All The Way Live
by Johnny St. Clair
"and in this cornah... Hailing from parts unknown... The only son of a bare knuckled Hawaiian boxa and a Nordic supermodel... and known for his cat like grace and his cool unda fire... I give you... Johnny... St.... Clair!!!"
He sounds a little bruised, a little dirty and more than a little my type of guy. When Johnny's in Philly, he has a couch to crash on and he's welcome to share my bottle.
jeans and grease, tattoos and leather, world war, paranoia, hate, fear and power…i had a cold feeling about the social distortion show way before dr. j ripped off all those bush / cheney signs. it had all the trappings of a great band’s last fling, and for a while, i thought it could be mine as well.
yes…start the evening off right…and ugly. load up and head off, behind the wheel, out of my head and into the dark. right. police were everywhere as soon as we left the hideout. speed traps, traffic stops, routine patrols. greasy johnson complained about my driving – my lack of speed – but it couldn’t be helped. i remember at least three separate occasions soon after we departed where i was traveling on familiar roads that twisted into something dark and secluded and strange. no idea where we were going or what i was doing, but push on anyway. there was work to be done.
i would have none of hemingway’s advice during times like these…i needed somewhere dark and dirty to drink. a beer and a proper shot. and then some. clear my head…let these waves of paranoia wash away. would some vile consequence be set in motion this evening? some foul occasion whose end on this night doth depend? note to self: lay off the grass.
we took the circular route to the gig, dr. leaking johnson insisting upon stealing every pro-bush sign he could find from the front yards of the white and privileged. i thought about the theft…not only of the signs, but also of these persons’ freedom of speech. was the doktor denying their american right? quickly dismiss that thought…those fuckers get what they deserve. i found a comfortable place to park, plenty of room and all – you understand – and doctored johnson began to place the signs around the car. a dozen or so in all. our little republican cabana. the fans in attendance didn’t get it.
they were a bunch of fairly humorless fucks, those social distortion fans. it didn’t have to be that way. this is the same band that had the balls to bring the supersuckers out on tour with them the last time i saw them play. did you hear me? the supersuckers! and if there is a band known for festivity, it has to be the supersuckers. plus social distortion was notorious for its heroin intake and alcohol consumption. i don’t know about you or your mama [ok…i admit…i know about your mama] but nothing says a good time to me like junk and booze. mike ness is an institution and his band nailed that tough guy punk thing back in – when…1987? – when ness dropped the eye make-up, slicked his hair back, and started singing songs about jail and outlaws. the fans have taken it as much to heart as he has i suppose, and apparently a few have even scored reality television programs on the discovery channel about motorcycles. i really like those shows. especially the one with the fat dude.
i paid to hear two songs and i got them plus a handful of others. heard “prison bound,” “ball and chain,” “under my thumb,” “makin’ believe,” “when she begins,” and “telling them.” others too, and they were the old ones [good thing]. i don’t remember anything from “white trash…” but i was loaded, so who gives a fuck. good show, solid tunes, but a bit too much on the harry hardwick side of the tracks.
dripping johnson picked up on the vibe early, whispering in my ear about violence and 'sharks to blood' and other such maniacal ramblings. he was and often is disgruntled…and there were far fewer females in attendance than i promised there would be. when i sensed the show was about to conclude, i rushed the pit and began dancing with my elbows in the air, randomly forearming big dudes in the back of the head and punchin suckas in the gut with my keys. got my nose bloodied…don’t cost nothin’. but in the larger scheme of things, i managed to get a wholesale brawl started amongst the aging skins in attendance and the whole horde of jocks who picked up on the rock thing when “alternative” [whatever the fuck that means] hit the airwaves. the homoeroticism in the room was almost palpable…you could have cut it with a pair of ben-wa balls. i covered my head with one arm and my ass with another and got the fuck out of there…made straight to the parking lot…nothing more to do here. out in the country and most definitely on the radar of some outback law enforcement, the only way out is to get on the highway and drive the wrong way.
Johnny St. Clair is new around these parts. Just don't let the law know he been around here, kay ?