Terry Turtle and Billy Brett met while working in a dish pit in their hometown of Harrisonburg, Virginia. Despite their 30-year age gap, they decided to form a band called Buck Gooter. Performing a style of noise-rock they describe as “primal industrial blues,” they have toured and recorded relentlessly since 2005. Henry Rollins has called them “the only real punk band left in the U.S.”
Ten years into their existence, Buck Gooter made a documentary called The Man Named Turtle. Director Joey Bell spends most of the doc’s 25-minute runtime with its titular subject, sharing stories about Turtle’s troubled childhood, struggles with addiction, and philosophies on art. The latter can be summed up with his practical explanation for laminating paintings: “Throw it on the fucking floor or take it in the shower and wash it off… makes sense to me!”
Turtle sadly passed away in 2019 at age 67, but he lives on in the music that Brett continues to release under the name Buck Gooter, featuring samples of the late guitarist. The band began with a mishearing of the words “fuck you” when Turtle’s mouth was filled with food, but grew to be so much more. Ultimately, Buck Gooter’s legacy is one of unlikely friendship and unfiltered creation.