From The Desk Of The Muffs: Game Theory

After a decade adrift, the Muffs have gotten their melodic pop groove back. Frontwoman Kim Shattuck has reunited with longtime backing members Ronnie Barnett (bass) and Roy McDonald (drums) for Whoop Dee Doo (Cherry Red/Burger). The Los Angeles-based trio will also be guest editing all week. Read our brand-new feature on the band.


Barnett: There are two kinds of people. The people who know that Game Theory was the best band in the world, and the people who have never heard them. I always thought that leader Scott Miller would be recognized with the kind of admiration and devotion, like Big Star before him, as the power-pop genius songwriter that I always thought he was. That day looks likely to finally come when Omnivore Recordings’ comprehensive reissue of the band’s entire recorded output gets underway on September 2 with re-release of their first album, 1982’s Blaze Of Glory.

While I obviously don’t have enough space to layout the entire story here, I did have a few personal “run ins” with my hero. The first time was in early 1988 in my hometown of Houston, where I talked my promoter friend into booking them at a local club called Fitzgerald’s. She agreed as long as I promised to drive Scott to a local radio station for an interview to promote the gig. I’ve rarely been more nervous, hyper-aware that I was responsible for the life of the best songwriter in the world!!

The next time was in 1995 when our band was touring with Veruca Salt. When we arrived at the legendary Fillmore, I saw an unmistakable figure in a long coat and signature tousled, curly hair. Little did I know that Nina and Jim from VS, fellow GT freaks, had invited him out not knowing I was a fellow fanatic! He was very complimentary about our band, who he had not heard, after the show. Still don’t know how I got through that night!

In 2010, Scott wrote a book called Music: What Happened? chronicling his favorite songs from each year starting in 1957. I was amazed to see our band’s song “Sad Tomorrow” had made the list for 1995!!

Miller, who tragically passed away last year, would no doubt be pleased that a whole new generation was about to discover his wildly inventive, musically active, strongly melodic songs. Of this “whole new generation,” I must say, right now I’m a little jealous.