Blind Eye Sees All: Gibby Haynes and the Butthole Surfers in bed

By on August 27, 2015

In this 1986 homemade home video, Blind Eye Sees All, released though Touch and Go Video, the Texas-based band Butthole Surfers appear together in bed, eating Dominos pizza and drinking beer, while the band’s own Gibby Haynes explains that his descendants were flatworms and that there were also Chinese men with “Volkswagen buses that they had designed like they were cathedrals of God.”

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These interviews are found on the video between live performances of the band in 1985 at their February 22nd and March 3rd shows at TRAXX club in Detroit, Michigan. Blind All Sees All is the band’s only official video release to date, and dates back to their “Cream Corn” period (in 1985, they had released a 12″-single, “Cream Corn From The Socket Of Davis,” on Touch and Go).

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Here’s some of Gibby’s words of wisdom from the interview:

“Thousands of the people that came before me that are descendants of me who had originally been here… there were thousands of people, all down the line to where there were worms, and there were flatworms, and Chinese men who were tied to walls would show worm movies out of their ppppppp into the air in apparent disgruntlement and dismay and it would be wadded up like a little girl would wad up some tissue after she’s blown her nose into, and look in it and the horror of seeing little speckled pieces of blood in her snot, it was on that rag that she had wadded up and threw away, knowing that that was her life in there, and that her life would never be the same, because the world was divided up into four parts, there was the Maggots, the Tutor, the Fancor and the Durea, and the Durea and the Fancor were at war with the Tutor and the Farcols, who I haven’t mentioned to this point, because they were the fifth part, they were invisible and they were all-powerful, and they were beyond the worms and beyond the Chinese men tied to the wall, who would show worm movies out of their ppppppp, and who had originally been non-existent at all and they never knew how to make fireworks, or ever rifles, or even – they didn’t know anyone from Saskatchewan and they didn’t know how to dial the telephone, and they had these Volkswagen buses that they had designed like they were cathedrals of God, and they had directed all of us, all of my relatives – the worms and the Chinese men themselves, they had travelled hundreds of thousands of miles. When they came they had the sea, they went under the sea and talked to the fish, and see, when the fish travel in a line there will be a little dot near their rear ends and a string will come out and I have made a kite before and I have flown it out of the string that I got from the dots on fishes bottom ends, and I have flown it so high that I have been able to see the Etruscans, the Bolivians, the Artesians, and the Wallhonkers.”

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Butthole Surfers were an American rock band formed in 1981, by Gibby Haynes (born Gibson Jerome Haynes, in Dallas, Texas, on September 30, 1957) and Paul Leary (born Paul Leary Walthall, in San Antonio, Texas, on May 7, 1957), who met while attending Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. Trinity was then, and perhaps still is, a private liberal arts college, and was, and perhaps still is, “historically connected” to the Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities.

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Haynes is the son of actor Jerry Haynes, who is best known as Mr. Peppermint, the host of the local kids show “Peppermint Place” that was filmed & aired in Dallas from 1975–1996 (and was syndicated to various markets in Texas, and elsewhere). By the time was in college, Gibby was the captain of Trinity’s basketball team, and he was also named the school’s “Accountant of the Year”, and after graduation, he went to work for a respected Texas accounting firm.

Leary, meanwhile, remained in college working on his Master of Business Administration degree, but their bond was strong, and they both understood that due to their overall strangeness and their taste in non-mainstream music, they weren’t likely to be heading to corporate jobs any time soon.

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Their first collaborative effort, however, was not in music, but in the publishing world: in 1981, Haynes and Leary published the magazine Strange V.D., which featured photos of abnormal medical ailments, coupled with fictitious, humorous explanations for the diseases. After being caught with one of these pictures at work, Haynes left the accounting firm and moved to Southern California. Leary, at the time one semester shy of his degree, dropped out of college and followed Haynes. After a brief period spent selling homemade clothes and linens emblazoned with Lee Harvey Oswald’s image, they returned to San Antonio, and launched the band that would eventually become Butthole Surfers.

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As for the band’s influences, many years later, in a 2004 interview, Haynes said the reason the band ended up sounding the way they did was due to how horrible he felt the music was at the time:

“One of the main themes was how horrible music was at the time and in the late 70’s music was fucking dead, dead, dead!…. and then the 80’s came along with all that headband, rock shit like Guns and Roses and crap like Motley Crue, you know…just fucking pukey shit! And then the Ramones, the Dead Kennedys, and Circle Jerks started kicking it and they were real noisy man! You know, growing up to shit like classic rock sucked and all of a sudden this shit is going on with bands like the Cramps doing traditional music but fucking it up! It was real noisy and it seemed as though it took a lot more imagination that talent to do and that is what we had… we had imagination. Paul played guitar when he was real young and picked up the guitar again and we started making noise because it was idea based and not musical talent base and that was the bullshit of the 70s.”

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The band did not gain a following in San Antonio, and purchased a van to return to California later that summer, where Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedy’s saw them play in San Francisco and later invited Butthole Surfers to open for Dead Kennedys and T.S.O.L. at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles. Biafra also helped the band record an self-titled for Alternative Tentacles, released in July 1983 (those recordings are said to have influenced Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who would later meet his wife, Courtney Love, at a Butthole Surfers/L7 concert in 1991.

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About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.
  • some_dude

    I really like the part where they freak the interviewer out with the LSD/PCP song.

  • Lee

    Brilliant