Jon Spencer of the Blues Explosion: My Life in 10 Songs

From Pussy Galore to 'Freedom Tower,' the combustible blues-punker looks back

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Pussy Galore, "Cunt Tease" (1986)

We were genuinely angry people and wanted to throw that anger to other people. But I think also we had a sense of humor. With "Cunt Tease" it's, in some ways, a totally ridiculous song. It's turning inside-out the stereotypical bravado of Sixties rock & roll, and all of rock & roll.

It was me using a cool riff from a band I had played in before. I was in another band when I was at Brown — and that band, for a little while, was called Pussy Galore. It was a straight up garage band. I don't know what words were to that song before, but it was basically the same song, the heart of that riff — thats why it was credited to me and [Buster Ludd]. Julie's part, I think [she] improvised it in the studio. I think she's just over there screaming in the background when I'm doing my vocal take

By that time we had Neil Hagerty who was a amazing guitar player. I think we didn't own a tuner when we moved to New York City. We just kinda tuned to each other.

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