Watch Primus Play ‘Sailing The Seas Of Cheese’ Gems On ‘Dennis Miller Show’ In 1992
See the trio perform “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver” and more.
Today marks Les Claypool’s 60th birthday. While the extremely talented bassist and songwriter has a number of irons in the fire including Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, Oysterhead, The Claypool Lennon Delirium and more, Primus has been his main gig since he founded the band (originally Primate) in 1984.
A few years later, after Cliff Burton left Metallica, Les’ friend and schoolmate Kirk Hammett encouraged him to audition for the low end job in the metal band. James Hetfield reportedly said that Claypool didn’t get the job because “he was too good” and “should do his own thing.”
Additionally, Claypool said he wasn’t “a big metal guy” — he jokingly asked Metallica if they wanted to “jam on some Isley Brothers tunes.” Interestingly enough, Primus would combine a genre the Isley Brothers pioneered with metal to do some pioneering of their own — in what came to be called funk metal — in the strangest way possible.
That stellar strangeness came largely from Claypool’s inventive songwriting and unique vocal delivery, bolstered by the immense talent of guitarist Larry “Ler” LaLonde and drummer Tim Alexander. In 1992, the band’s classic (and current) lineup brought their innovative act to the Dennis Miller Show. The trio delivered a pair of essentials from their canon: “Jerry Was A Race Car Driver” and “Tommy The Cat.” Both songs appear on Primus’ landmark 1991 album, Sailing The Seas Of Cheese, which the band appeared on the Dennis Miller show in ‘92 to promote.
In the performance, Tim “Herb” Alexander’s explosive and spot-on drumming laid the foundation for Les’ ridiculous slap bass throughout. Especially impressive is Claypool’s simultaneous slapping and rapidfire vocal delivery on “Tommy The Cat,” which Ler shreds the end of.
To celebrate Les Claypool’s 60th birthday, watch Primus perform on the Dennis Miller Show in 1992 below:
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