

- Here we were, working
together as a band

after meeting only
two weeks before

and having only
practiced a few times.

And boom, the stuff
just came out.

♪ Missy's got what you want

♪ Missy's got what you need

♪ Missy's got a
car in the garage

♪ Missy's got you on your knees

- Bruce Pavitt just really
wanted to feature Tad

and his sort of, almost like
a mug shot kind of thing.

And really play up the
personality of this individual.

- And I remember my mom when
I showed her the record,

when she was still
alive, she goes,

she saw the picture
and she saw me smiling

and she goes, "Oh
you look so good."

And then she saw the
title and she says,

"Oh Tad, how could you?

"Why? Why did you
name the record that?"

And that was
disappointing for her,

but then she'd go
back and be like,

"Well, you're smiling
and that looks good.

"That's nice, nice boy."

- This is TAD.

[heavy metal grunge]

- There was always a
really great crowd reaction

at TAD gigs.

I think Tad was really good
at working up the audience.

Actually some of the
best photos I got

were of Kurt, the base player.

And he's actually featured in
my book, Touch Me I'm Sick.

There's a double-page spread.

One where he's
smoking out of a bong

and then the other
where later that evening

he's on stage.

He had an amazing
presence as far as being

a bass player goes.

- I know that Tad and Kurt were
always the core of the band

and those guys seemed
closer than anybody else.

- He's funny as shit
and very well read,

highly educated and
a great song writer.

- He was getting
an English degree

and he was very focused
on becoming a poet.

So he used to hang out at this,

this was before espresso
blew up really huge.

This coffee shop
called the Allegro,

drinking espresso, hanging out

with a bunch of beatnik types.

He wore a barret on occasion.

Kurt Danielson went from
this guy who was like,

sipping espresso, going
to poetry readings.

You know [snapping]
very nice, very nice.

Wearing a barret to

this guy who made this t-shirt,

hand scrawled in giant letters,

stinky pussy stinks.

- Stinky pussy stinks on it.

I was like dude, you are
as politically incorrect

as any human being
I have ever met.

- It was like he just
tossed his Baudelaire

and [mumbles] books out the
window and said fuck it.

- If somebody in 1989
said, yeah I know Kurt,

I'm buddies with Kurt.

It was Kurt Danielson,
not Kurt Cobain.

- Are you ready?

- Kurt Danielson was a
very popular musician.

A friendly guy, had been
in a number of bands.

A very talented musician had
a great amount of respect.

And when people said
Kurt's got a new band,

they were talking about
Danielson and not Cobain.

- That was the best
and most effective

sonic representation of
the way that the TAD band

actually sounded live.

And I think Steve
Albini just completely

understood the band.

- We were tired
when we came back.

We put a lot into to it.

We poured ourselves
into it and we did this

EP with like eight, seven songs

in three days
recording and mixing.

- It was like the
recording of an accident,

of a car accident.

Nothing rehearsed, it
was just a collision

and it was on tape.

- When we got the
rough mixes of that I,

this was back in the
age of cassette tapes,

I wore that tape
down in two weeks.

I listened to it over and
over and over and over.

♪ She's alright

♪ She's got a cross to bear

♪ She's got an axe to grind

♪ She's about to blow her mind

♪ She's got an axe to grind

One, two, three, four

♪ My father spent 18 years

♪ Just to teach me
how to hold his beer

♪ My father for 15 years

♪ Was nothing I'll ever need

♪ High on the hog

♪ High on the hog

♪ High on the hog

- Well the name of my
Kurt Cobain biography,

Heavier than Heaven, comes
from a line that I liked

that I discovered was
what English journalists

had nicknamed the tour
of TAD and Nirvana

that went through England
early in their careers.

They called it the
Heavier than Heaven Tour.

And that name came
from both from the fact

that the sound of the
bands was very, very heavy.

It came from Tad's girth,
this was a heavy band,

and it also came from the
sort of ethereal sound

that some of Kurt
Cobain's song writing

was already starting
to approach.

That tour with TAD was the tour.

These were the neutron
bomb bands of Seattle.

♪ High on the hog

♪ High on the hog

♪ High on the hog

♪ High on the hog

- It was good because
we'd seen these guys play

and they had became good
friends here on state side

and then we're going
over to Europe together

on a co-headlining tour.

- As a band, you get to know
your fellow band members.

And if you go out
with another band

then you get to know
them just as if they were

in your band too.

Especially since we were
sharing the same van.

Both bands were
in this Euro van.

They have the tall luggage area.

- We had all our
t-shirts, all our gear,

all of us, plus our sound
man, plus our driver

all crammed into
the same Fiat van,

the same standard Fiat
van everybody tours in.

- You know, I'm a big guy
and Novoselic is a tall guy.

And I remember seeing him all
hunched in his seat like this

wherever, because they're
small seats, you know.

- So we were all just
crammed in this van.

There wasn't really
any room to even move.

- The stories that
people told me,

it was literally like the joke,

they say a Chinese fire drill.

If somebody had to
go to the bathroom,

they had to unpack all the gear.

- Maybe I might have
had the best luck,

being the smallest
of everybody there.

- It was quite an experience,
it was a lot of work.

- We were young and
naive and we didn't care.

We wanted to work our asses off.

We wanted to sacrifice ourselves

for the music we believed in.

And this was a chance to do it.

- And I remember playing
in the UK with Nirvana

and it's just complete mayhem.

Kids dropping down
from the rafters,

one after the other, just
floating off the stage.

It was just constantly.

I didn't know what to
make of it at the time.

We're like, wow, this
is pretty bizarre.

[heavy grunge]

- Because we have hindsight,
Nirvana went and became huge.

Everyone thinks that that tour
and many of those early shows

that all anyone talked
about was Nirvana.

And that's not true at all.

TAD got just as much ink
and attention as Nirvana did

on that tour.

They were truly co-headliners.

It wasn't that Nirvana
was even bigger than TAD.

- If there was one person
that you could pull out

and go, okay we want to do
a photo shoot with this guy,

because he embodies this
kind of northwest Americana.

I think the British
audience was getting

really fed up with the lightness

of a lot of the indie-British
pop that was coming out.

- What was really fun
is we were switching off

night after night.

One night TAD would headline

and the next night we would.

And then we'd just
go back and forth.

- I remember Nirvana took
us about a week or so,

a couple weeks into
the tour to finally

kind of find our groove
and start playing well.

Just making the
transition, it took a while

to get up to speed but then
we started playing well.

See, we would open
for TAD in the UK,

because TAD were in
the music newspapers.

And so we were like
the opening act.

- [Tad] We had lots of
great conversations.

We became brothers.

- I remember Kurt telling
me the stories of that tour

and he lit up like you
never saw him lit up.

He described so
wonderfully when Tad

also was vomiting a lot.

And Cobain became just
fascinated with it.

- Kurt would always light
up during that time.

He'd get up from laying down,

laying down backstage and hold
the bucket for me and laugh.

- He enjoyed it more
than anybody else did.

Certainly I think
more than Tad did.


- We'd rate it.

You know, like how was that one?

Well, I'd say on
chunk-wise it was a seven.

And he says, you've got tears
coming out of your eyes.

I'd say that's a good
one for velocity.

- Kurt had a great
amount of respect for Tad

and for everybody in that band.

Tad, as I write in
Heavier than Heaven,

in some ways became Kurt's muse

for a couple of months.

He wrote a couple
of songs about Tad,

at least about the
weird bodily fluids.

[heavy metal grunge]

- They rejected Wood
Goblins because,

according to them,
it was "too ugly."

[laughs] Which was, we
thought, kinda cool.

Being too ugly for
MTV during the era

of Cherry Pie and Skid
Row and shit like that.

I don't know, it was kinda cool.

♪ Wood goblins

♪ Wood goblins

♪ Wood goblins

♪ Wood goblins

- They aired a later video,

claiming that they
had been criticized

for not airing TAD videos.

But that's not true, because
we're gonna air one right now.

And then they aired
a later one that was

not nearly as heavy or as ugly.

- And my boss was like, yeah
TAD ripped out the urinal

out of the wall, damn it.

And I was like, somebody
ripped a urinal out of a wall?

And I was like, Tad? Who's Tad?

Does he work here?

- He's the rock lord and master.

He really is.

Everybody respects
him as a musician.

- He's a musical genius.

He studied classical percussion

and mastered musical theory.

So that when it came
to playing rock drums,

it was like stealing
candy from a baby.

- People who are
fans of the band

and don't know him at all,

they might be surprised
to know that he is

hardly the scary, insane guy
that he portrays himself to be.

And he's like one
of the sweetest,

funniest, kindest
people I've ever met.

- When I finally got to meet
him he said something like,

"Hi, my name is Thomas
Doyle, nice to meet you."

And he was like the nicest
dude I ever me in my life.

I couldn't imagine that he
was the urinal destroyer

that I heard about.

- Well when Tad comes
at ya and speaks to you

for the first time and you
don't know what to expect.

If he's angry, he really
tells you what's on his mind.

But the big thing about
Tad is he's a huggy bear.

He's a real pussy cat.

And if you get to know Tad,

you basically you're
dealing with one

of the nicest guys you'll
ever meet in your life.

- I can't think of one person,

and I'm not saying this
as simply as a bump,

but in 20 years I
can't think of anyone

who had a personal
criticism with the guy.

Someone that everyone
always loved.

And every band had its asshole.

I might have been that
guy for a bit, who knows.

I think our band kind
of rotated the asshole.

But Tad wasn't that.

- Many people will say
8-Way Santa as being

the defining record.

And in many ways it really was.

It was very versatile.

Some fucking amazing,
memorable songs on the record.

Working with Butch Vig,

this is ahead of his
recording Nevermind.

["Jinx" by TAD]

So it's a great sounding record.

The band's very confident.

There was a lot of
internal distress

during the recording
of that record.

I know that record
led to the ultimate

fragmenting of TAD mach one.

♪ Can't find a
way to get back in

♪ Broken thinking broken mind

We knew we had some
really good songs

and we'd really gotten
our legs together

and we knew how each
other were playing.

And this was
Steve's last record.

- He was, I think,
not fully satisfied

with the direction
the band was going in.

But I don't think he
really knew which direction

he wanted to go in himself.

- He was not cooperative
and didn't want

to play at certain
times of the day.

And it actually came
down to a point where

we had to get some
things done and I said,

"Okay Steve, I'm gonna
play drums then."

- Tad had a very set idea of
how he wanted the drums to be.

He really wanted
Steve to just lay down

a solid foundation
and that was it.

And there was a bit of a
disagreement over this.

So Steve retired to
the upstairs office

and I think he drank
maybe 14 beers.

And he came down and in one take

he played the drum
part perfectly,

just the way Tad wanted.

The drumming on the rest of
the record is phenomenal,

just perfect.

But from that point
onward he felt like

he was being told what
to do and no longer

was it a spontaneous,
natural thing.

And there was a bit of
resentment and I think

that was what contributed
to his decision.

♪ A sleeve of soot

♪ Cutting his hair
and a broken foot

♪ Stumblin' man
ain't got no style

♪ He ain't had one
in quite a while

- Well we had just got done
recording it in Madison

and I pretty much made
my mind up at that point,

I don't remember why.

But, when we got back I did

take the picture on
the back of the album

at the Puyallup fair

and that was it, I was done.

Yeah, little vans and stuff.

I mean, I just missed
home too much, I guess.

- If you're out on the road
and you're away from home

you don't have the
same bed every night,

you know, the comforts
that most people enjoy,

it can get to you.

For that record, we'd
been playing together,

and we were starting to
get that psychic thing

that was happening, that
unspoken musical feel.

We're writing
together as a unit.

It was really a good,
special time for the band.

And it was before a lot
of the craziness went on

with the major label
feeding frenzy in Seattle.

And it was good
and it was innocent

and it was honest and pure.

It was fun.

♪ And you better leave me alone

♪ And you better get away

♪ Better lick my wounds

♪ And hope you will die someday

♪ And you better give me a shot

♪ And you better say your spells

♪ And you better give me a lot

♪ And you better not ever tell

♪ But you can never
escape my voice

♪ And you can never
escape your choice

♪ You can never
escape the payback

♪ 'Cause you know
there ain't no way back

♪ Back

♪ No way back

♪ No way back

♪ No way back

- We wanted to go out and
promote that record right away,

but we couldn't because
we didn't have a drummer.

[heavy metal drumming]

- So we did touring with
him for 8-Way Santa.

- Please welcome, TAD.

[audience screaming
and cheering]

♪ That's it yeah

♪ Better go away

♪ And is it yeah

♪ Better go away

♪ I think I lost my mind

♪ I think I lost a lay

♪ I think I lost an eye

♪ I think I lost my way

♪ That's it yeah

♪ Better go away

[heavy metal music
drowns lyrics]

- Intense excitement,
that's what it's all about.

[heavy metal grunge]

- You know what I think,
we're gonna head over

to Boise, Idaho I think.

["Jinx" by TAD]]

♪ Out of your mind you are

♪ Can't find a
way to get back in

♪ Broken thinkin' broken mind

♪ Takes it down paths


- [Cameraman] Man,
that's beautiful.

♪ She says she's a drunken angel

♪ She yells she ain't got no one

♪ She says she's a broken angel

♪ She yells she ain't got no one

♪ She says she's a drunken angel

I'm enjoying one of my
favorite past times,

which is drinking in bed.

Bottle here, cup here.

[heavy metal guitar riff]

You mother fuckers.

[crowd whistles and cheers]

- We had just hit the road.

We got to the
venue and there was

a phone call from our attorney.

And I just knew it was bad news.

When you get a phone
call from your attorney

generally it's not good news.

And sure enough, he said "Look,

"you know that photograph
that's on the cover?

"Those people, they saw it

"and they're suing you."

- Over at a friend's house

and they had been
to a thrift store.

And they had a photo album.

They just bought the photo album

so they could put photos in.

But it already had photos in it.

We turned the page
to this one shot

and it was this
woman and this man

and the guy looked
like he's in Nazareth.

You know he had the full
on big handlebar mustache

and long hair and they're
just both cooked to the gills.

They're both stoned,
you could tell,

they had that kind
of pied look to them.

And the woman wasn't, she was
wearing a bandana for a bra.

And he's holding
her and they were

just grinning ear to ear.

We took that photo and
we showed it to Bruce,

and much like that look
he saw when I played him

the single for the
first time, he's like,

"Oh my god, this is awesome."

And he says, "Can I take this?"

And he took it and
he had somebody

do some color enhancements.

- And to this day, that's
one of my favorite covers

ever in the history of Sub Pop.

- Little did we know, though
we should have considered it

at the time, this couple,
though they had split up,

they still were in
the Seattle area.

And they went into
Tower Records,

one of them went
into Tower Records.

- "Do you have this record?"

And the clerk was like yeah,

we've got like 20 or 30
of them right over here.

- And this is not
at a time of CDs.

This is still vinyls,
still quite prominent.

So it's this big picture.

- She's like freaking out,

"Oh my god!

"This is a part of my past
I don't want to remember!"

- And they go what
the fuck, you know.

Except they didn't
say what the fuck.

I think they had become
born-again Christians.

So they were saying,
what thy fuck.

We had built up
this head of steam

and we finally get a story,

it was just the wrong story.

Because at that point in time,

the bigger the record became,

the more damages they
could sue us for.

So we're suddenly in a
place where we're trying to

no, no, no, no, no, it's
really a small record.

And it's gonna stay
a small record.

- And they thought
ah, we're gonna be

millionaires after this
or something like that.

I have no idea
what they thought.

- Typically, when
records are released,

they're gonna do
most of their sales

in the first four to six weeks.

So to have your record
pulled two weeks into it,

that really, I think it
hurt TAD's career a bit.

And we had to
re-engineer the artwork

and get something
back out and it was

pretty challenging.

- This is a big deal record.

This is the record where
we were gonna break TAD.

- Also at that time we
released a CD single, Jack.

♪ Help me Jack Pepsi

♪ Help me Jack Pepsi

♪ Help me Jack Pepsi

♪ Help me Jack Pepsi

- There was a
particular employee

who we let go,

who I remember
just being hateful.

And I swear to god though I
cannot prove it to this day,

that this particular employee

made aware that we had
infringed on their logo

for the Jack single.

Where we basically
used the logo,

only we put TAD in the
middle of the logo.

- Ex-employee was pissed
off at the company,

otherwise we probably would
have gotten away with it.

As their way of saying,

shouldn't have fired me, bros.

- Was not too stoked,
thinking that their

name of their product
would be involved

in the possibility
of drunk driving.

- And so we heard from council.

And they were like,
we're gonna sue you

for millions of dollars.

You know, you're fucked.

Get out of the business.

Go back to being a fry cook.

Get out of our lives,
get out of our face.

We're gonna kill you,
crush you, et cetera.

- The label still hadn't
sold Nirvana or anything,

or maybe it was about to,

but that's a lot of
money to put out there.

I think it really made it
hard to get a second wind.

The record, even though
the record was amazing.

♪ I'm a jinx

♪ I'm a jinx

♪ Bad luck follows everywhere

♪ I'm a jinx

♪ I'm a jinx

♪ Yeah

- Controversy sells if
you have distribution.

Unfortunately, what
TAD suffered from

was controversy
without distribution.

So suddenly you had
all these people

talking about this record
that had pissed off.

But that record couldn't
be found anywhere.

That was a very unfortunate
incident I think over time.

- It was more just a
nuisance, in retrospect.

Because here was
this punk rock band,

slash metal band,

not out to mess up
anybody's life or anything.

We're just out doing what we do

and having fun doing it.

And all of the sudden we've
got all of these weird

chain of events happening.

It was really bizarre.

- It's kinda comic,
looking back at it.

But at the time,
frustrating as hell.

♪ Poteman loves me this I know

♪ Because Bruce
Pavitt told me so


♪ We are weak and
they are strong

♪ Yes Poteman loves me

♪ Yes Poteman loves me

♪ Yes Poteman loves me

You know why now?

Because Bruce Pavitt told me so.

- By this time there'd
been so much frustration

and so much ranker
and bitter feeling.

It was really nobody's fault,

but it had to find
a target somewhere.

And generally bands rail
against their labels.

So in a tried and
true tradition,

we did the same.

- We would have been
happy to stay with Sub Pop

had they been, had they appeared
to be financially solvent.

But it was getting
to be they were owing

so much money to so many
different people around town.

To the bands.

We just saw it as a way
of saving our friendships

with Bruce and Jonathon.

Like, well maybe we'll
just remove this sort of,

you know, back away from
the business side of things.

- It's tough to be in a
place where you're dealing

with friends and having
to talk about money.

Especially when you want
the best for your friends.

And you're just not able to do

any more then you're able
to do at a certain time.

- At the time, you know,
I felt a little indignant.

But even at the time, I
kind of went, alright.

It's like, we didn't
have our stuff together.

- We wanted to see if we
could do something different.

And there was
interest out there.

We had people
knocking on our door

wanting to develop us.

The first thing was RCA/BMG.

Biggest record company in
the world was interested.

- Partly what
happened in our favor

was the Nirvana record
was blowing up big

and the Pearl Jam
record was bubbling in

under that point.

The people in the
industry realized they
had no fucking idea

what was going on
all of the sudden.

You know, it was like a
few months previous to that

they could just sell Michael
Jackson and Paula Abdul

and C&C Music Factory.

- A lot of people were
investing huge amounts of money

into these bands thinking

this is the next
musical revolution.

- We were starting to
realize that although

we're having fun, this
could be a possibility

of not having to work a day job

ever again for a while.

- That was our dream, really.

I mean, we didn't plan
on making a lot of money

or being rock stars.

The idea was to play
music for a living.

That's all I ever asked for.

That's all I ever wanted.

- We were really
leery of major labels.

Growing up through
punk rock and hard core

and major labels were
nothing but evil.

They had it all neatly
packaged and defined.

They knew what kind of thing
was gonna sell to the kids

and all of the sudden
they didn't know any more.

So they let us, when we
signed Warner [mumbles],

they let us do whatever
the fuck we wanted.

We recorded in the
same house studio

that we recorded the
previous record with Sub Pop.

All the rest of
that money we kept.

That's how come I
have this house.

- There wasn't any pressure
to come up with anything

earth shattering or
there was no delusions

that we were gonna sell
billions of records.

We always had the attitude that
we wanted to play our music

and if somebody wanted to
help us achieve that goal

with their money and
financial backing,

and their press and their radio,

expertise, we're into it.

- [Man] A little rusty
never hurt anything.

- [Woman] Do the same
thing, up with the bike,

[yells] yeah, yeah, yeah.

[camera clicks]
That's nice.

Another one.

Another one's good.

Hold it.

[Kurt yells]

- [Man] Josh, lift
up the bike [mumbles]

- [Kurt] We had Josh on
drums, and so we were

kind of a new band we felt.

Like a new incarnation.

We had new blood and Josh
was a few years younger

than the rest of us.

- In the beginning
of '92 I had just

gotten out of the Accused.

I did this little demo
at Reciprocal with Jack

with just me playing the drums.

And it's like a
little 30 second clip.

Then a few weeks later I got
a call from Kurt Danielson

asking, do you want to come
try out out for the band.

- Real snappy, could
play lightning fast,

and he played hard as hell.

I've never played with a drummer

that played as hard as he does.

He was breaking shit regularly.

And that was really fun.

[heavy metal guitar and drums]

- For this record we wanted
to do something different.

And we'd been friends with
J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr.

ever since we'd
played with those guys

at the Central in
Seattle in '88.

- We had a major record
deal and all of this,

like a budget, we were
there for two weeks.

- I went to the bank and
got a wire for 40 grand.

Yeah, carrying around a roll
of fat cash was a pleasure.

[laughs] We went spent it well

on nothing but rock & roll.

["Lycanthrope" by TAD]

J had a lot of good input.

Most of the time J just
sat with his sunglasses

in the back on the couch.

And I swear to god most of
the time he was taking naps,

because he had
the sunglasses on,

you couldn't tell what
his eyes were doing.

["Luminol" by TAD]

More riffing and my vocals
were getting better.

♪ Your lies

♪ Remember

♪ Your lies

♪ Remember

♪ Your lies

- Even though it was
for a major label,

nobody was breathing
down our neck,

nobody came out to watch us

or to be a watchdog

or to make sure that we weren't

blowing the company money on
cocaine or nothing like that.

- The last hours of the session.

How do you feel there bud?

I don't think it's quite as
bad as Gary portrays it to be.

That's one of my
favorite records too.

That one was really
turning point.

We started to go more into
the metal edge of that one.

- Our chops were much better.

["Paregoric" by TAD]

♪ Too late

♪ Too late

We were out with
Soundgarden, Alice & Chains,

during that record, you know.

We went out with really
well-known bands at the time.

And we were holding our own.

- [Cameraman] Yeah!

- Saturday night fun,

back up, you're
gonna get run over.

- There's a rave that
follows us wherever we go.

- Yeah, boy.
- What's up?

[heavy metal grunge]

♪ Dig dig deep for yourself

♪ Dig dig deep for your soul

♪ Dig dig deep the black abyss

♪ Dig dig deep for your own soul

Don't make me get up
and take that thing

out of your hand and crack
you over the head with it.

♪ And I said hey
don't look at me

Kurt, what are you doing?

- Oh man, I wish I knew.

♪ Six dead horses chase you down

♪ 14 guns in your own town

- Alright, I did
it, I did it all.

- It's great to be able
to fucking be up there

and sound louder than fucking
god for a few minutes.

♪ Like the little beast
in a small cold room

♪ Sat writhing in
pain all afternoon

♪ Salt from his tears bringing
the blood to the surface

♪ Like darkened fears make
their way to the surface

♪ Just the sight of
his belt makes it sting

♪ And I said hey
don't look at me

♪ Trees outside weather
the bark on the wood

♪ Like the callous on your heart

♪ Dropped place where it stood

- I can't live down is the
mayonnaise in the hair.

- [Tad] Oh, you're
sick [laughing].

- Come on, Tad, right now,

bring that camera, follow me.

♪ And you don't have to stand

♪ Stand by me

What are you doing?

Kurt, are you encouraging
this kind of behavior.

- I think it's good, clean fun

for kids today to
urinate in garbage cans.

- Usually we'd check
out our dressing room

and then it's like, let's
go over and see Tad.

And just walking in
somewhere in Canada

or Germany and Tad
and Josh and Kurt

just sitting there,
just kind of that,

sort of well-imbibed,

vacuous sort of stare.

It would have been
a whole lot more fun

if they were somehow responsive

in some kind of,

I mean Gary was a blast,
because he was alert.

He knew what was going on.

The other guys were just like,

a wall of vacancy.

But it was amusing because

they'd all walk out there

and they'd just blow doors.

- I'm still on
drugs for a living.

["Throat Locust" by TAD]

- That guy in the green
suit, he's a liar.

♪ It won't mean a thing

I mean, we make money
at this with the band,

but during the lean times,

I sell a few stuffed
badgers on the side

to make ends meet.

- The badgers were
killed, strangled.

- Oh, excuse me, I
misunderstood there.

♪ Dark skid marks plug the mud

♪ On the leafy incline

♪ No voice to speak about

♪ No movement in the trees

♪ No lovers struggle for release

♪ On the fallen autumn leaves

♪ I've gotta know

♪ I'm not alone

♪ Just one soul

♪ I've gotta know

♪ I'm not alone

♪ Just one soul

MTV interviews Satan.

You can hold onto
my bag if you want.

I just need my shirt.

- My contacts are gonna
be hurting tonight.

Not that I even need to see
what the fuck I'm doing.

- When I go to the bottom
and then when I shoot out

of the top you snap the picture.

- [Woman] Yeah.

- [Man] But don't be too
specific about the words,

because we're not
sure what song.

- I can just go habba
habba habba habba.

- [Man] That's good.

- [Woman] Best muscle.

That's good.

- Why were we dropped?

It was never explained.

Never clarified.

There's this poster.

TAD, it's heavy shit.

It's been claimed that
this is the reason.

- The labels were
under a lot of pressure

to clean up their act and
start putting warning labels

on records, you know.

Questionable material.

- We had nothing to
do with this poster.

It was just the
brainchild of somebody

who was working for
the promotional company

that promoted the tour.

But we loved it, we thought
it was a great idea.

And beautifully executed.

- That was a communication
error between,

from what I understand, between
management and the label.

- Perhaps a butterfly

moved its wings in Patagonia

and that influenced
somebody at Giant

and a decision was made
and we were dropped.

I don't know.

It could be anything.

The fact is is that nobody
ever explained it to us.

- They cut off tour support
and we were stuck in Europe.

They pulled the carpet
out from under that one.

- We felt like a curse
was following the band

like a dark cloud hovering
over us all the time.

We couldn't escape it.

And no matter what we
did, it was cursed.

- We're just starting
to get the feeling like,

what the hell is
going on, you know.

We're starting to feel jinxed.

- He knows his shit
though, doesn't he?

["Giant Killer" by TAD]

We'd been together
for quite a while

and there was just some
tension in the band.

I can't really explain it
except for by saying that.

- Well, I think musically
we were just kind of like,

Kurt and I were wanting to
head in a different direction

and I don't know if Gary
really was suited to that.

He probably was.

I don't think that there was

a strange division going on.

It wasn't like Gary did
anything that warranted

being kicked out.

It wasn't like he
quit in a fury.

And Gary was probably
the most sane guy

out of us at the time.

There was a lot of not
good drugs going on.

And I was personally,
I can speak for myself,

I was not the healthiest
of mind and body

and spirit at the time.

- Kurt kind of lost
touch with being grounded

and so did I.

I was right there
with him on that.

Gary would have beers and stuff,

but he wasn't into smoking
pot and doing drugs and stuff.

He was really,

Gary is a good person.

- It's a really
important and strong role

that Gary provided,
and everyone knew that.

Everyone in the other bands,
in the music community

knew that Gary keeps
those guys sane

and he's the guy
who directs them

and keeps them focused.

- I tend to blame myself.

That maybe if I
had worked harder

we could have
smoothed things over

and gotten things together.

And I really regret it.

It's one of those things
that you can't fix.

You can't turn back the clock.

I wish it hadn't have happened.

I wish that somehow
we could have

kept Gary in the band and that

he was a part of that Infrared
Riding Hood recording.

[soft rock music]

["Dementia" by TAD]

- Infrared Riding Hood
was the first record

that we went as a three piece.

- That record was where
things kind of got.

I'm surprised that some of
us made it through that.

We were frickin' whacked
out of our minds.

- Oh man.

- [Josh] What's up, Ben?

- Busted.

- [Josh] [laughs] What?

- The Infrared sessions
were quite interesting

because their manager, Johnny Z,

actually flew out from New York

and spent some time
with us in the studio.

- Josh wanted to add
some industrial sounds

to one of the songs.

So in those days, I also
managed Ministry, Al Jourgensen,

and they just liked some of
the effects that Ministry used,

et cetera et cetera.

So instead of sampling it they
wanted to get real sounds.

So we're banging on
stuff and keeping a beat

and I think they gave
me a pipe to play.

["Emotional Cockroach" by TAD]

[pipes clang]

[pipes clang]

A really good drummer.

Psychopath from hell, man,

he was a real psycho
but he's a great guy.

See, 'cause Tad was into that.

He was like, I was
like, "What do you think

"if I get these pieces of metal

"and I smash them?"

- Was it just like,
we're banging on shit,

and well that's great, you know.

It had a method to
it and there was

a desired end effect
that we were going for.

- The way we wrote that
record was a direct result

of not wanting to be overly

analytic about the music.

It started off with
the first song.

The way we wrote that record.

Kurt had that bass
riff that went

[sings guitar riff]

["Ictus" by TAD]

And I just start
playing the drums

and that whole record
was written like that.

Somebody just started
playing a riff

and we not once, we never went,

okay this goes four times.

Okay, how many times
are we gonna do this?

When are we gonna change that?

Nothing was said.

Nobody does that.

Nobody makes a record
and doesn't talk about

how many times you're
gonna do this part.

We're gonna put this
change, I've got this riff.

Nobody said anything.

Can you even imagine
what I'm saying?

It's like, that's how together
we were at that point.

And we just went in
and did that record.

And it really was that.

And I thought that that
record was so great

because we did
that and that meant

how tight we were.

["Ictus" by TAD]

- It's kind of a pop
aesthetic behind this record.

A lot of the songs
are very catchy.

Kind of all of 8-Way Santa.

But there's also some very
heavy shit happening too.

- The stuff that Tad was doing

near the end of their career
was the best Tad stuff of all.

♪ Take me home

♪ 'Cause I wanna go

♪ Bring it back

♪ Sometimes sometimes

♪ Let yourself free

♪ Drowned feeling inside

♪ That I couldn't hide

♪ But I didn't forget to smile

♪ That separates me

♪ From a monkey

♪ I'm not buying

♪ All this lying

- I was always amazed.

I mean, how the fuck did
he go and make a record

and get that gacked
out of your mind

and actually have
anything come out.

And then you hear Infrared
and it's a brilliant record.

- Basically the
A&R rep loved them

and thought TAD was
the next big thing

and they signed
TAD because of it.

- The A&R person got fired and
all of her bands got dropped.

Literally the week the record
was going to the stores.

- They were trying to find
who to talk to about us.

And they called up and
they said, which band?

And that's kind of a
bad sign at that point.

"Well, we don't know who you
should talk to about that."

- When an A&R person gets
terminated at a major label,

all of their bands get
axed regardless of quality.

Nobody's even listening to
the music at that point.

It's strictly a
matter of bureaucratic

musical chairs shifting.

And the bands are often the
unwitting victims of this.

It has nothing to do with music.

Chances are nobody even
listen to the TAD record.

- We found out in
retrospect that

a whole whopping 650 bucks
was spent on advertising

for Infrared Riding Hood.

- The label just
writes off the money.

It's a loss, they deduct
it from their taxes

or whatever they do.

So, Infrared Riding
Hood, as far as I can see

just became a tax
loss for somebody.

- And the record's showing up

in the Record of the Month Club.

Buy 10 discs for five cents.

It's the 11th, our record's out.

And you know what?

There's not one
- Shut up!

- Fucking bit of advertising
out there for us.

[belches] The record label
said they were going to do it.

They fucked up.

Fuck up number one.

Strike one.

- Does anybody care?

I don't think so.

- They basically just wanted
the band to go away at Elektra.

They really wanted
TAD to go away.

They were scared of TAD.

They didn't know
what to make of them.

- Somewhere there's a warehouse
full of those records.

I don't know where it is.

That was pretty much the
end of TAD's label career.

- They do this thing
where it's like,

well, we won't give it to you

so you can do something with it.

It's like a little kid that,

that you don't want
to play Legos his way

so he's gonna grab all
of his Legos and go home.

And fuck you.

- When we got
dropped from Giant,

Josh bounced back like
the rest of us did.

But when we got
dropped a second time,

it was a little too much.

And I think it was a little
too much for all of us.

But I think he
reacted the quickest.

- I think it's because I
wasn't the healthiest person,

so I just decided to
just walk away from it

instead of dealing with it.

I'm a lot different
person now than that.

I deal with my
problems, you know,

instead of run from them.

But back then, I
did a lot of that.

I would just run from problems.

And I attribute that
to substance abuse.

- We were on a constant roller
coaster ride emotionally,

psychologically, physically.

Why not destroy guitars?

Why not light off explosives?

Why not destroy television sets?

Why not do this,
why not do that?

I mean, it seemed like
we had nothing to lose.

When you've lost
everything already,

what else have you got to lose?


- [Tad] I was locked up in
a room that I was renting

in west Seattle and
I'd never go out.

- I can say that when
it came to drug abuse,

I took it very seriously

and explored it very thoroughly.

Backstage, every
night you get a bottle

of hard liquor and
a case of beer.

And as you gain in popularity,

you get to order what
you want backstage

and so there's more and
more booze all the time.

Eventually you need
something to get over

those hangovers with.

And so something else
always enters the picture.

- I liked coke a lot.

And I found that I couldn't
afford it that much.

So I went for the
cheaper version of that,

which was crystal
meth and glass.

I was taking cash
advances on my credit card

to go buy more.

And I'd only leave at night.

I was becoming essentially
an addicted vampire.

I had a police
scanner that I bought

that I'd listen to
because I was sure

they were coming
after me some day.

That's how far it went.

- It's part of the side
of the Seattle music scene

that isn't talked about
that isn't so glamorous,

isn't so glorious, doesn't
look so good on camera.

And cost a lot of bands
the chance of success.

And cost a number of
people their lives.

- [Kurt] When you've been
together for 10 or 12 years,

you begin to know
each other on a level

that is akin to how a husband
and wife know each other.

You can second
guess that person.

You know their worst side,
you know their best side.

And you might be a bit
sick of that person too.

- He's a lifelong friend and
that's never gonna change.

We've gone through
a lot together

and shared a lot
of things together.

Triumphs as well as defeats.

That brings you
together, you know.

We were a team.

- Hello?


- [Tad] Hey.

- [Kurt] What's up?

- Kurt, what are you doing?

[Kurt laughs]

Come on in, man.
- You son of a gun.

- You weren't kidding,
this is a big surprise.

Look at you, what are
you doing, brother?

[Kurt laughing]

- Coming to visit you. [laughs]

- Look at you all dressed up.

People can be in bands

and all they have in common
is this musical vision.

But, you know, I think
that's where we went

a little step further.

We loved being around
each other, you know?

- They're legends, absolutely.

And they're part of
a very vital scene,

and I think they are
just, in my mind,

always gonna be seen as part
of the most happening scene

that Seattle's experienced
before or since.

- What Tad accomplished
was certainly

head and shoulders above what
95% of rock bands accomplish.

- He wasn't selling
records because of image,

he was selling records
because of content.

- Whether anybody makes
it in this business

is largely dependent on factors

that have nothing
to do with music.

Nothing whatsoever
to do with music.

And a big chunk of it is luck.

And random factors did not
operate in their favor.

- So I think there still
is a life to this music.

But TAD's story,
unfortunately and sadly,

is always going to be a
story of what could have been

as opposed to what was.

And that's going to be
part of their legacy.

- The thing I'm most
proud about the music

is that we always stuck
to what we believed in.

And we weren't shifting
what we were doing

to appease anybody
or to look good.

We let it all hang out
right from the beginning.

And just being full of integrity

and keeping the course.

And doing what we had
no choice in doing,

because we wanted to do it

and that's what we were.

At the time, it was right.

I like to think that the
music's gonna live on

and that hopefully it
won't come to a point

where we have to die for
people to figure that out.

♪ I'm not waiting for a change

♪ I'm not waiting for a change

♪ Can't feel passing days

♪ There's a feeling
that always stays

♪ Warm memories clutched too

["Grease Box" by TAD]

♪ Dig dig deep for yourself

♪ Dig dig deep for your soul

♪ Dig dig deep the black abyss

♪ Dig dig deep for your own soul

♪ What the hell's it mean

♪ And I said hey
you're looking at me

♪ What the hell's it mean

♪ Six dead horses chase you down

♪ 14 guns in your own town

♪ 13 men run after you

♪ 10 million babies
your dad gave you

♪ Like the little beast
in the small cold room

♪ Sat writhing in
pain all afternoon

♪ Salt from his tears bringing
the blood to the surface

♪ Like dark hidden fears
make their way to the surface

♪ What the hell's it mean

♪ And I said hey
you're looking at me

♪ What the hell's it mean

♪ And you don't have to stand

♪ Stand by me

♪ And you don't have to stand

♪ Stand by me

♪ And you don't have to stand

♪ Stand by me

♪ And you don't have to stand