Boneyard Media

Sunday Service: The Mercy Seat (1988)

posted by Stanislav

I hope nobody minds seeing a Sunday service post by Rev. Religious Dodo, ie, myself. Never been to church (except as a tourist), never prayed, not even as a child, not too familiar with the concept of god or God, simply never really cared… but some weird energy creeps through when I listen to the Mercy Seat, an 80s album by Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes and his super hot girlfriend Zena Von Heppinstall. The whole album is filled with religious topics. Some songs are pensive and reflective but most are fanatical baptist-style gospel stomps. I can totally see myself in a religious trance in some Southern church without air-conditioning, my sweat pouring in heavy drops as the church rolls on and on. If the Mercy Seat is the ticket then Lord let me ride!

The Mercy Seat – “Let The Church Roll On / I Won’t Be Back”

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15 Responses to “Sunday Service: The Mercy Seat (1988)”

  1. Kim Says:

    Being a religious expert myself, on the other hand, I can say that yeah, this is religion.

  2. keyokey Says:

    abba gabba hey!

    I decieded to look deeper online to find stuff like this.
    I still have my mercy seat album, and because of u I’ve listened to a long unheard track…by the way, how’ed you do it?


  3. Patti Says:

    wow this is really trippy. I was the bass player for the Mercy Seat and I don’t even have a copy of the album!

  4. karen Says:

    and, oh yeah … pair this with oblivians/quintron from the oblivians play 9 songs with mr. quintron, and you’ve got a helluva start on your sunday-go-to-meeting tunes.

  5. karen Says:

    omg. i love this band. saw them back in the early/mid 80s somewhere in boston. what a trip! and patti–hats off. good god, hats off! i always wondered why that band didn’t last longer/go farther. amen, brothers & sisters! amen!

  6. Jane Says:

    Hey Patti (bass player)! It’s Jane the old Mercy Seat roady from Willimantic! Remember me? I spent many a good time with you all on the road! Wish I could figure out a way to contact you without getting spammed by a lot of emails. I have the album and could get you one directly from Zena.

  7. Patti Says:

    Hi Jane! Yes I remember you! Are you still in Willimantic? I have been in California for the last 19 years. Wanna hear something funny? Last month I was visiting family in Philly and I ran into Gordon in the lobby of the Philadelphia museum of art! Wow yr still in touch with Zena? Where is she? Is her mom still alive? Anyway, I got a copy of the album, thanks. Good to hear from you!!

  8. Patti Says:

    Hi Karen
    Yeah I remember we played the Rat a few times but also a cool little club in Cambridge call KT Bears or something like that. Boston was always fun to play. Thanks for remembering.

  9. matt Says:

    I am in desperate need of a copy of The Mercy Seat . Lost mine in a move about 15 years ago and my life has not been the same since . if anyone can help . Jane , help a brother out .

  10. BradCav Says:

    I’m sure most of you know alraedy, but The Mercy Seat was reissued last month by Wounded Bird Records. The remastered audio is clean and warm and present. It was a happy day for me when it arrived in my mailbox.

    Patti, what’s become of the other non-Gordon Gano members of The Mercy Seat since ’87?

  11. Boneyard Media » Blog Archive » Sunday Service: The Mercy Seat is out on CD Says:

    […] to BradCav for chiming in on this post from a few years ago and letting us know that the Mercy Seat LP is finally out on CD courtesy of […]

  12. Jon Trott Says:

    Mercy Seat… this album only gets better. I’ve been a long-time fan of the Violent Femmes, and as an old(er) Jesus Freak type w/ leftist tendencies remember the odd song “Jesus of Rio” particularly fondly. But Mercy Seat… yes, how sweet this sounds. I’ve also got a copy of some live tracks (five or six) someone captured of M S somewhere… “No Shorter Than His Word” was one blistering outtake from the latter…

    Much praise to Gordon, Patti, Zena, and whomever else deserves it for leaving us such gems. Can I say that I get, well, a bit worshipful listening to Mercy Seat…

  13. Lisa Says:

    Hi Patti, it’s Lisa, also from Willimantic back in the day, and now in Chicago…two kids, a husband (you met him way back when), and Charlie, our very beautiful, loving puppy. Please get the “Seat” back together and tour. I know it would be extremely difficult and no money in it, but the fun and effect on the crowd being saved by your music is payment in itself. Think of all those who have yet to be saved!
    We need you! Besides I’d love to catch up with you and hear all about everything! And flirt!
    Hi Jane! Guess whose coming to visit…Cheryl! We can’t wait!

  14. Venus Mercury Says:

    Fernando (Mercy Seat drummer) has been wondering about you. He LOVED playing with you. I am his girlfriend. He plays drums live with Gordon Gano & The Ryans. They are touring the Northeast. You can find him on Facebook if you are on there. I’m sure he’d love to hear from you.

    By the way, fantastic bass lines on the entire album Patti! I downloaded it on iTunes. We listen to it around our apartment.

  15. Patti Says:

    Where’s My Royalties!!!! Ha ha ha! I’ve been on the west coast for 20 years and rarely get back east. I’ve become a surf bum and massage therapist and am kinda rusty on bass, although I do jam with friends occasionally. Fernando, lets start another band–do you ever hear from/know the whereabouts of Sean? Are you in touch with Zena? Hi Lisa! Hi Jane!

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