Though arguably the world’s tallest band, Cactopus sucked – and not in some ironic “I’m a loser baby” kind of way. No, being in or seeing this band hurt your feelings as well as your ears. Though most survived, sort of, many lives were ruined in the process. Like the challenge of life as both a cactus and an octopus, membership in the band varied from the brilliantly talented to the thuggishly incompetent. From as many as seven members in the heyday of their Isla Vista college party days to the lean mean four man machine that recorded the singles with Greg Freeman in San Francisco, attrition was a constant result of their economic and intellectual poverty and dangerously abundant array of ham-fisted intoxications.
Unable to sustain the tension of trying to emulate in sound and lifestyle both The Rolling Stones and Butthole Surfers, post-Cactopus destinations for ex-members include, but are not limited to, marriage, painting, photography, the streets of San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, teaching high school literature, corporate IT, PhD (American culture studies), Trumans Water (San Diego), National RocKombo (Portland), Frenchy (San Francisco), and Fisherman (New York).
The one thing Cactopus shares with many good bands is that all critical acclaim came posthumously. (ML)