In 1996, Thurston
Moore teamed up with Mike
D of the Beastie Boys and Kira Roessler of Black Flag
to form a super group called the Puzzled Panthers. Sadly,
the Puzzled Panthers only released one song which appears
on the Small Circle of Friends: Germs Tribute album.
The cover of "Now I Hear the Laughter" was the
Puzzled Panthers' lone contribution that left both Sonic
Youth and the Beastie Boys fans wanting more.
Prior to 1996, two of the Puzzled Panthers came together
when Thurston Moore had hosted MTV's 120 Minutes and Mike
D and Beck had appeared as the show's guests. The most memorable
part of that appearance was an impromptu jam session towards
the end, which featured all three playing bizarre instruments.
Mike D, who was into using lo-hi microphones at the time,
quickly ran through an old school rhyme routine and added
semblance to the noise and distortion that Thurston and
Beck were creating.
There definitely appears to be a
certain creative chemistry when Mike D and Thurston Moore
get together. Both came out of the same New York Hardcore
scene and probably bumped into each other on occasion at
punk shows during the early 1980s. With this in mind it
would seem very likely that the Puzzled Panthers may have
recorded more than one song during their "Now I Feel
the Laughter" rehearsals. Perhaps the recording sessions
yielded more material originally written by the Germs or
covers of other hardcore groups. One has to remember that
Puzzled Panthers formed during the period where the Beastie
Boys were touring under the Quasar pseudonym, playing Circle
Jerks and Reagan Youth covers. With the Beastie
Boys Anthology: Sounds of Science long behind us,
fans will just have to hope that the Puzzled Panthers will
at some point decide to make another song or two available.