We arrived in Philadelphia
went straight to Greg and Jen’s house, where there was beer
and bar-b-que waiting…then took off for the Speakeasy. Trinidad
was being a total asshole that night,
to the point of telling Claytallica I couldn’t have any of
the band beer (you gotta be fucking shitting me). At this
rate, I’m considering asking Honky if I can jump in their
van and go back to Austin
early. I don’t know if I can deal with Trinidad
for the whole West Coast trip, and I know he can’t deal with
At the venue, I noticed that there were lots of safety-pins-mullets-leatherjackets-piercings-tattooedmotherfuckers-rockers-and-chubby-chicks-in-tight-clothes.
The opening band that night was called The
Woodsmen, and the singer, Brian, started off the set with,
“We’ve gotten in trouble with a lot of people for saying things
in the wrong company, and pretty much pissing everyone off.
Some people say that’s why we can’t play anywhere”. “Naw,
that’s just because we suck”, the bass player chimed in. Well
in spite of the introduction, I thought they fucking rocked.
Brian had a killer stage presence and a lot of charisma for
a big-fucking-huge-tattooed-out-bald-dude. He played with
some barbed wire wrapped around his forearm and hand, which
clenched a tambourine…and he was all over the place.
Insert brianwoodsmen.jpg “Brian”
Insert brianwoodsmen1.jpg “The Woodsmen”
the Witch took over and I paid little attention, as I’m still
pissed at Trinidad. Instead, I sat
around and shot the shit with Brian from the Woodsmen. Brian,
who used to be a professional wrestler that went by the name
of Crass singer
Steve Ignorant (“I was trying to think of the biggest pussy
name I could”) told me that the Woodsmen Militia can’t even
go into the Trocadero (a popular Philly venue) because, the
last time they played there, “This dude was in my way so I
put my balls on his head because I thought it would get him
to move. Well he didn’t move so I got this fireball and threw
it in his face. Then he moved…but we can never play there
again”. He also told me about his old band, Big Hate, and the time “I tried to shoot
up a baseball while my girlfriend at the time (who I had known
about 20 minutes) was talking out her ass and made me miss.
Well, when your rig jumps up your fucking arm you get fucking
pissed. My arm swelled up the size of a fucking grapefruit”.Then my buddy Anthony gave me a beer and said, “You
know what, we all miss sometimes”. Obviously this guy was
a total freak. He claims he doesn’t make friends easily…but
I suspect he’s lying.
During this entire spiel the Witch was still playing.
I don’t know if the Witch’s following has tapered off or what,
but there hasn’t been that many people at their shows, with
attendance tonight being only 70 or 80 people. However, the
Philly rockers who were there were butt shaking. I also observed
(as I have at least a million fucking times) that Trinidad
says, “Yeah, yeah, yeah….oooohhhh, yeah, yeah, yeah” way too fucking much.
If I hear “yeah, yeah, yeah” one
more fucking time, I’m going to fucking vomit…or fucking kill
Insert brianwoodsmen4.jpg “Brian has Scumfuck tattooed
on his stomach”
Then Hellblock 6, definitely-one-of-my-new-top-10-rock-ass-bands (I saw
them on the summer tour the first time…check out Black Sabbath
Beky’s CD review of Nuclear Age in our last issue)took over with,
“Let’s get some fucking mosh action”. They embody many
styles of music, from punk rock to thrash, and are even kind
of death metal. As Claytallica put it, “They have something
for everyone”. A three piece, the singer / drummer, Anthony,
sounds really fucking pissed off. His brother, Greg, plays
guitar and is our Philly-place-to-crash-and-a-most-bad-ass-tattoo-artist.
Noelle, the hot ass chick bass player, rocks so hard she has
an Angus Young portrait tattoo on her ass. I especially like
how their CD says “recorded in 15 hours” on it. Besides Hellblock
6 and the Woodsmen, the other high point of the night was
that, being daylight savings time, we all got to drink an
extra hour (no thanks to / and in spite of fucking Trinidad).
Woke up and made a desperate attempt to
catch up on some e-mail while smoking more killer bud. As
we left Philadelphia,
I noticed there were lots of brick houses and American flags.
Maybe they’re just more colonial-patriotic up here in the
land of Ben
Franklin and the Liberty Bell.
Then we traveled up through Pennsylvania,
where there are veritable assloads of Amish…in fact, I think
they’re multiplying. It got dark early, and was raining all
the way to Rochester, New
York. My second time here, I liked
it as much as the first. We were greeted with free all-you-can-eat
bar-b-que, complete with Diane’s licensed Dixie Witch bar-b-que
approved (you can buy this from the Witch for a mere 6 bucks).
Then Curt got me high and gave me a couple hits off his whiskey
bottle (I was still afraid to drink around Trinidad).
And, although he’s started trying to talk to me (now that
he’s gotten some fucking sleep), I still think he’s a fucking dick.
I entertained myself by writing and getting drunk,
which was easy to do since the club gave us a free bar tab.
The Bug Jar is owned by Bobby T., one of the coolest dudes
on the planet. They call him Mason Dixon because he likes
a lot of bands south of that line…and is a huge Honky, Dixie
Witch, and Spiders fan. He and the sound guy, Nick, kept dragging me (kicking
and screaming) to the office out back, getting me super stoned
on killer bud. I could have given a fuck about the bands,
as none of them were worth a shit except for Rochester’s
bobbytspider.jpg “Bobby T. loves the Spiders”
When the bands were done (they end by
here), Nick basically let me control the airwaves. I ran out
to the van and grabbed the new Speedealer
(recorded by Honky’s Jeff Pinkus) and he played the whole
fucking thing for me, followed by some cranking Murder
City Devils. In between rocking out, we kept going to
the basement and getting high, then doing more and more shots.
At some point I looked out the window and saw that Claytallica
and Trinidad were going at it outside.
Trinidad ripped off his denim jacket
and threw it on the sidewalk, while yelling at Clay about
something. I just turned around, went back to the basement,
and smoked more weed. It turns out that Trinidad
was quitting the band again…for about the third time so far
this trip. Eventually we went to Diane’s and crashed.
October 27th – Day 12
Woke up and took off, having to go by Rochester’s
legendary House of Guitars (where they have signed Ace Frehley and Randy Rhoads guitars), in order to get Trinidad new bass drum heads.
There must be something about Rochester
because Trini busted both of his bass drum heads the last
time we were here as well. That accomplished, we ate and hit
the road, with a seven hour drive to the Elbow Room in Ypsilanti,
Michigan and another gig
with Honky. The place was a dive but they played some decent
music, from Kitty Wells
to Hank Williams III. The opening band was
100 Watt Head (the
harmonica toting rockers who had played with us last summer
in Lansing). The
funny thing about those guys was that two of the members were
the founders of R.A.C.K.E.T.
(Rockers Against Corporate KISS’
Evil Tyranny), who want to sue Gene
Simmons for stealing their childhoods and forcing them
to become merchandise-buying-rockers.
Being a Monday night, it was pretty fucking slow
at the Elbow. In fact, most of the folks there were in the
bands. And being a Monday night, it was ladies’ night at the
club. When Honky took the stage, Pinkus jokingly asked where
the ladies were, before deciding that Curt was about the hottest
one. I had to admit that Honky sounded badass. Bobby Rock
and Pinkus are a comedy act, and Kenny was seriously rocking.
He’s got the shit down, and has totally improved them as a
band…making them sound much harder and heavier.
honkylove.jpg “Honky in Ypsilanti”
Then the Witch played and sounded killer as well. Once
again, Pinkus got up and sang Here Today, Gone Tomorrow with Trinidad.
This could be the ode to Handsome Joel tour. After the show,
Honky took off with their buddies, Rachel and Jeff, where
they have been staying the past two days with nothing to do
(having the days off since their Canadian gigs got cancelled).
The Witch, on the other hand, had an appointment in Cleveland,
so we went to the sound guy’s house, where we watched the
box set of The Young Ones until we passed out.
October 28th – Day 13
Went and ate Vietnamese food with Leighton from Chapstick
and loaded up the gear from the previous night before the
eight hour drive to the Grog Shop in Cleveland,
where the Witch was scheduled to play with the most awesome
Bad Wizard. The ride was pretty uneventful, except for the fact that
it was cold and rainy as fuck. When we pulled up at the Grog,
the Wizard was already there…and very surprised to see yours
truly. I was kind of surprised to see myself there as well,
in light of the way Trini and I have been going at it (what
happened was that Clayton sat down and told him that, like
it or not, they weren’t getting rid of me…so the smart thing
to do would be to try to get along, since we still have three
weeks on the road together). Also, since Trini keeps quitting
the band whenever he drinks too much whiskey, there was also
the “work as a team” and “keep up morale” talk.
That bullshit aside, I was all excited to run into
guitar virtuoso and buddy of mine, Eddie Wizard (I can’t remember
his last name). After taking an inventory of our decreasing
tubs of merch and reporting to Daddy Claytallica, I joined
Eddie at the bar, and started sucking down Beam and Cokes
and shooting the shit. Whoever-the-fucking-first-band-was
sucked a giant dick. The singer had to be insane…or at least
there had to be some excuse for his retarded antics, which
included air boxing, running in place, and beating himself
about the head. On top of that, he was wearing this fucking
rust colored dress suit vest, without a shirt underneath,
and had about the best seventies porn mustache I’ve ever seen.
They kind of freaked me out.
curtisgalaga.jpg “Curtis is obsessed with Galaga”
Then Bad Wizard took over and slayed with their hip-shaking-boogie-woogie.
The downside of all of this was that, with the exception of
Aaron (guitar / vox for Keelhaul) and Will (drums / Keelhaul),
and about fifteen (maybe) other people…there was no one else
there. At least I got to see them, and rocked out for every
lame motherfucker that lives in the ugly ass town of Cleveland.
The Witch rocked particularly hard (probably because they
were following the likes of the Wizard), and drummers Will
and Scott (Bad Wizard) were totally fagging out, sitting on
the side of the stage…mesmerized by Trinidad. After the show,
I tried to coerce the Wizard to go over to Will Keelhaul’s
place and party with us, but they had an appointment with
their lawyer in Chicago
the next day. Instead, we invaded Will’s place, got all liquored
up, and listened to his insane music collection till we passed
Q & A with Ron
Holzner from Debris
Inc., Goat Snake, Mustache, and the 80’s metal band Trouble
Who are your favorite bands / greatest
Sabbath, Led Zeppelin…’cause they’re the only two bands
Keith Richards…’cause he’s still alive
is your definition of success in rock-n-roll?
write and play music from the heart. To write and sing
from within, then play it for other people. And
when they like it, that’s the greatest feeling in the world.
– Back in the day, Mustache showed up a day late for a gig
at Emo’s and they still let them play.