Welcome to day 8 of a 30-day tribute to the history of Duluth's favorite
sons, Bone Appetit. Use the Calendar at right to view days you missed.

April 8 -   Bone Appetit takes on Homegrown, or

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Bone Appetit arrived at the back door of the Norshor Theater on the afternoon of May 6th to load in the gear and found themselves on the biggest stage they had ever seen. The boys tried to act nonchelant, but excitement and nerves were obviously running high. A few drinks, cigarettes, and Coney dogs later and they would be in fighting shape, and ready to make an impression on Duluth with their blistering 9pm set.

Hot Rod has already begun drinking much earlier in the day however, polishing off a traveler of Root Beer Schnopps during a last-minute practice that morning at the house. Right before Bone Appetit hit the stage, folks waiting for the bus across the street witnessed a pale and skinny man in leopard skin pants, bandana, and tiger skin fedora bust out of the Norshor back doors, vomit in the street, then run right back inside.

As something of a good luck charm, the band had brought the homemade sign that had hung behind them at their basement shows. Being a special occasion, the band also took extra care in selecting their outfits for the show. The most ridiculous item worn that night was a snowmobiling helmet donned by The Maestro. This turned out to be an especially poor idea as he was unable to hear himself or the rest of the band and so he had to remove it after a couple songs.

Friends and fans of Bone Appetit loved every minute of the show, chanting their name and throwing cups full of beer at the band. The rest of the crowd however seemed utterly shocked and horrified. How did a band like this ever get invited to play a festival intended to showcase the best of Duluth's music scene? Some people were amused enough to watch from the wings, well away from the mass of drunken, moshing college students at the foot of the stage.

Bone Appetit super-fans, the Cork brothers, reminisced on this very show:

I'm not sure how we knew about Bone Appetit, but they were supposed to be "Duluth's Worst Band." As we were getting drinks, before any music started, a bunch of drunk college kids came into the NorShor chanting, "Bone Appetit! Bone Appetit." People chanting a band's name usually wasn't done in Duluth.

I clearly remember the first time I saw Bone play. We stood in the back, sipped our double vodka sours and saw one of the greatest/most confusing shows ever.

Our options were Azure du Jour on the mezzanine or Bone Appetit downstairs. We started upstairs, checked out the main room, and then went and watched Jim Hall a bit more before we realized we were missing a true spectacle and wandered back.

I don't think either of us wanted to admit that Bone Appetit was actually pretty entertaining.

Hotrod paced across the stage, high-fiving everyone in the front row. This was normal, except this high-fiving lasted the duration of their set. Hotrod was like some kind of high-fiving machine. No palm was safe.

Then a topless little-person jumped onto the stage and drank a bunch of beer. He was accompanied by a very tall guy who shouted into the microphone and also drank a bunch of beer. I think they imported much of that audience, since Bone Appetit wasn't known outside the UMD basement-party scene at the time.

I think it should be noted that the tall guy was in his boxers, and that he was also pouring beer over himself.

Then Bone played "Crimson and Clover." I remember thinking that the band looked like a bunch of assholes, but in the most mesmerizing way possible.

For the record, I did not get a high-five that evening.

Nor did I. We stood in the back, sort of afraid to get too close. Brenda [now Double Barrel's fianceé] watched part of the show with us and some of her friends. I distinctly recall her being aghast, repeatedly saying, "This is terrible!"

We went upstairs immediately after the band finished their last song ("You Shook Me All Night Long" as I recall), as Both was playing next -- we were under the impression that Both featured a trumpet player, and weren't having any of that -- so we missed seeing Bone Appetit's friends welcome Greg Cougar Conley, et al., with the chant "Next band sucks! Next band sucks!"

Throughout the set Double Barrel was anxiously yelling at Hot Rod to tell people to stop throwing drinks on stage and settle down before the band got in trouble. Chaos won out however, as by the end, half of the crowd was on-stage with the band, dancing, yelling into the mics, and spilling beer onto the monitors, cords, and instruments.

The poor sound man, Eric Swanson (who would later help Bone Appetit record their album), was spotted immediately after they finished with a mop and a scowl cleaning up the stage so the shows could go on. The next band on the bill, Superior's Both, was indeed greeted with repeated chants of "The Next Band Sucks" by overzealous Bone Appetit fans that refused to leave for a good two or three songs into their set.

"Duluth's Worst Band" savored their first taste of the spotlight that night, and though their time in basements was not yet over, a new era for the band had begun.

APRIL 2006
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Love, Lust, and Rock n' Roll
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BONE APPETIT will play
on Friday Night, May 5th
at 12:30AM at RT Quinlan's.

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