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Butthole Surfers Talk New Book: ‘I Regret Not Regretting a Thing’

‘Butthole Surfers: What Does Regret Mean’ traces band’s nearly 40-year history

MINNEAPOLIS, MN:  The Butthole Surfers (L-R) Gibby Haynes, Paul Leary perform at First Avenue Niteclub in Minneapolis, Minnesoata in 1985. (Photo by Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/GettyImages)

Butthole Surfers' Gibby Haynes discusses the upcoming coffee-table book, 'Butthole Surfers: What Does Regret Mean.'

Jim Steinfeldt/Michael Ochs Archives/GettyImages

Why would Butthole Surfers want to make a coffee table book to recount their history? Frontman Gibby Haynes’ answer is typically bizarre: “We’re all history buffs. We drink coffee. We like tables. Personally, I’m a big fan of the Cherner oval dining table. And the book wasn’t our idea.”

The limited-edition, 300-page Butthole Surfers: What Does Regret Mean, written by author Aaron Tanner, will come out on March 8th and contain photos, flyers, illustrations and clippings from throughout the group’s nearly 40-year history. It’s available for pre-order now.

The book traces their beginnings in San Antonio in 1981 through their 2017 reunion. Testimonials from members of Soundgarden, Sonic Youth, Jane’s Addiction, Pavement and Melvins, among others, as well as Rob Zombie, Neko Case, Henry Rollins and Daniel Johnston will accompany the photos. It also includes a flexi-disc single of an unreleased track, “Locust Abortion Technician Medley,” originally set to be the B-side to “Human Cannonball.”

“James Burns did an excellent job telling the story of Butthole Surfers with his biography, Let’s Go To Hell,” author Tanner says of why he made the book. “However, for that band, the visual component was always just as important as the music. Their artwork was equally as warped and disturbed. Their live shows were terrifying. There needed to be a book that captured even a small part of that insanity as well as inform people how much the Butthole Surfers sonically shaped other bands that they came into contact with.”

“I did see a lot of wonderful things that many talented musicians said,” Haynes says of the praise his friends heaped on him and his bandmates in its pages. One that stands out to him is Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow’s claim that the Butthole Surfers were “absolutely, undeniably, inarguably, hands-down, flat-out, the best live band on earth” from ’82 to ’87. “I like David Yow’s quote especially considering that in that era Tommy Lee had a flying upside down roller coaster drum kit.” He also added, “I had no idea that Kim Kardashian was quoted in our book.” (She’s not.)

Most amusing to Haynes, though, may be the book’s subtitle. “I regret not regretting a fucking thing,” he says. “And I think I speak for the rest of the band, as well.”

"Butthole Surfers: What Does Regret Mean," written by Aaron Tanner

“Butthole Surfers: What Does Regret Mean,” written by Aaron Tanner

In This Article: Butthole Surfers

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