musings by brick wahl  

Subj: Band News
Date: 98-08-10 17:03:39 EDT

More exciting news--

Fearless Leader banned from Callahan's! Yes, after a musically fine but somewhat tame confrontationally set by our heroes, they were summarily banned from Van Nuys' finest rock'n'roll establishment by an angry, well-fed bartendress. Appearing as a rocking out three-piece this evening, the highlights of the show included kick-ass renditions of your favorite toons, diapers, chocolate pudding, Sarge's Detroit born & bred wailing guitar, soiled diapers, way too much smoke, staying in tune, Jimi Crapcorn's heavy metal YooHoo chocolate soda bottlecap medallion, Sarge's hand-painted "Shit Boy" tee shirt, exhuberant audience members, and Bob Lee kicking over a drum kit that really oughtn't be kicked over. Asked about it he replied "I am the world's forgotten boy!"

What would Watt say...

The lowpoints of the evening had to be the two miserable opening acts, both of whom thought they were Rush. And I suppose the fact that Sarge didn't get in a fight with anybody, or slither across the stage like a serpent in the band's own goo.

********************************************************************* there I was at the Garage. Nip Drivers night. I don't know about you, but I was a Nip Drivers fanatic from the moment I heard "Cindy" on Adam Bomb's old show on KXLU. I mean way back... So I got there maybe two or three songs into their set, the place was packed, the band wild, and I was back, back almost at the door. No idea of who else was in the joint. It was packed far beyond the legal limit. Just smoke and a sea of heads washing back and forth in the mosh. A nasty edge in the air. Very cool, very mid-80's, and very nostalgic.

The moshing had gotten a little heavy up front, apparently. That inchoate bouncing electrons style, instead of the more ritualized swirling hurricane of the '80's. Kids these days... Then something about the bouncing bodies set me off that a brawl had broken out. A tremendous wave of leather clad punks and pretty boys came washing back, surging like a wave. The bar narrows towards the door, and the panicked bodies in front of me began piling up, so I went into the standard unlock-the-knees edge-of-the-pit stance (all us old-time punks were trained in this--SST published manuals and everything). On they came. Some of that there's-a-riot-goin'-on thrill began surging in my ample gut. The wave was on me, bodies actually lifted up off the floor, and there, where the floor narrowed down almost at the door, it crested and broke and spit out--Sarge! Flying backward past me, bouncing on his ass, with a knot of six hardcore looking dudes trying to untangle themselves to get him. I couldn't believe it. The nostalgia swept over me like deja vu. Sarge picked himself up, ran up to me, yelled "that motherfucker hit me over the head with a bottle!" and threw himself right back into the maw. He grabbed one--apparently THE one--and threw him up against one of the booths and made to clobber him so hard that assuredly the stupid bastard's jaw would've been busted clean, teeth scattering across the floor like chicklets. But half-a-dozen arms reached out and grabbed his one, yanking it down. They then combinedly hurled him backward once again, past me, on his ass. Sarge scrambled to his feet and made to go at them again. Now I had been watching this seconds-tick-like-minutes scene more bemused than alarmed. I've known Sarge for years, through many fights. I was there the night he was jumped by two big Huntington Beach punks at the Anti-club, and he dispensed with them readily, biting off an earlobe in the process. (The sight of these big, spoiled rich thugs searching that filthy floor for the missing lobe is something I'll never forget). And I've broken up a few of his confrontations when they were turning ugly or bad. But this was Sarge's movie, and a great one it was. Sarge vs. half-a-dozen punks and beating a couple of asses in the process. Still--there was one problem. So, as he got to his feet next to me I said into his ear-- "Sarge you got two kids now." He looked at me. "But that motherfucker hit me on the head with a beer bottle! Look!" There was blood on his fingers. I just shrugged. He glared at the little motherfucker, now bottleless and scared silly. The motherfucker's friends never moved, either. They kind of slunk back, feigning more interest in the show.  It was a goddamned draw. Sarge vs. half-a-dozen punks. "If I ever find that sonofabitch by himself I'll kick his ass!" And he went outside to nurse his sore skull on the curb and complain loudly to all that would listen. Some homeless black guy had been hanging out front, lackadaisically sparechanging, mostly just talking. He went up to Sarge. "It ain't worth it man. I been there, too. And it ain't worth it. Anymore violence ain't gonna do you no good." Sarge thought about it. "Thanks, man", he said, "you're right. I got kids." And he reached into his pocket and gave this itinerant wise man a few bucks and went home.

Inside, the Nip Drivers just tore that place up. One of the best shows I've seen in years.


Speaking of people who sometimes play in Fearless Leader and look kind of terrified doing so while just wailing on his ax, rumors to the contrary Jonathan Hall is just alive and kicking as all hell. Well, maybe not kicking--more like watching "Cops" and listening to old records. Alive and wiggling. Wiggling so much that he'll be playing a Backbiter set this Sunday afternoon at Al's. I won't be there, I'm way too old to go to Al's during the summer. I've paid my dues. You guys haven't.


Finally, my brother Jon of Claw Hammer has finally gotten off his butt and begun putting together a solo project. According to Bob Lee they rehearsed Sunday. I have no idea what it was or how it's named or anything, but it'll probably be plenty weird.

And the OTHER brother, Lex, also has reunited the Lexington Devils and ought to be playing soon.

My other and youngest brother can be heard on organ if your idea of a good time is attending Catholic funerals in Orange County. I know mine is.

He will NOT play at my funeral though. I've already informed Fyl that I want an enormous party, topped off by the lighting of the funeral pyre as the Cosmic Psychos wail through "G.O.D." I hope you can attend.  It's a little while off, though. I hope....


And speaking of guys who never played in Fearless Leader but once competed against them as singer of Moist and Meaty in a "Dumbest Band In LA" contest at the Anti-Club that wound up effectively a tie--I keep hearing rumors that Edwin has ended Cheeseburger. That would be, as they say, a bummer. Edwin has no email access and whenever I talk to him on the phone all we do is tell dumb old jokes to each other, the same goddamned dumb old jokes that we've been telling for twenty years now--and I never get 'round to asking him. Anybody know?