Mark, when did you play with Faith. No More?
I played with FNM around 1983-84 when Chuck was the singer.
Actually, I played a few gigs with them before Chuck, Courtney Love sang vocals for those shows.
So what was it like being a guitarist in Faith. No More?
In reality, I was never really a member of the band. They simply got gigs on the strength of their demo tape.
They had Billy - Bass, Mike - Drums, and Roddy - Keyboards. They had no guitar player or singer, so when they got gigs, they would ask a friend to sing or play guitar for the show. Courtney was a good friend of Roddy's and I was a guitar player in other bands that Billy and Mike were associated with. The three of us played gigs with Joe Pop-O-Pie when he needed musicians for a show.
Did you record anything with the band?
I never recorded with FNM except maybe practice tapes. I know that there was one time when we were video taped for a local television channel, might have been public broadcast or college station. Courtney and I were both "with" the band for that recording. I would love to see it if it ever surfaced. FNM soon found a permanent guitar player, Jim Martin, and I was no longer asked to gig with them. No hard feelings, I never was really considered a member, I'm sure. Of course, soon after that, they got Mike Patton as their singer and recorded some hits and made some money. I would have liked to be around for some of that, but oh well.
So what's the story behind the song Mark Bowen, do you know?
The truth behind "the Mark Bowen" song, is that prior to having a permanent singer, the band named their songs after persons, places, or things that were around when the music was formulated, rather than naming them song A or song B, etc. There were no lyrics and therefore no real song name. When the boys sent a tape to LA, so that Chuck could write some lyrics for his upcoming stint as singer, he made up lyrics for the song that was labeled as, "Mark Bowen". I had spent a day or so with Chuck prior to that, but he did not really know me. He just made up a song. I'm happy to have my 15 minutes of fame from that, ha!
Do you still play the guitar?
I play the drums, guitar, and sax in my basement, and sometimes jam with friends, but am not in any way professional for the past 20 years. Well, I am an attorney, professional in that way. Drugs really got in the way of any career in music. I had some real problems with drugs but have been doing fine for many years now.
Mark Bowen (Pretty much never did nothin to no one whether they deserved it or not).
Faith No More - Mark Bowen (lyrics)
Love...it's a beginning
A justifiable means to an end
And happiness, that triumphant feeling
Only comes from within
But ...you'll...never make the grade
No you'll never, ever reach that plateau
You're down below
And it's where your soul will forever glow
But it's not that ray of sunshine that feels so warm
It's just that bottomless inferno
You're in the depths of hell
And I think that's swell
And I hope you get well
Well done, fried in and out
Burned to a crisp, if that's what I wish
I didn't write the rules
I just follow them to a tee
Cause that's me, I'm evil
I'm hateful, I'm sinful, forgetful, mistrustful
I'm diseased and contagious
I'm suicide, homicide, genocide, pesticide
I'm a human bomb
I'll kill anyone
And so are you, So don't be coy
Cause you too can destroy me like a toy
Not like Mark Bowen
He never done nothin' to no one
... That didn't deserve it.
Faith. No More - Mark Bowen (Demo version)