They originally called themselves The Reactionaries, and continued their penchant for ironic right-wing names when D. Boon picked the name Minutemen partly because of the fabled Revolutionary War militia, and partly because it had also been used by a right-wing reactionary group of the Sixties.
Greg Ginn of Black Flag and SST Records produced their first 45" EP, Paranoid Time, which solidified their eclectic style. At first, they completely avoided guitar solos, choruses, and fade-outs. Later, they were known for hybridizing punk rock with forms of jazz, funk, acid rock, and R&B in novel ways, perhaps best exemplified on 1984's double-album, Double Nickels on the Dime, which included over 50 songs. They experimented continuously with musical dynamics, rhythm, noise, and those traditional song elements that they had initially avoided. They also played covers of "classic rock" like Creedence Clearwater Revival and Blue Oyster Cult without irony, diverging dramatically from hardcore punk orthodoxy of the 1980s.
D. Boon and Mike Watt tended to write lyrics in the form of poetic rants often embued with progressive political messages or self-referential "spiels" about San Pedro. On Double Nickels, they co-wrote some songs with others, notably Henry Rollins, Chuck Dukowski, and Joe Baiza. Surviving members Mike Watt (bass) and George Hurley (drums) played in Firehose and have done solo projects since.
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2 Further Reading
3 External Link
(all on SST Records except where noted)
See Minutemen for information on U.S. Revolutionary War militia members.