Gimme Helter MONDO Vanilli 1994 – Video 2023

New video for Gimme Helter
by Satori D 2023
MONDO Vanilli from IOU Babe 1994
(Scrappi DuChamp – Jonathan Burnside)
Comments regarding co-creating and producing Gimme Helter for MONDO Vanilli and about Trent Reznor whose erstwhile record label Nothing had (sort of) signed MONDO Vanilli and paid for the studio time to produce an album.


by Jonathan Burnside as told to R.U. Sirius
First… Jonathan Burnside according to Jonathan Burnside


Jonathan Burnside, music producer, studio engineer, mixer and guitarist. Years ago, I started a studio (Razor’s Edge) for the San Francisco  alternative music scene that produced albums for The Melvins and Kurt Cobain, Faith No More, soul-drummer Bernard Purdie, NoFx, Clutch, Red House Painters, Michael Franti’s Disposable Heros of Hiphoprisy, Lag Wagon, Fu Manchu, Sleep, Neurosis, Lunachicks and many others.


On Gimme Helter
Gimme Helter is the most terrifying song I’ve ever worked on. And I’ve done bands like Neurosis and Melvins where the whole thing was to be as scary as possible. And in the end, they’re a bunch of suburban kids with fucking loud guitars. So what? Sure, your mother will probably find it scary.

I think Gimme Helter is like one of the most extreme industrial songs I’ve ever heard. There’s nothing pretty about it. And the subject matter is horrifying in itself.

There’s a part in the middle of Gimme Helter where there’s a guy saying, “I’m a soldier man, listen. You guys don’t love us no more.” He was always down at Hayes and Divisidero. And he would always walk hunched over with this green parka pulled up around his head… a big African American dude. Some people told me he thought he had demons and he was trying to trap ’em inside so they wouldn’t go to anybody else. Some people said he had no teeth. Whatever.

I pulled up to him in my pickup truck. And he was at the bus stop. And I’m like, “Hey Buster man, what’s up? What’s the deal man? How’s life?” And he’s completely out of it.  And he gave those quotes. And then he saw that I was actually recording him, and he tried to attack me. [LAUGHTER]  He lurched forward, and I got the hell out of there. And then not long after that, right after the album was completed, I was in Popeye’s Chicken on the corner near there just getting something quick to eat and he comes busting in the doors, falls on the floor, and does bloody snow angels all over the floor and dies. He had been capped in the neck.
Here you’ve got a song with the voice of Jim Jones and all these crazy people. And then you’ve got somebody probably more real than all of them. Some poor fuck that got chewed up by America and spit out shot in Popeye’s.  He died right there in front of me. I didn’t stay to eat.


On Trent Reznor

I didn’t think Reznor would get IOU Babe at all. I really wondered about that the whole time. And especially the subject matter. It could have been a little close to home.

Nine Inch Nails was pretty much wrap it up in plastic and sell it to the world. Downward Spiral’s a good album. I’m not putting it down. But it’s very genre specific.

The only thing I remember about Trent Reznor backstage is that he had the limpest coldest handshake I’ve ever felt in my life. Honest to God, I thought somebody handed me a dead trout. I thought I was supposed to kiss his hand ’cause, literally, he placed his cold thing on my palm.