Southwest Tour: 1982

The year was 1982, a sensibly-faced Michael Jackson had just layed Thriller on the world,
Al Haig had left the Secretary of State gig after a failed coup, and we were shocked to be mourning those twins of Royalty:
Princess Grace and John Belushi…..!

Seek for thy noble father in the dust:

We’d been riding the unexpected success of the first EP, getting some nice gigs around town and Fear of Life was just now on the shelves!

ahem….guess who’s climbing the New Wave charts, hmmm?

And so we did the next logical thing:
Late June of 1982 we loaded into the Blue and White, kissed the dogs goodbye and, for the first time in our young innocent lives, Hit the Road!

The good ol Blue and White

We drove straight through that scorching Desert, a day, a night….what? Another goddamned day?-straight through to the first gig:
Dallas.

The crew: Larry K : Bass, Jackie DeBaun: Drums, Duane: Pure and Golden Wit

There we met up with our tour mates for the next few gigs, some jolly chaps callin’ themselves Husker Du…..

Wonder whatever happened to those kids, hmm?

In the bathroom, Hot Klub Dallas w/ Huskers

Up the next day and it was into Austin, still one of our favorite places on this Earth!

The mighty Big Boys, Ritz Club Austin

We’d met the Big Boys a few weeks earlier when they were out in L.A. opening for X at the Whisky.
All true gents, the Boys took us in, showed us around town, put us up and even defended us when the crowd started to call us Hollywood poseurs!

Hey–we’re Cerritos poseurs, smart guy!

Skate ditch outside of Austin w/ Big Boys

A fun filled time, and then it was onto Houston.

Perhaps it was there we learned the value of telling everyone in town that it was your Birthday, and also telling all the girls that you were scared and a little homesick……just buy me a drink and hold me!

Backstage in Houston….so lonely, so far from home….girls?

Oh, you people sneer at our obsession with food and fine tableware nowadays, but things were a little different back then!
We lived on canned beef stew and Orange Tang, and no Paella or Berberé Stew has come close since…..

Rosebud!

Fine dining, New Orleans Alleyway…

And then we ended up at our farthest destination, New Orleans!

Hanging with the Sluts in New Orleans….I’m referring to the band by the way!

Oh man, yer telling me about a place of 50 cent Dixie Beers and heaping plates of Red Beans and Rice, where the bars stayed open round the clock and graves were all above ground and ripe for vandalism?…..we’re home fellas!

….the Dirty South. It’s not the heat, it’s the lack of humility!

We started back West, stopping to play in Tulsa before heading back into our familiar stomping grounds of Arizona:

…girls night in, Oklahoma

Tucson

It was a fairly quick trip, when you think about it, but we came home changed fellas.
We’d seen what was out there, beyond the smoggy bubble of Southern California.

And though my appendix had discretely started leaking sometime on the ride home from Phoenix, and I would be laying in a hospital bed not 20 hours after being home, I was ready to get out there again.

I wrote up a little tour report and submitted it to Flipside….Hey! I guess I was a smartass blogger even then, eh?!—-they ran it and awarded us with an honest to God cover too!

…My Summer Vacation—!

And so, after- what?–these 30 years later, we decided to honor that first little trip with a revisit:
A retracing of that very first tour so long ago.

Oh, we know things will be different, our brittle limbs a bit more stubborn, our punished stomachs far less tolerant, but we’ll give it the ‘ol punker try!

And besides, this tour will fall on my birthday!!

Photoblog: Beach Blvd via Alex’s Bar

Yeah, yeah—I know we weren’t on the Album, although time and deflated brain cells has convinced many people otherwise.

No, the glorious Beach Blvd compilation was released long before we had even started making a racket in Mom’s garage.
But we never pass up the opportunity to glom onto that classic piece of Punk History!
Shame? We have none!

So when we heard our old mate Jay Lansford was coming out for a couple weeks, the wheels began to turn once again!

Salt Lake City, Winter tour 1984
That wholesome youth in the background? Tbone when we first got him on the road.
I know, right?

Seems Jay was coming in for a reunion of The Unforgiven out at Stagecoach Festival.

Heh, but that’s just one band—Let’s put him to work!

Country rockers? Punker cowboys? Angry extras from Justified…?

Besides, has it been about 2 years since we celebrated the Summer Solstice with the Crowd and Simpletones?
Time, she files!

The bright young Simpletones! RIP Snickers….
Simpletones and Crowd, along with CH3 and a Stitch, surround Slam Den Mother July Cleaver...!

As with any proper night at Alex’s, we meet up at Joe Jost’s first for a frosty warmup.


Jay is looking in fine form, and we’re pleased to see that the European lifestyle has not extinguished the So Ca rocker soul within!

And then it’s into the warm cave that is Alex’s Bar.
And let me tell ya, the crowd is in a mood tonight!

…we will never escape that goddamn album cover!

…get away from the ATM putos!

…present day Tbone–hasn’t changed at all!

This show has brought all the characters out, and it’s been a long time since we’ve seen the room packed like this—-


Self portrait of me and Johnny sharing a urinal.

Booking agent Ron tries to sell Mark just one more band for PunkRock Bowling.
Apparently we will be in the crowd watching, this year!

And then, up on stage—it’s the fuckin’ Simpletones!!!

The band sounds just great, the singing spot on.
Though of course we wouldn’t know if the fellas were singing in Mandarin Chinese, as the whole goddamn room sings and shouts along to every word!

Le Jay rocking the ‘Tones!

Kendall SImpletone up with the Crowd!

Simpletones, the Crowd—weeeee!
People are dancing, singing along, hugging strangers in celebration of the soundtrack of their youth.

And you can just feel the amused gaze of Rik L Rik looking down from above.

Oh silly mortals—enjoy.
Enjoy while you will!

And then, goddamnit, we have to spoil the mood by climbing the stage and doing our little thing!

Say, have you ever wondered what it looks like from the stage at Alex’s?
Just like this, except all these people are flipping you off!

Heh—but we have Jay on duty as well, so the crowd is soon soothed by the wailing 3 axe attack.
We are now a Southern Rock band apparently!!

3 guitars on stage, none of them in tune.

A great night— a night out, a night of music—-is there anything better?
To be among your pals and catch up with life, and to take the time to look back.

We mark off the days with a lazy swipe at the calendar, and we look down at the X’ed out blocks representing so many mundane days.

Ah, but now and then a night comes along like this.
And it’s nights like these that we underline as memories, fine jewels found among the mud, and we take them out, hold them up when we need them.

We squint at the ruby light filtered through its prism, and smile.

One more for all my True Friends, indeed!

Thanks to Wendy Sherman for additional photos!