mo and family. photograph by daniel peebles.
No, not unsolicited electronic mail.
While Lou got busy serenading needles and necking brandy alexanders in royal company with messieurs David Bowie and James Osterburg, Maureen Tucker was struggling just to put food on the table.
In the aftermath of the Velvet Underground\’s implosion, Mo relocated to Texas and juggled a job at Wal-Mart in between feeding and raising her children and working to find time just to dip her toe back into the stream. The resulting \”Playin\’ Possum\” did not materialize until 1981, recorded in her family living room – \”between diaper changes\” – over an especially strenuous six month period. She played all instruments, painstakingly overdubbing each and every one. As one might expect, the emphasis resided within her own very unique sense of rythym; a Bo Diddley hybrid quite unlike anything else produced by her former bandmates in pursuit of solo status and acclaim, something more honest lurking perhaps only in rural or suburban backwaters with a Norman Petty heart.
pos•sum |ˌpɒsəm| noun 1 informal an opossum. 2 a tree-dwelling Australasian marsupial that typically has a prehensile tail. • Four families, esp. Petauridae: many species, including the ringtails.
PHRASES play possum 1 pretend to be asleep or unconscious when threatened (in imitation of an opossum’s behavior). 2 feign ignorance. ORIGIN early 17th cent.: shortening of opossum.
If one is searching for a role model, one could do a whole lot worse.
This song can be found on 1989\’s \”Life in Exile After Abdication\”, a slightly more polished affair featuring contributions by Sonic Youth\’s Kim Gordon. Guitar is provided by Jed Fair, with additional percussion from Hank Beckmeyer, Kate Messer, Kim Gordon, and M.C. Kostek. A joyous thrash of complaint.
The second selction, \”Chase\”, is altogether more familiar and dangerous, with congas contributed by Kate Messer; cymbal by Jed Fair; drums by Maureen herself; and guitar by Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore.
Tell \’em, Mo! I defy anybody not to get a bonafide piebald kick out of this.
This an album to be savoured over and over again in fleeting moments of reckless abandonment. ▼ MAUREEN TUCKER: SPAM AGAIN from \”Life In Exile After Abdication\” LP (Fifty Skidillion Watt Records) 1989 (US)