Black Happy IS BACK!!

July 16th, 2010


Seattle music goers you are in for a fucking treat! For the first time in 15 years one of the most underrated and unknown superstar NW bands Black Happy is reuniting for five shows in August, three of which are already sold out. August 6-7 at the Knitting Factory in Spokane, and August 20-22 at the Crocodile right here in Seattle. The 7th in Spokane and 22nd in Seattle still have tickets available, but there is a reason they sold out the first three shows in 15 years and why extra nights were added. The impact they made on the NW before they split in 1995 was huge, and deserving of every bit of hype about their reunion.

First let me just say in the early 90′s there weren’t (for the average kid) music blogs, cell phones, myspace, facebook, twitter or any of that bullshit. The only way anybody knew anything about good bands was word of mouth, going to shows, or picking up a copy of The Rocket. In 93 NW people were already eager to move onto (and support) the next big band that wasn’t grunge or 80′s glam rock. Black Happy emerged as a salty toothed giant from Idaho with way more potential and local feel than anything else going down at the time. Sure grunge was in full swing but Ten, Badmotorfinger and Nevermind were all 91, so the release of Peghead in 1993 gave the NW music lovers what they had been waiting for, another band to support with a new sound. Full horn-section-backed heavy metal that that brought an eight-piece band onslaught laying waste to a culture of kids that couldn’t get enough of it. Big crowds filled rooms and like a human whirlpool of rhythm flowed to the heavy riffs and droning horns and it wasn’t ska. The huge live sound brought a level of badass that was more than just a four piece with amps turned up. And in 1995 on the verge of blowing up with huge NW support, they were “living the dream.” So … why did they split?

Let me just put it like this, I’m sure the real internal breakdown and final demise of Black Happy is personal and intensive. But have you ever grown up with, lived with, or even been around 8 people for an extended period of time? Its hard, and even harder in a band, and in 1995 the group emerged as the four piece Shoveljerk … it was not the same, people didn’t understand, and that ended Black Happy.

One of the reasons I play (and write about) music today is influenced by this band. Not because I was young and impressionable, I’ve met plenty of hacks. But Black Happy was (and are) not that. They are probably one of my top-ten favorite bands of all time. They impacted a ridiculous amount of musicians and music goers and are worth check before they take another 15 year break. Here is a sample of their sound … and this was in 1993 … the sound was way ahead of itself … This is not a show to be missed.

Black Happy – Peghead – Bullmonkey

Posted by C-Leb | Filed in MP3s, Seattle Music Scene

15 Responses to “Black Happy IS BACK!!”

  1. July 16th, 2010 at 10:08 am

    LB said:

    Oh man, this brings back memories. I was definitely more intent on listening to Ten, Badmotorfinger, and Nevermind, but I recall Black Happy being pretty popular. THE EARLY NINETIES!!!

  2. July 16th, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Why I Can Honestly Confirm That Dating a Black Woman is Fun | Womens Issues said:

    [...] Seattle Subsonic ยป Black Happy IS BACK!! : Seattle's Music Blog [...]

  3. July 18th, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Greg Hjort said:

    Hi there,

    This blog article just landed in my inbox.
    Thanks so much for your kind words and for digging the band back then and now.

    We can’t wait for the shows, and have been floored by the response all these years later.

    I’m pretty sure the opening lines is one of the best ever.

    Really, thanks for listening.


    Black Happy

  4. July 19th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    Johnny Rocket said:

    Oh, man! I was HUGE into Black Happy back in high school. Stumbled into their show at Bumbershoot and was blown away. I hope I have a chance to make it to the show in Seattle.

  5. July 27th, 2010 at 8:51 am

    Seattle Subsonic » Black Happy is BACK!! : Seattle's Music Blog said:

    [...] Check the full show preview here: [...]

  6. August 4th, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Tim said:

    Welcome back, bros. Blessings on your shows…

  7. August 10th, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Chris said:

    The spokane show saturday night was awesome!! So much energy and the band was seamless like they never stopped playing together. it took me way back like I was in high school again and going to their shows.

  8. August 13th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    jeff said:

    Big fan of the band!! Seen you guys at Mudstock/Greenstock and I was hooked.The bands there were pretty good but when Blackhappy hit the stage all these people packed around the stage!!From then on I saw Blackhappy 5 more times and had a blast at every show. I was able to go to the Aug.7th. show and was super excited!! Wished I could see you guys perform every year.Your concerts are so energetic and the people are so into them that the venues always get so hot, such as the Met in Spokane for example when the fire alarm went off. I have many more memories to cherrish. Miss You Guys Lots!! Jeff

  9. August 14th, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    dg said:

    make this an annual event…. the fans are begging you guys….you guys got us hooked at least give us our fix every so often….thanks!

  10. August 23rd, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    Jason W said:

    I went to the Blackhappy show last night at the Crocodile and it was every bit as great as the shows in Spokane in 1992, Red Square at WWU in Bellingham in 1993, and at legendary Speedy O’Tubs…

    Blackhappy is my all-time favorite band to see live and I hope rather than stroll off into the sunset, they figure out a way to create a new album. Even if there isn’t a tour, their sound and style is completely missed.

  11. August 25th, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Josh said:

    In 1993, I used to work at the Red Roof Pub (bouncing as well as I could…it could get pretty rowdy at the Red Roof). Anyway, the first show I ever worked security at was quite possibly the biggest. It was Black Happy and it attracted prolly close to 300 people…and EVERYONE (including myself) “pogoed for 2 hours straight. To this day, there has never been a local NW band that compared. I do own and like the Shoveljerk album. Those guys could fart on a snare drum and it would be awesome.

  12. March 8th, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    EricB said:


    I was at the Red Roof Pub show. It was off the hook as were most of the Black Happy Shows. Yep, saw them at Greenstock/mudstock and many times in Pullman during college.

    Really glad to hear these shows happened – even if I didn’t know about them until it was too late.

    Cheers to Black Happy!

  13. October 11th, 2011 at 6:37 am

    Billy said:

    …Awesome that Black Happy is playing again..they are so good…

  14. March 6th, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Rick Isotalo said:

    I am sad that I missed these, but I did just get a copy of Friendly Dog Salad, and Peghead in the mail. I was alas just home from Iraq and on the east coast when these transpired.
    I first saw them at a Free Peace Concert with Medicine Hat, Silly Rabbit, and Second Coming. I was blown away and immidiately hooked! The energy alone on the stage whipped an already frenzied crowed into a blur of head bobbing, jumping escaped mental patients!
    I’m sad I missed them, but I have youtube to show me what I missed. Maybe someday I’ll catch them again!

  15. April 12th, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Jason said:

    So it’s 2014 when are you guys gonna come Boise and tear it up! We need a concert down here bad!

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