Ween guitarist Mickey “Dean Ween” Melchiondo was born on this date 50 years ago. The New Hope, Pennsylvania native has co-led Ween with Aaron “Gene Ween” Freeman since the mid-1980s, sharing vocals and guitar duties with Gener who typically takes lead on the former while Deaner largely handles the latter.
There are a number of originals in Ween’s live repertoire where Deaner fills the lead singer role. In celebration of his 50th birthday today, here is a collection of live concert videos from the early part of Ween’s 30+ year career featuring some of the first versions of songs with Dean Ween fronting the beloved band.
Click each video below to start at the indicated Deaner-led video.
Piss Up A Rope
Among the most played songs Ween has performed live that is sung by Deaner is “Piss Up A Rope.” The song was written for the band’s 1996 country album, 12 Golden Country Greats, which was recorded with renowned Nashville session musicians. “Piss Up A Rope” made its live debut on January 21, 1995. The video above features the third — and fourth — known public performances of the song by Ween during a show on January 24, 1995 in New York City.
Deaner first led Ween through the rager “With My Own Bare Hands” on October 16, 2007, just a few days before it was released as part of the band’s album La Cucaracha. The version of “With My Own Bare Hands” in this video comes a few weeks after its live debut at a show in Portland, Oregon on November 12, 2007.
The exact origins of “Tender Situation” are unclear. Deaner shared an audio recording of a Ween concert in Basel, Switzerland with 1990 as the only listed indication of when it took place. Later included on 1992’s Pure Guava, “Tender Situation” was played again in July 1991. The third live performance of “Tender Situation” came on October 12, 1991 at Wetlands Preserve in New York City, which can be seen in the video above.
Another one of the 10 tracks on 12 Golden Country Greats was “Help Me Scrape The Mucus Off My Brain.” Deaner first led Ween in performing it live on April 18, 1996. Watch the live debut of “Help Me Scrape The Mucus Off My Brain” in the above video recorded at Court Tavern in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
“Sorry Charlie” dates back to the Ween’s 1991 sophomore album, The Pod. The song remained a studio-only part of the band’s repertoire until it was played live once in fall 1994. Deaner led another live performance in 1995 and once again in 1995, none in 1997, and two in 1999, after which it became a more regular part of setlists starting in 2000. The video above comes from the second “Sorry Charlie” of 1999 at a show in Pittsburgh.
While Deaner does not sing lead on “A Tear For Eddie,” the instrumental tribute to Parliament-Funkadelic guitarist Eddie Hazel no less puts Deaner in the spotlight. Recorded for Ween’s September 1994 album Chocolate And Cheese, the seven-minute guitar workout made it’s live debut the following month at a show on Halloween eve in Chicago. This video is of the second known public performance of “A Tear From Eddie” on December 28, 1994 at a hometown gig in New Hope comes a few songs after another Deaner-led tune, “Pumpin’ 4 The Man.”