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Mike Watt
 
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Mike Watt

Mike Watt is an American musician and a founding member of the seminal punk group the Minutemen. The Minutemen got their start in the punk music scene in California around the same time as the Beastie Boys were becoming a New York hardcore group. When the Minutemen played New York's CBGB in the early 1980s, New York fans embraced them with the same fervor that they traditionally reserved for local acts like the Beastie Boys. In 1985, the Minutemen's legacy was cut short when guitar player and vocalist D. Boon was killed in an automobile accident.

In 1986, Watt formed fIREHOSE, a band that picked up musically where the Minutemen had left off. In 1991, fiREHOSE signed with Columbia Records, their first major label contract. In 1992, Beastie Boys invited fiREHOSE to open for them when they were touring in support of Check Your Head.

Although fIREHOSE had a strong fan base, the group never achieved the commercial success that the label assumed they would, and the band broke up in 1994. Watt went on to pursue other musical ventures, one of which was producing the popular Ballhog vs. Tugboat album (1995), which featured a huge line-up of guest musicians including Henry Rollins, Kathleen Hanna, Eddie Vedder, Flea, and Beastie Boys (sans Adam Yauch) among others. The Beastie Boys' influence was evident in two of the album's songs, "E-Ticket Ride" and "Coincidence Is Hit or Miss."

In 1995, Watt teamed with Money Mark, whom he first met while on the Beastie Boys 1992 tour, along with Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins and David Turin to create music under the name of Banyan. Banyan's self-titled album and tour that followed are best described as "alternative jazz."

The least known Beastie Boys-Mike Watt collaboration was a one-off performance on the Arsenio Hall Show. Watt, Mike Diamond, J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), Mike Johnson (Dinosaur Jr.) , and Del the Funky Homosapien performed the song "Missing Person" to promote the soundtrack for the film Judgement Night. It's unclear whether Diamond contributed to the album. He is not credited in the liner notes.

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