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R.I.P. Pat Fish aka The Jazz Butcher

R.I.P. Pat Fish aka The Jazz Butcher
October 06, 2021 09:11PM
Pat’s family posted on the Jazz Butcher Fan page on Facebook that Pat, aka The Jazz Butcher, passed away last night suddenly. He had been playing periodic live shows via streaming on facebook, although he canceled last weeks because he wasn’t feeling well. He was set to play a live gig tomorrow night at a venue in Bristol so this was completely unexpected.

Quite sad.
Bip
Re: R.I.P. Pat Fish aka The Jazz Butcher
October 07, 2021 05:22AM
Sorry to hear…and I know you must’ve been a dedicated fan as you mentioned a recent release only a month ago.

I first heard Jazz Butcher in the late 80s when a Canadian radio show (“Brave New Waves”, anyone?) played a nice version of the song ‘Girl Go’. Ended up getting a couple of their releases on vinyl over the years.
Re: R.I.P. Pat Fish aka The Jazz Butcher
October 07, 2021 06:15AM
There was a radio station in the mid-80s in the St. Louis area that for a few glorious years had a college radio aesthetic despite being a commercial station and they occasionally played "Domestic Animals," which was my introduction to the Jazz Butcher.

The station was owned by the Catholics and operated out of the Our Lady of the Snows shrine - its call letters were WMRY, for "Mary." So it was an odd source to be hearing the jaunty chorus "in the springtime, cats have sex" from, but was a beloved station amongst our sort of people - it was pretty much freeform radio run by alternative rock fans. Then it got successful enough to lure away a programmer from a bigger station, and the rot set in. It was still an alternative leaning station, but you could tell a playlist had been imposed because certain stuff began getting played constantly - the most irritating for me was "Stray Cat Strut", which was already several years old at the time but suddenly started playing several times a day while more obscure things like the Jazz Butcher faded back into obscurity.

But I guess radio station playlists work - most people seem to want to hear only stuff they're familiar with on endless repeat - and WMRY got popular enough that the Catholic bigwigs finally noticed they had a radio station that was playing basically "NOW That's What I Call Slightly Edgy Music" and pulled the plug. I can't remember what they replaced it with.

None of which really has anything to do with the Jazz Butcher, but I guess it's fortunate that the fathers weren't listening when the station was playing playful odes to animal lust on an occasional basis, as they probably would've put the kibosh on it sooner. Most of the people who'd loved it originally had already moved on, but I'm sure it broke the hearts of everyone who wanted to hear "It' the End of the World As We Know It" 17 times a day when the end did come.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/07/2021 06:16AM by breno.
Re: R.I.P. Pat Fish aka The Jazz Butcher
October 07, 2021 08:16AM
Awww, man....that sucks. I know a couple of musicians who've worked with him who will be shattered.

I was introduced to the Jazz Butcher by the 1988 Trouser Press Record Guide. Fishcoteque was my first, and still my favorite.
Re: R.I.P. Pat Fish aka The Jazz Butcher
October 07, 2021 01:10PM
"The Devil Is My Friend" got some decent airplay on my local college radio station. I'm not familiar with much else in his catalog, however. And, yeah Bip, I remember "Brand New Waves". It led to a brief flourishing of Canadian alternative music in the mid 80's, not to start up again until grunge had become a thing.
Re: R.I.P. Pat Fish aka The Jazz Butcher
October 07, 2021 01:42PM
The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy's initial recordings on Glass Records had the trashy pop sound of the mellow side of Velvet Underground or the Modern Lovers, albeit with a wry British sense of humor. Pat's bandmates at that time were Max Eider on guitar and David J on bass (after Bauhaus broke up and before he formed Love and Rockets).

When Max and David J departed in the mid 80s Pat signed with Creation Records, (Alan McGee was a fan) and tried to retool his image as a more serious songwriter in the Ray Davies mold. All his records are excellent.

He reunited with Max in 2000 and did a club tour of the US, so I did get to see them play live once at a small bar in San Francisco that year with about 75 other dedicated fish-heads. His fanbase was small but loyal.

Quite sad he's gone. 64 years is too young.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/07/2021 01:44PM by jothoma.
Re: R.I.P. Pat Fish aka The Jazz Butcher
October 07, 2021 06:30PM
> It was still an alternative leaning station, but you could tell a playlist had been imposed
> because certain stuff began getting played constantly - the most irritating for me was
> "Stray Cat Strut", which was already several years old at the time but suddenly started
> playing several times a day while more obscure things like the Jazz Butcher faded back
> into obscurity.

Yeah, I think we've all witnessed this sort of thing with commercial, alternative-leaning stations -- from the ones that started in the '80s to the present day. When KIIQ started a "modern rock" format in Colorado Springs in the '80s, I was thrilled to hear songs such as "Out of the Blue," "New Values" and "I Wanna Be Sedated" on the radio. It took me a while to realize that I was hearing those songs, and a clutch of other songs of that time frame and sensibility, on a pretty regular basis. Conclusion: KIIQ was treating those hallowed, semi-underground classics as its equivalents of "Won't Get Fooled Again," "Stairway to Heaven" and other classic-rock warhorses.

KIIQ didn't last long in that format. But that sort of formatted programming continues today at KNND in Seattle.

Anyway! Rest in peace, Mr. Butcher, and thank you for all the cool music.
Re: R.I.P. Pat Fish aka The Jazz Butcher
October 07, 2021 07:38PM
Right, "The Devil Is My Friend", good stuff. "Caroline Wheeler's Birthday Present," "Peter Lorre," many wonderfully loopy tunes. That absurdist Brit sense of humor: the Bonzos of college rock?

There was also the attempted sell-out of J.B.C. (as they were rebranded), and their Mad-chester remake of the Stones "We Love You" 12". But as commercialism goes, a) it failed to be a hit, and b) it was really good.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/07/2021 07:45PM by MrFab.
Re: R.I.P. Pat Fish aka The Jazz Butcher
October 08, 2021 02:57PM
Very sad to hear this.
Re: R.I.P. Pat Fish aka The Jazz Butcher
October 08, 2021 08:49PM
This was really sad to hear. I loved a few of his records back in the 80s and then really got back into him after those Fire Records comps came out a few years ago.

I became Facebook friends with Pat a few years ago because of a mutual friend on the east coast (not Ira!); when I randomly sent him a friend request, I was flummoxed when he accepted. One of my few brushes with greatness was when Pat commented on some "most iconic albums" or some such silliness I'd posted on my page last year. I sent him a fawning message through Facebook Messenger and told him how honored I was that the goddamn Jazz Butcher had seen fit to acknowledge my existence and comment on the post (plus, I showed up in his feed!). He sent a very gracious response to my fanboy missive and ended with something like "take good care of yourself, ok?" (this was in the height of Covid shit in the US). Damn, I'm gonna miss that guy.
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