Before Jeff Ament was in a small little band called Pearl Jam (a
band that may, or may not,
be headlining Bumbershoot this year) he was in
Montana’s first hardcore band called Deranged
The band featured Ament, Jon Donahue, and Bruce Fairweather in
Montana and Rod Moody joined up when the band made it to Seattle.
Deranged Diction played its last show 25 years ago and after
breaking up its members helped spawn Green River, Mudhoney and, of
course, Pearl Jam. The band will return to the stage Friday at the
Crocodile for the first time in 25 years to celebrate the release
of its double-disc "Life Support/No Art, No Cowboys, No Rules."
The first disc, "Life Support" features 10 songs written between
1983-34. The second disc "No Art, No Cowboys, No Rules" is a
rerecording of the band’s demo tape from 1982-83. You can
read more about Deranged Diction here.
Here’s the story of the Deranged Diction, as told by Jeff
Missoula, Montana, 1981-83
Jon Donahue and I met Bruce Fairweather skateboarding the brick
banks at the University of Montana in September of 1981. Within a
month, we were rehearsing as Deranged Diction with Bill the
drummer, playing songs by Black Flag, 999, the Dead Kennedys, the
Ramones and the Clash. We played a half dozen shows that school
year, mostly with new drummer Sergio Avenia, with a summer
assignment to write some of our own songs.
Fall quarter 1982, Jon moved back to California, so we needed a
new singer. Tom Kipp approached us and we wrote and recorded our
first batch of songs which included “Pruning” which ended up on a
compilation called “We Got Power” and the Flipper-inspired
“Periscope.” Tim Healy took over vocals in March of 1983 and we
wrote and recorded six new songs, including “Only” and “I’m an
Amerikan.” We put these songs on a cassette called “No Art, No
Cowboys, No Rules” and sold and traded them through fanzines like
Maximum Rock and Roll and Flipside.
Seattle, Washington, 1983-84
Sergio, Bruce and I decided to move to Seattle in May of 1983
with the idea of finding a new singer for our band. We put a
“singer wanted” ad in the Rocket and our first tryout with Rod
Moody was a great fit, and he played guitar which gave us a bigger
heavier sound. We wrote 10 new songs with Rod and played shows at
the Metropolis with the Butthole Surfers, Husker Du, Ill Repute,
Stalag 13 and local Seattle bands the Accused, Malfunkshun, the
Rejectors and the Silly Killers. In early 1984, I quit the band to
join Green River with Mark, Steve and Alex. Unfortunately, we never
recorded a song.
Seattle, Washington, 2008
I ran into Rod at Easy Street Records and reminisced about our
days in Deranged Diction and he mentioned having a rehearsal tape
of the songs we wrote together. I listened and we thought it was a
shame that we never recorded those songs. Rod and I approached
Bruce and Sergio about recording those songs. We went into Avast
studios and recorded and mixed it in 4 days in the spirit of how we
might have done it 24 years earlier. It was a blast playing with my
old friends again and it’s sounds pretty damn good, if I say so
Jeff Ament, formerly Jeff Diction
With all that history it sure seems like it will be a good time
Friday night at the Crocodile. And it is nice to see all the Pearl
Jam guys getting their creative juices flowing in preparation for
the upcoming tour cycle behind their ninth album, which is set to
be released this year.
Matt Cameron has his jazz project Harrybu McCage, Mike McCready
has his Hendrix tribute group Shadow 86, Stone Gossard is doing his
country band thing with his Hank Khoir and Eddie will embark on a
brief solo tour this summer.
Tickets cost $10.