by Michele Christopher
The final gig we played together as a band on the coast was at a friend's party. A party in lovely Bandon, where we stepped out the back door and were on the beach. This was a combination birthday/clean health party. It was being given for a friend who was turning 30, and had just gotten a clean bill of health from her doctor. For the past two years she had been struggling with Non-Hodgkins' lymphoma, and was just released from treatment from it because there was no sign of it anymore.
We were to start playing at 9. So I met Djeef and his soulmate down there and we got our stuff unloaded and set up. That was about 7. We were usually the first people at a gig out of the band. So we sat down and had some drinks with everyone and went out by the bonfire and got social. About 8, one of us got up and went looking to see if Tam and the Kook had arrived. No luck. So Djeef and I goofed on some metal rhythm stuff, like Breadfan and Jump in the Fire. We both had a nice buzz going. This was because of the sheer amount of alcohol at the place. Someone had made a giant cooler full of Jungle Juice. Now, Jungle Juice seems to be different no matter where you are, but at this party, it was a bunch of liquor that was mixed with a bunch of fruit and left to marinate for a couple of days. There was also beer and whiskey and herbage. So, yeah, we had the smilies.
At 8:30 we started calling them. Because they had the PA... and where the hell were they? No answer no answer no answer then "we're at the store, we'll be there in a couple of minutes". A few minutes went by, and then it was 8:50, 8:55... no Tam and Kook.
Djeef and i just continued drinking, because really, what the hell else were we gonna do? All that alcohol being handed to us, we couldn't turn it down. So we drank pretty steadily, and then around 10:30, the two roll in. Like it's 7 and they're on time and we're the freaks for bothering them.
Djeef and I were too drunk to really be angry. We all got the PA set up. A tape was thrown in the boombox and the record button hit. Apparently, all four of us were loaded like fright trains. I have a tape of this gig, and I will honestly say it's hard to tell the rhythm section could barely stand up while we were playing. Some songs were just very slow, but it wasn't a train wreck at all.
We played for about 45 minutes, and then someone yells "The cops are here!" We stopped, right in the middle of the solo for "Comfortably Numb",. which actually had been going surprisingly well, because we were... comfortably numb by then. Someone pussed out and told the cops the band would only be playing for another 10 minutes. Total letdown, and then i was pissed, because if the Two hadn't been late, we'd have gotten our full time in. And I don't think i said much of a civil word to the Two for the rest of the night. I went back to drinking though, and my Li'l Bro and I headed out to the bonfire again and nursed our pints. Djeef retired to his truck with his soulmate after a while. Sometime around 3, I staggered out to the trailer i was going to sleep in, showed Li'l Bro his bed, and then I fell into mine and was out.
As usual, i was the first awake. At probably 6 am. I go out, look around. Take a jumpstart from my pint, and there's Li'l Bro out talking to the cops. "That dipshit," I thought. I knew he was still probably wasted, and he probably never went to sleep. I went over and got the stinkeye from the cops and told them Rude was cool, he wasn't out to rob anyone, and in fact had probably been out wandering the neighborhood and gotten lost. Someone had called the police about someone wandering the neighborhood, though, and that's why they were there. I put my arm around his shoulder and said, "Now really, sir, he's completely harmless" and started walking away. They weren't done, though. So like 20 minutes later, i finally get to take off, which was good because i was about to pee my pants.
That was in April of 2005. That August, Angie was dead. The lymphoma came back.
Pril remembers every time she plays.