Hickey vs. The Voodoo Glow Skulls and the Commercialization of Punk


Last month, we asked readers to identify the sound of the Mission. Emily and others suggested that it might be beloved but long-gone punk band Hickey.

Hickey is my new favorite band. Largely due to a couple things: 1.) The above picture of a group of their fans watching them perform at Mission Records in 1996, and 2.) the Voodoo Glow Skulls controversy:

Probe records released a 7″ which was made to look as if it were a split between Hickey and the Voodoo Glow Skulls. On one side of the 7″ was the Hickey song “Food Stamps and Drink Tickets” and the other side members of Hickey played the trumpet that was stolen from Voodoo Glow Skulls over the answering machine messages left by Voodoo Glow Skulls members and Epitaph Records employees demanding the return of the instrument. The 7″ also falsely had the Epitaph Records logo on the back as Epitaph had no official part in the release.

According to the zine included with the 7″ the two bands played together at the now closed Nile Theater in Mesa, Arizona. Matty Luv, singer of Hickey, made disparaging remarks about Epitaph Records and the commercialization of punk. After members of both bands had a confrontation, the Voodoo Glow Skulls convinced the venue owner to eject Hickey without pay. In response, Hickey stole the trumpet in question out of the Voodoo Glow Skulls van.

After receiving threatening messages on their answering machine, Hickey filled the trumpet with pudding and returned it.

Lucky for us, somebody is maintaining a site dedicated to Matty Luv’s memory, on which are archived mp3s of pretty much the entire Hickey catalog, including the aforementioned split single. The Hickey side is a keeper, but the Voodoo Glow Skulls side is simply astonishing. I’d transcribe some of the lunacy, but you’ve really just got to hear it for yourself.

Matty Luv memorial website is here. Hickey discography is here. Or go directly to the jawbreakingly hysterical “Voodoo Glow Skulls Death Threats” here.

Note that the Voodoo Glow Skulls are playing Slim’s tonight as part of the Ska Is Dead Tour.

“Hickey @ Mission Records – 1996″ photo by Dave Morffy.

4 Responses to “Hickey vs. The Voodoo Glow Skulls and the Commercialization of Punk”

  1. Eric says:

    I found a Hickey album on the street once. Listened to one track and I threw it away. Total crap.

  2. [...] a smattering of hard-to-attain 7″s; live antics that bordered on poetic insanity; a run-in with the Voodoo Glow Skulls over commercialization and a stolen trumpet; a tattooable logo; catchy melodies and apocalyptic [...]

  3. [...] more: MissionMission, Youtube vid of the split, Matty Luv’s memorial website This entry was posted in [...]

  4. Bernice says:

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  5. Casey says:

    I guess I am pretty late to post here but that show years ago anyways. I was at that concert. Luv didn’t just make “disparaging remarks about Epitaph Records and the commercialization of punk” He went on a tirade that must have lasted 45 minutes while three or four hundred people baked away in the nasty muggy Mesa heat. Very “punk rock”. I can’t recall if they even played one song. It wouldn’t have been hard convince the owner to not pay them but it seems more likely that the management would have come to that conclusion on there own. They were payed to play music not give a speech that sounded like an angry 17 year old who just read Marx for the first time. The trumpet was stolen before the Voodoo Glow Skulls were on stage and after he was done rambling. Maybe they were told to get the hell out and they just took it. It was shitty and I don’t even like the Voodoo Glow Skulls.

  6. Hail Natan says:

    To hell with Epitaph an the Voodoo Glowskulls! Long liver the Naked Cult of Hickey! Yogurt! Mission Records! The Hotel!