Primus family tree

This is work in progress! Here's what I've come up with so far, and the kind of detail I'm interested in---for example, I want to get line up changes down to the month. Any help would be appreciated.

Only bands that have an album/single count (unless there's a real reason to deviate). The lineup in the album is what's taken to be the right one, and besides, it's easy to differentiate between the various lineups based on the album release. Currently it's simply a straight listing of lineups, with indentations to indicate branches. The final version will be a cladogram (tree-like). The notes contain additional detail about lineup and lineup changes.

See the credits for who contributed in making this possible. This family tree has come a long way, and is an excellent peek into the evolution of Bay Area music (at least from one perspective).

      Blizzard (? - ?) [0]
        Larry LaLonde (guitars)
        Steve Gibb (vocals)
        Jeff Becerra (bass)
        Mike Minor (drums) 

    Possessed (? 1983 - ? 1988)
      Jeff Becerra (vocals/bass)
      Larry LaLonde (guitars)
      Mike Torrao (guitars) [1]
      Mike Sus (drums)

    Tommy Crank Band (? - ?)
      Les Claypool (bass)

  Primate (? 1984 - ?) [1.5]
    Les Claypool (bass, vocals)
    Todd Huth (guitars)

  Blind Illusion (? 1984/85 - ? 1988) [2]
    Mark Biederman (vocals/guitars)
    Les Claypool (bass)
    Larry LaLonde (guitars)
    Mike Miner (drums) [3]

  Primate (? - ?)
    Les Claypool (bass, vocals)
    Todd Huth (guitars)
    Perm Parker (drums)

  Primate (? - ?)
    Les Claypool (bass, vocals)
    Todd Huth (guitars)
    Peter Libby (drums)

Primus (? - ?)
  Les Claypool (bass, vocals)
  Robbie Bean (drums)
  Todd Huth (guitars)

Primus (Jun 86 - Jun 88)
  Les Claypool (bass, vocals)
  Tim "Curveball" Wright (drums)  [4]
  Todd Huth (guitars)

    Porch (? 94 - present)
      Todd Huth (guitars)
      Christopher Frey (bass)
      David Ayer (drums)

    Freaky Executives (? 85 - ? 89)
      Jay Lane (drums) [5]

Primus (Jul 88 - Dec 88) [6]
  Les Claypool (bass, vocals)
  Todd Huth (guitars)
  Jay Lane (drums)

    Charlie Hunter Trio/Quartet (? 93 - 6/95)
      Charlie Hunter (guitars)
      Calder Spanier (saxophone) [7]
      Scott Amendola [7]
      Jay Lane (drums) [7]
      David Ellis (saxophone) [7]

    Alphabet Soup (? - present)
       Sam Biggers
       Wilbur Krebs (bass)
       C.B. (vocals)
       Deszon Claiborne (drums)
       Kenny Brooks (sax)
       Dred Scott (keys)
       Jay Lane (drums)

    RatDog (1995 - present) [8]
       Rob Wasserman (bass)
       Bobby Weir (rhythm guitar, vocals)
       Jay Lane (drums) [5]
       Jeff Chimenti (keyboards)
       Kenny Brooks (saxaphone)
       Mark Karan (lead guitar)
       Dave Ellis (saxophone) [8.1]
       Matthew Kelly (harp) [8.2]
       Dave McNabb [8.3]
       Vince Welnick [8.4]
       Johnnie Johnson [8.5]
       Mookie Segal [8.6]

    Major Lingo (? 87 - ?)
      Sally Stricker (bass, vocals)
      Tony Bruno (slide guitar)
      John Ziegler (guitar, vocals)
      Tim "Herb" Alexander (drums) 

    Major Lingo (? 87 - ?) [8.8]
      Linda Cushma (bass, vocals)
      Tony Bruno (slide guitar)
      John Ziegler (guitar, vocals)
      Tim "Herb" Alexander (drums) 

Primus (? 89 - Jul 96) [8.9]
  Les Claypool (bass, vocals)
  Larry LaLonde (guitars)
  Tim Alexander (drums)

    Laundry (? 94 - present)
      Tim Alexander (drums)
      Ian Varriale (stick)
      Tom Butler (guitar)
      Toby Hawkins (vocals)

    Sausage (? 94  - present)
      Les Claypool (bass, vocals)
      Todd Huth (guitars, vocals)
      Jay Lane (drums)

    The Limbomaniacs (? 84 - ? 92) [9] [9.5]
      Kelly Smith (vocals)
      Mark "M.I.R.V." Haggard (vocals, guitar)
      Tony "Butthouse" Chaba (bass, vocals)
      Brain Mantia (drums)
      Pete Scaturro (machines, organ)
      Greg Thompson (saxaphone)

    Big City (? 95 - early 87) [9.6]
      Pete Scaturro (machines, organ)
      Joe Gore (guitars)
      Brian "Brain" Mantia (drums)

    Caca (May 92 - present) [10]
      Ray White (guitar, vocals (ex-Zappa band))
      Marc "MIRV" Haggard (guitar)
      Tony  "Butthouse" Chaba (bass)
      Brain Mantia (drums)
      Larry LaLonde (guitar)
      Pete Scaturro (keyboards)
      Matt Wheeler (Zappa vocals)
      Zoe Ellis (backing vocals)
      Brian Kehoe (The Devil on Titties n Beer)

    Praxis (? 92 - ? 95) [11]
      Buckethead (guitar, toys)
      Bill Laswell (composer)
      Bernie Worrell (synthesiser, clavinet, and vital organ)
      AF Next Man Flip (turntable, mixer)
      Brian "Brain" Mantia (drums)
      Bootsy Collins (space bass, vocals)

    MCM (? 87 - present) [12]
      MCM/Miles (vocals)
      Brian "Brain" Mantia (drums)
      Hector (guitars)
      Gary (guitars)
      Danny (bass)
      Pause (turntables)

    M.I.R.V. (? 93 - ? 96)
      Mark Haggard (vocals, guitars)
      Les Claypool (vocals, bass, drums)
      Brian Mantia (drums)
      House (bass, machines)
      Pete Scaturro (machines, organ)

        M.I.R.V. (? 96 - ? present)
          Mark Haggard (vocals, guitars)
          Jeff Gomes (drums) [13]
          Craig McFarland (bass)
          Brian Kehoe (guitar, vocals)

Primus (Jul 96 - present) 
  Les Claypool (bass, vocals)
  Larry LaLonde (guitar)
  Brian Mantia (drums) [14]

    Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel (Aug 96 - present) [15]
      Les Claypool (bass, vocals, drums, guitars)

    Colonel Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade (?00 - ?)
      Les Claypool (bass, vocals)
      Todd Huth (guitars, vocals)
      Jay Lane (drums)
      Jeff Chimenti (keyboards)
      Skerik (saxophone) [16]
      Eenor (guitars)

    Colonel Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade (2002? - present)
      Les Claypool (bass, vocals)
      Mike Dillon (guitars, vocals)
      Tim Alexander (drums)
      Skerik (saxophone) [16]
      Eenor (guitars)

    Colonel Claypool's Bucket of Bernie Brains (2002? - present)
      Les Claypool (bass, vocals)
      Buckethead (guitars, vocals)
      Brian Mantia (drums) [14]
      Bernie Worell


0. Jeff Becerra joined Possessed first, and I believe he was the
replacement singer for  Barry Fisk, and later he brought Larry Lalonde
to the band.  Mike Minor went to Blind Illusion.

1. Torrao brought back the Possessed name again in 1993 with a new
lineup and two demos, but they seem to have laid low after that.

1.5. Primate started in 1984 with Les on bass and vocals, Tod Huth on
guitar, and a drum machine (the drum machine lasted for a very short
time, they got a real drummer).

2. Blind Illusion had existed for years before the one album in
1988. In high school, Les played with them and many other members were
in it including Bryan Kehoe and Dave Godfrey of Heathen.  Les has been
in Blind Illusion on three different occassions. After Les left Blind
Illusion for the first time he joined a band that toured bars in the

3. Later to Baby Snufkin (? - present), featuring Scrote (vocals,
guitar) Mike "Mig" Miner (drums), Stammi [Tom ?] (bass, vocals), and
Jab (trumpet, vocals, percussion) since 94 or 95.

4. To MCM after Brain left.  Tim "Curveball" Wright started a cover
band in 1989 that featured Brian Keyhoe, House, Brain, Adrian Isabel,
and various horn players. They covered great 70s funk songs. A year
later House and Brain were replaced by Arion Salazar/Fungo Mungo and
Michael Urbano (drums) who later played with Spent Poets and Adam
Gates' post-Spent project. They (Curveball) were also then joined by
Zoe ellis and Caitlin who were also starting the
Mofessionals. Curveball got to be a big draw in the bay area.  Mike
Urbano left to join Spent Poets and was replaced by Jeff
Gomes/Fungo/MIRV. Some time later Brian Keyhoe quit Curveball and was
replaced briefly by Ray White of Frank Zappa's band.  Ray jammed a
show or two with Caca at some point. Ray didnt work out in Curveball
very long. During this time Brian started a band before hooking up
with MIRV called Acme Pimps Inc. This band had Brian (guitar,vocals),
Arion Salazar(bass), Jeff Gomes(drums), and Adrian Isabel. They played
early versions of MIRV songs. Roughly a year later Curveball (the
person) introduced Arion Salazar to Stephen Jenkins then starting a
band called Third Eye Blind. Stephen had already tried to record with
House (Limbomaniacs). Stephen started Third Eye Blind in late
'93/early '94 with himself (guitar,vocals), Arion Salazar(bass),
Curveball(drums). Curve didnt work out and was replaced by Steve
Bowman (ex-Counting Crows). After a few months he was replaced in 3EB
by Mike Urbano. But Mike never really joined, leaving to do various
session work (Cracker, Sheryl Crow). In 95' Jeff Gomes couldn't play
in Curveball for a couple months and was filled in by Brain!  Later
Jeff quit Curveball to do MIRV full time and was replaced by Mike
Urbano, making a triumphant return to the drums. In '96,just as Brain
was joining Primus and 3EB was getting signed, Arion formed a band to
make the soundtrack to Interstate '76, a CD-Rom game.They were called
Bullmark and had Arion, Brain, Dave Shul (guitarist who has played in
countless bands with Jay Lane and now plays with Curveball), Tom
Coster(jazz keyboard super-guy, Santana). They recorded an hour of
slamming funk music.Tragically,Mike Urbano has since left
Curveball. WHEW!

It's a technical distinction, but House never recorded for Stephen
Jenkins (note tried above).  House did a session for the producer
(Ren) and engineer (David) who were recording his demo tape, both of
whom were thoroughly screwed over by Jenkins when he became a rock
god.  They have recently won a legal settlement against him.

5. Freaky Executives is sort of a world beat/ funk band, like The Time
goes Latin.  They were signed to Warner Bros. but never released an
album.  Before that Jay Lane was the original drummer in the Uptones
(1984) a Berkeley ska band that had an album on 415 Records that was
called "KUSA."  Jay Lane joined RatDog on April 22, 1995, with Bob
Weir and Rob Wasserman. This was after he and Les recorded a Levi's
commercial with Rob that was later added to Rob's "Trios" record as a
bonus track in Europe.  They once performed as a trio, "Three Guys
Named Shmoe" at the Bammie (Bay Area Music) Awards in 1993.  Les did a
trio on that album with Rob and Chris Whitley.

6. It was during this period that popular Primus demo tape called
Sausage was recorded.

7. Jay Lane was replaced by Scott Amendola (Jun 95), and the Charlie
Hunter Trio became the Charlie Hunter Quartet with addition of Calder
Spanier on alto (Nov 95), and later Dave Ellis quit the band and was
replaced by Ken Brooks (Jan 96). 

8. Bob Weir (of the Grateful Dead) and Rob Wasserman founded RatDog
(initially billed as RatDog Revue) along with Jay Lane on April 22,

8.1. Dave Ellis was in Ratdog 11/9/96-12/2/99.

8.2. Matthew Kelly (from Kingfish) was in RatDog 4/22/95-9/6/98.

8.3. Dave McNabb was in RatDog 9/6/98-9/20/98.

8.4. Vince Welnick was in RatDog 9/1/95-12/12/95.

8.5. Chuck Berry's longtime pianist Johnnie Johnson was in RatDog

8.6. Mookie Segal was in RatDog 12/10/96-4/15/97

8.8. For a period of about 5 years in the mid-80's, Tim "Herb"
Alexander played with a group here in Arizona called Major Lingo.  He
played on four of their tapes, and I'm told that he still sits in on
some of their shows occasionally.  (Like this year's NYE show) I've
yet to see him, at approx 15 of the Lingo shows I've attended.
Apparently the band moved to Berkley at one point in their career, and
then when they moved back to AZ, Herb stayed behind to join Primus.

8.9. They had five demo tapes, the first one in 1984 that was
untitled, recorded on a 24-track. The other four were called
"Sausage", "Primus Sucks" "Sucking Songs" and "Welcome to This World".
I have never heard these tapes, but their existence is confirmed by a
press release, written by David Lefkowitz's office, that was
mysteriously included in my Suck On This Prawn Song LP.  

Turd Boy was the first band of the night at some shows at clubs around
spring '90.  It was basically Primus, but Trouz (their road manager)
rapping.  The only thing I recognized him rapping was a Public Enemy
jam and a fragment of the Chili Peppers' Freaky Styley.  It was kind
of a joke, I can't imagine they ever recorded it.  Turd Boy featured
Les on drums, Trouz on vocals, Joe Johnson on guitar (from The
Looters), Brian Kehoe on guitar, Damon from Fungo Mungo on Keys, and
myself on bass. I think we only did 2 shows or so.  Playlist included
Holy Ghost by the Barkays and Slippery When Wet by The Commodores.

9. Limbomaniacs Broke up in mid-'92 and spawned M.I.R.V. and Giant
Robot.  Initially Limbomaniacs were Brain, M.I.R.V., House and a guy
named Kelly Smith on vocals.  Kelly Smith was only in the first
version of the Limbomaniacs.  He and Pete Scaturro were never in it
together.  There was never a Limbomaniacs that did not include Brain.
Then Brain joined another world beat band called Big City.  This
included Pete Scaturro and Joe Gore among others. The band was around
from 1984, but Brain joined in 1985 and Pete in 1986.  They broke up
in early 1987.  The Limbos reformed with Pete in 1987.  A guy named
Greg Thompson played sax for a while before they broke up in 1992 they
also used a percussion player named Adrian Isabel.  Their one album
"Stinky Grooves" on Relativity Records in 1990 was produced by Bill
Laswell and featured appearances by Bootsy Collins (P-Funk), Maceo
Parker (James Brown, P-Funk), and T-Bone from Trouble Funk.

9.5. The Limbomaniacs had a collection of "rent bands".  As a showcase
band, you can only play about once a month in any given city, so the
idea was to have multiple bands that could play in SF and Berkeley to
help keep food on the table and beer in the fridge. The bands were
intended to be fun and were musically based on the influences of The
Limbomaniacs, and we got off on exploiting our name as a way of
turning people on to good music.  Come to think of it, we earned a lot
more musically than monetarily from doing these bands, because we
really had to study what the music was all about in order to duplicate
it.  The down side was it took a fair amount of energy to do so, which
would have been better spent actually being creative in our "real"
band. But then again, we didn't want to get "real" jobs while waiting
to become rock stars either.  I should point out that the reason Pete
Scaturro was not in on most of these bands was because he was becoming
a fairly successfull writer and producer of television commercial
music at the time, which he continues to do presently.  Some of these
"rent bands" were:

Ted Zeppelin: All Nugent and Zeppelin covers. Curiously effective and
a frightening demographic- bikers and bud drinkers.  We really drove
this one into the ground.  As much as I liked Zeppelin, I still wince
when I hear them now because of this band.

Borgnine: Like you've noted, all 80's era Miles Davis- funky stuff.

Caca: This one lasted the longest.  Every year or two someone would
get the bug up their butt to book a show, which usually turned into a
nightmare.  Frank's music is pretty demanding, and without fail about
a week before the show we'd realize we didn't have the shit together!
("Ok, so how does that 19/16 part go?")  Larry was a chief
co-instigator of this band, due to a mutual obsession with Zappa.

Curveball: The bands that were the most popular in The Bay Area in the
late 80's were defined by the press as "Funk Thrash" because of the
common influences of funk and hard rock.  These bands included Primus,
The Limbomaniacs, Fungo Mungo, and The Smoking Section (who never
recorded a record but through which we met Adrian Isabell).  Both
Mr. Bungle and MCM and the Monster managed to distance themselves
somewhat from the Funk Thrash moniker, but often played on the same
bills with the other bands.  Also, I should note that almost all of
the clubs where all of this music happened have since bit the dust.
These include most notably the legendary IBeam and Nightbreak on upper
Haight and The Omni and The Berkeley Square in the East Bay.  Anyways,
I was often asked where the funk came from, or what records we
listened to, etc. I wanted to do a hardcore funk band to show what the
real thing was about (well, as best as we could deliver it).  The idea
was put into action by Brian Kehoe and myself. We told Curve he should
sing, and made the retrospectively bizarre move of naming the band
after him (He rapidly earned the nickname "Napoleon"). The band
eventually veered into becoming a full time professional cover band
playing weddings and corporate parties.  Brain and I left to tour with
the Limbos.

Smiley and the Gay Boys: Current manager of Primus David Lefkowitz
(aka Smiley) was also the Limbomanics manager. He coerced us into
making a band with himself as the frontman, with the playlist centered
around southern funk rock. We agreed, but we came up with the name and
insisted on it over his protests.  Members included Brain, Mirv, Pete
Scaturro, Adrian Isabell, myself, and Smiley on guitar and lead

Johnny Moon and the Lunatics: I had a hunch swing would come back
around, but I miscalculated by about 4 years. The concept was jump
jive with Kehoe as a kind of Sinatra meets Dice Clay at the
front. Much sick humor. Vince Wallace and Terry Rodriquez are the real
deal, they taught us The Shit. We had a great noir promo photo for
this band taken by Mirv's brother who has also photographed the
majority of Primus's album covers (I was in a blues band with Mirv's
brother, Paul "Bosco" Haggard, from '82-83', a year or so before The
Limbo's started jamming together).

Mongrels x 10: Although this was not a cover band, it existed just
prior to the reforming of The Limbomanics with Pete Scaturro on
Keyboards and myself as the vocalist. Mongrels was the idea of Roberto
Razon who was in Big City with Pete and Brain. It was a punk salsa
band, and Roberto, who we called "The Emperor Bobo" wrote the
material, a challenging hybrid of latin and african rhythms fused with
punk. Members were Brain, Mirv, Bobo and Myself.

9.6. Other members of Big City included Robin Ballinger on bass,
"Bobo" Razon on guitar and percussion, and Kathleen on vocals, later
replaced by krista (?)  Big City was part of the Bay Area world beat
scene, which reached it's zenith around 1986, complete with BAM cover
storys and gigs at The Greek Theatre.  Like Funk Thrash, the World
Beat bands were thought of as "a movement" in bay area music, and I
think, were characterized by a high level of musicianship They
included The Looters, Big City, Freaky Executives and Mapenzi.  David
Lefkowitz was actually a roadie for The Looters about a million years
ago.  I think I first saw Primus at a "world beat" show at The Farm
(which actually was a farm collective, and smelled like it too!)

10. See the discography for more details. Caca was one of many cover
bands they had.  Ted Zeppelin was the most popular, all Ted Nugent and
Led Zeppelin.  It was Brain , M.I.R.V., House and a singer named Brad
Gates.  Another was a Miles Davis (of the 80s) cover band called
Borgnine.  It was all four Limbomaniacs plus Adrian Isabel and Ken Brooks.
Another was Johnny Moon and the Lunatics, a jump swing 1940's style
band.  It was Brain, M.I.R.V, House, Bryan Kehoe on vocals, an older
sax player named Vince Wallace, and a keyboard player named Terry.

11. Brain was in Praxis, with Buckethead and Bill Laswell for the
album Metatro" in 1995, and in 1992 with Buckethead, Bootsy, Bernie
Worrell (P-Funk) and Af (Jungle Brothers) for Transmutation.

12. MCM was around since 1987 with a different drummer.  Brain joined
around 1992.  When the first MCM album was recorded, Collective
Emotional Problems, and was released in 1993, Brain was drumming for
them and was tracked on the album.  As of their most recent album,
Convertable Turtle, released in 1996 the members changed to: MCM/Miles
- vocals, Gary - guitar, Butthouse/Tony - bass Louie - drums, and Disk
- Turntables.

13. Jeff was in and still is in a band called Fungo Mungo who were
signed to Island and released one album, Humungous in 1992.  Members
were: Damion Gallegos - vox/harmonica, Jeff Gomes - drums/percussion,
Arion Salazar - bass, Miguel Fimbriez Johnson - guitar, and Damon
Ramirez - Keyboards. Arion Salazar from Fungo Mungo is in a new band
called Third Eye Blind (they might be big).  Matt Winegar, original
co-producer of Primus, was briefly in Fungo on bass before Arion.
Matt later joined Monkey Rhythm, which featured Adam Gates (aka Bob
C. Cock).  The name changed to Spent Poets and they had a record on
Geffen (1991).  Monkey Rhythm (pre-Matt) was on 415 in 1985.
Rhythm/Poets bassist Derek Greenberg (who appears on "Los Bastardos"
with Adam, Matt, the Limbos and others) finished his Beanpole project
with Ler and Adam last year. No release yet.  Matt Winegar, an
extremely talented singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer
debuts his own band Slider in May.  The drummer, Josh Freese, written
up in last month's Modern Drummer mag, would connect this family tree
to half of all bands.

14. There is some cool stuff coming out with Brain through Bill
Laswell's labels.

15. As on Highball with the Devil, the credits also included Jay Lane
(drums), Mark Haggard (guitars), Joe Gore (guitars) Charlie Hunter
(guitars), Adam Gates (vocals), and Henry Rollins (vocals).  Adam
Gates had a band called Monkey Rhythm that included Derek Greenberg.
They had an album on 415 Records in 1985.  They turned into Spent
Poets in 1990, got signed to Geffen and put out an album in 1991.  The
band then included Matt Winegar who coproduced the first two Primus
records.  Matt has a band called Slider whose first album comes out in
May on A&M.  Adam, Derek and Ler recorded an album as "Beanpole" still

16. Skerik, saxophonus intenso and Frog Brigade devil, has a long
colorful history in Seattle, and some in San Francisco. Some of his
projects include: SadHappy, his grunge era sax/bass/drums project with
drummer Evan Schiller and bassist Paul Hinklin. These guys rocked our
pits for years, playing many all ages shows and always bringing a
diverse crowd. They released three albums on Perisdope records, Depth
Charge, Live Before We Were Dead (a live album released during what
you could call a haitus), and The Good, The Bad, and The Scary.
Skerik then went on to a few projects such as "Crack Sabbath," a
mostly Sabbath cover band where he first showed off his
guitar-solo-on-the-sax skills. These guys rocked weekly shows at clubs
in Seattle. He also, as always, made appearances with many jazz combos
and larger shows. He toured with Galactic, and then when not touring
with them, still made surprise appearances.  Skerik also became
involved with Critters Buggin,'a Mike Chamberlain masterminded
project.  C.B. now has albums out, including "Bumpa."  This guy is a
Seattle music icon. His most recent project is called Pronga. Includes
Wayne Horvitz and a few more Seattle's major musicians.

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