On June 16th, 2000
, rock outfit Weezer
took the stage for the first time since August 1997, it was marked a "comeback
" by some standards, although the band had officially never left. Pat Wilson
was still rocking the kit, this time with much longer hair, Brian Bell
was still overly enthusiastic on rhythm guitar
and backing vocals
and Rivers Cuomo
was still sporting the horn rim glasses
, the bowl cut
and the lightning guitar strap. Yet, they were changes, the band had a new bassist, Mikey Welsh
and the band were already playing some new songs they had been testing out in rehearsals together prior to their first show back from their hiatus
. Fans assumed that these songs would be on a third album from the band, and the first since the 1996
", which was a failure-at-first then a smash hit over time.
Throughout the Summer of 2000 the world welcomed Weezer back into the pop culture spotlight on a club tour which saw the band sell out venues in mere seconds, and a couple shows on that summer's Warped Tour. At each of these shows, the band would play a block of new songs that, around the same time they were playing these shows, they were demoing in the studio.
Throughout the summer, fourteen new songs by the band were played at shows and played at demo rehearsals with the band. Those songs were:
On the Edge
Peace and Quiet
The Sister Song
Too Late to Try
Around the holiday season in 2000, after a long summer of playing these fourteen new songs onstage and in the studio, relations with the band's label, Geffen Records were beginning to escalate in tension. With issues such as the label's disapproval of the band self-producing their third album and wondering if they could ride the momentum wave from their successful summer tour, which they conducted with no new album for support. Between the woes with the label and Rivers Cuomo being ever-so-fickle with his material, the band announced that they were dumping all the songs they played over the summer in search of new material.
In May 2001, the band released their long awaited third album, a self titled album with a green cover that will forever be known as The Green Album. Yet one song from the Summer 2000 sessions and tour managed to make its way onto "The Green Album," that song was "Hash Pipe," a diddy that Rivers confessed to writing when "very drunk." While the label wanted the album opener "Don't Let Go" to be the first single off the new album, Rivers insisted on "Hash Pipe," which told the tale of a transvestite prostitute. The song would end up peaking at #2 on the Billboard Magazine's Modern Rock Charts and the video for the song was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video.
Yet while The Green Album was a smash and "Hash Pipe" was all over the radio waves, some fans were disappointed. They much preferred the thirteen songs played during the summer tour nearly a year prior than the ten songs on The Green Album. One upset fan on the famous and infamous weezer.com message boards, a fan by screen name of Robot700, took control. He opened a site, www.summersongs2k.com, with the goal of hearing all the "SS2k songs" (as they would come to be called) released beyond bootleg format. He started up a petition calling for a thousand signatures.
Come November, the petition finally had reached a thousand signatures. Rivers Cuomo himself even posted on the site, citing that the fans had spoken and he'd see to it that the songs were released in non-bootleg form. The result was an "official unofficial" Weezer album being released on weezer.com. Rivers selected the finest soundboard recordings from the Summer 2000 shows, arranged the ten songs in the order he preferred, and on November 17th, 2001, the "Summer Songs 2000" album was released on weezer.com. The tracklist was as follows:
1. Modern Dukes
2. O Girl
3. On the Edge
4. Preacher's Son
6. Dope Nose
7. Mad Kow
9. The Sister Song
10.Too Late to Try
Fans were upset that three still unreleased songs weren't included, "Ev'ry Night", "My Brain", and "Peace and Quiet."
In September 2001, "Dope Nose" started being played quite often by the band, leading to speculation that the world hadn't seen the end of that Summer 2000 song. The band was also apparently demoing "Preacher's Son" and "Modern Dukes" for their fourth album.
In an odd turn of events, in early 2002, as Mikey Welsh was removed from the band due to medical issues and Scott Shriner took the bass duties, there was an unexplainable leak from the Weezer camp that resulted in many unmastered studio versions of the Summer 2000 demos to be released. Every single song had been released in high-quality, non-bootleg format either officially or unofficially. Every song except "Peace and Quiet" that is.
Robot700 and his www.summersongs2k.com would go on to prove just how great weezer fans really are. Over 2,000 signatures went up quickly on a petition, and on May 28th, 2002, "Peace and Quiet" was released on weezer.com, making the collection of high quality MP3s from the SS2k songs period complete.
A couple weeks prior to the release of "Peace and Quiet," the band released their fourth album, Maladroit. The album not only sported two songs from the Summer 2000 shows and sessions, "Slob" and "Dope Nose," but the latter was the first single off the album and went on to peak at #8 on the Modern Rock Charts.
The band began demoing for a fifth album before their fourth had even been released! Summer 2000 tunes such as "Mad Kow", "Modern Dukes" and "Superstar" were considered for these demos. The songs began popping up every now and then in their live sets, yet eventually, all these songs were abandoned for Album V.
On March 23rd, 2004, the band released their first ever DVD collection, "Video Capture Device," which featured footage of Scott & Rivers doing an acoustic version of "Mad Kow", a sound test for "Mad Kow" during their European tour and a video of "My Brain" from the aforementioned June 16th, 2000 concert. Plus, although it was never a single, the DVD featured an exclusive, Karl Koch directed music video for "Slob."
What started as fourteen songs written around the same time ended up being scattered over two albums and demos for a third, two smash radio hits, three music videos and perhaps most notable, the rare occurrence of a major-label band releasing an absolutely free-of-charge MP3 album online.
John D. Luerssen's book Rivers' Edge