The Meatmen formed in Lansing, Michigan in 1981. Fronted by Tesco Vee (of Touch and Go Fanzine fame), they were the most outrageous and original of the “funny punk” bands. With The Meatmen, nothing was safe or sacred. Using biting humor as a tool with which to annoy and poke fun at the politically correct, The Meatmen managed to make many enemies (and friends) everywhere they went.
The first incarnation of The Meatmen, based in Lansing, went through several line-up changes, but began in the twisted minds of Tesco Vee and Rich Ramsey. Their first 7” EP, Blood Sausage, was released in early 1982 and featured Tesco on vocals, Rich Ramsey on bass, his brother Greg Ramsey on guitar, and Mr. X on drums. Later in the same year, they recorded and released the Crippled Children Suck 7 EP with Tesco on vocals, Rich Ramsey on guitar, Mike Achtenburg (of The Fix) on bass, and Todd Swalla (of the Necros) under the pseudonym Berl Johnson, on drums.
In the fall of 1982, Tesco disbanded the last of the Michigan-based Meatmen lineups and moved to Washington DC. In DC, he had a legion of musician friends and fans just waiting to indulge him. In 1983, with an all new lineup that included Lyle Preslar and Brian Baker (both formerly of Minor Threat), Tesco Vee And The Meatkrew recorded an EP titled Dutch Hercules. It was released in 1984 and was to be the final new Meatmen material on Touch and Go. However, in 1991, Touch and Go released a compilation CD of all of the Meatmen’s Touch and Go recordings, aptly named Stud Powercock: The Touch and Go Years.
Throughout the second half of the eighties and all of the nineties, the Meatmen had numerous incarnations and released several more records on a variety of other labels.