Krist in Flipper

The original members of Flipper, barring the late Will Shatter (with Bruno DeSmartass replacing Shatter once again as he had done for a 1982 tour), reunited to support CBGB on August 22 and August 28, 2005. Singer Bruce Loose appeared on stage with a cane. This line-up of Flipper then continued to play live again beginning in 2006, with plans for a new album to be released and recorded in 2007.

In December 2006, DeSmartas was replaced by Krist Novoselic on bass for a tour of the UK and Ireland, as well as several US shows. The song “Scentless Apprentice”, which the band recorded (without Novoselic) for a 2000 Nirvana tribute album, was added to the band’s setlist.

Novoselic is recording a new album with the band. The album is produced by Jack Endino, the sound engineer who recorded Nirvana’s debut album Bleach. As of January 2008 the album is “99% there”. As of March 2008 the new album is officially done, however the band is apparently still searching for a label to release it.

Early Years

Flipper is an influential punk rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1979, continuing in often erratic fashion until the mid-1990s, then reuniting in 2005.

Flipper was founded by former members of the Sleepers and Negative Trend. Founding member and original vocalist Ricky Williams was fired from the band before any recordings were made because he was deemed too messed up to remain in the band. The name is often seen to be a reference to thalidomide babies, such as the one featured on the cover of their early “Love Canal” single. It could also be a refence to a song on the french band Téléphone’s first album (The fact that Flipper released a song named “Telephone” on American Grafishy seems to support this.)

Flipper made their first recordings available in late 1979 via the SF Underground 7″ compilation series released through Steve Tupper’s newly-formed Subterranean Records. In 1981, a 7″ comprising “Love Canal/Ha Ha Ha” followed, and the original lineup made two full-length studio albums on Subterranean, 1982’s Generic and a 1984 follow up Gone Fishin’.

The follow-up studio album in 1984, Gone Fishin, was even darker and artier than the first LP. It featured the disorientating opening track “The Lights, The Sound, The Rhythm, The Noise”, the haunting “Survivors of the Plague” and the decrying of the war machine in the song “Sacrifice”. The multi-colored delivery step van pictured on the cover was also where Ted Falconi lived when the group was not on the road. The van, along with figures representing the band and their equipment could be cut out and folded with Subterranean offering extra covers through a small mail order fee.

The original lineup began splintering after a long debauched period of touring, and singer and core member Will Shatter eventually died on December 9th, 1987 of a drug overdose after forming A3I (Any Three Initials, a punk outfit whose title mocked the prevalence of acronymic band names). Subterranean packaged the band’s most popular recordings in a greatest hits collection titled “Sex Bomb Baby” released in 1987. The initial release featured several different hand drawn covers and the cassette edition and later CD rerelease featured three bonus tracks.