Ben Weasel

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Ben Weasel is best known as the singer and songwriter of Screeching Weasel. He was born Ben Foster and raised in Prospect Hts, IL. Ben appears to have been actively involved in the Chicago punk scene in the late '80's, but locally his reputation began to decline as his band's nationally popularity rose. Nationally, Ben gained notoriety and controversy for columns he wrote for fanzines, most notably Maximum Rock and Roll.

In 2006, Ben and his wife moved to a farm outside of Madison, Wisconsin.


  • In 1986, after witnessing the Ramones in concert, Ben formed his first band with guitarist John Pierson, aka Jughead. Initally called "All Night Garage Sale", the band soon changed their name to Screeching Weasel. Screeching Weasel was very prolific and released a slew of LPs and EPs between 1987 and 2000. The band also when through a number of line up changes and broke up three times.
  • In 1990, Ben and Jughead formed a band with Russ Forester (formerly of Sponge and Fudgetunnel) and Glynis Johnson, the former bassist of Friends of Betty and Red Red Meat, but Glynis quit after the first show. Initially called "Glynis Johnson and the Disgusteens", the band later became "The Gore Gore Girls". The broke up after third show, by which time they were also on their 3rd bassist. That same year, Ben also played guitar in the Vindictives and appeared on some of their early EPs.
  • In 1995, Ben formed the Riverdales with 2 former Screeching Weasel members. The group released 2 LPs of pop punk that was heavily influenced by the Ramones. The group split in 1997 and Ben would comment later that a European tour with Green Day "destroyed any semblence of friendship" between the band members. However, in 2003, Ben and bassist/vocalist Dan Schafer reunited with a new drummer to record an new LP, Phase 3. The band has been quite since then.
  • In 1996, a 7" EP appeared on Lookout Records by a band called The Shotdowns. Ben Weasel claimed that this was a group from the backwoods of Maine that he had discovered. In fact, the group was actually Ben Weasel and Jughead, with Sun-Times rock critic Jim DeRogotis playing drums and mystery bass player.
  • In 2002, Ben released his first solo CD, Fidatevi on Panic Button Records.
  • After the solo CD, Ben briefly played with an outfit called Sweet Black and Blue, but the group dissolved due to scheduling conflicts amongst the members.
  • Currently, Ben is said to be working on another solo album, but music is no longer his number one priorty.

Record Labels

In the past, Ben has been actively involved with the running of several record labels.

  • In 1989, Ben, Jughead, and Douglas Ward helped turn Underdog Records in to a collective-run label when original founder Russ Forester gave up running the label. Ben and Jughead dropped out of the collective early on, but Ben did some writing for Underdog's fanzine. Ben later had a falling out with the collective and the collective would become a vocal critic of both Ben and Screeching Weasel.
  • In 1991, Ben formed No Budget Productions to reissue Screeching Weasel's Punkhouse EP, which was, at the time, out of print. In an insert included with the Punkhouse reissue, Ben stated his intention to use No Budget Productions to issue 7" punk records by bands he liked, such as the Queers and the Vindictives, but nothing actually ever came of this.
  • In 1997, Ben and Jughead founded Panic Button Records. They sold the label to Lookout Records in 2001 after Screeching Weasel broke up for a final time.


To date, Ben Weasel has authored two books. The first, called Like Hell, which was the tale of Joe Pagan, lead singer of a popular Chicago-based punk rock band. Many assumed that this was simply a thinly-veiled autobiography, but Ben has denied this. His second book, Punk is a Four Letter Word, is a collection of his fanzine writings. He is said to be at work on another book.


Ben Weasel's blog