Ch. 15 Its imperative to live fast, without spandex
As entertaining as Columbia could be, the open highways attracted my attentions as we took to the road again for weekend stints to Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, and Kansas City for gigs. How many people showed up was of no concern to us really, the adventure itself held more weight. It wasn’t a good show and trip if someone didn’t pass out in a closet, puke, set off fireworks at 5 AM, do keg stands all night, or roll down a hill in a motorcycle helmet trying to trip up drunken people at a party somewhere in a cornfield. We could happily drink ‘til the wee hours of the morning with people we barely knew who were just happy to hang out with the band and talk about what it all means, this pimple of a planet we live on.
One show in Arkansas we achieved a milestone of sorts. Turns out the venue used Molly Hatchet’s old PA system. The room was probably 1200 square feet and we had powerful amps but none the less, the soundman insisted on putting mics on everything. The board they used for sound took up the whole back wall and we blasted a set at what seemed to be 200 decibels. Isn’t this how Pete Townsend went deaf? The next morning the quaint town of Ft. Smith Arkansas invited us to play their small college campus. The festival they held was outside and the stage had Roman columns as a backdrop. We did what any respectable, well versed young lads would do. We made togas out of bed sheets and found foliage to wrap around our heads. Theatrical attire was sheer self expression. As ridiculous as we looked, I’m sure some of our other random get-ups topped that morning.
Our usual joke, stage clothes ran the gamut, from clown suits, to our bassist as a drag queen. I made some pants out of blue jeans and Christmas lights with duct tape to hold it all together. I just ran the extension cord to the bottom of my pants leg and plugged straight into the wall onstage. This, on multiple occasions, literally shocked me into seeing white light when my mouth touched the stage microphone. Please ground me mister soundman. I wore those pants one year for Halloween. I was miserable and living in a po-dunk Missouri town known as Springfield. There were so many cowboys I’m surprised I didn’t end up getting shot. That year my costume was “Electric-cowboy.” I plugged the pants up and wore a wife beater and a cowboy hat that I had made A-Frame style to fit in the back pocket of my pants. With a piece of straw hanging from my lips, I talked trash all night about farming techniques, which is better, Coors or Budweiser, and how the two step was complicated even though its name made it sound easy.
Another instance of sheer mockery in this hellhole was when Great White came to town. This is before they killed people by setting a club on fire in New Jersey. In Springfield they actually still had fans, which I find amazing. These fans stood outside the tour bus Great White was in after the show. Big hair, cut off blue jean shorts, and missing teeth were prominent features in the crowd. As I walked by, I screamed, “You guys suck!” while the lead singer was hanging out the window of the bus blowing kisses to the heathens. I had to run a block to escape the aftermath, but the comment was well worth it.
Little Trouble Girl - Sonic Youth
This goes out to hearing about about Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore being separated. I’ve loved Sonic Youth since I was 14, that’s 25 years ago! Damn, I’m getting old. Check out the album Confusion is Sex or Bad Moon Rising for the real SY craziness!
Just when we had discovered the musical majesty that is Rappin’ Ronnie Radke and Falling In Reverse, we get word that he is walking out on the band to devote himself to acting like a clown penis fulltime.
Falling in Reverse is a cheese bag band, but damn, their now solo singer thinks he’s David Lee Roth or some shit!