SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION ISSUE #17:
“What’s the story behind the title of your first Jack O’ Fire 7”, “Bring Me the Head of Jon Spencer,” and the scribe “Bring Me the hands of Steve Turner” on the A-side?
Andy from Sugar Shack (and now The Lord High Fixers) was telling me once that they were thinking of calling one of their records “Bring Me the Head of Mark Arm.” Kind of an acknowledgement, you guys are cool, etc. but they were scared that Mudhoney would get mad. This was around the time that Mudhoney was getting big and everyone was really starting to read about them. Later, when I told Mark about it, he thought that would have been great. I thought it was a great and funny idea too. So when it was obvious that Jack O’ Fire was putting out a record with an emphasis on Blues and Jon Spencer was in all the press, I decided to use that same idea under different circumstances. I didn’t know Jon, but I thought that he might get a kick out of it and as for “Bring me the hands of Steve Turner,” I did know him and it was just kind of a hello. The old punk rock idea of getting everyone involved, you and your friends.”
CAPINCH ZINE #5 / SYA RECORDS:
(Capinch Zine #5 – Feb.2005)
“Bring me the head of Jon Spencer” was the title of first Jack O’Fire e.p. It became a slogan for me! I think all his stuff (and that of much more fashionable personalities) have nothing to do with the blues… Why that title has born?
Tim saw the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion opening for the Jesus Lizard and said Spencer played some harp. At that time, we’d only played as Jack ‘O Fire a few times. Later, I met Spencer while I was touring with ’68 Comeback opening up for Boss Hogg. Spencer looked me over and asked if I was Jack ‘O Fire- like he was angry. Of course, Jon Spencer isn’t a bluesman- dealing more in irony- and he has made some cool records.
So back to Sugar Shack, I asked Spot to come in with me to be the engineer to make sure I wasn’t fuckin’ up. Spot and me did that first one, as far as getting paid. That’s where the whole Bring Me the Head of Jon Spencer came from because of Sugar Shack. Andy told me at one time while we were recording their first album that they were going to name the record Bring Me the Head of Mark Arm and I thought, that’s the fucking greatest thing ever. I didn’t know Mark at the time, but I was, “You should do that. That’s great.” It’s the same way why I did it with Jon Spencer. I didn’t know Jon Spencer but it was the idea like back when hardcore was first going and all of those records from back then, if you look, you’ll see these huge name lists. “We want to thank” and the whole back cover is full of names and everybody did that because you didn’t want to leave anybody out. If you played with this band from Podunk Idaho that you played with one time because you came through their town, you make damn sure that you put them on there, ’cause if anybody sees this, you want to bring everybody with you. It’s a community thing. With that in mind, saying something like that, you were giving a shout out to him. You’re giving a shout out to Mark. You’re giving a shout out to Jon Spencer. If they smile and get it and kind of laugh and stuff, cool. You’re part of the community. If you’re so vain that it pisses you off; “That’s my name. That’s me,” fuck you! Then you don’t have the fuckin’ right attitude to begin with and you should be fucked with. (smile) Todd: It’s a litmus test.
Tim: But Sugar Shack were too scared to do it because they didn’t know Mark. When I told Mark, fairly soon after that, was when Monkeywrench did that first thing, he was just rolling on the floor. “Oh man, they shoulda. That would have been great.” When this whole Jack O’ Fire thing came out and Jon Spencer was in every magazine, it was “Howlin’ Wolf this” and “Howlin’ Wolf that.” I thought, we’re from Texas and we are playing Howlin’ Wolf, so we’re going to put “Bring me the head of Jon Spencer.” And if you look on the single, on the inside, how they scratch on the label part of it.
Todd: On the matrix area.
Tim: Inside, you’ll see “Bring me the hands of Steve Turner.” I’d been in Monkeywrench by then so people should have known the spirit that those statements were coming from… But sure enough, everything that ever came out about that record, most of the time, they wouldn’t even talk about the music. It was just, “Oh my god. How could they say something like that about Jon Spencer?” It was hilarious. It was great. It’s just showing the stupidity of the person writing the damn review. You don’t even get the community of this. Whatever, and now you’re pretty much wearing it on your sleeve because you’ve written it all down here for everybody to read.”