Supercontext: Trout Mask Replica

This 1969 double-album has been described as both “unlistenable” and “one of the greatest albums of all time.” We discuss its volatile production while trying to understand its composition and how it influenced another fifty years of weird music.

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1 thought on “Supercontext: Trout Mask Replica

  1. Michael White

    I just listened to your podcast re TMR and I don’t know which one of you it was because I have never heard the podcast before today.
    But one of you was saying that it bothered you that TMR had such a negative birth, negative treatment of the band and so on.
    I can see where it might bother someone, it bothers me a little.

    I see TMR like critic John Peel said, “Perhaps the only work of TRUE GENIUS in rock music” [paraphrased] and have been a fan ever since I was 17 and heard the album on mescaline in 1970 or so.

    The point I want to make is that later incarnations of the band went willingly into playing with Don. They knew the stories, they knew Don was a lunatic of sorts, they knew he was a fascist of sorts… yet they couldn’t wait to play with the Legend and without going back to study it, I believe they played with him for years, willingly. Gary Lucas, William Hatseyes Snyder (I think was his hame), Eric Drew Feldman… This was around the time of Bat Chain Puller and Doc at the Radar Station I believe.

    All CB&theMB’s albums are varying degrees of Genius!
    So while TMR had a difficult birth, I do believe the other albums were less “negative”.

    I also know that Drumbo (French) went back to play with Don even after all the SHIT Don put him through, and after French had plenty of time to think about what that meant… So while making TMR was a crazy time, and the band were not treated well , STILL they got something out of it or they’d have left… and at least they have the satisfaction of working on what may well be the only true work of genius (or the MOST genius work) in rock music!
    And by the way I’m not sure either of you are really qualified to pass any judgment as I got the sense that neither of you totally “GET” the album the way we fans get it.
    For me there was no “struggle” or “work” involved and I know others who got it that way as well, with or without drugs such as mescaline or lsd or psilocibin.

    No offense intended…
    But those of us who GET the album, who really love it and have always loved it, feel it was worth the negativity the band had to endure.

    No one really knows how the album would have come out had it not been under the fascism of Don.
    But we do know that it did come out as an enduring work of genius, under Don.


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