Strange how the past can suddenly come roaring up from behind you like an old car with a flatulent muffler. Although the heaters busted, the door panels have rusted out and you got no insurance, the old heap still looks pretty good as it nearly runs you down. A new paint job, a couple of hubcaps from some shyster out on the highway and a functioning tail light sure go along way. I've got to say Mr. Kneevers has done an amazing job of customizing this old chassis since the day I left it up on blocks in his sonic garage and split for San Francisco back in the summer of â€-95. Over the years, whenever I've returned to Brew Town, we'd hang out and give it a listen, maybe add a track or two here, chop something there. Friends like Brian and Victor of Violent Femmes, Danny (Die Kreuzen) Kubinski, guitar slinger Mike Hoffman, Sigmund Snopek III, John Frankovic of the infamous Plasticland and Dangler, Jason Loveall, all stopped by to lay down a riff or two. This album actually began after I got out of the ICU in the spring of 1995.I had been down in Austin, Texas, slated to play a lesbian folk club for the annual South by Southwest conference when I suddenly became terribly ill. After my short set, I crawled back to the hotel to lie in bed for the next three days, burning up with a fever while my pals ate burritos, smoked fatties, drank beer and watched TV. Every once in a while I heard somebody wonder aloud, 'What are gonna do about Kruth?' The festival was over and everyone was leaving town. We were running out of money and the boys were bored and getting antsy. They decided load me into the van and haul my sorry ass back to Milwaukee. Somewhere in the Ozarks we started having car trouble. The rented Ford van began to rattle and shake as Jeff Hamilton (who did a bit of engineering and some fine guitar picking on this disc) pulled into a dilapidated old garage. Everyone seemed bummed out and paranoid, so I grabbed my old Gibson and played every bluegrass tune I knew while the mechanic replaced the fan belt. By the time I reached Brew City I was nearly dead. Meanwhile my sexy German Scorpio girlfriend had opened the hair salon of her dreams. Her mind, it seemed, had been swallowed whole by an enormous bank loan, to which everything else took a back seat, including me. She barely noticed that I was dizzy and losing weight. I laid around the house for a couple of days until I finally realized I wasn't getting any better so I dragged myself to the doctor, who felt my throat and discovered my thyroid was about to explode. She did some tests and then went on vacation. For the next three days I laid on the sofa, watching the walls melt. I called the doctor's office again but she was still out of town and the test results hadn't come in yet. By the time Monday rolled around I was nearly gone. My sweetheart had checked out. She would get home from work exhausted and kiss me goodnight. I was on my own this time. The next thing I knew the doctor was on the phone apologizing and pleading with me to get the hospital immediately. 'Don't bother packing a bag. Just go to the hospital ASAP.' She said she'd be waiting for me at the emergency room. She was very sorry. Things quickly went from bad to worse and I wound up in the intensive care unit with a tangle of tubes going in and out of me. After spending a month in bed, Paul 'Evil' Kneevers offered to record what I was certain would be my last album. Thankfully, I was wrong. I had cut my first instrumental project, The Cherry Electric a year before with the Milwaukee Creative Music Ensemble and was gigging with the dynamic rhythm section of Tom Edler and Matt Morgan, along with Robert Russell on saxophone and guitar. With world beat and the rave scene in full throttle, it seemed like the old three minute song I had been writing for the last ten years was due for a serious overhaul. In my state of delirium, many of these songs in their original form were actually over ten minutes long. But Dr. Evil (Kneevers) got out his switchblade and turned these rambling nebulous sessions into the delightful disc that's now burbling in your ears. It's ten years later and I'm punching it out in Manhattan. Things are okay, relatively speaking, considering the new levels of absurdity in Washington, Iraq and Korea, as well as the price of oil, health care and taxis. CBGB's is gone. The World Trade Towers too. And now the time has come to finally unleash Eva Destruction and pick up the mandocello once more and rock before (as they say in the Balkans) God says goodnight. See you at the gig - John Kruth.
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