Show Time: Let's Have a War
by Michele Christopher

So Ken has requested show stories. Turtle has the floor on this one.

This was a Saturday night. Or it could've been a Friday night. Hell, it could have been a Tuesday for all I know. Drinking straight vodka in the back of a car kinda leaves you...well, you kinda stop caring. But we were on the way to a show. Chasing vodka with Budweiser or maybe it was the other way around. Doesn't really matter. Two drunks in the back seat up a beat up old car with two straight edge punk rockers in the front telling us we were going to hell, or some other place, for drinking. Not really caring about anything but the wind in my face and meeting my friends at the show. They could lecture me all they wanted, but in the end, the show would be seen and the booze would be gone and they could talk til they were blue in the face cause I stopped caring right after we hit the liquor store.

Hey. We were kids.

We sat in the back of a car not wanting to see any openers. Just the headliner. FEAR. We wanted that. We didn't really care about anything else but the burning feeling as you pour down booze into your throat and you put off going in. Cause hell, tonight wasn't a night to find some new band or see something new. Tonight was about getting fucked up and having fun. My straight edge friend yelling "get out of the fucking car! You are missing the fucking show!" Me saying "Hey dude, you need to fucking calm down dude. I still got a beer with my name on it, ok dude?"

Hey. We were kids.

Cash paid, hand stamped, clothes searched, push you away. Thats pretty much the standard gig. Take your cash, stamp your hand, search you, then push to what always seemed like the bathroom. Or maybe that was just me. But it didn't matter. It was FEAR. And I did the impossible. I got out of the car. I can go through this. Hey dude, I didn't set the bar pretty high back then.

So it was set. We missed all the openers, cause we were, well, lame and drunk. Fear was coming up and I was fucking higher then jesus getting an enima. I'm not sure what that means but it sounds funny to say. Lee Ving walks out and tells us "If any of you spit on us, we leave."

An unspoken challenge. OK, hero.

Hey. We were kids.

Spit flies on the stage as the set hits. Men, women, girls and boys. Fuck, if there was a dog there he would have been spitting, too. Just covering the band. You could see the frustration in his eyes. The song stopped and he warned us again. "I'm leaving if this shit keeps up!" Song starts. Spit flies. In a look of anger and frustration he leaves. Sets down the git. The drummer walks off with his middle finger up to us. Two songs.

Two fucking songs.

Fuck that.

After we decided they weren't coming out anymore, my friend walks in the girl's bathroom. We had no idea why. He just did. House lights came on and he walked out of the bathroom. Shirtless except for a steel garbage can in one hand and a smoke in the other.

You have to know something about my friend to really get this. The humor in what I saw that night. He had a Superman "S" tattooed on his chest. Same size as Superman's. The only ink he had. Don't ask me what he was thinking when he did what he did, but really, it was kinda cool. Or funny. Or lame. You make the call.

He got on the stage and started banging the living shit out of the riser with the can. Screaming about "How the prices are getting for cheeseburgers" or something like that. Fuck if I know. I was barely able to breathe much less comprehend what the fuck this crazy man was ranting about.

The bouncers and "friends of the bouncers" came running out.

Oh shit. Things are gonna go fucking nuts now. A shirtless Superman with a garbage can whacking the shit out of a spit covered bass drum. If this wasn't the onset of the 4 horsemen coming, I don't know what the fuck is.

The side door was kicked open and I was pushed, no really, grabbed and forced to the door. My friend, crazy motherfucker, pulled the bouncer of me and simply told him, "Hey man, you don't wanna do that." Horsemen coming. I can feel the horsemen coming. I can feel it.

I finally was pushed outside where kids were smashing bottles and just being pissed off. We lost a show. Fear wanted us to spit on them. They knew what was gonna happen if they said what they said. So why would they say that?

I leaned up against a pick-up truck. Pissed off, not knowing where my friends were. Just watching this scene get worse and worse. I was pretty pissed off. Two songs. Two fucking songs. The place was in riot mode. Serious fucking riot mode. In my older years I wouldv'e walked away. But this was the baby turtle. Young and dumb. Baby turtle.

I leaned on the pick-up and wondered how far this was gonna go. Then I looked in the back in the pick-up. Horseshoes. Tons of horseshoes.

They wanted the fucking four horsemen, I found them.

Horseshoes went into the windows. More people caught on and it was a full fucking flying rodeo. Young dumb and drunk, we let those things fly. Now it was a riot. What started of as just a bad show had turned into something different. Was it fun? I'm not gonna lie to you. Smashing windows is always fun. I was young and dumb and just a kid. Things are different now, but then, it was all about breaking things. And if it was a bad day, breaking alot of things. This was a real bad day. I wanted to see glass on the street like fireworks on the fucking Fourth of July.

Tons of police. Kids running everywhere. Cars up and down the block. Lights and sirens and yells of "You need to go home!" on the loudspeakers from inside the venue and from the police cars. Yeah, go home, yeah, you need to fuck yourself cause I got more horse shoes and my blood is 99 percent grain fucking alcohol right now. So I'm gonna be here for awhile.

A firetruck passes me by. Lights on. Screaming. Shit faced drunk being pulled away by my friends I yell something that to this day was the stupidest thing I ever said.

"Fuck you fire pig!"

What the fuck is a fire pig?? Where did that come from??

A fire pig???

The fire truck stopped. Skidded to a stop when they heard me say that. And I swear to god, the biggest man I have ever seen came walking at me. With an axe.

Thats when I knew not to spit on FEAR ever again.

Hey. We were kids.

Fear - Let's Have a War
Fear - I Don't Care About You
Pennywise - Fuck Authority

I'm sure you've all got a story to tell about a show you went to. Let's hear it!


this is what i remember about just about all the gigs i went to when i was younger: Blood, sweat, a pit, a loud band, more blood, booze snuck in filling big gulp cups, cheap wine, cheap beer, puke, leather. I mean i know theres more to them but really its all a hazy blur. Most of which centered around Fender's in Long Beach but often spread to Al's Bar and places in Hollywood whos names i can't remember, backyards in San Pedro and Sacramento and places in between.


have you ever heard of the Doll Hut pril?

that was a cool little place. I wonder if it is still around


hardcore matinee at the safari club in dc.

swiz and american standard. ('88?)

the fucking place was NOT built for shows and whothefuckknowswhy they did it i just thank god they did. i think it was a restaurant by usual day, but on sundays it turned into an all ages hardcore venue.

it was a very skinny single room so i stood on a chair to see. it was in the days when no one told you not to stand on your chair. i mean, the standing on chairs was the least thing they had to worry about.

by the time swiz took the stage the place was fucking trashed. cups and liquid all over the floors. steam rising from the hot, bloodied, shirtless boys.

also in the days when a pit was a pit and no one was trying to hurt anyone except maybe the skins.

it was my first real show (minus the local HS band firehouse shows -- which were grrreat too!)

i just remember thinking that i had found my place in the world. and i hocked a loogey right on the floor.


A friend of mine won tickets to see Gilby Clarke at Saratoga Winners. There were all of 8 people at the show, almost all of whom had won tickets to the show or were given tickets. (not counting the groupies at the bar, there were several more if you count them)

Anyway, no real pit to speak of, just to big (6'2"ish) hair-bags in leather jackets thrashing around in front of the stage. About halfway through the show during a guitar solo, one of them thought it would be a great idea to jump on stage and in the process he knocked the mic back and hit Gilby in the face with it, split his lip.

The lone bouncer working that night, he has maybe 6 foot, but built bigger than the incredible hulk, jumped on stage put the guy in a choke-hold and proceeded to drag him out of the bar, smashing his head off the doorjamb on the way.

The whole time his friend was walking behind, saying "he didn't mean it, aw c'mon man it's cool..." He was next to get tossed.

That left about 6 of us, not including the groupies at the bar.

To this day it was probably one of the best shows I'd ever been to(performance wise). I have a lot of respect for him and his band putting on such a great show in front of such a small crowd.


First rock club experience was in 1988, 1st semester, freshman in college. The band was Soundgarden, supporting Ultramega OK and they were playing Axis in Boston, (this was the old, small Axis, not the Avalon mega-club or whatever it is now.) 5 bucks to get in.

I had never been in a pit, never surfed the crowd, any of it. A friend of mine that I had met at school, an old-pro at this stuff, basically threw me into the pit and said 'have fun!'

I did.


ah pitworthy soundgarden, what happened to ye?


That was a great fucking story! Brings me right back - I don't think I could tell any of my stories complete like that... there were way too many misc drugs going around and really? I can't really decifer one from the other. All I know is we used to have a great time doing things very similar to that of your story... and that I missed a lot of shows because it was always a better time partying in the driveway, watching Skins beating on the jerk-offs than actually going through the trouble of going in and getting kicked out. You should do this more often, I love the old war stories!


dude, The Doll Hut does sound familiar. And i should be able to remember something about it, but its just not in the right cupboard


it was a little club in hmmmmm anaheim that my friend owned. I mean really little. And big bands would warm up for tours there. It looked like a mcdonalds with vodka.

Pretty fun place.


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