Legendary 1980's SF punk music figure Joe Pop-O-Pie, the mad genious behind the pioneer punk band Pop-O-Pies, played one show with Faith. No More; their very first in October of 1983. The band members of Pop-O-Pies and Faith. No More overlapped from late 1983 to the beginning of 1985.
Joe Pye, what's the story behind the lyrics "Spirit..Good Stuff..Exellent.. Further On Down The Road", first heard on Faith. No More's first show ever in 1983?
It all goes back to the summer of 1983, about 30 years ago exactly. I was in New York City and crashing at a friends place in alphabet city (the lower east side of New York). This friend of mine who was also a boyhood friend of Bill and Roddy is named Mark Stewart. Mark was subletting his appartement from this guy named Jamal. It was a hot summer night in New York City in the wee hours of the morning and Mark was talking with his housemate about how silly this Jamal guy was and saying:
"..and ya notice how Jamal always uses these same phrases over and over again, like "Spirit" and his housemate said and "Excellent" and Mark said and "Good Stuff" and then they both said at the same time "FURTHER ON DOWN THE ROAD".
I was like Whoa! I gotta make a song outta that someday. And I whiped out my trusty notepad that I would carry around to capture ideas and wrote those words down. OK, so fast forward a few months. It was September of 1983. I had just gotten back to Frisco and I didn't have a place yet, so I was crashing with Bill and Roddy at their Mission District flat. Courtney Love was also crashing on the same floor as myself. Yes, I know what you're thinking, never a dull moment there. Yeah, them 1980s were FUN, back when our liver were in better shape and we partyed like there was no tomorrow.
So I think it was just before we were going to start the first rehersal for the first FNM show. This was September of 1983. The show was in October of 1983. Roddy and I arrived at the practice space first. It was also used by a band called Crucifix. Jake Smith was the guitarist on that first FNM show. Anyway, we're waiting for everybody else to show up and Roddy got behind the drum kit and started banging away. Jake had his Marshal Half Stack and this awesome new fangled guitar that had to be tuned with Allen wrenches. Well, I fired it up and started playing. The sound I was getting out of this thing was awesome! Very inspiring.
Just off the top of my head I started playing this set of power chords that would later become the bass line of my version of "The Words of Jamal" (for the first FNM show we would end up using a different instrumental underneath the words).
Ok so I'm struming away and Roddy's still playing drums and I remembered those words that I had jotted down from that night i NYC. And I started to arythmically shout them over the chords I was playing. It sounded really good so it stuck. Now in March of 1984, when I was recording the next Pop-O-Pies album we did a version of it. The album is called "Joe's second record" with Bill Gould on bass, Mike Bordin on drums and (the infamous) Mark Bowen and myself are playing the guitars on it. And of course, I was diong the vocals also.
Pop-O-Pies (1984): The Words Of Jamal
I also did another version of the same song on my next album called "Joe's3rd Record". Different instrumentalists though. And Faith No More borrowed the lyrics from me and did a song on the Introduce Yourself album.
Faith No More (1987) - Spirit
Anyway, the first FNM show was in October of 1983 at a place called "On Broadway" in Frisco. The set was pretty loosely structured but we had set jam patterns. There was plenty of room for improvisation. It was a lot of fun.
On April 12th 2010, my 51st birthday, I reformed the Pop-O-Pies to play a show with Faith No More at the Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. Klaus Flouride of the Dead Kennedys on bass, Kirk Heydt (who played on the Words of Jamal on Joe's 3rd Record album) and Nino Mouchella on drums.
Pop-O-Pies: The Words Of Jamal - live at Warfield 2010.