Hickey vs. The Voodoo Glow Skulls and the Commercialization of Punk
Last month, we asked readers to identify the sound of the Mission. Emily and others suggested that it might be beloved but long-gone punk band Hickey.
Hickey is my new favorite band. Largely due to a couple things: 1.) The above picture of a group of their fans watching them perform at Mission Records in 1996, and 2.) the Voodoo Glow Skulls controversy:
Probe records released a 7″ which was made to look as if it were a split between Hickey and the Voodoo Glow Skulls. On one side of the 7″ was the Hickey song “Food Stamps and Drink Tickets” and the other side members of Hickey played the trumpet that was stolen from Voodoo Glow Skulls over the answering machine messages left by Voodoo Glow Skulls members and Epitaph Records employees demanding the return of the instrument. The 7″ also falsely had the Epitaph Records logo on the back as Epitaph had no official part in the release.
According to the zine included with the 7″ the two bands played together at the now closed Nile Theater in Mesa, Arizona. Matty Luv, singer of Hickey, made disparaging remarks about Epitaph Records and the commercialization of punk. After members of both bands had a confrontation, the Voodoo Glow Skulls convinced the venue owner to eject Hickey without pay. In response, Hickey stole the trumpet in question out of the Voodoo Glow Skulls van.
After receiving threatening messages on their answering machine, Hickey filled the trumpet with pudding and returned it.
Lucky for us, somebody is maintaining a site dedicated to Matty Luv’s memory, on which are archived mp3s of pretty much the entire Hickey catalog, including the aforementioned split single. The Hickey side is a keeper, but the Voodoo Glow Skulls side is simply astonishing. I’d transcribe some of the lunacy, but you’ve really just got to hear it for yourself.
Note that the Voodoo Glow Skulls are playing Slim’s tonight as part of the Ska Is Dead Tour.
“Hickey @ Mission Records – 1996” photo by Dave Morffy.