Flipper, the noisy punk group that influenced Nirvana and Melvins, will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a run of North American dates this spring and summer. The lineup for the shows will feature founding members guitarist Ted Falconi and drummer Steve DePace with Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow on the mic and Frightwig bassist Rachel Thoele. The group promises to invite more special guests to play with them on the trek.
They will launch the tour on April 12th in Los Angeles and play intermittent dates through July 26th. For the Las Vegas date, they’ll support Killing Joke at the Punk Rock Bowling Festival.
Flipper formed from the ashes of Negative Trend, Sleepers and SST/Rad Command in 1979. Their 1982 LP, Album Generic Flipper, attracted a cult following and eventually ranked Number 26 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 40 Greatest Punk Albums of All Time. Their slow, grinding riffs inspired Kurt Cobain that he made his own Flipper T-shirt, which he wore on a Saturday Night Live appearance. (The design later came under scrutiny when Forever 21 tried selling a replica of it only to pull it and later relist it.) They’ve since issued three more studio albums (including Love, which features Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic on bass) and a handful of live albums.
Since the beginning, the band played with a loose, heavy sound with swinging rhythms. They often punctuated these songs with ridiculous lyrics. Their best-known song, “Sex Bomb,” simply repeats the line, “She’s a sex bomb, baby, yeah,” over and over again, to heavy, bassy riffs. They even made a punk song out of “The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,” which they featured on their Sex Bomb Baby compilation.
“We’re getting away with doing what we like to do,” Falconi told Rolling Stone in a 1985 feature. “We’re rock’s bad boys.”
The band’s classic lineup featured two bassist-vocalists, Will Shatter and Bruce Loose, but the former died in 1987. Loose continued with the band until complications from breaking his back in 1994 forced him to retire in 2015. DePace subsequently asked Yow to join the band.
Flipper Tour Dates
April 12 – Los Angeles, CA @ Regent Theater
April 13 – Long Beach, CA @ Alex’s Bar
April 14 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
May 24 – Los Vegas, NV @ Punk Rock Bowling
June 6 – Portland, OR @ Bossanova
June 7 – Vancouver, BC @ Astoria
June 8 – Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
June 27 – Indianapolis, IN @ Melody Inn
June 28 – Chicago, IL @ Reggie’s
June 29 – St. Louis, MO @ Fu Bar
July 11 – San Jose, CA @ The Ritz
July 12 – Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp
July 13 – San Francisco, CA @ GAMH
July 26 – Ventura, CA @ Ventura Theatre