Veruca Salt – Shutterbug (1997).
Veruca Salt has been on my mind of late, especially because I am seeing them play live in Melbourne next month. The last time they were here in 2014 I missed out on seeing two of my favourite female singers of all time. It’s fair to say I was gutted and assumed I would never see Nina Gordon and Louise Post play live again. I’m glad they’re back. They are truly an amazing act and arguably sounding better than ever in their late 40’s! Coincidently I am also working on a lengthy article about their story and at the same time celebrating this month the 21st birthday (or is it anniversary) of the release of their sophomore album Eight Arms To Hold You.
From it comes a song called Shutterbug, which is incidently a term used to describe an enthusiastic amateur photographer. But to be honest I’m yet to decipher what the songs title has to do with the song. All I can tell you is that it sounds like one hell of an angry breakup song written by Louise Post. I love how it elbs and flows between Louise Post’s softly spoken delivery of her lyrics and next explodes with a gush of guitars and whaling between Gordon and Post. The best verse or line is pretty much for me: “It’s morning in Phily/ My heads feeling heavy/ The sun makes me dizzy/ You monkey you left me!”
For over twenty years people have wondered whether the song was a dig at Dave Grohl and his ugly break up with Post. Personally, I’m not sure what I believe until I actually hear it from Post. But in short ‘monkey’ is often assumed to be a reference to Grohl and his Foo Fighters song Monkey Wrench. Unfortunate as much as we would like it to be true, Louise Post allegedly a few years ago in a Periscope session said the song was in fact surprisingly about Nick Cave? But more recently, and to add to the confusion, a friend of mine told me a story how at their recent Lodge show in Los Angeles, Post apparently said the monkey was in fact Steve Lack, Veruca Salt’s bassist. That might make more sense since he did leave the band around about the time of the release of Eight Arms To Hold You.