The Melvins abruptly ended their August 19 gig in Vancouver, Canada after someone in the crowd pelted frontman Buzz Osborne with a plastic cup. After getting hit in the chest with the projectile, King Buzzo unplugged his guitar, walked to the microphone and said, “Fuck you, guys” to the audience — twice, no less — and walked offstage, followed quickly by his bandmates (via Blabbermouth). Someone at the Commodore Ballroom that night caught the scene on camera and posted the footage online. Watch it above, and keep an eye out for the cup at the 0:35 mark.
But the story comes with an odd twist. Local site The Georgia Straight dug deeper, noting that a local record store employee wrote about the incident on Facebook and identified the culprit as Jeremy van Wyck, drummer for Shearing Pinx. According to The Straight, a slew of hate-filled Facebook comments flooded the post, which has since been deleted. The Vancouver blog also spoke to Van Wyck, who insisted that he didn’t mean to disrespect the Melvins.
“I was playing Melvins cover songs in my junior high bands when half the crowd that was there last night was probably in diapers,” he said. Van Wyck clarified that he “was having an ecstatic, peak experience, tripping balls on mushrooms and drunk on whiskey. I had finished a highball with a buddy, and the right note came. Understand that the lines of reality were a little blurry at that moment, and maybe this is the ‘shrooms talking, but it was like a magnetic field: The cup had to go. It was, like, a moment of exultation. It wasn’t a calculated thing at all. It was a hiccup that resulted in a bummer.”
Alternative Nation dug up an eyewitness account, which identified the cup as a bottle:
Hey. I went to the Melvins last night at the commodore ballroom in vancouver. Towards the end of the show someone threw a bottle that reportedly hit buzzo in the chest. The music stopped, he said fuck you guys and walked off. Dale [Crover, drummer] came up and demanded to know who had thrown it. When no one owned up he said see ya and the roadies proceeded to take down gear. One roadie collected all the setlists and put them in his pocket. However, the perpetrator had been apprehended by some of the crowd members and handed over to security.
He was brought outside and identified by buzzo himself who proceeded to get into a vehicle and leave, ignoring everyone but the authorities. The bottle thrower was arrested but that’s as much as I know. Much of Houdini was in the set as well as Sweet Willy Rollbar. One part of the set featured a roadie taking over drums for Dale while he gobbled down a banana taken out of his pants. He then sang lead for the song that followed. Im pretty sure the bass player was a member of the opening act Honky. Dale was accompanied by Coady Willis on drums. I like to think Honey Bucket would have been the closer.
Regarding his arrest, Van Wyck said, “Security totally threw down and dragged me out, I was handcuffed and put in a paddy wagon, which was so disgusting. It was covered in blood and grossness. And I wound up with a $15 ticket for being drunk in public. And a ride home, I guess.” And a place in history. The Wikipedia page for the Shearing Pinx now includes this factoid: “Jeremy Van Wyck is infamous for assaulting King Buzzo of the Melvins at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver on August 19, 2013. When asked to defend his actions, Jeremy replied, ‘It was the shrooms that made me do it, man.'”
As for the Melvins, the sludgy Washington six-piece are releasing their next studio album, Tres Cabrones, on November 5 via Ipecac Recordings. The upcoming full-length reunites the group with original drummer Mike Dillard, while current stick man Crover assumed bass duties for the LP. Buzzo and co. also have a few dates left on their current 30th anniversary tour, and on September 10, they’ll release a new live album that was recorded at Jack White’s Third Man Records back in May. According to the label, the vinyl was pressed using the company’s “honest” direct-to-acetate recording process.
The Melvins also released an album of covers earlier this year. That record, titled Everybody Loves Sausages, is streaming right here at SPIN and comes paired with track-by-track commentary by Osborne himself.
The Melvins 30th anniversary tour dates:
August 23 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
August 25 – Los Angeles, CA @ FYF Fest
August 26 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah
August 27 – Pioneertown, CA @ Pappy & Harriets