to Rock Again?
Just when you thought it was finally over, it starts
back up, the never-ending circle of
rock-n-fucking-roll. Like Corri & I were saying just the
other day, as we stumbled into Casino at 4:30 in the afternoon,
neither of us having showered or even changed clothes from
the previous night’s rock-n-roll debauchery, “It’s
like South by Southwest, year round…it just never stops”.
& in the city of rock-n-roll, the live music capitol of
the world that Austin is, it really doesn’t. Every night
of every week there’s something going on, some fucking
show to see…somewhere. & part of that never-ending
circle of rock is the incessant touring the musicians must
do to keep afloat & spread the rock-n-roll word. So just
when you thought the Dixie
Witch Tour Chronicles were finally
over, they have started back up again. This time the tour
is one big one, with no time off between the East & West
coasts. This tour was scheduled around the CMJ (College Music
Journal) Music Festival that takes place in New York City
every year around Hell-oween time. Trinidad claims that it’s
“kind of like the Billboard of Independent Music”.
Fortunately the Austin trio, Honky
is going to accompany us part of the way. Then the bands will
split off, & the Witch will keep going to the West Coast,
where they will team up with Camarosmith. As luck would have
it, I get to sell merch for all three bands & ride with
all three. & no…I’m not fucking scared!
Thursday October 16th
with Dixie Witch to team up with Honky down in New Orleans
for the first show of the tour. As we were still 35 minutes
outside of Lake Charles (with about 230 miles to go) at 6:30
at night & with an 11:00 set time, we were off to a great
start. Claytallica joked that we were “pulling a Honky”,
although exactly what “pulling a Honky” means
or implies still has yet to be defined. In fact, Honky was
already down in New Orleans, having gone down a day early…to
make sure their van would make it ( it had broken down on
a New Orleans trek two weeks previously), &, according
to Pinkus, “to make sure they could get Bobby Rock out
of the house.”
finally arrived at the Mermaid Lounge, right before Honky
took the stage. As we emerged from the van we were immediately
greeted by Danny Nick & Andy Langer (bass & drums
respectively for Suplecs) & the Hazard County Girls, who
put the bill together & were supposed to be the headliners.
Because we were so fucking late, however, the Girls decided
to switch slots with the Witch, allowing them some time to
chill out & get their collective drinks on. That was fine
with me since I had just woken up, having slept only two hours
in Austin the night before, after witnessing the rock-n-roll
mayhem of Gorch Fock at Room 710. Honky, the ever-consistent
most badass trio from Austin, is headed up by founding member
Jeff (J.D.) Pinkus of Butthole Surfers, Daddy Longhead, Danny
Barnes Experience, Helios Creed (on the Activated Condition
album, so-labeled according to Pinkus, “because we all
activated our conditions when we recorded that record”),
Skinny Leonard (“the best band that never was”),
the Ohio Haters, Jack Officers, P.W. Long (the Real Foot album)
& the present day Areola 51 (also starring Brett Bradford
from Scratch Acid & drummer Max Brody of Pink Anvil, Sangre
de Toro, & Ministry). “Oh yeah,” Pinkus adds,
“& one solo show”. Also present is Austin
guitar god Bobby Rock of Def MF’s, Blow, Dino Lee &
his Love Johnson (he played with Dino Lee for 7 Years), Band
From Hell, Screw, Lava, Stupid Drama (“It was me &
Nasty Nathan”) Nosebleed, Shitjackers, & Gahdzilla
Motor Company. “Oh yeah”, Bobby Rock had to add;
“I was also in that 80’s metal band called Dancyr.
It was metal faggotry, but I did it”. Replacement drummer
for Lance Farley, Kenny Wagner (formerly of Sunnshine, Halfway
to Gone, 60 Watt Shaman, & Four Walls Falling...“for
all the hardcore people out there”) just came down from
Richmond, VA (while still maintaining his
apartment there), to learn the songs & hit the rock-n-roll
road. Although they had only practiced six times with Kenny,
they totally nailed their set.
County Girls took the stage. Christy (vox/guitar)
asked if anyone was hungry, having an abundance of the legendary
delicacy, a batch of her special-made pumpkin spiced cookies
for audience member consumption. I was so buzzed/preoccupied
with selling merch for the Honky Witch, & trying to take
pics (with no batteries as it turns out) that I forgot to
grab any before they were summarily scooped up. During their
set, a black & white dramatization of Alice in Wonderland
was projected overhead, only seeming to enhance their scary
doll-like appearances & the fucking rock of one of the
only cool chick bands on the planet (sorry bitches but I have
a natural aversion to girls in general, & especially girl
bands). The Witch fucked up a few times during their set,
not having practiced in a month. They also suffered a complete
power outage that lasted a good five minutes. Then there was
this irritating drunk dude (actually a friend of our bros
in New Orleans) who first started shit with Pinkus, then with
Kenny, and then with Bobby Rock. By the time Bobby arrived
at the merch table with the dude in a full-on-headlock (after
he fucked with Kenny a second time…still with no response
from the non-existent security), I already had my arm drawn
back and was about to clock the asshole myself. When I saw
Bobby Rock’s Honky hat band hit the floor, I went and
scooped it up immediately, knowing its disappearance might
cause the potential loss of supernatural guitar powers. Kenny’s
take was, “After the dude fucked with Pinkus, then with
me…for the first time…I went to the bar, I chilled
out, got a gin and tonic and…as soon as I got it…Boom!
He knocked it out of my arm.” Although the fool never
got-knocked-or-even-kicked-out, he managed to bite Bobby Rock
on the upper inner arm, leaving a nice purple-pink-blue bruise,
and left two lengthy claw marks on Kenny’s inner forearm
from the elbow to his wrist. Kenny wondered aloud, “Let’s
see how we can start this tour off?”
After the show I took off with Honky to the place they were
staying, all of us too tired and burnt out to make our way
out of the warehouse district and down to the Quarter. Kenny
and I took off to a 24 hour po’boy shop down the street
with Kenny quipping, “They better be serving breffast”.
As we entered the pink building, we observed that they only
served breffast from 6:OO AM to 6:OO PM. Well we ate there
anyways (even though it cost us at least $4 more a piece)
and had a super surreal experience, with a cop inside watching
us the whole time, a crackhead next to us yelling at a video
game, a homeless dude talking to me about absolutely-nothing-that-made-remotely-any-kind-of-sense,
and a white-trash-redneckweirdo who kept wandering into a
back room that warned Beware of Dog. As we stumbled back to
the pad I noticed that the sidewalks and streets appeared
really desolate. “It’s good when the streets are
empty here,” Kenny informed me. “If you see people
out this time of night, take off running. Of all the places
I’ve been, Detroit and New Orleans are the places where
I know to be really aware.” That survived, we made our
way back to Pinkus’ friend’s crib…and crashed.
Friday October 17th
The next day we took off for Atlanta, stopping in Slidell
for some breffast. “Word to the Waffle House”,
as Bobby Rock said…in response to my, “Word”.
This ended up being highly amusing, as the Waffle House experience
usually is (Curt wants to do a reality TV show that takes
place in said establishment). We were greeted by a waiter
who Pinkus claimed appeared a “little light in the loafers”,
adding, “We may have a way gaiter”. “Yeah,
he’s really flying below the gaydar”, Kenny chimed
in. Bobby Rock wondered how many millipeters it took to make
a peter, and Pinkus responded, “Ten. I’m at about
eight right now.” Then we hit the road for the Star
Bar in Atlanta listening to the tunes of Hayseed Dixie, this
band that Kenny thinks is from somewhere on the southeast
coast (Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee have all been
possibilities to this point), doing country cover versions
of ACDC songs like Hell’s Bells and Have a Drink on
Me. Meanwhile, Pinkus figured out the books and wrote the
night’s set list on pages from a porno called Fifty
and Over, featuring, yeah you got it, women over fifty. Kenny,
who lived in Mobile, Alabama for a while, described the drug
trade between New Orleans and Pensacola, elaborating, “This
whole corridor from New Orleans to Mobile to Pensacola has
a bunch of sketchy motherfuckers. When I lived in Mobile I
never met so many sketchy motherfuckers. Oh yeah…what
time is it?” Pinkus responds, “2:35, and you know
what that means!”, as he holds up a Jack Black flask
with Jim Beam in it. “Any one?” Well I took him
up on it, as did everyone else in the car. Pinkus told Bobby
Rock, “You need some whiskey…you’re driving”.
So that’s how it started, the next seven hours of smoking
kind bud, rocking out, and sipping on Jim Beam. Pinkus, who
hails from the South himself (having grown up in Atlanta),
observed, “You can’t make this part of the country
look ugly, no matter how poor you are”.
We stop at a gas station in Alabama where they serve livers
and gizzards, made to order, and came out with a variety of
item (not including livers and gizzards, mind you)…from
ice cream to jerky to chips to candy bars. Then we sipped
some more whiskey. I realize how much more comfortable I am
in this van where I can sit up straight in a comfortable chair
(in the Witch van we sit on a plywood bench because the back
seat had to be removed in order to free up space for their
equipment); have such benefits as an ashtray and a cup holder
(accessible only to those in the front seat in the Witch van);
and watch videos and bad Alabamian TV. “I should show
you something pretty funny” Pinkus intros, “My
sky diving video”. It was a video of Pinkus’ first
solo skydiving experience where the instructor almost killed
him. “See watch. Right here I break away. Then the guy
comes right back at me and hits me, see Boom!” Pinkus
narrates. “Then he sends me spinning, I steady out then,
Boom! He hits me again and sends me spinning
again”. That’ll teach you how to respond in times
Bobby Rock (who has been driving since the Waffle House in
Slidell) points out the Hank Williams Memorial, aka The Lost
Highway, as we make our way towards Montgomery and the ultimate
destination. “It’s 4:40. And you know what time
that is,” Pinkus states. “What time?” Kenny
asks. “It’s time to smoke”, Pinkus replies,
“I get bored, and I want to drink and smoke” as
he passes me the flask again while Kenny loads the pipe. Then
Pinkus advises me to check into getting an e-mail function
for my phone, claiming that it only costs him $5/month for
all his e-mail, as he flips on the weather channel. I relax
as the sky darkens and rain falls intermittently. Its super
dark for being only 5:30 in the evening, and the Witch calls
to say they won’t make it to Atlanta until around 9:00
(which really means 10:00 or 11:00). I wonder? Is that “Pulling
a Honky”? And the wind whips Bobby Rock and the rest
of us around the lane. We pass this place called Bocephus
Was Here, this “strip mall style thing” according
to Pinkus, where they have one of Hank Williams’ cars.
And we smoke more weed.
there were only two bands that night at the Star Bar, Honky
took the stage pretty quickly (at least it seemed quickly,
although Father Time might disagree) after our arrival in
Atlanta (which meant around midnight). Then they tore through
a killer set, with Kenny seeming to fit right the fuck in.
dedicated a song to his folks, who had come out for the show.
His mom, “Pops Pinkus”, wore her Honky shirt with
pride, while his dad, “Jo Jo the Monkey”, wore
a Trojan Magnum shirt that Pinkus had given him with equal
pride. Pinkus told the crowd, ‘My Mom’s here folks.
She’s out in the audience, and she drinks vodka on the
rocks. So get her hammered…she likes that”.
introducing Kenny, Pinkus announced, “This is our new
drum-mer, and it’s his fourth gig with us. He’s
American by birth andSouthern by about fifty feet”.
jokes kept coming.
Pinkus (again), “Yeah, this is my divorce song, and
Bobby’s going tosing it for you. It was called South
of Heaven until this band calledSlayer came along and ruined
it. Now it’s called House of Seven”.
adds, “Well I was going to ask more for whiskey in the
monitors, but my whiskeys just keep multiplying.”
Rock - “My dog just had puppies too”.
- “Our pussy drummer needs a water”.
Rock - “Well as long as it’s pussy juice”.
the show Austin’s own Jeremy Thompson (Nashville
Pussy, ex - Phantom Creeps) arrived and I knew
we were in for a long night tonight. Also present was my friend
Melissa (having recently moved here fromNew Orleans), a bunch
of Pinkus’ high school friends, and Buster the Human
Blowtorch from the Impotent Sea Snakes (now out of a job since
the Great White fiasco). The Witch didn’t take the stage
until around 1:30 AM, after thinned out quite a bit. The rockers
hung tough though.
After the show we just had stayopen until 4:00AM in this benevolent
city. So we went to this killerpool, booze and food joint
called the Highlander, where we were welcomed with blasting
Iron Maiden. Then off to Jeremy’s toy-junk-pornofilled
apartment for more debauchery. There was some guy therenamed
Shane who claimed he had played with my old band, theSkatenigs,
ten years earlier. However, I had trouble rememberinghim…as
he looked like total shit.
point, as Jeremy and Pinkus kept talking and talking cracking
me and Melissa the fuck up.
I began to notice that Pinkus and Jeremy were-either-so-fucked-up-themselves-or-we-were,
or as we were all fuckedup as “seen-through-the mysterious-‘them’s’/
‘their-own’-drunk-ass-eyeballs” as Pinkus
put it…that the dynamicallyfucked up duo seemed almost
mesmerizing. Or maybe I was just really fucked up.And, of
course, that was right before I passed outAt eight motherfucking
AM.To be continued…
n Roll Q & A with Brent Hinds (guitar/vox) from
Who are your favorite bands / greatest influences?
Melvins, Neurosis, Thin Lizzy, Phantomas.
What is your definition of success in rock-n-roll?
Being able to make a living playing music.