Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Roanoke Crusty Riot 2001

So this was the second half of a double column dealie that ran on Blank Gen September 5th, 2001. The first part of the column was the grand "can't get laid manifesto", which I still haven't lived down four years later. Of course, how am I supposed to live it down when I keep on reposting all that old shit? Oh well...


Have fun reading the column. It's definetly not the best thing I've ever penned. Even when it ran, I think it was just a lazy re-write of some old email that MIGHT've even been a couple years old at that point, I don't really remember. I'd try and do some editing, rewrite the fucker, but I don't think it'd really improve things that much. This fucker is beyond help. Still though, interesting stuff happened. Just think of it as a relic from the days when I REALLY couldn't write(did anybody get that "Aesthetics of Rock" reference?)

....................................................


"Fighting my way back"
-Thin Lizzy

So gather 'round young ins, cause I got a tale to tell. The month was June, the day was something, a Saturday I think… There was this show thing in some remote field way out in the middle of nowhere. There were like eight or nine bands from the Roanoke area playing (Roanoke, Virginia, 40 some miles from where I live). Roanoke is notorious for having one of the WORST punk scenes in…ahhhhh, probably the WORLD. The show was being headlined by the Strap Ons, from Norfolk. They have a single out on Jim UMed's Rapid Pulse label. Obviously, I went to see the Strap Ons and no one else.

So, I sit through the first three or so crap bands, really with my only entertainment being the random drunken idiots falling over stuff. And lemme tell ya, there was this one guy that was SOOOOOO fucking drunk (note that this was like at three o'clock in the afternoon)… He played guitar in one of the bands and he was so fucking wasted that he fell off the stage backwards and hit the ground HARD. Needless to say, it was funny. At another point, people had these small-ish fires going, and he decides he's gonna jump one, so he runs and jumps it, but he lands so this one long stick pops up, NEARLY hits him in the balls and ALMOST knocks him back into the fire. Seriously, he was like centimeters away from having gotten the serious ballshot and being knocked back into the fire. That was also quite funny as well.

Also, early on, there was some old guy (50+) there that kept talking to me, and for SOME reason, he didn't quite realize how truly horrendous these bands were. I mean, out of the eight bands I saw, six of them were amongst the worst crap I've ever seen, and that REALLY says something (side note that really IS saying something, because I have seen a LOT of bad shows. I live in Blacksburg, Virginia, a college town. A college town, emo, metal-core HELL… Few have had as much experience as I have with bad shows). Anyway, this old guy kept on talking about how the various bands needed to "take chances." Yeah, gimme a fucking break, the only chance those bands needed to take was to try and run across a four lane highway at rush hour (ya know, 'cause they'd most likely be killed). Actually, I'd tell you the names of some these craps bands, but I can't for the life of me actually remember what any of their names were (I THINK there was a band called "Fungus" though).

Anyway, ol' Geezer Joe topped his "taking chances" line by at one point wondering ALOUD if this other 50's looking guy was a "talent scout" or not. Fuck, he was just SOOOOO clueless it was hilarious. I mean, these bands were the worst crap EVER, every single one of them seemed like they had just formed the day before, that they'd only practiced once, and that each of them respectively had been playing their instruments for maybe six months (minutes?) prior to that point. I mean, I think the guitar player for the one band fucked up EVERY single song. What's REALLY sad though is that that band (the Jane Doz) has been around for over two years.

Shit, even the big "rock stars" of the Roanoke scene (Stations), their ALPHA band, they've been around for more then THREE years, and even THEY suck total shit and sounded COMPLETELY off. Their bass player was HORRIBLE, it was like he couldn't fucking play at ALL.(MODERN DAY, 2005 EDITOR'S NOTE:I'm pretty sure that band is still together and they still are the antithesis of all things good and just. The last time I saw them, sometime in 2003, I left the show with the thought that I maybe didn't even like music at all anymore. They just had this "special" ability to suck all life out of a room). At one point they covered a Dictators' song, and it sounded like any high school band in the world trying to cover a Little Richard song (i.e. the worst crap EVER). What was even sadder is it’s SOOOOO obvious that their one guitar player just thinks they're SOOOOOOOO cool, and that he's so cool. Like he's some hot shit or something, like his band is SOOOOOO awesome, he was even wearing a beret. Gimme a god damned fucking break, it was SUUUUUUCH horrible shit, "Hello junior, there's a reason why your band's been around for four years and you STILL can't get a deal with ANY label, no matter how small. Even a crap monger like Beer City won't touch you with a ten-foot pole. D.I.Y.? Why...BECAUSE YOU SUCK (yes, a Screeching Weasel reference, I apologize).

Anyway, despite all of this, this was not the most entertaining part of the show (note: the Strap Ons were cool, but I'll get to that later). Okay, so one of the bands that weren't total crap (Skelp) was playing. They weren't good, but they more or less were one of those kind of bands that would've gotten signed to a major in '95 (and later dropped). Kinda like China Drum (but without any Smiths-esque stuff), if you know them. Anyway, so the crowd totally disappears whilst they're playing. "No big deal", I think, because they're obviously not any good (still though, MULTITUDES better then the other stuff). Eventually people wander back round to the stage. Then, some fucked up (i.e. beaten up) guy wanders up; I notice a couple of people being all tense and took notice of where he was. Actually, I mainly just notice this because there's this one hot chick (who I was planning on hitting on) who was amongst the group that was being all notice-full of him.

So then, the band's set ends, and the tensions seem to be getting more intense. The group of people that was with the hot chick (also known as the "punks") was arguing with the fucked up guy and HIS friends (the "hippies"). I think you MIGHT just be able to guess what happened next.

The "punks" and the "hippies" start arguing with each other. And I gotta stress here how neither label is really accurate, because some of the "punks" had the biggest, baggiest pants I've ever seen, and one of the "hippies" had a leather jacket AND short hair (don't ask me). So the tensions mount and it seems like a fight really is gonna happen. Everyone not involved with it moves to a safe distance, me included. This arguing goes on for twenty minutes or so and finally people seem to calm down and everyone separates. I, of course, take note of hot chick's actions (of COURSE) during this time. She seems INCREDIBLY tense, like she's half a second away from crying. I mean, she was trying to put up a front, but it's clear what she was really feeling.

Also to, I didn't know at that time that whole thing was "punks" vs. "hippies", ya know, so while observing the argument, I was trying to figure out/eaves drop/over hear what the back-story was. And as it turned out, there was some of a back-story to it...(side note: as the arguing was going on, things got QUITE tense, and I made the joke, "See, this is why emotional arguments are best left to the Internet." Unfortunately, I said that to some redneck and he didn't get it at all.).

Also, in regards to hot chick, she seemed to have really weird reactions to stuff, like the aforementioned drunken moron was her friend (he seemed unaware that it was no longer 1987), and when he did all that stupid shit, she'd like go/run over to him to see if he was okay and be all concerned and stuff. To the extent of like maybe like taking him over to a chair and getting him to sit down and calm down and stuff, like some kind of bizarro mothering instinct gone CREEPY. Of course, that didn't make her any less attractive to me (of course not)...

So then, after the argument had calmed down, the next band plays and all is fine. This band ALSO sucks and my mind starts to wander once more, I start to question whether hot chick has a boyfriend or not, she seemed to be hanging off of all the guys. I ponder further talking to her/hitting on her and decide that I most certainly WILL go up to her and hit on her. So THEN, the next band is up...dun dun DUN...

All the sudden, in the middle of the song, within two seconds, the WHOLE crowd is a 100 yards away and in the midst of one FUCK of a FIGHT. Ya know, there was some small skirmish, and BAM!, like that, everyone was like LITERALLY a hundred yards away and in this fight. And it was AT LEAST like thirty people on each side, and it was TOTAL fucking violence, total chaos ("punk you no die"). Just random violence… And it just kept GOING ON, from start to finish there was probably like thirty minutes of total fighting. It wasn't as "full throttle" with as many PEOPLE the entire time, but overall, there was a solid half-hour of fighting. Like there was this one guy swinging around an aluminum crutch for fifteen minutes plus (it was his crutch, by the way). Ya know, to which I (emphasis on "I") painted the hilarious scenario:

You'd think he'd learn. "Gee Bobo, how did ya get the crutch?"
"Daaaaa, I got my ass kicked in a fight." "Hmmmmmmmmmm…"

Nobody laughed at THAT either (the bastards). I guess it was because they were friends with someone actually GETTING their asses kicked. Anyway, the sane MINORITY of people just stood a good 100 yards away from all the fighting. It was fun, I was crackin' wise to everybody, the whole "nigh riot" thing just gave you the perfect icebreaker. I shared a moment of synchronicity with some goth-fag that didn't have eyebrows. I shook my head disapprovingly at all of it, pretending that I didn't find it as truly HILARIOUS as I DID find it.

Somewhere around this point, somebody told me that the whole thing was a big "punks" vs. "hippies" thing. And I mean REALLY, I DOUBT how much those "hippies" were hippies. Ya know, it was PUNK show, that and ONLY that, most of which were crusty bands. Now, crusties themselves are pretty much hippies, although they listen to mainly metal [Wait, are crusties even punks then?] And anyway, the "hippies" that were there really didn't look all the much different. They had tattoo's and were all long term-edly unwashed, and they smoked pot just like the crusties. If they were SUCH hippies, why were they at a crusty show? Just because it was in some field or something (the show was free, by the way)? "Dude, it'll be like Woodstock except all the crusties will ALREADY be caked with mud BEFORE they even get there."

Eventually, after the LONGEST time, all the fighting stops... Wait, no it doesn't, the one guy who's running the show (his dad owned the field), tells all the hippies they have leave (If they're such hippies, why were they so violent?). That doesn't solve the problem though, the disturbance just moves into the parking area, which is on the other side of this fence. I of course check a couple of times to make sure my car is unharmed (of course). It's fine...

Now to, another thing to keep in mind, is that hot chick is RIGHT dead in the center of all of this, she doesn't actually DO any fighting or get her ass kicked, but in EVERY other way she's in the DIRECT center of ALL of it. And she was just SOOOOOOO reacting to ALLLLL of it. Fuck, I could tell from a 100 yards off. I don't think she crying, but she had that fucking look she had the whole night, that whole "just ABOUT to cry and EVER so desperately holding it back" look (I know it well). She had that, but magnified four or five times while the fight was going on. And she was like RIGHT at the center of the maelstrom.

Anyway, EVENTUALLY, EVENTUALLY the hippies left, and a little while later all the "punks" that were in the fight left to. Actually, that's another thing, after the hippies left, there was maybe about a half-hour 'til the "punks" left. During this time, I walked out to my car to get my jacket to sit on/wear as it was getting chilly. Also, obviously, I wanted to further check out my car to make sure it was unharmed. As I'm WALKING to my car, I walk past hot chick, who's in HER car, listening to music in an OBVIOUS, BLATENT attempt to "cool off" after all the ugliness. Seriously, anyone could've read that whole thing clear as day. Just to make even further sure, I walked in front of her car on the way back and FUCK HELL yeah, eyes closed, head back TRYING to relax, but not succeeding. She wasn't asleep either, her eyes were like half closed and then she looked at me as I passed anyway...(by the way, this show was like nine hours all in total, so that's why all this shit could happen in such an extended timeframe).

Also to, before even the hippies left, before the fighting even stopped, there were tons of people getting on the mic bitching about the fight. Pretty easy to do since the stage was a good tenth of a mile away (or more). It was all just a bunch of moronic, generic comments, the one guitar guy for the one band (the one who thinks he's such hot shit). He gets on the mic and starts talking about what fucking morons everyone is... Fuck, that's just SOOOOO retarded on SOOOO many levels. First of all, the guy saying this is like THIRTY, so that's one thing (thirty years old and still pretending to be a teenager, which is pitiful). Next of all, he's married and his wife just had a baby. Third of all, he was talking about the people that were in the fight, but he was too dumb/trying too hard to be cool, and he didn't SPECIFY that he thought the fighting people were dumb. That's whom he WAS talking about though. Anyway, next of all, he never even thanked all the people that DIDN'T get involved in the fight... Duh, that's the classic "cool moron" move...(MODERN DAY, 2005 EDITOR'S NOTE:I apologize for this whole paragraph. What the fuck am I talking about?)

Most of all, the guy was a DIPSHWOD because he actually got UPSET that there was a fight, it made him angry, he took it fucking SERIOUSLY. There was nothing to be angry about surrounding that fight, it was just a hilarious "happening" of moronity at it's best. It was FUNNY. As long you of course kept a safe distance from the fighting itself...

Besides that though, one guy on the mic and got a good line in, "Punks, Hippies, from where I stand ALL of you just look like a bunch of rednecks." And that was the fucking TRUTH. Everybody there, ESPECIALLY those involved in the fighting ALL looked and "acted" like some of the most STONE retarded, pure bred, inbred REDNECKS EVER. Even as I walked INTO the show, before all the shit, I said to myself, "Whadda bunch of fucking crackers." Ya know, like almost every last one of them had the flopped over, outgrown mohawk, coupled with the goatee. Ne'er before (or since) has there ever been a more redneck look(MD2k5E'SN:The current crusty look of the dread mullet with racing strips is way worse than the old flopped over mowhawk w/ a goatee). Fuck, there were SOOOOOO many mohawked kids there, the most I've ever seen in one place. I had to try HARD not to laugh in their faces...

Besides the mic stuff, the people not fighting just started to get so bitchy and moany about the fight. Ya know, like about how they were SOOOOOOO mad that there was a fight, and they were SOOOOO angry, blah, blah... Ya know, they were actually UPSET about this, where as I just found it HILARIOUS. Fuck, I even found the fact that they were emotionally involved/affected by it, I found THAT hilarious too. Yeesh, it's like if a couple four years olds have a fight and then you take it SERIOUSLY... What MORONS, all the way around...

Anyway, after maybe and hour and a half, the next band finally played. Halfway through their set the generator conked out and we were all left in near darkness (it wasn't totally dark yet). I actually DID laugh out loud at this; it was just like fucking ICING on top of the world's most perfect day. After like WAY over twenty minutes, they finally got the generator back on and the band played a song or two more and finished.

Then, the next band plays, three songs in, the cops show up... From better to ever GREATER, if there was ANY doubt EVER that this night would live forever in my memory (and there WASN'T) the cops appearance would've cemented it(Actually, at this point, I had pretty much forgotten about all this stuff). The cops are there for over half an hour, finally they leave and the band plays a song or two more before ending things so there'll be time for the other band.

SO THEN, LASTLY, the Strap Ons play, and they were cool. Not great by any measure, but still damn good. I got their CD and it mainly sounds like early Blanks '77, if Blanks '77 were a WAY better band. Anyway, I talked to their singer afterwards, and actually banked on my status as a blankgen columnist for the first time. I won major cool points with him, even more so with their one guitar player who I didn't get a chance to talk to. Anyway, I talked to the singer for a long time and it turns out he actually went to college in Blacksburg, and graduated in '94, so we talked a good piece on THAT.

THEN, when it seemed the evening couldn't GET any cooler, a fucking fireball whizzes by us and hits the side of the stage. There was this one guy putting off firework stuff (DEFINETLY illegal stuff, WAY too big/powerful). Apparently, he got a little too drunk and wasn't paying attention to where he was shooting them, It came within one foot of about half a dozen people, me included. Actually, I think it nicked the jacket of some punker moron, because later on he was complaining about it...

God, so much mayhem, so much chaos, so much FUN...

Anyway, I got the Strap Ons full length and one of their seven inches, not the Rapid Pulse one though. It was cool though to, because he used to work at the radio station at tech and he gave me an extra copy of the seven inch to give to the radio station, so that was neat...

In regards to hot chick, she did INDEED have a boyfriend. Furthermore, I decided NOT to hit on her because she was way too whippy after all the unpleasantness. Ya know, how can you make pleasantly inane, cheery small talk with someone who REALLY IS about to cry? Still though, if I ever see her again(come to think of it, I think she was the same hot girl I lusted over at the aforementioned 2003 Roanoke show I went to... interesting) ... And dude, her boyfriend was SUCH a schmuck, he was one of the cracker-flopped over mohawk-goatee-crusty punks, he don't deserve a hot chick girlfriend, no matter how oddly she may behave...

Actually to, her just plain WEIRD behavior and reactions to stuff put me off of her. I said to myself "Dude, no matter how hot she is, she's obviously crazy, she's got a fucking crustie boyfriend for fuck's sake! You need to stay away from this girl."(ahahahaha, this comment would prolly get me beaten up nowadays. That's 'cause I live in a town WITH crusties now...)

Anyway, also to, just before leaving, I hear someone say in reguards to the fight; "Yeah, this is just like EVERY show at the Melting Pot." The Melting Pot of course being an old club... And even more of course-ly, there's the irony of people EXACTLY IDENTICAL TO EACH OTHER getting in a fight at a place called "the Melting Pot". Ya know, a "melting pot" ideally being a place where extremely DIFFERENT people come together and live in harmony, not a place where extremely SIMILIAR people CAN'T get along. But that kind of thing is a little over the head of most of the dumbfucks there...

One other thing too about all this whole Roanoke hilarity, at one point, some ultra-dumbfuck, I think that REALLY drunk guy, he was talking to someone and he's like, "Yeah, if someone came up to you and said, 'Hey you dumbfuck asshole, I don't like you, eat shit and die, cocksucker!' What else COULD you do but get into a fight with him?" Ya know, and I was thinking, "Gee, I don't know, I'd either shrug my shoulders and say Buuuuu...or I'd laugh directly in their face." But of course, Johnny MORON, being the MORON he is, the only solution HE can come up with is violence...

SOOOOOOO now, in conclusion to this story, I have to say that from the position of the detached observer, that that was one of the BEST nights I could of possibility had IN that "detached observer" role. Ya know, if yer gonna be doing some emotionally detached observing, IT DON'T GET ANY BETTER THEN THIS!

Moral of the Story: Roanoke sucks(very true)

..................................................................