Butthole Surfers' Gibby Haynes talks '80s punk on Daily Show; wears homage to GWAR and Dave Brockie

Gibby Haynes, best known as the frontman for the great Texas experimental psychedelic-hardcore band The Butthole Surfers, appeared on The Daily Show With John Stewart last night. Author Yates Wuelfing was on to promote her new book, "No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens." Stewart revealed that he once bartended at the famed NJ punk club. It was "a place you could play between New York and Philadelphia," said Gibby, who wore the word GWAR on his forearm as an homage to the late Dave Brockie.

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The first time I saw the Butthole Surfers was in Richmond, Virginia. I must have been 16. I was hanging out with Dave Brockie at the show.

I am almost certain this was before GWAR, though the two bands later played together on the same bill. We were friends around the time of Dave's earlier band Death Piggy. I crashed and hung out at the Death Piggy house a lot, during a phase of my life on and off the street. Back then the punk/hardcore/art scene in our town was a small scene.

Anyway, a teen friend and I decided it would be a good idea to drop acid and go to the Butthole Surfers that night naked.

That turned out not to have been a very good idea, but I remember being totally blown away by the show once some compassionate stranger found some towels or a tarp or something for us to clothe ourselves with.


This is why we went to the show naked. The fact that they were traveling with a live nude dancer was the most punk rock thing I'd ever seen. Screengrab from an Atlanta 1987 show which you can watch in entirety on YouTube.

Those of you who are old enough and mutant enough to have seen the Buttholes play during that era know what I'm talking about. It was one of the most terrifying, sublime, and overwhelming live performances I have ever witnessed. The bullhorn. The lights. The smoke. The naked lady dancer who had a fixation with poo (I think they called her the Shit Lady?). Punks on LSD.

Farewell, Brockie. Long live the weirdness in which we all found solace in those days.

As an aside, Wuelfing's book is the product of a successful Kickstarter campaign. More about the book here and on Facebook, including a link to read an excerpt for free. I'm buying a copy!


Butthole Surfers, mid-1980s. Photographer unknown. This was the lineup when I saw them live in Richmond, VA, with drummer Teresa Nervosa.

Below, bootleg videos of the Butthole Surfers performing live at shows from 1984 to 1988. It was like this, only louder.