Berkeley


Oh sure.
Nowdays, you spoiled brats have your punk-o-matic festivals to choose from:
Warped Tour, Riotfest, Fun Fest, Punk Rock Bowling, Tampax Presents Punk in the Sun Fest, blah,blah……

Alright suckers, but in our good old days we had the Anaheim Stadium concert series, where five bucks would get you free overnight camping, a long day in the sun capped by Nuge and KISS, not to mention the chance to make out with slutty hippy chicks by the bathroom!

Oh, I think we know who wins, hmmm?

Read it and weep, kiddies!

But let’s go back to Berkeley, circa 1982, to one of the first punk fests we can remember: The Eastern Front!

It was a strange affair, our first time playing on that side of the Bay Bridge, our first outdoor day fest.
Our first, yet not by far last time playing on the flatbed of an 18 wheeler!

We pulled in early to the open dirt field and scanned the scorched landscape: We were playing where?

Whoops--behind stage photo shows how poorly our set was attended!

But the day progressed into a pretty fun affair, with the usual hijinks:
Duane and Larry catch and slaughter a gopher.
Duane and Larry tip a port a potty over with some poor soul locked inside.

Big John Macias has to step in and stop a crowd from murdering Duane and Larry.

Good Times…..

...note the retard haircuts.

So it’s with these fond memories that we leave San Francisco and our sparkling chums at Thee Parkside and make our way back to Berkeley for the evening gig.

We check into the charming Golden Bear and head over to 924 Gilman Street.

...you know us and our love of bears!

When booking road gigs, we ask the usual questions:
Have ya got a backline we can borrow?
Are there any decent Vietnamese Crawfish joints nearby?
And say, how many drink tickets can ya cough up?

Say What?

No Bar? What kind of place ya running here bub?!

But they were ready for us, with assurances that– no, while Gilman doesn’t have a bar– there’s a whole goddamn brewery across the street.

That’ll do!

We meet up with the Doormats and crew, as well as new artist pals Rich Jacobs and Chris Shary for a little pregame tuneup!

CH3 by Chris Shary. Tell me he didn't capture Alfie's soul with this one!
Kimm chats up the fellas while I steal their onion rings!

The food, conversation and filtered Hefeweizen has us all in a jolly mood once again, but it’s time to cross the street and check into the club:

Oh well. There goes our plan to wash these Black Beauties down with a shot of Jaeger before jumping off the stage and starting a fight with those chink fags.

We wander the club holding bottles of water between index finger and thumb, as if they were biohazardous urine samples from tranny crackwhores.

We are not at all in our element, in this all-ages politically correct co-op, but then we remember the plan and go into the storied bathroom of 924 Gilman!

...what...what is this flavorless clear beverage I hold?

And there, sure enough, taped to the back of the toilet tank is a jewel-like half pint of God’s Mercy in a bottle!

...and then he came out of the bathroom blasting!
hey hey hey---that's not very crusty of ya!

Wow, Alf flips off the camera. That's one we haven't seen before!

Now properly aligned, we climb the legendary Gilman stage and blast through the oldies!


Another franchise opening for the Make Me Feel Cheap girl!

We’re chugging along alright, I’m thinking, when the tempo starts slowing.
We play Manzanar at 3/4 speed, and during No Love, the song breaks down in the middle completely, grinds to a halt, and refuses to start up again.

We turn in unison and look at the drummer who is no longer drumming:
Alf sits upon his throne motionless.
Pale as a trust-fund Caucasian, and gasping for air.

He has forgotten his asthma inhaler back at the motel!

...uh oh

Ya know, I’ve heard of rock stars that collect the tokens of adoration tossed up on stage:
Hotel room keys.
Stuffed Animals.
And sure–panties!

But ladies and gents, let me tell you about a historic night when a blessed fan tossed an honest-to-God Advair Inhaler up to the drum kit, and saved the show!!

*puff puff* Ahhhhh! Why, I can play the whole set again!

We finish the set, we have a blast.
We sell every last bit of merch at half cost and adjourn down the street to the Albatross for a jolly nightcap!

We head back to the motel for a heated discussion on the new Planet of the Apes film and its inherent fascist implications.
The discussion turns into wrestling and arm punching, and it is time to put this long ass day out of it’s misery!

...but the monkey is named Caeser! Don't ya get it? It's all a big circle!!

We drift off to sleep, and spend a tortured night dreaming of talking chimps and tater tots, giant buckets of Miller High Life and empty asthma cartidges.

It will be morning soon enough, and plans have been made to meet up with our pals back in the city for a leisurely day of sight seeing, maybe a cocktail or two, nothing major.

Or so we thought!

You talking to us? What?!

San Francisco

...miss us? Yeah, well--us neither!

Alright wiseguys, we’re back—though none too happy about it!

Oh, we’ve been getting the usual snarky remarks lately:
Sheesh, 2 months without an entry?
What the hell? What is this, just another punker blog abandoned?

The words suddenly dried up, like one of Courtney Love’s tweets that disintegrate into an indecipherable trail of asterisks and ampersands while she nods off on a barstool at The Roosevelt?

Ah, shut the fuck up, we hear ya.
Yeah, yeah, I know you just got that new Android 4G, and ya just can’t wait to break it out in the men’s crapper, necktie draped over shoulder, and waste precious company time readin about yer old pals.

Just look at ya! Don’t you know there’s a goddamn recession goin on???

Wow...I didn't know these guys played in Pomona last week!

When we last left our heroes in June, Summer was just a young pup.
And as we stood on Santa Monica blvd that evening long ago, the days growing longer and the prospect of the Angels and Dodgers meeting in the World Series still a possibility (Har-fucking-Har), we planned on making the most of a Summer off the road.

We were definitely gonna get back in the studio, finish up a few tracks and have a new album ready for the Fall!
Maybe a new Tshirt design, yeah, that’s it. Something that combines Anime art and Olde English lettering maybe? We’ll get right on that!

And howsabout the CH3 Book Club finally tackles Ulysses, eh? Perfect time!

Yeah, well.

So what did we accomplish this Summer?
Well, unless you consider reaching level 36 on Nazi Zombies and being at The Goat Hill Tavern every weekday for Founder’s Hour as stunning achievements, I think you got yer answer.

Band meeting on XBox Live: Guess which one's Alf?

So when we received word to report to the Bay area for some gigs in August, it was with a weary sigh that we put down the remote, said goodbye to Shark Week and replaced rusty guitar strings.

But just like Zep in The Song Remains the Same, we crumpled the telegrams from Peter Grant with steely resolve, kissed the families goodbye and headed back into the glare of the stage lights!

Lookit the dog: He's all, this cheap Limey bastard ain't even gonna tip the poor kid!

A quick jaunt up the 5 and we’re there in no time.
Of course, half your travel time is waiting in line to cross the motherfuckin’ Bay Bridge on a Saturday afternoon.

Ah, the Bay Bridge.
Where humanity meets for lunch, where the yuppies and pervs, hippies and gangsters are all blended and funneled into the community they call home!

WTH? I thought all you goddamn hipsters up here rode fixie bikes!

It’s a matinee at the beloved Thee Parkside first up on the agenda, and we crash through the doors breathlessly to catch our pals The Doormats rippin through their set:


...stretch it out boys, we need to choke a few beers down before the downbeat!

The fellas are sounding better than ever, playing well…perhaps a little too well, hmmm?
They get off stage to a rousing ovation and we immediately accost them and accuse them of actually practicing for this gig. Shameful!

Gearing up after a long layoff.

Dark sweaty images to prove we actually played---happy?

We stumble through our set, managing to remember every other lyric and missing the proper guitar chords by only a half step.
We gasp for air between songs and beg for merciful beers, but the discerning matinee crowd stands with arms crossed and makes us play the songs two, sometimes three times in a row until we get them right!

But it all comes back soon enough, and we play I Got a Gun for the official 13,457th time before jumping off the riser and making for the glorious patio on a warm Saturday afternoon:


Boom, livin the High Life

World's. Worst. Gloryhole.

Ah, to be there surrounded by precious friends on a stunning SF afternoon.

We toast the day with buckets of Miller, and toss toasty tater tots high in the blue sky before catching them in mouth: Hungry birds waiting for mama to regurgitate greasy salty goodness into gaping beak!

Really, what else do ya need?

Kimm and I head upstairs to do a quick interview with our old pal Mike for Radio The Way You Like It.

We’re distracted, though, as we can hear the laughter of chums and the openings of bottles just out the window.
We chat a bit more, and then head back to the patio to enjoy the waning day.

Yo- Toss one up here!
Alright, we told you the story behind the goddamn cowboy boots already. Now let's go get a drink!

The afternoon progresses in the usual fashion:

It’s been grand, and as the sky darkens we head back into the club to pack up the gear and load it out once again.
It would be nice, wouldn’t it?– to spend the rest of the day in the city, eating and sipping our way into a blissful coma state to match these last couple months off.

But no.
It’s back across the Bridge yet again, and another show tonight in Berkeley.

Seems like the Bay is not done with us just yet, not by a long shot.