It was a sad day for music fans and weirdos alike as Aaron Freeman, better known as “Gene Ween,” announced that his beloved duo Ween were calling it quits. Freeman told Rolling Stone yesterday that he's retiring the character, something that was news to bandmate Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween) with whom he formed the band 28 years ago in an eighth grade typing class.
Putting out well-received studio albums since 1990's GodWeenSatan: The Oneness and performing as recently as last New Year's Eve in Denver, their legacy consists of both an eclectic discography and devoted fanbase rivaled by few. If you're late to the Ween party, here's five reasons you should be upset at their end.
5) No More Signature Ween Humor
“Push Th' Little Daisies” (1992)
While Dean and Gene were celebrated multi-instrumentalists, the duo's music is probably best known for their quirky, sometimes disturbing, sense of humor. If your funny bone fits in their Frankenstein, you'll frequently laugh while trying to decern their each song's possibly dark meaning.
4) No More Ween Album Covers
“The HIV Song” (1994)
Even if you aren't familiar with the group's music or even their name, chances are you've at some point stopped and gawked at one of their album covers. One of the last groups to remember the importance of album art, every bizarre image Ween's put on their records always made for great cashier reactions.
3) No More Bizarre Ween Cameos
“Loop de Loop” (2000)
If you weren't sure if the movie or television show you're watching was a counter-culture cult program, just wait for a Ween cameo. From It's Pat to “South Park” to even “Spongebob Squarepants,” the duo had a tendency to pop up unexpectedly and ensure that at least a segment of whatever they're involved with would live on for years to come.
2) No More Live Ween Performances
“Roses Are Free” (Live in 2003)
Whether part of a festival or their own tour, no two Ween shows or song arrangements were alike. Utilizing their deep catalog in conjunction with their musical chops and an utter fearlessness, the group were never afraid to turn even a diehard fan's ear on its end with live reinterpretations. A fan favorite involves turning two-minute long album cut “Poop Ship Destroyer” into a half-hour long jam.
1) No More Ween Being Ween
“Even if You Don't” (2000)
Whether you “got” Ween or not, it's hard to dispute that they were one of the most consistently unpredictable groups of all time. Not just in terms of shocking or taboo subject matter, the duo's albums frequently jumped from one genre to the next without warning. It's that rarely heard element of constant surprise in music that's going to perhaps be most missed. To quote their final album's closer, Ween, “we had the best time at your party, the wife and I thank you very much.”