Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Be A Roper, Not A Doper

But wait!

Any good ol' tale-telling Grampa ought to at least promise lots of thrills and chills up front, if only to entice the easily-distracted kiddies.

So, let's see here...

Seems to me you ought to get thrilling tales of death and drugs and degradation and depravity and decadence and dope and dopes and dopey deeds. Well, kids, this tale's gonna be loaded!

And lots and lots of colorful characters! More colorful characters than a comicbook superhero's Amazing Origin Special Double Issue ought to have, if there was any modesty whatsoever.)

Plus, action and violence and crime and ridiculously ferocious music played by heroic idiot-savants and genius-knuckleheads and, hey! — by Jim the Drummer too.

Why, you'll learn why Don Bolles may be the scariest, dare-iest, most git-yer-ass-whupped-on-the-street most dangerous punk name ever! And you'll meet, gosh darn it, those wild and wooly Western characters, those fabled Cactusheads who came roaring into punk-rock Hollywood and scared everybody they didn't screw over, and screwed everybody they didn't entirely scare , and pretty much punched each other into oblivion, and then slept on your couch and ate up all your yogurt . . . And then you'll meet the Liars and the Exterminators and Mighty Sphincter and Victory Acres and The Feederz and the Junior Chemists and the Meat Puppets and the Advo-Cats and Jody Foster's Army and the Serfers and Green On Red, and ever so many less. You'll ponder the odd and curious fact that Arizona's punk clubs seemed to give birth to themselves in former cheesy wrestling arenas. You may even meet Tito Montez, and Ralph Thiessen, of Thiessen Motors, and Jack Ross of Jack Ross Lincoln/Mercury, and his wife, Aquanetta, famous (somewhat) (well, semi-famous) (well, locally) movie star! From Hollywood and everything! You'll encounter Lou Grubb, of Lou Grubb Chevrolet! With his parts department on roller skates. With luck, you'll hear about when there was bullfighting on TV in Phoenix, and topless Swedish movies appeared after midnight, and when you could do actual do stuff downtown without even being arrested! It was wild!!!

Gosh, kids, you're gonna encounter just how dead-seriously fuckin' dangerous punk really and truly-ruly was, at least if you did it out in the bum-fuck boondocks, the hinterlands, the interlands, the Netherworld, the Sticks, took it out of Manhattan and London and Hollywood, out of places where everybody already knew all about goofy bohemian youth-movement beatnik theater-majors, and into a town where pretty much every second or third pickup truck had it a Waylon Jennings silk-screened back window panel see-thru sunshade and a bumper sticker that fondly suggested that you "Be A Roper, Not A Doper." You'll get to see some serious ass-kickin', kids, just like in the movies and the comic books and everything. It's gonna make a lot of what you've seen of punk-rock violence seem, well, kinda sad and silly and low-operatic at the very same time.

And you're gonna get to hear some astonishingly great music. You're gonna get to hear a brief crummy record, never actually paid for, recorded in one 8-hour go, music that never managed to get it onto any of the groovy vinyl singles that punk revived, or even any of the ultra-obvious punk complilation albums, that only just barely limped its way onto an limited edition (through lack of funds) indie-label CD somwhere in the late '90s before going immediately out of print. And in hearing it, you're going to get to decide entirely for yourself whether you agree with the tiny but increasingly unanimous groundswell from those rare overly-obsessive few who've ever heard it, that this, these songs, these recordings, this stuff, this music, this maybe head-butting for its place among the greatest punk rock records ever. Ever. Flip a fuckin' coin, dude.

Well, Gramps is here to tell you that the record, swell as it is — and it is — is only a small, fierce early afternoon shadow at your foot, a light whispering breeze, compared to what the damn band was like, what the shows were like, what the world was like once you turned it upside down. The World Turned Upside Down.

No comments: