Double Nickels on the Dime by the Minutemen turns 25.

Double Nickels on the Dime, by the Minutemen: One of the greatest American punk records of all time (if not the greatest) was released 25 years ago this month. It was recorded in Venice Beach, right down the street from where Boing Boing Video's studio is located. Above, a 1984 amateur video recording of the band performing a track from this double-album, "Political Song for Michael Jackson." Amazon links, if you care to pick it up: CD or MP3. R.I.P., D. Boon. (via David Rees)

Update: Below, a shot taken of the Minutemen back in the early days, by photog Glen E. Friedman (whose work we've covered in multiple BBV episodes, and who is thanked in the liner notes on Double Nickels).

"It's a photo taken backstage at the Whisky where they were practically the house band in the early 80's," Glen tells us. "They usually had full heads of hair but as a joke shaved them just before this show."

One of Glen's favorite Minutemen songs is after the jump.



  1. Cut ’em down with a guitar solo, D.

    This is an absolute staple of music. This is the album I buy for friends.

    Watt, of course, went on to play with the Stooges in recent years.

    I love this band.

  2. Thanks for sharing Xeni! The Minutemen remain my favorite band that no-one else has heard of. I was lucky enough to see them perform once before D.Boon’s untimely end.

  3. Thanks for posting this Xeni. I had the misfortune of seeing the Minutemen live, but several months *before* I really leaned to love them — and then there was no second chance.

    “Double Nickels” gets the most attention, but the earlier EPs are great too (now packaged into three separate “Post-Mersh” CDs).


  4. Me too, Naganalf. They were one of the greatest bands I’ve ever seen in my life. We are lucky, both of us.

  5. This and Thriller were, in my opinion, the two best albums of the 80s. It still sounds fresh, contemporary and exciting today.

    If you live in LA, and take the 10 to or from work, remember d. boon on your commute today. (Double Nickels on the Dime = Driving 55 mph on the I-10)

  6. awesome! I’m listening to the july 27th watt from pedro show where richard hell gets annoyed at watt for asking lame questions.

  7. This album and Thriller were, in my opinion, the two best albums of the 80s. Double Nickels still sounds fresh, exciting, and new today. It’s ageless. It also has, in History Lesson Part II, just about the saddest song I know.

    Double Nickels on the Dime is a reference to driving 55 mph up Interstate 10. If you live in LA, and drive the 10, remember d. boon on your commute today.

  8. I had the pleasure of seeing Firehose before they split up; the same energy was still there, but I envy those of you who managed to see the original trio. I LOVE Minutemen and can’t believe it’s been 25 years!

  9. Agreed, Mat – this album does still sound fantastic, as does its sort-of-counterpart Zen Arcade (always loved the “take that, hüskers!” in the Double Nickels liners).

    It’s a shame there isn’t a truly “complete” version on CD – I had to resort to making my own using the ‘proper’ CD and adding the missing tracks from vinyl… as I suspect a lot of other BB readers have done.

  10. “Double Nickels on the Dime” is ojne of my all time favorite records.

    Also, the documentary “We Jam Econo – The Story of the Minutemen” by Tim Irwin is well worth owning and watching repeatedly.

  11. There’s a world at the end of the 110 that few will ever know anything about. What I miss most about the Minutemen was D. Boon’s BBQ, the music never really stopped.

  12. I saw the Minutemen play a different set each night in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver the summer of 1984.
    They let me ride with them to the Seattle show which was held at the Pioneer Hall.Backstage we found a bunch of pioneer wear so the band dressed in calico dresses and bonnets for the show. We each took a metal star with a crown on it from the pile of costumes as mementos. I still have mine.
    I wonder how different “alternative rock” would be now if Dennes was still alive, raising the bar and waving the flag.

  13. Re: the tracks left off the CD version–I once emailed Greg Ginn at SST to ask about that, and never received an answer.

  14. saw them live at the 9:30 Club in WDC back in ’86, i believe the same year that d. boon died. fabulous show. you could see the stage sag as boon pogo’ed across it. such infectious energy.

  15. Frank Zappa had a low opinion of punk rock because he thought it glorified sloppy musicianship. Admittedly that was sometimes true, but the Minutemen could PLAY; I can’t think of a tighter rhythm section than Watt/Hurley in the last 30 years (Sly & Robbie come to mind but they predate punk by a decade.)

  16. Seeing Firehose was definitely one of those moments I will always remember.

    I was never fully aware of The Minutemen, other than that there were connections between them and a number of other SoCal/SST bands I knew more about. I like how some song credits on Firehose records follow a thread through ex-band members to other bands to spouses of other band members.

    And now I play the electric ironing board, just because I got comped free tickets to a Firehose show, lo, all those many years ago.

  17. one of the greatest shows of my life was seeing the minutemen open for R.E.M. on their “Life’s Rich Pageant” tour. we would get up and pogo down to the front, only to be whisked back to our seats by the fascist security peeps. so we bounced in our seats for the rest of the show. d.boon passed just a few weeks later. i was bummed for a month! hurley came out after the show and signed tickets etc… he was such a down-to-earth kind of guy. what a loss to the world of music! THEY JAM ECONO!

  18. they had a big double nickels tribute here in NYC last weekend, which i, of course, couldn’t make it to.

    mike watt will be performing a FREE show this saturday in central park, if anyone is interested, with nels cline (it will be more experimental music than punk, but that’s not a bad thing.) i saw mike a couple of months ago with his new trio and was blown away by how young he performed (not looked.) at one point, he finished belting out a song and had clearly over-exerted himself. his eyes rolled up as if he was going to pass out and he stumbled back into the amp for a good 10 seconds before he came back down to earth. i was impressed and grateful that mister watt would still give us his 150% when performing despite not being 25 years old anymore. it’s a testament to his work ethic and talent!

  19. Great album! I have many happy memories of putting the coffee on and dropping the needle on this while I was working on writing fanzines. I’d put this album up there with London Calling as far as how much it influenced me during my teen years.

    I wish I had an opportunity to see the Minutemen live. I had a chance to see a number of other SST bands in ’85, including Black Flag and the Meat Puppets, but not the Minutemen. Dang.

  20. This band changed my life. Not only because of their inspiring DIY ethos, but because they made soul music, music that warmed my bones.

    I saw them live twice in the 80s. At the Fox Theater in Atlanta, they opened for R.E.M. The large college-aged crowd mostly mingled at the bars sucking down Heineken.

    “Who’s the Minutemen?”

    It was reserved seating and my seat was way in back with a column blocking part of my view. Since no one was seated or interested in the warm-up act, I asked the security guard if I could stand up front while the Minutemen were on. He kindly obliged. I then got to skank and dance in the aisle and watch boon, hurley, and watt just pound out a great great set. Life was good.

    I noticed the whole time boon played that he had a huge, glowing Buddha smile on his face. He was clearly in tune with all things good in the universe. I smiled too. How could I not? Have you seen this guy on stage?

    Though I never knew him personally, I miss him. Luckily they recorded enough vinyl to keep his spirit alive forever.

    Thanks for sharing this.

  21. Aw man, that makes me feel OLD!

    One of the pivotal albums of my youth… Takes me back to the suburbs of South Manchester, England…

  22. Wotta coinky-dink!

    I’ve been listening to Double Nickels non-stop the past week. Though I’m missing flipping over the records and dropping the needle for another side.

    D Boon, yer missed.

  23. Little known fact – the song “Corona” on this album became the theme song to the MTV show “Jackass” but anyway that’s not important. lol Seriously I never saw them live but I was a teenager watching a music video channel from Connecticut called U68, and they actually played two videos from the Minutemen on their rotation! (“This Ain’t No Picnic” from DNOTD, and a later vid called “King Of The Hill”.) In the “King Of The Hill” video, D. Boon was wearing this king’s crown and was pushed down a hill, and I said “Check out the fat dude rolling down the hill!” not knowing how important the Minutemen were (I do now!)

  24. I was born too late to catch the Minutemen in their heyday, sadly. In a weird twist, I only found out about them in the first place because I read a guitar mag interview with Watt around the time of his first solo album ‘Ball-Hog or Tugboat?’ and thought he sounded like the coolest guy on the planet.

    I was right, of course. The solo disc was fantastic, and eventually led me back to ‘Double Nickels’ and the requisite life-changing epiphany.

    Ever since then, every sound check for every show I’ve played has consisted of ‘Corona’. It’s fun to look out into the crowd and watch people get it.

  25. “One of the greatest American punk records of all time (if not the greatest)…”

    Serious contender for one of the greatest records, period, of all time, in my opinion. Read the 33 1/3 on Double Nickels and try to not be convinced of that.

  26. C’mon they weren’t punk, there where hardcore (I maintain the difference) but got away from it and indeed where great.
    But yeah… hardcore.

  27. What? Hardcore?

    I would hardly call The Minutemen hardcore.

    They were punk, and that was the great thing about punk. There was no single sound to the music. It was more about the attitude, and breaking away.

    You look at all of the early punk bands, none of them sounded alike, unlike “punk” bands today.

  28. The world is a colder place without D.Boon. Check out the many live recordings of the Minutemen on the Internet Archive, including the great WREK recording at Georgia Tech just a few weeks before he died…

  29. @ Dunnright

    You’re right, they didn’t have a specific sound, but I believe they identified with and were friends with people who shared a “hardcore punk” ethic. Obviously, they were more than just a punk band or a hardcore band–but they maintained strong ties with likes of the DC hardcore scene and Cali hardcore scene. Of course, they had many influence, but I think if you are going to try to pin a label on their sound (which I wouldn’t suggest) I would say hardcore fits the best, if only because of the ethic behind the music.

  30. I thank my lucky stars someone was cool enough to have this album put into circulation at my local suburban library almost 25 years ago, when I first checked it out. I held onto that copy for nearly a year before reluctantly turning it back in.

    This album was a revelation for me–blending punk and poetry, funk and thrash, meaning and humor in a way my younger self latched onto with heartfelt appreciation. Plus, so many great Watt bass lines for me to learn from!

  31. Just like #19, caught them in DC at the 930 club in ’86. It was about a month later at the same venue Keith Morris told the crowd that D Boon had died the night before.

    Best year of my teenage life, living in DC for a year (15 yr old kid from Fargo, ND) and will forever be glad that I got to see the Minutemen.

  32. you folks might want to check out the fine folks at The Archive for quite a few lossless Minutemen shows. I highly recommend the gigs recorded by “musigny23”.

  33. My band (Outer Circle) shared a practice space with the Minutemen and Secret Hate for a while in Wilmington, the northeast corner of Long Beach, right across the street from Navy housing. We’d always have to air out the room after they played. They put a lot of energy into their performances, both private and public.

    When our space was broken into and their amps were stolen, I was the one who had to call Mike and let him know.

    I got to see them a few times, but not as much as I should have or could have. I remember hearing about d. boon’s death as I drove around San Francisco years afterwards, later running into George Hurley at Guitar Center and talking about it.

    The Minutemen were the real thing – just who and what they were and nothing else. And Double Nickels on the Dime is a great recording, no matter how old it is.

  34. I was never fully aware of The Minutemen, other than that there were connections between them and a number of other SoCal/SST bands I knew more about. I like how some song credits on Firehose records follow a thread through ex-band members to other bands to spouses of other band members.

    I never really listened to the Minutemen, but I was really into Firehose back in the day. “Raging Full On” was such an incredible album…

  35. I have to say that I’m a bit partial to this record for several reasons. I was lucky enough to be the photographer of the cover shots of D., Mike and George in their respective vehicles. I also contributed the photos of these guys playing out out in the desert infront of the school busses and Wilson Park shots of the little boy infront of D that adorn the inside of the gatefold sleeve. I also got to contribute the lyrics to the song The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts…my Landlady wrote the lyrics to Take 5 D when Mike and I were hanging out and found the note where she was telling me not to use my shower. Roadied for them on The Mersh Alive In 85 Tour…what stories I could tell! The first week I thought I was going to die and nearing the final days of the tour I didn’t want it to end. I must have seen the Minutemen about 500 times! Played lots of shows with them too. Those were the very best of days. We had so many BBQ parties at Second Park Point Fermin. People would bring entire drumsets down to the cliff and there would be fantastic jams. Everyone in town seemed to show up. When Dennes passed the door just slammed. There is a Reactionaries Record coming out soon featuring Watt and Hurley and all sorts of Pedro luminaries…past and present. These are songs from a rehearsal tape that pre-dates the Minutemen. Just thought you might want to know about it. Double Nickels IS the best record I’ve ever heard! Love to all!

  36. me and Laura Bauer were too poor to afford the $5 cover but we both had to see the Minutemen. We went down to Shockoe Slip, to Goin’ Bananas and just hung out. The club was in the basement. It had a sidewalk level window. We peered through it at the top of the opening band’s heads. Bob Hardtimes, a certifiable dick, took pity on us and let us in.

    While most of my friends preferred Husker Du, and were disparaging of Black Flag, I couldn’t get enough. I had to listen to one Black Flag song a day and I played that Double Nickels record until the it wore out.

    So in the club, not the usual hardcore venue in Richmond, I mean PB Kelly’s was the be-all to end-all, it was hot, fucking Richmond is hot — all that pent up heat in the the brick is slowly released at night keeping it sweltering through the night.

    But when they came on stage it didn’t matter anymore, they played and tried to leave, we wouldn’t let them, they played more and tried to leave, we wouldn’t let them. Finally D Boon said we don’t know any more songs. And I believed it true, they played their entire oeuvre. Then Chris Bobst standing right next to them, said, “play Substitute.” And they did, we rocked out to The Who chestnut. It was remarkable. We left soaked through, but elated. It was the perfect show, at the perfect moment, by the perfect band.

  37. #49, and #50, jesus, man! That’s so amazing! Leave your names, please!

    #49, thank you so much for sharing that.

    #50, you too. I grew up in richmond, went to those clubs, too, when I was a teenager, and I know the names of the people and places you mentioned.

  38. Hi #49 here.
    I tried to create an account and had some kind of trouble…thought it might be fun to have the folks solve a little puzzle perhaps.
    My name is Dirk Vandenberg. It’s a thrill for me even though I wasn’t in the band, to see that this record still shines so bright. Thanks for posting this for everyone to enjoy! Cheers! DV
    P.S Check out the Water Under The Bridge Records website for more Reactionaries info.

  39. Xeni, you kick holy ass for reminding me of this anniversary. We have to take any chance life gives us to talk about the The Minutemen. “I Felt Like a Gringo,” FTW!

  40. Played a couple of shows at Gorky’s when I was with Meta-4 before the Minutemen’s sets.

    Great times.

  41. #49, hey Dirk, what’s up?

    I was startled to learn, watching the world premier of We Jam Econo here in beautiful downtown Pedro, that The Reactionaries’ first show was at the end of my block! I was only about two years old at the time, so I hadn’t heard about the show. :) I coulda caught Black Flag, The Descendents, The Alley Cats, and I think The Plugz! Prolly woulda just pooped my pants.

    Also, to clear up a minor misconception, Double Nickles On The Dime does not refer to the 10 fwy, it means traveling at exactly 55 MPH (“on the dime”) like Watt is doing in Dirk’s cover photo. The title was a reaction to Sammy Haggar’s “I can’t drive 55”. The Minutemen wouldn’t have been talking about the 10 anyway, it’s the 110 that goes to San Pedro and the 110 (the 11 at the time) where Watt is driving on the cover. (You can see the sign indicating Pedro to the right of the rear-view mirror.) It’s a really well-set-up photo, props to the VW backseat photog!

  42. It was indeed a great album by a great band.

    After 56 comments, let me be the first to say that this is yet another sign that the hardcore generation is officially old.

  43. @59 – Ha! The music still doesn’t feel old, though, does it?

    I agree with Xeni – All these comments have been great, and show just how important this music was to so many people. I makes me feel vindicated for trying to better understand them and write about them.

    And #36 and 38 were discussing whether they were hardcore or punk, but the way I look at it punk was more an ethos, and hardcore was a very specific concept of punk and what it means (#40 used the term HC Punk ethic, which is right on the money for me). I don’t see much evidence that they shied away from the label punk, even if they modified it a bit to make it their own… And it was generally HC that gave us the independent American music scene as we know it today, IMHO.

    And Dorthy H. at #26 – you mention that they were influenced by non-punk bands, I think this is generally true across the board. I just finished reading Joe Keithley’s (D.O.A) book, and he says much the same about folk music (Seeger and Gutherie) and the band Bachman Turner Overdrive, among other bands.

  44. @#47
    at the amazing anniversary night in nyc’s bowery poetry club this past sat both michael t fournier and mike watt tell the story as being in reaction to sammy hagar *and* to truckerspeak for california interstate 10.

    here’s a shot of watt closing out the night with some amazing solo playing and spiels.

  45. I’m pretty sure that their heads were shaved in that Friedman because of a gig they were doing with performance artist Johanna Went. And Phill #58 is totally right about there not being a “10 Freeway” reference in the album title and it being a rejection of “Sammy Hagar culture”.

    Mike Watt is in the Studio Artist Program at Angels Gate where I work (he and another musician have been in the program since 1983 – our most long standing tenants) and I just had one of my interns interview Watt last month, and you can read that here:

    She also shot a little video of Mike playing a little on the bass in the studio:

  46. I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this, but the coolest thing about this album was the message Watt or Boon or whoever scratched into the uncut vinyl band between the leadout groove and the label – “Take that Huskers!”

    I still listen to Double Nickels regularly. They never came to Morgantown, West Virginia where I lived and live today, but a lot of other bands did: Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Meat Puppets – all part of that first wave of college radio/indie bands who were pioneering the independent scene that thrives today.

    I learned of D. Boon’s death on a picture perfect snowy day around Christmastime, at Backstreet Records on High Street, with my friend, a fellow Minutemen-lover, David Stitzel. I was heartbroken, but I don’t really know why. I guess they radiated such passion and confidence, I thought they were invincible.

  47. Has it been 25 years already? I can’t be that old now, right? RIGHT?

    Unfortunately I was only able to see them 3 times: I saw them play the middle slot on a Nig Heist/Minutemen/Black Flag triple bill in Binghampton, NY, in early ’83 when I was still just getting into Punk Rock from outside NYC & London; the band definitely helped form my musical tastes, laying a heavy thumb print on my nascent radio show with What Makes a Man Start Fires?, and Buzz or Howl when it came out later in the year.

    The second time I saw them was in late ’84, after I moved to LA, in the opening slot of the Minutemen/Black Flag/Ramones show at the Hollywood Palladium. I had snuck a fifth of whiskey into the show and I’ll admit I drank heavily during the Minutemen’s set & was thoroughly plowed by the time Black Flag took the stage; I bit someone in the pit and was put into “Time out” by the Goldenvoice bouncers until the Ramones took the stage. I was one of the last stragglers out of the venue and walked out to face a Gauntlet of LAPD riot cops in full riot gear; I froze, was speared by the searchlight from a circling helicopter, and proceeded to walk the straightest line of my life down Sunset Blvd.

    The third time was in early-mid ’85 in a small place, probably in Hollywood (I can’t remember where exactly, maybe Helen’s Place? Cathay? I can’t remember anymore). When you’re young you don’t think “This may be the last time I do this” and so you don’t impress every moment into memory, but I remember they were greater every time I saw them.

    For Minutemen memories from people who do remember try Mike Watt’s Hoot Page, or Daemon Brown’s, which also has videos on

  48. #49….

    I too lived in that apartment…downstairs. A hole would always appear in the corner, between the ceiling and the wall, above the tub. I spoke to Mary several times about repairing it. It never did get fixed.

    Somewhow, once I made the connection, it didn’t seem as bad.

    The first time I heard Double Nickles was in the living room of my apartment. 23rd & Grand. I had heard a few songs prior to release…a cassette or maybe an EP. The day the record came out, we dropped the needle and turned it up.

    Car rev…to car rev.

    This record, literally, changed my life.
    It showed me that anything was possible. Music was more than the radio. And what my friends had been telling me for years was true….

    The minutemen were the greatest band in the world.

    Double Nickles is still my favorite record.

  49. Like so many other folks, the Minutemen changed my life, and Double Nickels on the Dime made me realize that you didn’t have to be restricted by form in anything you do–that heart is the key to all things in life. I saw the band perform at Safari Sam’s, at the Joy at Sea cruise(!), Irvine Meadows, McCabe’s Guitar shop. Even rented a car to go see them in Las Vegas–where the club they were supposed to be playing at got closed the day before.

    When I heard that it was the 25th anniversary of double nickels, and that nobody was DOING ANYTHING–I said to myself, “Do something.” You gotta acknowledge your mentors and thank them somewhere along the way. I put together this anniversary celelbration at the Bowery Poetry Club last week. It was awesome. Mike Watt kindly agreed to play bass and do spoken word (see him at, Richard Hell introduced him, three great tribute bands (Pillowman, from Worcester, MA; Tweede Kamer, from New Brunswick, NJ, and Maybe Partying Will Help, from PA) played 18 songs off the record; Bass Player from Hand Job did a tribute, Jackie Sheeler performed an awesome electro spoken word manifesto of Political Song for Michael Jackson, Michael T. Fournier talked about stories he gathered for his great book on the album, and I hosted to a thankful full house. We donated the proceeds to Mike Watt’s charity of choice, Doctors Without Borders. It was magic.

    I’ll never forget that sad night when Andrea Enthal annouced that D. Boon had died. A bunch of us were working on The Eye, the music magapaper we produced in O.C., listening to the radio, and to remember her voice now, saying that D. Boon was killed in a car wreck . . . still got tears. Went to the service at Angel’s Gate. He was buried near Bukowski. They’re probably having a great time! I was so sad at the burial, but sweet George Hurley said, “D. Boon wouldn’t want anyone to be sad. He’d want you to be happy, have a party.” That’s what last weekend’s anniversary in NYC was all about.

    Thanks forever to D. Boon, Mike Watt and George Hurley for making such magic. And yes, Dirk Vandenberg–you are to be thanked as well. Wasn’t that you on trumpet on The Product?

    Thanks to everyone for performing and being at the Double Nickels anniversary.


  50. Hi Kat, Dirk #49 here.
    No, it wasn’t me playing trumpet, it was my old pal Crane. I did get to play saxophone every night on the Mersh Alive In 85 tour on The Product…what a kick! People would scream when I walked out right before the cacophany of racket type solo I was about to play. I guess a horn is a horn to most folks…lucky for me! Anyone have a video of that? The horn jam I remember most is the one on Politics Of Time playing horn with Martin T. and opening for the Dead Kennedy’s at the Longshoreman’s Hall in Wilmington, Ca. The promoter jackass had over-sold the show and a riot ensued. All I can think of was the bottle shower at the cops after all of the folks outside couldn’t get in and pretty much crashed the door and trashed the place. Me and D. pushing the drums all stacked up on top of his Fender Twin amp with those little wheels wobbling as bottle flew overhead in the street. It was a pure No Man’s Land. Thanks for putting together a fitting tribute! But! I’m sure it’s not too late to bring the anniversary of this record back home to the west coast where it sort of belongs! How about a World Wide Tour?
    Hey #66! Gimme the cross streets!
    Serious as a heart attack!!!!

  51. Xeni, I think I may be at least 15 years older than you, we may have, but probably never crossed paths in Richmond, shame though, you seem cool. I studied at VCU and then hung out for a few more years working at the stupid bike shop in Careytown before moving west. My name is Chris Hoover, number 50 on this post.

  52. This is funny, I just came across this post becuz I found an interview with Watt (1992 or so) where he said the entire concept, album photo and title of “Double Nickels on the Dime” was a goof on Sammy Hagar’s “I Can’t Drive 55” song and album of that same time. Apparently, according to Watt, they all decided to just goof on Sammy Hagar by making the album cover show them driving 55 in LA at an exit to San Pedro with the speedometer in the car pinned exactly at 55. Watt was driving and he said they had to go round and round on the highway three times to get the photo which became the album cover. Of course, given Mike Watt told this story, it is also quite possible he made it up just so people like me would repeat it.

  53. saw the Minutemen a few times in NYC back in the day. One especially noteworthy show was Husker Du and The Minutemen together. Aside from the sheer sonic blitz that was the show, I saw D. Boon in his underwear. And my car caught fire after the show in a snowstorm.

    Rock n Fucking Roll

    nazz nomad

  54. hey everyone,

    you’re very kind to leave such messages. I’m mike watt and I was just hipped to this link. thank you so, truly.

    to clear some things up:

    “Who’ll put his back
    To the plow?
    Don’t look now
    It ain’t you or me.”

    these are john fogerty’s words – we loved ccr, me and d. boon learned many of their songs. we brought some on board for the minutemen.

    “double nickels on the dime” was about doing fiftyfive mph exactly (on the dime) cuz that was the speed limit then and sammy hagar said he wouldn’t do it but made kind of safe music (in our view) so we thought that we’d drive safe and make crazy music. the harbor freeway was california route 11 then (called I-110 now) and doesn’t figure into the title, sorry. the I-10 runs east-west (not north-south like the harbor freeway) anyway – you couldn’t get from pedro to hollywood that way (listen to “history lesson – part II”). I kind of know about this cuz I’m the one who came up w/the title. one label on the vinyl version had a picture of the 55 mph speed limit sign! that’s cuz sammy hagar had one w/a red line going through it. I also figured in “double nickels” = “double album” but that was more after the fact from the original idea. we heard sammy hagar called himself “the red rocker” and d. boon thought that was hilarious. so did I.

    “take that, huskers!” was mine too cuz I thought we should acknowledge our buddies in husker du cuz after we recorded and album in the fall, they came that winter to so cal and did a double album so we thought why not do one too and recorded a second album worth of songs soon after. they inspired us much. I don’t think there would’ve been a “double nickels…” w/out “zen arcade” being recorded by them first.

    ethan james mixed the whole album in one night!

    michael talked to me a whole afternoon about making this album and we went through it song by song for his 33 1/3 book. he did a great job, big respect.

    again I wanna thank everyone for remembering d. boon and george hurley, my minutemen brothers. it’s the reason I work bass now, cuz of those days.

    mike watt

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