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?
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
We meet up with the Doormats and crew, as well as new artist pals Rich Jacobs and Chris Shary for a little pregame tuneup!
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:
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!
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!
Now properly aligned, we climb the legendary Gilman stage and blast through the oldies!
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!
Ya know, I’ve heard of rock stars that collect the tokens of adoration tossed up on stage:
Hotel room keys.
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!!
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!
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!
2 thoughts on “Berkeley”
asthma inhalers??? thank god BOSS is coming out with that Defibrillator pedal!! just run the cable under the drum kit, and when he code blues, an open Dsus chord while stomping it will bring him right back….it might even improve the timing a little if you stomp it just right! Just make sure you have a noise gate, or you might get excessive buzz through your amp. Technology saves punk rock!
“… inherent fascist implications” …
How about explicit Spartacist leanings?
I rarely watch Hollywood films any longer but caved in and accompanied my son today to a showing, here in Phuket.
I doubt if I have ever watched a more flagrantly anti American film. Yet, the filmmakers could not stick to canon and show Americans as suicidal warmongers on top of their other sins. And if we are doomed by the coming plague, it should have already weakened law enforcement for the simian revolt to stand a chance of success.
Shame about the awful acting at the beginning of the film, probably to convince the audience that corporate America are NOT sophisticated. The Golden Gate Bridge was its best ever until the nonsense of the “General”, the gorilla sacrificing
himself on the ‘copter.
Just plain stupid and gratuitous was the improbable airline Captain, the hot head neighbor, assuming the role of Patient Zero. Remember, the original Patient Zero, Gaetan the Air Canada flight attendant flew to San Francisco!
I thought it was Rip Torn playing the devious Dean Jones character from “Beethoven” , seeking redemption for “Freddie Got Fingered”. But no, it was Hermann Goering in the guise of the superlative Brian Cox.