Jeff Ament’s former band Deranged Diction (aka Montana’s first hardcore band) to reunite at the Crocodile Friday

deranged diction

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 Diction.

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 Ament:

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 myself.


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.

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