Flesheaters – A Minute To Pray A Second To Die

Flesheaters – A Minute To Pray A Second To Die (Slash) 1982. One of my all-time favorite bands, The Flesh Eaters have never gotten the respect they deserve. Part of the problem is that they are unclassifiable. They’ve been referred to as goth…they are not. They can’t be considered strictly a punk band because they are too experimental. People don’t know what box to put them in…so it’s easier for many to just disregard them.

To even refer to The Flesh Eaters as a group is a bit misleading. They are instead a loose collective of musicians backing the twisted poetry and vocals of Chris (D.) Desjardins. In essence, The Flesh Eaters are Chris D’s vision.

Named after an amazingly cool B-Movie from the 1960′s that was edited by then-unknown pornographer Radley Metzger involving a Flesh Eating monster that preys on a shipwrecked yacht, The Flesh Eaters have been churning out music since 1978. To many people, including myself, A Minute To Pray A Second To Die represents thier creative peak. It is a nasty, hairy fuckin’ beast of an album.

A Minute To Pray is a combination of Beefheartian conventions (xylophone, sax, weird time signatures), combined with Beat Noir Horror poetry and punk swagger and drive. The band Chris D. assembled on this is nothing short of amazing….Dave Alvin (Blasters), John Doe (X), Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Blasters), DJ Bonebrake (X), and Bill Bateman (Blasters). This is roots-rock in the truest sense. Not some watered down, nostalgic-for-something-that-never-existed bullshit. Like Chris D says….

“Cock the gun, pull the trigger, what you get is one dead singer….”

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22 Responses to Flesheaters – A Minute To Pray A Second To Die

  1. chris g says:

    A lot of people seem to completely disregard the presence of soul, psychedelia, and jazz in the flesh eaters’ albums, and some people even think that cry baby killer was a potshot at jamaica.

    Joe, this was a fantastic post, but alas A Minute To Pray has been reissued again, so you might want to remove it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great post!
    Can anyone give a link to “No Questions Asked”??
    Maria

  3. fred says:

    Saw this line up at the Roxy (I think) at the same time as this fantastic record came out.

    No respect, you are right. Punks were spitting on Chris D all night.

    One guy was spitting on him at that show, then the following night walked up to Chris D as he stood in line for another band, came up to him and said, “Remember me? I was the one spitting on you last night”, then he asked “Know where there are any good shows goin’ on?”. Chris D said nothing, just pointed to the place where he was standing in line, of course.

    No it wasn’t me.

  4. zuzu says:

    Hey Joe, I too loved the Flesheaters. I first heard them on the great LA compilation Tooth and Nail — loved them so much I referred to Pony Dress in some lyrics in one of the songs I wrote — no one but me ever made the connection. :)

    I am lucky to own Tooth and Nail, No Questions Asked and A Minute To Pray A Second To Die.

    miaou
    zuzu

  5. Joe Stumble says:

    Zuzu! I think the Flesheaters would probably be in my top ten list! Still doesn’t beat Pink Flag though….but close, very close.

    The first 7inch with The Flyboys backing em up is right here: http://lastdaysofman.blogspot.com/2006/07/flesheaters-disintegraton-nation-7inch.html

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’ve found people either love these guys or find them totally unlistenable. I loved them and can still recite the lyrics to just about every song on their first four LPs to this day–I listened to them that much. Strangely, the later Chris D stuff did very little for me but its OK. I know this one made it to CD once–are you sure its out of print?

  7. Joe Stumble says:

    Yeah I actually own it on CD. it was released many moons ago by Slash. I bought it for a buck at some chain music store in Maine of all places. Both it and its followup “FOREVER CAME TODAY” are conspicuously unavailable from The Flesheaters website at http://www.atavistic.com/artist.cfm?ThisArtist=154 .

    There are some copies of it at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Minute-Pray-Second-Die/dp/B0000057BT/sr=8-1/qid=1172643438/ref=pd_bbs_1/105-8724331-0275630?ie=UTF8&s=music being sold by resellers for a pretty steep price. If I am wrong and Chris D has re-released this monster, I will definitely remove it from here.

  8. fred says:

    another killer line on there is:

    “Squeeze out your milk on the baby’s grave”

    By the way, you can’t talk about this record without acknowledging PAT BURNETTE (yes from THAT Burnette family). Germs (GI), Walk Among Us, Fire of Love, Blasters Slash lp, Back From Somoa etc. A common feature of many of these LPs aside from the great sound is they often feature one live track.

  9. jon manyjars says:

    Joe, you are the man. Thanx for posting this. And you are right, it is OOP. For some reason the Atavistic label has reissued several Flesheaters albums but not this, the most essential one. I wonder if Desjardins has ever published his brilliant lyrics. “Their hearts in the right place, right in the palm of my hand.”

  10. Anonymous says:

    Jon:

    Yes, the lyrics to most of the original Flesheaters songs were published in a book called “Double Snake Bourbon” back in 1989, along with some other poetry. I had two copies (got them both for $0.99) and gave one of them to some chick who probably never even read it. Published by Illiterati Press. Like I said in an earlier post, I knew those lyrics by heart as a kid and most still to this day. Funny thing is I had a chance to walk right up and talk to him on two consecutive nights several years back but couldn’t think of a thing to say. I think maybe I didn’t want to risk being disappointed!

  11. Joe Stumble says:

    Jon – both this and “Forever Came Today” were released on Slash. All the rest were on Chris D’s “Upsetter” label. I smell licencing issues.

    Anon – Give a chick a poetry book that she will never read and then when you run into the poet who wrote the book ya got nothing to say. God, that sounds like me man.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t Byron Coley call this his all-time favorite album? Thank you for posting this criminally out of print record.

  13. jon manyjars says:

    Amazon has two sellers who want $30 each for Double Snake Bourbon. I’ll have to think on that, but thanx for the info!

  14. Ron Hotpad says:

    A bit off topic here, but since Joe mentioned it, the film The Flesh Eaters should be seen by everyone. A new DVD print out now is the best it’s ever looked and has a couple cut scenes as extras. One of those insane monster movies that (thankfully) keeps getting crazier and crazier until it’s about to burst. Fantastic.

  15. Joe Stumble says:

    As always, Ron is correct. The Flesheaters is one of the best horror movies from that period. It reaches a level of surrealism that transcends typical horror movie schlock (which is good in and of itself). HIGHLY recommended.

  16. Joe Stumble says:

    Anon – Byron Coley is a fanatcial Flesheaters fan. You can read his writing on the subject at the Atavistic website.

  17. gspeedlace says:

    You can read excerpts from Chris D.’s DOUBLE SNAKE BOURBON (and more) on

    http://www.NewTexture.com

    He’s a founding contributor to the site. Pass it along!

    Also,

    http://www.myspace.com/newtexture

    Finally, you might consider dropping Rhino Records’ website a line demanding they re-issue A MINUTE TO PRAY and the rest of the Flesh Eaters’ Slash/Ruby material, as I think they control it now. They’d make great releases for Rhino Handmade, at the very least…

  18. Tom says:

    I don’t think they were hard to classify really. If you hear there stuff from the late seventies there is no doubt it is pure punk rock. This album is more post punk with some influences from Cramps, death rock, some cow punk thrown in (which was popular in Cali at this time), and some art damage. Still good but I prefer there first ep and the tracks on Tooth And Nail.

  19. chris g says:

    the drumming on this is….incredible
    i’ve got some live tracks from this line-up’s reunion i plan to post

  20. thefuzzymode says:

    I played the fuck’in sheittttttt out of this when it came out and it is still on my top 10 best albums to come out of the L.A. scene to this day!!! Chris D. is legend in my world and a huge inspiration from way back when I was a teeny ween + the line-up is just off the charts!!!!! Soooooooo soooo excellent this record! Soooooo soooooooo amazingly brilliant each and every song!!!!!!

  21. Wheez Von Klaw says:

    Definitely L.A.’s greatest lp from the punk era..A top ten desert island disc of beauty and unhinged horror rock n roll madness…What a record! I burn this disc for friends alot. Often think of it as a bookend to the first Doors lp.. The musicianship is second to none but kept stripped down and in your face… “See you in the Boneyard” would be a killer opening to a savage horror film.. My old roomie Jeff “Vengeance” plays on the later “Ashes of Time”…. Was very lucky to have heard this masterpiece early on and it still pulsates an incredible voodoo-throb… Chris D. sounds possessed by a demon serial killer..For all you horror-rock kiddies reading this…Chris also produced the Misfits’ classic “Walk Among Us” and The Gun Club’s “Fire of Love” … Do NOT hesitate to get this!

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