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A Glossary Of Pedro Speak

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Monday, 07 December 2009

It has been said several times over that the best way to interview Mike Watt is ostensibly introduce yourself, ask your first question and let the tape run. The bassist doesn't so much 'interview' as 'spiel' everything one could possibly need to know about any given subject out and thereby giving the interviewer plenty to work with – but there's a catch. Watt's a nice guy and will tell you anything you want to know, but interviewers need to know in advance that any dialogue with the bassist will very colloquial. Having danced the dance with Watt several times over (he's a lot of fun to talk to and I jump to do it every chance I get), I have gone so far as to say to other interviewers that talking to Watt sometimes feels like it requires its own dictionary – but little did I know that such a document already exists. Tucked into the back of the limited edition, long-box edition of Ball-Hog Or Tugboat? is a 'Glossary of Pedro Speak' included to help decode some of the phrases most commonly found on Mike Watt's records and in dialogues with him. I didn't even know it was there when I began writing Ground Control's discography review of Mike Watt's output, but I came into possession of one of those long-box editions recently and discovered it. Given that I know these long-box editions of the album are rare (the glossary is probably even rarer given these things have a habit of falling out or going missing after purchase), I thought I'd do a public service and re-print it – if only to assist other interviewers in the future. Below is the contents of the document, alphabetized for easy reference.

b
 bail – see out.
 ball bust  – major hell-ride.
 ball-hog  – rude bogart.
 ball swell  – tour wound.
 ball tick  – scene fixture.
 bam bam  – has to get going in order to complete
                     soundcheck.
 be great or be gone – tape rolling (see “ding-ding-ding!”).
 bean-spill  – accidental self spiel.
 Bell – gut pack, as in “bellin' it.”
 bellig –  as in belligerent, major tude.
 binga  – one lost sometimes.
 blow by  – prequel to loop.
 bofus –  literally, “I found it!”
 bogart  – bumrush.
 bomb pop –  watt on the 'loose nut' tour.
 bones  – see government art collection.
 boom stick –  see thunder broom.
 boss  – see him/her who deals.
 bout  – tunes.
 broister  – swelter pad.
 brother  – invaluable.
 butt snicker  – georgism, see floater/bottom fish.

c
 cave  – empty gig, ton of reverb.
 chick-ching  – the transferring of many bones.
 ching-kwon-dough  – more than one bone, as in “beaucoup
                                    dinero.”
 choad  – one who is hesitant.
 choke  – a fan at the plate.
 chopless –  lack of chops.
 chow  – major part of experience.
 clams –  chokes, usually on stage in front of people.
 coiler  – expression sculpted in a “coiling booth.”
 concussion pad  – tour van seat prop.
 corporate pawn  – obvious palooka.
 cuda  – tour mode that promotes heavy chowing.
 cut  – big scissors.

d
 davein' it  – christening the pad.
 “ding-ding-ding!”  – sound of tape beginning to roll.
 dumper  – chow purge.

e
 econo  – a way or life.
 elbow pop –  behind a motorhome shit drain/breakage on
                       freeway.

f
 first engineer scott  – crew member on Watt's phone
                                    machine.
 flick –  georgism, off the back of a motorcycle.
 floater  – if you're really healthy (“bottom fish” if you're
                 not).
 flow –  float the trip.
 frap  – george's wake-up greeting.
 fully blown  – georgism, all the way live.
 fuego  – required by mota.

g
 georgism  – that which is coined by George [Minutemen
                     drummer George Hurley]
 gordo  – bloat.
 government art collection – them little green paintings.

h
 hambone  – solo.
 hand puppet  – someone seen butt-pickin' themselves.
 headslap  – alarm clock-like.
 head pop  – right off the knee.
 hell-ride  – tour, big ride in van.

i
 …ian  – turning a vowel into a verb.

k
 kind  – just right.
 knee pop  – critical Watt injury/weakness.
 knobman  – sound engineer.
 koa  – as in hahd/your spirit.
 konk  – sleepytown.

l
 load dodge  – tradin' the rambler for a dodge.
 loop  – sequel to blow-dry.

m
 machinery  – plumbing.
 mackin'  – georgism, tongue wrangle.
 major nobody –  has-been that never was, average mersh.
 mat –  recording studio floor.
 mersh  – commercial.
 mota  – puff.
 mouse  – minion.
 mulehead  – stench breath.

n
 nolaning it – bap bap bap.
 nut sack  – scrotum.

o
 one-on-one tug-o-war  – solo record.
 out  – adios.
 out of the race  – passing a disabled vehicle.
 “over the ropes” out of the picture (see “scissors”).

p
 pad  – establishment.
 paralytic  – the manity's (as in hugh manity of orlando, fla)
                    puff.
 petri dish  – see ring.
 phone jock  – typical booking agent.
 piss bottle  – life saver.
 pomp  – Daltrey stage pose.
 pop  – sound made by my knee breaking.
 prac  – getting ready for the gig – in no way a “rehearsal”.
 practice pad  – where one pracs.
 pretendo  – mtv spiel.
 pucks – burgers.
 pull toy – little truck.
 pushbroom  – bass.
 push cart –  vw (see pull toy).

q
 q –  pedro chow down.

r
 rehearsal – for actors & actresses, not band people.
 ring – the recording studio, as in “get in the ring.”
 rope trick –  stage holding banter, have to fold it.
 round – tune.

s
 sailor – militant band member.
 salmo-bloat – see short stay.
 shtick – endeavor.
 scissors – cut.
 shadow box – see davein' it.
 shelf life – there is no life beyond shelf life.
 short stay – quick dumper after weak chow.
 shovel – chow.
 sidemouse – one who does your chow while waiting for
                      theirs.
 slackjaw – alert and at attention.
 sour – certain look that says something.
 spiel – pitch (see “shtick”).
 sploogie boy – martin gig.
 splorch wart – big mug zit.
 springboard – to flow for others.
 spunk pad – run down joint.
 square john – (your name here)
 star of the show – least valuable player.
 stuff – chow.
 swim team – nut sack crew.

t
 team motto – “when you ain't playin' you're payin'.”
 thunder broom – bottom tool.
 tired – clone soldier stance.
 tour-spiel – old sea yarn.
 trainwreck – ensemble playing.
 tub – brain.
 tude – as in pomp.
 tug – persuade.
 tugboat – nurturer.
 twitch fire – georgism, “a looker.”
 twofer – duet.
 tymp – express instantly.

u
 unit – hair piece.
 utensil – mota device.

w
 wao – pipe filter.
 wail – freedom song.
 wang – clever person.
 wang towel – clean up crew (see sploogie boy).
 wigger – a go-off, as in heidi.
 wind baggin' – on the phone forever.

y
 yank – see cut.
 yard dog – liar.
 yard trophy – disabled ride.
 “you fuckin' bahstid!”  – sweet endearment.

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