On every episode of his podcast, John “Jughead” Pierson visits a different classic (errr, in punk circles. Not everyone considers My Brain Hurts to be a classic, wrong though they may be.) record and talks to friends, band members, fans, record label folk, producers, and family members, about the album, one song at a time. The interviews are in depth, and the insights into the records are wonderful. If you listen to an episode, I guarantee you won’t hear the record the same ever again.
I’ve extolled the virtues of this show to all of my friends several times over, but now I’m doing it to you for a specific episode. In episode 9, John talks with tons of folks about The Mr. T Experience’s Love Is Dead album. Whenever a friend asks me “I don’t know MTX. Which album would you recommend I start with?” Love is Dead is HANDS DOWN the answer. Always.
I cannot possibly express how much this record means to me, and has meant for going on 20 years now. I can’t believe it’s been this long already.
This episode is almost 2 hours long. The interviews with Dr. Frank, Joel and Jym are incredible on their own, but John also gives his own impression, as well as consults folks like legendary diy punk producer Kevin Army and fans of the band.
I was moved to tears in several spots. The story of how the band broke up after Revenge Is Sweet is heartbreaking but makes perfect sense in the context of that time.
I couldn’t wait to listen to the album straight through immediately following the podcast, to check for things people had mentioned on the show. (China crash in Dumb Little Band anyone?)
I’ve said this before about the Mr. T Experience, and the show touched on it a little bit, that since I discovered them in 93 or 94, I cannot listen to a single song and not hear something new each time. The lyrics and their meanings and layers are still unfolding to this day. The same was true of this listen, but even more so since I had input from band members.
I truly believe Dr. Frank is one of, if not THEE, best lyricists alive today. I’m not just being hyperbolic here. Something Jesse from Operation Ivy said on the Energy episode of Jughead’s Basement comes to mind here. He said something to the effect of “I don’t really think about that record or my time in Operation Ivy that much anymore. For me, it would be like those guys who just wax nostalgic about the Big Game in high school for 20 years after the fact.” I totally get it. I can imagine it’s tough to have people approach you for decades after doing some creative work and tell you how great it is, with no regard or mention of your current work. As if you peaked and your current and more recent work isn’t worth mentioning. That said, I look forward to the day I get to hear some new music from Dr. Frank.
I’m not going to post the album for you to download. You’ll have to track it down on your own. But here are most of the songs from the album (everything I could find on youtube) to get you started if you still haven’t heard it.
and here’s the full album:
I linked to it above, but here’s the link to the Love Is Dead episode just in case you missed it.