Adios Amigos. I Had Hoped We’d See Each Other Again.
Ween 1986-May 29, 2012
Early last month Aaron Freeman, also known as Gene Ween of Ween, released a solo album called Marvelous Clouds.
Just a few days ago on May 29th, Freeman announced:
“It’s time to move on, I’m retiring Gene Ween”
which was followed with
“It’s been a long time, 25 years. It was a good run.”
My first reaction was disbelief, then sadness… then outrage!!! How can this be? This deserved further investigation. For fucks sake! What about Dean Ween!?
“This is news to me, all I can say for now I guess.”
What the fuck? WHAT THE FUCK!!! Are you fucking kidding me?
How could this happen? I first discovered Ween in ’94 which I thought was a really great year for music. There were so many ground breaking albums that year. Jar of Flies, Under the Pink, Mellow Gold, Ill Communication… and then there was Chocolate & Cheese. It’s difficult to describe Chocolate & Cheese. You just have to experience it for yourself. And don’t think that you can listen to just one song and get what this band was doing. Every track was a new experience. And it was fun! If I had a Top 10 Albums of All Time list, it would be on it.
Ween was the kind of band that universally loved and embraced by just about everyone on drugs. Skaters, Hessians, Goths, Wavers, Nerds, Punks, and even Hicks(see Ween’s 12 Golden Country Greats). Fuck, even Henry Rollins was a fan.
I was lucky enough to catch Ween on tour in 1995. They opened at the Salem Armory for the newly formed Foo Fighters(Dave Grohl still had his long Nirvana hair), right after Jawbreaker. I had no idea what to expect, but I was there to see Ween. Fuck Jawbreaker. And fuck the fucking Foo Fighters.
Gene and Dean Ween came out by themselves and must have played every song from Pure Guava and Chocolate & Cheese. It was just Dean with his Fender Stratocaster, and Gene with a microphone and a drum track and no backing band. To this day, that Ween performance is still one of the most memorable shows I’ve ever been to. I left right after they finished, skipping the Foo Fighters entirely.
16 years later, I saw them play the Gorge Amphitheater during Sasquatch Music Festival with fellow PR alumni – Angie and Jessica. We were accompanied by our good buddy- Rocker Don, and his 6-year old daughter who wanted to see Ween perform Ocean Man. Unfortunately, Ween didn’t play Ocean Man, but they did play a 25 year encompassing set over the span of 2 hours. I left that show convinced that Dean Ween was the greatest guitar player on the planet. Check out his epic guitar solo about 7 minutes into the track “Woman and Man” on the album La Cucaracha. Fuck, I was ready for a new album to come out. Ween was touring like crazy and they sounded better than ever.
But, I guess that’s not going to happen. There’s nothing else to say really. Maybe we’ll review Aaron Freeman’s solo album. But it’s all soft rock. And apparently Aaron didn’t write the songs. But I’m giving it an honest listen. I can still hear little bit of Gene Ween in there. Pitchfork did a really good interview with Aaron Freeman.
I just can’t be mad at him. He’s a really cool dude. But I will definitely miss Gene Ween.
Some of my favorite Ween tracks: