More than any other hardcore band, the Minutemen epitomized the free-thinking independent ideals that formed the core of punk/alternative music. Wildy eclectic and politically revolutionary, the Minutemen never stayed in one place too long; they moved from punk to free jazz to funk to folk at a blinding speed. And they toured and recorded at blinding speed; during the early '80s, they were constantly on the road, turning out records whenever they had a chance. Like their peers Black Flag, Hüsker Dü, R.E.M., Sonic Youth, and the Meat Puppets, the Minutemen built a large, dedicated cult following throughout the United States through their relentless touring. Like their fellow American indie bands, the trio was poised to break into the world of major labels in 1986, and they would have if it wasn't for the tragic death of guitarist/vocalist D. Boon in December of 1985. Even though bassist Mike Watt and drummer George Hurley carried on with fIREHOSE in the late '80s, the legacy of the Minutemen overshadowed the new band in the late '80s and early '90s, as the San Pedro trio influenced several generations of musicians.