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Screeching Weasel Biography

Screeching Weasel Tickets

Screeching Weasel In-depth Biography

Chicago's Screeching Weasel} generally have a polarizing effect on most punk} fans -- either you love their amateurish, tuneful Ramones} imitation and singer/guitarist Ben Weasel}'s smartass-suburbanite, often pop} culture-oriented lyrics, or you hate them. Over the course of the band's career, which lasted for more than a decade and saw several breakups and numerous personnel changes, Weasel} (in spite of occasional nitpicking from critics) remained true to his staunch D.I.Y. indie} ethics, as befits a former columnist for the defiantly punk} 'zine Maximumrocknroll}.

Screeching Weasel} were formed in 1986 by vocalist Ben Foster}, who performed under the name Ben Weasel}, after seeing a Ramones} show. Early members included guitarist John Jughead} and drummer Steve Cheese}; after Weasel} gave up trying to play bass, Vinnie Bovine} was added on that instrument. The band recorded its self-titled debut album in 1987 for Underdog Records}, of which only about 3,000 copies were pressed. Vinnie Bovine}'s personal problems got him kicked out of the band, and ex-Ozzfish Experience} guitarist Warren "Fish" Ozzfish} replaced him on bass. After playing some gigs in California, Screeching Weasel} joined the fledgling Roadkill} label, with Jughead} and Weasel} taking a hand in its operations, and released Boogada Boogadaboogada!} in 1989.

Cheese} left the band due to his reluctance to tour and was replaced by Brian Vermin}. Following the supporting tour, Warren} left and was replaced by Danny Vapid} (born Dan Schafer}), known early on as "Sewercap}"; he had performed as a vocalist with Chicago-area hardcore} bands like Generation Waste} and the Igor Skulls}. Following several EPs and singles of varying quality, Vermin} and Vapid} left to form Sludgeworth}, and Jughead} and Weasel} called it quits and attempted to form another band with members including bassist Dave Naked}. Screeching Weasel} got back together following a reunion show designed to help the band pay off its debts, with a lineup featuring Weasel}, Jughead}, Naked}, Vapid} (now on second guitar), and new drummer Dan Panic} (born Dan Sullivan}). Lookout! Records} agreed to release the band's next album if it was recorded under the name Screeching Weasel}, and the more Ramones}-like My Brain Hurts} appeared in 1991.

Following the tour, Naked} was replaced first by Gub}, then Johnny Personality}, and finally Vapid}, who switched back to bass after 1992's Wiggle} (Weasel} then filled the second guitar slot). As something of a novelty, the band next recorded its own vinyl-only cover of the entire Ramones} album, which is long out of print. What many consider the best Screeching Weasel} album, Anthem for a New Tomorrow}, was released in 1993. Following a decision to break up the band the next year, Vapid} left early, and 1994's How to Make Enemies and Irritate People} was recorded with Green Day}'s Mike Dirnt} sitting in on bass. After the breakup, Weasel}, Vapid}, and Panic} ended up together in a new, even more Ramones}-influenced punk-pop} outfit called the Riverdales}, which featured increased songwriting contributions from Vapid} and toured with Green Day}. Lookout!} released a compilation of outtakes, live performances, and out of print material in 1995 entitled Kill the Musicians} and eventually convinced the Riverdales} to revert to the better-known Screeching Weasel} name, as Jughead} rejoined the band.

However, legal difficulties sprang up quickly, eventually resulting in an acrimonious split. In the meantime, Screeching Weasel} had recorded a self-financed album, Bark Like a Dog}; it was eventually picked up by Fat Wreck Chords} in 1996. A supporting tour was canceled at the last minute, but the band returned in 1998 with Television City Dreams}, and again in 1999 with Emo}. The rarities compilation Thank You Very Little} and a new studio effort, Teen Punks in Heat}, both followed a year later. Screeching Weasel} called it quits for good in 2001. A short reunion occurred in 2004 for a show in Chicago, and the 34-song greatest-hits album Weasel Mania} was released in October 2005 on Fat Wreck}. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide

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