One of BookRiot's Must-Read Books from Indie Presses for 2014
"Prato has curated a collection to attract the uninitiated as well as preach to the unwashed converted masses."
"It's a wild ride that's vividly captured in Greg Prato's excellent oral history, Primus: Over the Electric Grapevine."
--Bass Player Magazine
"A book about the highly strange San Franciscans Primus has been overdue for years, so Greg Prato's excellent oral history of the band is welcome--doubly so, given that the key bandmembers, Les Claypool, Larry Lalonde and Tim Alexander, are involved....Great stuff."
--Record Collector Magazine
"A master storyteller, skilled in the art of assembling oral histories that not only examine their subjects in great depth but also spin a great yarn, Prato is able to combine a thorough study of Claypool's eccentric genius with a relaxed, free-flowing narrative of the Primus's origins story, detailing influences and lineup changes, early performances and the making of landmark Primus albums....[The book] doesn't get bogged down by minutiae, and although it could be called an 'exhaustive' work, it's far from an exhausting read."
"Esteemed journalist and rock historian Greg Prato brings his estimable literary skills in unwrapping the enigma of Primus....If you loved Primus before but maybe didn't understand everything they did, that will change after reading this. In fact, when you finish the last page here, race over to your Primus CD collection and re-listen to all their music with new and educated ears. Their music will never have sounded so good."
--Curled Up With a Good Book
"Almost as if you're sitting across from them at the bar as they reminisce about the past...this book was the most fun I've had reading a book all year. Go get it!"
Praise for Primus:
"They were real musicians' musicians...Primus had their own thing, for sure. Nobody really does that Primus thing--they have their own personality, which is something difficult to do."
--Chad Smith, Red Hot Chili Peppers
"Primitive, animated, dinosaur, Halloween, trailerfunk. I felt Les was a kindred spirit. Someone I could learn from and collaborate with. Quick, schooled, humble, with an amazing musical lexicon and down home as hell, with a bent sense of humor."
Usually when the "alternative rock revolution" of the early 1990s is discussed, Nirvana's Nevermind is credited as the recording that led the charge. Yet there were several earlier albums that helped pave the way, including the Pixies' Doolittle, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Mother's Milk, Jane's Addiction's Nothing's Shocking, and especially Primus's 1991 album Sailing the Seas of Cheese.
This fascinating and beautifully curated oral history tells the tale of this truly one-of-a-kind band. Compiled from nearly fifty all-new interviews conducted by journalist/author Greg Prato--including Primus members past and present and many more fellow musicians--this book is sure to appeal to longtime fans of the band, as well as admirers of the musicians interviewed for the book.
Interviewees include: Tim Alexander, Trey Anastasio (Phish), Matthew Bellamy (Muse), Les Claypool, Stewart Copeland (The Police), Chuck D (Public Enemy), Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Larry LaLonde, Geddy Lee (Rush), Mickey Melchiondo (Ween), Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Matt Stone (South Park), Tom Waits, and many more.
Customer ReviewsSee All
My review is essentially identical to flakes8’s with the only difference being to change “whoever” to Tim Alexander. Don’t get me wrong... I love Jay Lane; Riddles are Abound Tonight is one of my all time favorite albums and The Brown Album has really grown on me over the years and Brain is a big part of that. But to me Les, Ler and Tim are the quintessential Primus lineup.
If I had one issue with this book it would be that it is very Claypool-centric. I worship Les just like everyone else, but the textures and ambiance created by the inimitable Larry Lalonde (like no one else can) and the precision of Tim Alexander and the way he reads Les’ mind (especially live) and holds it all together, (Les, I love you, but you tend to rush and Tim pulls you back ;) is just as fascinating to me as the bass playing and lyrical inspiration, etc. I just would have enjoyed hearing a little more from Ler and Tim. But again, fantastic and overdue book.
WHAT A GREAT BOOK !!!!
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS BAND !!!! Les, Ler & Whoever may be drumming at the time YOU are the soundtrack of my life, Thank You !!!