Where art-rock thou Wylde Ratttz?
by Don Fleming
Art direction by W. T. Nelson
Originally published in Arthur No. 6 (Sept. 2003) as part of our Stooges “One More Cool Time” feature package
Yes three ttt’s, just like the big ROCK that JC died on. And Wylde like “I wish I was an Oscar Meyer” The saga began when I was “approached” to provide “Stooge-esque” tracks for a big Hollywood flick. Fresh off the Dark Carnival I sez, “Howse about Ron fuckin’ Asheton with an assorted bunch of alt-geezer heavy hitters to round it out?” Ratttz Patrol: Thurston Moore, Mike Watt, Steve Shelley, Mark Arm, Sabir Mateen and Sean Ono Lennon. We did our Stooges tracks for the flick (many thanks to Randell Poster) “and it was good.” Then of course some genius at the “label” decides they want put out the entire session. It was thusly christened “Ratttz Ass.” And then it sat. And there it sits. Lonely and tired.
So in response to being suppressed by “the man,” I gather the Instant Mayhem production team-vibeologist Jim Dunbar and engine man Bil Emmons, aka the “American Rock Dudes,” and decide to bring the Ratttz back in for a second round. And this time we slammed originals, took a few space jams and scrambled a couple of choice Pretty Things. Now we have a real record. This one is called “Wylde Ratttz” and it’s a gas. Rip-roarin’ rock anthems penned mostly by Ron with some Niagara and Arm words. Thurst sings a couple and Watt contributes his own smokin’ pipe tune. Ron even sings one!!! Ecstatic Peace has it on the slow train to China schedule, but we’re a bunch of lazy bastards anyway so it’ll come out when it comes out. Floggin’ a few WR mp3s at the site for now. And meantime Watt and J Mascis (who was hangin’ at the Ratttz sessions) go out and play a buncho Stooges sets and then break out the Asheton bros for a few choice international “dates”, so ARD—that’s American Rock Dudes—start swingin’ that like we planned it all along and call it “Wylde Ratttz Jr”, and the next thing ya know Iggy, Ron, Rock Action, and Watt are swappin’ sweat. Ratttz Power!!