Excerpt from The Road, an upcoming collection of road stories edited by Tony Patino

In our very early days of touring, a road trip would usually be a weekend jaunt up to San Francisco or a drive through the desert to Arizona.
Being a band in Southern Ca was like that–we didn’t have the luxury of all those different cities bundled together like you had on the East coast.

Nah, it took mind-numbing drives along the freeway just to escape the Death Star-like pull of Los Angeles’ tractor beam.
And it being the early days of hardcore punk, there just wasn’t a lot of goddamn places to play!
We’d hear about some beer hall out in Phoenix, usually owned by some deaf alcoholic widow who snored through the mayhem inflicted on her bar each weekend. And word would spread, hey, there’s a new place to play!, and all the LA bands would descend on the place like locusts, stripping it down to a destroyed shithole, before moving onto the next poor suckers’ joint.

So we somehow got booked for 2 nights at some club in Tucson. It was rare to have a 2 night stand anywhere back then, but we didn’t question it when offered.

We drove out there overnight on a Thursday- drinking the whole way– of course—and made it into Tucson just as the sun was rising over the desert.

There was a motel called the Tucson Inn, run by a family of Vietnamese immigrants, and I think the rooms were about 18 bucks a night. We checked into a couple rooms and continued drinking by the murky pool all day. We were all in good spirits, me and Kimm, Larry and Mike Burton, and our road crew (drunk friends) Chris, Duane and Mike Schmidt.

I had a paper on Hemingways‘ Nick Adams stories due by Monday, so I brought a few paperbacks.

Nick Adams along for the ride...

I figured I’d knock out my homework while resting in the air conditioned room all day, no big. Do you see the good intentions we were capable of back then?

Never opened those books up, but I did discover the restaurant next door to the motel made a drink called the Rattlesnake, which was 8 parts Whiskey.
So I was learning something.

Rattlesnake Cocktail Recipe : •8 measures Canadian Whisky•2 egg whites•2 measures lemon juice•5 jiggers Pernod

By the time showtime rolled around we were all just blasted, and we got up there and did our set, and were pretty surprised that we started and ended the songs together.

Larry Kelley

Mike Burton
Chris prays for us to stop murdering a Clash song......

And the crowd actually liked it! With a second wind, we closed down that little bar and went back to the Inn to continue our night.
How it came to be that me and Kimm, (my best pal since the second grade and still my bandmate in CH3) got into an actual fistfight that night is still a puzzle. Maybe I made a crack about his then girlfriend, who was along for the weekend, or maybe I wanted all the show money to buy bathrobes (a strange habit I still have out on the road). But there was an argument, cuss words yelled, I took a swing and missed, and Kimm landed a jab straight on me and broke my nose.
So this puts us at 4 am on Saturday morning, we still have another day to get through, and another gig to play that night. I am staggering around the motel room, trying to bleed on anyone who is pretending to sleep, Kimm has an fucked up guitar playing paw, and now he has to contend with his girlfriend who wants to immediately drive home.

Day 2:

We have now split off into 2 different factions, and those with girlfriends along wake up the poor Mamasan to get another room, while I rally the boys to start the new day with a warm Budweiser. The sun rose over Tucson as we closed the blinds, and we were waiting at the restaurant door when they opened at 11 am to start in on the Rattlesnakes again.

Note the swollen nose bridge and the first hints of black eyes. Good times.....

The 2 rooms stayed incommunicado for most of the day, me continuing to rant about my poor beautiful schnozz in the trashed bachelor pad, while Kimm soaked his swollen hand in a cardboard icebucket in the other room.

At one point, we got the bright idea to set a small fire to the mattress of one of the beds. After we burnt a satisfying 15 inch diameter hole in one mattress, we then had the fantastic thought to start taking dumps in the drawers of the dresser.
I don’t know why these brainstorms never occur when you’re sober, but at the time it seems so logical!

And if you’ve never seen a turd sitting in an empty particleboard drawer, well, let’s just say it is a piece of art that can only be improved by putting a lit cigarette out in in.

Yeh, you call it vandalism, but this little piece got us a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts!

So proud we were of this tableaux, we decided to take it over to the couples’ room and leave it on their doorway. I’m saying it’s about 3pm Saturday now.

Retalliation occurs, as it must, when Kimm and Mike Schmidt burst though our door as we are in the bathtub. We have reasoned that the pool is far too dirty to swim in, so Chris, Duane and I are sitting side by side in the bathtub in our boxers.

What? We're wearing boxers, you pervs!

Kimm and Mike have taken a fire extinguisher off the hallway and spray down our room, then burst all the pillowcases, also tossing the turd into the bath with us.

Gaaaa! Turd alert!!!

We are all crying now, tears of laughter. Kimm and I hug it out, and bless the powers of friendship and punk rock, we reconvene to make it back to the club and play the second gig.

We make toast after toast to the good people of Tucson, and are allowed to stay in the bar until the sun comes up on Sunday.

Punk Rock Bowling 2010

Punk Rock Bowling, eh? Have you heard of this little soirée held annually in the sunbaked hills of Nevada?

Punk Rock gone legit? Bowling gone decadent? Help me out here, will ya?

You get a group of punk rock survivors from throughout this country, and gather them together in a third tier casino for a long weekend of drinking, music, drinking, reunions, drinking, and–oh yes!~ Bowling!

All well and good, but my Lord! did the Brothers Stern have any idea of the cultural maelstrom that was to come after christening their fledgling event thus?

First warning he flips you the bird. But next time you infringe copyright it's go time!!

I mean, we now suffer under the yoke of a hundred bastardized variations of Punk Rock Lifestyle items, all flown under the cozy punk flag……..

Go ahead and hit yer google tab up yonder and start typing in punk rock…..autofill begins spewing out a myriad of hobbies, all sharing the Punk Rock prefix……and I trace the blame squarely back to that initial combination of the radical and mundane, punk and bowling!

B7---that's Black Beauty Seven,,,anyone?

Punk Rock Knitting, Punk Rock Golfing, Punk Rock Bass Fishing….Hell, you got your Punk Rock Parents, Picnics and Scuba Diving!

...ya know, I'd make the usual snarky comment, but this stuff is pretty fuckin cool!

So let me ask you, just what is it that makes all these harmless activities punk rock, hmm?

Is this re-branding an attempt to gather the tribe for protection?
Not likely, as punk is as mainstream as lowriders or scrapbookers these days.

No, the days of brutal police harassment and running from the jocks is regretfully long gone.
No need to circle the wagons anymore, brother!

Hell, you wanna stand out? It takes more balls to be Amish than to sport that pink mohawk nowdays!

.... there's those fuckin' troublemakers, always beggin for change outside the gig!

Perhaps the Punk Rock asterisk is just an excuse to show up at the golf course or shooting range half drunk with bad tattoos and do a shitty job of it—–ya think?

As if by identifying ourselves as Punkers before we climb the high dive, that gives us the right to flip off the judges and do a bellyflop, all in the name of Anarchy!!

I dunno---that softball looks awfully cheerful to be a punker!

Eh. You know what? fuck it–let’s go bowling!!!!

Gutterball?! Why, I'll........!

The trip starts as it always does, a quick lighting of a candle at the Strummer shrine….

Watch over us Joe!

Another venue change, this year finding the shenanigans at the Sunset Station Casino, conveniently located between what the fuck? and where in the hell? avenues in Henderson……

A prime example of the American architecture that shits on the cathedrals of Europe....

And so this gathering of the tattooed and beer-bellied has expanded, as all good things must!
I heard a bit of grumbling from the veterans—–how the weekend has lost the charm of the days when it was fifteen people sharing 2 lanes and sleeping on the floor of Fat Mike’s suite…

Alrighty then....who needs a refill?

But all those cynical concerns fall away as you walk into that blast of artificially chilled air, hear the mechanical squawk of the slot machine: as Pavlovian a signal to drop your paycheck as the aroma of Starbucks awakens the small intestine!

But then, the real draw of this weekend, the chance to see some of the old crew!

Really, this is what has made this annual event the closest thing we have to an old fucks punker convention……the chance to see the other survivors, toast our shared fallen friends and show off the tattoos of the latest grandkids!

Happy Trails, buckaroos!

This year even saw the return of old pals Stretchmarks!
And though their meager attempt to Roofie us and harvest vital organs failed, we still love those goddamn Canucks!

Mysterious Canadians
Kimm goes native with the indiginous tribe....

And bowling? Hell yes! Through our strategic use of stringers and sandbaggers, we finally advanced to bowl on Sunday as well.

The Dream Team, getting ready to roll the rock!

The winning team of the coveted over-30-half-latino-half-cracker-category!

Official results lists the mighty Team CH3 as finishing between 33rd and 64th out of 225 teams—let’s call it 33rd, shall we?

Kimm wonders how he's gonna get this baby through airport security!

And somewhere in there, they put on a godamned punk rock show too!

As you nurse a pounding 3 day hangover and piece together the weekend out of bizarre images that flash across the brain, you gotta admit —- Hey! they really got something here, this is an event here to stay!

Hell, we might as well get in on this craze!

So we’ve gone ahead and trademarked the following events:

Punk Rock Colonoscopy
Punk Rock Priesthood
Punk Rock Curling
Punk Rock Child Labor Camp

Coming to a town near you soon!