Skype-to-Phone Interview with Joe Carducci
Topic of Conversation: Meat Puppets
June 2, 2011
Interview Transcribed by William Jergins
Matt- You were at SST before the Meat Puppets got there? Is that right?
Joe- Yea. It’s sort of mixed-up because at Systematic, in Berkeley, I was in touch with a lot of bands independently. As far as the Meat Puppets go, I was introduced to them by Monitor, the band from Los Angeles, or from The Valley, and they were kind of, I don’t know if your familiar with the Pasadena L. A. Free Music Society, they were kind of centered around Poobah Records.
They were just a bunch of people who, you know, I think one of the Meat Puppets said that they shared an interest in Captain Beefheart and, you know, you’re talking about ‘77, ‘78, they were on that wave length rather then The Ramones. And Monitor were, you know, there’s a few people, a few bands, I would say Pettibon, was an idea factory. Monitor were an idea factory, and actually Boyd Rice. Do you know Non. Do you know that name?
M- No I don’t.
J- Boyd Rice was a friend of Monitor’s and he released some records, really almost pranks. They’d be closed loop noises and then he’d drill a second hole so you could play the record off center if you wanted to.
M- He drilled another hole in the record?
J- Yeah. It was a seven inch so you could play it on any speed and they were closed loop so you’d have to pick the needle up and put it into the next loop, and that was called Non.
Mute put out the reissue so probably you could even hear some of this stuff online. But anyway, I know from talking to Laurie a lot, in Monitor, that he would come up from San Diego and they were kind of neo-hippie rather than punk people, but they were also very into junk culture. They were the first people I ever heard talk about, say, what’s now called Tiki culture. They were into the sort of failed L.A. utopian idea of movie California, you know, that kind of art that came out of that. So the Meat Puppets came to me up in Berkeley through Laurie, and Monitor had a single and an album out. They released the first Meat Puppets EP, and she came into Systematic one time with the Meat Puppets and so that’s really when I met them, because normally bands put out their own records and so I would hear from them by mail, they’d send me a sample and I’d order some or not.
M- So the letter that you have in your book, that Laurie sent you, that was while you were at Systematic?
J- Yeah. And that would be the first time I’d heard of them because I don’t imagine even if they had been reviewed live in a Phoenix fanzine that I had, which we did get a lot of fanzines from around the country, it wouldn’t have meant anything particularly to me until there’s a record.
M- So then you go to SST, and do you mention Meat Puppets to Greg or how did that come about?
J- I was just getting to know Greg and Chuck and those guys at the same time and I knew Laurie before I knew them, but I was ordering their records starting in 1980. The Monitor single came out while I was still in Portland and the company was still up there. The first time I showed Black Flag Systematic we basically just talked about our favorite records and, uh, The Dicks forty-five was out which came out of Texas and we really, Chuck especially, they were familiar with all these bands because they had just done their first tour and they met a lot of these people and they got records given to them, so they were into that. I don’t think the Meat Puppets single was out at that point, but they we each knew of the Meat Puppets separately. I think Chuck told me that the first time that they played Phoenix, it was that other band from Phoenix that’s still pretty well known that opened for them. The Meat Puppets didn’t open for Black Flag until a Riverside gig. We each had our own sense of where they were coming from at that point I suppose. They would have thought that they were a punk band generally. A lot of times these band would, you can kind of read it from those Husker Du interviews from Azerrad’s book, they put on a special show when Black Flag was in the house, and it wasn’t always what Black Flag wanted to hear. Greg and Chuck were my age. They had a lot of sixties, seventies, early seventies, music in there. They didn’t necessarily want to hear people play as fast as they played.
M- Meat Puppets were going to L.A. and playing quite a few gigs. That’s how they got in touch with Monitor right?
J- Well, Monitor brought them to L.A. after they had opened for Monitor in Phoenix. Monitor did very few shows. They played San Francisco and they played Phoenix and probably San Diego. So they brought them in and they were playing for this group of Pasadena people, you know, which was an art scene, and those were their first shows with Monitor and Non and maybe 45 Grave, a little bit later. At a certain point Black Flag is bringing them to L.A. too, to put them together with, if not Black Flag, then the Minutemen and Saccharine Trust.
M- You don’t happen to remember how the decision was made to do a Meat Puppets record, or do you?
J- Once I got down to SST, and this is September ’81, I talked to those guys about what we could do. They had the first Minutemen album, Punchline, and the first Saccharine Trust, Paganicons, recorded and mastered but they couldn’t, they actually printed the covers, they just couldn’t afford to press them. So I brought money down and paid the pressing plant and got those two albums pressed and Jealous Again probably reissued, and this is all by the seat of our pants basically because Black Flag at that point had just finished recording Damaged. And we talked about the Meat Puppets and we’re both really into the Meat Puppets, I mean those guys and me. Unicorn had the studio and the woman who owned Unicorn was sort of setting a trap. But SST didn’t have any cash, so I talked to that woman and made a deal that for four hundred dollars we would put this band in the studio and it would take two days, was our plan. You know, one day to record and one day to mix. I’m trying to think now, because Laurie was hanging around, not SST, but I met her a couple times because I was new. I was back in L.A. but I was new to the city. So I started seeing some bands and meeting some people that I mostly new through the mail. And she got hired at Unicorn as a receptionist.
M- Laurie Did?
J- Laurie did. She didn’t want the Meat Puppets produced by Spot, but Ed Barger who did, uhm, what is he famous for? He’s famous for the Pere Ubu records. Is that right? I get the Devo, Ted Hammond and Ed Barger mixed up, which is, you know, like mortal sin in Ohio punk rock history/politics. But anyway, he was in Ohio and he was another one of these neo-hippies, you know, he really had nothing to do with punk rock in any sense. There’s continuities between hippie and punk that is lost to history basically. He finally did come out there, but the stuff was recorded and he did some mixes, but it went way past the four hundred dollar mark because they were just smoking pot and listening over these great speakers.
M- I just looked it up on the internet. Ed Barger is connected with Devo.
J- Ok, that’s him, he did those singles.
M- And there’s a picture of a Monitor thing on here as well. I typed in “Ed Barger.”
J- Yeah, well, they ended up, I don’t know if they got married but Ed and Laurie were together and they had kids. I think those kids play concert violin, not to burden you with all this information. But anyway you’re dealing with really high end cultural people. We ended up using, I think they put one Ed Barger/Laurie O’Connell mix, the last song on the first Meat Puppets album just as a way, I think, I don’t know, the Meat Puppets are very smart. I think that they knew that if there was none on there people would go, “Oh, you should hear those mixes.” Instead they put one on there so no one, you know, no one can talk about the great missing mixes or something.
That got in between me and Laurie, and SST and Unicorn, on a minor scale, although the way the Damaged album was handled and accounted for really burnt that bridge, so all that sort of collapsed. I think that the Meat Puppets understood that they belonged on SST. And that really meant a lot to them. It didn’t really mean anything for Laurie and Ed Barger. I think they thought the Meat Puppets could go into the major labels as they were at that point. I don’t know what their plan was but they didn’t get a chance to try. Who would have been interested? You might have been able to take that album to London and get Rough Trade to put it out or 4AD. I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine. They were right in the sense that the Meat Puppets was a very special band and I think they thought on faith that there had to be a way. But you know, even Slash I don’t think would have put that out.
M- That’s the first record?
J- Yeah, they were unknown. But Laurie could have been, you know, she was a great advocate for them and might have been able to do something, but I was really glad that we had a long relationship with the Meat Puppets because I thought we were where they belonged.
M- What was it that attracted you to Meat Puppets at that time?
J- The single was really distinctive.
M- Are you talking about the In a Car EP?
J- Yeah, the In a Car single. You could tell Curt could play guitar better than average. So that meant, in your mind that meant, you bracket him with Black Flag or the Germs or a few others, you know, The Minutemen, a few other records where you could hear people doing something different. Like the Dicks forty-five is great, but it’s mostly great because the singer was basically a soul singer in the punk rock world. The backing is basically rudimentary garage rock which is very well done. It’s a brilliant single, one of the best. I have an ear for instrumentation and, you know, is a band really playing together and are they going to develop in an instrumental way. That’s my prog-rock damage I guess from the early seventies.
M- So you heard the single before you ever saw them live?
J- Yeah. She would have sent me the single, uh, Laurie. I probably would have ordered it unheard mostly because she was telling me what it was and I was selling her records, so I believed it. We’d order a hundred or two hundred. Certain records got identified as “west coast punk rock” by Chicago and the East Coast, and if that happened those records, by the time you’re into early ’81, those records just never stopped selling, and the the Meat Puppets were included in that. That was all spinning off of Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys and the Avengers and the Adolescents, you know, Circle Jerks eventually. Just a sort of title wave. And that audience could be, and it did, get stupider and stupider in the punk rock hardcore mentality. So when the Meat Puppets first single came out they didn’t stand out so much the way they did two or three years later. There was a lot of great stuff in the late seventies and early eighties and it didn’t all fit into this hardcore straight jacket which to some extent took over.
M- And even those first two records, the EP and the first SST record, looking back, do they sound kind of generic to you? It sounds kind of Germsy to me?
J- Well I think that they went into the studio, I don’t know why they were doing mushrooms. I don’t know what the plot on that was. But I think what they wanted to do, they thought, “Ok this is going to be our hardcore record.” And they had the songs to do it, although you know they certainly played those songs differently later on. But you know in those years Cris was writing songs and lyrics and he would sing his lyrics so it wasn’t like that thereafter. Once Meat Puppets II was out Curt did all the singing and all the writing, and that sort of happened with Husker Du, but there it was Greg the bass player who dropped out and left the writing and singing to the other two guys. Cuz when I first saw Husker Du they were alternating three singers. And this is all a part of this political thing. The Minutemen talk about that the most in the sense that you’re trying to break down the superstar guitar solo guy and the cock rock singer roles. And some of these bands, they were really into music, but they had a critical sense of what they did not like about the stuff they were listening to. So in the early years in particular there was that kind of, I don’t know what you’d call it, you know, the architecture of the band was politicized in a way. At a certain point the Meat Puppets stopped doing that and decided essentially that they were going to play with an ear towards music and songwriting. I never paid any attention to their lyrics, you’d have to tell me. Is there any rhyme or reason to what Curt is writing? I don’t know. I would catch snippets of lyrics because I saw a lot of gigs and listened to the records a lot. He had been in cover bands as I understood it, and he was the young lead guitar wiz kid and they were playing seventies rock in bars in Phoenix. So in a way Pat Smear in The Germs is the most like Curt, not sound wise, but they played down in the early years of their band and they did that because they hated rock and roll as much as they loved it. I guess they were trying to break through into some new way. Because, you know, what was Curt trying to do in that cover band? Was he trying to ace a Led Zeppelin song, or a Steely Dan song, or I don’t know, were playing Doobie Brothers.
They were listening to In Through the Out Door when. . . I think it was months until we finished the mixing of the first Meat Puppets album and we were no longer at Unicorn. So most of the mixes were done in a studio in Silver Lake with Spot, and this was after we had lost the Meat Puppets, and then they decided, “No, we want to be at SST.” So they went and got the tapes from Laurie and Ed and then we did the last songs that needed mixing and I remember in the studio one of the songs. You know the song “In the Evening” off of In Through the Out Door? Jimmy Page, a lot more than you would remember, seems to do a wind up before the solo, and because the solo was overdubbed at some point they decide to lead the wind up into the mix. Normally he wouldn’t do that but in “In the Evening” he’s already done that a few times I think and so the wind up is that kind of muted plucking of muted strings and then it goes. Curt was really interested in that effect that that had. It’s a great drunken kind of solo entry in that song, and of course they had been on mushrooms when they recorded what we were mixing so it was just live stuff. There was no way to kind of take on the mixing level only and pull something like that out of there, but for a second he tried to do that. They were just learning and by the time they came back with Meat Puppets II, that was arranged and written thinking about recording rather than just playing it like The Stooges or punk rock or something.
M- So go ahead then and continue the difference between Meat Puppets and Meat Puppets II; the first record and the second record. Were you ever in the studio while it was happening?
J- Not for II. I was in the studio for One, and so I remember them. I don’t remember what it sounded like when they were set up normally, but they wouldn’t talk to Spot or anybody. They would talk to Laurie and so she’d tell them, or she’d tell Spot that they would have to be able to watch each other to play and so he’d turn the amps facing the drums, and as I say in my book, you could move the faders up and down but there was so much bleeding that you couldn’t get rid of the guitars or the bass because of the drum mic’s picking everything up. But it’s a coherent record. The other thing that Spot did in that record, which again makes it, even that first punk rock record of theirs, not simple hardcore, is that Spot believed Laurie when she told him that, she didn’t say that they were on drugs, although Spot knew enough about it to surmise that, but she put it in mystical terms. So Spot set up a sub mix direct to a slow running quarter inch deck. So he had this live mix to catch everything. So he didn’t have to cut, you know, like “Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds” and “Walking Boss,” and maybe another one were off of that quarter inch. They were a live mix on the quarter inch, and because they were complete songs they were caught. They were not on the two inch tape because it got to be where you didn’t say “rollin’.” They would finish the song and Curt would start picking away at something, and those songs were those somethings. And then Cris would join in and they would play the song or sometimes they didn’t play, they didn’t finish the song. It didn’t matter because as far as they knew they weren’t rolling. But at some point they heard what Spot had caught on the quarter inch and decided, “Yeah, we’ll put that song one there.” You know, seat of the pants. There’s nothing like that anymore needless to say.
M- So what do you think about Meat Puppets II? It’s the one that garners the most critical attention these days.
J- Yeah. I’m a little surprised cuz I thought Up on the Sun was masterful, but I liked Meat Puppets II. In a way I think it’s to people’s credit that they focus on Meat Puppets II because it is a richer album. It’s less consistent than Up on the Sun so I would have guessed Up on the Sun would be, you know. . . I’m used to, the alt scene that came up around ninety, late eighties and into the nineties, a lot of those people saw the last Black Flag tour. They weren’t really around. So when people say Meat Puppets II that always surprises me because I figure that the audience didn’t show up until ‘85. But anyway, I wasn’t in the studio then, although they were staying at SST when they recorded it so I heard what they came out of the studio with.
M- Did you guys hear a difference from Meat Puppets to Meat Puppets II? They almost sound like a different band.
J- We were seeing them play gigs and they were playing gigs completely differently so I don’t think we were particularly surprised. The first song, I guess “Split Myself in Two,” is kind of the punk song of it. It’s been a while since I’ve played the record, but it is very well recorded and very well played, and you think they would have come up with a better name for it. A lot of the bands then, for the Minutemen their second album, I didn’t know this at the time but, they thought of that album, What Makes a Man Start Fires, as a demo to approach a real record label because SST was not quite there yet. Eventually we got Ray Farrell down to work promotions and then we were there. We were a full service label as much as possible given independent distribution. I mean we did more promotion than independent labels did back then. Even Slash at that point was through Warner Brothers so I’m sure they did more promotion, but they also stopped releasing punk rock. They were kind of a roots label by then.
M- This might have been the first SST record that garnered real national attention. Rolling Stone raved about Meat Puppets II.
J- Yeah. They never reviewed Damaged, so that was a breakthrough that they reviewed.
M- Does Damaged come out before Meat Puppets II?
J- It comes out before One.
M- Before even Meat Puppets, okay.
J- It comes out in the late ‘81 and Meat Puppets II comes out in late ’82, I think.
M- I think it’s ‘84 isn’t it, or ‘83? I should know this.
J- Which one?
M- Meat Puppets II.
J- It’s probably ‘83. We were slow a lot of the time. We couldn’t get in to mix immediately.
M- It’s released in ‘84. It’s recorded in late spring of ‘83 and then it doesn’t get released until early ‘84.
J- That sounds about right. That’s the one thing that I regret about those days is, uhm, I mean we didn’t mix the Saint Vitus album for a year and the first Meat Puppets album was out of print for a long time, so was the early Saccharine, and Minutemen, Black Flag singles. It was a while before we had a cash flow and Black Flag’s cash flow was suspended because of a law suit and they couldn’t get anything new out so they didn’t want to go out and play the Damaged stuff again, and they didn’t want to play the new stuff if they couldn’t record it because that was the slow-down more psychedelic stuff, and it was fucked-up. I don’t know what Dischord did. They might have sent a hundred freebies out to fanzines, but they weren’t trying to get reviews in Rolling Stone or Billboard. Billboard did review all our stuff really. We found they were interested. I guess David Fricke was the one guy that you could count on to listen to your record.
M- So were you happy that it got reviewed in Rolling Stone?
J- Yeah. We sent it to them and we, occasionally, they might see a Billboard review and then you’d get a request from MCA or Warner Brothers to get a copy, and so we’d send it to them, and then you just add them to the list, so the next record you sent them would come back unopened. So they only cared if they read about it, but when they got it they didn’t like it. And I would guess Meat Puppets II they would go, “We can’t get this on the radio,” end of story. By then the major labels were full of people who abided by that. It became their taste. Ten years earlier they might have listened to the Captain Beefheart albums themselves but they just dropped it or left. A lot of the best taste people left the majors and they left radio. You’re talking about the days of Journey. Hard rock became Journey and Van Halen. So that’s my guess. I don’t remember that specifically on Meat Puppets II. It was a year later the majors might ask for something. It was clear to me that they belonged on SST but, you know, like I said about the Minutemen, they might have thought they could go somewhere but that was still years away.
M- How were most of these records, especially Meat Puppets records, financed?
J- We paid the studio costs and pressed the records. All they had to do was show up and stay at SST and record. They didn’t get any money in advance, and so it took years for them to start getting any money. That’s what I mean when you’re unable to keep things in print constantly and your running smaller quantities you’re not getting as good of price break. It took until ‘84 really for us to be functional and that was because we had four bands’ records that were really moving. We had the Minutemen, Husker Du, Meat Puppets, and Black Flag. Saccharine Trust and Saint Vitus took a few years more to where they were selling records.
M- What about the band live? What do you remember about them live from those early days?
J- They came to L.A. often and they would play some, you know, they might play a set that was very psychedelic and loud or they might play psychedelic and soft or the next time they might be playing almost like it was acoustic music, like picking low volume. I remember one gig at Eddy’s Cafe which, you know as far as I know, was the only gig that went on there that involved of our bands, just another place with maybe a six-inch riser for the stage and otherwise just a restaurant. I think Curt might have even been sitting down for that gig. It was very much focused on the music as if it was bluegrass music or something like that. And then they played, I remember, the Music Machine right before they went into “Up On the Sun,” and they were playing a lot of those songs, and songs from even later records. I recorded their gigs and so I listened to that thing and thought, “Wow! They’re going to do a fuckin’ Steppenwolf album!” That’s what I would like to hear, which is something heavy and psychedelic. But instead they came out. . . Mike Watt was working at SST then and when we heard the first roughs of Up on the Sun from Spot’s cassette Watt said, “The Talking Heads.” He just knows too much music. I wouldn’t have thought The Talking Heads, but he was correct, it was quite a bit like that. I was just listening to it and thinking, “Wow, this is really together.” At that point you could say Laurie could have got them on the radio, could have got them on a major label with that album maybe.
I don’t really like anything after that very much. The stuff they recorded in Phoenix sounded to me like, you know, they had a guy who had worked on Fleetwood Mac albums I guess, and he had his own studio in Phoenix. But if you were part of the industry you would’ve done what I just described the A & R people did, which was your ear became polluted. If it couldn’t get on the radio you just discounted it, and they didn’t used to do that in 1973 but in 1983 they did that and I just don’t think anybody from that world could record anybody. To me those records sound rubbery, like he’s trying to soften every edge, and even though they weren’t kind of a blasting kind of a rock band by that point you know there’s a lot of bluegrass that has real attack, you know, blues. And there’s no attack on those. I haven’t listened to those records. I guess I have one from. . . Were they on London? Was that it?
M- Yeah. They did three with London in the nineties.
J- I have one of those and the latest one, and I kind of like what they’re doing but they’re just not playing like they used to. And that was something, you know, you were formed by the playing that took off in the sixties and into the seventies and then everything sort of burned out in ‘73 when FM got to be a nationally programmed medium, and they didn’t have any room for even The Ramones, and a few bands that were on the lowest rung of major labels could barely get any airplay. So if you wanted to play well you were just going to be on a small label.
M- Were those early L.A. audiences receptive to Meat Puppets?
J- They had a group of people who really liked them and they shared most of that audience with the Minutemen and Saccharine Trust. You had to be twenty-one to get into these bars. So the crowd is a little bit more of an adult crowd and an art crowd, I guess you’d say, and it included some of these people from the Urinals and from the L.A. Free Music Society. But you didn’t see a big audience for them. It’s kind of odd that Husker Du was the band that were big punk shows, or SST shows, by the way. Husker Du didn’t have an identifiable draw in L.A. I don’t have a sense that they did until the end when they were on Warner Brothers and they were doing their stuff at bigger venues. I don’t know who’s going to see them at that point. Then they’re legit, so it’s a different crowd of people. You’re going, “Are these UCLA students?” You didn’t see college kids at gigs.
M- Curt does say a couple times in interviews where, when they go on this tour with Black Flag, I think it’s ‘84 or so, that Meat Puppets start getting a little disillusioned with the audience showing up for the Black Flag gigs and they start purposely playing country music and slow music to piss off the Black Flag crowd.
J- Yeah, well, there was no release. Even when Black Flag came on those audiences bombed at what they were playing. I’m a believer in a especially the L.A. South Bay. But once you go beyond that to L.A. and to the West Coast generally and then the Meat Puppets on their own vibe, that area of the country was so much advanced over the East Coast, cuz the East Coast and Chicago took this hardcore idea especially and did what they thought they were supposed to do which is conform into it, cut your hair, you know, do this at the gigs. Watt used to make fun of it by taking on an East Coast accent and saying, “Is this Hard Core? Are you hard core?” There’s so much music in any Minutemen record that, you know, they were confused and they were looking to fit in. On the West Coast people stepped out and away from what was going on. What they were into was The Stooges or Beefheart, and then the early New York bands, even Curt and Cris were the older guys in that band, and Chuck and Greg and Dez and Mike Watt and D Boone and Bill Stevenson and Saint Vitus of course, those guys went to arena shows and were really into stuff like King Crimson or ZZ Top. They saw bands like PFM and all these Prog Rock bands that were touring in the heyday of arena shows in ’72, ’73, ‘74, before the Raw Power album. The Stooges is what really turned, you know, what really turns people on to reductionism, I guess you could call it, because all the San Francisco bands sounded like The Stooges at that point, you know, the James Williamson Stooges. A lot of that was true in L.A.
M- Well, Joe, I think I have what I need for now. I appreciate your time and your insight into the band.
J- It’s always fun to talk about what all was going on back then. I didn’t mention the Descendents that much, but they played with the Descendants also and, you know, those bands were contentious a little bit because they didn’t really want to be lumped in. Husker Du, The Minutemen, The Descendents, Black Flag, Saccharine Trust, Red Cross was in around in that period. We were mixing them around on bills all the time and if it wasn’t a Black Flag gig the bands were all kind of on an equal level and they related to each other in an interesting way, and got better because they were all so good, and they may have gotten different as well as they sort of identified what the Descendents, or Husker, or the Minutemen, or Meat Puppets, or Saccharine were doing and they’re all doing something different, doing it the way we thought the music should be played. And again these small clubs were, you know, I mean you were right there. It’s not like the entertainment business where you’re at the Roxy and there’s all this stuff in between them up on the stage. They were, like I said, usually six inches or one foot above the floor, it’s hard to explain to people what a rare period of time it was.
One of the big issues for a band like the Meat Puppets was not to play down to their audience, not to be disaffected, not to ruin their own art, because they don’t respect the audience. They did that once in San Francisco and I said something to them because most of the crowd was in to them, but a couple of Maximum Rocknroll people called them hippies and so they just played noise for forty minutes and really just did play noise. And I told them, “Well, you know, there was a lot of people there who would have really liked to have heard your songs.” I don’t think they ever went around the bend again like that. The Maximum Rocknroll people were another problem. They would interrupt your gig, constantly haranguing you politically from the lip of the stage. It didn’t happen very often, but it happened at both these things. It happened Black Flag at the Western Front outdoor thing in Berkeley, and this time that the Meat Puppets played noise was I think that same Western Front show.
I was talking about the political design of the bands in the early days getting rid of the genius song writer or the guitar god by splitting up the roles and having different people sing. It’s fine when the musicians want to try that inside a band, but when the audience is politicized and judging the politics of a band, you know, that’s just one more issue. As it is they can’t feed themselves from their music. They can’t play a real club. They’re just playing these bars and restaurants and garages. It’s not enough that you got to hear from these Maximum Rocknroll people. It’s a little different now.
I do think that I would try to focus on those early years if I were you. It’s so much more interesting than the rest of it all. For myself I’d like to read about them on London records because I don’t know anything about that, but for posterity’s sake it’s really the early years that are interesting, and then it’s nice that they survived; that Cris survived and they’re back.