So Friday evening I rang Rodney to thank him for the huge parcel of FunMail, and as usually happens when the two of us get to gabbing, the evening ran well into the night--over four hours of non-stop laughter! We reminisced about our time together in college, and caught each other up on what we'd heard our peers had been up to since we all graduated.
And we reminisced about all the shows we saw together: Dementia Precox, The Highwaymen, Guided by Voices, True Believers, The Rainmakers, Skinny Puppy at Bogarts when the band was arrested and a cop hit Rodney with a billy club as we tried to exit the building...
But the one that stands out in our minds as the best, craziest show we ever saw together was the first one we went to together: The Dead Kennedys at The Jockey Club.
Rodney didn't know a lot about the band, other than what he heard being blasted in my car whenever we were buzzing around Dayton, but he was game for anything that might prove a spectacle. The pair of us coerced fellow art student Tom into riding along with us to the show. Tom was new to the area, having spent the past several years living in California, and we reckoned that if the concert got out of hand he'd be able to "protect us," since he was a veteran of the Cali metal scene and had attended countless Venom, Motorhead, Metallica and Slayer shows unscathed.
It's always good to bounce remembrances around with an old friend, because time lessens the vividity of memory after twenty years. Together however, we talked about the show as if it had only happened last week:
The glass-strewn parking lot near the club
the frightening array of humanity surging into the derelict building
the Nazi punks in the corner, trying unsuccessfully to burn an American flag
Tom fretting that he was going to get a shitkicking for wearing a Motorhead t-shirt
Rodney lamenting the fact that he wasn't the biggest freak there ("I've lost my Glow!" he kept telling us)
Jello emerging from stage left wearing a bright orange three-piece suit and rubber surgeon gloves
Jello stripping down to next to nothing within five minutes--and he had shaved his chest hair into stripes, which we all thought was really cool
the astonishment that the rest of the band looked really normal (I thought Klaus Flouride was HOT!)
Fosters lager in oilcans being lobbed all over the place
part of the ceiling crumbling onto a very stoned chick slumped against a wall
me in my black Chucks and thrift store army green, the right side of my head shaved into a checkerboard of hot pink and orange
the grimy tiled floor
the standoff between some white supremist skinheads and the crowd because of black drummer DH Peligro
a very violent moshpit that even Tom wasn't keen on venturing into, after seeing several battered and bloodied punks staggering out with broken noses, their clothing in shreds
the rumble of the bassline kicking off "Holiday In Cambodia"
the sea of bodies swirling as East Bay Ray's guitar screeched out wicked surf-punk...
By the time we exited the building that hot May night, we looked as though we'd been swimming with our clothes on.
My god, how could we ever forget?