Why do great song stem from tragic events? On November 22 1985, Minutemen guitarist D. Boone died in a car crash. He was 27 years old. His best friend Mike Watt fell into a deep depression and traveled to New York City to be with his friends Sonic Youth. Shortly after arriving, the band started work on EVOL.
Watt was invited to come stay with Kim and Thurston and to sit in and hang out during the EVOL sessions. It was during this time the band convinced Watt to continue playing as it was the only way to heal himself emotionally from the tragic loss.
Watt made three major contributions to the EVOL record. The first was the song "Starpower." The intial riff came from Watt himself jamming on one of Thurston's bass guitars. Te song was worked out and Thurston provided the lyrics. During this time Thurston had turned Watt onto pop music such as Madonna and Bruce Springstein. Watt claims "Starpower" came from him jamming with band trying to write a pop song. The influence of Madonna gave way into Sonic Youth's recording. Alot like the first two tracks "Tom Violence" and "Shadow of a Doubt" the song contains a catchy riff with a verse/chorus structure with a start and finish. Kim later claimed the song was inspired by Joan Jett. But who knows....
The song is presented in the universal Sonic tuning of F#F#F#F#EB.
Even though Thurston wrote the words, it was fitting that Kim sing it in her dark, yet sexy drone voice. Its a love song. Live, the song was sung by Thurston and during the '86 tour with fIREhOSE, Watt joined the band onstage for the song.
"Starpower" has not been played since 11-23-1986. Its a shame. Maybe the band we revive it on their next tour? They have proven that anything is possible......
Tis video features members of fIREhOSE playing horns and Mike Watt on bass. 11-3-86.