R.I.P. Robot

Houston mourns the passing of Numbers owner Robert Burtenshaw.

"Back then, we were more concerned about playing a show," he says. "We thought that would be cool. I knew that I wanted to play music professionally — you know, be in a band, have that be my job, more or less. But there was never any big plan. We never thought, 'Well, 30 years from now, we'll be playing on another six records!'"

Okay, so if careful planning wasn't the key to making it through the wild ups and downs of so many years on the road, what exactly has been the magic ingredient keeping the group together through countless lineup changes and shifting trends? Not mainstream success, certainly, although the band is justifiably proud of wringing three albums out of an Atlantic Records deal in the '90s.

But even the Beatles, the most successful group of all time, only made it through ten years. The Melvins have outlasted nearly all of their alt-rock peers, some of whom sold a hell of a lot more records in their day. So what's their secret?

Robert "Robot" Burtenshaw (below) and Numbers' famous sign.
Abrahán Garza/Robot photo courtesy of Numbers
Robert "Robot" Burtenshaw (below) and Numbers' famous sign.
The three surviving Monkees brought their 2013 reunion tour to the Arena Theatre last week.
Jim Bricker
The three surviving Monkees brought their 2013 reunion tour to the Arena Theatre last week.

"None of us have gotten any massive heroin habits where somebody has died in the band and given us a reason to break up," says Crover wryly. "I don't know; bands are weird.

"A lot of musicians are lazy, for one thing, and we're definitely not," he adds. "We've got a ton of records out, and we're constantly touring and stuff like that. We just really like what we're doing. Musically it's great, and it's worked out well as far as making a living."

The Melvins perform with Honky Thursday at Warehouse Live, 813 St. Emanuel. Doors open at 8 p.m.
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Ask Willie D

Mom Gone Wild
A reader is concerned that her mother might be partying too much.

Dear Willie D:

My mom is a party queen. She goes out every weekend and returns home well into the wee hours. It wouldn't be so bad if she were in her twenties or even thirties, but she's 57 years old. We share an apartment, so it is very embarrassing whenever my boyfriend is visiting and she walks into the house stumbling from a night of drinking and clubbing. She divorced my dad years ago, but it wasn't until she got a new job and started hanging out with new friends that she began to act differently.

I went out with her once and everybody in the bar knew her name. I'm used to seeing her dance, but to see my mother bumping and grinding against strange men was rattling and much too much. How do I get her to calm down and act her age instead of running around like a teenager trying to rekindle her youth?

Rattled Offspring:

Hurricane Mom is probably going through a phase where she wants to party and have fun while she still can. It could be a delayed midlife crisis. If she's waited this long to get buckwild, I don't think you have too much to worry about. She has new friends and a new attitude, but that's really not who she is.

More than likely, she'll realize the nightlife is overrated and return to the mom you know. So far you've survived landfall. The only thing left to do is hunker down and ride out the storm.

Ask Willie D appears Thursday mornings on Rocks Off.

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