RIP Shirley Temple, Bassist for The Melvins

Known for her precocious smile and acting ability beyond her years, Temple found her calling later in life as both a conservative political activist and, for a time, as the bassist for the seminal sludge-metal outfit The Melvins .

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Feb 11 2014, 8:55pm

Shirley Temple, beloved child star, is dead at the age of 85. Known for her precocious smile and acting ability beyond her years, Temple found her calling later in life as both a conservative political activist and, for a time, as the bassist for the seminal sludge-metal outfit The Melvins. Her transition from child star to punk rocker came as a surprise to many, perhaps doubly so because she was also serving as the US Ambassador to Czechoslovakia at the time.

Despite being several decades older than her bandmates Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover, Temple was immediately welcomed into the band with open arms, contributing indelible work to the records Ozma and Bullhead, as well as the fan favorite EP Eggnog. Even Robert Christgau alluded to her position as both ambassador and Melvins' bassist in his review of the band's 1994 record Stoner Witch, writing, "If you're young and depressed and too bright or not too bright, this sound may speak to your condition, and far be it from me to suggest volunteering for Rock the Vote instead." It's hard not to think of these lines from "Let God Be Your Gardener," as we mourn the loss of the child star and sludge rock bassist: "Listen kid your face is like porcelain / Worries, life is like a garden."

Below, you can watch footage of Temple playing with The Melvins at UCLA in 1993.

Drew Millard is fucking with you. He's on Twitter - @drewmillard