Underground/alt-rock legend.

Performer: First with Newport News, Va.-based Citizen 23, about which not much is known.

Then formed Washington D.C.-based Velvet Monkeys. (1981 tape-only debut - "Everything Is Right"; "Future" LP, 1983; appeared with Half Japanese on a split cassette on K records in 1986.)

Fleming split for NYC around then with drummer Jay Spiegel to form B.A.L.L. Co-conspirator in this enterprise: Shimmy Disc records boss (and former Shockabilly player) Kramer. Debut was 1987's "Period."

Then B.A.L.L. broke up, leading to red-hot punk superstar version of Velvet Monkeys, with J Mascis, Thurston Moore and Pussy Galore's Julia Cafritz. In 1990 came the supafly-blaxploitation-party LP "Rake," widely misunderstood by pencilnecks and tin-ears the world over.

Then came Gumball, which eventually grabbed brass ring at Columbia records, thanks to A&R whiz Jim Dunbar. LPs: "Special Kiss," "Super Tasty," "Revolution On Ice," and a way-hot EP full of covers called "Wisconsin Hayride." The Mahavishnu Orchestra one totally smokes.

Around then DF began producing ...

The killer be-all end-all, though, was his stint in woulda coulda shoulda been great Dim Stars, with Moore, Sonic drummer Steve Shelley and punk legend/poet/author/Kentucky freak Richard Hell. The Dim Stars LP was hot, but Hell's squabbling over dough doomed it to an early demise. There went THAT tour.

Fleming's teamed with Moore on a buncha stuff, including a 7" single and as a guitarist with REM bass player Mike Mills and Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl in the Backbeat Band, which covered Beatles-era stuff for a big-budget movie. Fleming has played onstage with SY - most notably as a keyboard-pounder/flute-abuser during their 1989 performance of NBC's middle-of-the-night music show, "Night Music." He also plays with Moore in foot, one of the most intense and terrifying musical units ever.

As producer

In 1991, DF teamed with Kim Gordon to produce the debut LP by a band called Hole: "Pretty on the Inside." That year he also did the "God Knows Its True" EP, by Scottish Big Star-wannabes Teenage Fanclub. He later did their LP "Bandwagonesque," which had many college-rock fanboys creaming in their Gap khakis.

Other production:

Screaming Trees, "Sweet Oblivion"

The Posies, "Frosting on the Beater"

Alice Cooper, "Last Temptation"

Sonic Youth, "Goo," "A Thousand Leaves"

Other stuff

Fleming now works as an artist-relations guy for the Alan Lomax Archives in New York. He was instrumental in finding lost blues singer James Carter, who recorded "Po' Lazarus" for Lomax at a Mississippi prison camp some 40 years ago. The song was featured on the "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack that won several Grammys in 2002.

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