If you actually tried, you might have a hard time finding a kinder, cooler, more open, helpful, and active member of any do-it-yourself-oriented community. The thing is, Tim Kerr is a founding member of so many creative outbursts that stakes are high that you have already bumped into something he has had a large and humble hand in. While not every history book will have a section on everything he has done so far, they probably should. Having had a huge and obvious role in and impact on Texas’ early punk and art circuits, he has luckily brought that experience along with him on the rest of his efforts and artistic output since — a good 30 years of self-expression. In fact, everything Tim does is basically an expression of himself — it always has been. If you ever meet Tim, you will most likely see a smiling, semitired, generous individual, probably already talking to or helping someone else, looking around, giving advice, or playing some musical instrument. You will see all the years of experience on his face, on his arms, or in his hands. You will find a willing and open soul who is more interested in “what’s new?” than he would ever be in talking about his rich and colorful history. Even though he could coast on his past, that really is not an interest of his. You see, Tim is firmly rooted in the now, the right-now. Definitely honored and humbled to be there, but there in the now. No reenactments for him. In all my experience with this good man, I have always known him to be one to find a way to make it happen, never waiting by idle for someone else to be doing it for him. I have always seen eagerness and excitement in him to be doing what he likes, the way he likes it, with confidence, and yet with an open ear and set of eyes. I think he feels lucky/grateful to have had so many great experiences — but always wants to be doing more. There is a restlessness about him in that way. He has worked hard (and his dues have been paid in full), so I am really happy to see a visual volume of his artwork finally come out. I know it means a lot to him, and to me as well — as a friend and as a curator. I hope this is the first in many thank-you shout-outs to Tim: thanks, Tim, for all the years of encouragement, advice, and just for keeping on with what you have done. Texas has produced a lot of great things, but Tim Kerr is high on that list, and really he could not have come from anywhere else. What else would you be doing other than participating anyhow? See ya at Mr. Natural’s or Dario’s. - Rich Jacobs
Below is the list of the songs found on the cassette that came with this book. My picks of the songs from each of the bands I was lucky to be a part of up until this pressing you hold in your hands. As of October 2010, I am not dead yet. Nobody’s walking on my grave. When I was in high school, people pegged me for this and that and this and that and I was NOT any of their self-determined definitions or classifications. Their problem of trying to classify me was/is just that…their problem. Self-expression is NOT supposed to have any boundaries. I am glad to say that picking songs for this cassette made that truth even more apparent. [Big smile.]
side 1 Miss Jean Louise, Miss Jean Louise, Stand Up Your Father Is Passing Lord High Fixers (Is Your Club A Secret Weapon; Estrus) This band put out almost as much stuff as Jack O’Fire. Lots of great stuff, but my two favorite records are the last two, this one and The Beginning Of The End, The End of he Beginning. This piece is the last thing you hear on the end of Is Your Club A Secret Weapon. I was taping the piano here at the house, just to see what it sounded like, and started playing whatever came to my head. Once I got into it, I realized I was really liking what was happening, and I started getting cautious so I wouldn’t play a “bad” note. Bye Bye Now Time Delegation (Watch For Today; In The Red) I’m really, really proud of this record, along with the last two Lord High Fixers LPs. It would have never been this amazing without Lisa’s singing. I am also proud of the words on this song, as they summed up how I felt about that particular person and those who want to rest on the glories of past accomplishments, happy to keep reliving that “high school touchdown pass.” Our Friends Are Friends Total Sound Group Direct Action Committee (7” on Estrus and soon to be released on Ben’s label) This band was sort of an extension of what Mike and I were doing in the Lord High Fixers. A really great group of people were involved in this band. I broke my leg while playing this song at Beerland. It was our second song in the set...nuff said.
We Got Soul Big Boys (Fat Elvis; Touch And Go - originally on the Fun Fun Fun EP) Chris Gates’ little brother Nathan was in the high school band so he rounded up his friends and we wrote this. It sort of summed up skating, playing music, our friends, and our extended family. All of it had so much more soul and depth than what was dubbed cool by the general population at that time. You really did get a lot of shit back then for skating and/or being part of the D.I.Y. scene. It was a close-knit group spread out through the country. Most of us did what we could to try and keep it going and understood that to keep it going, you had to have a community. Party Platform Bad Mutha Goose And The Brothers Grimm (Tower Of Babel; Alpha International) I’m really proud of the words on this song and still am really proud of this band. The “industry types” thought we were going to be the Sly And The Family Stone for the 90s but couldn’t figure out what to do with us since we did not fit into any of their molds. “There ain’t no turning back when you choose to jump the track!” Freedom Total Sound Group Direct Action Committee (soon to be released on Ben’s label) It speaks for itself.
side 2 Look To Tomorrow Now Time Delegation (Watch For Today; In The Red) I started writing this song even though we did not really have the time for learning something else for this record. I played for Lisa what I had and she said, “... turn the tape on” [smile]. When we played the shows on the West Coast, we did the LP verbatim, except I had added another verse for this song. One Step Closer Poison 13 (Wine Is Red Poison Is Blue; SubPop originally on Wrestler called Poison 13) Mike Carroll was the roadie/stage-watcher for the Big Boys. After a 2.5-month tour with Big Boys, we all decided to take a break with the intent to get back together. Poison 13 was started because Mike really wanted to start a band. We were going to play one show, and when that
show looked like a possibility we recruited Chris to play bass, since we had not gotten a bass player, and Chris had not started up a Metallica/WatchTower-type band yet. The rumors started flying, which added fuel to the story that the Big Boys had indeed broken up, which we hadn’t. The lines were drawn and sides were chosen beyond our control and we (Big Boys) never played again. This band was way too blues for the Austin, Texas, punk rawk/hardcore kids and way to punk rawk/hardcore for the blues crowd. We had a blast! Godzilla vs. King Baby Lord High Fixers (The Beginning Of The End, The End Of The Beginning; In The Red) My favorite band, hands down, that I have ever been in — so much fun! By this point, I really did not want to be in a “band” anymore. There had become such a tight, restrictive uniform and script on bands and the shows they played. And I, for one, had never wanted to really do that, though I was proud of everything up to this point in time. That’s what so-called Punk, which we had gotten into way back in the day, was against, right? I wanted to be in “something else” and this group of friends/extended family were something else! The idea to question the rules on self-expression and walk your own walk bled into our overall view of our individual lives. Every door and window inside of me was blown wide open in this band and it completely changed the way I approached self-expression from then on. AngelHead MonkeyWrench (Clean As A Broke Dick Dog; SubPop) The U-Men from Seattle were an amazing band. They were stranded in Austin when their school bus broke down the summer that Poison 13 started to play shows. When they finally went back home, they took with them the Poison 13 LP and David Nobody, who took his Texas record collection (Dicks, Really Red, Big Boys, etc.). The story goes that Tales of Terror and Poison 13 were on everybody’s turntable up there and the seeds for what others called grunge were planted. When I went to see Mudhoney, Mark found out that there were more songs that I had written with Mike that were never recorded and he took the ball and ran. They recruited Tom Price, who had been in the U-Men as the other guitarist. I had always loved the U-Men song “Pow Pow Pow,” so I wrote this in the same vein. This was to be the one and only MonkeyWrench record, but as of 2010, there have been two more LPs, and we still have never really said it’s over.
Joe McCarthy’s Ghost Jack O’Fire (Jack O’Fire Forever; Sympathy) The band that was never really going to be a band put out so many records that I’m not sure I even have them all. We were not a band, we were teachers. We did not have shows, we had classes. We only did covers, which were reviews of lessons past and present. This is still my favorite of all the songs we did, the Minutemen’s “Joe McCarthy’s Ghost.” They and Minor Threat were probably my two favorite bands from the hardcore days. Every time you saw them they were amazing, and they were always better than the last time you had seen them, which you couldn’t believe possible, even if the PA sucked! White Streak King Sound Quartet (King Sound Quartet; In The Red) This band never played one live show. This band started from the ashes of BlackTop while Lord High Fixers were already going strong. Stephanie and I were recruited to play with Alex and Mick. I was falling deep for free jazz, so side two was a version of “Space Is the Place” with Mick and Denia (who had sung in Bad Mutha Goose) singing together. I liked the record, and this was my favorite song from it, but the band got sort of put on the back burner as other projects were already going, or getting ready to get started. History Big Boys (Wreck Collections; Gern Blandsten, originally on a BYO comp) Written when Rey was drumming with us. The words pretty much say it all. These days, I like the Sun Ra statement “History is HIS story.” Theme From The Ballad Of Jessie Saywers Lord High Fixers (The Beginning Of The End, The End Of The Beginning; In The Red) I’m so honored to have played with Ken Vandermark. I wanted to do something that was a cross between an off beat 60’s movie soundtrack meets Pharoah Sanders. I’m so proud of this, and every time I hear it, I hear different things. We couldn’t have pulled this off this well without Ken, and Ken did it in one take!
Thank Yous This book was originally created from the generous offer of Justin Regan and the great folks at Altamont. I cannot thank them enough. There were only 100 made and were gone so fast that a lot of my friends did not get to get one. Thanks to Morgan Coy and Monofonus Press for stepping in and repressing it with a twist to make it different from the original. There is an added cassette instead of the original interview and it is in paperback form instead of hardbound. The originals were also signed and numbered. Altamont www.altamontapparel.com Monofonus Press www.monofonuspress.com Tim Kerr www.timkerr.net
Art Chantry Tim Kerr is an artist of deep, subtle sophistication and wondrous, explosive execution—no matter what medium he employs at the moment. He’s one of those creative forces that just doesn’t stop pushing until the equipment collapses from outright exhaustion. Watching him work (and seeing his resulting work) over the years has been a constant source of inspiration and wonder. He’s practically a zen master. Mike Watt Mr. Tim Kerr is an artist who puts vital connects between me and feelings. It is a spirit that puts a torch-shine from the inner through the outer and then back deep in again, through these earthly vessels—be it eyeballs or canvas, wood or posterboard. In my prac pad is a portrait of John Coltrane he made for me that inspires me every time I work the bass in the name of music to get stuff together there. It is the springboard to lift me higher, get it more beyond—more beyonder. His trip ain’t aloof, it’s like a feeling I’ve always somehow been related to somewhat and the only thing new every time I witness another work of his is me, finding out about it...ain’t that a trip? Intense, mad HUGE respect for Mr. Kerr from me, Mike Watt. Dave Crider Tim is the epitome of the punk rock renaissance man. His enthusiasm and integrity burn bright and inspire regardless of the permutation—musician, artist, punk, friend. This collection of Tim’s paintings reflects where he’s at circa 2010—dig it! Russ Pope Your Name Here holds Tim Kerr within its covers. These pages are filled with Tim’s bold, creative artwork that contains social commentary with figures from both past and present. Tim tells a story with his loose hand and signature tempera paints. Tim’s compiled work acts as bit of a visual history lesson. Pick one up and learn. Andrew Martin Scott Tim’s artwork pays homage to the inspirational figures encountered throughout his life—artists, jazz musicians, poets, authors, and civil rights leaders. Staring at the work, one can’t help but be moved and overcome with the urge to contribute something positive to the world, or, as Kerr would demand,“What are you doing to participate?” Bill Daniel I think growing up in Lake Jackson in the early 70s, surfing the un-glamorous gulf beach breaks, playing folk music… it all says a lot about how and why Tim’s art and music have always been outside of the norms. Here is a guy who made his own first surfboard. He’s painted, skated, advocated, played all kinds of music, and always at a time and in a way that just didn’t quite fit in. Tim Kerr is the classic Texas cultural rebel—totally unclassifiable, totally unstoppable and totally committed to his vision.
"Your Name Here" holds Tim Kerr within its covers. These pages are filled with Tim's bold, creative artwork that contain social commentary w...